Archive for the ‘1930s revisited’ Category

“Agradolce” in a Mason jar

September 2014

Speaking of butter, the consciousness-raising @nyfarmer over to the Twitter posted a photo from the state fair of an elaborate butter sculpture of a food bank. Given that I have a soft spot for a silly comedy, I dutifully reTweeted but had to add that it actually made me sad. All we hear is that this is the richest, bestest country on the planet. And people still need handouts? At a time when a burger is a buck? One thing I learned on a reporting trip, though, is that Big Fud is figuring out how to cash in, with products developed specifically for food banks. The poor, once depicted only as whites to sell the Great Society, will truly always be with us. Mostly because they give cover for wingnut welfare.

Chilean shiver wine at Etna prices

March 2012

I also had a sobering conversation over at the best cookbook store, on whether hard times and hard-time Americans cooking more at home have been good for the printed word, as so much old-style media verbiage has indicated. Short answer: WTF? If people have no money for meat, how in Escoffier’s name are they going to be able to come out and buy cookbooks? If they have Al Gore’s great gift of the internets, they’re gonna be clicking . . .

Loose shoe leather

March 2009

Only an overcompensated press corps, though, would continue to do Spam’s bidding and flog the ultimate mystery meat as depression salvation when it is far from a bargain in the post-Butz world. I just got some e-release noting that sales of “fresh meat” are up 7-plus percent lately, even as the country is heading down “The Road” if you believe what you read out of Wall Street. Gullible reporters should get in the checkout line behind the people using food stamps. They ain’t buying canned food when pork chops are $2.29 a pound. And why is it only an opinion columnist who is pointing out the awful price the world is paying for the makings of Spam? I guess because, as a friend just noted, the “news” pages are busy doing restaurant roundups devoted to the Mersa white meat. Quote of the week: Jim Cramer was not an aberration. We are informed by fools and knaves. 

Party like it’s 1929

October 2008

And I guess we should all look forward to eating brioche. An LA restaurant chose the worst week on Wall Street to announce its opening with a Versailles theme. It’s actually named after the predecessor of the Chimp of France, but that’s close enough for discomfort. Second prize for “oops, wrong era” goes to the meat purveyor pushing $825 ribs of beef as the ideal Christmas present. At this rate we’ll be lucky to afford lumps of coal for fruitcake. 

Apples on a cart

October 2008

All that said, it was a little sad to see the table out in front of 81, laid with white linen, set with flowers and topped with menus propped up in hopes of luring in passersby. Somehow I kinda doubt $28 brunch or $39 lamb is the hooker in the Amsterdam window right now. A friend and I just passed up a place in the Village that had a sign on the door offering a penny off for each point the Dow fell — even with $7.77 discount, $25 entrees don’t look so appealing. And while I’m no fan of Beacon, I half-admire the ingenuity of its advertising its set meal not just in dollars but euros. Twenty-four sounds almost affordable.