(Crawfish) Boils, Boston, and Boozy Cakes

A few weeks back I took a vision quest to the small village of Cambridge, Massachusetts to visit some friends and partake in my very first crawfish boil. Now I am sure that many of you are picking your jaws up off the floor with the image of my fine Jew self sucking down some crawfish brains. It should be known to all that I was given official Jew approval by the official Southern Jew (SoJew) herself. In fact her exact words were, “You are a Southern Jew now. Get over it.” With those words of encouragement and $40 cash it wasn’t but a few minutes time that I found myself beard deep in serving platter of the little red bastards. One thousand pounds of crawfish had been ordered for the annual LSU Crawfish Boil held at The Baseball Tavern. I ate roughly 999 pounds. I kid. I ate enough that I was afraid to fart in public but not enough that I also chased it with a cheese burger from Tasty Burger about two hours later.

The event overall was wonderful. I was able to spend hours with friends talking about all the great times we had at LSU. The picnics we had in the quad between classes. The all night ragers over at Lamda Lamda Lamda. And then I realized I didn’t go to LSU. That I spent all my time in college working at the mall like all good gay virgins with dreams of big city Working Girl lives. Oh Tape World. I miss you.

The whole weekend was full of fun activities. There was the night I kiki’d with the girls over Indian take out. That night I learned that I am the same Myers Briggs personality type as Joe Hackett from the seminal television classic Wings. Television has not been the same since that show left us.

Then there was the afternoon that I lost my virginity while getting a pedicure. I have to admit it actually was my first time in the pedicure chair. And I have to admit that I really do think I lost my virginity (again and again and again) to that same pedicure chair. My fine Boston friend, Ms. Antipasto, apparently didn’t feel it necessary to tell me that the chair reenacts scenes from movies you normally have to verify your age to watch. The place was lovely. If I lived there I was would have a standing weekly appointment. Maybe on Saturday mornings.

Part of an afternoon was spent crying in a Christian Science library. Part of an afternoon was spent acting out our favorite scenes from Evening Shade on balconies overlooking bays. One morning was spent getting to know strangers over cheesy grits. Another morning was spent binge eating pie for breakfast with friends.

And through it all we still had time to squeeze in some greatly appreciated episodes of Good Times. Thankfully JJ got out of jail in part two of that nail biter.

All in all a great weekend.  

Now I am sure all of you are wondering what the “H”, “E”, Double Hockey Sticks I whipped up in the kitchen this week for the blog.

If you recall last week's riveting post you will know that at one point during my weekend shenanigans I found myself a bar listening to my wonderful friend Leasing Agent sing. While there the barkeep suggested I try this new to me root beer with a kick. He handed me a bottle of Not Your Father’s Root Beer by the fine folks over at Small Town Brewery. Let me just say that if you are a fan of root beer and a fan of alcohol pick some up. Warn your family that rehab is your plan for next Summer and call it day. If this liquid gold had been around when Nancy Reagan was in office she would have warned us against it on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes. As my plan is to not be plastered at the pool all weekend I decided to use what I bought for a good old fashioned Root Beer Cake.

Not Your Father’s Boozy Cake

(adapted from The Food Network’s Root Beer Bundt Cake)

Prepared Buttercream Frosting (recipe here)

Packing, Pall Malls and Prosciutto

I know all three of you reading this think I am a horrible person. Neglecting you such as I have. It's been at least three maybe four years since my last post. Or three months. Who is counting?

I have excuses though!

Valid reasons as to why I have not sat down and waxed poetic of my food adventures, love affairs and madcappery. Just give me a second to think of the most sincere sounding one.

Okay I apologize. I have just been plain uninspired.

And multiple big things have been happening.

First and maybe most important (because it's all about me) I am leaving the great state of Minnesota. I will give you time to compose yourself. I know it's a shock to everyone's system.

But yes. I am moving.

I am giving up on snow and heading to the now even greater state (because I'm moving there) of North Carolina. My roll at the underwear megalith that employes me has changed. I will now be in the glamorous world of sock design. And before you ask in that almost condescending way "is there a lot that goes into designing a sock?" Remember I may feed you at some point. And I watch a lot if CSI Miami and Murder She Wrote. Hiding a body is not a challenge to me.

Back to me.

My Minnesota visa expires later this month and I will then be reporting from tobacco country. Please stay tuned for my shenanigans involving fried chicken, Pall Mall's and republicans.

Now on to the food portion of my food blog.

A while back SAGL and I made a house decision to go all Oprah and live life to the fullest. Which really means we made plans to visit our dear friend and confidant Ms. Antipasto for a fete to end all fetes in Plymouth Massachusetts at the start of December. This party is co hosted by an Italian immigrant and her husband who I'm certain was one of the Car Talk guys. This party is so exclusive it involves eVites (we really need to bring that back).

So in preparation for this extravaganza I basically planned on eating nothing but salads and laxatives for weeks. Luckily the salads were more satisfying and I stuck to that daily menu.

Back to the party.

The scene was set in what can only be described as a glamorous set of a Murder She Wrote serial killer made for TV mini series. This village within a village has everything you need to never expose yourself to outsiders. Beautifully nestled in the Cape adjacent woodland we settled in for a weekend of massive caloric intake and old fashioned Christmas hi-jinks (drinking egg nog with biscotti liquor).

While there I found my soul mate in a 60 something Italian mother of two who may or may not be a hobbit. Her stealth like jabs at her daughter and coma inducing lasagna are legendary throughout New England. Don't cross this woman or JB Fletcher will be banking off your demise.

All in all best damn holiday party I have ever been too. And I hope to hell Ms. Antipasto eVites me back (as I check my inbox daily for the golden ticket).

Now I am sure you are wondering "what the hell happened to your New Year's resolution to try a new restaurant a month?".

Unbunch your panties. I've kept up on it. Mostly.

SAGL and I took advantage of our time in the greater Boston area and forced friends old and new to gather in our glory while traveling.

First in an intimate grouping we lunched at Russell House Tavern. This subterranean delight was fine by me because I was able to catch up on my hometown's Motorcross that somehow made it on the bar tv. I was only slightly distracted from my cheese platter of love by the classy chick who thought it was sexy to share her bra straps with the whole of Christendom (and this Jew). But lets get real. Cute atmosphere, cheese platters and wine. I'm sold.

About two hour later we needed to feed again. Recall the month of salads?

Our dinner was provided to us by the cheerful staff at Catalyst. Lets start by talking about reservations. We made one. When we arrived they asked if we had one. When we sat down I was glad to see we had our choice of almost any table in the restaurant. Beggars can't be choosers.

The menu was simple and tasteful but our little group of six was left too long to ponder. And with that, minds changed about a 1000 times. I naturally settled on a burger. My staple on which I judge all chefs.

Personally the jury is still out on Catalyst. I need to go back. And we all know that it will be closed or re-imagined by the time I get out there.

In a nutshell that is why I've been absent online.

With only a few days left in Minneapolis now is your chance to say goodbye to me, confess your love to me, or tell me F-off. I'm really counting on the Meg Ryan confess you love me scenario playing out.

I'll check in once I settle in North Carolina.