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Thursday, March 31, 2005

On the Juiciness of Roasting Chickens

Today's Houston Chronicle "Dining Guide" contains an article which shows why restaurant writing should be discouraged with heavy fines and jail time (and I'm not ruling out the possibility of capital punishment for repeat offenders).

The writer, Alison Cook, churns out a gushing review for a restaurant called La Parmigiana. The article cranks along all right until we come to the description of the Mezzaluna pizza, which is folded in half:

The folded half-moon, a sort of quasi-calzone, hides a cache of fontina cheese gigged with emphatic sun-dried tomato: simple and effective.

Gigged? As in frog? And I hate those non-committal sun-dried tomatoes.

As for other pizzas:

Still other versions rope blameless hunks of grilled chicken into the mix...They're successful combinations, but chicken basically doesn't belong on a pizza...I'd rather have a sliver of prosciutto or a wheel of spicy sausage than neutral, inoffensive chicken any day.

Rope? Well, it is Texas, after all. Yee-ha!

But what, I asked Niles, if your chicken isn't blameless and inoffensive? What if it's one of those foul street chickens, a real tough egg, always up before the beak and accustomed to long stays in the coop? What, in short, if your chicken is guilty?

This (as so much does) caused Niles to sing: Guilty chickens got no pizza...

Well, OK, it was a scream before breakfast.

A while back, someone wrote to Miss Manners about an annoying friend who would suddenly burst into song:

Whenever I put several words together that happen to be a song title, or words in a song, she'll start singing.

For example, I might say something like: "I heard the weather's going to be stormy tonight," and she'll immediately start singing, "Stormy weather. There's no sun up in the sky, stormy weather." If I try to return to the conversation, she'll smile sweetly and continue singing, "Since my man and I ain't together . . ."

I'll try again to return to the conversation, but she'll keep smiling and singing, "Keeps raining all the time," until she forgets what comes next (but she'll go into another verse when she knows the words).

We laughed and laughed at this. It was Niles who inspired this post by breaking into song when I morosely remarked that "All the blogs are down."

He usually stops singing when I kick him.

[By the way, if the title confuses you, just see here, and here (third photo) and oh especially here (third and fourth photos).]