Last night, Akemi made some beautiful home made orecchiette, “small ear” pasta, following my mother’s recipe.  Getting the cooking time right was a little tricky.  When first served they were clearly undercooked, so they went back in the pan with the tomato sauce and grown chicken and, ten minutes later, they seemed dense but ready. The pasta was accompanied by a nice fresh farmer’s market beans with garlic and olive oil.

Looks yummy!
Looks yummy!

After dinner, we did a few chores, then headed downstairs for a not-overly-heavy workout.  An hour later, I was at my laptop when I started to feel…queasy.  I informed Akemi who admitted she too was feeling…queasy.  Could it have been the pasta?  I headed into the kitchen for a sip of water and happened to glance down and lay eyes on the water-logged remnants of Akemi’s dessert.  THAT did it!  I raced to the bathroom and threw up.  It was my first time vomiting in years. And it wouldn’t be the last.  Akemi soon followed suit.

Hey, did you know that my toilet is a Kohler?  I’ve lived here almost nine years and never knew!

It’s interesting to note that, had we gone out for KFC hot wings instead, we’d have felt MUCH better.  The irony way not lost on me as I crawled into bed and passed out.

Feeling much better this morning but I think I’ll take it easy.  Today’s lunch: ginger beer!

Another memorable meal – for a completely different reason – the other night when Akemi and I had dinner with former Stargate Exec. Producer Robert Cooper and his wife.  We had planned to go out but, after spotting a couple of Tomohawk steaks at his local butcher, Rob decided to have us over instead.  And, without even knowing what we could have eaten at a restaurant, I can confidently  say it was the right call.  Of course, I didn’t have to do any of the actual cooking and cleaning, so my opinion is somewhat subjective.

Home made flatbread with herbs and sea salt.
Home made flatbread with herbs and sea salt.
A sweet, rich, silk smooth corn soup with fresh crab.
A sweet, rich, silk smooth corn soup with fresh crab.
Look at these beauties!  Barbecued Tomohawk steaks.
Look at these beauties! Barbecued Tomohawk steaks.


Accompanied by a jam of caramelized onions and peppers.
Accompanied by a jam of caramelized onions and peppers.
Oven-roasted potatoes
Oven-roasted potatoes
Crispy roasted brussel sprouts.
Crispy roasted brussel sprouts.

I had asked Rob if I could bring dessert, but he informed me he had it covered.  He wanted to test a recipe for something called Crack Pie!

The Crack Pie.  Presumably, no actual crack was used in the making of this pie.  That said, I'm experiencing withdrawal pangs just looking at it.
The Crack Pie. Presumably, no actual crack was used in the making of this pie. That said, I’m experiencing withdrawal pangs just looking at it.
Essentially egg yolks, brown sugar, and rolled oats baked and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Essentially egg yolks, brown sugar, and rolled oats baked and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.  It’s easy to see why they call it Crack Pie.  
The chef!
The chef!

A big thanks to Rob and Hillary for having us over for a fantastic meal.

31 thoughts on “August 27, 2013: A tale of two dinners!

  1. Joe, Akemi’s home-made pasta may not be the culprit. Look at what you ate 12–48 hours before your attack. (I suffered acute & severe indigestion for eight years, you’ll recall.)

  2. Glad you’re feeling better, ugh. It’s been a looong time since I had food poisoning, but of course, it happened when I was being a total bitch to Mr. Deni and decided I was going to Disney World alone for the day. That would show him! On my way out, I felt horrible and barely made it to my car before I had to vomit. In the parking lot. Before I knew it, things were happening on the other end (oy!) and the entire 3 hour ride home was hell. I had to stop at every rest stop and gas station I saw, lost 11 lb in two days and paid through the nose for my bitchiness. 🙂

    @for the love of Beckett and Sparrow: Thanks, lovely ladies, for the kind words. 🙂

  3. So glad to hear you and Akemi are feeling better, Joe. Food poisoning is the worst! Ginger is great for settling your stomach though so that’s a good call.

    For something to hit you that hard it must have been either undercooked or (cross) contaminated. Could anything in that dish have been that? The beans perhaps?

