Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Talk Show Salad

Jesse arrived from California with a small suitcase filled with "my importants" as he calls them. Jesse's importants consist of a few chipped back to the future toys, his "Men At Work" albums, an "I dream of Jeannie" costume with matching bottle, a talking ET doll, and a package of cigars. The fascination he has with "Back To The Future" is incredibly fitting, because Jesse himself is like a living, breathing, visitor from the past. Since we are roughly the same age (Jesse is about 5 years older than me), he is like a visitor from my past. He has reintroduced many relics into my life, like spaghetti o's and phrases from old television commercials, like "Be cool, stay in school".

I was unloading the dishwasher when suddenly "wooh wooh wooh JERRY JERRY JERRY" permeated the air, and I felt the way I do when woken from a dream by a sudden volume increase of the television. It was as though I were suddenly sitting in the middle of a live studio audience. I looked up from the dishwasher and saw the forgotten face of Jerry Springer holding a microphone and an index card, and staring out from a screen at a grinning and poised Jesse Christensen. The camera panned to the audience members, who pounded their fists through the air as though they were knocking on some imaginary door. Jesse rocked back and forth, and threw his hands into the air also, but rather than make a fist, he allowed his fingers to fly loose. Each time his hands came forward he would slow his rocking a bit and for a moment he would hold with his hands outstretched as though he were a wizard casting spells. This gesture is not meant to imitate the characters in the peanut gallery on Springer, but is rather the way Jesse expresses his excitement for anything that he especially loves. I wondered if Jesse likes Jerry Springer because the people on the show seem to express their excitement in a similar way to him.

After being reminded of the existence of talk shows, I found myself compelled to surf through you tube, and watch clips of Tyra and Maurie the other night.

"What are you doing?" Christina asked, her tone serving as a reminder that I really don't have the time to devote to watching bad television shows.

"Ummm, I' see.. this man is claiming to be a vampire..and um..Tyra is..never mind" I said, as Christina cocked her head to the side in a 'you'd better not complain to me about how stressed out you are after I just caught you watching this crap' gesture.

It was interesting, this business about vampires. The people on the show were claiming that being a vampire was an expression of their spirituality, and when phrased in that way, I began to draw comparisons between Vampirism and Christianity. Both religions contain a ritual of consuming blood, albeit the Christians use a more symbolic form of blood in the form of wine. Both stress the importance of meditation and prayer, while vampires retreat to their sensory deprivation chambers in the form of a coffin to do this, the Christians seem to prefer kneeling in the company of others. The Vampires on Tyra's show were talking about how they believe that they are spiritually connected to others, and that they feed off of others which I ask myself, who doesn't feed off of the energy of others (metaphorically speaking)?

Perhaps, with the help of a little of Jesse's energy, in a few more months, I will be fully immersed in my second childhood. Perhaps you will find me, in the winter months, running around the house in flannel pajamas, microwaving spaghetti o's and eating them, cross-legged, in front of the television set, fixated on some pregnant teenage mom lining up possible baby-daddy's for a paternity test.

Talk Show Salad
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed (about 2 cups)
Boil potatoes in a pot of water (enough water to cover potatoes). Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile...
Heat a frying pan and add
1 yellow onion
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
a large pinch salt
cook for about 5 min on high heat, then add
4 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced
cook for another 10 min on high heat (until parsnips get soft), then add
4 long skinny carrots, peeled and sliced cook for about 5 min more, adding 2 tsp mirin (Japanese cooking rice-wine)
By the time the carrots and parsnips are done, your potatoes should be done too. Drain the potatoes and toss everything together, adding 2-3 Tbsp olive oil and some salt. Add about 1 inch fresh grated ginger.
Serve warm or cold.

Christina's vote: "This salad reminded me that winter is coming."

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