Feb 13 2006

More Lettusploits

I regret that I don’t have time to finish writing today’s article (a real treat: abortion vs. organ donation) before sauntering merrily off to Cancerland for this week’s toxic infusion. Until I get back, here’s the “hippie” salad I had for lunch at the Four Seasons a couple of days ago. This ludicrous salad has about 457 things going on, and it kind of doesn’t work, yet the imp of the perverse compels me to order it every time. I am fascinated by its excess to the extent that I lapse into an unattractive whine on those odd occasions when it is absent from the menu. Globs of hummus and guacamole, garbanzo beans, currants, cornbread croutons, candied pecans, feta cheese, smoked onion vinaigrette— the dish just barely clings to reality. To the chef’s credit, it is completely unobstructed by frisée.


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  1. Joanna

    I’m beaming fierce healing vibes south from Minneapolis to Austin, straight down 35.

    And, I have to say, when I first saw that photo I didn’t think it looked like your usual beautiful and mouthwatering presentation (the sprouts!)

  2. doggerelblogger

    I am digging the quenelle-shaped guoc & hummous – that’s got to be one of my favourite food shapes, except for when the food it is made of sucks.

    Good luck today!

  3. laughingmuse

    Complicated, perhaps… and yet I am intrigued by the salad. Occasionally a jumble of tastes works out, although it is difficult to pull off.

    I’m thinking good thoughts to you, Twisty, about the latest dose of chemo.

    And I’m oh-so-glad that you are not one of the fem blogger (fem blog bots?) listed below.

  4. JRoth

    So are we to take it that that… lump on the left of the plate is hummus? Looks like a particularly unsavory bit of gefilte fish.

    Thing is, the salad sounds like it could work. WOuld it kill the chef to just spend an afternoon pruning out the excess/wrong ingredients? Candied nuts and currants strike me as a good place to start….

  5. Liz

    Pubic sprouts! Served up in a bed pan! No fair to make us laugh shamelessly on chemo day. When you know we’re probably all going to burn in hell for it.

  6. schatze

    Since I’m not a less is more person, I confess I like it. It sounds good and looks good, in fact, I like everything there. It’s the salad with something for everyone, a multitasker, the hardest working salad in showbusiness. Still not sure what doesn’t work in it and I’m curious about what they named it.

    Sending good wishes for today’s insult to your body.

  7. LL

    I can handle everything in there except the sprouts. I always feel like I have a hair in my mouth when dealing with sprouts. OH – speaking of large salads – my mom had the Barton Srings salad at Zax the other day and she declared it tasty. Have you tried that one?? (I stuck w/ the olive and cheese plate – hard to go wrong with half a baguette, 5 hunks of cheese and fistful of olives.)

    Here’s hoping chemo sucks less than usual today.

  8. Hattie

    Well, it certainly looks nutritious. I, too have trouble with sprouts. They get stuck in my teeth. And cornbread croutons! Must be a Texas thang. Never heard of them.
    But if you like it, Twisty, I like it too.

  9. CafeSiren

    It’s like a three-salad crash on the freeway.

  10. That Girl

    It’s more like an odd meal that has lettuce thrown in there. Trying to hide a meal by adding lettuce and calling it a salad is a trick of my moms to hide how much she actually eats.

    Sending an invisible wave (dont tell PZ) of anti-oxident soothers your way. Or anything else that might make you feel better.

  11. Marie

    This salad looks quite marvellous. It’s the salad-bowl-metaphor-which-replaced-the-stew-pot-metaphor-of-US-culture salad, literalised and made edible.
    Not that I believe in vibes, but I’m sending some your way.

  12. Jodie

    All I can say is that it looks a lot better than my lunch — a turkey sandwich on wheat and an apple.

  13. Sharoni

    Never mind the salad, hope you go through chemo with less trauma and come back to us a better Twisty. I know it’s exhausting, nauseating, and such, but our good thoughts are with you.

  14. Ms Kate

    I want that salad! Want! Want!

    All my lettuce is buried under a half meter of snow, as winter has arrived, if late. Want!

  15. Frumious B.

    I can’t wait to read today’s article. I’m of the opinion that no one can force me to donate any organ to any other human, and that includes my uterus and humans of fewer than 9 months of age. Very few pro-choice articles seem to address this basic fact of self-sovereignity.

    ps, just noticed that “blame” button. I love it.

  16. Sylvanite

    I find it difficult to tolerate a salad that lacks fruit or candied nuts. Actually, I think fruit enlivens just about everything. I’d prefer a raspberry vinaigrette with that salad, though. Not keen on the onions much. Obviously, mine is a minority viewpoint.

    Good luck with the chemo. Not too many more to go, right?

  17. Christopher

    That salad looks like it’s wearing a little toupee.

    Fruit is good.

    Maya, a mexican restaurant in downtown Portland, usually adds a nice fruit salsa to their dishes, which counterpoints the spiciness of the foods quite nicely and is something I wish more Mexican restaurants would do. In fact, I kind of want to go there right now. Too bad I don’t have a car.

