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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

I Am Not On Al Gore’s Christmas Card List

April 27, 2009

I stirred up a lot of trouble when I was a kid.

Possessing an overactive imagination and a hyperactive disposition, I was responsible for a fair share of the havoc created in and around my school and neighborhood.

Most of the parents in the neighborhood had, on at least one occasion, found the need to admonish my actions and activities. Whether I was running over Dr. Phillips newly planted shrubbery on my bicycle, or soaking Dr. Ross’ important medical papers by giving an impromptu demonstration of his new underground sprinkler system, I was responsible for countless acts of unintentional destruction and mayhem through the years.

Most of the incidences were unintended and harmless. I never flushed a M-80 down a toilet or ran over someone in my car. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever inflicted deliberate physical harm on anyone.

I have made it 47 years without destroying too much around my hometown. But I have just recently learned that I may be responsible for the end of the world as we know it.

The end of the world— that’s a heavy burden to bear. Maybe my principal, Mr. Curry, was right when he told my ninth-grade class that I was “Nothing but trouble” and “…would never amount to anything.”

Growing up, I always thought that the end of the world would come from a nuclear holocaust instigated by the Russians. They’d bomb us, we’d bomb them, and both countries would continue to bomb each other while we squatted in school corridors with our heads tucked between our knees.

Today I learned that the end of the world wouldn’t come from mutual nuclear annihilation, or terrorist attacks, or any of the fun stuff we always imagined. No. The world will cease to exist because I am fat.

I just read a New York Times story that quoted a British scientist who believes that fat people are causing global warming. I can’t cite the science behind the fat-people-are-going-to-kill-us-all theory, but you can Google it and take the time to read the study if you like.

A man named Dr. Phil Edwards in London makes his case by stating that fat people eat more (really?) and are more likely to drive instead of walk creating more CO2 gas emissions and causing the earth to warm (note to reader: I deserve columnist credit here for skipping the obvious fat-people-and-gas-emissions joke).

So, if fat people are causing global warming, and if my home state of Mississippi is the perennial statistical leader as the most obese state in the country, that means that I am writing this column from Armageddon headquarters. No wonder I’m not on Al Gore’s Christmas card list.

Remember, Mississippi, the next time you ask for seconds on pork chops, a little more of the polar ice cap will melt away. Eat blackberry cobbler for dessert and watch sea levels rise. Biscuits for breakfast— deforestation in the Amazon.

We Mississippians are used to 98 percent humidity on 100-degree afternoons. We laugh in the face of global warming. Of course, we are laughing with our mouths full.

Mr. Curry always said, “You boys better stop eating all of those hamburgers and pizza. It’ll kill you.” Who knew?

I survived childhood. My neighborhood is still standing. Today, Dr. Phillips shrubs— notwithstanding recent holes in the ozone layer— are over 18 feet tall. Dr. Ross’ sprinkler system is in perfect working condition and his grass is greener than ever. It seems that I have made it through all of the challenges of growing up, only to learn that I have been eating us into oblivion.

Pass the potatoes, please.

Crescent City Grill Creole Cheese Fritters

3/4 cup             Parmesan cheese, grated

3                         Eggs                       

1/4 cup             Parsley, chopped fine

1/4 cup             Green onions, medium dice

1/4 cup             Horseradish

1/4 cup             Sour cream

1 1/2 Tbl           Garlic, minced

1 Tbl                   Creole Seasoning

1/4 tsp                Red pepper, crushed

1 cup                    Flour

1/2 Tbl             Hot Sauce

10 oz                         pepper jack cheese, grated

6 oz                         mozzarella cheese, grated

6 oz                         cheddar cheese, grated

            Place Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, onions, horseradish, sour cream, garlic, Creole Seasoning, red pepper, flour, and hot sauce in an electric mixer and combine at medium speed. Add the 3 cheeses and continue mixing until well blended. Do not over mix.

            Heat oil to 350 in a cast iron skillet. Drop golf ball-size spoonfuls of cheese fritter mixture into hot oil, making sure not to cook too many at once.

            Serve with Comeback Sauce for dipping. Yield: 24–30

Crescent City Grill Comeback Sauce

1 cup                         mayonnaise

1/ 2 cup             ketchup

1/ 2 cup             chili sauce

1/ 2 cup             cottonseed oil

1/ 2 cup             yellow onion, grated

3 Tbl                         lemon juice

2 Tbl                         garlic, minced

1 Tbl                        paprika

1 Tbl                         water

1 Tbl                         Worcestershire

1 tsp                         pepper

1/ 2 tsp                        dry mustard

1 tsp                         salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix well.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups


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