Saturday, December 30, 2006

Soup's On!

I was just tagged by the Lady Miss Cheryl, challenging me to keep the following meme alive. And fearing that some horrible fate will greet me if I don't comply, not to mention being constantly challenged to find something ... anything ... amusing to blog about (lest the natives get restless, and trust me I never hear the end of it when they do), I'm game.

So here goes:

· Find the nearest book
· Name the book
· The author
· Turn to page 123
· Go to the fifth sentence on the page
· Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
· Tag three more folks.

Nearest Book: The Joy of Cooking, 75th Anniversary Edition (4500 recipes for the way we cook now).

I really don't know why this is sitting on my coffee table right now. I bought it at Costco after seeing an article in the New York Times, which talked about:

The Authors: Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker

Irma was the orginal author back in the '30s, who threw herself into chronicling her recipes as a way to distract herself from her husband's suicide. So I'm thinking the original version may have been titled The Joy of Cooking Sure Beats the Shithole That's the Rest of My Life. Or something like that. My hope is that Mr. Rombauer didn't kill himself out of financial concerns, because after Joy's publication, ol' Irma got richity, rich, rich. Plenty of joy to go 'round.

Marion was Irma's daughter. She's dead. Ethan is Marion's son. And heir to the throne. Somewhere along the publishing line, they got in bed with Scribner, who now mostly controls the rights and has been known to bring in a food editor to reimagine the whole thing for a new edition. As happens with most children who see the change of something their family was a part of as a change to the actual family ... instead of, say, just an update of a cookbook ... Ethan has been pretty pissy about each version since his mother and grandmother were no longer deeply involved.

To which I say, Ethan, honey ... seriously. There are only so many uses for cream of mushroom soup that the market needs these days. And we have these amazing things called microwaves and food processors. Not to mention frozen puff pastry. Let's not keep looking back, okay? Also not to mention that grandma is dust. Worm food. Pushing up daisies. She doesn't give a damn, and you look like an idiot. Go count your fortune and shut it.

Turn to page 123, go to the fifth sentence on the page and copy out the next three sentences:
No matter what the soup, a small quantity of salt pork, a ham hock or a few slices of bacon will add flavor and depth. As for stocks, there are three simple methods for removing fat from soup. If you chill the soup, the fat will solidify and it is then easy to spoon it off; or float a paper towel on the surface of warm soup, and when it has absorved as much fast as it will hold, discard.
A good friend, Michael Hambone, once told me that there's no food that can't be improved by the addition of gravy, cheese, bacon or frosting. It's got to be heartening for him to be validated by this venerable tome.

And this defatting thing is a pickle, let me tell ya. The chilling trick really works the best. But whoever cooks with enough time to chill his or her stock probably also completes his or her Christmas shopping by July in order to fully "enjoy the holiday season." These people can't be trusted and must be destroyed.

I'm also pretty sure they're the same people who devised the urban legend that floating a paper towel on top of a hot liquid would result in defatting it ... instead of the real-life version where you frantically plunge your hands into scalding liquids in a futile attempt to retrieve a paper towel as it sinks like the titanic to the bottom of your soup pot.

"Is that rice?" they'll ask you as they pick soggy white bits from their molars. "No," you'll say with a smile. "Bounty."

I'm a tagging:

The professional ex-wife.
The Christmas Queen.
The Little Dutch Boy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Jim & Tammy Faye's Prodigal Son

Oh. My. God.

The Sundance Channel is airing a series called One Punk Under God, an original documentary about Jay Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye.

Run to your f*ing Tivo right now. Right this very second, I tell you. And snap up every episode that you can. This is some amazing TV.


Okay. So. Jay is a punked out preacher's son with a lip ring and tattoos. His cup runneth over with ink, and he has full sleeves done on both arms. Heaven only knows what else there is and where, but I'm hoping for the t-shirtless scene where we get a little more information on the subject. Then there's the chin scruff and his geeky glasses.

Confession being good for the soul, do I think he's hot? Hail Mary! Bless you, Jesus!

But in case little skater punk Christians aren't your gig (and I can't imagine why not, but it's your choice and I won't stand in judgement) ... is the show any good? Hell to the yes.

Tammy Faye dotters around in the late stage of cancer. Even through the copious layers of mascara, she looks like death's knitting in the next room. Jay's wife is doing everything she can to get him to leave the ministry. (Oh, yes. He founded his own church called "Revolution" in 1999. It caters to youngsters and cashes in heavily on his street cred, but is funded deeply by the ultra-conservative fundamentalists. Sneaky Petes.) And his father, the disgraced Mr. Bakker, has Jay on his show just to serve his own needs. (Fancy that.)

In case that's not enough, the episode (#2) that I'm currently obsessing over has him saying things like (while leaving for the airport to see his father), "They're never gonna let me on [the plane]. I've got too much crap. It's because I'm carrying way too many Bibles."

Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. I gotta love one punk skater Christian fundamentalist til I die. Watching him navigate his past by way of his present is fascinating stuff.

But even more interesting? Unbeknownst to anyone ... including the TV show ... he decided to use the attention of the show to announce that he's pro-gay marriage. And the cameras follow him to several unfriendly congregations where he does a sermon basically saying, "Hypocrites."

Incredible stuff. Go now!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mystery Date!

Cute, cute, cute. For those of us who secretly played our sisters' Mystery Date when no one else was watching (oh, like I'm the only one), here's the version we were really fantasizing about.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Elf You!

Alas, I can't get this to play inside the blog, but I'd like to send my holiday wishes to you all by doing a special little dance.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hey, Old Friends. Whaddya Say, Old Friends?

A shout out to my former Gappertons, the professional ex-wife and T-Dawg, for the cocktails. You two are the best that place has left to offer.


And my professional ex-wife's fiance is a pipin' hot little dish. Oh my god, that boy is adorable! I'd make a play for him myself if I didn't have so much hair on my breasts. But alas, I do. So take him with pride, sister! Take him with pride.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Spring Awakening

Every few years, a new show comes along in the Broadway season that suggests the bloated, over-produced, over-hyped mega-musicals are not the only things that can survive ... that there might be room for something smaller and different ... that there might be a group of people out there who want to push the form forward instead of just throwing a pile of gold-plated, $10 million piece of shit on stage.

In the past, it's been quirky little odd ball shows like Avenue Q or The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, both of which started off-bway and met with enough critical acclaim to warrant a move uptown.

This year the little show that could is Spring Awakening, a musical about teens coming into sexual awareness. A big ol' hit for the Atlantic Theater Company last season, it's opening on b'way tonight. And it's the one show I'm most looking forward to. Check out this business:

They've got their own little video of one of the production numbers. This shit is tight. Check it ooooooot. It's called "The Bitch of Living," which if you listen to the lyrics is a direct reference to ... uh ... masturbating. Rock on!!!

And then buy some tickets to it. Show the world that we can enjoy an evening in the theater that doesn't include a flying car, house, helicopter or chandelier. Please.