Weekly Opinion Poll: Gluttony

I knew I shouldn’t do it, but I wanted to, and sometimes desire is reason enough. I knew I should have ordered the salad, but when I ran across the street to McDonald’s for lunch, all I could think about was how badly I wanted French fries. Then I saw their new marketing campaign, and all I could think about was how badly I wanted the new Premium Chicken Sandwich and French fries.
I placed my order and stepped aside while they lovingly slapped together my #7 Crispy, when suddenly I heard a loud “pop!” Fortunately, my years spent growing up on the mean streets of rural Wisconsin taught me exactly how to handle this type of situation. After unburying myself from the elderly woman and twin toddlers I had used as human shields, I stood up and realized that it hadn’t been gunfire, but in fact, the heating light bulb above the French fry tray had exploded.
Glass shards shattered all over the bin of freshly salted, piping hot fries.
Clearly, McDonald’s does extensive crisis management training with its employees, because within seconds, the manager appeared out of nowhere with a giant garbage bin, ordering his trainees to dump out each and every fry.
“But… those ones on the side look fine,” I thought. I mean, they were already boxed up and ready to go. “I can be real careful and eat around the stabby pieces, honest!”
The flustered cashier offered me two apple pies instead of my piping hot, glass covered fries, but somehow it just didn’t seem like much of a deal. Since I didn’t want to wait for the manager to pull out the McAbacus to figure out how to refund the fry portion of my value meal, I just took my lone Premium Chicken Sandwich and silently slumped away.
This experience made me think – what had I done to make the universe feel like I didn’t deserve those fries? I don’t eat fries all that often – I swear! I usually get the grilled chicken salad with lowfat Paul Newman dressing. I haven’t been overindulging lately, have I?
And then I remembered.
Last Saturday. 6:27pm. La Grange Park, IL
My friends Ozzie and Lily had their annual barbeque, to which I brought my annual potato salad like the good guest that my momma raised me to be. In a frustrating turn of events, three other copycat guests apparently didn’t get the memo that I am in charge of potato salad. I brought it last year, I brought it this year, I’ll bring it next year. We ended up with twelve pounds of potato salad for ten people. This is why understanding roles and responsibilities is essential to an effectively functioning society.
But anyway, aside from the opportunity to spend time with their hip-hop gangsta children, Zoë and The Deke, I was intrigued by Lily’s marketing ploy in this year’s eVite:
“Krispy Kreme bread pudding will be served.”
Now, let the record reflect that, as a general rule, I hate bread pudding. Along with rice pudding, or potato pudding, or noodle pudding, or any other pudding made from some starch that was once part of a dinner.
But Krispy Kremes? Krispy Kremes are never for dinner, unless you live in North Carolina, where doughnuts have their own level in the food pyramid, just below fruits and vegetables.
I could see this dessert had potential.
I waited all afternoon in eager anticipation of this curious treat. I forced myself to be polite and eat thirteen carrot sticks, and four cheese puffs, and two bratwursts, and half a hamburger, just to make Ozzie and Lily feel good. I didn’t want them to think I came just for dessert.
Finally, Lily slid open the patio door with her foot and carried out a tray of what would prove to be the most revolutionary dessert ever to make an appearance at a barbeque in all of Illinois. Nay, all of the Midwest.
Typically, even if I love a particular dish, I don’t usually ask people how they made it. This is partly because, based on how frequently I turn on my stove, I know this information will come in about as handy for me as the quadratic equation does. But really, the main reason I don’t ask that question is out of fear that the cook, like a certain acquaintance of mine, will launch into a fifteen minute epic step-by-step description of how to prepare the dish:
“First, I buy the chicken whole – you always have to get them whole – and I cut up the parts into quarters. If you get the ones that are pre-cut, they can sometimes be okay, but usually I just find that the whole ones taste a lot fresher. You probably should wait until they go on sale at the Pick n Save – sometimes my sister saves the coupons for me. Then, I rinse them with cold water, but not too cold, making sure to flush out the cavity really well. You can put salt and pepper in the cavity now or later, depending on how salty you like it. Jenny! Are you listening to me? Next I take about one cup of chopped celery, two teaspoons of nutmeg, a quarter stick of butter-“
“Dammit, woman! I just asked if I tasted tarragon!”

