Picture this: a grayish-brown burger on a squashed bun, greasy fries, all wrapped in paper and washed down with soda pop.
Now picture this: chilled vichyssoise, steak, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and strawberries, served on linen and silver, and accompanied by a nice Sauvignon Blanc.
Which would you rather have? It’s no contest.
So why are we eating so many meals like the first one? Because we Americans live in our cars. Trips to the bank and the shops blend into rides to and from soccer practice. We have no choice but to forego elegance for the bland, fatty foods served up at the drive-thru, right?
I, The Vehicular Gourmet, am on a mission to put the fine in automotive dining.
Q: What is the primary challenge to fine automotive dining?
A: The fact that one should keep both eyes on the road, and at least one hand on the steering wheel. This presents obstacles, but we can adapt.
First, we set the stage. For those whose cars don’t come equipped with a bud vase, here’s an elegant solution. Merely attach a perfect bloom to a green pipe cleaner, and wrap around the steering wheel. I recommend placing the bloom at 12 o clock to leave 2 and 10 free for your hands – safety first!
Eating is just “chowing down” without sterling silver and candlelight (it gives such a gentle glow to a lady’s complexion). Some jurisdictions frown on tassels and baby shoes hanging from the rear-view mirror. Check with your local authorities to see if this prohibition extends to candelabra.
Spills will happen, especially when you’re keeping both eyes on the road to avoid car accidents. That is why I’ve invented the Full-body Damask Napkin. This snowy white napkin covers the whole lap and most of the chest, extending up to fasten on your shoulder belt. Linen just improves with each wash and ironing.
A lady generally wears gloves in public. For vehicular dining, we cut the fingers off, and add a jeweled cuff and ring. When eating with your fingers is this refined, Miss Manners would surely approve.
Our first course is a classic vichyssoise. Some might say soup would be difficult in the car. Oh, ye of little faith. I give you, the Sac Soupcon! Putting on the feedbag has never been so elegant. With its practical insulating layer, gazpacho and French onion soups are both back on the menu.
To enjoy your steak hands-free, just cut in chunks and string on a length of fishing line. It attaches easily to the top of the door. A bite of luscious steak is as easy as checking your blind spot!
Fingerling Potatoes are finger-ready when served this way. The potatoes are hollowed out for easy handling. A shake of butter-flavored popcorn salt avoids the mess of butter.
Asparagus spears are a natural finger food. It’s the dripping hollandaise that can get one in trouble. The solution? Hollandaise Jigglers! Just combine your favorite hollandaise recipe with some unflavored gelatin. Take a bite of asparagus, and then pop a cube in your mouth for a yummy combination.
The menu was to include a chilled Australian Sauvignon Blanc, but I’m sure my alert readers saw the flaw in this plan. We can’t serve a white wine with red meat! To avoid that solecism, let’s uncork a nice, sparkling red grape juice.
We’ll end our meal with a luscious serving of Little Jack Horner Strawberries. Marinated strawberries are best with a dollop of whipped cream for dipping. Put in your thumb and say – what a good girl am I!
There is never a good reason to abandon one’s standards. All it takes is a little planning, and fine automotive dining can be on everyone’s menu.
Bon Voiture Appetit!The Vehicular Gourmet
* Lovely model courtesy of Bizzy-Boo Lovely Models, Inc.