Friday, April 5, 2013

Biscuits, "The Elvis," Queso Dip, and Pizza

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"These Boundless Wonders" is an original weekly column appearing every Friday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by Avery M. Tolliver. Avery is a writer, basketball player, musician and queso dip aficionado. His personal blog can be found here. Archived columns can be found here. TBW-only RSS feed available here.

I love buttermilk biscuits. Fortunately for me and other biscuitphiles, there is now a plethora of wonderful options to choose from at the local grocery store.

While it’s true that made-from-scratch biscuits are exquisite, I simply don’t have the time or patience to make them. That’s why a couple of relatively recent developments have made my breakfasts a lot more enjoyable.

You see, there’s this silly little thing called the microwavable biscuit. You just grab a pre-cooked and prepared biscuit, pop it in your machine, and voila. It only takes a few seconds, and it tastes just as good as a made-from-scratch biscuit.

If the microwavable biscuits don’t strike your fancy, you also have the option of frozen biscuits. The traditional, refrigerated biscuits that come in those cylindrical containers are very, very good. Don’t get me wrong. But they only contain 8 or 10 biscuits. These days, however, you can purchase one package containing 20 or more frozen biscuits. They take just a little bit longer to bake, but the end product is well worth the wait.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, purchase some of these biscuits and then send me an e-mail thanking me for changing your life for the better. Seriously. Do it.

Another food item which I’ve recently come to love is a sandwich called “The Elvis.” I was inspired to make this treasure after my girlfriend bought me a Paula Deen cookbook (Mrs. Deen is one of my favorite television personalities) containing the recipe. “The Elvis” is based off of one of Elvis Presley’s favorite entrees: a peanut butter and banana sandwich.

All you have to do is put creamy or crunchy peanut butter on one slice of bread, banana slices on the other, and then spread butter on the outside of each slice so that you can grill it much the same way that you would prepare a grilled cheese sandwich. After it’s been grilled and both sides are nicely cooked, place it on a plate and dash a little bit of powdered sugar on the top for flavor and appearance. It’ll blow your mind. It will also fill you up without putting a dent in your wallet. It’s a win-win situation. Try it!

You may have noticed from my column description that I’m a self-described “queso dip aficionado.” Yes, it’s true. I love queso dip. It’s creamy texture and flavor-fulness make my mouth water, and make going to Mexican restaurants a really enjoyable event. But I can’t go to a Mexican restaurant every night. Luckily for me, entrepreneurs have now created Mexican restaurant-styled queso dip which is virtually indistinguishable from the real deal Holyfield.

Of course, there’s the Tostito’s queso dip which you can find on every potato chip aisle. That stuff is amazing. It’s also nice when you microwave it and then put a little bit of traditional salsa on top, so that when you take a bite, a barrage of textures and flavors explode in your mouth.

If you’re really fortunate, however, you might be able to find some authentic Mexican restaurant-styled queso dip at the grocery store. This elusive wonder will come in a clear plastic container and the queso will be congealed. If your grocery store has this stuff, you have officially hit the jackpot. I’ve only had the luxury of eating it twice, and I can’t remember the brand name, but perhaps if you ask your grocery store attendant, he or she might help you.

New York-style pizza is another one of my favorite foodstuffs. There’s something remarkable about sitting down at a local pizza joint and having a monstrosity of a slice brought to you within minutes. Do you want a slice of white pizza, some house specialty or perhaps a more traditional cheese or pepperoni slice? It’s all there for your pleasure. And don’t forget to sprinkle some parmesan cheese on it.

The top-notch pizza places I’m familiar with make their own sauce and pizza dough and otherwise prepare everything with special recipes that have been passed down for generations. All successful restaurants require dedication and hard work on the part of owners and employees. All successful restaurant owners and managers instill a sense of purpose and responsibility into each employee, so that workers feel that they are part of something special. If you can find a local pizza joint with amazing pies and great service, understand that this pleasant experience is no accident. Lots of people, lots of labor and lots of sacrifice were required to prepare your pizza.

And pizza slices are relatively cheap and filling. It’s also a joy to sit down at a pizza place with friends and loved ones, perhaps enjoying a beer along with the pie. Pizza makes human beings happy. It’s science. Google it.

Peace.