Anyway, I’m not sure if I remembered the recipe 100%, but I think this is pretty close to how Lily told me she made the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding:

  • Three dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts

  • Two cups of dark molasses
  • One 64-oz can of fruit cocktail, heavy syrup
  • Two cups of brown sugar
  • Two cups of raisins
  • Three cups corn syrup
  • One teaspoon nutmeg
  • One quarter teaspoon cinnamon
    Mix all ingredients together in a food processor until it forms a thick dough. Mold the dough into the shape of a beehive, wrap in rice paper, and place in the crook of a tree for 7 to 10 days, or long enough for the queen bee to lay her eggs and the worker bees to produce at least two cups of honey.
    Once you have collected enough honey, place the dough hive (bee larvae and all) into a 10” x 13” glass baking pan and bake at 350˚ for 25 minutes.
    Let the pudding cool, then top with cream cheese frosting and one large syringe of insulin.
    Serves 80-100.

  • I’m telling you right now people, I could only eat about two tablespoons of the pudding before I felt myself drift off into a gentle diabetic coma, but those were the two most amazing tablespoons of food ever to dance across my taste buds. You can’t know. None of you can. Except Nat, and Seamus, and about eight other of the luckiest people alive. We all know.
    So I guess what I’m trying to say is that if I have to get glass in my French fries, Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding made it all worthwhile.
    Which leads me to this week’s Weekly Opinion Poll!
    Question: What food item that will most likely kill you is your ultimate guilty pleasure food?
    A. Ice cream
    B. Pizza
    C. Deep fried cheese curds (Shout out to Wisconsin! Go Pack Go!)
    D. Potato chips
    E. French fries
    F. Whipped cream out of the can (Right, like I’m the only one?)
    G. Chocolate
    H. Red red wine
    I. Krispy Kreme bread pudding

    27 Responses to “Weekly Opinion Poll: Gluttony”

    1. nicole Says:

      It’s only Thursday and I’ve had a huge portion of everything on your list except C and I. But oh how delicious that sounds…I’m off to find whatever curds are floating around in the back of my refrigerator…

    2. Cheryl Says:

      Option I. I actually love almost all kinds of pudding (with the bread varieties topping the list), so if Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding wins over a pudding-hater, I can only imagine what it would do for me. I’ve never tasted it, but I might need to marry it.

    3. Junebug Says:

      It’s a tie between cheese curds and pizza. No, you know what… cheese curds win. I heart those. Even though I am from Illinois and they aren’t as readily available here as they are in WI… Culver’s is my local cheese curd hookup. Love em!

    4. Darby Says:

      I used to order pizza fairly often. Considering I actually eat in my apartment maybe two days out of every 21, it makes sense. Then one day one of my nosy neighbors saw the pizza guy on his way to my door and he said, “Man, Darby, you really need to learn how to cook,” and I sort of withered inside. I didn’t want to be *that* guy. Whatever *that* guy was. I don’t think I’ve ordered pizza since. So when I have it…yes. It’s a beautiful, wonderful guilty pleasure.
      Mind you, this was the same neighbor who at another point saw me walking into the apartment with bags of real, honest-to-god *groceries*, like food items bought from a grocery store and everything, the whole deal, and he saw a box of white rice in one of my bags. He then said, “Geez, Darby. Do what everyone else does. Order Chinese.”
      It’s kind of a wonder I haven’t lapsed into a total neurotic mess by this point.

