Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Zombie Boogers: My Cycling Comfort Foods

They’re the foods that fuel your ride or welcome you home after suffering in the saddle.  They’re your weird, bizarre, locked up in a closet personal favorites.  After getting soaked for the last hour of that Sunday hammerfest, you don’t want a sandwich to get the feeling back in your fingers.  You need Usinger's Braunschweiger on soft Italian bread with brown mustard, real butter and onions.  You don’t want a cookie in your bag after the cyclocross race; you want a molasses cookie from the box on the counter at your grandmother’s house.  It’s not the Campbell’s tomato soup, it’s the 15 saltine crackers crumbled over the top and so thick a little person could run across it.  Or, is it the crusted three square inch burn the roof of your mouth hot cherry pie in the corner of the Hungry Man TV dinner.  These are some foods that reward my ride.

I’m sure it’s what they use for zombie boogers at Haunted Houses, but I love to eat it.  It’s green, long, slimy, gushy and wet.  If you threw one against the wall it would smack, stick and slide down like a night crawler.  Still, since I was a kid when every vegetable was disgusting, it’s one of my all time favorite foods.  I’ll only eat the long spears, only from a can and it absolutely must be Green Giant asparagus spears.  I do like fresh asparagus, especially grilled with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Without preservatives, I’m sure it’s healthier, but that’s hoidy toidy to me.  They serve that with $30 steaks at Jeff Ruby.  Not to mention you have to cook it. I don’t need a bowl or a fork, only a can opener or my Leatherman multi-tool.  I thoroughly enjoy pulling them out of the can with my fingers, tilting my head back and dangling them into my mouth.  It’ll probably be my last meal when I’m 120 years old and a need to be fed by a nurse.  “Head back Mister Biker.  Eat your spears.”  Nom nom nom.

My wife calls them “Joe foods” and second on my list and in my lunchbox right now is Windmill cookies.  It confounds me how inexpensive yet so intricate they are.  I think the box of 12 I bought was under $3.  Maybe it’s because I’m a quarter Dutch, but my affinity for the Windmill cookie runs deep.  With each one, I marvel at the detail.  The almond slivers almost give the illusion of textured stone made from tulip field mud.  If you look closely at the photo there are 3 separate designs on the mill: a cross at the top, two (E) shapes left and right and a diamond in the center.  You can stick your tongue in the doorway, or let it be the axis of the windmill blades.  I’m not entirely sure there’s a specific brand I like or what brand these are, maybe there’s only one.  It’s not like chocolate chips with a million varieties.  At the grocery you’ll be lucky to spot them.  Almost glad they weren’t hanging out with the other lesser cookies; I found these in the health food section at Kroger.  As it turns out, these are completely vegan.

The all time greatest culinary creation is Candy Raisins.  How can you not love a candy with a smiling sun on the package?  They are not candied raisins, contain raisins or even taste like raisins.  The only thing they have in common with actual raisins is that they are wrinkly on the top.  They’re comparable in texture to the candy Dots.  They feel the same way in your mouth, but the flavor is unlike any candy you’ve ever tasted.  The website Save The Candy Raisins describes them as “a translucent, honey colored candy…with a light ginger taste.”  I grew up in Wisconsin, and from what I can gather they were only made by Stark, a division of the NECCO candy company.  As you can gather from the website, sadly, after shutting down a plant in Pewaukee Wisconsin, they are not being made anymore.  I have not had a candy raisin in at least three years.  If I saw them, even on Ebay, I swear to God I would spend at least $10 a bag to attain them.  I love them so much; I’d accept a box as my only Christmas present.    

Maybe it's crunchy peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches you crave like our reader Lloyd, tell us your favorite weird foods.  Leave a comment below or "Like" us on Facebook here.

No comments: