How to Eat Like Auntie Mame
November 1, 2005

Oh, this is just PATHETIC! I mean, letting poor Grub Report flounder with no updates for, um, way too long? What kind of parent am I? Seriously, Head Cheese berated me at Ye Olde Stanke Cheeseshoppe the other day when she said, "You know, it's great that you're doing all that other stuff, but when's The Grub Report going to get some love?" When indeed.

So, what have I been doing to take me away from my beloved yet beleaguered website? Are you really ready for this? Okay, well The Apprentice: Martha Stewart has been on for six weeks, so between the snark and Keckler's Weekly Kocktail, I've been busy. And tipsy. The show's not doing so well, ratings-wise, but it's not totally awful and -- wonder of wonders -- it actually got my mother addicted to a reality show! My Katrina Relief recap was the pilot of The Ghost Whisperer. Lord, was it fun (and oh, so easy) to snark on Hepwitt again!

The newest Best Food Writing 2005 is now in stores and if you look at it, you'll find a minor contribution from yours truly. Very psyched about that.

Over at Bay Area Bites, I've been writing up a storm:

My Favorite Cheese for Now: It is what it is -- it's cheesetastic!

Mistress of Tea, Part I and Part II: My friend Sina the Tea Mistress attempts to school me in the art of tea.

Me to a Tea: My past wrongs when it comes to tea.

Oktoberfest: Sausages and beer -- how can you go wrong?

Over at Strange Horizons, I give my two cents on some of the new and confusingly similar Sci-Fi shows. To date, I've nixed all but Threshold from my regular line-up.

There's a new show premiering on KQED in the Bay Area called Check, Please! and it's all about "regular" people going out to eat at restaurants and then discussing and -- possibly, hopefully -- dissing them. Anyway, I've been editing all the content for the website that will launch with the show. Incidentally, the show airs this Thursday, November 3rd at 7:30 PM on KQED. I hope all you Bay Area readers will tune in!

I've also been working on a few other projects but I'm not at liberty to discuss them yet. All I can say is that I'm extremely thrilled and we'll leave it at that for the time being.

A few weeks, er, months ago, I threw an Auntie Mame Party where, not only was the movie watched and screamed over, but themed food was consumed. What is Auntie Mame-themed food? I'm glad you asked.

To begin with, drinks were offered. Now while I didn't feel equal to making flaming drinks -- I'm sure my landlord thanks me for that -- and also had no reason to sicken my guests with rum daiquiris made with pure strained honey ("Yet it's soooo sweeeet...whatever do you use?"), I did shake up some awesome Sidecars ("Run along to Ito and tell him to bring me a light breakfast -- black coffee and a sidecar.") made with some premium ingredients that my lovely guests provided.

Auntie Mame's Fuel
1/4 cup Brandy
3/4 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

Of course, I also poured quite a bit of bubbly stuff throughout the night. The Fuel went superbly with the "fishberry jam" I acquired from Tsar Nicoulai and served on toast points with minced red onion, lemon slices, and sour cream. I couldn't find "plain old pickled rattlesnake" anywhere, but I decided that it tastes like chicken, so I whipped up some Ginger and Plum Sauce Chicken Wings and made sure they were plenty "spicy, Mums."

Ladies Home Journal be damned, I decided that it was far nicer to serve Jack cheese and chutney instead of following Doris Dear's example in putting two cans of tuna fish through the meat grinder and adding clam juice and peanut butter. I didn't really want to be picking up over-the-shoulder-tossed hors d'oeuvres from Poppadum's fur. In place of pickled octopus -- very hard to find this time of the year -- I supplied Herbed Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (at least I got the consistency right), and there's something about the leaves left on preserved artichoke hearts that made me think I could get away with making a Lemony Artichoke Heart Spread in order to approximate the needed raw fish tails. I think my guests were happier with that choice.

It was a seriously fun night and now I'm thinking about other movie-themed foods I could whip up for parties and viewings. Tea and scones for Miss Marples; all manner of tasty Anatolian inventions for Jeeves and Wooster -- not to mention the massive amounts of cocktails and glasses, nay BOTTLES, of Bollinger; corned beef, homemade ketchup, and icebox cake for Meet Me in St. Louis; onion soup, liverwurst and chicken sandwiches, and ice cream for Charade; fronch bread, fronch fries, fronch dressing, Peru Water, and, of course, raisins for Better Off Dead. God, this could get weird.

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