Bunny Rabbit Heads

Harvey Darko

I wasn’t sure how to get intimate with a rabbit cranium, so I went straight for the tongue. The tongue just sits there wiggling half limp between the open jaws of the bunny skull. Man, they’ve got big ol’ chomper teeth! So I carefully kept the jaw parted and put the tongue in my mouth and pulled it out. A bit of rubbery resistance, but it came off easily.

[Link]

Frosting Shots

Top 10 Most Tasteless Cakes

The Associated Press reports on what may be the most off-putting new food trend of the 2008 season: frosting shots. For a small fee, customers get a dollop of their favorite frosting in a paper or plastic cup, about the size of a frozen yogurt sample. [Link]

Mr. Brain’s Pork Faggots

Mr. Brain's Pork Faggots

The pork delicacy, not the homosexual police officer. (from Joe.My.God.)

Eisenberg’s: Alive and Well

Eisenberg's

“Only the lobbyists.”
New York Lt. Gov. David Paterson, quoted by New York magazine, when asked by a reporter if he knew any prostitutes. (via Political Wire)

The second reason this picture made me smile was that for a few years, while I was working in the United Charities Building on Park Avenue South, I used to stop and pick up breakfast at Eisenberg’s every morning. Eisenberg’s was established the same year as the Great Stock Market Crash, and it’s not much more than one long counter. (There’s a single row of small square tables against the right wall where people can sit face-to-face and half in the aisle.) What always amazed me was that there were — like 6? — short-order cooks spaced out along counter, each taking orders. In the summer I would always order a bagel with vegetable creme cheese: one of the cooks would take a chunk of carrot and a piece of celery, chop them finely, and then fold in a gob of creme cheese — the sort of detail you see these days in ice cream parlors. A revelation, if all you know if the soapy taste of the prepackaged vegetable creme cheese. In the winter there were scrambled eggs — not so much scrambled as coddled in butter — loaded on a buttered Kaiser roll, and then topped with a couple of slices of undrained bacon. And I can still taste the strong coffee (light — half-coffee, half-Half&Half), after more than 20 years. Live long and prosper.

Spilling (and Sphericating) the Secrets of el Bulli

Pleuronectes platessa

The first day we did spherification. Right now I’m working on a kalamata sphere. I get the best kalamatas, the best oil and a little brine, and blend them to death. Then you pass it through a Superbag, a plastic bag with extremely tiny holes. You press very hard to get all the black liquid – the essence of the olive. You add Algin [a product extracted from brown algae] to it and put it into a bath of water with Calcic [a calcium salt]. Then it gels on the outside and becomes a ball with a very thin membrane. It looks like a kalamata olive, but put it in your mouth and as soon as you press it, it explodes with an intensity of flavor that’s 10 times that of a regular kalamata. Baby, you don’t have to chew anything, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

[Link]

WWBD?*

G8 Summit - Menu

G8 Meet to Address Global Food Crisis.

*What Would Buñuel Do?

Zimbabwe: Life is a Cabaret

Zimbabwean 10 million-dollar note

March 23, 2008. Dinner for one at the Victoria Falls Hotel, Jungle Junction, Zimbabwe: $1,243,255,000.

May 14, 2008. Lunch in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

The lunch bill: soup — 50 million, oxtail — 600 million, coffee — 50 million, with no charge for the pink ice cream. During the meal, one of my mates was drinking beer — 750ml bottles of Castle Lager (fondly called bombers). He ordered a fifth one, was advised that the price, which when he ordered his first, second, third and fourth ones was 160 million per bottle, had gone up to 340 million per bottle. That’s right — during lunch there was a price increase.

Above: an old Zimbabwean 10 milion dollar note. On May 20 Zimbabwe began issuing 50 billion notes. As of June 26, the exchange rate was 20 billion Zimbabwe dollars to each US dollar.

Chump change compared to the 100 trillion drachmai (Greece, 1944), the 100 trillion Mark (Germany, 1923), and the 100 quintillion pengő (Hungary, 1946). [Link]

Below: Robert Mugabe’s Dining Room
Robert Mugabe: Dining Room

Doyers Street

Doyers St., Chinatown, New York City

I saw this picture back in May on one of my most favoritist blogs, joe’s nyc and then, just a few days ago, from a new soon-to-be-favoritist blog, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, I saw this post on Chinatown side streets. I moved back to Tennessee 13 years ago, after having spent 20 years in NYC, and thanks to the Interweb, I can watch as the New York I knew disappears, and I can pool my memories of that New York with others, so it never really vanishes.

I remember hearing a mesmerizing presentation at the 2002 Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative Annual Conference in Berkeley, someone who stood up and clicked through a tray of slides of Shanghai before the Second World War, and brought the city alive through her reminiscences. At the end, someone asked if this information were readily available. “Yes; it’s all in my head.” (I believe this was also the germination of the Virtual Shanghai Project.)

Doyers St., Chinatown, New York City

Back in the 70s we used to go from time to time to the Yun Luck Rice Shoppe on Doyers St. I gather it’s gone now, but people still remember over on Chowhound. My only memory is arriving late one weekend night. The waiter took our order, and then joined the rest of the kitchen and service staff for the communal dinner. After they had all finished eating, they fixed our dinner. Another New York lesson: Being the customer doesn’t make you special.

I loved Pell and Doyers. I’m sure there are stacks of psychological and architectural studies explaining this phenomenon. The foreignness of Chinatown no doubt helped. I loved the mystery and the adventure, cutting first off onto a small side street (Pell) and then, halfway down the block, turning down an alley (Doyers) that cut sharply to the left to Chatham Square. What amazes me is that, as many times as I walked those blocks, that excitement never wore off.

Dateline: Appleton, Wisconsin

Sorry Closed

Meet Aaron Maurice of Appleton, Wisconsin.

A couple in Appleton was awakened in the early morning hours by the sound of someone whistling in their basement. Being prepared Americans, they grabbed a shotgun and investigated.

In the basement they found Mr. Maurice, wearing the man’s hat and the woman’s jacket, and covered in barbecue sauce. Maurice related that he was hiding from the government, and later described the barbecue sauce as “an urban disguise, if you will.”

Maurice’s attorney, Gene Bartman, noted that Maurice was motivated by “inexplicable reasons.”

[Link]