Archive for February, 2007

Pregnancy

Last night I was busily cleaning house when I realized that Grey’s Anatomy was on. I missed the first few moments, but turned it on to find McDreamy “rescuing” Meredeth from certain drowning in her bathtub. Please, dude. It’s a bathtub and she wasn’t drowning herself. Go shave. The episode was pretty good, but I don’t know if we really need an Epic Three Part Event. I mean, how ER can you get? Yawn. I think the show is great on its own merits and shouldn’t have to pull these stunts. P.S. I can’t watch Isiah Washington without thinking he’s a jerk.

One episode this season featured a couple, expecting their first child. The woman had fallen down in the shower and just wanted to make sure that everything was okay with the pregnancy. It turned out, in the end, that everything was not okay. The doctor had to induce labor and the woman had to birth her fetus, which was no longer alive. This scene was heart-wrenching and something I had not ever really considered before. I hadn’t really thought about losing a late term pregnancy and what the aftermath entailed. I was sobbing by the end of that scene because it was so moving.

Yesterday at work, I got a call from a woman on my hockey team. She had called to tell me that the captain of our team, who was 16 weeks pregnant, had lost her baby. They will be inducing labor today. This is devastating. She had a child three years ago. She had an early miscarriage last year and now this. A miscarriage is so hard, but having to go through the birthing process? I can’t even imagine. And I realize that it’s lame to even bring up an episode on tv, but it gave me a snapshot of what happens and that visual of the woman going through labor and screaming in physical and emotional pain is just… what’s sticking with me while I think of my friend.

So what do you do? Nothing can help. Nothing can comfort. The team wants to do something for her, but we just don’t know what.

Squishy socks

Word of advice: don’t lose a glove in February because you won’t be able to buy new gloves anywhere. Instead, there are bathing suits, shorts, and spring clothes in the stores. On clearance you may find scarfs, scores of ugly purses, and odd sizes and colors of thermal underwear. Nary a glove in sight at Target. So I satisfied myself by buying some cozy socks. Slippers are the best, but cozy socks are the next best thing. I’ll keep wearing my gloves that don’t match my coat and take comfort in my socks when I come home. We haven’t broken double digit temperatures in a few days, but I hope that changes soon. This deep freeze is something I’ve become unaccustomed to and I need a break. People have been driving like Miss Daisy’s chauffeur or like speed demons. I feel like I am risking my life every time I get behind the wheel.

cozy sock

And I’m trying to eat better. I haven’t eaten out in a few days. My body is going through withdrawals. Oatmeal? Banana? Yogurt!? I am still eating more than my fair share of calories and fat, but at least throwing in some broccoli, carrots, and apples can’t hurt, right? A little exercise here, a little there… I can’t help but eat some junk because there isn’t anything hearty enough that’s light. So I made some chili in the crock pot on Sunday. Feels kind of good to eat better.

L Word : Episode 404 – Layup

The opening scene was a little strange with Alice giving directions… a little too much talking, but Alice is always good for the comic stuff. Most of the time I was just remarking to myself about what spectacular teeth Leisha Hailey has. I just… don’t… get Phyllis and Alice, or as they are now known: Phalice. Am I the only one that doesn’t really feel it from Cybill Shepherd? Bless her for wanting the part, but I just don’t get that lesbian vibe from her and she could be Alice’s mom! It just feels awkward watching them together, and I don’t like feeling that way when I’m watching Alice!

Shay gives Shane a flyer with Back To School Night info. Shane is obviously uncomfortable and says she’s “going to try to get to this thing, but I don’t know if I can do this, Shay.” Shay doesn’t really register disappointment or anything on his face. Really, he doesn’t register much on his face ever. I wonder what it’s like to be a little boy on the set of a tv show like that. Would be weird I’d think, and does this kid have parents in real life? I mean, Ilene Chaiken seems a little mentally ill lately.

Cut to the pound, where most people show up wearing jeans, but Jenny is sitting there in some short little black dress. She forgets that she gave the pound lady a fake name before replying “Oh, me. Yeah, Debbie’s my name!” when she brings a dog to show Jenny. So “Debbie” is apparently taking in a “super old” dog in her final days. The dog has cataracts, tumors, incontinence and Jenny’s going to take her home. Jenny thinks the dog likes her, and I guess if dogs vomiting glow in the dark slime on your shoes mean they like you… it’s a match made in heaven! It wasn’t apparent to me yet why the heck she was doing this and using a fake name. We’ll find out later.

Papi and Alice are talking at the Planet. Papi is so thin that she has to constantly pull her pants up. Papi asks who Alice is hitting it with lately and Alice says Papi doesn’t know her. Papi asks if she’s good, which is kind of a weird question. Alice’s reply: “Yeah. sh-good. Different. Different. Good. She was good. She was great.” Which meant that she sucked. Why did Alice hook up with Pyllis, anyway? The verboten factor? Anyway, Alice asks where is a good place to meet girls. Papi says, “We couldn’t think of a title for this episode that started with an ‘L’, so on Sunday nights a bunch of dykes go play basketball, and that’s where I meet the hundreds of women I’ve slept with.” That’s not an exact quote. Papi invites Alice to come play, but encourages her to bring her own team. Then, when Alice says she can bring her friends and they could be a team, Papi scoffs at her and suggests the team name: “The Bourgie Ass Girls.” For some reason, Papi is still fixated on Shane and calls her Shame and Vanilla Spice. They start trash talking each other and Alice calls the court a field. Hee! I love Alice.

Phyllis is walking in slo mo through the halls on campus while listening to “Music To Watch Girls By.” Hilarious! Also, it’s windy in the hallways so she looks extra breezy. A young, blond chick leans over and drinks out of the water fountain, a fierce older woman catches her eye, two young things lean against the wall talking to each other. Oh the possibilities! The music stops with a record scratch as she runs into Bette. Phyllis is uber delightful. Bette notices that Pyllis is glowing and asks if she’s done something different with her hair. Pretty funny. Bette asks for advice on how to handle the donor coming in and Phyllis tells Bette to kiss. his. ass. because he’s not been donating any money since some performance art fiasco. Apparently he’s pretty conservative. They chit chat a little more and then Phyllis tells Bette that she has something to tell her at lunch. She’s like a little kid wanting to tell a secret! Bette mentions Phyllis’ radiation and walks away. Phyllis bursts out that she just hopes she doesn’t end up on ourchart! Bette starts to tell her that she can’t end up on ourchart unless… Phyllis skips away with a wave and a hilarious look on her face. Bette walks away: “Fuck me.”

Kit is going over photos of herself, I guess to use on her upcoming album. Mangus stands behind her, his eyes practically rolling out of his head. He’s still not over being dumped by his band for being old and decrepit. Kit comforts him. Mangus is still pouty. Kit perks him up a little by telling him that she’s going to record the song he wrote for her called “Bareback.” Which really is nasty, if it means what i think it means… I mean, that’s fine I guess… to each their own, but should Kit really record a song about that!?

Alice is in the bathroom. More specifically, on the toilet. I didn’t pick up on this immediately. Nice strategically placed bottles in the foreground. I mean… all I could think about was, you have to be a pretty committed actor to film that. I admit to having talked on the phone while on the toilet before, but I am paranoid the whole time. It’s not worth the worry and the extra talking to cover the tinkle. I didn’t even know what the conversation was about in this scene because I was so fixated on the toilet ritual. She used a lot of toilet paper. I think I counted seven revolutions around the roll. Loved her little “Yay!” after she hung up. I was worried that the phone would fall in!

