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20 Nov 2005

Strange Fruit…but not the Billie Holliday Kind.

Written by sally @ 10:47 pm — Section: sally

This weekend included the following elements: standing by, amused, as Larry ate durian for the first time and confirmed what he’d heard about them smelling like rotten flesh and tasting just the same; cleaning the house with a methamphetamine-like fervor in preparation for our Thanksgiving guests next week; finishing a great, satisfying, amazingly researched book.

Friday night we were headed to the furniture store to buy a new bedframe for the guest room. I could make up an incredibly sexy story about how the bed broke, but trust me: it’s actually very lame and involves the whole family — Larry, me, Lulu, Pete — sitting on one edge of the bed at the same time and the bed frame just sort of melting. See?

We stopped at the Saigon Noodle for dinner. Every time Larry mentions this restaurant, he mentions the durian milkshake, how this time is going to be the time he tries it. What’s durian, you ask? It is the world’s weirdest and stinkiest fruit. Anthony Bourdain described it as smelling and tasting like rotting flesh. Awesome! Let’s get some! (Sidenote: apparently durian has some extremely loyal fans.)

As we were paying, Larry muttered something about wanting a durian milkshake to go, and the girl behind the counter got wide-eyed.

You know about durian? she asked.

When Larry said yes, he knew about the smell, she offered to give him a taste so that he could save his money. We both got really excited. She handed him the spoon and we both cautiously sniffed it. Rumor one confirmed: smells bad — maybe not rotting flesh, though; more like rotting…garbage bags filled with diapers, rotten hamburger meat, and bananas? Larry tasted it and pretended it was good until we got to the parking lot. Turns out rumor two confirmed as well: tastes bad.

Here is a secret about Larry you probably don’t need to know: like the popular phrase “I threw up in my mouth,” Larry actually… um…throws up in his mouth. Not a lot, but after particularly big meals, he gets a little recap from time to time. Nice. A few minutes down the road, Larry said, By the way, it’s just as gross the second time as it was the first.

In other news, next week not only will my mother, stepfather, and brother show up for Thanksgiving dinner, but Larry’s mother, father, grandmother, and screaming brother will as well! Awesome! Have I made Thanksgiving dinner before? Hell no! Awesome! Do I have a tinge of social anxiety disorder, especially the variety brought on by having lots of people in my house? Hell yeah! Awesome!

I am compensating by baking a ton of stuff. Who cares about dinner — we can eat apple torte, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin cookies with brown butter icing.

So I finished Carter Beats the Devil this evening. It was interesting, detail-laden, thrilling and romantic and sad in the most wonderful way, and full of lovely, realistic characters (as well as some real characters, like Warren G. Harding and the title character, Charles Carter, who was a magician). The magic itself is pretty rad as well. You know, when you are thrilled by someone telling you about a magic trick, either you are a rube or that person is a damn fine writer. Both theories may be valid in this case.

6 Responses to “Strange Fruit…but not the Billie Holliday Kind.”

  1. the diplomat said:

    nina simone maybe?

  2. larry ferrari said:

    It was supposed to taste different than the smell. It was supposed to be really sweet. Yeah, it tasted like sweet garbage. I will try it again where I can guarantee its freshness, but in the mean time I will mark another strange food off my list. Bring on the fugu, next on my list.

    My favorite part was when the girl looked at me and said, you might want a mint. I hope she was talking about the durian taste in my mouth and not my breath.

  3. gorjus said:

    Dear Lord. You’re cooking for NINE?? It’s bad to have an odd number. I’m going to be the “wacky cousin” that comes! Larry can blame me on you. You can blame me on his family. Things will get crazy when there’s one too many glasses of sherry imbibed, and then my wig comes off!

    Cue: hilarity. Will you make tofurkey?

  4. RD said:

    Yo Rube! If you’re doing turkey–which neither mother over here will give up so I can dazzle them–use about a pound of real butter on the skin, but under, oh, under the skin, place whole sprigs/clumps of rosemary, thyme, and basil. It infuses the bird and literally makes you drool as you are eating it, much less before, when the smell caresses you, which it does. Can you send me the pumpkin cookie with brown butter icing recipe? In exchange, I promise to write to you personally and fill you in on the baby. Well, I will do that soon anyway. Happy T to the D!

  5. jaxxie said:

    I think you’re approaching this Thanksgiving thing all wrong. Skip the awesome baked goods, and have a durian pie baking when your guests arrive.

    A good restaurant will quickly be suggested and the lingering odor in the house will hasten their departure afterwards. You’ll get a pass on being a sub-par cook because, “bless her heart, she’s a newlywed after all,” and mental notes will be made to plan Thanksgiving elsewhere.

  6. sally said:

    Jaxxie, you are, as always, totally right.