This is a question that has plagued me since I took those tests in 8th grade that said I should be a farmer. In a moment of clarity I figured it out last night. Why not combine my love of traveling and drinking while getting paid? I have always thought it would be fun to be on one of those travel shows. But honestly I doubt that I'm charismatic enough to be on Globetrekker. In fact I would probably offend most of the PBS viewing audience. But on the same token I don't want to be on one of those E goes wild on shows either. I mean sure I would love to go to Ibiza or Bali and dance with half naked women but lets face that's already been done. So I suppose this is not an original idea I kinda stole it from Dave Attell. But here is the difference I would to do a show about places Americans avoid. I would go to places like Oaxaca and do shots of tequila in a towny bar, or maybe pound a few back in the Tamil Tiger controlled region of Sri Lanka. It would be sort of a dangerous proposition but lets face it if I started buying rounds for the bar I would be pretty well protected for the night. So the title of my show would be "James Gets Drunk In_____?". I think this could be big. Does anyone want to underwrite me?
Or so it seems. I had my Bio test this evening and I really have no idea how I did, but this time I did not get that "I just fucked that up feeling". In fact I think a good majority of my answers were well thought out and actually made sense this time. So hopefully these last couple weeks of real studying paid off. I'm still not out of the water yet. Tomorrow is physics and although I feel ready, it could go horribly wrong depending on the complexity of the problems. Nonetheless I feel cramming more at this point will only make me more nervous.
On the job front I have an interview tomorrow, hopefully it will go well and they can offer me what I'm looking for. I'm pretty miserable at my current place. I never thought I would say this, but I really miss working at Tokyo-Seoul. That restaurant was the cleanest that I have ever worked or eaten in. The food was consistently good; I rarely if ever had a complaint. The money was also so much better. Despite how difficult it could be to work for someone who screamed at me in Korean when I didn't live up to unreasonable expectations, or the completely unfair policies that are probably against labor laws. I at least knew where I stood there. People were not phony or complete dickheads for no apparent reason. We didn't have lame ass staff menu knowledge tests or constant threats of being fired for the most minor of rule infractions. The owners ruled with an iron fist, but as long as you worked hard and didn't lie to them you were safe. Hopefully this new place will work out, I guess if it doesn't I will keep looking.
I noticed Kibirashi was back open for business this evening so I popped in for a quick bite. I am generally over critical when it comes to restaurants but particularly with sushi places. Needless to say I wasn't blown away by kibirashi, yet I wasn't disappointed either. I had a few of my standard pieces hamachi, and fluke, a spicy tuna hand roll and also tried something new. They were running a special, kimchi marinated escargot as a piece of nigiri. It sounded interesting, and it was. Although it was more sweet than it was spicy, it was still delicious. It tasted like it had eel sauce on it but I was assured that it wasn't exactly that but it was meant to have a sweetness. The chef made the nigiri the way I prefer with a little dab of wasabi under the fish. Definitely tastes better that way in my opinion. It was all pretty fresh unlike some of the other sushi places I have had in town. Here is where I was disappointed. The spicy tuna hand roll was mushy. He made it before some of my other things so it sat around for a few minutes. All it takes is a few minutes for the nori to become as soft as Bob Dole without his meds. The spicy mayo was also not good, it tasted way too much like regular mayonnaise to me. Don't get me wrong I thought this place was on par with Kuni's. An added bonus is that it has seating which I definitely prefer to take out. It's a neat little dining area, I love that it's small. I'm not a big fan of the giant sushi bars that you have to scream across the counter to get a chef's attention. They currently don't have a liquor license yet; I guess they had to reapply. I'm sure the state will be more than happy to take their money though. Service was good and I think so far this is my favorite sushi place in Buffalo.
I'm way too hung over to do anything more productive than cook and clean today. Thanks again PMT for a great party. It was nice meeting a few more people on the site.
Today I felt like making something quick and simple. So I chose Skate Grenobloise because skate takes about 4 minutes to cook and the sauce another minute. This dish is from the Dauphine region of France. Grenobloise means in the style of Grenoble, the capital of the Dauphine region. Apparently they prepare trout in a similar manner there. Since I'm not a chef I ripped off Bourdain's recipe and presentation. I have actually never had skate before today, I apparently have been missing out. This stuff is cheap, I mean really cheap. I paid less than $3 for a large fillet of it. It has a similar texture to Lobster and is a very mild whitefish. The whole recipe is nothing more than a skate wing, butter, capers, lemon juice, croutons and parsley. I had it with some asparagus and Pommes Puree. I am going to have to eat a lot more skate now that I know how great this stuff is.
