Sunday, December 04, 2005
West Texas Nutrition 101 - B
Chapter Two - Drinks, Condiments, Sauces, and Dips
Condiments: Mustard and Miracle Whip are important when talking of West Texas cuisine as they are two main ingredient to the required sidedish to any Bar-B-Q; Tater Salad. Mayonaise is a nasty and dangerous foodstuff and should be avoided at all costs. They are also important additions to that All-American concoction the Cheeseburger, and although I am personally a mustard man myself, the use of Miracle Whip is also acceptable for this use. Ketchup is also a major player as use in fried taters and also can be used to cover up such dubious foods as salmon patties in the attempt to make them palatable. Tobasco sauce might be considered the most important of condiments for giving foods that extra kick. I know of some people who will not even frequent certain restaurants that do not have it available.
Dips and Sauces: The sauce of premeire importance is Bar-B-Q sauce. Some value it so highly that they dip damn near everything in it. A key ingredient to any homemade bar-b-q sauce is beer. I personally go for the semi-homemade approach in bar-b-q sauce by first buying storebought sauce and season it for the appropriate meat. If I am Q'ing pork, I will make the sauce sweet with brown sugar and honey, and if it is beef or wild game I will spice it up a bit with Tobasco and red pepper, but adding some beer to both the sauce and the cook always makes it better.
Almost of equal importance is salsa. From dipping tortilla chips, to slathering on Tex-Mex, to topping eggs, nothing is quite comparable to the sheer perfection of salsa. Many varietes abound. There is the green salsa of tomatillas and jalapenos, the red salsa of tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro, and the orange salsa that my dad makes of habeneros and tomato sauce, which will literally melt the container holding it.
Queso is an important dip. My approach to queso at home is also of a semi-homemade nature. I simply take a can of Fiesta Cheese Soup spoon in some Ro-Tel and voila out comes a very passable queso.
Ranch Dressing in my opinion is the crack of condiments. But as most all females in this region devour mass quatities of this stuff, I would be remiss in mentioning it. It is used to steal needed vegatation from real food by putting in salads and dipping broccoli and cauliflower ( I shudder at the very thought) . It is also used for purposes of which I will not mention at this time but if you would like to see another of its uses just check the comment section of my last post and check out Crazy Dans comment.
Beverages: When drinking non-alcoholic beverages, you cannot go wrong by sticking to the big three: Coffee, Iced Tea, and Dr. Pepper (which was invented in and is bottled right here in the state). When it comes to alcoholic beverages, pretty much anything goes. If it gets you off, it's got to be good. Although it is not considered very masculine to order any drink which contains an umbrella. Didn't your mother warn you that you could put an eye out with that kind of thing? But if you feel that you must stick to a very strict social norm just go with the big three: Beer, Whiskey , and Tequila.
Water is a very dangerous beverage as fish fuck in the water and all manner of aquatic life do their business there. I will admit that on certain occasions I have been forced to partake of this liquid. When faced with thirst, I have bellied up to horse troughs and got down and drank from irrigation pipe and stock tanks. The best water that I have ever drank was from a piece of pipe drove into the base of a mountain in Northern New Mexico. The source of this water was from a pond formed by a beaver pond at the top of the mountain and the runoff stream (aptly named Beaver Piss Springs) meandered down the mountain. The water was cold as a witches tittie and if all water tasted like this, I could overcome my misgivings about drinking a liquid teeming with fish spunk.
Fruit juices such as orange juice are approved beverages for children. However if such juices are to be consumed by an adult, it is advisable to add a buffering agent such as vodka or tequila. This is due to the tendency of the acidic properties of fruit juices to break down the protective layer of grease in the digestive tract.
That concludes this chapter of Nutrition 101 and the same guidelines apply to this post. All suggestions for amendments and additions will be given due consideration. Thanks again to everyone for their help on the last post.