alien love.

Above: yesterday's Vietnamese basil rolls, concocted by Moop, foto by Moop.


Hmm, I wanted to say something, forgot what it was, totally distracted by trying to determine the gender of my androgynous neighbor across the street who I've never seen before but is totally acting like (OK I've reached a tentative conclusion) she lives there.

My evidence to support this theory (that she lives there) is that she just came to the open window (hers, not mine) carrying a plate of food and a chair, looking very "at home" and is now enjoying the early evening sun while dangling her legs over the windowsill and having dinner.

I'm not normally much of a voyeur really, but at the moment I happen to be sitting at the "dining room" table facing the window and so she is directly in my line of sight. So I can't help noticing that whatever she is eating is posing a real challenge to traditional table manners (although since she's not at a table maybe this is moot): after she sat down, the first time I happened to look up again, she had something roughly the size and shape of a tennis shoe precariously balanced on her fork and was semi-frantically nibbling at the edges of it (I imagine the idea was to reduce its size and thus increase its manageability).

Then when I looked up again two minutes later she was (I'm not kidding) literally putting the plate up to her face and bulldozing the mystery something into her mouth with her fork, for like a minute straight, with not the slightest hint of acknowledgement or awareness that she was in a very visible place. The whole thing was kind of an anti-voyeurism PSA actually.

In the absence of anything else to say, here's a better version of the classic Japanese-American steakhouse salad dressing. Better than this one I mean.


benihana salad dressing #2.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar or 1/4 cup apple vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

iceberg lettuce, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces, for serving



bless they heart.

Ahhh, the life of an immigrant. It has its ups and downs, let me tell you. As such, I myself am no stranger to either the up or the down, and sometimes the ups ain't always too positive neither. Like just now, thinking about it, the first up that popped into my uncaffeinated little noggin was "not having to listen to people talk".

Now that's not very nice is it. I mean of course I'm still having to hear the actual sound of the voices a-barrelin' through my calm and peaceful inner world, but in this case I am referring to the ability to "turn off" what you might could call "passive language comprehension" for those languages that ain't my beloved Inglese.

So if that's an up, Mr. Prince of Darkness, what are the downs like praytell???

Well the downs: these are the times that try men's souls, tell you what. I had one yesterday, a time that tried my soul that is. It's summer, right? Summer means certain things where I come from. Blisteringly hot car upholstery. Lightning. Swimming pools. Bees and other unpleasant insects galore. People saying "Shheeeweee, 's it hot enough for ye?" And so forth.

I guess it's these little cultural differences that makes the immigrant experience rich and rewarding and whatnot, but yesterday I went looking for a little piece of American-style summer, MY summer, and came up dry as a bone jacket. Well of course I'm talking about CORN ON THE COB PEOPLE. When are you going to get it through your gigantic globalized heads that this is what summer is about??? Well this and watermelon. Three grocery stores I went to. ZERO EARS OF CORN I CAME BACK WITH. I was fixin to pay Yurpean prices and everything. Good god amighty c'mon y'all git with the goldang program.



day something or other.

Mirtazapine update here soon, but for now  It's actually day 106. Just a comment on how the ol' appetite stimulation is working out: pretty much fine. I'm rarely kneeling in front of an open refrigerator at midnight anymore. I am spending an inordinate amount of time looking at pictures of things I feel like I should be eating, but I'm not even sure if that's different than it used to be. I've also developed an unfortunate taste for ice cream, but I use an incredibly tiny spoon so it's under control.

As of a few weeks ago, "energy depletion" had actually become more of an issue than "appetite stimulation". It's been an issue since the beginning but now it's the number one issue: just like in the afternoon/evening a kind of a hollow feeling inside like I was made out of bendy straws. Caffeine seemed to have no discernible effect. Then a few days ago I started messing around with ginseng, and this seems to be doing something good. Though I need to check on the dosage to make sure it's something like what normal people take.