Bette sneaks up on and scares the living daylights out of Jodi, who is deaf and wielding power tools. God, I love Marlee Matlin. Did you see her for two seconds while she signed the national anthem before the Super Bowl? She’ll always be Joey Lucas to me. She looks pretty hot in her little flight uniform, but I don’t really care for the new Kenny’s shirt. Bette learns the proper etiquette for conversation and then asks her to make a controversial piece less visible for the conservative donor’s visit. Bette should get it on with Jodi, don’t you think? Jodi sort of agrees to help Bette although it sounded pretty non-committal to me. Jodi’s Kenny signs something that is probably crude as Bette walks away. I wish I knew ASL!

Jenny is driving some convertible with the huge super old dog on her lap. She looks like she can only see the top of the windshield as she’s driving. The dog is totally in the way and she can’t see the road. Actually, the dog is so huge, that you can’t even really see Jenny’s face throughout the whole scene. She seems to be allergic to the dog. She makes an emergency appointment with a vet, Dr. Scott.

Max, in all his six-figure glory, is now into eating that food that he had such a hard time with back when he first got to LA. He is eating lunch with the boss’ daughter, but something’s on his mind. She makes some comment about “needing her meat” and Max decides he needs to come out to her in the middle of the restaurant. Okay, bad decision number one: deciding to date the boss’ daughter when she thinks you’re biologically a dude! Bad decision number two: telling her the truth in a restaurant with no real preparation. Good for Max, finally being honest with her, but dude… plan it out a little better. I felt bad for him. She storms out, calling him a freak.

Conservative donor dude is touring the campus with Bette. They run into Jodi and, with a giant grin on her face, she greets him and tells him to look around. Looming over their shoulders and revealed as Jodi walks away is this life size Barbara Bush… thing. The look on the donor’s face is awesome. Bette has a conversation with Jodi and Jodi tells her that she’s not going to capitulate. Meanwhile, the donor stands in the background just staring at that Bush thing. Silly. Pissed off Joey is cute too. Jodi explains the art piece to the donor, he calls it an abomination. Bette tries to kiss his ass. The donor dude isn’t buying what she’s selling. Jodi gives Bette advice and Bette gets snippy. Just kiss her and it’ll all feel better!

Debbie Oxnard and her dog, Sounder, are at the vet. I still hadn’t picked up on what the heck Jenny was doing. She rescues an old dog just to take it to the vet to put it down? Huh? Anyway, everyone is eager to put ol’ Sounder to sleep although she looks pretty bright eyed. The vet tells her that the dog’s eyes are swollen. How about some cucumbers? Is this a ploy to pick up a chick? She’s a little flirty. How odd that she would go through this charade on the off chance that she’d end up seeing a lesbian vet… oh no. On goes the light bulb. The vet shows her a picture of her whole family and it includes her girlfriend Stacy, the chick who wrote the nasty book review in Curve magazine. Seriously? Crazy Jenny is back. Sigh.

Alice is trying to teach Helena how to play basketball in the hallway of their apartment. “It’s like you’re drying your nails.” Rachel Shelley has a long torso! Oooh and she has some nicely toned arms… Phyllis stops by to drop off a little present, some CD that I guess would make her seem old? Alice didn’t know who she was and I didn’t either. Phyllis suggests that they could listen to it “next time.” Phyllis mentions that she’s desperate to find a caterer for next week’s fundraiser. Alice tells Phyllis that Helena is a caterer. Why? Why are they doing this to the show? Helena asks why she did that and then asks if this is the person responsible for all the noise the other night. I had assumed that they were at Phyllis’ place because who would be making all that noise in an itty bitty apartment with a roommate!? Discourteous.

Mangus is at the house with Dido the nanny. She flirts shamelessly and Mangus, being a man, and being on this show… doesn’t laugh at her. You know? If someone said, “You’re too hot to be a poppa” around me, I’d laugh my butt off at them. What kind of a pick up line is that?

