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Showing posts from February, 2010

Back to basics: cooking! Melted Scamorza Done Another Way...

I've been so serious lately! I think it's time to go back to cooking and relax. Today for lunch I hit upon a new way to do an old Italian favorite: melted scamorza, and I want to tell you about it. And write about it here so I remember! I tend to invent dishes as a function of what I find (and don't find) in my ice box, and sometimes, by chance, I hit on a winner! But then, if I don't write it down somewhere quick, I forget all about it.

I suspect scamorza is not an easy cheese to find outside of Italy: it's similar to mozzarella, but aged some more and therefore it doesn't shed all that water when it melts. It comes in two varieties: plain and smoked (affumicata).

I prefer the plain, my husband the smoked but it doesn't really matter. Both are good and easy to cook. Just throw them in a frying pan, let them melt on medium-high heat and flip them over so that they are nicely golden on both sides. It takes a couple of minutes.

Easy? You bet. And if you hav…

When I was a work of art and didn't know it!

Starting March 14 until May 31 the world-famous Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic is going to start sitting behind a table, for 7 hours a day, for (nearly) 3 months, as long as her retrospective at MOMA lasts. Titled "the Artist is Present", it is an entirely new installation - pardon, "art performance" - she has specially designed for this show at MOMA. It is going to be the "pièce de résistence" of her retrospective while she has delegated to some 36 young artists she has specially trained the reproduction of some of her more famous pieces - sorry, I mean performances - from past exhibitions.

She will let visitors stream down to her table, they will be able to stop in front of her (will there be a chair for them?), but as far as I understand it, she doesn't plan to engage in any conversation whatsoever. Mum is the word. For 7 hours times 90 days, that's about 600 hours stitting behind a table without either moving or talking. That wil…

Long Live the Wily Greeks !

They deserve our gratitude!

As I had suggested in my last post, the wily Greeks have done it again. Far from destroying the Euro by exposing its soft underbelly, with their cunning and creative public accounting they've selflessly given us Europeans, members of the Euro zone, a helping hand.

Finally the press has caught up with the news, and French and German exporters are reportedly happily crowing that the Euro at last is giving them a breather. About time people realized the benefits of a weaker Euro! Meanwhile, with the Fed tweaking upwards one of their discount rates, the dollar has strengthened somewhat, giving an additional push to what the Greeks had started.

This said, there is little doubt that the Euro has a dangerously exposed underbelly: the richer Euro-zone members (meaning Germany and France) may very well have to bail out Greece's national debt. This is likely to be a hugely unpopular measure and the Germans in the street - guys like you and me who know little…

The Greek crisis and challenge to the Euro: Why is Europe not rushing to the rescue?

Two days ago, speculators expected the European government summit in Brussels to announce with suitable fireworks the salvaging of Greece from its horrible debt...Then nothing happened. No fireworks. Only a very cool response to the effect that if something really, really went wrong, then Europe might do something - something meaning presumably that it might provide whatever funds would be necessary to stem speculation and restore confidence in the Greek Government's capacity to manage its debt.

Moreover, as Angela Merkel coldly observed, Greece hadn't asked for help. So why should anyone have ever expected it to be forthcoming? Moreover,the European Commission had indicated that it was perfectly happy with the Greek Government's reform programme. People in Greece were a lot less happy, as clearly shown by their street protests and strikes this week. They were not going to accept reforms without a good fight, now, were they? But that's par for the course. No reform is …