Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The preservation of knotweed

One crucial omission on my "things wrong with my car" list. I don't know how I forgot this one, it's great.

14) You have to sit on the back trunk to close it. Slam as hard as you want, to no avail. Sitting on it is the only way to close the back trunk.

For some reason in my old age, I'm getting picky with Cambridge businesses and swearing them off one by one. At ZuZu the other night, after we had had a drink and got there early enough to avoid the line and the cover charge, which has gone up to $5, the bouncer comes around collecting money from us if we wanted to stay. We got that place going back in the day, now they charge us once already inside. No good. India Palace the other night didn't know what the word 'vegan' meant. Then Indian food in Inman Square suckered us into paying for a henna tattoo. The quote from the waitress was something like "we have someone doing henna now, and it's free". The way she said it implied to all of us that it would cost nothing. Turns out she meant, "there's no one getting a henna right now" OF COURSE NOT, who wants a henna while enjoying dinner? I was excited for Indian food as a vegan, but I have to make it myself because it's too painful trying to make sure whatever you get is vegan. More on that in a few...

There have been at least 3 more restaurants/bars I've sworn off but I can't remember them. Old age again :). But, one place that has a solid A+ right now, and so I'm recommending it to all, is Amelia's in Kendall Sq. Nice people, chef who actually makes you feel fine about ordering vegan, and great food and great bar. Plus, it's off the beaten path and so it's a cool find.

Regarding making my own Indina food, so far so good. Coconut curry veggie stew the other night rocked. All supplies easily obtained at Shalimar in Central (although very hard to get the store staff enthused about white man cooking Indian food. So far, zero success on getting a smile, let alone a 'how 'bout that!'). Coconut milk - a food of the Gods, a creamy delicious vegan sauce.

Play last night, The Corn is Green, at Huntington BU theatre, fantastic. The last decent play I saw was Seafarers in NY. There have been a lot of duds out there, so it was a pleasant surprise. I am still crossing my fingers for the new central square theatre, but really, they gotta get some better programming in there. Just do Chekhov for a while, everyone's happy. Or Tennessee Williams, or Eugene O'Neill. Are the rights on those plays significantly more money or something? I have no idea.

I have my cell phone back, and a word of advice to anyone who loses their cell phone: figure out the insurance policies rules before you go blabbing about what happened. In my case, I lost the phone on the slopes because I was wearing a ridiculous old man's suit outfit and it popped right zipper pockets on that ski outfit. But, I felt like that was too dumb, so instead I told them (truthfully) that my phone had been shutting off all the time in the cold weather and so (untruthfully) I got so annoyed the final time I just upped and threw it out. They read it back to me to confirm, and hit enter. Then they told me they don't cover thrown out phones. But they do cover lost phones. So I stuck my tail between my legs, called back the next day, and told the truth, all with levity of course. Got nowhere. Instead, received two letters in the mail - not sure why two, they were duplicates - highlighting that my phone could not be replaced via insurance because the client (me) misrepresented the facts of the case. So, the lesson learned is either 1) tell the truth, but, that's too much of a Latter Day Saint's type of lesson, and it won't necessarily always work, so I prefer 2) Figure out what story will get you a new phone, tell that one.

The weather is very cold right now. So, let's turn our thoughts to Spring. One of the first plants out in abundance around here for foraging is Japanese Knotweed. Check it out online. It's only around for good eating for about the first 3 weeks of its growth, so it goes fast, but there's tons of it. I'll be sponsoring a contest this year, the best recipe for it and the best way to preserve it. Sort of...The Iron Chef of urban wild edibles. Start brainstorming. It tastes a bit like rhubarb.

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