  18. Twisty

    I hope I didn’t leave the impression that this salad sucks or anything. It’s just that its goodness lies exclusively in its funkiness. Although I’ll never be able to look at the triangular plates at the Four in quite the same way again after seeing this one described as a bed pan.

    LL, I ain’t never been to Zax. I keep meaning to, though, not least because my interior designer interiordesigned it and I want to see what I’m in for. The construction mess on Barton Springs/Congress/Riverside has also kept me away, but now that’s all over. Should I go?

    Sylvanite, I have four more chemos to go, and boy-o it can’t end soon enough for me. The nausea has nearly disappeared, but in its place is menopause, thrush, zits, chills, an inability to tolerate chile or alcohol, pinprick sensations in the hands and feet, diarrhea, constipation, hot flashes, baldness, aches, sudden outbursts of weeping over nothing in particular, night sweats, chronic television viewing, extreme fatigue, insomnia, narcolepsy, disinterest, stupidity, gulpiness, and an unseemly interest in marijuana. This shit is for the birds.

    Check your boobs, girls! Check’em good!

  19. Kyra

    Interesting salad.

    Can’t wait for the abortion/organ donation article.

    And ditto what Joanna said about healing vibes, this time from Mankato.

  20. Kate

    Checking them dutifully o Twisty, though in our fair brown land it’s probably skin cancer that’s going to get me.

    So, everybody, especially my fellow antipodeans, check your moles too!

    I’ve been making the whole forced pregnancy = forced organ donation comparison for a while now, since I stole it from Bitch PhD, but unfortunately it seems to require powers of comprehension far beyond that of your more avid anti-abortionist. I was once accused of comparing babies to livers. Um, yes, but not really. Babies are much tastier. (Joking.)

  21. DrSue

    I believe all the other symptoms, but your posts are proof against stupidity. Healing vibes also zapping to you from Brooklyn

  22. Chris Clarke

    Apparently they’re giving me chemo at work.

  23. kathy a

    stupid damned chemo. wait, not the chemo — i want it to kill kill kill — it’s the lovely side-effects that stink. so glad you only have 4 more.

    thanks for the nudge, twisty — need to get that mammogram… we do have the free self-exam shower card [good for daughter and son to see every day, not to mention my neglectful self]: http://www.komen.org/bci/shower-card.asp

    kate’s right about moles and other skin oddities. my dad died of metastatic skin cancer. fucking cancer.

    the salad looks good, except i can’t understand why anyone would put candied nuts on a salad. that is just peculiar, and they don’t fork well. candied nuts belong in a bowl by themselves, near the M&M’s.

  24. Chris Clarke

    kathy a, candied walnuts are great in salads that contain gorgonzola and a good non-iceberg lettuce and not much else. But yeah.

    Oh, and Twisty? Forgot for a moment in my effort to be glib above that it’s not All About Me. (I wonder if there’s some gender based reason for that.) But I’m really glad the nausea’s gone away, and it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the “if there’s anything I can do” thing. You know where to find me, and I bet this is THE one time when it’s safe for this man to speak for many of the women in the room too.

  25. antelope

    More good vibes coming atcha from Alaska – we’ve got this thing triangulated! Or octangulated! Or something!

  26. Twisty

    Chris in 24: “candied walnuts are great in salads that contain gorgonzola and a good non-iceberg lettuce”

    And dried cranberries and red onion. An oldie but goodie.

    Thanks for the vibes, yall.

  27. Steph

    I once cultured sprouts like that in a petri dish. There was so much bacteria growing on (and in) those harmless looking hairs that the entire dish grew a plethora of fuzzy rainbow-colored life. I haven’t gone near them since.

  28. LL

    I’ve only ever had beer, wine and the olive and cheese plate there, so I can’t really speak too much about Zax. But – when they’re not having a staff wine-tasting right behind your table, the atmosphere is decent, and I always approve of a place that gives me a giant chunk of brie and blue on the cheese plate. And! The bread was warm. This is why I fix computers, not review restaurants, for a living.

    I also can sit down to a grilled velveeta sandwich just as easily as a gourmet whoo-dee-whatzit, so I might not be the most reliable source. But I do have some very picky friends who go there on a regular basis, so I’d say go for it.

    Ugh! The traffic – I work right down the street from Zax, and had to put up with the dickeduppedness of that area. It’s all better now, except we need to train folks on proper traffic circle etiquette.

    Your chemo aftermath sounds a lot like my dad’s. He’s been dealing with treatments for the past few years, and has complained about the same rash of problems from him. Well, except the menopause and marijuana. Heh.

  29. ae

    I could so go to town on that salad, but, seriously, I think it’s giving me ADD.

    Twisty, so sorry about that list of side effects, so glad to hear only 4 more to go!

    {{{{ fortifying vibes }}}}

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