Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Medicinal Liquor

I'b sick. I hab a cold. *cough cough* Same wid Foodgoat. Dis is what habbens when you go to a kid's birthday party in Sebtember.

Calling Dr. McGillicuddy! Forget Nyquil when Dr. McGillicuddy can make a house call. We each took a couple of swigs from a bottle of Dr. McGillicuddy's Vanilla Schnapps last night. For a sweet liqueur it sure can clear out your sinuses. And I was out in 15 minutes. At 10:30.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Uh Oh, No Mo' Ho Ho's fo' Yo

Interstate Bakeries, makers of such fine delicacies as Wonder Bread and Twinkies, has filed for bankruptcy, the latest victim in the maw of the Atkins monster. Don't count me among the mourners though: the last time I tried Wonder Bread, it dissolved in my mouth like Styrafoam.

And while I've had my share of junk food, nary a Hostess Twinkie, nor a Cup Cake, nor a Ding Dong, nor Ho Ho, has passed through these lips.

The homemade versions baked in your very own Cup Cake-shaped Hostess Snack Oven sounds even less appealing. I admit to being tempted, however, by the Twinkies Sushi.

The one Hostess product I did like was the Hostess Fruit Pie. Apple, in particular. Sure, the crumbly crust had a kind of nasty sugar glaze, and the piddling amount of apple filling always collected in one end, but it was only 25 cents. Plus, it was the secret weapon of superheroes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog

[photo snagged from gothamist ... you didn't think anyone could swing this in Cleveland, did you?]

Monday, September 20, 2004

Scary, scary food

Over at the Daily Bread, they have found the ultimate abomination: pea-flavored ice cream.

Just try to go to sleep now, little girl, mwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Free Pinchy!

Who isn't fascinated by live lobsters at the supermarket? Even I can't resist tapping on the glass of the grocery store tank to say hello to the lobsters.

If you think more about it, you might buy them and take them home to eat for dinner.

If you think too much about it, you might feel sorry for the lobsters, buy them, and take them home to be your pets.

If you think too much about it and have too much to drink and you're the Terminator 2 child star turned troubled C-lister, you might get arrested for trying to liberate the lobsters.

Make Way! For Lassi!

Only 4 months later, I finally tried out my birthday present and made yogurt. It wasn't too hard: you heat up whole milk, let it cool, add yogurt culture and incubate for several hours. I'm not used to non-sweetened plain yogurt, though, so I used my newly made bounty to make chicken curry and mango lassi.

Mango lassi is the Indian version of a fruit smoothie, and let me tell you, it was delicious.

To a blender, add 1 ripe mango, about a cup or so of plain yogurt, a spoonful of sugar, and some milk. I also added a can of mango juice because I had it around. You can also add ice but when do we ever have ice around? Blend and adjust ingredients to taste.

The result is pale orange, sweet-sour, yum-yum frothiness.

Mango lassi is an ideal partner to spicy chicken curry: cool and refreshing to its heat and pepper fire. Of course, it's also splendid on its own, so for these last few summery days, I've stocked up on mangoes.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Thoughts on Star Trek

When I watch Star Trek, I wonder: Why do all the doors swoosh? Why must everyone wear clingy unitards? Why do all the aliens look like iguanas and not like cute fuzzy pandas? And then it struck me yesterday: the replicator that makes their meals, their hot chocolate or chili cheese dogs or Caesar salads, really doesn't make any sense. Each ingredient, let alone whole dishes, contains hundreds to thousands of different types of molecules, and a machine just whips them up out of nothing?

True, New Jersey has perfected artifical flavors. But let's face it, fake butter powder isn't the same as fresh butter smeared onto soft hot pan de sal, nor is artificial strawberry flavor anywhere close, really, to a bowl of fresh summer berries.

Therefore, I conclude, we will always have cooking.

A really good Star Trek series would have Guinan cooking sweet potatoes more often. Sweet potatoes, I'm sure, would keep well for space travel.

And did you know Vulcans aren't supposted to eat with their hands? Sez Jolene Blalock (who has had to do far too many shower scenes on Enterprise), while complaining about the writers:
There's the characteristic where Vulcans don't eat food with their hands, and yet they'll write scenes where T'Pol is eating popcorn at a movie or Trip will bring T'Pol a peach.
In case you're interested, some dork(s) has compiled a list of all the foods eaten on the Star Trek series and the episode it appeared in. No sweet potatoes.

