Do you ever read the "Dear FloFab" in Diner’s Journal? Some of the questions remind me that there always is a crappier person out there, waiting to poo-poo on your platter. For example:
Q: I have relatives who perpetually comment on their perceived costs of the entrees served by me. If it is turkey, they advise fellow guests that it must have been purchased frozen at Thanksgiving time when frozen birds are inexpensive. Ham? They advise that it was on sale at the market two weeks ago. Steak? They comment that I must have purchased marked down meat. What to do?
A: Serve pasta.
My suggested answer would be to either not invite said rude relatives, or to possibly throw the meat in their laps followed by a glass of wine and then smearing it around a bit with the tablecloth.
Q: When my friend and I go out to eat, she invariably tries to pick the restaurant, even when she asks me where I would like to go. I would suggest a place and she would make a counter suggestion. Once I invited her out to dinner and suggested we try one restaurant, and she made reservations at an entirely different one. How do I assertively suggest a restaurant without sounding like a control freak?
A: Your friend is the control freak. I would have a frank discussion about it and suggest that you take turns choosing the restaurant. Or, if you want to let her keep a little control, she picks two and you pick one. Just figure out a different system.
My suggested answer is to stop going out to dinner with that nutjob and go with someone who actually values your opinion and/or lets you choose half the time. I’m positive this sort of behavior carries over into other realms of this “friendship” - and at the heart of it is your friend disrespects you. DEALBREAKER!
“I’m a carnivore and I love eating meat, but I don’t know about meat for meat’s sake; I love a bacon T-shirt as much as the next guy, but let’s get real.”—Anthony Bourdain in June 11’s New York Diet on Grubstreet (which by the way is entirely too fascinating - most people really *do* eat a lot worse than me! Yay!)
“I’ve been aware for some time of the various commercial products and recipes out there that use bacon in … let’s call them “unconventional” ways….Starting now, for however long it takes, I will be trying anything and everything with bacon or bacon flavoring that I can lay my hands on.”—MAKE IT STOP.
Then the writer, Leah Douglas, makes a big deal about how Mario Batali’s recipe would be cheaper. She does this by comparing three ingredients.
The typical can of Campbell’s tomato soup, according to online grocery store service Peapod, costs $1.67 for a 10-oz can, bringing the total for the recipe to $3.34. A 16-oz package of Breakstone cottage cheese costs $2.99. Bringing the total to $6.33.
If you were to, however, go off of a recipe from say, Mario Batali, you would be shopping for two 28-oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes, which Hunt’s sells for $2.00 each ($4.00 total), and 4 ounces of ricotta cheese. A 15-oz package of Polly-O ricotta cheese goes for $3.99, but your lasagna’s 4-oz portion only sets you back a little more than $1.00. So your total for Mario’s lasagna is $5.00.
That’s appalling. I went shopping on Fresh Direct, using Sandra Lee’s recipe and the Batali recipe that Douglas refers to, and the result was at least a $13 difference—and that’s without finding the Cacciacavallo cheese he calls for. See the screen shots below.
(I skipped onions and noodles that were in both recipes.)
If you aren’t into Sandra Lee, whatever. But do you homework at least. This is basically foodie fanservice.
What I get concerned about is the little local places that are not being audited. I’ve been involved in working with and training auditors for big plants and small plants…for the big plants the audits started 10 years ago, in 1999. The little plants, there was a five year delay for them. The big plants were just horrible when we first started and then when we walked into some of these little plants they were just as horrid.
and she is calling for using video as a form of transparency:
I’m at the point right now where I want to put it all on live video on the internet. I’m at the point where I want the industry to take all the mystery out of things. Some of the companies have video auditing and that’s good… but put a live feed out to the internet so anybody can look. What have we got to hide?
I’m all for it, and people should have to watch. I also think we should show broadcast executions and those who are pro-death penalty should have to watch. Also, just to continue my ranting, there should be more gun regulation, comprehensive sex education in every school, marriage for all who want it, and free, safe and legal abortion. The end.
