Sunday, February 17, 2008

I wouldn't live there if you paid me...or would I?

We just got done cleaning off the dinner dishes, and the Tom Waits that my youngest played at dinner is over (Alice and Blood Money). Out of nowhere, MizBubs, sentimental fool, puts on More Songs About Buildings and Food by Talking Heads. I was listening to the song "Big Country", something of an anthem of anti-suburban anger when I was a kid:

I see the shapes, I remember from maps.
I see the shoreline.
I see the whitecaps.
A baseball diamond, nice weather down there.

I see the school and the houses where the kids are.
Places to park by the factories and buildings.
Restaurants and bars for later in the evening.

Then we come to the farmlands, and the undeveloped areas.
And I have learned how these things work together.
I see the parkway that passes through them all.

And I have learned how to look at these things and I say,

I wouldn't live there if you paid me.
I couldn't live there, well no siree!

I couldn't do the things that, that those people do.
I wouldn't live there if you paid me to.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks: but I do live there! I've been living there for years! How the hell did that happen?

I got this bright idea today to cook this big dinner. MizBubs had to work at the library today, and I decided to cook a couple recipes out of a cookbook I bought her for Valentine's Day--Food of Love, from Rosemary's Restaurant, where we had possibly the best meal of our lives when we were in Las Vegas last December. I was going to make Hugo's BBQ shrimp with blue cheese slaw, and pan-seared scallops with parsnip creamed potatoes. There were sauces involved, and I started out great. Then somewhere along the way my apple cider reduction turned into a caramelized crust, and my blue cheese mayonnaise was a disaster, a soupy mess. Next thing I know, I was standing there with a bourbon in hand, not doing anything, and wondering how it all went south.

MizBubs got home a little later. I tried to act as adorable as possible, and in no time at all she made a new, perfect mayonnaise, and she rescued my apple cider reduction too, making a beautiful apple cider butter sauce for the scallops. I got out the fry daddy and made some deep-fried parsnips and crispy prosciutto to garnish the scallops. Here is the end result:

Now, closeups.

Here's the crispy fried parsnips and prosciutto
And here's how they looked on top of some pan seared scallops, served on a mound of parsnip creamed potatoes and an apple cider butter sauce

There was no cocktail, but there was beer: we paired the meal with some tasty Belgian ales:

And there you have it.

I have a wicked case of procrastination, and haven't been able to finish the project I'm supposed to do for the side job I landed, and I go back to work tomorrow. Shit, I didn't even get all the laundry and housecleaning I planned on done, and now it's Sunday night, with Monday morning looming ahead. Oh well. I may be a lazy slacker, but I'm a well-fed slacker with a woman who loves me and a couple of great kids. So screw everything else, right? Right.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. See you later, alligators.


Johnny Yen said...

And you asked yourself, "self-- how did I get here?"

Sounds idyllic!

Mathman6293 said...

"Is that your beautiful wife..."

We enjoyed a glass of Fat Bastard Merlot last night with our roast beef on sour dough bread. Georgia Classy.

Writeprocrastinator said...

Wow, another three dishes and you are Iron Chef ready.

"I have a wicked case of procrastination"

Hey, hey, don't drag me into this, Bubs!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I cold feelsome of my arteries harden from just looking at that supper. I'd eat like that if only this pesky bypass thingy wasn't stopping me.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I can't stop thinking about blue cheese slaw now. Tell me more!

Anonymous said...

Love your daughter's choice of dinner music.

Freida Bee said...

What a lovely sentiment and what a beautiful spread.

Fried parsnips are gonna be served at my house soon.

I like sweet potatoes like that too.

Hot Lemon said...


I'm hanging 'round w/all the wroooong peoples.

Tenacious S said...

Anyone who even attempts a meal with multiple sauces and frying involved deserves an award. Oh, and life isn't measured by where you live. I think you know this.

jin said...

Wow... that even looks damn good to a veggie!!!

I have been pathetically lazy living off of Wolfgang Puck's pizza for about 7 days now (er... ok... maybe 10)... you may have just jinspired me to cook something of substance this eve.


Bubs said...

Jin, glad to have inspired. Though there's nothing wrong with Mr Puck's pizza, either. Nice to see you out and about!

Ten S, yes, I know...I still find it amusing.

HL, feel free to hang out here any time.

Frieda, I'll have to try that with sweet potatoes--I'm surprised it never occurred to me. Thanks!

Kirby, I'm lucky. We go back and forth on music, who introduces it to the other. She's loved Tom Waits since she was a little girl, and I've introduced her to White Stripes, Edith Piaf and Fats Waller. She's given me Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand and most recently Gogol Bordello.

Barbara, it's really a simple recipe as long as you have someone who can make a mayonnaise:

1 cup oil
2 egg yolks
1 shallot
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp creole mustard
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup blue cheese
1/2 head of white cabbage, shredded
1 bunch of green onions, sliced in long strips

In a food processor mince the shallot, then blend in the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, and vinegar. Then SLOOOOWWWWLY drizzle in the oil until you get the desired mayonnaisy consistency--this is where I screwed up. Once it's done, fold in the blue cheese, then toss with the cabbage and green onion. Presto!

Dr MVM, I know what you mean. I'm off the rich food for a while, I've really overdone it since about a week before Fat Tuesday. I need to ratchet back now. Usually we'll reserve a meal like this for once or twice a month.

HEY WP! Good to see you man! I gots to get one of those "Procrastination? It's CRACK for writers" mugs, I do.

Bubs said...

Mathman, that sounds goooood.

Johnny, it was pretty awesome. Nothing makes you appreciate a meal like spending nearly 6 hours cooking it, nearly ruining it, and having the person you're cooking it for save it for you.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Can I join your well-fed slacker group? Cuz those scallops look nummy.

FranIAm said...

Holy shite brother, when can I come dine chez Bubs??? Wow.

That MizBubs sounds like a good one! Don't tell my husband, he may expect similar results!!

A lovely tale. Good luck with that procrastination thing. If you have any insights on how to deal with it, let me know. However I may not be able to pay attention... I am too busy putting off all that I need to do!

Tanya Espanya said...

See, this is why I sometimes just serve cereal or salt and vinegar chips for dinner...(I'm lazzzzy, baby!)

Only Alexander gets real food. If you call mashed up beets and peas food.

Bubs said...

Tanya, I know what you mean about those dinner choices. I once lived almost exclusively on Progresso soup and cereal, and only ever had to clean one bowl and one spoon for weeks at a time.

Fran, stop by any time! We love feeding and watering our friends. I know I've got a guide to beating procrastination around here somewhere...I'll get to looking for it one of these days.

GKL, they were. Next time you're out here, ok?

lulu said...

You know, this is a lovely sentiment, and I'm really happy that you're happy and all, but seriously, Mt Plastic? Some of the worst years of my life were spent there...although I would probably say that about anyplace I had to spend my middle school years.

The Idea Of Progress said...

That's funny, 'cause I live in a Tom Waits song-- you know, down on the docks, with the sailors and the whores.

I'd live here if you paid me.