Listening to: “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” – The Magnetic Fields

I s’pose I could say lots about my trip back to WNY for Thanksgiving… about the pseudo-Chinese curios I found stashed in my grandparent’s disused liquor cabinet, about the gravy-and-rage-soaked power struggle that is Two Thanksgiving Dinners/One Family, about the fact that they decided to make Pittsford Plaza even more gross by adding a big honking ugly-ass Cheesecake Factory, about two-dog road trips across the Northeast…

Instead, I want to share with you, O Interwebs, this fantastically awful-sounding recipe for “Liptauer Cheese” I found in a scrapbook of old recipes, circa 1960, of mysterious origin. Most were clipped from magazines, but this one was proudly handwritten on a 3×5 card by one “Jean Morten”:

Work 6 ozs of cream cheese (2 small packages) until smooth & gradually blend in 1/4 cup butter. Add 1 tsp each of capers & paprika, 2 anchovies & 1 shallot, both finely chopped, and 1/2 tsp each of caraway seeds & salt.

Press the mixture into a small mold or form it into a roll & wrap in wax paper. Let the cheese mellow in the refrigerator.

The mold-happy nastified recipe immediately reminded me of these beauties–Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974, complete with funny captions by Wendy McClure. My friend used to have a couple of these framed in her kitchen. My personal fave:

Sometimes salmon will come to the big city full of dreams. Only to wind up used, and mangled, and reconstituted, and all tarted up in some kind of sick, horrifying salmon drag.  Look, its still trying to spawn. With lemons. Its confused. Oh, man, so sad.

Sometimes salmon will come to the big city full of dreams. Only to wind up used, and mangled, and reconstituted, and all tarted up in some kind of sick, horrifying salmon drag. Look, it's still trying to spawn. With lemons. It's confused. Oh, man, so sad.

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One of precious few things I like about Upstate New York–at night, you can actually see the stars. It’s a bright one tonight, not to mention the longest of the year. The ol’ Solstice. I took Tucker out for a piss in my parent’s backyard, wrapped up in my dad’s coat and my mom’s boots, and was stunned by the brightness of the moon. (gibbous, I think?) There are a good 7 inches of snow on the ground, and the trees cast dramatic shadows on the ground in the moonlight. Even though it’s so light out, you can still see a lot of stars. Orion was looking particularly shiny tonight. Only I thought that was an autumn constellation…? Good lord, how did I ever pass Astronomy? Oh, that’s right. They curved the fuck out of the exam.

The sky with the moon and the silhouettes of the trees tonight reminded me of that Volkswagen commercial that was on in the late ’90s for the now-defunct Cabrio. You know, the one where Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon” plays over a group of twentysomethings driving down a country road at night? And then they… oh, sod the description. I just found it:

By my measure, that’s the greatest television ad of all time. It’s just so….mmmph. It makes you want to drive. Which is what a car commercial is meant to do, after all.

Anyway, I dunno. Stuck back at the old homestead, after roadtripping all day. My new dog is intimidating the shit out of my old dog, and I feel bad. I could use a bottle of wine and a cigarette, but my parent’s house doesn’t have such things. Bah.

But the moon… ah, the moon shines on.