Why not start your day with a flaming Pop-Tart?

imageCooking can be dangerous, especially when it includes all three components of what experts call the Triangle of Fire:

1) A heat source
2) Combustible material
3) Our son.

While I can vouch for him having absolutely nothing to do with any wildfires, he was in fact responsible for the 2015 Oak Street popcorn smoke-out. It only took that one experience for us to realize just how dangerous popcorn kernels can be once their internal temperature exceeds 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Let me just say that if your microwavable popcorn bag is ever allowed to expand to the size of your favorite pillow, DO NOT open it.

Ever.

Our government has special underground dump sights specifically designed for this kind of toxic material; please use them.  Continue reading

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But on a serious note, it’s National Hamburger Month

imageIf you’re a vegetarian or any other type of non-meat-eater, I’d like to start this column by saying I realize National Hamburger Month isn’t for everyone. Then again, May also happens to be National Salad Month — and no one here is passing any judgements on you for that. So I hope we can all approach May with tolerance and understanding in regard to each other’s lifestyle choice in eating preferences.

Although let’s be honest; mine is better because it has bacon on it.

Most people don’t know that hamburgers have actually been around since the time of Genghis Khan, whose riders would shove pieces of meat under their saddles to create minced meat patties through the combination of heat and friction while riding. In fact, historians speculate Khan’s empire may not have spread so quickly had he preferred his burgers rare instead of well done. But that’s just a theory. It’s also worth noting that one rider began adding carrots and onions to the meat under his saddle during longer distances to create the first rump roast.

Ok fine, I made that last part up.  Continue reading

How did I end up in a Taco Bell commercial?

imageBy now, I’m sure most of you have seen the new Taco Bell commercials promoting its new “Mystery Menu Item,” which will be reviled revealed during the Super Bowl. In these commercials, sports stars like James Harden and other celebrities are given a plain green box representing the new item, but aren’t told what the item is.

Or whether the green box is actually edible.

But if you’re a gambler by nature, you can pre-order the mystery item and get one Super Bowl Sunday, a day before it’s available to the general public on Feb. 8. Yes, that’s a full 24 hours before others in your area will get their first taste of the Meaty Cinnabon Wrap!

Or Double-Decker Mexi-Fries-a-rrito.

Or Chicken Twisty Supreme.

Continue reading

Frozen lima beans: The gift that keeps on gagging

eating,_chewing,_nut,_teeth,_mouth copy It will have been more than 80 years ago next month since Clarence Birdseye, inspired by ancient food preservation methods used by Arctic Eskimos, made history by introducing the very first frozen food option: “Savory Caribou on a Stick.”

Though his first selection was met with little enthusiasm, Birdseye persisted, and eventually created a line of frozen vegetables that many of us are still gagging on today.

I, for one, am still unable to walk past lima beans in the frozen food section without getting the dry heaves. This reaction stems from my childhood, and a spoonful of lima beans I’ve been trying to swallow since 1973.

Unless you’ve been hermetically sealed and stuck in a freezer, you already know March is “National Frozen Food Month.” Coincidentally, I should mention this happens to fall in the same month as “National Ear Muff Day,” “Extraterrestrial Abduction Day” and “National Pig Day,” meaning that, for anyone whose pig happened to be wearing ear muffs at the time it was flash frozen by alien abductors, this is a big month for you. Continue reading

Got the late shift at Denny’s? Compare SAT scores with ‘Mr. Sizzles’

Who needs good SAT scores when you can have the fried platter?

Who needs good SAT scores when you can have the fried platter?

During the next few weeks, every high school senior who plans to attend a four-year college will sit in a room with dozens of other nervous seniors and be handed a 300-pound Scholastic Aptitude Test. Shortly thereafter, each student will open the exam to page one and choose between a) continuing on with the test, or b) sticking a No. 2 pencil in their eye. That’s because they’ll be answering questions they wouldn’t otherwise face without at least one “lifeline” and a chance to win $1 million.

The reason it’s important to do well on the SATs is because your score tells colleges how smart you are. The smarter you are, the better your chances of getting into a prestigious university because, let’s face it: The last thing any university wants is a bunch of dumb students who need to be educated, even if they are paying $40,000 a year toward a degree which, in many cases, still won’t provide them with their most valuable document — a food handler’s card. Continue reading