Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Come And Knock On My Door

It's been two full weeks since I made a proper post, so I'm going to make it up to you by inviting you all to my home for an evening of food, fun and sexy misunderstandings. This idea was first used by Mr. Condescending and then adapted brilliantly by Girl Interrupted, The Girl With The Pink Teacup and The Vegetable Assassin.

Taking on this challenge includes displaying your bookshelf and DVD shelf, your two favorite cookbooks, your menu for dinner, and the drinks that might be served. An evening at Casa de Words will be one to remember, and you will surely want to be present.

After I welcome you to my lavishly appointed one-bedroom hovel apartment home bedecked in my formal cargo shorts and black t-shirt, I shall give you the grand tour. This requires only that you stand in the middle of the place and turn around all the way. You'll surely notice my two large bookshelves, containing knick-knacks, beer glasses, and even some books. Here is a representative shelf.

Turning a full four feet to the left, we'll encounter my TV stand complete with DVD shelf. This is actually my entire DVD collection. Apart, of course, from the ones that have to be spirited away from the premises upon my death by a very close friend.

I have many cookbooks, partly because I like to cook and partly because people keep giving them to me as gifts. If you are one of these people, thank you, but I have quite enough of them now.

My first favorite is The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine and the creators of the America's Test Kitchen show on PBS. This volume is the best general interest cookbook I've ever seen, and if I could only have one cookbook, it would be this one. They approach cooking scientifically, testing many recipes for the same dish and distilling all the best bits into one infallible uber-recipe. They've never failed me and I encourage you all to get this book right now. There are many other cookbooks in the Best Recipe series, and they are equally peerless.

My second favorite is Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse. The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is a BBQ joint in Syracuse, New York. I went to school at Syracuse University, and this quickly became my favorite restaurant in the world. I know what you're thinking. "BBQ in upstate New York? How good can it be?" Well, let me tell you. I love BBQ. I've eaten it in Memphis and I've eaten it in Texas. And this place is the best one I've ever been to, hands down. The BBQ meatloaf is my favorite recipe in the book. Mmmmmmm.

Now that you have an appetite worked up, it's time for dinner! Drinks are easy. I'm not picky. As long as the wine is red and dry, that's good enough for me. I'll have some Jameson whiskey and Boru vodka on hand for whoever wants the hard stuff, but this meal requires wine, and lots of it.

With so many people over, you don't want to be in the kitchen all night ignoring your guests. A simple, rustic menu that can be prepared largely ahead of time is perfect. So get ready for a big, soul-satisfying Italian feast.

We'll start with an appetizer of broiled asparagus with sea salt and balsamic vinegar wrapped in prosciutto. It's easy and it's a crowd pleaser. For our main course we'll be having Brasato al Barolo, which is a big hunk of beef braised in Barolo wine, garlic and lots of veggies. After three hours in the pot, it falls apart like the best short ribs or pulled pork. I'll be serving it in a bowl over a generous pile of polenta made with butter and grated parmesan cheese. It's simple Italian cooking at its best. For dessert we'll finish up with tiramisu and cups of espresso. That's actually my tiramisu in the picture, although I snagged the photos of the asparagus and brasato from other sources.

We'll wind down the night getting a buzz on and playing board games or trivia games that let me show you all how smrt I am. Finally, in the wee hours I'll kick you out so I can do the dishes. Or intend to do the dishes, instead leave them in the sink, go to bed, and actually wash them the next day.

27 metawords:

Anonymous said...

Is "The Eagles Encyclopedia" about The Eagles? For real? Does it tell you all about Don Henley's chicken fixation or the sort of underpants favoured by Glenn Frey? :)

Your food sounds delicious as always and I want that tiramisu RIGHT NOW. Please arrange to have it delivered to me immediately.

Excellent job.

words...words...words... said...

Sadly for you and your underpants fetish, "The Eagles Encyclopedia" is about the football playing variety of Eagles, not the adult contemporary band favored by the Dockers-wearing crowd.

Mr. Condescending said...

Holy f*ck words, I'm speechless!

You know why? Because first of all you mention dinosaur's, then you mention you went to SU.

As I am typing this I am driving through armory square.

Thanks a shitload for doing this project, I hope we all have fun at your place, I sure have.

words...words...words... said...

Mr. C, while I appreciate your comments, please stop typing and driving. Your death will ruin people's mood at my big party.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I'm going out on a limb here and...stay with me...suggesting that you might be somewhat fond of The Simpsons, U2 and Philadelphia-area sports teams.

words...words...words... said...

You earned your 25¢ a day plus expenses, Encyclopedia Brown!

red said...

I love your perfectly angled DVDs as Bookends.

And I know I'm not a part of this meme thingy, but asparagus and tiramisu are two of my absolute favorite things on the planet. Can I still come?!

words...words...words... said...