Alright Yvonne I'm making Coq Au Vin next, probably in a couple of weeks after all of this school crap calms down a little. It's a chicken soaked in red wine and some vegetables over night and served with mushrooms, bacon and noodles. If anyone else is interested I will have two more servings left over. It's kinda boring just cooking for myself all the time.
My best friend Ted is coming to town for the evening. We are going to see the Pat Metheny Trio which consists of Pat, Christian McBride, and Antonio Sanchez. Pat is probably my favorite jazz guitarist of all time. I'm always amused by how much we tend to bring down the average age of a jazz show. Why is it that young people just don't listen to jazz? It certainly isn't for lack of good stuff out there. Maybe its because there is more bad jazz than there is good jazz. Not to take an elitist stance on my taste in music but I always wonder why people flock to buy imnsfho rubbish, and then tell me my choice boring. Is it that many people don't want to really listen to music, are they more interested in singing along with the lyrics and dancing than they are thinking about what is being played? Anyway I guess I don't really care what people think of what I listen to, I just get annoyed when they let me know that it sucks.
But anyway this is the first time I will be seeing the Trio, I have seen the Pat Metheny Group twice now. If you have even a passing interest in modern jazz I would urge you all to listen to some of his stuff, especially either of the two albums Antonio Sanchez is drumming on. Not only is it very well composed but all of the players are professional musicians. I listen to music that is written and played by people I wouldn't necessarily consider professional musicians as well, but sometimes I just need to listen to a symphony orchestra play a complex piece of music.
We will most likely go out to drink somewhere thereafter if anyone is free later tonight. Although it may not be till 10:30-11pm.
Tonight somebody who holds slightly no significance in my life told me something that will change their life forever. It's not that I think nothing of this person, its that I don't really know her. She is around my age with similar circumstances. 27-28 years old pursuing a bachelors degree in (whatever)... and bang!, Pregnant! This makes me really think about where I am in my life. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known, but really what the kicker is not how smart she is, but how charismatic she is. She is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. I am worried sick about what the fuck she is going to do.
The dick who put her in this state is gone. She wants nothing to do with him, and I don't blame her. But how is she going to raise this child by herself?? I think I'm reasonably smart and resourceful, but how the fuck would I handle this? Life comes at you so fast sometimes. She is probably much more capable of raising this child by herself than I give her credit for, but I see how my best friend and his wife (in a stable home) deal with the day-to-day challenges of raising children. How is she going to do this while trying to better herself and get ahead?
this is getting ridiculous. My upstairs neighbors decided to leave for a few days and left their two dogs by themselves (well some guy comes to feed and walk them a couple times a day). But I am not exaggerating when I say they have been fucking barking almost non-stop for the last three hours. I'm tempted to hit the ceiling with a broom, but I have a feeling it will only make it worse. So much for sleeping tonight.
For the past couple of weeks I have been drooling over Rue Franklin's fall menu. It all sounds so delicious, but considering they aren't open on Sunday and I wanted to cook it myself, I decided to make an Autumn French meal. I was going to do a three course, but I thought that sounded a bit extravagant for just me. Plus I didn't really have the time to make an Apple Galette on top of the other two things I was cooking. I took both of the recipes from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. Which I highly recommend for anyone who likes classic French Bistro cooking with a bit of unrefined commentary from the writer.
For the first course I made a pot of Onion Soup. This recipe includes lots of onions obviously, port, balsamic vinegar, a heart attack inducing amount of butter, slab bacon (which Wegmans does not have freaking have!), bouquet garni, crouton, and a mound of Gruyere. I find any dish that requires me to use a butane torch is all that much more pleasurable to make. I have a really shitty gas broiler in my dwelling and the torch is necessary to get that nice brown on the cheese.
Second course was Coquilles St Jacques. Basically this dish is dry scallops, again a ton of butter (this is French food after all), more heavy cream than a human should consume in one sitting, Fumet, shallots, chives and some champagne.
Both of these dishes are quite simple to make. The hardest part really is getting my crummy equipment to cooperate. It's a real PTA to get that nice brown color on my scallops with a beat up sauté pan and gas range that just doesn't put out the required amount of Btu's for the job.