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Today in My History

2000:  The Front Porch
Credibility Crisis
Plus 36
A Thing of Shreds and Patches
"You Need One of These"
I've Gone Pro
Hovering on the Diaper Rash Water
2007:  R.I.P., Alfred


42nd Stree

Books Read in 2010
Updated: 8/23
City of Bones"

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10)


A Taste of Uncle Vito's from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

On You Tube

Look at these Videos
Mitzi Gaynor said WHAT?

Spirit of '43
Ned's Video for Bri's 2nd birthday
No You Can't (John Boehner)
Jim Brochu closes NASDAQ
Stupid, Callous, Homophobic, Hateful Legislation

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Cousins Day, August 2010

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Airy Persiflage

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3 September 2010

I have discovered another television gem to steal my attention from more worthwhile household tasks.

On the latest Top Chef, Anthony Bourdain was one of the judges and there was a promo saying that his 100th program was coming up, along with some of his better programs in a marathon, at some time in the near future.  Now, I am only vaguely aware of the name Anthony Bourdain but I was curious and so did some investigating and discovered the Travel Channel, which I thought I had marked as a "favorite" many months ago, but apparently had not.

I found the Bourdain show and will watch it--I had no idea what it was like.  But I started surfing through the programs on the travel channel, looking for any that were filmed in China.  I found a few, which I marked to record later, but I also found some that looked fun, one of which was a show from Ireland with hostess Samantha Brown, and another weekend getaway with Ms. Brown in Paris, so I recorded both of them out of curiosity.

SBrown.jpg (15151 bytes)I have watched a lot of Rick Steeves and enjoy his travel programs, but Samantha Brown (who reminds me very much of Jenna Elfman, of Dharma and Greg) is just a delight.   Rick Steeves steeps himself in the history of a country, Brown seems to steep herself in cultural stuff (which I prefer), everything from sitting by a fire with a senachie hearing tales of Irish lore to meeting with a guy who does "stone fishing" off the shores of one of the Aran Islands.  She is delightfully perky and mesmerizing.

In her Paris show, she went to Laduree, the one sweet shop I wanted to visit, but didn't feel up to walking from our hotel to the Champs Elysee (though some did).  It was nice having Brown do the exploring for me (and save me the temptation to spend money on all that delicious looking stuff!)

AZ.jpg (13337 bytes)In my surfing today, I came across Andrew Zimmerman, who hosts a show called Bizarre Foods.  I turned his program on because he, too, was in Paris.  I watched him ecstatically describe some paper thin pork and go into a trance over real truffles, which cost something like $3,000 (a pound?), but it was going to the cheese shop that made me grab the "record" button so I could go back and copy this down word for word.

The cheese maker had just given him a taste of a Comte de Gruyere, whose taste he described with all the complexities that you hear wine connoisseurs talk about the backberry, earth, cinnamon, chocolate parts of a wine you only taste as "red" or "white."

But then the cheese maker took Zimmerman into his cellar, where he ages the cheeses and does magical things to them which make them extra special.   Zimmerman stops at the bottom of the stairs to note the difference in the smell of the place, that extra "thing" that growing mold in a moist environment gives and he uttered this absolutely priceless description:

It is thick with the smell of rotten eggs trampled by the unwashed feet of a thousand teen age boys.

Now if that doesn't make you want to rush to Paris to find this cheesemaker's shop, I don't know what will!  Isn't that just the most delightful description?  God I love purple prose!

Zimmerman's show ended with the making of bacon and eggs ice cream (which sounded fabulous and featured candied bacon, which I made for waffles once), and was followed by one of Anthony Bourdain's shows, wherein he went on a seal hunt with an Inuit family in Quebec (apologizing all the time for killing a seal, explaining that it was seal meat and blubber that kept Inuits alive during the winter).  Then he sat around the bloody floor with the family, eating the freshly butchered raw seal meat--and all the parts of the animal (grandma called dibs on the brain), draining the blood to make...something...later.  It was when he shared the seal eye with the mother in the family ("slit it open and suck like a nipple," she instructed him) that I began to question whether my hunt for shows featuring Anthony Bourdain was something I really wanted to do!

But if nothing else, my exploration through the Travel Channel gave me that great quote by Andrew Zimmerman, which I surely will keep in my list of great quotes.  And I will continue to check periodically for programs about China.

Right now the travel channel is playing a show called Man vs. Food in which an inside-out donut burger is featured and some grossly huge meals dripping with things like bacon and tons of cheese are consumed.  I think it's time to turn on MSNBC.


donutburger.jpg (21051 bytes)

Described as "possibly the world's unhealthiest burger"



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