Thursday, April 16, 2009


Let me put this out there right up front: currently, my life is pretty cushy. I live in a country where eating out every single night is actually cheaper than buying groceries back where I grew up. I live in an apartment that comes staffed with a full-time housekeeping crew. Since all of this actually saves us money--we don't even buy dish-washing detergent, we don't even own a broom--it means we can even afford to hire an incredibly cool woman to cook for us once a week. Frankly, we save a lot of money when she buys our groceries, too. There is still a little distasteful, but completely sanctioned, nationalist inequality going on around here. I would feel ridiculous snarking about any of this, so it is important that you understand that snarking is not what I'm doing here. I'm just talking. About how the cook's been making some pretty oddball food, lately. Here one recent two-course example: one rich and wonderful Italian or Creole type of soup, with spicy beans and a rich tomato base, that was served right beside a platter of wok-seared salt-and-pepper Asian squid, with nước mắm and lemon, that was supposed to be wrapped in lettuce and basil leaves. Both of these dishes were excellent, but they made a rather weird combination. This week she made us a wonderful clarified cracked pepper soup with vermicelli beside a heaping plate of hot, garlicky gnocchi glued into a mozzarella and tomato sauce mass--if I've made this sound a lot like a heaping plate of cheese tots, well, that wouldn't be incorrect. There have been times when Tuesday nights were a delight of restaurant-quality food served up on our very own coffee table. Lately they've been more of a delight of oddball cultural apophenia. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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