Contemplating Martha's woes, SquarePants, running mates

This Just In...

July 01, 2002|By DAN RODRICKS

I WOULD like to declare, here at the headwaters of today's stream of consciousness, that I believe Martha Stewart is innocent of any wrongdoing. All the lines of glazed raspberries in her Fourth of July American flag tart came out straight, and no guilty person could pull that off.

First Enron, now WorldCom, now maybe Martha, too - my trust in corporate America is shattered. I'm just a mess about it. So are millions of Americans. At a dark hour such as this, we should invite friends and acquaintances of the embattled corporate class into our homes. We should offer them milk and cookies and commiseration and, in the flow of conversation, discreetly determine if we should dump stock in their companies.

More declarations:

I have seen The Next Big Thing and it's called SpongeBob SquarePants.

I have heard a new American language and it's called Jim Rome.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich is supposed to announce his running mate today. I don't think many would mind if he just picked Kendel. She's Republican. She's a woman. There's a pre-existing relationship there. What's not to like?

Popular and good-natured Ocean City Mayor Jim Mathias wanted in a terrible way to be Kathleen K. Townsend's running mate. But he'll have to content himself with another summer chasing the skateboarders and gum-chewers off the Boardwalk.

I have spent only two minutes in my rope hammock since May 1. The pair of scissors in my home never get returned to their proper drawer. And, in a related matter, I have two children.

Of Don Pooley, winner of the U.S. Senior Open, this should be said: "Nice pants."

Caves Valley is a wonderful golf course, but a trout stream was buried during its construction a decade ago and, on behalf of salmonids everywhere, I'm holding a grudge.

I still believe a one-year moratorium on harvesting the Chesapeake blue crab is worth a try; it could bring the region's crab population up and its cholesterol level down.

For the record: The Royal Farm store at Falls Road and Lake Avenue is not in Towson, despite what some TV anchorperson said a couple of weeks ago. Got it?

I am happy to report that I drove several blocks up York Road behind an MTA bus Thursday afternoon about 4 and the wheels did not fall off!

With all the alerts and warnings about possible attacks this week, instead of driving somewhere to see fireworks, I'm going to have a nice, quiet Fourth at home with the fireflies.

Culinary tidbits

I am not too proud to share one of the great little cooking cheats on my kitchen shelf: Sun of Italy Italian Spice Mix ("An old family recipe") distributed in 3 1/2 -ounce bottles by Pastore's Inc. of Baltimore. A couple of dashes and your friends will think you've been getting private lessons from Giuliano Bugialli.

Another secret: Fresh Fields does not have exclusivity on Andy Boy broccoli rabe (pronounced raab, and also known as rapini); you can get it at Metro. Nutritionists believe broccoli rabe is high in the chemicals that protect against cancer. So when you saute it in lots of garlic and a little olive oil, you have a dish that's not only delicious - and much more interesting than ordinary broccoli - but antioxidantal. It's good for you, too.

One more: If you want to make lemon peppermint sticks (as in the Baltimore Flower Mart tradition), I've seen the sticks for sale at Metro and at Jeppi Nut Co., corner of High and Low, a block beyond Gay.

Secret of TJI

This didn't make Baltimore Magazine's "Secrets of the City" either: If you ever need a lacrosse or hockey glove mended, see Stefan Gegala at his shoe repair shop on Roland Avenue. He does a nice job for a reasonable price, and you get some opera music and a little political commentary as a bonus.

Crab with a twist

My official food taster, Joey Amalfitano, reports: "I know you're not eating crab meat these days but if you ever get around to it again, try the giant crab pretzel at Bill Bateman's Bistro. I know it sounds weird, but it's great finger food - like Crab Imperial meets the carnival-size soft pretzel.

"On another matter, I just got around to tasting Vanilla Coca-Cola. I was surprised to find the bottle rather unspectacular but the contents pleasing. The new product is a heady cola, elegant in its simplicity and not overwhelming at the finish. But, honestly, during the recent blistering afternoons in Baltimore, the new soda couldn't compare with a good ole Sky Blue Snowball. I'll be haunting Billy's in Hamilton most of the summer."

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