Okay. First of all. With a title like Food Men Love, we were all obviously expecting big things from this book (which, fun fact, was written by a woman, Margie Lapanja). And it did not disappoint. How could it, with manly sentences like “When you walk into a bar” and “Every man has a favorite cookie” (Matthew’s is Oatmeal Raisin, by the way. Ugh.), and manly quotes from Ernest Hemingway like “I have discovered that there is romance in food when romance has disappeared from everywhere else.” (Aside: remember all those times you ate chocolate and said, “I think I’m in love”? YOU WERE RIGHT.)
It also includes a veritable smorgasbord of manly titles and subtitles such as “When Life Gives you Lemons . . . Make Beer!” “You Just Need Meat and Heat” (Gem of a sentence from this section: “I could have filled this entire book with ways to heat your meat, but I’m sure you know more about the way you like to grill your goods than I do.” LOL), and “Bravado Bud Butt Chicken” (includes Budweiser, a chicken—presumably where the butt factors in—and lots of bravado to cancel out the unmanly connotations of the words “chicken butt”). And then there are the naughty titles, because in addition to loving food, men love jokes that hinge on double entendre. These include “There’s Something About Mary’s Little Lamb” (“Even their wives don’t know they love lamb…”), “Playing with Fire: Seeking Thrills with the G-r-r-r-ill,” and “Fowl Play: A Thing for Wings… and Breasts and Legs and Thighs” (BRO! I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE BRO).
Being a non-man, I had some concerns. But (butt! HA HA HA Sigh), being a man-loving woman and a food-loving wife to boot, I figured I was doing Matthew a huge favor by checking this book out just in time for his birthday. “Just make anything you want!” I told him enthusiastically.
“Okay, anything except ‘Ben’s Fantasy Pecan-Covered Breasts,’ please.”
After some scouring of our pantry for ingredients and some manly bonding with/chuckles over the aforementioned manly nature of this book, Matthew ended up selecting the rather sensibly and restrainedly titled “Bradley Ogden’s Nectarine Blueberry Crisp.” I confess I was grateful he made no mention of the “She’s a Real Dish” box on the next page with a list of stripper names masquerading as cupcakes and the enticing description: “Feeling like a half-baked Napoleon who needs a new cupcake in your life? Set your taste buds up on a blind date with one of these sweeties.” Yeah, I don’t think so, LADY BALTIMORE.
B. O. N. B. C. turned out to be quite delicious. 2 out of 2 men who tried it had second helpings!
Bradley Ogden’s Nectarine Blueberry Crisp
¾ cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 ½ pounds firm, ripe nectarines, pitted and sliced 1/3-inch thick
1 pint fresh blueberries
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Preheat the oven to 400 F/ In a medium bowl, prepare the topping by mixing together the flour, sugars, salt, and spices. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Prepare the fruit filling by tossing together the pitted and sliced nectarines, blueberries, sugar, and flour. Pour the fruit mixture into a 9- or 10-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned and the juices are bubbling up around the edges. Cool for 15 minutes before serving topped with ice cream or whipped cream. Makes 6 servings.
Note: This recipe becomes significantly more hilarious if you insert the word “manly” before every noun. Try it!