Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wherein I Metamorphose into a Television Cooking Personality...

The number four movie this past week was Nora Ephron's estrogen-soaked "it's never too late" comedy Julie & Julia. The premise revolves around a self-involved inhabitant of the Empire of Queens (a well-known rival of my own superior borough of BROOKLYN) who decides that life being a telephone operator who takes angry phone calls from post-9/11 suffering New Yorkers isn't noble enough a career. In attempt to make herself well-known, she begins a challenge wherein she tries to cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Needless to say, I only went for the aspects of the movie related to Julia Child and was disappointed by Meryl Streep's Aykroydesque (and here I point out that Ephron needed to include the entire SNL skit wherein he bleeds on a chicken and hammers home the importance of "keeping the liver" in order to reel out young male laughs) portrayal of one of my most cherished culinary heroines. Also, they ripped off Douglas Adams' famous line about deadlines and the whooshing sound they make as they go by. Honestly? Get your own goddamned material. The makeup of the movie audience was what everyone should expect; that is, most of the aisles were blocked by walkers, the most common conversation outside the theater was how the showing would be $6 instead of $5 due to a Sony Pictures rule, and it was nearly impossible to hear the film over the hum of respirators, pacemakers, and obnoxiously loud observations like "THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE! ABSOLUTELY TRUE! SHE WAS A SPY!".
I need not mention now that I WAS SPIRITUALLY INSPIRED BY THIS FILM!
Now, it's no secret that I love television cooking. I currently own autographs from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Anthony Bourdain, Alton Brown and - apropos to this entry - Paul Prudhomme, head chef of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen and author of Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. I don't pretend that Prudhomme is as famous as Child, but I do argue that with his patented white golf cap, propensity to GUAR-AHN-TEE that we'll like a dish, and his immense girth that ultimately caused him to cook entirely from a Rascal scooter, he has changed the way we look at cooking. Not to mention his book is considered an essential of New Orleans creole and cajun cooking.
Thus far, I have cooked 2 recipes directly from his book - Gumbo and Rice Pudding. To give unfamiliar readers a sense of Prudhomme's buttery influence, the rice pudding required folding in meringue and the seafood and the gumbo requires that you first DEEP FRY the chicken. Yeah baby - that's my kinda cooking.
So in the spirit of Julie Whateverhernameisbutirefusetolookitupbecausei'mmuchfunnierthanheranyway, I have decided to star the OLSEN-HOEK-PRUDHOMME PROJECT! I here outline what this will require:
1.) I will cook all 214 recipes in Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen in a time period defined as from this point until the Milky Way collides with Andromeda and Time for the Human Race Matters No Longer.
2.) I will gain no fewer than 300 pounds, though not as a result of cooking crawfish etouffée in butter sauce. This will be undertaken PRIOR to the event, first requiring the purchase of a Rascal scooter.
3.) I will purchase 19 white chef's coats, 22 stretchy white chef's pants, and 38 individually wrapped and numbered golf caps.
4.) I will do everything in my power to whore up my blog so that I get as many hits as is humanly possible. This will require the help of my readers. Also, you may as well just start forking over the cash. I mean, I'm unemployed and all this tasso, andouille and lobster isn't gonna pay for itself now, is it? How do I set up a Pay Pal thing?
5.) I will enlist the help of Ron Howard - NO! - Steven Spielberg - NOOO! - I will reanimate the fetid, rotting, fat corpse of Stanley Kubrick as punishment for proclaiming that Eyes Wide Shut was the best movie he ever made. He will direct, write, and STAR in the blockbuster movie adaptation, which will be titled Mastering the Art of Getting Fat; or How to Get Paid For Being Prentious. Because I found Julie & Julia so boring, I will add the following improvements and - ahem - elaborations about my story.
  • Boat chase sequence involving Nazis.
  • Mike Piazza as my father.
  • Gratuitous depictions of SEX and VIOLENCE!
  • A magic wand duel at Weehawken.
  • Daleks.
  • M. Night Shyamalan TWIST ending. The twist? It was all just a DREAM! No... everyone but me is a ROBOT!
You know, I think this is a better money making scheme than making my future daughter a well-respected doctor and my son a Major League pitcher. So, everyone start sending me checks (made out to cash) to support this very important and much more entertaining project than the Julie & Julia project.
I will keep you all updated as things progress.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In Which God Smiles Favorably Upon a Motley Crew...

