Just Awesome

First things first: our awesomeness has been recognized.

It hasn’t been about showing a raunchy Divine film without warning, or Mexican tortas that put other sandwiches to shame. This circus is all about you.

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It’s about everyone who hauled dishes down those dark, deathtrap stairs. Anyone who took blurry Iphone photos. The suppliers of the wine while we appreciated Y.K.’s Kim’s acting.

We’ve been quiet but still cooking. Here’s some feasts you might have missed out on. We keep prying apart the bars to the cages holding your taste buds, so that flavors can run amok in your mouth.

Succulent lamb and camel balls, almost touching -hold your jokes please!

Camel meatballs

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Snake sushi

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Cocoa-dusted kangaroo

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Braised goat gams.

We’re piecing together those morsels of sublime togetherness. We need your ideas, your help, your energy. Email thefeastshow.gmail.com to get updates and learn more about what we’re about.

Tradition Rnt Us

Being too close minded to try new experiences is a pet peeve of mine, right up there with gratuitous camel toe.

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What? If you want pics of the other kind, ask that guy breathing heavily with his Iphone at the gym.

If you’re too close-minded about what you eat, who knows how limited the rest of your world view is. You may have not known that a million of your fellow citizens have been fasting in the name of their faith, let alone understood why.

Stepping off the soap box, it’s understandable why some of those at dinner were a little off-put by trying camel. Maybe they had thoughts of cute petting zoo attractions, instead of the feral spitting herds roaming the wilds of Australia.

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But I had a job to do. So, armed with the experiences of greater culinary minds than myself and some bacon fat, I set out to make the most blasphemous pseudo-halal meal this side of Ramadan. And snapshots (courtsey of Bellybers S. Kim and G. Sims) speak louder than words.

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Garlic roasted in bacon fat and pickled fennel.

Chilled roasted red pepper stew with Nashoba Bakery's Sourdough Batard for dipping.

Chilled roasted red pepper stew with Nashoba Bakery’s Sourdough Batard for dipping.

Braised collard greens seasoned with...wait for it...bacon fat.

Braised collard greens seasoned with…wait for it…bacon fat and topped with meatballs. With bacon involved in three dishes, it’s not a hat trick but a fat trick.

Succulent lamb and camel balls, almost touching -hold your jokes please!

Succulent lamb and camel balls, almost touching.

Spiced slow-cooked lentils.

Spiced slow-cooked lentils. Because healthy!

If your eyes aren’t full yet, I’m leaving you with a little something something: one of the three poems read between courses. Just in time to wet your whistle for the National Poetry Slam hitting Boston next week. Here’s to culinary traditions new and old!

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Like Caramelized Onions

I want it to be worth it like caramelized onions

Worth it like the white orbs’ assault on my eyes

in retaliation for my mincing them with a newly whetted knife.

I want it to pay off like a prime cut I’ve butchered

That I’ve marinated and treated to a spice rub

which makes the flesh so tender that I’d eat it raw.

I want to need to stand over it

Like fresh‑pressed virgin oil I’m infusing

With truffles foraged by a hand-raised sow

And herbs from my garden, dried in the summer sun.

I want to savor it

Like collard greens that the hours have boiled down

Into a piquant, olive-hued mound that will grant my great aunt luck in the new year.

I want it to rise

Like a sourdough loaf begotten from grapes the foxes pranced around

And a bacteria colony thirty three years old.

I want it to release sweetness,

As the color deepens flood the house with mouth-watering hope.

I just want to stir it from time to time

Watch it reduce from pounds to mere ounces.

I want to have to stop myself, to linger over each forkful

For it to be a shame to scarf down

And my burnt tongue to be my penance.

I want to feel accomplished as I deglaze the cast iron skillet

with the Burgundy my grandfather smuggled home after World War II.

I want it to be worth it like caramelized onions

Even as I turn the burner up too high.

Rain Day Deviations

There were as many unpromising descriptions for the forecast (ominous, murky, and storm-strewn come to mind) as there were clouds Sunday morning.

We’re not ones for strictly following recipes, anyway.

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Insert flimsy excuse to post picture of panchetta-wrapped and cocoa dusted kangaroo loin from another dinner here.

While the projector and the Christmas lights languished in the alley, the circus hit the road. All the way to the birthplace of Flutternutter.

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Also known as “I can’t make it, there’s no T-stop.”

Dinner was served picnic style among the flowers.

Instead of diabetes sandwiches, the cozy crowd dined on Moroccan fare. Talk about spices! Merguez are a type of petite lamb sausage that packs a flavorful punch. Tofu, made right in Jamaica Plain, got marinated in a Middle Eastern blend of 15 spices and broiled from bland to succulent. Served with a roasted pepper and eggplant stew, along with mint-zucchini rice.

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A trend of unrelated pictures. Here’s last week’s Chorizo and Kale Tacos, paired with Steve Coogan’s movie The Trip.

As for the show, the Gustatory Gypsy’s parlor was open for Tarot readings. And there was a little poetry on hajj and heartbreak as a nod to Ramadan.

Also, of course it didn’t rain.

On a parting note, here’s a short that was screened à la laptop over the washed dishes and some great rosé. David Foster Wallace, author of Infinite Jest, gave this commencement speech at Kenyon College a few years before his suicide.

Makes you feel bad for Harvard because they had to settle for Oprah.

Read Wallace’s essays in This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life. Unlike Infinite Jest, you’ll actually finish it in less than six months. Till next Sunday!

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An abs-solutely amazing feast and show await you!

