Sunday, March 27, 2011

All Over the Place

That's today's post - there are so many ideas bouncing around inside my head, I'm not sure where to start.


Star Trekkies: The Next Generation - MegaCon started on Friday, March 25, 2011, at the Orange County Convention Center.  To say that my son has been looking forward to this for a very long time would be a vast understatement.  Sometimes he annoys me a little with his obsession, but the truth is that his father and I created our junior trekkie, and in fact, we took him to his first Star Trek convention when he was around four years old.  So it should have come as no surprise to me when, having decided to dress as the Captain in the alternate universe of "Mirror, Mirror", he patiently and rather cleverly handcrafted that tunic he is wearing from carefully chosen fabrics, decorations, and insignia.  Both of his parents were hardcore Star Trek fans when we met and stayed Star Trek fans through all the years, so I guess Cory's journey into the Star Trek universe was inevitable.  But now that I think of it, food was not a really big part of Star Trek, at least not until Voyager.  You almost never saw the crew eating, and when you did, it was usually at some kind of a state dinner with a lot of aliens eating some really weird stuff.  With Voyager came Neelix and with Neelix came the ship's kitchen ("galley") and regular discussions regarding the care and feeding of Starfleet officers and crew, and with all that came the Star Trek Cookbook.  Recipes include Gagh, Cardassian Style, with Yamok Sauce, Klingon Skull Stew with Tripe, and Leonard Nimoy's Kasha Varnishkas a la Vulcan.  I am not kidding.  The cookbook was written by Ethan Phillips, the actor who played Neelix, and who has written stuff like: "I couldn't sleep at all last night because of a nightmare - Seven of Nine was lost in a five-and-ten."

"My chicken sandwich and coffee. This is my chicken sandwich and coffee!" 

About five years ago, we found ourselves in Las Vegas for the American Taekwando Association Spring Nationals, and of course we had to check out the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton.  And of course I had to buy the book that had both "Star Trek" and "Cookbook" in it's title.  Fortunately, I'm having trouble obtaining most of the ingredients (where does one find "gagh", or "plomeek"?) so I haven't been able to try any of his recipes.  Sorry, Neelix.
UFOs - Unidentified Frozen Objects -   Over the months, I have carefully frozen extra soups and stews and other cooked foods, which will come in very handy when Rob and I head out to Little Rock this summer.  Cory will be staying home, and the boy's gotta eat.  Unfortunately I forgot to label a lot of the freezer containers, so it will be a happy surprise for dinner once it is all defrosted.  In the meantime, both of my freezers are busting at the seams.  It's a race to see what will implode first: my spice cabinet or my freezer.

I Thought This Was a Food Blog -  Besides my favorite chili and a fruity bread pudding, my trip to Publix inspired me to add two other dishes to this weekend's cooking agenda:  beef braciole and a white vegetable pizza.  I approached the produce section with anticipation, but the eggplants are too small, and the okra is too big, so my mother's chopped eggplant and whole fried okra are (still) off the menu this weekend. 

Foreclosure bus tours? - I saw this sign stuck into the grass while driving into the Publix parking lot today.  I imagined riding around and taking stock of other families' heartbreak and embarrassment and was horrified by the thought.  Whose really cruel and stupid idea was a foreclosure bus tour?  What is wrong with this country?  If I saw a bunch of greedy buzzards riding around my neighborhood in a foreclosure tour bus (complete with window curtains, a karaoke machine, and a disco ball, like the really cool tour bus we rode in Korea), I might be inclined to give them the one-finger New York salute.  A long time ago, my mother told me "you can't build happiness on somebody else's misery."  And she was right.  No one should derive pleasure from another's misfortune.  If greedy turkey buzzards didn't all run to snap up those foreclosures, what would the banks do?  Well, they might think twice about getting stuck with all those houses, which means they might work a little harder at cutting a resonable break for the owners who are going through bad times.  Just saying.

The feminist movement whooshed right over this one's head - although I get along with most people, there are a few with whom I do not sing in the same key.  Whatever the reason, these are people that I would rather not have to exchange polite greetings, and I know they share my feelings.  Unfortunately, they all seem to shop in "my" Publix, making for the occasional awkward moment.  This morning was one of them, although I must admit I never expected to see this dude pushing a cart while trotting obediently behind a lady. This male troglodyte person, who happens to be opposing counsel on a case of mine, several months back committed the unpardonable sin of getting in the face of one of the young female case managers, and when I told him not to speak to her that way, he turned on me.  Well, I may be only half the woman I used to be, but my mouth is still the same size and I do not ever put up with some oversized male ego intruding into my personal space and raising his voice to me.  Since that encounter, he scurries away when I enter a room, giving me a big goofy scowl.  Come to think of it, he had the same goofy scowl on his face when he passed me in the Publix produce section.  Something tells me he's going to be moving his business to Winn-Dixie in the near future. 

Rest in peace, dear lady - Geraldine Ferraro, who in 1984 became the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket, died Saturday in Boston, a family spokeswoman said.

A three-term congresswoman from the New York City borough of Queens, Ferraro catapulted to national prominence in 1984 when she was chosen by presidential nominee Walter Mondale to join his ticket against incumbents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

In the end, Reagan won 49 of 50 states, the largest landslide since Franklin D. Roosevelt's first-re-election over Alf Landon in 1936. But Ferraro had forever sealed her place as trailblazer for women in national politics, laying the path for Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton's historic presidential bid in 2008 and Republican John McCain's choice of a once obscure Alaska governor, Sarah Palin, as his running mate that year.

And here comes my feminist rant, originally posted over on my Facebook page:  It is unbelievable to me that after the trailblazing efforts of this lady, we still have not elected a female president, or even vice president. We talk about racism and are able to point to the amazing changes that have taken place over the past century, the best evidence being the presidency of Barack Obama. Now somebody needs to give sexism a good, swift kick in the nether regions because, with all due respect to Mr. Obama, Hillary Clinton should have won the Democratic nomination for President. It seems a whole bunch of people are terrified at the thought of women in power.

C'est fini Kink!  And it is bee-yoo-tee-ful!

Restaurant ReviewHot Olives, 601 South New York Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, Telephone:  407-629-1030.  They call their food "simple gourmet" but there was nothing simple about my Fried Green Tomato Napoleon, which was set on top of a spicy marinara sauce, layered with sauteed lump crabmeat and dressed with a remoulade.  Rob had their steak special, and one of our friends ordered the Pear and Brie Pork Tenderloin, a grilled tenderloin of pork topped with candied bartlett pears and brie, and served over butternut squash risotto. We started by sharing their signature Hot Olives appetizer, diced black olives and Asiago cheese, breaded and deep fried, and served with a cheese and sweet chili sauce.  Delicious with a glass of chilled chardonnay.  Everyone really enjoyed their food, and I know we'll be going back.

Cook like there's nobody watching, and eat like it's heaven on earth.

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