21
   

NYC in May!

 
 
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 12:53 pm
@Mame,
Thanks for the pics. Great faces. Good times.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 01:03 pm
@Joe Nation,
I was immensely cheered to see all the photos, thanks folks, they're terrific.

Here it is, an unusual internet salutation from me (unusual from me, that is) -
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 01:05 pm
@Roberta,
Wish we had more time together, Roberta. Did you get the e-ciggie yet? How'd you find it? More to your liking?
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 01:57 pm
@Mame,
I wish we had more time together too. Got the thingie. It's better than the other. Thanks.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 02:40 pm
This one is probably (it's a challenge to choose) my favorite:

http://i1358.photobucket.com/albums/q765/PK115/DSCF4102_zps92585ca8.jpg

I think I need to memorize this thread title, in case I need to find a pulse at my wrist from time to time.
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 04:09 pm
@ossobuco,
It's a great picture of some really great human beings.

Joe(including Frank)Nation
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 04:28 pm
@Joe Nation,
I love every one of them, no ****.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 04:30 pm
So, like, did any of you disagree on stuff?
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Mon 27 May, 2013 05:08 pm
@Joe Nation,
Except that you're not in it, Joe. Wink

I'm home. Easy flights, but I'm gonna need a day to recover. My sister and I broke our promise to take it easy and schedule some down time during the trip. There was just too much to do, and too many people we wanted to see! Do I regret staying up 'til 2 o'clock almost every night? Not one bit!!!

First and foremost...it was absolutely wonderful to see Joe again after all these years. Everyone was terrific, but there really is nothing better than old friends. He and I have known each other through good times and bad, and as he wrote, despite the distance, we have always seemed to understand each other. That is a rare thing, and I so hope we see each other again before another 18 years go by.

Mame was a hoot, of course. (I expected no less.) I laughed more around her than anyone, and that is saying a lot! I wish we'd been able to have more fun together, but we couldn't get our schedules together. Next time, babe!!!

Roberta was exactly what I expected her to be. Down to earth, honest, frank, and gracious. A real survivor. I liked her very much. I will stop calling her "Boida," though, because she really doesn't have that much of an accent. We asked a lot of her, getting her out before noon. I hope she's back to her normal sleep schedule by now.

Frank. Well. What can I possibly say about Frank that hasn't already been said? Our "patron saint of agnosticism" (as Dys used to call him) was on his best behavior the night we met, and I thank him for that! What a lively (and funny!) conversationalist...and he didn't fall down even once!

And I got to meet the one-and-only tsarstepan, too! He was the quiet one of the bunch, but that was only because most of us were such blabbermouths. (blush) We really should have given him more of a chance to talk. He's a very decent guy, and I'm really glad I had the chance to meet him.

And last but certainly not least, Herr Thomas. We've met at gatherings in Chicago and Albuquerque (twice there, I think), and I always look forward to seeing him. He is an absolute delight. His parents were in town this time, so he really had to juggle his schedule to meet with us twice. I'm so glad he did!

My sister thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone, especially at Joe's rooftop party (she wants the recipe for the portobello pizza) and going out for Thai food and Irish music with Joe. You all made her feel at home, and I thank everyone for that.

It will take me a while to sort through pictures, but I'm pretty sure the good ones are already here. We'll see.
0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  3  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 06:53 am
Portobello Pizza
both the Full and Cliffnotes Versions
Full:
Make a pizza dough (come on, it's easy.)
1 1/2 cups flour (bread flour if you've got any)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix these up, make a ball in an oiled bowl, let rise an hour....

Cliffnotes version
Buy a frozen pizza dough
Let defrost and rise until doubled (godknows, maybe a hour and a half)

Full Version
Make a sauce like your mom's.
onions, celery, peppers sauteed with lots of garlic before adding crushed tomatoes, basil, hot peppers flakes (just a few) and skosh of baking soda (to remove the acid). Basil...yes, right at the end. You started this sauce yesterday, right?
Put the sauce through a sieve like your mom never showed you.
Put it back on a low flame and let it get a little thicker than pasta sauce. Let it cool while making the mushrooms.

Cliffnotes Version
Buy a jar of sauce. We will never speak of this again.
Cook it down, sieve, whatever, I'm not looking.

Cheese:
While you are making the mushrooms, put a ball of mozzarella in your freezer.

Mushrooms
Note: there is no Cliffnotes version of the Mushroom section.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Don't forget to put your pizza stone in the oven while they are both cold.
That will help warm the kitchen and assist the dough in rising. Good.
Remove the fat stems that you paid extra for when weighing.
I buy two big (about the size of a salad plate) Portobellas for a small pizza.
Take a spoon and gently scrape out all of the gills/fins whatever you want to call them. Cut a big X on the top side of the 'shroom.
Brush Olive Oil (got Garlic Olive Oil?? , good, use that.) all over the insides and outsides of clean caps, then sprinkle generously with Garlic Salt or Garlic Flakes or both and Black Pepper.
Put them on a cookie sheet and roast on one side for ten minutes, flip them over and let them go another ten or so. Take out, let cool, (the dough is still rising, do something else for a while, I know, take the cheese out of your freezer and grate one half and slice the other half as thinly as you can. Stop eating the cheese!) then take your sharpest knife and slice the caps into 1/4" or thinner pieces. (Stop eating the pieces! god. ) Let them rest. If there is juice on the cookie sheet, I pour it back over the slices. Sprinkle on some crushed up fresh basil. GENTLY mix

