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“Make Haste Sweet McRib! Return to our Loving Embrace: A sloppily written essay about a sloppily made meal”

“In the Garden of Eden, God made Eve out                                                                                             of Adam’s rib. Then he made Grimace out of                                                                                         a McRib” -NPR Food

I have been hearing rumblings around the net that McDonald’s McRib sandwich may return sometime next month.  My love of food and my love for the McRib should not be compatible, but they are, and this is my story.

I consider myself somewhat of a foodie.  I love to cook, watch anything about, discuss and sample any and all kinds of food.  This became an obsession of mine during my final year in the U.S. Navy.  I was living alone in Pennsylvania and had no real friends of mention.  I enjoyed being alone and decided to teach myself to cook.  I made all of the basic first time cook’s mistakes.  I under-baked fish, burned almost anything in a frying pan, and made an array of uneven, dense and tasteless breads.  Over time, I became more aware of my surroundings in the kitchen and made use of my time more wisely when attempting to make soufflés or pan-fried pork chops, apple stuffing or a simple ragout.  I enjoyed not only the cooking process, but the food I was preparing as well.  Practice did not make perfect, but it certainly made me more comfortable in the kitchen.

By the time I had learned how to cook for myself (which took me several years) my time in the Navy had ended and I was living in Missouri.  At that time I felt more and more confident about going to random eating establishments and sampling local fare.  I most frequently sought out local joints that were not going to hurt my pocketbook, but would in time hurt my cholesterol levels and waist line.  I tried to eat less of the national chain restaurants and more of locally owned joints that normally one does not come across every 25 miles on the national interstate system.  Every time I ate somewhere local I felt a sense of civic pride.  Even when the food at an establishment was sub-par I said things to myself like, “well, at least I tried this place out” or “the drink specials were cheap.”  I had to keep luring myself back to smaller chains or on-off places to keep myself from becoming what most of us already are…chain-eaters.

I rarely go to chain restaurants anymore, but one thing always brings me back.  McDonald’s McRib sandwich.  God almighty that is one sweet piece of heaven.  I remember as a child going to the McDonald’s in my tiny hometown (one of only 5 resturants there) when the McRib was on the menu.  It was like Christmas, Fourth of July and my birthday all rolled up into one beautiful 500 calorie package.  I never tracked the status or knew when or where that little brown beauty would appear.  One day we would walk in and there it would be.  A few weeks later–gone.

Those days are over thanks to the internet and food blogs.  There is a website entirely devoted to the McRib.  McRib Locator tracks “sightings” of McRibs.  It has a feature where other trackers can either “confirm” or “deny” its sale at one of McDonald’s 31,000 stores worldwide.  That is great news for people like myself that are obsessed with that rib-shaped, sponge-like meat that is “enhanced” by a set of limp pickles and a handful of raw, somehow completely tasteless onions on a crappy white “steak roll” that is soaked with a barbecue sauce so sweet that a small child’s lips might curl up after a bite and admit, “Jeeze Pops, that is just too much.”  I am not that child.

As I head out today to the “Taste of St. Louis” food festival to enjoy local offerings from some of the finest establishments in the Midwest, I will have the McRib engrained in the back of my mind with the hope that next month…it might return!!!

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