Tuesday, October 30

Back from London

Heyo! Just spent a hectic but fun week in London, and I can report that:
  • Borough Market still rocks my culinary universe. Why on Earth does New York not have a place where you can both buy amazing produce and cheese (a la the Greenmarket) and also eat amazing food? When I went to Essex Street Market a few weeks back this seemed to be on the verge of happening, but there was of course nothing like the raclette, toasted cheeses, and chorizo sandwiches that Borough has in abundance.
  • People like to drink at English weddings. A lot. I knew it was a troubling sign when my table started playing drinking games between the appetizers and the main course. My last truly coherant memory was of the delicious "posh bangers and mash," although I do remember being truly befuddled that "Take Me Home, Country Road" is apparently a standard UK wedding signalong. Somewhere, John Denver is smiling.
  • St John is not just about the bone marrow and parsley "salad" which involves roasting beef bones and then scraping out the gelatinous marrow onto toast with sea salt. The process is messy and disgusting, which explains why my wife will no longer accompany me to this esteemed establishment, but oh my god is it delicious. When I went for lunch last week I ventured into the dessert menu and on the sage recommendation of my waiter tried the chocolate malt custard -- a ramekin with dense chocolate on top and velvety yellow malt custard beneath. New on the menu, you heard it blogged here first. Truly amazing.
Tonight, carrying on with the UK theme, the missus and I are going to see an interview with Philip Pullman, author of "His Dark Materials," the movie adaptation of which looks resoundingly kick-ass if the trailer is any indication.

And then I shall retire to my (Brooklyn) country manor, whereupon I shall:

Spend the rest of the evening on the Wii
Today I purchased Guitar Hero III
For those who art about to rock, we salute thee

Thursday, October 18

More "Dayman" Remixes

A few readers have gotten in touch asking for the raw MP3 of "Day Man" so they can make their own remixes.

Here it is: "Day Man (raw MP3)"

To make "Day Man: The Remix" I used two software programs: Audacity to chop up the audio and Apple's Garage Band to add drums and strings and splice it all together.

Don't forget to comment here, linking to your work.

Saturday, October 13

Day Man -- Fighter of the Night Man

If you haven't seen this week's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" ... Oh. My.

The set-up to the following makes it infinitely funnier, but just watch it anyway and then tell me this isn't the wrongest show on television (and I mean that in a good way).

"Day Man" just might be the catchiest TV jingle since "The Day My Computer Said 'Hello'."

Check out my super-amateur remix here: Day Man - The Remix

More: 10 reasons you should be watching 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Friday, October 12

Monkey Daemon: The Mix

Trying a little something new here. Culled from the Monkey Daemon podcast, a monthly selection of musical treats. Tip of the hat to many great music blogs including Soul Sides, Captain's Crate and Moistworks.

Download the full mix here.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Monkey Daemon: The Mix #1

Sur Les Traces De Fela -- Mokobe Feat Seun Kuti Et Egypt 80

Let it Be -- Ike and Tina

Wish I Didn't Miss You (Nuffwish Remix) -- Angie Stone

Mercy Mercy Mercy -- Marlena Shaw

Memory Lane -- Minnie Riperton

Bad Girl -- Lee Moses

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face -- Mark Ronson (feat. the Dap-Kings)

Hey, Hey -- Gershon Kingsley

Burning Spear -- The Soulful Strings

Making Time -- Creation

Gold Lion (Diplo Remix) -- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

No Diggity (J-Star Remix) -- Blackstreet

Answer Me -- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

I Can Hear You Calling -- Three Dog Night

(illustration of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings from
The New Yorker)

Thursday, October 11

If you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes...

...I'm in real trouble.

I had an early night last night, and a relatively calm morning before heading into work today.

So how to explain the fact that I looked down at about 11 am and realized I was wearing two different shoes, one black and one brown?

Oy gevalt...

Tuesday, October 9

McNutty's off the wagon?!

The Wire is coming back. If you haven't seen what may be the best drama series on TV, run out to the Corner and buy some DVDs. Also showing on HBO now.

Thursday, October 4

Wednesday, October 3

Welcome back Clocker

Brooklyn's least reliable timepiece is back in public sight after renovations. If you and a friend agree to meet at a certain time, make sure you're both referencing the same face of the clock -- they almost never agree.

Wii Bowling: The Senior Tour

Maybe old age won't be so bad.

