Home Cookin’ My Foot

Posted on March 4, 2010

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Just finished reading one of my favorite local columnists, and once again I’m subjected to a writer’s opinion on what a great place to eat said correspondent has discovered.
It follows a trend I’ve seen more and more columnists following of late and why not?
In this day and age of microwave meals and generic fast food joints who wouldn’t enjoy reading about homemade mashed potatoes and hot water cornbread served up piping hot in a restaurant that doesn’t have the exact same décor duplicated at a thousand other restaurants just exactly like it across the country?

But I think these writers are doing their loyal readers a disservice.

You see, I feel they’re unfairly tempting me, wooing me with their tales of one of a kind recipes, red checked table cloths with generations of gravy stains, where a wooden Indian might be found standing in a corner next to a Wurlitzer jukebox. Lunch counters with bright red and white plastic stool cushions where diners sit and use refillable mustard and ketchup bottles that stand sentinel in stainless steel carousels.

Places where you’ll find an old black man or an old white woman bellowing orders from a steamy kitchen that practically belches custom spices and secret concoctions.

Time honed, one of a kind recipes for spaghetti and meatballs or chicken and dumplings or frog legs or blackened catfish or some other specialty ONLY FOUND THERE!

You see I want to enjoy a meal like they describe.

I want a steak (medium, please) from the Mohawk Tavern. I want a whole catfish fillet from Cypress Inn. Maybe a platter filled with boiled crawfish and those oh-so-spicy taters from Riverside Coney Island. And bring me a meatloaf from Thurman’s Food Factory and a Po-boy from Ray’s PeGe while you’re at it.

But like most of you in this day and age of recession and cost cutting I can’t have those things.

My family and I have to settle for ‘Skillet Helper’ (that’s generic Hamburger Helper, no cute little white glove, just the meat and powdered cheese facts ma’am) or a ham and cheese sandwich (wonder bread and so-thin-you-can-see-through-it lunch meat) straight from Griff’s Deli (also known as my refrigerator).

Heck most days I’d be pleased as punch to enjoy a meal in a chain restaurant.

Bring on some baby back ribs from Chilli’s, let me eat good in the neighborhood at Applebee’s, indulge my seafood lover at Red Lobster, shoot folks, I’d be thrilled with a chicken fried (soy patty) steak from Grandy’s, just please, in the name of all that is holy, please don’t force me to down another Food Club pizza straight from Super One’s freezer to my oven.

So writers, listen up!

Don’t gimme any more stories of culinary delights you’ve discovered, don’t tell me about the etouffee you found in Arcadia, the catfish fried in papaw’s special corn meal from Rayville and I simply don’t care about how good Granny’s buffet is whether in Bastrop or West Monroe.

Write a column about McDonald’s Dollar Menu.

Why just this very day my wife and I enjoyed a delicious, succulent, hearty and filling meal from Mickey D’s.

Well, it was filling.

The point is this burger and fry entrée had something all those ‘home cookin’ joints did not. It costs less than 7 bucks.

But come to think of it, keep the columns on cornbread coming columnist. Stir up the stir-fry scribe; it may just be as close as this humble (and frequently hungry) correspondent gets to a decent dinner.

Now if I can just find a column about good old-fashioned Chinese food.

Lately I’ve been craving some Peking…

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