The girls are all shopping for shoes in preparation for the basketball beat down. Kit is at Foot Locker trying on gold lamé tennis shoes. She’s trying to fit her size ten gigantic woman foot in a size nine. Honey, your shoe size just doesn’t matter! Kit tells Jenny that she loves her, but she smells like a dog. Kit and Shane lean in and sniff her. Jenny says, “Well, it’s because I’ve been working out; you know, getting ready for the big game.”

Bette is teaching a class. Nadia is being a pain in the butt and talking too much while making references to spending time with Bette outside of class. Nadia reaches to touch Bette’s booty when she walks by and pretends that she was trying to get her attention to let her know that time was up. Lolita! Bette ends class and asks for Nadia to stay behind. Nadia flirts but Bette shoots her down like a buddy’s face at a Cheny hunting get together. Nadia gets it, calls her Dean Porter, and we know we’re in for some disciplinary action soon… Way to go, Bette.

Shane is at the Back To School Night and stands in the back of the room playing with the chalkboard while the teacher speaks to the parents. The moms are catty and Shane overhears them. Another mom hears too and advises her to ignore them. Paige and Shane chat a bit. Paige is tall! Shane looks up to her. Rowr! The teacher introduces herself and explains that she thinks Shane should get Shay involved in some activities. Shane says she’s just filling in with him for a while and she’s not his real family. The teacher shows her a drawing that Shay made. On the wall, all the kids have drawn pictures of their families and Shay drew one with Shay and Shane holding hands and then mom and dad back on the hill in the background, unidentified. Shane is touched. It’s very sweet.

Bette is sitting with Alice, lecturing her about sleeping with Phyllis. Alice recruits Bette to play basketball and Bette says she isn’t into that competitive sport thing. Heh.

Time for basketball. Fierce WNBA type players are playing and up walks Team Bourgie in slo mo. What the hell is that on Jenny’s face? God, this cast is hilarious sometimes. Shane is disinterested and chewing on her nail. Bette’s cell phone is ringing. Kit gives a mean look. Helena just looks pretty. Jenny. WHAT IS ON HER FACE!? Plus she’s short. Alice is taller than she looks. Rowr! Alice gives a mean, competitive look. Max, as usual, will watch Shay. More trash talk between Papi and Alice. Papi tries to trash talk Shane and Shane just doesn’t care. I LOVE that. Tina comes running up for a little cameo appearance. She’s … going to play for the other team. Heh. Tina says she still identifies as a lesbian and Jenny and her terminator glasses give her a hard time. As much as I hate the Tina turning str8 thing, Jenny should just shut up and go be crazy. The basketball game starts. Hilarity ensues. Papi calls Bette “Rodeo Drive”, Jenny carries a coffee, Alice smacks some chick in the face and runs away, Bette bumps into Tina’s butt and Tina whines “Stop fouling me!” and Bette says “Stop travelling with the ball.” Shane calls Papi “Dad”, Bette gets super competitive, Kit’s feet hurt because of her too-small shoes, Papi calls Bette “Brown Barbie” and Bette calls her something Tropicana… Shay fall off his skateboard, so the fun is over.

The girls unwind at The Planet. Kit is complaining about her feet hurting and has her ICKY BARE FEET on the floor and in her hand! Blech. The talk about why the WNBA isn’t making any money. It’s not because they’re running away from their core audience. It’s that their core audience isn’t big enough or interested enough. Bette makes plans to practice because she’s all competitive about it now.

Shay broke his arm and is uninsured. Shane needs to figure out a way to pay for the bill. Apparently, she has no idea that medical procedures are expensive. So she decides to take the Bill Blass guy up on his offer to model. Pimpin’ herself out to pay for her boy’s bills. Gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Man, maybe she can save some money to buy a sammich. She is soooo thin. But muscular too. Rowr.

cold!

