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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Other Frankenturkey

Tofurky roast!

It looked more appetizing once it came out of the oven.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I will be the only meat eater at our little Thanksgiving dinner this year, but I still would like to have some turkey, so I planned to pick up a few turkey pieces, rather than a whole bird.

The only problem is that, while each store I've gone to has some sort of turkey part, everywhere is either poorly stocked or already picked over. So I have turkey thighs from Savenor's, the very expensive specialty grocery and butcher where Julia Child used to shop, turkey wings from the large Whole Foods on River Street in Cambridge, and tomorrow I hope to add a turkey breast from the mini Whole Foods on Prospect Street in Cambridge to my collection. I saw some there the other day, but who knows, they may be gone by now.

I guess if I buy separate turkey pieces at the same store they're very likely from different birds, too, but if I buy three different types of cuts from three different stores, I'm pretty much guaranteed that the birds have never even met. Is that wrong?


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lobster Roll Diaries: One to Go

Even though beach season is over, I still frequently get hit by a lobster roll craving. Most of the places I know to get them in the city are sit-down restaurants though, which is fine if you're looking to Go Out to Lunch, but doesn't help when you want a quick bite. Plus, lobster rolls cost enough from the seafood shack - I'd rather not pay double for linen napkins and table service.

The other afternoon I was walking a visiting friend over to South Station to catch her bus back to New York when she voiced a sentiment I've heard from other out-of-town friends (mostly ones who've been brainwashed by the lobster-obsessed lunacy of this blog): "I wanted to try a lobster roll while I was here - is there anyplace nearby where I could get one?"

I was doubtful. You can get them at the Boston Chowda Co. chain, which is frequently found in Boston food courts, but there isn't one at South Station, and anyway, I find their lobster salad a little bland and watery. I know there are also a bunch of places on the piers by the harbor, not far from where we were, but I wasn't quite sure how to get over there, and with minutes to spare before my friend's bus left even that might be too far.

So just as I'd told her I couldn't think of anything close enough, we walked past James Hook & Co. Lobsters. I'd passed this place many times before and looked at it longingly, but I assumed it was only in the wholesale business. This time though, I noticed a discreet "Retail" sign with an arrow pointing around the corner. The storefront window looked dim, deserted, and hardly open for business, but having a friend in tow (and one with a serious lobster jones) gave me courage, so up we marched to check it out.

I've since done a little research so I realize this is hardly the discovery of the century - plenty of others have commented on the quality and value of this Boston standby. But hey, I didn't know, so maybe others don't, either. You can get a great, basic, $10 (as of November '06) lobster roll with plenty of fresh meat, as well as live lobsters, cooked ones, shelled meat by the pound and helpfully sorted by type (knuckle, tail, etc.), plus a bunch of other fish and shellfish. Looming behind the counter is the big, dim warehouse area, sloshing with tanks full of scrambling crustaceans. But even though we were clearly walking into a working seafood distribution plant, the man who helped us was as pleasant and helpful as could be. The retail counter didn't feel like an afterthought or an intrusion.

The next time I need a brown-bag lunch for the long bus ride down to New York, I know where I'm stopping first.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Sofia and Me

I got a little caught up in the Sofia Coppola media moment we had a few weeks ago. First came those transfixing "Marie Antoinette" previews with their New Order tunes and swaths of taffeta sweeping across lawns and marble hallways. And then there was the feature in the New York Times magazine, "Sofia Coppola's Paris." Sofia shops for a chandelier for her new Paris apartment. Sofia is fitted for a custom-made dress. Sofia reminisces about interning for Chanel as a teenager. Sofia, Sofia, Sofia!

It was hard not to feel a little envious. I confess I was pleased to read that she broke down in tears of stress back when "The Virgin Suicides" was first released. Of course, she was sitting in the Luxembourg Gardens while she wept - poor Sofia! But still, she's only human, just like you and me. Maybe that's why it's easy to resent her, because she presents herself as more down-to-earth, more real than the average celebrity. I do like her, really. But why does she have all these privileges? She's just the same as meeee!

I did see "Marie Antoinette" the other day, and I have to say, I think it works better as a two-minute music video, but I liked the way it humanized its pampered subject - hmm, a little like someone else we were just talking about - and I'm still feeling intoxicated by those luscious costumes and that New York Times Parisian fantasia photo spread.

So I made one, too.

"Sofia stopped at Odorantes, a tiny flower shop that specializes in bouquets that are organized by scent rather than by color."

I don't know if Sofia's been to Creperie Cousin Cousine on Rue Mouffetard, but it is decorated in a movie theme - tres apropos.

Sofia shops for fresh pastries. Sofia, Sofia, Sofia!

Let them eat petit fours. And taffeta dresses.

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