Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Taming the wild buffalo wing

Photo by Lori Korleski Richardson
For those who aren't baseball or sports fans, we are getting nearer to the World Series, and once again, San Francisco is in contention. (Not to be totally biased to the West Coast, Baltimore is also doing well.) Although one-third of my household is nutso over the Giants, we have never plunked down the big bucks for cable, and for most of the year, that works out well, since the subscription is reasonable and we can throw up the Internet on our HD TV. But playoffs are a different story, so last night, Jim called up "Top 10 Sports Bars in Charlottesville," and we headed over to a place we know has plenty of parking, Buffalo Wild Wings.

The last time I had a bucket of wings, they came out hot and lightly sauced, and served with a side of blue cheese dressing and more hot sauce, some carrots and celery sticks.

Buffalo Wild Wings has a variety of sizes and a whole menu of heat choices, which we didn't bother to peruse before ordering. I mean, the game was on and we were focused. So we just ordered a plate of medium boneless chicken, with hot sauce.

The boneless chicken wings arrived, hot and just dripping with gooey sauce. I popped one in my mouth.

I want to tell you that I am a Texan native, born in Lone Star State and proud of it. I have eaten chili that could put hair on anyone else's chest. I add Cholula or Tabasco to my eggs. I once won a jalapeño-eating contest. When it comes to hot and spicy, I have never been a wimp.

I almost had to spit out that hunk of chicken. My eyes teared up so bad that it looked like Hunter Pence was wearing long pants. Beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. I think I ate one more before admitting defeat and calling our waitron back. "I need a small order of the mild wings," I managed to gag out between cooling intakes of air. "And a to-go box for these."

The Giants won last night, 5-4. Super game. But this is a food blog, not a sports show.

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, the heat of jalapeños and habaneros often mellows overnight. And as hot as those chunks of white meat were, that's exactly what happened the next day.

When I got home, I wiped off as much sauce as I could and blotted the "wings" with paper towels and  put them in the fridge. Around noon today, I got out three of them, heated up a small pot of canola oil over medium heat and fried them for 2 minutes on one side and 90 seconds on the other. They were heated through, still nicely spiced, but crunchier and slightly drier than they had been the night before. But I ate all three without breaking a sweat. My tongue, thoroughly recovered from last night's scorching, was smiling now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mud soup

In honor of Carolyn Kizer, Dec. 10, 1924-October 9, 2014, an excerpt from her poem, Mud Soup, from Saturday's New York Times:
Sauté pork and add the veggies,
Add the garlic, cook ten minutes,
Add to lentils, add to ham bone;
Add the bay leaf, cloves in cheesecloth,
Add the cayenne! Got no cayenne!
Got paprika, salt, and pepper.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer.
Did I say that this is summer?
Simmer, summer, summer, simmer.
Mop the floor and suck the finger.
Mop the brow with old potholder. ...
Tastes like mud, the finished product.
Looks like mud, the finished product.
Consistency of mud the dinner.
(Was it lentils, Claiborne, me?)
Flush the dinner down disposal,
Say to hell with ham bone, lentils,
New York Times recipe.
Purchase Campbell’s. Just add water.
Concentrate on poetry:
By the shores of Gitche Gumee
You can bet the banks were muddy,
Not like Isle of Innisfree.

To read the obituary, a subscription may be required.

The poet Carolyn Kizer in the library of her home in 1998. CreditPeter DaSilva for The New York Times