Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Sunday, September 06, 2009


SHEILA LUKINS died over this past weekend. And if her name is unfamiliar to you her work isn’t. Along with her partner JULEE ROSSO they created a fabulous Upper West side take out shop which spawned one of the best selling cookbooks of all time! They were JULIA & JULIE for another age. The takeout age.
The legendary chef restaurateur, MARY SUE MILLIKEN summed up Sheila’s legacy best:

"From tiny little shops like the Silver Palate, people started realizing they didn't have the time but still wanted it handmade and delicious," said Mary Sue Milliken, co-chef and co-owner of the local Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants. "Look what's happened -- now you walk into every grocery store and they have this 'grab and go' thing, which all spawned from these shops."

You may have purchased some of Sheila’s products at your grocery store & if you did I bet you were quite happy with your purchase! And if you do not currently have a copy of THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK I highly recommend you buy one right away! Legend has it that Sheila’s catering career began when the bachelor next door found himself completely overwhelmed & begged Sheila to cook the meal for his dinner party & it was a smashing success!
TheGayGardener can credit The SILVER PALATE with saving many of his dinner party’s! I still make their Warm Spinach Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookie & Old Fashioned Potato Salad Recipes! Just look at the photo of my very stained & very used & very loved copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook!

And I’ve spoken of this before; but their SANGRIA Recipe is positive genius! You may recall that I followed Sheila’s Sangria recipe to the letter. But like any time -crunched chef I made it several days in advance. Not recognizing the laws of FERMENTATION!! Suffice it to say that the end product was a certifiable HALLUCINGEN! We sang songs, people got naked, people came out of the closet (or were OUTED!) Marriages were made & destroyed!! It WAS THAT GOOD!! Frankly, it was the best party I have ever hosted; thanks to SHEILA! I hope she’s in Heaven now hosting a wonderful party herself!! Bon Apetit!

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Pad Thai

I just read a great quote about media today:
“ The thing is nothing in today’s newspaper HAPPENED TODAY!”

And that’s one reason the internet & it’s constant updating is so important. But in a related matter we’re running out of content. So often I look at the headlines on Wire Services & Yahoo & my local news & think yes! That is an interesting story but the headline makes it seem like it just happened & I read about this LAST WEEK!

Conversely today I see the following on YAHOO NEWS :

Attention Internet-savvy travelers: Thailand is giving away free trips to five lucky couples who don't mind sitting in front of a computer while on vacation.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a new campaign Tuesday offering five couples fully paid trips to the country's most popular cities and beaches. In return, they will be asked to blog, chat and tweet about their holiday in a bid to win a grand prize of $10,000, a BlackBerry and a video camera.
Applicants should be "good storytellers" and must know how to navigate YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, the TAT said on the contest's newly launched Web site where one-minute video auditions can be submitted until Oct. 15.
Thailand's tourism industry is facing its worst crisis in years, with foreign arrivals down 15 percent so far this year because of political upheaval and the global recession.
Tourism officials say they were inspired by Australia's recent highly publicized campaign dubbed the "Best Job in the World." The contest to serve as the caretaker on a tropical Australian island for six months, while promoting the destination on a blog, drew 35,000 applicants and worldwide media attention.
"We got the idea from Australia," said TAT official Phanom Kaributra, who is coordinating the contest. "We think it's a good way to use social networking to promote Thailand."

“Great!” I think. “This has ME written all over it!” So I go to the site linked.
GUESS WHAT? It’s a DOMAIN REGISTRATION site. Our good Thai friends registered the domain but I presume did NOT actually create a site where one can enter the contest! Well they are still rebuilding from the tsunami, I’ll cut them some slack!

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I am A Camera

I may not take the best photos but I do have the best equipment! No…I’m talking about my new camera the NIKON COOLPIX!

Splendid! Small & sleek with a beautiful & vivid screen & quite easy to use. Oh, & did I mention the thing “talks” to you? Not in a voice but it asks questions on the screen after you take the shot. Seriously. It displays the last photo, senses something may be amiss & asks:

1.” Did someone blink?”
2. “Shouldn’t the subject retouch their hair & makeup & try again?”
3. “Do we really want that dreadful overdone plaid sofa in the background?”

OK well only the first one is true but its still pretty cool.

But my very favorite thing is this:
When the battery is low in other cameras you get a message along the lines of: “Battery low” or “please recharge” or “battery life is x”

Not with this fancy baby! Instead the screen reads (very dramatically!)

Exhausted!!???? Like a hospitalized starlet after a booze & coke filled binge! Exhausted!!!!

This has got to be the gayest camera ever ( and it does come in some really fabulous colors!) I LOVE IT!

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Overheard Part III

As you all know; TheGayGardener lives at the very enviable corner of Genesee & Oakwood; just north of CBS Television City. Being so close to the studio where they shoot many episodes of AMERICAN IDOL, THE PRICE IS RIGHT, DANCING WITH THE STARS, BILL MAHER etc has its privileges!

One of those being; that simply by keeping the windows open on a hot summer day, I get to eavesdrop on fascinating conversations & overhear people talking on their phones! As before, unedited here is a sampling of snippets I have been able to glean in just the past month:

* “So what? You’re fuc**** BI NOW?”
“ I keep having the same nightmare; over & over again!”
“I didn’t care when you fuc*** around in MEXICO!”
“They oughta take your license away!”
“Are you in the middle of the PREGNANCY TEST? Is there a hand up you now?”
“No all hope is lost! No! He didn’t kill himself but he is in a persistant vegetative state & we’ll have o decide about pulling the plug!”

And after overhearing each of these statements TheGayGardener felt he has absolutely NO problems whatsoever!!!