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General discussion about what's out for the couch.
274

Valley of the Dolls
Topic by: goodyerin
Posted: June 14, 2006 - 8:21 PM PDT
Last Reply: August 20, 2006 - 8:24 AM PDT

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author topic: Valley of the Dolls
goodyerin
post #1  on June 14, 2006 - 8:21 PM PDT  
the most important movie of all time? I think so!
hamano
post #2  on June 14, 2006 - 9:28 PM PDT  
OK, now that we've got that out of the way, we can talk about food. My favorite farmer's market has been open since May, and right now we're getting the tiny local strawberries that really pack a lot of sweetness. Local cherries are in season, too. I'm pleased that an organic farmer who produces several different kinds of garlic that I used to buy from several years ago has resurfaced here this year. I got some sugar snap peas from her today, too.

I keep thinking I should make a tart with the strawberries or cherries, but with two fruit loving kids they disappear pretty quickly.

Oh, I planted some tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I'm growing this year.
Early Girl - these grow early, as the name implies. There's already one the size of my son's fist hanging there, with a smaller one next to it.
Mr. Stripey - A bizarre striped heirloom variety.
Sun Gold - a very sweet, bright orange cherry tomato. It's as sweet as a fruit but it also has a strong "tomato" taste. Great for snacking on.
And I planted one with those oblong "grape" tomatoes.

Garden tomatoes taste so different and so much better than supermarket tomatoes it's really worth planting some in your yard. With a little care 4 or 5 plants bear more than enough for a family. I've also planted a bunch of herbs and a couple of peppers.
jross3
post #3  on June 14, 2006 - 10:02 PM PDT  
.... forgive me for joining the hijacking.

Hamano, were you watching Food Network? Good Eats (my fav. show about food) did their Tomato show tonight.
> Garden tomatoes taste so different and so much better than supermarket tomatoes it's really worth planting some in your yard.

Indeed it is so. They never pick fully ripe tomatoes for market; they wait until they're close to the point of sale to artificaially finish the ripening process, but in tomatoes the difference on and off the vine is pretty profound. So much more flavor per bite when it ripens on the vine...

My mom has about 4 or 5 plants, although they're a while from bearing fruit. She grows asparagus as well; that's a very managable plant. If your area is asparagus-friendly you should give it a try.
This year she's trying something new that I'm not totally sure about... it's a hanging tomato planter that grows the vines out of the bottom. The plant is still alive, so I guess it could work...

The best tomato I ever ate was big and wrinkly and flat like a pumpkin. I tried to get a plant with fruit like that this year... (although tomatos are "legally" vegetables though botanically a berry, I'm told).... couldn't find one. Normal tomatos are just fine but now I'm always gonna have this ghost of a mysterious mystery tomato in my memory.
Plus the punkinato's shape made it really nice for slicing. mmmm
Carpe lycopersicum!
jross3
post #4  on June 14, 2006 - 10:09 PM PDT  
oh, and speaking of food, I recently did my first experiment with leeks. Leeks! wonderful food. I made curry with 1/2 leeks and 1/2 onion, and it also happened to be my best curry ever... coincidence? I wonder.
hamano
post #5  on June 14, 2006 - 10:34 PM PDT  
Do you remember what color it was? Those big wrinkly heirlooms are some of my favorites... the most common is the Brandywine variety. I've grown them myself, and also got them at the farmer's market. They're really great diced or sliced.

The history of the Brandywine

Brandywine

More Brandywine pictures.

For some reason the catalogs all show Brandywine fruits that are smooth and "normal" looking, as if the typically bumpy and sometimes deeply creased appearance will scare people away. But I really love their tomato flavor. I've seen yellowish and pinkish varieties with the same enormous size and funny shapes... if you mix them up it makes a really nice colorful salad. You don't need any vinegar because the tomatoes are pretty acidic. Just salt and some extra virgin olive oil that you like.

There's a baker that comes to our farmer's market and she has this really nice white sandwich bread. Slice a fresh summer tomato and a vidalia onion very thin, and stack them between 2 slices of this bread with some Kewpie and you've got yourself an almost perfect little summer lunch!

