Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Chicken & Tortilla Casserole

This chicken, wearing a tortilla sombrero, sitting atop a festive star-shaped piñata, couldn't be prouder! (Click the image for a larger version.)

Not only is she included in 1992's Sunset Best Kids Cook Book, but see what it says there? She is an entrée you can invite actual company over to enjoy! Look at the smile playing over her beak. Oh, she's trying to play it cool, but she just wants to crow!

The significant point here—we realize we use that word loosely, and we thank you for your indulgence—is that this is a cookbook for children, so all of the usual obfuscation is firmly in place.

In a recipe for a chicken dish, must a happy chicken figure in?

We're not suggesting that brutal honesty is the only appropriate side dish (even we understand that no one wants to publish or purchase a cookbook for kids that features bloody chickens in agony), but do children need to be force-fed the smiling bird?

(Thanks to Dr. Nathan for the referral and the image.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

What We've Been Missing 3: a digression

Every now and then (most recently, here) we feel driven to wallow in the consequences of our poor decisions. We have arrived at another such opportunity for reflection. Yes, the time has come again for us to wonder "what if?" What if we had not turned from the culinary path that stretched before us like a red (and moist) carpet? What wondrous fare we could have sampled!

Here follow more examples of "irresistible" food prepared by actual professional food-preparers.

We're just going to say it. We're half-convinced this is actually a bowl of used condoms. (The perpetrators claim it is steamed ribs.)

It looks prechewed, predigested, and thoroughly prevolting.

This dish represents the best of both worlds: livid, raw flesh married to an ancient, leathery rind of meat.

Picture it: The year is 3009. Humanity has inherited a bizarre and frightening Earth. Insects the size of poodles swarm the ashy skies. When they hit the windscreens of whizzing hover-sedans, this is the result. Lunch!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Manitoba Turkey Producers

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Oh, and turkeys? You birds are about to have the rockin'est day of your lives!

And you thought your best times were behind you! Seems foolish now, doesn't it, the way you clung to the tatters of your youth? The guitar pose that seems natural on a bird half your age only serves to make you look older than you are.

But now—how funny, how sweet, how dear life can be—you've been handed a second chance. You can matter in a whole new way. Not by rocking out, no, nor by chasing the empty promise of fame. But by being eulogized by schoolchildren and then eaten.

Can you see what one lucky colorer can win? A kid-friendly turkey lunch for his or her whole class! A visit from [illegible] the turkey to delight the entire school!

Addendum: Junable James? Is that the Turkey of Honor's name? It's so hard to make out. Turntable Terror? Supply your guesses in the comments.

Addendum 2: And what is it with the aging rockers peddling their own meat? Anything to stay relevant, we suppose.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Whole Hawg Happenin'

You know what's old and boring and doesn't make people want to eat meat? Fairy tales, that's what! Little Red Riding Hood. Yeah, right. Who can relate to that? Riding hoods went out somewhere around 1790.

The fairy tale is a form ripe for revitalizing!

For instance, what if—stay with us here—what if, instead of a riding hood, we went with a cutting-edge polka dot sundress and parasol?

You want to keep the basket? Sure, keep the basket. Good tie-in potential. Sell kid-size baskets. Gift baskets are an evergreen product.

Okay. Now. This is where it gets a little tricky. Switch out the girl for a pig. Give it a chance to settle. Give it a minute. See, you keep the wolf, and the pig is heading right for it! So you still got the violence going for you. Or, no. Wait. Brainstorm. The pig's happy about it! Yeah, the pig is going for it. It's violence, but the pig is in on it. You will own Soft Violence!

Put it together. Little pig is skipping through the forest, tra la la. She walks right into the wolf. Wolf does his thing. Predator, prey, bing bang boom. Now you are moving barbecue.

Addendum: Finally, for that little button. The kicker. Hack off the pig's tail—you know, those curly tails they got? Hack it off and use it for an apostrophe. Can you picture it?

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Oh, the thriving meat culture of old Rio de Janeiro! For starters, there is the rodízio, like Porcão. The rodízio is the Brazilian version of dim sum, only with chunks of dripping meat instead of ingenious little morsels.

Servers wander the dining room brandishing knives festooned with meat. Then, taking note of an intricate code, they proffer their wares to the willing. If you want more meat, you flip your Meat Signal to the green side and its Sim Por Favor legend. If you are some kind of weirdo who doesn't want to keep eating meat, you set your coaster on its red side: Não Obrigado.

Our "favorite" aspect of this is that the pig's demeanor is not dependent upon your choice to eat him. "Yes? You want more? Excellent, sir!" "Oh, you're done eating the flesh of my family? Very good!"

He wants merely to be a part of the festivities. If you're flashing the red flag, there's always the chance you'll make room for more meat in a little while. And so, like the waiter who knows that a smile and pleasant attitude can secure a tip from even the sourest patron, the tuxedoed pig knows that his affability is his best shot at being eaten.

