Pardon Us, Mr. President

pardon us for our good taste

Some of you are probably Obama-burgered out.  But we had to report on this new tidbit on Dijon-gate.  You know how Sean Hannity totally dissed the Prez’s codiment choice last week, implying the decision to put grey poupon on a burger was as commie/unAmerican as Nikita Khruschev?

Well watch out Hannity, Kraft foods totally has the Prez’s back!  TOTALLY! They’ve issued the following press release that we just had to feature for the delight or disgust of ESers everywhere:

May 8, 2009

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. President:

We applaud you, Mr. President, for exercising your freedom of taste when recently ordering a burger with Dijon mustard. We’re always happy to see people use Dijon mustard to add flair and flavor to their favorite foods. The right to choose condiments freely is quintessentially American and embodies the spirit of our democracy.

So we urge you to respond to “Dijon-gate” by issuing a “pardon” to any American who has ever been criticized for putting a liberal spread of Dijon mustard on a burger or a conservative dollop on a ham & cheese sandwich. These “Pardon Me for Loving Dijon” proclamations will empower the millions of Dijon mustard-loving Americans to ask for their favorite condiment with pride.

Respectfully yours,


Pic: Grey Poupon Pardon

Let’s put it to the people:  Is yellow mustard more inherently American than Grey Poupon? Discuss!

The Taste of Bursting Sunshine


One of the palates I attempt to cater to is that of Romeo, my bf.  Romeo is a rather demanding discerning eater. He doesn’t like it when I add diced garlic to a dish.  Romeo prefers garlic minced with the pampered chef garlic press that lives in our kitchen (which, to be honest, is hands-down the best garlic press I have ever used, lemme tell you). I comply with this demand suggestion. Romeo prefers his meals more gently spiced than I like mine. (To be fair some like it hot, and some like it hotter still, and I represent a dot somewhere near the hot-hot-hot end of the bland-to-razzle dazzle spicy continuum. This I admit.) I’ve tried to tone down the hotness for Romeo’s wimpy sensitive taste buds, and with occasional exceptions, I usually succeed in a palatable compromise for the both of us.

There is one thing that Romeo had asked for since I first took on the position of his chef-in-chief (or “kitchen dictator” as Romeo insists on calling me) that for a while absolutely bewildered me:  “flying saucer squashes.”

The conversation we had on several occasions always went something like this:

Maids: Do you want anything from the store?

Romeo (smiling and excited): Yes. Bring me the flying-saucer-squashes so we can use them in a curry.  They taste like bursts of sunshine.

Maids (genuinely curious):  What do you mean?

Romeo (short temper spent, yelling now): Buy those little yellow flying saucer squashes at the grocery store so we can put them in curry and they’ll taste like sunshine!

Maids: I don’t know what you mean by flying saucer squashes! Are they thin skinned or thick skinned? Summer or winter?

Romeo (frustrated and stamping both feet): They’re summer squashes that look like baby flying saucers and taste like sunshine! God!

I know he’s adorable, but that wasn’t much to go on, right?  Especially since  I’d never before encountered flying saucer-like  squashes.  I knew, however, that I needed to address Romeo’s unrequited craving for a summer squash that looked like a flying saucer and tasted like sunshine.

Recently, after over a year and a half of being unable to fulfill this request, I had a follow-up investigatory conversation with with Edouble and Miked (who have been feeding Romeo for far longer than I).  Edouble filled me in:  these squashes, for which both Edouble and Romeo have a special affinity, are commonly known as sunburst squashes.  They are small and round with scalloped tops and they are usually available only in the summer season.

More research yielded further knowledge: the pattypan squash (A.K.A. white squash/button squash/sunburst squash) comes in yellow, white, and green colors, is most tender when immature, and is often served  fried, curried, and stuffed.  It sounded delicious, and I was on a mission to make a curry with the pattypan as the M.V.I. (Most Valuable Ingredient 😉 thanx ES commenter “LC”) of the dish.

