Monday, December 31, 2007

Quebec City - Pedant at Le Pain Beni

While I have a sec before we head out, let me tell you about my dinner.

1) Sweetbreads in chocolate and fruit sauces. I considered getting
both the sweetbread appetizer and the blood sausage pastry main
course, but I thought that might be too much of a food risk.
Regardless, the sweetbreads were lightly fried and very tasty in the
assortment of sweet sauces. I could totally have this again.

2) Fennel & leek soup. The Sherbs has done this justice.

3) Shank of lamb in garlic sauce with creamy polenta and roast
vegetables. Everything about this was good, and there was a lot of it
too boot. The lamb fell right off the bone into the rich gravy and
almost tasted like the Moroccan lamb my mother used to make.

4) Creme brûlée. With coffee and Bailey's flavors. Delicious.

Quebec City - The Sherbs On Day 3

So while the pedant was blogging before I was taking a much needed and
welcome nap. The trip has been great and I too have been enjoying the
sites and food. So here's my take on the past 24 hours or so.

1) Dragons

The exhibit was really interesting in the way that it depcted the
dragons. Since they are so prevelant in all ancient cultures it was
great to see how they put it together. Well done Canada.

2) "Ancient" French Canadian Food

First of all 400 years isn't ancient. But whatever it was tasty. I
had a warm goat cheese salad with a maple dressing. Basically it was a
plate where one half had mixed greens, the other half had a two inch
round of warmed goat cheese and there was a maple dressing topping it
all. All salads should include two inch rounds of goat cheese. The
soup was divine and my main course was local vegetables in a cassorole
dish with a tasty sauce. It was ohsogood. For desert I had the fudge
pie with raspberry sauce. It was a PIECE of pie. Like not 1/8 of a
pie, 1/6 of a pie with a buttery flakey crust.

3) Patisseries and boulangeries

More of these should replace starbucks. Don't get me wrong, I love me
some $3.50 lattes as much as the next yuppie, but fresh baked pastries
and coffees are the way to go. (side note: while I got pastries I
didn't get coffee. It's been so dry I need more water than usual and
bathrooms aren't easy to find, but go with the picture.)

4) dogs and kids

I have seen 3 dogs with booties which is cute in 3 feet of snow (not
on Madison Avenue). Also instead of strollers parents pull kids on
sleds. Amazing.

5) dark hot chocolate

Need I say more? It was to die for

6) dinner

We ate at the restaurant at the hotel which was delist. The Pedant
and I both got fennel and leek soup. I lamented that it wasnt the
Olive Garden where we could get seconds on the soup, but TP reminded
me the OG wouldn't serve fennel and leek soup. I then got ravioli with
ricotta filling in a pesto and goat cheese sauce. It was so good I
wanted to take a bath in it. For desert I had 2 fried dough with a
mint chocolate filling rolled in cinnamon sugar and served over a
fruit salsa and with points of pistachio paste. This was by far the
winner of the meal.

Now off to an ice bar for hot chocholate and bailys before the big
celebration in the center.

Quebec City - The Pedant on Yesterday and Patisseries

Yesterday we saw the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham, which were
important in the Seven Years' War (aka the French and Indian War) and
were fun to hike but their educational value was somewhat obscured by
three feet of soft-packed snow in which a foolish hiker might sink
into and get snow in his boot, prompting the Sherbs to remind him that
she had warned of this very occurrence just moments earlier.

Venturing outside the old city's walls, we spent some quality time at
the Chocolate Museum Erico on Rue St-Jean-Baptiste, which not only has
the tasty exotic chocolates described yesterday, but as we found out
today, dark hot chocolate up to 75% cocoa. The eponymous blend, 70%
chocolate, is very good without being too bitter.

Also yesterday, we saw the Museum of Civilization, which is as
advertised. We took a guided tour of the "Dragons: Fact and Fiction"
exhibit, which as a Canadian adaptation of a French exhibit did not
mention Trogdor among American dragon legends but did have an
exceptional amount of D&D-looking work by a local artist. There was
also an exhibit on Herge's Tintin and the research Herge did to write
his comics about Tintin in Peru.