Pizza : Note there isn't a Cliffnotes version of this part either.
Put your oven up to 475° 500°F is even better.
The dough is doubled? Good. Punch it down and let it be alone for another 20 minutes with its thoughts. Set the table or something. Have a half a glass of wine, just to be sure it's good.
Punch the dough down again, make a ball, flatten it and roll it out the size you want. You want to pick it up and try to stretch it out? Good for you, go ahead.
Okay. Ladle on some sauce. Enough to really cover the dough, not so much as to flood it. Put on the grated mozzarella, make a pinwheel of your roasted mushrooms slices on top of the sauce. They can be wet with juices. Put a few leaves of crushed fresh Basil in amongst the mushrooms. Scatter the sliced mozzarella pieces on top.
Throw some cornmeal on the hot pizza stone, use a wooden spoon to spread it out, slide the pizza off of your cutting board onto the stone.
Bake for about ten minutes.
The cheese on top should be bubbling and, if you lift the crust with a big spatula, it should be nicely browned.
Take stone out of oven and place it on top of of your burners. Use two spatulas to get the pizza onto a serving plate that you can cut on or back onto the cutting board.
Let cool a bit. Three minutes for the cheese to calm itself.
Got a pizza cutter? Big Knife? Make many slices, many, like try to make each piece have one thin slice of mushroom on it. (That way hardly anyone will notice there are two missing.
Finish your wine. )
Serve still warm.

Note: I've tried slicing the mushrooms really thin while raw and baking the pizza with them. They don't get cooked. It's more like Goodyear Radial Tire Pizza. Also the night of the party, the cheese got too done for my taste, but seeing as how it was all eaten in eight minutes flat, I guess no one minded.

Joe(Next: the Five Cs Chicken or Fish)Nation
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 10:37 am
@Joe Nation,
So how much is a skosh? (I've never tried putting baking soda in my tomato sauce, but now that you mention it, it makes sense)

Osso (time to make some pizza in the land of sand, I happen to some slightly cooked mushrooms I marinated) buco
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 12:57 pm
@ossobuco,
It's the secret my mother swore me to keep until my death...but I like sharing.

It's about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Put an eighth in and stir it around. It makes a beautiful color change. That should be enough. Some canned tomatoes need a bit more. No more acid.

Joe(hold on a second, I hear my late mom at the door and she is not happy.)Nation
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 01:10 pm
@Joe Nation,
I read a bunch of stuff since I read your post, re not doing that (my own usual mode is long slow cooking with perhaps a tad of butter at the end) but I'll play.
One thread (post?) mentioned instant coffee granules. Lots of people mention sugar, but I don't get how that would modify pH, and anyway, some carrot sends in the sugar clowns.
Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 01:14 pm
@ossobuco,
It's chemistry. You are not trying to make the sauce sweeter (hence that's why the sugar, carrots [yuk] etc are wrong. And coffee grounds??? Bizarre.)

You are trying to neutralize the acid in the tomatoes or tomato paste.

NOT ALL OF IT, that's why such a small amount works.

Joe(a tad, a skosh, a smidgen)Nation

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 01:17 pm
@ossobuco,
Adds, my mother never made spaghetti, much less spaghetti sauce. I had my first taste of spaghetti and meatballs at the Hennessy's house (house of 4 daughters and a lot of smarts). My second taste of spaghetti was at a friend of a friend's house in high school, where the mother wildly overcooked it, hard to eat a plateful. Spaghetti-O's were firmer. Third was when I was in lab tech internship and a chinese co worker made me pasta carbonara, oh god, raw eggs, big problemo for me at the time. I think I was taken ill. (Long time ago, forget how I weaseled out of not eating the entire plateful).

It's a wonder I became such a flaming italophile.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 01:22 pm
@Joe Nation,
I rarely add carrots, not that I hate them in sauce, but the only carrots I tend to like are fresh and raw, freshly pickled, or roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper.

And yeah, re pH. And I take it one doesn't want to get rid of all the acidity, just a tad.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 May, 2013 01:36 pm
@ossobuco,
I'm still pleased, new yorkers meeting these really good people, and the a2kers meeting our erudite and funny and wise new york friends.
This is when I am still smiling from getting to meet Free Duck twice, she and her children doing their long planned U.S. ride.
What a week, eh?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:34 am
OK, ok, I found the ad about the umbrellas that (apparently) don't flip out on you in pouring rain. I dunno, I'm not very trusting on this issue -

The ad is from the Guardian. Presumably there are such umbrellas available in the U.S. too - if you're an intrepid umbrella purchaser.


http://essentials.guardianoffers.co.uk/buy.cfm/travel/windproof-umbrellas-/41/yes/61963?guni=Article:promo%20Reader%20offers:Named%20trailblock:Position2
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:40 am
@ossobuco,
For the price the ad suggests, I really doubt those umbrellas are actually windproof as they are trying to claim. They look to have the same construction and engineering as our umbrellas in that price range.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 May, 2013 10:49 am
@tsarstepan,
Yes, they look flimsy to me too. But maybe there's some sturdy item out there that I've no knowledge of. Probably at some high end emporium.
 

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