Long weekend of enforced bachelor-ism. Forbidden pleasures: anchovies, seat up, Mastodon and 40-oz. bottles of liquid gold... My own devices, when I'm finally left to them, turn out to be pathetically brutish and short. The best devices, of course, require a partner. In lieu of those: I don't even know where I could buy drugs at this point, which is irrelevant because I'm too old to enjoy them anyway. And you can't imagine how exhausting it is to drink a 40.
Or, really, to get off the couch at all, which is where I turned to the New Yorker food issue for solace after a series of irritating outcomes in my chosen sporting events. I was having a good enough time to let Gopnik's sloppy Mars/Venus bullshit go, and enjoying John Seabrook's article on the Umbrian pear preserve.
And then. Why do they have to ruin everything? I don't care if you don't understand heterozygosity -- just don't devote a paragraph to grafting methods that has no point except to reveal your ignorance. Christ.
[If you care, pears, like most fruits, are heterozygous: the offspring lack the traits of the parents, in particular, fruit quality. So the seed from a Bosc will not only not grow into a Bosc tree, it won't be an Urbaniste either, or even particularly edible. But there is a tiny chance that it will be The Best Pear Ever. Thus the necessity of asexual propagation, a/k/a/ grafting.]
Seabrook, you will recall, wrote the article about David Karp, "fruit detective," and his former high school classmate, which was pretty good. But the last thing he did before that, as far as I can recall, was about how he liked to buy Helmut Lang T-shirts or something.
Judith Thurman wrote something stupid too, about dashi, but thankfully I've forgotten the details. On the other hand, the Times managed somehow not fuck up this gazpacho article.
About the only thing I accomplished was an experiment in the ongoing ribs project. The previous batch, while excellent, was a little dry, so I tried brining. Better, of course, than "northern barbecue," but that's not saying much. They ended up with an unpleasant savor of kielbasa, and beef is not what you want in your pork. So many variables obtrude on the Weber that it's difficult to isolate the culprit. Preliminary conclusion: when you successfully keep it under 250, 5 hours may not be enough.