Monday, March 22, 2010

Big Tuts!

Yesterday Steph and I finally went to the King Tutankhamun exhibit at the De Young museum in Golden Gate Park. Next weekend is the last weekend but it's been here since Sept. and we're usually kind of busy on weekends so whatevs it took us awhile get there. But it was almost not to be. On Saturday we went to the museum and realized we needed to buy tickets in advance. I've been to enough museums to know that this is how it goes, but I thought that maybe, just maybe everyone who was going to see it had already been to see it and we'd somehow get in easily. Nope! I bought tickets for yesterday for the tour that was to start between 2:30 and 3 and we left pretty much on time and should have made it. That is until we discovered the parking garage was closed! WTF! Parking in G.G. Park is nearly impossible on a weekend and we drove around for about a half an hour. I was becoming mildly dejected as our scheduled tour time was well in the past. I hated the thought of wasting 65 non-refundable dollars like that not to mention getting to see some pretty badass Egyptian artifacts. Magically we found a parking spot. Even though the situation wasn't 100% our fault I was kind of worried they wouldn't honor the tickets. Steph had sense of optimism and she did all the talking. Not only did they let us in, they moved us ahead of the tour group that was waiting to go through the exhibit. We ended up getting VIP treatment for being late. Go figure. Anyway I thought it was a pretty awesome exhibit. It was a little crowded and tough to read about each item as I am wont to do. I find it uber amazing that by the time this guy came to power the Pyramids were already 1000 years old. I also find it interesting that he was such a relatively minor king as far as Egyptian kings go and yet we are so fascinated by him. It makes me wonder what things that we consider mundane or ordinary in our lifetime will be revered and studied thousands of years from now. I like to think about the possibility of my belongings ending up in a museum in some country that as yet does not exist where the people speak a dialect or language that hasn't been developed yet a few thousand years from now. I hope they find my sweet mix tape collection intact along with the rubber pastries on canvas that I did.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I recently got turned on to a British Drama-dy called Shameless and I have to say it's pretty good. It's about a poor Manchester family of six kids (they call the boys lads), a town drunk for a father and an absentee mother. The kids are all of various ages and all have quite different personalities. Each episode I've seen invloves some kind of trouble that daily life seems to bring for each of the characters. The reasons I like this show only highlight the difference between U.S. and British Network TV. I must say the Brits do way better with less. The BBC doesn't have anywhere near the budget that American TV networks have and yet they seem to be able to produce a better quaitly show. Using Shameless as an example, the Brits keep it fairly real. There are really no beautiful people on this show. These are regular looking peeps playing characters who have a rough life. In the U.S. there's be no way they'd allow such a thing to occur. The leads would always be uber attractive people and therefore less believable. Even the supporting actors would be good looking. Secondly the amount of shit they allow on British TV is amazing. This show in the US would only be able to be seen on HBO. They get to say "fuck" if they want to, get drunk, show some boobs, have sex , smoke weed, deal with being gay etc. Basically everything that would make a show about "people" and the things that real people do seem believeable. I guess that's really only two points, but to me they're significant points. I really don't watch much U.S. network TV outside of Lost so I have no idea of what's even on these days, but I do know that until the execs at the Networks quit trying to apply chastity belts to our eyes and ears here in the states and try investing in some quality shows more and more people will turn to HBo etc. for their TV fix. Anyway, Shameless is a good show and a total departure for me because I normally crave the pure British comedies. I reccomend you put it in your Netflix queue.

Spice Odyssey: Exploring the Burning Tongues of Saturn.: Oh, Repost!!!!

Spice Odyssey: Exploring the Burning Tongues of Saturn.: Oh, Repost!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!

I have lot's of T shirts. They rarely fit me in a way I find pleasing. They will either be too big, small, or the worst of all too long! Does this mean I am missing part of my torso? WTF? But, I do love good design and branding as it helps me to know what I really want to do with my own line. Anyway, I found this bad ass shirt on Rumplo which is basically my favorite Tshirt blog/ resource in the whole world. "One day that will be my shirt up there!" But I digress. I bought it, and it is even more badass in realife. The print is uber clean and super detailed. It's grey, which to me makes a good base for other colors to lay on. It's got a picture of France on it which is a very cool thing to do because I like France a great deal. Also, it has a picture of a riot and a quote about some tyranical shit which totally jives with my love for Dystopian stories. The branding was subtle and well done, just a hang tag with a pinback button. And the company is located in the UK which makes me feel extra international. Oh yeah, the company is called Origin 68.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Soup er

I love it when a plan comes together. So says Col. Hannibal Smith (U.S. Army Retired). He meant it in the context of escaping from the ever encircling snare of the single-minded and proud Col. Decker. Talk about out foxing the fox. This catch-phrase was also used to note a successful "mission" which usually involved building some crazy shit in a barn, and also applying armor plating to that "shit" as well as installing peep holes through that armor plating so that they could shoot at other shit that was trying to shoot at them. Also, shooting at shit and the people involved with that shit and being able to stop them from further wrongdoing yet not killing or even seriously injuring those people is actually pretty amazing.

