June 16, 2008

Only in America

So, I've been trying to lose weight, which has been no easy feat considering how much I love eating and cooking and what a fantastic metabolism my husband and sons have. In order to consume waistline-friendly fare, I often end up preparing two meals. Not long ago, though, I discovered a small remedy for this conundrum -- homemade sushi. Through the magic of amazon.com, I can order nori, the seaweed wrap that serves the purpose of a Japanese tortilla. Lyndi gave me a bamboo rolling mate about a year ago and rice vinegar can be purchased at Homeland or United. Of course, sashimi-grade fish isn't readily available in Western Oklahoma. I can buy it on the internet, but it is expensive and must be used quickly. So, for those reasons, I normally stick to sushi rolls made with imitation crab meat, which is honestly pretty cost efficient.
While the sushi roll I started out making at home was a California Roll or something close to it, the need for something new has sparked my creativity. Typically I stick to the rice and crab with a touch of avocado, cream cheese and sesame seeds, but I like to randomly add new ingredients just to mix things up. I'm a rebel like that.
So, while I was strolling through the grocery store today, I spotted a bag of "Snow Pea Crisps" in the vegetable aisle. The package had a picture of snow peas. Not some snow pea mutation or a chip that was colored in the limey shade of snow peas. Now, it was very clearly a snow pea on the package. Since I've seen snow peas served at sushi restaurants, both fresh and dried, I thought this would be something nice to have on hand to add to my rolls periodically.
When I opened the bag, I quickly realized that this was not the dried snow peas I thought they where. No, these were basically chips made with a trace of snow peas. Now, don't get me wrong, these bastards were good, real good. When I pulled my oily hand from the bag, it looked as though I'd been emerging it in a finger-lickin' bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Since my taste buds have always been such avid supporters of all things fried, they were pleasantly surprised at this new revelation. I flipped the bag to the label and, low and behold, 20 pieces of these processed peas scored an impressive 150 calories, 10 fat grams and 15 carbohydrates. The list of ingredients that staged the corruption of the formerly pure vegetables included corn oil and rice. Now I have no doubt that the peas, fried, salted and all, are healthier than, say, pork rinds. But is that really that comforting?
As a fat ass, I feel like I am entitled to speak for us all. And by the way, this is in no way pointing blame to anyone else for the ba-donk-a-donk I have to lure into my jeans. After I read the label of doom, I feed the snow peas to my quite thankful border collie. He gave the mouth-watering snack high marks. With that said, I'm quite certain this new delicacy isn't something you'd find in a grocery store anywhere else in the world. If you did, it would definitely be stocked with the junk food and would probably only be there in the first place because some American had moved to town.
So, for all you lazy readers, the ones who would've probably thought the unexpected tastiness to have been caused by magic, we are now deep-frying snow peas and serving them up as healthy treats. Only in America, right?

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