madbaker: (Saluminati)
I just finished Sausage: A Global History by Gary Allen. It's a decent little book in a series dedicated to food and drink - a good overview, some modern recipes, a fair number of photos and historic advertisements. There's nothing really that I didn't know, but it's a much deeper dive into the history than any other charcuterie book I've read.

The second chapter (the title still makes me snerk - "Some Historical Sausages and the Links Between Them") starts with a couple allusions from The Iliad and goes forward. Apicius, check. Both the 10th and the 13th c. Middle Eastern cookery books, that's unusual. Form of Curye, Menagier, Guter Spise, check. Rumpolt, that's less common. Manuel de Mujeres? Ouverture de Cuisine? Dude did some serious research.

Eventually I get to the acknowledgements, here put in the back.
"I have to first thank Ken Albala, historian of all things culinary, who practises what he preaches."
Ah, that makes sense!
"He put me in touch with Jeremy Fletcher, who has collected and translated a vast number of medieval and Renaissance sausage recipes."
...
I'm glad the Charcuterie doc was useful. I did not translate much of it, of course, and the doc has full attribution to those who did. But, um. Is it bragging to say that I know his pre-1600 research is accurate?

madbaker: (mammoth garlic)
About four minutes into the latest Kevin & Ursula Eat Cheap podcast, they read an e-mail I sent them. Hey, I managed to crack them up.

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
The two top-performing asset classes in 2011: long Treasurys and inflation-linked bonds. (sigh)

*Preen*

Nov. 26th, 2011 01:57 pm
madbaker: (bacon is the new black)
I took some of the just-sliced batch of lonza to the farmers' market this morning. When I walked up to Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats, the conversation went something like this:
"Hi, Ryan. Can I interest you in some -"
"Yes. Whatever you're offering, I'm happy to try."
He made some nice comments about the texture and flavor; this is the best of the batches so far. I might still need to soak out the brine a bit longer but it's just about there.

madbaker: (Reginald Perrin)
This week's Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap podcast briefly mentions me, about 38 minutes in. Last week they asked about the difference between the Spanish "ll" and the Welsh "ll", wondering if any of the three linguists on the planet who specialize in Welsh and Spanish would possibly hear the podcast. They didn't, but since [livejournal.com profile] hrj is one of the three, I asked her. (I gave full attribution in my e-mail.)

madbaker: (Saluminati)
Saturday I went with the upstairs neighbors to our local food bookstore to hear Ken Albala and his co-author Rosanna Nafziger speak about their book. Some months back I sent Ken a link to my charcuterie Google Doc - I figured he'd enjoy the compendium. When I introduced myself (and handed him a smoked sausage that he helped inspire) his response was "Oh, the historic sausage guy!"

I was pleased. And amused, but mostly pleased.

madbaker: (Thunderstruck me)
Remember when I talked about watching No Reservations at Bloodhound? SF Weekly posted more pictures. You might recognize someone on the first slide. The guy in front is one of the chefs from Sebo Sushi.


Nice dinner at Incanto with several CHoNC people last night, although various things went slowly and I ended up getting home way too late. When I walked in with the group, Chris (Cosentino, the executive chef) looked up from his plating in the kitchen, saw me, and waved. Always a good feeling and it vaguely impresses people, assuming they know who he is.

What I'm reading: Rob Thurman, Deathwish

madbaker: (feast)
Last night the wife and I went to Incanto to pick up a box (twelve baskets) of strawberries from our CSA folks. (Twice a month they do "guerrilla vegetable dropoffs" at restaurants who buy their produce.) Last night we decided to eat there as well. Since it was so hot, we took our box inside with us. This produced many glances, since the berries are exceedingly ripe and were wafting their perfume everywhere. We shilled for Mariquita, telling people that they could go buy berries and veg themselves around the corner.

Dinner was very nice, as usual. A side benefit of being a Tasty Salted Piggy Parts customer is that when we walk into the restaurant, I can have the owner recognize me, chat with me by name, and seat us personally.

madbaker: (letter-man)
You'd think you'd have learned to not show learning by now.

Do not use phrases like "The Fed is trying to navigate between Scylla and Charibdis" while talking to a financial reporter. It confuses them and makes them skittish.

The sad thing is that I really wasn't trying to show off my liberal-arts education. It was the analogy that first came to mind.

madbaker: (life is good)
Last week I called the bookstore to order a SF book coming out next month.
"Books Inc, may I help you?"
Me: "I'd like to order a book."
BI: "Can I have the title?"
Me: "The ISBN is (blah)."
BI: "...[livejournal.com profile] madbaker?" (Using my first name)
Me: "...Yes."
BI: "We'll call you." (click)
Me: "... I guess you've got my phone number on file."
My pushers know their client, apparently.

Yesterday I went to the Ferry Building Farmers' Market in the AM to shop, and chatted briefly with the Roli Roti owner Thomas - we'd ordered a rotisserie lamb dinner for Zombie Jesus Day today, but pickup wasn't until 1 PM. So around 1 I showed back up.

He didn't recognize me the second time, because I wasn't wearing the fedora. I told him I get that at the coffee guys next door to him, too.

What I'm reading: Peter Watts, Blindsight

madbaker: (brains!)
Do not use phrases such as "This is not the Oracle of Delphi" when talking to a financial reporter. It confuses them and breaks your cover.

madbaker: (life is good)
When the late Alan Davidson's massive Oxford Companion to Fud came out in 1999, I noticed an error. Under Shrewsbury Cakes, it said that "the earliest recorded recipe, given by Eliza Smith (1734) is for a sweet biscuit spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg."

I was sure there were earlier recipes (although, sadly, none before the SCA pre-1600 cutoff) and when I found them I sent them to him through his website, which had a comments area. I got a canned response thanking me for my contribution and that was that.

The newish, revised edition now has this to say: "The earliest recorded recipe, given by Murrell (1621) uses nutmeg and rosewater."

In some small way, I feel that I've added to the recorded base of knowledge.

madbaker: (Dilbert)
The five-minute cable TV interview went fine. I've done better; I've also done worse. People at work seem to think I did a good job, so I'll take that.

The most stupid part of the interview, however, was when the host asked my opinion on a chart that they threw onto the screen. She didn't say what the chart referenced. Um? I was sitting in a dark studio, with attached earbug, staring into the camera. They don't show you the monitor (because then you'd get distracted watching yourself).

I had a very brief urge to reply "Tell me what the chart is and I'll comment. Jane, you ignorant slut." Instead I faked it - I blathered briefly about breakeven inflation rates or something along those lines. I have no idea if it related to the chart at all.

madbaker: (Thunderstruck me)
Today in the Wall Street Journal!
No, I'm not going to link to it. Subscription only.

madbaker: (Thunderstruck me)
Whew. I'm done.
I don't think I came across on TV as a blithering idiot - but I could have been a lot better.

Still on the to-do list:
relax and cool off.
Drinks.
Dinner.
Baseball watching.

Tomorrow: the Cloisters, dammit.

madbaker: (Thunderstruck me)
You should read this.

Sincerely,
One Wag

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