Mental Chex mix for a July Saturday night

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This is a full solar eclipse.  These are very beautiful, rare celestial events, The problem is, they'll burn your retinas clean through to your pancreas if you even so much as glance at them.  In fact, if you're even outside during the event, you'll grow a tail, turn green, and vote to amend the Constitution so Dubaya can have four more years as President.

Okay, they can destroy your retinas.  That much is true.  The rest might discourage people from looking at them.  Invariably, people do. 


There are many ways to view an eclipse safely.  I'll let more reputable

sources than this describe them for you.  I'm only here to implore that–for the love of Pan–if you and your goat plan to watch next Friday's total eclipse, please take precautions.  If you go blind, that's your own bidness.  If you let your goat stare at the thing, you are evil.  Paid for by Goggles for Goats, a United Nations Livestock Eyewear Directorate Project)

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As you know, we here at The Tom Zone pride ourselves on our technological sources.  Thus, when we stumbled upon this invention, we had to share it.  For years, children of all ages have quarreled over one of life's most basic necessities: the brownie.

The problem has always been that nobody wants one of those forlorn brownies from the middle.  Brownie connosieurs the world over have always treasured the corner brownie, savoring the crunchy crusty border, and it's juxtaposition to soft, gooey, chocolatey awesomeness.  Without the border, a brownie is just really dense chocolate cake sans frosting. 

Thankfully, brownie technologists have developed the most fantabulous thing since the George Foreman Grill:


Gone are the days where one has to suffer with a gooey, messy middle brownie.  We are now one step closer to world peace.

Even with unlimited crust brownies, America's gastronomic patriotism has always been linked to hot dogs and apple pie.  However, I propose that there is no more patriotic food than Chicken McNuggets.  When America began, this was just a giant wasteland of trees and clean water and praries, crap like that.  It took this great nation to carve it up into cities, to pave it, and get rid of all that pesky nature. 

Similarly, God/Nature/Ceiling Cat/Whatever created the noble chicken.  Chickens are perfect animals.  They're covered in food, and they're dumber than a box of rocks, thus making them easy to catch.  Hell, drumsticks and wings even have convenient handles to facilitate our carnivorous uses.  But just as it took humanity to tamp down all that awful "nature," it took a great American corporation like McDonald's to carve up the chicken into even easier to eat form: the McNugget.  I mean, how are we supposed to drive our gas guzzling SUV's while eating chicken, if we have to worry about bone disposition? Thank God the food scientists at McDonald's took this problem under their wings, as it were, and created the McNugget.  Only those geniuses who developed the Filet-o-Square-Fish were suited to help the chicken realize its destiny.  Best of all, as a tribute to this great land of ours, they carefully designed the McNugget in three patriotic state shapes: Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. 

The sauces even pay tribute to our varied lineages.  Hot Mustard is an homage to all those spicy food-loving cultures.  Sweet and sour links our western tastes with the expanding, exotic Far East, while barbecue celebrates our own American heritage of charring animal flesh. 

Hot dogs and apple pie are fine, but only the McNugget takes food and makes it into something conveniently shaped and bad for you.  God bless America, and her McNuggets.

I know this country is down now.  Our economy is tanking, we're mired in an unwinnable war, and we have a vacutard running things, but there is hope.  If we can solve the brownie-crust conundrum, make chicken more edible and less poultry-like, and develop goat-goggles, then by damn, we'll make it.  John Wayne would be proud. 

Julia Childs, however, is probably spinning in her grave.

Probably just jealous she didn't think of it first. 

Happy weekend.

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23 Responses to “Mental Chex mix for a July Saturday night”

  1. Holy mother of all brownies. Tom, where's the link to where I can buy this contraption? I need it. I have been known to fight people for the last scrap of brownie edge. This could…well, not save exactly, but repair (somewhat) the tattered remnants of my relationships with various family members and in-laws. A brownie that is all edge. It's like the whole rest of my life is gonna be Christmas every day. :-O

  2. BROWNIE EDGES!!!!!!! YES I"M SHOUTUNG!!!! FANTABULOUS!!!*grabs the brownie-edgey pan and runs*

  3. Here's the brownie pan link. They aren't cheap, but neither was the space program. 😉

  4. The phrase "covered in food" is brilliant. Funniest I've come across today. *tips motley cap*Oh, and I prefer middle-o-the-pan brownies, but I still think that pan is super cool.