It’s been a while since it’s been this cold. Weather Watcher is predicting a high of 4 degrees tomorrow. It’s 3 out right now. And that wind cuts right through. The wind chill is -11. I love the crunch and squeak of snow when it’s cold though. It’s pretty, drifty, and powdery, but heavy to shovel. I bundled up in my goofy snow hat with ear flaps, thermal shirt, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, fleece undercoat, waterproof top coat, long underwear, jeans, two layers of socks, and my thermal boots. I put on my gaiters and headed out to shovel my driveway. I am now one large piece of dry skin, cracked and flaking. I’d like to take a bath in aloe.

I thought about doing some exercise today, but that didn’t happen. Ellen is trying to lose weight before she hosts the Oscars (I was trying to catch up on my recorded shows to free up space on my hard drive), and she has been bringing her trainer on the show to demonstrate some exercises. She’s an inspiration, but I didn’t get all the way there to actually working out. I need to do it! I think I did end up getting a fair amount of exercise with the shoveling though. Instead of curling up under a blanket while watching tv, why not do some twisting lunges?

Top Chef – Finale pt. 2

Finally, the train wreck that is Top Chef season 2 is over. I didn’t really care for either of the two finalists, but Ilan is just a turd and I didn’t want him to win.

The show opened with Marcel and Ilan hanging out on the beach in Hawaii together, kind of getting along. It was kind of nice! Then Ilan asserted his heterosexuality by saying that he wishes he could be walking along the beach with a beautiful woman instead. Insert an eyeroll here. Marcel stabbed his finger on a sea urchin and was advised to urinate on his hand to lessen the infection and Ilan says, “Marcel, would you mind if I peed on your hand?” Marcel declines, does the duty, and then Ilan says, “In the end I didn’t pee on Marcel, but I would have loved to pee on Marcel.” Didn’t know he was into water sports. The first thing Marcel says after he gets poked is “I hope my finger doesn’t fall off” and they edit in a shot of Ilan doing his best indifferent or even that-would-be-fine-with-me look on his face with a little head tilt and shrug. Dick. At this point, in watching the show, I almost turned it off.

Finally, they get to the final challenge: cook the best meal of their lives for the judges. Imagine that: Ilan draws the “number one” knife. They bring out the last six chefs to have been eliminated, sans Cliff who was disqualified. God, I never wanted to see Betty’s smarmy face on my tv again. Mike, the slacker; Mia, who threw herself in front of the knife to save Elia (who is dead to me); Ugly Betty; Frank; Elia; and Sam, who should have won Top Chef. They each get to choose which of the two finalists they’d like to cook for. It’s fairly even, so I can only assume that the sous chefs were coached that they couldn’t all choose Ilan, since everyone clearly hates Marcel. When they are told they will choose, Ugly Betty covers her mouth and does this little snicker, as if no one would choose Ilan. Bitch.

The finalists choose two of the sous chefs to cook for them. Choosing Ilan are Stoner Mike, Ugly Betty, and Elia. Choosing Marcel are Mia, Frank, and Sam. Mike was pretty straightfoward and just chose Ilan. Betty adores Ilan, and hates Marcel, so she chooses Ilan. Mia decides to “mix things up a little” and chooses Marcel. An adult! Yay! Frank chooses Marcel so he can “learn him how to talk to people not at people.” How about learning how to talk first? It’s “teach”, you moron. Insert shot of Betty smiling at anyone who is picking on Marcel. Sam, to make it fun, chooses Marcel. He says he can help and maybe he’ll learn something from Marcel with the chemical thing because he knows that Ilan will go to Spanish cuisine. Because that’s what Ilan always does. Unexpected and mature, Sam! Marcel is cooking second, so he gets to choose first and he chooses Sam. Ilan chooses Elia. Sam tells Marcel to pick Mike. Betty lets loose a hate filled giggle at Mike’s proposed fate. DON’T DO IT, MARCEL!! Ugh. He chooses Mike. Should have picked Mia. She wanted to work for you! Ilan has last pick and Betty gives an exaggerated wink to Ilan and he chooses her and she kisses his butt with that fake smile glued on her face. Mia and Frank get to hang out at the pool while the rest of them work. Not too bad of a gig, if you ask me.

