The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Creeping ... um, project management?

As the US races toward tyranny and socialism, one thing that has so far escaped the attention of the tea baggery is the creeping interest in doing engineering projects by some form of international (bad word there) standards (even worse.) Now it turns out that the next time the state wants to fix something on a critical bottleneck bridge, on which a screwup would sever traffic up and down the whole east coast of Michigan (i.e., the Zilwaukee bridge,) they're actually going to try to get the contractor to demonstrate that they're competent to do it! Where are our freedoms going?

I especially love the quote, "There will be accountability if there’s anything catastrophic.” (Because there certainly wasn't the last time. The Saginaw News had to FOIA an $80,000 MDOT study to find out that the failure wasn't anybody's fault.)

And if you aren't irked enough by that, here's a lovely note about Detroit not being able to issue property tax bills on time, even though I sure bet the city could use some of that money. The headline is inaccurate: 2000 people have complained, asking "where in the hell's my tax bill?" The actual number of missing bills is some superset of that value.

I'm sorry -- the doctors have me taking all my steroids in the morning, now, and it results in this kind of hyper-active blogging. Basically, I'm assuming that no one else but me reads the news.

Not old haunts

Despite any possible concern over the legal troubles of its prior owner, someone plans on rehabilitating the mid-eastern restaurant La Shish. This is labeled "not old haunts," because I think I was at La Shish once, prior to the dust-up, and was no more impressed with it than I ever am with hummus-and-felafel places. But good luck to them, anyway, say I, because the new name for at least the outpost in Ann Arbor was (and may remain, for all I know) "The Palm Palace." What were they thinking?

I know at least one faithful reader who will disagree with me about La Shish, by the way, and I welcome a more positive review of the place as it was before the owner took it on the lamb (get it, lam / lamb? Haw, haw.) When it comes to that particular end of the Mediterranean, I suspect that I just plain don't get it.

Old Haunts

So every time we drive to the clinic, we go past not only our first apartment together, but the old hospital-district breakfast place, Angelo's. We used to go there a lot, when Angelo himself was still around, but haven't been in years -- like 15 or so, maybe. Yesterday, having a quick walk-in event at the hospital and nothing more, we decided to answer the musical question, are there edible Eggs Benedict in Ann Arbor? (The last time I ordered them at the Broken Egg, the sauce was, ironically, broken.)

The answer, yes. Absolutely yes. The hollandaise could have been just a touch more acidic, but the dish overall was delicious, and at 8:30, more or less, on a Friday morning, no wait in line, quick service, and just a generally pleasant experience. Not clear why this sort of frozen-in-time thing pleases me so much (I don't spend a lot of time at the Fleetwood, after all,) but it does. It does.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Now, can we please have the Kerrytown Bistro back?

Eve the Restaurant is closing, apparently in favor of Eve, the incomprehensible sandwich shop.

Update: and much worse, Baker's is in trouble, too. Sad.

Update: No, guess we don't get the Bistro back. Zingerman's is going to use it for prep work and meetings. The article does, I admit, explain a lot about the issues with using the space as a restaurant, and of course, it wasn't built to be -- nothing at Kerrytown was built for what it's become. Still, it was a damned pleasant place to have a meal, when it was all exposed brick and professional waitstaff. Here's a couple of late-era pictures of us, enjoying the whole thing.
But on the brighter side, see John's comment below about Eve's Washington Street shoppe. Could be good, especially if it's another warm-weather outdoor opportunity.

Baker's goes under the auction gavel on Monday. And it sold to someone who's going to keep it a jazz club.

Getting pretty complex, here

Further evidence, in case you needed it, that Paula Deen is a waste of oxygen.

Seriously, this kind of advanced cooking technique is way beyond my skills. Maybe one of the local chefs could try this out and see if it sells.

Thanks to Dave Barry's blog for bringing this to my attention.

Update: Ok,I see the problem now. Clearly some text was omitted in the recipe. Here's what she was really trying to describe, quoted from The Regional Cooking of Italy, published by the Academia Italiana Della Cucina.

"This very involved recipe for brioche filled with chicken and mushrooms from the area of Campania called for homemade brioche called conglufi, two separate bechamel sauces, and making quantities of ground chicken, mushrooms, peas, and prosciutto cotto. The conglufi were baked in small moulds about two inches across and four inches high. After baking, a cylinder was cut out of the center to hold the filling and what was cut out became the "cap." A very thick bechamel would be mixed with ground chicken, egg, and cheese, and then formed into balls. The mushrooms were cooked in butter and sherry, and the peas, just lightly cooked in boiling water and flavored with butter. The second bechamel became the sauce for the filling and (sic) mixed with the quenelles, cooked mushrooms, peas, and prosciutto cotto. The conglufi were stuffed with the hot filling and served immediately."

This makes so much more sense, taken in the proper context. I do a similar dish on weeknights when I'm tired and don't have time for something more complicated.