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“Bittmanesque”

3 Feb

I think I just created a word.  Or perhaps, another way to summarize our generation.  Or just how I like to cook.  Or how I hope to approach my life.  There’s Romanesque, Kafkaesque, grotesque, and now Bittmanesque.  (Don’t tell Jam.  He’s already jealous of my love of Mark Bittman.)

And this book, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, is Bittmanesque.  I am incredibly excited to buy my own copy.  Read the NY Times article here to get a taste of what it will feel like to cook using only what’s in your fridge while being free of recipe-following constraints.

Inspired by this Bittmanesque thinking, I took a long, hard look (not that long, it was slim pickin’s) at what I had in my fridge and pantry (which I thought was nothing) and came away with a delicious spinach pesto over orzo with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Very empowering.  Can’t wait to order the book and read more.

All Ears on Deck: The Alabama Shakes

28 Jan

Ladies and gentlemen, this band (hailing from Athens, AL) has sold out their upcoming concerts in London, England.  And where have I gotten all my favorite recommendations?  Sophie and Max in London, England.  Now, I thank NPR for also doing a good bit of musical research.  Let me pause to thank Sophie and Max for their contributions to my “My Favorite Things” list – Flight of the Conchords, Friday Night Lights, a killer list of music, and now Brooklyn’s own Superhero Store).  

Anyways, you won’t find their album on itunes yet (coming April 3!), so listen up to their NPR performance/interview.  Their southern responses to the questions, both simple and soothing, will make you (or me) wish you were back among the pine trees moving at a slower pace.  Then, that simplicity jolts you into soulful oomph once the band plugs in.  I think I’ll throw on my red-clay-stained boots, dust-encrusted Carhartt overalls, and have a PBR.  Ironically, the hipsters in Williamsburg may have beat me to the punch.

(Another pause)  Speaking of, the other day, I overheard someone praising Fette Sau (BBQ in W’burg) for serving potato rolls with their pulled pork.  Oh, New Yorkers and your inflated sense of self!  If only you knew that such was not a culinary invention of the center of the world, but came from the land of bow ties and handshakes.

My new fave.  You will love them too.  I promise.

Call it impulsive, call it compulsive, call it insane.

9 Oct

Top Fives from the Weekend:

5) Meatballs and a nice glass (or two) of Barbera at the Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side, especially after stalking seats at the bar for an hour.

4) Hearing Ollabelle at the fabulous Bowery Ballroom.  They have a new cd out that comes with great renditions of Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes and Swanee River.

3) Seeing 30 minutes worth of skateboarders headed down Broadway, blocking traffic through a seemingly endless chain of longboards.

2) Running the Staten Island Half Marathon (and riding the ferry and breathing that hard and earning a delicious beer and sammy at Bierkraft).

1) Having a bff in town for it all.

You say tomato, I say tomato.

30 Jun

Homemade salsa: Throw tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos (preferably from your garden) in the blender with some onions and lime juice.  Blend, but leave the mixture a bit chunky.  Drain out some of the excessive juice.

Bread Salad (also better with tomatoes and basil from your garden).

All Ears on Deck: Takenobu

7 Mar

For those of you who understand my love of Crooked Still and Ra Ra Riot’s use of the cello in their music, you might also share my new crush: Takenobu.  He is a cellist and singer and his music sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard.  The album I have fallen for is from 2007, but his blog makes me think another may be around the corner.  His voice is haunting and his cello can sound classical one moment and bluesy the next.  Album is great for background music when hosting a dinner party.  Go to itunes and start with “Shady Grove” and “Deeper Than the Vine.”  Then tell. All. Your. Friends.

Side note: I have noticed recently that musicians write their emails as follows: “You can reach me at nickogawa at nickogawa (dot) com.”  When we recently hosted a friend (also a musician) in our home for the Folk Alliance Festival, I was snooping around on her website and found that she did the same thing (dot) com.  That said, I have never seen a non-musician list their email as such.  I am wondering if I, ill-equipped with any musical talent, were to tell you that you could email me at my email address (dot) com if I could potentially be considered “in” with not only the music industry but the radio station where I would like to be a DJ.

My Quintessential Memphis

7 Mar

Quintessential Memphis typically implies the Mississippi River, corrupt politics, or Elvis, but this weekend I took a blue-suede-shoe-wearing step further towards becoming a Memphian by participating in a number of other, perhaps less well known (although very well known for Memphians) Quintessential Memphis events.

1.  University of Memphis vs. Tulane @ Fed Ex Forum

Even during a Rebuilding Season, the Fed Ex Forum was packed with UM fans for Senior night; more packed than when the Grizzlies play on the same court.  Jam and I scored some ‘suite’ tickets and enjoyed our free hot dog while watching a great season closer.

2.  WEVL Spring Concert featuring Harlan T. Bobo @ Hi Tone

You might recognize this musician’s name from the 2010 Mojo cd.  You also might recognize the radio station’s name from my sought after volunteer radio DJ role I have yet to score.  I was able to enjoy the music once Jam got a beer in me that subdued me, keeping me from attempting to ask everyone if they were the person from WEVL who picked the DJs.  Harlan T. Bobo is a local (AKA midtown memphis) favorite.  Although typically wearing clown masks and suits made from shards of glass, he stayed classy and bare tonight, donning a simple blazer and jam-style beard.

3.  Three Angels Diner @ Broad Avenue Arts District

Memphis’ newest arts district (second to our own neighborhood – South Main Arts District), Broad Avenue Arts District is a simple little row of studios with a great delicious diner (Three Angels) with an amazing Sunday brunch.  I had an egg white frittata with mint, cilantro, parsley, and smoked gouda.  Jam had french toast stuffed with nutella and bananas.  We shared a side of biscuits and homemade sausage.  No doubt we’ll be returning not only for the food here, but to watch the Binghamton neighborhood emerge and volunteer at Urban Farms.