Using your noodle


I’m loathe to admit that I purchased an entire set of dishes based solely on the fact that I thought they would photograph well, but these were on sale at the Crate and Barrel website so I figured it was an exception. And I had a gift card. And what fool-headed person came up with the gift registry? I mean, taking a heady, happy, recently bejeweled girl and telling her to go to a store and make a list of things she wants without buying them is ridiculous. But then to make those available online? That is beyond my comprehension. I have spent more time on my gift registry than I have on all the other aspects of the wedding combined. Fact. But honestly, every time I start thinking about things like flowers, music, or photography, I get distracted by potential gifts. Like, “oh, I don’t know…maybe chrysanthemums, or those tiny little blueOH MY GOD ALLCLAD MAKES A CROCKPOT!?!?” It’s a little sick. And I investigated approximately one bazillion china patterns, thinking that there is no possible way that I can begin life as a married woman without having a set of plates that I’m not allowed to use and probably also a matching gravy boat. It turns out that I mostly hate china patterns. But I found a winner–white with a platinum band. It’s simple, and it reiterates my basic opinion about yellow gold (it’s for oldey-timey folk and/or hookers). (And pimps).

Anyway, I bought some dishes was my point. And then I had to design an entire meal of food that would highlight my primary point (Look! Dishes!). The thing is that my new dishes were noodle bowls, and I have never eaten a noodle bowl that didn’t come in a styrofoam cup with a paper lid and dessicated mixed vegetables laying, corpse-like, on a clot of dried “noodle” substance. And those were the culinary equivalent of waterboarding. I googled noodle bowl recipes, and came up with some interesting sources, namely Martha F. Ing. Stewart. When did she take up Asian food? Has she found a pattern for knitting chopsticks? Is she breeding her own silkworms for “neat little hand-crafted kimonos”? I don’t get it.

I ended up with a noodle bowl that sprung forth entirely from my imagination, as well as my desire to give Willie an empty peanut butter jar to carry around in his mouth and hopefully distract him from his main hobby; jamming his nose up your butt when you’re not looking and then bouncing gleefully around when you shriek. Willie has apparently taken a date-rape approach to the word “no.”

The bowl was soba noodles, which are buckwheat Japanese noodles that are ostensibly quite difficult to make, if the complaining on Iron Chef is any indication, tossed in a sauce of peanut butter, shoyu sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cayenne pepper. It was garnished with julienne carrots, cucumbers, and onions, and topped with thinly sliced flank steak. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Noodle bowl.

An aside: Yes, my julienne are a little…voluptuous. But chef says that I can do things however I want them when I own Kristie’s Snarf ‘N’ Barf. And guess what, buster? My house IS Kristie’s Snarf ‘N’ Barf, and if I want to serve big-ass julienne, I’m going to.

I can now assert that the reason the Japanese are so thin is because they have to eat with twigs, which, it turns out, are a monumentally inefficient way to carry food from a food vessel to a waiting mouth. My shirt looked like it had been tie-dyed with a series of brown strings and blotches, though, so that was nice and artistic. Maybe it’s just a function of my poor attempts at a pincer-like movement with the sticks. It mostly just ended up with me trying to get a twig underneath a food chunk and kind of catapult it off the edge of the bowl into my mouth. It was approximately “none” successful.

I’ve eaten with chopsticks plenty of times before, but it was usually after getting completely thwanked on sake at one of the flippy-spatula places where they put shrimp in their hats. I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to eat a shrimp, let alone a shrimp out of someones headpiece. So my main point here is that you have to be drunk to eat with twigs.

9 thoughts on “Using your noodle”

  1. I looove those bowls. I want bowls with a hole in them for the chopsticks that I will never be able to master, to rest in. I think chopsticks are handy for so many things. Hair updos. Stabbing people in the eye when they get too close to the meal you are preparing. Fishing rings out of the drain when you have inadvertently knocked them off their counter-ly perch. Spearing “finger” food to feed to your lover. But never, I repaeat never, will I be able to use them to scoop bites into my mouth.

  2. Yellow gold is tacky, chopsticks are fun and dangerous, noodle bowls are delicious, and I can’t wait to start my gift registry.

    I want fancy stuff too.

  3. I would register for some different things now if I had to do it over again. There’s just so much gadgetry out there…

    Is it OK if I just call you “Muffin Twat” from now on?

  4. Ooh…I saw really similar bowls last weekend in a Shoppers Drug Mart and totally wanted to get them. Because, dude, CHOPSTICK HOLES! Too awesome. Oh, and I wanted to use them in pictures as well. Mike wouldn’t let me buy them because he thought it was excessive, decadent and irresponsible to buy dishes just for the sake of a few pictures. I say to him, BAH HUMBUG – and KRISTIE got to buy them…..sigh…..

    Poor guy doesn’t know that this just sealed his fate when we go to Ikea later today……

  5. that was a long way around to get to the main point – eating with twigs is hard.

    but you are so very entertaining nontheless…

    my every day dishes come from crate and barrel. they are solid white porcelain and i have grown quite fond of them. the pattern is madison. they’re slightly off kilter like me.

    my wedding china is beautiful. i wish the gold were platinum. but even still… it’s limoge from bernardaud – pattern is raynaud. the color is exactly the color of the tiffany box. i saw it at barney’s 10 years ago and fell in love. i’d still love it if the gold were not gold. anyway, it makes an appearance here:

    http://www.cookeatfret.com/foie-gras/2008/01/07/seared-foie-gras-with-poached-pears-shitake-and-blue-cheese/

    aren’t you glad i shared?

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