    Anyway, the meal at Rob’s looks incredible, what a treat.

    Thanks for all the support everyone about my step-mom! You guys are the best. A little news on that – it sounds like she has a urinary tract infection, which can indeed give symptoms like she’s experiencing. Apparently the elderly do not have the normal symptoms associated with that, but manifest it with confusion, delirium and weakness once it gets advanced enough. So, she is currently on an IV antibiotic which hopefully will kick in soon. Her niece did go into the hospital later this afternoon, so I elected to take a break and go in tomorrow morning rather than again tonight. Here’s hoping things are better!

  4. So, now that you’re feeling better, here’s the foodie question I was going to run by you.

    Wash the raw poultry or don’t?

    As for me, I always knew the bacteria on the outside of the chicken would die first and surely. My intention is to remove the bacteria waste. The waste is the cause of the upset, albeit much more so the cause when there are live bacteria around to produce more of it. When I wash poultry, I am careful not to splatter much and I take the time to clear nearby counters for easy splatter cleaning.

    And if you’re making some kind of chicken concoction that re-arranges the chicken so that the outer surface is further from the heated surface during cooking (as in a chicken meatball), reducing the live bacteria count will then matter.

    Unless I’m mistaken in the amount of harm the waste from doomed bacteria can cause, I think this Science person the Gizmodo writer was listening to wasn’t taking everything into account. So, I disagree with Science on whether to wash raw poultry and I disagree with Science’s parents for naming him/her Science.

    And I hope you meant you’re feeling better better, not just better than before because that’s not a fun topic if you’re already queasy.

  5. Hey Joe? ” When first served they were clearly undercooked, so they went back in the pan with the tomato sauce and grown chicken and…” THAT explains it! Grown chicken is notorious for making people sick. :):) 🙂

    @gforce: Glad to hear things are getting better!

  6. I have a toilet with a picture of a man on it and it’s labeled “The Sir Thomas Crapper Line.” No lie.

  7. Anyway Joe, have you seen this? Nasa are doing a rover called Zephyr that could explore the surface of Venus. Interesting stuff.

    I’m more interested in Venus than Mars personally, it’s an unknown, a very hot and very hell like world. 450oC temps, crushing pressure, they think the technology exists to allow a low powered rover to operate in high temperatures.

  8. Orecchiette always takes a long time to cook and always seems to end up gluggy on the outside and tough on the inside. I’ve given up trying to cook it.

    I haven’t had food poisoning since The Frozen Lamington Incident of ’81 that took out most of my extended family.

    I must have the recipe for Crack Pie. It looks amazing!

  9. Definitely, the CHICKEN! – oh, and the BEANS didn’t help either!

    Actually, considering all those whacky dishes you guys consume, I’m rather somewhat surprised that it’s taken this long for you to hit a BAD one…

  10. I agree with baterista9, a previous meal could have done it, and then maybe the tomato and garlic kicked it loose(so to speak), andyway, hope it is better now,
    ~~~ Robs dinner looks lovely and delicious as they always so,(thnks 4 pix) and yes, looking for crack pie recipe now too,,ha.
    ~~Have a better day~~

  11. Nothing like a little flushing to help purify the body. I lived in rural Thailand for a few years and got all my foods from the local open air markets; never had a problem. I was curious if the the fresh beans were the culprit? Organic gardening can provide many nasty free loaders. I guess we will never know unless you have Ameki just eat the orecchiette and you just eat the beans. Ginger beer sounds like the ticket. It would be nice on even these very warm days.

  12. I don’t think you’re being fair to Akemi’s pasta! baterista9’s right, it could have been something you ate the day before. I’m glad you’re both better, no matter what the cause.

    Rob’s dinner looked excellent! I’ve made the crack pie before. It was good but….I was expecting more from the praise I’ve heard it receive. It tasted similar to a pecan pie to me. I like pecan pie with chocolate chips, so maybe I’ll add chips to the crack pie if I make it again.

