Oranges were the only fruit aboard the Revenge. Even ifCaptain Stede Bonnet couldn’t taste them in the 40-orange cake he ordered—and even if the crew got scurvy—at least he caught Blackbeard’s eye.
And with that the HBO comedy Our Flag Means Death cleansed the Florida orange of its residual 70s-era anti-LGBTQ+ rot, and repositioned it as an enduring symbol of gay pirate love.
“That show has a representation of queerness that is so joyful,” says Eve Studnicka, one half of the great midwestern meal delivery duo Funeral Potatoes. “I’ve never seen that before.”
You’ll certainly taste the citrus in her homage to Stede’s cake when she and Alexis Thomas return to the Kedzie Inn for Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s ongoing chef pop-up series.
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This Monday, August 29, Studnicka and Thomas are sneaking away from their temporary run at the Salt Shed to present a menu inspired by queer TV and film, such as Fried Green Tomatoes, which begets the Towanda: pulled pork with honey-molasses barbecue sauce, fried green tomatoes (natch), and cornbread drizzled in hot honey (like when Idgie braves the bees for Ruth’s honeycomb).
Thomas, who grew up in the home of the Rockford Peaches, gives a nod to A League of Their Own with a beer-battered corn dog with peach mustard; and also The Birdcage, with a mess of Cubano-frites, with crispy ham and pickles, all drenched in Swiss cheese fondue. And then there’s that cake, a spiced orange sponge blanketed in brown butter rum frosting and candied ginger. I know your first impulse will be to smoosh it into Anita Bryant’s face, but I’m confident she won’t be there. So eat.
This Funeral Potatoes threepeat couldn’t be more timely, going down just after the one-year anniversary of the first Foodball last summer. You can still catch them at the Salt Shed tomorrow at the Jorja Smith show or at the Jason Isbell/Shemekia Copeland show on September 22 (the show on the 23rd is sold out, as is Death Cab for Cutie on September 24), after which they’ll return to regularly scheduled meal delivery.
But as you’d expect from Studnicka and Thomas, this is a menu just as personal as it is universal. As always there will be limited walk-in availability, but preorders for the Light Loafers Supper Club at the Kedzie Inn are on sale now.
Monday Night Foodball resumes after a Labor Day break on September 12 with the return of The Melanin Martha; and on the 19th, a night of global Asian barbecue with Umamicue and friends. After that it’s a brand-new fall schedule.