|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Oct. 31, 2004 - 4:37 a.m.
Ok, first things first:
I firmly believe - without having any hard data to back me up - that men with large penises are also good at HTML. This makes sense (to me) since that's where our brains are. It also conveniently explains why I was unable yet again to figure out how to insert the Diarist.net "FUCK YOU I WON" button graphic into my template. See the connection? Anytime you come across (or from) a guy's diary that has all sorts of flashy graphics and actual working links and all those little extras that indicate his code page is longer than the number of years Cynthia Nixon will now spend in Hell (according to my particularly devout friends), well you can bet your cellulite that he can double as a tripod. I, on the other hand, have to have NewWifey(tm) tell me which mouse button does what every time I sit at the computer. This is the result of having a brain that must be diminutive enough to fit into something the size and shape of a Tic-Tac.
So needless to say, I was stymied trying to put that damn button on my page. And I want to brag! I lobbied and bribed hard for that award. If I couldn't plaster the one and only symbol of my superiority on my own diary, then my inferiors might not realize that they are just that.
Fortunately there are women out there with freakishly enlarged Pity Glands who don't mind interacting with (and sometimes marrying!) guys who can engage in even nasal sex without distending them.
And irishblueyes is one of them!
For the SECOND TIME she has sighed deeply, rolled her eyes, and responded to my pathetic entreaties for assistance. That "I WON AND YOU DIDN'T" button over there? The one under the "FINALIST, BITCH" button? Yup, that's all her handiwork. (She told me I should be all classy and shit and REPLACE the Finalist Button with the Winner's Button, but uh-uh. I know SOMEBODY will stumble by, see two buttons, and think I've won two awards. Why should I deprive them of that heartwarming delusion?)
So thank you again irishblueyes.
And to all my dinky bretheren: you now know who you can hit up for a favor. Go get 'er!
Ok, the rest of this entry is a serious, hardcore, nofuckingaround FOOD ENTRY. I realized the other day that I'm a member of the Cooking Ring, or something like that, and I have an obligation to write Cooking Ring approved entries. This is one of them. (Edit: I was a member of the Cook's Ring - what the hell happened to my "Member of the Cook's Ring" graphic at the bottom of my page?? Sheesh, Small Penis Syndrome strikes again...)
Really, if you're not into edible porn, go on to some other diary now.
I know - head over to redlegger and yell at him for beating up girls (he's one of the two soldiers who stayed with me earlier this month, and who ate me out of house and credit rating. He's also a crappy writer, but his heart's in the right place...don't tell him I said that).
Well I had originally intended continue my little Vancouver travelogue, since we had quite a fiasco at our first hotel that resuted in NewWifey(tm) and I getting unceremoniously dumped onto the sidewalk by management in the middle of the night. But I'd actually like to wax rhapsodic first about some of the foodstuffs we encountered there instead.
Vancouver has GREAT food!
I think that about sums it up.
Really, it was superb, everywhere we went. Actually Vancouver reminded me a lot of New York that way, but on a tiny scale. Authentic foreign cuisines cooked by authentic foreigners dotted every main drag, and lots and lots of fresh seafood. (Interestingly, and something I found I missed, we hardly saw any Black people our entire stay. Or Hispanics for that matter. Those elements, which make walking down any avenue in Manhattan both literally and figuratively so colorful, were almost completely absent.)
But you know what was funny? All I heard from people out there was "You have GOT to try the sushi. You cannot get bad sushi. Sushi sushi sushi sushi sushi!! Eat sushi! It's GREAT here!!"
Fine with me - I love sushi, and eat it every chance I can afford to.
So I ate a lot of sushi.
And you know what?
It was *almost* as good as the sushi we get in New Jersey.
Hey, stop laughing!
Ok, I know a lot of you may not equate "New Jersey" with "World Class Sushi". But consider this: 1. New York/ New Jersey has one of the highest Asian population concentrations in the US. 2. New Jersey has a HUGE fuckin' coastline relative to its size.
That combination means we have some of the best sushi this side of Kyoto - often prepared by chefs FROM Kyoto who have immigrated here.
I eat it so often here that I didn't realize it was all THAT special. But when I hit Vancouver up for the best sushi I could find THERE, the quality was indeed excellent...but not superior to NJ. In fact, I think the NJ chefs prepared their rice *much* better, overall. This is not a slight againt those noble Japanadians I encountered. They're just...not quite up to New Jersey standards. No shame in that.
Of course to be fair, I didn't eat at EVERY sushi place. I think I missed 5. So, who knows....
Anyway, all that fishy goodness I immersed myself in did nothing but whet my appetite for even more upon my return home. And lo and behold, the FoodyMart near my work has a HUGE honkin' seafood sale going on this week!. If there is anything on god's blighted earth that could tear me away from porn (at least for 10 minutes) it's Seafood On Sale. Had I been unfortunate enough to have a kid, I would have withdrawn his college savings account for this.
I don't know what prices are like out by you, but check this action out:
Bay Scallops: $2.99/lb.
Lemme tell ya kids, that shopping cart was GROANING when I pulled away from the fish counter. I think I spent all my food stamps for the month on that one spree.
Unfortunately it was an hour trip home, with no air conditioning. There were cats running 40 mph down my side street trying to catch up to me by the time I reached our driveway. Now I like pussy as much as the next guy, but not when they're trying to steal my Hake.
Of course once I plunked the near-bursting sacks onto my counter, the immediate question was: What the FUCK am I gonna do with 78 pounds of seafood??
First things first, I pulled out every ice cube in my freezer and dumped them into a galvanized steel tub. Then I made more ice cubes. Then more ice cubes. And then....
Made more ice cubes.
Seriously, 3 cubic meters of dead fish need a LOT of ice to keep from decomposing into jellied ammonia before your very eyes.
What to do...what to do.....
Naturally I had not thought of what I was going to do beforehand. I just saw the "SALE" sign and lost all mental faculty. "GIVE...ME...FISH!!" I bellowed at the lackey in the paper hat. "MORE!!!"
Now that I was home and saw the pile spread along three counters, and overflowing both racks of the dishwasher, I cursed my impetuous nature. How the hell was I gonna eat all that highly perishable flesh before NewWifey(tm) came home and I was forced to share??
As it turns out, I couldn't. I may have a mouth the size of the Exxon Valdiz oil slick, but it still wasn't big enough to devour an entire school at one sitting.
I was forced to share.
Well, priorities. Since the seafood was so fresh - and would only STAY so fresh for a short while - I decided to immediately start a ceviche. I love ceviche, and ever since I tricked NewWifey(tm) into trying some two years ago ("Really honey, they boil it first!") she loves it too.
Throwing caution to the winds (or waves) I opted to make the cevice from all shrimp, a luxury I'm rarely able to afford. Slice 'em down the middle, remove both top and bottom veins, then dump the pile in a bowl with plenty of lime and lemon juice. Voila, "cooked"!
Now really, it only takes about 20 minutes to transform the raw seafood in an acid bath. But I gave it a full hour anyway, 'cause I like the extra lime flavor.
Plus...I started watching porn and lost track of time. So they stayed in an hour regardless.
It actually came out GREAT, with that wonderful texture that ceviche is known for, and a subtle sweet/tart flavor. I mixed in some minced Bermuda onion, cilantro and a little diced tomato, which worked wonders. NewWifey(tm) loves avacado, so I scooped one out and fanned the sliced meat onto each plate as a garnish. Then I used the hollowed out shells as "bowls" for the cevice. It was very pretty, if I may break from my usual supremely modest form for a moment and brag.
So that went over really well, served on our back porch overlooking the woods with a bottle of Rose' from Provence. Despite being surrounded by 6,000 acres of hilly oak and pine trees (and 42,785 feral cats and 11 bears) it was like a little slice of the Mediterranean had landed on our hilltop in NJ.
The next day:
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I luuuuuuuuuv me some Paella!
I had saved all the shrimp shells that I'd peeled off the day before and made a fragrant shrimp stock from them to use as the cooking liquid. What a difference that made! Also, I had just enough real Spanish Saffron ("coupe" grade) to give the rice that classic golden tint and beautiful floral flavor. I wish I'd taken a picture of that, but when it came out of the oven neither of us could restrain ourselves. We each jut grabbed a spoon and dug in right there at the stove, without plates or bibs. A bottle of Muscadet later, and we were done. The discarded mussel shells alone weighed more than my Corgi.
We had that Paella for lunch, then dinner, then breakfast the next morning. I took the leftovers in three Tupperware containers to work and startled my fellow announcers by forcing them each to eat a half pound at 4 in the morning. To hell with their soggy Cheerios!
Yesterday I used the last of the seafood to make a staggeringly brilliant Risotto. Actually, I made a staggeringly brilliant "Zuppa de Pesche" (Italian seafood soup - although it's not really soupy) served next to a just as staggeringly brilliant Risotto con Funghi.
I had spent the morning making a (staggeringly brilliant) brodo of saved chicken and pork bones, and trimmings from some portabella mushrooms. What flavor! That makes all the difference when you are making risotto, I tell ya. Plus, I had found mushrooms on sale the day before (which is why I decided to make the risotto in the first place). So I sauteed a pound and a half each of chopped chantrelles and huge portabella caps in butter until they sweated all their water out. Then a flambe in brandy, and a good dash of salt at the end. That's all they needed.
The freakin' risotto was so good it almost overshadowed the staggeringly brilliant Zuppa. And again: Lunch, dinner, and breakfast the next day. Leftovers to grumbling co-workers.
And the cats have still not left my porch.
Oh well, I've gotta run. Later gang. There's some leftover Risotto in the fridge calling my name!