May 27 2005

Dinner From Another Planet

Spinach salad with sprouts and bacon

Spinach salad with assorted pious sprouted legumes and smoked bacon

Chicken with leeks and potatoes

Roasted chicken, potatoes, and leeks with wine juice

The aisles of the Central Market on South Lamar are at all times bulging with the buffest, most sinewy women on earth. They are the Vigorocracy, that class of Austin women with enough time for physical fitness and enough money for $8-a-pound bell peppers.

I can’t say where they get their dough, but I do know that they didn’t get buff and sinewy by eating food that tastes good.

Which is why yesterday, when I asked the butcher for a chicken breast with the skin on, he was startled. He had never sold such a thing before. He scanned me for signs that I might be some kind of escapee. I explained that I am from the planet Obstreperogon, where chicken skin, with its luscious subcutaneous fat, is one of the three major food groups (the other two: tacos, Dr. Pepper). On Obstreperogon nobody wants to live so long that they get put in a home and made to wear diapers.

Also on Obstreperogon, people who show little or no interest in delicious food are considered mentally ill. There is legislation prohibiting them from getting married or adopting foster children. And there are huge court battles over food education. Many people don’t want their kids learning about Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Hot Pockets. They are afraid that the kids, intoxicated by artificial flavorings, will be lured into a life of etiolate banality by the siren call of convenience.

Anyway: unpeeled chicken roasted until crisp in a hot, hot convection oven. Go!


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  1. Jim McCulloch

    Somebody said that all the people who shop at Central Market (substitute Whole Foods if you wish) have Hitler Youth abs. This is perhaps unfair. Many ordinary people like myself can be found there, admiring the lovely foodstuffs, and experiencing vicarious thrills watching people with full food baskets use up a healthy chunk of their equity loan at the check-out counter.

    Congratulations once again on the great food photography.

  2. Ray

    I shop at Central Market and my Hitler Youth abs are hiding behind my Goering belly.

  3. Twisty

    Ha! But I’m not accusing everybody who shops there of having buns of steel. My buns, for example, are of lead.

  4. Dean

    Mmmmm…tacos & Dr. Pepper!

    I wish to visit Obstreperogon, for it sounds like my kind of place. Where do I apply for a tourist visa?

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