by Jim Ridley
Think of this post as an online See's Candies sampler—a box of assorted goodies you can peruse at your leisure, until you either have to get some work done (or pantomime it brilliantly enough to fool your boss) or your eyes gently flutter to a close.
• At Tupperware Avalanche, Fluffernutter provides a recipe for an eye-catching summer drink: cucumber ginger limeade. By "eye-catching" I mean "bizarre enough to make me spray coffee across my keyboard"—until I realized it's not terribly different from either a Pimm's Cup or one of my favorite flavors at Las Paletas. The recipe calls for three limes, but Fluffernutter (peering directly into my heart) adds, "or 1/3 cup frozen limeade concentrate." My only complaint is that I'm guessing vodka is a much more crucial ingredient than she thinks. As for her point about the return of the tautology, it is what it is.
• As with most every delicacy Claudia displays on cook eat FRET, her egg yolk ravioli reminds me of some exotic sea creature in a Jacques Cousteau special: beautiful, mysterious, unapproachable, and unlikely to be encountered by me in my lifetime. If, like me, you want a visit to a strange science-fiction universe where (a) not every meal includes frozen chicken tenders, (b) food is to be consumed and enjoyed at a leisurely pace, not during commercial breaks in Scooby-Doo, and (c) people actually seek out the proper ingredients instead of settling for whatever approximation is 10 for $10 at Kroger, grab a space helmet and decompress. Be warned, though: After these photos, re-entry is a bitch.
• If that's not vacation enough, on Joy of Cooking Joy Ramirez has a lovely travelogue of her journey to the Italian town of Asiago, nestled in the Alpine foothills not far from the Austrian border. After watching Claudia pursue just the right ricotta for her ravioli, it's doubly tantalizing when Joy gets to taste a freshly made, still-warm batch on arrival in a local cheese factory. And is that giant wheel of cheese real, or something cooked up for a gag in a Mars Attacks! sequel?
• Since I won't let Bites go more than six hours without a hot-chicken reference—one more reason you should pray for Carrington's safe return—I direct you to The Great Nashville Hot Chicken Exploration, a band of iron-gutted Indiana Joneses whose mission is to try all the hot chicken Nashville has to offer. How did I miss the news that The Scoreboard near Opry Mills is the latest to serve Beelzebub's bird? The Exploration hasn't tried it yet, so I guess the opposite of a race to the poles is on.
• Congratulations to Heather W. at Nashville Foodies for combining two of life's abiding joys: drive-in movie theaters and Oreos. Lucky Tullahoma has the Montana Drive-In, where patrons can enjoy not only movies under the stars but also a concession stand that offers deep-fried Oreos two for a dollar or five for $2. Laugh all you want—I'm sure they laughed also at the Galileo who discovered the corn dog. "When you bite inside," Heather writes, "the cookie has become soft, I assume from the steam from cooking, and the result is delicious." Note to Heather: make a short roadtrip to the awesome Stardust Drive-In in Watertown just outside Lebanon. It should be a breeze for anyone brave enough to try concession-stand ribs.
• This is new only to me, but The Dry Spot has what may be the best WTF fortune-cookie message I've ever read. At least since the fake ones Penn & Teller made that said things like "That lump is cancer" or "Don't get on the plane!" If you've found an equally odd message, send it in!