For dinner last night, Tony went a little overboard, in a great way. He got a rather spendy, 2-inch-thick rib-eye from Florence Meat Market and cooked it according to this Alton Brown recipe, which calls for getting the cast-iron skillet superhot in the oven and then making it even hotter on the stove. (That method is along the lines of the first piece of advice Bobby Flay gives in this article from the March issue of Bon Appétit: Make sure your skillet is literally smoking hot before cooking meat or fish.)
Tony also baked a couple potatoes, which we topped with his homemade rosemary-infused olive oil, and made steamed broccoli with roasted garlic.
And to drink, we had a Margaux that Tony got from Dad and Jean at Christmas: the 2010 Château La Tour de Bessan.
(And speaking of Margaux, Tony and I are going to have to give this place a whirl.)
For our starter, I had made a small salad with mixed lettuce leaves, shredded gold beet, and a vinaigrette that incorporated fresh ginger and cocktail grapefruit juice.
As you can tell from the linked article above, cocktail grapefruit isn't really a grapefruit or even a cross of a grapefruit. The juice tastes a lot like orange to me, even though it really shouldn't because it isn't part (non-Mandarin) orange.
It was a memorable and tasty meal. The steak-cooking method worked well, though the innermost parts weren't cooked enough for me. Tony put a couple hunks back in the oven for a brief spell to make them more medium than rare. He said today the rib-eye was good for a change but, all in all, he still prefers the usual Newport steaks he gets at Florence that are a true bargain cut. I agree.
After our rich and filling dinner last night, we went vegetarian tonight. We ate at Gobo after catching the Oscar-nominated animated short films at IFC Center. (I've been trying to arrange for Tracey, Mike, and Matt to come into the city to see them with us, but they've been too busy.) I got my regular scallion pancakes followed by a delightfully eclectic soup containing a large lima-type bean, chunks of pumpkin, and root veggies.
The movies were mostly uninspired, but Tony and I got a big kick out of À la Française, which you can—and should—watch here. Tony liked Mr. Hublot, which won the Oscar, a little more than I did. I thought it was only OK; its mechanical world and inhabitants didn't appeal to me all that much. My second favorite, after ALF, was Room on the Broom, which was created by some of the same artistic talents as The Gruffalo. ROTB was pretty predictable, but the quality of the animation was high, and it had a sweet, heartwarming ending.
Even if they were willing (and most of them have no stomach for it), our elected representatives are completely unable to act as a watchdog on the CIA. Their oversight role is farcical. And on a related note, Glenn Greenwald goes "Inside the Mind of James Clapper," the director of national intelligence, at his new media outlet: The Intercept. And as a side note to that article, citing a German magazine, Greenwald mentions that after Obama promised Angela Merkel the U.S. would stop listening to her phone calls, the National Security Agency increased its surveillance of the people closest to her.
March 1 was the 60th anniversary of the largest and most harmful nuclear bomb test ever conducted by the U.S., at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. And on a related note, the third-biggest nuclear disaster, which almost no one has heard of, took place in 1979, shortly after the Three Mile Island meltdown, in Church Rock, New Mexico.
Three Tuesdays ago, Tony made delicious crosscut beef shanks in the slow cooker served over polenta. The meat was wonderfully tender and flavorful.
He mostly followed this recipe.
I ribbed Tony about not making a vegetable. And I pointed out the perfectly good butternut squash on the counter within view of our seats at the bar facing our kitchen.
The following Sunday, we had pork chops we got at the new neighborhood butcher shop whose name includes the street I used to live on: Hudson & Charles. I like that H&C specializes in grass-fed and locally raised products.
Along with the chops, which were high quality, we had roasted potatoes with garlic; Tony's delicious coriander-based sauce, which I've mentioned on the blog several times before; and pear sauce from Migliorelli Farm. We started with Tony's wonderful leftover ratatouille.
Because he forgot that we've never had a "natural" wine we've really enjoyed (as opposed to an organic or biodynamic one, which can be wonderful and decidedly better for the environment than a wine made from conventionally grown grapes), Tony bought the 2012 Ad Libitum from Domaine La Grange Tiphaine at Astor Wines & Spirits. This wine had a beautiful woodsy, spicy aroma when it was first opened—and tasted like absolutely (or should I say Adsolutely?) nothing.