    5. Omar Says:

      My vote’s for pizza. Although, that Krispy Kreme bread pudding sounds fantastic. I’ve never had it before — I’ve only experienced their heavenly doughnuts — but now I have a new mission for the weekend. Operation: KKBP is what I’ll call it.
      I’ve also never experienced the cheese curd phenomenon, but that’s apparently a Midwest-thing and I’m in NY. Plus, I don’t much care for the word “curd.” But I like deep fried cheese such as mozarella sticks. Mmmm mmmm!
      Great, now I’m hungry for things I don’t have readily available. Oh well, at least it’s lunch time. :-)

    6. Jessica Says:

      I want to go on record by stating that I abhor Krispy Kreme donuts (and I love donuts, just not the KK’s). I also detest White Castle – my husband says that they will likely revoke my right to live in St. Louis on both of these accounts.
      What does he know? He also says they will kick me out of the female species because I’m not so hip on chocolate….
      My pitfall would prolly be the potato casserole dish (the one with the corn flakes crushed on top) that boasts a whole stick of butter, a GIANT bucket of sour cream and all the cheese in Wisconsin.

    7. Lily Says:

      Here’s the URL for the Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_27413,00.html
      The first time I made is was for a Father’s Day cookout this year. My father-in-law loved it – poured rum right over the top. I’m his favorite daughter-in-law.
      And who is this Jessica person who doesn’t like KK donuts or White Castles? I felt hatred rising up in me until she said she likes potato casserole. I guess she can’t be all bad.

    8. Jenny Says:

      N: Wait – you’ve already eaten whipped cream from the can this week? A girl after my own heart!

      C: Well if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?? Oh wait, you just said that. Never mind.

      JB: You know of the cheese curd? And they have them at Culvers? Why didn’t I know this?

      D: Love pizza. Love it. I never order it, though, and now I know why. Nosy neighbors.

      O: If you like mozz sticks, you’ll like cheese curds. Deep fried and dipped in catsup. Yes, I said catsup. Or ketchup. Either one.

      J: I’ve never had White Castle, either – I’m kind of ascared of it.

      L: Wait a minute! Where’s the honey? I distinctly tasted bee venom when I ate those two tablespoons. I think you’re holding out on us.

    9. jil Says:

      Personally, for a little extra decadence in my day, I buy both french fries and a chocolate shake or malt and then I dip the FF’s in the shake. Hot/cold, salty/sweet nervana.
      Question? Are deep fried cheese curds of which you speak, cottage cheese based? I could maybe get down with that, especially if there were a side of cling peaches to go with it.
      P.S. Just READING this post (and the following commentary) is giving me a sugar headache.

    10. Anonymous Says:

      Dear Jenny,
      Call me a ninny, but that Krispy Kreme bread pudding sounds a little bit like a mash that might be on the sugar version of Fear Factor.
      Are cheese curds really a guilty pleasure? I thought they were just dinner. Tonight when I’m eating sup I’m going to feel all naughty.

    11. Jenny Says:

      J: For the uninitiated, cheese curds are little irregularly shaped chunks of cheddar cheese (the size of a tater tot) which can be eaten straight from the bag and washed down with a spicy V8, or can be breaded and deep-fried, washed down with a beer. And I’m going to pretend you didn’t mention peaches with cottage cheese. On my hate list, that’s second only to pineapple on pizza. Abomination!

      V: Don’t worry, Viv. Curds are always what’s for dinner for us former Wisconsinites.

    12. shari Says:

      BRIE! Brie is my achilles’ heel, although cheese by any stripe will ultimately beat me down so I’m sure that if limited to your list, the fried curds would prevail. Behold, the power of cheese….

    13. kris Says:

      Dammit. Beacuse of this entry I went to Mickey D’s yesterday to get my french fry on. The thing is, I don’t like Mickey D’s fries. But yesterday? They were an oily and salty delight.
      Now I want cheese curds. They sound like heaven. And fatal.

    14. Robert Says:

      I’m in such a battle with my blood sugar right now, even reading this post is forcing me to double my meds. Pizza may well be the death of me–literally.

    15. Terence Cho Says:

      I go on so many food cravings. I think the one that will last are Chipotle burritos.
      Krispy Kreme bread pudding sounds amazing.