Dinner yesterday was at Aux Anciens Canadiens, a restaurant in a 17th
century house. My meal was:

1) Wild game pate with caramelized carrots. This was a meaty but mild
pate of all the best unmentionable parts of animals. It was paired
with a sort of sweet carrot relish, which was a good complement.

2) Tomato and zucchini soup. A savory tomato broth with rice and small
chunks of zucchini. The Sherbs and I shared a tureen of this and I was
glad I could have seconds.

3) "Three Tenderloins" special. Stag, bison, and caribou medallions in
a pink pepper cream sauce reminiscent of the meatball gravy at Ikea.
Delicious sides of wild rice, caramelized beets, and puréed squash. Of
the meats, I liked the stag the best, it had a "beefier than beef"
taste and wasn't tougher than beef like the others.

4) Maple pie. I try to eat the food on a nation's flag, a rule that
stands for all countries save Mexico, Lesotho, Bhutan, and the State
of California. This was maple sugar made into a caramel pie filling,
served in a crust that had at least a stick of butter in it and topped
with creme fraische. Who can complain?

We hit two little patisserie/cafes today; one had a sort of French
bread pizza with blue cheese topping. It was smelly cheese-tastic.

Now I'm relaxing in my new heavyweight Roots button-down sweatshirt
before our pre-New Years' dinner. We're seeing the show in the Place
D'Youville, just outside the city walls. It looks to be a fabulous
spectacle; I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Quebec City - Joint Post

We had a horrific meal at La Chance, on the stairs into Petit
Champlain. The Pedant did, anyway, an hour into the lack of meal all
The Sherbs had was soup and the news that her food had been burnt (so
had The Pedant's, but apparently edibly so according to the chef). So
we won't blog about that. Instead, we will provide a report on the
chocolates from Erico we ate to salve our discontent:

1) Pink Pepper: as advertised, it had a ganache with ground
peppercorn. We both found it tasty, but The Sherbs established first
that the peppercorn gave it a vegetal essence that did not mesh well
with sweet ganache.

2) Praline: or, more accurately, pecan in gooey caramel. Heavenly.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Quebec City - The Pedant's Experience, Day 1

This narrative will be slightly duplicative of The Sherbs's, but
hopefully in a Rashomon sort of way where the different perspectives
combine to form a more complete narrative.


1) La Nouvelle France - a cute bistro that is evidently sending,
unbeknownst to the management, telepathic calls to all Japanese
tourists in the region as the restaurant was full of them and the
proprietors were a little confused by the resulting ideosyncratic

The meal was sort of a Venn diagram of meat, cheese, and French bread.
Both The Sherbs and I ordered the "trio du bistro" (if I've gotten the
French wrong, it's because a certain member of my family likes to make
fake French words like "foe du souf" for the ALREADY French word
"soufflé."), which was garlic bread, French onion soup, and Caesar
salad. We shared a poutine, which is the way French Canadians make
cheese fries so they can call it a point of national pride instead of
just another competitor for Food Network's "Diners, Drive Ins, &
Dives." The garlic bread was the same bread as the table bread and the
croûton in the French Onion soup, the cheese in the soup was the same
as in the poutine, and, because I must tie everything together in
threes, the poutine's brown gravy was meaty, sort of like the soup but
not really.

Salad was fair; the dressing was nothing to write home about but the
lettuce was tasty (why can't we get tasty lettuce on a regular basis
in the US instead of celery's less crisp cousin?). The soup was good;
despite not having Gruyere, the broth was just beefy enough and not
too salty, a common failing of French onion soup.

Poutine will kill you. But it is awesome.

