Archive for December, 2011

Jowels braised in Marcella wine

December 2011

RTing & TweetLongering my note to those sorry flacks who have to compose eye-catching subject lines for e-blasts: Mouth-watering always makes me think of dogs drooling. Are they part of the 12 days of xmas? After geese a-humping?

Winter ratatouille

December 2011

I’ve been rather sadly entertained by the kale kerfuffle, not least because the wires and the blogs were in a lather at least a week before it became news fit to print. But mostly I think we’ve seen this movie before — you start out bashing teh gays and then head for the hippies. And it’s not a game of chicken.

Only the little people test recipes

December 2011

One of the many reasons I’ve surrendered my life to the Twitter is that it can be so useful for recommendations. When I was looking for a liquid option near Grand Central to meet a friend waitin’ on a train, I was happy to see one suggestion twice: the lobby bar at the Roosevelt Hotel, which was touted as right out of “Mad Men.” The bad news: It was full of lumbering ad-duped heartlanders because it was Friday night. The good news: It was straight out of “Mad Men” — we two women were ignored after ordering our first glasses of wine and actually had to flag down the manager to acquire our seconds. At least we didn’t have to report when our last periods were to be considered for secretarial jobs . . .

Fence or Brokeback collar?

December 2011

We get the actual “hometown paper” only on Sundays, so just before heading out to the 7 Train Across the Universe I happened upon one of those bizarre obits it has taken to running for dead people who achieved nothing in life beyond breeding (and not of accomplished spawn). I always read them looking for clues as to what in the name of Zelig merits inclusion alongside the likes of Lennon but always wind up recycling the paper in frustration. On this particular Sunday, though, I was glad I had wasted the time. The DPWAN of the morning was a “proud Irishwoman.” Who, it turns out, was born in Queens. Come on. This is America. You’re American if you popped out of Mom here. (And I say that as the daughter of a Belfast-born Marine.) After reveling in the Louis Armstrong House/Museum in Corona, the disconnect seemed even more obvious. As the exhibits showed, Satchmo moved into a white neighborhood that became black and is now Latino. Four of us walked to lunch on sidewalks where we were the minority. After a great Mexican lunch, we spent a long time in a supermarket gawking at shelves stocked with at least two dozen types of chorizo and a dozen types of bacalao plus endless aisles labeled not by food but by country. As one of our friends who was just back from Mexico noted, what unites us all is consumerism. No store he saw south of the border was that overstocked (or even half-stocked). Assimilation begins when you come for the tomatillos but walk out with the ketchup. I’m sure even Mrs. O’Leary-Byrne-Collins learned to love Tater Tots. And maybe even to douse them with sriracha.

Place. Holder.

December 2011

As my day drifted away in a digital haze, I did get a good laugh from this almost Taiwanese-worthy animation of a JGold Wannabe review: A porcupine “laughing” over his/her food.

Hide the pepperoni in the baloney

December 2011

I pay way too much attention to the clown car these days, because it really is heading nowhere. So I have to say I was pleased to see the Herb Pizza going down, so to speak. At least once he exits the wingnuts’ three rings, potential voters will stop hearing him referred to as a food bizguy. He was a restaurant lobbyist. Which is a nicer way of saying pimp. Or is it whore?

140+

December 2011

Are those the best new restaurants or are they the most easily shaken down? And can you really judge a cookbook by its filler (I mean, I’m no fan of the Goopster, but she did hire a good cook to do the important writing: the recipes — and besides, when was the last MFK Pulitzer for a Tin Chef collaborator)? And here’s one way to rake in the dough:  Expand your prize categories and charge $100 for every entry — just don’t call it Lotto for bloggers.

I also had to admit to new admiration for the Top Tin among Chefs. For all the Barbaro droppings about kids as critics and cooks these days, he produced the most graphic evidence that they just do not have palates evolved enough to appreciate serious cooking. I have cleaned up similar with my own hands. Cats, of course, are another story.

Quorn is not the answer . . .

December 2011

It says everything that it took the Taiwanese animators to make the most fair-and-balanced sense of the cheval scandale. As someone who spends way too much time reading and not nearly enough writing, I already knew the issue was complicated. With hearts bleeding for ducks allowed to gorge to their guts’ content, everyone assumes inhumanity is involved in turning Seabiscuit into supper. But forcing the poor animals to be trucked out of the country for slaughter sounds far more traumatic to me. (Not that I’m whinnying, but the longest, hardest day of my life was the one spent getting from a hospital in Torino to our apartment in New York on a broken femur — and I had warm nuts in business class to ease me through it.) It’s fascinating to see people who happily eat cheap pork from abused hogs worrying about a protein many cultures regard as perfectly acceptable, even commanding a premium. I’ve tasted it only once*, the first time my too-curious consort insisted on ordering it, in a swanky restaurant in Florence where it was served in thin shreds as an expensive appetizer. I remember it was surprisingly good. But mostly I remember that the waiter kept wiping his oily nose and I later developed what felt like a particularly brutal form of bird flu. I would say “sick as a dog,” but that would be dinner in other cultures. Cooked at fever temp.

*Amended after a long walk: I remember I tasted it again, also in Italy, in Treviso, on bruschetta. And definitely not priced like dog food.

Add an A to agoraphobic

December 2011

On our way to buy hardtack the other day, my consort and I stopped at an NYPL branch to return a carefully culled DVD and by chance found “City Island” on the shelf. I remembered several touts by our co-op’s own private Ebert, the Sun-thru-Thurs elevator operator whose taste is unerringly right-on, so we brought it home and watched it with great pleasure. Now all I want to know is why NPR’s producers weren’t mentioning it in their segment on the Butter Guzzler, the one that alleged her appeal is to “people who live alone or have fractured families.” I suspect what’s up is more the feeder/feedee dynamic the filmmaker ID’d in his quest for an obese actress in a celluloid world where 170 pounds is deemed over the top. And I don’t even want to  delve into how Liberace had the same appeal to my lonely mom after her nine pregnancies in 8 1/2 years . . .