Most evenings we make dinner – and not from boxes, cans and frozen stuff. But every so often when the grocery stash is running low, I get lazy and grab mac and cheese or pasta noodles from the cupboard. Even though I’m perfectly happy without meat, Jay isn’t. He almost always wants some kind of meat for dinner. So the other night when I realized we didn’t have any chicken, pork or beef in the fridge, I started looking through the cupboards. I don’t know why. I would never have a meat product in the cupboard. Only tuna, and Jay doesn’t like fish. But wait. As I was looking through the cupboards I saw it … the prank gift I’d given Jay for Christmas. The funny, goofy meat I thought would end up in the trash the day after Christmas. But there it was in the cupboard, in all its glory …
I remembered Jay was pretty excited about that prank gift. Well, it had “bacon” and all. But turns out, Jay actually likes Spam. Loves it, to be precise. So, I told him I was making him Spam for dinner. He was excited. Sigh. I opened that can and looked at it. I was flooded with childhood Spam memories. We had to eat Spam often when I was a kid. Fried Spam. Spam for breakfast. Spam in scalloped potatoes. Spam. It’s what’s for dinner. (Imagine Sam Elliott saying that in a commercial voice-over; it’s much more impressive.) But still, ew — just look at it:
Blecch. It looked like dog food; smelled like it, too. Yeah, I smelled it, not sure why. So I turned on the fan and opened the windows. It was creepy … I couldn’t even get it out of the can; I had to wedge a knife around it, in all that jelly stuff, to pop the hunk of Spam out. So I sliced it into four pieces and plopped it into the skillet. As soon as it started sizzling Jay called out from the living room, “Oh my God, that smells delicious.” Was he talking about my perfume? He certainly couldn’t be talking about the Alpo I was frying. But for one split second, I’ll admit, I smelled that hint of bacon – you know, the scent of bacon frying in the pan during a camping trip. But no, it was just the dog food Spam on the stove. Then Jay yelled out, “Oh man, it smells like heaven!!” I remember thinking it was too late for an annulment, so I pressed on.
When it was finally crispy and disgusting, I threw it on a plate with some packaged noodles. I added a few slices of organic tomatoes to make if fancy. Jay had to give it the Papa Don treatment:
Apparently it really was heaven. So much for wasting my time making fancy gourmet meals. With each bite of Spam he took, the seas parted. He said it tasted just like his Mama used to make. Aw, that made it all worth it. He asked me if I wanted a bite. Um …no thanks. I’m good. But wait. I figured, I’ve been bad-talking this bacon Spam. I heard my parents in my head, “Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.” True. Maybe this canned bacon Spam really was delicious. How would I know if I didn’t try it? So I told Jay to give me a tiny piece — the tiniest piece in the history of the universe. He did. Of course, the second I tasted it I realized it really was dog food. That tiny bite went straight down the garbage disposal, along with some of my bile.
After dinner, Jay showered me with compliments. He loved the Spam, truly loved it. Said it was totally delicious. Well, there’s no accounting for taste. And I still love the guy. So I guess I’ll be making more Spam. With these: