The naughty passenger.


(Continuing with our “Is Richard Belzer hot or not?” discussion in comments. Thanks to Eric Zorn for pointing us toward the Einstein Chalkboard Generator. And let me just add to the above sentiment, “…as long as he pays attention to his personal hygiene.”)

Here’s the dirty little secret about cooking: It’s easy. Really. People who don’t cook think it’s alchemy, but honest, once you learn a few basic rules — and you learn them as you go along — it’s not so hard at all.

Some of these rules are eccentric; for instance, one of mine goes, “There’s no such thing as too much garlic.” Others are immutable. If you want to be successful deep-frying anything, you’d best get over your fear of making the oil too hot. (Although it can easily be made too hot, and then you have to call the fire department.) Deep-frying is like jumping a horse over a big fence: Commit, go forward and don’t hesitate.

That said, some meals come together more easily than others. For tonight’s spaghetti-and-meatball birthday feast I went to the Italian bakery down the road for some real Italian bread, then stopped at the wine store for a nice chianti. When I came out, the dog had his head in the bread bag, the front seat was a mess of crumbs and I had a quandary.

I threw away the next two slices in the bag and decided no one ever died from a little dog spit. As Julia Child didn’t say, “You’re alone in the kitchen.”

The bread was really good. I’m going back to that place. Without the dog.

The laptop just informed me I’m operating on reserve power, so let’s make this quick: The Trading Spouses crazy-Jesus-freak legend lives on. On eBay!

Posted at 9:08 pm in Uncategorized |

19 responses to “The naughty passenger.”

  1. Dorothy said on November 16, 2005 at 10:00 pm

    Two weeks ago I made a nice meatloaf on a Saturday morning. I took it out of the pan to cool, placing it on a piece of aluminum foil. I took Augie upstairs with me to do some cleaning, and went back downstairs an hour later. I forgot about the cooling meatloaf, went right to the office to the computer.

    Yep, Augie remembered about the meatloaf! He helped himself to about 1/4 of it, and then I caught him! I hacked off whatever came in touch with his mouth, and we still ate a meatloaf for dinner that night.

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  2. Cynthia said on November 17, 2005 at 11:03 am

    Once I baked a Toll House pan cookie to serve to guests, put it outside on a table to cool off. When I went to bring it in a squirrel was happily eating away. I cut off the part the squirrel was munching on and served the rest to my guests. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. As far as I was concerned, that squirrel knew good baking when he saw it — make that tasted it.

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  3. ashley said on November 17, 2005 at 11:59 am

    Once again: Belz is married to a former porn star. What an animal.

    I hear Tracy Lords is on the market again…

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  4. mary said on November 17, 2005 at 12:13 pm

    I assume you have a good spaghettin and meatballs recipe, but if you feel like trying another one, look at the Barefoot Contessa Family Meals cookbook. That’s the one I make when I really have a craving for terrific spaghetti and meatballs. Otherwise I do the healthy/budget one the kids really like, which is actually excellent, but not as soul satisfying as the Barefoot Contessa one.

    I’ve seen Richard Belzer on Real Time, and I loved the way he just flat out called Ann Coulter a liar. About two years ago, my high school friend Jim Van Treuren, had a tiny speaking part on Law and Order SVU, and I told him to let Belzer know he had a fan. Jim said he had gotten that instruction from two other female friends already.

    I think People magazine got it wrong this year. Matthew McConaughey isn’t the sexiest man. It’s Belzer. Anyway, I still think Matthew McConaughey is gay.

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  5. brian stouder said on November 17, 2005 at 12:23 pm

    “Anyway, I still think Matthew McConaughey is gay.”

    …not that there’s anything wrong with that!

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  6. mary said on November 17, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    True, Brian. It just doesn’t do much for me. I don’t think women find fantasizing about gay mean getting down to it very stimulating. I know lots of men fantasize about lesbian love, but for some reason its counterpart is less enticing.

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  7. Nance said on November 17, 2005 at 12:35 pm

    “Less” enticing? How about a complete and total turnoff?

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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  8. mary said on November 17, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Complete turnoff works for me. I was being very open minded. There may be women who find a man’s willingness to explore other aspects of his sexuality attractive. Remember, I live in a freaky part of LA. Among my neighbors one could find many unusual arrangements.

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  9. Dorothy said on November 17, 2005 at 1:13 pm

    I think “unusual arrangements” could be on Any Street USA. The longer I live the less shocked I am at what turns people on. Here in the buckle of the Bible Belt, I’d wager there are more freaky people here per capita than LA! They just disguise themselves better.

