Wednesday, October 20, 2010

[Insert Funny Brownie Title Here]

This has been my go-to recipe for brownies for years. If I want to mix things up I add extras. It's really easy to add anything to this recipe in particular since it is so simple and has so few ingredients. Some of my favorite additions are: matcha, honey, wasabi, chili, or sunflower seed butter. I LOVE these brownies!

Marianne's Brownies (from Scharffen Berger 99% Unsweetened Chocolate insert, dated 10/05)
Yield: Makes about 25 brownies (ed. note: These must be Tom Thumb-size servings, because I usually get about four Michele-size servings when I make them.)

4 ounces Scharffen Berger 99% Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¾ cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
⅔ cup all-purpose flour

Equipment: 9 x 9-inch baking pan and baking parchment

Preheat oven to 350° F

1. Grease the 9 x 9-inch baking pan and line the bottom with parchment.

2. Place chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl or the top of a double boiler and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

3. Mix the sugar into the melted chocolate to form a gritty paste. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla, if using. Fold in the flour and mix until completely incorporated.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with crumbs but no moist batter (about 25 minutes).

5. Set on a rack to cool.

Broken Heart Brownie:

(ed. note: F U grammar police)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dream a Little Dream of Me, or B.S.?

Drinking Kijafa and Akvavit reminds me of my maternal grandparents, who were Danish. I love consuming food and drinks that remind me of them because it is always comforting and, to be honest, only brings back the good memories. Memories related to my parents are another story altogether, but let's stick with good ones, eh?

I don't even know if my grandparents drank Kijafa. I know they drank Akvavit. At the Danish club, Aquavit was always present. The caraway sweetness is synonymous, in my mind, with adult beverages since I was never old enough to drink when I saw my grandparents drink it. Now, when I drink Akvavit, I feel grown-up.

My grandparents were together for decades and I never knew much about their past. What I know is made up of the times I remember being with them when I was a child and the the little I picked up when I spent time with my grandmother the two or so years before she passed away. I wish I knew more about them and I wish I could find a partner that would stay with me until the end. It doesn't look like that is happening any time soon.

My grandpa always made rice pudding for Christmas. He would always put an almond in the pudding, which was hunted after by the kids. The person who found the almond won a prize. Now, no matter who it is in my family, or where we are, we all hunt for almonds in our rice pudding. It isn't even because we are looking for the almond. It is because that is the way we eat rice pudding. I like to think that we all have good memories of my grandpa and we honor him when we search blindly for something that we know for a fact just isn't there. I have never encountered a rice pudding that was as good as his. I honestly don't even remember what his tasted like, but I will never think any rice pudding is as good as his was.

Wasa crispbread has the same effect as Aquavit, in that it makes me feel closer to my grandparents. Wasa crispbreads are best when smothered (and I mean SMOTHERED) in soft butter. On a related, and funny, note, baked chicken (that which I despise) was enjoyable to me when my grandma made it. I love mashed turnips thanks to her, as well as celery (Cel-Ray, or celery tonic) soda.

Are memories like this going to survive? I hope so. I can't think of eating roasted lamb with mint jelly without thinking of my grandparents. Currently, I'm gorging on brownies thinking of N. I hope the brownies don't cloud my brain so much that I can't eat them without associating them with what could have been. I am beginning to think I associate food with people a little too much . . .

Friday, April 30, 2010

I am my own terroir

Je sais, je sais! All of my characteristics don't exactly go together like chocolate and peanut butter, so I probably wouldn't make for a good bottle of wine. Luckily, I'm just a person so my characteristics can be all over the map and that just makes me more special.

Here is a portion of my characteristics:

baked - I need to maintain just like everyone else
bright - I gots me a brain
charming - I can be very charming ;)
chocolaty - it runs through my veins
earthy - I don't shave
edgy - I have some nerve and acidity, but I'll give you a piece of bread to ease it
expressive - my face does funny things on its own
feminine - I admit this is questionable, but I can be
firm - cartilage
flabby - I have soft spots
gutsy - I have been known to do a gutsy thing or two
herbaceous - an aggressive extraction now and then is not a bad thing
hot - speaks for itself
inky - I've got tattoos
luscious - you should see me eat whipped cream!
peppery - I've got spice
powerful - yes
prickly - I can be
racy - but well-balanced
robust - I'm getting older (not necessarily maturing though)
sassy - that's me!
sharp - as a lure
smokey - it's my dirty secret
sweet - I can be
tart - chocolate pear
warm - I do make a great cuddle-buddy in the colder months

