CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

July 31, 2013

Only one dish for the rest of your life: What would you pick?

by Dave Lobeck
CNHI News Service

— I don't know how your family is, but over the dinner table my family can get into some pretty interesting conversation.

A few nights ago, we had a doozy of a topic, with a hypothetical questions presented to us by our 21-year-old son, Andrew. Most were of the "would you rather" category. One that immediately comes to mind is "Would you rather be able to run 100 miles per hour or fly at 5 miles per hour?" The question that the drew the most discussion was a food question, and so now, readers, I ask you:

"If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life, and you could only eat one dish, what would that dish be?"

At first we were throwing around random comments, but then the gravity of the question began to sink in. We are all self-professed foodies, and we are talking about the rest of our lives, with just one dish.

So of course, being argumentative foodies dealing with a really serious topic, we had to negotiate and lay down some realistic and acceptable ground rules for this conversation, because, you know ... this could really happen.

First ground rule: No consideration is given to health. In other words, a greasy cheeseburger would have the same impact on your cholesterol level as a head of lettuce. Mind you, a head of lettuce was not in the running, not even with my wife, Liz. But it was a valid point.

Second ground rule: If you chose pizza, you could only order a one-item pizza with cheese and sauce. Otherwise you could just load pizzas with every possible topping and your entire universe of food groups would be covered, which eliminates the point of the discussion. Think about it. Ham, bacon, olives, peppers, anchovies, pineapple, chicken, you get the point. An easy cop out answer.

Third ground rule: Your food would be perfectly prepared, just the way you love it. This rule eliminates the need for fancy cooking techniques, equipment and utensils. The perfect dish simply shows up, three times a day for the rest of your life, splendidly prepared.

So we started discussing the topic. And of course, you couldn't just blurt out a choice. You had to explain to all members at the table why you chose the dish.

Andrew went with the steak. He still didn't think pizza was a fair choice because it had more than one ingredient. Once he realized that you could have more than one component to the dish, he went with the Qdoba beef burrito.

Liz tried to slip in the Cobb salad (the salad that had more than one meat) but we decided that it has too many ingredients. She's been voted off the island until she can reach a final decision.

And yours truly went with a simple pepperoni pizza.

Yeah, we need to get a life.

Dave Lobeck is a barbecue chef from Sellersburg, Ind., who writes the "BBQ My Way" column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.