Your Friday Moment of Zen

Your Friday Moment of Zen

Collage of two illustrations depicting, on the left, various shellfish and, on the right, cephalopods

[Illustrations: Biodiversity Heritage Library (Shells, Squid and Octopods]

You did it! You made it to the end of another week! “Very little of our handiwork will survive the obliteration of the ages.” (!!!)

To recap from last week:

We’re putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate another week on the books.

We see it as an opportunity to go over some of what’s new on the site, which you, dear readers, may have missed. But more importantly, we also think of this series as something of a send-off for the weekend, giving you the option of a brief interlude for your Friday afternoon. We hope to provide a short mix of mostly silly, mostly food-related, mostly entertaining things to look at, listen to, and read, and we hope you’ll find it amusing, and maybe, sometimes, edifying and enlightening.

If you have feedback, or if you run across any interesting/oddball/totally crazy stories/podcasts/images/videos during the week and you think they may be appropriate for this little collection of miscellany, e-mail us! We might not use it, but we will 100% appreciate the effort.

What’s New On Serious Eats

You can, of course, browse all our content in chronological order, but here are some highlights from this week:

  • Daniel offered up some pointers for how to grill America’s favorite fish. Basically: fattier is better, get your grill clean and your salmon skin dry to prevent sticking, and use an instant-read thermometer.
  • Sasha continued his quest to convert every last one of you into Korean ‘cue lovers with a recipe for daeji bulgogi, which translates to “pork fire meat,” a phrase that’s just as appetizing in plain English as it is in millenial-ese.
  • Miranda let her fruit flag fly and delved into the nitty gritty of soursop, which, despite its name, isn’t very sour at all.
  • Stella took Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake and turned all the knobs to 11.
  • Elazar rolled up his sleeves and did took a very serious, super scientifically rigorous look at a question that generally plagues only the youngs (“What is youth? A dream. What is love? The dream’s content.”): What’s the quickest way to chill a bottle of wine?
  • Finally, Ed went through some old snaps for a blast from the Serious Eats past, including a frankly inappropriate photo of a (near-naked, former, troubled) staffer clearly suffering from an acute case of ursine alcoholism.

Our Favorite Comments of the Week

From Serious Eats Through the Years: Our Early Days, in Photos:

LOL, those are 90s-NBA-draft-pick-level slacks, Mr. Levine!

From a commenter (who we are frankly quite worried about) on Facebook, in response to Stella’s riff on Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake:

I’m convinced Jeffrey is ina’s Dom and if the mocha icebox Cake isn’t perfect, ina has to get a spanking.

A Brief Book Break

And the attaché exclaims, in a way that’s not at all diplomatic: ‘Good, strip-fondue, whoever loses his piece of bread takes off his shirt.’ And he bursts out laughing, which makes him lift his eyes to the sky, shaking his head from right to left.

Shocked, I cling to my fondue fork.

Wine is served, delicious, a white Graves. Mirza begins, plunges his bread into the melted cheese, and takes it out without any trouble, drawing little strands along with it. I try in turn: I have to admit it’s excellent.

The conversation revolves around wine.

The attaché announces, with a satisfied air:

‘I would like to announce that I am now a shareholder in a Côtes-du-Rhône vineyard. Yes, my dear friends.’
I can read the envy on the faces of the two other sybarites.

‘Oh, thats excellent.’ They nod their heads in unison. ‘The Côtes-du-Rhône!’

They talk about saccharimetres, vats and fermentation. I’m pretty preoccupied with battling the fondue—I notice that when it cools down, it’s no piece of cake, if you’ll excuse the expression, especially with a piece of Iranian bread, since it’s soft and permeable, thus not supporting prolonged immersion in the warm liquid without disintegrating dangerously.

Several times I almost lose my shirt.

In short, I do not eat very much.

Finally the fondue ends without incident, with no one losing anything but their illusions in the pot. Next comes dessert, coffee, digéstif, and talk about art, in precisely that order: marrons glacés from Provence, Italian espresso, Congac, and ‘content and form’. I drink in the attaché’s words, helped by the VSOP Cognac: ‘I am an aesthete,’ he says. ‘Aesthetics in everything. Sometimes, form even creates meaning, at bottom.’

‘Which brings us back to the fondue,’ I say.

From Compass, by Mathias Enard.

(It really is an excellent dish, fondue.)

Numbers, Links, News, and Hijinks

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

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