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…
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.
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 ).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.