Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tina Fey Interview

When adoration and imagination run a muck:

(Tina and I sit in plush, matching recliners while balancing plates of Night Cheese on our laps and wearing Snuggies. And yes, she is interviewing ME, not the other way around. That should give you a hint to the reality of this "interview".)

LZ: Tina, let me say before we even get started, that I knew something good was going to happen today when I saw that my speedometer read, 77,777. 

TF: Mine too! So Lauren, believe it or not, I've brought you here to my home to talk to you about the array of dishes you created out of a Costco-size, bag of limes.

LZ: Really, Tina? Are you sure it's not because you have that new book Bossypants out and you wanted to boost your sales?

TF: Your blog has how many followers again?

LZ: One hundred and twenty.

TF: Are you supposed to say the "and"?

LZ: Probably not, but I felt it made it sound more adequate.

TF: Well, since we are on the subject of my book, have you read it?

LZ: Yes, I have...well, parts of it. Actually the front and back cover to be exact. It was while I was shopping in Target the other day. I'm happy to say that I'm number 155 in line to get it next from the library. So it looks like I should be able to finish reading it around July. That should make you feel good.

TF: Why because so many people are eager to not pay for it?

LZ: No, to show you how popular you are.

TF: Hmm, maybe I should do a reading at my local library.

LZ: Brilliant! See, we are working like a team already!

TF: Who said anything about a team?

LZ: Just me. So what cheese are you eating? Mines a 15 month old English cheddar. Sounds young for a human but that's pretty old for a cheese.

TF: Um, just a good, middle-aged Gouda.

LZ: And do you use an actual cheese knife?

TF: When I can. Cheese knives are so pretentious, don't you think?

LZ: Totally. I really feel like we are bonding.

TF: (takes another bite of her Gouda while humming. Neither denies nor confirms my statement. Therefore, it must mean "maybe". Fingers crossed.)

LZ: You know, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Alec Baldwin about the limes...

TF: Who?

LZ: Don't worry, I turned him down. I just can't forgive him for cheating on Tess in Working Girl. Besides, he said he had a yachting tournament to attend. We both know it wouldn't have worked.

TF: He uses that one on me all the time. Yacht is code for "No way, Jose".

LZ: I'll remember that the next time I call.

TF: Back to the bag 'o limes (Tina does an awkward Irish jig in her recliner and we both giggle), how did you transport them?

LZ: Well, "lugging" would be a good word, Tina, also, "hoisting" could work. They were moderately heavy. I hoisted them into the back of my dented mini-van, on top of the stroller that I never take out and next to a ladybug kite that flaps in the wind every time I roll down the windows and adjacent to an old dirty diaper. Your breath never smells like you ate an old dirty diaper, does it Liz Lemon?

TF: So you were listening.

LZ: It's understood that I love 30 Rock. Who else would arrange for our Night Cheese platters?

TF: That was you? Genius, except it's not night time...

LZ: (Screaming like a toddler in my head) She called me "genius!!!"

TF: But no matter, I'm thinking of changing it to Anytime Cheese or Spontaneous Cheese.

LZ: Again, we are back to team work, and it feels good.

TF: I've got to admit, this could work.

LZ: I think I just peed a little.

TF: Well, your paying to have your recliner cleaned then.

LZ: Don't worry, I rented these from a prop store. It'll dry.

TF: You rented recliners?...for my house?

LZ: And?

TF: Cool.

LZ: I made a delightful Lime- Herb Rubbed Salmon out of the limes. Want to hear about it?

TF: Not really. I want to hear about the worst combination of foods you have ever eaten.

LZ: Chicken curry followed by a bowl of raisin bran, while pregnant.

TF: That's pretty bad.

LZ: The pregnant part only explains half of it.

TF: And the other half?

LZ: I'm not sure I follow.

TF: About the curry-raisin-bran combo?

LZ: I'm an enigma.

TF: Clearly.

LZ: So when do we start branching out in our BBQ bottling ventures?

TF: I was unaware...

LZ: You didn't get that memo?

TF: Firstly, I don't care for BBQ and secondly, I know nothing about bottling.

LZ: Schlemiel, schlimazel, (mumbles)...

TF and LZ: (in unison) INCORPORATED!

TF: Inspiring but I'm going to have to turn you down on the BBQ sauce.

LZ: Penny Marshall was at the top of her game!

TF: Really.

LZ: Okay, answer me this: Does Jack Donaghy love the microwave?

TF: Alright, you got me. I could always use something else to do. What do we name our sauce?

LZ: Two Hot Babes BBQ Sauce?

TF: Only one of us is hot.

LZ: Thanks, Tina. Okay, how about 30 Ribs BBQ Sauce?

TF: I get it...but, no.

LZ: You're the comedy writer, you think of something.

TF: Okay, sure, no problem. (eats yet another slice of cheese) How about "BBQ Blaster" and we put it in a squirt gun?

LZ: Kinda like Cheesy Blasters, but BBQ sauce?

TF: Um, yeah.

LZ: It's alright. I guess I was expecting more, Tina. I mean, you're the Tina Fey. You get paid millions, consequently billions to do this stuff. BBQ Blaster? I'll give you points for the the squirt gun.

TF: Thanks, I guess.

LZ: I think the next step is to get our hairnets on and get to work on making, what's it called again?

TF: (sheepishly) BBQ Blaster.

LZ: We're going to have to work on that Tina. I still like 30 Ribs.

TF: Okay, Bossypants.
Firstly, I must say, anything written on behalf of the fabulous Tina Fey, was not said by her at all. Just what I wish she were to say if we got to hang out.

