Last night, we were out for yet another goodbye dinner – this time, with my buddy Mega from across the hall.  Well, across the hall when I was working on Transporter.  During my stay on the production, Mega never failed to put a smile on my face, offer an understanding ear, or filch one of the figs from my morning bento boxes.  Her hubby, Gary, joined us for the occasion…

Gary and Mega prepare to feast!

 Gary used to work in the food industry and is an equally passionate foodie.  Apparently, they spent the previous night perusing the Buca menu in preparation.  We started with a charcuterie platter (which included decadent whipped lardo), a cheese trio with accompaniments, and some sausage-stuffed deep-fried olives.  Yes, you heard correctly.  Then, it was on to the headliners…

Burrata Pizza: fresh burrata cheese and preserved tomato finished with grated nutmeg. Wonderfully redolent of basil. Burrata is now Akemi's favorite cheese.
Thrilled! The meal surpasses their already lofty expectations.
Risotta Carnaroli: Calabrian carnaroli with sweet fresh corn, finished with egg yolk, toasted focaccia, cured moulard duck breast and finely grated nutmeg. After trying this, we were introduced to the term "mouthgasm".
Culurgiones: sugar pumpkin filled pasta with taleggio fonduta, scorzone truffle and toasted pumpkin seeds. I could have this for dessert as well.
A glass of proseco and two bottles of wine later, Mega is "in the groove".
Strawberry and balsimic sorbet (according to Akemi. She LOVED it), mint chocolate chip, and a delightfully subtle milk and honey.
The Lemon Tart
Sad Rabbit
Yes, we're both looking a little sleepy.

Have been enjoying your responses to my “What makes you sick?” query in yesterday’s blog entry.  Lots of interesting (quease-inducing) answers.  Keep ’em coming!

Probably a later blog entry tomorrow as I’ll be on west coast time.  So don’t worry!

36 thoughts on “September 24, 2011: Another Goodbye Dinner!

  1. The pizza looked scrumptious, and the tart looked wonderful too. If I had had that much food, I would have been sleepy too. LOL Are you headed for the west coast?? Safe travels.

    Have a great night!!!!

  2. “Probably a later blog entry tomorrow as I’ll be on west coast time. So don’t worry!” Funny thing is, we do! Feeling crappy tonight, off to bed. 🙂 G’night, all!

  3. I get a strange look when I mention what makes me sick:


    When I was ten, our elementary school had a ‘spring fling’ dance and gave us unlimited pizza (always a mistake with me as I love pizza). Afterward, my dad took my family to get ‘shaved ice’ and I had a coconut flavored sno-cone…and promptly threw up.

    I haven’t been able to eat a sno-cone since (I turn 29 at the end of October). I’ve tried different flavors, the last one being orange (I love all things orange) – they were giving them away free at my college campus and I couldn’t even make it past one bite.


  4. I have been trying to think of something that I’ve eaten to such an excess that I can’t stomach it now, and I can’t come up with anything. There are only a few things I do not like (offal, with the exception of liverwurst and scrapple…but not sure they count, mushrooms – hate their texture – and seafood, though I do eat fish, and love shark and fresh tuna especially).

    As far as food I do like, I can eat french fries, or grits, or olives, or chocolate, or avocados, or bacon, or…well, just about anything I like…for every meal, and not get sick of it. Of course, sometimes I go on a binge where I might eat feta, kalamata olives and dolma every night of the week, then take a break – not because I’m sick of it, but because I figure I need to mix things up a bit and eat something less…ya know…salty. 😛

    Oh. Wait. I DO know one thing I am totally sick of eating…yeah, that’s right…it’s humble pie. 😛


  5. You’ll be on west coast time tomorrow? What? We moving? Are we flying out now? Are you packed up? You haven’t said anything. You’ve got to tell us these things! We have to wish you well and safe flight and everything! Is this it? Will you be back home in Vancouver tomorrow for good?

    Not looking forward to you being back on the west coast time again and later blog posts. Every day at work, I spend hours just waiting for my California counterparts to get the hell out of bed and get to work. The world waits on the west coast to wake up. My Pennsylvania coworkers are one hour ahead of me and the ball. They move faster than the west coasters.

    That food looked great. I’m starving now. Your company looked fun too.

  6. what us worry?? just little snippets to peak our interest…west coast time,,getting in practice>?
    thanks for the food pix, and I think Akemi is the sleepy rabbit pose. cute.

