18 January 2011

Shoveling it Down: An Ode to Food

I haven't reduced my holiday calorie intake. I think by mid-April I might return to normal levels.

Whether it's huge helpings, the need for dessert nightly, or taking advantage of endless choices for dining out, I am just plain eating way too much.

By the way, I love suburban restaurant chains-- their value and variety are part of my own little American dream. (I'll include McDonalds in that dream, too, though whether the fast food king belongs in the suburban category is a matter for another time.)

Recently I shoveled down good American dream-type food at the Texas Roadhouse. My family got together there because, as the rumor went, the ribs just fall off the bone. When it came time to order our waitress confirmed that "the ribs just fall off the bone."

I got the ribs. But that was after bread and sweet butter to die for, jalapeno poppers, and a deep fried onion appetizer. I also dug into my sweet potato with all the fixings before I went after the ribs. Sure enough, the meat just fell off the one.

It all reminded me-- in a very roundabout way-- of Army food.

OK, you're back on your chair? Check for bruises before you continue reading.

In Nine Weeks I describe Army food (chow) in very glowing terms: "delectable" and "fantastic" are two words you'll see in the chapter about chow. Here's another:

Breakfast in the chow hall was All-American. Nearly every morning one had a choice among eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles, pancakes, an entire array of fruits, yogurts, breakfast pastries, cereals, and a variety of milks and juices. It was a veritable smorgasbord of breakfast bounty, one for which I would cheerfully go out to PT each morning knowing that I was that much closer to a feast.
Now since Basic, I have tempered my enthusiasm of Army food, only because I have been to some really bad chow halls. But I stand by my assessment of the food at Fort Sill.

The problem was, we never really had time to enjoy it.

"Shovel it down! You can taste it later!"

Four years into the Soldiering thing, and I am still shoveling it down, much to my wife's chagrin.

Maybe that's why I am eating too much.

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