Half a gallon of tortellini, “the round noodles”

I also liked the contretemps over W2’s li’l running mate turning up at a soup kitchen after all the souping and kitchening had been done and all the poors were safely out of sight. As commenters noted, of course you leave your expensive watch on to “scrub” pots. And as I’ll note, he complained a hot KitchenAid dishwasher will give you calluses. Spoken like a guy who has never lifted a blister in his life.

Salmon “picatta” on “corn” beef

Given how much of my life I squander on the Twitter/FB/Wingnuttialand, I really was  amazed when a friend dropped by the other day and mentioned she still pays attention to the wack in the hat. She said his blaring siren for hours had wailed about a dodgy chef’s deli having allegedly been vandalized by anti-Semites; I responded that it was news to me even though I squander much of my life on Twitter/FB/wingnuttialand, not to mention the whole excitable world of food blogs. Of course my instant reaction was that I’d seen that movie before (and I don’t exactly mean “The Godfather”). I forget who first said that “sometimes the news is in the noise, sometimes it’s in the silence,” but it is more true than ever in a multimedia era. A crime against the Jews fell on Columbus Avenue and only the anti-islamists heard it? Call that a good reason to check to be sure your credit card was not hacked as you walked past the string of Chapter 11s.

And a side of pommes duchesses

As I noted over to the Epi Log, Julia Child had a whole other side, and it did not take well to wingnuttiness, which was at peak baying-at-the-moon level in the McCarthy years. Funny how on her birthday my copy of her book of letters just fell open to page 215 and to this, from Dec. 8, 1954: “I cannot regard the Republicans as people, somehow, only as monsters, fools, beasts, and foul excrement. Must I turn a new leaf, or another cheek?” And I can’t decide if it’s a good or a bad thing she’s not around to see the current crop.

Too chicken for Chick-Fil-A

Relatedly, I was not encouraged to see the guy who wants to be king of the world crapping out so soon. He was too “exhausted” to campaign at one event in Florida. Maybe next election someone should nominate an Immalokee tomato picker with some stamina. But at least “the M in Willard is for mendacity” did show up to profess his love for mango, Cuban slang for vagina. How many feet can one mouth fit?

No color for Oreos

And whatever else you might think about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, you have to agree it made broccoli a star. And made the wingnut justices who kept citing it a joke. They sounded like the old cartoon: “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.” But of course that was a spoiled kid talking.

Only the cops know doughnuts

Too bad our uppity mayor is too short and too non-Mormon to ever fly as pres. Despite some restaurateurs’ laments, he has been good for food. The latest move is allowing city agencies to buy local. Given that NYC is the second-largest institutional buyer in the country, after the military, that could be very, very good for upstate farmers. And even for Brooklyn/Queens artisans who are thinking out of the crate. Sixteen-ounce mayonnaise? Bring it on.

Just don’t utter vagina

Also born (not borne) of Twitter, the new-to-me knowledge that ducks and geese sleep with one eye open — half the brain at a time checks out so the other half can stand guard against  predators. Which is just the ultimate evidence that California’s ban on foie gras is not about preventing cruelty but about opening up the slippery-slope chute to no meat for anyone. If force-feeding were so unnatural/horrific, wouldn’t the birds snap fully awake as the gavagers came close?

Italicize those tapas

Still, I can take a hint. I realize I have gone off the once-a-week rails. And so I’m back, with my long-mulled reaction to the greatest infringement on soda liberty since the 5-cent deposit for bottles and cans gave freedom to the homeless to scavenge for food pennies. One reason I still resist posting daily is that knee-jerk is never a safe reaction. Jon Stewart immediately beat me to the punch line on the lack of self-control with all other portions. (Has the so-called evil “Sugar Nanny” seen candy bars lately? A single Butterfinger would feed a small borough.) And of course this rule could just make New Yorkers buy one drink in two cups, but I now agree that he at least has them thinking they’ll need a hand to carry the nachos to the movie-theater seat. Mostly I agree with everyone who noted that Americans just have no idea what a normal portion is in a world where husky has become the pant size even for kids in commercials. Sometimes Big Gubmint has to help them out; we are, after all, a country with stoplights rather than roundabouts because drivers apparently can’t think for themselves. Plus the thing I fear least in this city is getting blown away in a restaurant by a deranged upholder of the Second Amendment; our nanny is among the few to push back on gun insanity. Then there’s the reality that if he had imposed the drink limit at JFK or LaGuardia, there would not have been a peep of protest. Travelers would even be taking off their shoes and laptops after obediently dumping their Big Gulps. But mostly I’m fascinated that all the civil libertarians are up in arms over this while insisting women surrender their rights to control when or whether to have kids. Maybe everything would be okay if the Pill were dissolved each day in a half-gallon of Mountain Dew?

100 million sold in Wasilla

I also read an artfully regurgitated page out of a Marketing 101 textbook on how Big Food is appealing to Americans’ emotions. Somehow, when honesty and local and nostalgia are allegedly so big, a company is introducing “pizza dipping strips.” “Cheese” and “pepperoni” on “crust” you can dunk into a two sauces, one “a departure from the standard Ranch.” Why don’t they just fill each one with chocolate and coat it in Doritos?

Debit or “ATM-style” card?

I know I’ve said many times that my big fear is reincarnation, but I sometimes read a wingnut rant that makes me hope there is a hell. And the one the Murdoch Mouthpiece recently ran about food stamps should be a one-way ticket to Satan’s walk-in. This was by a noble character who walks the extra blocks to buy his cheaper groceries because he’s noble and all. Paywalled, of course, but it was a trashing of a mom he spotted buying a $41 ice cream cake at the pricier/closer place he just happened to be shopping in. “I quickly calculate that the woman’s cake was eight times more expensive than the kind I make at home to celebrate birthdays.” Uh. Huh. He condemned her without explaining how melty her investment would have been if she walked the long mile and a half back in his noble shoes. But his big point was that “food stamps” is a euphemism for fraud, that his fellow Americans who get subsistence benefits are just not noble enough, that if we just made them harder to get we’d wipe out the national debt. Because of course unfunded wars are free. His “common-sense” grandma obviously raised a fool. But what’s his editor’s excuse?

All quiet on the mad cow front

As I said over to the Epi Log, this is shaping up as the foodiest campaign ever. The son of a Mormon man made a fool of himself by dissing bakery cookies, his wife had to face down a revolting birthday cake ordered by a classless fraud and all the KKKrazies lost their dung over the Big O having eaten dog as a child in Indonesia. Leave aside the embarrassment that his having done so proves he must not be a muslin (strays are not halal). What this really makes clear is that the cretins shrieking about an unvetted candidate had the straight dope all along. Next they’ll be screaming no one told them there are mega-calories in Big Macs.

“Locked herself in the bathroom”

If this country had had universal health care in the early 1900s, Mary Mallon would not have become one of the most famous cooks in history. Apparently we still haven’t learned the lesson. While the wingnuts kick up sand and the rest of the world marvels at the backwardness, the fact remains that without health care even the super-richest remain at risk of typhoid from the meatloaf. Sweet sauce or no sweet sauce.