Optimistically Cautious

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Culinary Q & A with Gord

Occupation: Retired Student. Couch Tester. Human Garbage Disposal.

What did you eat today?

I had to answer this so early in the morning. Unfortunately it's exam season, so my dietary habits are about as poor as they can be. I'm back on the Coffee (a food group unto itself) and while I do normally enjoy a muffin at the bus-stop, I've been working on emptying the fruit bowl before it goes bad. Therefore, I had a mandarin for breakfast. I can tell you with certainty however, that I'm having Garage Burger for dinner. More on that later.

What do you never eat?

If I were starving, I would eat anything. See occupation. However given the nature of modern western gluttony, I have my pick of what I don't eat. After hearing a story about Lobster, it is one of the last things I would ever order. I won't go into detail, because it would ruin Lobster for you as well.

In the interest of being polite, I'll eat my brussel sprouts or kidney beans. It's extremely rare for me to leave something on my plate. However I've become quite accustom to cutting the gristle off my meat and throwing out the toast which I burn too badly.

I guess to that end if something is cooked poorly, I'll let you know by leaving it behind.

Overcooked steak is gross. I don't eat leather.

What is your personal specialty?

In regards to my favourite foods, or what I prefer to cook? If I had to make a meal for a king, it would be my Monolithic French Toast.

Thick sliced raisin bread is the only way to go. Cut the bread in half before you go any further.

Crack your eggs into a square shaped Tupperware container, into which bread naturally fits. A round bowl is not conducive to this exercise.

Adding water or milk to your eggs is a mistake. Adding cinnamon to this step makes more sense than adding it after cooked. Keep in mind that you must strongly whip the eggs and cinnamon, in order for it to mix properly (if at all). Leave the bread pieces in the egg longer than you think you need to. You want the bread permeated all the way through, not just on the surface.

With a single half-piece of bread added to the un-oiled frying pan, slide the second half-piece soft side to crust, such that the pieces smoosh into each other a little. Continue this practice until the pan is filled with 4-5 pieces of bread, all intertwined. Pour some of your egg-batter between any remaining spaces, and wait for it to cook. Once cooked, allow it a little longer. Not burned, but enough that it is nearly dry on top. Once that point is reached, you should have only 1 solid mass to flip.

Because you've left it longer on the first side, cooking on the second side is primarily to allow it to brown. Sliding the Monolithic French Toast off the pan onto a plate is your last step. Personally I suggest butter or margarine WITHOUT syrup. If you didn't leave the bread in the batter long enough, your toast might be dry and still require some syrup.

If you're feeling too skinny, add Mangoes and Whipped cream for a sugary delight.

As for my specialty to devour, Toad in the Hole with beef Gravy is my favourite. Effectively a massive YorkShire pudding with breakfast sausages dispersed throughout, smothered in delicious gravy. Ok, now I'm making myself hungry.

What is your favorite kitchen item?

I'm a sucker for a sharp knife. Without that, any kitchen is an exercise in frustration. However since I don't want to steal Andrea's answer, I'll select the Banana Peeler. The hardest object in a kitchen to find. Confidently ask someone to fetch if for you. Observe their progress,

World ends tomorrow. Describe your last meal.

First and foremost, my plate better be served warm. There are few things worse than food served on a cold plate. Now onto the stuffs.

Prime Rib Roast, rare.
Chunky Mashed Potatoes, gravy.
Large Slice BBQ'ed Vegetables (green beans, red & green peppers, onion) with Sea-salt and Balsamic Vinegar.
Ontario Grown Peaches & Cream Corn on the Cob with a stick of butter for rolling.
Yorkshire Pudding, gravy.
Yorkshire Pudding, gravy.
Yorkshire Pudding, gravy.

All this served on a spaceship bound for somewhere that the world isn't ending.

Where do you eat out most frequently?

The Garage Burger Bar. Proximity to school as well as the fact that my grandfather bought me $100 in gift certificates for Christmas present an excellent opportunity for a broke student to eat out on a bi-weekly basis.

What's the best place to eat in Edmonton?

It really depends on what you're looking for. Unfortunately I find as places get popular, their quality of operation declines for pursuit of the almighty buck.

I was a huge fan of Pita Pit's Chicken Cesar Pita years ago. But as they got popular their quality tanked. Same goes for Funky Pickle's Hotdog & 3 Cheese Pizza.

Chicago Deep Dish pizza (downtown location) has the GREASIEST thickest Pizza you'll ever eat. 1-2 pieces is enough to fill ME. That speaks volumes.

Richard's Donair in Sherwood Park has the best Jumo Donair I've ever had. But those are 'After Bar' food ideas. If you're looking for quality dining or a personable dinner experience you have to broaden the scope.

'A taste of India' in Sherwood Park has an excellent Indian Buffet. I discovered the restaurant only after my sister worked there as a server. They bring their cooks over on temporary visa's from India. The recipes are family secrets and their Nan-bread is the best you'll have.

"Where everybody knows your name" is a typical business practice that keeps me coming back.
Chicken for Lunch and sister restaurant The Lingnan, have had my business for many years for their personal attitude and quality food. The Garage Burger bar is in the same category. The food's good too (Amy's Chicken and Cajun Burger are my staples respectively).

If you weren't limited by geography, where and what would you eat?

While I don't want to sound pompous, we live in a multicultural country where all of the best things on the planet are brought to us directly. I've had Pizza in Italy. I've eaten french bread in France. I think that Canadians have taken the base idea from these foods, and isolated their strongest points. Alternatively, like with the 'Taste of India' example, those international cooks can come to us! While the foreign experience is an interesting change, I do so enjoy my cuisine in Canada. Granted some Canadian is a big place and poutine gets better the further East you move...

However there are international things I've always wanted to try. I refuse to drink Guinness until I'm at a bar in Ireland. That's the only way to know it's the real experience. Belgian beer also makes Canadian beer look rather silly.

I've always wanted to try Rat. I figure there are only a few places in the world where that'll ever happen. I've also heard good things about Kangaroo.

Finally, living in Edmonton it is impossible to come across quality fresh fish. Something about being a land-locked province I guess. Luckily if I want sushi or fish in general, my brother lives in Richmond, walking distance from several fish markets.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Shermie said...

Gord's a really good writer!

"A round bowl is not conducive to this exercise."

I laughed aloud when I read this part. I don't know why - maybe because I laugh at everything.

April 25, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

Thanks Shermie! I've been told that '[I'm] funnier in print'. Perhaps it's because I'm forced to think before I say...

April 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM  

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