Recipe developer and food writer Kendra Bailey Morris is coming out with The Southern Slow Cooker next summer, but we couldn’t wait that long to introduce you to this Virginia native who knows a thing or two about Southern food. You can currently find her co-hosting a cooking segment called “Heart of the Home” for the Virginia Farm Bureau’s monthly television series “Real Virginia,” on Twitter, on Pinterest, and right here, where she shared with us three things that really spook her in the kitchen.
The Fried Calamari Pieces that Look Like Spiders: I adore calamari, be it fried, sautéed, grilled or tossed into an olive oily pasta. It’s so stinking good, but one thing I simply cannot get past are those pieces of calamari that appear all spider-like. It’s as if a baby calamari and a tarantula had a love child and it got breaded in a mixture of cornmeal and flour and deep fried for our perverted eating pleasure. I implore you to only eat the rings since they are decidedly less spindly.
Brains: My grandfather used to love having brains and eggs for breakfast, and as much as I love my grandfather, I cannot think of a more revolting way to begin the day. For starters, I can’t hear the word “brains” without conjuring up bloody dismemberment scenes from “Dawn of the Dead” (the original, not the remake FYI) and let’s face it brains are arguably our ugliest body part. Gray and smushy, the brain ironically commands us to eat it, which in and of itself is rather disturbing. Unless you’re a zombie, I suggest avoiding the ingestion of brains altogether and sticking to bacon with your eggs.
Processed and/or Pressed Meats (including those in cans): Disclaimer: I really, really like hot dogs. Give me one topped with chili and slaw and I am one happy woman, but there is one thing I cannot seem to get past when huffing down a freshly steamed dog, and that’s the fact that I don’t know what slaughterhouse scraps I’m eating. (By the way, this sentiment can also be applied to bologna, Spam and Vienna sausages.) However, I’m not giving up hot dogs, no way, so I’ve found it best just to shut my eyes and head to my special happy place when partaking of the pressed meat, a place where pigs most likely frolic happily in fields of wildflowers. This is a lot less scary.
Jelly Filled Chocolates: This is not the first time I’ve written about my utter disdain for jelly filled chocolates. It goes without saying that the chocolate itself is just fine, but when a gelatinized mixture of raspberry puree and sugar gets pumped inside, it all goes awry. Jellied chocolates are the bastard children of the chocolate box. They are always the last to get picked for dodge ball. They get left behind after all of the good pieces have been pilfered (think caramel, coconut and walnut candies) and there’s a reason for this. They taste like crap.
Olestra: I made the mistake of eating a bag of potato chips made with Olestra, the infamous fat substitute found in many low fat snacks, and regretted it within the hour. Let’s just say, my gut was in no way pleased with my poor diet choice. Fact is, if you’re going to eat a bag of addictively salty, fatty potato chips, just go whole hog, natural peanut oil and all. Some things shouldn’t be tampered with, and fat is one of them, so eat the butter, the oil and the lard. As least you know what it is, and while your waist may curse you, your colon will in turn, thank you.
Be sure to check out our sister sites at Books for Better Living, Read It Forward, CrafterNews, and Crown, who also asked their authors: What five things terrify you most? Anne Burrell and Denene Wallace also weighed in here at The Recipe Club. Happy Halloween!