$30 short ribs for Proserpina

Blueberries in my neighborhood were $6 a pint on National BB Pancake Day, a day that will live in January. Somehow I suspect the lobbyists who got the commemoration commemorated are not representing American farmers who sell fresh. And I would mull harder on why the hometown paper chose to run a BB recipe the day after the big day, but I worked there. If there are peaches available in the Cafe Regret, peaches are in season, Sulzdamnit.


I read “low sodium” on a label as “just add salt.” // Great word you rarely come across these days: decoction. Antithesis of “Modernist Cuisine.” // I spent almost as much time cooking as dicking around on the internets today. Good thing I already know neither pays. // Once again, the All-Clad is encrusted, soaking its wounds, while Lodge cast iron’s been wiped clean, ready to report for heavy duty again. // America: Where kimchi carries an expiry date. . . // Don’t want to sound bigoted, but one red leaf will rot the whole bag of mesclun.

Covet away

The truthful column hed would be: “Reporter” we never wanted to hire recommends the best free shit that came in the mail. Also, too, better than cat linkbait: “I was a ghostwriter for your most bloviating columnist.”

$1 off frozen meatballs in the slinger

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.

And you can never get out of Dodge

New rule: Next time any “reporter” writes about a $10,000 cocktail/$2,000 plate of pasta/beefzillion-dollar cheeseburger, he/she/it must find someone who has actually paid to ingest it. Jeebus. In a world where people are still arguing over whether the moon landing was staged, whether the Sandy Hook massacre even happened, how gullible do the food world’s P.T. Barnums think readers are? I could offer my blatherings, or even my duck legs, for $50,000 a word/limb. But it wouldn’t be news until some sucker bit.


New metaphor: Shelf life of a macaron. (I’d given up on those pricey little meringue Oreos, but my consort and I succumbed to one filled with sea salt caramel from Francois Payard over the weekend and are now hooked. Unfortunately, I learned the literal hard way that you have to eat ’em or lose ’em.)

Thou shalt covet

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.)

Purloining Tweets of Old

I almost dropped my SBT slice at Freddy & Peppers on coming across a Laurel for the restaurant reviewer who can’t talk and eat soup. So she’s a heroine for “being immune to Internet hysteria.” Maybe what the judges were really praising is how quickly and voraciously she took to old-media fame whoring. (Also left unexamined: Where Anderson Cooper now gets his scoops and publishers now find their new authors — on that vile series of tubes.) I’m slow, but maybe I’m starting to get it. Anyone/thing print-positive must be deified.

Bloomin’ blossom

On this Kenyan muslin socialist morning in America, I have to point out that in a sane world Panchito would never have been deemed fit to print again after selling America on the Bushwhacker 2000. Given that his employers seem to be strapped for lunch money, though, maybe now’s the time to save a few hundred thou a year and cut his vapidity loose. He’d be fine living off all those vicarious dieters willing to be bored round.

$50 million CX

On the positive side, I was glad to see Beyoncé was not driven out of inaugural DC on a tarred rail for her deal with the devil du jour. If it weren’t for busybodies with typists, I wouldn’t have even known she was shimmying for shit. Fud frauds who are happy to have minions write up recipes using asparagus in January should, as Jon Stewart put it, shut up and shut up.


All that said, I can’t really get excited about anything Coca-Cola does these days as it tries to save itself from the sugar backlash. My skinniest years were lived on multiple cans a day (supplemented by the occasional undersized bag of potato or corn chips); I could be a very persuasive spokeswoman for avoiding everything but the HFCS elixir. But all the brewhaha (cq) has motivated me to finally recycle a certain plastic bottle I brought home from Estonia way back in I think 2004. Originally it contained Linnuse Kali, loosely translated as indigenous Coke. As the people who brought my consort and me there observed: The Atlanta invader let the poor beleaguered populace, those hardy souls who had survived Soviet oppression by learning to bribe doctors with chocolate bars, keep their sad little local beverage. But Coke would control the refrigerated cases. So they would never be able to buy it cold again. “Ruthless” would never make a good slogan, though.

Dove the white cheese at?

I didn’t get around to posting much more about a relatively recent free lunch, but it was one that, as always, made me wonder why more hosts don’t plant mics under tables. As I learned at this very obviously seriously underwritten soiree: “The food’s not good here.” All that was missing: “And the portions are too small.”


I’ve acknowledged before that I should be appalled that all it took to convert me from a Holy Foods hater to a Whole Foods aficionada was having one seductive store move closer to me. So it figures that I am going to pay for my loose standards by being shamed now that the CEO has revealed himself to be a flaming wingnut, one who even denies the undeniable human role in global warming. I could easily give up shopping there, convenience and 365-brand peanut butter and butter notwithstanding, but I might have a harder time boycotting the newly and hugely expanded wine shop next door. All the other stores in the neighborhood roll up the cork early; this one operates on a mall-in-America schedule. So I just would like to make a liverfelt plea to the loon’s handlers: Can’t you just sideline him and his wackawhole ideas so we can skip the boycott, effect the change? Or, even better, sit him down to real food and see if his brain heals? Anyone who claims to spurn processed food but uses almond “milk” is too addled to run a chain.

Peanut-free gluten

I posted a few fast thoughts over to the Epi Log on the overseas uproar over horsemeat in the supermarket burgers, but the more I dwell the more I’m amazed at the reaction. Americans learn there is shit in the meat, and they keep on cheesing. Brits hear what the Continent considers a delicacy is in theirs and they lose their shit. I didn’t keep up with the day-to-day coverage, but I do wonder if the real reason all those horse patties wound up being converted to fuel might not be that the mystery meat came from the good old USofA. Where horses are so doped up even the connoisseurs are trotting scared.