Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I love to eat and in my opinion nobody does it better then the French. Say what you will about France but damnit they know how to live - good food, wine, coffee, cigarettes - uh huh, I have to get there some day. My problem with travelling (other then the fact that I have a job and three kids and a finite supply of bread which makes world travel a little difficult) is that when I go somewhere it almost always remains at the top of the list of places I want to go to. So I've been to London and Scotland and Ireland (twice now) and if you were to ask me where I want to go next I would say London and Scotland and Ireland. I was in Dublin last winter for meetings but I had a weekend there and my evenings were free and so I was able to do a nice wander about the city and I saw plenty that I did not see my first time there and when I left I felt that I had a feel for the city finally, the type of feeling you can get when you spend time in the city with the people who live there and you take the time to lose yourself in the crooked backstreets and alleys, drinking pints in old pubs and walking around St. Stephen's Green looking at statues of the poets and patriots. So if I was to be given a week tomorrow and the time and freedom to do it I would likely get a plane and get back there and walk along the Liffey and duck into Neary's or John Mulligan's for a pint and then maybe run up to Howth for dinner with friends.
Despite the fact that I want to go to France and I know it would be one of the best things ever. Goofy, huh?
So for now I just have to enjoy eating French food whenever we can get out for it which is rare with the baby. There are great French places but we dig Indian and Thai as well for starters and then there's your thousand other restaurants a stone throw's away (if you have a good arm) and then of course there is the fact, already mentioned, that money doesn't emerge from my ass whenever needed. Anyways, there is a French joint a short distance from our house, one of these little hole in the wall joints that you stumble upon and that just blow you away. Like most French restaurants here it is small and intimate and warm and like most French restaurants here (the one I have eaten at anyways) the food and wine are terrific.
When I was there last I had cassoulet. That shit knocks my socks off, all the meat and beans and the sauce. I've always wanted to make a cassoulet but the problem is that it involves two days of preparation.
I don't have two days to spare right now and if I did, lets be honest, I wouldn't make myself a cassoulet but damn, if it isn't an example of that old saw about good things coming to those who wait.
Wednesday night Marc Pouliot is going to get a chance to prove that he is cassoulet and not something else that ages a little less gracefully, like say, jerky. We've been waiting for Pouliot for a while now and the fact that nearly every other first rounder (and plenty of second rounders) from his draft class have become NHL stars have made the rangy centre a target of discontent. It never figured to be this way. The kid was no Niinimaki, a reach pick out of nowhere; he was rated highly and he just hasn't lived up to his promise. He looked dandy in his first shot with the club but illness derailed him and since then it has been more or less indifferent and inconsistent play that have shuffled him in and out of the lineup. Late last season he stuck and his results were reasonable - he wasn't filling the net but he wasn't getting buried either.
A fine camp this fall and conditioning finally not an issue and a fair performance in the first quarter while playing mostly on the wing and finally Pouliot seems to have earned a shot that many had him pegged for before the season - tough minutes between two veterans in Cole and Moreau.
The experiment may last ten games or it may last ten minutes but for all the speculation that MacT is not a fan of the young Quebecker is belied by the fact that he has stuck in the lineup while others have not and his icetime at even strength has consistently topped ten minutes for a while now. It appears that he has earned his shot and here is hoping that he takes it and runs with it. This team needs a big right handed centre who can do the tough lifting and while Pouliot may not be the answer he has earned his chance. I saw him play in the famed "Penalty Shot" game against the Leafs, his best game as a pro, and the kid has hands, can skate and can do things with the puck at high speed in heavy traffic that show that there may be something more beneath the surface then we think. He may be a nobody with a fringe career or he may be the type of guy who scores ten to fifteen goals a year while doing the heavy lifting. Some might say that a guy like that is a dime a dozen but the Oilers of the past few years have lacked exactly that type of player and the value of such a player cannot and should not be underrrated. Remember Peca and Pisani in 2006?
You can cook a terrific meal in twenty minutes but others, just as tasty, take time.
Posted by Black Dog at 10:00 AM