CrowBiz

…funk for the old soul…

Posts Tagged ‘eating’

First Holy Poutine Ladies Night Communion

Posted by crowbiz on May 11, 2010

Who says I don’t get out (other than me)?  Last Saturday was a veritable barnbuster, crammed with both a First Holy Communion party – whoa!  AND – AND – AND – another poutine party, this time a ladies-only affair.

Part 1:  Body of Christ.  We attended the First Communion party for the son of some old friends, though there’s not a lot to say here, other than I had a good time seeing folks, noshing, and watching others drink what seemed to be about 87 pitchers of beer (blood of Christ, etc…).  We ended up staying far longer than anticipated, as things got funnier and blurrier by the hour, so I actually had to dash between events – and fit in a little supply shopping – before the Ladies’ Poutine Party.  Our lovely hostess, eager to unload massive amounts of First Communion sheet cake (which prompted my ultra fabulous quip, “Holy sheet cake!”), sent departing guests home with platefuls of wrapped slabs.  Whether by subversive design or divine intervention, we ended up with the following piece:

The Chosen One

Sure, others may have walked out with “Bless” or a chunk of frosting crucifix, but can you blame me for feeling smug?  Naturally, no one in this house dares eat it for fear of being stricken with paralyzing guilt and a sudden urge to tithe.

(Special hello to my most supportive blog fan, Miss Rose, who was in attendance.  I promise that when I find the photos, I will blog about the hole-in-the-Speedo.  Not to be missed!  Actually, it would have been really hard to miss.)

Kitchen Action

Part 2:  Ladies Poutine Club. Given my mission to promote poutine to the masses, I was especially pleased to be included in a let’s-try-this-at-home gig.  It only took several months of planning, since finding an open weekend evening among us in-demand jet setters is a task worthy of an MIT graduate student.   Theme names were adopted, among them, Fryda Kahlo, Grace Slick, Olive Oil, and the like.  In honor of my grandmother, Viola, I guess I’ll just be Fryola.  Our mascot was Daisy the Westie who’s job was to ensure that the souls of any dropped fries did not come back to haunt us, or cause a slippery accident with five drinking women scurrying around the kitchen.  Perhaps unwisely, I wore what I thought was “relevant” clothing, namely, my red CANADA polar fleece zippered jacket and my synthetic fur scarf, or as I call it, my “neck weasel,” which the Poutine Pup eyed all night.

Fryda Kahlo's classy joint - a significant upgrade from a picnic table

Fry, baby, fry

Grace Slick brought her brand new deep fryer – see similar occurrence here – and after a confused start, a phonecall to a family frying expert, and an internet search, we fired it up.  O! for a fryer to lose its virginity to a batch of potatoes destined for poutine!  There is surely a tier in the Appliance Afterlife where such service will be amply rewarded!

Daisy ...waiting for a moment of carelessness

Yet another version

My first serving

Without purists to interfere (other than me, but I shelved all judgment), we were free to mix and match our poutine toppings with abandon.  Though standard cheese curd served well, we were all pleasantly surprised by a sprinkling of gorgonzola – brought by ME, so see, I wasn’t being a cranky purist.  Both homemade and jar gravy were used, as was a bewildering array of ethnic condiments.  Stealing the show were Indian coriander chutney and Belinda’s Smokey Chipotle Ketchup (hot, but I’m a weenie).  My beverage of choice was a framboise lambic, with a touch of wine in between trips to the kitchen.  French music played – no, not Canadian, because no one in the universe wants to hear Anne Murray, especially when eating, and Leonard Cohen would have been too depressing.  Since we ate from plates like civilized ladies, we did lose the roadside quality of the poutine experience, but at least there was no danger of bees.  Also, with poutine flat on a plate, the lower fries do not get soggy, which is either good or bad, depending on your perspective.  I was willing to trade the usually desirable sog for the good company and china.  Really, it all goes back to “there is no such thing as a bad fry,” except perhaps the one for which you are battling a dog on the kitchen floor….

Which leads me to my feigned poutine overdose pose, sprawled on the floor as if in need of medical assistance.  We tried the shot over and over, hoping to get just the right look of bloated excess, unconsciousness, and desperation; I lay face down with a few stray fries strewn just out of reach of my slack-jawed face, a few more fries clutched in my crabbed hand.  Daisy, however, could not suspend her duties as floor monitor, and thus kept diving in, as terriers do, for the quarry.  Rats, fries, whatev.  After clunking heads and coming lip-to-lip many times, I realized it wasn’t working as planned, and it  was also unfair to tempt the poor dear with floor fries next to an apparently dead body.

For me, there will always be a next time.

Poutine Coma, Take 1

Poutine Coma, Take 2

Poutine Coma, Take 3

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I Despise Food Writing! Stop Me!

Posted by crowbiz on September 3, 2009

 

Fine Dining chez Crow

Fine Dining chez Crow

I swear, I didn’t realize.