Also new in the last three days or so: especially great sleep, and of a pretty reasonable duration. 15mg mirtazapine at 9:45pm; 1mg of melatonin at 11pm or so, asleep by 11:30, awake at 7:30 or 8am feeling great. Weird. Weight? I was back up to my pre-mirtazapine mystery weight thanks to repeated daily doses of beer and pizza but now seem to be back down a kilo or two. Trying to officially drop into the weight class below this one, a number which I may share with you once it happens. Oh yeh: I'm off alcohol for some weeks.



weiner in trouble again.

Above: irresistible fun on the TV. Below: today's leftovers of this (caramel chicken, spicy cabbage salad, coconut brown rice), sporting the usual "green scatter" on top that makes everything we cook look the same regardless of what genre we're cooking in.


lìfè ốf thè mìnd.

In tribute to the heat, I watched Barton Fink last night, good stuff.


Mara and I both have our chompers dialed in for Vietnamese food, so that's what we're going to cook for a day or two, though I'm not sure exactly what that means: at the moment I only know about five or so Vietnamese things: phở; gỏi cuốn (basil rolls); caramel catfish; bánh mì, and chả giò (fried spring rolls). And of course nước chấm, or "anything sauce" because it's good on anything. Six. And bánh xèo. Seven.

Still, it's not much. So we turn to mister Internet for some inspiration. 


LATER: Shit, man...home run for me. If you've ever liked som tam, this is essentially it but easier. My adaptation is based on this. I also made Caramel Ginger Chicken, based on this, also very good but the below slaw is exactly what I was in the mood for. I think you could even add some properly-fried tofu to this and by the next day it would be quite good if breath-mauling picnic food.


goi bap cai (spicy cabbage salad).

1 or 2 green or red Holland chiles, or serrano chiles, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt
2 to 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
5 to 6 tbsp rice vinegar

5 or 6 cups shredded Napa or Chinese cabbage (spitskool will do nicely)
1 large carrot, peeled and finely shredded (I bought mine pre-shredded cause I'm a little bitch)
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped fresh cilantro and/or mint leaves
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


rasslin' scenarios and other things lit'rary.

OK, that's enough summer, thank you, it's been great!!! Yesterday was really fucking hot, like 88°F, and very little was helpful in terms of making anything better. I almost went into the ocean. Instead I consoled myself with some more sardines: fried with very little coating and served with a slice of lemon, some pickled cabbage, and a sauce they call ravigote, which is usually like a tartar sauce but this was more like a creamy dill mayonnaise. Whatever you call it, it's not really the star of the show, the fish are, and though they're not much to look at, they were yet again pretty perfect beach food.

Also, as you can see above, I kind of fucked up my "avoiding the crowds" schedule yesterday by getting to Central Station and not being 100% sure I turned the coffeepot off. After spending a good 10 minutes weighing the pros and cons of A) missing my train, going all the way back home and losing an hour of precious morning beach time only to discover that sigh of course I turned the coffee off, versus B) spending my day at the beach imagining flames billowing out of our apartment window, the cats dying of smoke inhalation and the entire building burning down...I chose the former. It's really a no-win situation once the image of the still-on coffeepot pops into your head: if you don't go back and check, you are most certainly inviting the attention of The Great Magnet. I probably don't need to tell you that the coffeepot was, as expected, not on.

Today: I have rarely looked to forward to a thunderstorm as much as I am looking forward to the one forecast for this afternoon.


hit me.

On my way through Westerpark to see Filmhuis Cavia's showing of an actual 16mm celluloid copy of Blue Velvet at the Buurtboerderij, complete with speed and focus problems. An unexpected bonus was the ambient stereo environment provided by a herd of live goats several meters away and a house music festival off in the distance. All this sonic goodness was followed by a gig I didn't say yes to, which is still a hard thing to do (not saying yes), but during the movie gentle waves of gratefulness kept lapping at my feet while I focused on nothing else but the story in front of me.


severe weather alert.

People say that Zandvoort is too shittily overcrowded to enjoy in the summer. I don't know. It's what, €6.20 round trip (unless you value airco and an absence of moaning, sticky children, then it's €10.40 for first class)? Seems like if you leave your house at 8:45am, have your toes in the sand and your nose in a book by 9:45am, have a pile of (sadly unphotographed) fresh fried sardines and a beer (or two) at noon, and then head home at 1:30pm just as everyone (and I do mean everyone) else is showing up....you could do worse. And then after a quick nap you can, you know, get some work done if that's your kind of thing.


occupy yourself.

