Life as a falconer, insect systematist, and double Masters Student (or a look into the mind of someone who is questionably sane).

24 November 2011

The perfect meal

My brother and I were talking a few days back about what a perfect meal would contain if there were no logistical concerns.  Being the ultimate day to contemplate eating here is my perfect, and rather large, meal:


I would start off with some fresh out of the pot Alaskan shrimp.  Most likely caught in about 320ft of water (that's the depth of the magic hole), in an undisclosed location in southeast Alaska.  I boil mine in salt water for about 3 minutes, they come out perfect.  Eat these shrimp and you'll never eat commercially produced shrimp again. 


Next I would have a small "salad".  This would consist of cherry tomatoes (in Catalina dressing), croutons (in Thousand Island dressing), sliced and skinned cucumbers, and skinned lima beans.  None of these items will touch either cause that's just strange.


The main course is a tough one.  I think I would go corned beef and potatoes.  This is my family's go to meal for occasions such as Easter, birthdays, and treats when were well behaved.  This corned beef comes in a can (make sure you get the imported variety, made by Libby).  Cube up some potatoes, add some oil and fry.  It's a slice of heaven, and a staple during field.  Learned the hard way it's better to drive an hr and pay the extra 4 dollars to get the imported South American corned beef instead of the cheep locally manufactured variety.  It's disconcerting being able to identify parts of the heart in your dinner. 


But there are competitors.  I had an amazing steak one day in South Africa.  It was also grilled, but in a way I've never seen previously.  An empty (I assume) oil barrel was coated with some sort liquid, I think gasoline or something similar, and lit.  A flash fire occurred and the steak was instantly thrown on top of the barrel.  About 5 minutes later you had a perfectly cooked steak.  This is quite different from the BBQing I grew up around, where any sort of lighter fluid or gas was a mortal sin, and multiple BBQs were involved in the grilling process.  If this meal had to be chicken biased I would pick Zaki's Fried Chicken in Sur, Oman.  If you ever find yourself in Sur, be sure you check ZFCs (not the restaurant, I didn't go there since its too fancy for me, but the walk up window where the locals eat) I'm not a poultry person, and yet this chicken really excellent.  It probably didn't hurt we got our chicken to go and ate it on a wall overlooking the ocean.  The final option would be a hamburger.  And what Aggie would not identify the Dixie Chicken as the best burger place around?  I get mine on toast with pickles, tomatoes, and mustard.


Dessert is easy.  My mom makes a cake known as Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake.  It's chocolate awesomeness.  This cake is so good people who have never met her contact her to request them.  If I'm not home for my birthday I get them mailed to me.  Cake isn't complete without ice cream and the best ice cream out there is Bluebell's Triple Chocolate.  This is a seasonal ice cream (don't as me why) but if you are at an actual ice cream shop you can get it year round.  Back when I worked for the P-fund we would go to Ft. Davis and get ice cream at the Caboose- the only place out there to get Bluebell.  Jodie knew my order- 3 scoops of triple chocolate- and I was so predictable even if they were out up front she would keep enough in the back for me to get my order.  To this day I still known as the triple chocolate girl.


My drink of choice is not so easy. 


First we should do beers.  My favorite beer is Shiner Bock, or if you can find it Shiner Black.  However, there are 3 other beers that hold special places in my heart.  The first is Guinness.  Since I was a kid this was my family's beer.  Back when we were young there was a math formula (my dad loves formulas) that calculated how much beer we were allowed to drink on special occasions.  After Easter Vigil we drink Guinness and watch the Pope's Mass while eating corned beef and potatoes.  Castle Milk Stout is an awesome beer I get in Africa.  I have yet to find a good milk stout in the US, something that bothers me to no end.  The last option would be Quilmes Black.  A beer in Argentina.  When I was down there in 2008 the first thing we did was hit a grocery store and bought supplies.  Along with my corned beef and tuna I bought 2 six packs of beer.  We drank most of that the first night but then I decided I should ration the rest, packed it up carefully, and hid it away in my backpack.  A couple weeks later we were all gathered around a light sheet in Calilegua National Park, and I asked who wanted beer.  Chris told me he was impressed that in the middle of nowhere Argentina I could produce beer and that that was the mark of a good grad student.  Probably why he took me on for my Ph.D.  When I left Argentina I wanted a Quilmes shirt so badly, but hadn't seen any anywhere.  In desperation I went to the skateboarding shop in the mall (the only place that remotely looked like they might sell beer shirts) and in my very lacking Spanish asked if they had any ideas.  The guy didn't, but decided to make me one.  Talk about copyright infringement.  He pulled the logo off the internet, I picked the shirt I wanted it on, and 4 USD later I had a Quilmes shirt. 


Non beer drinks would be either chocolate milk (made from US or South African cows, the rest all taste funny), an orange juice from this small place we found in Muscat, Oman (and went back to on our way back through Muscat), or strawberry juice from hole in the wall place in the Bur, Dubai, UAE.  I had never had strawberry juice, but quickly decided it was amazing. 


I would then finish it all off with a shot of single barrel Jack Daniels or some good single malt scotch. 


And that would be my perfect meal, now if I could just teleport it would be possible to eat it. 

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