Regarding dick jokes and the worlds best beet salad recipe

Posted November 13th, 2009
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I am going to Ohio and  Indiana this week to visit my relatives and those of  the boyfriend with whom I cohabit. I might write something during the week. Or I might not. Meanwhile I thought I would respond to this odd question I got earlier today and also offer a beet salad recipe.

Here’s the thing about the recipe: I was not a beet fancier until i went to my friend Robin Schiff’s house and she made me this salad. Robin got the recipe from a restaurant called Ammo that she loves. (Also, just for your extra added enjoyment and apropos of nothing, Robin wrote “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”) I am sharing it because it is Thanksgiving coming up next week and this is a perfect addition to virtually any dinner. I was so impressed by it that I make it at least once a week ever since. Its just the best combination of stuff. And golden beets are a LOT tastier than red beets (if a little trickier to find.)

First the question from someone named Min Merrell:

Read that NY Times piece you were quoted in on how there are very few women writers in comedy especially late night comedy. Can women write good penis jokes? I thought that was a good question. Is there such a thing?  I’ve been trying to think of one.  Nothing’s coming up. Blog some more about that. I wanted more of your insight in the story.

Dear Min:

I don’t know if “nothings coming up” was your idea of a good penis joke. Or if,  with a name like Min, you are a woman. If the answer is yes, I would say that the penis joke may not be your strong suit. But since the rule of thumb for writers tends to be: ‘ Write what you know’ its not so difficult to assume that the penis jokes written by women by definition do not come from the same perspective as the penis jokes that are written by the actual penis owners themselves. It has been my experience that the penis owners find penises to be funny for a vastly different assortment of reasons than  those of us in the penis-less sector. So I guess that is a yes and a no: Women can write penis jokes. But the penis jokes written by women are probably  better delivered by women comedians than by men.

On the last hand, no one in late night network television is really allowed to tell penis jokes without creating a big brouhaha with the censors  for fear of fines from the FCC. So the ability to write good penis jokes is a very weak excuse for not hiring women as writers unless you are staffing an all boy Vegas review. I don’t know if that answered the question.

And now…for some beet salad.

AMMO French Beet and Lentil Salad
(serves 4)

1Cup Lentils (green)
2 Golden Beets
2 handful Arugula
Chives
Pepitas
Crumbled bleu cheese
Dijon mustard

Dressing: 1 shallot, 1 lemon, olive oil

Cook lentils for about 25 minutes; drain, set aside & let cool.

Cook beets for about 20 minutes;drain, let cool; then peel, cut into ½â€ cubes and set aside;  (I prefer roasting them. Wrap them in foil roast at 425’ for an hour – an hour and a half depending on the size of the beets. Put more foil beneath in case they leak.)

Dijon Vinaigrette: Chop shallot and put in a small mixing bowl.. Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard and 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste (You can also add 1/2 tsp of sugar if you prefer it sweeter.)
Mix lentils, beets, arugula in a big mixing bowl; add vinaigrette; divide between 4 plates;

Add toasted pepitas, chives and  bleu cheese;  Seriously, its the best salad.

And when you’re finished cooking, its time for

wippity wipesSorry…this actually has nothing to do with anything. I just love the name Wippity Wipes. I also love happy little Mr. Wippity Wipe there on the package.