blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend, glorious weekend

This weekend got top marks. It was pretty much non-stop hanging out and having fun, mostly with these folks. Friday night, a bunch of people gathered at Kate & Kay's to watch the debate, eat home made red velvet cupcakes (thanks Kate!) for Nathaniel's birthday, and then head to the Cut/Copy show at the 9:30 Club. It was really, really fun. There was fun music, lots of dancing, bourbon, and even an old high school friend and her baby brother (who is not a baby anymore, and bought me a drink, which was kind of weird, but kind of cool). Then, naturally, we had a sleepover at the cabana, in preparation for our previously planned Saturday of Seafood & Fun. 

After a delicious pancake breakfast (again, thanks Kate!), Ezra, Ben, Kay, Kate and I meticulously planned a monster menu and headed to the D.C. fish market in south west. 4 pounds of shrimp, 2 pounds of mussles, 2 whole red snappers and 2 food processors* later, we were on our way home. After a quick trip home to regroup, feed the animals, and ya know, shower, it was back to Hobart House to prepare a feast. We realized at this point that we couldn't actually eat 10 pounds of seafood on our own, so we called a couple of people to help us out. Ezra made a delicious roasted tomato & goat chevre toast appetizer and some spanish rice & garlic shrimp. Ben & Kay salt roasted one of the snappers, and prepared the other with an olive/lemon/caper sauce. Kate steamed some very tasty mussles. And I made a big elitist salad and some really great shrimp & grits. This is the part where I share a recipe with you! 

Shrimp & Grits
I used this recipe, with just a couple modifications. It was drool-enducing. The grits were unbelievably creamy because they were made with... cream. 

For the grits:
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup stone ground grits 
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp:
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small mildly spicy chili pepper, like a cayenne, finely diced
  • 1 lb andoulille or spicy Italian sausage, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shrimp shell stock
  • 2 to 3 bay leaves
  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • hot sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 green onions, sliced 
Before I started anything else, I (well, Ben & Ezra -- thanks fellas) shelled the shrimp. We saved a bunch of them to make stock out of. Basically, just add 3 or 4 big handfulls of shells to water and boil for 10 or 15 minutes. It's better than using chicken stock or plain water. 

Pour the milk and cream into a 3-qt pot; begin heating, slowly stirring in the grits. When they begin to bubble, turn down the heat to medium and keep stirring. Let simmer 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat when finished, adding butter, salt, pepper. 

In a deep, wide sauce pan, sautee onion, chili and garlic in olive oil until soft (2 minutes or so). Add the sausage and cook until brown. Make a roux by slowly sprinking in and stirring the flour. Pour in the shrimp shell stock and stir constantly. Add the bay leaves. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp for 2-3 minutes (until pink and firm). At this point the gravy should be smooth and thick. Add cayenne, hot sauce, lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, green onions. 

To serve: spoon grits into serving dish, top with shrimp mixture. Clog your arteries and enjoy every second of it. 

The rest of Saturday involved drinking lots and lots of beer with lots and lots of friends, playing Celebrity and another sleepover at the cabana. Sunday we headed back to Hobart House to help clean up and eat leftovers. Then a motley crew of lady friends (and Coleman) headed to my dad's house to watch the Redskins hand the Cowboys their hats. In the last game we'll ever have to play in Texas bloody Stadium. 

In summation, it was a perfect weekend. 

*Not actually purchased at the fish market, but rather, at Macy's. Foodie friends = spontaneous kitchen appliance shopping. 

It's recipe time!

This morning I decided to divert from my old stand-by fritata recipe (olives, onion, potato, and make fresh salsa to top it). I think I have created the most delicious egg dish in the history of egg dishes. OK, that might be an overstatement. But this was real good, guys.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 shallot
  • About half a can of white beans
  • About a dozen grape tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • Milk or cream (for the eggs)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.

Put a pan on to heat up, and add some oil. Add your sliced shallot and let that sautee for a minute or two. Add the beans and tomatoes, sautee a few minutes, then add the rosemary. Let all those flavors get good and integrated, then salt just a bit. 

