An Artist’s Work

No ranch dressing needed

No ranch dressing required

I spent an inordinate amount of time last week meditating on our trip to P.F. Chang’s and why it outraged me so much.  On Friday at work, Bruce the Chef brought me a scotch egg.  I ate it standing up, on the loading dock, during my break.   It clarified a few things.

Peasant food, done right, can be the most satisfying meal you will ever know.

If the food is shiny on the plate, you’re in trouble.

If you can’t see the core ingredients in their original integrity, you are about to get ripped off.

Look… Mother Earth has been recreated in layers. A lightly breaded crust, a mantle of sausage meat, pinkish, not over-cooked, a core of egg white enfolding a bright sunflower of yolk, the molten core.  Each element in its proper portion, complementing the others. To add a dipping sauce of any kind would be a diminishment of the whole.

Free to me, four bucks to you at MacLeod.  All pleasure, no regret.  I had to remind myself it’s actually a fried product.  Bruce likes to mock himself as “a lunch lady at a grocery store”, but he knows enough to pick a quality egg, and honor the gift of the layer.

It made me feel bad, almost, for the grifters behind the grill at P.F. Chang’s. What goes through one’s mind, night after night, watching the stingily portioned shreds of bulk-issue beef shank from Restaurant Depot disappear into the breading, corn syrup, and branded “flavoring” in the giant wok, then fried until there’s nothing left of the source material but a memory? A dish that requires a picture on the menu to make the suckers at table 57 believe what they’re eating remotely matches the title.  Because their hypothalamuses are telling them otherwise.  You must have gone to cooking school of some kind. How do you live with yourself?

Cheap scotch. The kind they sell in half gallon plastic containers on the bottom shelf at BevMo.

Too harsh? Here’s a review:

"Food"

“Food”, $17.95

A chef's work. Made in Encino.

A chef’s work. 

Okay, I’m letting it go now.   Bruce’s pork pies and Scotch eggs will be at MacLeod on Sundays from time to time.

Way of the Cross

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If you are mocking someone this Easter season, ask yourself why.  Maybe these mockeries are not you.

If there is someone you are not speaking up for, ask yourself why not?  Where is your tongue?  Why do you lurk?

Human nature is a constant.  We are not perfectible.  But we can be a little better today than we were yesterday.