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March 6, 2009

Lunch at Bucky's

Keys%20in%20Dishwasher.jpgI get that Bucky has a larger point here, but all I can think about is a toasted peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Also, what's a Frito pie? No, don't tell me. I just want to imagine. Anyway, here's our guest poster. EL

So, I was looking for the peanut butter the other day because all morning I had been thinking about toasted peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  But there was none in the pantry.  This was odd, because I distinctly remembered having bought peanut butter a couple of weeks ago, making sure we had the kind that wouldn’t kill us.  And I didn’t remember having had toasted peanut butter sandwiches but one time since.

I also didn’t remember having had any peanut butter cookies lately.

So I did what I normally do in situations like this.  I yelled, “Hey! Kaikala!  Where’s the peanut butter?”  ...

She did what she usually does in situations like this as well.  She ignored me.  I was sure she was thinking, “It’s in the pantry, you dope.”

So, I decided that a BLT would be okay for lunch.  I opened the fridge and looked in the meat drawer.  No bacon.  “Kai…” I yelled.

No response. 

But I thought to check the freezer side to see if maybe we bought bacon when it was buy-one-get-one-free and put the extra one in there.

Lo and behold, right there on the top shelf of the freezer was the jar of peanut butter.

I hate it when that happens, and it seems to be happening with increasing frequency in my life.  Right in the middle of putting something somewhere — for instance, my keys into my pocket — I’ll lose my train of thought and the keys will end up in, say, the dishwasher.

I’m thankful that, so far at least, I’ve neither frozen nor power-washed the cat. 

Anyway, the peanut butter was so cold it couldn’t be spread and there was no bacon in the freezer, either.  So I settled for a Frito pie, which I’ve never been able to figure out whether it's an entrée or dessert.

(As it turned out, Kaikala wasn’t ignoring me.  She was gone.  It was her bridge/lunch day, something I found out after she got home.  But, yes, after figuring out that she was missing and wondering all during lunch where she might be, I did check the dishwasher.  You can never be too cautious is what I think.)       

(Uncle Larry's Photo Gallery)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 12:01 PM | | Comments (59)


Mmmm... frito pie. If we're talking about the Golden West variety, I'd say entree, not dessert. And delicious.

My wife doesn't understand the toasted peanut butter (or PBJ) sandwich. In her mind, peanut butter should be served on untoasted bread, cold. Which is fine and all, but the glory of a toasted PB/J sammich is unrivaled. Grilled is even better! Buttery goodness.

She also prefers creamy. I knew all this long ago, but I married her anyway.

I put the remote control in the freezer once. It, too, was impossible to spread.

Great story Bucky!

I bet that peanut butter was like concrete too. Did you bend the knife?

I kinda thought of Frito pies as an appetizer.

Mmmm...toasted peanut butter sandwiches!

Frito pie is an entree at our house. But it says, "Pie" so I always get confused. My son, the math teacher, divides it into three servings, leaving just a little in the dish and calls it Frito pi.

That's my boy.

Oh, god. Did I just do it again? Is Owlie going to want me to call him Martha, smack him and go chase a turnip truck again, with that clarification?

Toasted peanut butter sandwiches are good, especially when the PB gets all melty and stuff.

I have peanut butter on toast in the mornings a lot.

Frito Pie was quite popular back in the day when I lived in New Mexico. Basically, take a bag of Fritos, slop in some greasy ground beef, and top it with chopped tomato and lettuce, along with (hopefully) some green chiles.

It was hideous. I have no desire to try any of the versions around here to see if they serve a more "up-scale" version! Maybe I have to try it at Golden West, since the rest of their food is good, and they use Hatch chiles...

Zevonista -- the frito pie as you described it sounds like the salad course at our house.

Frito Pie - New Mexico style

Bowl of fritos, red chile (Not con carne, but as served in New Mexico), beans, onions, cheese, and optional sour cream.

This was VERY popular at Woolworths on the Plaza in Santa Fe. They used a small bag of Fritos, top torn off and the ingredients poured over the fritos - served in the bag. (Woolworths is gone now).

PS - In New Mexico, you always get a choice of Red or Green Chile. Neither has meat or beans. Of course they can be added if desired, but not integral to the "sauce".

We have Frito Pies regularly here at home - damn, I miss NM -especially the "green"

I have always wanted to try Frito pie...Off the subject, I found MONKEY BREAD at the Giant. Can't wait to try it. I am sure it is not as good as the monkey bread Bourbon Girl's mom made!

fritoes pie1 hot dam1 that chick knows some good food.about time some body talked about sokmething good1 my mamma made it with funyons even better1 dam111 gidy up1

skinny pete must be channeling Springs1.