Above: 4pm, after an industrious morning of 1970s-era copying and faxing at home, we find ourselves in the amazingly clean and placid Red Light. Below: 5pm, we find ourselves roughly 20 feet away at Mata Hari for one mint tea, one beer, and six bitterballen. Below that: 9:15pm, back home, evening stroll with surprisingly great gelatos from our neighbor Doardi: blood orange, caramel, pistachio and chocolate.



hot summer night.


It was a hot summer night indeed and no this isn't another Meat Loaf post. By the time Le Men left last night I'd figured out one definite way to do at least one variation on a great two-ply lavash "pizza" (two-ply meaning that it's a lavash that could be carefully opened and stuffed if you so desired, but we do not so desire). I'm documenting the technique here a bit more obsessively than usual because I didn't get it right until pizzas number four and five last night and I know that in a week or two I'll never remember what I did.

Here it is: for the marinara version, use a preheated broiler, a rack in the middle of the oven; all the toppings on at the beginning, the toppings in this case being a very light drizzle of olive oil focusing on the edges not the center, one ball of 49-cent mozzarella torn and distributed evenly, really no more than 6 tbsp of good thick homemade marinara sauce distributed evenly, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a dusting of pul biber. Possibly a sprinkletje of parmesan or pecorino or grana padano if you're a cheap bastard like me.

Put your lavash on a pizza pan. Broil for 4 minutes; observe; broil for another 2-4 minutes or until your edges reach maximum tolerable blacknuss and your mozzarella has some color. This version can't be finished with another drizzle of olive oil or everything gets too wet, but non-marinara versions certainly can and should be. Throw a quick pinch of salt at it and start biting.

Or, the new and improved method I think: a preheated broiler, rack in the middle of the oven. Brush your lavash everywhere with good olive oil. Put your hard grated cheeses on there and some black pepper. Throw it in the oven for 2 minutes. Take it out, put your soft cheeses and other toppings on there (unless they're herbs then save them for last), and put it in for another 4 minutes. Have a peek at it, it could be ok here, or maybe it can go another minute from here, 2 at most. Take it out, throw on the herbs. So 6-8 minutes total. OK, back to the original post. 

With the broil method, things happen fast: I literally assembled and cooked 3 pizzas in 30 minutes (I mean yes, my more complicated toppings were prepared beforehand but cheeses were grated and torn "to order"). Oh and your toppings need to be at least room temperature if not warmer b/c everything's only in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

The versions I did last night:

1) The above, what I would call pizza marinara instead of margherita because the tomato sauce is slow-cooked and garlicky, I always thought a pizza margherita used pretty fresh tomatoes. I think it's an American thing. Not motivated to research atm.

2) Pizza ai funghi with garlic, rosemary, taleggio, grana padano. Might be helpful to freeze the taleggio first for easier grating. This was maybe my favorite of the night, though the taleggio could be too strong for some tastes. Tonight since we didn't have any more taleggio we did a version with gruyere, mozzarella and pecorino that was totally super.

3) That kale + artichoke + lemon + pesto + mozzarella thing. I liked it, but yeah somehow it's not quite right, it distractingly doesn't taste like pizza, too tart maybe.

4) Caramelized onion, caramelized endive, roasted figs in balsamic with shallots, gorgonzola, mozzarella. This was the most luxe idea of the night, almost a dessert pizza and really good. Not totally sure it needs the mozzarella.

5) I didn't really do more than taste the other pizzas last night due to time constraints, so I made myself another #1 while I cleaned the kitchen.

A note on cheapness: this was a pretty inexpensive way to feed a small group at a leisurely pace, but only because the Dirk has a decent mozzarella for 49 cents apiece, 1 ball per pizza. I was prepared to make like 8 with mozz, so I spent 4 bucks. Tomatoes, 4 cans: 1.60. Onions: 2 bucks. Figs: on sale for 6 for a euro. Endive also on sale 8 for a euro. The "gorgonzola" was actually Danish blue, shhh don't tell, 1 euro. Grana padano: 2 euro. Taleggio: 2.50. Aritchokes, 1 can: 1.79. Lavash: 50 cents for 6 of them. So less than 20 euroskis in totale for something like 12 "pizzas", I'd figure on two per person if that's all you're eating.




