Concrete labor at 30 percent

Thinking some thoughts. Underlining them twice. There must be something really wrong with me. I do not want sick people cooking/serving my food and am very happy NYC now has a law requiring paid leave for restaurant workers (and, of course, others). With all the scaremongering over increased prices, I guess I need to point out that the food biz finds many ways to pass along increased costs. (Try to find a bottle of wine on a list for under $40 these days). As I have noted many times, the sickest I’ve gotten beyond the incident with the baby butt on the falafel counter was after the waiter in Florence wiped his runny nose and set down my plate. FFS, I washed my sauvignon blanc bottle the other day after a cashier with pinkeye merely touched it. So I guess I have to say this one more time: Typhoid Mary was a cook. And Hepatitis C is out there, waiting to shut down your establishment after one worker goes on an unfortunate vacation. It had to be someone like Escoffier who first realized an ounce of prevention is worth 10 pounds of cure. That new miracle remedy, after all, runs a grand a dose.

Chili by the clichés, heartburn by the Technicolor yawn

Speaking of names, here are two I certainly never expected to hear in the same sentence coming out of our kitchen radio: Dunkin’ Donuts. And Newspaper Guild. In all my years as a cursor-linked wretch, that union did me zero good, which is why I never joined, just paid the dues as I was forced to do. The stultified organization kept me from earning equal pay when I was first hired at the NYTimes (no college degree? sure, you have a right to work alongside the Ivy Leaguers, but for less) and in my estimation protected the weak at the expense of the strong (lookin’ at you, poor Sid struggling to finish one story a shift). Certainly it stood by and let the newspaper industry get hammered all these years since Saint Ronnie first came for the air traffic controllers and it said nothing. So you could have knocked me over with a feather pancake to learn the very definition of uselessness has actually scored a raise for a few fast food workers in New York. Today the crappy coffee. Tomorrow, the world.

Kieran-and-white cookies

The latest evidence America just ain’t exceptional: Brits are going hungry, too. I did like this line, that the working poor have been “long a part of the social landscape in America.” Sorry. I remember there once was a shining moment when the rich didn’t have to wonder what the poors were eating that night. But then, as the muddled but good-hearted “Place at the Table” illuminates, along came a useful idiot out of California. My consort “rented” that doc the other week from our own public Netflix, the NYPL, and I saw new merits in it even though it remains a mess. “Food insecurity”? It’s complicated — li’l kids can be obese, hungry kids can own horses, well-meaning teachers can sweet-sell $5+ honeydews to kids whose families can’t even afford an apple to slice up for five. But in the end, you walk away from the teevee thinking food banks and soup kitchens are just like everyone else in this country post-Alzheimer’s-Patient-in-Chief: Trying to pretend the trickle-down is not actually a golden shower.

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.

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.

5 hot dogs, chopped

I don’t know why everyone’s hating on the li’l grifter. It’s not as if “her” work is her work. Also, too: Some days you screw the blowup doll. Most days she screws you. I made an orzo mess and am not about to waste Kahlua on chocolate soup.

Mushroom scrapple

I also got some useful perspective on our respective food scenes. A woman we met at the Fair Food Farmstand in the market said she had moved south not least because “What’s happening in New York has already happened. It’s still happening in Philadelphia.” (Even though Fette Sau has opened there, too.) And just before we went we were advised that Vietnamese food in the home of the cheesesteak would be superior to NYC’s partly because more immigrants have gone into restaurants there, rather than into nail parlors, but also because the essential ingredients are easier to come by. Philadelphia, as @atrios Tweeted me, does not have one tiny market but three actual supermarkets just near his home close to the Italian Market. And the one we meandered through in fascination was like nothing here. There must have been 20 kinds of rice paper alone. (Our favorite detail was the sign threatening a $100 penalty for opening the box of live frogs. Or maybe the one advising parents not to let their children play on the 100-pound bags of various brands of rice.) But I also came home feeling less envious of Philadelphia’s plethora of BYO restaurants. The food this trip seemed much pricier in them, I guess because they can’t take the mega-markup on alcohol. And who wouldn’t rather pay for wine in a civilized restaurant than set foot in one of those soul-sapping state stores?