Last Thursday evening the empty grocery store shelves told the story of our fear of being stuck at home without copious amounts of food. The basics went first -- bread, milk, meat -- but rest assured bags of chocolate chips, brown sugar and heavy cream were also slim pickings.
Barricaded in our homes by our fear of ice, the natural thing to do was start eating. And only stop when it hurts. And, boy, did it. It's days like these that we get a quick reminder of how miserable food can make us. There are certain dishes that are worse, though. Those that seem to expand in our stomach and fill our blood stream with tiny balls of regret. The sweatpants of food.
Following are the biggest food offenders. If you have some of your personal favorites, please share in the comments.
1. The thing about queso is that it sort of defines us as a region. At the outset, a big bowl of queso represents some innate search for security. We feel like if we scoop enough, we'll find ourselves at the bottom of the bowl. Five minutes in, we know we should stop, and yet, downward we plow. After it's all said and devoured, the burnt queso that we chisel off the sides of the cookware is merely a reflection of our lost dignity.
2. Rice Krispie treats can cause a fair amount of regret alone. But, if you've ever made Rachael Ray's Chocolate Peanut Butter Bowl, you'll be introduced to a new level of hell. Part of the appeal is that you forgo the traditional squares and make a bowl out of the Rice Krispies (it's crafty!), which is then coated with chocolate and filled with a peanut butter- and heavy cream-based dip. Two bites and you realize you've built a bowl of regret. And, here, unlike queso, you have more of a chance of stopping. If not, within twenty minutes your entire body will feel like the vomit scene in the Sandlot.
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3. You haven't really lived until you've made yourself sick off cookie dough. Looking past the fact that it's raw eggs and all that jazz, everyone needs to do it at least once, just because it's a thing we do. I learned my lesson early on in life -- abandoning a half-baked batch of cookies in the kitchen, knowing my mom would be pissed but too miserable to care.
4. Homemade caramel corn is mean. This is based on very recent personal experience. The killer here is quantity. Half a cup of kernels makes 97 gallons of popcorn. And we tell ourselves it's not terrible for us, so we eat fast and furiously. At some point we implore our hands to stop feeding our face, but they won't listen. (But here's a great and easy recipe if you need proof. I tried the microwave thing. It works.)
5. Finally, those little barbecue weenies, particularly after stewing in a Crockpot for two hours resulting in a thicker, sweeter sauce. Remember the scene in the Exorcist where her head spins around ... yeah. Just puke and get it over with. Only thing worse than this is packaged croissant rolls wrapped around the weenies. The filler laden bread and the blah together. There's really no excuse for this one. It has multiple layers of shame.
But, seriously, what's for dinner?