Summer time is fast approaching, marking the end of another — and for some, our last — year at UCSB.
Earlier this quarter, the Daily Nexus editorial staff began deliberating on a final “project” for the last On the Menu in celebration of another unforgettable year gone-by. In order to leave no culinary milestone in Isla Vista untouched, we decided to trade in our rigorous summertime beach body workout regimen for the chance to indulge in our favorite local eateries for a final time this year.
Once the word “epic” became the defining characteristic sought after for our gastronomic machinations, we decided to create an Isla Vista-themed calzone and cookiewich based on the kitchen mentality of the popular online cooking show “Epic Meal Time.” Thus, Nexus Meal Time was born. As the staff watched each aromatic item unclothed, the preparation table teemed with the vibrancy of Isla Vista. This awe-inspiring presentation marked the last hint of civilization and order within the kitchen, as savagery and ruthlessness was soon to ensue.
The Freebirds nachos were the first toppings to be placed upon the pizza. When the cheesy nachos covered the pizza, we stripped the sausages off the hotdog buns and began slicing them. Hundreds of perfectly circular portions soon lay upon the cutting board, glistening and beckoning to be covered by more delicious treats. With no time to waste, we neatly split the corndogs into two lengthwise portions. The shawarmas were laid, the sausage and corndog slices were peppered and the chicken strips crowned the forming monstrosity.
While the calzone began to take shape, layers of bacon were woven and thrown into the preheated oven. As the sizzling weave came out, we threw it atop the mountain, along with a smattering of marinara and cheese. Bacon on bacon on bacon. “When I saw that bacon weave gingerly set atop the nearly finished calzone, with its glorious grease dripping off, I knew we were in for something life-altering,” senior sports editor Ryan Porush said.
The mood around the room was of the same sentiment.
“The brown sugar bacon drenched in Jack Daniel’s really provided the perfect flavor,” senior university editor Erika Martin said. “Like a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.”
Only one step remained. As everyone held their collective breaths, we flipped the second pan of pizza upon the culinary behemoth and finalized the calzone. The final product, once ready for insertion (into the oven), was much more colorful, greasier and overall more massive than anticipated.
“That first bite cannot be described with words,” Porush said. “And not even because it was that good. I was just too fucked up to remember.”
Knowing that indulgence meant a deathly food coma, we next turned our attention to dessert. Two tubs of cookie dough were pounded out into the biggest pans Kmart had to offer. The foundation was set and the build began as cookies and brownies layered the dough. This process was repeated yet again with the remaining tubs and cookies.
Moving quickly, as the substances inside of us insisted that we feast in a timely manner, we placed these two hulking confections in the oven to bake. When the cookies finished roasting, we systematically drowned one cookie with all the whipped cream in supply. Before we could place the other cookie on top, we realized that something was missing. Narrowly avoiding the most colossal disaster since Andre 3000 started making commercials about his facial hair rather than making beautiful music with Big Boi, we placed a bacon weave upon the cream before positioning the second cookie above. To finish off the cookiewich we opened up the bags of bin candy and let it rain.
After heating up the calzone, the senior staff risked heart attack and death in an attempt to devour and taste the Isla Vista they would never enjoy again. The devouring commenced and the clusterfuck of a calzone was torn apart. Corndogs and bits of nachos and bacon flew across the room, as the staffers had no idea what their next bite would bring.
“The suspense was nearly unbearable,” assistant university editor Marissa Wenzke said. “Nachos and pizza and bacon, oh my! Each bite brought a new sensation to my mouth.”
“As glorious and delicious as it was, I felt like a dirty whore eating it,” Porush said. “Probably something like how Adam felt after he tasted the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.”