Once again, The Cod and Cinetrix must decamp, this time for a convention. There ain't no party like a party with people who choose to spend their time reading old books, and hashing out Puritan beefs. As a result, the piping hot content will be coming in dribs and drabs, instead of the usual torrent. While I remember, props to Bruni, who seems to have gotten hold of some of that soup they gave Joe Montana at halftime of the 1979 Cotton Bowl, in that he was not unstinting in his praise, and made me hungry, rather than angry. Nothing like marrow to bring people together, and smooth out beef.Tony Maws does it better than The Game, however. To tide you over, a quasi food-related tune: "Meatshake," from Ugly Duckling -- rare to find an a hiphop album were the the skits do not have you diving for the re
mote, and the non-meat themed songs are solid, too. If you like hiphop and Morgan Spurlock, you should go buy this record from Emperor Norton. Ugly Duckling, "MeatShake" Taste the Secret, Emperor Norton, 2003
To the Friends of Whatevs here for the first time, consider yourselves hollered at. A tip of the fin to Uncle Grambo for dropping the PH goodness on me like the top of a double scoop cone from Washtenaw Dairy. As a gesture of appreciation, a 36 hour moratorium on posts featuring .wav files of Johnny Most calling Piston/Celtic tilts from the glory days. And the item to the right should bring back some pleasant memories for the old folks. Enjoy yourselves, feel free to leave your food songs and triumvirates, and don't miss the electro cover of the White Stripes in the archives. Many in the D will be watching the NCAAs this weekend, and some might even see how MSU does in the basketball tounament. Even if you are just watching guys do the shuttle drill on the NFL network, consider making these. They helped us cheer your Tom Brady to superbowl glory, and they are a lot better than the ones from here. (Pays someone to serve them to you in orange shorts, if you must. ) Anyway, the following is a list of what you need to make good wings--the combinations should be self-explanatory-- melt the butter, combine the other sauce stuff. Mush the blue cheese in the buttermilk, toss the wings in the powder stuff, and you will be good. Just keep the oil around 375, and take them out when they look done. XXXVIII Wings.doc
The frog asks why so many songs about rainbows, but never asks why so few songs about food. An issue that has been on my mind this week, as I endeavored to expound on Joel Barlow's "Hasty Pudding," an ode to boiled cornmeal written by a homesick Connecticut Wit while on a diplomatic mission in France in the 1790s. Thanks to some hasty pudding/Indian pudding recipes
retrieved from a now-forgotten source, I decided to make up a batch when I taught the poem, in hopes that eating mush would help the kids understand an ode to mush. Not so much. Did get me to thinking, when I tried to think about analogous moments from more recent culture, as I do when I am at an impasse, and I could think of very few songs about food. There are the recipe songs, a genre dominated by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, but few about actual foodstuffs--even the recently posted "Bacon Fat" is not about the invaluable foodstuff, but a dance, an unspeakable dance, inspired by it. As I am trying to keep both the music and the food oars in the water, I welcome food-themed song suggestions from readers in the comments. I'll send the contributors the chili recipe that is 3-0 in AFC championship play, 1-0 in the ALCS, and too manly even for its name to appear in print on the Internet. Meantime, enjoy Bar-B-Q, by Ms. Wendy Rene, and ask Santa to bring you the Complete Stax /Volt Singles box, for all your R&B pedant needs. Wendy Rene, "Bar-B-Q" The Complete Stax Singles, 1959-1968, Vol 4
Generally, the Cod enjoys the relentless perfectionism of Cook's Illustrated. Like a velociraptor testing the perimeter of its cage, Chris Kimball and his gang do rigorous and serious "we cooked 37 flank steaks so you can cook the one best flank steak" cooking in an effort to bring us better food. I made a recent tortilla soup at the behest of my kitchen muse, and it was really good. Their chicken wing recipe is a perennial favorite. And yet, from time to time, there are yuks to be had. This month's quick tips includes the following on "getting sausages straight":
"Grilled sausages make a great summer sandwich, but fitting a curved link into a flat bun can be downright frustrating, after giving up on a search for curved buns, [Name withheld, address withheld] came up with the following solution..."