“Workers are imported from the Philippines or Eastern Europe, and work 12- to 16-hour days, six or seven days a week, for months at a time.”—From Marion Nestle’s “Where Wild Salmon Really Comes From,” a good read if you think “wild” means “no sweatshops.”
We love getting letters! Especially anonymous ones! Especially anonymous ones with scandalous import! This missive arrived today via secret spy plane. Consider it an anonymous op ed.
Why do I love Shut Up Foodies? Because I work for a big, old farmers market. I mean old —- one that’s been serving a metropolitan area for over a century. Doing the basic work of a farmers market-feeding the community.
Then the bandwagon starts barelling down the street, and everybody is hopping on with no thought to the consequences. Farmers markets have been disneyfied; cleaned-up, prettied-up, touristed. And the more the merrier, as johnny-come-lately once-a-week markets start springing up seven days a week.
What does this do to farmers? How can they continue to work their farms when they are expected to tear from market to market? What happens to the old, established community markets when these boutique markets spring up? And without those old-established, community markets, the community does not get fed. It’s back to corner stores with junky processed food. Only the foodies get the bounty, which as the Salon article pointed out, gets more and more expensive.
So feed the rich. Screw the poor. That’s not fixing the food system. It’s just another bad system.
While this is currently contrarian thinking, it is not sour grapes. It’s serious and has serious consequences.
“Sandra’s philosophy was born out of necessity and the challenges she faced throughout her childhood. The oldest of five children, Sandra was responsible for caring for her four younger siblings and managing the household. Forced to live on welfare and food stamps, Sandra quickly learned how to turn budget-friendly foods into delicious and special meals for her family while stretching every dollar and every minute.”—
This is the BurgerMelt to end all BurgerMelts. We place a thick and juicy 100% Black Angus Big Beef Burger between two whole grilled cheese sandwiches, complete with lettuce, tomato and mayo. You’ll have to taste it to believe it.
This is stupid ridiculous. Thanks to Crackers the Clown for the tipoff.
I’m the first to admit that I prefer the brinier East Coast oysters of the R months, if for no other reason than that’s what I grew up with. But, as Presilla noted, the plump, meaty oysters from Plaquemines that we ate on Saturday “beg to be cooked and sauced.” We ordered several dozen, both cooked and raw, tossing them back with champagne. (The best I had were the wood-fired ones at Cochon.) Wistfully, we snapped cellphone photos of what might well be among the last Gulf Coast oysters for a while. We walked back to the hotel in the rain.
I don’t get to the Gulf Coast often, but no food writer can ignore the bountiful cornucopia of the New Orleans table. There’s noplace else in the world quite like the Crescent City, with its Creole and Cajun cultures, its sultry weather, its magnificent architecture, its self-proclaimed decadence. Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest and Friday at Galatoire’s are no more excessive than an ordinary meal in New Orleans. Mounds of beans and rice, sweetbreads, vegetables swimming in hollandaise and oysters Rockefeller are mere side dishes or appetizers. Courses that follow are stuffed with crabmeat, garnished with crawfish and invariably sauced, followed by gumbo, jambalaya or fried soft-shell crabs with sauce Choron.
I would mock “bountiful cornucopia of life,” really, I would, except this piece is really, really good. See, it’s about the oil spill, and the Gulf coast food culture, and how we are all involved. And even a bit about how we are myopic and haven’t noticed the huge spills in other places, like the Niger delta, but only notice it when it cuts off our access to things we love—like juicy fresh oysters.
So, all purple prose is forgiven. Read it. Please.
I admit that when I first started reading about Operation Frontline, a program that teaches families “how to plan, purchase, and prepare healthy, tasty, and affordable foods at home,” I was skeptical—because it is funded by the ConAgra Foundation. I assumed the classes would feature ConAgra brands like EggBeaters, Hunt’s, and LaChoy. But from what I can tell, they actually do what they claim to do, and judging by the recipe book [pdf], they make no reference to specific brands, just make generic references to ingredients such as “canned chickpeas.”