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the stuff you've got in the sautee pan. Let that cook just till it bubbles around the edges, then stick it in your preheated oven. Cook 15-20 minutes (until cooked through and browned a bit on top). 

That's it! Happy eating. Though meatless, the beans and rosemary somehow give the impression that you're eating delicious sausage. And it's really, really good. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'd just like to point out

That the Redskins have done nothing but win since Dot Com was born.

This is just the best day. Topping off a wonderful weekend. More on all of that when I'm not dead on my feet tired.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Time for my semi-regular consideration of getting HBO

Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to tv.

Sounds like Party of Five. Or, Three, I guess. Plus Buffy. IN!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I found a link that's going to make Emily lose her mind!

Here ya go!

In case anybody's wondering, the act of asking this question is, in fact, sexist.

Just now, Ann Curry was interviewing Jennifer Granholm (I believe), and after asking about how she's been helping Biden prepare to debate Sarah Palin, she asked,
The question is, how is he going to debate a woman? The concern is that any man debating a woman would look condescending.

I'm ready to spit fire. The woman's preparing to be Vice President, and people are concerned that a solid debate on the issues would be condescending? If Biden goes any kind of easy on her, or ANYONE does for that matter, it will be an absolute disgrace. Nobody's concerned about going easy on Obama cause he's black, or McCain because he's suuuuuuper old. I may not like Palin one bit, but if she's at all qualified or capable of doing taking this position, she should be able to go toe to toe with people who don't care what kind of parts she was born with, because she's got a damn important job to do. I don't expect anyone to require less of me in any job I do or any responsibility I take on, and neither should anyone of Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Matt sums up Sarah Palin's speech paterns with precision. The most infurating thing about listening to her talk (well, aside from what she's saying) is that the woman seems to be positively allergic to finishing a sentence. It's the verbal equivalent of my pet peve about elipses. Form entire thoughts and convey them, pretty please? Or, actually, no. Go ahead and continue speaking like Nicholas Fehn. Maybe people will stop finding you so gosh darn relateable when they realize they can't understand a thing coming out of your mouth. 

Today in... Internet

Gonna vote? In that case, get yourself a free Wilco/Fleet Foxes mp3. Love Wilco or Fleet Foxes and not planning on voting? Change your mind, and get that mp3. 

I mentioned seeing the Avett Brothers in Charlottesville in an earlier post. I didn't have high expectations, despite knowing a crap ton of devoted fans of theirs, because their recordings I've heard have been so. damn. sleepy. But their live show was the polar opposite -- screaming, rock, jumping, crazy energy. It was fantastic. So now I get it. That said, their lovely song "If It's The Beaches" is indeed a slow burner, but I can't stop listening to it. You can find an mp3 over here

Sommer asked me to write a quick post on why I liked this photo. Instead, I wrote a manifesto about why the rivalry between the Cowboys and the Redskins is the best thing ever. Enjoy

Crank up your feel-old-o-meter. Nevermind came out 17 years ago today

The Second Coming

On the Heroes season premier, Mohinder reads Yeats' amazing poem, "The Second Coming." It fit the story line of the show, for certain, with evil brewing, people groping at power and wreaking havoc with their carelessness, etc. After hearing it the other night, I went to my book of collected Yeats work, and couldn't help but notice that it's even more relevant to our current political/economic/everything terrifying situation in real life. Yeats wrote it as the ruling class in Europe was on the decline, in the aftermath of the first World War, as revolutions and uprisings were happening all around the world and all around him. I've found myself revisiting the Modernists a lot lately.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hell yes, Hermione!

"I've always tried to balance my education with my acting career, but I just don't think it will be possible to juggle it with a degree course. I have a need now to study."

Education is good for you, ladies.


I think we should all be thanking Becks for this

But still, only slightly. I personally plan on doing some canvasing. Who's comin with me?

Heroes: Halp!