 

Luckily, this dawned on me before someone else had to point it out.  Many of my posts have something to do with food.  It all started with the woeful Limburger story and mushroomed from there.  Not wanting to run a restaurant, canned bread, the Garbage Plate, my useful “recipes” (more coming), an adventure with rye bread, and pursuing sukiyaki, even though it was only the musical kind.  The thrilling crescendo came with the recent poutine review.  Where did all this come from, I asked my reflection in the mirror.  I heeded my own advice and looked within.

Three important points emerged:  

1)  All of my food discussions center on something relatively low-brow.  

Come on, canned bread and gooped-up fries?  Humble, but good eats.  And believe me, even if I had known the Limburger had been hit by a car, I’d still have eaten some.  I’m not above admitting it.  My posts have generated a fair share of “eewws” and have probably led to the misconception that I sit in my Tyvec-encased trailer eating dry stuffing mix washed down with store-brand cola.  With my bra strap slipping down along my flaccid bingo wing, crumbs accreting on my gut-shelf.   Wielding a remote.  The judgmental conclusion would be that I don’t know bacala from Bac-Os, nor camembert from Cheez-Wiz, but I caution you to be a careful thinker.  My adoration of low-rent food simply means that I’m not a snob.   I have no tolerance or patience for people who reject and mock foods that haven’t passed the cool-trendy-expensive-foreign-gentrified-organic-upper-middle-class test, and I’m downright embarrassed for anyone who would really care what others might think of their reaching for a Slim Jim (nacho flavor rocks).

OK, busted.  I am a snob about a couple things.  Tea.  Chocolate (“we do not eat brown wax in this house”).  

2)  For all my wordiness on food, I actually detest, abhor, loathe, and 27-other-thesaurus-synonyms-for-hate “food writing” and reviews.

H-A-T-E.  Can’t stand reading it, but somehow it crosses my path at times, such as when I’m stuck at the mechanic’s shop and have read every word of the rest of the newspaper or magazine at hand.  Many things about it drive me nuts, one of them being the amateurish nature of most food writing that finds me.  Shiver.  Hackneyed phrases like “blanketed with a ___ sauce” and “the ___ was generously studded with ___”  set me off so badly I could fork out the writer’s eyeballs and “infuse” them in acid.  I’ll only accept the word “flaky” in the psychopathological sense.  The strain of these writers trying to seem knowledgeable, coupled with a criminal lack of originality, is all too painful.  After all, food critiquing is equal-opportunity, since we all eat, we all have preferences, and we often have something to say about it.  Everyone wishes they had their own Food Network show, but frankly, half of the people on there shouldn’t even have their own Food Network show.  Really, I’d rather hear Joe Blow plainly relate that the plover-brain ravioli in a reduction of Rudbeckia nectar was “awesome!” than read that it was blanketed and studded.  

3)  I like things simple.

Yes, it’s fun to eat at a nice restaurant in which the chef has labored to concoct a most interesting array of offerings (often, presentation at the expense of taste).  I’ll eat most anything.  I’ll eat most any combination of anythings.  But I don’t like good stuff messed with too much.  Lobster smeared and stuffed with six ingredients?  Just throw the freaking thing out, it’s a waste.  Lobster.  Butter.  Too much great food comes to innovative ruination.  Leave it the heck alone, at least in front of me.  All this makes me seem hopelessly unsophisticated, but then so is the Buddhist monk for not reaching Level 17 in Grand Theft Auto, if that’s how your critical thinking works.  Let me suggest that I’m discerning with open arms.  What do I order on the uncommon occasion of upward dining?  Red meat, rare, because anyone can pile up twelve precious ingredients in their “signature dish,” but it takes restraint and finesse to get meat the way I like it – waved once over a candle flame with a sprinkle of salt.

In order to boost my food cred, I have to resort to pulling rank.  As a sensory-perceptual scientist and educator, one of my jobs is exploring the fascinating and still mysterious world of human taste perception (OK, so we only spend two classes on it).  I pass around the PTC paper samples to the class so each willing student can place it on his or her tongue and determine what category they fall into:  a nontaster, a taster (the largest group), or a supertaster (thank you Lazypedia, for a fair lay explanation and for referencing Linda Bartoshuk; but students, if any of you employ web references, I’ll fail you summarily).  Hilarity ensues as the unsuspecting supertasters wince, flinch, and bolt for the nearest water fountain cursing my name while the nontasters and tasters sit there puzzled.  I’m a supertaster, too.  So I need it simple.  My superior number of fungiform papiliae trump your measly few, so lay off my Frito fetish. Turns out, I also have the slightest whiff of synesthesia, so many flavors at once in my mouth is rather like an unsupervised 6th grade orchestra of ADHD boys playing Schoenberg.

But wait, you say, what about my devotion to things like the Garbage Plate and poutine?  Those are piled with ingredients and flavors, right?  Yes, but they’re simple.  Fat.  Salt.  Who can’t handle a mouthful of that?

So from here on out, I may or may not talk about food – OK, I’m pretty sure I will – but I pinky-promise not to mention blanketing, studding, or infusion.

Posted in Life In the Mod Podge Lane | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »