Thursday, September 16, 2010

I actually went to to see where "Gouda" was located.

I don't think I have ever looked up, seen my waiter/waitress walking toward me, and actually been prepared to order. I like to hear what others choose. I like to pose an invariably well-phrased "if you were me, what would you get?" question to the server. I like to stare at the food being brought to other tables (which, I imagine, does not creep out said patrons in the least). So tonight, in keeping with tradition, I narrowed my options to three and then asked my delightful waitress (who, by the way, had already poured me three perfectly normal-sized glasses of water - guess who gets double the DDP tomorrow?) if she would choose the crab cakes with roasted pepper mayonnaise, the hot brown with a Havarti and Gouda morney sauce, or the mango and current pork chop. Guess which one was selected.

I'll tell you at the end.
I am in Louisville for the Kentucky Library Association Conference and, while my dinner dilemma is included in the list, it is not really of utmost concern tonight. Below are my random musings about the past couple of days...

1) I enjoy Louisville so much more than Lexington. I like the downtown architecture. I enjoy having a view of the river and the bridges. The traffic seems to flow better and just make more sense. In my opinion, Louisville doesn't seem to have an air about it the way Lexington does.

2) Money, smummy. I'm at a library conference. I should be buying books, right? The cookbook is by Albert Schmid, the Kentucky author, chef, and restaurateur who will be speaking at the Cumberland County Public Library on November 19. The horse racing book is a recently published historical narrative written by a fellow UK graduate student, Maryjean Wall. The young adult novel, Eli the Good, was penned by my new crush, Silas House. The final one is just something I found at Borders today that I thought seemed interesting. I'll report back after I've read a bit.

3) I love both the cookbook's dedication and the first paragraph of the introduction:
"To my father, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Schmid, because you love bourbon and my mother. To my mother, Elizabeth Schmid, because you love fine cuisine and my father."

"I love food and I love bourbon. My first exposure to fine cuisine and bourbon occurred when I was a student at the McDonogh 15 elementary school. There, as I began learning the three Rs, I also began studying food and gastronomy. Although I didn't know it at the time, it was one of the best places in the world for such study - the French Quarter in New Orleans. My father and mother moved to 'the Big Easy' so my father could become pastor of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in New Orleans East. Every day my parents would drive me across town to my school in the French Quarter. On the way I took in the culture and the smells of New Orleans. Some mornings we would stop at Cafe du Monde, across from Jackson Square, for beignets and cafe au lait (I always had chocolate milk) before we reached my school, which was on St. Phillips Street between Royal and bourbon. I was not the only student who attended class with confectioners' sugar on his shirt."

4)I so enjoyed Silas House's talk today about his recently published book, Eli the Good. Here are a few reasons why (these statements are slightly paraphrased):
-"They didn't have the canvas I had." (In reference to his own children's inability to roam the neighborhood, to play outside all day, to create a community playground). I just really like the way he uses canvas here.
-"All good art should remind us, at least in some way, of personal responsibility."
-"Good protest comes out of education and it bears responsibility."
-"The only agenda I ever have in my writing is to show rural people as smart, as readers, as individuals with complexity."
-"If you want to understand someone better, give them a camera; have them go out and take pictures of anything they find interesting; upon their return, take the time to really look."

5) The next time you are staying in the Downtown area, skip the 4th Street Live area and opt instead for the Bristol Bar & Grill (Main St., about 3 blocks west of the Galt House). Order the mango and current pork chop.


  1. Nice entry Liza..but there is a little something about your "conference" that is missing in your post...oh well, sorry I wasn't there to drive the get-away car!! By the way,I ALWAYS narrow down my order to 2-3 items and then ask the waitress/waiter-I'm pretty sure they find it charming.

  2. The Bristol is not far from where Grandmother and Grandad used to live : ) And this Silas sounds like a real winner.

  3. Scratch that - they lived near the one on Bardstown ; )

  4. Liza, Nice to see you back on Pillowbook. The library conference sounds yummy-- cookbooks AND Silas House. He spoke here in Owensboro last year and I didn't get to go (my loss, eh?). I saw him on KET not too long ago and Coal Tattoo is on my reading list. Thanks for reminding me to get on that. I hope you are doing well. I was in Burkesville last weekend and had a few minutes to read The Cumberland County News at my grandmother's house. I like your library column and wish I could be a patron-- Your programming looks wonderful!

  5. I wish I could have joined you! Boring=knowing exactly what you want before the waiter/waitress arrives at your table.

  6. I love Italian cookbooks. I love their spaghetti and other pasta delicacies.