ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
Our Heroines make a grocery list.  Ellen wants to make soup.

Delia:  You make PC soup.

EK:  What?

DS: Your soup is PC.

EK: What exactly are you talking about?  (Thinking:  What's so PC about vegetarian minestrone?)

DS:  I make smooth soup. Your is full of pieces.  It's all piece-y.

EK:  Oh.  Yeah, you're right.

* * * 
We are, by the way, on high ground. In Manhattan. Not too worried, here, though I'll fill some extra water pitchers - heaven knows we've got enough candles to light the entire building!  And we're trusting the whole shebang to be over by Thursday, when we leave for WFC in Toronto; NYC is pretty good at cleaning up after itself - just hope we're right!

It's a bit disconcerting to hear that they're shutting down buses & subways tonight at 7:00, though - a result, I suspect, of the whuppin' Bloomberg took from the snowstorm 2 yrs ago. They shut down public transit for the first time maybe ever for Irene, and it was all a big hoop-la over nothing.  And that means tomorrow will be a giant holiday, as no one will be able to get to work, from office people to the guys who make the sushi at our cheap lunch places.  Soup.

I'm more concerned about 2 British guests we've seen this weekend, Lizza Aiken & Marina Warner (I know - what are the odds that they'd both be in town at the same time? And that we'd get to have dinner with Lizza - after her lovely panel at Bank St Books - and go to the Neue Gallery with - gulp - Marina [I still don't believe we get to be on a first-name basis!]? [We saw the Hodler exhibit - really worth seeing! The way they've laid it out, to explicate his life and vision while the pictures grow in power . . . remarkable! And such a beautiful mansion to see it all in.  It's pricey, but worth it.] I think each was scheduled to leave on Tuesday.

Making an extra-large pot of soup.
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Delia has taken all the illicit we-never-buy-this heavy cream (she needed 1 Tbs for the sauce for the dinner party we gave Friday for John R. Douglas & Ginjer Buchanan), and clabbered it to try to make creme fraiche (which we can at least dole out in reasonable portions at Appropriate Moments.  And it will Keep...).  

I forgot to ask her to leave me some for my oatmeal.
Is there such a thing as a minus-First World Problem?  Maybe we're into the First Estate, here?

ETA:  A friend on Facebook says it's a "1% Problem" - perfect!
ellenkushner: (Bessie McNicol)
"[O]ne of [fashion designer] McQueen's real gifts was a comprehension of an experience recognizable to most women, the feeling of being the object of someone's unforgiving gaze." -- NYTimes Style section, 2/14/10

Well, that explains a lot about the women I find confusing, the ones who really seem to think that if they go to the grocery w/o full makeup or in the wrong pair of shoes, the Furies will descend. The fierceness with which they feel this only makes sense in the presence of an imaginary Gazer installed early in life.

'"The goyim . . . do not feed their guests; it is not their custom," the girls' mother explains, bringing a cake as a gift while paying a social call. "We must respect the customs of others cultures, but that does not mean we have to starve."'
-- Cathleen Schine, The Three Weissmanns of Westport (a modern riff on Sense & Sensiblity!), as reviewed by Dominique Browning in the NYTimes Book Review

Ha! When I read that aloud to Delia, adding, "Now, who do you think wrote that?" she said, without missing a beat, "You?"
ellenkushner: (Default)
What a nice little dinner party we had last night! Old publishing pal Beth Fleisher came over with husband Chris Claremont (and we only talked a little about Wolverine - not hard, as Delia & I haven't seen it yet). Delia made Avocado Soup from our beloved Paris in a Basket cookbook, and Roasted Sea Bass with Lemon & Fennel. (One of the lovely things about NYC is the corner fish market!) And the Wild Rice that [livejournal.com profile] 1crowdedhour brought us from MN. What's more, we trotted out the bone-handled silver forks & knives from one of Delia's mother's collection of Edwardian fish sets, which we have been keeping under the cupboard because they were too pretty to get rid of (and no one seemed willing to buy) - it hadn't occurred to us we could simply use them when eating fish, which we do all the time! But friends had theirs out last week, and the penny drops. Nothing bones a whole striped bass like one'a them serving babies.