2) "Beaver Tail" with maple butter - the Sherbs and I shared one of
these bread confections at a little stand behind the Chateau
Frontenac, near an outdoor vendor who was pouring hot taffy onto snow.
You cannot go wrong with maple butter, and even better, the wheaty but
not sweet beaver tail acted as a superb vehicle for the mapley

3) La Vendome - we were lured into this restaurant by the prospect of
live jazz, and while many of the pieces played had their origins in
more staid Gershwin numbers, they were performed jazzily and with

Dinner was fabulous. I had the prix fixe:

A) duck terrine. I love me some charcuterie, and duck besides. But
this went from sure thing to being knocked out of the park by the
accompanying vegetables - caramelized carrots, onions, and beets,
along with fresh olives and endive, that provided premium
accompaniment to the pate.

B) lobster bisque. Almost painfully lobstery, in my opinion; I was
hoping more for a creamier, possibly tomatoier soup. Well done, but
not my cup of tea.

C) beef with red onions. Delicious. A perfectly cooked rare steak
(and, like a good French restaurant, they try to shame you into
getting your steak rare - the only doneness where you can really taste
the meat) covered in tasty, tasty caramelized red onions, which I
believe were cooked in some sort of red wine. Served with frites, of

D) mint chocolate mousse cake. Mousse was good; cakey part only fair.

Tomorrow, we shall visit at least one patisserie. And maybe that
confectioner with the molded sugar figurines.

Quebec City - Sherbs Report

So here we are in Quebec City. So far, lots of fun and a good
vacation. It is cold but nice. There as an AM snow storm almost
prevented us from departing this morning but luckily it
just left the city in a new layer of snow for us to enjoy.

First thing on our agenda: explore old city and lament the fact that I
didn't buy snow shoes. (for the record I used to have the best snow
boots but I took them on an archaeological dig and dirtied them a bit.
But thanks to global warming I haven't really needed them. I did
hope to get them yesterday but they only had grotesquely ugly ones
and while I expected cold I forgot about snow.) So after a pre lunch
pastery with maple butter (amazing) and some pretty pictures the
pedant and I bought me snow shoes and had a lively lunch of french
onion soup salad and pouttine (gravy and cheese french fries that are
oh so tasty). Then we had a nap in our super cute historic inn and
took a nice long walk. The city is very pretty and wintery.

We found a cute touristy restaurant and had very tasty food. I got a
cream of vegtable soup veggie pallea and a tasty chocolate cake to
end. Best part was when we picked a wine and the server brought the
bottles for us to pick which one we wanted. Tres cool. Second best
part: not being the drunk couple two tables down who sent everything
back and danced in the middle of the place (granted there was live
music but still...).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Their Plane Took Off From DCA...

iPod touch is synched up (thanks to Costco for slightly discounted iTunes giftcards so I could get Primitive Radio Gods' one hit wonder, referenced above, as well as the Chemical Brothers' "Get Yourself High," which I'm listening to now) and we're off to the airport early early tomorrow morning to go to the chilly French-speaking northlands. Sadly, despite reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, I do not expect to find armored bears who speak in the voice of Sir Ian McKellen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bacon-laced Film Review

First things first - this man makes his bacon-burger (with cheese and extra bacon, not to mention bacon-infused mustard) all wrong. He should add an egg and possibly breadcrumbs to the bacon patty to bind it together; that's why he's getting bacon hash. Also, if he used a George Foreman grill, he'd probably be able to make a thicker patty while still sufficiently cooking the inside (it goes without saying that the author likely does not have access to a salamander).

Next, I will briefly review the movies I saw over the Christmas break:

SUPERBAD: Michael Cera and Jonah Hill have great "odd couple" chemistry. They and Christopher Mintz-Platz could be in basically any movie and I would see it. Even an Olsen Twins film...although I hesitate to think what the plot of that would be.

JUNO: Michael Cera is on his way to being typecast. As is Jason Bateman, playing the same part as in Smoking Aces but without the herpes sores (at least he doesn't play Michael Cera's dad again). Regardless, this is a beautiful film about tough choices and how the leader of the white supremacist gang in Oz makes a good father.

