Oven-roasted porchetta
Oven-roasted porchetta

Look at what Akemi made!  Yesterday, she stuffed, seasoned, rolled, and trussed a pork belly.  Then, this morning, she woke up at 6:00 a.m. to slow-roast it for five and a half hours before finishing it off with a 30 minute broil to render the skin extra crispy.  She served it for lunch with her home made chimichurri sauce and a side salad.


And while we were eating, my Snow Monkeys were winning!  They’ve improved to a less-than-impressive 3-6 in Stargate League Play but a very impressive record of 6-3 in my Original League.  I will, of course, be managing my team from Japan for the next two weekends – so wish my Snow Monkeys luck!  A double playoff appearance is going to be a hard trick to pull off.

Yesterday, Akemi and I met up with our friends, Jeff and Barb, who are in town, visiting from Chicago.  We hit Campagnolo for lunch and enjoyed some brunch, pizza…and some unexpected belated birthday gifts.

Barb and Jeff from Chicago, home of the deep dish pizza. But I don’t hold that against them.
Surprise!  Belated birthday presents!  Or, in Akemi’s case, EARLY birthday presents!
Southern cook books for Akemi (and, indirectly, me!)  We were up all night deciding what we wanted to make.  Conclusion = everything!
Souther horror fiction for me.  A little research to get me in the mood for the new pilot.
Crispy ceci.  A house speciality!
Sausage, arugula and chiil pizza
And a side of thick cut pancetta

33 thoughts on “November 2, 2013: Porchetta, Snow Monkeys, Brunch, and Presents!

  1. Wow, sounds like a great day! That porchetta looks amazing. So cool to see Jeff and Barb, too. Campagnolo is great, I’m sure you guys had a wonderful time and meal. Since Jeff and I always seem to be about a week or two apart in our visits, I should be there any time now. 😉 (I wish! Stupid work!)

  2. Akemi, that roast looks delicious. Glad Barb and Jeff got to visit, and brought goodies. But you did not have dessert?? Ok I can wait for you to try out the new cookbook and do show ‘n’ tell. Safe Journey to Tokyo and double good luck for the Snow Monkeys!

  3. Hi JeffW and Barb! Joe, I’d like to see a picture of your cookbook collection. I bet it’s huge. I have a big one too. I love cookbooks, especially all the pictures!

  4. I recognized Campagnolo immediately. JeffW and Barb, I’m glad you got to enjoy their menu!

    Did a good deed for doggies yesterday. In my hairdresser’s neighborhood, a little guy named Buddy came up to me and let me handle him. His smart owners had tagged him with name, address, and phone; home was just a couple of short blocks away. Owners were happy to get him home!

  5. to brata’c;

    SG-1 has been on the THIS network for a few years now, it is like the 4th or 5th go-around for the episodes. (and sometimes they have the movies too) it’s one of the few good things on that network. IMHO.

  6. yeah they seem to have done season 10 the previously and hopefully they do from season one onwards. SGA is on Mondays on the UHD. But unfortunately no ones re-broadcast SGU. Have all three but enjoy when anyone is on.
    I will always believe that if SGU was given 3 seasons from the start we would have gotten the full five or six seasons that brad and Robert were looking for.
    Hoping and waiting for Stargate Command.

  7. @ JeffW – – Wot? Did Joey bring you out there to fix his car? 😉

    Porchetta looks excellent, Akemi!

    You’re spoiled, Joe. 🙂

    Just watched Pacific Rim – fun, exciting, and sometimes moving flick. I enjoyed it a lot, though I still liked Battleship more. They are very similar, but I think I preferred the isolation of the latter over the ‘yet another fight amid highrises and panicking citizens’ of the former.

    And speaking of the former, when researching this film to decide whether or not to watch it, the biggest complaint I found was the crappy dialogue. Okay – honestly – even with that knowledge I didn’t even notice the dialogue as anything but…ya know…dialogue. I’m starting to think that people who complain about dialogue in movies have some sort of fantastical misconception that dialogue in the real world is somehow awesomely brilliant. Guess what – it’s not, and probably the people who complain the most about movie chit-chat have the communication skills of a hairy-arsed neanderthal.

    Except you, Joe. 😉


    1. I, of course, disagree. When people complain about the dialogue in a movie, it’s not the fact that it’s not fantastic or interesting enough but quite the opposite: it’s the exact opposite of the way people really talk, often marked by clunky info dumps and the type of speech usually reserved for earnest amateur theatre.

  8. *waves at Jeff and Barb* Glad you got to meet up with Joe and Akemi. Fingers crossed for the Snow Monkeys.

  9. Hi Ponytail!


    We need to compare our calendars offline! Since I’m now working with a couple of customers in Calgary, in addition to the ones in Vancouver, I’ll be coming to Canada more often (split between those two cities though). It’s often enough now that I’m thinking about signing up for the Nexus program to make the travel easier.

    On one of these trips we have to make it a boys night! 😉 Beers, scotch, and football maybe?


    Beta 5 was dessert, and that place is dangerous; both to my wallet and my waistline!

    @Joe and Akemi:

    The pancetta was indeed delicious! Thanks again for being such gracious hosts to Barb and I, and we are looking forward to reading about some of the new desserts coming your way. Also, safe travels to Tokyo, and we’re hoping for a beautiful wedding for Akemi’s sister. Bon voyage!

  10. @JeffW, that sounds great. Maybe Joe can send you my email.

