Lunchtime in West Harrison, Indiana provided an opportunity to check off a box on my national culinary list. Yes, folks, it was a stop at Skyline Chili.
Of course, The Boffin and The Sprog were most of the way toward the restaurant while I was faffing around with this picture of Horace. To my pleasant surprise, the manager came out and told me, “Go on! Get in there!”. How could I say no?
So, what is special about Skyline Chili? Skyline Chili is a Cincinnati institution. Nicholas Lambrinides, a Greek immigrant, opened the first Skyline Chili in 1949 and named the restaurant after the view of the city’s skyline.
And it is not just about the tastiness of the chili. Of course, you can get a bowl of chili, chili dogs, and chili fries. But, the grotesquely American dish on offer is a 3-way which is chili and a megaton of cheese on top of spaghetti. The Sprog and I chose that option after the drug pushers gave us free samples.
The Boffin got the 4-way which means you get the above with the addition of either beans or onions. He chose beans. He only mildly hates us. If he truly hated us, he would have gotten the 5-way with beans and onions.
The oyster crackers seen above are a Skyline tradition. They actually are good at counterbalancing the heat.
This meal will probably kill me, but I will die happy.
I ordered Horne’s custard powder from Canada, and, to all the Britons out there, no, The Boffin is not starting divorce proceedings. To the Americans out there, custard powder is a staple within the U.K. and many Commonwealth countries because custard is either served by itself, primarily to children, or it is served with so many desserts the same way you would with whipped cream or ice cream. It is much quicker and easier to make than traditional custard because you don’t have to worry about curdled eggs. All you have to do is heat with milk.
It was first invented by a chemist named Alfred Bird of Swansea back in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs and couldn’t enjoy traditional custard. Mrs. Bird was a lucky lass, I say.
The British brand of choice is still Bird’s custard powder, and The Boffin still thinks it has a smoother, silkier mouth feel. However, we decided to pick up a tin of Horne’s when we visited Canada. I happen to like that brand better because it has vanilla, and it has four different starches which give it a fuller texture. So we decided to alternate tins. This is how an Anglo-American marriage works, folks. Neither side claims superiority.
Besides, Bird’s is better for making custard creams.
Regardless, the Canadian company where I bought the powder sent a fable with its packing slip. Service with a smile, so I thought I would pass it along.
Unfortunately, I did my grocery shopping too late, so I missed a chance to utilize these helpful suggestions on how to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night according to one of my local grocery stores.
Hey, it turns out that Guy Fawkes lead the conspiracy and not Robert Catesby. Who knew? And Guy Fawkes also did some time travel too because the Kingdom of Britain did not exist until 1707. I thought it was still the the Kingdom of England and Wales in 1605. He must have used the TARDIS. The Doctor never seems to go anywhere apart from London, as far as I have seen.
Regardless, so what are Americans supposed to do, since there are no fireworks, bonfires, nor parades around these parts (although there used to be in early colonial days in New England)? Well, it looks like we are supposed to drink Irish tea with chocolate covered digestive “crackers”. Perhaps we can snack on baked beans on top of Irish beer-flavored potato chips. Sounds pretty lame. Is that all?
The grocery store also gave an idea for a meal to fix along with some more specials.
Ah! It’s Cinco de Noviembre!
Considering we have some of the best Mexican food in the Chicagoland area, this could work. Instead of the bonfires, we can make Guy Fawkes into a piñata, fill him with a lot of that leftover Halloween candy, and have the kids hit him with sticks. And we are always looking for reasons to set off fireworks and explosives. This is America.
Now I really don’t understand how this became news considering that, while Waitrose isn’t the Harrods Food Hall, it is a pretty solidly middle class supermarket in which to shop. I could see Dame Maggie picking up her provisions there very easily.
What would be newsworthy would be if she announced that she were a Tesco Clubcard member. Even better if someone caught a snapshot of her in Tesco loading her trolley full of Carling Black Label.
No, I want a photo of her with the beer in the trolley while in the snacks section loading up on crisps too.
No, even better, she should be busting open a multipack of Walker’s Cheese & Onion crisps and getting started on the binge while filling the rest of her cart with Monster Munch and other essential sundries.
Hang on, one more detail, she should be dressed as The Dowager while she is stuffing her face with cheese and onion crisps in the middle of the snack aisle at Tesco with a trolley full of Carling Black Label and filling the remain space with Monster Munch and other snackables.
Because she is Dame Maggie, and she doesn’t give a shit.