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR: If you can understand how a political deal is structured merely by hearing that someone is a member of a certain Congressional committee, Aaron Sorkin's charming political film is for you. I was hoping to learn some real political skills from this film, but all I gathered was that Rep. Wilson was in the right place at the right time, and was brilliant despite drinking all the time. Still, Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the show as a cantankerous spy.

MEAN GIRLS: Fun and smart, but a little too didactic for me. Cruel Intentions, which had less of a real-world dynamic but was based on a fabulous piece of French literature, was more viscerally satisfying, but Tina Fey seemed not to want to really push anyone in front of a bus; instead everything works out for the best for all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


As the cheerful receptionist at the pest control people warned, the bugs are back. Not as many visible this time, except for last night when I found some examples on me. Out came my portable chemical arsenal. We haven't seen any since.

Before the holiday and the recurrence of our bloodsucking nemeses, we made many tasty soups. Actually, the Sherbs made many tasty soups, with my input being limited to menu selection and ingredient procurement. We (she) remade one of our old favorites, the beer and cheese soup, which is a soup that (as my father says) is better the next day. Also when you disregard what the low-fat cookbook says and sautée the vegetables in butter as opposed to just trying to make a weak vegetable stock with them. The beer choice is critical, though - a more bitter beer will leave the soup bitter.

Also made was another old favorite - the One Pot Cookbook's parsnip soup. Parsnip is a good major flavor - better than potato. It was a good soup, too.

Of both soups, we have plenty frozen up, so I don't expect we'll need to cook too too much over the next week. We're entertaining tomorrow night (hopefully they'll drink some of the wine!) and we're not eating the frozen soup then. Instead, it'll be something with udon.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Quick post, since I've had a wine-soaked day. I agree with The Pedant's assessments of the wineries and the wines. We will probably head back to Gray Ghost for their Valentine's day Chocolate and Red Wine festival (we did that last year and it was soooo gooooood), but that's yet to be decided. Many tasty wines were had by all.

And, my younger sister beat TP in scrabble. Go Sister!

My Christmas Dinner

It had little to do with Christmas, as I don't celebrate the holiday (although I don't get all up in people's face about it, like some people - if your religion hasn't been stolen wholesale by at least two major religions who turned around and persecuted you for it - not to mention try to shoehorn your minor holidays into their rubric - the fact that Christmas coincides with major Roman and ancient European animistic festivals entitles you to no more than anthropological conversation. You may not complain), but it was tasty. The menu:

APPETIZER: Store-bought port wine cheese ball and store-bought crostini. Wine.

MAIN COURSE: Whole wheat pasta in a low-fat sauce made from "chicken" broth, ricotta cheese, walnuts, and crumbled gorgonzola. Caesar salad. Wine.

DESSERT: Fat-free, sugar-free JELL-O® butterscotch pudding in a graham cracker pie crust. Fat free Reddi-Whip. Silk soy "nog," which is more like eggnog-flavored milk, but if you don't like the heaviness of regular eggnog, I highly recommend it.

Virginia is for Wine Lovers

Today I, the Sherbs, and a close relation visited some of Virginia's wineries. We went out to Amissville, Virginia (due to fiat by the Sherbs, I am not allowed to say "there's something awry in Amissville" every time we pass through, just as I am not allowed to make variations on "the glory that is Rome" since we saw the HBO series Rome, and how I am not allowed to refer to myself as "McLovin'" for reasons that I assume are obvious), and worked our way through three wineries.

The first was the Gray Ghost Vineyards, the largest winery building of all the ones we went to. They have a fabulous structure to sell wines in and they do not scare off committed Northerners such as the Sherbs by keeping the Confederate guerrilla raider memorabilia to a subtle minimum (they do have an object that purports to be his saddle somewhere on the premises). The wine was tasty, but a little pricier than we'd hoped for - we left with one bottle of a nice table wine.

Next on the list was the Unicorn Winery, a winery started by a Californian and run by a Long Islander that just happens to be in Virginia (you get that vibe on the way in because, well, the unicorn on the logo seems a little fae, which is not the usual feeling one gets for logos from Rappahanock County - see Col. Mosby above). Regardless, the vineyard is a multiple award winner whose wines are served in the fabulously expensive Inn at Little Washington.