You kind of left us hanging, Bucky. What happened to the peanut butter? Why didn't you thaw it in the microbewave? Not that I blame you for doing the Frito pie thing. But typically, once human taste buds have locked onto peanut-butter-on-toast desire, they cannot be detered.

Yeah, Bob S, I also miss NM - blue skies and green chiles! Don't miss the frito pies, but I still dream of the chicken enchiladas at El Sombrero in Socorro. Sorry, Owlie, it's a good dream, not a nightmare...

PCB Rob,
I think that he's channeling Tim Lumber.

jl & Rob - I tried to use the peanut butter, but it was, uh, really really firm, I guess is how I would describe it. But, oddly, it wasn't frozen solid. Maybe the freezing point for peanut oil is lower than my freezer goes.

And I hear what you say about the peanut butter desire thing, jl, but I think that had already been trumped by the idea of bacon, which has the same effect, don't you agree? Maybe it's a kind of culinary recency effect.

And, hey, skinny you doin? I see your buddy art vandelay has posted this morning. He must have finished designing that new addition to the Guggenheim and it didn't take him very long, either, so he had time to read some blogs.

The question has arisen, off-blog: how many of you who make Frito pie, bake it? I, myself, don't bake it. I cook the chili, of course, and find that when I put the cheese on it, the heat from the chili is sufficient to melt the cheese.

I never heard of Frito pie, but I'd certainly give it a shot. I'd also try brains though, so I'm a bit more adventuous than some.

I've been having PB at work on caramel popcorn cakes with sliced banana. What a great snack. Between the PB and the banana it stays in your stomach for hours! So, I'm not hungry but still having a hard time breaking the crunching at the desk all morning routine!

Psst, Bucky! The Professor is serving potato chips in the parlor, check it out.

Oh God. I just found myself wishing it were cold so I could try the frito pie. Wow.

If you like, go get some fritos, heat up some canned chili (Campbells Chunky Sizzlin' Steak is good, but way salty - the organic stuff from Health Valley is real good), some cheese, and have at it!

mmm...Peanut Butter and Bacon. A marriage made in heaven!!

A PB&J with bacon bits (Baco's, actually) sandwich (on toasted whole grain bread of course) is what fuels me for my early morning golf rounds.

Pi Day is coming up.

Pi Day is coming up. My son bakes pies and takes them in to his math classes on Pi Day. I never had a math teacher like that. I might have become an engineer.

The don't have frito pie, but the Blue Moon breakfast place in Fells Point makes really good green chile sauce that you can pour all over your omlette or dip your biscuit in! I've had it with various egg dished and it is fantastic!

Frito Pie was a standard on the TOB (Tournament of Bands) circuit when my kids were in marching band in high school. The Fritos were all the same, but the chili could be either sublime or a disgusting pool of grease, depending on whether it came from Sam's Club, BJ's, Costco or some unnamed source. Truth is I couldn't tell you which I liked. The first parent to try it would bring back about 10 spoons so we could all taste and make up our minds. They always got the second one gratis.

Frito pie as I knew it growing up in Texas and having it served as fuel during swim meets was a bag of fritos, cut open, topped with chili and grated cheddar cheese. It was all served in the original Fritos bag, and you were handed a spork to deal with it. It was awesomely good. I still make it on occasion as winter comfort food, except I use a bowl instead of eating out of the bag.

The only problem is obtaining decent chili - canned chili is scary. There used to be some less-scary prepared chili in jars at the Safeway but they don't sell that kind anymore. I haven't had any Frito pies lately because I don't feel like I can get any decent chili for it without making it from scratch.

i can't believe there are two of my passions here in one post - frito pie and toasted peanut butter sandwiches.

Many days, to me a toasted peanut butter sandwich is as good as any other meal I can think of. Except now one has to contemplate that the peanut butter might kill you.

Hi Bourbon Girl!
Its good to see you posting again!

If you make chili, and use frito scoops to eat it, is that still a frito pie? Or, to use a golf term, a chili dip?

First monkey bread and now this ...

Bourbon Girl wrote: canned chili is scary

I agree, but when I'm making Frito pie on the spur of the moment, I use Bush's chili. It's acceptable and let's be realistic...we're making Frito pie here. It's not haute cuisine, it's more a Martha-smacking dish.

Oh, poor OMG. The price of true love is high.

Amy's canned chili is good. When I make my version of Frito pie I use Maytag Blue Cheese and of course I serve it with a Kermit Lynch Cote du Rhone. By the way the Wine Source has a free tasting of this wine today (Saturday) from 1:30 to 3:00.


Martha and her muffins ... There was some previous metaphoric cross-dressing, gyno-monikerizing and light B&D related to the root vegetable conveyance our red state amigo fell from. Claro que si?

