Friday, November 21, 2008
Why so long since my last post, you wonder. Well, if you must know, I got cable. And I emphasize the word "got." I didn't order it, ok? All I asked for was high-speed internet (so that I could spend every night at home working on this blog, obviously) and then suddenly the nice cable man is telling me that I've got access to ninety nine channels, because it just makes his job easier.
The little drawers of thoughts and information in my brain started opening and closing at great speed. Oh, happy day! This means I can watch the History Channel! This means I can talk Project Runway at work (thus feeling more a part of things)! This means...oh man. I. Have. Food. NETWORK.
So, people, that is what's been keeping me. Cable. I'm ashamed, alright? But I have lived in this apartment for four years without the stinking invention, and I've decided I deserve to indulge a little. I plan, ok I hope, to begin serious posting next week. Or certainly after Christmas.
Oops, Alton Brown is coming on so I have to go. But I leave you with this to ponder--will Barack Obama make an appearance on Food Network? I think so. I think Sarah Palin would have done it, too, had November 4 taken a different turn. After all, what are politicians if not people who want to reach out, hit home, and make you feel comforted? Honestly, no matter who's in office, I have a feeling that if he or she showed up on my TV whisking cream or slicing carrots, I'd feel sort of inclined to stay tuned.
PS: Photo from wikipedia
Monday, November 10, 2008
Yes, it's where I grew up and yes, it's where many of my happiest memories were made, but still. Even if you're not from here and you have no emotional attachment to certain stretches of highway, certain types of trees, and certain types of people, I'm willing to bet that if you came here, especially if you came here in the fall, you would kind of love it.
My hometown is near Albany, but my parents grew up even further north, so it's basically a given that for me and my family, Upstate New York is where it's at. It's gorgeous and full of people with peculiar accents. And in my opinion, it's where you'll find the best food.
I came home this weekend to visit my mom and to be reminded of my roots. (And also, apparently, of the fact that a ton of my high school classmates got married, had kids, and still live here. Weird.)
Anyway, we went to the Troy farmer's market on Saturday and the array of offerings was dizzying. I don't have time to get into the maple syrup or the Hudson Valley cheese, so I will for now focus on my current favorite local treat--the Northern Spy apple. It's a beauty and still wonderfully off-the-radar.
Northern Spies were first grown in Upstate New York in 1800, and while they're as familiar to me as Macintosh, they're pretty hard to find once you leave this area. They can be kind of splotchy and rough on the surface, but the sparkling light yellow fruit on the inside is gorgeous. And the taste is lovely. The apple flavor is delicate and fine, not too sweet but just enough to make you want more after every bite. I'm not a good baker but if I were, I'd throw them in a pie or wrap them in dough and make apple dumplings. But actually I think they're so cool and special that they're best eaten just as they are, straight out of the wooden crate at the market, or even better, straight off the tree. That is, of course, if you're lucky enough to find yourself in New York at an orchard in autumn.
Orchards! That's another post for another time. Right now I have to go pack and get ready to fly back to DC. I'm taking some Northern Spies with me.
(Note: The photo is from the Watertown Daily Times. I'm not sure if it's the right kind of apple, but my mom grew up in Watertown, so I couldn't resist the shout-out.)
Friday, November 7, 2008
I'm not British. I'm not even European. I am a proud American...who on occasion finds herself saying things like, "I'd rather be in Paris." Ok, I say that all the time, but who wouldn't rather be in Paris? I ask you!
Anyway, back to the British thing. A few years ago, I shared an office (which was actually just a dank depressing closet) with my friend Raquel. Our job was to "push pictures around" as she once put it, and while it was hard work, we managed to pack a serious amount of fun into every day. At one point, rather out of the blue and for no real reason, we started speaking to each other with a British accent. I think we thought we were really good at it, and we recruited our tall friend Evan to join in the bit. We even gave ourselves new names. Mine was Holly Hagglesworth. Raquel's was Pepper Lockbottom. And Evan's was Rupert. I'm not sure why he didn't get a last name, but he didn't. Anyway, at some point, I pointed out that we really ought to act normal and try to be more professional and cut out this profoundly immature behaviour (note how I spelled that). But it was kind of sad to give it up completely, so I decided we should allow ourselves one day of the week to act like we were twelve. And that's how British Friday was born.
The best thing about British Friday (aside from the accents) was tea time. Some days, we had scones--very un-British, uncivilized, huge chocolate chip ones, but they were darn tasty. Other days, we'd get a little more into it and have tiny crustless sandwiches made with tomato, herbs, and tofu mayonnaise (Rupert is a vegan). My mother sent us a special British Friday care package once, and while I can't remember most of what was in it, I do clearly recall the dainty napkins and doilies she felt were essential to any sincere tea party effort.
I realize that all of this reveals a side of me that I should probably try to keep under wraps. It's really weird for an adult to start such games, I know. But hey, if you've ever had to work in a closet with no heat, you'd probably get creative, too.
Pepper and Rupert are still my friends, but we haven't celebrated British Friday in forever. So, here's hoping this will bring it back, or at least remind us how fun it is to be ridiculous every now and then. After all, who doesn't want to speak with a fake accent and pretend to be somebody else, just a little bit, especially these days? If you don't, then I'm really sorry but I can't be friends with you.
PS: Future British Friday posts will, I hope, be much more serious and devoted perhaps to the history of scones, or why Jamie Oliver had to get married and have a perfect family before I got a chance to date him. Hmph!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
For those of you who don't know, Dave Lieberman is a chef. He has a show on the Food Network. He is adorable. I like his recipes, and his green Le Creuset.
I don't have cable anymore, but a few years ago, when I did, I was so inspired after watching him cook one day that I decided to write him a letter. "Dear Dave Lieberman, my name is Catherine." It went on, probably a little too long, and while I never mentioned my mini-crush, I did allude to the fact that I found him fantastic.
Fortunately, I had the good sense not to send the letter. Or maybe my Mom had the good sense to talk me out of mailing it. I can't remember. But I know I threw it away, and that was probably for the best.
So, the title of my blog refers to a letter I never sent to a boy I never met. It's a tribute, really. And Dave, since there's an ever-so-tiny chance you will read this note, hello. I hope you aren't completely freaked.
PS: Photo from Le Creuset website