Friday, May 10, 2013

#137: Weird Condiments

"I'm hungry, I wanna sandwich." Dad mutters as he gets out of his chair and shuffles to the kitchen. That is the signal to stay OUT of the kitchen because things are about to get weird. Dads run on a balanced and highly calculated diet of coffee, grilled meats, scotch, and smothering food in weird condiments. We have already highlighted Dad's infatuation with the huge sandwich but we have yet to touch on the toppings Dad puts on EVERYTHING. You think you are fancy because you like ketchup and the occasional mustard on your hot dog? You are not even close to Dad level when it comes to condiments.

When Dad orders a hot dog, it is required to have as many toppings as possible. Dad puts the basic Chicago Style Dog (Vienna Beef hot dog, mustard, neon relish, onion, tomato, pickle spear, sport peppers, celery salt on a poppy seed bun for the uninitiated out there) to shame. He starts tame, things like grilled onions and yellow mustard. But before you know it he has sauerkraut, cheese whiz, horseradish, jalapenos, spicy mustard, hot sauce, and several things you didn't even know existed on top of that little tube of meat. For good measure he may even ask for another hot dog on top to round it out. It basically looks like a trash can emptied on top of a bun and smells AWFUL. Dad puts it down in two bites.

Dad of course loves weird condiments because of a few reasons: there are some tastes that only appeal to Dads (kimchi anyone?), and he puts them on his food so no one else will eat it. Also he loves grossing out his kids and embarrassing them when he holds up the sandwich line as they spoon sardines out onto his Reuben. And let's not forget the cheese! Dad doesn't draw the line at Kraft American singles, he goes all in with stinky runny cheeses that smell like a sherpa's foot after climbing Everest. Roquefort, brie, saga, stilton, and limburger are among his favorites.The smell makes even the poor line cook's eyes water, it sparks flashbacks to WWII in the old man sitting at the next table. Dad happily chows down on the partially fermented cheese while the kids look on in disgust. He is as happy as a clam, especially because he knows no one will touch his corned beef sandwich topped with shrimp salad, thousand island, and potato chips.

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