At Unicorn, the tasting is of a long list of wines, and they are generous with the free cheese, chocolate, and crackers - we would have bought more of the cheese, but we are dangerous around soft cheeses; we bought some at the Teet for dinner tonight but I am sure we will be sorry because we will eat too much with it. We bought one bottle of a classy table red, and two bottles of a sweet blush they call "Slightly Embarrassed" for a party.

After lunch, we went on to Pearmund Cellars, a winery I like to call "the clutching hand" due to its quasi-martial logo (just put your hand in the same position as the one on the logo, and say "the clutching hand" in your best Ming the Merciless voice, and you'll see the appeal), which was about to close because no one had shown up. Fortunately, the people working there were generous enough to keep it open for a tasting, which was very nice as we were able to chat with the vintner's representative one-on-one. Last time I was at the Clutching Hand, it was a madhouse (it's one of Virginia's most popular wineries) and it wasn't as much fun. We left with two wines based on the viognier grape; one white table wine which, after left open for ten minutes, was fabulous, and one dessert wine which was pretty darned incredible. They also make a sweet wine called "Vin del Sol," where the Clutching Hand logo is made to grasp an entire sun, Galactus-style, but it was too pricy for our wine-buying tour.

Now we have a lot of wine, and we need to have a dinner party to get rid of it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I Am Mobile!

If you can read this, it means that I can post from
our new iPod touch. Expect more of these when we're on the road.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I am just like General MacArthur

As promised, we have returned. Massive amounts of environmental toxins have been sprayed into the corners of our apartment, and even though the Sherbs and I still see the isolated pest, we still have more spray, and our courage.

Anyway, about food, because that's more fun. Mostly from my archives, due to the bug issue.

1) Bartenders love to treif up drinks with bacon fat. Note to readers: does not go well with Dr. Pepper.

2) Make pizza in your Dutch oven! If you're Jewish, you can omit the bacon, unlike Rachael Ray, who gets mad cash from the American Applewood Smoked Bacon Producers Association.

3) Hell's Kitchen - the video game! I am so sorry that I always miss this show on TV.

4) Wikipedia: it's what's for dinner.

More as we settle back into our routine and have more bug destruction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Posting may be halted for a few days - The Pedant and I are not eating but rather the tables have turned and we are being eaten by bed bugs. Oh! The irony! I guess our good taste in food has given them the opportunity to feast on our tasty, tasty blood. Regular posting will resume when we kick some tiny bug ass.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another Quick Comment From the Link Archive

A man who clearly watches what he eats is grossed out by his 5x magnification of the fat blobs in processed meats. Clearly he does not share the Men's Vogue editors' appreciation for a fine slice of American mortadella, with its visible-to-the-naked-eye chunks of fat. The Men's Vogue article is also notable for name-checking Chris Cosentino, who was a competitor on The Next Iron Chef and is evidently making his own mortadella now.

The closest the Sherbs and I get to The Next Iron Chef is that we live close to the restaurant of Morou Ouattara, who was eliminated early for doing the exact same plating every time.

A Worthless Nothing of a Post

I found this fake cookbook cover at the juvenile news-aggregator Fark. My suggestion is that you click on the former link, and see the really awesome thing, and not on the latter, which shows all the has-beens and 14-year-old humor.

Going Through the Archives

I'm a big fan of Google Reader, but one of the big problems with having all the useful features of RSS aggregation is that, if I want to comment about something, instead of merely sharing the LOLcat or missive from America's Beef Producers in the little widget box on the right, I have to "star" it and remember to look into my "starred items" folder later.

Which I don't do often enough.

Anyway, this will be the first in hopefully a series of posts where I clear out all the stuff I've been telling myself I'd blog about but haven't really.

I am Jewish, therefore I blog about latkes. Haven't eaten any this season, because everyone around me is afraid of the demon fat and will not fry.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Whole Ki of What?

