Sunday, November 1, 2009. Squishy. A Dull Resolution. Whither Twitter? Thai Chili. Flank Steak. We've had blue skies since that huge rainstorm two days ago. But the ground is still squishy with water. I dare not attempt to drive the tractor over it. The grass must be cut before Thanksgiving, so there's no rush. But it's so high that it makes me twitch.
The Marys must be having a fine time at the Grand Hotel. I have full day of humdrum work ahead of me--stuff like catching up on subscription renewals. Snore. But I made a resolution on the cruise: I will finish and post the Menu Daily the night before the publication date, like every other respectable publication. The afternoon newspaper is too long gone for anybody to understand that I was on that schedule.
That's not much of a resolution. All I need to do is one issue's worth of writing one day earlier, and the deed is done. Is this the best I can come up with? I recall coming back home from vacations with brilliant ideas in my twenties and thirties. My work could use a few brilliant ideas right now. But it's the nature of old guys to put all their energies into serving existing constituencies. My readers get more from me now that they ever did. And I think it's better, too. But it's more of the same, and what's needed is more of different.
I think. But I'm not sure.
For example, a new endeavor I find disappointing is Twitter. The following could become famous last words, but I think Twitter may be only a passing fad. I have a lot of followers, and I send them a thing or two every day. But what of it?
Lunch at the Thai Chili, currently the longest-running Thai restaurant on the North Shore. Like seemingly every other place over here, Ricky Seubsanh passed through here at some point and left his mark on the menu. What's amazing is that all such restaurants remain good after he leaves. I had a terrific lunch, starting with some shrimp and green curry soup, followed by a special involving shrimp and asparagus. I asked them to make it with chicken instead, hot but not Thai hot. It was hot, all right: exactly on the edge, my favorite point for flavors to reach. Good fresh asparagus, excellent complex sauce.
I was stuffed, but had the banana fritters anyway. They were like spring rolls, but filled with sweet, spiced banana. Delish.
Then back to work until the Marys returned from their spa weekend, a bit after dark. "What, are you still here?" I could almost hear them thinking. Or am I just going nutty after all this time alone in the past two weeks?
I cooked dinner for them. Yesterday, I bought a flank steak and marinated it overnight in an olive oil vinaigrette and pineapple juice. I got the flat-top indoor grill as hot as I could make it. I'd ordinarily cook this on a really hot outdoor grill, but I wanted to try this out. Turning the meat only once, I seared it to about medium. I cut a head of iceberg lettuce into quarters for wedge salads, and topped them with Cousins' blue cheese dressing. It's a bit too thick for my taste, but that's easily remedied with a little water. The salad passed Mary Leigh's exacting specifications. She also liked the flank steak, better than I did, frankly. I think the high charcoal heat is essential to take the stiffness out of flank.
Thai Chili. Covington: 1102 N. US 190 985-809-0180. Thai.