Thursday, July 26, 2007

Going to Utah...
I leave tomorrow to go to my family reunion in Utah. While Utah isn't exactly a culinary mecca, there is the promise of my Uncle Brad's dutch-oven potatoes to keep me warm. I will also be attending the carnival, and if we're lucky, I will remember to take pictures of the candy apple that my mom and I will inevitably share, even after we promise to be good and not eat junk food.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gym Showers On a completely non-food related note, I would like to talk about gym bathroom etiquette. Now, I have been showering at the gym in the morning, on and off, for about three years. Before that I always had an erratic schedule and never really had a job with set hours to work around. Now, its hard to commit to going to the gym any time other than first thing in the morning...and since the gym is usually closer to my job than it is to my home, I end up showering there.

No, I think that I have pretty good gym etiquette. I take a towel with me and wipe off the treadmills and machines when I am done; I try to be mindful if someone else is waiting to use a machine that I am know, the basics. At first the whole idea of showering at the gym freaked me out a little, but I quickly got used to it. My Swedish friends are quick to remind me of how inhibited Americans are about nudity and their bodies, and for the most part, I can see where they are coming from...but I've seen things in these gym bathrooms...things that make me want to break the very first and most important rule of gym etiquette--no laughing in the ladies room.

When I showered at the gym in Culver City, there was a woman who would sing in the shower. Not once in a while, but every morning. At the Hollywood gym, the tiny Asian women would walk around the nudist of all nude. One woman asked me to zip up her dress, which clearly was a size or two too small for her, but I tried my best to oblige, even though the zipper would only go about 1/2 way up. Yep, I've seen a lot of stuff, but never laughed until today.

As I walked from the shower room to my locker, wrapped in my towel, I saw something that made me break the first rule...the golden rule if you will. It was a woman wearing underwear, a towel on her head, and cowboy boots. No bra. Nothing else. Just underwear and cowboy boots. Now, this may not have been so funny, except for the constant commentary on everyone and everything around me running through my head, and instantly exclaimed, "Yee-ha!" Damn you inner monologue. Damn you straight to hell! But really, who gets dressed in that order? Underwear first, I can understand...but boots second? Unless you are indulging some sort of sexual fantasy, there is no reason for just underwear and boots.

Monday, July 23, 2007

It might not be a plastic bag, but you're still an idiot.I wouldn't say that I am against collector's items...or even designer items, but this is just silly.

Just to get some background/perspective, here are some articles on these not-plastic bags.

It's like saying you only want to help the environment if it is hot and trendy and fashionable...when really you could have bought a canvas bag for $2 long ago.

Here is a link to how much the bags are going for on Ebay.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Not in the club

There is a food blogging community. I'm not in it, but I know it exists. Other food bloggers send each other food and cookbooks from other countries, they participate in blogger activities like Sugar High Fridays and Weekend Herb Blogging, and they tag each other with memes. Now, here is a link the the Wikipedia definition of what a meme is.
My blogging is a little more haphazard. I don't tend to participate in blogging events and I don't spend hours taking pretty pictures of the food that I make and/or eat. It's more of a fly by the seat of your pants thing with me. Sometimes I blog a lot, and sometimes I don't blog at all. I'm sort of a food bloggin' outsider if you will. Just call me Pony Girl. I'm like Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease, wearing tight pants and stomping out my cigarette. "You can't make me blog today, cause I don't feel like it." Yeah, I'm pretty bad-ass.
Well, mostly.
I was reading Once Upon a Tart this morning and saw that she got tagged for a meme by Other People's Food. Well, I've never been tagged for a meme, so I'm officially tagging myself.

Here are the rules:
"I have been tagged to post 8 random facts. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts: Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged. Go to their blog and leave a comment telling them they're tagged."

Maybe after I tag 8 other bloggers, they will know who I am...or maybe not. That's cool too.

Fact #1. I just pre-ordered Monster Squad on DVD. I don't think I've seen this film since I was 12, but I love it. It's taken forever to come out on DVD, and I'm so excited that I can't contain myself.

Fact #2. I'm really not that good of a cook. I just really like food. Most of the things I make aren't worthy of being served to other people...but my friends eat my food anyway, because they know how much I like to cook. It's like the friend who's a really bad singer, but you let her sing along with the radio anyway, because she's your friend, and really, what are you going to say? (Gosh, I hope I'm not that friend too)

Fact #3. I have never left the country, other than a quick trip the the Bahamas and one to Mexico...but neither of those required a passport, and growing up in Southern California you don't really think of Mexico as a different country anyway. I just got my passport a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to go somewhere.

Fact #4. Don't tell my mom, but I secretly love musicals...even the super-cheesy one, which I guess is all of them.

Fact #5. I think I am the funniest person alive. There, I said it, and it made me laugh.

Fact #6. If I could choose my last meal in this world, it would be pancakes from Katie's Kitchen in Carmel, CA.

Fact #7. My first word was broccoli...and thus began my love of food.

Fact #8. I moved to NY for the food. People think I'm kidding when I say that, but I'm really not. That's really why.

