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Uncle Morty's Dub Shack: I saw the series finale of Enterprise on Sumana's pre-post-production press preview DVD, but Sumana has embargoed me from telling you about it, so instead I will talk about Uncle Morty's Dub Shack. This is the funniest MST3K-style TV show since MST3K. In fact I think it is the only MST3K-style TV show since MST3K, but I'm not trying any predicates-on-sets-with-only-one-member tricks on you; it actually is funny. The setup is very similar to MST3K, but its episodes are only a half-hour long so it moves a lot faster than MST3K. It's also significantly lowerbrow than MST3K, but not as lowbrow as I'd feared. It's like an Adult Swim realization of MST3K.

The conceit is way too complicated, like a movie version of Pee-Wee's Playhouse that spends forty-five minutes building up Pee-Wee Herman as an eccentric cyberneticist who after his wife leaves him decides to build a strange playhouse with sentient talking chairs, etc. There's a theme song that explains the idea, but before that you get a thirty second-intro to the theme song that puts it in context, and by the time it's all over you've lost a good chunk of the air time.

Basically, four slackers are compelled to dub English versions of old Bollywood and kung fu films, but they don't have any translated scripts, so they just make up whatever story seems to fit the action. The show is half dubbed film clips and half skits like the ones before the movie on MST3K. Sumana originally thought the skits were dumb and fast-forwarded through them, but they're actually pretty funny and often clever.

Uncle Morty's Dub Shack is on the poorly-named Imaginasian TV, the new basic-cable answer to local Chinese channels. They run an episode practically every day, and it's not the big watching-a-movie investment of an MST3K episode. You just get the ten minutes of the movie about which the show's creators could make up the funniest story.

[Comments] (1) Restaurant Jargon: I've written before about words that only show up on restaurant menus, weird vegetables, and techniques like "coulis". At Watercress there was tomato something, "tomato coralage" or some similar word. I asked the waiter what a tomato corolage was, and he said it was just tomato sauce. So either he was patronising me, or he didn't actually know, or this mystery word actually means "made into sauce" and was just put on the menu to make the food sound fancy.

I've decided that when I see a word I don't recognize on a restaurant menu, I'll write it down to remember it, and expose its true meaning here on NYCB. First, the only cooking term so far I've learned from menus: coulis is a sauce made in a blender and strained to make it seedless and very smooth. In restaurants it is usually used to garnish a dessert, and is inevitably made from two fruits: raspberries plus something really off-the-wall like passionfruit. Using three fruits in a coulis would clutter up the menu. Using one makes it seem cheap.

Also, jicama, a food I first saw on restaurant menus. Jicama is a South American root vegetable that has the texture of an apple. I can't decide whether or not I like it.

[Comments] (2) Potato Blue Cheese Soup: I was going to make a potato-leek soup similar to Ultimate Chowdah, but the cream in the fridge had gone bad. So I came up with the idea of using blue cheese to thicken the soup instead of cream. It was definitely one of my better ideas.

Melt butter in soup pan. Add aromatics and salt, and sweat. Add broth, potatoes, corn, and herbs. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Get out the stick blender and blend it. Stir in the blue cheese. Add pepper to taste. Yum.

For the record, the aromatics I used were one onion, part of a leek, and two stalks of baby garlic. Yes, it's Clean Out The Fridge Daze here at Leonard's house.


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