Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

Archive for August, 2013

cooking is a better fate than grading

Posted by vlorbik on August 31, 2013

one day not long ago, madeline
brought us home some crazy little
digest-size slick-paper-magaziney
*recipe book* kinda thing about
“101 ways to use ramen noodles”.
(kinda thing… i don’t vouch for the
actual *number or anything; naturally
after flipping through and looking at
the photos, i ignored it… i don’t read
recipes by m.f.k. *fisher* or julia *child*,
so why would i study *this* silly stuff?).

vlorbik’s “revenge” salad

take two packs of convenience-store ramen.
chicken flavor, more or less or course.
break ’em… still in the package…
twice (once the long way; once
the other way). the noodles are
already sort of “folded over” before
we get started, so there are now,
ideally, eight “chunks” (if you will)
of hard ramen.

go ahead and bust the pack open…
carefully… there’ll be some busted-
-up little pieces at the bottom
of the bag. dump the contents
into the biggest glass bowl (or
the next biggest). fish out the
“flavor” packets and set ’em aside.

no, wait. go ahead and bust these open too
(they’re well designed, so this is easy;
you don’t even need your teeth [just fingers]).
pour out all the artificial-flavor-and-color
powder into the [lidded] coffeecup-sized
plastic container on the nearby shelf
longsince put aside for this purpose
(and already partly filled with the former
contents of earlier such [shiny,
sort-of metallic] product-packets;
one can, and i probably soon will…
maybe when i’m rearranging dishes
in a few minutes… make an utterly-
-bogus office-vending-machine version
of “chicken broth” by dumping
just over, let’s say, half a packet or so
into a fresh-from-the-microwave cup
of hot[tish… 1:55 or so; 2:22 for a bigger
cup] water). junk food, yum.
where’s that computer? no.

okay. back to the ramen noodles.
no, wait a second! go back into the past
and start up some *bacon*, for heck sake.
get that ol’ cast-iron skillet good and
*greased up*. you know what?
let’s get some *butter* going over here
in the long-handle *steel* pan while
we’re at it. now.

cover up the noodles with water from
the tap and jam ’em into the nuke.
not for too long! we only want ’em
*part* of the way soft. 1:11 maybe.

if you’ve got any carrots or celery
or anything like that, this is good time
to chop ’em up and start ’em in the butter.
failing that, just use the mixed-veggies
in the freezer. heck… i’ve never actually
*done* it this way, but a couple days
ago madeline harvested a good healthy
half-the-size-of-your-fist *green pepper*,
and peppers are *real good* when
thrown into a highish-heat pan of butter
(for maybe at most about a minute
on each side). homegrown is the way
it should be.

meanwhile, the noodles are (partly) done
so drain ’em and toss ’em into the bacon fat.
add the veggies. turn it all down to low-and-slow
and put a lid on it. get serious with those
dishes for a while. never mind that pseudo-
chicken. nuke a cup of water for instant coffee.

wow. half-and-half. good ol’ madeline.
stir the pan from time to time. do some more dishes.

dry the big glass bowl… you’ve just washed it, as you’ll
recall… and dump in the goodies. slather it with store-
-boughten italian dressing and put it the fridge.

no, no, no. edit the fattiest bits out of the bacon…
and for pity sake, don’t eat *all* of whatever fatty
parts you edit out. tear up the meaty parts into
quarter-inch squares or so and put ’em in the salad.
*now* put it in the fridge.

best served cold.

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from the archives: mc-garry’s cooking show (~1976)

Posted by vlorbik on August 20, 2013

1 you take 3 eggs beat them up real good

2 like this

1 yea, next add a little milk… about this much

2 why?

1 texture

2 oh…

1 now. let’s , let it sit for wile, wile we put the butter into our pan.

listen. very important. the pan can’t be too hot, ’bout medium heat

2 got it

1 put your butter in. about a table-spoon. let’s let that sit wile we chop up some chives.

2 i think we already had them chopped

1 oh…

2 yea, about a cups worth in that bowl

1 right. well, the butter is just about melted now. and we wate for-it-to-get-to-the-melting stage.


1 and the eggs?

2 in the pan
in a minet
got to wate for the eggs or rather butter to get to the “bubbling-stage.”

1 hurry. i’m real hungre.

2 yea. right. as soon as the butter passes through the bublling stage we pour in the eggs.

1 the eggs.

2 thankyou. pour in what you think is an egg and a half. this much, or so. and wate. that may be the scret of good cooking. take your time.

1 thats good advice

2 i live by that code

1 wow…

2 the next thing we watch is the edges of the omlet. thay will harden, or cook, and thats where we fold it. that’s got to be done
very gently.
take your time.
and do it gently.

1 more code?

2 yea.

1 the egg.

2 yes, of course. the edges have to be hard, but not burnt.
take your fork and slip it inbetween the egg and the pan. then simply flip it over. into a half circle.

1 what happens with the wine.

2 that’s the interesting part. wine alwas makes a dish interesting.

1 was that a pun?

2 spell it out for me.
take your lid … pour your wine in and quickly cover it.
take your time
do it gently and do it quitly

1 take your time & do it quickly

2 code gets complacated.
lift the lid and slide the omlett onto the plate.

1 we forgot the chives

2 your right

(signed) CH…S

(illegible… McGarry, his mark.
mine now since he rudely left it
in my notebook uninvited. trust
no one.)

