Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jimmy, Warren, China or Hometown . . .

I know a lot of people love them, but I’m not a fan of buffets.  As a rule of thumb, I won’t go to one unless I have no option.  There are exceptions, of course but the thought of eating at a buffet makes my stomach roll.  And eating at buffets may actually cause stomach rolls!

I’ve had some unpleasant experiences at buffets.  One notable occasion was at one the upscale buffets at Mohegan Sun, a Connecticut casino.  My hunny had won enough cha-ching at the slots so that we could go to one of their buffets . . . the kind with fresh sliced prime rib, Alaska king crab, filet mignon and other luscious high-end noms.  The buffet at Mohegan Sun is enormous with just about anything you could want to eat from soup to nuts.  It’s pretty much guaranteed that no one is going to leave there hungry; there is enough food there to feed an army or two. 
So, I am browsing the buffet tables trying to decide where to start.  Out of no where a ginormous woman . . . and I do not use the word ginormous lightly . . . plows into me from behind, hauling her ginormous ass with an already over-filled plate of food to the buffet I was perusing.  She literally shoved me out of the way.  Like there wouldn’t be enough for her if I had a crab leg or a peanut or something.   Seriously  . . . rude!

With that in mind . . . I am, by no means, an expert but let me attempt to educumacate you on the do’s and do not’s of buffet etiquette.   Get your learnin' cap on and pay attention.  Especially you, ginormous lady from Mohegan Sun.

I'm certain that even in the dog-eat-dog world of a buffet situation that shoving people out of the way in some misguided attempt to get the end cut of the prime rib is considered rude.   There’s plenty more where that came from, so relax.

You will notice that buffets are equipped with a sneeze guard; that’s that border of glass acting as a barrier between your face and the noms.  It’s there for a reason; however, don't feel the need to test it. Generally speaking, they are effective devices for keeping your expelled airborne cooties away from the food.  That is, unless a person is vertically challenged. That poses a problem.  As a rule of thumb, if you have to cough or sneeze, step away and turn your head.  I promise you won’t lose your place in line.

It should not escape your attention that each and every food receptacle on a buffet comes with its very own serving utensil. That’s fully intentional and by design.  Don't use the same serving utensil for every dish.   And, for the love of God, use them and not your fingers.  Trust me when I tell you that nobody wants to consume anything you've had your grimy fingers on . . . who’s to say where those hands have been.

If you pick something out and decide you don't want it, don't put it back.  And, sampling is a no-no.  If you’re not sure if you like something, take a little bit and try it.  If you like it I guarantee there will be more when you go back up for seconds.

For Pete’s sake, don’t stare at the fat people.  You know what I’m talking about.  Remember that obscenely obese woman who knocked me to the floor to get to that prime rib.  Chances are she will be seen her heading back up to get seconds and thirds and fourths.  Even though its conceivable that you may actually see her butt getting bigger with each plateful.  Don't stare!

And take out?  Buffets don't offer it.  Don’t take more than you can eat. Generally speaking the rule of thumb at a buffet is that you don't get a doggie bag.  Don’t ask . . . don’t even think about it. 

Here endeth the lesson . . .

Cher’s Easiest, Yummiest Beef Stew

2 Lbs Beef Stew Meat
6 Each Small Yukon Gold & Small Red Potatoes, Halved
4 Medium Carrots, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
4 Ribs Celery, Cut Into 1-Inch Pieces
12 Radishes, Halved
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups Water

Place the meat and vegetables in the crock pot. 

Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the top.

Pour the water over everything.

Cook on low for 7-9 hours. Thicken sauce if necessary with cornstarch or flour.

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