The Sherbs and I were on Chinablock last night with one of my relations, and we learned that when it comes to Chinese, accept no half measures. You want the Full Kee.

It's not as cheap as some Chinese places, but that's because each dish easily serves three. And it's very tasty. They do a lot of fish, much to the Sherbs's chagrin, but there were vegetables as well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Angus Meat and Old Malt

I and two other bloggers (their blogs may be found here and here) went to a local promotional event for Macallan scotch whisky. I had previously gone to a promotional event for Johnny Walker Black in New York City, where a Johnny Walker representative gave us several of the component scotches in Johnny Walker Black and then asked us to try the end product. My takeaway? Forty ugly, disgusting, or plain old flavorless scotches make one tolerable blended malt.

Me? I generally drink the Balvenie Doublewood 12, which is a smooth, complex scotch which is also not ruinously expensive per bottle. My good friend and blogger Emily2 loves the Lagavulin, which is peatier, if I remember.

Anyway, the event began with everyone getting some hors d'oeurves (little veal cutlets with blue cheese foam for dipping, cheeseburgers with caramelized onions, mushroom puffs, little pizza roll-like things with nacho cheese inside) and some Macallan Fine Oak 10, which tastes like something you'd get if you really like Dewar's but want a classier label. Maybe there was too much ice in mine, but it wasn't great.

That was the last mediocre scotch, though. We tried a succession of scotches, each with a video clip to show us how long ago the scotch was laid down. 2007 is a bad year for memories, but at least they showed us clips of the first Gulf War, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the OJ trial, and not reminded those of us under thirty of the awkwardness of our teen years.

The first scotch was the Fine Oak 15. A strong but smooth scotch, it's similar to the Balvenie. The second scotch was the Fine Oak 17, which was like a light caramel mixed with a hard scotch. I liked it a lot.

Then there were the spanish oak scotches. The 12 tasted a lot like sherry, and it's aged in sherry casks, and the 18 just tasted darned awesome. If I had $200 to blow on scotch, it's a contender.

The $300/bottle Macallan 25 was not to be seen. But no matter, I got a free glass and sample of Macallan 12 out of the whole affair. Score for me!

Bone To Pick

I have a bone to pick with Chick Lit (OK, OK, it's not about food, but it's my blog so who cares!). I just finished reading The Favored Child (2nd in the Wideacre trilogy) by Philippa Gregory. My goodness did that suck! I picked it up from the library (totally not worth $10.88!) thinking "Huh! I, and the rest of America, enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl, and my sister enjoyed The Queen's Fool, and it's here, why not." Oh, Sherbs, bad, bad choice. First of all, the plot was stupid. The main characters were all just stupid, the climax was stupid (and predictable to a degree), the love interest was a wimp, and the writing was fair. Sure, I knew this coming into it - TOBG was well researched and a gripping historical tale but the writing would have gotten a B/B-. I mean, in the case of TFC, at least have a moderately happy ending not one that makes you go "What? I just read 614 pages for that?!" In the movie The Pedant and I saw last night at least they acknowledged you needed a happy ending.

Now, I understand there is not great chick lit out there (exception: my love, Jennifer Weiner). America is full of dumb people with adequate tastes and a desire to read books on the beach. I guess I want some meat in my stories. And some quality writing, not something a 14 year old could scratch out on Hello Kitty notebook paper. Candice Bushnell is terrible, Jane Greene writes about skinny girls finding love and thinking size 10 is fat, Lauren Weisaberger and the Team of Emma Kraus and Nicola McLaughlin write about angry bosses and dooormat protagonists just trying to make it big.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Times, Responses, and Other Excuses to Change the Subject

To play off the Sherbs's previous post: yes, Ikea in Woodbridge, VA has at its restaurant a meal special which pairs fifteen Swedish meatballs in cream sauce with a healthy portion of macaroni and cheese for $5.49. There is also the small dollop of lingonberry sauce (I originally thought it was cranberry, but no - it has to be Swedish, and it has to look like salmon roe) that suffices as the concession to the existence of vegetables in the meal. The Swedish meatballs are in a gravy that Ikea calls "cream sauce." It is delicious. It is food that will kill you.