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No one likes flaccid bacon

Roebling Tea Room
143 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211-3365
(718) 963-0760
Lunch - Mon. - Fri. 9:00am - 4:30pm
Brunch - Sat. - Sun. 10:00am - 4:30pm
Dinner - Mon. - Fri. 5:00pm - 12:00am
Dinner - Sat. - Sun. 6:00pm - 12:00am

Brunch-time o’clock on an early-spring morning in hipster Williamsburg, NY will find many folks dining at the Roebling Tea Room. The building is an old industrial brick structure that looks more hunting lodge than tea room inside. The wallpaper has hounds and men on horseback with riding crops and funny outfits (much like the clientele). As beautiful and inviting as the inside may appear, the noise is nigh on raucous and maintaining an audible voice over the din for any extended period of time will require that you drink more tea. It’s a marketing ploy I tell you!

I could tell that the company that the Roebling keeps is hipster to the max. I didn’t see a symmetrical haircut in the place and I could have had a field day counting piercings and tattoos. I felt like I would have fit in better if I had more tattoos or if my hair was pink and crooked-spiky. It wasn’t that crowded for a Saturday brunch, but I’m sure the place is banging at night, especially because they have alcohol.

If only the tea didn’t disappoint as much as my last three boyfriends. When I go to a tea house, I expect a certain level of tea service that the Roebling just does not satisfy. Tea will not stay warm in a pot with no lid. The place is drafty, so the tea needs a scarf and hat. Add to that the fact that the cups/mugs that a pot of tea is served with are tall, thin, white porcelain coffee mugs. Did I just write coffee mugs? Yes, I did. It seems to me to be an affront to tea houses everywhere to serve tea in such a lackadaisical, irresponsible manner. It takes gumption. The tea itself might have been good if I had been able to taste it through my initial haze of unhappiness at its tepid temperature. After that my disappointment was due to my disgust at seeing pieces of porcelain chips in the bottom of the teapot that I just don’t understand were missed by the server.

I have a minor obsession with pork roll egg and cheese (PRE&C) sandwiches. It is one of my many obsessions, but it has deeper roots than even the chocolate obsession. It’s a Joisey sandwich and deep down I’m a Joisey girl. In any event, a PRE&C sandwich should only be served one way and one way only – on a roll. The layers should be particular and why the hell would you put mustard on a PRE&C? Salt, pepper, and ketchup go on a PRE&C and that’s it. I had to order it since it was on the menu though, despite my pessimistic attitude about it not living up to my Jersey standards before I even got it. It came to me on a plate with shoestring fries. The “sandwich”, if that is what you want to call it, was on artisan white bread – with MUSTARD!! The eggs were scramble/fried, not true-fried, and the cheese was hidden in there somewhere. There were only three pieces of pork roll on this joke of a sandwich. Aside from the fact that odd numbers are bad luck, why not throw another slice on there? You’ve already decided to screw with me by putting mustard on the “sandwich”, so go the whole nine yards and put two, or none? Please don’t call that “sandwich” a PRE&C if you care so little about the food to display it and serve it like a scoundrel displays himself from underneath a dirty trench coat.

My friend ordered the drunk beans and they were by no naturally-occurring entity’s definition drunk. They were also questionably beans as there was so much liquid in the bowl that you could barely see them. (The waitress had no answer when asked what made them drunk. Maybe it was meant to be drowning beans?) The temperature of the food was lukewarm, which means that the queso shreds on the beans never had a chance of melting. The bacon my friend got as a side was flaccid and cold (here we go about my exes again). They only gave him 2 slices, which is unforgivable. For a slightly eclectic menu, my suggestion is that they go slightly more eclectic, so the bad food is part of the joke. I mean, part of the menu, of course.

There are, surprisingly, some good things I have to say about Roebling. The service itself was the only reason I didn’t leave in a huff. The waitress and staff were friendly and not pushy. We were also seated when they said we would be, which was after only 15 minutes of waiting. The dining area itself was clean and orderly. The prices were typical NYC brunch prices, so there were no surprises. I would go again if the tea itself was better. I truly believe that a place that calls itself a Tea Room should have higher standards for their tea and teaware.