I don't know if this ever happens to the hypothetical you but once in a while when I'm not doing incredibly useless shit, I try to use The Internets to research something semi-valid. In this case it was something from my childhood that was so out of focus in the eye of my memory that I had almost no actual data to start piecing together. And at the same time I knew that whatever it was my mind was trying to remember was of some kind of semi-profound formative influence.

So in this particular case it was a book, a book I literally hadn't given one single thought to for years and years, and I have no idea what got me started thinking about it. But once it oozed into my mind, I started trying to remember more details about it, and once I did I could almost physically re-feel the unease and building dread I experienced reading it in bed, at night (stupidly): dread verging on outright childish horror. I can't imagine how old I was, somewhere between five and ten I guess, but I know that for me this book was the primary source of those "don't go into the basement" feelings that almost everyone with a basement seems to have (I have no idea what room kids without basements are afraid of).

OK here's so the Google montage (various quickly-cut and exciting camera angles of me alternately typing furiously or staring off into space thinking, then cutting to letters appearing in the Search box and then "Access Denied" kind of uninformative results): the first very gauzy re-reremberance I had was of some vague but horrific black liquid; a terrifying door; a grave or graves; and something about the word Omega. Then I pretty quickly remembered that the main character was a boy named Lewis. This is not enough information to find anything. Next some sort of impulse/vision of a kind woman with a refined name, and the fact that Lewis was nearsighted (and of course his glasses would habitually fall off at the scariest possible moment so that he had to cower in blind terror while he waited for the tentacles of impending horribleness to reach him).

This was all like weeks ago and after let's call it "several" fruitless Googles and some serious mental time trying to crystallize more detail, I forgot about it until about 20 minutes ago. I then tried my same old Lewis black Omega horror query but shortly thereafter somehow suddenly remembered that Lewis had a weight problem, for some reason the word "chubby" came into my mind, and finally the magic query: young chubby nearsighted lewis miss omega horror grave door revealed that in 1973, forty years ago, a man named John Belllairs started a series of books that introduced a character named Lewis Barnavelt, and for fuck's sake the book that made me forever apprehensive about basements was called The House With A Clock In Its Walls, a pretty good title for a scary book, amazingly enough with pretty ominous artwork by longtime fave Edward Gorey, such a great surprise (we decided long ago that Mara is The Doubtful Guest).

Here's a lovely Onion AV Club article about the book, comparing House to another Gorey favorite, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and confirming that I was neither alone in my youthful terror nor in my current half-remembered curiosity. It's interesting to me that this style of horror—slow-building, implied, atmospheric unease—is still absolutely one of my favorite things. As is Edward Gorey. Maybe my mother can remember approximately what year I was allowed to torture myself with this, but my point is: hey look, a totally satisfying use of the Google Wire.



Above: me roasting macerated fresh clearance figs at 7am. Not because I have to! Because I want to. Well I do kind of have to if I want to cook with them, because they don't really taste like much in their natural state. But it's not like I woke up early to roast figs is what I'm saying.

Maybe it's just me, but just about every fresh fig I've ever tasted has been somewhere between disappointing (the better ones) and tasteless (the rest), of course except for these, but yes I can figure out why those were so good.

The attempted solution for today's figs: roasting them in an as-low-as-possible oven for 2 hours. Then I think I'm going to dice them (I know it's a shame cause they're pretty, but it's pizza, ingredients need to be a chompable size/shape) and let them sit in some balsamic vinegar for a while. Possibly a shallot or two. Maybe even reduce that whole business if I feel ambitious.


And oh yeah this post was supposed to be about rescuing this romesco recipe from the vaults.



sauce boy, part xviii.

Trying this lavash "pizza" idea from way back again tomorrow, toppings as yet undecided.

Well shit, all of my lavash suppliers are on vacation all of the sudden. Wtf people.

