Monday, February 14, 2005

Southern Diet Frustrates Health Officials

Can there be any doubt how tickled I was to read "Southern Diet Frustrates Health Officials" on Yahoo! this afternoon? The article is all about how health officials are having a very difficult time convincing Southerners to give up "bad" foods. How hard? "Even at the Atlanta headquarters of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leader of the nation's anti-obesity campaign, the cafeteria serves up such artery-clogging regional favorites as biscuits and gravy." And, I have to say, if someone wants to eat a "Luther Burger" (a bacon-cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme doughnut bun), more power to them. I'm not going to eat it, because I think I just had a heart attack reading about it, but I'd love to see someone do it. (Yes, I know that the Corporate Shill doesn't want to have her insurance premiums rise because of all of us fat-asses down here, but lucky for her, few of us have insurance and few of us get the medical treatment we need, so if we rot out our guts and die, it barely affects her. We're using her tax dollars to promote abstinant heteronormativity and creationism, not to provide healthcare to ourselves.) The problem is, though, exactly what they say it is: a lot of Southern food is delicious. Believe me, there's not a green vegetable alive that can't be spruced up with a pork product (though it does make one wonder how there can possibly be any Southern vegetarians, when all vegetables are pork transporting mechanisms). And lots of yummy things are fried: potatoes, chicken, steak, etc. But as unhealthy as our meals are, I think there's a little alarmist tone to this article that undermines the message. After all, not all of us are eating deep-fried hot dogs wrapped in beef patties covered in chili, cheese, onions, fried eggs, and french fries. I wouldn't even know where to go to get one of those. Still, you have to feel for anyone who is actually trying to eat healthy, since what's healthy and what's not seems hard to decipher. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Fruit juice isn't any better for you than soda. Don't fry your foods--think of all that fat! Use healthier food preparation methods, like grilling. . . err, okay, not grilling. Don't eat eggs. No, wait, eat eggs. Must we return to a diet of gruel and whatever fresh vegetables we can scavange? Perhaps this is the safest bet. No one ever died of eating too much boiled wheat (though some have died from trying to steal vegetables from Mr. McGregor's garden). But before we all convert to a healthy lifestyle, let's take a look at one of the Southern pleasures we'd be giving up. I give you the chocolate trifle: 1 chocolate cake mix 1 bottle of Jack Daniel's 1 tub of whipped cream 1 bottle of chocolate syrup or fudge (mmm, fudge would be very good) 1 bag of chocolate candies You make the chocolate cake, then you poke holes in it and soak it with the Jack Daniel's (not the whole bottle, obviously, but you know, give the cake a good drink). Put the cake in the fridge and let it sit for an hour or so to absorb the whiskey. Then, in a big glass trifle bowl (or any glass bowl) start layering crumbled chocolate cake, whipped cream, fudge, and candy over and over until the bowl is full. Firm it up in the fridge a little and then serve. Yum, yum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might make a birthday cake this weekend...if I do I may make this cake. But I was thoroughly convinced that the entire bottle of whiksy should be used. Until I reread the recipe.

I guess that leaves more whisky for shots. Uhm, I mean, sippin'. Whisky for sippin'.

Have you made this before? How did it turn out if you did?


2/14/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

I haven't made this version, but the more I think about it, the more I suspect that the staple of Midwestern potlucks--Dirt Pudding--is just a trifle on the downlow.

Still, now I'm hoping that I can talk the Professor into having a party so I can make it for that.

The only advice I have is to not crumble the cake too much. You need kind of big chunks, but enough to give you three layers of cake (though, clearly, you could modify it to fit your needs).

2/14/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mm dirt pudding

2/14/2005 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dirt pudding (best served in a plastic sand pail) and cookie salad. :)


2/15/2005 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger tls said...

I'm being maligned by MY FRIENDS. Except I'm a total hypocrite because let me tell you what I ate right after I ran that marathon last June: a gigantic bacon double cheeseburger, with a side of fries (extra salt) and a root beer float.

I think we should all go out of our way to disregard any food information disseminated by the government unless it has to do with food standards. Don't tell me what to eat. Everything causes cancer -- eventually. Everything is bad for you -- if that's the only thing you eat.

Blast -- I lost my train of thought.

2/16/2005 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

We tease because we love.

The real question is whether your bacon cheeseburger had a Krispy Kreme bun.

2/16/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

OhMyGod. And I thought the pecan pie was sweet. Of course I'll have a party if you''ll make that dessert. It never occured to me to combine my two favorite things - chocolate and whiskey. Want to make it for Good Friday Easter Egg Coloring?

2/17/2005 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Is your brother, The Sheik, coming down again? Has it really been a year since he was here?

Anyway, of course I will bring it to the party.

2/17/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger tls said...

No Krispy Kreme bun (mmmmmm, Krispy Kremes) but I will tell you this: sure as hell wasn't whole grain either. (Aside -- is there any greater joy than arriving at work to discover a colleague has arranged for Krispy Kremes for everyone? Not this morning there wasn't.)

And my favorite snack remains a huge hunk of extra sharp cheddar cheese (Tillamook brand if you've got it) and a pear or apple, with a hunk o' crusty white bread -- fat content be damned!

And how can I forget the Legal Eagle's heart-attack-on-a-plate specialties: carrot cake (the secret is extra fat!) and that other potluck staple -- scalloped potatoes (the secret is extra cream!)

2/17/2005 04:40:00 PM  

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