My Seventies Kitchen Episode 7: hot and sour soup

One of the most important things to have in your life is a Chinese American restaurant that not only delivers but is consistently good. It’s rarer than you think. It’s often the reason I never give recommendations to people in this arena because, without fail, they always seem to go on an “off-night,” and then I end up looking stupid.

I am currently in a phase where I have a roster, if you will, of Chinese restaurants that all do specific things correctly. I have a crucial ordering strategy at each, and almost every time I stray from the game plan, I regret it badly.

I feel it’s essential to develop a few of the classic dishes at home for nights when you simply cannot risk being disappointed.

Hot & Sour soup, part of the “Holy Trinity” of Chinese takeout soups (along with won ton & egg drop), is surprisingly easy to make at home. The variations are endless, plus it allows for much more significant portion sizes than D1 – D18 Dinner Combos.

I have somehow managed to take up residency in a town that has zero options for Chinese delivery. This is idiotic and makes me angry – but this hot & sour soup makes everything all better…

All Production by No End Media

My Seventies Kitchen Episode 6: Big macs

Typically, on the rare occasions that I enjoy this glorious treat, it is consumed behind the wheel of my parked car. This is because it’s the one fast-food sandwich that presents significant issues to thrash while driving. I mean, you can, but you’ll be finding shredded lettuce for months, in everything from the cup holder to the cigarette lighter. Plus, there is an absolute satisfaction to gripping the Big Mac with two hands, preferably in a relaxed fashion rather than navigating through traffic while using your knees to manipulate the wheel.

Most people’s first assumption would be that I have plans to augment the Big Mac ingredients to show that I can do it better when I use grass-fed beef, aged cheddar, bibb lettuce, etc. The primary concern I have with that method is that it would involve fixing something that isn’t broken, which is a colossal waste of time every time. I call it the “Green bean casserole syndrome.”

No, I’m going straight to Shaw’s Supermarket to procure my ingredients because nothing is supposed to be “farm-fresh” about a Big Mac. I momentarily consider adding fries to the menu. Still, the thought of cleaning out the fucking fryolator puts that idea to rest. Seriously, EVERY time I use the home fryer, it sits on the counter for weeks, taking up space, until I finally decide to go through the awkward and messy process of dealing with its contents. Plus, to be honest, you’re not going to achieve the same flavor of McDonald’s fries at home; it just won’t happen. Even if you re-incorporate the beef tallow that was corrupting oblivious would-be vegetarians for decades, you won’t be able to get it exactly right.

All Production by No End Media