Saturday, September 06, 2008

I spent some time this week running up a set of six new seat pads for Fritz’s dinette set that’s now in the dining alcove of our kitchen. The old ones were worn out, some had been replaced with non-matching ones, etc. I got 2” thick polyester batting for the pads, and used a dark orange and gold upholstery tapestry that I’d bought a year or so ago especially for projects in the new house for the covers.

I thought I’d done ALL the finishing but there was one bit I couldn’t do—impregnate them with a subtle aire de chatte. Starr’s been doing that for the last couple of days, sacking out on each and every one of the new chair pads sequentially as they were finished, making sure they were just the way she wanted them.


OK, we knew she was pro-life but now we know it’s only some kinds of life—not ALL life and certainly not when it comes to really important stuff like tasteful interior decoration:


Richard of Tornwordo, from Montreal, put this food meme out on his blog and here’s my response:

1) Bold all the items you have eaten.
2) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

1. Venison – Yes, delicious.
2. Nettle tea – No.
3. Huevos rancheros – Yes, very nice.
4. Steak tartare – Yes but I do prefer my beef cooked, on the rare (a bit if subtle humor there) occasions when I eat beef.
5. Crocodile - No, although something in the back of my mind makes me think I might have tasted alligator steak sometime in my distant past.
6. Black pudding – as boudin, the French version and I liked it more when younger than I came to and I no longer eat it. For those who don’t know it’s made of blood and grain.
7. Cheese fondue - Yes. And also raclette , a related melted cheese dish that involves potatoes and pickles, etc.
8. Carp – Yes, as gefilte fish. When I was a kid, I thought gefilte was a fish that was caught off the coast of Israel. Stop laughing.
9. Borscht – Yes! Real, ballsy borscht in Kiev, Ukraine. It had beef, onions, and some other veggies in it and was wonderful.
10. Baba ghanoush – I love it and I make it.
11. Calamari - Yes, the best I ever had having been made about 45 seconds before we ate it in Rome.

12. Pho - Several different varities.
13. PB&J sandwich – As a kid, often. As an adult with more refined, sophisticated tastes, I like peanut butter, marmalade, cheddar and mustard.
14. Aloo gobi – If not actual aloo gobi, something very like it in various Indian restaurants.
15. Hot dog from a street cart – Yes, particularly from the Hebrew National carts in New York City.
16. Epoisses – No, and I probably wouldn’t, as the smell is SO strong that it’s been banned from being carried on public transport in France. And if the FRENCH object to a cheese . . . .
17. Black truffle – Yes, and I don’t get the point.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes – Raspberry, apple, plum, peach and—although not a fruit—rice.
19. Steamed pork buns – Oh yes!
20. Pistachio ice cream – Yes.
21. Heirloom tomatoes - Yes, and they were surprisingly fresh for tomatoes that had been passed down through the family for so many generations. Sorry. They tasted like—ordinary tomatoes.
22. Fresh wild berries - Yes, particularly blueberries..
23. Foie gras – Yes, and several other terrines made of liver from chickens, pigs, etc.
24. Rice and beans – A nice diet staple;
25. Brawn, or head cheese – Yes. A bit of dialog from the musical South Pacific:
Luther Billis: What’s THAT?
Bloody Mary: Shrunken head.
Luther Billis: What’s it made of?
Bloody Mary: It’s made outta head
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - No.
27. Dulce de leche – Yes, but I sometimes find it cloyingly sweet.
28. Oysters - Yes, but not raw. I can’t do raw shellfish. Fried, smoked or otherwise cooked, great.
29. Baklava – Oh, yes—and its variants like katiefi.
30. Bagna cauda – No—it’s the classic recipe for a heart attack.
31. Wasabi peas – An addictive snack—yes.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl – Chowder yes, the bowl, no.
33. Salted lassi – No, although, again, I may have had something like it in Indian restaurants.
34. Saurkraut – yes, the red cabbage variety being a favorite.
35. Root beer float – Ah, memories of the A&W Root Beer stands of my youth!
36. Cognac with a fat cigar – Cognac (and Armagnac), great—cigars, revolting.
37. Clotted cream tea – No.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O – No.
39. Gumbo – Yes, not a favorite
40. Oxtail – Yes, in my English grandmother’s oxtail soup.
41. Curried goat – No, not that I wouldn’t try it.
42. Whole insects – ONCE, in the middle of some sort of Japanese candy, an experience that is never EVER to be repeated.
43. Phaal - No.
44. Goat’s milk – In the form of goat milk yogurt and chevre cheese, yes.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more – Single malt scotch definitely, but I am unsure of the price of the bottle from which it was most recently served to me. When I’ve bought it, the price has been lower than $60.
46. Fugu – Not for love, money, as a gift, etc. Anything that can cause you to go into coronary arrest within three minutes of eating it will not pass my lips.
47. Chicken tikka masala – Yes, love it.
48. Eel – Yes.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - Yes, and I had them right off the line, as I’m told you have to “get” Krispy Kreme. I thought they were OK, no more. When a box was brought into a meeting I attended, about two hours after they had come off the line, the oil had congealed, the sugar was cloying and I thought they were awful. I wasn’t surprised when the company went under.
50. Sea urchin – Yes.
51. Prickly pear – I’ve had a wine made from it—oops, I should revise the fruit wine question, above.
52. Umeboshi – No.
53. Abalone - Yes, as part of a multi-course Chinese wedding banquet--excellent.
54. Paneer - Yes.
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal – A few Big Macs, not in the last couple of decades, but never the whole meal.
56. Spaetzle - Yes.
57. Dirty gin martini – I don’t do martinis, and very rarely drink hard liquor.
58. Beer above 8% ABV - No.
59. Poutine – No, another of those foods you can eat or just push directly into your heart valves. Scary. Still very current in the French side of Manchester, NH.
60. Carob chips - Yes.
61. S’mores – Yes, but I won’t seek them out.
62. Sweetbreads - Yes, and I like them.
63. Kaolin – Yes, in the form of Kaopectate.
64. Currywurst – No, but it sounds interesting.
65. Durian - No.
66. Frogs’ legs – No, I have seen too many New Yorker and Farside cartoons.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake – Yes, only the elephant ears—the rest are just too grossly fatty.
68. Haggis - No, but I have had scrapple which I think is somewhat similar.
69. Fried plantain – Yes.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette. No.
71. Gazpacho – Yes.
72. Caviar and blini - Yes, too salty and fishy for my taste, and I have better things on which to spend my money.
73. Louche absinthe – No, but might be induced to try.
74. Gjetost, or brunost – Yes—the first. I love it although it’s so rich I can only take it in small amounts at one time
75. Roadkill – No, although the venison I had may have been.
76. Baijiu – No.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie – No, but MacDonald’s apple pie, yes.
78. Snail – Yes.
79. Lapsang souchong – A common afternoon tea for Fritz and me, along with the related Kung Wha tea..
80. Bellini – Only in the form of his operas Norma and I Puritani. ☺
81. Tom yum – No, but lots of other Thai soups.
82. Eggs Benedict – Yes. I’ve never touched Pope Benedict, however. OK, I’m getting giddy.

