In and Out

January 16, 2014

There was a time when I looked forward to the “In and Out” lists that were published at the end of one year and the start of a new. I actually helped produce many. What’s out…what’s in?  What’s hot and what’s not? It was fun. It kept things fresh. It’s time again to revive that tradition, but with a more discerning eye.There is so much information floating  about, and with things changing in the blink of an eye, there comes a need to re-evaluate. If you hear that something is “trending” the fact is that it’s ship has sailed. And, what’s now available everywhere is a knocked off to the 100th power cheezy incarnation barely resembling the distinction or quality of the original thought. So, if you will indulge me;

Cupcakes?  We know their time has passed but what’s in line to take their place? Mini pies? No, too much crust. Cronuts? Nice try. Maybe it should be a Mini Crostata ( Crostatita?)…like a pie that eats like a cookie. Hmmm…

 crstdaDn4Fadj

CFL and LED bulbs: Who would have ever thought that a government would put a stop to the use of the classic incandescent lightbulb yet still allow the production of  gas guzzlers like the Chevrolet Suburban or the Cadillac Escalade? Doesn’t seem quite fair does it?  Not much we can do but slowly shell out the incredible prices for these less than appealing light sources and pray for a better option. I’m trying to like the Plumen 001, but I’m just not there yet. Until then, CFLs  and LEDs out…sunlight and candlelight in.

plumen001_screw_2_large_large

photo via http://usshop.plumen.com/products/plumen-001-screw-fitting

Mason Jars…except for the fact that I use one or more everyday, from holding a bunch of parsley in the refrigerator to shaking up a quick vinaigrette, I really think these deserve a big “out”. Most especially at events and weddings. Unless your nuptials are taking place on a back porch in Appalachia and there’s Moonshine in them, there is no reason to be serving your guests drinks in a Mason jar. Clever? NO. Cute? NO. And, don’t get me started on the” dead relatives in a jar” used as centerpieces. ( Like this photo from internetland ).

 deadrelativesinajar2

Salted caramel?  OK, a good caramel should have always had a salty note…adding sea salt is just redundant. Hasn’t anyone ever dipped a McDonalds fry into their chocolate shake? The salty sweet thing isn’t new…the same  goes with caramel.With an exception, like the hand-made caramels from Bequet Caramels in Bozeman, MT…who have set the bar amazingly high, I think the salted caramel could use a rest.

Beqcaramel2Fcrpt

http://www.bequetconfections.com/

Do the homework. Now that everyone and their mother has latched onto the term “mid-century modern” the market is flooded with new “inspired by” product as well as a lot of old kitschy stuff at every auction and estate sale. The fact is that there is a lot to know and a lot more for most people to learn. Just because something was made in 1950 does not make modern…or desireable. And the new “inspired” items are even less modern…less desirable. Some classic pieces are still in production however, and at workable price-points, like this Noguchi Rudder table designed in 1947.

noguchiruddertblebk_hive

photo via http://hivemodern.com/pages/product6716/herman-miller-isamu-noguchi-rudder-table

Pimenton: Smoked Paprika. How much of this can we eat before we are sick of it? I guess when it’s an ingredient in an apple pie baked in a Mason jar or dusted over a salted caramel we’ll know.  I’m thinking the tide should be shifting to the Moroccan Spice blend  Ras el Hanout.  To North Africa what curry is to India, this mysterious (and heavily guarded) blend of spices, pods, barks and aromatics is used on everything from meats and poultry to grains and vegetables. Mix up a batch of your own and you can start keeping your own spicy secret.

ras_el_hanout3F

We’ve sure been eating our green leafies, haven’t we? Who’d have thought we would not only like Kale, but that we’d like it raw and in a salad with Brussels Sprouts?  Don’t get too comfortable. Better start getting used to the new “it” veg…Cauliflower. You might want to start by simply roasting it. What you’d think would pale by comparison will  have you coming back for more…and more.

caulF

Tattoos: At least you can paint over graffiti. But ink? Not as easy. Maybe it’s time to make the unmarked body a new status symbol. If not that, maybe a 2 or 3 day waiting period is in order before pulling that trigger.

Make-Muscle-Model-Testosterone

Artisanal Bitters: I want to know who has that much time on their hands. Or, drinks so much that they need a stash of blackened pineapple or long chili-chai bitters. Simply pretentious. Maybe it’s time for the classics like Angostura or Peychaud’s to stage a comeback…and maybe the Champagne Cocktail as well.

bitters2F

Black is the New Black; always was. Wear whatever color you want but don’t go for mass approval by calling it the new black. Black is black. It is not emerald-green, or orchid or brown. Black = IN. Enough said.

Black

5 Responses to “In and Out”

  1. Janny Says:

    Yes……will only use mason jars when mixing cocktails at the beach.

  2. Anat Rodan Says:

    Love the jars, I see them everywhere. There are tones of dishes with cauliflower, for me the simplest one is to boil it, what it’s done remove it and the water from the pan, add some olive oil, bread crumbs and salt. Let it cook for a minute or so, add the cauliflower and coat with the mix. Yummy and simple.

  3. cauchy09 Says:

    heh, nice list! i have definitely stockpiled incandescent bulbs over the past year or so. should be good for a decade or so.

    and i’ve always wondered why so many folks feel the need for someone to tell them what color to use. what has the world come to?

  4. sara Says:

    Possibly your best column yet. Your extreme and funny wit comes through. Greg at his B-E-S-T!
    sc


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