Thursday, January 28, 2010

Like a good bottle of carbonated wine.

There are lots of things that remind me of how old I am. My wisdom, sophistication and maturity. My sagging, superfluous third nipple. My 1972 Stutz Blackhawk VI that I bought brand new when I was 53. And, of course, the Oops I Crapped My Pants adult diapers that I’m wearing (and utilizing) as I type this.

Music can be a good reminder as well.

I like to listen to a music format called “MP3” on the “iTunes.” I have over 60,000 songs that have set to shuffle on my electric computing device. While most of them fall into the Barbershop Quartet genre, occasionally I’ll hear one that doesn’t.

Today, I was taken back to college with the help of a song. And a large dose of mushrooms that I ate on the way to work this morning.

The song was "Divine Thing" by the Soup Dragons. It, along with songs by Jesus Jones, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, and EMF fall into a small sub-genre of splatter-paint-sporting, college crap rock bands that I still think are fucking great. But only because they remind me of college. The music itself is kind of silly. But awesome.

There were crud loads of great bands that I was into during the early-to-mid 1990s. But it’s the cheesy frat rock that sends my chiseled, white ass streaking through the quad at the University of Memory Lane. In my mind.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The names have been blurred to protect the guilty.

When I started Plog, one of my expectations was to have the big shot marketing execs at Campbell’s and/or Progresso vie for my endorsement with all kinds of exotic payola. That hasn’t happened. Yet. But I’m sure those savvy, MBA-waving Soupnozzles* are too busy harnessing the awesome powers of Facebook and Twitter to pay attention to what's happening in the Plogosphere. Perhaps they’re developing an iPhone app that matches soup flavors to soup eaters based on their zodiac sign, favorite color and degree of narcissism. Typical marketing stuff.

While I impatiently await the call from one, if not both, of the Big Two, I’ve managed to score some free stuff through another source. That stuff being home-made potato leek soup, and that source being a co-worker. A gesture that’s both generous and daring.

Before I started in on this bowl of mystery, there’s a couple of questions I needed to have answered:

1. Of all the people who want to poison me, who would have the cobbles to go through with it?
2. Where’s Ulrich? (My food taster)
3. Where did I set my scotch?
4. What the Hell is a leek?
5. Has anyone seen my britches? (I’m pretty sure I had them on earlier.)

I was able to get the answer to exactly none of those questions. But I was hungry. So I grabbed a spoon and planted my tighty, used-to-be-whities down on a chair and fed.

The verdict: It was pretty damn good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m sensitive to other people’s feelings. In fact, I’m quite annoyed and threatened by feelings, so I look to destroy them any chance I get.

I sucked this offering down as it were cheap gin.

As far as appearance, this was definitely the most unattractive soup I’ve ever masticated to. But I’m not one to judge a book by its cover. Unless it’s a really shitty cover, then I know the book is absolute drivel. At least that’s what my literate friends say. I don’t read and I try to avoid the libary.

So here’s the part that totally prison raped my mind: I was informed, post-consumption, that this soup was 100% vegan. Strange, because it tasted American. Now, don’t think for a precious second that I wouldn’t have enjoyed this soupy bestowal even more if it had big chunks of hog snout in it - I certainly would have. In fact, I hope the chef will consider this the next time around. But who am I to look a gift soup in the mouth?

Emilio “The Dealio” Jimenez Chupacabra una Manada de Lobos de Hombre, that’s who.


*A small homage to George Parker, a guy you can take home to meet your Mum. He just might seduce her.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Mexican cure for hangovers.

The other morning, a co-worker of mine, let’s call her “Rebecca P.,” walked into my office and started talking about how much she loved Menudo. I was all like: “The Puerto Rican boy band whose members are forbidden to age? OMG! I totally love them too! OMG! I still have the poster on my bedroom wa...”

At that point, she interrupted to inform me that she was talking about the spicy Mexican soup made from cow stomachs. There was nothing not awkward about that moment. And that double negative was penned just to aggravate her. Sweet revenge is mine!

I'm pretty sure that's how the conversation went down. I was wicked hammered on SoCo and huffing the glue that came in my Dukes of Hazzard, General Lee model kit, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened.

If you’ve never heard Menudo the band, then you’re depriving your ear holes of an auditory orgasm. If you’ve never tried Menudo the soup, than you’re probably a white person who has never gone to lunch with a hungover Mexican. There's a good chance this person will be seeking a bowl of Menudo the soup. Is that a cruel stereotype, or the truth? Yes. I'm simply speaking from my own experience.