The Automatic Blogging Device (ABD) has auto-generated the fact that my astrological sign is Pisces - the fish. Being that I put about as much stock in astrology as I did in Florida land speculation prior to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, this information seems senseless and superfluous. However, perhaps the gods of stellar divination sought my attentions... AND HERE'S HOW!
On Sunday afternoon last, the Brother Captains Michel & Michel invited me and a crew consisting of Jonathan, myself, and the beautiful and voluptuous Maria out for a promenade en bateau across the Great South Bay, a small saltwater lagoon between the kingdom of press-on nails, hairspray and broskis named Long Island, and the Eden-like homosexual romping grounds called Fire Island. Perhaps it was my having a water sign (bullshit) but I have felt a spiritual connection to this body of water my whole life. My great grandfather, a Dutchman by the name of Adrian Hoek, was a well-respected oysterman and clammer on this beautiful lagoon. His superior genetics in the area of ravaging bivalve populations seems to have gifted me with an extraordinary love and ability for collecting clams. Our crew made for the flats of the Great South Bay where clamming is its very best. Along the way, my eyes espied something black bobbing up and down in the water. Thinking it was a backpack that we may return for a reward, Captain Michel the Younger turned the craft around. As we approached, we recognized the item as a soft-sided cooler. Having been waterlogged for some time, it was immensely heavy and it took both Jonathan's and my own strength to salvage the floating treasure from its watery prison. The heavens opened and bathed us with an ethereal light - a seagull which is interpreted as the Holy Spirit descended upon us. We opened our treasure to discover A FRISBEE-DISC, a WATER-LOGGED ROAST BEEF SANDWICH, a BOTTLE OPENER, and (calm yourself ladies and gentlemen for the next revelation) BEER! Now, all of us being of a certain age where finding strange consumables on the open water doesn't prevent us from consuming them went ahead and enjoyed the fruits of our bounty, toasting whatever Divine Clockmaker deigned that we should quench our thirsts on cold, frosty, FREE BEER! And off to the flats we sailed, singing shanties and singing our own praises.
Folks, I must say that in past years, the clamming situation had waned precipitously, no doubt due to pollutants running off from the immaculately tailored front lawns so coveted by the adult male constituency on Long Island - also probably because god wished to punish that Sodom & Gomorrah that is Cherry Grove. However, in just one hour Captain Michel the Younger and I dredged 84 clams from the bay bottom! Again the Whore Goddess that is The Great South Lagoon found favor in our sight! After a refreshing and relaxing respite at Sailor's Haven beach, the Captains Michel and we made back for Long Island, where by our combined culinary talents and using a book authored by a pedophilic ex-Episcopal priest, created a sumptuous dish of linguine in white clam sauce, using the natural bounty of clams in their own liquor - torn from their protective carapaces with my own deft skills with a clam knife (thank you Popeye Hoek) - and victory garden chives & parsley. Surely nothing beats feasting by the sweat of one's own labors - especially when wine is involved!
In other news, I have seen the film Julie & Julia with Maria. It was a subpar film that I feel the necessity to make fun of. As such, I WILL USE THE SAME PREMISE IN MY OWN BLOG! As Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking has already been used, I instead choose Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen. I will discuss this idea...
Until Then,
Bon Appétit... or should I say Good Cooking, Good Eating, Good Loving!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In Which I've Gone and Done It This Time...

Dear Readers,
My former roommate and trusted adviser - Jonathan - and I took a brief but lovely sojourn to Robert Moses' paradise on Earth, namely Jones Beach State Park. There we enjoyed an entire six-pack of Red Stripe Beer and 4 liters of Kentucky Colonel George's Meier's Patented Southern Style Sangria. Combined with the August heat and saltwater, we certainly made merry ourselves on strong drink. But I digress.
Normally I don't bother my intent readers with the trivialities of my daily life. But today, however, I found out something regarding a personal physical issue.
Back on a cloudy, rain-threatened April day, my sister and I decided to play a game of catch. She, being of superior genetics and having far more capable facilities in the realm of baseball throwing, trounced me thoroughly and I went inside to have a small relaxing sit down. Upon getting up afterward, however, I found an intense pain in my right knee that I attributed to a lack of warming up prior to our early-spring catch. As the weeks passed, the pain waxed and waned directly proportionately to the amount I used the knee; generally weeks where I stood on it more, the pain increased, while more restful periods saw the pain nearly disappear. I noticed that trips to the beach where clamming, climbing, running and swimming were involved, the pain became intolerable, to the point that I visited my goodly physician, Dr. L.
She suggested that I get an X-ray, which was inconclusive. Next, a magnetic resonance image, a technology perfected by my own imperfect alma mater - Stony Brook University. I telephoned Dr. L today and discovered the nature of my injury - a torn lateral meniscus of the right knee. This setback may require that I have physical therapy or, in a worst-case scenario, arthroscopic surgery.
Alas, my previous employer known as DEATH STAR COFFEE in this blog, which is (in point of fact) a coffee company named after a lesser character in a painfully long Herman Melville novel, has severed its ties with me. As such, I shall lose my health insurance benefits (which are required things to all my non-American socio-communist readers of European principalities) and will not be able to maintain a salubrious course of action that alleviates the pain of my right knee. Thankfully, my future (BETTER) employers ought to be more understanding of the situation, being that said employers will allow such novel innovations as UNIONIZING and COLLECTIVE BARGAINING and other such employee protection, which Heywood Schwartz and his rag-tag bunch of soulless, unthinking degenerates so hatefully fear.
So until then, I promise to entertain you with my inane, megalomaniacal ramblings which you so love to hear.
I think I shall talk about school mascots.
Anyhow, godspeed and good luck to you all.