    16. Jessica Says:

      Wait a minute…
      Who is Lily and why doesn’t her name link to a blog? She totally cracks me up and I want to read MORE!

    17. jill Says:

      And our friendship had such a promising beginning! Pinapple + Pizza = Love!!!!

    18. Jessica Says:

      Jenny –
      I meant to respond to your unfamiliarity of White Castles….
      They are mystery meat that your body violenty rejects prior to acclimation. I remember being 8 years old and lying in a fetal position on the couch, hands over my tummy and feeling genuinely green. When my grandmother asked what was wrong with me, my dad heartily replied, “She had her first White Castle today!”
      I’ve been told that one must be drunk in order to truly appreciate their tastiness but both ends of me must strongly disagree. My husband (who loves White Castle) once said that heroin is better for a person than White Castle – judging from the way my colleagues inhale them, I’m guessing that heroin is also less addictive.

    19. Jessica Says:

      Jenny…sorry, last comment – I promise! After my last one, I realized that it wasn’t that you weren’t familiar with WC, it was that you, too, are frightened by it…sorry for the confusion (and the unnecessary education).

    20. Randa Says:

      I had to Google ‘White Castle’. I had never heard of it before. (“Where is she FROM?! Oh – she’s Canadian.”) Fast food is gross. I never eat fast food – with the exception of poutine about once a year. (A mixture of french fries with cheese curds, covered with hot gravy. The curds go soft in the warm fries, without completely melting. Origin: The province of Quebec, in the 1950s. Okay, enough culinary history.)
      And I pick a big, emphatic ‘G’ from your list, Jen.

    21. trisha Says:

      I don’t eat any of those items.

    22. Ozzy Says:

      Alright, I wasn’t going to weigh in…until Trisha’s comment…
      I eat ALL of those things…often at the same sitting. Jenny forgot to mention that Lily also served homemade chocolate ice cream at the same time as the Krispy Kreme Bread pudding. It’s damn good, too. I’m a very lucky guy, being her husband and all…I benefit from her cooking daily(and Jessica, I agree- she should have her own blog- I’m working on her, she may break down and do it…)
      Hey, the title of this entry is gluttony- so I choose all the letters above, as well as J-Z, which would include burritos, caramel anything, olives, etc. etc.
      I’m not the skinniest guy in town, but I may be the happiest…
      P.S. Trisha, I checked out your blog to see what kind of person didn’t eat any of those foods- and I really like your blog. Go figure. Maybe we don’t see eye to eye on food, but we share some of the same perspectives as parents and people…

    23. Jenny Says:

      Never before have I seen a weekly opinion poll stir so much controversy, yet ultimately bring us all closer to one another.

      Fruit on pizza vs. meat only, Canadian vs. American, White Castle vs. McDonald’s, to curd or not to curd – I guess what I hear you saying is that we’re all just people deep down inside.

      People who need to be loved. And if that love – like most of my memorable romances – happens to involve whipped cream and doughnuts, then so be it.

    24. trisha Says:

      Thanks, Oz!
      See, I did eat those things, lots in fact. But I am an alcoholic, and I have found it easier to not drink without any more sugar than necessary in my bod. Plus, the sugar, it makes me either bitchy or sleepy.
      And I am also just so darned superior.

    25. Ozzy Says:

      I’m very proud of you then, for resisting temptation. The allure of A-I above is very great, so it takes a strong will to be able to avoid them. Good luck at continuing that!

    26. trisha Says:

      Thanks! Once you get the sugar out of your system, it gets much easier…of course, not having sugar after having sugar for 30 years is coma inducing.

    27. Sarge Says:

      OMG. What is wrong with these people? Ice cream is like the sweet flesh of Satan himself. Fat Elvis, Pumpkin, Orange Custard Chip, Coconut Fudge With Almonds, Chubby Hubby, Chocolate Mint, Blizzards, Dilly Bars, Choco Taco, King Cone, Heath Bar, Peppermint, Cookies & Cream. It is not contest. Anybody who didn’t say ice cream is stupid. Heart surgery, here I come.