My answer about sources — about what ingredients are and where to get them — is pretty simple: Google it. What’s a dried scallop? Google it. Where can I buy Kewpie mayonnaise? Google it. We google for information all the time at the restaurants. And while you can’t trust everything you read on the internet, you can find a lot of helpful information there.”
The Momofuku cookbook (by David Chang and Peter Meehan) is a cookbook 2.0 in the same way that the Momofuku restaurants are restaurants 2.0
My little brother and I woke up at Bennett’s house after a long day and night of eating and drinking. We quickly downed some coffee and cranberry bread and then drove to Virginia to eat dim sum. We were late though so all that was left were some red-cooked pork ribs, Chinese broccoli in sauce, shrimp and pork shumai, roast pork fried rice, shrimp crepes and radish-pork pancakes. No roast pork bao could be found on any of the carts; we had missed them. I consoled myself during the afternoon by eating maybe five of those little half-moon-shaped powdered-sugared nut cookies while we played this game my cousin had just learned called “the paper bag game.” The rules of this game are: everyone takes turns standing on one foot and trying to pick a paper grocery bag, which gets trimmed progressively shorter, up off the floor with their teeth.
Later I had a leftover chicken drumstick and some cheese and crackers as a snack. It was day two of Holiday and finally I had gotten to the point where your stomach has stretched out and now you are endlessly, ravenously hungry. We were having more family over for dinner, nothing fancy, just homemade split pea soup and deli platters. As we sat around waiting for everyone to arrive I ate half a knot of Armenian string cheese, the kind with carraway seeds, plus at least three stuffed grape leaves and untold olives. At dinner I had corned beef and provolone on an onion roll, the soup, and then two pieces of pie (pumpkin, apple-cranberry) and a sirok for dessert. As you know I am obsessed with these chocolate-covered cheesecake bars so it was nice to discover that there is a place that sells them that’s like a block away from my parents’ apartment building, which is itself infested with Russians. At this same store they also sell Russian beer and wine (well, Georgian wine — which, nb, is not really recommended for drinking, maybe for cooking or for if your car is low on antifreeze) and on weekdays you can get the H1N1 vaccine there. My mom took me there to get one on Thursday and I texted Ruth “my mom took me to the liquor store to get an H1N1 shot” and my mom caught me writing this and then made me text Ruth again to clarify that it was a “gourmet beer and wine store.”
I volunteered to giftwrap at my local independent bookstore today out of general kindness and goodness and generosity of spirit and, okay, also in order to get 20% off all my book-presents. Also, to spy on book-buying trends!
Let it be recorded that two days before Xmas, the citizenry of Fort Greene were buying lots of Quality Literature — I wrapped two of the newish Orhan Pamuk — but aside from that, people demonstrated a notable catholicity in their gift-taste. I only wrapped two other books more than once. One was "The City Outside My Window,” a gorgeous book and a perfect gift for people who live in New York to give to people who don’t, in the spirit of both “Haha” and “See?” The other was “How To Take Over Teh Wurld: A LOLcat Guide 2 Winning.” I was there for three and a half hours, during which time four copies of this blog-book sequel were sold.
Seriously you have to listen to that song; it contains an epic monologue about Vegas, muscle relaxants, David Cassidy, and stealing spare change from a busker playing “You Were Meant For Me.” Steve Poltz is an unsung (well except by himself) genius possibly.
I just realized that I could make a whole playlist of songs that mention the melancholy feeling of making coffee for just one person when you’re used to making it for two.
Then I realized it would be a very short playlist and that one of the songs would be by Jewel, so I decided not to.
Then I realized that ‘You Were Meant For Me’ is actually about the sadness of making eggs and pancakes for one instead of two. I guess Jewel doesn’t drink coffee.
If it makes you feel any better, that song was actually written by Steve Poltz, Jewel’s boyfriend at the time. Here’s an excellent version that Poltz did on our show a few years ago.
It is much better than Jewel’s version — the removal of the line about breaking the yolks and making a smiley face (“I break the yolks with a goddamn fork/ I can’t believe you’re taking me to court”) makes all the difference.
Now to track down the ear-vandal responsible for “Foolish Games.”
"So your 20 latkes will cost $3.76 if you don’t have oil or flour or baking powder or salt. That’s the MAXIMUM they will cost. That’s 19 cents a latke.
And you’re still going to order them from Russ & Daughters? You must not be Jewish.
In my experience this kind of sentiment is, in addition to being a dated, tired, discriminatory stereotype, almost 100% true. But before I start to theorize that squandering money about 50% of the time is in my DNA, I remember that my mom, who converted, was unable to pay retail even before her dip in the mikvah. Maybe she was always destined to be a Jew?
We made popcorn cookies on Cooking the Books on Saturday; this involved inadvertently and ill-advisedly ingesting a whole lot of popcorn. Gross. I dunno, popcorn has never really been my thing, but we had an unprecedented number of technical difficulties and also there was a lot of standing around and trying to be non-awkward with Anna Jane Grossman, who was understanding about the technical difficulties but still, it can’t have been fun for her to watch me and Val trying to be “professional” when it was clear that we both at one time or another wanted to storm off “set” in a huff, diva-style. The result was that I just kept reaching into the bowls of popcorn and stuffing it into my face out of displaced stupid anger. By the time we finished up, around four, neither Val nor I had eaten anything all day except coffee, jew-donuts, popcorn, and popcorn cookies. I felt like a child on Halloween, sickly-full but still hungry for Real Food.
We salved our wounds with a quick nap and a trip to Umi Nom for dinner. A few months after opening they are still BYO, which is awesome (though probably not for their bottom line). We ordered greens, sweet sausage, sauteed tofu, crispy wings with Anaheim chilis, and garlic rice. The portions have gotten slightly bigger since the last time I’d eaten there, which was great except it meant that we had ordered at least one too many dishes — there were five wings, a hefty pile of tofu, a heaping bowl of oil-slicked steamed baby bok choy, and a fair number of candied-spicy curls of Chinese sausage to get through. We made a valiant effort but ended up focusing a lot on the garlic rice. I have no idea how they make this stuff but it is so amazing, super-salty with a mellow, nutty, satisfying roasted garlic flavor.
So the food was great but almost better was the “Saturday night at the only really good restaurant in the neighborhood” ambiance. On one side of us a couple was on the worst date ever; the man was trying to impress the lady by bragging about his business and throwing around internet buzzwords like: “We are gonna get our blogs going, get up on Facebook …” When the waitress came to ask if they wanted dessert he responded quickly in the affirmative and I caught his date’s fleeting wince.
On the other side of us were two married couples on a double date; one of the ladies was pregnant and obviously I do my best not to eavesdrop but the one thing I did overhear was when the pregnant lady’s husband was talking about a fight they’d had and he said “Yeah, [baby’s name] definitely wasn’t conceived that night,” and it made me remember how embarrassed and grossed out I’d been by pregnancy as a child because I felt like pregnant ladies were essentially walking around wearing a t-shirt that said “Look, inside me are the results of a specific sex act!” I told Val this as we were walking back down Dekalb after dinner and she was like “Well it is gross because obviously, yeah, you had sex and now the sperm is still in you, getting bigger and bigger.” I love Val.
I am just going to title things after Lady Gaga song lyrics all week, heh. Ok but so I wrote about cooking … on my blog? I know this is getting a bit ridiculous but for some reason this post seemed more like the jurisdiction of my blog.