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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Spoon, Fork, or Knife? ( Guest Blog, JB Style!)

Every Utahn who grew up in Salt Lake during the eighties remembers eating out at the Training Table restaurant. It was standard fare for high school date night, and their television ad didn’t change for about 20 years. I still think that the girl in the tv ad was hot. I wonder what she’s doing now; she’s probably a mom with four kids and a mortgage. . . a pretty hot mom, that is!

Any way, not to get distracted, I need to set the record straight. The other day we stopped at the Training Table for lunch and we ordered all of the standard stuff, including an order of cheese fries. (“Cheese fries, that’s the last thing I need, an order of cheese fries”) Of course we got an order of dipping sauce to go with the fries. For those of you unfamiliar with dipping sauce, it looks like a bowl of barbeque sauce with a big blob of mayonnaise in the middle.

As long as I can remember we always mixed up the dipping sauce with a butter knife. Everybody knew this back then. A quick stir with the knife and your cheese fries were ready for yet another Utah original. But out-of-towners unfamiliar with standard dipping sauce protocol were obviously unaware of the requirement to stir with a knife.

So, we’re at lunch and I notice that there’s no knife on the table, just a fork. And Sarah picks up the fork and begins stirring the dipping sauce. I’m immediately appalled at the gross breach of protocol and begin to “educate” everyone at the table who did not grow up here and did not know about the knife rule.

Whether you are originally from Delta, or California, or wherever, just understand one thing: we stir our dipping sauce with a knife! Got it?

18 comments:

sarahbellum said...

let me translate...

"educate" = high pitched JB lecture.

pmk said...

Forget the knife....what is it about dipping sauce? I never even knew mayo could be mixed with ketchup/BBQ sauce until I moved here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to let you down but I too use a fork; makes for smoother stirring.

dennis said...

MMmmmm..cheese fries!

Jen said...

PMK: Do you not do dipping sauce? Oh, so yummy.
I'm with you Dennis. Mmmmmm, cheese fries AND dipping sauce. Sometimes I miss Utah...

Aimee said...

If there wasn't a knife on the table, of course you use a fork. Like you're going to get up and go all the way to that condiment/water glass/silverware bar to get a knife. This isn't about laziness, it's about efficiency. I do agree that the knife is, under most circumstances the ideal stirring utensil, as this prevents contamination of the spoon or fork with the 'dipping sauce'... However in this case there wasn't a knife handy so proper protocol would just be to watch Sarah adoringly as she uses the fork... just like you watch her adoringly as she does everything else.

Dave said...

heh, i just ate at the training table on monday. with cheese fries and dipping sauce.

if i don't remember to grab a fork/knife/spoon to stir the sauce with (most of the time), i usually just use one of the fries that isn't covered with cheese to stir it.

oddly enough, i really don't care for dipping sauce, although the training table is one notable exception.

am said...

sometimes i miss utah too...thanks jb

ak said...

I prefer to use my finger; I'm the only one who knows wjere its been - more sauce for me!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Utah native, but I've lived here (on and off) since 1996. One thing that has been a constant, reliable, anchor in my life is cheese fries and dipping sauce at the Training Table. And i use a fork. I don't mean to sound snotty, but it doesn't surprise me that most Utahns have decided a knife is best. I have no examples to support this, it's just a feeling I have. And I'm entitled to my feelings...

Seriously though, a knife? You may as well use a canoe paddle for all the finesse a knife holds. The mayonaise tends to glob up and a knife is useless to remedy this. Sure, after 4 min of stirring I suppose anything would work. Use a ruler or a spatula and it would eventually work, but a FORK is the most convenient tool on hand, nay THE BEST! Because as we know, a wire wisp is natures most deft mixing utensil, but in that large ramekin the sauce is served in a wisp is too big. It doesn't fit. Okay, some sort of mini-pocket wisp would be ideal. But even if one existed, after I mix with a fork, i use it to spear my first few fries. It's delectable! What do you do with the saucy knife? Spread it on your mountain of fries or lick it? I'm guessing licking a knife would come naturally to a Utahn. These are the people that invented Bangerter "Highway." The Stop and Go nightmare that teases commuters.

The Fork. It's not even a question. Or as it's pronounced here, the "fark."

I'm kidding. (May-zure! Play-zure! Book of Mar-man! Par-nar-graphy!) Ok, I'm done now.

sarahbellum said...

i stand by my fork.

Jen said...

nice AK, you would use your finger ;)
Dave! We have the same technique: fry for the stirring. Nothing wasted with that method, and no 'licking' of anything afterwards.

Sofi said...

Ohmigod! I still crave the dipping sauce. I've been making my own fry sauce since I left Utah, so I can attest that the use of a knife creates a silkier sauce. Mmmmm Training Table.

Linden said...

I've lived just around the corner from a Training Table for four years, and yet I've never eaten there. And I even know the manager!

And just this year, during a camping trip to Goblin Valley, did I come to accept the majesty that is Fry Sauce. Now I put it on everything.

JB said...

Don't knock the knife until you've tried tried it. Just as Amy said, the knife makes a silky sauce. I concede that a fork would probably work, but why use it if a knife is so much better? At least most of us seem to agree that cheese fries with dipping sauce is a hot combination. Way to go Training Table!! Home run first time up to bat.

Ethan said...

"I'll just have some of yours"

"No way!"

SJ said...

The girl in the ad was actually my babysitter. The whole family is gorgeous actually. But definitely different. I thought they were cool because they took me to see the fireworks on the 4th in my pj's when I was maybe 7 yrs old.

ak said...

ethan - lol