I have to admit it’s kinda hard to focus on food silliness when the bat guano insanity is out of control these days (is an institution best known for using little boys as birth control really trying to take women back 50 years?) Thank allah, again, that Julia left such amazing letters proving the Republicans were just as whacked when she was struggling to create MTAOFC. Clearly, they’ve never recovered from cassoulet moving in on “real American” casserole.
Archive for February, 2012
Someone on Twitter worried on #RIPWhitney Night that “we’re running out of actual legends.” Well, at least we still have the Semi Ho.
Also over to the Twitter I saw someone smugly quoting the silliest ex-Beatle saying everyone would turn vegetarian if slaughterhouses had glass walls. So how does that explain the huge boom in classes in breaking down whole animals, in online videos detailing everything involved from the first squeal to the final roasting of the head? The poor old sap’s been duped by Match.com so often he doesn’t understand it’s the making of soy hot dogs that would put people off their “meat.”
For all my mockery of flacks whose skill set does not match their career choice, I have to admit I felt a bit sad on reading a certain restaurant has gone out of business. The “once a copy editor, always a nuisance” side of me so enjoyed the ridiculous menu descriptions. It was my own private Onion.
This is pretty inside baseball unless you, too, squander your life on Twitter. But I was rather amused to note Ste. Alice judged a certain cookbook contest without dropping even a hint she might have actually have cooked from either of the contenders. And what did we hear from the same wielders of digital pitchforks when another “legend” did half that? Crickets.
Finally for now, I see advertisers are voting with their absence down to the hometown paper and its gutted fud section. Forget chewing. Your jaw will wear out while dropping at the banality of the display copy (and if you wander into the finer-point type, it’s worse: “taco or tortilla base” — WTFF?) But the cretinism is creeping farther afield. I read a bouillabaisse piece days away that came pretty close to journalistic malpractice. Forget the copy-editing sloppiness — the description of the second-largest city in France as a town, the mischaracterization of rouille as saffron-based, the misuse of hardy for hearty — and the lack of history and context and depth and the cluelessness on cooking. Etc. I’m done driving rubberneckers to the train wreck, but it’s really amazing that a newspaper that once prided itself on editing the merde out of every piece of copy disseminated just in print will now slop out slop for all the world to see. I know bloggers come cheap-to-free, but couldn’t spambots go out and eat and regurgitate for even less?
Math was never my strong suit, not least because I barely got out of high school thanks to geometry fail, but even I know one missing letter will spoil the whole message. So whenever I read about the “Buffet rule” for taxes, I envision all 330 million Americans bellying up to the bacteria bar with their accountants — free (cold) cuts for all.
No wonder my 200 shares of stock in the hometown paper are now worth about one copy of the weekday edition. On the day of the “Superball,” as a flack dubbed it (I hope intentionally), the top recipe for snacks linked on the home page was for chicken wings. While all I’d heard mentioned on the Twitter and in real life in the whole week beforehand was Momofuku’s pork bo ssam. Having worked there twice, I really hope there’s not still an indebted-to-Columbia U grad slaving away as an intern dredging up cliches. Because algorithms would do the work for free.
Despite the fact that my next-older sister died of breast cancer when she was younger than the age I just turned, I’ve never been exactly comfortable with the whole beribboning industry. I wouldn’t say I feel vindicated in seeing the lid blown off, but I am very glad to see endorsements like the KFC “bucket for the cure” subjected to some disinfecting sunlight. And I’m totally not surprised to learn the organization is run by wingnuts. I just love that all the Kkkrazies who attacked Mrs. O for her promotion of healthful eating and exercise have to see the Choos are on the other feet now.
I never watch “Top Chef” unless on assignment, but I do read and talk to people. And I’m amazed at how many times it’s been able to jump the shark. If he ever comes back, Jesus deserves a competitive cooking show.
I know I insulted Helen Keller and Curly and Moe by Tweeting that the first must have designed and the second two have edited the latest fud section. But jeebus, was it ever bad. I mean, really, are we not living in the most exciting food city on the planet at the most exciting time in history, and we’re spoon-fed Woman’s Day? Break out the funeral potatoes. Even worse than the inch-deep, mile-wide lede was the surreal pairing with an out-of-town expedition to a deep-fryer, followed by the absolutely cretinous “investigation” into which is fattier/grosser, fried chicken with macaroni and cheese or sausage with polenta. Only someone who listens to the real Dean (that would be Jimmy) would be that dumb.
And this is why the cluelessness matters: Everyone should have such problems, but my consort emailed me from Costa Rica to ask me to reserve somewhere nice for his first night back/my birthday, and it was hell trying to find a place with both exciting food and creature comforts. As taken as I am with the Changization of fine dining, there are times when you want pampering with your pyrotechnics, particularly when you’re reconnecting with someone who’s been in another world for 10 days. We settled on Aldea, and it was the right settling, at the chef’s counter, but it really made me realize how big a revolution is happening on the food front. Redwoods are falling in a shrinking forest. But we can put pickles up ourselves.
I did insist on Momofuku Ssam for lunch with a friend on my big day, and something else struck me. She and I have been connecting midday for probably 25 years; usually she was the one with the expense account, but I did have my 46 long months with Pinch bucks. When she paid the check on this occasion, and out of her own pocket, she tipped 20 percent on the after-tax tab, which made me realize one more thing that’s been lost in the race to the bottom in publishing. Women have such a terrible reputation as tippers, but today you can point the fingers up the ladder to executives unwilling to pay fees, let alone expenses. Once upon a time, a rising tide really did lift all lunch ships.
Wish I could say I was thrilled to learn access to good food is not what’s holding back Americans without cushy jobs and lots o’ lucre from cooking and eating well. But my unneutered-steer-manure detector definitely went off when I went looking for the methodology on the study. And if I read right, the 1,500 happy respondents were recruited online or by email, then interviewed by landline or mobile. I know the Kkkrazies are busy persuading the not-quite-poors that the serious poors own too many appliances, and have too much gout, to be hungry. But cripes. How many have internet access at home or time to hit the library?