There are certain food items that I will not touch this summer, out of regard for my health and respect for my principles. I share them with you on the off chance that you are having me over for a meal in the near future:
1. My aunt Mabel’s deviled eggs. She made these fiendish hors d’oeuvres with a Brand XXX mayonnaise that is so volatile and microbe friendly that you can hear the E. Coli chattering with each other amidst the paprika-strewed egg yolk. My father was not joking when he referred to them at one family picnic as "hen grenades.
2. "Grilled hot dogs. I’m not referring to plump, juicy brats and Polish sausage – no, I mean the anemic, thin-skinned wieners that sell for 98-cents a package and are mostly chicken revenants. Put them on the grill and they turn all black and cracked and taste like greasy soot. No self-respecting zombie would touch ‘em
3. Shaved ice. I got these as a kid at the State Fair. A nickel for a cup of crushed ice drizzled with maraschino cherry juice. The syrup sinks to the bottom, so you have to munch your way through a mound of bland ice to reach the sweet syrup, and by that time the paper cone is a soggy clump in your hand. I know today they have bombastic flavors with titles like Tiger Blue Bubblegum and Rumbling Rainbow – but still, after you’ve paid your two-dollars all you wind up with is nothing but a mound of ice with the syrup pooled at the bottom. For my money, I’ve never met a Fudgesicle I didn’t like.
4. Chili. C’mon, people. It’s 98 degrees in the shade, and you wanna gimme a big bowl of radioactive beans?Puhleeeese! Save it for the dead of winter, when I need to break into a sweat.
5. Zucchini. Don’t put it in my bread; don’t serve it to me raw; don’t fry it, bake it, sauté it, or bring it anywhere near me. And don’t think you can get away with pulsing it in the food blender and mixing it with tomatoes to serve as chilled gazpacho; I’ll blow your chintzy cover immediately. As a child I was stuffed with zucchini every summer until it spouted out of every orifice. We parted company when I was emancipated at 18, and I intend to keep it that way.
6. Freezer jam. In theory I know it’s supposed to be a great way to use up all that summertime fruit ripening on the backyard trees. In practice the sugar stays granulated and the mouth feel is like mixing sugar with sand. Stick to Smuckers, will ya?
7. Rice pudding. Why, oh why, do Scandinavian wannabes try to pull this off? The uncooked rice sinks to the bottom of the bowl and the custard is as tenuous as a politician’s promise. Just cut to the chase and give me a glass of milk with nutmeg in it!
Tim grew up in the Midwest. His parents were from Norway. He has written several novels and biographies He works in social media and is a content provider for the political humor blog http://iwritetheblogggs.com/