The teams go to a farmer’s market to shop for fresh ingredients with an unlimited budget! Four hours to prep in the main kitchen today, transport the ingredients to their respective restaurants where they are serving the food tomorrow, and one hour to cook tomorrow.

Ilan brought a jar of baby eels (from Spain, natch) with him for the trip and wants to use those. Betty nudges Ilan a little and asks if he is doing all Spanish again or if he’s going to add any elements of the island and Ilan responds, “The ingredients are from the Island, I think that’s as far as we need to go.” Uh, that’s because Ilan can’t make a successful dish that doesn’t contain saffron. Ilan’s menu: “Surprise” angulas appetizer (the surprise is the jarred baby eels), Pan seared moi with gazpacho, squab & shrimp with foie gras, and short rib. For dessert, he is sure that he wants to use fried bay leaves. Why? Because he knows how to make them. They serve them already at the restaurant where he worked. Lame. They build a dessert around the bay leaves: tangelo soup and cherry sorbet.

Marcel doesn’t have a pre-conceived notion of what to make, so he chooses his food based on the food that is available. Mike grunts a bunch while Marcel lists off his ideas.

Time for the four hours of prep. The teams are both getting along, Mike offers some praise for Marcel’s leadership in the kitchen. Maybe they’ve all decided to be mature! Marcel’s attempting a new technique to make a pretty tear drop of vinaigrette for a salad. Chef Tom comes in to monitor the kitchen and see how things are going. He questions whether or not the tear drops will hold up in the humidity. Marcel decides to bank on positive thinking. Marcel’s Menu: Uni (sea urchin) in meyer lemon gelee, salad with yuzu vinaigrette, kampachi with hearts of palm, and seared beef. For dessert, blini with kona coffee caviar. Marcel is checking over the pull cart with the dry items. He says the boys worked on packing the refrigerated items.

Ilan cooks first. Why do they make them room together? Ilan voices over that he can’t wait to beat the [bleep] out of Marcel. I’m sure he means cooking-wise. Ilan walks out the door and says he’ll see Marcel later. Marcel turns, looks and nods his head rather than wishing him luck. Mildly snarky. What the hell is Ilan wearing!? He’s doing his pantry interview wearing a huge blingy chain and these gigantic red suspender-looking things. Wha? Those suspenders look about three inches wide and fire engine red… Good teamwork on the chick team. Betty accidentally calls Ilan Marcel in the kitchen and it’s a big joke… because we’re in high school. Baby eels? Look gross to me. Ilan calls them beautiful, but they look pretty gray and icky to me. Then again, I’m not a foodie. I’ll eat Goldfish and have grape flavored water for dinner.

The chefs are not all that impressed with the first course. Second course is enjoyed. All around. Great compliments. Third course, Betty’s throwing the shrimp around and the heads start falling off when she plates them. She freaks out but the others help. Unnecessary drama, since the judges don’t even mention it. All is well with the third course and everyone loves the surf and turf. What the heck is “squab”? Oh. Ew. It’s pigeon veal. God, how do people come up with this stuff!? Next course, ribs with spanish twist. Yawn. They look overdone and dry to me… wait, maybe that was Betty. There’s a pile of some red sauce on top (romesco sauce) but it just doesn’t look tasty to me. Despite my opinion, the judges think it’s okay. Some like it more than others. Sorbet time. The judges love the colors and taste. It’s a good palate cleanser and perfect end to the meaty, rich meal. Ilan feels good about the meal, Ilan says he feels like even if he didn’t win he feels like he’s won. Judges say complimentary things to Ilan. Ilan then decides that, even though he feels good about his meal, he needs to knock Marcel. Dude, let the food speak for itself if you’re so good! “Blah, blah, I love food more and have greater passion.” What an egocentric person.