    Deni: 😆 Good catch on the “grown chickens”. Typo or…was it: 😉

  13. From Tam Dixon: “Deni: 😆 Good catch on the “grown chickens”. Typo or…was it: 😉 ”

    Is that what this “molecular gastronomy” craze is all about? 😉

    Was at the hospital this morning and my step mom is doing a *little* better. She’s still very weak but at least a little more grounded in reality. Although, she is still seeing things like birds flying around in the room, so obviously not completely there yet.

  14. When I worked in a restaurant my specialty was soups and sauces. I made them from scratch by making stocks from scratch. Usually a 10 gallon pot worth of stock at a time. One day I prepped it with chicken bones and parts, put it on the stove and asked the prep cook to set it on simmer once it came to a boil.

    He took it off the stove because he wanted to make his dinner. The pot of chicken and water had just about reached lukewarm temperature. The next day when I walked in the stock was boiling but it was still only lukewarm. I smelled it and vomited into the garbage.

    The prep cook confessed he took it off the stove, made his dinner, then put it back on and turned it down. It never made it to a boil. The stock was literally a roiling bacteria culture. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever smelled in my entire life, and I once accidentally stepped on the rotting carcass of a deer while hiking through brush.

    Naturally I made the prep cook pour out the liquid, double bag the rest and sanitize everything in the kitchen. He said he vomited four times, until he couldn’t vomit any more. Serves him right.

  15. It’s not the food making you sick, Joey, it’s the shitty movies. 😉

    Glad you’re both feeling better! You know what they say – the couple that pukes together…ummm…probably suspects each other of attempted murder!! You haven’t spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder, have you? 😉

    In all seriousness, however, I hope you find the culprit. One reason I won’t eat mushrooms is because I’ve heard too many stories of food poisoning, even death, from accidentally eating poisonous ones. So be careful Mr. Experimental Dining Guru, and don’t eat stuff that might come back to haunt you!


  16. Those steaks look delicious. Everything looks delicious. I have to make one of those crack pies.

  17. Must….have….crack….pie! That really sounds yummy. Actually, that whole friggin’ meal I would’ve gorged on. I would love to have tried those crispy roasted brussel sprouts, too!

    Last week after explaining to a friend a weird dream I had that included Steven Segal and Nazis(no I don’t remember what I ate that night to help cause such strangeness), I mentioned a movie I remembered garnering some attention for being a silly, over-the-top premise, action-comedy about Nazis from the moon, invading Earth. Well, he didn’t believe me until last night when we watched it on Netflix. It’s called Iron Sky and it was quite enjoyable! In fact, if it weren’t for a couple of really stupid bits here and there and some overly convenient plot holes, it’d been a GREAT movie! What was really impressive was the visual effects. Seriously, seriously well done stuff.

    Iron Sky is what all good SyFy original movies want to be when they grow up. Still tongue in cheek, still funny, still full of many “oh, c’mon!” moments, but a fun movie to watch, especially with friends, where you don’t feel like you’ve just had a minor frontal lobotomy when it’s over.

    Not a superhero movie, but perhaps Cookie could include it sometime down the road perhaps? 😉

    -Mike A.

  18. @joe Sorry to hear you and Akemi were so sick. Vomiting is the worst. I’d rather have anything else except that. I actually skipped morning sickness when I was pregnant with Patrick. I thought it was kind of strange. Maybe they should do a study to see if women who don’t get morning sickness have a higher rate of kids with autism because it seems no stone has been left unturned as to what causes it (supposedly). I hope this finds you on the mend.

    @Deni Sorry about Stewey. I can’t go to adoptions or even volunteer at a shelter because I would want to take them all home and I would sob every night that I could not.

    @GForce Glad to hear your mother is doing a bit better. Who knows–maybe there are flying objects around the room on some other plane of existence and she is just tuned into the right frequency. Does she take Ditropan by chance? You might want to read this: It is really difficult seeing our parents age. You sound like a fabulous son. Being a caregiver of someone with a disability, it is so very easy to run yourself into the ground. And I really should take my own advice (and I’m trying to do that more nowadays). You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of anybody else.

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