Friday, April 18, 2008

Disappointing Dinner, Memes, and Other Misc. Ruminations

We had a rather disappointing dinner last night with an acquaintance from college. He's a very recent graduate (3 weeks) and it surprised me how much that affected our conversation: he couldn't relate to our stories about run-ins with the landlord or the "rhythm" of the 9-5 job; we eventually tired of his enthusiasm for his new job (after learning about the organization's history, financial status, and all of his colleagues' job descriptions and career goals...). I'm shocked that 10 months outside the Ivory Tower created such a notable gulf between us.

Not to mention that two new recipes that we tried were not particularly memorable or worth the effort. The sausage/porcini pasta dish tastes ubiquitously French (good, but I've got other recipes on hand that'll accomplish that as well if not better), and was not deserving of the expensive porcinis or Farmer's Market sausage that it used. The recipe for fried oysters was just not impressive. Which was sad: had they worked I would absolutely have submitted the recipe to the Vintage Cookbooks event hosted by the Weekend Cookbook Challenge crew.

I may write a food post at some point today but, for variety's sake, I'm going to use this post for unfinished business and miscellaneous thoughts.

-- First, Johanna asked for a picture of the new cruet that my parents got me while they were in town. It's simply a receptacle that is specifically meant to hold salad dressing, so that you don't have to make dressing every time. We used to use a jar. My parents use a tall plastic Tupperware-like cruet. I picked this one out from Crate and Barrel because a) it's not tacky or cheesy, like many others out there, b) it's got a bunch of different recipes for salad dressing written on the side of the container. Not something I'd really want I were hosting the Queen of England, but convenient for someone who is personally terrified of making salads.

-- Second, Johanna tagged me for a six word memoir. I procrastinated all week under the pretense of thinking about it. It seems rather over-the-top for me to attempt to describe myself in six words, both because, since I'm only 23, the choice of words changes almost weekly, and because most adjectives seem viable to a greater or lesser extent.

My six words would be:
exotic: I grew up in West Africa and Switzerland (French school K-12), worked in the Dominican Republic, and am tri-lingual.
affectionate: My Mom observes that I need a lot of attention, like a puppy. That's A-OK with Do!
: Fighting to capitalize on good school, good grades, good resume in a town where most young people are fervently trying to do the same.
settled: Relatively speaking. I'm the boring one among my peers: I come home every night to my partner and cook with porcinis.
nerdy: I'm a certified nerd, got the degree to prove it. You should see our bookshelves (Kant, theoretical organizational decision-making, Theological Feminist Criticism...that said, I'm currently reading Sense & Sensibility ;).
verbal: (My Mom: "She never stops talking!"). Maybe this blog is an outlet..?

[Completely unrelated: last Thanksgiving, D's family played a game to come up with "six word novels." Essentially, you have six words to communicate an entire story line. The best one was told by D's Dad: "Frodo Kills Darth Vader. Lucas Sues." LOVE IT.]

-- Finally, Passover starts tomorrow. I'm a little sad: we won't be able to fly out to celebrate with D's family and all our close D.C. friends are going home to their families, so it'll be just a small tete-a-tete Seder. That, and after the six weeks of self-imposed vegetarianism otherwise known as Lent, we're both dragging our feet at the thought of another week or so of culinary regulation. We dutifully bought Kosher-for-Passover Matzah last weekend, but have yet to decide how else we're going to approach the holiday. Ah, the culinary trials and tribulations of the interfaith liturgical calendar. It helps to know that all High Holidays between Passover and Yom Kippur will leave our kitchen alone.

-- Speaking of Lent, have you noticed how many posts are under the vegetarian tab?? Wow, we've really, unconsciously, seriously modified our diet as a result of that exercise. We now eat meat at only 50% of our meals. I'm really impressed!



Johanna said...

Thanks for doing the meme. Your words give great insight. And thanks for the cruet photo - I knew the name and the container but had never put them together!

That's a shame about the dinner - I have had a few occasions where food disappoints me and I am trying it again another time - which requires quite a lot of patience for me but is paying off and helping me learn

Krysta said...

I have a six word meme I am suppose to do also. I'm struggling with it. Sorry about dinner, I hate having a recipe that looks good but dissapoints.

Kate said...

I still use a jar for my salad dressing too - its just so convenient!

As for Passover - I get the added challenge of having packed up all my pots and pans for our move next week. Which means not only do I have dietary restrictions, but everything I eat has to be cold or made in the microwave on a paper plate.

Psychgrad said...

A lot of thoughts there. I always feel disappointed when dinners aren't as good as they can be. But, I guess you've got to go through the so-so recipes to find (or recognize) the good ones.

I say give your friend 3-6 months. He'll be easier to relate to.

I wish I were trilingual. I'm working on bilingual - learning a second language as an adult is not easy.

I'm home with R for Passover. We're not doing a seder or anything - but I'm still hoping to make my Passover favorites: Matza brie and charoset (not together).

Have a good seder.

giz said...

I like your 6 words plus descriptions - you sound alot like Psychgrad (I mean that in a good way)

So so recipes are always better than disasters - trust me on this one.

People somehow seem to get so self absorbed when they first find a new passion - the friend will find equilibrium at some point.