Wednesday into Thursday

Hmm. Will the hurricanes ever stop heading to Florida?? (and do the rains of the dissipating tropical storms have to come to NYC to ruin our otherwise perfectly nice weather of late?).

NY Times — it’s the return of William Grimes, the ex-restaurant critic turned culture critic. In this article, he takes a shine on the learn-how-to-cook-a-meal in 30-minutes shows and books. Apparently, writing those food reviews for years made him (gasp) into a food snob (aren’t all the food critics snobs? well, what do I know). But, give Grimes credit – now that he isn’t hassling the restaurants so much, he seems to have developed a witty sense of humor:

It is worth stating at the outset that there is good fast food and bad fast food, and speed has nothing to do with the difference between the two. Canned onion rings over canned green beans, a casserole dish I recall from childhood, may be the bad fast dish par excellence. At the opposite end of the scale I might place veal chops in sage-butter sauce spiked with a little vermouth, a simple Italian entree I have made many times. Both dishes take about 10 minutes to prepare. One is satisfying and delicious. The other is a crime against nature. No one should ever dine at a quality level lower than veal in sage-butter sauce. At least not at my house.

I am happy to report that Betty Crocker does not call for canned onion rings in her “Quick and Easy Cookbook,” but the recipes do cater to a middlebrow concept of fine cooking that leaves me cold. Betty takes a nonjudgmental attitude toward margarine versus butter. Frozen or canned ingredients she accepts as a fact of life and frozen fish, too. If you don’t want to mince garlic, it is O.K. to buy it minced in a bottle.

Betty has a new look and a new hairdo. She knows about couscous, chipotles and salsa. But her heart belongs to the 1950’s. How else to explain dishes like cheesy tuna broccoli skillet casserole or maple-mustard syrup as a sauce for asparagus? The recipes have a train-wreck fascination to them, and some of the photographs seem almost forensic. Fudge pudding cake, for example, looks like a heaping helping of Alpo.

Geez, Grimes – are you trying to hurt Ms. Crocker’s feelings (or that of the photographers her company retains anyway). Alpo? Lol…

After weeks of speculation (and pretty nasty back cover page coverage in the NYC tabloids), the NY Mets have finally made it official – manager Art Howe is out of here, after yet another Mets lousy season. However, Howe gets to pull a McGreevey – yeah, he’s out of the job, but not effective immediately. (meanwhile, in NJ, Governor McGreevey continues his job; his resignation isn’t official because it’s not in writing; and yet a bunch of lawyers are taking it to court to force him to go already, so to let the NJ’ites have special elections and avoid other succession issues, never mind that this resignation was due to less than pristine circumstances). (as for the Mets, there’s no sense yet of who’ll replace Howe; oh well. I won’t hold my breath on that anytime soon).

And so it goes. I get bemused by the news, whatever I read or watch.

Subway reading is all right. My reading of the Harry Potter series is delayed due to other reading (obviously I wasn’t going to finish the series by the end of the summer; perhaps I can pull it off by the end of the year?). I’m in the middle of “The Da Vinci Code.” Hmm. I’ll probably have an actual opinion on it once I’m done. Right now I just feel manipulated by the author (which means he’s not a bad writer, but he’s really working it so that this ends up being a Hollywood blockbuster movie with action scenes to pick).

TV viewing — well, I’ll say more once I get a better sense of what is going on the tube. (“Everwood” – got to catch the season premiere on my videotape; that “Jack & Bobby” show on WB – umm, yeah, I think I do have an opinion there).

Other projects otherwise take up time (the writing stuff and other artistic endeavors – oh, who am I kidding there on that end – the frustrated artist in Brooklyn — no new changes to the website, leave it as is)…. can’t wait for Friday…

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