What I Learned This Week: #230

Monday, February 14 – Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Week in Dining: I had a weird dining experience at Khora this week. I’m a big fan of the food they serve which focuses on very good ingredients often prepared in unexpected ways. The food is pricey, but worth it, especially combined with the laid back, friendly staff.

This week a me and friend immensely enjoyed the starters to the evening, a really nice beef tartare, and a burnt carrot salad. Both were outstanding. Then came the pasta dishes. The Bucatini pasta with cannellini beans and chorizo jam was, as expected, was delicious, packed with flavor and tossed in a brothy sauce. The Rigatoni, however, was one of the worst dishes I’ve ever had out at a nice restaurant. They dish was dry, bland, and worst, the rigatoni wasn’t cooked through. It wasn’t al dente, it was raw. We couldn’t eat it. When the waitress came to clear our plates, we told her our pasta issue. She seemed more surprised than concerned, but said she would take it off the bill.

Then two things happened in quick succession. We realized she didn’t take anything off the bill, not even the dessert, and we decided we would pay anyway. I’ve spent the week trying to figure out why neither of us spoke up and I think we’re just tired of fusses and don’t want to be involved in any, even if they are legitimate. Anyway, the type of mistakes Khora made, both in service and cooking, suggest they won’t be in business that much longer. And that’s a shame.

The Week in the Gurgle: A good chunk of my work team was out on Thursday with what they all classified as a stomach flu. Once we had clarified that it wasn’t COVID I spent the rest of the day wondering how this illness missed me. And then, around 4, my stomach gurgled. I’m old and my stomach makes all kinds of noises, but this gurgle got my attention. Worthy of preventative measures or not, I went home, ate chicken soup, bundled up and slept through the night. Woke up fine and gurgle free.

The Week in Cheap Pockets: Lured by the promise of 50% off sale items, I clicked on an email for Avalanche Clothing. I do not need clothes and don’t (generally) buy things just to buy them, but then I saw the picture of the two piece pajama set and the pants had pockets. Pockets in women’s pajama bottoms is unnervingly rare for a pocket lover like myself, yet there I was, staring at the holy grail of pjs. I clicked and bought. I don’t know if it was a good deal, but it makes me happy.

The Week in Kettles: For the past several months I’ve really been into hot tea. There’s a local tea shop that has interesting flavors. A tea made with hot peppers has been fun to drink on cold nights, and they keep me supplied with my traditional Early Grey and single estate Assam. While I enjoy the tea, I know I’m missing the rituals of tea drinking, most significantly in how I boil water. I do it in a sauce pan. It works fine, obviously, but I decided I needed an electric kettle.

I wanted to try an inexpensive one to see if I liked it. People at work told me they swear by their $20 kettles from Walgreens and Walmart so when I bought a cheap one at TJ Maxx I thought I was set. I turned it on and could hear it doing its thing and then I walked away (I live in a small place, so I was not far). When I next put my eye on the kettle, expecting it to have auto-shut off, it was shaking violently on the counter. Holy Cow. I unplugged it and felt like a superhero saving the world. (When you live by yourself you can overestimate your actions as much as you want.) Undeterred, I bought a second kettle for the bargain price of $16 and so far, so good. I feel like a much classier tea drinker.

The Week in Genevar: I’m reading an old-fashioned crime novel, The Snow Leopard by Sigmund Miller. It takes place in the late 1950’s in Amsterdam and in one of the scenes the main character orders Genevar. I did not know this drink so a made a special trip to Japp’s bar to get educated. I read the name of the drink from the book, completely butchering the pronunciation, but they knew what I was talking about and, the actually had a bottle of it on the shelf! Genevar is a Dutch Gin made with rye, malted barley or corn, like whiskey, but it’s clear and it’s essential flavor is juniper and other spices. They poured me a taste. I found it more like fernet than gin, but I kind of liked it.

I also like ordering drinks that the characters in the books I’m reading order. The last time was a 1940’s Philip Marlowe detective novel. He and I both order gimlets while we were together through the mystery.

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