Posts Tagged ‘Robin Albertelli’

The Bad, Good & Divine in NYC

Monday, October 28th, 2013


Two different people recommended a seafood shack in the West Village in New York.  Two people – it’s a sign.  We must try it, I said to my oldest-newest-best-friend.  We waited in the predicted long line—something I hate and generally do not engage in.  We chatted with out-of-towners and I offered up my favorite food destination, Morandi.  Then we were told to grab two seats at the counter.  I pointed to my left,  a quick celebrity sighting, an offbeat one.  Louise Lasser.  A former Mrs. Woody Allen.  Libbie kept telling me she could NOT be Louise Lasser since she was far too young.  We argued back and forth as I stood my ground.  Turns out she was talking about the waitress and I was talking about Louise Lasser, eating a dainty kale salad.  That’s not what I would order, I thought.

We went for it, ordering too much — partly due to hunger.  A few appetizers that sounded southern and perfect.  Fried Green Tomatoes, which, honestly, I can never resist.  Libbie loves deviled eggs, so an order of those, and a shrimp, crab and avocado cocktail.  And of course a lobster roll, at “market price,” which means expensive, $32.00.  I had no problem with that, as it might have made it worth the subway trip downtown.  Turns out, the deviled eggs were made with sour cream, not mayonnaise.  So, after one bite, I put mine down and knew never to order those again.  Then, the Fried Green Tomatoes, not great at all.  Followed by the lobster sandwich, which was fine but certainly not the best I’d ever had.  What a waste, I thought, of ingesting fattening food.  What a waste of money.  This was off my list, not that it had yet made it on. (more…)

Free Agent

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Robin's Thanksgiving table being set

I felt fine about Thanksgiving. Well, fine until today when I kept reading on everyone’s Facebook page how great their leftovers taste; writing in full description how they all make their turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise. Some put stuffing in that sandwich. I wouldn’t. But did I mention I don’t have leftovers?

This was finally the year to go to Robin’s. She has invited us for a few years but we are too big a bunch to feed unless it’s without all the kids. This year my husband really wanted to be with his family, so he chose to go to his cousin’s and I became a free agent and traveled far for me, Calabasas. I already knew Robin was a good cook, I have been eating her food for years, and her mother Abbe was actually my first cooking teacher. I knew I was in for something great and it was!!!! Perfect. My favorite was Robin’s stuffing and Gene, her husbands green bean casserole was outrageous. He uses haricot vert green beans and fries the onions, doesn’t use canned shit. Didn’t realize Robin can be militant about “her” kitchen, “her” turkey dinner and that I might be stepping on toes when I said I’d be bringing a few pies. She said it was a good lesson in letting go of some control when she allowed me to bring them.

Robin and Gene, their kitchen, HER turkey...don't walk in there!!!

I will mention — and I did mention this in last year’s blog (remember?) — that the Gelson’s Market bakery, Viktor Benes, has an amazing pecan pie — almost as good as my mom’s, which was the best. However, their pumpkin is not as good as other homemade pies, like the one my friend Bruce makes. Bruce had invited me over on Wednesday for a Watch-Me-Make-My-Pies party. I’m sure it was lovely and the aroma in his kitchen must have been intoxicating. But I couldn’t bring myself to go and then not have a taste right away; I’m not that much of a masochist.

At this time of year, I am reminded of what my dad often said: “You didn’t choose your family, but you do choose your friends and can make them your family.” In case you haven’t noticed, I will be forever quoting my father. Let’s face it, he was my hero and I love just about everything that came out of his mouth, including the word cunt which seems to offend the rest of the world.

In the spirit of “my friends are my family,” I chose Robin’s house. She is family and I told her that when she asked everyone at the table to please say what they are grateful for. I also love old people. They are often the forgotten ones and I said during my what-I’m-grateful-for speech that I also came to Robin’s to see her mother again. Abbe, her mom, told me that the way she gets enough exercise is by walking back & forth cleaning up dog and horseshit — an image that in itself was worth the trip to Calabasas.

Tradition. This is the premiere holiday of tradition, isn’t it? And I for one have never been that traditional. But the special fragrances of the turkey feast is something that I always long for and associate with my mother who I miss being in the kitchen making her great Thanksgiving dinner. Last year, I made a big sort of failed attempt at it myself – but this time I was fine with my kids going to their dad’s house. (more…)