Guilty Pleasures, “Food” edition

August 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm 12 comments

A while ago, I wrote here about my guiltier pleasures with regard to television viewing. Of course, this post didn’t even scratch the surface, because I watch a lot of crap, but some shames are better kept private. However, I am secretly proud of some of my other guilty pleasures that do not refer to those I watch while drooling and mouth breathing on my couch, but rather those I consume orally while drooling and mouth breathing on my couch.

So, the following is a list of foods I am almost ashamed to admit I LOVE.

 

 

1. Wheat Thins and Easy Cheese (Sharp Cheddar variety)

 

America's #1 Spray Cheese Food Product!

 

This is not only one of my top five guilty food pleasures, but also one of the most frustrating food combinations in the history of food combinations. Because, much like the ratio of commercially packaged hot dogs to buns rarely matches, the ratio of cheeze to cracker never matches. I constantly struggle to achieve the equilibrium that will ensure the last squirt of pasteurized processed cheese food product erupts onto the very last Wheat Thin in the box. As of this writing, I have not yet achieved the golden, 1:1 cheeze-with-a-z to wheat cracker ratio. Still, I persevere. FOR SCIENCE!

 

2. Ghetto Garlic Bread

 

This is the garlic bread of the bourgeoisie.

This is the garlic bread of the bourgeoisie.

 

Some wise person, like Wittgenstein or Oprah, once said that today’s solutions are tomorrow’s problems. But sometimes, today’s problems are tomorrow’s delicious comfort foods! Ghetto garlic bread, for example, would be impossible if not for the once frustrating, aforementioned leftover hot dog bun problem. Don’t throw them away—slather them in butter, shake on some granulated garlic and put that shit under the broiler. This tastes completely different than a fresh italian loaf slathered in butter and minced garlic. But do you want to know a secret? I kinda like the ghetto version better, with all its delicious preservatives, nutrionless white breadiness, and its fakey garlic taste. It really can’t be beat. Thanks, mom, for your unwillingness to let those leftover buns go gently into that dark pantry.

 

An appalling aside: Andrew likes this food amalgamation with the addition of that  “cheese” that comes in a green can. While I am often for “cheeses” that require skeptical air-quotes, this particular form of “cheese” is well beyond the realm of acceptable. Perhaps love does indeed mean never having to say you’re sorry, but I’m certain there’s a stipulation that love for canned parmesan means constantly having to say you’re sorry for having no taste whatsoever. Said the girl who is about to admit to having a deep love for the following:

 

 

3. Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese Dinner with Canned Chili and Cut-up Hot Dogs

 

++      = CRAZY DELICIOUS!!

 

How can something that looks SO! MUCH! like vomit be so yummy in my tummy? Note: you may not substitute other brands of macaroni and cheese dinner for Kraft brand. The chili and hot dogs, however, are interchangeable, and when I was a vegetarian, I very much enjoyed this with tofu dogs and veggie chili. The best part of this is that, while Kraft dinner alone takes on the nastiest quality when you reheat leftovers, the addition of chili preserves the yum for a second, shameful scarf later on.

 

 

4. Microwave Bean and Cheese Burritos the Size of Your Head

 

Some of these confessions are such secret shames, even Andrew doesn’t know yet, so I may come home to an empty house after he sees this post. But I have to get this off my chest. 

 

Even though we live within a two-mile radius of some of the finest burrito-peddling stationary roach coaches in the state of Washington, sometimes, I would prefer to go to my grocer’s freezer, a 7-11, or my office vending machine, and purchase one of these:

 

 

 I know. I KNOW! These things are terrible! Revolting! Nearly tasteless! IRRESISTABLE!

 

If the apocalypse comes, I know I will be able to survive, because, with a pocket full of quarters I will steal from area laundromats, I shall go into each abandoned office building and raid vending machines until I am perched atop a mountain of these wraps that only technically qualify as comestibles, while you shiver in the corner crying for your precious food.

 

 

5. Hostess “Fruit” “Pies”

 

Yeah, sure, your gramma makes homemade pies... but do they GLITTER?

Yeah, sure, your gramma makes homemade pies... but do they GLITTER?

 

Many moons ago, I lived within spitting distance of the Mississippi, on one of the few hills in the state of Iowa. Also down the street, slightly closer than Ol’ Muddy, was a Hostess bakery and distribution center. Late at night, I would sit on my porch, smoking, and breathe deep the aroma of the only good-smelling factory I’ve lived within sniffing distance of. I loved guessing which “pastry” they were cranking out: cinnamon-crumb Donettes, Twinkies or Suzy Qs? Regardless of the confection, the aroma emitted from down the street was what imagine heaven smells like.

 

I can’t lie — I love Hostess products. But of all the shameful, preservative-laden Hostess products, none do I adore more than the Fruit Pie. The flavor is unimportant to me. I love them all equally as I would my children, if I had any. The outer crust is delightfully pearlescent in its thick glaze shell, and beneath each perfectly crimped edge, oozes glistening gelatinous “fruit” filling. I know my food shouldn’t glow like it’s radioactive. But if Hostess Fruit Pies are wrong, I don’t want to be right.