So, the third season finale was pretty good. This season seems a lot more promising than last. But I've got one question: did ANYONE follow the Peter Patrelli story line? Future Peter's consciousness is in Weevil's body? Or is that present-Peter's? But, the scar-face-Peter guy seems to still be Peter too -- caring about Claire and his brother and not doing anything so maleficent so as to make HRG affraid to even describe his evils to Claire. Did I miss something? Are there two Peters running around in present day? Where is the evil Weevil guy's consciousness hidden? I am so confused. 

A Charlottesville Sandwich

Last night, a slew of us went to see Casino Royale in Crystal City. Charles has been manning screenings all summer long of all of the Bond movies, and the most recent (and most sek-sy) one played last night. So we set up a picnic and watched (sort of) the show. It was fun! For my portion of the picnic, I made my best attempt at re-creating a Charlottesville Sandwich. Not necessarily a direct immitation of Bel Air or Take It Away or Little Johns or one of the hundred other incredible sandwich shops in that town, but inspired by the general sensibilities of all of them. So, here's what I did. (Also, Ezra complained that I haven't been blogging enough recipes/food related things lately. I realize he's probably the only person in the world who feels this way. But, here you go!)

First, I made some herbed mayo. Not just, adding herbs to mayo, but I made the actual mayonaise myself. It was really really delicious. Now I have a ton of it left and have been concocting a special potato salad recipe in my mind since last night. Anyhow, here's my herbed mayo recipe: 

Add to food processor: 
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of about half a lemon (maybe a little less)
  • About a 1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard (I didn't measure, just gave it a good squeeze)
  • About half a handful (a hearty pinch... a tear or two... again, I didn't measure, I just eyeballed it) of each of the following fresh herbs: basil, dill, chives, parsley
  • About a teaspoon or so of each of: cayenne pepper, salt, pepper
Mix those all together; then once they're all integrated, slowly add a cup of oil (I mixed some of this stuff with some good olive oil; most recipes just call for vegetable oil) to the running food processor. Refrigerate. It'll be good for a couple days. 

Once I had my fancy herbed mayo, I spread that on each side of a sliced baguette. I put thick cut slices of havarti, long cut pieces of cucumber, mashed avacado (I used a little of the herb mayo to help make the avacado mashing a bit easier), good quality deli turkey, and broccoli sprouts (I think they're a little tastier than alphalfa sprouts). And you know what? It was a damn good sandwich, almost as pleasing as one purchased in a gourmet gas station in the 'ville. If somebody else had made it for me (because sandwiches always taste better when someone else makes them for you, just like eggs), I might have fallen in love with it a little bit. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Of COURSE I'm going to mention the Redskins!

I was just saving it for the weekend wrap up post.
So, this weekend was pretty great. It involved more girls-only time than I've had in ages. That all started Friday night with The Great Naked Lady (aka clothing swap) Party of 08. Having cleared out 10 huge garbage bags full of clothes and shoes from my closets the weekend before, I figured I'd let my friends take a pass at my stuff before donating it away. Everybody else had some stuff they didn't want anymore either, so we all went through each other's remnants and everybody came away with a few great things that were new to them. And, we ate lots of delicious food, drank lots of delicious wine, and laughed. A LOT. Sommer should be a professional auctioneer, and Kate A. could have a career in fashion commentary. "That's going to the big Victoria's Secret in the sky" was my favorite observation of the night. 

After staying up drinking whiskey with Sommer till the wee hours, it was early to rise and get on the road! What road? Rt 29! Sommer, Catherine and I went down to Charlottesville to basically eat ourselves silly and soak up the atmosphere. We could not have gotten any luckier with the weather. It was truly a perfect fall weekend. We ate bel air sandwiches on the lawn, toured grounds, had beers on the corner, ate enchiladas, saw the Avett Brothers (who were GREAT) and Drive By Truckers on the downtown pavillion, hung out at Millers, got drinks at the Virginian, got late night Little Johns (the Blue Max is still where it's at), ran into a ton of people I didn't know were in Charlottesville still (or, also there for the weekend), got Bodos, shopped at antique and used book stores, ate amazing dumplings, hiked up to Blue Hole, (where we saw a killer snake, a milipede, a lot of Majestic Hawks and a swarm of totally angry bees), got Arch's, had lunch at the Greenskeeper/Jaberwokee/Three place, watched the last 7 minutes of the Redskins' victory, drank local Virginia beers, soaked up a few final miles of awesome radio on WNRN, and came home.  So basically, it was a perfect c'ville weekend. 

