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June 15, 2013

I am 85 of 99 for Hidden Duck w. Three Delicacies

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And don't forget about Volcanic Crispy Pork, not to mention Nian Nian You Yu (fish w. spicy sauce).

Those are three of the "5 dishes will be only for that night!"

Remember 7 of 9?

This — at least from my perspective – is way better.

Long story short: On Thursday, July 18, 2013, über-chef Peter Chang is personally preparing a multi-course artisanal meal featuring beer along with some of his more esoteric Chinese dishes.

Last night I happened by his bespoke restaurant, by happy coincidence less than a mile and a half from my house, and learned of the upcoming event — and that 84 of the 99 tickets to the unadvertised-except-by-a-flyer-on-the-front-door event had already been sold in the two weeks since Chang decided to do it.


I ponied up my $35 in a Podunk town yoctosecond for ticket #85 (below).


That means that at 5:30 p.m. yesterday there were 14 tickets remaining for what promises to be a spectacular meal at an bargain price.

Full disclosure: Two years ago I went to a multi-course meal prepared by the great chef himself and was overwhelmed by not only the sublime greatness of the tastes and textures of the parade of dishes he brought out but also their presentation: some of the courses looked more like sculpture than anything you'd dream of eating.

I am told by those in the know who work at Peter Chang's that this meticulous attention to appearance is a defined part of Chinese cuisine and culinary art.

Anyhoo, as clifyt would say: I am betting that the last 14 seats to this one-off meal will be sold very soon following the appearance of this post.

Fair warning.

Bonus: since it's only a mile and half down the street from my house, I can actually have a brew or two or three with my meal and then crawl home without worrying about driving while inebriated.

Love it!

June 15, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Back Scratcher sold as slotted spaghetti spoon


Who knew?

Not me until I read James Bingham's Cool Tools review of this element of the batterie de cuisine cleverly repurposed for the dermatological space.


Here's what Mr. Bingham wrote:


I discovered this tool shortly after my wife and I were first married almost ten years ago. It is a fantastic — perfect for scratching your back. Some people may gag at the thought of a kitchen implement being used in this manner — let me console you that its days in the kitchen ended with my discovery.

The slotted spaghetti spoon is rigid enough and the pronged edges of the spoon are sharp enough to provide an extremely satisfactory back scratching experience. The rubberized handle allows for a firm grip.

This implement is guaranteed to be better than any other backscratcher you can find and, given its humble state as a cheap kitchen utensil, it will most likely be substantially cheaper than any upscale back scratcher on the market today.

You will never have the need of calling out for help as your back tingles with itchiness. All other back scratching tools I have tried have failed in comparison. Little did my wife know what joy and delight she would bring into my life in the form of a slotted spaghetti spoon.


From $3.75.

June 15, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Quick & dirty do-it-yourself power outage indicator

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Featured in the July & August issue of Cook's Illustrated and pictured above, it's a clever hack submitted by Cindy Klun of Minneapolis and published in the magazine's always interesting "Tips From Readers" section.

June 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

SlatGrill Scout

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Highly portable flatpack transforms into a grill.

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Peter Hoffman, an avid camper and owner of the restaurants Back Forty and Back Forty West in New York City, had this to say about it in a Wall Street Journal review:

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"This is a great tool for real camping, real fire cookery. A true backpacker's tool."

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More from the Journal piece: "Assembling the SlatGrill's four stainless steel panels and nine slats to create a pop-up grill takes about a minute. It's designed to be set over a wood fire or fuel burner, and multiple grills can be placed end to end to create more grilling surface, or even stacked to make an ersatz oven. On a pair of grills set over our campfire's embers, Mr. Hoffman seared a large rib-eye [above]."

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Weight: three pounds.



June 15, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"The Art of the Brick" — Lego Sculpture


Excerpts from yesterday's USA Today story below.



Some artists express themselves in oil paint or bronze or clay.


Nathan Sawaya's preferred medium these days is Legos.


His show, "The Art of the Brick,", opened this week at Discovery Times Square exhibit space in New York after successful runs in Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia.


It's being billed as the largest display of Lego art ever assembled in one place.


Sawaya has created new works for the New York show, featuring more than 100 sculptures constructed from millions of plastic bricks.


The show runs through January 5, 2014. Tickets are $19.50 adult; $14.50 ages 4-12.




Excerpts from a Wall Street article below.




On Wednesday, Nathan Sawaya celebrated the opening of "The Art of the Brick" at Discovery Times Square, a collection of his large-scale work, made solely out of Legos.


There are reproductions of the Mona Lisa, Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and Michelangelo's "David," all made out of plastic bricks, not to mention more expressionist work, like a portrait of Mr. Sawaya's own wife and a huge dinosaur made from around 80,000 Legos.


Mr. Sawaya, a former corporate attorney, would come home from work "looking for a creative outlet." He sculpted using traditional media until eventually he found he enjoyed working with Legos.


"And I liked how well people reacted," he said. "It opens up the art world to a lot of people."


Prices on the artwork vary, of course; the most expensive, he explained, was in the six-figure range and actually a representation of a building commissioned by Donald Trump.


Making a life-size human form in Lego can take "two to three weeks," he said.


Mr. Sawaya spends six figures on the blocks every year and orders them directly from the company (he doesn't get a discount). "Though it's very surreal when the trucks come to my studio and dump out pallets and pallets of Legos," he said.


His 13-year-old stepson tends to like videogames more than building art with him. "And it's only when I need things torn down do I involve other kids," Mr. Sawaya said. 

June 15, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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