 

Robo-Belly

I’ll admit that this week’s film didn’t really speak to me -but only because I don’t speak Tamil. A shame, because Robot is  a smart and complex movie that uses a lot of technological double entendre. This Kollywood version of The Terminator stars Rajinikanth, the highest paid Asian actor after Jackie Chan.

He could hold his own in a fight against the Governator.

He could hold his own in a fight against the Governator.

It also makes absolutely no sense. It didn’t help that we couldn’t activate the subtitles.

Food-wise, we keep outdoing ourselves. This week’s main was our interpretation of the Mexican torta. It’s a choose your own adventure sandwich. If you weren’t down with (a) pork belly topped with (b) onions caramelized in duck fat, then (c) marinated mushrooms and (d) goat feta made for a great veggie option. If you knew what was good for you, you looked at all the choices and picked (e) all of the above.

Eat your heart out, Julia Child.

Eat your heart out, Julia Child.

Esquites (a Mexican charred corn salad) literally popped from the cast-iron pan onto the plate. Washed it down with morir soñando, and now we know why the drink literally translates into “to die dreaming.”

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What would Jesus tip, indeed.

We’re all about great food and bad puns. Example A is Gulab Jamun, a dessert made from reduced milk curd that hovers in a decadent syrup of cardamon and saffron. Our nickname for them: flonuts.

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Because they’re so good you’ll want to eat them off the flo’. Amirite?

 

Stay tuned. We’re even watching a movie in English next times. But hey, Sometimes,  yelling your own dubs for a dance-fight montage with your mouth still full is a great way to make friends.

As a parting note, Rajinikanth would definitely win a dance-off atop Manchu Pichu against Arnold.

As a parting note, Rajinikanth would definitely win a dance-off atop Manchu Pichu against Arnold.

Hot Mess: An Expose

Y.K. Kim, who earned his black belt in Korea at the tender age of 13, looked out and saw a void that the world didn’t even know it had. Like the mouth of his unresisting costar, he would fill it with his fist.

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No actor in this movie would get called back for an audition in a high school play.

Miami Connection screams its battle cry as it rips through the seven circles of everything you can do wrong in making a movie, only to come out on the other side as the best film anybody in a certain Beech Street alley had ever seen.

This week’s fare was planned as well as Kim’s directorial debut.

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Intention…

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Actuality.

We’re making private spaces public, so the feasters can make the meal their own.

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Pro tip for embarking on roasted duck and pickled vegetable spring rolls: don’t depend on preparation instructions from the Vietnamese packaging or you’ll end up with unusable gloop instead of these.

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Heartwarming quotes from the kitchen: “Wow those look like chodes…” “And the wrappers feel like cheap condoms.”

Mápó tòfu, a piquant Sichuan specialty that literally translates into “Tofu of the Crone with a Pock-Marked Face.” Flawlessly executed.

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But really, can you go wrong with pork and two kinds of wine?

Speaking of flawless execution…An equal opportunity synth band of 35-year-old mulleted, taekwando black-belted co-eds punch all the biker-ninja-drug dealers out of the shallow streams of Central Florida. It was the 80s. To aid you in understanding, break out some 9 dollar mascato and take a swing every time Dragon Sound’s number one hit “Against the Ninja” comes on during a scene.

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Your liver will despise you.

Come heat stroke or health inspector, we will be here for you. Belly is still a little jiggly, but we’re toning up so we can drape ourselves in towels and receive mail from our long lost fathers.

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Every screenshot is a gem.

. .

Haute Cuisine à la Alley and Inner City Aliens

Like the supermoon, this feast was 14% bigger than normal and gave you licence to go crazy.

Riesling and pear Popsicles on deck.

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Adorable but not for the kiddies.

The rest of the food was gone too fast for photos.

If we have a totem animal, it’s probably Divine. If we have a totem sandwich, it’s probably the bánh mì. In this gourmet train wreck, Vietnamese flavors inform Western fare that can range from sardines to foie gras. Our bánh mì were haphazard towers of roasted pork, chicken liver pate, pickled radishes and watermelon rind, sciracha mayo. All stacked high on Clear Flour Bakery baguettes that were delivered via bicycle 10 minutes before.  Random and delicious.

How serious is this circus? As serious as homemade duck confit. Who even poaches duck legs in the oven for four hours to render out the fat anymore (let alone in 80 degree weather)? The same clowns who will crisp wontons into nachos to top with harvati and said confit.

We’re only playfully pretentious. Exhibit D: Farm-stand mizuna salad, topped with roasted golden beets. A peanut-sesame dressing that has the contents of a fridge for a recipe, its flavors tied together by the sweetest of small batch honey…from Detroit.

Speaking of unlikely sweetness popping up where you would expect to find gangs, cheers to Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block for being a great alleyway monster movie.

Photo Credit: Screen Gems

Brush up on your South London slang.

Kick back with Riesling Popsicles or some box wine -or both. And after the credits roll on the alley wall, help us keep going by coming back. Because every circus needs its stands filled.

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This stock photo was brought to you courtesy of banksbanksbanks.com, as well as my exposure to far too many nightmare-fodder clown stock photos.

Simply Divine

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We’re on our grind, so we can bring you lamb wontons and burgers

On the grind, making lamb burgers and wontons.

served on homemade naan with hothouse tomatoes and cilantro harissa

Hot pan + butter= delicious

Hot pan + butter= delicious

and stuffed collard leaves, as our spin on Greek dolmas

blanching and destemming the leaves for the filling and rolling

blanching and destemming the leaves for the filling and rollingCollard green dolmas

Collard green dolmas

And then the evening went belly up with the perfect Father’s Day movie: Pink Flamingos.

image credit J. Rodrieguez

Divine: a man among men.