Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Three Classics

I find myself constantly seeking out new experiences: a new ingredient to add to heavy cooking rotation, a new Jura bottling, the latest from an electronic music producer.

A few things this week reminded me of the value in taking comfort in the classics.

Palacios Chorizo

I love the balance of smoked paprika (pimenton), oily meat and fat globules in this inexpensive Spanish staple.

Gonzalez Byass "Tio Pepe" Fino

Sensing a Spanish theme here? I had three finos open in my fridge last week. This is the last bottle standing and, incidentally, my least favorite of the bunch. Nonetheless, it is still a damn fine drink. And the memory of the neon Tio Pepe logo, lighting up the side of one of the buildings in the barrio of Triana along the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir, clearly holds some sentimental sway.

Steely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill

Fuck, this album is so many things at their very best: classic rock, songwriting, session player performance, recording...listening to Steely Dan, I'm reminded of one of my former rabbis who presided over confirmation classes following my Bar Mitzvah. Rabbi Camras respected the Dan. When he shared that fact, I think that we cool 14 year olds either ignored him, rolled our eyes, or responded, "huh?" Anyway, this is the record with classic rock radio staples "Do it Again," "Dirty Work," and "Reelin' in the Years," as well as memorable album cuts such as "Midnite Cruiser" and "Turn that Hearbeat Over Again."

Last night, on the car ride back from a spectacular hike overlooking the Pacific and Tomales Bay, my brother and I eventually cued up this album and sang along during portions of most of these songs. The ladies in the car did not seem to mind.