Saturday, October 11

Potatoes, Beer, and Six Degrees of Separation

Yesterday it snowed like crazy. Here is my attempt to photograph my snowy deck:
(Since it's only 33 degrees right now, that snow is all still there!) My friend Mikela came over and we made steaks and French potato salad. The French potato salad came from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe, which can be found here. It is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. Here is a photo:
I was first inspired to make French potato salad last winter when we read Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast in my senior seminar, where the theme was Food in Literature. Here's the passage that made me hanker for some vinegar and olive oil marinated potatoes:

Eating is wonderful too and do you know where you are going to eat right now?
Lipp's is where you are going to eat and drink too.
It was a quick walk to Lipp's and every place I passed that my stomach noticed as quickly as my eyes or my nose made the walk an added pleasure. There were few people in the brasserie and when I sat down on the bench against the wall with the mirror in back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer I asked for a distingue, the big glass mug that held a liter, and for potato salad.
The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l'huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread in the olive oil. After the first heavy draft of beer I drank and ate very slowly.

Mikela and I had wine with our steak and potatoes, but last week I went out with some friends for giant Oktoberfest liter beers at a great beer and pizza place called The Front Door. Here's Polly with her distingue, (though I didn't know the formal name for it until just now; we were calling them Hobbit beers because you look like a Hobbit when you're drinking one):
Polly told me about a book she'd read that proved the theory that there are only six degrees of separation between any 2 people on earth. Wikipedia has just informed me that much of this theory was developed by a Hungarian. Of course it was; we Hungarians are smart. The whole six degrees of separation thing is sort of how I approach a lot of things in life. For example, look how easily I connected two seemingly disparate events: drinking giant beers last Saturday, and cooking steaks and potato salad yesterday, with a random paragraph from Hemingway, (whom I have a sketchy relationship with). I didn't even think about any connections until I started writing this post. Awesome!

If only I could find a job utilizing this connecting skill...

Anyway, Mikela and I ate our steak and potatoes with some roasted broccoli, like this:
Mmmm, steak and French potato salad. Tyler joked that we are all old now, since we were all spending our Friday night doing wholesome kitchen activities (he was making cookies with another friend). Yup, being old is fun!


Anonymous said...

testing testing testing

Anonymous said...

Goodness! Those potatoes look splendid. I must try them out soon! With a large distingue of Oktoberfest.
Polly, the Hobbit

Mambinki said...


Oh good, I can comment now. I had a much longer comment when I tried 2 days ago but now I don't remember it.

Bylertrewington said...

I like the songs your bloggy is singing! That dinner looks divine. Do you have a copy of The Garden of Eden yet? I'll always have a sketchy relationship with E. Hem no matter what, but that novel is great.

Jenny said...

I'll pick one up. I also really enjoyed A Moveable Feast. I forgot to ask what kind of cookies did you make?

Bylertrewington said...

The short story Hills Like White Elephants is also great. We made Mexican chocolate chip cookies, with Ibarra chocolate and a little bit of cayenne. It was one of those recipes that calls for rolling and freezing the dough, and then slicing little discs off the log to bake, which is so much more fun than drop cookies, I think.