I've been really lax about writing lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thoroughly immersed in the wonderful world of food. In the past several weeks,
I ate a bunch of conch in Florida. As it turns out, raw conch bears a very strong resemblance to boogers. I guess I'm not really surprised. I wonder what would happen if you cooked boogers. Would they turn opaque and chewy, like conch? Food for thought.
I also engaged in a cupcake taste-off with the cupcakes at More in Chicago. Sorry, I'm just not that into them. Art direction-wise, they're lovely. But the flavor is eh. My family and I sat down one night and through a highly scientific scoring system, elected a winner. Cupcakes could garner a score of 1 through 4. Individual comments ranged from "I heart chocolate!" to "This one blows." What can I say? We're simpletons. Only one, the Valrhona, a chocolate-glazed chocolate cupcake with chocolate mousse filling, scored marginally above a 3. We also tried the Cookies and Cream (conceptually interesting with crushed chocolate cookie on the bottom, but the frosting was overwrought and greasy), the Salted Caramel (caramel was good, cake was dry), and the Chocolate Chocolate (bland chocolate frosting - what a travesty). I'm sticking with Sweet Mandy B's.
And if you read this blog, you know I made desserts for 60 the other weekend. Here's what I learned:
I'm too old for this.
Caramel is really fucking hot.
And finally, when the cheesecake falls out of the pan and on to the counter the morning of the party, do not panic. Casually run to the store as soon as it opens, buy the ingredients all over again (you can panic a little when you think you can't find the mascarpone), and then break a Patrick Ewing-like sweat as you shift into hyper baking speed, hoping to God that the new, improved cheesecake sets by 4 PM so you can cut it into 60 neat pieces and then caramelize them with your rickety 20 year-old propane torch. It'll work out just fine.
I also set out to eat a Blimpy Burger at the eponymous restaurant in Ann Arbor this past weekend, but went for Mongolian barbecue instead. bd's Mongolian Grill was like a giant stir-fry frat party, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially after a football game. The griddlemen tended my Asian vegetables while they sang along to the restaurant's soundtrack like a group of drunken sailors/engineering majors. They all agreed that Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears was completely lame, but sang it anyway. Next time, a few drinking games might be in order. It's just that kind of place.