Episode 13: Best of 2008

Dinner Party Download 2008

This week: what do Lolita, duck testicles, Chevys, cows, Robert Wagner and booze have in common? This show in 2008, that’s what. We take a look back at the first 12 episodes of the podcast that shocked a nation… and toss in a few new facts for the first dinner parties of 2009.

Drink Recipe: The Lolita Haze

In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita” was published in America. Two years earlier, the book had put British censors in a tizzy… but post-Elvis Americans didn’t bat an eyelash, and snapped up hundreds of thousands of copies. We celebrate this rare moment of cultural enlightenment with a drink named after the book’s titular character.

The Lolita Haze as created by Danielle Motor at The Hungry Cat in Hollywood, California:

In cocktail shaker, per serving:

  • Muddle 1/2 fresh plum with mint
  • Squeeze in juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Add 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • and 2 oz young genever

Shake, pour over ice, and serve (to adults only, please).

After Dinner Mint

Notes on this week’s show

Nabokov’s unfinished novel “Laura” is set to be published in ‘09 — even though the author made it pretty clear he wanted the manuscript destroyed in the event of his death. Read all about his son’s controversial decision to release it… and the conversation he says he had with the elder Nabokov’s ghost.

Speaking of Nabokov’s ghost, check out this lengthy televised chat with him — it aired on Canadian TV just after “Lolita’s” publication. Dig the parlour setting, intellectual rigor, and requisite smokes.

“Head-To-Tail” chef Chris Cosentino was one of our favorite food interviewees of 2008. But timid eaters who shy away from his offal menus might feel safer sampling the artisinal sausages (or, as he calls them, “tasty salted pig parts”) at his new salumeria, Boccalone.

Rico’s pick for song of the year: The Amelie-meets-Atari sound of “Om Du Motor Varg,” from Swedish instrumental trio Detektivbyran. Which you can download for free right here.

Brendan, meanwhile, went with the Fleet Foxes tune “White Winter Hymnal,” as did Pitchfork, which has a free mp3 for you as well. Happy New Year!