Mar 202008

Collin said that he caught some show on Food Network that was all about polenta.

"Was it awesome?" I asked.

"I didn’t watch it," he said. "I figured I get enough of that at work."

Tonight is his last night sitting next to me because he got a job in a different department. I’m kind of glad that after tonight I won’t have to shield my monitor as defensively, listen to him listening to the best of Lilith Fair, have my every action criticized, and learn of new similarities he shares with Henry. (They both have black hair and glasses and like computer things and Alton Brown, OMG.)

But I guess I’ll miss him.

About as much as Paris Hilton would miss the paparazzi.

I asked him if he’ll be sad when he sits far away and is unable to spy on my every move. Without any hesitation he said "Yes" way more emphatically than I would have guessed.

Though I know he’ll be next to leave, I still have Bob. And without having Collin wedged in between us, we’ll be able to talk about the Real World with greater ease, a topic Collin will surely miss. I’m angry at Bob at the moment though because yesterday he made a big deal about today being some sort of Mister Roger’s Rememberance Day, and everyone was supposed to wear their favorite sweater today. I mean, Bob hyped this so much that it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up. I made a point of selecting my favorite sweater to wear, feeling like it might be akin to spitting on Fred Roger’s grave if I had the audacity to wear a cotton blend instead. Or a polyester lab coat.

Bob is not wearing a sweater today. "Oh, oops. I forgot about that," was his flimsy excuse.

Oh oops. I forgot.

Just wait until the day he needs something. "Oh oops, I forgot about that," I’ll say, when Bob weakly asks if I remembered to bring in that spare kidney he needs to stay alive.

Regardless, it’s still a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Not that I can see much of it.

Mar 102008

 Yesterday, I learned that if a person so desires, they can purchase polenta in flavored varieties. This special breed of polenta live in a special home with wonton wrappers and fresh herbs.

At the grocery store, I had a strong urge to double fist the polenta logs and squeeze.

I suppressed the desire.

Supposedly, we were at the store to pick up the ingredients for that amazing blueberry banana polenta orgasm I found a recipe for last week, but all of sudden, we’re standing by the root vegetables, and Henry says that it’s too expensive, the ingredients added together are too expensive. I’m like, "But the blueberries, they’re right over here and they look cheap. The only thing cheaper than these here blueberries is Janna standing on a corner." But he was firm in his decision, saying that he had a different meal plan in mind. I went to sit in the car, that’s where I realized that it’s not the cost of the ingredients, it’s Henry’s wavering doubt in himself, in his culinary prowess. Perhaps he needs to watch Alton Brown handle some polenta dildos, and then he’ll have more inspiration to dabble in the land of sweet polenta dishes.

Last night, in lieu of the blueberry seduction,  Henry stuck with his safe and savory expertise and made some sort of polenta pizza. I think that’s what he was aiming for, at least. Patties of polenta with diced tomatoes and a cap of crispy parmesan cheese. It was interesting. Didn’t taste much like pizza, though. Might have something to do with the corn meal.

I’m having leftovers tonight.

It’s looking like a "polenta" category might need to be created, because Henry is on a roll.

Mar 072008

Last night I found out that Giada from the Food Network knows about polenta and evidently likes it enough to have recipes about it. That was enough to win me over. I know lots of people hate her because she’s a Bobblehead, but ever since I watched her Chef Biography, I evicted a few people* from my heart to make room for her.

I thought Henry was feeding me some kind of orphanage staple at first, and I’m too proud to be eating like the poor. Then I read that in Northen Italy, it’s more popular than pasta! I like Italy, the northen parts too, so polenta MUST be alright. As long as hobos aren’t eating it, too.

Feeling inspired, I called up my pal Google and after getting the obligatory "Remember when we were in ‘Nam" chit chat out of the way, he helped me find this recipe and I think I might burst if Henry doesn’t make it.

That Blueberry Banana Polenta Thing
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup corn flour  (maybe *fine* ground corn meal, at your own risk)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (might add wheat germ to increase fiber)
2 T. honey 
1 T. Succanat (or 3 T. Succanat and no honey for vegans)
1/2 cup water (or use *nonfat* milk, juice, or soy moo)
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-g egg replacer (or 1 egg white)
1/4 tsp. guar gum (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking soda (or slightly less)
2 T. nonfat yogurt (this is needed to make the baking soda work)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (or as much as you can handle, ie. more…)
1/2 tsp. cardamom (ditto)
1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh)

Preparation: Mash bananas with a potato masher, add all remaining ingredients,
except for blueberries.  Stir well.  Lightly oil a small pan, or 8 muffin tin,
by dipping a paper napkin in a drop of oil and spreading this all over the
baking surface (or spray with Pam).  Pour batter into pan (8" x 5") or muffin
tin.  Sprinkle top with blueberries, the more the better.  Blueberries won’t
sink to the bottom, so you have to press them down if you want to get even more
of them in.  Bake at about 400F for about 25-35 minutes, my guess.  Serve warm.
This will taste quite rich, the warm melted blueberries get runny and yummy!

Ok, so mostly for me this is  like reading a recipe in ancient Ukranian script, but I see operative words like "blueberry" "honey" and "banana" and that’s all I need to crown a winner. And also some shit called Suckonnat which is now masturbating my curiosity, thanks.

I couldn’t find a photo of this magnificant heap of fruity cornmeal, but I bet it still turns out looking like it just shot down the Devil’s steaming asshole after a late night smorgasbord of chipotle Aborigine bowels and refried lepers, much like this delicious polenta plate with runny fungus slopped over top pictured below. Probably it will be blue diarrhea at least.



*Henry and my mom.

Mar 052008

Before I left for work, Henry emerged from the kitchen with a plate of food.

"Oooh, pineapple!" I exclaimed, pawing for one. It was warm. Mmm, baked pineapple! A surprise midday dessert, how thoughtful of him.

I popped it in my mouth and confusion was immediate. "Is this meat??" I screamed, slack-jawed.

"It’s polenta, you retard. And it’s for Chooch, not you," Henry said as he shouldered past me.

"But is it meat?" I cried again.

This led to a boring explanation of what polenta is, most of which I zoned out of.  "And you better like it," he said at the end of his lecture, "because it’s what you’re having for dinner."

I’m eating it right now, and I think I’m falling in obsession with it. I was leery at first, don’t be mistaken! Two rubbery blocks of cornmeal doused with a red sauce, shredded cheese and mushrooms? Ew. I’m scared when Henry melts cheese atop of his meals, because I assume he’s trying to hide something from me, mask some flavor he thinks I’d be adverse to. The dressed-up planks of mush were buffeted by a southwestern corn mix (straight from the freezer, huh Henry?) with ONIONS. Henry, you asshole.

Collin seemed just as intrigued by it as I was and kept asking me all these questions like I’m a portable Food Network search engine. The best I could do was tell him it had the consistency and texture of a congealed and gelatinous corn pudding.

It has good form, nice spring. I want to be sculpting with it now.

I feel like I want to fry it up with strawberries. (I almost said broiled but then I realized I don’t know what that is.) What’s the best way to eat this junk, anyway?