Dear GayWay #1

Dear Sir GayWay:

I've been reading this blog ever since the very beginning, but have been too shy to post until now.

(I'm even not sure how to address you. What is the proper honorific? Do you prefer Lord? Or Reverend? Or Your HighGayness? I don't want to offend.) (I already know to approach and retreat from your throne by never turning my back.)

I made a rice dish over the weekend, and it involved a lot of suffering because of the chopping of Italian parsley. A lot of suffering. And I can't say it added anything except green speckles. Much too much suffering for the payoff. (Though I was delighted that it wasn't cilantro.) (Of course, if it had been cilantro we wouldn't be having this conversation, due to the putridness.)

It seems like you would know about this, and you also seem to Know People who would know about this. (Like that Crafty Lass—she knows stuff.)

How do we chop Italian parsley? Do we use a scissors? Do we use a knife? Do we go one leaf at a time? Do we use or discard the stems? Do we pluck the leaves and roll them up like a little cigar against our thigh like we did that one summer in Cuba?

Can I just go to Penzey's?


Doubting Every Blink

Dear Doubting E. Blinker:

My heart is filled with pride that you are out in the world, snipping the fresh grasses and plants to enhance your simple peasant fare.

(And you may call me whatever you'd like, all of you, until you cross a line. You will know it, believe me.)

My own beautiful herb garden features a bouquet of beautifully growing Italian parsley. I disagree that there is no taste there: when people don't taste the parsley, they are not using enough, or they are using some dreadful dried variety (your request to go to Penzey's is denied; last time I checked, the joint had no greenhouse out back to supply you with plantlings). If you've had a good tabbouleh, you know how important the parsley can be.

You are correct, of course, to be using the Italian flat-leaf parsley. The curly-leafed parsley, of supper club fame, tastes as if cilantro and mint had a love child and forgot to wipe off the bitter afterbirth.

Chopping the parsley couldn't be easier. Simply trim off the particularly large and woody stems, bunch the leaves on a cutting board, and use your very best knife skills with a large, sharp blade. You should be able to get a nice uniform chop, from very fine to rather coarse, depending on the requirements of your recipe.

As for Crafty Lass's opinion, I don't give a rat's ass. She has her own blog, and a perfectly lovely one, but I'm sure she's busy trying to figure out how to make honeydew foam for her hoisin-spiced pineapple pancakes.

I hope that I've been a help to you. I would remind all my readers that their questions, regarding cooking or other essential elements of life, can be answered using the simple form found on this page. And, if you think perhaps you don't have it in you to compose so, ahem, comprehensive a missive as did Ms. Blink, Polonius reminds us all that
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief: your noble D.E.B. is mad.


  1. Dear Gay Way-

    I realize that right now you feel as though you have a certain power over me since my dog bit your dog. However, D.E.B. is right to wonder what I would do in said speckled green rice dish as I do indeed have a foodtastic blog.

    First of all, I DO NOT chop up parsley stems as I am a refined lass who does not enjoy the texture. I pull off the leaves, make a small pile, and then chop. Secondly, I agree that oftentimes, the parsley flavor is lost, which is why D.E.B. might want to add in some other chopped herbs to enhance the flavor.

    And lastly, thank you for the wonderful idea for my next post...a Honeydew Foam WOULD set off the hot pineapple pancakes beautifully.

    Masthead Designer

  2. A few follow up points:

    The recipe called for 1/2 cup of finely chopped Italian parsley, and I didn't have seven hours of free time for the chopping. Do you have any idea how much parsley that is??

    I tried the green pile of leaves and the quick knife chopping, and all I got was green stains on the cutting board and a very unevenly chopped pile of compost.

    My gardener has not yet planted the herb garden, so I had to buy a big honking bunch of parsley at Lund's, and now I have this big honking stupid leftover pile of parsley that I will never use.

    Does it make a difference that we rolled leaves against our *naked* thighs that one summer in Cuba?

    Also, good job on using a Mary Sidney quote so early in the game.

    signed aDorable over-Educated Babe

  3. Dearest Anonymous,

    I always wondered about the green thigh look ... thought it was some weird hippie thing.

    signed - Anonymous II

  4. "The curly-leafed parsley, of supper club fame, tastes as if cilantro and mint had a love child and forgot to wipe off the bitter afterbirth."

    This is the funniest thing I have read online in five years. That is all.


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