And by the way, if you are thinking of seeing Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, I think it's a cross between Mars Attacks! and one of the Star Trek episodes where Picard dresses up like a detective in the Holodeck.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Peas Be With You

Imagine our surprise when we found, off to the side of the art museum, over a bench, a shady arbor full of fresh, ripe green peas.

I don't like peas (the inner texture is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me ... ugh), much to Foodgoat's great chagrin and consternation, but I still thought it was nice of the museum to plant something edible.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Made a sausage I couldn't refuse

I'm a sucker for free samples. And why not? Sometimes you find new and tasty things that way. That's how we ended up with two pounds of Sicilian sausage from the West Side Market. We were going to get Italian sausage or kielbasa (nothing adventurous there) but the sausage guy gave us a taste of the Sicilian. I don't remember exactly what makes Sicilian sausage different from the other European sausages except that it has Parmesan cheese, but we know it was delicious.

Foodgoat prepared the sausage by browning it on both sides in olive oil. One chopped up bell pepper (a purple one, I might add) was thrown in, and the homemade pasta sauce was poured on top. The sausage cooked for a while in the sauce while we all stood around to smell its goodness.

Foodgoat wanted to put the sausage into Italian bread but was stymied on the best way to slice it. He settled on scooped out some of the extraneous middle but he felt weird about it, even though the sausage fit quite nicely into the bread.

Slap that baby on a plate, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, add corn on the cob, and that's dinner!

Monday, September 13, 2004

food news of the weird

Foodgoat can't do it all. Sometimes, we don't want to. Here are food adventures where even I fear to tread.

Fairy shows you, step by artery-clogging step, in Technicolor, exactly how to make fried Oreos. Yes, fried Oreos. I love me my Oreos, but I can't get myself to even think about trying this. You can, though. (via MeFi)

Mercifully, there are no pictures of Gael Cooper's MSNBC reviews of some of the 42 foods on a sticks served at the Minnesota State Fair. Not only the usual corn dogs, but deep-fried candy bars, pickles, Reubens (!), chocolate-covered bananas, etc. Personally, I'd rather try the deep-fried ch-ch-cherry bombs from the scent of green bananas.

Football season has started! Not only does this return to Foodgoat the will to live, but it also revives the perenniel turducken conversations. But if you talk the talk, you must walk the walk, and the Black Table shows you the gameplan for preparing John Madden's great culinary contribution, the chicken inside the duck inside the turkey. Personally, I find the whole concept rather fowl.

And then there is a whole slew of winners at Recipes of the Damned: Real scary recipes from real scary vintage cookbooks. Scary, indeed. Here's a brief list, just to whet your appetite.
Beef Tea
Simmered Brains
Deep Fried Field Rat
(from learning the lessons of nixon)
If that doesn't deter you, there's always Utterly Outrageous Recipes, which features Chocodogs, Cheddar Coffee, and Cricken Cookies.

I'm not a particular fan of the Taco Bell Chili Cheese Burrito (I'm not a particular fan of Taco Bell in general, and their Grade D meat,in fact), but if you are, you can sign a petition to bring it back to every Taco Bell in the world.

Why so blue, Mrs. Butterworth? Apparently not enough kiddies are eating their daily requirement of syrup: i-Mockery discovered that Ms. Butterworth now comes in anti-freeze blue. Not only that, but he goes the extra mile to try out the mutant syrup for you. He's a brave, brave man. I still can't get myself to even look at the green ketchup.

Yes, my friend, that is a pyramid-shaped watermelon. Remember this when constructing your annual fruit-based Nativity scene. But use the cube-shaped ones when building your annual fruit-based WWII bunker.

kids say the darnest things

just heard this on the radio about the young Tavis Smiley (one of my favorite radio personalities because, true to his name, he's always laughing a lot), who is celebrating his 40th birthday today ... his mother reported that once when was a child he said to her:
"There's one thing I'm going to tell my wife when I grow up."

What's that?

"Wife, don't you cook me no liver."

Sunday, September 12, 2004

you call this a pear?

I've had pears. But now I've had a cactus pear. I've also had a prickly pear, because that's the same thing as a cactus pear too. The cactus pear isn't pear-shaped at all, it's oblong, and grows on a cactus instead of a tree, and has a needly red skin instead of a smooth green skin, so I don't blame you for being confused.