Another good dish I make in the summer...
First I cook some spaghetti al dente. Toss some nice olive oil in a frying pan and add chopped garlic, and cook on low/medium so the garlic doesn't burn. Toss the pasta and a diced heirloom tomato into the pan, stir it all around on high heat for a minute, then sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley on top. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. This is a quick and perfect summer dinner item. You can add some fresh basil from your garden, too, and if you're really lucky a good friend has sent you some salted capers from Sicily to add. Fussy people remove the seeds and pulp from the tomato but I leave everything in, and I don't peel the tomato either.

When buying heirloom tomatoes at a farmer's market, I usually go with the ugliest dirtiest tomato I could find. They're usually the tastiest and the dirt washes right off. The "dirt" is actually usually just dead leaves or mulch, and maybe farm mud, and to me it's an indication that the tomato has been handled less than the thoroughly washed shiny clean ones. I don't know why the ugliest ones taste the best though.
hamano
post #6  on June 14, 2006 - 10:42 PM PDT  
> On June 14, 2006 - 10:09 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> oh, and speaking of food, I recently did my first experiment with leeks. Leeks! wonderful food. I made curry with 1/2 leeks and 1/2 onion, and it also happened to be my best curry ever... coincidence? I wonder.
> ---------------------------------

I don't have cable... I download all my Iron Chefs, still.

Leeks are really good and underused in American kitchens. Try them in sukiyaki instead of scallions... the Japanese negi is actually more like a thin leek than a large scallion (or green onion).

In the summer, when there are nice fresh leeks, I chop off most of the tough green leaves. Then I carefully wash the leeks to get rid of the sand. Then I steam the leek stalks for a few minutes and I make a nice mustard vinaigrette dressing. I just put the dressing on the warm leeks and eat them like that... you might want to use a knife and fork to eat them.

What do you put on your asparagus? I'm a firm believer in fat asparagus instead of the thin "gourmet" ones you usually find in the supermarket. I think the fat ones taste better... I've found ones from specialty farms that are thicker than an adult's thumb, but still tender and flavorful... you're in California so you should try Mister Spear if you have a chance.
jross3
post #7  on June 14, 2006 - 11:01 PM PDT  
> On June 14, 2006 - 10:34 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Do you remember what color it was? Those big wrinkly heirlooms are some of my favorites... the most common is the Brandywine variety. I've grown them myself, and also got them at the farmer's market. They're really great diced or sliced.

ah, that's it! thanks hamano, I knew you would find it.
it's not too late to find a plant, either. Now that I know what to look for, I might be able to get me one.

> I don't know why the ugliest ones taste the best though.

it's nature's reward for the adventurous eater.
Or maybe it's something odd to do with different chemical compounds affecting the growth pattern of the tomato...? That's a pretty random guess, but it seems plausible.

I think most of the ones my mom is growing are regular globe tomatos. I should get her some different ones to go with them. i could even keep a couple pots outside my own door if I wanted to. I can't invest in a lot of pots and soil though since I'm on a budget for my AX trip in two weeks....
jross3
post #8  on June 14, 2006 - 11:10 PM PDT  
> On June 14, 2006 - 10:42 PM PDT hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> the Japanese negi is actually more like a thin leek than a large scallion (or green onion).

(this happens to be a pet peeve of mine... people tend to call both young onions and leeks "green onions" or even scallions...)

> What do you put on your asparagus?

We usually just steam them and serve them in a cheese sauce. It's pretty basic, but tasty; the trick is not overcooking them. Limp asperagus isn't nice to look at or to eat. That's why I like the fatter ones too. They tend to keep their texture better after cooking (you pretty much need to eat the thin ones raw for them to be anything but limp and mushy).
hamano
post #9  on June 14, 2006 - 11:18 PM PDT  
> On June 14, 2006 - 11:10 PM PDT jross3 wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> We usually just steam them and serve them in a cheese sauce. It's pretty basic, but tasty; the trick is not overcooking them. Limp asperagus isn't nice to look at or to eat. That's why I like the fatter ones too. They tend to keep their texture better after cooking (you pretty much need to eat the thin ones raw for them to be anything but limp and mushy).

