Mustard Seed Cafe
bacon, spinach and mushroom egg scramble
2 slices of wheat toast
side of breakfast potatoes
3 cups of coffee
Do you see the small container of ketchup in the picture? I did something very inappropriate with it during breakfast and I’m ashamed of it. I can’t believe I’m actually sharing my actions in such a public space. You see, I took my eggs and dipped it in ketchup. I know, it’s horrible. This is not what God intended when he created ketchup and eggs. I’m pretty sure there’s a verse in Leviticus specifically banning this, along with homosexuality (Lev. 18:22), eating mollusks (Lev. 11:7-12) and wearing clothes with mixed fibers (Lev. 19:19. That cotton/polyester blend shirt is sending you to HELL). For most of my life, I’ve held a lot of disdain for people who put ketchup on their eggs. Why hide the yolk-y goodness with something as overwhelming as ketchup? I know some people hate the taste of eggs, and I also know that some people have horrible tastes. My brother puts ketchup on eggs and I always made fun of him as a kid. This is why we don’t talk a lot, but I find it hard to believe that someone who puts ketchup on eggs can be my blood relative.
Ketchup is such a basic part of everyone’s lives that I never gave too much thought of it. In retrospect, I don’t eat it as much as other people. I’m from Chicago and putting ketchup on hot dogs is a sin punishable by burning at the stake and being damned to suffer as a Cubs fan (it’s in the town charter). I’m pretty vocal about not bastardizing something as pure as encased beef and hog trimmings, and ketchup brings out a particularly acrid and sour quality from hot dogs. I do like ketchup on french fries, but I prefer mayonnaise like how the Belgians and French like it. I don’t want people to think that I hate ketchup though. I do like it on corn dogs (but not hot dogs, go figure). And I like it on burgers, which is sacrilegous to a few people. At the venerable Father’s Office in LA, there is not a single bottle of ketchup to be found, and they are very smug about that fact. And at Louis’ Lunch, a New Haven, CT lunch stand that is recognized by no less than the Library of Congress as the inventor of hamburgers, there are signs prohibiting ketchup on burgers. It’s for the same reason I hate ketchup on eggs, other flavors get overwhelmed. But I do like a little bit on burgers, I think it brings out the slight sweetness from the charred, crusty exterior a bit more (that charred goodness is from a Maillard reaction, and that’s why meat is almost always seared). But it won’t work on steak, which has more depth of flavor than ground beef that would get lost with ketchup.
So ketchup, the most basic and American of condiments, is a lot more complex than I thought. It’s combination of sweet and tart adds a certain kick at appropriate times. But that same flavor combination can overwhelm any food. I think people who hate the actual taste of food (like my brother) use it to disguise flavor, like eggs, and that’s why I can be snobbish about it sometimes. Although, I did dip my eggs in ketchup this morning, as well as my breakfast potatoes, and I’m ashamed to admit that I kinda liked it. Mustard Seed Cafe, a very popular breakfast spot in hip Los Feliz, makes tasty if unspectacular food. In a way, ketchup is perfect for such meals.
This song came up on my iPod’s random play shortly after breakfast. The song’s right, I am “Living In Sin.” I should feel ashamed. BTW, this is an underrated video when considering hot hair-metal vixens. It’s in artsy black-and-white too. Hot!
1 bowl of Golden Graham cereal
green beans and bacon
1 can of Peter’s Brand Classic beer
Everything on this plate was cooked with bacon fat. Sweet porcine goodness! You know how I just said that ketchup can not go with everything? That is not the case with bacon. I have yet to find a single food product that can not be improved from cured pork belly. There are now desserts and candy bars with it, and even that turns out tasty. Salty and sweet always work, you might as well add cured pork flavors to that. Green vegetables and bacon is a popular combination. Brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans and other bitter vegetables are more palatable with bacon fat. As for the chicken? I had so much bacon fat in my pan from the green beans that I figured I might as well recycle that. A simple dredging of flour, salt, pepper and chili powder and a pan-fry in bacon grease later, I had a dish that tasted like Popeye’s fried chicken. Amazing. Bacon, is there anything you can’t do?
9 Nilla Wafers
1 glass of milk