Having been surrounded by all males in this household for so many years--until my oldest son married two years ago and gave me a daughter, and then recently, two granddaughters as well!--I have learned that there are three food items that men love and must have, as often as possible. (At least my men love and must have them, and I get the feeling they're not alone.) These all-important foods are bacon, gravy, and cheese. Any one of these, or all of them together, can apparently be added to almost any recipe and they will only improve it.
If you work for the American Heart Association, you might want to stop reading this. And I'd like to add this disclaimer: I'm not advocating including large amounts of bacon, gravy, and cheese as part of one's healthy daily diet. I'm just making some observations here.
Last Sunday, our second oldest son came over to watch the Patriots game with us. We usually do a lot of fun game snacks, like buffalo chicken wings and tortilla chips with chili dip and salsa. But we toned it down that night and just had a normal light dinner, because he said he'd made himself a really filling lunch earlier and didn't want too much. He'd experimented, he told us: he'd melted cheddar cheese on some seasoned french fries and then poured turkey gravy over the top. He said it was delicious. "Ugh!" I said. "I can see cheese OR gravy; but cheese AND gravy? That's too much." Without missing a beat, my husband said, "That sounds AWESOME." I came back with, "They don't really go together, do they? Cheese and gravy?" He answered, "Sure they do!" Then both he and my son agreed that bacon would have been the icing on the cake--because of course, any dish can only be enhanced if you put bacon on it!
I've mentioned comedian Jim Gaffigan before, but I'm going to give him another little plug here. He has a comedy DVD called "King Baby" that is a must-see, not just for died-in-the-wool bacon lovers, but for people who like to laugh in general. (I still can't figure out what "King Baby" has to do with anything. I think it's just a random title he came up with because he's, shall we say, rather off-beat; but don't let the fact that the title of it sounds bizarre keep you from checking it out.)
Once, several years back, my boys were extolling the virtues of bacon, and my middle son insisted that bacon would taste good with ANYTHING. His brothers smelled a challenge there and said, "Really? Would it taste good on a candy bar?" Never one to back down and admit defeat, my #3 son wrapped a piece of bacon around a Snickers bar and ate the whole thing, insisting that it was delectable. To this day--although his brothers still don't quite believe him--he will resolutely repeat that bacon and chocolate are a winning combination. Now I'm not sure if he'd have been able to eat that Snickers bar with gravy and melted cheese on it, too...but when it comes to the gastric proclivities of men, nothing would really surprise me.
(Note regarding the above picture: Men will eat these three man foods with gusto, but don't expect them to notice or appreciate the pretty dishes you put them in or the lace cloth underneath.)