Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ahem - A Few of My Favorite Things

Dear Reader,

Being intuitive, I understand that one of the most pressing issues on your mind these days is something more or less along the lines of "I wonder what a laundry list of Izzy's favorite foods might look like.?." Being wise, I feel the need to inform. So, in no particular order, here it is:

grapefruit. oatmeal. soft-boiled eggs. brussel sprouts. artichoke. liver. mangosteen. cereal. ice cream. mantou. fresh soymilk. chorizo. sausage. difara's pizza. 1000 year old eggs. salty fish. french fries. cookies. cupcakes. oysters. guacamole. mango. grapes. digestives. balarina aged gouda. uni. panna cotta. prosciutto. anchovies. capers. roe. lox. milkshakes. chinatown coffee. fried rice. sticky rice. skate. truffles. spinach. corn. bitter squash. peking duck. fresh bread. mochi. pistachio ice cream. marzipan. crab cakes. string beans. steak tar tar. hot pot. cilantro. garlic. ugly fruit. fermented tofu. foie gras. white asparagus. truffles. goat cheese. earl grey gelato. lobster rolls. RNB. avocado. berries. homemade granola. baked brie. lotus flowers. szechuan peppercorns. razor clams. basil. chilean sea bass (so spit on me!). bloody argentine steak. cold noodles. corn. cornichons. dijon mustard. peking duck.

Go ahead, talkst amongst yourself. I'll give you a second.

I've always intended to gather all those foods into my kitchen, make them into unexpectedly delicious combinations, and have a fantastically deranged photo shoot with them. In keeping with the current theme of my life, however, I am backlogged, and this will have to suffice.

Speaking of backblogged, and because you care so, here is a taste of some upcoming posts to come!:
1. Camp Eastman, New Hampshire. imagine me - HEAD CHEF!!
2. Mother's Day dinner at my favorite Japanese-owned Italian restaurant in the city, Basta Pasta, with Raymond Park and mi mama.
3. A step-by-step picture tutorial on how to make cold noodles. just in time for the summer!
4. Chilean food and why it kind of sucks.
5. Argentine Steak and why it is almost better than sex.
6. Best of Prospect Heights - Chavellas, Farm, Gen, Sorrel
7. Birthday dinners - Lucy's at the Mermaid Inn, my baby cousin Iris's at Flor de Mayo (Upper West side Peruvian-Chinese place of deliciousness that I used to work at. Maybe I do like fusion after all?)
8. My favorite brunch spots.
9. Chinatown restaurants - Joe's Shanghai, Almond Flower, Congee on Bowery, this little guy on Elizabeth, and many more.
10. Ssam Bar, Kampuchea, and other places where I can fogive the hipness factor because the food is actually good.
11. Where to find the best pizza in the city, and in one instance, the WORLD. !!!
12. Some other lovable randomness.

; )

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pacifistic Extremism

Let's play guess this country!! Its notable greats include Roger Federer, Martina Hingis, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hermann Hesse, and Heidi. It has four national languages. It is really really good at precision. And neutrality. Oh, and chocolate. Really good at chocolate, can't forget that.

Yes! Unless you are a fully certified moron, you guessed right- S*W*I*T*Z*E*R*L*A*N*D*!! Home to landscapes that heighten your human and suprahuman senses, skiing that skips your heart a beat, and so much peace and prosperity that Dadaism is its defining form of artistic expression.

My parents go there each year for business (Didn't know the Chinese mafia conducts its business in Switzerland, eh? Where else did you think they go to deposit all those giant wads of cash carried by the trousers of Chinatown? Duh.) Every now and again they tote me along with them. I am like their big, chocolate-gobbling, truffle-sniffing, not-so-travel-sized talking doll. This year, however, my mother's friend Deborah came too, so the two of us decided to venture off and have some non-mafia related fun.

This is Deborah. She is maybe the coolest and also freaking weirdest Chinese lady I know. She wants to have dreads because she thinks they're "so cooluh."

As you can see, Deborah is very "sporty." One day she had us go paragliding in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. She even ventured to the tippy top of the Schilthorn mountain with me. Her method of descent was an ingenius, though tedious, combination of tumble and vertical slip'n'slide. I admired her technique and courage.

Deborah and I also did some extreme eating. In one local restaurant in Murren (the only one open past 9 pm), we stunned our waitress by gobbling down 3 hearty Swiss meals after she told us it could not be done by foreign folks such as us.

I remember the first time I went to Switzerland. I was shocked and awed by the way the milk tasted. Why did it taste so different, so strange, so...fresh? Do they just go outside and milk the Bessie in the backyard everytime they need milk, shrug their shoulders and say "fuck pasteurization"? I dont' get it.

That's kind of how this egg was. You can tell that it was just freshly plucked from the roost by the dark orange color of the yolk. Kind of makes you want to dive right in and go for a nice long yolky swim, doesn't it? So extreme.

I am a giant dork and love muesli, another great Swiss invention. Especially with fresh from Bessie milk, I could eat good muesli ALL day and night. Judge me all you want.

Ahh-white asparagus. One of my favorite things in the world and one reason I always look forward to going back to Switzerland. It's so soft and stringy, almost like what crispy fresh mozzarella might be like. It sort of enrages me that we never get it on this side of the Atlantic.

All in all, I heartily enjoyed my stint as a pacifistic extremist. Though I'm pretty sure that a longer-term commitment to such a lifestyle would be far less extreme, and more, well, serene. And pretty. Really really pretty.