That's the first time anyone's complimented me on being anal! At least in this context. The hard part was figuring out by weight which DVDs should be the bookends. I wish I were kidding.

And I'm not a part of this meme either, I stole it. So I can invite whomever I want, and it wouldn't be a party without you. Or the case of wine you should bring.

Mr London Street said...

I enjoyed this post even more than I am enjoying not doing that all-pervading meme.

Some Guy said...

Do you mind if I watch "Slapshot"? It's been far too long since I watched it.

Cora said...

The CHOCOLATE Bible?!?! I think I may pass out....

The Diva on a Diet said...

~knock, knock~

Actually, forget the knocking and insert swooning ... that beef and polenta ... oh my! This is one party I definitely want to crash.

As for Dinosaur BBQ, I'm sure you know they have a place in Harlem too. Have only been there once and it didn't wow me. I hope to try the original at some point and I guess I should give the NYC outlet another shot.

words...words...words... said...

MLS: You may be called upon to write a book jacket blurb.

Some Guy: Foil up!

Cora: The power of the Bible will awaken you.

Diva: I did NOT know they have a second place in Harlem! I'm always wary when a good restaurant tries to expand. I hope it improves.

Mr London Street said...

"Words x3: better than a meme. He doesn't need those gimmicks."


Soda and Candy said...

Oh man, that asparagus and the hunk o meat sounds sooooo good.

the girl with the pink teacup said...

Owns copy of Office Space? Check. Proudly displays love of Peanuts AND Fantasia for all the world to see? Check. Tilts DVDs artistically to act as bookends? Check. Post causes Mr Condescending to be admitted to the nearest hospital? Check. It's official, my friend: you have awesome taste in everything.

Hope you don't mind if I skip the meaty entrée and main course - delightful though they seem - and just gorge myself entirely on your tiramisu (and wine). Frankly, it looks delicious enough to cover all three courses.

I think this one might take the prize for classiest dinner party of the lot, words. Welcome back.

words...words...words... said...

MLS: You made the cover.

S&C: That's what she said!

Girl: Enjoys my posts? Check. Calls me classy? Check. Is not afraid to hog dessert? Check. It is you who have awesome taste in everything!

Girl Interrupted said...

Welcome back words! :)

Lovely job ... interesting book titles! "U2 by U2" and "Your Movie Sucks" lol fascinating.

I was surprised you don't have more dvds to be honest, I imagined you'd have loads, but the ones you do have are pretty cool, so quality over quantity I guess ;)

The food is simply delicious ... I love asparagus and that pic made my mouth water.

Need a room-mate?

Dr Zibbs said...

Not to make you jealous but Kimmie invited me over for drinks the other day but the time was moved so I couldn't make it.

Prunella Jones said...

Mama Mia! I sure do love Italian food and red wine. And trivia games and Carl Sagan books. (He was such a cool old stoner.)

Sounds like a delightful evening. I might volunteer to help with the dishes if you let me finish off the tiramisu.

Falwless said...

I'm most impressed by your collection of Christopher Guest films. That alone makes me seriously consider visiting your hovel. Oh and the DVDs that your friend will have to hide upon your death..

words...words...words... said...

Girl I: You are not alone in expecting me to have more DVDs. I just hate having lots of stuff, so I reserve buying DVDs for my very favorites. If I really want to see something I don't have, I can always Netflix it.

And I'll keep you posted on the roommate thing ;) You'll definitely be required to bring the cow cookie jar.

Zibbs: The time was moved by Karma after it realized that later you would try to make me jealous.

Pru: I had no idea Carl Sagan was a stoner! It certainly accounts for his on-camera persona, though. And a tiramisu-for-dishes deal sounds like a winner.

Falwless: Oh, did you say you might consider visiting? I'm sorry, I can't hear that well above the racket of all the awesome people having a good time here.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dinosaur opened the Harlem location in 2004. Its wildly popular and very difficult to get a table there. All the reviews were very, very positive so I had high hopes ... but, eh, it was just OK. Not bad in any way, but it didn't knock my socks off. I do need to make a return visit because maybe they were having an off day?

Critty Critty Bang Bang said...

All I needed to do was see The Simpson's box set to know I would like you. *=-)

And your dinner plans made me quite hungry!

180|360 said...

What time is dinner?

With a menu like that, I'm pretty sure that any one of us would likely not want to leave by the end of the evening. I would hope at that point, we'd all get really drunk and break out the Scrabble. ;)

BeckEye said...

I had my birthday dinner at the Dinosaur in Harlem. I still drool just thinking about it. I try to focus on the food, and not the getting old.

Gwen said...

Sadly for all your other guests, I know where the absinthe is hidden.