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Archive for the ‘The Crabby Cook’ Category

Crabby Dinner for Mom’s Day

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

As a crabby cook I am constantly floored by the fact that, after 63 years of marriage, my mother still cooks three meals a day for my father. Dad does not cook. He (along with my husband) belongs to that cohort that has trouble preparing canned soup. My mother is, however, getting tougher at age 90: she now makes Dad wash the dinner dishes. (He’s only 89—he can cope.)

Mom seems to find this non-stop cooking an acceptable arrangement, maybe because she cooked for eight people for so many years that her current chores seem lightweight by comparison. But I can’t help projecting. Just the thought of how much time she spends in the kitchen makes me irritable, so I try to lighten what I think of as her burden whenever possible. Mother’s Day provides a perfect opportunity for this. The hell with flowers, I’m sending her food.

I’m ordering crab and lobster cakes from Dean and Deluca online, along with a box of their Mother’s Day cookies. That way, all she has to provide is a little asparagus or something and dinner will be so done.

In the unlikely event that my daughters are reading this post, please take the above as a big, fat hint. D and D are taking orders until Friday.


Lady’s Brunch Burgers

Saturday, February 6th, 2010


So I guess it’s time for the annual Mona Lisa bashing. Last year, they discovered and dragged out the nude portrait of her (you could just hear her spinning in her grave) and now they’re outing her as a woman with high cholesterol.

According to the N.Y. Times, some guy named Vito from Palermo, a self-declared expert in determining the health issues of the subjects of certain masterpiece portraits (where do you go to school to get good at that?), announced that old Mona has fatty deposits under her eyes, indicating that her famous gaze, which has of course been the subject of debate and poetry for centuries, is most likely a look of satisfaction (or maybe even belch suppression) after a few too many high fat meals.

If you are like me, you probably don’t have a whole lot of master painters rushing in with portrait offers. Are you wondering what it might take to get them interested, how you might aquire Mona’s painter-friendly, mysterious, what-the-hell-is-she-thinking attitude? Apparently, all you need to do is chow down a few of Paula Deen’s Lady’s Brunch Burgers and they’ll be banging on your door with their paintbrushes.

A Brunch Burger is guaranteed to skyrocket your cholesterol to unprecedented levels, so you too can be intriguing as Mona Lisa, pretty much overnight. Get this: it’s basically a burger with a fried egg and bacon on top. But the beauty part is, in place of a bun, that burger is tucked between two glazed Krispy Kreme donuts! I know, dreamy, right?

So, run, don’t walk, to click here for the recipe for Lady’s Brunch Burgers. Then text old Leo da V. a dinner invite.



Monday, February 1st, 2010

SweetheartsCandystockphoto_Heart_Candy_366437I heard that Sweetheart Valentine’s Day candy is the holiday’s biggest seller. They’re those little hearts made by Necco (yep, purveyor of your favorite wafers), ya know, the ones that have messages stamped on them like, “Kiss me” or “Puppy love.”

Well, Necco, in an attempt to get with the century, has added a couple of new messages this year: “Text me” and “Tweet me.” (Yes, they already have “Email me,” and yes, they dumped “Fax me.” ) These new entries intrigued me so much, I almost bought a huge bag of Sweethearts today, just to see if I could find one of those up-to-the-minute hearts. I thought I could send them to my kids, who would then be fooled into thinking I was a savvy, techno-smart Valentine sender and not the bonehead they’d thought I was. But, realizing that examining roughly 1000 candy hearts was actually a useless time-sucker, I chose instead to shop for some useful, calorie-free Valentine’s Day gifts that are appropriate for crabby cooks.

If you know a crabby cook youi’d like to sweeten up on the 14th, check out this heart paring knife, these heart measuring spoons, or a lovely heart egg molder. Just don’t follow up with a request that she cook Valentine’s Day dinner for you with her new utensils or she might whack you with her heart spatula.

BTW: If you find those sweethearts with the new messages, text me. Or tweet me. (Don’t fax me. That’s so last year.)

P.S. This just in: my friend David Coleman points out that you can really impress the kids if you click here to design and send them an electronic sweetheart message. As Dave says, “All the saccharine, none of the calories!”


Watermelon Martini: Getting Smashed

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I’m fascinated by the goings on in Chinchilla, a tiny town in Australia that hosts a wild and well-attended Watermelon Festival every couple of years.

One of the activities featured is watermelon skiing. You stick your feet in a couple of melons, like shoes (or maybe jump on them from a high place), and ‘ski’ down a slippery slope in this all-natural equipment. There’s pit-spitting, too, of course, and the melon bungee event sounds intriguing, but the big draw is the melon smashing contest.

The world record was broken recently when a guy smashed forty melons with his head in just under a minute. (Here’s the evidence). I’m thinking this would be a good exercise for anyone who is suffering from an overexposure to bad economic news. Read the Wall Street Journal and then go smash some watermelons with your head to get over it.

But when the Chinchilla story begs the question of what they do with all that watermelon pulp at the end of the day, I’d suggest they harvest it for watermelon martinis. Drinking these is a kinder, gentler way to kill the Economy Blues. I mean, smashing melons with your head is not as easy for everyone as it is for that guy in Chinchilla. (Here’s the evidence.)

Here’s a recipe for a watermelon martini, but don’t drink too many or it will be you who is gettting smashed.

Watermelon Martini

3 ounces pureed seedless watermelon

3 ounces citrus vodka (or watermelon vodka)

Juice of one lime (about 1 ounce)

2 teaspoons simple syrup (or more if you like it sweeter)


Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Stir like mad, then strain the martini into a cocktail glass and drink it right up. Do not attempt watermelon skiing if you have had one of these cocktails.


Obama Sent Me A Valentine!

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Obama sent me a Valentine!

Well, sort of, I mean, indirectly. Well, to be honest, I sent it to myself at his suggestion. Okay, he didn’t personally suggest it, like, text me from his Blackberry or something, but…here’s what happened:

Somewhere, I read a list of B. O.’s favorite foods. All Americans should keep this list handy, because, being the populist that he is, you never know when Barack might drop in for dinner. Even I, a self-described crabby cook, would be okay with cooking for Barack. Especially when I read his list:

First, his dislikes: mayonnaise, salt and vinegar chips, asparagus and soft drinks.
So, if you really have it in for him, say you’re a vengeful McCainiac, you might make that casserole of asparagus in a creamy mayo sauce with crumbled S ‘n V’s on top. And Pigs’ Legs in Coca-cola, a dish for which I actually have the recipe, if you are interested.

Obama likes the following: sparkling water, trail mix (Planter’s, that is), roasted almonds, pistachios, MET-Rx Chocolate Roasted Peanut Protein bars, and vegetables (especially broccoli and spinach). How easy is that? A quick trip to Whole Foods and you’ve got an Obama party in your pantry.

Oh, but the final item on the ‘likes’ list is…the thing. Apparently, he’s crazy for Fran’s Chocolates, specifically her Smoked Salt Caramels. I read this and went straight to the website. A few days later, I got a lovely, Valentine-y red box of handmade heaven. These are so good, I know if I’d been eating them longer I, too, would be president. (Or at least Secretary of State.)

You should order these either to 1) experience extreme pleasure, 2) get elected to public office, or 3) have on hand in case Obama shows up and you’re out of trail mix.
And when those candies show up at your door, you can tell everyone that Obama sent you a Valentine, and you’d be almost not lying.