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The Meals of Justish, Part II

Garth Brown |

In case you missed it, this is the second installment of a once-a-month series we're doing. Here is a link to the first part. Embedded at that post is the podcast when we were on the Judge John Hodgman show. It's fairly amusing if you have an hour.

The weather here in Central New York has been a downer this winter, windy, cold, and snowy. Both January and February were below average cold, and the last week+ was super windy and very cold, -22 last night (we've gone to -20 on two other nights as well). Garth mentioned his extremities chill more readily than they used to, and I've noticed the same thing. I chalk it up to less fat, and fewer total calories in my diet. I have not lost weight for those of you who may be keeping track. Since we're both hungry for more calories to stoke the internal furnace we decided to go for perhaps the richest of the judge's orders - scrapple. Each pound has almost 1000 calories in it. A second point of recommendation is positive memories. I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch Country where scrapple is proudly on the menu. My mother would buy it from the local shop for home cooking. I can see her in my mind's eye unwrapping the white butcher's paper from around a grayish brick and then slicing slabs to fry. Yum.

Garth's wife, Alanna just returned from visiting friends and family near Philadelphia. She bought out the whole supply (5 lbs) at a supermarket for us to split. Garth told her he wanted 5 pounds for each, but alas, there was not that much to be had. I ate 1.5 pounds for breakfast. And 1 pound for lunch. Garth pulled off a similar stunt and then decided it was worth it to keep eating scrapple today since it's allowed. He called around and found a place with some in the freezer, therefore we each had 2 additional pounds for dinner. I think 4.5 pounds for the day was just about right for my appetite. I enjoyed the last bite almost as much as the first. A fifth pound would have been a different story though. I wonder if I will want breakfast tomorrow morning...

The stuff of my childhood was better than the Habbersett brand we were ordered to eat. I guess my memory could just be scrappy, but I remember more overall flavor and a grittier corn-meal texture. Habbersett behaved a little more like dough than I'd prefer... probably because it has more wheat flour in it? I have no idea what the ratio of flour to corn meal was in the PA Dutch product of yore.

While I have some reservations about the particular scrapple I ate today - animal welfare, low quality of the meat, wheat flour, etc, I think scrapple has potential to be an almost perfect food. Pardon the pun, but it is a veritable Hodgpodge of pig parts - liver, heart, ears, skin, etc. Liver is incredibly nutrient dense and this was hands down my favorite way to eat it. Skin and connective tissue are important to consume in reasonable quantity if one eats as much muscle meat as I do. They're rich in glycine which must be balanced against the methionine present in muscle meats. Scrapple has a good macro-nutrient ratio with plenty of fat, moderate protein, and moderate carbohydrate. And it is quite palatable, even the bland, mass produced stuff I devoured today.


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