Issue #17 Sept. 15th - Sept. 28th, 2006

Pirates of a Lesser God

Pirates of the Blackened Grill

For many, Sunday is a day of worship and reflection--a holy day meant to be dedicated to that in the universe that is greater and more awesome that yourself. The Pirates are no different. We may not be the most theistically-minded group of worshipers, but what we lack in creed, we more than make up for with enthusiasm. And of course we worship fire, or more specifically, the wonder that fire can create… Bar-B-Que.

But if the grill is our altar, the grocery store is our temple. The grocery store is an amazing place. Every man, woman, and child eats, and the basic need to feed one’s self is an inalienable right. This creates the atmosphere of warmth and welcome that churches try, and commonly fail to achieve. A feeling that you belong here, and being here somehow gives a greater meaning to life, and helps you define the person you are.

People shop for many things--some they need, and some to reward or treat themselves. Food is the true shopping; it expresses your taste, your mood, your style, your ethnicity, your budget, and perhaps even your immortal soul. You are what you eat after all.

“Hold they tongue, foul swine,” or words to that affect, many of you are saying aloud to your complementary Nonzine © magazine, “clothing is a necessity that fills all criteria you mentioned, and I get a much better high from Wet Seal, so there.”

Well…clothes are a necessity; we’ll give you that. However, there is a very distinct difference between needing a pair of underwear (which pirates never do) and buying delicate, sexy underwear you will only wear once (which Cap’n Johnson has been known to do, often). Really, if you’re more than a day old or so, in this country, you own something to protect you against the elements. Swaddling clothes are easy to come by, no matter what your size, so clothing becomes more a matter of taste and pragmatism than necessity. We can find nothing wrong with only owning two concert T-shirts (one of which you attended), a flannel, and a pair of Dickies. But some would. The mall falls short of the chapel--come on it’s full of money changers. No feeling of possession can satisfy like a meal.

Just as your choice of religion--Mormon, Ba’hii, Church of the Sub-Genius or even Punch and Judy-ism--may seem odd to others, your choice of entrees can be down right frightening to them. One checkout girl at Albertson’s can’t seem to add up our groceries without reiterating her displeasure over our purchasing a tongue to grill. Even if we’re in a different line, she’ll turn to the bagger and recant her horror at full volume. You’d think we were snake-handling charismatics. Freedom of religion exists… freedom of culinary does not evidently.

Beef Tips in Oyster Gravy

Here’s what we use:
• 5lb chuck steak
• 8oz oyster sauce
• 1 cup whole milk
• 11/2 cups flour
• 8 oz mushroom (sliced)
• 5 garlic cloves (minced)
• ½ medium yellow onion (diced)
• 2tbsp coarse grind black pepper TT
• 2tbsp Worcestershire
• 2tbsp soy sauce
• beer TT

Here’s what we do:
Lay the beef in a baking pan and cover it with the garlic, onion, and mushroom, then pour the oyster sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and half a beer on top. Cook over medium heat, flipping and adding beer as necessary until beef is fully cooked and tender. Remove the beef from the pan, and slice into bite sized pieces. Stir drippings with a fork or whisk, slowly add the milk and flour until the sauce thickens into dark gravy.

Garlic M*A*S*H

Here’s what we use:
• 4lbke red skin potatoes
• ½ cup whole milk
• 2tbsp sour cream
• ½ bunch green onions (chopped)
• 8 cloves garlic (minced)
• ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 21/2oz butter
• 11/2tbsp salt TT
• 11/2tbsp black pepper TT

Here’s what we do:
Boil the potatoes until they become soft. Strain potatoes, and in a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mash them. Let stand five minutes to stiffen. Place slices of meat onto the garlic mashed potatoes, cover with gravy and serve with cold beer and a smile.

So maybe grocery stores aren’t a good substitute for church, but perhaps churches could take a few ideas from the store. Perhaps coupons when you tithe, you know 10% of your income to the church gets you 10% off at the burger barn. Little frilly toothpicks and a little cheese-whiz wouldn’t hurt the body of Christ either. Mister Fish claims he’s willing to return to the fold when he can find a Catholic Church that serves Guinness and cheese fries for their communion. He’s still checking on the Episcopalians.

Previous Recipe: The Old School
-- Pirates Homepage --
Next Recipe: coming September 30th

©2006 NONCO Media, L.L.C.