Then after dropping Sommer & Catherine off, I fed off of some of the risidual energy I had from the red bull I drank on the ride home, and stopped by Ben M's birthday bbq. I ate some of Kay's unbelievably good peanut butter chocolate cake, heard lots of people's thoughts on what it would be like if me and Spencer got into a (physical) fight (yeah, I didn't know what to think of that either -- we all decided in the end that it wasn't something any of us wanted to happen), and then proceeded to completely crash. I went home, watched a few minutes of the most boring Emmy's broadcast ever, and passed out almost immediately. 

So, about 10 pounds later, it's Monday. Work had no internet or power this morning, so I had to climb 9 flights of stairs to get to the office. And I think I'm going to yoga with Catherine on Wednesday. So hopefully I my new look for the fall won't be "Charlottesville Fat." 

Link Drop: WTF Edition

So, Brian points me to this infuriating revelation: Brontosauruses never existed. I am pissed. I feel betrayed. Apparently this discovery was made in 1975, yet they continued to teach it to us throughout the 80s. I'm not sure how they're responsible, but I blame republicans. And I want several new fancy dino-pop-up books delivered to my house, asap. 

Hilarious hilarious hilarious. No WTFs here whatsoever. 

Because I'm saving them all for this. Seriously, government? 

And while we're at the DCeiver, ha. Oh dear. 

Michael from Roswell is going to play Booth's brother on Bones. That is quite awesome. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OK I lied, one quick brain dump before I go back into the noblogbubble

So last night, I took metro back to VA from Velvet Lounge (after seeing Tyler's very good new band, The Awesome Few). It was last-train-o'clock, so by the time I got to Metro Center, it was crowded with lots of other people. 

But look, dudes. Just because I am alone and you are too does not mean you should sit down uncomfortably close to me at the column I came over and leaned against. When I'm watching a movie on my iPod and making no signs of acknowledgement of your too-close-for-comfort presence, it's not a signal to tell me that you like my scarf. Also, you kind of smelled bad. (And the fact that I could tell that, means you were, to reiterate, too close to me.) But, when I give you a terse, expression-less "thanks," you really didn't have to follow the compliment up with "Are you European?" First of all, you'd be amazed how often I get asked this question or one founded on some similarly baseless assumption. And it's always with the same shock that guys then respond, "REALLY!?! I would have sworn you were!" This is where it gets dicey. 

Because from there, it always devolves into unintentional or veiled criticism. I've just told you that no, I'm not European. "So where are you from?" (still not making eye contact or giving any hint of interest in continuing this conversation), "America." "That's so surprising; European girls generally have such a better fashion sense. Don't you think?" You see what happened there? By way of attempting to give me a compliment based on some assumption you've made about my identity, you go ahead and insult what I actually am. The conversation didn't get any better from there. I had to get up and walk away. 

This was just one highlight in a series of uncomfortable advances on the metro last night. The creepy starer who followed me around the platform the entire time I waited (which was what spurred me to sit down against that ill-fated column to begin with), the drunk guy who said "NIIIIIIICE!" when I sat down on the train, and so on. It was an evening full of charm. Topped off with a healthy dollop of street harassment when I emerged from the station. 

You know what I didn't feel an ounce of, after all of that? Confidence, compliment, self-satisfaction or contentedness. It was late, I was alone, and got circled by a bunch of salivating wolves. I felt pissed off and preyed-upon. Now, sure, I suppose the bad conversationalist in the metro could be stricken from the record of harassers; he was just trying to talk to a stranger (something often complained that not enough people in this city do). But take your cues, dude. I clearly was not interested in his advances, and he should have backed off. Instead he just kept being creepier and creepier. 

Anyhow, all of this is to say, this is pretty common for most women I know. And it really sucks to have to expect and accept this type of crap whenever we're alone. 