Nota Bene or whatever: This was just a little ol' review from little ol' me for a course assignment.

Next up: my amazingly positive review of Barcade! Then, a post regarding the angst I've been experiencing after spending so much time in Williamsburg.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Ramps can blow me. I just don’t understand how this dirty little onion, that doesn’t taste any different from any other dirty little onion, can be so popular. Yes, it is seasonal. Yes, it is green, mostly. Yes, it has a cute name. However, I don’t see why all the fuss. It isn’t as if ramps make men more virile or women more fertile or anyone less like an asshole. They are the cupcakes of green veggies: small and trendy. As it is with cupcakes, however, you have a mob of people following other people’s tastes, instead of following their own. Where is the ramp cupcake? I want to see a carob cupcake with some garlic foam for icing. But wait! There will be a magnificent ramp sticking right out of that earthy mound. What do you think?

If I wanted to eat something that tasted like onion and garlic, and dirt, I’d eat an onion and some garlic, and some dirt. The green part I can do without too. Don’t get me wrong, I love green vegetables. They help things move along and they are chock-full of vitamins. Plus, they taste good – they taste green. They taste like you are eating something healthy and you feel better for it. They taste like Spring and sun and earth.

I love broccoli. Where did all the broccoli love go? Broccoli is dependable, timeless, sturdy, and fractal-y. It is just like Kermit, minus the fractal aspects. (I will admit here and now that I’m an old lady in many ways. I’m 32 going on 85. I eat non-dairy products so the arthritis in my hips won’t flare up. Hence, I like tried-and-true veggies.) Spinach? Who doesn’t love Popeye? He has tattoos and eats healthy and defends his funny-faced lady love. (I may have an interest in this scenario for personal reasons, but that’s another story.) Brussels sprouts are pretty awesome too. They are mini cabbages! They are little, baby, cute, adorable little cabbages. If cooked well, they are sweet and meaty at the same time. Let’s talk about cabbage. Cabbage is good too, minus the stink that some people associate with it. Lettuce? Asparagus? Broccoli Rabe? Kale? Peas? Don’t forget all of these other amazing green vegetables this Spring. Join me in the stand against ramps! They’re a’ight, but ‘a’ight’ shouldn’t qualify them for a Pulitzer!

I’m not hating; just venting. To prove I mean no harm, here is a smiley face: :) Those make up for everything! :)

Plus, being contrary is my shtick.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Travel Writing Assignment

Pork roll will always hold a special place in my heart, so I am forever writing or talking about it. This was an assignment to write a short travel piece. As usual, I chose to write about the town I grew up in.

Pork Roll @ The Parrot

Low tide isn’t a bad smell. If you are walking along Bay Avenue in Highlands, NJ and high tide was 12 hours ago, you are likely to smell the bay floor. The bay floor consists of centuries of pulverized clam shells, (possibly) doubloons from the old Pirate/Rum-Running days, and trash of the white variety. (By the way, it’s the Beach, not the “Jersey Shore”.) The low tide smell in Highlands is different from the low tide in other places in the best of ways.

The appreciation for the smell of low tide comes with living in a clam-digging town. You miss it when you leave and relish it when you come back. Living in the midst of it, though, you sometimes forget. Visitors need a little schooling in order to appreciate the smells of Highlands. Everything you eat will taste like everything you see, hear, and smell. This includes, but is not limited to, low tide, skunk weed, regular weed, fish, barnacles, sand, pork roll, pizza, hot sauce, Jay Muse, cheap beer, and stray cats. Also, cat fights (feline and human), fist fights, bar brawls, old briny seamen musings, the ghost ding-a-ling of the drawbridge that is in the middle of being taken down, seagulls, and barge horns. A pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich doesn’t taste right if there aren’t grains of sand involved, or you aren’t witness to some violence.

You will never eat a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich that tastes as good as the one you get at The Parrot. In a small town such as Highlands, there are few delis, but this place is the go-to place for a good pork roll, egg, and cheese (or a sub). Taste is partly smell and smell is partly taste and they are both connected. The sinuses of the locals can barely smell the nuances that a low tide pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich contains. Pork roll is salty enough without adding salt, but the salt air adds just the right hint of ‘extra’ salt: not overboard, not undertow.

