The Blind Feeding the Blind

My dad never met a blind taste test he didn’t like. Over the years, we have sampled a wide variety of foods and beverages to figure out which we liked best. We’ve tried boxed mac ‘n cheese, ketchup, canned green beans, and tequila, to name just a few. It’s become a rite of passage, and their recent visit was no exception.

Friday, we taste-tested bourbon. We really got into the “spirit” of things lining up those shot glasses and knocking ‘em back. I’m happy to report that the winner was the $65 bottle, while the $35 bottle and $25 bottle ranked second and third, respectively. I’d have been annoyed if the bourbon I shelled out the most bucks for hadn’t been the best.

We might have gotten a bit carried away Sunday night. Tara was making linguine with a roasted tomato sauce using tomatoes from the garden and wondered aloud whether she should serve garlic bread with the pasta. Now, I am not Italian (two percent Jewish maybe), but the answer to that question is always going to be yes. That led to a discussion over how to make garlic bread. My wife’s methodology is quite different from mine; she seasons the butter and spreads it on cold, while I melt it and drizzle it over the bread warm.

“You’ve obviously never worked in a kitchen,” my better half said. “That’s just inefficient.”

“What does efficiency have to do with taste?” I replied.

“How does melting it first have any effect on the flavor?” she retorted. “The butter is going to melt in the oven anyway.”

“It’ll seep into the nooks and crannies better that way!” I insisted. Which certainly sounded plausible, though I had no idea whether there was any truth to that. And then my competitive spirit really kicked in and I threw down the gauntlet. “We can settle this with a taste test, you know…”

“Yes! Do that!!” my dad said excitedly.

So, we did that. Split a loaf of Italian bread and each took a half. Not only did Tara’s cooking method differ from mine; she even cut her bread differently.

The verdict was unanimous: Tara 4, Mark 0.

Which didn’t bother me at all. Obviously, because even I had to admit that hers was better than mine. Go figure! So much for my theory about butter seepage. Not that it mattered: dinner was delicious.

As was the fresh Maine lobster we enjoyed the night before. I hadn’t had lobster in years, but my mom is a big fan. So, when she saw our local grocery store advertising live Maine lobster for $9.99 each (what?!) on a first-come, first-serve basis Saturday at 10 a.m., you can bet your ass she was in line by 9:55. And came back with the full limit of four.

When the parents come to visit, good meals are guaranteed. Because we’re all trying to impress each other and cook everybody’s favorite dishes. I got into the act too and made fried chicken one night.

They left this morning, and as usual, the house feels extra quiet and empty now. But at least with my dad out of the picture, I get my recliner back now.



Categories: Food

Tags: , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. Andy does a mix of garlic, butter and olive oil for his garlic bread. It’s pretty delicious. But Maybe Tara would trounce him, too!

    Okay, you gotta say which bourbons were the best, and if they were spicy or sweet. I don’t drink it myself, but am always on the lookout for Andy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, it’s been a long time since I made my garlic bread, but now that I think about it I do believe I was supposed to add olive oil, too. Hmm. I wonder if that would have made enough of a difference to at least split the vote?

      The bourbon rankings were:

      1. Iron Hills (local to Badlands Distillery)
      2. Jeffersons
      3. Makers Mark

      They all tended more toward the spicy side. Iron Hills was by far the smoothest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun time with your parents! The spaghetti meal and lobster meal look delicious! I would gladly eat both garlic breads. As long as there is garlic and butter I don’t care how it’s applied to the bread or how the bread is cut. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry, but I’m team Tara when it comes to the bread. Extra garlic please. And while I fully applaud your choice of fresh lobster… please remember this tip from your Maine friend – lobster should be steamed not boiled. You had way too much water in that pot.
    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Taste testing? I think your dad and I would get along famously! I’ve only ever set up blind beer and wine tastings, but it sounds like I need to kick it up a notch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve tried so many different taste tests, I can’t even remember them all. I think the canned green beans was my favorite, because you wouldn’t think there’d be a difference…but there really is! (And Del Monte won in a landslide.)

      Like

  5. Is garlic bread out of the question for breakfast?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Props on the post title. And on admitting that you lost the bread challenge. Hubby and I both agreed that yours looked better, but then, the melted butter look makes a big difference. For what it’s worth, I prefer the way you sliced your bread for the sheer butter to bread ration. The other way (which I’ve also done) gives you that thicker part in the center with a greater bread to butter ratio than the outer pieces. I say keep it uniform, darn it! Awesome about the lobsters, the visit, et al.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good Dining, Drinks and Memories….AND getting along (as an Adult) with your Parents is a TRUE gift. They look like some fun people! I always enjoy your posts about their visits to see you! Cherish it, my friend.
    p.s. I probably would have picked Tara’s GBread too… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m confused. How did Tara’s method not rip the bread apart? Not that I’m advocating melted butter, but I’ve always used room temperature butter for ease of spreading. Help me understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the blind aste testing and the competitiveness with your family.
    I have to admit, I was also on team Tara even before you tasted it. Damn, that meal looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oops. *taste testing.
    but you knew that…

    Liked by 1 person

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