Joco Diversions

Italian-style barbecue? Modern farmhouse? Some things aren’t meant to be paired

The burnt ends at Joe’s Kansas City are a thing of beauty that should never be ruined with an Italian sauce.
The burnt ends at Joe’s Kansas City are a thing of beauty that should never be ruined with an Italian sauce. File photo

I understand the beauty of a hybrid. When you take the best characteristics from one group and blend them with another often incongruous category, you sometimes achieve genius. But more often than not these mismatches can be tragic fails.

This is because there are things that are so stellar in their own right that they don’t need to be joined with anything else. Barbecue is one of these categories that needs to be left alone. I almost canceled my subscription to one of my favorite magazines when I saw a recipe for Italian-style burnt end barbecue. Mon Dieu!

Hold on to your Joe’s Z-Man because it gets worse. The recipe called for mixing chunky marinara sauce with barbecue sauce. Could anything be more wrong? The only thing these two sauces have in common is a tomato base. After that they dramatically part company and need not be reunited.

The whole thing is an affront to burnt ends. These juicy, yet crispy nuggets of beef don’t need to be insulted with any sauce. They stand alone and on their own merit. To even think about camouflaging their flavor profile with a canned sauce of marinara makes me weepy.

The worst offender in the hybrid game has to be in interior design where one of the latest buzzwords is “modern farmhouse.” The results I’ve seen on TV and in print make me wonder if any of these designers have ever been tractor adjacent or ventured through the front door of a farmhouse.

I say this because in real life, a farmhouse doesn’t usually feature floor to ceiling glass windows that create a retractable wall, cathedral ceilings and stainless steel kitchen appliances big enough to hide multiple bodies or a steer that just won first place at the 4-H livestock competition.

In all these “modern farmhouses,” I see nothing that resembles a home based in rural America unless you count the grapevine wreath gussied up with cotton balls on the front door. I’m puzzled how the term even became part of the interior design descriptive palette?

A better name would be “Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal.” This immediately tells you that every wall of this large home will be covered in white shiplap and feature black accent colors.

Can we take a moment now and discuss shiplap? Isn’t it closely related to paneling? The much hated paneling that you always see getting cursed at and mocked in design remodels, just set at a different angle?

I guess it’s vertical paneling. Some casino in Las Vegas needs to set the over-under on when shiplap will become just another icky paneling job.

Fashion is just as ridiculous with their mishmashes. Last week I was told that “ladies my age” (please, can we not use this phrase?) look wonderful in “refined boho chic” ensembles.

I felt compelled to say something to the much younger human who proffered this statement. (It could be because I enjoy educating the youth or might have been because I was still steaming over the “my age” comment.)

I began by explaining that boho is short for bohemian and nothing about the word lends itself to refinement. I also added that “ladies my age” don’t want to look like their mothers who were at Woodstock. Nor do we want to pay hundreds of dollars for that flashback to style crimes and egregious grooming choices.

I’m all for the joining of forces to create something new or improved. But, sometimes we need to let quality stand alone in its majesty and sometimes we need to realize that mishmash is just a mistake with a trendy name.

Reach Sherry Kuehl at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.

  Comments