I am really busy, guys

So despite having about 10 stories ready to write for DCist about local bands, a bajillion new mp3's to share with you, lots of probably-uninteresting stories about what's been keeping me so busy and tales of adventures in my near future, the blog has been fairly quiet. Sorry! The day job and the personal life have been keeping my wheels turning at a frantic pace these days. I'm sure I'll be back up to my old ways of inundating you with photos of what I had for dinner soon enough.

10 points to Weigel

One of the worst things

Burning popcorn. You lose your snack, things stink, and because of said stink, you lose your taste for the stuff and don't even want to pop another bag. It is a cruel, cruel fate for a hungry girl right after work. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This is what getting something exactly right looks like

Ann Friedman on sexism

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Very Good Things

  • Dot Com has arrived! This baby was much anticipated on da tubes. And, in real life too. I got to see him and his very long fingers and very long toes and very blonde hair last night. In short, I am in love. Way to go, Pyggies! 
  • Brian's back to blogging! Dude is churning out posts at Yglesian levels. So tune in for smart thoughts on politics from another one of my smart friends. 
  • In a miraculous change of pace (from the first quarter in which they appeared to be allergic to the end zone), the Redskins won on Sunday with some remarkable 4th quarter turn around action. The first half was frustrating, but showed a hell of a lot of improvement over week 1. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008


OK, finally watched it. I don't think it's as terrible as most people did. Unbelievable? Sure! But it's sci fi. I'm ok with disbelief. One thing was really awful though: that stupid blonde lead that looks like a combination of Poppy Montgomery and Blake Lively. She is a terrible actress, and was given all of the most ridiculous moments of the pilot. I think Fringe could have the potential for X-File-type supernatural goodness, but I sure hope Pacey can teach that woman a thing or two about not being completely insufferable on screen. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When you notice the stripes

Riddle me this: why does a print change the way something fits? 

I've noticed this a lot over the years, and it's always puzzled me. I guess I can understand if the print is applied on top of a fabric, maybe that changes the way it stretches or falls or something. But if it's just dyed differently? I do not get it. Recently, it's been with these tees from UO. I bought one a couple months ago, and fell in love immediately, deeply and madly. It fit so perfectly, loose and flattering but still figure-skimming. And super soft in that washed out cotton kind of way. And the color, a muted but still vibrant blue. I loved it. I wanted it in every color I could get my hands on. 

So a couple weeks ago, I went back. They had a sadly small number of them in my size (only 3), but I bought all 3. Of those, 2 were solid colors, 1 was striped. All are the same material. The striped one is tight as a tick and so low cut I couldn't wear it to work. The solids? All lovely as the original. 

What is wrong with people?

Assholes, visciously violent criminals. Stop being terrible, everybody. 

Oh, and can somebody track down this umbrella for me?

The G is not on IM right now

And she'd normally be the recipient of the following ramblings. So, enjoy, everybody else! 

1. I went to Starbucks this morning for the first time in a long time. Maybe a year? It's really been a while. I've switched almost completely to Dunkin Donuts. But this morning I wanted something espresso-based, and as the immediate surroundings of my house, the route to work, and Tysons Corner offer no non-'bucks options in that arena, I caved. 

2. They made a cool new invention! Have you seen these? I just found them by googling "starbucks sticks that make your drink not spit up on you and spill on your cup holder." You may be an evil empire, Starbucks, but that's pretty darn clever. 

3. Did you know they have oatmeal now? It's pretty tastey. Obviously, nothing is as good as making it at home yourself and filling it with delicious nuts and berries and bananas, but as a mass-produced option, I'd say this ranks above au bon pain. 

4. Hm. There is an au bon pain in Tysons by my office. But their coffee kind of stinks? At least the one time I tried it it did. Not that Starbucks coffee is delicious. But it's a more familiar kind of lacking. Anyhow, you know what else sucks about au bon pain? Their sandwiches! All of them are just gross! I don't know how you can mess up sandwiches so horribly, but congratulations ABP. You did it. However, they do have pretty awesome soup. And little snacky veggies and fruit and candy. And the bread that goes with the soup is good, so I can rule that out as the reason for their sandwiches sucking. 

