Wednesday, October 12, 2016

From a Long Distance

We were driving home from practice. Just went by a Pizza Hut.

"Hey, I want to eat there some night," I said. "I want to try out those lemon pepper boneless wings."

"Ugh," Eli 15.2 "Not Pizza Hut!" He's a dedicated (and frequent) Papa John's consumer. "Why do you want to go there? Who eats lemon pepper anything?"

To answer that question, I had to think a little.

It has to do with my father, and my pleasant memories of being with him, of which there are only two.

Oddly, they both involve food.

Once, he drove down to Corpus Christi and took me for a weeklong beach fishing trip with his new family and another family he was close to in Louisiana. Including me, seven people in all.

I loved fishing, and I really enjoyed being on the beach. That enjoyment, though, was always strained through the sad fact that my father was generally an asshole, so almost none of the happiness I felt was undiluted.

After fishing one day, we cleaned the fish, and my father heated up a giant pot of oil while dunking the fillets in a mix of flour and lemon pepper. Lots of lemon pepper.

It was easily the best fish I'd ever tasted, the lemon pepper giving off a distinctly sharp but very pleasant flavor. I never stopped moving on the beach, so I was always hungry, and this made everything taste even better.

Since then, whenever I hear of anything that's lemon pepper flavored, I'm always inclined to give it a try.

The other memory is in a similar vein--same trip--and it involves shrimp boil.

If you've never used shrimp boil, it's a little pre-made bag of spices that you dump into a pot of boiling water when you cook shrimp or crawfish, and it makes whatever you're cooking spicy and hot.

Hot like mouth-burning hot.

So we boiled shrimp, but also threw in chunks of potato and half ears of corn, and when it was done, it was amazing. The potatoes and corn tasted even better than the shrimp, and I'd never seen anyone cook them that way. Delicious and oh-so-hot, so much so that my mouth was burning for at least an hour after I was done.

That's why I'll go to Pizza Hut soon.

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