Archive for January 6th, 2009

Fudging the Whale

Over at Chez My House we are fans of Ace of Cakes on the Food Network. We don’t record it or even know when it airs normally, because it’s just always on. Everyone on the show always seems to have been visited by the weed fairy, which makes their cake-making endeavors funny and also very soothing at the same time. Despite deadlines and collapsing layers of ganache and sponge, everyone seems high, which is only way the construction of a yak made out of fondant would make sense anyway.

TV-Watching Companion and I spent a lot of time in front of the tube over our holiday break (we both had about 2 weeks off, it was insane and I’ve developed a taste for early retirement as a result). We had been recording but not watching Whale Wars on Animal Planet because it looked awesome, so we finally decided to do something about it. Whale Wars is like a much higher-stakes Ace of Cakes  in that everyone seems a little high, but also, they are risking their lives to do kind of dangerous things like jump from one moving boat to another to spread a message of non-violent, eco-protest-y whale-saving, and they have no clue what they’re doing.

The captain of the ship on Whale Wars is generally an a-hole who is willing to put other people’s lives on the line and not have a problem with that, but everyone on the ship drank the whale oil and is like “Captain says breach, I say how high!” The group of whale-lovers spend their days trying to obstruct Japanese whalers by using really irritating methods – throwing stink bombs aboard their ships, tangling lines in their propellers, the aforementioned jumping aboard the Japanese ship to create an international hostage crisis (even though the whale-lovers willingly jumped aboard another ship, they claimed to be held hostage? Explain that pot-scented logic to me, please). I’m all for saving the whales, but after three episodes I started rooting for the Japanese. The series seems like it would be better suited to perhaps a two-hour special and not a 7-episode series. They should really have followed the model of Miss America: Countdown to the Crown which is three short episodes culminating in the actual Miss America pageant. Not that I watched. The only pageantry I indulge in involves education in the Iraq. Such as.

Avoid Whale Wars and watch an Ace of Cakes marathon while eating a Fudgie the Whale cake instead. And enjoy this joke I just made up.

Q. What does a whale on a diet eat?

A. Baleen Cuisine.

You’re welcome.


I’ll take a recess

This recession hasn’t hit me that hard because I live my life like I’m always in a recession. I still have a job, though it’s a meager (by most New Yorker’s standards) salary, but I’ve learned to live within my means. I credit my mother who clips coupons, has a CVS card and buys sale items in bulk and freezes them in her extra freezer (because yes, she owns an extra fridge and freezer).  I hem and haw over buying anything that costs more than $200 and I just found out that my grocery store sells half turkey breasts for $3 each and they feed us for like 4 meals, so I wish I’d been buying turkey all along. This is why it makes me so mad to read the five billion articles out there about how to cope with a recession. “How to throw a dinner party for under $100!”. “How to buy designer clothes for cheap!” “How to make a few extra bucks!” Seriously? That shouldn’t be in the New York Times, it should be in a common sense manual given to you at birth.

This is why it infuriates me to read this week’s NY Mag article “My Laid-Off Life“.  Some of these people are genuinely hurting, but when I read stuff like “We are eating leftovers—we never did that before,” and “I went shopping today. I needed the perfect skirt because I didn’t have the perfect skirt. Plus I’ve got this new guy, and we go out to nice places. He deserves a me in cuter outfits. But I also got $900 worth of clothes that I didn’t need,” and “I spent my severance at a bar,” my coupon clipping hand goes numb and can’t even muster up the strength to slap my own forehead.  My biggest fear is money, so I can’t help but feel little sympathy for people who spend it unwisely. I would be screwed if I lost my job, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for these people with kids and debt and houses,  but not ever eating leftovers? I’d like to introduce you to, as Padma says, the Gladware family of products. It probably doesn’t make sense that Travel Companion and I are trying to take a few vacations this year to take advantage of cheaper airfare and travel incentives (7 nights at Disney for the price of 4 through June 2009!), but you better believe that I’m eating every last nugget of turkey off the bone so I can afford the happiest place on earth.