Our Girl goes and gets a nod from the Grey Lady. Huzzah! And, as we learn that blogs are "narcissistic,"
as good an excuse as any to foist the delightful "Narcissique" by Caroline Loeb from the essential Ze records compilation Mutant Disco. And kudos to OGIC for maintaining a posture of amusement, rather than bemusement in the face of having America's paper of record announce that she is playing that old bait-and-switch: "Ms. Demanski promises 'a few general observations' about movie memory.
What she really delivers, though, is a great set of lists." Yeah, that and a crusade to persuade the masses that Henry James is Hi-lar-ious, thoughtful comments on contemporary fiction, just for starters. Folks in blogland always sound huffy when they get huffy about the bemused disdain of print journalists, but, to Sarah Boxer, I say "4th-Estater please"! Columnist hacks have been coughing up lists in lieu of stories since back when computers took up whole rooms and Mike Barnacle was considered a journalist. But yunno,
"Sometimes the Internet is like that. The traditional objects of culture
- books, movies, art - are becoming ever more distant. In their place
are reviews of reviews, museums of museums and many, many lists."
Evidently the Sunday magazine of America's paper of record is concerned about losing readers who want to see more body modification coverage. Who doesn't, really? In any case, the feature on chef tattoos has the Cod jazzed. It stands to reason, given a tendency towards obsessiveness, and as Anthony Bourdain tells us, a high threshold of pain. These factors, however, do not entirely explain a decision to festoon your arm permanently with Alice Waters rocking a cloche. Make no mistake. The Cod is a fan. Hopes to eat at Chez Panisse someday. Has 10 lb of her pancetta recipe curing in the fridge right now. This tattoo is further than I would go, but Nino Mancari, I salute you: "'I wanted to do a tribute to American food,' said the chef at Fish On! in Lewes, Del. Eventually I'll get James and Julia, and with Alice it'll be the holy trinity." I would like to be at Chez Panisse when Mr. Mancari eats there--I hope this warrants a free app, at least. Hard to tell though--when the cinetrix and Cod were married, we dined a deux here after the reception, still in our finery and none of the flinty rockabilly servers batted an eyelash, or comped us so much as a draft Bud.
Elsewhere in the same feature, the awesomeness of the ink of Jill Barron sweeps all before it. It is hard not to have a crush on a lady who tattoos the words "Duck Fat" on her arm: "'I love duck fat,' said Jill Barron, the executive chef at De Cero, a Mexican restaurant in Chicago 'I love cooking with it; I love rendering it. It's my favorite fat.'
Barron originally wanted ''duck fat'' tattooed in ornate English
letters, but decided the words needed a feminine feel." Word.
Elsewhere, Barron rocks a corncob and a Landjaeger sausage. Will
someone please go to De Cero and tell me how it is?
The odd radish out is from the arm of Hugh Acheson, who presides at the excellent Five and Ten in Athens, GA, to whence the cinetrix and I hope to return soon. But I am eager for intelligence on DeCero--especially in light of this final bit of adornment Ms. Barron sports at right. In light of the Waters/Beard/Child triumvirate, the Cod wants to know what triumvirate you would have tattooed, or have had tattooed. Feel free to comment below. In his younger days, the Cod threatened a Cape Fear-sized backpiece of Jonathan Edwards, but luckily never got around to it. Finally, this song, one of many treasures from Optimo's mix CD, How to Kill the DJ, Part II has been played by me to the distraction of my nearest and dearest. Andre Williams is a personal favorite of America's #1 Jazz Audio Documentarian, who may offer more info on this track, but for now, I would like to send it out as a long distance dedication to Jill Barron. Also, I am eager for any information on any actual dance that could be performed to this song.
