Even Grover Norquist Gets Burning Man

As Gourmay readers are aware, I cover the annual Burning Man festival from afar since I have an allergic reaction to dust. This year was no exception, but I did manage to find an adventuresome soul with many “Right Wing” prejudices to check out this liberal frenzy: Grover Norquist! Needless to say, I had expected Mr. Norquist to call in reinforcements such as Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, but even Grover “Take the Pledge” Norquist didn’t have to have his arm twisted to see that there is a whole bunch of “real” love and compassion in the Nevada desert.

Found below is some extensive commentary by Mr. Norquist from a recent article that appeared in the Guardian. It is an abridged rendition, but those who would like to read the entire article CLICK HERE!

“Some self-professed “progressives” whined at the thought of my attending what they believed was a ghetto for liberal hippies. Yes, there was a gentleman who skateboarded without elbow or kneepads – or any knickers whatsover. Yes, I rode in cars dressed-up as cats, bees and spiders; I watched trucks carrying pirate ships and 30 dancers. I drank absinthe. But anyone complaining about a Washington wonk like me at Burning Man is not a Burner himself: The first principle of Burning Man is “radical inclusiveness”, which pretty much rules out the nobody-here-but-us liberals “gated community” nonsense. . .

“You hear that Burning Man is full of less-than-fully-clad folks and off-label pharmaceuticals. But that’s like saying Bohemian Grove is about peeing on trees or that Chicago is Al Capone territory. Burning Man is cleaner and greener than a rally for solar power. It has more camaraderie and sense of community than a church social. And for a week in the desert, I witnessed more individual expression, alternative lifestyles and imaginative fashion than …. anywhere…

The demand for self-reliance at Burning Man toughens everyone up. There are few fools, and no malingerers. People give of themselves – small gifts like lip balm or tiny flashlights. I brought Cuban cigars. Edgy, but not as exciting as some “gifts” that would have interested the federal authorities. . .

“On my last day of my first Burning Man, at the Reno airport, a shoeless man (he had lost his shoes in the desert) was accosted by another dust-covered Burner carrying sneakers: “Take these,” he said. “They are my Burning Man shoes.” The shoeless man accepted the gift with dignity.

It’s nice to see that we can all get along, but let’s hope that we can make it a 52-week a year event.


Top Stories of the Week in Connecticut

hookhahI was thinking about about cutting back on my medications when I received this news update from the Connecticut Patch in my inbox.  Mind you, I realize that a little rain must fall in everyone’s life, but if these are the week’s “top” Connecticut Patch stories, then I might as well start building an Ark and increase my medications.




Your top Connecticut Patch stories of the week:

Monroe Woman Beaten To Death, Cops Investigating

Vernon Man Arrested After Friend Killed in Russian Roulette

Bus Driver Accused of Driving Drunk with 20 Farmington Students

CEO Under Investigation for Puppy Abuse

Groton Father Accused of Abusing 2-Month-Old Appears in Court

Man Forgets Infant Child As He Shops at Wal-Mart

ID Made in Fatal Naugatuck Train Station Accident

Brookfield Police Find Woman Parked in Road, Unconscious with Children in Car

Kickboxing-Zumba Fundraiser for Trumbull Family Fighting Cancer on Two Fronts

Update: Suspect in Murder of Stamford Cabbie Held on $1 Million Bond

Police: Connecticut Care Worker, 77, Arrested for Kissing 8-year-old Girl

School Security Guard Loses Job For Posting Online Comments While On the Job

Elderly Fairfield Woman Strikes Bicyclist with Car

Man Accused of Assaulting 3-Year-Old Daughter

Police Stafford Springs Mother Leaves 2-Month-Old & 2-Year-Old in Car

Connecticut Woman Gives Birth After Being Seriously Injured in Interstate 95 Accident

Man Accused of Growing Nearly 140 Pounds Worth of Marijuana Plants in South Windsor

Woman, 18, Accused of Prostitution and Stealing Client’s Hookah Following Dispute

Gov. Malloy Expresses ‘Serious Concern’ Over CL&P Proposed Rate Hike

Landlord Accused of Turning His Tenant’s Power Off


I am quite sure that other states and communities receive similar “uplifting” news, but really . . .   The only news of note that I can see is the humorous “high” I received after reading the article of the prostitute who stole  a John’s Hookah.   It doesn’t get much better than this in the fast lane of Connecticut:  just another detour on Interstate 95.

Mustard Roasted Fish from the Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten Mustard-Roasted FishLike most people, I prefer fresh fish to be cooked as simply as possible: quickly grilled with a dollop of olive oil and salt and pepper. Covering up the subtle taste of fish in a thick sauce is no way to respect our finned friend. Unless you are a fisherman or are dating a fish monger, it is unlikely that you will be fortunate enough to find a “fresh” fish to grill. Furthermore, the lingering smell of cooked fish in an apartment complex is roughly equivalent to mildewed workout clothes in a gym bag.

When our mercury levels are low, we will occasionally opt for seared tuna or swordfish, but – for the most part – we prefer to eat grilled or raw fish at a restaurant, preferably Japanese. As reported earlier, buying fish from a supermarket is courting hepatitis or worse and should be avoided. As such, I was not particularly thrilled to learn that Mamacita had bought some Branzino that was on sale at Whole Foods supermarket. (Editor’s Note: There is a reason why the stock price of Whole Foods is down over 30% this year).

Rather than subject me to the painful task of carbon-dating the age of the “fresh” fish, Mamacita had the good sense to bake the fish in a lovely mustard sauce. The recipe is from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Back to Basics.

Barefoot Contessa’s Mustard-Roasted Fish

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces crème fraiche
  • 3 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs whole-grain mustard
  • 2 Tbs minced shallots
  • 2 tsp drained capers


  1. Preheat oven to 425º
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (ovenproof baking dish is OK).  Place the fillets skin down on the sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Combine the crème fraiche, the two mustards, shallots, capers, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.  Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure that the fillets are entirely covered.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes defending on thickness, until the fish is barely done.
  5. Serve at room temperature with sauce from the pan over the top.

Frankly, I enjoyed it.