Saturday, August 16, 2008

As It Goes

Joe Globotz writes a book.
Izzy Whoskoitz turns it into a play.
Richard La Grandissimo writes an Opera based on it.
Fritz the Delightful records the ballet score.
Abagail Vunder plays it on her radio show.
Leonard Sloeship bought shares in the companies that made this possible.
The bankruptcy laws were rewritten to accommodate her.
Snively Bad Pirate Johnson got blamed.
Phineas Albert Schnide (the fifty third) waltzed home with the money.
He was not arrested the next day because it was his DOJ.

A Morning Filled With Shameless Self Promotion

John at Archy challenges me to a food meme:
Chad Orzel has a food meme up on his blog. This is the usual list style meme where you bold the items that you have experienced.

1. Venison (deer and elk) Many times. The best was a white tail from upstate New York
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare At a friend's. Diana commented, sotto voce, "But when is he going to cook the hamburger?"
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht This is getting a bad rap. Proper Borsht is good!
10. Baba ghanoush. Once Dorothy made a huge pile of french fries. I thought I had entered a fantasy dream world and swiped a hand full. Acwkk Phuooey!!!! They were eggplant, not potatoes. Put me off egg plant for most of my life.
11. Calamari Squid in Japanese is tako which is pronounced like taco. Now picture the result when an American with little Japanese visits a Japanese with more, but not a lot more, English and is asked if he would like some tako? Ever try to chew an art gum eraser?
12. Pho But I have had Yaki Soba which is similar
13. PB&J sandwich Though I prefer my PB with butter, mayo & lettuce. This disgusts non-aficionados for some reason.
14. Aloo gobi Sounds good!(video recipe)
15. Hot dog from a street cart In New York and Tokyo. Talk about diverse experiences!
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes By the front steps of the Kettering Science building at Antioch were a pair of cherry trees. The fruit was beyond tart. Even beyond sour. My house mate, Ernie, a chem major, turned them into wine which he laid down for a year. The result was exquisite -- potent, thick, dry with a fine finish -- just glorious.
19. Steamed pork buns See here and here.
20. Pistachio ice cream And root beer ice cream.
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries August in Michigan: Long, hot summer days tempered by a stand of trees textured by dapples of sunlight illuminating the low bush blueberries. Here in Washington we have wild Himalayan blackberries, so Melissa grew up browsing wild berries as I did.
23. Foie gras Poor goose.
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters When Eleanor visits she insists on visiting the oyster bar at the Rexville Store.
29. Baklava Diana & I made it for our wedding cake.
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl Homemade in both cases, and in a restaurant, and from the grocers
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar Ah, Romeo Et Juliettos! Damn the Cuban embargo!
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail As soup and braised with veg.
41. Curried goat The closest I get to goats is goat soap.
42. Whole insects Chocolate covered ants and fried grasshoppers
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk See No 41.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more Alas, no.
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut And what was all the fuss about?
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi Ah, Japanese pickles ...
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine Since that, loosely, is Irish Whiskey. But if limited to "Whiskey in the jar" then, alas, no.
60. Carob chips Yyecccch.
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads Hmmmmm. Why can't we get them any more?
63. Kaolin As Kaopectate. Fortunately medical science has moved on.
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis Talk about good! Diana will even consent to nibble a bit if a Scot in a kilt plies her with a wee dram before offering while pipes skirl.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette Only the commercial chip which surely doesn't count.
71. Gazpacho Great antidote for a hot day.
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 Only because Michelin didn't try to rate them
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam see here.
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox One time was for the cast party of my production of Herb Gardner's "A Thousand Clowns" on Adak Alaska. Local fisherman provided the smoked salmon for our "lox" A kind Navy pilot picked up several dozen bagels on his lay over in San Francisco. But, of course, the quintessential Long Island experience is a lazy Sunday morning nosh of bagels, cream cheese, and Nova with olives and thin slices of red onion and tomato or
what have you while you plow, in a dilatory way, through the Sunday Times.
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake Rattler. Fresh caught in the San Bernardino Mountains on a sultry spring day. Sautèd in rancid safflower oil. Can't say about the snake but definitely do not recommend the oil.

(I echo John:)
That's 59; not very impressive. Items not on the original list, but that I think I deserve credit for:
101. Moose
102. Retsina Both the Greek variety and some of Ernie's Home brewed mead which got decanted into a small pine cask which mysteriously appeared one day in our house. The mead turned quite resinous.
103. Ćevapčići Much to Cotunix's disgust.
104. Postum
105. Fried halibut cheeks
106. Cracklin
107. Chapattis
108. Home brewed wine or mead Ernie made wonderful mead. Me, not so much.
109. Sour Dough Bread from my own wild capture starter
110. Three year old Mince Meat. See here.
111. Dark Fruit Cake See here.
112. Raw Chicken Breast See here
113. Pisco A Peruvian Brandy. Not so good as Fundador in my insufficient opinion, though highly prized in South America.
114. Kasutera A steamed, rather than baked, sponge cake (scroll down) made in Macao, Hong Kong and Japan since the Portuguese arrived in the sixteenth century. As Dorothy would say: very easy to eat.
What belongs on your list?


See End Game by Shannon Brownlee at Ezra's place for a description of two doctors. One was forced to face the deaths of his patients virtually naked, equipped with only compassion, in a POW camp. The other did battle with "his Enemy: Death" in a full panoply of armor in the form of gleaming operating theatres equipped with marvelous technology and an overflowing pharmacopoeia.

Thinks I: I do not want to meet death on a battle field -- even a metaphoric one. Let it rather be wth a healer at my side.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Beery Civics

Hoisted from Comments:
Blogger John said...

Western Civilization would not have been possible without alcohol. The only way you can have a dense population is if you can find way of making your water safe to drink. Europeans managed this through beer and wine. This is proven through evolution. In most of the non-European world, only about half of the population is born with the enzymes to digest alcohol. In Europe the proportion is 90 percent. Those without the enzymes rarely made it to adulthood and have been slowly bred out of the population.

In Asia, civilization was possible because they developed hot beverages and had lots of spices with antiseptic properties. There, evolution favored those who like spicy food. When Muslim civilization gave up wine drinking, they adopted tea as a replacement.

The Egyptians loved their beer, as did the Sumerians. The Greeks, of course, created wine snobbery.
But the point of the King's College lecturer is not so much that alcohol was necessary as much that it was the principal cause.
In proof of the hypothesis one might hope to find some attempt at brewing which predates agriculture.
When I consider there has to be a formidable set of tools created. You have to have grain better than wild grass. You have to master a fair bit of chemistry to convert the grain into something we have a chance of digesting; and you have to invent a rather extensive tool set from clay pots to hammers, sickles (da, comrade!) and, oh just a minor point, fire control as well as making.
Phew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Civilisation Without Beer? Not.

Tim Bousequet writes, on his eponymous blog, a series of frolicsome summaries of the lectures he heard when he attended a course on beer making at King's College.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sing a Slog o Dogs

Sandy at Junkfood Science has a fascinating post on nitrites and nitrates. While pointing out that Arugula has far more nitrites than commercial hot dogs or bacon, she mentions that July was National Hot Dog Month. (Also National Beer Month and National Ice Cream Month just to round out the menu). She also sends us to a mouth watering page of regional red hots.

That tickled me enough to send an e-mail to Roy. Naturally he was on top of the cultural significance of this and replied with a link to an American Museum of Natural History menu about Hot Dogs as America which played in their snack bar during their exhibit called Baseball as America.

For more on ice cream see Dum Luk's Ice Cream Post.