Marcel cooks. They get five minutes to pack things up and pull the cart over to the restaurant. Marcel is shown in the walk-in getting some stuff that hadn’t been packed. Oops! Marcel sees some other stuff that hadn’t been packed. Then they show Mike looking shifty while watching the whole thing. Insert eye roll. Sam, in his pantry interview, says “In my opinion, a line cook is only as good as his chef. There was no leadership” Hm. Mike had said that Marcel was displaying good leadership qualities in his interview two commercial breaks ago… Anyway, cut to shot of the dark walk-in containing two trays of the kampachi fish that didn’t make it onto the cart. 20 minutes to service. Marcel is looking for orchids. He asks Mike if he pulled them. Mike, head down, unconcerned, “Nope.” Sam, tells him it’s alright, he doesn’t need them. Marcel notices that the amount of milk that Mike brought was wrong. Mike thought “quarts” sounded like “cups”. Marcel is running nervously around the kitchen. Service begins. Marcel is a dork and apparently lacks social skills, but I love the way that he plates food. It’s pretty. First course is well liked by the judges. Marcel has problems with the humidity and can’t get that vinaigrette tear drop to work. So he has to put out a salad. Pretty, but salads just won’t win it for you. Just ask Carlos. He shouldn’t have done a dish just to display a “wow” factor. Go for taste, dude. And make sure you cook! Chef Tom likes his food to have hit some heat at some point. Third course. Marcel realizes that the fish didn’t make the trip to the kitchen with them. Mike, around his mouthful of chew, says in his pantry interview, “Man, I’m not playing for 100 grand. You are. You tell me where the fish is.” ‘Kay. Should have chosen someone who wanted to cook for you, Marcel. Shot of cold, dark, lonely kampachi with the title “Hilton Main Kitchen” in case you missed that it was left behind. Made me giggle a little. Sam settles Marcel down a little and tosses out an idea. Marcel and Sam discuss how they can make a dish without the fish. Sam calls that day in the kitchen a disaster and he’s right. I think Sam did do his best to help Marcel win. They use all the ingredients of the fish dish minus the fish and serve that. They serve this to the judges and Marcel spills the beans that he had to adapt this since the fish was left behind. The judges wonder why he even mentioned it because they love the flavors. “It’s dancing on my tongue.” “A totally different level” But really, two vegetarian dishes in a row? If he hadn’t mentioned it, I’m sure that someone would have dinged him for that. Next course, the meat looked a little tough when someone was cutting through it. But they like it. Looked pretty. Dessert is cute. Chocolate mousse in a pastry cup type thing with little coffee caviar on top. Look like Dayquil gel caps to me, but cute! Dinner is complete and it’s not clear yet who’s won. Unless you read the article that Food & Wine magazine accidentally posted on their website on Monday. Oops, they revealed the winner by posting the feature.

Finally, the judging. Tom notes that Ilan was a little safe and Marcel tried new dishes and put himself out there a little more. Gail agrees. Everyone agrees that the first course, head to head, would go to Marcel. Second course goes to Ilan. Salad? Tsk, Marcel. Ilan’s was very good anyway. Third course is a toss up. Both were great. Fourth course. Sounds like Marcel’s was liked a bit more. Dessert. Everyone loves Ilan’s. Everyone loves Marcels. Sounds like a tie.

They bring out the sous chefs to get their opinions. Betty explains that Ilan was great to work with and for. He knew what he was doing. Well of course he did! I knew what he was doing. Spanish!!! Tom asks Elia if she liked the food. She nods and says, “Yeah. It was spanish. Authentic. Food. Good.” Was that a sentence? Faint praise, if you ask me. She mentions that he played it “wise” by using things that he knows. When asked if she thinks Ilan deserves to win, she says she thinks he “deserves to win over Marcel. Totally.” She’s still bitter about having been eliminated last night. Elia mentions that if you just compare the food, Ilan deserves to win. The judges call her on rooting for Ilan by mentioning that she doesn’t know how it compares to Marcel’s food. She changes the story and says Marcel doesn’t know how to run a keetchen and then asks if Marcel’s food was good. Gail replies that some of it was amazing. Elia gets a crappy look on her face. Mike tries not to laugh. Mike explains that the first four hours of prep went well but the next day was lacking direction and leadership. Betty giggles. Chef Hubert asks Sam what his involvement was with the cooking and Sam says, when they realized the fish was missing he “put that dish together for him on the fly.” He says the sea bean was his idea when asked by Chef Hubert and the chef tells him it was a great touch. The sous chefs leave with smiles on their faces.