87% of Adults report improving their cooking skills after graduating from an Operation Frontline course, which means they’re better equipped to make healthy meals for their families at home.
96% of kids who take Operation Frontline’s Side By Side course enjoyed cooking alongside their parents during class, an important element in continuing to prepare and eat healthy meals together as a family.
After participating in Operation Frontline, at least 69% of adults said they were eating more fruit and vegetables than before the course.
Soon the developed world will have a new class division—those who have access to a decent Target store and those who don’t. We Target-challenged citizens will huddle in our generic clothing and poorly-designed cheap housewares, while the Targetocrats laugh in their Zac Posen clothes, sitting in their Liberty of London beach chairs, and eating their exclusive Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors.
—Snacktime, whose nearest Target is a 40 minute trip and by the time you get there the rest of Brooklyn has pawed through everything.
“So far, we’ve largely been celebrating farmers’ markets; we haven’t tried understanding them.”—Interesting interview with Linda Aleci, a historian who did a three-year study of Pennsylvania farmer’s markets, in Salon.
I’m hanging out with my best nine-year-old friend this week while her mom is on a business trip, so I’ve been making her lunches. Luckily for me, she eats just like I do—peanut butter sandwich and a snack on the side. Not every kid gets a homemade lunch, and school lunches have become a hot topic, taken up by Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, blogs like The School Lunch Project, and a vocal “mommy” political movement.
People, Sandra Lee eats your hate like candy and for that I applaud her. We are calling out a new class of foodies: FOODISTS! Much like rockists in the music world, foodists are incredible snobs and actually enjoy hating things like any music that isn’t “authentic” or food that isn’t cooked to their standards. Someone actually called Ms. Lee a prostitute in that NYT thread. Yeah, no one elsemakesrecipes for theircorporatesponsors.
Get over yourselves. The world is a big tent, plenty of room for everyone.
“But the feast didn’t seem all that bad — warm blood bisque infused with rose petals, blood gelato — and who knew that chilled, carbonated blood could be cruelty-free and willingly donated? “Note the citrusy finish. This one ate only tangerines for weeks.””—
Hey Soul Sister, the NYCWFF always saves the best for last. On this once in a lifetime triple-date of 10/10/10, we offer three perfect 10’s to close out another fantastic weekend. The perfection of superstar chefdom, Guy Fieri, will bring the fire to give revelers one last chance to indulge in the extraordinary. Fieri may be recognizable for his Guy’s Big Bite and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives shows on Food Network, but tonight Guy is thrilled to get back in the kitchen and share his favorite recipes from his Johnny Garlic’s and Tex Wasabi’s restaurant concepts. The perfection continues when a special music guest takes the stage to provide patrons with the perfect soundtrack to enjoy Guy’s savory snack bites.
Yeah, it is probably Train. But as long as there’s still room to hope, we will.
Maybe the launch of new cooking shows, food magazines and websites devoted to the male cook will give enough of a masculine spin on the family meal to get guys more involved. For example, the Food Network has been trying to attract a larger male audience with machismo-infused chefs like Guy Fieri who hosts three shows, including “Guy’s Big Bite.”
ManTestedRecipes.com, is described as a “virtual man-cave where men can talk about food, post and comment on recipes, is a new social food site catering to the food interests and preferences of men. And a new men’s food magazine, “Deen Bros. Good Cooking”, created by the sons of Food Network star Paula Deen, also seems to embrace the “dude food” philosophy.
"Dude food," "Foodwork" and more. I hate buzzwords. I also hate gendered cooking/food terms and hell, even hate gendered ideas of work. I am a woman who eats bloody steak, barbecue, and even, yes, bacon. I know vegan guys who are neurotic about calorie counting.
