Thursday, February 23, 2012


The other week when we were at DonDon Izakaya, the Dotytron and I were looking at the name tags of the servers and staff and remarked (not for the first time) that we really liked the sound of Japanese names.  I like Hiro and Keiko and Misumi.  They're all so pretty sounding - with a nice balance of hard sounding consonants and flow between syllables.  Then we realized that it would be "weird" of us to name any future progeny with that name - like it's "trespassing" on another culture, when most Westernized people don't give a second thought to borrowing from traditional French or Anglo or Irish names.  It just shows the hegemony of Western values.  The divide between "us" and "Other" is still firmly entrenched and the Dotyron and I fall victim to it as much as the next person.  We aren't "authentic" enough to appropriate a Japanese name but we're fine appropriating a German one (in the case of the Big Yam's moniker).  

One of the things I realized when we were trolling through Nameberry last Friday looking for names for the roomie's kid, I realized that the act of naming is so loaded nowadays as a marker of taste and distinction (in the Bourdieu sense).  The most radical thing you could do nowadays (sorry, K!) is name your daughter Jennifer.  Everyone is going for the most "unique" names that Jennifer, Samantha, Amanda have been relegated to the bottom of the heap.  It's pretty interesting.  This coming from a gal who currently loves the name Cassius.  Love it! 

Last night we had my version of Italian wedding soup for dinner.  It was our first time making it and it was such a big hit that I've included the recipe below.  It was really easy - it sat simmering in the slow cooker all day.  It was made slightly easier by the fact that I had the foresight to freezer some leftover meatball mix in a ziploc bag in our freezer.  Taking out the step of having to make meatballs from scratch and then put them in the soup really sped things along and made it more feasible for a weeknight meal.  Since meatballs are such a great staple to have on hand (either loose, already formed, or cooked into tomato sauce), I'm going to make it a point to always make a double or even triple batch, so we have it on hand.

Tonight we had corned beef hash.  That's some good eatin' 3 nights in a row.  We had a baby shower for my friend K at work today - which means I ate about a million slices of cake.  I have negative self control.  I was going to try to go for the first run of the season tomorrow morning...and then I found out that we're supposed to have the ONLY snowstorm of winter 2012.  Boourns, nature!  Boourns!

So glad tomorrow is Friday...even though this week was a short week, it's felt long.  We're having the roomie over again tomorrow night - we're babysitting her while L'Armi is away shooting on location.



Italian Wedding Soup
serves, a million people

1 onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of kale, thinly sliced
minced garlic, to taste (about 4 cloves)
1.5 L chicken stock
2 L of water

1 cup of orzo, cooked
1lb of meatball mix (recipe follows)
salt and pepper, to taste

- put all the vegetables and the stock in the slow cooker.  put the lid on and cook on low all day (we had ours on from like, 7:45am-5pm).  You could obviously also cook this in a large stockpot on the stove.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
- cook off the 1 cup of orzo, a little past al dente.  Stir into the soup.
- using teaspoon-fulls of meatball mix, roll into little balls, throw in the soup.   We then cranked our slow cooker to high and cooked the meatballs in the soup for about 30 minutes or until they were cooked through.
- season with salt and pepper and serve.  It's sooo good!

Lagerfeld's Go-To Meatballs

1lb each ground veal, ground beef, or ground pork (or any combo of the three, or just one type of meat)
3 slices of white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces and soaked in milk
1/2 c. grated parm
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

- put the meat into a bowl.
- squeeze handfuls of the torn bread to get rid of excess milk.  Add the soft bread to the meat mixture.  Add the rest of the ingredients and toss the mixture together until it's just combined (try not to overwork the meat!)
- form into balls and freeze.  Or freeze the mixture as is.  Or form into balls and sear off to put in sauce, etc.

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