Thursday, November 27, 2014


I was in Miami last weekend, and I know that Miami is a hotbed of good eatin’, but I was there for a book fair and I knew my opportunities would be limited.  There in the book fair’s hospitality lounge I ate whatever this is: 

some kind of vaguely Cubanish vegetarian sandwich on the right and devilled eggs on the left.  I’m pretty sure the gourmet powers that be have decided that the devilled egg is hip again, and that’s OK with me.

And there was a party at the Standard in Miami Beach, and Questlove was there, comb in hair just in case you didn’t recognize him (and in fact I’m not sure I would have recognized him without the comb), and the waiters came round with sliders and things on sticks, and they were fine, but it wasn’t prime psychogourmet territory.

On Sunday morning, having no eating companion, I went to the local Publix supermarket which struck me as a rather superior supermarket, and I admired the look of the canned chorizos in lard, but I didn’t honestly think I could sit on a bench and eat them from a can .

So I wandered around in the stinking heat looking for somewhere to eat, and by luck rather than judgment I ended up in a place called Bin 18. And did I ever strike lucky.  They were serving brunch – basically poached eggs with various Benedict-ish variations. 

But wait, what’s this on the menu – it says that all their eggs are cooked sous-vide.  Blimey!  If devilled eggs are now declared thoroughly hip, I couldn’t help wondering if sous vide eggs (or sous vide anything) might be a bit “last-craze.”  But they were damn good.  I had the Don Quixote – poached eggs, with two kinds of chorizo (that would be chorizo palacios and chorizo cantimpalo - and no reference to lard) caramelize onions, hollandaise, and some rosemary potatoes on the side.

A younger version of myself would never have been able to sit alone in a restaurant with a glass of wine eating alone, savoring a meal – not even brunch.  Some things do get very slightly easier as you get older.

Monday, November 24, 2014


You know, sometimes I almost like my life.  Last week I was in the local Gelson’s supermarket and there, standing in line, was the more than fabulous Mary Woronov.  That’s her above in a Warhol screentest.  This is her below in Chelsea Girls:

In fact I’ve met Mary once or twice but I wasn’t absolutely sure she’d recognize me, but I said hello and she did seem to clock that I wasn’t just some crazed fan bothering her in the supermarket, and I said, “I didn’t know this was your local supermarket,” and she said, “Oh it’s not.  But I walk my dogs up in the park and then afterwards they get to eat roast beef.”  And she brandished a pack of roast beef she’d just bought at the  counter.  This is, more or less, how she looks today.

Now, I happen to know how much roast beef costs at Gelson’s deli counter – basically, if you have to ask you can’t afford it.  And, without thinking I said, “Oh, I’ll be your dog Mary.”  How we laughed. 

And it occurred to me that this kind of thing just possibly might not have happened to me if I didn’t live in Hollywood.  Afterwards I wondered if I should have said, "No sugar cookies, Mary?"  referring to her movie Sugar Cookies - summarized thus on imdv, "A film producer murders his star actress during an erotic 'game' and makes it look like suicide. The dead girl's lesbian lover discovers what happened, and plots her revenge."   (Guess who play's the lesbian lover).  But on balance I'm glad I stuck with offering to be her dog.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I was at a nearby Farmers Market t’other Sunday and there was a stall selling  mushrooms, and they had baskets of mixed mushrooms – and I’m a sucker for good mushrooms and at the other Farmers Market that I sometimes go to there’s a guy who sells the very best wild mushrooms.  Actually now that I think about it I'm not sure whether he just forages for them or whether he grows them himself; if the latter then I suppose they're cultivated  wild mushrooms, which may be a contradiction in terms.  In any case, the ones I was looking at, I was pretty sure, weren’t wild in any sense, but they looked interesting enough and I bought a basketful, which cost 8 dollars.

And I got them home and spread them out on a plate and although they still looked perfectly OK, they seemed a little less exciting than I'd imagined, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that the man running the stall might have just been into the local supermarket, bought a bunch of different kinds of mushroom and then arranged them in baskets so that they look artisanal.  I reckoned I could have done that myself and probably could have brought it in for less than 8 dollars.  On the greater scale of food annoyances this one was exceptionally minor, but still …

Actually the Loved One and I did briefly try to grow wild mushrooms. It involved drilling holes in logs and then filling them with spores.  It wasn’t our greatest success.  And the results certainly didn’t look remotely like this (well the logs did but not the mushrooms):

We concluded that you probably need a good cave before you can grow mushrooms successfully. But take a look at the guy in this ad:

He’s earning big money, there’s no risk to the grower, and it seems perfectly possible, given the bold type, that he may even have an air raid shelter, even if not a cave.  Some guys have all the luck.