My refrigerator smells like a hangover.
Thanks so much for all the great birthday wishes yesterday, everyone! I had a really enjoyable birthday and the well-wishes definitely contributed.
I kicked off the day watching Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. I’m a big Tarantino fan, and I think Brad Pitt and Eli Roth are really cool, but, if you’ve ever watched somebody else fill out forms in triplicate or tie their shoes really slowly, then you’ve basically already seen this movie. Creative cinematography, amusing character concepts, good directing, and good acting could not save the dullness of Inglorious Basterds. The flick seemed like it had a host of nifty little Easter egg sort of factoids for film students, but I didn’t find that aspect gripped. Still, I’d been meaning to watch it, so getting to was still a good thing.
Then I learned how to make slow-roasted barbecue ribs. The reason my refrigerator still smells like a hangover is that, after I did the dry rub portion of the process, Jack Daniels figured prominently in the recipe I put together. It was more challenging than I expected to put together a ribs recipe because barbecue is more regionally variable in the United Stats than I had had any idea. According to Amazing Ribs, one of the most useful sites of the many I referenced, there are twelve distinct styles of barbecue saucing and spicing.
I decided I wanted to use honey as part of my recipe. Some years ago, I used to take honey in my morning iced latte, and I bought some really delicious raw gourmet honey. I eventually cut it out, because I was trying to lower my calorie and sugar intake, but I still had most of a container sitting in the fridge. The honey still smelled as delicious as the day I bought it and it looked the same. So I asked the internet how long does honey keep before it goes bad.
Barroom trivia question: What is the only food which never ever goes bad? Answer: You guessed correctly, if you assumed from context (or already knew) that the answer is honey. People have been able to enjoy eating (and successfully digesting) honey from 5,000-year-old pyramids.
It is a really good thing I’m not obscenely rich. I always make resolutions around my birthday and around New Years. If I had no responsibilities, I would totally dedicate the next year of my life to getting to taste the honey deemed worthy for the afterlife of dead kings. The ancient Egyptians apparently believed that the dead needed good snacks and honey was felt to be such a perfect food offering that many mummies were entombed with a honey jar next to their final resting places. Well, final until Egyptologist archeologists and pyramids grave robbers came along to taste their snacks and take their treasures. Supposedly, honey made in the 1800’s can still be purchased today and tastes quite different from modern honey, but I haven’t successfully found any available online yet. (All links to such sources are very welcome.)
So, after learning all about barbecue and honey, and making ribs, then it was time for cake. I had triple berry cake and princess cake (and walnut wheat bread) from Sweet Lady Jane, which is, for my money, the best cake in Southern California. (Although a book club I’m in did get cupcakes from somewhere else earlier this month, in honor of my birthday, and they were pretty delicious too.)
I topped off the evening watching Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables in my first pick for seats at my favorite theatre in Hollywood. I don’t go out to the movies very often. I like to be able to stop the action and comment on what is going on to friends, without missing anything. I like to be able to take a break and go to the bathroom in the middle. I like to eat the snacks I would choose to eat on purpose. And I don’t like being required to wear pants. But I felt it was worth it to see an action movie opus like this on the big screen. I was not disappointed. A really fun movie, which delivered what it promised, and managed to be more clever and more political than I expected, without losing anything in the fun department. In addition to the quips and the blowing stuff up nicely, there was some really hot men’s fashion in The Expendables. Canon, my preferred brand of camera for everything I shoot, had some sweet product placement. I could wish for maybe some more fully realized female characters, but it is not like that was on the menu going in. If you like knives, guns (including an auto shotgun!), things blowing up, martial arts and . . . well, basically, if you like action movies, then I highly recommend The Expendables.