Tv Food and Drink’s Central Nervous System has gone into the shop for graphics card repairs. We should be back at full power in time for the 1/23/12 episode of The Bachelor. Until then, please feel free to wander down memory lane with my top 10 articles of 2012 (so far), including Bachelor, Celebrity Apprentice, Dancing with the Stars, cookies, arsonists, hot dogs, pizza and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s visit to Alcoholics Anonymous!
The Black Scorpion centers on a misunderstood prehistoric creature who is accidentally freed from his underground cave by a volcanic eruption and proceeds to roam all of Mexico in search of friendship and understanding.
Unfortunately, he is unable to find it, so instead he decides to slash his way through thousands of locals, demolish infrastructure, and create economic chaos in an attempt to weaken the peso.
She often laid on the floor of the family room, watching television and eating hot dogs.
The hot dogs were almost always on a paper plate. This was because washing the dishes was one of her household chores, and she excelled at creating less work for herself. She would spear each hot dog with a fork and eat it skewer-style. That eliminated the need for a knife. With a swipe through the mustard mound on the edge of the plate and then up to her mouth, her eyes never even had to leave the screen.
I have many memories of growing up with my older sister, Kelli, and much of it relates to food.
There was the time she brought a peperoncini to me and asked me if I wanted to eat it.
“What is it?” I asked innocently.
“A deflated pickle!” she cheerily replied, then relished as I popped it into my mouth only to scream moments later at the sour bile exploding on my tongue. I immediately reported this violation to my mom, who went looking for the peperoncini jar intending to force Kelli to eat one as punishment. But Kid Kelli had quite cleverly already dumped the rest of the jar’s contents down the garbage disposal. At family get-togethers, she still boasts about this story.
It was 1979 when my parents first got cable television for the family… or what passed for cable television at the time. The nation had yet to be introduced to even the seedlings of the multi-channel services movie fans have piped into their living rooms today. Before everyone knew HBO, Z Channel, Showtime, Encore or Cinemax, they all knew ON-TV.
ON-TV was what was known as a “scrambled UHF” service, the height of broadcast sophistication at the time. During the day, the UHF station (channel 52 where I grew up) aired its regular programming grid of Hercules cartoons and William Bendix in Life of Riley reruns. But at 7 in the evening, ON-TV would begin transmitting recent motion pictures over the air to the station, and the image would immediately scramble on home televisions, the sound cutting out entirely. In order to watch the movies, a converter box with a single “on-off” knob had to be rented for a whopping nineteen dollars a month.
Nineteen dollars a month. I was ushered into puberty for the price of nineteen dollars a month.
ON-TV gave me the first opportunity to see movies which my yet-to-hit-double-digit age would have prevented me from seeing in an actual theatre. And unlike the networks, ON-TV played the films totally uncut and unedited, finally allowing me to obtain a meager grasp of understanding on the subject of sex. Smokey and the Bandit, Silver Streak, Animal House, The Deep… to this day I can’t watch any of them without still experiencing a faint twitch of pre-adolescent Catholic guilt.
It was one regular school night at home when my parents and sister came together in the living room to watch a movie called The Spy Who Loved Me, and my mother allowed me to watch with them. No one in my family was particularly fond of James Bond, so I had no idea what to expect. But this was the only movie playing on the only movie channel the family had, so it was automatically an event.
By the time the opening sequence – featuring not one, but two love-making scenes and a ski chase down the side of an Austrian mountain – gave way to Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” and the film’s titles, accompanied by a bevy of naked women, swollen in all the right places, trampolining through the air and doing cartwheels on the tops of semi-automatic pistols, I was pretty sure I was watching the greatest motion picture ever produced.
I would like to take this moment to thank Cristian, our show’s Creative Director, who suggested that the entire crew and staff order lunch today from a Cajun delvery place in Van Nuys… that still hasn’t shown up. In fact, they are closing in on being two hours late getting me the Alligator Po Boy Sandwich I was very much looking forward to sampling. Instead, I’m left to subsist on nothing more than an apple, six ounces of yogurt and three Del Taco hot sauce packets.
