Globalboho. Life: musseling into my life again….

…Hand in hand with the  Soft Boiled eggisms of the last post, Learning to make Mussel Frites at home was the evolution of attempts at maturing frugality within Manhattan city limits. But with this one, I went HoooARD!

…because I love them.

In an almost unhealthy way. Just shy of perverted. Dipping perfect fries into boozy, garlicky broth that mussels have died in a matching orgasmic state within… I could TELL when I needed that in me lol.

And like with most damn near perversions, breaking the spell usually involves submitting to the knowledge held within a master of it, to safely go to the dark places necessary to gain control of it all.

How can one be perverted when it comes to Mussel frites in a way that can be openly written about in the light of day? One time, post quarter life crisis, segwaying from fashion design back into art to cover my ass while writing via half-assed attempts at commercial modeling… I was damn near broke…and fn winded because of what being in front of the camera model testing  silently took out of my violently introverted ass.  There was a BIG bill due, funds had, but barely. I Felt like I was swallowing sand in the city, basically. I remember the bistro on Third I stumbled into, the banquet I collapsed on, the brick wall behind me… and the mussels that saved me. The bill due was short exactly how much those mussels cost, ante’d up down the road. But I was replenished enough to keep going by Whatever I get out of the taste of those mugs.

Years later, I- a woman KNOWN to be brazenly specific about the foodie side gigs I take on to keep doing this thing called an arthead life- took on a serving gig at a laidback tony place called Markt. Classic Belgian brasserie. Introduced to  Lambics, sours and ciders, slicing froth off beer like a madman,  and the full glory of seafood there… as well as the idea of like 20 different ways to make mussels.  It was like a drunk working in a distillery to get ahold of his senses[ or a certain  Pinot loving Angel interning with a winery to learn how to make it so the attempted hold’d be broken by doing. #oldschool #handleitforreal].

 

Every day there was a Mussels Special in addition to the multiple variations featured on the menu. I remember the moment the head chef realized he had my undivided attention describing what made that days riff special. From then on I harangued him alllll the time to find out what I could and couldn’t do, or what doing that or this would make happen with them, broth-wise.

He’d specialized in them for years but never ate them anymore. I was bewildered by that. And then…I realized working there, I went home smelling like amazing seafood every day…and he had done that for like a decade, all the more deeper because I was primarily front of house.

I got out while I still loved them, assisted by God via having to flee the city to Miami. But I never forgot how good it felt to actually know HOW to make the ultimate comfort food for me all the way. I used to buy those bags of debearded mussels from the grocery store and go full Daryl Hannah in Splash over them. It still goes there a bit from time to time. This is a snap from less than a week ago. Video footage had people cussing all over my IG stream because it was still basically pornographic. I’ve embraced my Moules-frites kink. We all should know how to make the foods that get us the fuck off is a Primary tenet of this whole #Globalboho\ #HealthyDecadence Life.

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I found out while back home in New York that Markt closed its doors after twenty years. http://www.marktrestaurant.com/  My heart plays Taps echoing within it over that. It was one of the spots lost in the siege post sex and the city,  its meatpacking district location when the place still smelled like the blood of beef and Jackie 60 drag queen fights {instead of the  liberally tossed parental blood money of hipsters} featured early on in the show’s arc.  My short, seasonal, educational tenure was many moons later, at the Sixth avenue location it migrated to when that prime location rent skyrocketed. Benicio del Toro would come and eat there and have everybody suddenly ambisexual due to the feral heat wafting off of his hot, despotically grinning ass, from other diners, servers, busboys to even the normally straight as a rod sous chefs peeking out from back of house, licking lips.  & he’d be there, basking in it, knowing he could best anyone who had the balls to try to approach the dark heat of him, but enjoying the frenzy. One time supermodels were there while he was and their dates forgot about them, sucked into the del Toro vortex.  It used to crack me up. They reacted to him the way I did to eating mussels with my fingers, fuck the tiny forks, so I totally got it lol.

With mussels I discovered that what i actually AM is a pragmatic hedonist. If I like something, I’m going to learn how to make it myself so  wherever it takes me can’t be held against me or over my head. It’s selfish lol.  But wise.

 

-AB

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