This article will likely be a thought-provoking one for many people because I’m going to ask you to do something fun. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like food and that certainly goes for Southerners who love to eat more than anyone I know. The last year for me has been an interesting one as I went on a quest to lose weight and managed to shed just over a fourth of my weight in about a year’s time. Having done that, the challenge now is to keep that off and so far I have done pretty well considering the holiday eating season has just ended. Still, it got me to thinking about some of the foods that are not good for me but that I love and I came up with a question to ask myself.

What if one day we were given a free pass? Maybe by a Genie in a lamp some other wish-granter, coming to us and saying something like “Today you are going to get a free pass. You can eat as much of any one thing as you want until you are completely satisfied, no matter how fattening or how bad it might be for you and you won’t gain a single pound or do any damage to your health. You won’t even get sick from eating too much”. What would that be? I came up with a list of things, in no particular order, that I would eat until I could hold no more and I would like to see what you might come up with. You don’t have to come up with as many as I did but if you could get “a free pass” for one day, what would you eat until you could eat no more of it? 

1. Bacon. I always grew up hearing that bacon was no good for you and that you should limit yourself to a few pieces. I honestly think I could eat an entire pack of bacon without thinking about it.

2. Krispy Kreme chocolate covered creme filled donuts. I would love to be able to eat an entire box of them hot off the conveyor belt.

3. Fried chicken from Buckner’s Family Restaurant, a famous eatery located near my home town just off the interstate. I have always tried to eat their fried chicken in moderation but it would be interesting to see how much I could eat.

4. Fried catfish. I have loved fried catfish as long as I can remember, from the time I first learned how to safely eat it off the bone. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? All of these first four are fried in one way or another.

5. My grandmother’s banana pudding. I have yet to find a banana pudding that comes anywhere close to hers and I probably never will. I am very biased of course.

6. My mother’s homemade lasagna which is a special treat she makes for my brother a couple of times a year. That was in fact a dig at my brother and her both. I could eat it by the pound.

7. While eggnog is not exactly a food item, my mother makes a very special eggnog each year usually at Christmas and New Year’s and I would love to be able to drink as much of it as I could hold. Since the Genie didn’t add inebriation to the “free pass” though, I would likely be in a coma for a couple of days afterward.

8. My father’s chili would definitely have to fall in this group. Dad makes a wonderful and very filling chili that, while a bit spicier than I am used to, is loaded with all kinds of stuff to leave you satisfied.

9. Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni. A throwback to my bachelor days, I still find this to be one of my favorite “easy meals” to make and one guaranteed to leave your stomach full. It must still be the most popular Hamburger Helper product because it is most often the one that is sold out at the local supermarket and I just can’t bring myself to buy the store brand.

10. Fresh Air Barbecue’s chopped pork and barbecue sauce. I cannot deny that I have a family connection there but 83 years of business must mean I’m not wrong that people like it pretty well.

11. Thanksgiving Turkey, hot and freshly carved. Turkey is actually pretty good for you but it will put you to sleep for a large part of the afternoon so make sure you have plenty of nap time scheduled if you are going to eat your fill of turkey.

12. Deviled eggs. This staple of after-church, covered dish luncheons is always the first to run out. Always. If you want deviled eggs at a church luncheon, you better not be socializing in the lobby when the food line queues up.

13. Grandmother’s homemade biscuits and Welch’s Grape Jam. I used to voluntarily sit at the card table during Grandmother’s Sunday lunches with the entire family because the extra biscuits were always warming in the oven and I could open the oven door and get a fresh one out when I wanted one. God how I miss her biscuits.

14. My Grandfather’s vine ripened tomatoes, grown in his garden. I would eat them like an apple if need be and too many might cause stomach distress but hey, we are talking about a free pass here.

15. York Peppermint Patties. Chocolate and peppermint were made to go together like peas and carrots. If York isn’t available, Andes mints will do nicely too.

16. Since we veered onto chocolate, I would have to include Reeces Peanut Butter Cups. They’re two great tastes that taste great together after all.

17. Asparagus. Yes, it’s a green vegetable and not one of the more popular ones but cooked right, there is nothing better than asparagus, especially when served with a nice hollandaise sauce.

18. Steak. I love steak like a Texan loves steak and I could eat it every day without reservation. It doesn’t have to be Ruth’s Chris either; I would settle for Morton’s, Chops, Longhorns and any steak cooked on my grill. I sure do miss Steak and Ale too.

19. Potatos. Mashed, baked, fried, boiled, au graten…..I don’t care. I’m convinced if a plague wiped all food off the earth except potatos I could make it.

20. Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. This goes back to the York Peppermint Patties, again the same two tastes together BUT with the added benefit of ice cream, which I love as well.

So there you have my top twenty favorite foods, any one of which I would gladly accept a free pass sometime to eat as much of as I could hold. What would choose if you could get a “Free Pass” for a day?