Month: August 2014

Life Hack Food: How to Eat Oysters

It took Richard Gere less than 30 seconds to teach Julia Roberts how to properly use silverware in Pretty Woman (work your way in).  But that lesson lasts us a lifetime, doesn’t it?  Please allow me to be your Richard Gere….when it comes to oysters.

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How to eat an oyster:

There is no right way to eat an oyster.  Says who?  Vanity Fair, that’s who.  Although this was back in 2009, to suddenly come up with an oyster eating protocol would totally be against the spirit of old money and tradition associated with these delicious aphrodisiacs, wouldn’t it?  Trick question.  As with many nouveau “delicacies” i.e. Chirashi (sashimi pieces over vinegar rice), oysters were inexpensive and eaten mainly by the working class.

My how-to suggestion?  Like with the silverware, do what makes sense.

  1. Use the little fork to make sure the oyster is detached from the shell.
  2. Use a condiment if you like i.e. lemon, cocktail sauce, or mignonette.  I like it tart so I always use mignonette (clear, vinegar based).  Pronounced minion-ette.  Click here to hear how Webster’s Dictionary says it.Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 11.39.31 PM
  3. I tilt the shell like I’m going to drink from it, and use the little fork to push the oyster into my mouth.  People slurp it.  But Vanity Fair says I can do whatever the hell I want.
  4. Chew and swallow it.  Are there really people who are just swallowing it?  Yeah, don’t do that.

What oyster to choose:

If you’ve never had oysters, they are all probably going to taste like the sea.  But, it is an acquired taste that is SO worth it.  Oysters are usually named after places, because how they taste depends on geography–i.e. how salty the water is, and what types of minerals are in the area.

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When Restauranteur and James Beard nominated Chef, Jeremy Sewall (Island Creek and Row 34 of Boston, MA), isn’t familiar with an oyster, here’s what is in his head (aka interviewed by the Wall Street Journal):

By Coast (very generally):

  • East Coast: brinier (essentially saltier)
  • West Coast: sweeter

Think of it like you would the people who live there.  Just kidding.

By size, he favors:

  • Smaller–tend to be slightly metallic
    • Olympias (about the size of a quarter)
    • West Coast Kumamoto (brinier)
  • Slightly larger–all below are “really briny”
    • Massachusetts Pemaquids
    • Massachusetts Sunken Meadows
    • Rhode Island East Beach Blondes
  • Meatier oysters–“newer” named ones
    • Shigoku, like the Kumamoto, deep, meaty, round, briny, sweet
    • Massachusetts Moon Shoal, briny
    • Massachusetts Rocky Nook, sweet, mineral

Oysters larger than 4.5″-5″, according to Sewall, are too big.  HOWEVER, please DO NOT try to impress your date by asking if the oysters are under 4.5″-5″ because that is how you like them.  It doesn’t show how much you know, just what a douche you are.

Are oysters aphrodisiacs?

I don’t know of any oyster/oyster product to win a nobel prize.  Do you?  But, I’ll still share with you what’s up at the rumor mill:

  1. They may contain some rare amino acids that trigger increased sex hormone levels.
  2. The texture resembles our lady parts.
  3. I’m guessing gold diggers everywhere associate them with $$$$.

Order online and shuck at home:

Vanity Fair suggests Fresh Direct for Bluepoint oysters/other varieties delivered to your door ($12 for a dozen).  You can learn how to shuck these little suckers from Sewall’s WSJ interview (or a little something called the internet).

Eat it like you mean it,

BTB

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Life Hack #WTF: Uh, What is a Hashtag?

Hashtags.  #wtf are they?  Why is searching for #puppies different than searching for puppies?  And why is my blog asking for search terms in addition to tags?  I’m not stupid, but every article explaining hashtags is like a million pages long and P.S. people–using the word “metadata” to explain them is like, thank you for nothingAdmittedly, I’ve been lazy wrapping my mind around it, but only because I don’t have a lot of free time and want to spend it doing things I enjoy.  Although I really did not want to think about hashtags on a Friday (#thisisunfortunate), to eat, one must learn how to chew (#questionableanalogies).