The Parrot is one of those dining establishments that have been owned by the same family for generations. They either know your name already, or will assign you one on your first visit. It is really just a rinky-dink kind of diner with plastic stools along the bar and a few tables inside. There are a few picnic tables outside in the warmer months as well. The Parrot is the place you want to visit to pick up some subs and juice before heading to Sandy Hook on a summer day, or to have your 4am breakfast on your way to work on one of the clam or fishing boats. The ketchup may have been sitting on the Formica tabletops a few days too long, but they are usually wiped clean by the babies and toddlers who suck on them like bottles, whose parents are usually outside having a smoke while they are doing it.

When the time is right and you want to take the next step in the Highlands food experience and order that pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich, I need to warn you about something. For God’s sake, don’t just order a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich! If you enjoy being either laughed at or sneered at for the remainder of your stay, please order it like I’m about to tell you to. You must say, “Can I get a pork roll, egg, and cheese on a hard roll. Saltpepperketchup!” Trust me on this one.

You may decide to eat your sandwich at Huddy Park, which is across the street from The Parrot. It is nice and all, but you could go down to the beach by the Community Center to have a little beach picnic. The tables outside of The Parrot work just as well too, but the true experience comes when some sand flies into your sandwich as you’re eating it and you end up with sand-sandwich. Heck, you’ll eat it anyway. And, you will love it.

The Parrot:
71 Waterwitch Ave.
Highlands, NJ 07732

See also:
Sandy Hook

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Essay/Treatise/Load o' Bull?

Chicken looks like people. Go ahead and look at your elbow. Notice how there are tiny bumps? Do some of those bumps maybe have microscopic hairs coming out of them that you can just barely see? Now, take that chicken out of the fridge and start getting it ready for dinner. Put it in the pan and take a look at it. Do you see the tiny bumps? If the chicken was not plucked perfectly, and you take a good look, do some of those bumps maybe have microscopic hairs/feathers coming out of them that you can barely see? It is the way of the raw, plucked chicken.

Other meats are fine because they don’t make me feel like I’m eating myself, or a version of myself. I think meat, lamb, pork, and fish all look like what they are – animals. Yes, pork is white also (and much more closely related to humans than chickens, but that is beside the point) but it does not look like my elbow.

There are certain other foods that I don’t like, but am willing to try them. Tripe, liver, raw bivalves, and some brains and eyeballs are, for the time being, still off the table. I grew up in a clam-digging town and love fried clams, baked clams, clam chowder, and other clam foods. However, steamers and bivalves on a half-shell look like boogers. Why would anyone want to eat a booger? On purpose? With hot sauce? On a date, as an aphrodisiac?

My mother had to raise 5 kids alone. There was rarely enough food. Baked chicken was one of the most common Sunday dinner meals I remember. And I hated it. My mom would bake the chicken in a paper bag - the kind you get at the grocery store that, earlier in the day, had dirty, dented cans of generic corn and peas in it. I almost thank God for my OCDs because I thought it was gross then. I suppose I'm all the stronger for it (i.e. the germs and increased immunity), but I still can't see why anyone would think it was OK to cook a whole stupid chicken in a dirty grocery store brown paper bag.
Other than the roast chicken, Sunday dinners consisted of lasagna (yum), spaghetti with gravy (which ended up on the table full of breadcrumbs because everyone would dip bread in it all day while it was cooking), ham (which turned into pea soup by the following weekend), or smothered steak. There was usually enough for everyone. We obviously didn’t starve. Having the big Sunday meal was the one time we were guaranteed a full meal (other than holidays, but that is true for most people, I believe).

I don't completely dislike everything about baked chicken. I like me some dark meat, as long as it is super-duper moist almost to the point of being wet. I also love, LOVE, the oysters. As much as I learn about the anatomy of a chicken, I still refer to them as the ass of the chicken. I'll explain. See, you got your chicken lying boobs-up in a pan baking. After it is done baking, you need to let it cool, but after it cools, flip that chick over. Along the spine (along what is probably the lower back and not the ass) are two nuggets of meat sitting in oyster-shaped cavities, lightly covered with skin that has kept those succulent chunks of other white meat juiced for the hours that bird has been in the oven. Don't even try to use a spoon or fork or knife or anything but your hands to scoop those oysters out. You need to get your fingers greasy and you really need to dig inside of those cavities to get every last morsel out. Those are the oysters, or, ersters.