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Athaliah Pierces Her Nose (1997)

Posted by vlorbik on August 20, 2013

Athalia and her mother were on their roof being served breakfast. Though the day was not yet hot, they sat in the shade of a brightly colored canopy. The whole city of Samaria lay spread out beneath them like a map: the old market to the south, the new temple to the north, the watchmen patrolling the wall around it all.

Athalia dripped some honey onto half a roll of bread thoughtfully, pretending to listen. Despite the effort she had been devoting to wearing her mother down, she was apprehensive. How much would it hurt? Hava had said hers didn’t hurt at all. “You can feel the needle sliding through, but it’s not painful.” Lili had her doubts. Hava obviously had different notions of what was or wasn’t painful since she was subject to the occasional beating. Lili herself hadn’t even been spanked since she was a little girl.

“It really shouldn’t matter what your playmates do, Lili. It’s not for the royal family to follow fashions. The people should follow us. When I was a girl back in Sidon… ”

“Oh, but Mother! You’re so pretty! Of course they all wanted to look like you! And I’m so ordinary! It’s just a nose-ring! Everybody’s wearing them! I am twelve years old, after all!”

“But, Lili, you’re not at all ordinary. You’re beautiful.”

Athalia winced as if in pain and said nothing. She was somewhat plain. Maybe her mother really couldn’t see it. She had her father’s stern, square lips and jawline. Her eyes were narrow like her mother’s, but somehow on her face they looked sinister rather than exotic. Her nose really was her best feature. She had seen the way the boys (and lately, many of the men, too) looked at Hava. It wasn’t fair. Hava was only a slave, after all.

Jezebel, taken in, thought Athalia might be about to cry. “Well, look. The priests of Jah would never let us forget it. Why beg for trouble? Your father… ”

“Everything’s always priests and politics with you! Anyway, you said the people should follow us!”

“Don’t interrupt. Your father has been trying for years to form an alliance with the Judeans. That’s what he went to Jerusalem for. And the Jahvist priests practically run the country up there.”

And so on. She could be so tiresome. What did Lili care about Jah or Judah? Her father would get his way like he always did. Nobody ever thought about her or what she wanted. Though, to be perfectly honest about it, it wasn’t exactly clear what she wanted. It wasn’t as if there were any boys she even liked. Still, she certainly wanted to be attractive. Never mind why.

“Who cares what the Jahvists think? They don’t run things around here!”—an appeal to her mother’s vanity; Athalia knew that the priests blamed Jezebel for the growing popularity of the rival cult of Baal. And a bribe: “I’ll go to temple services! Whenever you want!”

“Oh, all right… ”

So Belit, the Queen’s own beautician, came to Athalia’s rooms the next day. Belit herself was not at all beautiful, and her elaborately arranged hair, her heavy eye-shadow, and the face powder she wore at all hours of the day and night did nothing to make her more so. Years ago, as a little girl, Athalia had admired her figure, but now she had grown overweight. Her dress had obviously been tailored to show off her horrible huge breasts.
“So your majesty wishes to be pierced.”

“Please! Belit! Call me Lili like you always used to.”

“But your majesty is now a young woman.”

She certainly didn’t feel like a young woman. She hadn’t even had her first period yet. And as for sex… well, she knew about it, of course: apparently people did it just like dogs or horses. The whole thing mildly disgusted her. And then screaming for hours in agony with a baby. Baal. Which was not to say that she didn’t get a mysterious thrill looking at the muscular legs of some of the soldiers in her father’s bodyguard.

“Well, how do we do this?”

“Sit down over here.” At her dressing table. Belit put a small washbasin between Lili and her small mirror of polished silver. “Have some wine.”

So it was going to hurt. Well, it was too late to back out now. She’d boasted to Hava that she would do it. There was also her mother to consider. She’d get even with Hava somehow.

Belit held the needle over the basin, poured some wine over it, and chanted some ancient prayers. “Hold this rag right here”—over her mouth—”and don’t move.”

It hurt quite a lot. There was a curious sliding sensation between the two layers of skin; the actual pain was only skin deep. Athalia clenched her teeth and tried not to cry.

The pain lasted only a few seconds, and the beautiful little gold ring looked quite striking. But it was still itching three days later when her father, Ahab, the King, returned from Judah. The terms of his new treaty were announced at a state dinner that night. Athalia was engaged to be married.

Posted in 90s, Religion, Ten Page News | Leave a Comment »

Clerihews for Athaliah (crosspost)

Posted by vlorbik on August 19, 2013

King Hazael
Was simply vile.
He got everything he had
By murdering Ben-hadad.

The prophet Micaiah
Was a great soothsayer.
All of the others had a lying spirit.
But Ahab didn’t want to hear it.

Was a yahoo.
What he did to those priests
Shouldn’t happen to beasts.

King Ahaziah
Was certainly no messiah.
He fell through a lattice. Splat!
He never recovered. That is that.

Elijah the Tishbite
Knew where the fish bite.
He was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire
Or Second Kings 2 was written by a liar.

(also found here
but i’ve lost control of that site.
originally published ~1997 in the
_ten_page_news_. long live print.
death to the net and that right early.)

Posted in Religion, Ten Page News, Verse | Leave a Comment »