honkytonkfoodie

Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Judgmental

In Food, Volunteer Events on 01/30/2010 at 5:07 pm

Last night was the first public day of the San Antonio Rodeo BBQ Cook-Off. http://www.sarodeo.com/annual/2010_bbq_cookoff.html

As mentioned, I signed up to judge two categories which was more of an interesting insight into food judging rather than an adventure in palate manipulation.  First, after having the usual amount of confusion associated when volunteering at a large, annual event, my friend and I found the tent to sign in.  It was very cold out with a biting windy, and while we were both given two beer tickets, we were not allowed inside the tent for another 45 minutes or so.

The first category was Beans.  Although we were supposed to judge the quarters, we ended up being overflow and judged semis instead.  Apparently this was beneficial because several quarters judges commented afterwards that there had been some serious stinkers.  A short time later I judged the You Pick it category which included any types of meat “except a fully jointed half chicken, beef brisket, or pork ribs.”  Unfortunately there is no indicator of what meat is being tasted but there was definitely some cabrito (delicious baby goat) and pork tenderloin.

So this is how you judge food at the San Antonio Rodeo BBQ Cook-Off:

  1. Sit down at a table of five.  Remove all personal items from the table and put whatever beverage you brought in on the ground.  These things can not be touched until the end of the judging.
  2. In front of you is a flat cardboard box (the kind cokes come in), a plastic cup with water the table monitors constantly refill, saltines, a full cup of plastic silverware and a scorecard with a pencil.
  3. After noting which your table number and which position at the table you are (shout out to my fellow judges at Table BB!), you are handed a container similarly labeled.
  4. Open the container in front of you, take a spoon/fork/knife and get a bite of whatever is in there.
  5. Toss the spoon, recover the container and pass it to the next person.
  6. Savor and rank.
  7. Take a sip of water, eat a cracker to cleanse.
  8. Repeat 24 to 19 times, Beans and Mystery Meat respectively.
  9. Upon completion, waddle outside.

As an amateur, I think I did pretty well pacing myself during the meat category by taking small, flavorful pieces.  Nothing completely blew my skirt up, which was disappointing.  Beans did entail some green pintos (while I give props to the tomatillos use, it didn’t make your frijoles outstanding).  Both categories were very fast paced.

Afterwards I had to sit down with a beer for a while.  Whew!  Maybe I’ll do pie next year…

Random fact: In 1937, San Francisco residents voted to no longer build cemeteries within the city proper.

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Just Terrible

In Uncategorized on 01/26/2010 at 4:48 pm

Hello.  My name is Honkytonkfoodie and I have a problem with consistency.  Sorry!

I can say I am judging two categories of the San Antonio BBQ Cookoff and will provide a full report of how that goes.  In the meantime, here is a random picture and a bizarre fact.

That’s my niece.  Don’t be ridiculous, of course I gave her that onesie.

Pest fun fact: Weevils are more resistant to poisons in the morning than at night.

Ready, Set, Honky Tonk!

In Honky Tonk on 01/20/2010 at 4:13 pm

Etiquette in a crowded honky tonk goes a long way and is appreciated by most.  Here are some guidelines.

1.       Take a sip out of your mixed drink before pushing your way through the crowd.  I don’t want to smell like Jack and Coke unless that’s what I’m drinking.

2.       Don’t stop when walking through a crowd unless that’s where you want to stand.  Checking on your friends behind you can cause a major traffic jam.

3.       Avoid commenting to by-standers how crowded it is.  Duh.

4.       No stepping backwards.  Ouch.

5.       Saying ‘Excuse me’ won’t kill you.  I promise.

6.       Men: it is not acceptable to pinch, caress or brush a woman’s tushie unless you are dating or married to her.

7.       Women: it is completely acceptable to pinch, caress or brush a man’s heiny if you want his attention.

8.       Avoid taking group pictures unless you want someone in the background mid-sentence or picking their nose.

9.      Watch your extras.  I’ve been whacked countless times by giant purses.

10.   Order as much of your beverage of choice as legally possible every time you go to the bar.

Trivia of the meow: Napoleon,  Julius Caesar and Henry II suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

My dance, my choice

In Honky Tonk on 01/18/2010 at 4:27 pm

I have a dirty secret that causes a honky tonk conundrum.  I don’t dance.  Oh sure, I shake my booty to silent music at inappropriate times but I don’t dance with a partner across a ground freshly sprinkled with dance floor wax.  There are several reasons for this.  First, since it’s been so long, I grow more uncomfortable every day by the thought of it.  Second, I was never very good in the first place, mostly likely due to my lack of rhythm and high distraction rate.  Third, I’d much rather be watching the good, the bad and the sloppy.  I love to see the older couples who flow with the music and each other.  And those with odd styles of dance (like the Trotter at Arkey’s).  Mostly I like to drill my friends who obliged requests how their dance partner was, then proceed to make guesses as to their background based on this information.  This is entertaining and occasionally accurate.

Sometimes I wish I was comfortable sliding around in step with someone else but usually, I’m happy right where I am.

Random fact of the day:  Catfish have over 27,000 taste buds while the human tongue, on average, has 2,000–10,000 taste buds.

