August 31, 2007

Your Weekly Libation: Under-21 Edition

In a surreal twist, despite the excellent boozing I did in Vegas last weekend, the drink that impressed me most had no alcohol in it. That’s right, not one drop! I was in the Venetian’s bakery (open ’til 1 AM, which is a fantastic idea, by the way) Friday afternoon when I saw a fascinating bottle:

That’s right, rhubarb soda, in this case made by Dry Sodas. Now, we all know how much I love dry cider, but a dry soda? Intrigued, I bought two bottles and took them up to my room, where my buddies and I spent fifteen minutes trying to find a bottle opener We all had bottle openers on our pocketknives, but of course those were back in Chicago. Damn you, completely logical air safety laws!

So: how was it? In a word…interesting. I’ve never had a soft drink so dry in my life, nor one with such a pronounced rhubarb flavor. The taste kind of crackled on my tongue–took some getting used to, but by the next day I was sipping another bottle gleefully, my body perhaps thrilled to encounter something non-alcoholic during the trip. In the end it’s quite refreshing, and very different from any other soda I’ve ever imbibed.

As for why it belongs in a heretofore cocktail-only list: I bet it would be outstanding with vodka. Or possibly some gin!

So if any of you folks see this in your local late-night bakery (seriously, why don’t we have more of those?), be sure to pick up a bottle or two. What you mix it with from then on is your own business.

-Jim wonders how many of these recipes he could cook and eat in a row before, uh, dying

The biggest hunk of cheese I have ever seen.

It costs $249. Would you buy it???

-Hillary, wishing for an autographed copy of the Amateur Gourmet book
Editor, Recipe4Living

August 30, 2007

I agree

“I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded, dead.”
-Woody Allen

-Jim likes quotes about food

The Proud Fan

It’s out! It’s here! The Amateur Gourmet BOOK! It’s been 48 hours already but I didn’t believe it until I was able to get my hands on my very own copy, and I have!

But it didn’t come without a bit of trouble.

My bookstore of choice was Border’s. I went there last night expecting the book to be flaunted everywhere I turned. But to my disappointment, no bright yellow book greeted me directly on the way in. I was nervous. “Why isn’t his book the biggest feature?!” I thought to myself. “Doesn’t anybody know that his book came out yesterday?!”

Ok, so maybe somewhere in my food blogging world, my perceptions have been skewed. Maybe Adam Roberts of Amateur Gourmet isn’t the best thing to ever happen to a bookstore. But if you ask me, he should be.

Anyway, back to the story. So I turn to my left and notice the “new releases” section, betting myself that it HAD to be there. I look up and down the shelves, becoming more and more worried, and still don’t see it. Now I’m wondering if Borders even carries the book, so I go up to the counter and ask. The employee has to look it up (jeez, has he not read it twice already?!) and then proceeds to tell me that it’s upstairs on the back wall in the Food and Cooking section. Ok fine, makes some sense.

So I go up the stairs, unsure of which wall was ‘the back one’ and start to skim through all the section names. I go back and forth, and back and forth, and I cannot, for the life of me, find the damn Food and Cooking section. I see Travel…Psychology…everything under the sun, but where was Food and Cooking? Aah… I’m frustrated so I ask another employee for help. He, which we will now refer to as Employee #2, points to the whole music section of the store and says that Food and Cooking is behind it. So now, not only is it not on the bottom level for everyone to see but it’s hidden behind the music section where no one goes to look for books, wonderful. This isn’t the kind of treatment I’d give THE Amateur Gourmet.

I skim the giant “back wall” over and over…and finally find it. There, stuck between a whole bunch of other books like it’s no big deal, is ONE copy (do you even see it?)

Well I pick it up and go downstairs to buy it, almost feeling bad that no one else that went to the store could. At the register, I get the nerve to ask if they just had one copy to begin with or it if it was already so popular that I was buying the last one. Employee #3 (yet another different one) looks it up in the computer and finds there are a whole bunch of copies sitting on the table right behind us…on the first floor!


Ugh…are you serious? It was there the whole time? Thanks employee number 1 for sending me on a wild goose chase. I guess at least now I know the book has some of the recognition it deserves.

Employee #2 asks me how many more copies I wanted to buy, because who would ask if they weren’t looking to buy more? A little embarassed, I say I’m fine with one.

I come home ecstatic to read the book. But before I do, I take one last photo, inspired by The Proud Mother, and the Proud Coffeeshop Owner, that I will call: The Proud Fan

-Hillary, wondering if she is too obsessed with the Amateur Gourmet
Editor, Recipe4Living

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