Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Work In Progress and Tour (Lavori in Corso e Chiamata)

Last weekend, I made a bit more progress on the ancient marble sign. Now I only have one line to go plus the thin chamfered marble border I'll be putting around it as a frame. I need to take a better picture with shading for the full effect of how legible from a distance this is, but the sun went behind one of the rare clouds we have in a Texas summer.

I love the way it looks now without any leftover pencil markings, it's more 'real' looking to me now.

Also, my Chi-Ro mosaic is pretty much done. I was thinking about bordering with gold Orsoni tile and offering up to the Vatican in exchange for a special backstage pass for the archaeological area under St. Peters Cathedral. I would be finished with several of these projects by now if not for picking and booking apartments and hotels for Italy. Maybe I'm too particular?

And now, away from the 'normal' format whatever that is... Mr. Condescending asked several bloggers the following questions probably in an effort to determine whose place he wants to visit most with his favorite trailer park family in tow. By the way, to keep it clear, this is no form of invite. If I come back late and you have broken in and are eating and drinking in the media room, I'll be figuratively releasing the hounds on you. Careful, remember this is Texas.
  • What books are on your favorite shelf?
  • What DVD's are on your favorite shelf?
  • What are your TWO favorite cookbooks.
  • Select 1-3 recipes you will cook for your special guest.
  • What will we be drinking that is available?

To drink, there is water of course, various beverages, and access to this open bar. The expensive stuff is locked away until I know you much better.

I eat out often, but in case I get the culinary urge that actually requires instruction, I put on my official Brinker International chef pants with the black and white vertical stripes and my Chilis corporate tshirt and pull out these two cookbooks.
The first one is Emiril's Delmonico and from it I would recommend the Chicken Delmonico with the house salad. The second cookbook is Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Recipies. This one has always fascinated me because I love copying stuff you get out in restaurants. For example, I never would have imagined putting powdered sugar on fried chicken is how Chick-Fil-A makes its distinctive coating. Anyway, I'd recommend the nice prime petit fillet in the style of Ruth Chris' steakhouse from this book.

As for DVD's I usually throw away the cluttery plastic boxes and just keep them in big binders, but I did have some to put on display. If you squint, you can probably make out 'Rounders', 'Tombstone', 'Gross Pointe Blank', 'La Vita e Bella', 'Better Off Dead', and 'Star Wars' among others (by squint I mean seeing the titles on the movie boxes, not the movies on the screen. You'd have to be on the farthest back row for that to be a problem).

And finally, here is a bookshelf. Can anyone spot the book printed more than 100 years ago? I have various books on mosaic, fresco, history, language, sculpture, music and various literature.

Il mio segno di marmo quasi è completato. Se visitiate, immagini sopra che cosa là è di fare. Nessuna preoccupazione, ho parecchie pellicole con di lingua italiana. Ciaooo!


  1. That marble sign is looking awesome. As is your array of beverages and wine. We only have one bottle of wine in at any one time, and it is the one we are drinking!

  2. Ditto what Mo said about the sign AND the wine. I buy a bottle, go home and drink it. The end. Same with most liquor as well. That's why our "liquor cabinet" is always rather sparse looking.

    But...where, sir, is your Jack Daniels?! I see Crown, but no JD.

  3. Powdered sugar on the chicken? I've never been to a chick fil a but I find that kind of stuff pretty interesting too, I might have to find that book, thanks.

    Oh and if you've got rounders to watch in your theatre then I'm there! Do I have to bring my six shooter?

  4. I don't even own a single cookbook! :-(

  5. I have 2 of those Top Secret Recipes books, too. I bought them for the Olive Garden alfredo and house dressing recipes and the KFC mashed taters and gravy. I'm hungry.

  6. Mo, thanks pardner! I have to stock up on wine and libations in case the stores are closed. It would be a travesty to be caught short when entertaining.

    Otherworldyone, If you stop by to watch Rounders with Mr. C, I'll make it a point to get some Gentleman Jack.

    Mr. C, Chick Fil A is one of the few fast food restaurants I ever eat at. No six shooters required, I have lots of them.