5. Speaking of terrible sandwiches, let's discuss Panera. Why is everything always so dry? And how do you take relatively good ingredients and make them taste that weird? And one time, I was there with a bunch of people, and a guy I was with took a bite only to find half of a cooked cricket in his panini. And they mess up my order every single time. I've been boycotting Panera for maybe 3 or 4 years. For this reason. But somebody told me that they have good grilled cheese, so maybe I'll try it. But if there's a cricket in my sandwich, I will lose my everloving mind. 

6. And Subway. Subway is obviously the worst sandwich place on earth. The vegetables taste like plastic or vinnegar, the meat gives me the heebie jeebies and tastes, also, like plastic. The only options you have for not feeling disgusting afterward are veggie sub or tuna. 

7. All of this is to say, someone please open up a good cafe in Tysons Corner. You will make a killing. The Subway next to my building is the most profitable Subway in the country. Seriously. We need you, coffee and sandwich purveyors! You're our only hope! 

8. There really wasn't a reason for me to number this list, was there? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Good

So, some things are changing my mind, and it's not all necessarily fashion weak up in NYC. I'm completely in love with the collections from Halson, DVF, and Matthew Williamson. I adored a lot of the pieces from Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera and DKNY. And if I could wear this dress every day for the rest of forever, I could die happy. 

The Omnivore's Hundred

Very Good Things has issued a challenge. Or, a list. Whatever. Anyway, they put together a compendium of the things all omnivores must try before they die. So here's how I stand (bold means I've tried it, striken means no way no how). I'm only completely unopen to the idea of one of these things (bugs), and I'm proud of my parents because the vast majority of the things on this list were things I tried growing up. Also: I have tried, but not at all liked many of these things. Carob chips? Gross. 

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile ...(I have had alligator though, does that count?)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (I mean, I think?)
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Ezra points out that there's a similar list for vegetarian food items. Here's how I fared on that one. I don't know that either list really hits all of the high notes that I'd like to make sure I taste while I'm living. But it's at least a fun exercise.

The Vegetarian Hundred

1. Real macaroni and cheese, made from scratch and baked
2. Tabouleh
3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven (preferably with homemade strawberry jam)
4. Fresh figs
5. Fresh pomegranate
6. Indian dal of any sort
7. Imam bayildi
8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu
9. Freshly made hummus
10. Tahini
11. Kimchi
12. Miso
13. Falafel
14. Potato and pea filled samosas
15. Homemade yogurt
16. Muhammara
17. Brie en croute
18. Spanikopita
19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes
20. Insalata caprese
21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards)
22. Freshly made salsa
23. Freshly made guacamole
24. Creme brulee
25. Fava beans
26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles
27. Fattoush
28. New potatoes
29. Coleslaw
30. Ratatouille
31. Baba ganoush
32. Winter squash
33. Roasted beets
34. Baked sweet potatoes
35. Plantains
36. Chocolate truffles
37. Garlic mashed potatoes
38. Fresh water chestnuts
39. Steel cut oats
40. Quinoa
41. Grilled portabello mushrooms
42. Chipotle en adobo
43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal
44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas
45. Frittata
46. Basil pesto
47. Roasted garlic
48. Raita of any type
49. Mango lassi
50. Jasmine rice (white or brown)
51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry
52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie
53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette
54. Quince in any form
55. Escarole, endive or arugula
56. Sprouts other than mung bean
57. Naturally brewed soy sauce
58. Dried shiitake mushrooms
59. Unusually colored vegetables (purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers…)
60. Fresh peach ice cream
61. Chevre
62. Medjool dates
63. Kheer
64. Flourless chocolate cake
65. Grilled corn on the cob
66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili
67. Tempeh
68. Seitan or wheat gluten
69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese
70. Sweet potato fries
71. Homemade au gratin potatoes
72. Cream of asparagus soup
73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip
74. Mushroom risotto
75. Fermented black beans
76. Garlic scapes
77. Fresh new baby peas
78. Kalamata olives
79. Preserved lemons
80. Fried green tomatoes
81. Chinese scallion pancakes
82. Cheese souffle
83. Fried apples
84. Homemade frijoles refritos
85. Pasta fagiole
86. Macadamia nuts in any form
87. Paw paw in any form
88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind
89. Paneer cheese
90. Ma Po Tofu (vegetarian style–no pork!)
91. Fresh pasta in any form
92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps
93. Green papaya salad
94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes
95. Pickled ginger
96. Methi greens
97. Aloo paratha
98. Kedgeree (the original Indian version without the smoked fish, not the British version with fish)
99. Okra
100. Roasted brussels sprouts