 

 

So, am I alone here? Do you all live on a diet of foie gras and arugula salads, or do you have some shameful secrets lurking in your cupboards? Come sit beside me and whisper in my ear — I promise to hold your confessions sacred. Unless you’re one of those green can “cheese” lovers, in which case it’s torch-and-pitchfork-wielding mobs for you.

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Pittsburgh William Frederick Hunter

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. missbanshee  |  August 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    that green can shit has the consistency of gravel. BLEH. But good ol’ food shame? Twinkies. I fucking love twinkies, oh my god. I also take tortillas and toaster oven those bastards up with some shredded cheese and pre-cooked packaged chicken and make 5 minute quesadillas. I would make them with Cheez Whiz if I ever remembered to buy some. I also eat olives and pickles right from the jar. Too many to list!

    Reply
  • 2. Dana Whitaker  |  August 19, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I top my ghetto garlic bread with sliced mozzerella (Kraft if it’s on sale, but store brand works fine, too.) But I cannot allow the green cannned cheese into my fridge. That’s just wrong.

    I say I buy the fruit snacks for the kids, but I eat them myself. I also like to dip my Teddy Grahams (I mean, my children’s Teddy Grahams) in Cool Whip.

    Reply
  • 3. Carol  |  August 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Ohhh… I can do the chili and hotdogs – but not with the Mac/Cheese too.

    I love Ghetto Garlic Bread!!!!!

    Ohh… can’t do the canned cheese whizy stuff either…

    But god I do love Velveeta….

    Don’t like Hostess Pies – but totally dig Moon Pies….

    Reply
  • 4. Amy  |  August 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Man, I love me some squeeze-cheez and wheat thins. i’ve been trying to stave off this affection with that Kahuna cheese, because it seems slightly more healthy, being as it has to be refrigerated, so it must have a higher dairy content… right? Anyway.

    My guilty pleasures:

    1) Deep fried beef & bean burritos. NOT chimichangas, i’m talking those small little burritos they serve at delis with the corndogs and pizza pockets and such. Yeah. I grew up on that garbage, and I get the craving for one every 3-6 months or so. I eat them with ketchup, because I’m classy.

    2) Corndogs. Again, deep-fried is the only way to serve these!

    3) Hamburger Helper Stroganoff. Gross, right? But sooo good.

    4) Dinosaur-shaped spaghetti-os. The bigger dinosaur shapes make them less squishy. I hate squishy noodles.

    5) Canned pears. Yeah, I know, fresh fruit is so much better for you, but I can’t resist a can of ice cold pears soaked in high fructose corn syrup.

    Reply
  • 5. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah  |  August 20, 2008 at 10:52 am

    I’ll be honest. I like hamburger helper stroganoff too. I thought I was the only one.

    I also love Taco Bell.

    And lean pockets for breakfast. Mmmmm. Egg, cheese and bacon.

    Reply
  • 6. Jason  |  August 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Chef Boyardee Ravioli. This was a staple in college. Straight out da can. Like Fonzie did on the very special Christmas episode.

    Reply
  • 7. JennC  |  August 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, I have so many, but I’ll save you the five thousand word essay in your comments (and myself the embarrassment) and just mention my top three.

    The white trash staple, Hamburger Helper. I prefer the beef stroganoff, with a little extra sour cream thrown in for good measure.

    I also have get occasional cravings for Kraft Mac-n-Cheese and Fruity Pebbles, so much so I will down an entire box at once. (SHAME SHAME SHAME)

    Found you via MamaPop.

    Reply
  • 8. kdiddy  |  August 20, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    I have too many to list, but I will always have at least one box of Kraft Mac N Cheese in my house and at least one can of spaghettios.

    Reply
  • 9. 4 Playa food pleasures. « Writing on Substance D  |  August 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    […] | Tags: burning man, food, playa A friend of mine recently blogged a well written piece about her 7 guilty food pleasures, which got me thinking about my […]

    Reply
  • 10. iris  |  August 24, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I used to cover microwave bean burritos with nacho cheese sauce from a jar. Also, having toast with butter AND peanut butter on it seems awfully decadent to me. How much butter can one piece of bread handle?? Totinos pizza rolls are molten pockets of digusting tastiness.

    Finally, I am going to have to give the macncheese, chili, and hot dog recipe a whirl. It makes me think of a Ross’s Magic Mountain for some reason.

    Reply
  • 11. Linsey  |  August 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Oh man, I love those berry pies. It isn’t specific to Hostess…I’ll take a more generic one as well, but Hostess are by far the best of the bunch. I’ve never tried any other flavor than the berry because why mess with somethign so delicious?

    Reply
  • 12. Hilary  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I love this list and especially: Easy Cheese (almost as good as Fritos canned Nacho Cheese Dip OMG delish!) hot dogs and m&c? That is genius! Fruit Pies? All you!

    Reply

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