I have thought long and hard about posting this, and believe me, that's only the first of several dirty pun opportunities that I'm probably going to fall into during the course of this post without even knowing. But I mean, there are some lovely people reading this blog now, including someone's grandmother, for crying out loud. But I still "gotta be me, what else can I be?" Call it artistic integrity, if you're inclined to be optimistic about my character. Or if not, blame the fact that too many of my formative years were spent in an all-male household, and as we all know, men are dirty, dirty pigs. Right? Okay, we'll blame them.
So while warning you that this post is not for the faint-hearted, or those with delicate (or even normal) sensibilities, I give you without further ado... Cheezy Olive Penis Bread. Now famous amongst about ten of my closest friends, whom I have personally horrified with its presentation.
Why, oh why, you are asking, would I do something like this? Well, two things brought about my horrific creation. Long ago, I made some pepperoni rolls, in an attempt to recreate the ones that are sold by Gumby's Pizza in Champaign, IL. And I was pretty successful. It was photographed, of course.
I used refrigerated light breadstick dough or pizza dough, and turkey pepperoni (low in fat). I wrapped the dough around a stick of light string cheese and the pepperoni, and brushed them with a little light butter when they came out. Then we dipped them in light ranch dressing. (I think all that light stuff adds up, so they weren't very fatty at all.) They were delicious, but Chris and I couldn't help but notice that they had a slightly, ah, rude shape that made us snicker. A "two-headed" appearance, if you will.
The next fateful event was the engagement of my delightful friend, Jenny. We had a bachelorette gathering in her honor, to which she specified, "absolutely no penises, please." She was more referring to something large or inflatable that she would be forced to wear/carry/take photos with as we went out later on... But my first reaction, of course, was to make it a most penisful evening, indeed. She's a nice person, and she doesn't deserve to be treated that way. Serves her right for having me in her life.
I went to the naughty store, and I thought about purchasing the penis cake pan. But, how typical is that? My friend deserved better. Something crafted by my own loving hands. Aha, I remembered! The pepperoni rolls! All I needed to do was alter the, ah, base. Oh, I'm not gonna dance around it, if you've read this far, you can take it. I needed a nutsack. So I purchased some gourmet jalepeno-cheese stuffed olives, and some black olives (because I didn't know which size would look better.) Let the experimentation begin!
I told Chris when I got back from the store that I was going to bake a batch of bread in the shape of penises. "Okay," he said, shrugging. "I'll take the pictures for you."
I figured out early on that I couldn't incorporate the pepperoni, or any pasta sauce (I had thought at first to make them pizza-style). There just wasn't room in there. Plus, the red pizza sauce sort of took it from "stag film" to "snuff film." I didn't want to go there, quite. (I wanted to be Rip Taylor, not Lorena Bobbitt). I also realized that simply pinching the dough together wouldn't keep it from bursting open (I know, I know) so I started using toothpicks, weaving them into a seam. I only had colored toothpicks -- yellow (I know, I know).
I placed the olives and the cheese, well, you know. Then I wove one toothpick through the top, making the unspeakable vein shape. Hang in there. Then I folded the top over, and pinned it with one more toothpick at the back, forming, um, the little hole. Sorry, everyone, so sorry. We're almost there.
Some of them still opened a little in the oven, but overall, they came out ("It's Raining Men" starts playing at those words) pretty well. I brought some marinara sauce and um, ranch for dipping with me to the party. (I know, I know).
I walked into a room full of still-sober ladies who asked me, "What did you bring, Gina?" "Penis bread," I announced. There was not one snicker of laughter. Nothing. I could actually hear the crickets chirping. Then someone, Ann I think, said, "Well, let me try one!" Ann is a fairly picky eater, and for being the first brave soul to try my creation, she promptly bit into the one toothpick I had been unsuccessful in finding. Yeah, watch out for that. And she doesn't even like olives.
"Oh dang," I thought. Failure! I thought. But slowly, with some drinks and growing hunger, every lady tried a uh, member of her own. Everyone talked about how delicious they were. I was like, yeah, great, but don't you think it's funny? Sure, sure, they said. Give me another one, they said, I'm starving.
I realized as the party went on that I had gotten so caught up in my project that I hadn't gotten Jenny a rude gift, as everyone else had done. Ann said, "Gina... Did you, or did you not fashion bread into the shape of a penis?" Yes, Ann. Yes I did.
When my friends bring this up, they still say "those were so tasty! Make those again!" And I'm okay with that. The novelty factor still makes me chuckle, personally, but in the end (if you spotted that one, you really do have a dirty mind) I'd rather people thought my food was tasty than anything else. Shape doesn't really matter.