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First Pie

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After a long day in Hell, this pie went to visit Magda and Tamas. Kerry, Mike, Eileen, Michele, Satan, Harth and David were there. We spoke about the Palio, the church that displayed head of St Catherine and Italian and Hungarian pastry forms — all while eating salami. Then we toasted this first pie of the New York season.

After pie, Mike gave us an excellent tai chi demonstration. You should have seen it! It’s really quite hard to do, but he made it look as easy as sitting in a chair.

Bogyi and his hands joined us a little later. He had the eleventh slice. And Tamas had the last, extra slice after we all left.

Or so it was reported.



Written by etinnyo

July 21, 2015 at 12:16 am

Posted in Art, Drink, New York, Pie

Thin Slices

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A couple nights before Thursday night, I got a message with the subject line “Thin Slices–I may have overdone it.” Caught up in the excitement of being on the pie list, my correspondent now worried she had been too magnanimous. She included a list of the chosen. It seemed like a good party to me.


When the pie arrived most everyone had gathered and was snacking in the secret back room.

We immediately started bad-mouthing climate change, last winter’s general shittiness, and a certain Russian family. Poles and Hungarians have much to say about cherries and a bit to say about Russians, and there were two-and-a-half Poles and one-and-a-half Hungarians in the room. Also two Canadians and a Turk. Say no more. Say no more. The remainder of us were just as biased against anything that might keep us from having fatter slices of pie. In that we all agreed.

I spent quite a bit of breath apologizing for the poor cherry harvest, for only bringing one pie. Canadians most of all don’t understand scarcity. And yet when the pie was distributed, there was still a bit left in the pie plate. It was a miracle—or I had  initially miscounted. I’m going with miracle.


Someone brought the perfect wine for the occasion. Toasting happened. Pictures were taken.  A little birdy tweeted.

After the first round of pie, we had a tour of the front. Garbage walruses, singing mussels, faux foam, and a painting under a swimming pool. Broken things. Things that were things. Things that were not things. Nothing that was like anything else. “This is What Sculpture Looks Like.”

The fat slice of pie waited for us to return. Return we did for more wine and pie scraps. First slivers, then fork pecks. Finally just crumbs. This is what fun looks like.





Written by etinnyo

July 16, 2014 at 9:04 am

Posted in Art, Drink, Food, New York, Pie

This Is Not a Pie

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Rene Magritte "The Portrait" (collection: MoMA)

Rene Magritte “The Portrait” (collection: MoMA)

I’m very excited that this is happening at MoMA. Please come if you can.


Edible Magritte 

October 29 or November 14, 6:30-9:30 pm


What would happen if René Magritte created his artworks in the kitchen? Discover for yourself in this Magritte/food mash-up. With artist and food provocateur Elaine Tin Nyo and chef Lynn Bound from MoMA’s Cafe 2, you’ll learn to make La cuisine de Magritte. Then, you’ll go hands-on to assemble artworks using edible materials. It’s all in a day’s work when Magritte gets cooking!

More information and register here:

Written by etinnyo

September 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Art, Drink, Food, Menu, New York

Saturday Night

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Things happened on Saturday night. Things like Blake and Lucy showing up with arms full of cheese, shell-shocked from the heat wave and seeing a certain artist’s installation on Park Avenue. Things like Blake pitting all the cherries while everyone cheered him on. Things like this awesome t-shirt Kanishka and Juli gave me. Things like Magda’s expertly assembled “appetizing” of salmon tartar on cucumber with creme fraiche.

Once the pie was in the oven, we sat for a cold dinner of brandade de morue, cucumber and lemon salad, deviled eggs, duck prosciutto, a farro salad, um, and other things.


After the pie had cooled enough, it came to table. Tamas scooped dollops of sour cream ice cream on each plate to accompany it. Then the hush every hostess hopes for.

That’s when things got questionable. Something about Tuscan Pie. Something about Muslims introducing certain animals to Southern India. Something about Hollywood, a certain circular museum and a rather large drill hall. Something about Walt Disney — I don’t quite remember what. Plastic surgery might have been mentioned. Perhaps it was last year’s homemade sour cherry liquor talking. Spouses began assigning fictional heritages to their mates. Texas was mentioned quite a bit. I should stop there.

Let’s just say the cheese was not eaten that evening. And that some people selflessly had seconds of pie and ice cream.


As far as I know everyone got home safely. My next door neighbor, Ruth got the remaining sliver of pie the next morning.

Written by etinnyo

July 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Posted in Art, Drink, Food, New York, Pie

New Year’s Tea

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This New Year’s Tea at Upton Alley was not attended by the guest of honor. He left Upton unceremoniously New Year’s morning in a motorcar, discarding his flamenco costume as though shedding last year’s skin. Those left behind kept up their spirits by watching Downton Abbey and seeking solace in tea.