My successful search for the pattypans and the recipe for the Pattypan Vegetable Thai Curry after the jump…

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Why Do I Love the ‘Hungry Girl’ But Hate the ‘Bitches’?

Hungry Girlvs.Skinny Bitch

First, My Rant

I have to admit that I harbored a certain prejudice against the Skinny Bitches before I ever cracked the binding of their book, (which I did look through about a month back as I was killing time during a long airport lay-over).  I didn’t like the idea behind their book, I didn’t like the title, and I haven’t liked the people I’ve met who rave about the book and how it’s changed their lives.  My worst fears were confirmed when I read the first few pages and browsed the index and chapter headings.  The book capitalizes on the worst of body-loathing and self-loathing that permeates our culture, but the ‘Bitches’ insist that their book is dedicated to changing the world by converting people to a vegan diet that will get them to eat better.   But they aren’t just meat haters (a loathing which I can understand…. as I’m just not that into the harvesting and consumption of flesh myself). They hate on caffeine, sugar, wine, fun, and all human bodies that don’t live up to the painstakingly emaciated “ideal.”

The Bitches initiate their readers into their bitchy crew with heavy doses of castigation (they inform their readers that they are suffering from “bloated fat pig syndrome.” Ouch…. please miss, may I have another?), followed by model-body idolatry (“healthy = skinny”) , topped with a whole slew of rules we should all follow more closely than the ten commandments (like “sugar is the devil” and drinking alcohol “equals fat-pig syndrome” and “coffee is for pussies”).  They also have a whole chapter dedicated to Pooping.  Hmmm… do I smell former laxative abusers therein….?

More on the “Bitches” I hate, the “Hungry Girl” I love, and a chance to voice your views after the jump…

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I’m going to let you all in on an open secret: I’ve been told I have a way with beans.  I know, what a glorious claim to fame. But I have to admit that I LOVE beans.  I NEED beans. All kinds of beans, prepared in all sorts of ways (as long as they aren’t refried…. I don’t do refried).  I’m a particularly big fan of chick peas/garbanzos, black and red beans.  I cook some kind of bean dish about once a week. My Romeo complains on occasion.  He claims his at-times, ahem, flatulent tendencies are a result of my overuse of beans as a staple food in our diet.  Whatever, my stomach is not affected thusly and beans are good for your heart, right?  Romeo should be thanking me!  I know, I overshare! But, the cabal of smarty-pants USDA scientists do recommend that American adults consume at least 3 cups of beans a week to promote health and reduce the risk of colon cancer, etc.  My friends, I’m totally beating the curve!

Another secret: if you soak beans overnight and then rinse them, cook them for a while, and then rinse them again you can eliminate most of the sugars that promote gas formation. In the wise words of one of Bart Simpson’s  chalkboard etchings:   “Beans are neither fruit nor musical.” (BTW- shouldn’t the Simpsons creators convert the chalkboard to the much maligned, but now ubiquitous, dry-erase board in the newer episodes? Who’s with me?)

Now, I prefer to make some bean dishes from canned beans (especially when I’m making a bean-based puree like hummus).  When I have time, however, I like to cook the thin-skinned beans (navy beans, black beans, red beans) the long way.  The difference in taste and texture between dry black beans and canned beans is really worth the planning and work that goes into cooking them.  But, ladies and gentleworms, cooking dry beans does require time. So do feel free to take the following recipe and use it with canned black beans instead of dry black beans.

My Amazing Black Bean Recipe after the jump

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Paging PETA: Vegetarianism is Not the New Weight-Loss Secret

Dear PETA,

You recently announced the winners of your “Sexiest Vegetarians Next Door” contest.  Now, PETA I know you’ve gotten into trouble with folks before for sexing up vegetarianism while promoting the dominant body paradigm (naked pics of Pam Anderson pervade PETA propaganda, but for some reason you PETA folks haven’t asked  supporter Forest Whitaker to take any nudey photos).