And because I am a behind-the-scenes kind of girl, here's what went down while I was writing this nonsense:

I fixed a Batman mask, fed my kids breakfast, ate a bowl of raisin bran (what can I say, I love fiber...just about as much as I love cheese. Good thing too.), wrote a grocery list, broke up numerous sibling fights, knocked over the box of Cherrios, swept it up, stepped on several, said fake curse words in my frustration, looked up how to spell "yacht" and "Donaghy", let the kids watch too much television, said "no" to a Wiggles movie seventeen times, stubbed my toe, announced again that I need a pedicure, put my oldest son in his Buzz Lightyear costume, threatened to not let my kids have a cookie at Whole Foods if they didn't stop hitting each other, listened to 3 whining sessions and planned this weeks menu in my head. Tina is so worth it.

What would be the coolest thing ever? That Tina would read this. That she might Google herself and have the patience to go to the 89th page of Google search to read this post...and possibly ask me to do a guest appearance on 30 Rock or do the BBQ sauce thing. I'm up for whatever. I'm pretty sure there are six degrees of separation between us, I just don't know what they are.

Love Ya, Foodies!

P.s. Here's the recipe for the delicious Lime-Herb Rubbed Salmon I was trying to tell Tina about:

Lime-Herb Rubbed Salmon

generously feeds 2

zest of one lime
minced fresh herbs, I used rosemary, thyme and basil- handful of each
1/2 clove fresh garlic, grated on microplane or minced very finely
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix all this together and make a paste. Apply it to approx. 3/4 lb. of fresh Wild Alaskan salmon (I used Sockeye). Let it set for a good 30 minutes.

Get your pan very hot over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear on both sides for 3 min. each. Remove salmon and turn heat down. Add 1-2 tbsp. butter (depending on how bad you want to be) and let it melt in the pan, slightly browning. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into the butter and quickly pour it over the salmon. I served it with a herb, soft polenta but it would be good with roasted potatoes or even some pasta.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Fine Specimen, Indeed!

Quite arresting, isn't it? Poor guy, he's missing all the important parts, like his head for one. Oh, you thought I was going to talk about his missing man-ish parts? Yes, that's very important too. But I marvel at this sculpture because you don't notice so much what he doesn't have (sorta) but more at what is left. Simply beautiful...and really old.

"Lauren, tell me where you find such ruined beauty," you say? Well, it's at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, right here in Kansas City. Admission is free and the food is INSANELY good at the Rozzelle Court restaurant, which is located in the heart of the museum.You find yourself sitting in a 15th century courtyard which was flown in from Italy. Pretty impressive.

Speaking of food, this is what I ate that day, (yes, a day which was child-free, thanks to my mom) which was a vegetarian Mediterranean salad. So unique. Actually, it was quite inspiring, as far as a salad goes. It had marinated mushrooms, in which I detected a hint of wine, cooked and chilled asparagus, cold, roasted potatoes (which I was expecting to be weird and mealy, but where not), and creamy feta and roasted peppers. And of course, some salty, make-you-bloat-two-dress-sizes-right-in-you-chair kalamata olives. Divine.

I'm always quite intrigued by any painting or sculpture of the Madonna and Christ child. I mean, I find the artwork on the subject quite strange and wonderful at the same time. Most of the time Mary looks really bored and sometimes even annoyed by her God-incarnate child. According to the description of this sculpture, this is a very tender rendering of the two, in that Christ touching his mother's cheek, shows a very intimate and connected bond between the two. Hmmm. I see it, but it's very different from how I see moms (including myself) love on their kids nowadays.  We snuggle and nibble, sniff and tickle their necks and ribs, toes and cheeks. I want to see a painting of Mary and Jesus like that, because that's how I believe it really was.

Take a look at this beauty. More than anything else that I have to say about this sculpture is that I cannot get past how the sculptor was able to make marble look like soft, silky, drape-y, fabric. How it clings to her body and billows out below- simply incredible.

I have been coming to this museum since I was a young girl. In my heart, this is the birthplace of my love of art. I can spend hours gazing at the familiar artwork that has become like old friends. The shape that this sculpture creates is so different than most really old sculptures. She's not merely standing there holding a pot, or regally posing with a crown, but instead, you feel like you've caught her in the act of her daily ritual of adorning herself with flowers, in the woods somewhere.

  But what I like most is that she is smiling.

This painting reminds me of my grandma. She looks eerily like her and she is also a woman of the same decent as my grandma- a Southern Italian. Looking at her eyes stirs curiosity over what she is daydreaming about. As my gaze floats down the painting, I am distracted by the sheen on the pearls around her neck. How did the painter capture such realism? And the folds in her blouse? Oh, that I could someday capture something so simple with such immaculate detail. It's so inspiring.

These two love birds are embracing one another after the hunka-hunka man killed a boar. It lays dead in the background. But what I couldn't seem to get over was the enormity of both the lover's hands. They were GINORMOUS! Even though the artist translated the dainty aspects of a woman's hand, it could have easily palmed a basketball the size of a small elephant! Of course, I do take into account that the statue itself is nearly 9 to 10 foot high. Had that statue come to life and given me a high-5, I would be typing with one hand right now...the other would still be lying on the floor of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Oh, how the mind wanders. Well, I hope you enjoyed this little tour, and truly, it was little. There is so much to experience at this great museum. If you are in town, you simply must visit, have a leisurely lunch and fill you quota for art appreciation.

Love Ya, Foodies!
P.s. Monet's ( brother-in-law is in his own room now and talking! He is still unaware of what has happened. Pray for continued strength for him and his son.
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