As the foggy mantilla of the previous evening lifted, I found myself alone packing away the castanets and preparing to receive guests. …And in the presence of two perplexing, red-jacketed creatures. Naturally, I sought the good counsel of Miss Toklas.

Here is the recipe she suggests on page 60:


Perpignan Lobsters

Cook 4 small lobsters not weighing more than 1 lb. each in boiling water, salted, for 18 to 20 minutes. During this time melt in a saucepan 4 tablespoons butter and heat in it 1 large carrot cut in thin rings and 2 medium-sized onions with a clove stuck on one of them and the white of 1 leek. When they are coated in butter sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over them, mix well. Add alittle by little 1 cup of hot dry white wine and 1 cup hot bouillion, 1 large bouquet of parsley, fennel and basil, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of saffron, 4 cloves of crushed garlic and 4 tablespoons of tomato purée. Cover and cook slowly for 1 hour. Cut the lobsters longitudinally, take out the meat and place the 8 pieces in a hot casserole, take out the meat from the claws and place in the interstices of the lobster meat in the casserole. Take out of the sauce the parsley, fennel and basil if you wish. They did not in Perpignan. Pour the sauce over the lobster meat into the casserole. Serve piping hot.*

* Note. Bouillon is a “boiling”, a stock made of veal, chicken or beef bones simmered in water with the special vegetable and herbs appropriate to the dish.

Of course these are Modern times, so I changed a few things. For one, I had only 2 lobsters. I partially steamed them in just a bit of salted water and used the resulting liquid as my bouillon. I did not use basil because I had none. And I finished the sauce with a healthy splash of rye whiskey. This dish was served as part of the menu below.

I believe Cousin Violet would have approved.

Upton Alley Season One

Episode 1

Sandwiches of 
Cucumber and Cream Cheese,
Parma Cotto Ham and Black Bread,
and Ngapi Kyaw and Butter

Episode 2

Perpignan Lobsters
Steamed Clams and Drawn Butter

Episode 3

Hopping John
Sautéed Kale
Red Devil

Episode 4

Peanut butter-Banana Bread with Cerises a la Grecque



Written by etinnyo

January 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Booty Call

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Booty Call

Our Pirate Picnic Happy Hour
Began in a bar as dark and cold as a ship’s hold.
There, like stowaways, we drank grog
From a flask and ate old sea beasties on crackers.
When we invaded China, we spied treasures aplenty.
We drew our magic scabbard and stole exotic victuals from the natives;
We pounded our tankards together to toast and sing chanties.
Finally, me mateys carried our booty to a deserted spot on no man’s island.
We divided our treasure chest of wee gems and baubles
According to the law of the sea.
Thus did we celebrate happy hours in the pirate way.


Pirate Picnic Menu

Smuggler’s Course:

Anti-Scurvy Cocktails
Ancient Finnish Salmon on Clandestine Crackers

On Foreign Shores

Ye Olde Dimsum (Snatched from the Hands of Scallywags)
Red and White Grog
More Scurvy Juice

No Man’s Island

More Scurvy Juice
Spaniard’s Eggs
Pyckld Green Bean Scabbards
Cannon Balls O’ Mutton
Briny Pahtayto Salyd

Written by etinnyo

September 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Art, Drink, Food, Menu, New York

Smell This

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Sometimes easy is just easy. And this is easy. You should smell this: Smashed sour cherry pits gathered from making 20 pies. Put them into 2 large glass jars. Fill one with Everclear; the other with Wild Turkey 101. Open the jars a couple weeks later and take a whiff.

If bitter almonds and cherries were angels they would smell like this. Um, drunken, boozy angels that is.

Written by etinnyo

August 16, 2012 at 11:31 am

Posted in Art, Drink, New York, Pie, recipe

Preparing the Way

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Some essentials for the cherry pit hooch project

Written by etinnyo

August 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

Posted in Art, Drink, Pie

The Pits

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250 sour cherries
x  20 pies                 

5000 cherry pits

or future cherry pit hooch

Written by etinnyo

July 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

Posted in Art, Drink, Food, New York, Pie

First Snow

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The first snow of the year demands snow balls: little choux pastry puffs the size of super balls stuffed with custardy chocolate cream and dusted with powdered sugar.

It is customary in Harlem to transport them southwards the length of Manhattan after such a snowfall, preferably by train. Then one should board a boat towards the nearest Ikea. Once ashore find the house with the biggest fireplace. This house will no doubt be owned by an Argentine artist who will produce large pieces of grilled beef from said fireplace accompanied by scotch whiskey and red wines.

The pile of a hundred-or-so snowballs should be pulled from the freezer when the lights lower a bit, the music swells and the milonga begins.

(I can’t talk right now, I’m licking this spatula.)

Written by etinnyo

January 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

Posted in Drink, Food, Holidays, New York