Saturday, November 30, 2013

The memory of taste

It's night 3 of my fast and it's been a curious experience thus far from a chefs perspective.  Last fast of 18 days I was just trying to survive it.

This time is a different experience.  We know that there are five taste sensations, but as I've been fasting I've craved them in different stages.  

First came salt which wasn't a surprise since Im a salted nut anyway but then I lost that craving to sour.  Skittles and warheads were all I could think about.  

Next came umami - I dreamt of soy wasabi sesame oil mash potatoes... And finally today I couldn't shake my desire for this chocolate potato chip bar I recently had.  

Not quite sure what to make of this but I recall reading an article on 'the memory of senses' and if u think about it bet you can guess which lasts the longest.  

You'll never forget the smell of a skunk or a gardenia or rose bush.  But as I'm lying here in my tent salivating I can almost taste everything.. A watermelon, a pinto bean, cream cheese, rosemary roasted chicken...

Research has shown that most people lose 50% of their taste buds by the time their 20 - yet another thing wasted on youth.

What I'm wondering is if this whole fasting business can somehow reawaken taste sensation?  Food for thought.

Now can somebody make me a sammich?  Oy vey four more days....  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Thanksgiving Fast

While everyone's feasting with family, I'll be out in Shelby Forest forbearing food for a week. As a man of large appetites, it won't be easy but I've done it before. Back in 2011 after I lost my dog, Murphy, to cancer I fasted in Memphis for 18 days during a scorching heatwave with temperatures stuck in triple digits for most of the entirety.

This time the experience will be inverted.  As of this morning, it's 22 in Tennessee and with the wind chill factor feels like 16 degrees.  This represents a unique risk as the primary purpose of sustenance in cold weather is providing heat to your body.  Exercising, too, can't used for warmth since muscle mass is broken down during the fasting process.  

My Pyrenees won't be with me since after a few days I won't have the strength to tend to their needs.  Nope it'll just be me and El Guapo out in the woods, alone in a tent, and, wait a tic, this is starting to sound a little like Brokeback Mountain...  

My communication will be limited as well since I'll only have my phone for emergency use.  No computer, no iPod, Kindle, or any other electronic device which, to be honest, I'm looking forward to.  Sometimes the noise in life can just be deafening and you've gotta unplug.  

But mostly I made the decision to fast this week for physical reasons.  Now that my other dog, Hudson, was recently diagnosed with cancer, I know that the road ahead will be hard and my body and spirit under constant assault from the uncertainty of outcome.  2014 will be a definitive year and I must strengthen myself in preparation and fasting is the first step.  .  

I shall miss breaking bread with family and friends but I fast so that I may feast again with them one day soon.  

Chef Big Dog

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Recipe: The Homeless

The breakfast taco... This is what put me on the map!   Literally.

The classic that I made for many o'family on our walk and I made it this morning and I almost forgot how damn tasty it is.  And simple to make.

Fry up four slices of bacon.  Slather one side of tortilla with cream cheese.  Add a layer of refried beans on top seasoned with my own Mexican blend, CBD 17. 

Then diced green chiles and cheese.  I prefer pepper Jack for a little heat or a blend. Stuff it with the bacon, fold over like a taco and fry it in the grease.  Once it's nice and golden on both sides, top it with sour cream, more cheese, and salsa.  

Hell yeah, that's The Homeless.