Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Say No

I went to Waterfire in Providence last night with a group of friends - well-dressed, professional people who were mostly middle-aged. Keep this fact in mind as I unfold the following tale.

Two of our friends left the group to have dinner at a local restaurant. The rest of us availed ourselves of the street vendors and then we all met up at a drink-and-dessert place called L'Elizabeths's, which one of the women described as "lovely." And it was, for about thirty seconds. The decor was attractive and comfortable and there was a musician playing the guitar. But then the manager came up to us and told us we couldn't stand in the doorway and we needed to sit down. He then told us where to sit, informed us that they could not do separate checks so we would have to order together. He twitched, sniffed, and blinked. A lot.

Then he didn't like where some of us were sitting and told one couple that he needed their table in case a party of two came in. When they said "But we are a party of two," the manager told us all (loudly) to leave and forcibly took a drink out of one woman's hand. He twitched and blinked some more as we stared at him, open-mouthed, and tried to process what was happening. As we regrouped on the street, the waitress came out to tell us not to stand in front of their restaurant. On a public sidewalk. She was too busy yelling to notice me taking photos.

Here are the points you should take away from this little story:
1. Avoid L'Elizabeth's at all cost.
2. Don't annoy a food blogger. She will tell the entire internet.
3. Anyone who uses two apostrophes in one word is an idiot.
4. Just say no to drugs, kids. They make you twitch and sniff and blink. The make you rude and irrational. And they are very, very bad for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Spaghettification: Definition One

Wikipedia describes spaghettification as "the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong gravitational field." On planet Earth, one can unfortunately come across a gravitational field emitted by an extremely negative person - with similar results. The experience feels unpleasantly like being drunk. If you're wondering what's so unpleasant about being drunk, ask a glass of water.

For Spaghettification: Definition Two, click here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crazy, and Yet Awesome

While running errands with my teenage nephew Cameron yesterday, the Army Dude and I became conscious of a hollow feeling within. To wit: the need for sustenance and a lot of it. The Army Dude suggested we go to West Main Pizza, a place known for its delicious whole-wheat crust and inventive topping combinations.

While we were driving, Cam and I discussed our favorites on the menu and what we wanted to order. We decided on the All-American, a combination of Russian dressing sauce, chopped pickles, chopped meatballs, and sliced onions. The Army Dude was very skeptical, but Cam and I had decided and even fist-bumped, so he had to go along with us. But as we know, gentle readers, the Dude is not just strong, he's Army Strong. He faced the meal with the "lean forward in the foxhole mentality" for which he has been justly honored.

Of course, it was awesome and he loved it. We all did. For the space of perhaps half an hour, silence reigned at the table. We scarfed down the entire large pizza as if we hadn't eaten in weeks. Vultures would have watched us with awe. The All-American Pizza is a strange combination of ingredients, but it's genius on a plate. Delish and highly recommended.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Paw Print China Service For One

My roommate, Daphne Clementine St. Mark Katz, demands excellence in all things: the best seat in the house, the center of the bed, and gourmet food served at regular times. She's had some tummy troubles as she's moved into her senior years, so a couple of years ago I had to put her on a prescription kibble. Although her kibble bowl is full at all times, she enjoys it in moderation - which is good because it costs a fortune. Twice daily, she receives a can of Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys. I have taken note of which flavors she prefers, and I buy all three and serve them in rotation.

In addition to all this, she requires cat treats ten times a day or anytime I walk into, through, or near the kitchen, whichever is greater. Whenever anyone comes into our home, she stations herself in front of the treat cabinet, looks up at them with the big starved eyes of those kids in the Christian Children's Fund ads, and meows piteously. She is saying with voice and gesture "Pay no attention to the full dishes over there! She's starving me! I shall expire at any moment unless you save me with cat treats!"

She is such a drama queen. I have no idea where she learned that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dinner and a Movie: Bollywood/Hollywood

I don't know if it was the Campbell's soup talking, but immediately after our first dinner and a movie night the Army Dude suggested we do it again - this time choosing a country instead of a time period. We bandied around a few ideas, finally settling on Indian food and a Bollywood movie. I was concerned because it wasn't so long ago that the Army Dude officially did not like Indian cuisine. I figured that a couple of good Indian dinners could be completely cancelled out by my inexperience, so I looked around for user-friendly recipes. Eating Well magazine had a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe that looked easy and tasty. It was, both. We loved it.

For dessert, I used an apple spice coffee cake recipe I found online and I subtituted garam masala for the spices listed. Voila! Yummy Indian Spice Cake! If you want to try this at home, add 3 teaspoons garam masala - I followed the recipe and wished I'd used more than the 2 teaspoons it calls for - and knock the heat back to 350 degrees to prevent the bottom from getting overcooked before the center is done.

While I was planning the dinner, I kept asking the Army Dude if he was sure about the movie. I said "You know Bollywood movies have songs, right? And they're REALLY campy?" But he was brave. (This, my friends, is why our army is the envy of the world.) We watched Bollywood/Hollywood, which technically was not made in Bollywood but it plays on the conventions and storylines of romantic comedies in general and Bollywood films specifically. It was hilarious and the Army Dude actually liked the songs. It may have helped that the lyrics were in Hindi.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sinfully Good

I got this Raspberry Chocolate Jam by the Wicked Good Company a few weeks ago at the Grower's Market. I've been stirring it into plain yogurt, spreading it on buttered toast, and making the world's best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with it.

Also available: Blueberry Chocolate Jam . If you think I'm not going to buy the blueberry jam once I finish the jar I have, either you are new to this blog or you have not been paying attention.