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for December 17, 2003

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So, Now You Know
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Responding to the 3 December article, our dear friend Boston bad boy Johnny Boucher issued this scolding:
You're so thoughtless. Did you ever stop to think what would happen if everyone followed your instructions and brought those chicken skewers to the party? No potato salad? No egg salad? No salad? No soda, no beer, no wine, no paper plates and plastic silverware, no punch, no Judy, nothing but chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer after chicken skewer it's getting pretty monotonous reading this, isn't it, well how monotonous do you think it would get eating all those chicken skewers? Huh? You wouldn't be so pleased with yourself then, would you, smartypanties, all puffed up and strutting around like a big pigeon, like the world owes you a living. Hah! And I say again Hah! That's what I say!

Many decaffeinated brands have the flavor and aroma of the real thing, but latent OCD is not really the point, is it? You've got to have a plan and a backup plan. You've got to know what you're doing and what your opponents are doing. You've got to kill or be killed and do it in style, right?
Roll up your sleeves. We're making dessert.

You'll need:

  1. Six pears.
  2. A cup of rum
  3. Two cups water, and half a cup of water later
  4. One cup orange juice
  5. A cinnamon stick
  6. One pound of semi-sweet baker's chocolate
  7. One stick of butter

Wash your hands. With soap. Pour the water, juice and almost all of the rum into a saucepan, toss in the cinnamon. Peel the pears, cut them in quarters lengthwise. Scoop out the center, and get all those little flaky bits that look like fingernails. Drop the pears into the liquid. Turn the heat on high enough so that the liquid boils gently but the kitchen doesn't catch fire.
After five minutes, stick a fork into a thick section of a pear. Does the fork pierce easily, without pressure? If not, check again in another few minutes. If so, remove the pears from heat, cover and refrigerate until cool. Overnight is fine. You want the pears not to burn you, right? So go watch a movie or something.
Later, you wash your hands again. Yes, with the soap. Drain the pears and pat them dry with a paper towel you under no circumstances blew your nose in. Set these aside.
Get a saucepan and a small metal bowl. If you pick up that dog dish, I'll faint. You're making a double boiler, so the pan has to be small enough that the bowl rests on the pan's lip. Does it fit? Good boy. Fill the pan with enough water so the bowl rests on the water without floating. This is a lot easier than it sounds after you graduate kindergarten. Place the bowl in the pan gently or you're going to drip.
Heat the water until it comes to a boil. Break up chocolate squares and drop them into the bowl with a few drops of water and a teaspoon of the rum left over from the last time you went near your stove. Stir. No one cares about your carpal tunnel, just keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Now cut a piece of butter like you'd put on mashed potatoes and stir until it's melted and combined with the chocolate. What is the consistency of the liquid? Is it like thick warm maple syrup? Good, you're done. If not, add another pat of butter, melt and check again. Repeat, if you have to until the goo is thick enough and thin enough to drip from the stirring spoon like syrup.
While the chocolate is still hot, grip a pear slice by the skinny part and dip the bottom half into the chocolate, swirling it around a little. Coat half the pear in chocolate and lay flat on a non-stick sheet pan. Repeat this until all the pear pieces are half-covered with chocolate. If the chocolate gets too cool and too thick, heat a little and add a little water or rum. When you're done, refrigerate the whole sheet pan.
What does this have to do with music? Your boyish good looks may get you invited to parties but your dance moves leave something to be desired. You need a gimmick, a hook. If you can't relieve a girl of her boy shorts the old fashioned way, you stand a better chance of doing so if you show up with hand-dipped chocolates. It's years quicker than taking up the bass.

©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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