Skirball Cultural Center

3 Nov

Ladies and gents, please welcome my very first guest blogger, MEXICUNNIE!  Mexicunnie has graciously offered to provide a post about my wedding food since I was unable to taste what cost so much dough.  Enjoy. ~ M&C

***

Hi! I’m Mexicunnie, your guest amateur blogger for the evening.

Obviously I am honored to have been elected to blog about Meat and Confer’s wedding feast, though sadly I will be able to offer my views solely on the Southern side of the buffet.  Why, you ask, did I not partake in the food from the Asian and carving stations? Many reasons, but namely I was 8 months preggo and craving some of that good ol’ home cookin’.  And, more importantly, I had already stacked my plate so precariously high with chicken ‘n thangs that I did not have a speck of room left on the plate by the time I made it to the Asian side. It was the sharks vs. the jets and I was clearly a jet.

Here is my street cred which enables me to talk with some authority about this particular fare:

I am the granddaughter of a woman named Ruby Lee (for reals that was her name). Now, Ruby Lee was born in a Mississippi briar patch and was still a young girl when the Great Depression hit.  The particular part of Mississippi from which my white half hails is still po’ as hell so you can imagine they didn’t have much of anything during those troubled economic times.  This enabled my granny to become nothing short of a culinary MacGyver, fashioning delectable eats from flour and water and bitches better look out if she ever got a hold of some hog.  I remember she had a bowl designated just for making biscuits. She kept flour in the bowl along with an old timey tin flour sifter in it. Every day she got this bowl out, sifted the flour, added milk and eggs and such to the bowl, hand mixed the biscuit dough, and then gently rolled it into little delicate clouds.  This woman was legit, ok.?  Trust.   And I share her blood line and I spent every summer and every spring break with her until the summer before medical school when she passed away.  I watched her cook.  I paid attention.  But mostly I just ate like I was on death row.   M&C and Blister always say my super power is to eat and not weigh 400 pounds.  Looking back, it IS a wonder I was not morbidly obese.  Fried chicken, cornbread, pork and rice, chicken ‘n dressin, pink eye purple hull peas (damn I shelled so many bushels of those peas but triple damn they were worth it!)…I tasted the best the deep South had to offer so that pretty much makes me the expert around here.  I also spent the school years living in Texas, the state which always seems to provide the majority entries to the “Fattest Cities in America” list every year.  That’s because TX has some seriously awesome restaurants, y’all.  Houston, you’re delicious and a friggin fatty and you know it’s true.

I, myself, have tried different restaurants around L.A. touting that they offer real Southern food, but none of them really deliver (exception might be Dr. Hoggly Woggly’s Texas BBQ in Sherman Oaks but don’t even get me started about Roscoe’s, folks).  So I find it truly bizarre that the best Southern food that I have experienced in these here parts came from the Skirball center where the wedding reception took place.  I’m sure the chefs there are used to doling out filet mignon or seabass or some shit…but fried chicken? Come on.  I am here to attest, however, that whatever sweet-tits was responsible for rendering this chicken so crispy, so fried, so moist, so brined, so succulent- that person has a true gift.  That chicken was not only scrumptious, it defied all regulations and dogma. I was taught that you shouldn’t ever fry chicken without the bone in (my husband loves cracking a joke every time I use the phrase “bone in”, so shout out to him right now). The bone provides moisture and, above all, flavor to the chicken meat.  What jackhole would ever remove the bone?  Well, apparently it CAN be done and it was done at the Skirball.  That bird was boneless and above reproach.

<Note, if I had my druthers, I would enter a youtube clip of the movie “Circle of Friends” where Alan Cummings as the creepy Sean Walsh is at dinner with Minnie Driver and her parents and says “I’ve never tasted a more succulent birrrrrd…the richness of it and the flavor…all in all indisputable.>

(Thanks for the pics, Pelota.)

Then there was a creamy nouveau riche mac & cheese and greens that had some good sabor.  I judge Mexican restaurants by the salsa and I judge Southern food by the greens.  If they fuck up the greens (Roscoe’s I am looking at you, girl), then forget it.  Immediate dismissal.  But these greens made me say umph.

The only thing I could teach the Skirball is how to make better cornbread and how to add obscene amounts of butter to both the cornbread and the sweet mashed potatoes to get it tasting right.  The cornbread was dry.  You have to make cornbread in a pone.   You can’t make it in big batches like they tried to do, or it will come out dessicated.  Unlucky for them that they had to make cornbread for a crowd.  Oh well,  that chicken was 5 clap worthy so I ain’t mad atcha.  I want to add here since I just made a brief homage to butter that Anthony Bourdain is a real asshole.   I confess that I respect him in general because he has a well-cultivated palate and is ostensibly well-traveled but to criticize a Southern cook like Paula Deen for loving herself some recipes with butter as the main ingredient is just asinine,  All Southern cooks love butter and use butter unabashedly.  It’s merely in their nature. Does he go around yelling at dogs for licking their balls? I mean, really.   Anthony Bourdain was a dick for attacking that sweet magnolia flower, Paula Deen (who talks just like my mom by the way), for being herself and loving butter.  Anthony Bourdain, I would punch your smug ass face and then I would make you take me to Southeast Asia where we would find that Balinese pig you talked so much about- you know the one roasting on a spit getting all gussied up and basted by a rag on a stick- that was a good episode.   I digress.

The last thing I want to mention is the donut lady, “The Fry Girl” or something like that (catchy right?).  Now that the wedding is over, the donut lady is no longer an international secret and other people can now hire the donut lady to make their event super luxe.   The donut lady has a small stand and a little helper elf and a genius deep frying machine which turns out little donuts the size of a dollar coin- the batter enters on one end and floats lazily down a river of fryin’ grease until it is soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.   Then you get to choose the flavor on top- powdered sugar, cinnamon, jam, etc.   Homer Simpson would literally jizz his pants.  Basically if I had extra time on my hands, I would find the donut lady at her house, stand beneath her window, and hold up a boombox that plays Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”

It’s funny how you just take home specific memories from an event. For me, the wedding jogs musings of Miso in a tux, Blister looking like a Korean soap star, M&C never looking more radiant and glam, and a couple very much in love.  Oh, and the chicken ‘n donuts.  Mmmmm…donuts.

Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA

The Fry Girl
www.thefrygirlinc.com

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