Every other part of the chicken is yours 'cuz I don't want it. Besides, my three older brothers, my sister, my mom and whoever else happened to be at dinner that Sunday was bound to want a piece of chicken and I was bound to gladly give them whatever they wanted - but God help the person who tries to deprive me of my oysters. People in my family have been hit in the head with lead pipes, attacked by swarms of bees, stabbed in the leg with a fork, gotten pencils stuck up their nose, been thrown into the tub, have had their beds set on fire, have stepped on light bulbs, have been in countless car crashes, have had multiple knee surgeries, have gotten hit by cars, and have had who-knows-what-else happen to them, so don't take my oysters.

And here’s another gross thing about chicken. Am I the only one who sees the fat that coagulates after a couple of days in the refrigerator? How is that not nauseating to people who just flick it off and munch on that leftover chicken? One of my punishments (it may not have been a real punishment, but a perceived one) was to clean the carcass off after a few days to get every last scrap of meat off of the chicken skeleton. I remember the alley cats being my best friend during those times.

I should add that my mom was always good about cooking the gizzards with the chicken and letting me feed them to the alley cats. Spike, my first alley cat, would never wait for the gizzards to cool off. He would start chowing down the second I put the food down. He would mumble while chewing and it would sound something like, "Mrwoeaonfn Mewoornfggg!" Translated, that means, "Hot Hot Hot!" It wouldn't stop him. But I have stopped myself from eating baked chicken when at all possible.

I don’t completely hate roast chicken in another way too. Those Sunday dinners were the only time that my family was together. My grandparents were alive and I was able to get my grandpa’s rice pudding. Even if my childhood and my family were not perfect, there are good memories, even if they involve a baked chicken.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Adventures in Baking

The title of this post has probably been over-used a million times - but I think it is fitting, so suck my toe, which is still green from St. Patrick's Day.

I am making some cakes today. Cakes, as in more than one. See, this friend of mine up and got herself married to this dude a few states over and they all, like, fell in love and crap. So some friends of hers are throwing a Congratulations on You's Guys' Freakin' Wedding and Shite party. I'm making the wedding cake. I'm only calling it a wedding cake because the event is to celebrate a wedding, but there wasn't the traditional wedding as some people like to think of it and I am not setting out to confuse anyone.

Anywho, my friend eats everything under the sun, which is cool. Her new boo is a vegan. Before you decide to stop reading further, hear me out, especially since I'm going to put some recipes right here in this here post and tell you where I got them so you can decide for yourself how bad they may come out. I don't begrudge people their dietary choices. The point I get pissed off at is when they act all highfalutin and push their morals on me or pretend to gag if I'm eating a bloody burger. It's also those people who can't live in the same house with meat or have meat-cooked within a 5-block radius of them that really get my goat. I like goat, by the way. Some nice curried goat with a side of dirty rice is fine by me. Hot dog! I didn't even get to the recipes yet.

So I found a recipe for vegan chocolate cake on Instructables. It sounds pretty easy and I think I can make it tasty. I found a vegan frosting recipe on Chow that I'm just going to add some chocolate to, maybe. I like that it sounds fluffy. I can't imagine how fluffy shortening and powdered sugar can actually get, but I'll beat it 'til it creams. (Get your jollies out now.)

The Real-People Chocolate Cake and frosting recipes I got elsewhere but they seem pretty standard, so those will be OK.

I would like to add a note, or sidebar, or something here stating that I am adding a little sumfin' sumfin' extra to the filling of these two cakes to make it not so plain-chocolatey. Yes, I'm speaking of wasabi. There won't be a lot of wasabi in the filling - just a smidge. I want there to be a bite of something in there to get people innerested. That might change, however if I see a shiny can of some fruit in the store and I add that to the filling instead. Only time will tell . . .

Friday, March 19, 2010

All the World's A Stage (but today it's a short stage)

This is a food fight I'm interested in watching - and maybe getting involved in! (It involves Hugh Grant. I'm not terribly interested in him, but I think he'd be fun to get into a food fight with.)

Pensacola store charged with exchanging food stamps for cold, hard cash.

Are we experiencing Food Classism? (Yeah, this isn't new . . .)