83. Pocky – No, but since there’s a chocolate variety, I may have to find some.
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant – If the Culinary Institute of Northern California qualifies, yes.
85. Kobe beef - No.
86. Hare – No--rabbit, yes.
87. Goulash - yes.
88. Flowers – Violets and nasturtiums, yes.
89. Horse - No.
90. Criollo chocolate - No.
91. Spam – Yes, regrettably.
92. Soft shell crab - No.
93. Rose harissa – Not that I know of.
94. Catfish – Frequently..
95. Mole poblano – Yes, years ago and I liked it .
96. Bagel and lox – Yes—I grew up in New York City after all.
97. Lobster Thermidor - Yes, but I’m not really a huge lobster fan.
98. Polenta - I like it. Not as much as risotto, but I like it.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – Yup. It was coffee.
100. Snake – No.

For the record, I’ve also eaten kangaroo and emu. And bear.


The Wit and Wisdom of George W. Bush AND Dan Quayle

<<>> I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix

Starr could compare notes with Dodger. He has to make sure he has gotten his scent on everything.

And I wish I hadn't just gone through your list. When I got to "Bagel and lox," I suddenly felt and urge to be bad tomorrow for breakfast (bagels aren't on my diet!). I will behave myself, but I do love a good bagel with some cream cheese and great lox (it's important to have the right lox--I've encountered some bad stuff, on occasion). It's great stuff. Yum!
I'm just thankful that the rain has let up for you guys after the whole summer set of showers that you've had. Love the chair cushions! I don't love the new VP pick nor her choice of things to put on the couch.
Okay I'm just now at this very moment learning that gefilte fish is carp and now an Israeli fish. I love learning things. Same thing with the Kaopectate.
i wonder what bear tastes like?
Michael--No, it didn't "taste a little like chicken." We were told to stew it for a LONG time. It was tender and tasty--sort of a slightly spiced beef taste.

Jess--a good bagel is one of the joys of life, no matter what's on it!

Lewis--ah, but we just had the remnants of tropical storm Hanna--5.5 inches of rain in 12 hours. You know how big our roof is--it sounded like we were living under a waterfall.

Richard, yes, gefilte fish IS carp. I was just misguided as to catching it off the coast of Isreal.
I had kangaroo, too. And ostrich, but not bear.

Republicans are scary.
If I had just seen the picture of the chair cushions without Starr in them, my first thought would have been that it looks like a cat spot. The food meme was fun, I did it on my blog as well. I enjoyed your answers. My interesting item that wasn't on the list is guinea pig.
We've all eaten bear. And they're always so grateful.
That bear couch has to be photoshopped. No one has taste that bad.

I used to love Hostess Fruit pies. The blueberry and lemon ones were great,especially. Of course back then, they only cost a quarter.
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