I build a fire almost every night to “help heat my home,” but the real reason I build them is because they are awesome.
Fire. Right in my house. (I am man, and I have harnessed the power of flame. Bow before me, animals of the forest. Your teeth and claws are no match for my intellect. Hahahahahahaha.)
And the best part about these fires is they provide the opportunity to make s’mores. (Technically, you can also make s’mores over the electric stove, as my girlfriend Alana did last week. But that’s not the same.) A couple of months ago I invented the caramel-filled-chocolate-square s’more, and last week I developed the ultra-deluxe peanut butter s’more (a regular s’more but with peanut butter). I’m toying with the idea of a mint-chocolate s’more for spring. You know, something zippy and fresh.
Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that I have learned over the years that there are limitless little tweaks like that, that make established food items even better. I don’t mean the no-duh stuff like Sriracha sauce on pizza — it’s 2013, man; if you haven’t figured out that combo yet, I just can’t help you — I’m talking about the truly innovative combinations that only seem obvious after you’ve stumbled upon them. I can’t say I’m the first person to try any of these, but I bet most of you haven’t. So here are three of my favorites; your mileage may vary:
• Eggs on leftover pizza. You just had one of those nights. You wake up on the couch (or floor), feeling less than human. You kick over a half-empty beer. (Who the hell left that there?) And you head to the fridge, hoping your vague memory of ordering late-night pizza is genuine and not some weird dream. Blessedly, there it is: a box with a couple of leftover slices of cheap pepperoni-and-olive. Throw those slices in the oven, and while they’re heating up, fry a couple of eggs over-medium. Throw an egg atop each slice, eat them with a fork and some Sriracha (no duh), and you’ll be ready to face the day.
• Tortilla chips and peanuts. I discovered this one while watching football at my buddy’s house. He had chips and salsa, and he had dry-roasted peanuts. When we ran out of salsa I jokingly scooped up some peanuts with a chip. It was salt heaven. Peanuts as a dip. It’s stupid, but it’s delicious. I’ve tried using other solid foods as a dip — almonds, cashews, M&Ms, small pieces of other chips — and some work better than others, but none seems to work as well as regular old dry-roasted peanuts.
• Guinness with ice cream. This one makes dumb people cringe. But smart people understand its simple beauty implicitly. The foamy, rich, dark Guinness with its coffee and chocolate notes is an ideal complement to vanilla ice cream. Throw a scoop or two in a glass and cover it with one can’s worth of Guinness, then drop to your knees as the heavens open and emit a ray of concentrated light directly upon the drink you’ve just created. Don’t be surprised if dogs in your neighborhood start to bark and a few birds fall from the sky; you’ve just altered the world’s equilibrium, and stuff like that sometimes happens. But when you start drinking your Guinness float, you’ll realize it’s a small price to pay.
Now, I urge you to try these. But more importantly, I urge you to get creative with your own combinations. And if you figure out anything worth replicating, throw me an email. If all the people of the world are ever going to live together in harmony, this is the sort of information that needs to be shared.