NYPL's new Battery Park City Library is the system's first green LEED certified branch in Manhattan!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Peoples is Peoples

The French National Library acquires Casanova's papers. More here.

To try:

Maple whiskey by Cabin Fever

Rocky Mountain Blackberry Whiskey by Leopold Brother (Denver)

Phnom Penh whisky business is booming.

Profile of (fairly) new Master Distiller at Jack Daniel's, Jeff Arnett.

One of three £10,000 bottles of Glenfiddich 50-year old will be auctioned off at Harrods', one of the lucky recipients of the rare whisky. The proceeds are to benefit the Evelina Children's Hospital.

The Côte d'Ivoire and cocoa remain in unrest.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I miss Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

In honor of President's Day, I'm posting links that have practically nothing to do with each other. If you've seen Holiday Inn (You haven't? Well, check it out!) you know that Abraham Lincoln's birthday used to be a big deal, as well as some other president's. There is something else going on this weekend, but I choose to ignore it.

Valentine's Day is banned in Saudi Arabia. Now, the holiday means something because Valentine's Day merchandise is considered contraband. That's actually kind of a turn on. It's illicit!

Abso-freakin-lutely lovely Valentine's Day ephemera are being exhibited at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library.

OK, those two are related, but that was an accident.

A story in the Guardian recounts a die-hard feminist's experience at a nyotaimori dinner taking place in London. For those of you not in the know, nyotaimori is body sushi. A group of diners eat sushi off of the body of a naked woman.

Library Journal names Glen Carbon Library the best small library in the nation. YAY!

I love just about everything in this article: the top picture of two cats on a counter, surrounded by books; the fact that a used book store is in a barn; and the fact that they are old books. Did I mention the picture with the cats? Now I have to go to Baldwin's Book Barn!

Thieves net £250,000 whisky haul

Uig to produce first legal dram for 170 years

I would love to have whisky toothpaste available now, but alas, it is not to be.

(512) Brewing created a delicious-sounding beer called Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter, which has officially been added to my list of must-try's.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beerfly Pie

This hearty and savory pie is so easy to make, you can whip it up even through the tears of a bad breakup. The ingredients can be interchanged and substituted, depending on your cupboard and state of mind. However, it is essential to have the proper frame of mind - that of longing for the hours of your life lost drinking at bars.

2 cups flour
1 stick butter, or 8 tbs. spread
ice water as needed to bind

1 cup sugar
1/8 cup cigarette ash (Camel is the preferred hipster choice, but Marlboro Reds should suffice; steer clear of cloves as they are a tad elitist)
1/4 cup water
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup bourbon (plus one cup for you while preparing)
1 tsp. bitters (yours or store-bought)
1/2 cup finely chopped questionable sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped, cooked barley
1 apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup grated stinky cheese (the stinkier, the better, just like those empty promises he made)

Make crust as usual, duh!

In saucepan, stir sugar, ash and water over low heat until sugar is dissolved and you can't breathe.

In separate bowl, mix cinnamon, bourbon, bitters, sausage, barley, and apple. Set aside to get rank, like the feeling you get when you think of THEM reuniting.

Pour the sugar mixture over the sausage mixture and incorporate well - at least until you feel nauseous, if not more - just like that relationship you knew you had to end months ago.

You can now put the sausage mix into the crust, making sure to leave splashes of mess over the side because nothing is neat about a beerfly pie.

Sprinkle with the stinky cheese and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the neighbors complain.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Like relationships formed at a bar, it should be lukewarm.

Slice the pie and serve with regret, but preferably with self-loathing. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do You Haiku? I Haiku.

Assignment #2 was to write some food-related haikus and a simple recipe that is mine, and not something I got from a cookbook.

Lively chocolate
Adorns my plate with goodness
Tongue marks like tire tracks

Summer goes by fast
Macerated strawberries
Are but memories

Honey bees work hard
Sugar water in winter
Is how they get by

Cats are often soft
Nihilists except for food
Egotists we love

Carrots help eye sight
Digestion is eased a bit too
Carrot dust chokes me

What Cannoli?

Perfect for breakfast or dessert, this (somewhat) healthy treat is easier to make than a glass of water. The honey flavor is quite strong, due in part to the purposeful lack of a thorough final mixing, which leaves large streaks of honey in the mix. This mix reminds me of cannoli cream filling and is a true honey-lover's delight. It makes one generous serving.

