Life update


Eating: Lots of gado gado lately. Brown rice with steamed veggies, all covered with a peanut-and-coconut-milk sauce—healthy and delicious comfort food.

Watching: The Dark Knight, which I thought was pretty good. Heath Ledger’s much-touted performance as the Joker was good, but I thought Gary Oldman was a better actor in this film. Oldman has this chameleon-like ability to completely disappear in his role the point that I completely stop thinking “Oh, that’s Gary Oldman” and sometimes (as in this case) don’t even realize it’s him for quite some time.

Reading: Mark Bittman’s* latest book, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes, which is sort of a how-to companion to Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. I can’t say enough good things about Food Matters, in which Bittman adroitly and eloquently points out that health, social, environmental, financial, and ethical problems with today’s mainstream American diet. Then he provides a reasonably achievable alternative, along with several recipes (and menus) to get you started. My only real quibble with this book is that he stops short of adopting or recommending vegetarianism (though I’ll give him credit for not bashing or dismissing it), especially after he describes the horrific conditions of factory farms and is himself horrified by them. (For some reason, he think it’s awful to make animals endure those places, yet it’s still okay to kill and eat them if they grow up on local farms.) Take a look at this informative review published at last month or, better yet, read the book for yourself.

Listening to: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, by David Byrne and Brian Eno

Smelling: Paperwhites (forced bulbs) and daffodils (cut flowers) in my living room and dining room. Spring is coming…
*Bittman is a food writer for The New York Times and the author of the wildly popular How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition): 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food.

8 Responses to “Life update”

  1. Chrison 24 Feb 2009 at 9:27 am

    Still a bit hard to imagine spring coming here…

  2. Jen Andersonon 24 Feb 2009 at 10:57 am

    I’m sure Bittman was trying to keep from alienating the die-hard carnivores who would be persuaded to eat less meat, but not give it up completely. Any improvement is progress.

  3. Marshaon 25 Feb 2009 at 9:02 am

    @Chris: Yeah, you live in one of those “don’t blink during the summer or you could miss it” places. :)
    @Jen: That may be part of the reason. But given his very harsh comments about the treatment of animals in the meat/dairy industries and his detailed discussion of the negative health and environmental consequences of consuming animals products, the fact that he ends with “but I don’t advocate vegetarianism because I still want to eat meat” still seems very odd to me.

  4. Pixieon 25 Feb 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I have the first How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman and it’s one of the “go to” cookbooks in our house!

  5. bethon 27 Feb 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I love to say “gado gado”.

  6. Frankon 02 Mar 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Food Matters is on my list of to-reads; I recently read Real Food by Nina Planck and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Both have justified my higher grocery bill caused by a preference for natural, organic foods.

  7. bethon 02 Mar 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Do you make your own peanut sauce for gado gado?

  8. Marshaon 04 Mar 2009 at 10:39 am

    @Pixie: He has a How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book that I’ve heard good things about, too!
    @Frank: If you like Pollan, you will like Bittman, too!
    @Beth: Yupper! I’ve tried several recipes, but the one I like a lot right now has lots of coconut milk in it.