24 December 2007

Merry Yule!

We're looking out for Santa here on the East Coast.

And when it comes to Santa, I can only think of one thing: that belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly. So what are we leaving for Santa and the reindeer this year as a yuletide snack? Try rainbow sprinkle sugar cookies and a couple Sam Adams Winter Lagers... and a few nutritious baby carrots for the deer.

You have no idea how happy I am that the object of affection of merry wishers worldwide is a bearded funky guy with a potbelly and red nose who flies around with magical reindeer and lives in an old house way out of the way. Gives me hope.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a full belly.


So, Canada.

I remember there we were driving across the great province of Ontario in a late-model 740 with two babies strapped into carseats in the back. I recall we actually had mentioned something about how idyllic our life had become, as though we were living a dream.

We'd just stopped for a bite to eat at an excellent roadside diner -- not one of those American Interstate places, but a real off-the-beaten-path roadhouse built of wood and bone.

It proved an excellent choice. We were the only diners there and had the place to ourselves. We fed the boys and had no problems. We were feeling really good about ourselves.

Note to young and future parents: if you sense that you are feeling good about yourselves, it is a sign that the worst wrath nature can offer is about to be shed upon you.

We leave the diner and strap everyone in the car. I hadn't even left the parking lot. And then, that sound.

It must be sort of like what a mudslide sounds like, though I've never had the pleasure of encountering one of those.

Within seconds, the entire interior of the 740 smelled of potent, noxious, mind-altering, fuming fecal matter.

Both boys had spontaneously combusted. Poop was everywhere. All over them. All over the carseats. I opened the door and half of the great province of Ontario stopped in their tracks, lifted their keen Canadian noses to the sky, and asked, "What's that smell?"

It was the greatest double twin blowout ever witnessed. It was so fierce, the restaurant offered us tablecloths (not napkins) to clean it up.

22 December 2007

Learn Karate

So, this was in Toronto a few years ago.

Toronto is probably my favorite of the North American cities I've visited. It even beats Dayton, OH. Anyhow, there we are having pulled into the b&b we'd call home for a few days. It was run by this guy with a serious royalty-fetish. Over a beer in the basement tavern, he expressed to us his love for the queen, and each room of his hotel was dedicated to a different Windsor.

The boys were just little then, so we plopped them into a double stroller and went out looking for grub Toronto-style. Unbeknownst to us, Toronto had seen a recent snap of stings by the teetotalling-police and none of the restaurants that served alcohol would allow us in with the children. Seriously now, did they think we'd be feeding Harvey Wallbangers to the 16 month-olds?

So we continue on our way looking for a dive that'll let us in with kids. And we eventually find that the sting had been limited to the neurotic royalty-praising neighborhood we were lubbing in and in fact it was easy to buy your toddler booze in the rest of the city.

I say all of this to bring you to what was an occasion on which I received some of the better advice I've ever received on the street. It came from a weary-eyed man living on an avenue along an intersection near the University. Seeing the twin boys, he leaned in with a word of guru-like advice: "Love your mother. Don't do drugs. Love Jesus. Learn Karate."

There you have it, friends. The four-part key to happiness in this world (or at least what it takes one man to live on the rough streets of the most pleasant city in this hemisphere).

19 December 2007


Not really food related, except in that I would assume that like myself, the critics and editors at Foxy Digitalis also eat food...

Foxy Digitalis gave 'The Violencestring' (my new CD) 9 out of 10... check out the review.


Should you find yrself in desire of a physical copy, just see:

Or a virtual copy at:

mind you, the virtual copy does not include the artwork or summary of the story (it's a musical, after all)...

18 December 2007

Top Ten Foodish Experiences of 2007

I hate year-end lists... so here's mine.

Top Ten Foodish Experiences of 2007

1. MJ and I moving the dining room table into the dining room! (Go figure, but it's the little things that make so much difference...)

2. Eating two full meals at two competing bowling alleys within thirty-minutes of one another as a taste-testing mission with Aaron Henkin.

3. Having Tom Boram and Dan Breen make Rice Krispy / bacon / licorice / garlic treats for the kids while jamming broken-down synth beats in my kitchen.

