Wonder if anyone involved in rough-drafting/editing/printing an item about a $550 sushi kit has any idea what it costs to launder and dry a load of laundry publicly these days. No dishwashers for dishwashers . . .

And maybe walk the Greenmarket before talking the talk?

I hate to differ with my uncharacteristically soft-hearted Biggest Fan, but somewhere Clementine Paddleford is weeping. Duncan Hines was driving the drive, eating the all-American eats long before a friend o’ the publisher got a regular gig.  And speaking of spinning deads, I feel pretty certain that Pierre Franey in the big kitchen in the sky is feeling very pleased no marketer came up with frozen 6-minute meals while he still cooked among us. Also, too, is this the world’s worst title: “The Baby Cookbook”? Years ago, when the feet of a kid now in college sounded like hooves over my head, I had a dream about boiling a baby. What other methods would that guide suggest?

Rehydrators of refries in $675,000 houses

Back to pol porn: I know this is stale water, but the ship of stools got away from me, so: If campaigns are going to be conducted like Tin Chef, the Party of Stupid really needs to ramp up the production values. Or at least media-train candidates in the art of ingesting under the cruel eye of a camera amplified on YouTube. Never let your lunging distract from your lying . . .


Speaking of water, one of the most gruesome stories in donkey’s years is the one about the Canadian tourist whose body was found in a rooftop tank on a hotel where all the guests had for weeks been blithely drinking and showering in what came out of the tap. But as I thought about it I remembered (or maybe misremembered) another story, about a naturalist in the Caribbean who died at his remote lodge in the mountains and whose widow filled his coffin with ice cubes to keep him “fresh” in the heat for the wake. As the hours went on and the ice for drinks ran low, of course, the mourners had no qualms about scooping out rocks for their rum punches. Maybe instead of moving hundreds of guests, the LA hotel should have just offered free minibar access.

And a menu for a horse

Having knowingly eaten horse twice, both times in Italy, I remain undershocked at the scandal consuming Eutopia. What I want to know is why The Cat WCTLWAFW always smells like fish after he eats Science Diet turkey or chicken. (No, actually. I don’t.) Mostly I’m surprised there’s so much horse to go around to so many countries, and into so much processed crap — it’s not as if Romania has a Wild West or even equine stockyards. You have to wonder what else might be in the “meals” when horse DNA is not discovered. But from the beginning I’ve been amazed that people would be upset that Trigger is what’s for dinner. Horse is a delicacy. This is like fools whining that foie gras has turned up in their liverwurst.

Tabasco chilies from Mexico

The other mystification is why Heinz was worth so fucking much money. Right before the genius financier whose name is always shortened to a food line bought the company, it occurred to me to wonder whether diabetes would have become so widespread if French fries had not always been paired with semisolid red syrup. The starch, the grease and the sugar equal a triple threat; mayonnaise would be more healthful (and definitely more satisfying). But the whole deal is unsettling. Ketchup is a condiment, an accessory, not essential at all; this is like someone paying billions for a scarf maker. As you read the coverage more closely, though, you see it’s not just about shaking one bottle. The same company makes baby food . . .

Caviar on every Filet-O-Fish

The bourbon on every newscaster’s lips certainly pissed away its reputation at hurlicane speed. What company literally dilutes its hard-won image? A colleague of my consort actually had the best reaction, though: In India, where he’s from, they sell hooch in “party packs.” The first bottle is full strength, but the others diminish until they might as well be water. Given the way bourbon is guzzled these days, a 24-pack marketing opportunity was lost.

No more freebies w/$300 vodka in a club

After only glancing at the heds, I was actually excited to see Bloomberg was cracking down on salt again. I’d heard on the radio before the last snowfall that he was boasting of having 250,000 pounds ready to coat the streets, and I’d seen white flakes flying as if in a sandstorm over at 97th and Park, and I’d walked home from the ophthalmologist’s with drops in my eyes feeling as if I’d gone snow-blind because the roads and paths in Central Park were already white as Morton’s. But of course he was only yapping about curbing, so to speak, the salt without which the human body cannot survive. So dogs will continue to need booties to keep from dry-brining their paws. But at least no restaurantgoer will have a properly seasoned steak or omelet.

‘wichcraft and the world not ending

I broke away from the Twitter the day I noticed on my old-style calendar that the NY Lunch exhibition was closing at the NYPL, and was I ever glad I did. It might not have been on the level of the Prohibition show in Philadelphia, but I learned a lot (and I know a lot). Most salient details: A display of the Automat’s revolving window explained that the slice of pie sitting in the front sent a message that no human had ever touched the food but also separated the cooks from the customers, freeing the company to hire women and minorities to work unseen. School lunches in NYC began more than 100 years ago, and kids whose parents worked through the day were called shutouts and were prey to street vendors. It was only in 1969 that Betty Friedan et al picketed the Oak Room to allow women to be admitted (kidz now rejecting the feminist label were born to moms far after that). The artist who drew the caricatures at Sardi’s did work for food. Women’s magazines a full 70+ years ago were running diet stories headlined “Nice People Don’t Eat.” Power lunch originated as a term to describe the time as much as money — only the little people had to rush through the midday meal. And the saddest thought on reading so many early-NYC menus: Crab used to be as common as calamari.

Hare of the Manx

Of all the things I could find in my food, horsemeat would be the least unsettling. I’m kind of sickened by shit in the meat, actually. So the hysteria overseas is beyond amusing. All those Brits railing that they’re shocked, shocked their frozen lasagne from France is not made with ground-up cows are sadly laughable. Maybe don’t choose the “Italian” next time? By another name the stuff would sell as well. And cheval bourguignon puts a very nice ring to it.


I probably click about 60,000 links an hour, so I thought I’d be forgiven for missing the original “God made a farmer” ad before Tweeting the parody. But thanks to the vibrant multi-culti world of Twitter, I got pushback from an actual farmer, who objected to the portrayal of all farmers as (subsidy) takers not makers. Then my consort inspired me to watch said original, and I noticed it included none of the sort of farmers I know from the Greenmarkets, those with no faith in organized religion, those raising their children to pick carrots but also aware they need trained help (which they complain is hard to find), those who drive hours to bring eggs and duck and once-a-season kale shoots to urbanites. Bob said his students were awed by the ad because it uses stills (photos, not bourbon makers). And he made another good point: The message is conveyed through cowboy hats. America loves cowboys, so the farmers are stand-ins without the horses. While we argue about image, it’s really only about selling trucks. Funny how that happens.