Friday, January 12, 2007


It's staying up until Monday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

freakin' snow

My honeysuckle putting forth spring leaves, fooled by the past weeks 60 degree temps (thats springtime warm, brittites.)

With no more weight or resistance than cotton candy, only noticeable because of the cold, snow forms puffs of translucent spiders' lace on buddleia twigs.

Not barbecue weather, but barbecue + weather.

And now for the swearing portion of our show.
This $%^&&*&!! @#$%$ needs to get &*((#$%^^!! I have had my fill up to my $#$^! with this$%^& and I cannot begin to tell you just how incredibly $%$&*@@% sick I am of this #$%^ forsaken mother&*%%$# with a prolapsed**&*%%$ white, fluffy $%^&!!!!!!! I If I had my way, Pauli Shore would get every last flake packed up his @#$$ with Carrot Top as the ramrod!! If I liked this kind of thing I'd be living in Mon $%^&**@ tana! or Buffalo New $$%^#& York! This is like some son of a $%^&&*@ skank jankin' @$$% handcuffed to a car bumper, feet in the air and ten inches of *&%^ sticking out CON GAME!!!!! $%^&*@ on it! Just @#$% and a wad of partially dried tapioca pearls, in a world he never made! This is supposed to be the WEST COAST! Not the #$%@ ARCTIC CIRCLE! This is exactly like @#$% %^&**@, a portobello mushroom and five frozen chocolate bars up there behind a Matchbox Car jammed in sideways $%%^, laying on a tray when Frank Sinatra woke up in the recovery room!
We're on the mother$%^#&&* PACIFIC OCEAN! The same ocean that Hawa $%^&&* aii is floating around in, hel-LO!! But do THEY have snow? THE %$#@ THEY DO; THEY HAVE MOTHER@#$%@& umbrella drinks &*%%%$#!! with a greasy naked guy **&%^&$$ racoons, badgers and eels, wearing a #$%@ lame', cuban heels, and a carnation boutonniere!!!!!! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! Did I ask for this @#$%???? No I did not!

Plus my dog just barfed on the kitchen floor.

Ya $%&*# hoo.

Monday, January 08, 2007

make your life better for 8.00 a month

(with thanks to Mario Battali.)

Buy yourself some extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil and use it.
No, honestly, I mean it.
When I am not slamming great works of art, cursing ducks as they tear up my lawn or watching the Holy Infant of Prague zoom past catching mosquitoes in the gloaming I cook.
When I cook, I use extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. It only has one drawback...You cannot hard fry or deep fry with it; so in other words, you wouldn't fry a steak in it, or deep fry potato chips. It starts to smoke and burn and catch on fire and smell bad before the food you're cooking it in even begins to brown. Bummer. Still, how many times did you make your own potato chips last year? And fried food is baaaaaad for you. So quit crying. You can saute with it all day long.

Here is why you should immediately drop everything you are doing and run out and get a quart of olive oil and then come home and dump all your other cooking oil out in the neibors driveway under where he parks his car and then hide and watch his shit freak out when he sees it:

It tastes heavenly; earthy and gracious and smiling.

It smells heavenly.

Your bad cholesterol will go down. Your good cholesterol will skyrocket. Then the good cholesterol will actually begin to shovel the bad cholesterol out of your arteries. True fact.

You can use it alone for a dressing, a dip, or a spread

It is fantastic for your skin. I learned this from black women I worked with...They had ketchup squirtbottles full of it that they used as skin conditioner after they took a shower. It WORKS.
And it washes out of clothes.

There are different flavors too. Apparently this has to do with the variety of olive they use and the soil on which it's grown; just like wine grapes. I admit this is kinda on the icky-picky side. But if you don't smoke it is noticeable...And if you get a bad bottle, like with 'pomace' pressings mixed in with it, you will really notice it. If you see the word 'pomace' on the label, keep on walking.

