Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today is my Friday!!!

I'm off tomorrow to prep for our Donner Party trip this weekend. Guess what that means?

Good friends, good food, really good wine! Reminds me of a song...

Here’s to good friends,
Tonight is kind of special.
The beer we’ll pour
must say something more, somehow.
So tonight, tonight,
Let it be Löwenbräu.
It’s been so long.
Hey, I’m glad to see ya.
Raise your glass.
Here’s to health and happiness.
So tonight, let it be all the best.

OMG...I just figured something out...Seester you're going to love this!

In doing my research for the Lowenbrau jingle, I found something else. When we were kids and had our elbows on the table, my Mom would say "Get your elbows off the table Mabel, the money's for the beer." We never really understood that saying...until now!

Hey Mabel, Black Label. Carling Black Label.

After a lackluster decade of poor sales, in 1951, Carling came up with the now-iconic Mabel the Waitress campaign, hiring New York actress Jean (sometimes spelled “Jeanne”) Goodspeed to play Mabel in TV commercials and print ads. Sales skyrocketed. In fact, they kept using her image long after she left the business in the mid-1950's to start a family and eventually even included an animated version in later ads. The Mabel campaign finally ended in the early 1970s. For me, I think what made the slogan was the whistle that precedes the slogan in television and, presumably, radio spots. Also, Mabel’s wink and a nod at the end of each ad is also priceless, even when they went to an animated version they wisely kept that element.

Could this be the origin of that little gem? I can't seem to find out anything else. Makes sense though. Now if we could only figure out "I see Christmas without any pies baked"!

Anyway, off to Donner Lake for a long weekend. Not all of the Donner's can make it, but we've got 7 so that's a party if you ask me. I'm going to be making the highly acclaimed and tested Momofuku Bo Ssam. It's a Korean pork dish. The recipe came from the NY Times. It was given to me by two folks, Wilber's Mom and Rayray-Mae. Wilbur's Dad made it and evidently it was good! Want the recipe? Are you sure? Okay...

Momofuku Bo Ssam

Pork Butt (Ha ha, it says "butt")
1 whole bone-in pork butt or picnic ham (8 to 10 pounds)
1 cup white sugar (or 1/2 cup Truvia)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons brown sugar

Ginger-Scallion Sauce 2½ cups thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
½ cup peeled, minced fresh ginger
¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1½ teaspoons light soy sauce
1 scant teaspoon sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Ssam Sauce
2 tablespoons fermented bean-and- chili paste (ssamjang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang, available in many Asian markets, and online)
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)

2 cups plain white rice, cooked
3 heads bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 dozen or more fresh oysters (optional)
Kimchi (available in many Asian markets, and online).

1. Place the pork in a large, shallow bowl. Mix the white sugar and 1 cup of the salt together in another bowl, then rub the mixture all over the meat. Cover it with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

2. When you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 300. Remove pork from refrigerator and discard any juices. Place the pork in a roasting pan and set in the oven and cook for approximately 6 hours, or until it collapses, yielding easily to the tines of a fork. (After the first hour, baste hourly with pan juices.) At this point, you may remove the meat from the oven and allow it to rest for up to an hour.

3. Meanwhile, make the ginger-scallion sauce. In a large bowl, combine the scallions with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and taste, adding salt if needed.

4. Make the ssam sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the chili pastes with the vinegar and oil, and mix well.

5. Prepare rice, wash lettuce and, if using, shuck the oysters. Put kimchi and sauces into serving bowls.

6. When your accompaniments are prepared and you are ready to serve the food, turn oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining tablespoon of salt with the brown sugar. Rub this mixture all over the cooked pork. Place in oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until a dark caramel crust has developed on the meat. Serve hot, with the accompaniments.

Lucky for me, we have a Korean market within about 10 minutes of work. Yay!

There will also be Fajita Night...Yep, with Poppy's To-Kill-Kelly-Margaritas. I'll take a pass on those. How about Eggs Benedict w/RayRay-Mae's hollandaise sauce? Also, JJ-Mae's almost world famous oatmeal.

I don't even care if there is snow or not. I've not had any time off in a long, long time where I could just sit and stare at the wall. This is that weekend.


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