Archive for January, 2013

Garlic-rosemary granola

January 2013

You can love the gift, and the givers, and still hate the label. My less judgmental consort and I are now proud owners of an “artisan plank.” Which is a W-S fancy way of saying “breadboard.” It’s a beautiful piece, as perfect for slicing a baguette as for displaying a serious array of cheeses. But I have to wonder if the language abuse was worth it. Couldn’t the branding at least be adjectival? Call it al, maybe?

Soiled underpants & bloodied blenders

January 2013

As I’ve probably nattered a million times, newspaper copy editors have something called “save-get” headlines/wordings. Before Al Gore got fat, “It’s January, it’s blizzarding” would have been one. But these days apparently there are “save-get” billboards. The NYDN ran one right out of Groundhog Day: “Restaurant Week means cheaper meals, but there are tradeoffs for customers and eateries.” Ya think? What, you didn’t know you get piss in your Wheaties at a $25 lunch?

Kittybags, the Tupperware for 20-somethings

January 2013

I wasn’t sure which was more depressing. That this steaming pile of Rafalca dung was printed. Or that readers (and some smart bloggers) did not fully grasp how staggeringly stupid it was. Economics experts at least took apart the cretinism related to personal finance (while I wondered how the columnist’s NYT-underwritten 401K evaded the 201K-ing mine underwent in 2008). But there was so much WTF it was hard to process it all. One quotee spends $60 a week at the Greenmarkets and is blown off; the poster girl drops $250 or so a week at scenes like Spice Market and Morimoto, which have about as much to do with “curated” and “exquisite” as cosmos do with barrel-aged cocktails. While the columnist drops the Chanterelle name as if every 20-something could have been dining there on her way to a more fun party (sorry: it was a big-deal dinner for us at twice that age). Also, too, if you remember nothing from a neighborhood bistro, maybe it’s because the fud was forgettable? And that was a better age, how? The most ludicrous angle, though, was the hauling in of the two-grand PR stunt at a restaurant I will lay you cash money kiddles would never enter. Food at least is sustenance. When do we get the column on the financial toll it takes on women who do not in any real sense have the income to afford the hot new haircut?

“It’s a Mario — it’s not Italian”

January 2013

A couple of years ago I was in Parma on a bit of a boondoggle and hooked up with a friend I’d made in Tuscany while we were both photo widows during a workshop. After a pizza lunch at which her two-year-old daughter used the receipt as a mobile phone, we went for a walk in a park where Viola heard birds chirping and said, her mom translated: “That’s the beginning of song.” Too bad Twitter is not the beginning of writing. But I am breaking away after nearly a month to revive this anyway.

Autogrill in English

January 2013

And I realize one of the things boring the mierda out of me about the fud world lately is that it has, apparently, become a place where even bitching has to be done by slideshow/listicle. What could be bleaker than seeing newish media reduced to chasing after the same ad crumbs the old hos do, with content no less fatigued? Just as bad is the Groundhog Day feel to even the long-form stuff. I formally parted ways with hostage-situation tasting menus the year Sydney newspapers were showing the worn-out soles of dead Iraqi soldiers’ shoes after our country decided to invade. Maybe the time to trash Charlie Trotter was back then. Or at least before he closed?

Ouse Diner

January 2013

To get the obvious elephant out of the dining room, I have to wonder what might have happened if all the sound and senseless fury devoted to outlawing foie gras had been channeled toward shaming gun nuts. Eleven bullets per 6-year-old sounds more horrific than beaks getting shoveled full of corn like so many Americans at a Las Vegas buffet. (Also, too, you have to wonder where the leaking hearts are when it comes to horses. Now we’re learning they’re pumped so full of drugs the Europeans are afraid to eat that delicacy?) In all the ugliness after the latest big massacre, I remembered a food story I’d done for the NYT magazine way back when, on “hunters’ cuisine.” And I Tweeted a link but immediately deleted because it could be so easily misinterpreted. It ran less than 15 years ago, but the merchants of death have done such a good job skewing the national debate that no publication would touch anything like that today. While anyone paying attention would realize the guns blazing in theaters and grade schools and now restaurants are useless for hunting unless you like your meat already shredded.

Portajohns in the fields

January 2013

Bad enough the icebergs are melting. Now iceberg lettuce needs its temperature checked to be sure it’s not melting into lethal slime. Good thing polar bears in zoos are spared both these days.

White chili

January 2013

I’m fascinated by how the same reporters who sat by silently while the Lump in the Bed squandered eight years “smoking and reading” now insist Mrs. O must do more than address childhood obesity. Cuz, you know, fud is women’s work.

Yes, we have no eggs

January 2013

One of the most culturally clueless pieces ever: Ste Alice’s crew parachutes into Cuba, decides the locals are doing it wrong. Um, dudes? You need money/food to cook like Berkeleyites. I guess their next stop will be either Appalachia or Camden.

RT/MT/UT

January 2013

Would like to steal from Jon Stewart for “celebs” promoting veganism under the cover of animal rights: Shut up and shut up. //  Finally, the animal rights movement is extending to humans: App to find restaurants that treat workers well // Better than pie: burger chart // Because who doesn’t want brominated vegetable oil in a “sports” drink? Fascinating look at the GRAS process. // Malort is starting to sound like the durian of alcohol — so disgusting you have to try it. // Two and a half hours into a press lunch the other week, the other olds at the table were grumping about Twitter: “How does anyone have the time?” I certainly wouldn’t know. I skipped dessert and came home to find out.