02.25.11: ask kidchamp, round III {meat, gifts, greats}

do you cook meaty meals for joe at home? what's an example of something you've whipped up?

A: my shifts at the student coffeehouse's sandwich counter in college were my last official food-prep-with-meat experience; i was a pretty lousy sandwich maker, as i couldn't differentiate between meat-varieties especially well. i do buy kielbasa at the greenmarket for our annual nyc-based holiday shindig, and i used to pick up requests like salami and prosciutto at the butcher's counter at the amish market; i kind of sucked at that, too (seriously, omnivorous halves of blended couples: don't tell your vegenauts to "get whatever looks good"), so it's probably best for everyone that joe went fish-only this past fall. it's a pesco, internet! we had one fairly short conversation about the ethics behind his decision, but i'm not interested in hustling him into premature ultrameatlessness; like the cuttlefish, i will camouflage myself and lead him to believe he is alone on the sea floor.

Dear Kidchamp,

What should I buy as a wedding gift for my friends who are getting married this summer? She is an art history phd with interesting taste in surrealist installations. He is a poet/barman who likes to pretend he can cook. She lives on black coffee and muesli. They are both 24 & expect to move around a lot over the next few years for her work.

They are not registered or I would buy them towels and a toaster.

Tell me what to dooooo.

A: from most to least practical, i'd say
- an immersion blender, for it can almost always stand in for a food processor and is far simpler to clean and store (and is so very good for soups and drinks);
- a proper ice cream maker, for hardly anyone is frivolous enough to buy one for themselves and yet it produces the ice-cream-eating equivalent of the moment when dorothy steps from her house into the land of oz;
- the times comprehensive atlas of the world (12th ed.), for with a great book of maps one is always formidable and prepared;
- little joseph the hand-painted porcelain head, for one's twenties should have a witness, and when you apply a candle to him he develops the loveliest waxy hair.

I'll bite: based on your reading, who is the greatest LIVING author? (yes, I know, opinion vs. fact, but that's how I roll).

A: my first knee-jerk answer is david mitchell, my second is salman rushdie, and my third is philip pullman; i think that third knee is the one to watch. while it's entirely possible that i'm giving him extra credit for being "the most dangerous author in britain," it remains that he champions humane self-actualization and spins a ripping good yarn. both mitchell and rushdie are stronger technicians, but pullman is hardly atheism's stephenie meyer; the his dark materials trilogy was necessary for my very survival for the days it took to read it, sure, but it's beautifully made, and it's stuck with me and informed subsequent reading and, er, living. hey, i see you looking at me like i'm holding a copy of the fountainhead. quit it, man.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 pescetarians. are they fooling themselves?

02 how many kinds of meat d'you figure you can identify on sight?

03 what's the best wedding gift you've ever given?

04 could you sleep near a doll head?

05 from which living author would you most like to receive a wedding gift?


g said...

01 yes.  "my cousin vinny" was just not as good as they say.

02  two.  delicious or spoiled.

03  hmm.  toss-up between handmade furniture, or the vast array of small gifts that i hid throughout your apartment whilst you were on your honeymoon.


05  maybe neil gaiman?  i would be both excited and terrified to open the box.  GODDAMMIT DOLL HEAD.

esb said...

uh oh. we owe some ppl some serious wedding presents. pls don't tell.

Amid Privilege said...

01 Only if they are saying fish are in fact carrots.
02 As to animal, all the varsity meats. As to cut, pretty much nothing.
03 My children.
04 I can sleep next to anything silent.
05 Not Mary Karr. Probably JK Rowling, since she's rolling in it. Or John Grisham, because I figure his assistant is probably female.

Amanda said...

01 Nah.
02 Twenty-seven.
03 Let's just say that if you REGISTER for Totino's pizza and Matchbox cars, you're gonna GET Totino's pizza and Matchbox cars.
04 One connected to a doll, certainly.
05 Lemony Snicket, of course.
06 That trilogy is nearly *always* necessary for my very survival.

Milkmaid's dumb friend said...

01: Just, you know, comically stage your pescetarian loved ones under a lamp shade nice and still in the corner if Tom Regan comes over. 02: This feels suddenly like Inglourious Basterds.  Am I getting shot? 04: Gosh, Little Joseph has the same eyes as the corpse on the rejected cover of Richmond Lattimore’s New Testament translation; I think it was a Serrano photograph- and NO-I-WOULD-NOT. 05: May I have Jhumpa Lahiri as a belated first communion gift?

kidchamp said...

@g "my cousin vinny" is the one lawyer movie my dad and his brothers (also lawyers) like. they like it a lot. (other things they like: hiking, board games, making matching hats)

@esb i still owe my best friend a wedding present; he was married june '09.

@amidprivilege "that's parrotfish, honey, not carrotfish." also, my midtown bar will be called varsity meats.

@amanda see, i knew you would understand.

@MDF 05 yes, if i can pick your confirmation name.

celia said...

one year, joe got me an immersion blender for my birthday. the viking one, which is very fancy an cost a lot of monies for an immersion blender. i LOVE me an immersion blender, but this one does not do the job properly and has a very thick handle which means that i have to use both of my midget hands to maneuver the stupid thing. not practical at all. i guess all i'm really trying to say here is YAY for immersion blenders and NAY for the viking one. 

Rachel (heart of light) said...

I had a very nasty run in with my immersion blender the first holiday season I had it. But only because I was so overwhelmed by the amazingness that I attempted to use it to make cheesecake at 1 am. Turns out, you should never stick your finger in amongst the blades to clean out cold cream cheese (which is far too thick for the immersion blender anyways), even for a second, because those suckers turn on easily.

It took us a couple months to rekindle our relationship and now I keep it strictly to soups and salad dressings.

Also, that first paragraph is not supposed to be in italic but I'm too lazy to figuer out what shortcut I accidentally hit.

Peonies said...

An Atlas!  I knew you would know what to do. 

Although I do like the thought of scaring the crap out of them with the doll's head.

kidchamp said...

hooray! i found a beat-up old first edition of that atlas when amanda and i were tromping around thrift stores the other day, and it made me so happy i now think everyone should have one. 

if you're feeling especially cheeky you can make a big MAPS / THEY DON'T LOVE YOU LIKE I LOVE YOU card to go with it.