Monday, September 22, 2008

up to my eyeballs applesauce. the roomie and l'army went on an apple-picking adventure on saturday, returning with half a basket full of macintoshes, courtlands, and empires. i was foiled in my attempt to procure tomatoes on saturday, so yesterday i got up and turned into an applesauce making machine. i mis-read the yield on the recipe and ended up making about 15 L of applesauce. oops! haha!

saturday evening was nice. i've been having mortality thoughts again (spurred, no doubt, by "the wire" season 5) so instead of anything dark or grim or too gritty, the dotytron and i bunkered down to watch "gossip girl" torrents. delish! nothing to take your mind off of serious, real-life matters like blair waldorf and chuck bass sparring in the hamptons.

sunday morning we had a bacon and egg and toast breakkie (which i prepared while gingerly babysitting a seething, roiling, spitting mass of applesauce that threatened to overflow my largest cooking pot). then i prepped us a fantastic (at the time, i suspected, but was proven correct) dinner of osso bucco. i got the tip-off from T, my old supervisor about a portugese butcher which was around the corner from the pizza place on friday, so i dragged C & C there and i snagged four ENORMOUS beef shanks for osso bucco (seriously, the things were at least 3" tall and 5" in diameter) for the pauperly sum of $13!!!

that's IT! i couldn't believe my eyes. i've paid 3x that for osso bucco at st. lawrence market and at the healthy butcher for much skimpier specimens. portugese butcher all the way!

i braised the osso bucco in wine, chicken stock, and a mirepoix with the addition of tomatoes and thyme. i skimmed the fat off the resulting juice (they braised in a covered pan in the oven for almost 3 hours) and tossed that with pappardelle. then i served up the pappardelle with a chunk of osso bucco on top, topped with the gremolata (parsley-lemon zest-garlic mixture) which is an absolute NECESSITY. it brightens up the whole dish...i might put a gremolata component in all my future braised dishes.

then i took chef's privilege and grabbed the fattest hunk of bone marrow for myself and smeared it on the garlic-butter topped crostinis i had crisped in the oven. sprinkled with sea salt and devoured with eyes closed and heart racing. i LOVE bone marrow. love love love it.

alongside i made that fennel, radicchio, romano and parsley salad that's so well balanced and was a fantastic counterpoint to the richness of the meal.

finally, we finished it off with a slice of sour cream apple pie, topped with an almond streusel, using another good chunk of the roomie and l'army's spoils.

bellies full, we lolled around on the couch and contemplated bailing on the manifesto after party...this wasn't helped by the fact that BET was showing this movie (i think it's called ATL") which was T.I.'s first starring role. you would *think* that he'd pick something that would boost his street cred and make him look all hard and tough. oh no! here's the plot synopsis from imdb: "As four friends prepare for life after high school, different challenges bring about turning points in each of their lives. The dramas unfold and resolve at their local rollerskating rink, Cascade." THAT'S RIGHT. T.I. on roller skates!!! there's NOTHING more hilarious than the image of the "king of the south," that fine, hot, sophisticated weasel that he is, spinning around on a pair of skates. AMAZING.

but the call of premier battling pete rock was too strong so we roused ourselves and headed out. this is my third time seeing premo and the second seeing pete rock. going out on a sunday is balls though...and i'm feeling properly ruined as a consequence.

however! partying with dr. rei, hanbo, bwong, and the dotytron CANNOT be beat. i love those guys. goosetang clan in effect yo! seeing dr. rei going buck, the dotytron out for once and happy, and bwong dancing is THE BEST. pete rock and premo didn't go on until 1:00am!!! that's flippin' late!!! this is after i had all but assumed they weren't going to show and AFTER we were "taken to school" (i hate being taken to school by djs) by this terrible opening dj who was pandering to these awful breakdancers by playing stuff straight outta the 80s. FOR WHAT SEEMED LIKE HOURS. totally killed the crowd. another key moment happened when the dj, out of nowhere, dropped some jay-z tune and the crowd ROARED, and which point, i scowled and said, "i HATE the jigga-man" and bwong gave me danger eyes and frantically tried to shush me.
then this other dj stepped up and off a tribe tune, at which point, the crowd went buck and bwong said, "this is cheap. i mean, it's FINE, and i'll TAKE it, but it's cheap" lol! we were all whores though and ate up the cheap bone-throwing. the dj ended up being AMAZING. sick programming, sick track selection, totally knew how to work the crowd.

then premo and pete rock stepped up and were aight. i've seen them both be better. there was a bit too much "taking us to school" and the degree was ambitious (they wanted to span the 70s to now)...after a few weakly-received funk and soul numbers, they gave us what we wanted (because they're pros, after all...the pro-est of the pros). then there was a VERY STRANGE interlude where premo hyped up this dude he brought from queens (i think), "black poet" and he mc'd with a really s****y mic (ie. no one could hear him) which kind of killed the momentum again. poor black poet! it was really's like a kid being asked to perform when they clearly don't want to by an over-bearing parent and the kid has to use like, a toilet paper tube instead of a mic. brutes! then they went back to playing some classic tunes from each other's back catalogue and there was a tribute to j dilla which always makes me sad because j dilla was a true lion and genius and it's tragic when you lose someone that gifted, so young.

anyway, it was awesome and i stayed out way too late and woke up way to early and now i'm a hurting unit to end all hurting units and i still have to play dodgeball tonight before i get to curl up at home and watch "gossip girl" and eat leftovers (assuming i don't cave to this ever-present craving for mcdonald's/wendys/burger king/popeye's that i've had lately).

i'll update this post with food pics tonight.


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