Though I find the flavor of Menudo the soup to be quite good, I’ve never been able to eat the succulent bits of bovine belly found floating within. I just can’t stomach the stomach. Just picturing a chunk of the slimy tripas gives me mucho dolor in my estomago.

Luckily, if the eatery serves Menudo, it probably offers a kickass, greasy enchilada plate that will line my stomach with shiny, reddish, rendered critter fat and help cure my hangover just fine.

Do you need Menudo in your life? Abso-fuckin-lutely. Which one is entirely up to you.

You also need this. Feel free to post your results in the comments section.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Southwestern Gastronomic Odyssey, Scene One: Satan’s Ketchup

To build most things, you need a foundation. And maybe a wheel barrow and some duct tape.

Today we’re going to build the foundation of your chili: chili paste. I’ve dubbed it Satan’s Ketchup (trademarked, patent pending). Chili paste is much like tomato paste, but completely different in every way. Here’s what you’ll need:

• A pot. (Not to be confused with some pot.)
• A stove top
• A blender
• A quart of beef stock
• A cold beer in your hand with several more on deck.
• Leg warmers
• A variety of dehydrated chilies. Use what you can find at the local grocer. The pic above shows a good variety that are pretty mild. (Obviously, Sen. Harry Reid was in the pepper naming business before politics.) The Chipotles are a must. And I threw in a few habaneros for extra fun.

Do not use fresh peppers for Satan’s Ketchup. Why, you ask? Because fresh peppers contain a lot of water, and we don’t want that. Also, do not question my methods ever again.

Step 1:
Put leg warmers on (should not go above knee) and a crack a cold beer.

Step 2:
Pour beef stock into a pot and turn stove on low.

Step 3:
This is muy importante:
Break each pepper up so you can separate and discard the stems and seeds. Chances are, you’ve had good practice at this. Use scissors or some nunchucks to rip the chilies open if you have to. Place pieces of pepper flesh into the broth. We now have what we’ll call Lucifer’s Potpourri (trademarked, patent pending).

This is even more muy importante:
After handling these chili peppers, do not handle genitals - especially your own. Trust me on that. Don’t rub your eyes or pick your nose either. That’s just bad kitchen etiquette.

Step 4:
Cover and simmer pepper bits in broth on low for at least an hour, stirring occasionally and drinking beer continually. If you leave this stuff uncovered, your broth will evaporate, the peppers will burn and you’ll be totally F’ed in the A.

Step 5:
Let Lucifer’s Potpourri cool. Pour in blender. Cover. Blend it like you mean it. You don’t want chunks of pepper skin all up in your foundation now, do you? Do you? No, you do not.

Safety First: If you do not let this stuff cool, and fill your blender with hot potpourri, there's a good chance it will expand and explode when blended. That would suck for you, but could be humorous to others.

The final product should have the consistency of ketchup and the angry disposition of Satan. It should look like a bowl of poo. Make your own joke here about how the start of this chili looks, ultimately, like the finish. That type of potty humor is beneath me.

Give it a small taste. It should be strong, kinda bitter, smokey, and not too terribly spicy. It will also be quite Earthy. That's ok, Grasshopper. the flavors will balance out later. Satan's Ketchup should produce a burn, but not a painful one. It should feel like a kiss from Beelzebub. Try a heaping spoonful if you want to totally make out with him.

Go ahead and freeze this stuff. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to The Chili Odyssey, Scene Two: Nice to Meat You.

What I got, you’ve got to get it put it in you.

If there’s one thing the Interwebs are good for, it’s viewing porn. I've heard. It's also a great place to share the knowledge.

What I’m about to do goes against many Texas state laws, and breaks an ancient pledge that I signed in armadillo blood with a roadrunner quill. I’m going to document the making of my chili, and share a recipe that I've kept guarded by ill-tempered chihuahuas for years. Chili is not a soup, I know. But beef stock will be used, so I’m staying true to the principles of Plog that are tattooed across my back in big, gothic letters.

At the end of this Chili Journey, not only will you have a cauldron of Texas Red and possibly explosive diarrhea, you will also be left with sacred knowledge that you can pass on to your children's children. But not your own children. Because what have they ever done for you?