  5. *purses lips, raises eyebrows and attempts churchlady voice* It's all well and good for you kids to go on about food. But, a total eclipse is nothing to "Trifle" with. *snert*I didn't know a solar eclipse was imminent. I need to get with the (space) program!Hi, Tom!!! Long thyme, no see-dum! It's been a bizzy summer!!!!

  6. Oh, Lauri, I've missed you, too. Nobody *snerts* quite like you, even if you do live amongst actual, pre-McNuggeted chickens. ;-)Don't worry about the eclipse. It's barely glancing part of Canada, then leaving the rest of North America alone. Thank God we have the big meteor shower shortly thereafter.

  7. Thanks, Kirk. There are few motley caps I'd rather have tipped than yours. My mom makes these nummy comestibles called honey bars. They're browniesque in shape, but they're not chocolate, and they have a glaze on top of them. I bring up honey bars for two reasons. First, there is a sort of reverse brownie phenomenon with them: the middle of the pan honey bars are most coveted, for the glaze tends to be thicker there. (Natch, I alone prefer the edges) The second reason is that they can heal the sick and raise the dead, and I wish I had some right now. Perhaps I'll buy this pan for my mom, and just hope she makes a crusty batch of honey bars for me. Have a great weekend.

  8. Elephant ears and fried snickers!Sorry, your post just made me want to say that. And, dude, the people that made the "edge" pan must have never heard of the housewifey trick of just USING MUFFIN TINS TO MAKE INDIVIDUAL BROWNIES. Duh.

  9. Do muffin tins really create the same chewy edge? Or do they just dry out the brownie? Don't toy with me, Shushie. This is serious.

  10. You want to fill the tin about 3/4 of the way, and then you bake for less than the cooking time of the brownie recipe. Like, if it's a 35 minute cake brownie, you make only want to bake it for 15 or twenty. And if it's set to bake at 400, you may want to knock it down to 350.The trick is to be willing to bake outside the lines.

  11. "Next weekend in The Tom Zone, Rachel Ray will be by with her yum-o recipe for homemade Chicken Divan McNuggets, made using a muffin tin, a propane torch, and some grain alcohol. Don't miss Rachel, next Saturday night, only in The Tom Zone. Check local listings for the time in your area."

  12. Forget Taste of Home, Tom will bring us Taste of Char!

  13. I love the chicken nugget/strip/finger. Not the McDonalds ones however. I had torn one up for my daughter to let it cool then was shocked at the sheer amount of greese on my fingers… we stick to Wendys or A&W if we do allow them to have chicken fingers…

  14. I've seen that brownie thing before. :)This is why my son and I get along so well: He likes the middle, I like the edges. Let me know when RR comes by. I'm going to shoot her with her 'screaming hot' EVOO. I find that woman to be incredibly annoying. She's everywhere. She's probably Ceiling Cat, who's come down to trick all the stoopit hoomanz.

  15. Rachel Ray as Ceiling Cat? Interesting concept. Thing is, I don't know that she could be quiet enough to be Ceiling Cat, regardless of what she's watching us hoomanz. Plus, you just know she's a Clydesdale: one of those women you can hear clomping from half a building away. Not very stealthy for a voyeuristic deity.

  16. Honey bars??? Do you by chance have a resoupie??? They sound Bee-licious!!!

  17. Wait! I didn't see those McNuggets — were they there before? Are they stealth McNuggets? Did they slip into the post when I wasn't looking? Wow *tosses the empty brownie pan back to Tom and grabs the McNuggets* Yeeeeehah!!!!!!!!!

  18. No, they're not stealth McNuggets, although I wouldn't be surprised if they did absorb radar. I was writing this at work, and the computer kept saving the post before I was done. Happily, it saved it at rather opportune times–after the goat goggles, then again after the brownie pan, then I was able to save it properly after the McNuggets screed. It was nice enough to save things in good segments, but I worry that some people missed-out on the brilliance of the entire…Nah. Not even I could write that with a straight face. 😉

  19. I don't even know if my mom has her honey bar recipe written down anymore. It's probably on an index card with the ink all smeared and faded after 30 years. For you, I shall try and procure the recipe, then share it. I hope she agrees to part with it. They are truly yummy.

  20. I'm giggling too. But in a good way.*waves and skips out of the room*

  21. Oh, don't worry if it's a family secret! I'm sure I can find something similar online and then work in my own touches! 😀

  22. that brownie tin looks awesome!!!!although, i kinda like the gooey middle…i love food that's bad for me…

  23. It's REAL???!!?? I thought it was a joke picture– it's such a great idea I though it didn't exist!!!!!!Thank you!

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