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Food Column #1
6.26.2002 by JP, every Saturday.

Don't you just love food? Isn't it just the greatest? Food can take you places you've never been and even take you back in time. Food can surprise you, make you happy, content and satisfied. Think of all the good times you've had together; Warm popcorn at the movies, a bigmac when you've got the munchies, steamy oatmeal on a cold winter morning, grilled cheese and tomato soup with a pickle on the side. There's more; A juicy cheeseburger straight off the grill followed by a cold beer, fresh bread torn off a still-warm loaf, yummy beefsteak tomatoes, nectarines hard as a rock (the way I like 'em), kraft dinner with ketchup, melty marshmellows over the campfire and cold pizza after sex. Food is perfect in every way.

Food's given us some great times eh? But what about the bad times? What about the times you puked green (St. Pattie's) or red (Canada Day) or black (Robbie Burns Day)? What about the food poisoning from that mussel you pried open? How about the desert sushi that chased the girl away? Who the heck thought up gross stuff like Marmite or tofu or peachfuzz? Who hasn't flambeed their eyebrows or had to put down that pizza to make a run for some morning afters? And let's not forget the impact of food production on the environment, my girlfriend sure wont. Food's not perfect, infact most of it's barely nourishing enough to keep us alive.

In the past decade food has been raised onto a pedestal and then the pedestal's been taken to the top of a very high mountain and placed on top of another, slightly taller pedestal. Food can't get much bigger than it is now, on TV, in magazines and on the radio everyone's talking food. Chefs don't cook anymore, they drive ferraris from bank to bank counting their money and fondling their groupies. Traditional peasant food is being served at snooty restaurants for $50 a plate (please ask your waitress about our reasonable bread prices). Please, cut the crap, it's just food.

Now I realize the irony of denouncing today's rampant foodie culture in one of the 10,000 new food columns being published today but I can't help myself, it's a love-hate relationship. I love good food and I love fancy shmancy ingredients, I love watching cooking shows and I love pouring over cookbooks imagining all the things I could make. On that side of things I love what's happening with food, people are appreciating food, cooking more and those fancy shmancy ingredients I love so much are available in a supermarket near you! But wait, there are those who represent the dark side of the force, as my Star Wars obsessed boss would say (incidentally, burnt crostini also represent the dark side of the force). Those who stop at nothing to make food pretentious, those who dismiss someone who dosn't like snails as having a “lazy palate”. Those who scoff at the home cook's methods, those who insist on ridiculously undercooking their vegetables. These people make food seem elitist, out of reach. Everyone eats for god's sakes!

In this column I'm going to try to be as low-key, personal, and direct as possible. I won't use crazy words you can't understand without thoroughly explaining them (by the way, crostini is like a cruton which is an oven toasted piece of bread which is flour, yeast and water which is made of 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom...). I'll swear and make jokes because that's how I am in real life even when I'm not talking about food (gasp!). I'm going to fill these pages with personal anecdotes, dead-easy recipes, and sick sick stories from the foodservice industry. If you want to be a part of this that's awsome, you can send me questions, ideas, recipes and other great tidbits by filling out the form at the bottom of the page or by emailling me. Can't get enough of my sexy sexy words? Check out JP's Restaurant, my food blog which is updated every so often with the help of the lovely Kyla.

Enough introductions, here's today's dead-easy recipe, you might have seen it on my blog but it's worth the double-post and for those of you who are new here it'll be an extra special treat. As the name suggests, credit goes to my mom, she probably didn't invent this stuff but she's the first one who made it for me.

JP's Mom's Fried Bananas:

Heat some butter on the stove, this will be the basis for your sauce to make sure you use enough! Slice some bananas in half lenthwise and fry until softened in butter. Add about an equal quantity of brown sugar as you used butter to the pan and mix it up a little, flipping the bananas if necessary. Once the sugar is disolved in the butter add a shot of rum and flame it. You're done! Serve with icecream, everyone will love you.

This has to be one of my favourite things to eat and its also loads of fun to make. Look at this recipe, it has everything we love about food and cooking. It has fat (saturated fat no less!) and sugar, it has flames and booze, it's simple to make and has that warm soft consistency we love so much. If you're not into bananas you could do it with pineapple or even just make the butter/sugar/rum sauce and pour over icecream. Yum!

Alrighty, that's the column, part of my trademark will be to finish each column with a HILARIOUS celebrity-chef style catchphrase or ridiculous one-liner, here goes;

“I wanted to diversify my portfolio,
so I bought some CHICKEN STOCK!”

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