  7. Hi Joe,
    On your recommendation, I am taking my uncle and his friends to Buca when we travel to Toronto from Boston. We will be attending the opera as well.
    I hope it is as good as you say.

  8. ? Why will you be on west coast time? You taking a trip without telling us?
    Darn, forgot to tell you today is Leora’s 20th bd. Took your fellow foodie out for Thai and then she had a party at her dorm. I cannot believe my child is not only no longer a child but not even a teen anymore.
    The food looks good, but mostly the lemon tart and Culurgiones. Wow. Her cake was Vikings.

  9. How sweet it is. Good friends, good food, good memories because of the friends. And, sleepy, but happy rabbit. Do share your travels back…gosh you move quickly, but then you are motivated. If nothing else to get Maximus to the Vancouver homestead. And, like Ponytail, was gettng used to the early or more “normal time” postings. But we will adjust!
    now to find food cause I’m hungry again.

  10. By the way . . . I didn’t find “What makes you sick?” quease-inducing at all. I thought the comments were hilarious! Thanks for the Iaughs everybody! 🙂

  11. @Das:


    I wish I could get scrapple here. I grew up on scrapple, but I can’t find it here in Chicagoland. 🙁

    But on a lighter note, the local grocer now carries boiled peanuts!

  12. West coast time? Are you watching a football game tomorrow? Chatting with someone on the west coast? Are we too nosy? So many questions. Btw, please give Maximus some ear scratches from me and my cats. Just because he’s so darned cute.

  13. @ JeffW – Habbersett has mail order that starts up again in October – – not sure if they ship scrapple, but you could ask! 🙂

    (A few years ago on another forum there was a guy on the West Coast longing for some Lebanon bologna, so I hooked him up with a place that shipped the stuff all over the country. He was pleased. 🙂 )


  14. Had to scroll through the pictures. Still nauseous.

    West Coast time, huh? Back in Van? Not in town for Once Upon A Cure are you?

  15. What a perfect way to celebrate my Birthday by talking about what foods make me sick. Wait…

    Anyway, it’s avocado. I hate mushrooms, but only avocado makes me physically ill. I remember once when I was with a friends family, driving a fairly long distance, and their mother had made big salad and ham rolls for us. About halfway through I noticed the avocado. Must’ve drunk a litre and a half of orange juice just to make the taste go away…

    Sadly it extends to guacamole, so ordering Mexican can be a pain.


  16. Is it just Me..or does Gary look like He could be Carl’s Long-Lost-Brother/Cousin/[insert Sperm-Donor DNA matches]…? – Really!

    …just saying…

  17. @ Das – I love, love, love liverwurst! Ever since I was a little girl and I would walk with my grandpa down his street to the tiny corner food store and he would buy some. We would walk back and my grandma would make us a liverwurst sandwich. Yum!

    I am a natural born artist. I have always taken the art classes in school and always was the teacher’s pet because of my talent. When I was in the 6th grade, the teacher let me leave class to go do something real quick. I was very hungry so I stopped by my locker and ate 1/2 of my liverwurst sandwich my mom had made me for lunch. When I got back to class, I think I had liverwurst breath and she knew I didn’t do exactly what I was suppose to do. And she yelled at me!! I was like…”What?? But I’m your prized pupil, and you’re yelling at me?.” Oh well, she quickly got over it, but I always thought the smelly liverwurst gave me away.

  18. I’m lucky enough to not ever have eaten something to the point of excess where I won’t eat it again (although I do on occasion crave mac n’ cheese so much I’ll eat it straight for like, 5 days, and then not touch it again until a month later (yes, I do still eat like a 5 year-old)), but my mother once did the same with blueberries as you with the ice cream sandwiches. She hates when I eat blueberries around her. 🙂

    Those cupcakes from yesterday sound AMAZING. I made a new recipe for tailgating today. Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. With mini chocolate chip cookies on top. They went over well which made me pleased, but now I’m craving some pumpkin cupcakes…

  19. @JeffW: You and my husband would get along well. He loves boiled peanuts.

    @Debra: That cake was cool! It’s hard for me to believe that my oldest will be 15 in December.

  20. I don’t remember getting so sick of a food that I never ate it again, but I can get so tired of something that I won’t eat it for a couple years. In fact, I’m probably right about there with Thomas’ English Muffins.

