The Shitty Battleship
East Lansing, MI
Many of my, as well as Dan my brother’s best ideas are seemingly born out of innocuous suggestions. Case in point, one of Dan’s best tattoos was contrived while hanging out with our friend Jacob (henceforth referred to as Jake) and describing the tattoo that Jake would get if he were ever to take that plunge. The story went that Dan and Jake were talking about tattoos and the subject of whether Jake would ever get a tattoo came up. In essence Dan said, “Jake, there’s no way you’d get a tattoo unless you were, like, hanging out with some hipster friends in Chicago, and you all are drunk. You’d have ridiculous ideas like getting a Cowboy Riding a Taco, or a T-Rex in a Dress. So, you’d all get to a tattoo shop and they would all beg out due to being poor or shitty or whatever excuses people use today (eg. ‘I totally would get a Midget Riding a Bear, but the green in the midget’s eyes don’t match my favorite keffiyeh’), but you’d be the only one getting a tattoo. You’d stick to your ‘getting a tattoo’-guns, but you’d wind up with that Cowboy Riding a Taco on your ass.” Dan was then incensed with the idea of these ludicrous tattoo ideas. After much contemplation he ended up getting a Cowboy Riding a Taco. The work was designed and tattooed by Chris Hornus of Evolution Tattoos in Schwartz Creek, MI.
Another example of off-the-cuff ideas that turn out to be awesome: Spaghetti-Bacon-Garlic-Bread sandwich. This idea was born while I was in the car driving around with Christopher (Chris of the 2 written reviews ‘fame’ here on HalfTon) and Jake. We were discussing how one of our friends had recently gotten a promotion to be head Chef at a local restaurant, and Chris expressed some reluctance as to the quality of dishes that would be presented. I was quick to defend said friend stating something along the lines of, “I don’t know man, I feel like you’d get some crazy shit like a Spaghetti, Bacon, and Garlic Bread samich. You’d look at it thinking about how ridiculous it is until you ate it and wept tears of blood because the samich was so good.” That last sentence may or may not have been uttered in any form, but I live off of hyperbole. After wandering around a music store we all became incensed with the idea of creating and eating a Spaghetti-Bacon-Garlic-Bread sandwich, so today the dream was born.
We walked over to Jake’s local grocery store, Goodrich’s Spartan Shop Rite, and picked up the remaining necessary provender we required. Before waxing eloquent about our amazing cooking skills I’d just like to take a moment to talk about Goodrich’s. They have an amazing wine selection as well as a great bakery and a slew of locally produced meats. If you’re ever in East Lansing and need groceries, you should definitely consider Goodrich’s to get whatever you need. I always try and support local shops if possible so that I’m not always stuck having to make all of my purchasing decisions from a mega-mart.
Here you can see Jake’s fabulous stove. We ended up dividing the labor for cooking. I tended to the bacon, spaghet-sauce, and putting together all of the materials for our garlic bread. Chris minced garlic, melted Olivio, and oversaw the cooking of the spaghetti. Jacob handled the leftover dishes from our homemade barbeque from the prior night and grated parmesan cheese. For the most part, the components of the meal were run of the mill but the area where I splurged was buying a block of Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano). The cheese cost around $10, but you cannot imitate or come close to the great taste of freshly grated Parmesan. If there is one area you spend a little more time and money in, I would urge you to make that in using freshly grated Parmesan and freshly minced Garlic cloves.
While there were many components to the meal, with the division of labor everything went quickly and smoothly. If you try to make this dish yourself here is how I would start everything:
- Get a pot of water on the stove and get it working to a boil.
- Turn on Oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toss all of your bacon in a pan and turn the heat up (once you hear the sizzle, you can turn the temp to a ‘Medium-High’). Most important part of this is that you don’t leave the heat on the highest setting and that you frequently drain excess grease out of the pan.
- Mince garlic.
- Melt Butter.
- Cut Bread, add butter and garlic, and place on cookie sheet. Cook time for this should be around 5 to 7 minutes.
I won’t continue with the minutiae of food prep from here on out.
As you can see Chris, Mayor of the Shitty BattleShip (SBS for short), looks fairly pleased with our tender vittles. As a quick aside, Jake’s house has been dubbed the Shitty Battleship due to having one of the smallest bathrooms known to man. You have the distinct impression you’re at sea when you’re in the shower due to the extremely limited space. I can’t walk into the shower directly as my shoulders are too broad. So, I need to scuttle into the shower sideways, crab style. I’m fairly certain Dante described this shower when he wrote The Inferno, somewhere around the 3rd Circle of Hell. Just make sure not to drop the soap as picking it up is an awkward balancing act.
I decided to craft my samich in layers. First, I laid out the bread and then put a bit of Parmesan on each side. I then coated each side with spaghetti sauce and followed that with Bacon on one side and Spaghetti on the other. To finish, I added a couple dollops of spaghetti sauce to the spaghetti and sprinkling of parmesan on top.
Jake and Chris followed a fairly similar procedure to craft their sandwiches. I didn’t get an ‘in-action’ eating shot as we were all devouring our food in a Hobbit-like silence, only murmuring our approval from time to time. This meal definitely constituted a Rating: as it was delicious, inexpensive, and spent with some of the best company a person could have.
-Matt visiting in Lansing