Today we went to Mai Thai in DC, as the Sherbs had to work late and I believe that eating at Mai Thai gives me a trifecta on credit card points and various other loyalty reward programs. We each had our own soups, which were tasty, but it seems that everything but the tom ka soup uses the tom yam soup base with extra stuff in it. If you love spicy lemongrass soup, you'll love these.

A parenthetical before I continue with the main dishes - the Sherbs and I had a conversation just now about the fact that it was nigh-impossible to find the Thai soups I am blogging about using the Food Network recipe extension for Firefox. Looking on Food Network's programming, there's basically no non-white ethnic food on the channel. Ever. And excessively Caucasian food hosts like Paula "smear it with lard" Deen and Sandra "You Can Make Angel Food Cake Hawaiian by Adding Runts Candy" Lee get tons of airtime. Make no bones about it, I watch a lot of Food Network - but are they racist?

Getting back to our Thai dinner, the Sherbs and I shared a salad and an entree. The salad was made of shredded mango and chopped red onion in a dressing that tasted like lime juice, cane juice, and cilantro. Little bits of toasted coconut were added for texture. Once we get the mandoline blade sharp enough, we are going to try to make it ourselves.

The entree was drunken noodles with tofu. I don't know how authentic the spicy candied version of drunken noodles is, but it's tasty - how could pan frying chow fun noodles not be? We ate every last molecule of it.

Sunday = Food Day!

Sunday was filled with tasty, tasty food.

First, my grandfather and sort-of-grandmother came for a visit - well sort of. They were about an hour away and wanted to see our new "crib" and take us to lunch. (Apparently, a football game was being played which diminished our hanging out time, oh well.) We went for lunch at a local place, Bebo Trattoria, which has some sort of famous chef. The Pedant and I pass by it every so often and think, "Hm, this might be a really fancy place if it wasn't so 'hip' and casual inside, since the prices are the kind that you wait for a relative to take you to dinner." Regardless, they had a nice lunch menu and we all got pizzas or calzones and shared a few salads. It was tasty. TP had a calzone with assortments of meats, I had one with lots of garlic and onions, GP had one with anchovies (?! gross!!), and SOG had the calzone with cheeses and olives. We all enjoyed.

After a quick trip to Costco (because the only person in the world who likes Costco more than me and TP is my grandfather), we parted ways and TP and I went to Ikea to buy furniture (coming this weekend! Yay! Now we have a fancy TV (thanks GP!) and will have new couches! and soon: CABLE!!! And Food Network!!) and TP had a snack of cheap Swedish Meatballs. I ate a salad, and sang the Swedish Chef song from the Muppets.

The Chili experiment was for dinner and was quite good. It probably only needed 8-12 hours to really get good: towards the end it got a bit burned and the corn went from lovely yellow to mellow yellow. Yet, it worked perfectly and the apartment smelled like chili for the next 24 hours.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Book Recommendations, Etc.

I have just recently acquired a copy of James Lileks's Gastroanomalies, the sequel to his modern classic The Gallery of Regrettable Food, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is hilarious.

I do not just say that so that Lileks's lifestyle, which is that of a stay-at-home dad who makes extra cash by posting funny things on the internet, is still available for me in twenty years. Lileks's witty mockery of bad food concepts of yesteryear (although, I must confess, I am tempted in an inexplicable way to want to try the corned beef in beef-flavored gelatin) is as good as it ever was (unlike, say, Toby Keith).

Currently, the Sherbs and I are trying a Grand Chili Experiment in the slow cooker. We put in corn, beans, two cans of tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, a small can of mild chili peppers, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, half of a large onion, one whole bell pepper, and a whole mess o' TVP. We set the slow cooker on "forever" last night, and we'll see, come dinnertime, how it all turns out.