M-m-m-m, peanut butter on toasted English muffins. Peanut butter and bacon sandwiches (no jelly needed except, possibly, hot pepper jelly). Also, peanut butter and Swiss cheese (good Swiss cheese is often described as "nutty" so why not?).

As Dennis the Menace once said:

"Peanut butter is good stick-to-your-ribs food. In fact, it sticks to anything."

Peanut butter on toasted rye, especially if that rye has caraway seeds. Hard to find that kind of rye bread down here.

Hey P-Rob. No, dipping doesn't make a pie, you must have the layering.

OMG I get that Bucky fell off the turnip truck but I still don't get the Martha thing. Who is Martha? And what is with the smacking?

Bucky - is Bush's in a can? I think that might have been the one that I was buying in a jar before Safeway stopped selling it. And is it real chili or vegetarian? I have a thing about canned meat, I just can't go there.

Bourbon Girl - I think I have good news and bad news. Bush's chili is in a can, but, yes, it used to be in jars. (That's the good news.) I went to the Bush Bros. website to see if they made a vegetarian chili (mine has meat) and--Oh, no!!!--the website says they are no longer making their chili products. I might have the last three cans of Bush's Chili sitting in my pantry right now. (This being the bad news.)

Bush Bros. chili? Why would Jeb and George W. be making chili? For sale, that is.

RiE - you of all people should know it's important to stay busy once you've retired!

Its an old expression: "well smack my ass and call me Martha!" or some other woman's name is used. It conveys surprise; like "Well I'll be gosh-durned" or something like that.

As for veggie chili, Health Valley and Amy's are both pretty good.

Boca makes a chili bowl that's in the frozen food section. I like that a lot. Both supermarket chains down here stopped carrying it.

Trader Joe's canned vegetarian chili is VERY good. I'm a dedicated carnivore, but this is so good I don't miss the meat!

When I was a kid, my whole family loved peanut butter & bacon on toast. Lo these many years later, it's still my "go to" sandwich when I have leftover bacon.

I didn't know anyone else knew of this delicacy.
A slice of swiss rolled up in the left hand, and a spoonful of creamy Jif in the right hand

Joyce, my comments are less consistent since I retired 'cause I don't have the time to just read The Only Blog You'll Ever Need®. I think my DW likes me being busy, too. At least that's what she tells me. Makes it less like the woman's definition of her husband's retirement: Twice the husband and half the money.

RayRay, I've been known to skip the bread and just peanut butter the cheese, roll it up and eat it. Only need one hand.

Bucky and Bourbon Girl,
The local Publix here has quite a few cans of Bush's chili on the shelves. The can tops now say that they use only 100% beef in their chili, no meat fillers.
Maybe they are trying to distance themselves from the tainted ground beef that surface a little while back?

I'm a dedicated carnivore as well, but I find there are some vegetarian products out there that are just too tasty to pass up!

I checked at the grocery store here and they have a shelf full of Bush's chili. Not sure what the story is.

My children were just visiting from the Balatimore area, so of course I went out and purchased all of the foods that they love and will eat. One of them being Kraft Mac and Cheese. The grandkids live on that stuff. Well, when they were here and it was lunch time I kept asking them if they wanted the boxed mac and cheese or the frozen variety. They said either would do, but looked at me like I was crazy. When I finally went to the freezer to get the frozed variety, to my suprise I found that there is no frozen mac and cheese, I had just put the stuff in the freezer with the frozen pancakes and waffles. No wonder they thought I was crazy. Should I leave it there? Mayvbe it will keep it fresh until the next visit. Getting old is fun.

Patti, I wouldn't worry. Just put Old Bay on anything you serve your grandkids, and you should be fine.

Patti - I think you can keep Kraft Mac & Cheese on the shelf, in the refrigerator or in the freezer. It will keep for a long time in any of those places.

I wouldn't put it in the dishwasher.

Bucky, Kraft Dinner is fine in the dishwasher, as long as you don't turn it on.

Lissa, how do you turn on Kraft Mac & Cheese? Tell it "Oh, you look so creamy. So cheesy. I could just eat you up"?

Kraft Dinner shouldn't go in the dishwasher. That's where the keys go.

Peanut butter, lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches. Mmmmm. Don't knock it 'til you tried it. Don't toast the bread, though. The lettuce gives all the texture you'll need. My family was divided into pro and con factions of this wondrous culinary treat. Also, don't put the peanut butter in the freezer.

Point to RiE.

RiE, you win.

I'm going to go cuddle up with my coffee or something....

Still laughing, RiE!

You funny :-)

Comment of the week nomination to RiE

Kraft mac n cheez had one of the most disturbing ads ever, a little girl singing "When Daddy wants to please me, he's only got to cheese me."

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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