Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Variety Meals

That is not meats and it isn't even real food--just a miscellany of thoughta.

You never know what the internet is going to bring. Today, I got the very surprising notice from ImportFood.com, which brings us Thai ingredients, that the new Prime Minister is Samak, a television chef, food expert and political gadfly. I think I'm flying high when my books sell or one of you posts a comment. This certainly changes the stakes. I don't think that I am in the running. He did hold true; his first gesture after taking office was to invite reporters to a noodle meal that he cooked.

As to me, fame is extremely variable. Sometimes--rarely--being ignored annoys me. Last week my dog, Woof, had an upset stomach. I called the vet whome I like for advice. He asked me if I cooked and would cook for the dog and informed me that I could do the chicken in the microwave. I'm afraid that I became a bit testy. Last night, I had a different and amusing experience. The woman who had been sitting next to me at dinner came rushing over as I was standing at the coat check dressing. She exclaimed that she hadn't realized who I was, that she and her husband were good food devotees and that I was one of her favorites. She then went on to say that she loved my books Slow Food and Meditteranean Food. Seh obviously had me confused with Paula Wolfert, a flattering concatenation.

About a month ago, a reader queried me about storing garlic. I gave all sorts of advice which is still hanging out on the web pages and is perfectly okay; but I had an illuminationg thought recently which just goes to show that old cooks can learn new tricks. I thoughht of putting whole, unpeeled garlic cloves in a plastic bag--yes I know what I said about plastic--and freezing them. It seems to have worked; but it has only been about a week. I used the garlic unthawed and unpeeled in soup. They were fine. I'll keep you posted ina couple of months.

I find it very interesting the way in which the clientele of restaurants change. When Babbo, the very good restaurant of Joe Bastianich (Lydia's son) and Mario Batali opened, it was filled with food writers and assorted foodies. The other night it was full--crammed in fact--of a much younger crowd eating up a storm of still excellent food. They had obviously discovered the low end of Joe's wine list including his own Italian wine and were not branching out to the very expensive end of the list. They were having a great time; but, in some way, I felt as displaced as I had when I first went to Babbo which was noonger the Coach House where I used to lunch fairly regularly with Jim Beard.

More later. It has started snowing and if I don't leave soon I will miss my concert as I am told that the traffic is crawling. No doubt it is full of people trying to get away from the snow; but snow that wouldn't faze a Vermonter brings the city to a halt

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