1/2 cup skim milk ricotta cheese
1/8 cup dried currants or cranberries
1/8 cup raw, sunflower seeds, removed from shell
1 tbs. Honey

1. Blend ricotta cheese, currants or cranberries, and sunflower seeds in a bowl until combined.
2. Add honey and blend until honey is mostly incorporated.
3. Eat and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 388 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Values
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 159mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Sugars 30g
Protein 19g
Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 37% Iron 12%

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Food Writing Assignment #1

Here you go people: my already-reviewed assignments for my Food Writing class. Be gentle. My grammar is getting progressively worse the older I get and I care less about that.

My first assignment was to sit in a coffee house. (You heard right.) While observing the goings on at the shop, noting details, and observing, I was to keep notes on what I heard, saw, smelled, tasted, and touched. After getting home, or the next day, I had to write up what I observed to create a 500 word essay. After that was done, I needed to cut that essay down to 350 words, trying to retain the 'flavor' and 'essence' of the coffee shop observation. It is an exercise in editing and word-play. I'll post both, although I'm not sure how interested you would be in reading both versions. There's a lot of them there words and such, so maybe take a coffee break in-between or something.

Cafe Grumpy - 500

In a place that feels like you need an invitation to hang out in, lies a coffee shop that has no more on its sign that a simple, grumpy face. Cafe Grumpy has cuteness going for it, despite its name and the customers and employees live up to the polar opposite of Grumpy consistently. The shop is always crowded and full of hipsters. Again, despite the name Grumpy, this coffee shop sells organic, free-trade coffees and teas. They also appear to do all of their own roasting and grinding on the spot, and sometimes to order.

It is the kind of place where you see things like Bard sweatshirts on laughing, bearded dudes and (whether it is your cup of tea or not) spiritual-awakening-type conversation happening behind you with things being said such as: “I'm beginning to know what I know. Then I forget.” If you are lucky, the customers can be entertaining. For example, the Bard dude looks like the guy in the Cavemen commercial – the Caveman. The customers live up to their hipster image and people wear crochet hats and pashminas and quirky scarves that they either picked up off the street, at a flea market, or in a designer store. In any case, they paid a high price. Not one of the workers has a so-called 'normal' haircut. When people leave they are more layered than a 3 year-old at Christmas in Maine.

As I was observing, some crumbs from my shortbread butter-stained my page and I tried not to bring attention to the fact that I spilled tea all over the shaky little table I scored because spilling tea is the mark of a newbie, or some other such name given to people who perform faux pas at this Chelsea tea house.

The customers ask for a particular grinding method for their latte, which is funny when you think about it because if you aren't the type of person to ask for a particular grind for your coffee, it seems pompous.

There was some interaction, in a sense, between patrons. The small, mini-pug-looking dog leashed to the short iron fence outside snubbed me. I considered that a successful interaction with a fellow customer, which is sometimes rare in these coffee shops where you either come alone and stay alone, or come in a group and discuss the Tao te Ching with your friends, then leave.

The music is coming from an ipod and it sounds like soda shop music because the song “Sugar Pie” just came on “I can't help myself. I love you and nobody else”. “I Want to Know What Love Is” just came on the ipod jukebox as my first cup of tea is out of water.

Books are barely being read and I'm wondering if they are just for appearance's sake. It could be that the customers are just so amazingly mesmerized by the orange walls, mirrored walls, and brick walls. I wonder if anyone has an aneurysm upon exiting.

Towards the end, a guy with blue USA Olympic-looking parka/coat comes into the cafe with a Starbucks coffee, orders a coffee, then leaves five minutes later with his jockey-looking boy toy.

Cafe Grumpy - 350

Here lies a coffee shop whose sign has, simply, a grumpy face. The customers and employees live up to the polar opposite of grumpy. The shop is always full of hipsters. They sell organic, free-trade coffees and teas. They appear to do all of their own roasting and grinding on the spot, and to order.

It's the kind of place where you see Bard sweatshirts on bearded dudes and overhear spiritual-awakening conversations with things being said such as: “I'm beginning to know what I know. Then I forget”. The Bard dude looks like The Caveman. Customers live up to their hipster image by wearing crochet hats, pashminas, and quirky scarves that cost a lot. There are no 'normal' haircuts and when people leave they are more layered than a 3 year-old at Christmas in Maine.