We being publishing people, business, of course, was discussed. I am preening, because I introduced Beth to agent Barry "[livejournal.com profile] bgliterary" Goldblatt . . . and now she's joined his Literary Agency! Beth was Emma Bull's editor at Berkeley for years, and a bunch of other peoples' I'm sure she'd be glad to tell you about her experience. I asked her what sort of clients she was looking for, and she made my day by saying she liked original, unclassifiable, daring stuff like the stories in Interfictions! -- but for middle-grade and YA. She loves historicals, fantasy, hard SF, and non-fiction. And also, because of her experience working with Chris, graphic novels. There's more about her up on BGLiterary's "About" page. Just sayin'.
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
Just to waste time, I googled "Theron" to see how many pages it would be before the entries stopped being about that actress, Charlize, and whether anything about The Fall of the Kings would turn up. On p. 15 (I skipped ahead) my first non-Charlize hit was Domaine du Theron, a French winery in the Lot valley, near Cahors.

The weird thing is, I've been there. In 2001 we celebrated Delia's birthday by renting a sprawling old farm called Cubertou*, and filling it with all our friends. Of course we explored the local wineries, and when we saw a sign for Domaine du Theron, we tore off in that direction. I think we had just recently finished Kings.

The wine was good. I still have the T-shirt.

* The Cubertou site tells me that the great guitarist John Renbourn (Pentangle et alia) is teaching guitar workshops there this summer with Remy Froissart!
ellenkushner: (Default)
The New York Times offers a recipe for Red Hot Ale made with a hot poker. God, I miss my wood stove (and associated tools!). It caramelizes the sugar in the ale. Burnt Caramel is my favorite flavor (well, top 3, anyway). (If you don't want to sign up for the NYTimes, it's also here.)

Remember the 23-yr-old recent Bryn Mawr grad who mysteriously disappeared from her apt in NYC on August 28th? She was found drifting in New York Harbor on Sept. 16th, and just gave a fascinating interview to the NYTimes: she was suffering from dissociative fugue, a rare form of amnesia that causes people to forget their identity, suddenly and without warning, and can last from a few hours to years. “It’s weird,” Ms. Upp said. . . .“How do you feel guilty for something you didn’t even know you did? It’s not your fault, but it’s still somehow you. So it’s definitely made me reconsider everything. Who was I before? Who was I then — is that part of me? Who am I now?”

Our Boston friend, artist Tabitha Vevers, has a show up at the DeCordova (Lincoln, MA) right now. It just got a great review in the Boston Globe. The mermaid picture in the first paragraph is in fact owned by us; we lent it for the show. Very cool; someone from an art shipping firm came to our house to crate it up. There are 7 more images of her work up online here.
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
The Upper West Side is honeycombed with great food of all prices & descriptions; it would take pages just to list everywhere within 5 blocks of the theatre (Broadway between W. 76th-77th).

The 2 that have become my post-show Hangouts are:

SAVANN (on Amsterdam between 79th/80th)
Relaxed yet elegant, and never noisy, with pleasant, friendly staff - seems to be a family-run place, with Turkish-inflected food of great deliciousness, a good wine list, and excellent brunch menu. It's become my Comfort Place after shows.

Metropolitan Diner (on the NE corner of Broadway & 77th)
A classic. One of the last of the great family-run diners, where the Greek guy behind the counter sings out incantations about how many orders of fries he's got with what burgers. Kid friendly; went there last night after the show with Barry & Libba & their little one (who was too tired to get his promised milkshake, so I owe him one) and my 2 cousins. Portions are enormous. Soup is good. And the waitress returned to put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry, my lady, we are out of chicken pot pie."

I would go there again just for that. (My chicken souvlaki was delicious, though.)

