February 14, 2009

From Manifold Destiny: The One! The Only! Guide to Cooking on Your Car Engine by Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller and (Simon & Schuster, Revised, updated edition 2008). Copyright by Chris Maynard and Bill Scheller.

Distance: 60-75 miles

Unless they were trying to tell us that only a car like this could help prius off our oil dependency, here's another example of goofy, totally arbitrary Japanese car naming. Just think - if the committee had grabbed two more Scrabble tiles out of the bag, we could have been tooling past the pump in something called a Priapus. (We would have stood up to the challenge, of course, and come up with a nice Greek sausage recipe.)

But seriously now. Attention must be paid to this car, which not only uses less gas but makes a statement about one's commitment to Being a Better Person. Even Larry David's alter ego (we hope it's not his real ego) on Curb Your Enthusiasm drives a Prius, and he's otherwise committed to Being a Terrible Person.

Priuses have indeed become ubiquitous in Holly wood, where eco-chic is so hot that Arnold Schwarzenegger actually converted one of his Hummers to run on hydrogen. The only thing more ecochic is to drive a pure electric vehicle, like George Clooney will be doing when he takes delivery of his new Tesla (a name taken not from the Scrabble tile bag but from the Serbian physicist). But George is hardly the first entertainment figure to drive an electric car. In Disney comic books from the '50s, Grandma Duck zipped around Duckburg in a circa 1910 Baker Electric.

Just remember: the gas engine on a Prius is the unit on the left when you open the hood.

  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese garlic sauce
  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices
  • 10 to 12 dried black Chinese mushrooms (often sold under the appealing name "black fungus"), soaked in warm water until soft and thinly sliced
  • Beef or chicken broth as needed

1. At home, combine the two sauces and toss the pork and mushrooms in the mixture; thin with broth if necessary, but don't thin it too much or the packages may leak. Wrap carefully.

2. Turn once during cooking, unless the packages are surrounded on two sides by medium-hot engine surfaces.