August 31, 2011 by rebelwithalabelmaker
During David's recent visit, I asked him for advice on how to improve my blog–especially on how to make it findeable. Apparently, one thing that bloggers often do is write about normal things, and then tag those posts with normal search terms. So I have decided to write a travel blog entry. As I understand it, travelling to snoofy places and writing about it is a thing people do. Also, it was between that and writing about ironing napkins. Which is apparently what people write about on homemaking blogs. I bring this up because I went to a party at Kathleen's last night (Not her real name, she's the one with the kids not named Esmerelda and Alladin). I wanted a paper napkin to use to stuff desert in my purse (allegedly to take home for the kids), and she rooted through her drawers to find one.
"Nobody used the nicely ironed cloth napkins" she sighed.
"You can iron napkins?" I asked (I am always amazed by ironing. Why was that not the very first thing the feminist movement attacked?).
"Well, they were very wrinkled…" Kathleen hedged.
"Wow." I said (they really were very beautiful. "When you come to my house, do you spend the whole dinner party thinking how wrinkly our napkins are?"
"Um… you never actually have napkins at your dinner parties." Kathleen says.
This explains how I have done such a good job of post-dinner party laundry. There are never dirty napkins out the next day.
Anyways, enough about the state of my home… lets start the Travel Blogging section.
We went to Banff this weekend, which is one of Gary and I's favorite places in the world to visit. While there, we went to dinner at the Rimrock's Eden Restaurant. I love going to this restaurant, not so much because I like to eat the kinds of food they serve, but because I love watching Gary eat the kind of food they serve. And the wine–they have a whole ritual. They have one guy who's whole job is to pick what you should drink and then come tell you about it. His speeches are great. They say things about wine that couldn't possibly refer to drinks. Stuff like "This is a bold vintage with little traces of sunshine, and it really stands up to the flavours in the fois gras." One time, I kid you not, he said that the wine had a "full nose". I was looking forward to seeing that.
At one point he talked about wine that had "oak" in it. Like, as in a flavour. Oak? If my milk had oak in it, I would take it back to the store. I'm just saying. They do let you taste the wine first to make sure it's okay. I asked Gary if he was tasting for oak. He said no, it's to see if it's turned to vinegar. This surprised me, because 1) Could they sniff it in the back to tell that it had turned to vinegar?, and 2) I really like vinegar, which I think tastes better than both wine and oak. Maybe not by the glass, though.
I had a shirley temple. It was unassertive and delicate, with no nose at all (but full ice cubes), and didn't stand up to anybody because it had issues with it's mother from it's childhood. Also, not a trace of oak. Or vinegar.
I am learning to be discriminating among wines. I will try the occasional sip, and my palette is improving. I can now tell the difference between red and white with my eyes closed almost all the time. Although I still couldn't make up a description the way the wine guy can. I would say the same thing every time. "I think somebody left this grape juice out it the sun".
On to the food. If you are wondering what fois gras is, it is French for congealed duck fat. I kid you not, there was a whole menu that was seven different courses of various preparations of congealed duck fat. It is a big thing at the snoofy restaurant to say certain words in French–particularly things that would upset people if they said them in English. Unfortunately for everyone involved, I actually speak French. Although not very well. But well enough that when they say "this next ingredient is very rare–you will not see it in mainstream restaurants", I can usually tell you why. For example, if it came out of a fish's bum. That wouldn't go over so well in a restaurant where they have to explain what you are eating in your mother tongue.
This is just like in medicine, when you tell them a symptom and then they tell you that same symptom back in latin. "The tendon in my foot is swollen." you say. "You have tendinitis." they say. "I'm nauseated" you say, "Ah, you have hyperemisis" they say.
Many of the dishes were delicious, though (although they were very very tiny–which happens when there are ten courses). But I would have preferred if they had described them in Japanese, since I don't understand that language at all.
Also, every dish was extraordinarily beautiful. The buffalo mozzarella soup (I kid you not. Buffalo mozzarella. I have seen a Buffalo, and I want to know how much they pay the poor sap in charge of milking that)… The buffalo mozzarella soup was poured into a little bowl with a bread crust across the top with a bunch of different coloured dried tomatoes and olives and green jelly things and it was beautiful. When they brought the oyster they had it in it's shell and all decorated with some kind of pretty foam. I think they were trying to prevent you from seeing the actual oyster, which definitely looked like troll boogers. I didn't know what troll boogers looked like, what with them being a fictional construct and all, until I saw those oysters.
Their decorations were beautiful as well. They had actual sculptures made out of melted and died sugar. They were gorgeous. I bet they tasted good, too, but I was clearly supposed to focus my eating attention on the fois gras stuffed cherries with salmon egg garnish, and not go licking the decor.
By the way, that "do not eat the sculpture" sign was there before I arrived at the restaurant, and is not a direct result of me in any way. Which says to me that I was not the first person to think to themselves "Hey, if you're really trying to amooze my bouche, lets get rid of these smoked seahorse scales served on a delicate foam of dinosaur tears, and hand me that big hunk of that sugar in the corner to suck on."
It is easier for Gary of course, because it turns out that if you eat a ten course meal and there's a glass of wine paired with each of the courses, by the end you don't care what the food is made of. Gary was a tiny big giggly by the end. Also much fuller than I, which is a pretty good argument in my opinion that they should have tasters' menus with different kinds of marihuana paired with each course, rather than wine. That would work better on so many levels.
Of course, if Gary knew how to read blogs and comment, he would point out that for all my poking fun at the snoofy restaurant, I was more than happy to go to the snoofy yarn store and buy all kinds of expensive yarn without a moment's hesitation about the poor sap in charge of getting the musk ox fur off of the musk ox. That's different. Knitted garments from musk ox are practical. Well, as long as you don't stain them or heat them or get them wet or wash them. Which is kind of like owning a sugar sculpture that you don't eat, in my opinion. But it's totally a different thing when it comes to the snoofy yarn. For one thing, it's sold by a woman who so far as I can tell only speaks Japanese. So if it has traces of oak or duck fat or salmon eggs woven in, I have no idea. But I don't think it does–I sniffed it and it doesn't have that bouquet.
P. S. "Bouquet" is snoofy-speak for "smell". And yes, I did sniff the yarn as research for this article. "What are you doing?" says Gary. "Research" says me. Okay, my research does look a little different than his research. But our goals are different. He is trying to help create better treatments for cancer. I am writing about troll boogers. Both are valid contributions in their own way.
P.P.S. Okay, in order to be authentic, I did just sniff the yarn to be sure that it doesn't smell like anything weird, because what if one of the Garoos reading the blog wrote in and said "Musk Ox clearly smells of salmon and how could you have missed it?" and gets all casting aspersions on my dedication to writing well researched pieces of hard hitting journalism. So I did sniff it in front of Gary, who not only didn't actually comment, but didn't actually notice at all. Didn't seem unusual to him. Should I be worried?
P.P. P. S. Then I had to read him the whole blog post, and you know what he has to say? "Fois Gras means liver fat. They overfeed geese until their livers get fat." Turns out my grasp of French is on par with my grasp of Japanese.
"The poor geese!" I said, over breakfast, while shovelling French Toast into my mouth at top speed. "What an awful way to treat them!".
Now I wonder how fat my liver is. Also, I am all grossed out that I ate that stuff, and afraid I shall be overcome by hyperemesis. Ugh.
P.P.P.P.S. The napkins at the snoofy restaurant were absolutely superlative by the way. Delicate and white and ironed and folded all pretty. I think they may have been woven out of baby Musk Ox eyelashes.