As a vegetarian I’m more than a little peeved by the fact that PETA is trying to hype vegetarianism as a weight-loss or healthy diet trend (and it’s not because I didn’t make your sexiest vegetarians list, though I am a little hurt you didn’t think of me).  Vegetarianism can be healthy and it can be unhealthy, vegetarians can be obese and skinny and everything in between. I know a ton of vegetarians who only eat french fries and fake chicken nuggets.  Vegetarianism is not necessarily the road to health or weight-management and I wish you PETA folks would stop advertising it as such.

Take this year’s female winner, blond bombshell Amber of Minnesota. PETA’s website explains:

“Amber, a Minnesota native, decided to go vegetarian after reading the book Skinny Bitch and doing research on making the switch, and she’s thrilled with the results!”

Woo frackin hoo!  It takes far more than not eating meat to look that svelt in a bikini, lemme tell you!

As for your male sexiest vegetarian, Monty (um, does he have a sock stuffed into those porn-star briefs or is he almost giving us the full Monty?) he similarly got on the vegetarian caravan for “health” reasons:

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Vince Shlomi Slap-Chops His Way Behind Bars

You all knew there was a good reason to hate on this buggerToolbag

Fuck that be-mohawked toolbag Vince Shlomi and his woman-hating ways.   I’m sure many of you have heard by now that yicky Mister Vince Shlomi (nay Shlomo!), the slap-chop seller featured for ridicule on ES a week and  a bit ago, has landed himself in some hot aguita for assaulting a sex-worker in Miami.  According to The Smoking Gun, despite his toolish ways, Shlomo has enough dough to spring for a luxurious suite in some high-end hotel and pay a grand for sex with a woman a little less than half his age (the ratbastard is 44).  Shlomo especially wanted the police to know that the sex-worker in question offered him “straight sex” for cash before he brought her back to his hotel room and proceeded to batter her.

Can’t really understand why he needed to clarify the orientation of his sexual appetites, but whatever.  Apparently the young woman in question sustained two black eyes at Shlomo’s hands, but managed to bite Shlomo’s tongue hard enough to cause bleeding (which cooled Shlomo’s ardor considerably and sent him running about the hotel screaming for the police and holding his tongue).  Unfortunately the Smoking Gun article only recounts Shlomo’s version of the events, but I bet Shlomo’s tongue was quite a chore to chew.  Prosecutors are ostensibly declining to pursue charges because all johns get one free battery (that’s a legal maxim, you know, not unlike, “all dogs get one free bite“). But can we all agree to boycott slapchop and the Tool it rode in on?

Photo: The Smoking Gun

Tipping all Foodies

Bad Night for a Waitress

HuffPost hosted this article by Ed and Deb Shapiro about how waitresses deal with rude people (and how the rest of us deal with them too).  What it brought up for me was the fact that I know a lot of people who consider themselves foodies who tend to treat waitresses like debt bondage workers or like the pimple on their lover’s back (you know, to poke and poke and pinch and poke some more until something awful squirts out), rather than as the person who is working her/his fucking ass off for a low wage job.

I’m mortified when people treat waitstaff in a less than respectful way.  I think I might be extra sensitive to it because one of my family members once made a waitress cry and almost got us kicked out of the restaurant.  That’s not to say that there aren’t bad waiters and tricky situations that arise from bad service or kitchen mishaps.  But really I try my utmost to show my appreciation to waitstaff and I try not to be a pain in the ass.

But what about all you ESers?  Are there some rules of thumb we should all follow?

1. Should you get chatty with a chatty waiter?

2. How demanding can you be of a waiter during lunch rush or the dinner hour?

3. Is it okay to send dishes back? If so, when?

4. Is it okay to tip less than 10% for poor service?

5. What kind of patron behavior mortifies you?

(Photo: El Mundo del Cappytan)

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