CrowBiz

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Posts Tagged ‘family meal planning’

The Garbage Plate™ By Any Other Name

Posted by crowbiz on June 29, 2009

Shakespeare was wrong.  His suggestion that our perception of an experience would be relatively unchanged by nomenclature doesn’t sit right with me.  Without having to go all cognitive on him, I wish to politely point out to Shakes that he forgot that people don’t live in an association-free vacuum where learning and experience have no role.  Do you want your liquid laundry detergent to be brown and go by the name of Sludge Extra?  Would you eat a product called Grople?

Thus we come awkwardly to the subject of mish-mash concoctions of food.  I’m a staunch fan of edible conglomerates, and this was long before the drudgery of family cooking led me to devise meals that could be prepared with a minimum of dishes, utensils and steps.  Though I detest cookbooks and having to follow recipes, someone mentioned to me a book entitled “All In One Pot,” which is close to my idea of food porn.  For a while now, I’ve been devising a way to get breakfast, lunch and dinner all combined into one large dish, perhaps a stew or terrine, that I could dole out by the ladle or slice, depending on the consistency.

It’s no surprise that meals like the “garbage plate” thrill me.  Not only does it appeal to my desire for food amalgamation, but such meals are built of foods I adore, such as fries, processed meats, gravy and cheese.  Perfection could be achieved if there were a way to take the whole operation and make it smoked.  Another 50,000 words could be devoted to my deep and abiding love of poutine, and lest I get lured by its siren call, I best stick to my other topic.

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Photo: DJ Dangler (I believe?) Thanks!

Now then, it’s my understanding that the Garbage Plate™ name officially belongs to the creation available at Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, New York.  Despite being a little drive down the NYS Thruway from there, I’ve never actually eaten there, but I certainly can appreciate the G.P. conceptually.  Similar dishes can be found in restaurants everywhere, though they technically must come up with another name for it, maybe  Trash Platter, Dog Dish, Kitchen Sink, Dumpster Plate, Junkarole, Crap Slam.  (OK, no restaurant really uses Junkarole or Crap Slam, but someone should.)   A legal battle raged a few years back when someone wished to use the term “Plat du Refuse” for their offering, but I think Nick gained the upper spatula in the end.

Locally, Mr Crow and I shared a “Plat du Garbage” (gar-BAHZHE, a la francais) at what is normally a finer restaurant, and it was a hopeless disappointment compared to the rest of our meal.  Of course, it was merely meant to be amusing, not an actual presentation of low-brow foods, and even though we knew this, it was still a waste of food and a misguided attempt at whimsy.  It was more like a julienne salad with the “crazy” addition of a few unlikely but safe ingredients.  Had there been a gong in the restaurant, I’d have whaled it.  It was like suburban girls going slumming by saying they saw a homeless person from the window of mom’s SUV.  They should have just called it the “Trying To Be Ironic With Cute Menu Items Sucks” plate.

Anyway, all the flap over naming rights is asinine.  No disrespect, Nick and all you others, but trying to claim rights to name the mixed up combo plate is a waste of your time, and you’re about 50 centuries too late.  This kind of dish already has a name, but no one has the balls to use it.  Hitch up your pants, boys, ’cause this meal is known as:

“Mom Would Be Perfectly Happy With Cheese and Crackers and A Coke For Dinner If It Weren’t For The Rest Of You.”

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Posted in Life In the Mod Podge Lane | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »