Belated birthday wishes to this blog, which turned two this month. At the moment I think I could have this blog taken away from me by blog protective services, though, for neglect.
But I was inspired to post by this amazing little gadget that my very sweet Swiss Saarinen researcher gave me yesterday:
Isn't it lovely? It is a REX vegetable peeler. Kornell said that 98% of Swiss households have one of these. It is light as a feather and made peeling my potato last night feel like peeling butter. Incredible! And check out the little potato-eye-popping-out widget on the side:
In other news, we just got back from Chicago, where we ate at Alinea
, for better and for worse (neither of us cared much for the spun-sugar dessert that felt like chewing a mouthful of licorice-flavored fish bones, but some of our other courses were LIFE-CHANGING), and also at Hot Doug's
, where our shared three sausages and platter of duck-fat fries allowed us to go the entire rest of the day without eating, and also at Kuma's where we had incredible burgers with Kim and Eric, and at the Pitchfork festival where we ate some kind of delicious lamb + beef + pork pattie thing served with spicy eggplant sauce, and at Avec
, where the lovely bartender said, upon learning that we were leaving that meal to go to Hot Doug's for Second Dinner, "It is clear that it is not your first time at this rodeo." (But actually, it marked us as mere amateurs, since we learned when we got there that Hot Doug's is only open for lunch. We went back another day.) I have a huge list of places we didn't get to. Fortunately I'm going back at the end of this month.
We are going to Still River Cafe
this weekend (finally!) to celebrate our eighth anniversary together. It was eight years ago this week that we first kissed on the Gantry Plaza State Park
piers to the catcalls and hoots of the kids riding around us on bikes and skateboards. Who cared about them? We just took another swig of wine from our picnic bottle and kissed some more to spite them.
Oh, right, and we are buying a house. This one:
If you have hidden carpentry skills, or an excess of plywood laying around your house, we would like to hear from you.
Frozen in place
Literally, due to the g-d Indiana Jones filming
that has cut off access to most of downtown New Haven to vehicular traffic, and created minimum 15-minute delays trying to get to or from the Yale campus on foot. Derek was stopped on his way to work this morning by a cop -- not even film crew flunkies, a COP -- demanding to know where exactly he thought he was going as he tried to cross College street. "Um... to work?" Casey has an altercation with the PAs every time she needs to get in or out of the building she lives in downtown. One of them told her to "go find a bar." New Haven and Yale are purportedly seeing enormous financial gains from allowing this production to shut down the heart of the city for a week. I say we New Haveners should get free parking anywhere in the city for six months, at the very, VERY least. Checks in the mail would be even better.
And figuratively frozen in place, too, by this presentation I'm scheduled to give to a jury of my peers
in Chicago two weeks from today. I'm supposed to be an "expert" in this stuff, but I've never been so freaked by a presentation in my life! They're paying me! It's terrifying! So many second-guesses about how I do things and so many second thoughts about my chosen career. I need to breathe. Two hours out of my life and it's over.
To take my mind off the whole thing, I've been cooking: key lime pie, broiled salmon, multigrain salad with dressing of pureed cucumbers and feta, warm broccoli and turnip green salad (I know it makes me a rube, but I don't think I like turnip greens -- or any bitter greens, for that matter), some other stuff I'm forgetting now. And buying fresh pickles and prosciutto bread (PROSCIUTTO BREAD! Can you believe such a thing exists?!) from the flea market
in New Milford.
And eating: the first hot, buttered lobster roll of the year at Abbott's in Noank
, of course; backyard barbequed filet mignon at Kyle and Sabrina's house; kefte kebab and cheeses at Stephen and Moa's; and a wonderful dinner at the new Po
in Brooklyn, where I was sweet as peaches and cream to the frazzled maitre d' after he said to a foursome who had been waiting for their reservation for 10 whole minutes, "which table would you like me to kick out so that you can sit down?" I purred about how hard it must be to be so popular after only being open a week, of course we'd be happy to sit at the bar, smiling, smiling, smiling.
Five minutes later we had a table. And we made good use of it. Poached asparagus with truffled egg salad crostini and Cacio di Roma. Tuna with white beans, leeks, cabbage, and chili oil -- the best salad I've had in recent memory. Orecchiette with sweet sausage ragu and broccoli rabe, pappardelle with the sweetest peas and mint and Parmesan all over it, local strawberries in balsamic vinegar with ricotta gelato, and a thin tile of dark chocolate terrine with amaretti crumbles, vin santo and espresso caramel that was barely sweet. Did someone once hear me say I wasn't a big fan of Italian food? I eat my words.
Send me your suggestions for where to eat in Chicago. We'll be there a week. Alinea
is already on the itinerary.