Jerry Della Femina
BEST THINGS DURING THE WORST YEAR (10/20/20)
I’ve had with this election. I’ve had it with creepy politicians begging me for a $5 contribution on the internet. I’ve decided you need a break from all this, too. So here is my list of the best things during the worst year.
BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR
Rush to tune in to Netflix and watch “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The great Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this gem. It’s based on a true story, the trial of seven defendants charged by the government with inciting protests and riots in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention.
The cast includes Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden and an award-winning performance by Frank Langella as the evil trial judge Julius Hoffman.
Here’s another reason to watch this great movie before election day 2020: Anyone with a brain watching this election knows that if Trump wins there will be riots. And if Trump loses there will be riots. But unlike in 1968, when all the rioting was done by young kids who were really protesting the war in Vietnam, we now have the prospect of supposedly mature adults rioting and committing mayhem against their next-door neighbors over a lousy election.
BEST BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR
“Squeeze Me” by Carl Hiaasen. This is a hilarious post-pandemic put-down of Palm Beach.
It opens during the charity ball season with a Trump-loving high-society dowager who
wanders off from the IBS Wellness Charity Gala, a party hosted by a group committed to defeating irritable bowel syndrome. Drunk and fortified with half a tablet of Ecstasy, she stumbles to a nearby pond and is promptly eaten by a giant 18-foot python. Tell me that’s not funny?
Listen to “Squeeze Me” on Audible. It’s funnier than anything you will find on television.
BEST SEX SCENE IN A MOVIE (NON-PORN DIVISION)
The movie “Ammonite” is completely forgettable. It’s dark and boring, but if you can stay awake you’ll be rewarded with a wild, incredibly graphic sex scene between Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. Both actresses really get into the scene with realistic fervor. Guaranteed to leave you saying, “They were just acting…weren’t they?”
BEST REASON FOR IMPEACHING A LOUSY POLITICIAN
In the history of politicians (you can go back to Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned), you won’t find a worse politician than Bill de Blasio.
He has single-handedly ruined New York City, the greatest city in the world.
Here’s his Covid-19 excuse against dining inside restaurants: “because indoor dining is an activity for middle- and upper-income New Yorkers.” That dope. That commie pinko bed-wetting freak de Blasio is for keeping the thousands of people who work in restaurants out of work.
That’s 300,000 people who are out of jobs because de Blasio thinks only rich people eat out. He of course forgets the millions of people who love to sit down for a quick bite in pizza, hot dog and burger restaurants.
You know that Governor Cuomo has now pushed and gotten limited dining in restaurants.
De Blasio will try to come up with ways to ruin it. Cuomo says all customers must have their temperature checked upon entering a restaurant. De Blasio will probably insist that the only effective way to get a true temperature is with a rectal thermometer, and he will insist that anyone entering a restaurant must have their temperature taken rectally.
BEST N.Y. TIMES RECIPE OF THE YEAR
Spicy Clam Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Basil
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed, plus some pretty ones reserved for garnish
1 cup Italian parsley leaves, loosely packed
2 small garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces bacon, cut into lardons
Two dozen Little Neck Clams
1 teaspoon finely chopped serrano chile
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 pound spaghetti
Put basil, parsley and garlic in a mortar or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1/4 cup oil. Pound or whiz to obtain a bright green purée.
Put a pot of water on to boil and make it very salty. (It will boil faster with the lid on.)
Over medium heat, render bacon in its own fat until browned and crisp but not hard, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off fat but leave a small amount in the pan, just to coat the bottom.
Increase heat to medium-high, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the clams, serrano chile and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and coating clams well. Add peas and warm through, then turn off heat.
Boil pasta and cook until slightly underdone. Drain pasta and add to pan with clams. Turn heat to medium-high and stir all together. Add a splash of pasta water, if it seems dry. Add basil purée and toss well. Top with bacon and reserved basil leaves. Pass lemon wedges.
BEST HAMBURGER IN NEW YORK CITY
Donohue’s Steakhouse, 845 Lexington Avenue, New York City.
BEST EGGPLANT PARMESAN IN THE WORLD
Highway Restaurant, 290 Montauk Hwy, East Hampton.
BEST PASTRAMI AND CORNED BEEF SANDWICH IN THE UNIVERSE
Pastrami Queen, 1125 Lexington Avenue, New York City.
BEST MAFIA FOOD STORY
Giuseppe Fanara, a Sicilian Mafia boss serving a life sentence for murder, was so enraged by a jail cell inspection that he bit off a guard’s pinky finger and swallowed it. The New York Post headlined the story “Grossa Nostra.”
BEST REASON WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER ZOOM
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