Wednesday, September 08, 2004

remedial writing

Having badmouthed Adam Gopnik repeatedly over the years, it is only fair to point out that his wine article in the special marketing section -- I mean, the "food issue" New Yorker -- wasn't that bad. It was wrong -- after living in France all those years, he still doesn't get it -- but the Robert Parker/Bill James analogy was inspired. And the obligatory Henry James disquisition actually worked this time. The mantle of self indulgence was instead assumed by Bill Buford's latest finding-myself-through-fucking-up-a-restaurant-kitchen (because-I'm-"friends"-with-Mario) piece. I am not looking forward to my midlife crisis. As you peel back the layers of confusion, the whole thing becomes more and more inexplicable. Most egregiously, it appears that he may not understand the difference between water- and egg-based pastas. It unravels from there, and I will spare you further details except to say that Bill needs to think a little bit about what zucca could possibly have meant before 1492. (Hint: Lagenaria siceraria). Also: I bought a bag of the mâche; I'll let you know if it's any good.

As far as the interweb goes, I'm no guide these days, but t-muffle is back and he doesn't aapear to like Frank any more than Amanda. Further evidence of Times decline is to be found, as always, at gastropoda. For maccers, cooking is fundamental; stereolabrat inadvertently eats the dreaded jalapeño jelly belly.

[By the way, the LA Times limoncello article (featuring Katie Loeb's recipe), is wrong: you can get "Sorrento" lemons, now, in California. Of course, this is immaterial, as they are not grown in the rich volcanic soil of Sorrento and therefore do not taste like Sorrento lemons.]

Bonus: the real minimalist

If, say, it is 90 degrees out and you are late for work, you will want to make yourself the easiest lunch possible. You will put a tomato (maybe even an heirloom, as long as it doesn't suck) in a bag with 2 slices of bread. Because you live in a less pleasant part of the world, current temperatures notwithstanding, you will have to settle for some simulacrum of Acme pain au levain. Come lunchtime, you will grab a paper packet of salt from the cafe and pour most of it over the tomato you have carefully sliced with your dedicated pocket knife, and thoroughly squish the result between said slices of bread. Yuppies will substitute sea salt. You will have a tiny bottle of Catalan arbequina olive oil sitting in your office for just such an occasion. You may have planned ahead and brought a substantial slice of pecorino fresco with you, but this is not stricly necessary. Refreshed, you are now ready to return to counting the hours until you can shower again.

This is not the greatest sandwich in the world; this is just a tribute.


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