The inside looks like a juicy tomato instead of a crisp apple.

And it definitely doesn't taste like a pear. It tastes like watermelon. Watermelon with lots of very small, hard seeds. Seeds that I read were edible, but did not seem very edible to me.

All in all, I do not think this is really a pear.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004


You can find anything on eBay, I'm convinced.

For example, you can find a unique light fixture, from a church-turned-daycare, to spray paint and hang up in the mausoleum-themed bedroom, which is slowly, slowly starting to look, ahem, liveable, don't you think?

You can also find a local haunted house selling itself as a dinner club.

The Franklin Castle is right smack in the middle of Cleveland, a huge 19th century Victorian mansion once owned by the German Socialist Party, complete with marble fireplaces, hidden passageways, an unhappy past (the skeletons of at least a dozen babies inside a small sealed room) and reputation for housing ghosts. The owner is restoring it and converting it into a private dinner club, which will serve lunch and dinner to its members, and provide private banquet and meeting facilities. At your beck and call will be a chef, a concierge and hospitality staff.

On eBay, with the bids starting at only $500, you get one lifetime membership, six $50.00 Gift Certificates to be used for the first six months against member's monthly charges, 2 nights in a guest suite, 6 limousine hours and 2 tickets to the First Annual Franklin Castle Club New Years Eve Ball.

It all sounds quite glamourous (who wouldn't want to take their meals in a house infamous for tragedy, death, and cold clammy hands reaching out from the beyond?), but personally, I'd be skeptical of a private club that would open its membership to bidders on eBay.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Wine: the Good, Bad and Indifferent


The Muscat grape, the oldest variety in the world, is ususual in that its particular flavour is in its wine no matter where it's planted. Meaning, it doesn't reflect its terroir. Apparently, this is a very odd thing.

In Italy, especially in Piedmont, it's used to make spumante, in Spain sherry, in Greece Metaxa brandy, in Peru their national brandy, Pisco, and in Chile and Australia it's blended with other whites.

We tried a bottle of 2002 Bel Colle Moscato d'Asti, which is slightly fancier version of Asti Spumonte: slightly less sweet, costing slightly more ($12 to $15), and slightly less sparkling. But I was pleased with it: it went down quite easily and left a happy taste in my mouth.


What should come in the mail this month but Wine X, a new magazine intended to make wine a fixture in Generation X's DINK-driven, luxe lifestyles. That would be me!

It's an ok rag, too full of ads and glossy pictures (but aren't they all?), but it has the Surreal Gourmet as a regular contributor and tries to make wine hip and accessible instead of stodgy and elitist, which is a worthy cause.


It's official: Foodgoat has a physical incompatiblity with red wine. He's never particularly cared for red wine, but now we think it isn't so a much a distaste as it is a syndrome.

Specifically, Foodgoat has Red Wine Headache Syndrome.

Symptoms: Splitting migraines within 15 minutes (and lasting well into the next day) of drinking as little as half a cup of red wine.

It's an actual malady, though a rare one. No one's really sure what it's caused by: nitrites, histimines, and tannins are all suspects but true culprit hasn't been positively identified. For some people it's only red wines from Europe; others, only those from California. A prophylactic of Advil just before drinking helps some; not so for others.

In any case, Foodgoat has sworn off red wine for good. Fortunately, I prefer sweet whites anyway, and Foodgoat can drink beer to excess without any ill effects (except the usual, manageable ones), so never fear, the tippling won't stop!


Monday, September 6, 2004

Pop Rocks Experiment

Here at Foodgoat we go to great lengths to inform our readers. Yesterday we even went to the very edge of death.

We ate Watermelon Pop Rocks ... with Pepsi!

Everyone who went through the third grade knows that if you eat Pop Rocks with soda, your stomache explodes from the immense overload of carbon dioxide. (That's how that LIFE cereal Mikey kid died, remember?)

But nothing happened.

Foodgoat even tried it with beer. It just made the "pop" not so pop-py.

It was disappointing. But it wasn't a total loss, because we found that if you want to see a really funny expression, try introducing a kid to Pop Rocks without telling him what's going to happen.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

Bush/Cheney '04: Why settle for the Lesser Evil?

More on the GOP food front ...