OK, we cool, that little corner Turk near Van Hallstraat sorted a brother out. Now what we gone do? Wellllll, I'm thinking like this:

1) Pizza marinara. I'm making the sauce now.
2) Something with parmigiano, artichokes, kale, lemon, and almonds (and mozzarella). I've been fixated on this since I made that rice the other day.
3) Maybe this, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, taleggio, etc.
4) I bought an assload of endive (witlof) at the Avondmarkt because it was on sale. I should do something with that. I also bought some fresh figs b/c I'm stupid and they were like 20 cents each. Maybe roasted fig, a little gorgonzola, sauteed endive, mascarpone?
5) I really want to make this and put it on a pizza. And then eat it. And then nap for a long time.

Here are the baking times for the lavash. 


I've got a new ingredient crush: pul biber.

It's not really "sambal poeder", although I can see what they're trying to say: it's dried red chile, fire-roasted and actually not ground into powder, but kind of coarsely crushed into flakes. There aren't many seeds at all, so the chile flavor is really pronounced instead of the heat. Sambal-ish poeder.




Went into the center yesterday for a drinkie-poo and some sun with the Moop and the KK, ended up on the Leliegracht at Spanjer & Van Twist, where I think I have never ever been before. Pleasant enough place to drink and chat, though in terms of food I'm not sure it would ever be wise to venture beyond the "fried" portion of the menu.

That little neck of the woods sure is picaresque (sic) though. OK, here are some options for tonight's North African-Jewish idea, another Saveur ripoff.


boulettes de poisson.

400g cod or haddock
½ cup very finely chopped almonds, or almond flour
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground ginger
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups stock (I used chicken)
2 cups whole, peeled canned tomatoes with juice, crushed
1 tsp sugar, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes (I used pul biber)
1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 cup chopped cilantro for serving

I served it with buttered rice, yogurt probably would've been good too. These were the "meatiest" fishballs I've ever encountered, not in a bad way.


fassoulia (long-cooked green beans in tomato sauce).

1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
400g fresh string beans or runner beans
1 can diced tomatoes (2 cups or so)
1 cup beef or vegetable broth
salt and pepper

Cook for 45 minutes.



creole seasoning.

Made a bunch of it b/c Brigtsen's Jalapeño Shrimp Cornbread (below) called for it, recipes for both to follow. With a dollop (yes Vicky) of Creole butter (and/or ancho-maple butter? Frank's Hot Sauce + peach salsa? it would benefit from some optional tangy/sweet liquid-y element) and a side of Brunswick stew or really good chili, this would be completely brutal. As it is, it was a great way to get a tamale fix without all the work of real tamales.


creole seasoning. 

2 tsp onion powder (I found it at the Dirk)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried basil or marjoram
1 tsp celery salt (found it at Albert Cuyp)
5 tsp sweet (also known as "regular") paprika

This version is a special Amsterdam blend, just the tiniest bit on the salty side b/c celery seed is harder to find than celery salt, at least it was for me. I haven't A/B tested this against the "Cajun" spice you see in grocery stores here, I imagine that that one adds sugar and MSG/e621.


jalapeño shrimp cornbread.

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted,
plus more for greasing and serving

4 scallions, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, or failing that, 2 green Holland chiles,
stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

400g raw medium shrimp, finely chopped
1 tsp Creole seasoning (recipe above)

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
or possibly almond flour,
but we have to test the latter
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
2 tbsp raw/turbinado sugar

pinch salt
(be careful if your Creole seasoning is salty
like ours was)
1½ tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
healthy couple grindz of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

extra large ramekins



cherry bomb.

This Saveur article is what restarted my thinking about escabeches, well that and the temperature. It's finally hot here, so the idea of eating something vinegary out of the fridge sounds even better than usual. Maybe I'll eventually write down this turkey escabeche I made Friday night (oregano, habanero, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, vinegar, garlic, onion), but yes it may have to wait.

