Conquer the Ass

Every article on the front page of today’s issue of Dining In (food section, NYT) made me roll my eyes. (Okay, so everything makes me roll my eyes.)

There’s an article here letting us know that in the world of catered finger foods, pigs in a blanket (sometimes called franks in jackets) are “back with a vengeance!” (Exclamation point in original.) Yahoo. I’d been mourning the lack of baby hot dogs wrapped in pastry in my life and according to this article, pastry’s a good blotter for alcohol. If only I’d known that last Friday. (Sadly, I won’t be sharing the story of how drunk I was last weekend. At my age it isn’t funny. Just sad.)

Here’s another handy article about this woman helping her friend, set the table for a dinner party: “knife, water glass and wineglass on the right; espresso spoon horizontally above the dinner plate; espresso on top of the dinner plate.”

Espresso Cup?

I know, that’s what the author and I were thinking. But it’s not for coffee. It’s for the amuse-bouche.

Apparently you can puree an intense amount of something (vegetable, animal, mineral) and dollop it in the cup and your guests will feel special. Just putting some nuts in a dish doesn’t cut it these days. You’ve got to have some delicious bite before the meal. Another idea: arranging “lovely tidbits” of fish or meat on a saucer. This is the time for the chef’s artistry.

My next party everyone is going to get a pig in a blanket on an index card with a smiley face on it. Drawn by me.

The third article isn’t really so bad. It’s about this chef and his wife. Or maybe they’re both chefs, I’m not clear, and 1 or both of them is from Australia. I guess I should read the article before I roll my eyes and then write about it. The thing that scared me is something they serve called Moreton Bay bugs and the article says it’s some kind of small lobster but it sounds too Fear Factor for me.

And while we’re talking about fear factor let me tell you about my thermos yesterday. I like taking my lunch but I’ve resisted the thermos because it always ends up smelling like ass. And in this case when I say smells-like-ass I mean smells-like-something-died-in-it.

I finally bought one and I wash it immediately after use. I let soapy water stand in it overnight. I make sure it is completely dry before I put it away. And every time I take it back out: ass. So I put a few drops of bleach in it and more hot water, rinse some more and go off. Yesterday I did this routine but I could still smell a whiff of ass as I ate my soup. Not optimal for lunch enjoyment.

My tip of that day is that when I got home I immersed the entire ensemble in warm water and white vinegar. I think I’ve conquered the ass. At least for now.

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