Archive for February, 2013

Now in frosted pink heels

February 2013

One day they report when you eat matters. The very next day they tell you the notion needs to be challenged. Hard to keep the press releases straight without the inedible cookies, I guess.


February 2013

I’ll tell you when salt is dangerous: in chocolate. Makes the bearable addictive. //  Always wash the washed spinach (if the E. coli don’t get you, the grit will). // Sign spotted on sample plate in Chelsea Market: “Peanut butter chocolate cookie. Contains peanuts.” // Latest verbal abuse: “Craft-canned” tuna. Even the bearded have to need mechanical help. // Funny how many people don’t realize frig is not a kitchen noun. It’s an all-purpose verb. // And I’m thinking about giving up Lent for cheese.

ET, as in Expanded: I’m not sure why cheesy became a pejorative. Fromage is lait’s leap to immortality, as someone famously said. Now a new study has shown there is a big difference between quality grass-and-clover in and high-quality cheese out. What’s depressing is that anyone besides Velveeta thought a study was needed. Look what they’ve done to orange juice, for krapf’s sake . . .

Like candy for dishwashers

February 2013

Not to put too fine a point on it, and nothing funny to say about it, but every innovation like plastic spouts on milk and cream cartons is chipping away at a wonderful world. Look inside an albatross, one that’s fed on the garbage patch where so many of those conveniences wind up. We are on the road to Wall-E with no Pandora in sight . . .

New Coke? It’s orange.

February 2013

Given all the fuss over the Big O’s smoking gun, I’m wondering why we libs didn’t go crazier over the Chimp’s “pretzel” incident. There were no photos to prove he hadn’t overindulged in the O’Doul’s (or worse), and the only witness was the dog. Who, you’ll notice, just happened to kick off this week . . .

Buffalo or steak?

February 2013

Apparently there is so much terrible news about Sandy it can’t all be printed, because I just learned the Bridge Cafe took a huge hit. This is the curse of “location, location” — even when the food was at its best, the most compelling reason to head there was the atmosphere, transporting you back to the 1800s right under the Brooklyn Bridge, right where devastating amounts of water could come slamming in. My consort and I first ate there before the South Street Seaport became a mall, and our reward at lunch was seeing James Beard ensconced in all his immensity alone at a table in a back corner. We were new to New York and unaccustomed to how often legends move among us here. I went back a year or so later to meet Leslie Revsin, who was the chef and had agreed to advise me about the wisdom of then insane-idea of giving up my job at the NYTimes to go off to restaurant school. Now they’re both dead, and so is Pierre Franey, who also agreed to advise me, by phone. I hope the place itself is not next . . .

Egg on your foie

February 2013

And given that I’m coming up on my 30th anniversary of fleeing the NYTimes the first time, I particularly enjoyed thinking back to those days when the Escoffier Room was truly fusty. Bob insisted I check out the top university before making the leap, so we drove up one day, took a tour and had dinner in the swankiest restaurant. And oh, jeebus. I don’t remember the specifics, just that everything represented as what Calvin Trillin famously called “stuff-stuff with heavy.” And it looked and tasted if it had been cooked by amateurs. I wound up at the New York Restaurant School after marveling that those students’ touch was so assured after only 12 weeks of training. Now, aside from the cold and corporate dining room, the CIA seems to be the same as it ever was. As was the food in the inevitable slide show. Fried “frog legs” with what appeared to be toothpaste? Deja vu all over again. Condolences to them, but no wonder the American team came in seventh in Lyon.

Turnips, amateurishly hacked

February 2013

The story of “greens causing most food-borne illnesses in America” is the proverbial bad penny. The latest lame summation was of course in the hometown paper, which actually stated that unrefrigerated mayonnaise causes “digestive troubles.” Forget the fact that that’s an understatement for death, or even for most food poisoning. Mayonnaise is refrigerated to keep it nice and white and fluffy, not to keep it safe; the ringleader in this partnership in crime is usually the eggs or the chicken. But overall the whole story has been twisted every which way but true. Lettuce won’t give you the squitters. Lettuce handled by food workers with norovirus will. Naturally, this country doesn’t want to address issues like paid sick days, let alone sanitation in the fields. It’s easier to scare everyone into giving up spinach or scallions. Just a few years ago the headlines were all about killer chicken. Chickens still are the leading lethality, if you read a second or third muddy graf, but the focus has shifted, with no one detecting a single lobbyist as accomplice. And don’t get me started on why the level of illnesses from beef has dropped. It couldn’t be because so much meat is now treated with ammonia or irradiated, could it? Why in hell would anyone complain about horse in a Whopper?


February 2013

Avocados are the bacon of produce. // The Cat WCTLWAFW is just a stomach wrapped in fur. // If you like the smell of bacon, Benton’s will perfume your home for hours. // And The Cat got Benton’s bacon. Two hours later he was hungry.

Also, too, I was glad to see I was not the only one who spotted a new billboard and wondered, as someone put it on Twitter, “Who electrocuted her?” I just thought she looked ready to boil Michael Douglas’s bunny, but someone else chimed in (and I’m personalizing): “Saw the same ad and thought, ‘Wow, the Furry Anus looks good!’”