Oh, and, um

This is why that video watching need was so urgent. Anybody up for some murder checkers? 

ok, enough

What gives, firefox and google chrome? At what point did you just crap the bed on streaming video? In the rare event that I can actually get a video to play on one of you, there is no sound. Why do you keep making me go to IE? NOT COOL! Isn't this what you were designed especially for, Chrome? Making applications smoother and faster and better? Well, DO YOUR JOB. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


So, everybody's heard Estelle's big hit "American Boy," right? By my calculations, it was probably the song of the summer. Highly danceable, madly infectious, and featuring Kanye West and the undeniable charm of a British accent. Of course everybody loves this song! I love this song too! 

So I bought the album, Shine. I bought it! The whole thing! With money! On a CD! And you know what? It's really great. There's a lot more dub influence than I'd expected based sheerly on the sample of that one single. But it's got depth and surprising turns and a high and low and fast dance numbers and slower thinkers and I just love it. I keep being reminded of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as I listen to it, but maybe that's just because everybody's been talking about that landmark album's 10th anniversary of late. Shine has a lot of high points that I think could work their way into my permanent iTunes library. Assuming that someday I actually fix my mac or get a new one and have an iTunes library again. My iPod has been in stasus since last October. Which is kind of ok; it's sort of encapsulating the 3 years that I was really cool and rabidly consuming new music, which is neat. Or maybe I haven't been rabidly consuming new music because I have nowhere to play it. Chicken! Egg! Anyhow, Estelle: she is awesome. You should listen to her. That's what I'm trying to convey here. 

Also wonderful: Lykke Li's Youth Novels. I've put up about a billion of her music videos here, but the album is really great as a whole. That high pitch swede sheen covers up a lot of brooding and darkness. I love conflict in art! 

Language evolves, just like people!

I've noticed recently that hardly anyone of my age says "nice to meet you." They've all at some point moved over to "good to meet you." For those of you that have made that leap, was it conscious? Is "nice" outmoded? Does somebody in some popular book or movie say "good to meet you"? Whatever spurred the switch, I clearly wasn't paying attention. Just curious. 

Monday, September 08, 2008

Strange but true

Stinker's reflexes? Not that quick. A fly has been evading him for hours, but because he's quick to escape the pounce, because he goes left and Stinker goes right. 

Also: I feel all empowered because I figured things out and fixed my toilet. Replacing parts! When it involves plumbing! I am #1! 

However, I am still apparently under-skilled when it comes to replacing a deadbolt. Anybody out there have experience? I could use some help/pointers. 


Matt is absolutely right here. He and Ezra have both been doing a really great job monitoring the media throughout the conventions. Particularly, the media falling down on the job and participating in narratives rather than pointing out truths, delivering real opinions or doing solid reporting. This isn't news, it just continues to make absolutely no sense to me. I guess I'll just keep taking solace in The Daily Show and hope more people tune in.

Or, maybe like the VMAs, I just don't get it

Fashion Week is still young at this point, but I've yet to see a single thing I like. At all. No. No. No. I mean... I guess you can say at least people are being somewhat inventive? But ugly is still ugly, no matter how innovative or from what influences you've drawn. Hopefully better things show themselves as the week goes on. Stay tuned to Jezebel for more puzzling photos of this spring's crop of designs. 