  21. Like many others, you’ve piqued my interest with your west coast time comment. Will you actually be on the west coast, or just on west coast time? If you are on the west coast, what areyou doing there?

    And if you are just on west coast time while still in Toronto, what made you decide to live in a different time zone? Actually, that sounds kinda fun. Wonder if I can get away with arranging my life in central time while still living in the eastern time zone?

  22. fsmn36@ Please, please post your recipe for the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. They sound wonderful!!!

  23. White Castle Sliders. I was on a road trip with my parents when I was around 10, and had never been to White Castle before. It was apparently a favorite from the parents’ university days. We went through the drive-through, my dad got me a bag of sliders, and we hit the road again. The first few were great! Cute and flavorful. Then the eating began to feel more like work…and then the nausea hit…

  24. @ Ponytail … a.k.a. Wurstbreath…

    How do you like your liverwurst? Mr. Das likes his on bread with yellow mustard, nothing else. Kinda boring to me. Usually I have it with mayo on whole wheat with a goodly amount of olives…quick and easy. But when I have a little more time, I make a ‘green devil’ sandwich: liverwurst, olives, onions, green (bell) pepper, and mayo…oh, and fresh ground pepper. I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I never remember to mention the pepper, which I think gives it a little extra something. The green devil was a sandwich my mom used to get at the Woolworth’s lunch counter when she was a little girl, always surprising the server server that a little kid would eat such a rich sandwich.

    Geez…now I’ve talked myself into wanting a liverwurst sammich! 😛


  25. @Das:

    Thanks for the link! Looks like I’ll be calling them in October. If they have to use dry ice, it could get pricey. About seven years ago, for my 40th birthday party, my wife surprised me with a bushel of live blue crabs (which I very happily steamed for everyone). With dry-ice, the shipping charges came to $150.

    Hopefully the scrapple will cheaper…

    @Lisa R

    Since my dad was from Georgia (and I spent many a summer there), I pretty much grew up on boiled peanuts. Is your husband from the South?

    The canned peanuts are okay, but I miss the fresh ones. Before Das does it for me, I think I’ll do a google search and see if I find a place that will ship green peanuts. 😉

  26. Hi Joe! Hope you had a great trip back…I just had a question…there has been lots of admiring of Mark Sheppard…and he seems to be everywhere in the scifi/fantasy universe, but he never was on any of the SG’s…was he ever considered for a role? There are even youtube videos devoted to his many scifi/fantasy roles and I was just wondering how he could have missed Stargate…

  27. Love the pic of you and Akemi! That wine looks very delicious. I’ve never heard of Burrata cheese, will have to check it out. I cooked like crazy this weekend and had a happy tummy all weekend long, I even got a decent golden skinned mango that was almost damn near perfect except it needed to be a bit more juicy. The next experiment will be blending the mango with plain greek yogurt.

  28. @Lisa R, don’t blink. 🙁 Time goes so very very fast.
    I forgot his warning, so checked in too early. Sigh.

  29. Once again, the food looks amazing and I think I want a snack at a ridiculous hour, late at night. 😛 Ooh, baby… That lemon tart did look scrumptious.

    So is tomorrow your first of 2 flights ferrying home the doggie babies? Have a safe trip! Will Maximus and Jelly be flying home first?

    When you flew out from Vancouver this spring, on each “flight day,” I either saw nutella or heard a song mentioned on the blog right about the time you and travel companions were in the air. Twilight Zone moment, but said prayers for safety and an uneventful journey. More being said now. 🙂

  30. You know, Joe…I think I’ve figured you out.

    I’m guessing from here on out you won’t stay at any one job more than a year, just so you can enjoy all the goodbye dinners when you leave. 🙂

    Hope all is well on the west coast!


  31. @JeffW and/or LisaR – not really sure who wants boiled peanuts. In another lifetime in Hawaii – we used to boil raw peanuts. Love them. Canned, bagged, salted, etc., are…ok but boiled is the way to go.

    Actually think you have arrived there if you were in fact heading west.
    hope all went well and without incident.

  32. @Jeff W: My husband was born and raised in South Carolina so he grew up on them. While I was born in the South, I lived all over the country and never really got introduced to them as a child. By the time I met my husband, the smell of them cooking made me sick so I’ve never been able to get past that. I will share your link with him though.

    @sylvia: My husband would agree with you.

    @Debra: Have you ever heard of that song by Kenny Chesney (Don’t Blink)? I cry when I hear it.

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