Okay, here are the people I'm tagging:
-Big City, Little Kitchen
-Food Lover's Journey
-A Chicken in Every Granny Cart
-Tasting Menu
-Fresh Approach Cooking
-Cook and Eat
-The Passionate Cook
-For the Love of Food

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Love and CommunicationI don't think we ever ate that much Indian food when we lived in Venice. There was a fast food Indian place around the corner from where I worked, and it was cheap and delicious, but all the Indian places around where we lived were rather expensive.
Now that we live in Fort Greene, there is an Indian Food place around the corner that has become Al's favorite place to order food from (second only to the pizza place, which he knows I will only eat every once in a while).
Every time we are starving and don't want to cook, or I'm on my way home and he wants to have food for me when I get there, or if I just refuse to cook because it's a million degrees outside and turning on the stove or the oven could be the thing that ruins the perfect balance that our air conditioner and the stinky, humid hell that is New York in the summer...we order in. I love our Indian food place, don't get me wrong. It's just, well, the family that owns it choose the family member with the least knowledge of the English language to work the phone. Calling in an order is like undergoing some form of Indian torture. Just when I am sure he's heard me, he repeats what he thinks I said...and then we have to start all over.
"What street?"
"Carlton, between Greene and Lafayette."
"879 Huston."
"What? No! That's not even close to what I said."
"Okay, we will be there in 15 minutes."
"What? You don't even know where I live!"
"Yes, we have that."
And on we go, until I'm just about to loose my patience, and then he just says it will be right here and hangs up on me when I'm mid-sentence. Somehow it magically finds it's way here. I don't know how...unless that old dude is just messing with me the entire time and his family, who have probably all been speaking English from birth, is in the background cracking up. I'm sure they have caller id and every time I call he's like, "Hey, everyone, it's that really high-strung white girl again. Let's mess with her."
Actually going into the restaurant helps, because then I can just point at what I want...but when my goal is to escape the heat, going in completely defeats the purpose.

But the food is so good. Ah.....

Taste of Indian Cuisine
723 Fulton Street (at Lafayette)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
FinlandMy parents had an exchange student from Finland once. She was awesome. The story of when they went to pick her up is hilarious. As they watched the bus full of 6 feet tall Finnish supermodels unload, among them was one lone goth girl, all of 5'. They got her. She was a little odd, and really quite, but kind of great. I liked hanging out with her way better than I would have liked hanging out with a super-model. She had no filter. She just said things and asked things that were a little inappropriate, but hilarious. "Why are your parents always late everywhere?" "Why do people in America eat so much?" "Why are so many people here fat?"

Well, I think I just found an answer to all of her questions. This post on is about Finnish blood pancakes and pickled herring. Yuck! I think of myself as an adventurous eater, but those things are just nasty. No wonder you are all so thin in Finland and think that we're all fatties...which admittedly many of us are, but we have delicious food, not your nasty vampire pancakes.

This in no way helps to explain why people in Finland are more punctual, but I'm going to keep working on that one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The World's Largest Dairy Store
When I was a kid, my aunt Bessie, who is really my mom's aunt, not mine, worked at a dairy. We used to go there to visit her, and my parents/grandparents/whoever took me there, would buy me and my cousin Connie cheese curds. Now, I'm pretty sure that cheese curds are more of a dare than an actual food. I hate them, but everyone else seems to like them. This makes me think that either they have crappy taste, or that they are all just saying they like them in the hopes of someday peer pressuring me into saying that I like them, at which point they will all laugh at me.
This place in CT professes to be the world's largest diary store. I'm sure they have cheese curds.
Dairy and I have a long and sordid history. I'm a touch lactose intolerant. For years I tried to stay away from dairy...but I just love it so much that I couldn't stay away forever. Now I try to do diary in moderation, but I don't think my idea of moderation is the same as the rest of the world's. This has led to a pretty much constant state of bloating and stomach problems which I will continue to blame on stress and spicy food because I am not now, nor will I ever be, ready to give up dairy.
I will go to this store, and I will leave with a bellyache, and some of their home made ice cream...and perhaps even a bag of cheese curds, just so I can reaffirm for the n-teenth time that they really are the grossest thing every to come from that wonderful substance known as milk.

Monday, July 09, 2007

You know, sometimes I read another food blog, and the similarities between me and them really strike me. Read this post at Serious's hilarious, but more than that, it's something I totally agree with and probably would say myself.
Friendly's, what happened to our love? Maybe it was just the ice cream. Maybe it was just the thrill of something that was unique to the East Coast. Whatever the case, I just don't love you anymore. I mean, I will still enjoy a tasty Fribble now and again, but only take-out.

Yesterday Al, Mom P and I went to Friendly's on our way to the train station. We got the mozzarella sticks like usual...but then I realized that I didn't know what else I wanted to order....because there really isn't anything worth ordering.
I had the sudden and startling revelation that Friendly's is just a glorified Denny's. Glorified only by me because it was just something new, something foreign.

I don't know what to say, other than I've been living a lie.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Connecticut Muffin

When I was first looking for apartments in Brooklyn, I almost settled for this one on Myrtle Ave. right above a Thai Food restaurant. In the end I decided that not only was it way too far from a subway stop, but the smell of Thai Food 24 hours a day probably wouldn't be the most pleasant thing. The apartment did, however, have one thing going for was right across the street from a place called Connecticut Muffin. I don't know if I've experienced enough of Connecticut to say that I love it, but I love people who are from there, so I'm claiming that I love it, and I know for sure that I love muffins. What could be better?

Ever since I first laid eyes on Connecticut Muffin, I vowed to go there. Not only was it always crowded (a great sign) but the name just felt right. Yesterday Al and I finally made it to Connecticut Muffin and proved that though you may love two things, when combined, the outcome isn't always good. Love sushi. Love peanut butter. But together? Well, you see what I mean.
Not only were the muffins not impressive, but everything was ridiculously overpriced. It's like going to Starbucks and paying $2.50 for a bagel when you can get a better bagel across the street for 75cents. There's just no sense in it...much like there is no sense in ever going back to Connecticut Muffin again.