Sunday, February 24, 2013

Worst Supporting Freezer Nominee

Tonight, when other people in this town are gliding down the red carpet in Dolce & Gabbana, dripping with Fred Leighton jewels amid the frenzied screams of paparazzi and the glare of the spotlights, I will be lying on the floor of my kitchen with a blow dryer and an ice pick in a vain attempt to resuscitate my Sub Zero refrigerator from hell.  

I can't even make a good drinking game out this.  Why?

Because I HAVE NO F@%#ING ICE to put in the F@%#ING DRINKS!!!

Is it possible for an appliance to be a drama queen, because if so, this...this...overpriced, over-rated, over-the-hill diva has just frigging NAILED it.
Bring on the golden eunuch.
It wins.

Don't feel sorry for her.  I'm the victim here.  My shelves are groaning with all the leftovers and Trader Joe's crap and sausage meat and frozen corn (six packages of frozen corn, really?!?)  that no one in this house will ever eat.  How am I supposed to circulate air when there is literally not an inch of open space anywhere? It is my fault that my coil has completely frozen over from neglect?  Why doesn't she get a competent repairman in here, or just put me out of my misery and replace me already? Go ahead, ask her. You'll see. 

What's that?  Why don't I just get a new fridge, like my husband so generously offered as a Christmas gift after the last incident?


Because I thought that if we had to replace the fridge anyway, we might as well tear down a few walls and remodel the kitchen while we were at it.

So I have to interview a few architects first.

Craziest wife in a lead role. 
Bring on the golden eunuch. 
She wins.*
And somebody better get that ice pick away from her.

If you happen to have a functional freezer, and can grab a few amazing Cara Cara oranges from Trader Joe's** or your local market, I'd highly recommend making this.  These oranges are a gorgeous blush pink inside, and are extra sweet with a hint of berry flavor.  I've made marvelous mimosas with them, but love this sorbet even more.  It's bursting with orange flavor and the addition of ginger and mint gives it that little hint of elegance that a special evening like this deserves.

For most people.  I'll be having something made with defrosted corn.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Breaking up

It's hard when you've been married for so long to remember how hard it is to break up with someone.

Especially your first real someone.

But I know it doesn't help when, the night before a certain over-hyped day in February, your younger sister says:

"Hashtag Valentine's fail, dude."

Then puts on her headphones and walks away.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Cook My Mailbox - Weekend V, Part II

French onion soup, to me, is one of those dishes that you can judge a restaurant by.  Is the broth the right combination of rich and clean?  Are the onions meltingly soft and sweet, but not disintegrated? Most of all, is that layer of broiled cheese and toasted bread so delicious when spooned up with the soup that you want to weep tears of gratitude?

I have had many, many bowls of disappointing onion soup*, and three that were truly memorable.  The classic French version from La Bonne Soupe, one of my favorite spots in NYC, is awesome, and I still go back for it any chance I get.  I savored an impeccably done bowl one night at Daniel Bouloud's now closed Brasserie in the Wynn, Las Vegas, while swans floated by outside the window.  Finally, one rainy afternoon, years ago, on my own for a business trip,  I went down to the restaurant at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and ordered the onion soup. Instead of the traditional version, theirs had apple cider in it, and a bubbling layer of sharp cheddar cheese on top.  It was so surprisingly great that the memory of it still haunts me to this day**.

I normally don't even bother making onion soup at home, because my husband can't stand the stuff***.  This weekend, though, I used the occasion of the blogger meeting soup theme to give it a shot****.  Partially I was drawn in by the moutwatering photo in "Onion Love" section of the Feb/March issue of Fine Cooking, but mostly I was trying to bring back that rainy afternoon in Cambridge.

I have to say, this came awfully close.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cook My Mailbox - Weekend V - Part I

As I quoted Steve Martin a while back:  "I can do this act alone.  I often do."  Even when I've taken baby steps towards linking up with other bloggers, it's been totally virtual:  Everybody make tiramisu!  Send a dozen cookies UPS!  Right up my alley. But I've never actually met any other bloggers in real life, at least not intentionally*.  Sure, I'd enviously read posts from conferences and seminars and clubby trips to the Mexican Riviera with cocktails.  Lived vicariously on tours of wine country and retreats with notable luminaries from around the web.  I felt a pang when I saw the groaning tables of food from the community potlucks.  "Maybe, someday, not now of course"...I'd say to my cat, doing my best Steve Martin imitation**.  He'd twitch his tail, then leave me alone at the keyboard again.

But yesterday, that all changed.  It turns out that you can just...go!  And learn stuff***!  And eat really good food and everyone will be nice to you and invite you back the next time. Who knew?

Fine Cooking, that's who.  When I learned that the upcoming meeting of Los Angeles Food Bloggers had a "Soups and Stews" theme, this had just landed on my kitchen table:

If there ever was a time to cook my mailbox and brave a roomful of perfect strangers in the interest of blogger bonding, this was it.

 There really was a groaning table. Our gracious hostess was Kate, from Savour Fare.

 Vintage Cheese Straws, from Leslie of Bake This Cake

 Our hostess' Mushroom Soup with Parmesan 

 My Sausage & Fennel Chowder

 Crusty Oatmeal Bread, from one of the founders of the group, Erika, of In Erika's Kitchen

 Tomato Bisque with Bacon, from Stephen and Art of Latino Foodie

Sampling the Scottish Lentil and Farro Soup, by Christina of Christina's Cucina

I got lucky this time, but maybe everyone is not quite as warm and welcoming as the Los Angeles Food Bloggers.  I'd hate to have gone all the way to Mexico and been shunned, you know?

Baby steps.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making a Fort

When we were little, my sister and I used to make forts under the dining table and living room couches.  Only we didn't really call them forts, we called them houses.  We would drape bathroom towels over upside down dining chairs, drag cushions in to make furniture, set up our little china tea sets and populate the various "rooms" with accessories.  Then we'd visit each other, crawling on our hands and knees through makeshift entry ways, comparing notes on the decor and inviting each other over again soon.  We'd have snacks, sometimes pretend ones and sometimes real ones.  Other times, we'd have our guinea pigs join us.  I can't quite remember how old we were then, or when we stopped giggling and started bickering and slamming doors instead.

We're back to being friends again now.

Sadly, my kids never really made forts.
But I still do.
Forts are good things.  Especially the cheese kind.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keeping the pounds on for you

Crispy little chicken wings, via my oven

Given what we ate on Sunday*, next year's Super Bowl will be watched at the gym.  Meanwhile, I just hope the lights go out when I have to put on my jeans.