The specter of tight security around Madison Square Garden this week has scared off all the business, and conventioneers aren't picking up the slack.
Lunchtime rolled around at Gyro II, a pizza and sandwich shop on Seventh Avenue opposite the Garden, but the usual lunch rush failed to materialize. "This is supposed to be my busy time," said Neil Sklaroff, the shop's manager, as the clock showed 12:30 p.m. "We ain't doing nothing. Yesterday was a bust, and today is looking the same."
Jamie Galler, an executive vice president at Riese Restaurants, a company that operates 10 restaurants in the neighborhood, from T.G.I. Friday's to KFC, said business was down about 30 percent. "
Not eating at KFC!? How un-American. What in tarnation are all the Republicans eating?

Maybe they're still full from a law firm shindig featuring:
Tai lobster martinis, seared sea scallops with grapefruit compote on scallop shells, black-truffle risotto fritters, shot glasses of chilled summer soup, and cherry-glazed roasted figs with mascarpone pistachios.
To my great shame I confess that this slactivist has a squeaky clean record, without a single protest arrest to my name. As the lockups in the oil-slick/Pier 57 garage escalate, I contemplate what I've missed:
Some of the weekend demonstrators accused cops of mistreating them and said they were held for hours in stifling cells without food. When the chow came, it wasn't up to the standards of Chris Mahoney, 22, of Morristown, N.J. "They gave us a couple of baloney sandwiches, but we're all vegan," he said.(NY Daily News)

Is this Gitmo-on-the-Hudson? Bloomberg sez bologna!:
"It's not Club Med, don't make any mistake about it, and it's not supposed to be Club Med," Mayor Bloomberg commented yesterday, adding: "I don't know if fun's the right word but we even serve soy sandwiches for vegetarians.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Don't Change Horseman Mid-Apocalyse! Bush/Cheney 2004!

Maybe you're wondering if I'm watching the RNC. Are you kidding? Wouldn't miss it, and I'm finding it great fun, tho' I thought the iDick was a tad boring. But, the convention is rife with opportunies for incredulous laughter, sarcastic jokes, and find-a-person-of-color scavenger hunts. But of course, what you don't see on TV is all the eating. It takes a lot of calories to delude yourself like that, and so enthusiastically, too. Here are some reports:

Unknown third Musketeer beats out Gov. George E. Pataki of New York and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert in being able to pour beer:
The governor and the speaker migrated behind the bar. They rolled up their sleeves and began pulling pints of ale. Well, they tried to: "Unfortunately," said an aide to the governor, who confirmed the event, "all they could get from the tap was foam."

The Post reports that FOX News Channel commentator Cal Thomas couldn't find the bottle of ketchup for his ham and cheese omelet at the Double Tree Hotel restaurant.
When Thomas asked for some, the waiter brought him ketchup in an unmarked dish. Turns out the Illinois GOP delegation is staying at the hotel. "We were afraid the Heinz bottles would offend the delegates," the mousy management explained.

We are very sorry to have missed the Halliburton breakfast for the Texas delegation and the Qorvis/NRA/tobacoo lobby party, but I'd really like to hang out at the Tick Tock Diner, on the corner of 34th St. and 8th Ave, which CNN has rented out for the week:
nside the CNN Diner, your money is no good. There's an open bar, with CNN-themed cocktails like the "Crossfire Island," and peanuts and edamame peas for snacks. Staffers can enjoy, for free, a full menu of diner food -- burgers, popcorn shrimp, and "CNN Fries." News hounds not lucky enough to be employed by "The Most Trusted Name in News" -- and thus confined to the Garden's sweaty basement and sad-looking sandwiches -- can be forgiven for feeling jealous.

Could it GET more NoCal?

The EssEffist rightly mocks the San Francisco Chronicle's comparison of A's wine and Giant's wine. Yes, it's true: the Oakland A's, with their $2 Wednesdays and fans who go to Hayward for fun, have this year introduced the A's Private Label wine, made by Markham Vineyards in St. Helena. The Sauvignon Blanc, a 2003 vintage, is reportedly excellent, a "fine palate cleanser for heavy food like garlic fries or linguisa sausage with peppers and onions".

The Giants, not to be outdone, have 15 different Northern California bottlings within easy reach. Even the bleachers have a wine cart with eight choices. And so "All over SBC Park you see fans toting their little plastic cups of wine."

What's more quintessentially, classically, American than to sit back in the bleachers for a ball game with a hot dog and a fine glass of Merlot?