Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tonight, Genevieve and I headed out on our second visit to the New York Public Library (main). This time, for a talk by Bill Buford, who's written a new book on working in Mario Batali's kitchen (he's actually a writer, not a chef, so it's similar to what Michael Ruhlman did with his books). He was joined by Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain (since you can't have a event about the "real world" of restaurant kitchens without him involved) ;)

We got there early, so our seats were very good, just 5 rows back from the stage. Most of the first 4 rows were taken by reserved seating (i.e. old rich people who smelled like scratch n' sniff at Bergdorf Goodman).

It started with a set of questions about the book and Mr. Buford's experiences working at Babo, MC'ed by Bourdain and then moved into the (more entertaining) Q&A from the audience. The last one of these we'd been to was a cringe-fest, with most people asking incredibly awkward or geeky questions. This time, other than someone basically asking Batali why he was so fat, they were quite good. Bourdain, of course, was the most entertaining of the three, with his Lou Reed-as-Chef persona, often poking fun at his own stardom and the culture of the celebrity chef. (Even bringing up the, in his words "evil devil", Rachael Ray. Who he encouraged to, in her "$40 a Day Show"..in his words "TIP, BITCH!")

The talk was ended by Mr. Bourdain announcing that "we have time for one more question, 'cause I really want a cigarette."

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Friday, June 16, 2006

This post is for my sister, who is looking for new ways to cook veggies. I hope the rest of you enjoy it, as well.
I hope to do this in a series, each spotlighting a different cooking method.

First up, we had some baby bok choy. I came up with a really yummy quick recipe for this. It took about 5minutes from start to finish. This is using a method called braising.

  1. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan. I used my cast-iron skillet, but a regular nonstick pan will work. You just can't get it as hot.
  2. Cut the bok choy in half.
  3. Place the bok choy, cut side down, in the pan (make sure it's nice and hot).
  4. Cook until the bok choy is browned. Throw in a splash of rice wine vinegar and immediately cover.
  5. Cook for approx 1m. Uncover. Remove from pan. Add salt and pepper. Serve.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Well, after many years of explaining how the tattoo on my arm was not a nazi symbol, this past week I finally decided to take the leap and get it covered up. The last straw was really moving to New York. I found myself explaining the tattoo to a whole new set of people and realized that I should have gotten it covered up a long time ago. I searched on the net to try and find something suitable to cover it up with, but nothing really struck me. So, I went to a nearby shop, Hand of Glory Tattoos, and talked with the artist there about what I could do. We agreed on a design which is a variant of the original, but obscured it enough, as well.

Here's what I got:


It wraps around my whole arm, connecting at the back. In total, it ended up taking 3 hours. 1 hour to get the design placement right on my arm and then another 2 hours of the actual tattoo. The day after, my arm was very swollen and red, but today most of the swelling as gone down and, though it's still very senstive and a little red, it's much better than it was. I'm very excited/relieved to have it and to have the other one covered up.

I already have plans for my next ones.

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