I am so not cool anymore

I only saw a few minutes of last night's VMAs (I spent most of the evening eating homemade pizza and watching True Blood and Entourage (both of which were TERRIBLE) at Hobart House), but looking at the list of winners today I'm left... um... confused? I know that Britney Spears' performance last year at the awards was sort of the apex of her public crash. And this year she'd been scheduled to perform and sort of make the comback she destroyed last year. OK, great! I'm all for positive growth. But MTV, was it really necessary to give her really terrible single THREE awards? And I've never even seen the video! I watch music videos most mornings before leaving for work, so I've usually got at least a vague understanding of what's going on at the moment (for example, this one's getting more airplay than any others right now, from what I can tell). I have seen exactly one of the videos on this list. And it's not even the Lil Wayne video. It's the one by those abominations the Pussycat Dolls. Anyhow, my point being, either I have officially and completely lost touch with youth culture, or MTV has. Or some combination of both. 

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I've got a great big crush

On the new T.I. song, "Whatever You Like." I wake up singing it every day. I've always had a thing for T.I.'s voice and cadence, and this one's particularly fetching to me. Yes, it's a somewhat standard hip hop pop song. But it doesn't objectify women too much, it's a generally nice song, it's catchy as all hell, and... well... it's tight. Anyhow, here's the video. 

A Nice Little Sunday

I'm sitting here with the sun pouring in, with the smell of beans cooking, sipping iced tea and reading a southern novelist. All of these things remind me intensely of my maternal grandparents, who passed away years ago. But it's making for a very nice little Sunday. I even went to Home Depot, to try and replace my toilet flap valve and a lock on my back door. Both efforts, as it turns out, require a 2nd set of hands (in the case of the toilet, a 2nd set of hands attached to arms much stronger than mine to turn the damn water supply off). So instead I've cooked all day, read the paper, and am now liesurely enjoying a novel. I haven't done anything this slow-paced in a while, and it's pretty great. 

The rest of the weekend was lovely; Friday night efforts to go see Dr. Dog were squashed by the fact that it sold out at 8:15. WTF. Does anybody know what time Iota actually opens doors to start selling tickets? Everyone I know that tried to go (Ezra, Catherine, Julia, Mitchell, Kale) to the show did not get in. But as a result, we all ended up at Galaxy Hut having a lovely evening over pitchers and tater tots. 

Saturday the rains came, and so did my old, wonderful friend Kenley's wedding. It was a bit of a mess getting there, but everything turned out great. They say rain on your wedding day brings good luck (not irony), so I'm sure Kenley & Jean will have years of happiness to come. 

OK, back to my relaxing afternoon of not being on the internet. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"I hate that baby for being better looking than I am."

Quoth CatAn, regarding Halle Berry's way-too-beautiful daughter. Seriously, look at this kid. A few months into life and she has the face of an adult super model.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's more shocking?

That Leighton Meester was born in a Texas prison, or that she's a natural blonde?

I'm so glad that I'm not the only person noticing these things

Season 2 premiere of Gossip Girl = Season 2 premiere of The O.C.

Babies! And snowmobiles! And bears! OMy!

So, you're all reading Sarah Palin's blog, right?

My weekend, in pictures


FOOTBALL! Yes, we lost. Horribly. But we played USC. So whatever. I'm just so glad football's back.

the first pumpkin ale of the season

BEER! I drank quite a bit of it.

shades, son

DANCING AND SILLY SUNGLASSES! I don't know what to add to that.

peppers from my garden

COOKING! With habaneros that I grew. As it turns out, the sweetness of corn — whether in kernel or bread form — is not enough to mute the incredible hotness of these peppers. Even when seeded. Also, my friends throw good bbq's. That was this weekend's overarching theme.

a very ernest california couple

THESE GUYS! I just wanted to include this picture because I love it. Also I hung out with them a lot this weekend.

Also: TV IS BACK! One Tree Hill watchers: if you saw it, let's discuss. I won't say anything here so as not to spoil. Gossip Girl was pretty meh. I have high hopes that the snappy dialogue and over-the-top salaciousness will be back very soon. Season premiers almost always disappoint. Unless you're One Tree Hill.

Two wonderful words to start off a new week

New Spoon!