I was happy to learn I was not the only reader feeling cheated by the Omnivore Goes to MetFood stunt misplayed as “let’s draw in our own staffer with his own book to obfuscate on how the fuck you make a pizza for lunch when the oven needs proper heating.” It had more missed opportunities than Trader Joe’s has processed crap. A friend out in Portlandia emailed to say: “thanks for letting me know that Berkeley is a Northern California (!!!!) town that is also home to Chez Panisse. THAT clarifies things. And for letting me know that you can make a decent meal simply by shopping in a supermarket. How does that garbanzo soup sound to you?” At least I had a response to the last point: Soup needs fermentation.
Archive for the ‘birdcage liners’ Category
The scandal was presented as rat sold as lamb. But old copy editors never die; they just bitch away. So I’ll point out that lamb ain’t mutton. Much as I can’t tolerate the former, I know vermin could much more easily pose as the latter.
What the hell ever happened to Go Ask Ms. Fuckyourself? With luck, editors realized insisting on linen napkins over paper might be a bit much in the Great Recession. But I only ask now because someone over to the Twitter mentioned a certain avocado shake and my longtime suspicion was confirmed: A Filipina maid has to be locked up in the kitchen, doing all the work.
My first thought on hearing Roger Ebert had died: The lede of the obit had better not mention the rice cooker. But the worst part of reducing the rocket scientist to Mrs. Mom With Mushrooms was how the offending dis/dish was simply disappeared. From a paper whose policy is not to “unpublish.” Then again, fast food workers just went on strike all around Manhattan. And all they got was one stinking photo, with a single-line caption.
While I continue procrastinating about spelling out the flaws in a certain muddled doc on “food insecurity,” I have to present without (much) comment: NYT versus WashPost. The former natters. The latter matters, making such a great case for the simple solution without ever even spelling it out: Pay people a fucking living wage.
Not sure this was quite the right week to run a feature exploring what the wrecking crew literally feeding at the public trough is eating these days. They get the Styrofoam cafeteria; we get the screws. Considering Congresscritters poll lower than cockroaches lately, maybe next Wednesday we can be treated to what’s cooking in the Cheney bunker. (Chickenhawk heart, probably.)
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.
For only the second time I’ve clipped a recipe out of the Murdoch Crier’s Indulging & Spending section. The first was for Sang Yoon’s oatmeal with sriracha and egg, which I’ve never tasted but have made many times for my consort, who likes his fetal chicken really runny. And the latest is for Danny Bowien’s Henan chicken, which calls for enough chile heat to ignite the beer. What’s fascinating is that his column was downplayed in print, while the two previous (Western-oriented) chefs taking their “slow food fast” turn were given huge display for snooze-inducing blandness. But of course that reminds me that the rich are not much different from the condemned — their tastes apparently do not evolve. And the latest evidence of that is the brave art project documenting last meals. Many of those are probably on the menu nightly in the priciest Fifth Avenue coops.
Apparently Helen Keller was exhumed to redesign DI/DO. What a hot honeyed mess that debut is — the iPad version is actually easier on the eyes, and it’s just a list o’ links. Given that only olds read the damn thing in print, why make it even harder for us? (And I’m RTing myself, but someone really needs to start the equivalent of the bad-sex-writing contest for cheese excess. Some real stinkers were on display, proof that imitation is the sincerest form of stupidity. Besides: Typing about cheese is like dancing about architecture.)
I suspect ours will be among the very last households clinging to our print subscriptions, if only to see what online readers are spared. The other week, in the hometown paper, it was a photo that illustrated a little too graphically the line I once had to excise from a secretary-moonlighting-as-a-feature-writer’s piece on boned quail: “Legs splayed like the town prostitute.” For once those editors chose to show rather than tell.
I guess I have to weigh in on the hometown paper’s knockoff of the New Yorker’s food issue and note how amusing it was that the flack paid to promote it in the age of social media linkapalooza chose to highlight some of the lamest material. To me the best piece was, of course, the one on the politics of food, but it could been more explicit. As I learned 20 years ago as we were researching our ill-fated harvest book, money’s what buys you power in this country; even Vidalia onion farmers had to kick in like 5 cents a bushel to protect their AOC in DC. Until there’s an Occupy K Street, Big Food will rule. And it definitely will as long as any old bacon, even the industrial kind, will do in 50 recipes from a sermonizer.
Plus what is the Murdoch Mouthpiece thinking, slipping what my in-law equivalent calls slingers into its Saturday papers? I get a laugh every week when I think about readers who can apparently be seduced by $11,000 dresses — and $225 goose and $300 bourbon — clipping out a coupon to save a buck-fifty on Wholly Guacamole.
Much as I love the Murdoch Crier’s local news pages because they actually cover a beat the hometown paper has pretty much abandoned, I’ll also admit I read it because I also love counting how many copy-editing glitches make it into print when anything involving food is involved. Last week it was “charcuteries and salumis.” Which I guess are like swines and geeses. So when I saw a mention of “mou sauce,” I was sure the slot had nodded off again (or was still in shock from having proofed the wackadoodle editorial pages, with all those Uranus datelines). But whaddaya know — it is a thing. Not something worth explaining, of course, so I will even though I couldn’t find it in any of my many Italian cookbooks/references, including Waverley Root and the exhaustive “Silver Spoon”: It’s a toffee or caramel or butterscotch sauce, depending on which Google link you click. Of course, you have to click. . .
This might not be the dumbest thing to see print in donkey’s years. But it’s close. In a thumbsucker on how sweltering it is in Phoenix (Phoenix, I tell ya!), we were informed it’s even “too hot for spicy Mexican food in the barrio.” Funny, I don’t remember giving up chimichangas for August. Better pass that along to the Oaxacans, not to mention the billions in other torrid climates who know chilies are to food as salt is to sweat. When the sun starts beating, you don’t get out the blanc mange.