I actually have a bit of a nostalgic soft spot for the taste of mushy canned asparagus. But fresh steamed ones are the best. They're done as soon as they curve very slightly when you pick up the end of a cooked one.

I usually make instanto aioli for my asparagus. Kewpie mayonnaise, grated garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl with a plastic fork and let sit for a few minutes. A little fresh tarragon in the aioli is good, or even a dash of Pernod.
hamano
post #10  on June 14, 2006 - 11:28 PM PDT  
Try a Green Zebra tomato if you ever come across one... they're ripe when they're still green, and have a nice fresh tart taste. They DON'T taste like underripe green tomatoes!
jross3
post #11  on June 14, 2006 - 11:33 PM PDT  
I learned to make fajitas recently as well. well, not really "learned"... there's not a lot to it. What I learned was making the rice that goes with it, I guess. haha. (incidentally it has chunks of tomato in it. I wouldn't have thought of that if not for the recipe I got from my sister)

I don't do the fajita mixin's traditionally, though. I add soy sauce and teriyaki sauce to the pan when it's still just onions and meat. To add extra heat to it, I use Srirachi chili sauce (something I only recently learned to love).
So it's a little tex-mex and a little Asian fusion. But the family loves it, and I love it, so I'm gonna keep doing it this way.
The hardest part about the main mixin's was learning how to cut the onions to get the kind of wedges that work so well in fajitas. I never had to do that before so I didn't immediately realize I was doing it wrong.
but the peppers were fun to cut up. That's good, because now I'm being elected to make fajitas every other week or so. hahaha
Eoliano
post #12  on June 15, 2006 - 6:48 AM PDT  
> the most important movie of all time? I think so!

Not in my book, entertaining, yes, and its sequel is fun, too.

Anyhow, happy trolling! ; - )
Eoliano
post #13  on June 15, 2006 - 6:49 AM PDT  
Btw, goodyerin, you might as well rename this tread, Cooking with GreenCine!

NLee
post #14  on June 15, 2006 - 6:55 AM PDT  
> On June 15, 2006 - 6:49 AM PDT Eoliano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Btw, goodyerin, you might as well rename this tread, Cooking with GreenCine!
>
>

> ---------------------------------

As soon as you do that, people will start talking about boobs (which I'm sure there are plenty of in Valley of the Dollls.
NLee
post #15  on June 15, 2006 - 6:58 AM PDT  
(I (never (liked (programming (in (LISP))))))
hamano
post #16  on June 15, 2006 - 7:07 AM PDT  
I actually prefer those sometimes odd shaped heirloom boobs. They're usually big and they're juicier, whereas modern supermarket boobs are way too firm, practically like styrofoam, and lacking in that fresh-from the garden boob flavor. They have that pallid, waxy, unnaturally smooth look to them, too. I enjoy the variations in flavor, color and texture among the heirloom boobs... there's nothing quite like the joy of finding a particularly nice pair of boobs among the big pile at the market early in the day.
kohnfused1
post #17  on June 15, 2006 - 11:09 AM PDT  
I like squeezing them just to see how firm they really are. Sometimes I do it all day. Aaaah! It's a good life!

underdog
post #18  on June 15, 2006 - 11:34 AM PDT  
Soooo, what about Russ Meyer's satire, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls? The one written by critic Roger Ebert... Heard it's way over the top but have yet to see it. Now that it's out on DVD I'm gonna check it out, and compare and contrast. The original one is so campy but pretty classic in that genre.

What genre is that? Catty-women-soap genre? I guess All About Eve is a sort of forebear.
hamano
post #19  on June 15, 2006 - 11:40 AM PDT  
> On June 15, 2006 - 11:34 AM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I guess All About Eve is a sort of forebear.
> ---------------------------------

I think we'll have to ask Ursus for his take on that... Ursus, do you engage in forebear, or is it "Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am"? Do Boohbah's have forebears?
underdog
post #20  on June 15, 2006 - 11:54 AM PDT  
Or is that "Boob-ahs"?
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