Tuesday, June 28, 2011

McNugget Jones

Precocious Daughter and I are in a fix. Or we need a fix. We share a craving that is so easy to satisfy, yet so wrong, that it's almost a moral dilemma. I'm talking about Chicken McNuggets.

I call shenanigans on this picture.
Everyone knows they travel in packs.
Last night we were watching TV together, and a McDonald's commercial came on. A Chicken McNuggets commercial, to be specific, featuring new dipping sauces. And at the same instant, PDaughter looked at each other and said, "I love Chicken McNuggets!"
And then we shouted "Jinx!", punched each other
in the arm, and drooled like this.
I eat at McDonald's maybe once a year. I'm not a huge fan of fast food in general, and McDonald's in particular. When I go, I either have a Sausage Biscuit for breakfast, or Chicken McNuggets for not-breakfast. And since I tend to alternate, that means I have McNuggets roughly once every two years. By this definition, and no other, I consider them a delicacy.

PDaughter was not raised on a McDonald's diet. Yes, I am a red-blooded American mom, yet my child hardly ever ate Mickey D's growing up. I've taken her occasionally, and she goes with friends occasionally, which is fine with me. I'm not one of those nutrition-police mothers who refuse to let junk food into the sacred temple of their child's body. She gets her daily quota of Cheetos and cookie dough along with fruit and yogurt and all that good stuff.

But since she was very young, her father and I have had one basic food rule: She eats what we eat. That means no mealtime substitutes (OK, we do let her choose a serving of fruit when we chow down on spinach - more for us!). It also means she doesn't eat what we don't eat. I don't eat a lot of fast food, and Beloved Spouse eats even less because it would kill him, and the last thing we're going to is make a special trip to McDonald's else just so she can fill up on over-processed empty calories while we look on in disgust. Instead we go someplace where we can fill up on over-processed empty calories that we all enjoy.

Thank you, CiCi's Pizza.
 Still, every so often, I start thinking about Chicken McNuggets. And I can't stop. I don't know what they put in them that gives me the McNugget jones, but it's some seductive shit.
Don't nobody escape McNugget Jones, honeymustard-child.

Unfortunately, I know what they do put in McNuggets.
Now, despite what you heard Jamie Oliver tell little kids, McDonald's does not use mechanically separated chicken, a substance so foul it requires specific labeling by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. That doesn't mean that McNuggets are healthy chunks of hand-selected chicken breast from God-fearing pullets. They're still the result of stewing and pressing and binding a lot of meat, corn, and chemicals into more or less nugget-shaped food units that are then breaded and fried.

And dunked! Let's not forget the dunking!

As Lebron did during the NBA Finals.
As if my biennial craving for Chicken McNuggets weren't already enflamed, the commercial PDaughter and I saw last night informed us that there are four new flavors of sauce available to up the sodium and calorie count of the little critters. They are Sweet Chili, Creamy Ranch, Honey Mustard, and Spicy Buffalo.

I like the way this McNugget actually seems to have
perished in a pool of Spicy Buffalo sauce.
I've always loved McDonald's Barbeque sauce on McNuggets. They go together so perfectly, like hipsters and ugly hats.

I could really go for any of these new flavors, though. PDaughter, on the other hand, eschews dunking sauce altogether in favor of ketchup. Which strikes me as a crime against food. Of course, when I was her age I used to put strawberry jelly on bologna, so I suppose it's just another example of my child being doomed by bad genetics. Sorry, kid.

Anyway, it seems to me a trip to McDonald's might be in our future. Since BelSpouse is teaching evening classes this summer, we're having girls' nights. And what's a girls' night without some inappropriate food?

Bad food! That is just inappropriate.
And hey...since I haven't been to Mickey D's in a while, does anyone know if they still have Arctic Orange shakes?

That's good eatin'!

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