Check out this incredibly high-production value video of a multistate Wii bowling tournament between half a dozen retirement homes. Reminiscent of old NFL Films footage ("From the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field) except, you know, with old people. And video game bowling.

Tuesday, October 2

For all you forex trading stoners out there...

I love how this story could very nearly have been written about oil, or aluminum. Allan Dowd, we salute you!
Strong Canadian dollar said hurting pot exports
Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:51pm BST

By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The strong Canadian dollar has hit the illegal marijuana sector just as it has other industries that export to the United States, one of Canada's best known legalization advocates said on Thursday.

But western marijuana growers have also benefited from Canada's strong economy, especially the booming Alberta oil patch, which has increased domestic consumption, according to Marc Emery, a founder of the British Columbia Marijuana Party.

The Canadian dollar touched parity with the U.S. dollar last week, topping a rise of some 60 percent over the past five years. On Thursday, it was still hovering around par, at C$1.0014 to the U.S. dollar or 99.86 U.S. cents.

A stronger loonie -- so called for the bird engraved on the one dollar coin -- has cut the profit of selling potent "B.C. Bud" marijuana in U.S. markets at a time when producers in Canada struggle with tighter border security and competition in the United States with pot from other sources.

Top quality Canadian pot is selling for $3,500 (1,725 pounds) a pound in the United States, compared with C$2,400 (1,180 pounds) in domestic markets, according to Emery, who is also editor of Cannabis Culture magazine and fighting extradition to the United States.

Practice Safe Wii

I'm just going to skip over all the obvious double entendres and lay this out in a straightahead, innuendo-free manner:

After several high profile incidents involving sweaty-handed video gamers who got their flat screen TVs pregnant, Nintendo is handing out free jimmy hats -- I'm sorry, "Remote Jackets" -- for Wii controllers.

Ribbed for your pleasure.

A to the B to the C to the D

Run-DMC on 'Reading Rainbow' y'all.

Pork cooked in "Dork"

I cooked up some food this Sunday that was, frankly, outrageous. Also easy. But time-consuming, and definitely, definitely not recommended by the American Heart Association.

I found it while browsing some YouTube'd episodes of Mark Bittman's public TV show "How to Cook Everything," based on his massive cookbook (which, by the way, I would recommend for anyone who wants to learn how to cook).

The recipe is "Grilled Pork Confit":
  • Take a pork shoulder, one of those cuts that is cheap but needs to cook a long time.
  • Brine it in salty, sugary, spicy liquid for a day or two.
  • Confit it, which means to cook it at a very low temperature in fat for a looooong time.
  • Grill it, so that the outsides get ultra crispy and golden.
I did almost everything I could to screw up this recipe and it still came out unbelievably delicious.

After a Jamie Oliver-esque shopping expedition around Brooklyn on my bike, I had my ingredients. The two most important were a beautiful pork shoulder from my favorite butchers, and some duck and pork fat (aka lard) from the farmers market.

As Bittman explains on the video, below, duck fat + pork fat = dork fat. You could cook almost anything in this stuff and it would be delicious.

As a side note, my mom made an apple pie last weekend using duck fat for the crust, and it was light, flaky and delicious, tasting not at all of water fowl. As another side note, this restaurant seems worth a visit.

Back to the pork: So, I screwed up the brine -- 12 hours instead of 48 hours, a cup of cloves instead of 4 cloves (!), and a bunch of cilantro instead of parsley. Know what? I probably could have stuck to salt, pepper and sugar.

You'll see in the video, when they take the pork out of the confit it is effortlessly cut into pretty little slices. Yeah, uh, bullshit. I ended up with about 10 misshapen portions. Because I was afraid they'd fall apart, I seared them on the stove instead of on the grill.

And my brilliant idea for spaetzle, which are little pasta-like dumplings, totally failed. Channeling Dale from Top Chef, I went with Plan B: roasted potatoes, cooked with -- you guessed it -- Dork fat.

In the end, it all came out beautifully. The pork was tender and moist inside a crispy golden crust. Ditto the potatoes. My friend Bernhard from Rome, who was the guest of honor for lunch on his way to a flight out of JFK, along Bill, Victoria, Scott and Kelly all gave it a resounding ovation.

The pork and potatoes had center stage, but the savior of the day? Dork Fat.

Part 1 of the Mark Bittman Video

Part 2