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Ask Evie

September 21, 2010

You know when your favorite television show of all time does a whole recap play-by-play of episodes from the past season before the season finale and you want to just throw a shoe at your TV? Well, over the past year and a half of blogging, the questions have racked up. Here’s my attempt to answer some of them and do that whole “Let’s replay our other episodes in attempt to fill TV time.”

Q: Are you familiar with Mavrodaphne of Patras– Greek Dessert Wine? It is divine if you have not tried it before, but I’m sure you have with your affection for Greek cuisine. But my question is … what would you serve it with after dinner?

A: Yes, I do love Greek cuisine. We tasted one of the dessert wines while galivanting in the Santorini vineyards, but I’m not sure what type it was. I’m actually not the President of the Dessert Wine Fan Club, more like a subscriber to the newsletter. It’s a bit too sweet for my liking, but if I were serving it, I would pair it with something on the bitter side like Kelly when she wore the same dress as Brenda at the Spring dance. Perhaps a dark chocolate cake or tiramisu spiked with espresso?   

Q: Will your family adopt me?

A: Absolutely, we take in all sorts of stragglers out there – turtles, birds, rabbits, homeless people, anyone by the name of Brenda, Dylan, Brandon or Kelly, etc. … just not murderers. You know of my affliction towards murderers.

Q: Have you been to Clean Catch off of Selwyn in Charlotte, NC?

A: Not yet, but I’m super excited that we have our very own fish store. I’ve also been meaning to check out Pasta and Provisions as I’ve heard good things about their pastas, sauces and cheeses.

Q: When you refer to 1 “rind” of the Parmesan Cheese … ? Literally, the outside of the block? How much of it?

A: The rind is the butt of the parmesan cheese wedge. Unlike our rear ends that are typically lighter than the rest of our tanned bodies in the summertime (except if you live in Brazil), the parmesan rind is typically darker in color and firmer to the touch. The rind can be reserved and frozen for seasoning soups and sauces strictly by placing the rind into the sauce/soup and letting it melt into the mixture.  See: White Beans and Greens Soup

Q: What is the difference between using salted vs. unsalted butter?

A: Whether you are baking a cake, roasting a chicken or eating the stick of butter in its entirety like Paula Dean, use unsalted butter because then you can always control the salt content of what’s getting into your belly.

Q: Referencing the Peach and Avocado Cupcakes, were these any good?  

A: If you are a texture aficionado, you might not enjoy these as much as I did. The texture is spongier than normal butter+Cristco+oil cupcakes. Otherwise, the taste was bananas … or peaches, shall I say.

Q: Have you tried asparagus pesto?

A: Never jumped onto the asparagus pesto bandwagon. I fell off that party train. I like my asparagus on the crunchy side so I am afraid to venture into asparagus via pesto. Maybe one of these days I’ll have too many vodka tonics, forget my name and attempt.

Q: Where is Dorothy?

A: She’s right here.

Q: Have you ever cooked lamb shanks?

A: We grilled lamb shanks a long time ago before my nerd-dom of blogging began. I love lamb but is there a shortage because Holy George Washingtons, Batman … why is it so expensive?

Q: When you’re at a party, how do you mingle while eating food and juggling a beverage at the same time?

A: I’ll have to consult the ‘Puter Hub on this one. “A quick note about the ‘food-mingling-beverage-juggling’. It is an important skill to master, not only for parties, but business functions and networking events. It allows you to work the room while still taking maximum advantage of the fair and beverage offered.

Let me share the technique. Obviously, use an empty paper plate and plastic cup to practice. With your palm facing up, start by resting the bottom of the cup towards the bottom of your palm, then squeeze the bottom between your pinky and ring finger on one side and the opposite back part of your palm on the other. Next, stick your other two fingers straight out and slightly spread apart. Rest the plate on these two fingers with your thumb on top of the rim. That’s the basic set-up. Now, practice taking the cup in and out of the position while maintaining the plate in the steady state. Once mastered, you are ready to try with real food! I can provide those interested with private lessons (for a fee, of course).”  

Q: How do you bake a potato?

A: What is this? Google? I digress.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Clean the potato. Poke holes in the potato as if Mr. Potato Head were a voo doo doll of your worst frenemy. If you want, cover the potato in tin foil but you certainly don’t have to. Bake in the oven for an hour. I like my baked potatoes crispy on the outside and mashed on the inside so that’s why I set the temperature so high.

Other cooks recommend to coat the potato in oil and bake for an hour at 350. I think the oil is unnecessary especially if you’re going to dump truckloads of butter, sour cream and cheese on there like I do. They should totally consider making cement trucks that spurt out sour cream, cheese and butter. Sign me up!

Q: Why is it unacceptable to bring a gift to the wedding reception?

A: Well, you certainly don’t need to light yourself on fire. I admit. I was a bit harsh. With that said, the reason why you shouldn’t bring a gift to a wedding reception is because it places a burden on the bride, groom and their wedding party to ensure that gift is not lost or stolen.

With shipping prices escalating by the mili-second, etiquette experts (via WeddingChannel.com) suggest to bring it to the Rehearsal Dinner or drop it off at the house of the bride and/or groom (or even the parents’ house). If you have to re-mortgage your house to afford the shipping, consider gifting them a check or gift card as the postage stamp is quite the steal at only $0.44. For now, at least.

Q: Who is Herbert Little from 90210?

A: Herbert was Steve Sanders’ freshman buddy. He helped Steve hack into the computer system at West Beverly to change his grades. Oh, Herb, you’re my hero!

Q: Who is the ‘Puter Hub?

A: He is my BFF, better half, ball and chain, hubster, hubbie, schnookums, peach pie, mi esposo. You get the point. The name ‘Puter Hub is derived from COMPuter, plus Hub, like husband but more like computer hub, because he likes computers. I never call him this. I usually refer to him as Richard or Richie. Here’s a photo of him in his croquet garb. Ohh la la!

Ask away my friends! If you ever have a question about cooking, food prep, 90210 or you’re just lonely and need a friend, e-mail me at evelyn_at_miamialum.org. I’m here to help.    

4 Comments leave one →
  1. theartfulabode permalink
    September 21, 2010 6:44 pm

    i’ll add one more question to the mix – how is the running coming along?

    oh, and you muuust get to clean catch and pasta & provisions. we can’t help but visit both once a week!

  2. ruthie permalink
    September 21, 2010 7:52 pm

    you need to try the asparagus pesto!!!

  3. Martha permalink
    September 21, 2010 9:04 pm

    I was at a wedding two weeks ago that had plates with built-in holders for wine / cocktail glasses–no need to juggle! I wish these had been available when I selected my china pattern…

    • entertainbyevie permalink*
      September 23, 2010 4:16 pm

      I’ve seen these at Crate & Barrel. Awesome-ness.

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