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MenuPlease: TJ’s Curry Sticks, M.’s Identity & Adieu to Berries

While dancing to the oldies in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s, looking for an idea for a convenient appetizer, Femme de Joie came across Panang Curry Sticks, picked up a box, and gave ‘em a try.

They couldn’t be simpler: just spread them on a cookie sheet and bake. These crisp little sesame-coated sticks are filled with a soft, moderately pungent fish filling. The curry of the title is not the Indian-spiced one, but Thai curry, sharp and assertive and a bit hot.

What goes well with them? Plain yogurt with cilantro & cucumber makes a cooling dipping sauce, but M. de Joie likes Trader Joe’s Mango Chutney: far cheaper than Crosse & Blackwell’s Major Grey Chutney and just as delicious.


California regulators are leaning toward approving methyl iodide as a fumigant for strawberries to replace methyl bromide (known to damage the ozone layer). However, methyl iodide may be a toxic disaster waiting to happen: California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, reviewing the chemical for use in California’s many strawberry fields, has decided to approve exposure limits that are 120 times higher than the agency’s own scientists and appointed review board recommended.

If methyl iodide is approved for commercial use on strawberries, Femme de Joie fully intends to only consume organically-grown strawberries in season and would urge you to do the same. The CDP took public comments until June 29, collecting 53,419 e-mailed comments and at least 175 letters, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The department has not yet counted the pro and con, “but the con definitely is in the majority,” said department spokeswoman Lea Brooks. A final decision is not expected for several months, the newspaper said.

See http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/ for more.


A few readers of MenuPlease seem to have the idea that Doni Greenberg’s alter ego is masquerading as moi. While Femme de Joie is flattered to be compared to Doni, we are two entirely different people. We have been spotted in the same room at the same time by mostly-reputable people and as far as we know, we do not have doppelgangers.


A few weeks ago Femme de Joie received a forwarded email that asked the correct pronunciation of Joie. That would be zhwa, but if you would like to pronounce it joy or jolie or jolly, please feel free.

The email was linked to a forum that went on to discuss the etymology of Femme de Joie and what it might really mean, implying that M. de Joie has an interesting and lively private life. The forum also suggested that M. de Joie does not speak French or that she doesn’t grasp the tawdry implications of her nom de cuisine. In fact, Femme de Joie has a quiet and uneventful personal life; to her, a cougar is a large animal that will shred you in a highly unpleasant way. She is entirely aware of the double-entendre but didn’t think anyone else would notice or be interested; the fact that it wound up on a discussion board made her laugh for a week.

As far as speaking French, Femme de Joie bows to the master, Mark Twain, who famously said,

“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”


Femme de Joie’s first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more.