Now, you can spend big bucks on boutique olive oils. I am an 'act locally' type of person so when I splurge I buy Santa Barbara extra extra virgin first cold pressing. Round? Full? Complicated? Baby. You have to shake it before you use it. That is the type of stuff you use to dip fresh bread into and savor. Or worship. 23.00 a bottle the last time I looked, sigh.
Of the supermarket brands, Carapelli is sweet and buttery, Napoleon is strong and a little woody, Hain is probably the definition of the basic evoo flavor, and Pompeiian is my personal favorite. Safeways' 'Verdi' house label is actually pretty damn good; exactly like Hain.

Regular olive oil, plain extra virgin, virgin and light are made using steam extracting equipment, and they are filtered to take out all the different weights of fats and just leave the one type of clear oil. These are good oils and I understand you can even do a little hard frying with the 'light' variety. It still tastes good and you still get the benefit of the good cholesterol, too. But the cold pressed evoo? Is bliss. Pure bliss. HUGE difference in flavor.


ingredients, all of them at room temperature and yes it is necessary:
Lemon juice...About a tablespoonful
1 egg
1 cup EVOO
(optional: the remains of any other mayonnaise you may have lying around...Like down to where its hard to get out of the jar)
-a stand mixer, bamix, hand blender...Anyway, one of these things:

...ok? that thing.
-a container that is big enough to accept the mixing head or is at least on the tall deep side and not a broad shallow bowl so you're not chasing the ingredients all over the place. You can even use the tail-end mayonnaise jar... check first to make sure that the mixer and the additional ingredients will fit first! Save some washing up!

Now making regular mayonnaise by hand can be a little bit tricky because the ingredients have to be added slowly and in a certain order while simultaneously being whipped madly. You can use a regular blender, but then you have to dig it out of the damn thing. Either way, it can still fail anyway and nobody knows why. But using the bamix gives you instant emulsification because of the sheer speed at which it operates, which gets you halfway to the result you want. So then:

break egg into container and mess it up a little bit with some of the shell.
add lemonjuice
put bamix into mix
begin adding the oil slooooowly. Just the thinnest stream you can manage. Or at least don't just dump it all in at once.
turn on the bamix

give the bamix a wiggle or two to get things mixed all the way through. What will happen is, at first the mix will be watery and yellow... Then it will quickly turn creamy white and begin to thicken. That is mayonnaise.
Use all the oil.
Take the bamix top to bottom through the mixture a couple of times.
You are done.
You have spent a grand total of three minutes making a product that tastes infinitely superior to the commercial stuff.

Here are the tricks: 1. It's the acidity of the juice and not the fact that it is 'lemon' or not that 'marries' the egg and oil together into the white, creamy thick sauce and keeps it from separating. 2. If any of it is cold, it will fail miserably. On that you can rely. Why is a mystery.

You could use balsamic vinegar in place of the lemon. Any vinegar, actually. Probably any highly acidic juice.
The recipes are out there on the internet to prove this - You can use any type of egg. Even turtle. (Probably not human.)
You can make Mexican mayonnaise (like the 'Gamesa' brand) by using lime juice instead of lemon.
Heave in 1 clove of pressed garlic with the egg at the beginning and you get wonderful garlic mayo.
Heave in a whole head of baked, pressed garlic, some lemon zest and a crumbled-up slice of stale white bread and you have a fantastic sauce-dip called Aioli.

Ingredients at room temp:
1 lb. bucket of whatever crap-ass margarine is on sale. Greggs is good.
1/2 cup of olive oil

Put it in a tallish bowl (so you aren't chasing it around with the bamix) and whip it together. Refrigerate immediately and store refrigerated It can separate if the room is too warm or it's summer, but you can use it right out of the fridge and it spreads wonderfully.

This you do not want to eat with jam or jelly, but on toast with eggs, because it is definitely on the savory side. Tastes better than margarine and a cheap way to cut your bad fats down a little bit. You know I whip in some sundried tomato, basil and garlic with mine.

If you want to see me get back to the art-bashing lunacy of yore you better send me some suggestions. (I tried David and Bathsheba, Arabella, but I like David too much to squash him.)