Celebrating classic American food

I was at the dentist’s office last week, and like every other time seems to be, I ended up having to wait for a good half an hour before getting into the cleaning. That meant I had plenty of time to peruse the magazine selection, and I have to say folks, it made me mighty sad. All these recipes for kale chips and desserts with vegetables and “ancient” grain that are supposed to taste just like the original. Well, let me be the first to tell you, they don’t.

 

Sometimes, things aren’t supposed to be good for you. Isn’t that the point of dessert in the first place?

 

So, I wanted to take a minute on the blog today to give a well-deserved tribute to the classic American foods that are being attacked in every page for being unhealthy. And they’re not healthy, but they’re damn filling and they make you feel good. Isn’t there a place for that in the cooking magazines anymore? Apparently not.

 

Here’s a few favorites that I loved as a kid and still love today.

 

Sloppy joes

There’s something about messy food, isn’t there? It makes you just like a kid again. Sloppy joes are the great social leveler. Doesn’t matter if you’re a preacher or a plumber, nobody eats a sloppy joe gracefully. They’ve got all the best things, too: hamburg, ketchup, a bun… it’s like having a burger that’s also a lasagna. Mmm. And no, they can’t be made with Quinoa.

 

Snickerdoodles

 

These are my favorite cookies ever, mostly because they remind me of my Mom. There was nothing like the smell of coming home from school and seeing a plate of fresh snickerdoodles on the kitchen table. I still make them now and again when I think of her, and you can’t do Christmas without them. Yes, Christmas. None of this Happy Holidays stuff. When did that become normal? I swear I haven’t heard a single Merry Christmas this year. Sad times, folks.

 

Meatloaf

Enough said. (that’s one of the only slang phrases these days I actually like using… seems apt in this context. Nothing more American than meatloaf!).

 

Macaroni and Cheese

 

Here’s one thing that’s been thoroughly ruined by the “gourmet”, snob society. Macaroni and cheese should be simple and easy. Mom just used pasta, cheese, some flour, milk, and bread crumbs on the top. That’s it. You don’t need to add shaved whatever, or truffle oil nonsense. And it needs American cheese, not gouda or any of those other European ones. The best things in life aren’t complicated. Nothing better than mac and cheese on a cold day, or after a long tinkering session in the garage.

 

Apple pie

I couldn’t talk about food without talking about apple pie. It’s the only thing more American than meatloaf, I stand corrected by myself. Again, it’s about keeping things simple. Apple, sugar, cinnamon, and tons of butter. An apple a day, right? How can they say this isn’t healthy?
Anyway, that’s all for this week, just some thoughts about how good we had it with food back in the day.