In our continuing search for a new woofer, I got fixated on a female hound mix named Georgia I'd seen on the Humane Society's website. Tony and I had agreed that we maybe should adopt a nonbasset next, given that Rudy had set a standard for bassets that was unlikely to be approachable by the next guy or gal. And given that bringing Zeus into our home had been such a disaster. I also got it in my head that Missy might like a sister instead of a brother. She likes hanging out with Molly, and she doesn't have issues with female dogs we encounter on the street.
Georgia's listing didn't say anything about how she got along with other dogs, but it said she's a "sweet, sweet girl," who's "very social" and housetrained. I liked that she had an unusual name. Her nickname would no doubt be Georgie or George, and since I have a female friend named George, out in San Francisco, we would have gotten our second dog who (sort of) shared the name of a human friend.
In one of the photos I grabbed from the website, Georgia is as cute as a baby monkey sucking its thumb.
And in another one, she looks cartoonishly mischievous.
A little while ago, when I spoke with Bonnie, the adoption coordinator who was so helpful when we adopted Missy, she said Georgia has a dominant personality that Tony and I agreed would be too in-your-face for our gentle baby girl. So we didn't visit Georgia after all.
With the Visa gift card Granny gave me for Christmas, I purchased Rayman Legends, a riotously fun platformer for my PlayStation Vita. The annoying load screens are the only negative to the game. The graphics are eye-popping, and the level designs are extremely clever. I reached the ending of the game last night by defeating the boss on the last of the main levels, but there are still many hours of playing time ahead of me. There are oodles of unlockables, some of which you access via virtual scratch-off tickets, including levels from predecessor game Rayman Origins. And there are daily and weekly challenges that allow you to compete with players from around the globe. And I'm going to try to rescue all 700 Teensies; right now, I'm up to 377.
I had planned to buy New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS. I'd been unable to use my gift card on a couple of websites, so I figured I'd give a bricks-and-mortar store a try. There are GameStops on either side of Union Square on 14th Street. The closer one had three NSMB2 cases on the shelf. I grabbed one and took it the register. The guy said he was sorry but the store didn't actually have the game in stock. I pointed out that there were still two more boxes on the shelf. He said they were there only for promotional purposes; it said so in the lower-right corner of the case. Nintendo pays GameStop to keep those empty NSMB2 boxes on the shelf so you'll think to buy a game that 1) was released in 2012 so you're probably aware of its existence and already have it (unless you're a major latecomer like me) and 2) may not be in the store. I went to the GameStop on the east side of the square, and there were two NSMB2 boxes on the shelf, both of which had the promotional wording in the lower-right corner. So I bought the Rayman game instead. Silly Nintendo!
The Deep State, the combination of large corporations and the out-of-control national security apparatus, makes Eisenhower's military-industrial complex seem quaint.
Once we figured out Georgia wasn't the woofer for us, I continued looking at Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue's website and got reacquainted with Grady, a seven-year-old bicolor male from the South (hence the hillbilly name) who was described as a "gentle giant." And I liked that description, because as I said in a previous post, if you're going to take on the job of raising a big, drooly male basset, you may as well have the hugest one possible.
Tony reminded me that he had told me a while ago he would be OK with my inquiring about Grady. So after waiting a couple days to make sure that's what I really wanted to do, I asked Lisa at Tri-State about him. She put me in touch with Annette, the nice woman who's fostering Grady upstate in the Hudson Valley. Annette told me Grady and his sister, Myrtle, were put in a kill shelter by their previous owner, a retired doctor. Myrtle got adopted pretty quickly, but Grady hasn't found his forever home yet. Annette raved about him. She said he's a cuddly dog who will stay next to you on the couch and sleep in the bed. (MIssy, like Emme before her, is OK with cuddling on occassion, but she often prefers to be nearby rather than right next to you. And she'll sometimes sleep in the bed, but usually not until the morning.) He walks well on the leash and never gets in fights with other dogs. In fact, he sounds a lot like Rudy. Which isn't a bad thing. So long as we go into this adoption realizing Grady is going to be a sweetie like Rudy, but of course not the same exact dog, we'll be fine.