Be forewarned! This is something that will take commitment, among other things. Here are some of those other things:

• Patience.
• Access to a supermarket.
• A large pot. Stainless steel.
• A Willie Nelson cd, preferably Red Headed Stranger, but Robert Earl Keen’s No.2 Live Dinner is an acceptable substitute.
• Lots of beer. Shiner Bock, Lone Star, or Pearl.
• Tequila. 100% agave.
• A blender.
• A sense of adventure.
• A mouth with taste buds.
• Willingness to damage those taste buds.
• Tarot cards.
• A sacrificial goat.
• Cowboy boots. Tony Lama brand. Brown.
• The head of a chicken. (For luck)
• Pepto Bismol.
• A Ninja suit. Black.
• An Evel Knievel lunch box. Metal.
• Ointment.
• 3 steel-belted radials. Goodyear.
• A spork.
• Peyote.
• Leg warmers. Pink, wool.
• A hockey stick.
• A DVD of Vision Quest.
• Nunchucks.
• Humility.
• A Snell-rated crash helmet.
• A rosary.
• A dradle.
• A Slap Chop.
• An Albino Bowler action figure.
• A dozen 9-volt batteries. Duracell.
• A Ouija board.
• Some gym mats. Blue.
• An adequate supply toilet tissue. Charmin.

For starters.

Tomorrow, we make paste!

Do you know what I blame it on the breakdown of?


But I did slow down to have a look at the carnage in this wreck.

This has little to do with soup, but it’s important to know that the subject matter in some upcoming posts has forced me to temporarily change my name to Emilio “The Dealio” Jimenez Chupacabra Una Manada de Lobos de Hombre.

I humbly thank Mr. The Situation of Jersey Shore for the idea.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I do not have a plethora.

When I started this journey, I had a plethora of soup. While I do not have superior intellect or education, I do know that I no longer have a plethora of soup.

Until I am able to make it back to the local grocer, I will have to suspend my journey. I simply cannot bring myself to open any of these remaining cylinders of doom.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All of us have an El Guapo.

Progresso Light is my El Guapo. That, and bathtub gin.

What's yours?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I just needed to dry out.

For lunch today, I had leftovers from last night’s supper. I could have easily forgone a Plog entry and left YOU, my only reader, in a stunned state of sadness, emptiness and emotional disarray. Instead, I wrote you some poems.


Journey grows tiresome
Drowning in cold, soupy sea
Pork is my life raft

The Allegorical Limerick:

As a traveler beats the same weary path,
Day after day for some weeks.
It’s not buried treasure,
Nor pleasures of flesh
It’s change in the scenery he seeks.

And alas, the Plain Cussin' Limerick:

I once knew a dude from Nantucket
Who ate fucking soup by the bucket,
It’s guilty I plea
That person is me,
And today I told soup to go suck it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I caught crabs at Port Aransas, TX.

When I was in third grade, I got sent home from school for wearing a kick-ass souvenir t-shirt that had those words on it. While I played dumb with the school principal about the shirt’s meaning, I knew it was scandalous and had innuendo regarding parasitically induced discomfort in one’s private Idaho. I loved that shirt, and all the schoolyard, Sesame street cred that came with it.

The crabs that got me in trouble today came in the form of Campbell’s Select Harvest Maryland-Style Crab soup. Made with real crab juice. The verdict: I would have been happier with the itchy variety. This dreadful, decapodian gruel has left a foul taste in my mouth that neither Kentucky bourbon nor Tennessee whiskey has been able to mask.

Full Disclosure: When I was standing in the soup aisle with Meghan H. (the H. is for Hostile) at the beginning of this journey, I reached for this can as a joke. It then became a dare. Today it became a reality. A harsh, pungent reality.

Challenge to self: Finish the week without making juvenile reference to human anatomy. Unless completely necessary.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A top view from the bottom.

A recovering alcoholic might say that things must get worse before they can get better. I wouldn’t say that because I’m not recovering. But I think that I may have hit rock bottom with my soup consumption. These tiny tubs of fried and dried noodles are making their way into my digestive tract with frightening frequency. And it's not because they're a dime a dozen – I actually like them. There, I said it.

Fucking disgusting, I know.

I’m particularly fond of the little bits of brown, buoyant, beef-like styrofoam nuggets that each cup contains. I find myself wishing for a football sized piece of this magical material so I could reconstitute a steak dinner at a moment’s notice.

Dare to dream.

Dare. To. Dream.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Exactly whose boobies am I saving?

One of my favorite material possessions is my virtue, followed closely by my lawn mower. I also have a sign hanging in my living room that I think is pretty sweet. It’s a old, metal sign that’s been so engulfed by rust, you can barely make out the words “Rust-Oleum – Stops Rust!”

