After a delicious meal of Korean-style stir fry prepared by Tech Support (with the obligatory bit of theatre at the table mixing it all together and carefully positioning a fried egg on top – Tech Support loves a bit of performance art at dinnertime), the discussion turned to defining what exactly is Bloke Food?
The male panellists present agreed there are 4 questions to ask when defining what constitutes Bloke Food:
- Can you cook it on a barbie?
- Does it go with lager?
- Is it easy, greasy and cheesy?
- Does it go well with a food I already love (see point 2*)?
*The panel assured me that beer is a food, in fact, it can be an entire meal.
- A recipe is like an instruction manual for flat pack furniture. You look at the picture and essentially know how to make it. No further reference to the text is required.
- Anything goes with anything, regardless of taste, provenance or culinary region (eg. tomato sauce is fine if you don’t have any soy sauce)
- If you’re not sure what to do next, drink a beer and then decide.
- Double carbs are OK. Triple carbs are even better.
- If it doesn’t have meat, you’re doing it wrong (except dessert)
- Bacon can only make things better in every situation including dessert (which directly contradicts the above point I know, but again I refer back to the panel who say that bacon isn’t meat, it’s on an entirely different plane of eating).
- A dim sim is a perfectly acceptable snack, nutritionally. After all, dim sims contain vegetables.
- Salad is something that comes with a burger.
I consider myself an expert witness in the realm of bloke food.
As a person who grew up in a largely girl-shaped universe (Mum, sister, me and Dad, who was at work a lot), I had little chance to observe the male in his (un)natural habitat. As I was approaching middle age before I got my first boyfriend, their eating habits came as somewhat of a surprise. Those of the sisterhood who grew up with brothers won’t be at all surprised to hear that blokes have some peculiar eating habits.
The light began to dawn the first time I went to the movies with Mr August. He purchased a large coke and a Choc Top, then proceeded to eat the chocolate off the top, dump the ice cream into his coke and throw away the cone. Instant spider! I was appalled. Did he really just do that? I wondered. Did anyone else see? (you can see what a stitched-up little private school girl I was, can’t you?)
It was he who taught me the Tim Tam trick. You know the one where you inhale your Tim Tam through your cup of coffee and end up with chocky bicky all over your face?
The midnight drunken fry-up was another manly Mr A special. You take a couple of beaten eggs and pour them into the pan with whatever else you happen to have handy (bacon is good, but really anything will do that you can retrieve from the fridge and chop up without slicing your hand off, it’s a drunken fry-up remember?). You then grate loads of cheese over the top and wait for it to melt, while drinking a lager. You pour chilli sauce over it, eat it, then leave the pan, the chopping board, the knife and a few splodges of chilli sauce on the bench for someone else to find in the morning.
I’ve written previously about how Mr A still has the ability to surprise me. On Sunday night he did it again. We’d had roast lamb for dinner, and the dishes were done and the house settling in for the evening.
“Who’s hungry?” asked Mr A.
A chorus of “Me”s sprang up from various male bedrooms.
So Mr August set to work making toasties. We had ham. We had cheese. But no! Why use those boring staples when there was a container of leftover pasta in the fridge? (I had made sausage pasta the night before).
And so a new culinary Bloke Classic was invented – the Pasta Toastie!
I’m serious, toasted sandwiches with pasta in them. And cheese, of course.
And guess what? They yummed them up! Especially Happy Chin. It’s always a struggle to get him to eat during the day and here was dinner wrapped up in lunch! Brilliant! Add a fried egg and he could have had breakfast, lunch and dinner in one meal! (No doubt, this will now become a new blokey dish in our house once Mr A reads this – with optional chilli sauce. Stay tuned for the Instagram pics)
And as for alcohol in the cooking? I’m pleased to say the sexes don’t differ on this point. It’s ‘one for the pot, one for the cook,’ whatever your gender!