    Turnoff for me too, if anyone’s running a tab.

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  10. brian stouder said on November 17, 2005 at 1:46 pm

    See – this is why I won’t feel guilty for NOT having any desire to see “Brokeback Mountain”.

    If most women don’t want to see men ‘do the nasty’ – and if most men don’t, either – who will argue for seeing IT, as opposed to the other dozen movies at the cinemaplex as folks head for the car?

    ‘Course, I could be wrong, but I think that movie will fail for the same reason that the one about the fuzzy little monsters (goonies? I forget) failed – it doesn’t have a large audience to appeal to.

    I mention this because if the movie DOES fail, look for the usual suspects to cite it as symptomatic of America’s prevailing “homophobia” – (which there IS something wrong with!)

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  11. Dorothy said on November 17, 2005 at 2:52 pm

    Brian – I hope you don’t consider me as being a homophobe. Quite the contrary. I have a niece who is gay – I have friends who are gay. I say “live and let live.” I honestly see nothing wrong with two people having a loving relationship, whether they are the same sex or not. I just don’t enjoy watching man-on-man or girl-on-girl sex. It’s not what floats my boat, ya know?

    And now you’ve made me curious about “Brokeback Mountain” – I had not heard any buzz about it. And if a movie has a good plot and good writing, I’ll go see it regardless if there are scenes of homosexual partying.

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  12. Nance said on November 17, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    I said gay sex wasn’t a turn-on, not that it wasn’t interesting. I plan to see “Brokeback Mountain” because it’s a story about two people, not a porn movie.

    My screenwriting prof said grown men were sobbing in their seats when the lights came up in Toronto. Sounds pretty powerful.

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  13. brian stouder said on November 17, 2005 at 3:36 pm

    Don’t misunderstand –

    I won’t picket outside the theater(!); and I’ve no doubt it is a powerful picture; and indeed, I’ve read that the movie has already broken even thanks to the sale of the over-seas rights.

    I just have no desire to see it, especially given the heavy-hinting about a “powerful” ending.

    I got pulled into Boys Don’t Cry (a sort of rough female equivalent), and cared about the characters, and was mad at the pointlessly violent ending.

    Yes, I understand that the ‘pointless’ violence was precisely the point.

    Anyway – enjoy the pic. I’ll be in the auditorium three doors down, watching Harry Potter with the young folks, no doubt!

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  14. mary said on November 17, 2005 at 3:42 pm

    My kids want to see Walk the Line, no interest in Harry Potter. I’ve raised them right.

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  15. brian stouder said on November 17, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    Pammy has expressed lots of interest in seeing the Johnny Cash movie – so it will be one of the few that we pay full evening rates to see.

    The young folks and I have gotten into the habit of going to the 50 cent movie house on the weekend; in recent weeks we caught March of the Penguins and Madagascar there – and not so long ago we viewed Serenity, Aviator, and Star Wars III there.

    At $6 total ($1.50 for tix and $4.50 for bucket o’ popcorn) – gotta love it

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  16. Dorothy said on November 17, 2005 at 4:42 pm

    Anyone rent Mad Hot Ballroom or Millions yet? I saw them both last weekend and liked them both VERY much. Wish we had a 50 cent movie house around here!!

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  17. brian stouder said on November 18, 2005 at 12:55 pm

    Haven’t seen those, Dorothy, but IFC has been running Bend it Like Beckham – which is a marvelously good movie!

    If you get a chance to see it (or rent it) – do so!

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  18. Mindy said on November 18, 2005 at 1:10 pm

    Earlier this fall I began taking cake decorating classes, something I’ve threatened to do for years. It’s been heaps of fun and now any occasion will make a great excuse to bake a cake. Part of the reasoning for taking the plunge now was to save cash and provide extra cakes for my in-laws’ fiftieth anniversary party this weekend. Last week I baked four sheet cakes to supplement the replica of their wedding cake being done by a pro. Just now, the first cake was frosted and set on the kitchen table so that the second cake could receive attention. Moments later, a corner of it disappeared and my Labrador began making odd smacking noises complete with funny facial gestures. He is currently in his crate awaiting sentencing.

    Lucky for me that supermarkets sell decorated cakes in their bakery departments. One of the four cakes I am to produce is going to look a whole lot better than the other three.

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  19. Dana said on November 27, 2005 at 10:39 am

    Count me in, I think Richard Belzer is scorchy. Whose birthday is close? Mine was November 18.

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