My point is this: I do enjoy irony. Real irony though, not that Alanis Morissette crap. Help yourself to a dictionary, lady.

Irony is what made my Progresso Chicken Gumbo (“cooked with white chicken meat”) so satisfying today. It wasn’t the pseudo-spicy, salt-lacking slurry itself, nor the flavorless, dehumidifying discs that I put on top. My enjoyment came from the fact that I was helping the breasts of one species by completely devouring another's.

Delicious, reduced-sodium irony.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Every Roast Has Its Corn

Or does it? The answer is no, it does not.

This song was written by a forlorn chunk of beef in a can of Progresso Light Beef Pot Roast soup. A beef chunk that yearns for something that it will never have: the loving companionship of corn.

Every Roast Has Its Corn

Lyrics by Sad Beef Chunk

We both lie sodium-filled in a can of Progresso Light
Although we share this broth together, we have carrots at our side
Was something not steamed or something not boiled
Did the kernels not come out right?
Though I tried not hurt you
Though I tried
But I guess that’s why they say

Every roast has its corn
Just like every trout has its spawn
Just like every hippie smokes a giant water bong
Every roast has its corn

Yeah it does

I listen to my favorite pod saying I’m no good for you
Hear the pea say soup’s a game of easy come and easy go
But I wonder does pea know
Has pea ever felt like this
And I know you’d be an ear right now
If I could have shucked your husk some how
I guess

Every roast has its corn
Just like every trout has its spawn
Just like every hippie smokes a giant hookah bong
Every roast has its corn

Though it's been a while now
I can still feel so much pain
Like the thing that cuts the can open and soup’s poured
But the scar, that scar remains

(Badass solo)

I know I could have saved a lunch that night
If I’d known what to say
Instead of makin’ soup
We both made our separate ways

But now I hear you found some can of stew
And that you’re being used in chowder too
To hear that freaks me out inside
And to see you cuts me up bite-sized

I guess every roast has its corn
Just like every trout has its spawn
Just like every hippie smokes a giant home-made bong
Every roast has its corn


Are you unenlightened?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Meet TADE. Friend of Stew.

TADE was made in the US of A. TADE owns one shirt with a collar and that collar is blue with gravy stains on it. TADE drives a truck. Or a fuckin’ kick-ass Camaro with mag wheels. TADE likes to cuss and drink macro beer from a can. TADE listens to Molly Hatchet and Maiden cassettes. TADE doesn’t vote. (He’s registered, but in a different way.) TADE has been in one, if not multiple YouTube videos of backyard wrestling. TADE goes hunting for game both large and small. TADE does landscaping. TADE fixes your car. TADE doesn’t take shit from no one. TADE uses double negatives. TADE is fertile and has babies from multiple mommies. TADE thinks Jeff Foxworthy is a pussy.

TADE is a semi-acronym for The Average Dinty Moore Eater. TADE was the immaculate conception of a friend of mine in San Diego. His persona was then developed by the two of us over a period of years. TADE became our friend. Our brother.

I don’t have the original sketch of TADE, so the above is an artist’s rendering of an artist’s rendering. But it’s about 100% photographically accurate.

We all know a TADE. Next time you see the TADE in your life, give him a big bear hug and a kiss on the lips. I bet they’ll taste like beef stew.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Where's Waaldo?

Today, when I poured my can of Campbell’s Chunky Fully Loaded Rigatoni & Meatball into the bowl, I noticed something peculiar. Luckily, I was able to capture it on film with my digital camera.

If you look closely at the meatball, you can make out the likeness of Dutch thermodynamicist and 1910 Nobel laureate Johannes Diderik van der Waals. Although you may not recognize him in this apparition because he’s usually laughing hysterically.

Peculiar, indeed. A Dutchman making an appearance in an Italian dish.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The polls are closed. The Plogosphere has spoken.

And here’s a pic of me doing some finger painting. As you can see, it brings great joy to me and my mustache.

Now on to the breaking news about the recent the election...

Voters turned out en masse to decide the debate of The Decade:
If you were Tiger Woods, what soup would you totally have sex with? The results, with commentary, are as follows:

Chunky Sirloin Burger: One vote.
(Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?)

Hearty Chicken & Rice: No votes.
(You are all a bunch of racists)

Beef & Vegetable: One vote.
(Just as the pundits predicted)

: Three votes. Winner winner Chickarina dinner.
(How many of you are pantless with a bowl of it right now?)

Tomato Bisque: Two votes.
(Armageddon is near)


Look for another intellectually stimulating poll at the end of this decade.