4. Cabeca Gorda! (The restaurant so secret, I shouldn't even be putting it on this list.)

5. Discovering Vegetarian Jerky Substitute. Because every vegetarian needs an all-natural jerky substitute.

6. Judging afternoon beers at the One World Cafe. As the guy next to me said: "Tough job."

7. Falling madly in love with the avacado.

8. Afghan food at The Helmand with Jenny and Dwight. Almost makes me want to take a vacation to Afghanistan... er... on second thought...

9. $100 lunch for two at Minato courtesy of B.M. (Thanks, buddy...)

10. Starting this blog.

17 December 2007

LTSRPotatoes Vid! Coming soon!

The excitement rises. Like a blister.

Tonight, SNACKS (Tom Boram / Dan Breen) is coming over to the house and we're shooting the first LTSRPotatoes video! Yes, it will be a cooking show. And yes, it will ruin your opinion of cooking shows.


14 December 2007

More tofu, please!

The kids are alright.

They like asparagus. And broccoli.

When they were just little, we used to treat broccoli like it was a prize: "Finish all your baby slop and you can have more BROCCOLI!"

I remember one night hearing a chorus of "Can we have more tofu and green beans, PLEASE!"

For a while we convinced them that Trail Mix was a better snack than potato chips, or ice cream, or gum drops.

That worked for a while. Before the world moved in.

Now my children come home from school and demand candy. And I refuse. And a battle of wills begins.

I miss the "more tofu, please" days.

Nonetheless, the other night one of the boys ate three servings of spinach and seitan.

I've still got the touch.

13 December 2007

Oscar Mayer Commercial -1973

My aunt worked in the Oscar Meyer plant in Philadelphia around the time this commericial was made. She worked on the scrapple line.

For those of you not well-informed, scrapple translates as "everything else, ground up into yummy mush".

Anyhow, my aunt found herself in the odd position of losing a finger to the assembly line choppers. That is, she lost a finger that was mangled and smashed into the scrapple you may have served for breakfast in 1973.

Yeah, they didn't bother to stop the presses. Like you woulda known.


09 December 2007


Let's just say that this old car commercial pretty much sums up why I haven't posted in a few days.

05 December 2007

Damned Chai!

So here I am... preparing all day for my big experiment. I've got a clothes pin and a scarf and I'm ready to close down my olfactory sense for the sake of science.

You are guessing there is a hitch, no?

Ok, so I'm driving home during our day's MASSIVE BLIZZARD (2 inches) and I decide I just can't stand the traffic without a little spruce-juice. So I roll into a Wawa on 24 and pour myself a 16 ounce Chai. Just like being in the Himalayas. Except I'm at sea-level. And in a Wawa.

I get back in the car. There is a program on NPR about people who study the screams of baboons. [Ridiculously interesting, BTW]. And without thinking, I proceed to gulp down a mouthful of SCALDING HOT HIMILAYAN TEA!

Yes, all of the tastebuds are burnt off the topside of my tongue. I can't taste a thing. So much for the experiment.

All I'm hoping is that I'm able to return to action before the season is over (holiday season, that is).

The experiment is going to have to wait. I'm hanging up the clothespin in a spot where I won't forget why it's there. Because you and I need to know; and science must progress.

04 December 2007

Smell This!

If Proust is right and our sense of smell is a vital part of our nostalgic memory, then should those of us with sinus problems wait to have meaningful dinner conversations until the clogged passages clear up?

Tomorrow, my nose should be ready again for eating. The steady diet of Robitussin is paying off; I plan to be running at full-speed tomorrow.

So, folks have been responding both in posts and in person that the 'bad / not' taste you get when you've got a sinus infection comes from the inability to smell the food you are eating. Hmm. I've sort of thought it had more to do with the dried snot covering the back of my throat.

So tomorrow: an experiment in the most Roger Bacon manner. I will eat dinner wearing a clothespin over my nose and post my observations. You are invited to do the same.

03 December 2007

Is there a doctor in the house?

I've been eating food.

Haven't been near the computer in a few days. Too busy eating food. And then came down with a late-autumn sinus thing which actually makes tasting food impossible. Strange sensation.

On Sat we had a pre-birthday birthday thing for MJ -- this followed a massively stomach-filling trip to Akbar with Aaron for the afternoon buffet-- yesterday morning was a coffee-fueled brunch for Melissa's birthday and last night Dierker (whose birthday it also is) and family came over for some of my own Indian cooking.

And then this morning I wake up and can't breathe. Which leads me to the question of the week: why does stuff taste funny when you are sick?

I am counting on all you doctors out there to set me straight on this one. Post away.