This morning, I asked my good friend/hashtag guru to explain it to me for the 10th time.  And then, the revelation.  In general,

—>hastags flag a topic.<—

Essentially, searching for puppies will bring up anything that contains the word/variations of the word puppies#puppies will return anything flagged as relevant to the topic of puppies.  This is kind of life changing as I have been throwing #s around like candy from a detonating pinata, and skimping on search terms like they’re haunted.

Some interesting trends have been reported (June 2013):

  1. Twitter–
    1. tweets with hashtags get 2xs more engagement than tweets without;
    2. tweets with 1 or more hashtags are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted;
    3. when you use more than 2 hashtags, your engagement actually drops by about 17%.
  2. Instagram–
    1. posts with 11+ hashtags get the most interaction.
  3. Facebook–
    1.  Less is more.  Too many hashtags = less interactions.
  4.  Google+–
    1. I will try to understand this on another day.

Recommended sites to find hashtags:

Free at last,

BTB

Thought of the Day: Suing the President is Such a Good Idea, Said No One Ever

It’s official.  The House of Representatives has voted that Speaker John Boehner (not to be confused with sext offender, former US Representative Anthony Weiner) can sue President Obama.  Although Boehner asserts “[t]his isn’t about Republicans and Democrats…,” he is, of course, wrong.  The 225-201 vote on Wednesday was down party lines.  Only 5 Republicans had the sense to side with the Dems.

Speaker John "Side-Eye" Bohner and President Obama

House Speaker “Side-Eye” Boehner & President “Stop Hating All the Time” Obama

This particular hot mess is over executive orders, essentially where the president writes something down that has the force of the law.  Roosevelt issued 3,522 orders and George W. Bush issued 291.  Obama is at 183, which is actually fewer per year than any president since Grover Cleveland in the late 80s.  Hey Congress, you gridlocked?  How about a little executive order in your face?  Republicans are not on board with any of it.  Some orders, such as the negotiating with terrorists one, are toughies.  However, Republicans are focusing on the President’s “unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act, known (now ironically) as Obamacare.”

Republicans, I get it, you’re caught up in the moment.  With a country so divided, it’s tough to jump off the party boat.  But, you’re losing me on this whole Obama is bad enough to sue but not bad enough to impeach action plan (uh but I also don’t think you should impeach Obama).  What are you hoping to happen?  That Obama learns his lesson and stops making executive orders?  Spoiler alert: he won’t.  And hold up.  Does Obama’s salary come from taxpayer money?  Are you using my money to sue me for more of my money?  #wtf.

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Setting aside any opinion about the war in Gaza (pray for #peaceinthemiddleeast), I’m going to offer a solid quote by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “…a society is tested not by the extreme fringes of that society, but how it takes care of them.”  To clarify, moving towards the fringes is frowned upon.

Republicans, your move to sue Obama, real fringy.  FYI–when people call you fanatics and/or fringy, it is not a compliment and it is not because they are jealous of you.  Our President isn’t perfect.  He is, after all, just a man.  But 99% of you are probably lawyers or have sued someone or have been sued.  Or at least read the news or watch TV.  You know how much money and time lawsuits consume.  Appeal the orders, negotiate, there are other options–we’ve resolved more and less serious issues without this lukewarm resource-wasting lawsuit junk.

Tea-Party-3

Especially with everything going on in the world, you’re doing exactly what you are trying to prevent.  When thinking about the oaths you took–57% of Americans do not agree with what you are doing–and this is something totally in your control.  It’s hard to believe that at any time in the future, any one will look back to reflect, wow, that move to sue President Obama…really outstanding, so tremendous.  Think about that Republicans.  You can still do the right thing.

#dotherightthing,

BTB

P.S. To cheer you up….a mom took the most adorable photos of her 10-month-old baby and their rescue dog:

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