While I was poking about on the Saveur website I started looking at their picnic recipes, since etc what I said before about the temperature, and found this interesting-looking rice salad, also timely b/c Mara came into a bunch of cherries (that's what I said) and I've got kale and basil and spinach sitting around wilting and so I am making it right now. I'm unsure about the artichoke and cherry combo, that part sounds drug-induced, but will give it a try. Preliminary tasting results very positive (everything except cherries, almonds, and artichokes). Other items on the menu: Ottolenghi's smashed garlic cucumbers and that ol' beet carpaccio with feta. And maybe something with shrimp. We gwine be stinkee in our damn mouf.


And later: cherries provided a beauteeful visual contrast but as suspected were unnecessary and/or distracting in terms of taste. They are now off macerating somewhere instead of participating in this recipe. Artichokes on the other hand were a great addition and almonds would probably also work nicely, but it was also great without them, this ended up being really one of my favorite things I've made recently.

kale and brown rice salad with basil and cherries.

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp raw/turbinado sugar

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen chopped kale, drained
1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, chiffonaded or roughly chopped.
4 to 8 artichoke hearts, rinsed well, drained and quartered
1/2 cup toasted almonds, slivered or roughly crushed
1 cup or maybe even 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved, or quartered if you have time and patience




Above: cheap Belgian strawberries, now macerating.


Yesterday's bargain cauliflower got turned into deconstructed risotto al cavolfiore: in one pan, roasted cauliflower, onions and celery; in another pan, your basic risotto with parmesan. On the table for serving: more parmesan, freshly-chopped parsley and an almond-rosemary "pangrattato". Assemble and chomp.

This pangrattato thingie makes everything it comes in contact with better. I realize that my instructions below are not what you might call "useful", but basically I just started with a (biggish) handful of almonds and some rosemary leaves and an anchovy and three chiles, and then just kept adding anchovies and chiles until it was salty enough and spicy enough. Use your tongue is what I'm saying.

Here's what the pil-pil peppers look like:


almond "pangrattato". 

1/2 or 3/4 cup toasted almonds
1 or 2 anchovy filets packed in oil
1 mangy branch of kinda dried-out rosemary that's been sitting around, or maybe 1/2 tsp actual professionally-dried rosemary
4 tiny dried red chiles, the "pil-pil" kind

Pulse a couple times in a processor (I used our wonderful HandiChop or whatever it's called), taste for seasoning, use more anchovy to increase your saltiness.



night(s) of the hunter.

The Calico Assassin has been handed her first assignment: we seem to have a mouse in the house. Maybe because Andy and Valentina are on vacation (thus no new mouse food showing up at their place) and that's the mice's normal cat-free hangout.

Who knows why he/she/they are here, but the situation is upsetting the delicate ecosystem of 100M. Mačka aka Calico Death has barely slept for the past three days, she is 100% committed to finding this dang mouse while being at the same time 0% closer to actually catching any dang mice. Among the things she has been successful at is demolishing the dang lower levels of the dang bookshelf behind which she is certain the dang mouse is hiding. Basically she just leaves a trail of (dang) destruction everywhere she thinks the mouse might be.

I wish I could say that her detecting/stalking skills are somehow improving but frankly she shows no real aptitude for any aspect of the whole thing. It took her about an afternoon to figure out how to move a stack of DVDs six inches out of the way, and as I write this she has wedged herself half-upside-down into an impractically small space for some kind of retarded immobile stakeout.

This bull-in-a-china-shop routine is kind of cute, now, in the daylight of afternoon, but when/if the perp appears and any action actually goes down, which it probably won't until we're in bed if ever, I'm certain Calico Death will shoot out of her hiding place like a badly-designed rocket and crash directly and loudly into whatever happens to be nearby, which will scare the shit out of all the apartment's occupants, including Calico Death.

On a more serene note, tonight's foodstuff  is Fancy Hotdogs (real German bratwurst!) with sauteed onions, chipotle crema, mustard, ketchup, pickled fennel, American processed cheese food, pineapple salsa, and basically whatever the fuck else we feel like putting on or near the brats in question. Plus hand-cut artisanal homemade etc fries. Film of the day: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, somehow we hadn't seen it before. Kind of a Piece of Poop.


pickled fennel.

1 fennel bulb, mandolined
1 tsp fennel seed, toasted
1 tsp coriander seed, toasted