Category Archives: Food

Mr Thursday Learns To Cook, Recipe #1:

This blog has been, well, inactive of late.  Part of this had to do with personal business, and part of this had to do with the fact that I was unemployed (with roughly equal parts pleasure and misery).  Fyodor Dostoevsky once made an argument that freedom requires rules (using a lovely metaphor of a man and a wall), and, as it turns out, in order for a man to make time for a hobby (like blogging), a man must have times in which he is unable to participate in said hobby.  All that said, I have a job again, and for the first time in a while, I’m feeling the urge to blog.  So, here we are, with out new feature, which, like all our other features, is destined to wither away, but while it lasts, we should be eating well.

The only positive thing that Mr Thursday did for Mr Thursday while unemployed was learn to cook.  In fact, he’s getting pretty good at it.  So, we’ll start sharing some recipes I’ve been coming across and enjoying.  There will be foods of all kinds: breakfast and dinner, dessert, snacks, soups, and even some more basic things like breads.  I even aspire to learn to make cheese, so if that goes well, we’ll share some instructions there, too.

But for today, a nice and easy and delicious snack.

BLEU CHEESE STUFF FIGS WITH BACON

The title didn’t give the whole dish away, did it?

Ingredients:

  • Bleu cheese (creamy, rather that crumbling)
  • Figs (we used California Dried Figs–the brown ones–though I’d like to try with other types)
  • Bacon (we used some applewood smoked stuff, and, I’d definitely recommend it)

This recipe came to Mrs Thursday and I via the Guy With the Hat in the DiBruno’s, who, by his own words is “never wrong”, and at least by the evidence we’ve got thus far, that claim holds true.  Hat-guy (not to be confused with HatGuy) first pointed us toward some Erborinato di Pecora, which is a sheep’s milk bleu cheese that costs a considerable amount of money, but, on a special occasion (in our case, uh, payday?) is definitely worth buying about 1/4 pound.  Thereafter, he tells us what to do with it.

Take your delicious, delicious bacon, and cook it on the stove, the way your normally would.   As it’s a-cookin’ (or, beforehand, if you like to focus strictly on your bacon), take your figs, you cut them in half.  Hollow out the gooey inner goodness (you don’t need to get all of it out–just enough to spoon some cheese in there).  Spoon the cheese into the figs.  Take your bacon, cut it in half, and wrap each half around a stuffed fig.  Stick ’em with a toothpick to keep the whole thing together, and enjoy.

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Especially You, Hedonism Bot! An Introduction.

hedonism_bot.jpgThere is an episode of Futurama in which it is determined that all the robots of the world are responsible for global warming, and that they must be destroyed or Earth will, ya know, fry.  The robots are tricked into coming to a big robots-only party on the Galapagos Islands, and, somehow, only Bender has figured out it’s a trap.  As he says good-bye to his pet turtle, the crowd hears him, and wants to escape with their robo-lives. 

Bender pleads with the robo-crowd thusly: “Shut up and pay attention to me, Bender!  Look, I love life and it’s pleasures as much as anyone here. Except perhaps you, Hedonism Bot. But we need to be shut off! Especially you, Hedonism Bot.”

To which Hedonism Bot replies, calling out, “I apologize for nothing!”

Anyway, I have always thought it funny, and because my opinion matters in this space more than anyone else’s, I present to you our newest series, loquaciously titled, Especially You, Hedonism Bot!.  Actually, that sounds like a Kurt Vonnegut title–“coming on the heels of such classics as God Bless You, Mr Rosewater and Happy Birthday, Wanda June, the masterful, paranoid storyteller posthumously brings you Especially You, Hedonism Bot!”  I like it, anyway.  EYHB! is where the Curious Mechanism shall explore the more pleasurable things in life: food and drink.  We have some amateur beer aficionados here, and so you’ll get plenty of recommendations for suds.  Personally, I am obsessive about pizza, and am on a quest to try just about every pizza worth eating.  If you’re familiar with a pizza that I can reach by public transit from Philadelphia, I’ll almost certainly try it within a couple weeks. 

If you want to recommend to me your favorite pizza place in Bismarck, ND, I wanna hear about that, too.  I never know when I could end up there.  I have my own favorite pizza places, and I’ll tell you about it soon enough.  I’m not sure what Paul, Liam, Andy, and Katie will care to write about.  Liam lives near Princeton, and fights and everlasting battle between his diabetes, and his love for the Princeton Creamery.  Paul is familiar with every wing night in Philadelphia, and can tell you definitively where the best cheap wings are nearly every night of the week.  Andy will be spending most of his summer near, I believe, Montreal, where one of my favorite breweries can be found, and will inhabit New Orleans this fall, where, perhaps, he can tell us where to find the best bayou cookin’. 

No food is too high-class, or low brow.  When we can afford it, we’ll tell you about our favorite steakhouses with their aged wine and their sizzlin’ Kansas City strips; likewise, when the mood strikes us, we’ll explain precisely how many tacos are too many tacos on taco night; the non-Philadelphians among you will have your education in the realms of water ice.  I think you get the idea.

Now, we cover with obvious bias toward Philadelphia.  For this reason, we ask you, dear readers, for both your suggestions, and your renovations.  If you want to tell us about the best drinks or grubs where you live, and we can’t get out their ourselves, feel free to send an email our way.  We’ll publish nearly any cogent recommendation. 

So, there we go.  A horrifically over-written, under-edited, and poorly made excuse to talk about beer and post pictures of pretty bottles and stuff like that. 

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The Bulls-Eye Theory

Through various websites, blogs, forums, panel discussions and soapboxes, Mr. Thursday has long advocated to a theory of his own origination: The Bulls-Eye Theory of Food.
 

The Bulls-Eye Theory is a simple one: for nearly every specific kind of food in the United States, there is a central location (a bulls-eye) where the comestible of choice can be found at its highest quality.  The best lobsters are found in Maine; the best strip steaks in Kansas City; the best Maryland Crab soup in, that’s right, Maryland.  Now, this is not to say that it is impossible to find a good lobster dinner in a restaurant in New Jersey, rather, it’s far more likely that walking indiscriminately into a seafood restaurant in Bar Harbor, ME is far more likely to yield positive results than using a similar absence of discretion in seafood selection in Sea Isle City, NJ (though if you should find yourself in need of buttered crustacean in Sea Isle, Mr. Thursday enthusiastically recommends Busch’s for both the quality of its dinner, and for the unintentional comedy of the Wednesday night patrons upon hearing a middle aged suburbanite crooning out covers of 1950s pop songs). 

The theory has faced many challenges in the past, in the form of various skeptics inquiring as to specific foods that they imagine to have a broader appeal, and thus no, or perhaps many centers.  Mr. Thursday, as is his nature, listens to these arguments and then crushes them with the swiftness and certainty of Britain’s defeat of Zanzibar over 100 years ago. 

The most common of these counter-arguments is pizza.  A food which, the claim goes, has found peaks in New York, Chicago, California, and elsewhere.  To dispute this, we look to define these foods.  Chicago is distinctly thick-crust, while New York is the traditional Neapolitan while California features the “artisan” pizza which Mr. Thursday generally disapproves of, since this fallacy is almost always, in fact, bland pizza overstuffed with toppings to hide its inadequacies.  Even Philadelphia has a pizza bulls-eye of its own with tomato pie which is hardly found outside the area, and not nearly with the frequency or quality found within. 

Mr. Thursday applauds the regional nature of food—in a rapidly globalizing world, many people no longer take pride in their hometowns, and food’s refusal to get with the program is worthy of note.

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