(Thanks to Dr. Dan for the referral, the photos, and the primer on fine Brazilian dining.)

Addendum: Our "second favorite" aspect is the cyclops pig on the sign. (Click to enlarge.) Our "third favorite" aspect? The fact that Porcão, which actually means "big pig," looks as if it should mean "poor sow."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Angry Food, a retrospective

Oh, we've seen angry "food" animals before. (Here, for instance. And here.) It has only now become apparent that those examples were the opening salvos in a new offensive. And when we say offensive

It's really the latest variation in the Submissive Dominant theme.

These seething "food" animals! How they bristle! How they fume! Yet they renounce the power of their misdirected rage. Like the towering Submissive Dominant who succumbs to his flimsy prison, these angry, angry animals are at a loss.

Take these chumps, aligned in anger on behalf of their corporate master, A Better Butcher Shop. Consumed by fury though they be, they neither run nor fight. They surrender, for surrender, we are told again and again, is the natural inclination of all "food" animals. The violent animal, the enraged animal, the clever animal—they all live, and die, to serve.

Addendum: The Firebreathing Hog even has his own retinue of lookalikes: the Mr. BBQ Catering pig and the Billy Bones "Pork U Love To Fork" pig.

Addendum 2 (11/21/09): Boy, once you start looking for something...

Hey, we've seen that angry chicken before!

Addendum 3 (2/20/10): The (second-ever) Troy (New York) Pig Out isn't for everyone.

Addendum 4 (10/03/10): More anger. (Thanks to Dr. Tamara for the photo.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Hand Smoke

He comes from beyond the grave, a creature of vapor and dark pride, happily suffering the unwholesome light of the living, braving the poisonous, free air.

His plot has borne fruit! Or no, not fruit. Meat. His plot has borne meat. (One of the more horrid sentences we've committed in a long time.)

Beneath the inverted smile of the Arch, the pig had cast himself on the grill that he might be transformed. From the smokestack he rises, white-gloved, having made of himself a burnt offering, to bestow the gifts of his flesh.

It's downright holy! It's like every element of western religion crammed into a bastardized, new creed! And lo! The lion doberman will lie down with the lamb pig!

The ham! The ribs! Torn from a miraculously bloodless carcass, they drip with the potency of the once-alive, and the faithful dogs set upon them with gladness.

Addendum: The artist of this thing, whose work has been featured in these "pages" many times (most recently here), has a real flair for the unsavory. Could he be putting out even more influential stuff than the BBQ Logo King?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Suicide Snacks: quickies 6

As our schedule demands, we allow ourselves a little breather with these brief discursions.

(And as your schedule permits, please review the previous installment of the series.)

Have you forgotten that even worms enjoy dying? No form of life is so humble that it can remain unmoved at the thought of its eventual, meaningless death!

Far be it from us to claim that a pig derives her worth from her capacity to charm humans and fill them with lusty fervor, but Sweet Mama doesn't exactly… Well, she's not the typical barbecue floozy. She is possibly a boar in drag.

Second thoughts or a simple case of stage fright?

Over the years, we have seen some unappealing appeals, but this is the least enticing enticement we can remember.

Addendum (4/19/10): It's our stage fright pig, here on fire and representing a firehouse cook-off in Louisville.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Smokin in the Oaks

An exciting twist on the standard barbecue battle! Here, we see a mating ritual re-imagined: the pig awaits with gleeful dread the winner of the contest, for that is the man who will cook and eat him. (Her?)

It's knowing that he (she?) is the prize, the conquest—that's the thing. The knowledge that you've been selected to die and be eaten is the strongest aphrodisiac. Well, for depraved "food" animals.

Of course, the pig has given himself (herself?) a head-start and already languishes in the flames.

Are we alone in detecting some queasy sexual overtones? The men competing for the right to have their way with the porcine prize? The "mounted shooting"? It's probably just us. Our avocation has thrown reason into ruins.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

McCormick Mustard

So comely, so willing, so crisp. So dead.

Right about now, you're probably remembering these oven-baked sex objects. (We apologize.) Like the Rachachuros vixens, this fish craves, shall we say, "action." Gamely, she props herself on a fin, beckoning the faceless squirter to do her worst.

She's already been killed and cooked, but she can still be violated in other, less conventional, ways. By being mustardized, for one. And by being eaten, of course. And whatever else these two can dream up.

The pouting, lipsticked lips, the long-lashed eye, the posture: the very humanness of the sexed-up fish and our automatic, reflexive identification with her are thoroughly off-putting.

The intended message appears to be "Why eat a dead animal who just lies there like a cold fish when you can eat a hot dead animal who, you know, wants it?"

(Thanks to Dr. Kelly G. for the unwitting referral.)