Tony and I are renting a car on Sunday and heading up to James Baird State Park with our girl to meet Annette and her foster son. (Until I looked up the park online, I thought Annette had said James Beard State Park.) If the two pooches get along, Grady will be coming home to Manhattan with us.
Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil's piece of shit CEO, is a NIMBY when it comes to a water tower to be used in fracking. And on a related note, there are signs of the March of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption everywhere, including widespread drought in the U.S. and the death by overheating of penguin chicks. And on another related note, "Chevron Rewards Survivors of Fracking Explosion With Pizza Coupon."
On Feb. 22, during a rare, brief period of milder weather this winter, I was able to buy some fresh cut flowers from the Union Square Greenmarket: roses in Tony's favorite color, orange.
Obama's solicitor general lied to the Supreme Court when he said the Department of Justice tells defendants when evidence obtained via a secret surveillance program is being used against them.
Two Tuesdays ago, I made a pretty great dinner: To start, we had a salad of sautéed sliced beets that were allowed to cool before being topped with lime zest, micro beet greens, and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette.
For the main, we had chicken breasts under a heavy blanket of chopped leaks with potatoes that were riced and then oven browned as well as sautéed rainbow chard with garlic. (The chard came from Bodhitree Farm, which I was happy to see return to the Abingdon Square Greenmarket the preceding Saturday.)
To drink, we had the 2012 little j white blend from South Africa's Joostenberg winery that I obtained at my new favorite local wine shop: Foragers, which is adjacent to the grocery store of the same name in Chelsea, a few blocks north of my gym on 8th Avenue. The wine was on the light side but had some nice tropical fruit flavors.
Two days later, Tony made a highly enjoyable and bacony boeuf bourgignon with mushrooms and carrots. We both liked the wine I bought to drink with it—the 2011 Tendal Tinto Tradición, from Spain's Canary Islands—but they weren't a very good match. The wine would have been better on its own or with something less richly flavored.
At the usually secret meetings of their disgusting club, Wall Street's elites laugh at how they've stolen loads of money from the rest of us. And, of course, make fag jokes, too. And on a related note—because, in contrast, Obama's DOJ hasn't sent a single bankster to jail—a federal judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun to three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee.
The package of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Baking Flour I bought the other day has a handy guide for the amount of xanthan gum you should add for each cup of flour in a type of baked good:
Last Saturday and Sunday, I visited Matt, Mike, and their Pop Pop in Franklin Lakes while Tracey and David were on vacation in Puerto Rico. The 'phews and I baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars, which turned out a little on the dry side and could have used more chips. (I didn't remember that I used more than the cup called for in the recipe, if you're substituting chocolate chips for raisins, which we were.) But nobody exactly had to force-feed them to me to make me eat them.
Here are my mop-haired nephews mixing (Matt) and measuring ingredients (Mike). They're supposed to get haircuts tomorrow.
As usual, we also entertained ourselves with video games: The nephews tried out Rayman Legends on my Vita, and we played some games on the Nintendo Wii U they had bought themselves in January.
On a feature called Wii Street U, the nephews called up the entrance to my apartment building ...
... and the street that leads to the street where their Pop Pop and Grammy live. (Only major thoroughfares are accessible in less-populated areas.)
I realize that those images (and more) are available via Google Earth on my laptop, but it was fun seeing them on the big TV screen.
For dinner that evening, we went to Valley Stables, where I enjoyed two glasses of malbec with my hamburger and fries. And where, based on the evidence of this photo, I grew giant hands:
Back at the Gerbers', after tasting the cookies, which had cooled while we were at the restaurant, Dad and I polished off a nice bottle of Vouvray I'd brought in from the city ...
... and the four of us watched a couple episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen, a Food Network show I think Tony would like.
As always of late, I took lots of selfies with Molly. With varying degrees of success.
I gave Missy a bath today because I wanted to wash the salty residue off her paws and belly. (I really need to buy her booties before next winter.) Girlfriend looks like a million dollars, and she smells like "milk n honey."