Lamb Shanks Two Ways, and the World’s Rarest Pasta

Awhile back, I was reading Saveur magazine, and stumbled on an article entitled “On the Hunt for the World’s Rarest Pasta.”

Su filindeu — or “threads of God” — are a hand-pulled pasta the width approximately of human hair, served at the end of a 20-mile overnight pilgrimage through sheep country on the isle of Sardinia, a tradition that has dwindled down to two or three woman still able to make it. Here’s the article, a great read, if you want to learn more of the back story.

Sardinian sheep

The fine filamented noodle supposedly takes decades to master. Repeatedly stretched by hand, it grows thinner and thinner with each successive round. It is only eaten one morning a year, following a foot bath, in the Sardinian village of Lulu at the Sanctuary of San Francesco, boiled in a sheep stock and showered with grated sheep’s cheese. More

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Why Iceland?

My 11-year-old son Flynn is obsessed with Iceland.

“I think I want to learn to speak Icelandic,” he declared to us at some point.

He now has two different Icelandic apps on his iPhone and paces around the house working on his pronunciation.

“Kveðja!” he says cheerfully by way of an Icelandic goodbye to our 5-year-old daughter Imogen as she heads off to summer camp.

Svið (singed sheep's head)

Svið (singed sheep’s head)

Why Iceland? I take some responsibility, having introduced him to the Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, and taken him to one of their very dramatic concerts.

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by Iceland myself. I’m Irish, I like cold and dramatic northern landscapes and broody people who drink a bit too much and write mournful poetry and music. More

And the Winner Is…

I received an email from my sister, Andrea, who has been an enthusiastic supporter of my various creative ventures dating all the way back to when my pal Sanford and I launched a curbside “Indian Chewing Gum” stand outside our house sometime back in the late 70s, in which we soaked the chewy pith of the inside of a dried wild mustard stalk — “Indian chewing gum” — in either of two flavors, fruit punch or maple syrup, and tried to sell the soggy mess to the rare passerby.

I believe Andrea may have been the only person who purchased one.

SAV_15_SBA_LOGO_final

She had received an email to nominate blogs for the 2015 Saveur Blog Awards. Her email, to me and several other family members, was as follows:

“I nominated Sean.  Dude, you should do a quick post about this Saveur nomination thing!  You’ve got so many followers who would want to nominate you!  DONT BE SHY, this could be a really lucky break!!”

So fair enough — here it is, my gentle attempt at self promotion. If you would like to nominate Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise for a Saveur 2015 Blog Award, click here. Only takes a few seconds.

If not, I encourage you to go check out said sister Andrea’s very funny blog detailing her life as an “accidental Texan”.

And in the meantime, wherever you may be, enjoy!

Gourmet

It was a lazyish Saturday afternoon, I was having a Sculpin IPA and preparing smoked ribeye sliders, Maui onion rings and a peach tart for my son’s intimate birthday celebration, when an email came in from my mother with the subject line, “gourmet”.

Gourmet July 1945

Finding no afternoon reading  inspiration in this book or that, she had dug up an old issue of Gourmet magazine. “By old,” she said, “I mean 1973.” She went on: More

A Tonic for What Ails Ye

I’m a sucker for a great classic cocktail — and by great, I mean a drink made with few ingredients, where you can taste the high-quality spirit the beverage is built around. A perfect margarita, for example — lime, agave syrup, good tequila.

A lady gets her close up

A lady gets her close up

I used to think the rechristening of bartenders as “mixologists” was a bit silly. (What would be next — busboys would now be “dishware reutilization engineers”!??) But then on one of our rare evening adventures into civilization without the kids, our pal Alex took us to an establishment in Culver City called Oldfield’s Liquor Room that he liked to frequent with his mistress. The bartender, who was also apparently the proprietor, was a buxom woman in pointy glasses and an old timey baby doll dress. The mercifully manageable bar menu contained a dozen or so “house drinks” based on classics and made with house-infused syrups and bitters. Those we tried were delicious, and I thought, “Okay, she’s more like a chef — and maybe they do deserve something more elevated than ‘bartender'”. More

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