The final two come out. Ilan has a smug grin on his face. Ilan says he came up with his menu on the spot. Padma calls bullshit. “Really.” “Well, I brought a few things from home, but it was really developed and inspired by what we saw at the market.” And his former employer. Tom asks him if they should award him the title if he’s so focused on one cuisine. Ilan says that throughout the competition he’s stepped outside of that. But when he has, he’s usually done poorly. The only times he has done well was when the dishes were saturated in saffron. Tom asks him what’s the major difference between him and Marcel. Ilan prefaces by turning to Marcel and saying, “Don’t take any offence, and you will, but…” Okay, when you preface a statement with that what do you expect? Jesus. Why did I watch this show? Ilan’s answer, “I feel that I have a greater passion, I’m a bit more forgiving and I think I’m a bit more gentle with the people I work with… and I respect people.” Unless it’s Marcel and then you egg people on to haze them while you record with a video camera. Marcel feels the major difference between them is that, while he’s attempted some of the techniques displayed in the dinner before, there was no dish, as a whole, that he’s ever created before and the majority of the menu was of his own inspiration. Tom asks which part wasn’t and Marcel explains that Sam and he decided to redo the fish dish once he realized that they didn’t have the fish. Marcel says he put too much faith in his coworkers and that’s the reason that the fish was left behind. If I remember correctly, he was in the walk-in double checking, so take a little responsibility, brah. Marcel thinks that Sam displayed somewhat of a lack of motivation. I disagree and would have said that about Mike, based on what I saw. But Marcel explains that Sam went to bat for him after having lost the night before even though they’d had their disagreements in the past.

Judges deliberate. Tough decision. They think one is more ready and the other needs a little more time in the bottle. Thank the gods, this is almost over. Padma tries not to cry while explaining, again, the winner’s spoils. The winner is revealed to be Ilan, who the judges believe to be the best chef right now. Marcel shakes his hand. The judges come over to hug Ilan. Ilan’s voice goes up about an octave because he’s so excited. It sounds kind of gay. Marcel is bitter in his pantry interview. “I thought it was gonna take a lot more than [bleep]ing saffron and paprika to beat me but apparently not. It’s extremely disappointing.” Marcel thinks the food he cooks is more complex and takes a little more skill. Everyone hugs Ilan.

Random

So, the final book in the Harry Potter series is coming out this summer. This, in addition to the fifth film which is also coming out this summer, means… time to re-read some books! I went to amazon.com today to look up something random and there was a link to the new book. Super cheap. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a goofy name, but I am looking forward to it. In fact, the price was so low that I decided to pre-order it.

Tomorrow we’ll be spending much of the day interviewing potential employees. We have a larger pool from which to choose this time, so that’s good. I think we’ve narrowed down the 30-odd potentials to about 12. I hate hiring people. I am not a good judge of people, especially potential employees. They always seem so much better than [insert name of current student employee], who is so frustrating.

And we’ve decided to stop watching SportsCenter during lunch because they cover faaaar too much basketball. I just don’t get my kicks from tall dudes hitting slam dunks and then beating their chests. Back and forth, back and forth. I like a little nuance to the sports I watch and I don’t get that from a game where teams score more often than not on each possession. So we somehow got into watching How It’s Made on the Discovery Channel. I love watching the little dance of materials in the production process. Stamping, stirring, drilling, capping… I am constantly amazed by the people who develop manufacturing processes. It really is fascinating to me.


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