Cristian… and those who starve because of him.
Now, we’re left with a predicament. Do we call the place and cancel though they swear the delivery girl is already on the way (as they have for the last hour)? Do we ask for a discount on our bill? Or should we request they comp us the entire thing, as the food will most likely be cold when it arrives and much of the crew will have already left for the day? More importantly, should we ban Cristian from ever being allowed to pick the restaurant again, or give him another chance?
And while I’m on the subject of Cristian, I’d also like to thank him for never getting the name of my blog right (“Hey Gary… you should put this up on Tv Food and Fun!”), always trying to get me to do his bidding (“Hey Gary… you should go over there and ask her why she’s always fucking shit up. We’d all support you.”), and for making fun of my fat cat (“Dude… that is a fat cat”).
As for the burgers below… they are pretty damn amazing and a little on the spicy side. We had them two nights in a row. Wish I had one right now. Thanks again, Cris!
Last Sunday afternoon was spent at the Farmer’s Market Sur La Table “Knife Cutting Essentials” class run by Martin Gilligan, former Executive Chef at the Kyoto Grand Hotel and Gardens in downtown Los Angeles. It was an education long overdue for me as my chopping, slicing and dicing skills up to this point have been self-taught and rather inefficient by my own admission. Continue reading “Señor Verde’s Baked Chicken with Hot Pepper Gravy” »
I didn’t know this until just a few minutes ago, but apparently in the apartment complex that is home to Chez Tv Food and Drink, I now have a reputation to protect.
I was just at my front door, key in hand and two bags of groceries at my feet. A young couple I recognized as neighbors I was nearly certain I had seen before passed me on the way to the elevator. He was sporting an entirely shaved head but for a large flap of dark hair that fell forward and covered his left eye, while she was coiffed in shoulder-length bright magenta locks capturing a look that is more common than not in the Hollywood area.
As they went past, the guy recognized my door, stopped and asked, “Hey, are you the guy that cooks all the time?”
I chuckled nervously because that’s what I do around strangers, and then said, “yes.” He responded with, “Ah, man. I smell that food coming out of your apartment all the time. It’s fucking amazing!”
I thanked him with a big smile I couldn’t have wiped off if you paid me, then offered to drop some food off sometime at his front door, to which he offered to pay me back in kind with a bottle of wine. Then we went our separate ways before it dawned on me I still had no idea what their names were or where the hell they lived.
Oh well. I’s nice to know I have some fans out there amongst the masses. And it’s certainly the kind of thing you happily welcome hearing the night before having to psych yourself up for another work week.
And yes, I certainly did assume that the aroma of the food I make would slither into the hallways of my complex now and again. But as I’m the one doing the cooking, I seldom catch the actual aroma myself since it envelopes me faster than anything else. So it’s nice to get a pat on the back for something you hope other people love enjoying as much as you enjoy making it.
So, I’m the “cooks all the time” neighbor. I’ll take it. It’s much better than being the “drunk who lets all the restaurant menus pile up at their front door” neighbor, or the “doesn’t know that polite conversation needs to end well before the ten-minute mark” neighbor, or the “why the hell should I walk one flight of stairs when there’s an elevator to haul my lazy ass up to it?” neighbor.
Come to think of it, I’m sure these spicy apple lamb meatballs probably garnered me some hallway props amongst the neighbors. Aside from the spicy kick of the onions, peppers and horseradish, there’s also some earthy tones from the parsley and the mushrooms, capped off by the sweet aroma of apples and apple cider. It’s an aromatic opera! As for the taste, the heat is met straight on by the sweetness, striking a nice balance from one chew to the next. And I highly recommend letting some sit overnight in its juices for an even more concentrated taste sensation the next day!
Click through the gallery below for start-to-finish pics. Recipe follows below.