No Peking duck for you (us, either)

Funny how fast a month flies by when you’re distracted by the kkkraziness on the Internets. But I’m rousing myself to update here after reading just how wildly teh stupid, it burns, these days. To keep a small percentage of fellow citizens from getting access to health insurance (not even access to fucking health care), the wingnuts forced a shutdown of the carefully cultivated, inspirational vegetable garden at the White House. That’ll show us libtards! Bring on the pointless rot and waste. Which is sort of a metaphor for the Somalia they dream of.

First you warm the water

Worse yet is the disaster out in South Dakota, the one given nowhere near the media attention forest fires endangering private homes inevitably attract. A blizzard directly due to climate change hit the state with five feet of snow, causing countless amounts of damage and pretty much wiping out the beef industry there. But with upscale burger chains dominating the fud news, why would human tragedy get a blip? With elitist obsession focused on foie gras, why would the deaths of 70,000+ farm animals merit attention? Keep opening those burger chains, entrepreneurs celebrated by the media. Cows are just as easily mass-produced as soybeans, aren’t they?

Just put a Domino’s between your legs

A bit of the latest proof you are what you eat: The kkkrazies in the House feasted like jackals on fast burritos (and booze) as they were plotting how to forestall health insurance for the poors and impose sharia law on ladyparts. The Orangeman should have sprung for Chipotle. Because it’s very clear Qdoba makes you batshit insaner.

Think faster, ghosts

Just as nutz is getting caught with your shells down, with an ode to shrimp just as the warnings are out on just how risky always-risky shrimp are about to become thanks to those very same kkkrazies shutting down food safety inspections. You could say nobody coulda predicted, but only if you weren’t paying attention to where most shrimp comes from, and I’m not even talking irradiated waters. “Decomposed, covered in filth or or teeming with salmonella” is just “the treat of the wild.” Guess it was no coincidence the magazine was fat with ads for lawyers. Even in the US of Somalia the wingnuts aspire to, lawsuits will always be the American dream.

Light the star & let BizDay cover the issues

In mustier thoughts, having witnessed/heard how so much kielbasa gets made, I can only imagine the scrambling the other week. “Our chickenshit was just seized for P1. Can you cobble together 2,000 words of extended cliché?” I didn’t read far. Only enough to wonder why there were no brother husbands.

And just so it isn’t too obvious all this stuff has been languishing, I’ll add that an out-of-town friend was chortling loud enough to be heard here at the “toiling over your own butter.” I was subjected to just enough of the video to wonder why a buzzard was involved and to note that if you hork after you indulge, you are not a “dining connoisseur.”

No fur on SD livestock

I’m not going to link because there was nowhere to link, but I was rather amused on reading some private club in London has apparently caved to the loons and stopped offering foie gras. Really, fools? Fattened duck livers are like abortions. Don’t like ’em? Don’t get ’em. Also, too, what does it profit a cause to save the geese and fuck the Amazon workers?

Barclay Center “palate”

I also have to note yet again how funny it is every Saturday to open up the Murdoch Crier’s getting-and-spending section and have a slinger fall out. Most recently, tucked inside pages covering $10,000 coats, we got an offer of $1.50 off on TWO (2) bags of any frozen “chicken” “product.” Maybe that’s for the staff? Or at least for the ones who have to make Ginny Noonan’s sloshings publishable?

How many patty melts can one man eat?

And I don’t even know where to begin with how fucked up the Teabaggers have made government involvement in food aid. So farmers should continue to get subsidies whether they farm or not, but the poors should pull themselves up by their Nike laces and go get jobs and feed themselves — no matter that taking benefits away from them is literally sucking income out of supermarkets. (Again: Beneficiaries don’t eat those debit cards; the tax dollars are laundered through the Krogers.) The bigger question is why, if farmers constitute a protected species, Willie Nelson was on his bus, out on the road again, raising money 38 years on from the first Farm Aid. Surely billions can trickle down? But what it’s really all about comes clear every time some whiner goes into the comment cesspool to bitch that the food stamp users they see have better cars/clothes/shopping carts. My response? Get a better fucking job, loser.

Red beanies and risotto

As for the short-lived pasta backlash, it’s a pretty safe guess Barilla is not eaten in the politically correct Vatican these days. Even though the price point would put it in the sweet spot. It’s the durum equivalent of a beat-up Fiat.

Lemons up the chicken cavity

And now to Marcella, whom I never met and never cooked from but about whom I know a story I can never write even though she is the good guy in it. I’m not sure Signora Hazan should be blamed for the Olive Garden, but she definitely made Americans savvier about the way Italian food is provisioned, cooked and eaten in Italy and should be done right here. And she did it without the advantages Julia Child had, television and (chirpy) personality. (I got a sense of the prickliness when I did a featurette by phone on her condo kitchen in Florida — cabinets behind kickboards turned out to have a double meaning.) For all her transformational power, though, it’s interesting to see the food she was so repulsed by is now almost celebrated at hip red-sauce places like Parm. It’s Italian-American and there’s no stigma to it. Meanwhile, I wonder how many other cookbook buyers are like me today, looking more for specialties from one region rather than an overview of a whole historically disjointed country. The Italy shelves in our dining room are dedicated to Parma and Rome, Veneto and Sardinia etc. and to books by the types of chefs Marcella would scorn, with her insistence that Italian is “not the created, ‘creative’” cooking in restaurants. Every healthy thing evolves. I always contended Italian is not a cuisine. It’s ingredients on a plate. And that is what she proved.

A few last thoughts on the way the news spreads now: The Hazans’ daughter-in-law announced the death on Facebook (although she was omitted among the survivors in the Times obit) and from there it spread through the Twittersphere, users exhibiting an almost unseemly urge to be first to RIP. The Guardian based most of its obit, included in the Life & Style section, on an old interview on Epicurious. Safer than swiping from “news” sites, I guess. We also live in an age of obits teamed with recipes, and apparently I’ve been doing tomato sauce wrong. (Cynic that I am, I was also amused to see how very few recipes were cited time after time as iconic. Shades o’ Julia & her stew du beef)

Finally, I can say from experience it’s much easier to write an obit of a legend when you have months to research it. There was some grumbling that Penelope Casas did not get her NYTimely due; as an email right after the Marcella news predicted: “This is one they won’t skip.” From those lips to the Page One editor’s ear. Cynic that I am, I wonder how many editors with resources are in Grim Reaper mode today, speculating on the next to go to that big kitchen in the sky . . .

WIC on Hoveround wheels

I could understand the awe the nonagenarian rich guy inspired with his $100 nightly treats for himself. Sure, he earned it. But given that one in five olds in NYC relies on food assistance, you gotta wonder about his priorities and the weird tone-deafness of a section that natters about the great divide but celebrates excess (tell us what was on the table, ye who have no money worries?) Forget the four-dollar organic greens. The average geriatric female in NYC would be happy with a feast o’Friskies.


Used, again, Emeril skillet I got as swag. Reminded, again, that chefs put their names on some pretty shitty shit. // “The bigger the set, the crappier the quality.” // “Underground chef” sounds like one who cooks in a cavern. Beware the roast stalactites. (Necromuncher, @dirtydiningdsm responded) // “Hangar” steak should only be served in airports. // The poor heartland — shut out again. Kolaches to me will always be Nebraskan. . .