Thursday, October 13, 2011
It's always hard to cook in your mom's kitchen. Last visit, she was making the meatloaf. (1/2 ground pork, 1/2 high-fat ground beef with bacon on top....YUM) I was in charge of mashed potatoes. I was in her way, digging around for a bowl to mash in, and she handed me the one in which she'd just mixed the meat, raw eggs, etc. "This one is pretty clean!" she announced. Raw pork, beef, and eggs?
The next meal was pasta. She proudly showed me her newly-rehabbed cheese grater. It had been rusting, so she sprayed it with Rustoleum and then with silver spray paint. "It looks GREAT, mom, but no cheese, thanks. I'm on a dairy-free diet; WE ALL ARE!" (My friend, Karen, just beat this. Her mom brought cheese that had expired a year previous to the visit. Karen suggested that they pitch it to which her mom replied, "I didn't think cheese expired!")
It's absurd for me to talk about hygiene and toxins. The above picture is my daughter, Toby's, naked ass on her 2nd birthday next to her potty cake-complete with brownie poops in it, and I still stir my heavy-metal-laden glazes with my hands, pregnant or not. Last week we were at my aunt's funeral. It was in the Thousand Lakes area in upstate New York. All of my cousins were there with their families. My kids would drop food on the floor and some concerned cousin would pick it up and throw it away only to hear a horrified scream, "Cousin Anne just THREW the Fruit Loop AWAY!!!!! (Fruit Loops are an uber-luxury; no sugar cereal here on Laurel street.)
"Ummmm.....Anne we let them eat off of the floor."
"Oh, the 5 seconds rule?"
"It's more like 5 days, but yes...."
Food is on my mind. I've just spent a good part of the evening stripping the meat off of 2 chicken carcasses and making stock with the bones. I can't believe people skim the fat off of their stock and gravy. Soup and gravy are socially acceptable vehicles for animal fat, as far as I'm concerned. I was downtown recently, desperate for a bowl of soup. It was one of the first chilly autumn days, and I was on my bike with too little clothing. I went into a place called, Le Pain Quotidienne. It's a chain:
What he wanted was so simple: bread, hearty and wholesome, with a firm slice and a good crust. Alain Coumont learned about bread as a small child, standing on a chair every Sunday watching his grandmother bake bread. As a young chef in Brussels, Alain could not find the right bread for his restaurant. Passionate about quality, he returned to his roots and opened a small bakery where he could knead flour, salt and water into the rustic loaves of his childhood.
The website has a tab entitled, About the Name
Yes, it's tricky. (It was so simple in Belgium!)
It sounds like this: luh paN koh-ti-dyaN and it means "the daily bread."
(No, it sounds like ALAIN is a PAIN)
I normally hate places like this, but I figured for $6.95 I'd get a good cup of soup. (For all of you Californians or New Yorkers, in Philly $6.95 is still 2 beers) I wanted something brothy, but I settled for their only offering, corn chowder. Chowder=pig fat and cream in my mind. I got my soup and it tasted like an oddly-textured liquid made from the inside of a mattress. I figured salt might help as a small shaker of their salt retailed for $11.95. Nothing happened. I went up to the coffee people and said, "Can I have some cream? I don't know what to do with this soup!" She gave me the cream and said in the soup's defense, "It's vegan...."
Then it's not f-ing chowder now is it????? Shouldn't there be some sort of disclosure on vegan things? This has no animal products in it and will, therefore, taste crappy unless it's a salad or something involving lesgumes. would suffice. I felt like someone had given me an O'Doul's when I'd ordered a 10% alcohol Belgian beer. It also reminded me that I'd made a "cognac infused harvest onion soup" for a bunch of Muslims. AND it made me wonder whether I'd made Nana's amazing clam chowder for the sort-of-kosher-keeping parents who HATED me of one of my Jewish boyfriends. (I think he's gay now....wouldn't they be glad to have me back?!)
Strangely, I didn't demand my money back. I dumped in a bunch of 1/2 and 1/2 and $12 salt, and I ate it. My daughter, incensed, that she wasn't going to be able to have her naked way with the potty cake also settled for the paltry piece she was given.
She had fabulous new animal-print leggings and some powder pink fur-lined crocs from nanny to ease her pain. I had nothing of the sort...