ADDED: Forgot to say: my choices are based on "I'm suddenly turning up with a largish (5-8) group of people; who can gracefully accommodate us?"

Have your own favorite nearby? (Planet Sushi? The Cottage [Chinese]? . . . ? Let's hear!
ellenkushner: (Default)
Well, really; what did I think would happen if I carried a heart-shaped cake inscribed: "Happy Birthday, Ellen" down 87th St.?
- Are you Ellen?
- Is it your birthday?
- Happy birthday!
- What a gorgeous cake . . . . .


What I didn't expect, when I got to the bus stop on B'way and set it down on a bench, was for a gang of 60-ish tourists from Maryland to warmly enquire, and then start singing Happy Birthday to You (Dear Ellllllen), joined by various passers-by, shoppers and dog-walkers . . . . "We're not drunk!" they hastened to assure me. "We're here to see a show. We're going to see South Pacific!" Well, of course they weren't drunk. They were just high on the City; on the possibility that anything can happen, any time - that beautiful cakes will be sitting at bus stops , that total strangers will come up to you and wish you well and begin to sing. . . .

Here is the cake that caused it all, sitting at home on the new sideboard (next to a Rosh Hashanah card from Eve Sweetser, a photo she took on her trip to Japan). Chalk another triumph up to cake- (and film-)maker extraordinaire, [livejournal.com profile] conteurlisa! Yum.



Oh, and it isn't my birthday 'til Monday (10/6) - we just decided to start celebrating early.

On Monday night we are planning to go see beloved Red Bull Theater's reading of A Horse's Ass, "loosely adapted from Pietro Aretino’s Renaissance comedy Il Marescalco: 1526. Mantua. A homosexual man will be forced at knifepoint to marry a woman. He's tearing his hair out."
ellenkushner: (Default)
I bought farmed deer liver at the Madison Farmer's Market, and tonight I cooked it, using a recipe from this delightful article from Field & Stream on how to cook all the other organs, as well.

Hey, it's research!

And, as someone else at the table just said, "How often do you get to hear the phrase, 'I think I ate too much deer liver'?"
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
OK. I think I've figured it out. They have to be Almond or Mocha.

That's all.
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
As Swordspoint readers know, Alec (later Duke Tremontaine) is very fond of little iced cakes.

Strangely enough, so am I. When I was young, I would guzzle anything labeled "petit four." I even loved white chocolate (which takes suspiciously like a fondant icing), and had a real weakness for those little pastel-colored drops with the sprinkles - what the hell were they called...?. Note the past tense. In recent years, I've found very little to give me that joy. Too icky, too sweet, too oleaginous. But every cloud has, as they say, a silver lining. When foot troubles sent me to the podiatrist lately, I realized he was just around the corner from the old Grosset & Dunlap building, where I worked for Jim Baen at Ace Books in my first job out of college (and I typed up my very first Riverside story, "Red-Cloak," on the office IBM Selectric), and trolled the neighborhood at lunch looking for yummies. And there it was: La Delice Pastry Shop: "French Danish Pastries of the Finest Quality," as it says on the box (though the personnel & the signs in the shop appeared to be Greek), at the corner of 27th & Third.

I can't say that their petits fours ($1.25/each) look like the ones Alec & the Duchess enjoy at the theatre - they are much too big (aww!), though nicely decorated - but the flavor . . . is just right. I feel sure they are just what I was thinking of when I wrote that scene, as I've enjoyed nothing like them since. I think my foot is better, so as I hope not to be back there for a long time, I just bought myself one almond, one apricot, and one mocha to celebrate.

Here is another photo of La Delice, which is not as good as the previous link, but comes from a website I thought you shoudl know about, Lost City: A running Jeremiad on the vestiges of Old New York as they are steamrolled under or threatened by the currently ruthless real estate market and the City Fathers' disregard for Gotham's historical and cultural fabric.


I should add this to the Riverside Recipes page on my website, shoudln't I?

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