Monday, June 05, 2006

In the Name of the 'Goon and General Tso


What's even greater than the jam? The good people who gather to make it happen. On Saturday evening, shortly after posting up at the distinctly unjammable Papa Potrero's for some cheap suds to soothe the the Stoudemire-less Suns' loss at the hands of the formidable Dallas Mavericks, Brandy and King spied Half Later, Grape, and B of the Bs wandering up 24th Street, likely in search of an appropriate taco jam. With beery shouts, Brandy and King dashed outside, hailed their comrades, and bid them join an alternate jam possibility at nearby Punjab, King's favorite Chinese-American eatery. The five jamming jabronies set off together and soon found themselves seated around a large circular table in a deserted dining room nursing cold brews and empty stomachs, at the center of the table, a series of plated jams piping hot from the depths of the Punjab kitchen: crispy salt-and-pepper chicken wings, crab rangooooooon, vegetable potstickers, fried oysters, Szechuan tofu and broc, beef stir-fry, basil chicken and, of course, General Tso's chicken. Twenty minutes later, the dudes were jammed out.

For Brandy, despite having stuck to primarily meatless options throughout, the jam proved a diabolic dose of sodium and grease. Sluggish and dehydrated, his body had no will to suffer a night and morning of hard-drinking. Half Later, Grape, and King, however, rose to the occasion and took the party down to Jack's where they continued the jolly bro-jam -- with instruments and amps -- much to the amusement of fellow patrons. Late night, the self-abusive trio had the audacity to hit up Walgreen's for a variety of delicious frozen foods -- a pepperoni pizza, T.G.I. Fridays hot wings, and a Banquet chicken meal -- to satisfy the strange persistent hungers that swells rapidly after a tremendous beer-jam and a few potent bolts of Orange Crush.

By dinner-time the following night, all Grape could contemplate eating was a large bowl of raw broc and some steamed tofu slop. He calmly expressed his wish to opt out of any plans for a Classic Sunday Jam. King was undeterred. He begged Grape to partake in another jam and showed him menu after menu in an attempt to change his mind. Grape firmly stated he would not be bullied into sacrificing his health in the name of gastronomic excess. King would not back down. He knew he'd have only to whisper a gentle 'goony longing in Grape's ear to make the poor lad wilt. Sure enough, he did and the two dialed up another Punjab jam of more crab rangoon, wings, and General Tso's chicken.

Speaking of General Tso's, it will amuse JamZone readers to learn that there truly was a general named Tso. Before he became a glistening mound of batter-dipped hard-fried chicken nuggets drenched in a thick sauce of ginger, garlic, sesame, scallion, and soy, General Tso was a prominent military leader during the waning of China's Qing dynasty in the mid-1850's. During the 14-year-long Taiping Rebellion, he served with distinction, brutally crushing the rebels in four provinces.

According to Arthur W. Hummel's 1944 Library of Congress volume entitled "Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period (1644-1912)", the Hunan Province-born Tso initially failed official court military exams on three occasions and proved, if only temporarily, a significant disgrace to his family. For a brief period, it looked like young Tso would amount to very little. After his academic failures, he returned home quietly, married a local lass, and took up some distinctly unwarlike activities, namely the farming of silkworms and tea. When the Taiping Rebellion broke out in 1850, history came calling for Tso, now 38 years-old. After a short spell as a general's secretary, Tso raised a force of 5,000 volunteers and took the field, driving the Taiping rebels out of Hunan and Guangxi provinces, into coastal Zhejiang. From then on, he was a profoundly respected commander. Before his death in 1885, he was responsible for smashing a lesser revolt called the Nian Rebellion and, while on a western campaign, snatching Chinese Turkestan back from the clutches of Muslim rebels.


At 2:12 PM, Anonymous halflater said...

yeah so the frozen pizza... king put it in the oven upside down which melted all toppings to the bottom of the oven... what to do with the crispy crust? saucejam.. thats right, he smothered it with bleu cheese and bbq for all to enjoy!

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous King said...

Great weekend Jam on all fronts. Currently mending my system in preperation for this week's IN-n-OUT field trip. 5x5, fries, Dr. Pepper. and one Krispy Kreme for dessert, please.

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Grape said...

No doubt. We swung from jam to jam. Punjab jam to psych-free jam, finished up with a beer jam, a wonderful Walgreen's Jam King-style (no doubt I went for that 2nd slice), and then another Punjab jam on Sunday. In-n-Out will be a real jam! Not sure about my current patty ratio.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous brandy himself said...

Mine is easy -- zero patties. This jammer doesn't fuck with Wilbur, Lambchop, or ole Bess. I have been known to "ignore" pancetta bits on my mothafucking frisee but patties I shall not endure. Nevertheless, I'll compensate by downing two grilled cheeses animal style (each with double the cheese and extra lettuce, tomato, etc AND light sauce), an order of fries (well-done), and a tall frosty glass of 2/3 iced tea and 1/3 Hi-C pink lemonade. Lots of catsup. Since they don't have hot sauce, I'll bring a bottle of srirachi for us to share.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous b said...

when the fuck is this?

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous brandy himself said...

Jam addendum (or "Jamendum", as it were):

Forget not that I did crush the burrito to end all burritos on Friday evening.

The Grilled Chicken Chile Relleno Combo Burrito with Avo and Hot Salsa from Taqueria S.F. is a fucking Mutant Burrito Jam and I shall soon post on the experience in detail.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Grape said...

Work jammers ordered up, need I say, more Tso's goodness. No pillows of love but another round of Tso Good for this day, a feast of jams.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous brandy himself said...

after work friday or sunday evening are my votes vis-a-vis in-and-out.


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