Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I'd wager there are 3 points in that big old glass, Mr. Beard

The chalkboard outside our local kitchenware shop bore these words of dubious wisdom yesterday: "A gourmet who thinks about calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." -- James Beard.

YUCK. But why? Because I think he's wrong? Because it's a weird analogy? Is it the word "tart?" Or just the word "tart" spoken by him? Because I am a humorless bluestocking?  

No need to reply.

I was planning to cook for my husband's birthday last night, but my sister invited us to go out and we're trying to be more spontaneous and so we did not eat the scheduled Moro hummus and lamb and churros  and chocolate, but instead went to the new and much hyped 54 Mint. What a sweet restaurant! Small and airy and overseen by a guy with an Italian accent who told us when we were ordering foolishly and gently steered us back on course without making us feel stupid or patronized. Most the food struck the right balance between comfortable and challenging. The best thing we ordered was a squid ink arancina that was the size and shape of a small paperback book, rather than the usual orb. We cut it into four squares, and under the crumbly fried crust was molten black rice of extreme lusciousness. I could never make that at home. The salt cod fritters with aioli: I take back all the mean things I've said about salt cod.

Many, many calories. I was looking at my watch.


  1. Melvil Dewey1/5/10, 8:33 AM

    Perhaps the quote from James Beard bothers you because you've read Jeremiah Tower's "California Dish," a mediocre yet entertaining book that sheds unwanted light on Beard's sex life. For better or worse, I'll never think of Beard the same way again (especially when he's talking about tarts).

  2. You are exactly right. I can not get certain horrifying images out of my head. That book was wicked.

  3. I don't think anyone wants to associate food with sex for pay. Not even George Costanza.

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  5. This reminded me of this:

    "A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman with only one eye." - Brillat Savarin

  6. Yes, that is equally awful. Actually, it's worse.