    WendyB, not even one? That's ok, you fabulous New Yorkers eat out most of the time I imagine...

    Heather Cherry, me too. Thanks, by the way for posting the roast a few days back immediately before lunch time. I was so hungry after seeing that, I'm still hungry.
    ps - Is it lunch time yet? Need to check my reservations at 1717...

  7. I know you're not finished yet, but your marble sign looks beautiful.

    No invite? Woops, I'm already at the airport.

    Wow, great open bar. I’m not a liquor connoisseur but I’m sure that there has to be something in your open bar that I like. Or I’ll just go look for the expensive stuff. Just kidding! I can be clumsy sometimes and I don’t want to break anything.

    I’m definitely going for the Chicken Delmonico.
    I saw 'La Vita e Bella'. It was a sad, funny, and hopeful movie
    And no, I can’t spot the book that was printed more than 100 years ago.

    Ok, take a deep breath.
    I'm not really at the airport :-)

  8. That sign is looking HOT!!! You have reminded me of something about Chick Fil-A that I will need to post about!

  9. That's a deal. But he can't sit next to me. Never had Chick-fil-A...what the hell??

  10. I didn't think I could love you any more, and then I saw your liquor cabinet.

    A+, my friend. A+.

  11. You had me at the chef pants; I love a man who cooks in style. Actually, I just love a man who can cook period ;) Now a man that can speak Italian AND cook: you're just asking for trouble!

    The marble sign is indeed a work of art; it looks BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Can I get one too, please? :)

  12. Hmmmmm the sign is, indeed, awesome! You rock! lol. Yeah I've been waiting to get even for that "not for granite" comment you left me! Ha!! Ok, it did make me laugh. :) How about you carve "Tj" in a 2.5x3.5 chip off the old block and I'll send you some better cherries, lol!

    The 100 year old book? Is it the dark one? lol.. so, what's the title?

  13. Dutch Donut Girl
    Thanks! I hope I don't accidently crack it on the last line of letters.
    If you've already gone to the trouble of driving all that way to the airport, you might as well come the rest of the 4500 miles to Dallas.
    There's lots of different liquor, so I'm sure we could find you something. Chicken it is! I agree La Vita e Bella was great.

    Thanks, my hands are so glad that it's almost done. You mean Chick Feel ahh? :)

    Ok then, but you'll have to sit next to me because the couches are only about three across. Unless you want a whole row to yourself, and that might just be anti-social...
    Seriously, you are in SC and never to Chick Fil-A???

    Thanks! You are especially welcome to stop by, especially if you bring your new ultra high tech non-disclosure agreement covered gaming system.

    ; ) Glad I could help you with that, now sit down and let me make you a meal and also clean up while saying things in Italian, haha.
    Thanks for the compliment on the sign, I think it will turn out ok when all is said and done.

    Toni James
    Thanks! haha, 'I rock', huh.
    Seriously? I would carve you a perfect Tj for a small pencil drawing like that. Now do you want 2.5 x 3.5 inches or feet (feet might be expensive to ship since marble is somewhat heavy...)
    The 111 year old book is one of the brown ones in the center of the shelf. It was an old UK clergyman's first edition copy of Greek and Roman Antiquities.
    I love it for the excellent images, all of which were taken from ancient sources and some of those sources now lost to fires and other disasters. That book is the very essence of neoclassical.

  14. Eric... ha, I would love to say feet of course, but those two little letters would surely be lost on a stone that size! So, me just thinking everyone know's an ATC is in INCHES, didn't specify.. silly me! I had forgotten to whom I was posting. Of course to carve a stone the size of a playing card you would have to have some little tiny tools lol.. and swear a lot. Well it works for me. lol.

  15. You cook AND clean up afterwards while being modest at the same time?! This is just too good to be true, you must be a figment of my imagination.

  16. No, I'm pretty social. I'll sit next to you 'cause you're the host and that's like a special seat, right?

    No no no! I'VE had Chick-fil-A. It's my fave fast food in the world. I was saying I can't believe Mr. C has never had it...

  17. Toni James
    Ok I'm going to order my tiny chisels now and get going on that (it might take a bit to get it just right since it will be smaller). Have fun at your convention!