"Foodwork" at home, anyway, is devalued largely because it was women’s work, and it annoys me that we suddenly have to sell it in creative ways to get men to do it.
Thankfully, this article winds up noting that what most people need isn’t their dudely egos stroked by their cooking, it’s simple, easy, and cheap ways to feed themselves and their families.
And what the hell is a man-cave? Isn’t that confusing your penis and vagina metaphors?
“The supertasters wanted salt to the max, up to the point where most people find foods not only very salty but irritating to the mouth. “For them, more is better,” Hayes says, “and Goldilocks was wrong.””—
“Bimbo’s lawyers say Botticella hid his new employment deal for months while attending high-level Bimbo meetings and debating strategies for competing with Hostess. They also accuse him of copying a dozen files onto a USB thumb drive in his final days, a charge he denies.”
How amazing. I wonder if the unfortunately-named Bimbo company was planning on having carb-crazed kids come in and have a massive cuckoo English Muffin lovefest, and Botticella would have caught each kid right before entering, promising the kid the whole world if they could only get him the super secret NOOKS AND CRANNIES!
“So this is what we have to look forward to on the Cooking Channel? More tan women with lines on their faces and lines of signature products rounding up customers to form lines in supermarkets?”—Man, people think we’re mean? Try Eater, where I have no opinion on what they are talking about (some cooking show on tv that has —gasp—corporate ties), but god forbid a woman have lines on her face.
“It was a huge fireball,” said Robert Byrnes, the city’s chief fire marshal. “It was in close proximity to decorations, curtains and combustible materials. This type of reckless conduct is not tolerated.”
Brofessional.com, disappointingly, is not a site where Bros come to confess things. But it is “The One & Only Site Dedicated to Helping Bro’s Become Pro’s.” That does not involve learning how to use apostrophes. It does involve food, though!
They have exciting recipes like:
This pumpkin flavored treat started out as a Thanksgiving dessert, but it will spice up any holiday soiree. The best part is that there’s no baking, cooking, or work required.
- 16 oz. Cool Whip (or any frozen whipped topping, thawed) - 5 oz. instant vanilla pudding mix - 15 oz. solid pack pumpkin - 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (can substitute 1 tsp. ground nutmeg and cinnamon)
Mix pudding mix, pumpkin, and spice together. Stir in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator before serving with cinnamon or honey graham crackers.
Let’s be honest. That’s not even funny. Brofessional is so deadly earnest that I can’t even really laugh at it. They have a whole advice column about whether “Bro’s Before Ho’s" really applies in every situation. Consider the potential pitfalls of mixing Bro’s with Ho’s for example:
Mix with caution. Many unfortunate brothers make the tragic bro-ho mistake. They try to mix their bros with their hoes, to disastrous results. Simply put, just because you like your bros and you like your hoes does not mean they will like each other. Chances are, your girl does not want to spend hours in someone’s basement chugging beer, watching ESPN, and talking about other babes. Likewise, there are very few situations in which bros would to partake in an afternoon excursion with your ho– can you really see them wanting to tag along shopping, getting a manicure, or catching a chick flick?
Otherwise, you may find yourself saying, “Oh No’s.”
“By now, everyone’s heard of the Cooking Channel. The new cable station launched two weeks ago with a focus on food programming for “food people” (so named because foodies don’t like to be called foodies).”—
A new drinking game is spreading around college campuses. Quite simply the simplest, funniest drinking game ever created. It’s quite easy. Buy Smirnoff ice, present it to one of your bro’s in any manner, your bro must instantly get on one knee and chug the Smirnoff ice on the spot regardless of setting.
The premise of the game is simple: hand a friend a sugary Smirnoff Ice malt beverage and he (most participants have been men) has to drink it on one knee, all at once — unless he is carrying a bottle himself, in which case the attacker must drink both bottles of what Mr. Rospos described as a “pretty terrible” drink.