Is what you are contractually obligated to say every ten minutes while on Spring Break (should be capped, like Easter, or Opening Day). The Cod does not get around much, and does not wish to add travel to the music/food equation too much, but two spots we came across by accident--thanks Vince and Anthony, warrant notice. I did not expect to be moved to write about pizza I ate on spring break, but the slices I had at the regrettably named Vinny Van Go Go in Savannah, GA were the best I have had south of New Haven. I do not want to bite the extravagant overpraise stizz of my man Fredo, but I can at least inhale, say "Sally's and that other place on Wooster St. in New Haven, and Vinny Van GoGo's in Savannah" and exhale. It is crowded, in a touristy area and the ceiling is low, but the crust will break your heart. As a bonus, rather than the one brooding impresario you usually find at the controls of a serious pizza joint, the place is staffed by dozens of indy rock/art school Mijos of all shapes and sizes. They kept coming out of the woodwork. The slices are big enough to dangle off of a magazine on three sides, and did I mention the crust? Cash only. They have a gallery on their website, too.
The other establishment is closer to the Van Zandt mecca, and in the county so memorably captured by FVK, and also only takes cash. (You could do worse as a cheap eats paradigm to avoid places that take credit cards, I am starting to think.) Chowder Ted's, on Hecksher Blvd, north of Jacksonville, has enough echt for the whole state of Florida. Imagine one of Jasper White's Summer Shacks, only not fake, and wicked cheap, and you get the idea.* For about the price of a single Belon oyster, they bring you an actual pot full of a spicy reddish chowder thick with conch and other goodness, including green olives. Their other seafood stuff is very solid, and the conch fritters are a must. But that chowder is what makes me want to go back to Jacksonville.
* I did learn about the best hot dogs in the world thanks to the Summer Shack, a story for another post.
Still on assignment with the cinetrix, south of the Garden of Good and Evil--it goes without saying, spring break in Florida is AWESOME, even if you are in north FLA, at a B&B with your parents/inlaws. Whatever your plans for the weekend, or what you think of plans for The Passion in IMAX 3D, we can all agree that lamb is tasty. Even if you just want a hearty snack, and do not have elaborate plans for rich midday meals on Sunday, do the following: (largely recreated from Steve Railchen's indispensible How to Grill) 1) Squint hard at your grocer and make them mark down those semiboneless legs of lamb they have--is he planning to construct an Onstad-style Lambulance? 2) Make sure you have plenty of real charcoal, (not Kingsford's for the love all all that is good) and a tinfoil lasagne pan. 3) Buy Kalamatas, garlic, and rosemary (incidentally the name of my incredibly excelent godchild) 4) Cut have someone you trust not to eat them all cut the kalamatas into slivers that look like slivered almonds, scatter them on a plate, and freeze them. 5) Cut garlic into similar shaped slivers. 6) Jab lamb with paring knife, about 3/4" deep -- use chopstick (steal a pair from the miserable sushi station at your supermarket) to work the olives, garlic, and rosemary leaves into the meat. Repeat until you have olive, garlic, rosemary worked in at 1/2" intervals over the whole lamb. You can have more than one person do this-- one in charge of garlic, the other olives--ideally young lovers who can avoid jabbing one another with paring knives, and casually brush their lamb-slicked hands, Tom Jones stizz. 7) You can do this the night before, or not-- in either case, it is nice to work a whole plume of rosemary in along the bone. 8) Slather the leg with good olive oil, and cover with oregano. 9) Make a charcoal fire set up for indirect heat coals on either side, with lasagne pan under to catch drips. 10) Cook until it is done to your liking-- an instant read thermometer helps here, but lamb is much more forgiving than beef, and can use being cooked longer than you might think. Information on cooking temps and times is available but not in Seattles Best Coffee franchises outside of Jacksonville. Look it up. 11) Carve out of sight of guests (lamb is a pain to carve) and serve with couscous, asparagus, or whatever you got someone to cook while you were putatively "watching the lamb" but actually sitting around in the yard drinking High Life and listening to preseason baseball.
I have to wrap up this series, and I will let hometown heroes Freezepop represent the land not only of the bean, but also of the Cod. Among their attainments are their theme song for Philippe, a five-year-old ottter who likes Stereo Total, and lives in a comic strip called Achewood. Also, some of the members of Freezepop appear to be involved in this goodness. Check out the site. Listen, buy. Enjoy.