I'm generally not a foodie. I don't often feel compelled to take pictures of what I'm about to eat, then plaster it all over social media to make other people jealous. But, I'm about to make an exception. Now, if you are on some sort of trendy diet, or gluten-free, or vegetarian, vegan, or into juicing or souping, or some such thing, you may want to go to your safe space right about now...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, from where I come from, this is fine dining. First of all, it was a delightful 72 degrees with a heavenly breeze wafting across the confined back yard of our suburban estate. Any meal served al fresco is better than what you're eating inside. Secondly, those are two New York strip steaks seasoned with some sort of amazing herb rub and grilled on my Commercial Series Char-Grill 2000, 7 minutes a side, flipped only once. There's also a serving of fresh corn, scraped off the cob fifteen minutes ago, then sautéed up in a pan of butter.
Now, I know what all of you are thinking...who eats pizza with steak?? Actually, I would be willing to try such a combination..what's not to like? But, that gorgeous pizza-shaped dish is not pizza at all. It's perhaps my favorite summer meal, number one on a long list of delicious concoctions that my sainted wife of 32 years is known for whipping up. It's called a Caprese Tart. It features tomatoes, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, with fresh basil and olive oil enveloped by a delicate, crispy crust. It tastes like summer exploding in your mouth.
I have no earthly idea how good or bad this meal was for us. I don't know the calorie count, am clueless whether or not the cow who gave the last full measure of devotion for this meal was free-range or not. For all I know, the corn and tomatoes might have been (gasp!) genetically modified!
Here's what I know, until fifty years ago this meal would have been literally fit for a king, since regular, ordinary people have historically never eaten this well. All of the ingredients for this feast were obtained at reasonable prices from a clean, well lit grocery store four minutes from our house. The line Pam stood in to buy this bounty was three deep at the high end. The entire shopping trip consumed twenty minutes of her time. I remember when the old Soviet Union introduced the world to three hour waits for daily bread rations. Today I read about the people of Venezuela standing in lines literally all day for enough food to keep them alive long enough to stand in line tomorrow. Over half the world is malnourished and we Americans beclown ourselves obsessing over the latest paleo/cro-magnon diet while sipping our artisan craft water from environmentally sustainable containers. Instead of feeling guilty for living in a country of such abundance, how about we shed all this phony baloney false consciousness, and be grateful?
Oh yeah...that's sweet iced tea. And yes, with real sugar. God bless America.