So the holidays are coming to a close, the stock of leftover ham is depleted, and you're determined to get back to the normal, everyday routine of work, cleaning the hors d'oeuvre smears off the davenport, and paying off the mountain of credit card bills left in the wake of yet another Black Friday buying rampage with your soporific mother-in-law. You want your castle back, and ousting your relatives is as easy as making dinner. Here are five foods to serve your family to get them out of your house after the holidays:
5. Beef tongue: Known to many as "the meal that licks you back," this delicious mastication muscle is actually divine when boiled and stewed in its own gravy with onions and carrots. But aside from being found in cart tacos and the occasional Midwestern stewpot, beef tongue still has the ability to freak the hell out of unsophisticated suburban relatives. Make sure you peel the top layer of skin off right in front of them while you're prepping, and let 'em know that the tip is the best part. They'll beat a path to the door quicker than you can say "lengua."
4. Fish sauce: Nuoc mam gets a bad rap for being a salty, reeking concoction made from fermented fish guts, but since that's exactly what it is, why not use its power for the forces of good? Use it in every meal for a couple of days -- sprinkle it over pasta, marinate pork chops in it and pour it liberally into breakfast smoothies, and the unmistakable aroma will permeate your unwanted house guests until they are clawing their way back to their own dwellings to scrub themselves.
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3. Balut: A quick stopover at the Asian market will provide you with a dinner destined to send your unwitting and unwanted relatives careening out your front door. Buy a dozen or so of these fertilized duck eggs, boil them up, make a chili-vinegar dipping sauce, set out some bowls of coarse black pepper and sea salt, and give each diner an egg. Instruct them to tap on the top to make a hole, suck the savory broth, and then spoon the tender duck fetus into their mouths. With any luck they won't get past the hole part, and one peep at the embryonic entrée and you won't even have to ask them to vacate the premises.
2. Canned mixed vegetables: There are probably four people on the planet who like these. If none of them are in your extended family, then reclaiming your crib using these saltwater-fossilized nubs of chewy corn, rubbery potato, flavorless carrots, mushy peas and chalky lima beans will be as simple as opening the cans, pouring the contents into a pot, heating, and serving in equal portions in decorative bowls. When your vacationing relatives realize that they could get better food on a pirate ship, they will sail out of your house before you make them walk the plank.
1. Steak-umms: If there is any food on the earth that you could make that will let your family know you don't love them, this is the one. No matter how many onion and green bell pepper slices you litter this creepy "meat" with, it doesn't look, taste or smell like anything that should go in your mouth. Throw a box of these frozen little rolls of failure into a pan, turn it on, and your relatives won't need a traffic cop to direct their asses the hell out of your domicile.