    :) lol, no figment, I was trying to imagine something that you'd like though.

    Ok, as long as it's all alternating gender seating. Plus Mr. Condescending might smell or something, heh.
    Yeah, it's one of the only fast foods I ever eat (not at all often btw). What a sheltered life Mr. C has led...

  18. First, thanks for stopping by my site and commenting and for coming to the party at my house. Wasn't it fun?

    Second, the sign is awesome.

    Three, I am so coming to your dinner party. Looks like you've got some mighty fine libations there and the Chicken Delmonico. Magnifique.

    Mr. Condescending you must bring your camera to capture all our fun, you never know when I might have a double faux pas again.

    I have those 2 cookbooks obviously with 247 of them. Do you know about the website www.copykat.com? It has tons of restaurant recipes similar to the Top Chef Secrets.

    Fourth - If there was no Mr. Peach Tart I would so be lusting after you, well maybe I can still lust like Jimmmy Carter in my heart:) chef pants, speaks Italian, venture capitalist (from my days as CEO.

    Thanks for sharing all this. Mr. Condescending has really made this fun for us all getting to know each other.

  19. Awww, Eric, si sono molto dolce :) I seriously hope I did my research correct and that it doesn't mean "your legs are like hairy spiders" or something along those creepy lines!!!

  20. Haha!

    After reading all these comments...it looks like I was right about the special seating. I had no idea you were such a ladies man! Get it.

  21. Hey there Peach Tart!
    Thanks for stopping by, I've seen your comments around but had never checked out your site. The virtual party was fun. Thanks, I've already got installation plans for the sign.
    Oh, thanks for Copykat.com, that is a great site I didn't know about! Epicurious.com is one like it that I've been to.
    Thanks, there is truly no lust like Jimmy Carter lust... :)

    Grazie, capisco perfectamente. ;)

    Who me??? :)
    Best not to mention 'special seating' and 'Mr. C.' in the same breath. I've seen the pictures on his blog.

  22. I see you drink Canadian whiskey. The sign is looking great btw, can't wait to see it finished!

  23. Valerie, thanks! Nice bead post you have there today. I need to put in an order for some smalti glass...

  24. You're right, your marble -does- look like a piece of the Pantheon!

  25. AnonymousJuly 25, 2009

    I'm very lax with my commenting. Here's one at last: outstanding and beautiful work.

  26. As GHenry has lamented above, I too am remiss with the comments this week. And this post has made me heartily regret that fact. What style! What discerning taste! What marble! Eric, you've single-handedly overturned the Texan stereotype with this tour of your stately residence. Not a gun to be seen :) And I must admire your taste in century-old books - I hadn't realised that 'The Dilbert Principle' had reached such a venerable age already!

  27. Wow...you have a book printed over 100 years ago? that is awesome. Awesome.

    Rounders and Tombstone...LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!! Dude, in college I wanted to BE a Rounder. So bad. Wish I had followed my dream, I do... ha!

    I love your marble...where are you going to put it? You should come and decorate my house...it could use an Eric Mosaics touch! :o)

    Finally...um...I kind of want to see pictures of your whole house. It might be a blog stalker thing...or it might be the fact that the snip its that you give us look marvelous...mixed with the work that you do...totally piqued my curiousity!!! Did I spell that right? Hmm...doesn't look right...

  28. Hi Nanc,
    If only they would let me bring back a piece of the real thing. But then I guess that would ruin it for everybody else. :)

    Thanks! Your comments are rare and highly appreciated, as is your blog.

    Girl with Pink Teacup,
    Thanks! I know how it is, I've been horribly busy at work and with other things going on too. Yes the Dilbert Principle was around back when dinosaurs walked the Earth. I've even seen dinosaurs in some of his comic strips, I believe.

    Yes, more than 100 years, that librarian is going to *kill* me...
    That's right, you play poker... I'll bet you could do it.
    For the marble sign, I'm thinking of putting it into a swimming pool I'm going to have built over the next few weeks. Go figure, carve a sign and then build a pool around it...
    Am I insane?
    Ok, for you Lopez, I'll post more out there.
    ps - I think piqued is correct?