The Fun in Funeral

In Food, Random on 01/12/2010 at 4:40 pm

Sometimes funerals are a good time.  This is completely dependent on the circumstances of the death and the deathee but these things can have their moments.  Here are some things I like about funerals:

–          It’s a big ole reunion.  Especially for obscure family members, you get to see people who are not on the usual rotation and meet people you’ve only heard about.  The former often has news about family and are entertaining in their own right.  The latter leads me to my next item:

–          Everyone has stories.  If the deceased is the main focus, most of the stories are about them.  Usually people try to keep the tales upbeat and humorous.  If people are telling family/ friend stories, then anyone is up for a roast.  At most funerals I hear at least one or two stories I never knew.

–          Food is always a factor.  For funerals involving casseroles and Pyrex, it moves me that people are considerate of the grieving families and actively attending to the living.  For destination funerals, especially if the town has an associated history, you get to eat at restaurants with food you either heard about all your life, vaguely remember or dream about on a regular basis.

–          Maybe it’s because I grew up across the street from a cemetery but I think they are lovely places.  The tranquility of consecrated ground with the natural beauty of the outdoors.  Birds are singing, plants are growing, time isn’t a factor.

–          Cattiness is put aside (as much as possible).  Typically, cranky relatives have an off switch when it comes to funerals.  Sibling rivalries get a momentary pause.

–          As long as the person is there.  Which means there is plenty of poking fun at people who aren’t there.  There is gossip about scandalous relatives and speculation abound.  It’s a good distraction from the reason we’re all there.

Consumer trivia: The first product to have a bar code scanned was Wrigley’s gum. 

Here Fishy, Fishy

In Food on 01/07/2010 at 5:38 pm

Let’s talk anchovies.

Anchovies are the highly salted little fish common in the United States as a pizza topping, as an optional ingredient in Caesar salad, and as a component of Worcestershire Sauce.  Their famous taste comes from preserving which involves being gutted and salted in brine, matured, then packed in oil or salt. Fresh anchovies have a much milder flavor.  In Roman times, they were the base for the fermented fish sauce called garum that was a staple of cuisine, an item of long-distance commerce produced in industrial quantities, and were also consumed raw as an aphrodisiac.  (Thanks Wikipedia)

My boyfriend thinks they taste like Corpus Christi.  I like them on pizza.  In fact, I made a pizza last night with anchovies and turkey pepperoni.  The tomato sauce was no salt added so the salted slivers melded well.  They are cheap but have limited availability.  I can only find one kind at my nice HEB.  There are a couple of varieties that include capers which sound delicious too.

Admittedly, I hated these as a youngster but my madre likes them so I gave them another chance last year via appetizers for her birthday.  Maybe you should give anchovies a(nother) chance too.

Amen! trivia: One California law states sunshine is guaranteed to all people.


Good Chocolate is Better than Bad Cocaine

In Food on 01/06/2010 at 4:00 pm

Chocolate is not something I crave or even usually consider.  Dark chocolate is most enjoyable, milk chocolate is tolerable and white chocolate makes me cringe.  My consumption of chocolate is typically restricted to social pressure and upon spying unusual confections.  I am a tremendous fan of dark chocolate with orange.  Surprisingly difficult to find, although I have trained some coverts to keep an eye out for it and it seems to appear magically each Christmas.

Dark chocolate, especially well made, is a marching row of flavors.  The uniform is the same and the differences are subtle, making a well-rounded bar in which the flavor is one and a half parts of the experience.  Melt, rigidity, size, texture to the touch and to the tongue, smell of the bar and of the materials it is wrapped are all contributions to the chocolate experience.

Good chocolate should feel like you are doing something naughty.

Noise pollution trivia: Exploding Head Syndrome is real.

Buck up Buttercup

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2010 at 6:06 pm

I have a concern I would like to address to the ladies.  If you frequent honky tonks, even irregularly, you are bound to encounter someone who is annoyed to be there.  In my experience, this person is usually a female.  Of course I have no way of knowing the circumstances, whether they are mad at their boyfriend, their friends are being annoying or they don’t want to be the DD again.  These subjects tend to sit down the majority of the evening with their arms crossed.  They never crack a smile or acknowledge their surroundings.  In fact they are incredibly good at never breaking character.  Not once have I seen someone come in with this type of disposition and leave happily.

I understand that everyone has their off nights and their reasons.  Ultimately my beef with these people is that they aren’t even trying to have fun.  Honky tonks are what you make of them.  So have a beer and calm down.  Embrace the honky tonk.  The honky tonk is YOUR friend.

Post surgery fact: Alfred Hitchcock had no belly button when he died.

A Dollar for Your Thoughts

In Honky Tonk on 01/04/2010 at 4:21 pm

Arkey’s Silver Dollar Saloon, locally known as The Dollar, is a throwback to the heyday of Texas swing and one of my favorite places to drink a beer with friends.  It is in a basement under main street in Bandera, TX and features a tin ceiling, sawdust dance floor and a beer/wine only, cash only bar.  I’ve lost count of the good time evenings had here chatting, dancing with random people, turning down dancing with random people and listening to Arkey’s crazy stories.  The atmosphere is consistently friendly, whether the majority of the crowd are bikers, locals or Houston hunters.  Vivian, Peggy and Cathy make that place home for me.  Here are just a few pictures:

See how happy I am??  Ahhhhh.

Disturbing resolution-keeping fact: Eating a bag of chips a day is equivalent to drinking five liters of cooking oil a year.