That brings me to my very similar use of that same catch-phrase. Our cheese night on Sunday left me with some interesting leftover ingredients and last night on my way home I hatched a plan to use them all in one quick dish if possible. Chief among the leftovers were Portabella mushrooms. I also had stock and heavy cream. Soup!!!! Here's my recipe:

Portabella Mushrooms
Porcini Mushrooms (dried)
Heavy Cream
Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper
Hungarian Paprika
Olive Oil


Soak dried Porcini in warm water. (reserve the leftover water)

In a large pot, fry Pancetta and remove when finished and chop. Keep 1/4 fat in the pot.
reduce heat add garlic and onions and olive oil.
add chopped Portabellas, and remove Porcini from water and saute.
add salt & pepper and thyme.
When mushrooms are sauteed add chicken stock and the reserved water from the Porcini.
Add paprika, and chopped Pancetta and simmer.

Once you've had it on a nice simmer for about 10 minutes, it's time to add the cream. One note here, only use cream or maybe whole milk because dairy with a lower fat content will curdle and your soup will be yucky.
Also you need to temper the soup by adding the cream in small amounts at first. Once the cream has started to mix evenly you can add the rest.

You should then let this mixture simmer for another few minutes, and you should absolutely taste it, and season as needed, remembering of course that as it cooks down the taste will get more concentrated.

Once you have full seasoned and very hot soup you now have a few options. If you like mushroom soup on the rustic side, that is to say chunky, then by all means serve it right away. If you like it in a more refined manner then I'd use a hand blender if you have one or you can ladle it into a blender or food processor. What evs. Just blend until it's smooth in texture.

To serve I usually top with fresh parsley and if you so desire you could top with a bit of olive oil. I actually had some extra Gorgonzola sauce on hand that I'd made so I used that.

Anyway it was tasty.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Weekend of worry, wonderment, and Triple Cream

This past week involved a certain level of stress and concern for my fledgling foray in screen printing shirts for other peeps. Alex and I got a commission to print up some shirts for one of the local street food celebs, Brian of the Magic Curry Cart, and he needed them absolutely no later than Saturday. Of course I said we'd do it, regardless if we were actually ready to do it or not. Since relocating to our new shop we hadn't actually printed anything. All of our screens are basically fucked up and we're going to end up having them redone. This was not cool considering we only had a few days to get ready to print. Oh, and did I mention that we were going to be using a new exposure unit so we'd really be winging it as far as burn times? No? Cause we did. Basically all this boiled down to a possibly very awkward phone call to Brian having to admit that we suck. At some point during the week I had this genius idea to call up another screen printer to see if they had more efficient cleaning methods and if they could possibly rescue some of our screens. I called a shop that I think is pretty cool. They're called Free Gold Watch and they're pretty cool peeps. Unfortunately, they couldn't get the screens clean, which would substantiate my assertion that the screens are in fact fucked up. But, Free Gold Watch came to the rescue and agreed to sell me two pre-coated screens. Also Steph came to my rescue because she schlepped it all the way to the upper Haight to drop off my screens and pick up the new ones. Having pre-coated screens totally made our lives much simpler for the fact that we didn't have to coat screens. Sweet! Flash forward to Thursday night, twenty four hours to go time. My use of the word "flash" in the last sentence was a bit of unintentional foreshadowing as we now had to fire up the light table and expose the new screens. With fingers crossed, we forded a river of 300 souls attending a reception at the gallery in order to take a leap of faith. Faith in our completely arbitrary calculation of four minutes and fifteen seconds of burn time. Mind you, if we got this wrong our new screens would be useless and we'd have to re-coat them. We seriously didn't have the time to deal with that shit. Suffice it to say we were damn near money with our timing as the screens came out perfectly and we were ready to print the next day. On Friday night we bought a brand new tub of gooey yellow plastisol ink and got down to business. Oh yeah one last thing, Brian gave me an order for t shirts which I fulfilled to a T which meant there was no margin for error in printing. Just ask Steph about our margin for error when we printed her shirts. Anyway, we nailed it and dude was pretty fucking impressed if I do say so myself. It looks like we'll be getting some more orders from the food cart peeps. In a round about way my culinary studies are paying off.

On Sunday it was Oscar night. Normally I'm not into awards shows, but Steph loves them. She likes to keep up on her pop culture. However, this night we chose to coincide the Oscars with our oft-postponed Cheese night. As I said previously I am a member of the cheese of the month club. On hand we had  St. Andre, Port Salut, Gorgonzola, Blue, a nice Gouda, an English Cheddar, and the piece de resistance a triple cream raw milk cheese, which was said to taste of the pasture. I also whipped up a Gorgonzola sauce and a cherry and sweet onion chutney to make uber-grilled cheese sandwiches. We invited a few friends and proceeded to have an enjoyable Oscar night. I predicted Precious would dominate, but I was blind sided by Hurt Locker which I conceded made perfect sense. As a dude I prefer a movie about blowing shit up to a movie about a girl carrying her dads seed. But, that's just me. Oh yeah, curiously enough we completely forgot to document the party in a photographic sense. I think I'd attribute that to the fact that we were having a pretty good time.