    Re: the dialogue – sorry Das, I have to agree with Joe. Way too often, the script is a clunky, awkward, expository mess. And really, the objective of a movie is quite different from just a series of ordinary, everyday conversations. It requires dialogue to convey an entire idea/experience/theme within an hour and a half – two hour (ideally) time frame, while STILL appearing to sound like normal human interaction. Not many (apparently) can pull it off well. Thankfully there are a few like Joe that can do it.

    Tonight I’ll have to share a rather terrible experience from yesterday. Had an upset with my step-mom in the wheelchair! Luckily, she’s completely fine with just one scratch, but WHEW!

  11. Akemi’s porchetta looks fantastic.

    I like the bit of tantalizing southern literature for research. Can’t wait for you to spill the beans on all of your new projects.

  12. That porchetta looks amazing! You go, Akemi!

    In other random news, I am just now noticing the holiday items in stores. The big box craft place has candy displayed along the checkout lane. New this year: Reese’s PB cups as large as your head. Or at least each cup as big as my outspread hand. No, I did not buy them. Far too dangerous.

  13. Wow! I’m so glad that JeffW and his lovely wife, Barb, got to have lunch with you and Akemi. It looked like fun. You’ve created your own little community on here Mr. M.. Thanks again for that!

    The food porn looked delicious! Akemi might consider catering as a career choice.

    All ready for the trip?

  14. “13. The worst customer service moment of the past month was…just the other day. The waitress was serving Akemi her salad when three accompanying pickles fell off the plate and onto the table. She quickly picked them up with her fingers, put them back on the plate, and informed us: “They’re just for show anyway.”

    Really? I hope you walked out.

  15. @ Joe – I hear what you’re saying, but for the most part that sort of thing seems to be more a plague of ‘made for tv’ movies, and not so much the big screen. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, though – I think if I recall correctly that was a problem I had with the first GI Joe flick. That said, however, I attribute shitty dialogue more to the director and/or actor and not the dialogue itself. For instance, Dirty Harry’s ‘do you feel lucky’ line is far from brilliant writing, but it’s so effective because of the delivery. If I tried to say it, I’d probably sound like some lottery gal picking numbers on a local low budget tv channel. 😛

    And I just typed that while eating a piece of flourless chocolate cake with my coffee…talk about a morning buzzzzzz! Woo! 😀


  16. Sorry for all the posts, but I’m surprised that the crispy ceci doesn’t have garlic in it – it just seems as if it should. I will correct that in my version. 🙂


  17. Me again!! 😀


    Okay, I’ve totally altered the crispy ceci recipe in my head. 😛 I’m trying to figure out how to make the chickpeas crispy without actually deep frying them. Probably can’t…though I am wondering if baking them like in Akemi’s chickpea recipe might work to some degree. In fact, now I’m wondering if Akemi’s recipe is her version of the crispy ceci recipe. I have to get garlic in it somehow! I think it would be best for me to keep it simple, so I will go with arugula only, and maybe the mint (I have a love/hate thing going on with parsley right now). I’ll tinker with it a bit, decide if I’ll deep fry or roast, and let you know how things turn out.


    Joe & Co – can anyone describe to me the advantage of deep frying the chickpeas in this recipe? Other than making them crispy, I imagine it would also make them a bit greasy. Thoughts?


  18. @Das:

    No, no car repairs. I’m not sure I could get my toolset through Canadian customs anyway.

    On the crispy ceci; Barb loves garlic too! She’ll eat whole cloves of it which can make random kisses a dangerous affair 😉

  19. @ baterista9, that was a nice deed indeed, I’m glad Buddy found his way home.

    Big pilot hint; southern gothic…perhaps made in Georgia? Very interesting (said as I twirl my imaginary steam punk mustache).

    Glad the Snow Monkeys are rebounding, and that porchetta is gorgeous, well done Akemi! Fresh chimichurri is so good. Try some carmelized plantain as a side with it; bake ripe yet firm plantain with honey, pineapple juice, melted butter and little cinnamon.

  20. JeffW wrote:

    No, no car repairs. I’m not sure I could get my toolset through Canadian customs anyway.




  21. @Baterista9 You are a good person.

    The pork thing looks delicious. I don’t get up to cook at 6 a.m. even on Thanksgiving. Wait, that’s right I don’t cook on Thanksgiving either. Congrats on the Snow Monkeys. Is the key to the snow monkeys winning then eating?

    @JeffW Heard that Chicago just had an earthquake. Get those often?

  22. Speaking of The Walking Dead Joe, rumors seem to suggest that Episode 9 will be a direct adaption of the 9th comic book. And the list of characters confirmed as alive by Episode 15 is quite surprising. Some make me quite happy. Always thought Tyreese was a decent character.

  23. Wow that porchetta looks really great.

    The dialogue I like in movies and shows is the dialogue I never manage for myself in real life. The witty repartee that always escapes me and the quick comebacks that I don’t think of until two days later.

    And I can’t even say it doesn’t really happen, because I know people who do talk like that. They just aren’t me.

  24. @PBMom:

    Apparently it was a quarry blast (not an earthquake), so hopefully I’m not coming home to any broken glass. As for frequency, I remember a small earthquake being reported there a few years ago, but I never felt it.



    I only realised the double entendre after your comment! :opps:

    I think I’m going to have to mentally put my comments through a “Das Filter” before I hit the “Post Comment” button! 😉

  25. JeffW, thanks for the info on dessert, I kinda love it, I went to the Beta 5 and WOW, good to drool thru…

  26. @ JeffW – What is this double entendre of which you speak? I was referring to your handy dandy Craftsman wrench and socket set, the pride of mechanics everywhere.




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