Some crumbs from my shortbread butter-stained my page and I tried not to bring attention to the fact that I spilled tea all over the shaky table I scored because spilling tea is the mark of a newbie.

Customers ask for a particular grinding method for their latte, which is funny if you aren't the type of person to ask for a particular grind for your coffee.

Interaction is limited. The mini-pug dog leashed to the iron fence snubbed me. I considered that a successful interaction with a fellow customer. This is rare in coffee shops where you either come alone and stay alone, or come in a group and discuss the Tao te Ching with your friends, then leave.

The music coming from an ipod sounds like soda shop music. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) plays. I Want to Know What Love Is comes on the jukebox as my first cup of tea is out of water.

Books are barely being read. Are just for appearance's sake? People could just be so mesmerized by the orange, mirrored, and brick walls. Does anyone have an aneurysm upon exiting?

A guy with a blue USA Olympic-looking parka/coat comes in, orders a coffee, then leaves five minutes later with his jockey-looking boy toy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's All Good in the 'Hood

I use social media and so should you, or at least that's what they say. Librarians Michael Porter, David Lee King, and Joe Murphy got kudos in School Library Journal for shaking their social media money-makers.

YAY Open Source! The Library of Congress plans to "streamline the process for releasing software as open source". (via DigitalKoans)

This picture of La Bibliothèque infernale was in my Google Reader, but it is via a tumblr account, so I Googled it and the first result was from a collector of 19th century stereoscopes. Check out this print and others. They are fascinating and beautiful. (By the way, why is the word "googled" considered misspelled in Blogger?)

On to food . . .

The Italian Ice Cream University has seen a 90% rise in enrollment due to the recession. I'd like to attend this University, let me tell you.

This slice of Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Whisky Ganache and Bailey's Buttercream cake via Food Porn Daily looks very, very good. It's being pushed to the top of my to-bake list.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not Fish, Food, and Fish

After writing a big ol' paper on sushi last semester, I know more than I ever thought I would about sushi. However, that does not mean that I am a fan of the American sushi (or, Sushi American Style) which Dean & DeLuca has now started selling. If I wanted a BLT, I would get a BLT. You have my permission to buy whatever you want, but my humble opinion (which I am always more than happy to share) is that it don't work no good for me.

Ze French are known for a lot of things. I believe I heard something about them being into cooking. (Tell me if I'm wrong about that.) Anywho, superstar Alain Ducasse says that he believes that French women are not passing down their cooking skills to their daughters any longer. This is making the art of French cooking slowly disappear.

In Library News . . .

Two blog posts that were published mere days apart were so similar it was freaky. I have no idea of the posts were influenced by each other or there were talks. Who knows? They are both really insightful and both mention fish! I've been reading In the Library with the Lead Pipe since the beginning, so I'm a fan. This post talks about how a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace which mentions fish in water led Sara Seely to comparing fish-in-water with librarians.

So along comes a post in my Google feed thing about librarians and fish, but it comes from Norway. Librarian 1.5 is a blog written by librarian Thomas Brevik of the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy. His librarian-as-fish inspiration comes from an article on information literacy from the Norwegian Science Library blog. (Note: The post is in Norwegian and English, so you might need a translator.) Anywho, Thomas' posts are in English so you should check it out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Differences of opinion regarding commenting, communication, and free speech ensues after Library Journal's John Berry responds to a post by David Rothman.

The original vlog by Rothman is Rothman discussing his opinions on the Annoyed Librarian and Library Journal's relationship with the AL as their employer.

Berry says Rothman's statements are hypocritical.

Rothman vlogs an explanation and calls out Berry as "full of crap".

It's exciting stuff and makes me proud to be a librarian!

My personal opinion on the Annoyed Librarian is that I don't care what she/it/him says so much as the recent fact that now Library Journal gave her/it/him a paid gig. I support free speech and I am known to talk like a truck driver, but I at least try not to do it publicly, online, on a professional publication's website. (There is also the tiny, minuscule issue I have with LJ for not accepting my Talk Back submission, but hey, they have the right to post what they want, right?)

In other news, I apparently work in one of the few libraries in NYC not to have a temperature clause in our union contract. I'm fine with that.

Are copyright laws equivalent to book burning?