One of my favorite platitudes is “don’t reinvent the wheel.” I mean, who has the time to reinvent anything when there are naps to take and George R.R. Martin books to abandon halfway through (sadly this is true for both reader and author)? And it’s so practical. Why reinvent something already perfect in its simplicity? Take the shirt. The shirt is a marvel of human innovation, with or without sleeves. We don’t need to cut out its shoulders. In fact, I’m not sure anyone has ever uttered the phrase, “This feels like a real shoulders-out moment to me,” except for maybe Emily from Pretty Little Liars. And to her I’ll say, “Your shoulders are cold, girl. They are cold.”…
I think it was Demi Moore who once said, “You can’t go home again.” While I don’t personally subscribe to this philosophy and have loved returning home ever since I first left it (especially with a full laundry basket and a checking account in the tens place), I understand the sentiment. Sometimes home is a memory, and those can be impossible to re-create . . . unless, of course, most of your significant memories involve food—as ours do. Then, home is a kitchen to which you can return frequently, armed with enough cheese, bread, and wine to warm the heart of even the most stoic 90s anti-hero. I see you smoking in that swing set, Demi….
This dip might not be Christ on a cracker, but it’s pretty darn close. We recently served it at a catered event for Docomomo Hawaii, a group of architecture nerds devoted to cataloguing and preserving midcentury buildings here on Oahu. When they asked us for food to fit this particular interest, we were in the kitchen lighting Twinkies on fire faster than you can say “Cold War canapes.” That’s a great band name, so don’t you steal it….
It’s summer, and around this time our few favorite shows go on hiatus and we’re left relying on Netflix and the occasionally brilliant bit of summer programming. Emphasis on occasionally. The only show we actively look forward to once the temperature dial creeps upward is MasterChef. Ok, I see the many ways in which it’s overproduced, and yes, I hear the terribly cheesy music meant to indicate suspense, but here is a show for me: the home cook. I love Top Chef and have ever since it first aired—I’m talking before they asked Katie Lee to pack her knives and go, but that is a show about chefs and ego and food that while, I may want to eat, I also don’t know if I want to make in my kitchen. But MasterChef is about cooks like us, ones who are interested in pushing their boundaries, but within the context of a home kitchen. When I watch it, I think about what an interesting mentor Gordon Ramsey makes. Here’s a guy who introduced himself to the United States on Hell’s Kitchen, screaming and cursing the whole time. He’s staked a reputation as the culinary Simon Cowell, but with, like, a crap ton more f-bombs. Yet, on Masterchef, he exhibits moments of humanity and true mentorship. And, no matter the amount of heated kitchen trash he talks, I’m certain every person he’s worked with has been influenced by him in one way or another. MasterChef is doing fine and doesn’t need my endorsement, but, whenever I watch it, I think of the past cooks who have mentored me. And, really—after my mother—there is only one….
We all follow certain unspoken rules: like holding the door open for the person directly behind you; or, the more discreet rule, wherein most folks with good sense have agreed not to validate Carrot Top and the majority of his life choices. And then there are the rules more specific to particular demographics, such as not serving white wine with waffles nor wearing closed-toed shoes after Memorial Day. For the sake of clarity, I ignore the former and follow the latter. To a toe-shaped tee. In this household, Micah’s created the inexplicable rule of not eating sandwiches for dinner. As a person who can—not only eat sandwiches at any time of day, let alone eat them literally at every sanctioned meal—I honestly don’t get it. His standards, however, have influenced all of us, and I applaud him as soon as my hands are free of all the sandwiches I’ve recently shoved into my mouth….
Cinco de Mayo is Thursday, and, since my boyfriend is Mexican-American, I look forward every year to butchering the traditions of his people while catching a light buzz….
I love the annual reminders of March: daffodils, March Madness (go Jayhawks!), my birthday, lions, lambs, ides . . . really, all the things. And, though I live in Hawaii now, I still remember and loathe how the beginning of March tells itself like a bad joke in most seasonal climates—emerging from February, we hope for sunshine and daisies and are instead greeted with more bracing cold and slush as far as the foot can step. One starts to wonder if winter will ever end until she spots spring’s first blooming bud, and—all of a sudden—life is technicolor again, like every musical moment with dancers twirling in public places, except you are the only one twirling and your neighbor’s giving you the spring-fever side eye….
Pop quiz, dear reader—
If you invite me over to your house for a fancy dinner party, I will
A. spend more time with your dog than you;
B. bring dessert;
C. break all embarrassed silences with a spot-on Mrs. Peacock impersonation; or
D. all of the above….
It’s been a sweet Christmas, y’all. I spent the season surrounded by loved ones, mangy poodles in desperate need of a groom, and goodies upon goodies upon goodies (cue outdated Ciara song that’s only listenable the more you imbibe). Earlier this month, my parents visited me in Honolulu, and together we traveled to the Big Island, where I renewed my spirit with some of the most naturally beautiful vistas in the world. And when I returned, the BTC dove headfirst into a private catering gig that both exhilarated us while pushing our limits. And, finally, I rang in Christmas by eating foods one should probably only eat once a year unless she asked Santa for a Lipitor scrip. It all left me feeling like a very fortunate girl….
I’ve never considered myself a picky eater: I think it’s perfectly natural to loathe pies and bananas but mow down some banana cream pie. And who needs cinnamon in any of their baked goods unless, of course, what they’re baking is a cinnamon roll? And the second I remove the raw tomato slice from my BLT, I’m reminded by everyone at the table that this isn’t typical behavior. But, then again, I’ve never been typical—in fact, I binged on so many raw tomatoes from my mother’s garden at the age of 4 that the Guinness Book of World Records people came to see my crimson pukes. Bet you never thought you’d read about that on a food blog….