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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Mother of Invention

Okay, here we go. I'm going to make myself dinner. I have been out, drinking Christmas Ales and joking with the bald man in the corner. I haven't had dinner yet, and it's eleven. Ordering delivery dinner gives me guilt. It costs twenty dollars because if you trouble the delivery man with a seven-dollar order, then he will unwrap your dinner and use it to keep his crotch warm on this snowy night. Twenty dollars buys a lot of food at the grocery store. I could get butter and fresh eggs, maybe some tortillas and queso fresco, and then I could open up that little can of chiles, and...well, there's no use torturing myself about it.

I look at my menus. I want to order Italian beef. In this city, Italian beef is sliced beef on a long roll dipped in beef juice and topped with sweet peppers, or hot peppers if you're an asshole. I'm going to try to replicate the mouth-orgasm of the last juice-soaked sandwich bite despite the fact that I have no beef.

I have three slices of bread that I've torn into pieces and placed in an oven-safe dish in a 250 degree oven, seasoned with garlic salt. The idea behind this is to dehydrate the bread so that it will absorb more beef juice. I have both water and beef boullion cubes. The directions call for two cups boiling water for each cube. I use one cube. The water is boiling already. That was quick.

After dissolving the cube in the water, I've reduced the heat to a simmer to hopefully intensify the beef flavor without it becoming unbearably salty. I've done this because I intend to drink another beer before eating.

I have beans, I have lentils, I have chickpeas, but I think it's stupid to try to imitate beef. It's best to go with the next best thing: cheese. So I've chopped up half a pound of pepper-jack. My intention is to pour the juice onto the bread, top it with the cheese, and leave it in the oven until it no longer looks like soup.

Good news here, the red bell pepper that I had in the fridge that I had assumed to be rotten is not (and I have verified this by tasting), so it shall grace the middle of my mixture, between the bread and the cheese, maybe with a splash of olive oil and fresh ground pepper (this is still before adding the cheese and juice).

It is done, and a voice says, "So you've made French onion soup without the onion, with some peppers."

"Yes," I say.

Result: Too wet. Next time I'll reduce the liquid by half. Or maybe I'll just order a beef sandwich. Crotch is seasoning too; it's oniony.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Kristina Wright said...

I weep for you. Sounds like a wet grilled cheese sandwich to me. With peppers, of course.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

It sounds like your bread went for a bath. And you meant to eat this?

2:36 PM  
Blogger amadea's world said...

Wünsche dir Frohe Weihnachten und viel Glück im Neuen Jahr.

4:11 PM  

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