Thursday, August 2, 2007

Long hot summer mix

Hitting a bunch of topics because I've been a slack, slack blogger lately...

  • Top Chef. I predict it's going to come down to Howie, CJ, Casey, and Tre. Everybody in the running is a good cook, which is a great change from previous seasons of TC, but for the most resolutely cheflike of the lot, Howie is my pick. I was liking Hung for a while--early on he seemed really together and professional and full of good ideas--but either the stress of the competition or prejudicial editing is making his wheels seem to come off.

  • I don't think I've mentioned this here, but 2007 is my guitar year. Time to do some serious woodshedding and try to get back the ability I had when I was 20 or so. I've been practicing and playing a lot. I've got guitars all over my house so I can play whenever I have a minute or two. I'd have one in the bathroom if I had enough guitars. I think it's working a little--yesterday my upstairs neighbor said, "hey, you were playing guitar last night, weren't you? You sound good!" Twenty years ago my come-from was classical guitar on the one hand and punk on the other. These days (as a way of honing my lead chops) I'm deepening my understanding of blues. I've just about nailed Johnny Winter's solo from "Still Alive and Well," albeit about two-thirds of his tempo. I'm thinking I'll take a deep breath and dig into some Stevie Ray Vaughan next. This isn't my usual musical territory at all, but it's the Rosetta Stone of almost any style of rock, and the most guitarish music there is. And like Irish music, it's dead easy to learn the songs; the artistry is in what you bring to the music.

  • Contrariwise, I haven't been cooking anything interesting at all. It's too hot and it's too beautiful outside, and there's no place in my kitchen to play guitar. I've been grilling steaks, throwing together pasta dishes out of whatever I have on hand, making omelettes. Plans for grinding and stuffing a batch of kielbasa are on hold till I get off my ass and order some actual hog casings; the collagen ones I got from the Sausage Source work fine from a mechanical standpoint, but they taste like collagen.

  • Next week is Restaurant Week. My favorite time of the hemiannum. I want to hit Firefly, Corduroy, Dino of course, and Philippe and Mary Duke are talking about Bistro d'Oc.

  • Speaking of Top Chef, it's been a month since Padma Lakshmi and Salman Rushdie filed for divorce, and Padma hasn't returned a single one of my calls. Maybe there's a problem with her voice mail.

  • I just found out that various commitments are going to make it impossible for me to see any of the acts at Virgin Fest this weekend that I want to see, viz. the Beastie Boys, Modest Mouse, Sasha and John Digweed, the Bad Brains, Interpol, and MIA. I'm especially steamed about MIA because she hasn't returned any of my calls either, and we really need to talk.

5 comments:

Jeanette said...

Maybe if you blogged more, Padma and MIA would have more to say to you. Just a thought.

Can't handle No End in Sight. I'm already at the head-'sploding point and I have to manage my newsfeed very carefully.

Rob said...

Yeah, but I'm surprised. Padma of all women should be really turned on by my big shiny Porkert.

Ed Bruske said...

sorry to hear about the sausage casings. Have you tried The Sausage Maker? They've got collagen and natural casings. And Union Meats should be back in business at Eastern Market...
http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=53

Rob said...

I haven't tried the sausage maker, but I'll check them out when I've got the momentum going again. I think I just made a big mistake with the collagen casings. I ordered them because I thought they'd be easier to deal with than hog casings, but I find they taint the sausage with that gluey, unflavored-gelatin flavor just enough to spoil the sausage-eating experience for me. (Can it be that I've never had collagen-encased sausage before? It boggles the mind.) I'm sure actual intestine will suit me much better.

Rob said...

This may be similar to my canola oil problem. Many people cook with it happily, but to me it smells like it was squeezed out of the rotting corpses of deeply unhappy people. I suspect I simply taste some things differently from the mass of humanity.