Mark Bittman has been prodding us to think about where our food comes from—and the animals involved in that supply chain—for some time. In his latest essay in The New York Times, he looks at how animals are treated throughout our society—and how context speaks volumes.
“In short, if I keep a pig as a pet, I can’t kick it. If I keep a pig I intend to sell for food, I can pretty much torture it.”
Photos of everything one man ate during 2010. Everything.
It’s an overview of one person’s diet. Judging by the the appearance of the tag cloud (with things like “chocolate” and “tortilla chips” feature prominently), it doesn’t look particularly extraordinary. But seeing everything laid out, especially in the monthly views—that is pretty amazing.
I’ve been stockpiling a bunch of links I think are interesting but am having trouble finding the time to give each link the proper writeup it deserves. So I’m just going to dump them into one post and let you wade through them as you like. Enjoy!
Get your SQUEE on: the Battlestar Galactica series bible (PDF).If you liked the recent BSG series even one little bit, you will like this document.
Mark Bittman recently announced that his column “The Minimalist” was leading the New York Times cooking section after thirteen years. He promises bring his recipes and commentaries to other pages of the NYT (including his blog), so he’s not leaving us for good. If you’re one of his fans, take a look at this page, which functions as a quasi-index/TOC of all of his columns.
I have several friends who run marathons regularly. I admire them for their discipline and dedication. At the same time I think they are slightly nuts. I like the idea of a marathon but feel a bit muddle-headed when I start envisioning all the training that goes into preparing for one. Which is why I found this post intriguing: How to Hack a Marathon If You Aren’t a Runner. So what do you think, those of you who run a lot—would it work for you?
“Are Disney Princesses Evil?” The short version of my response to this is “yes.” But it’s not just Disney—it’s the onslaught of branding that children are exposed to from infancy. This branding seeks to limit their choices and to turn them into consumers, and I think both of those aims are Not Good Things.
The content and language here are a bit crude. But wow, this post just cracked me up: “Neil Gaiman made up this myth.”
Any of you who have ever owned cats or spent a lot of time with them can surely relate to this:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XID_W4neJo&feature=player_embeddedSurprised%20kitty:%20http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8[/youtube]Here’s an anti-unicorn-chaser to follow all that feline cuteness: the Zombie Tabernacle Choir.
Look no further! (FYI: Probably NSFW. Well, it depends on where you work, of course.)
I took this photo when I picked up last week’s fruit CSA share. Most of that fruit has already been eaten by now, but here’s the rundown anyway:
- 3 Golden Supreme Apples
- 3 Monolith Apples
- 3 Honeycrisp Apples
- 2 China Pearl Peaches
- 4 Blake Peaches
- 4 Hosui Asian Pears
Two things to note:
- Those China Pearl Peaches taste like summer flowers. I am not kidding. They are the Best Peaches I Have Ever Eaten.
- Those Hosui Asian Pears are so juicy that I may have to follow the CSA owner’s advice and wear a bib when eating them.
It’s a three-layer cake, with a complete pie baked into each layer. I swear I am not making this up.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp4yWTLIPaE[/youtube]This version is made with premade frozen pies and boxed cake mix. I wonder if it would work with homemade pie and made-from-scratch cake…
We spent the first half of August in Vermont (more on that later), and a few days after our return we picked up our first fruit CSA share!We joined this CSA (splitting a share with another family–we are alternating weeks) for the first time this year, after hearing friends (and longtime members) rave it about. The orchard owner is someone we see not only at our local grower’s market but also at the Unitarian church we both attend. She’s also an incredibly nice person, and one of those people who truly put their money where their mouth is. Case in point: This past winter, the grower’s market tried a “once a month” market during the cold months (which proved to be a hugh success), and at the January market, which took place just days after the massive earthquake hit Haiti, Lisa had a sign on her stand declaring “100% of the proceeds from today are going to Haiti relief efforts.” Not 10% or 25% or “a portion”–she was donating the whole shebang.My family loves the fruit she grows, none of which are standard (bland) supermarket varieties. She grows seven (SEVEN!) varieties of Asian pears–which get gobbled up almost before we get them home.Here’s the share for the first week: five Sungold nectarines, five Coral Star peaches, five Summer Blaze apples, three Ichiban Asian pears, and three Delight pears. We picked up this bag yesterday afternoon, and we’ve already put a dent in it. A friend is coming over for dinner tonight, so we have plans to grill the stone fruits–she’s bringing vanilla cream to go with them. Yum…
Several months ago, a group of friends started discussing various deep-fried oddities and our mutual love of deep-fried foods. (Me, personally, I think “the deep-fried group” should be on the FDA pyramid, right next to “the cheese group” and “the chocolate group.”) One thing led to another, and before we know it we were planning National Fry Day. Our motto: “If it’s edible, fry it.” Indeed.
One person graciously offered to host the event, which took place last Saturday. The oil was hot at 5 p.m., and although all participants also brought tasty non-fryable fare (e.g., salads, dips) to share and, ideally, make us all feel a little less guilty about the damage we were about to do to our hearts and GI systems, the deep-fried food won the popularity contest hands-down.
There were a few “pedestrian” dishes–that is, the sort of stuff you usually see deep fried, like samosas and sliced potatoes. They were good, but what interested me most were the things that one doesn’t often get to sample in battered and deep-fried form.
The list included:
- bacon weave stuffed with sausage and cheese
- fake bacon weave stuffed with fake sausage and cheese (a.k.a., “the facon weave”)
- olives stuffed with Monterey Jack
- olives stuffed with habanero cheddar
- mac and cheese
- Scotch eggs
- Scotch eggs without sausage
- Bacon-wrapped jalapenos
- Tandoori chicken
- Butterscotch Krimpets (Tastykake is a Philly company)
- cake icing
- cake batter
- Snickers (of course!)
I’ve probably forgotten to mention several things that made their way into one of the deep fryers. I ate so much fried food that I think I slid into a brief food coma and missed some of the action. One thing I didn’t fail to notice was that a surprisingly large portion of the food that got fried was vegetarian friendly…though I suspect that after a trip to a deep fryer, much of this stuff probably wasn’t too friendly to anyone.
I am already starting to draw up a list of new stuff to deep fry. I hope we do another party like this. Maybe not until next summer, though–I think my body needs some time to recover from this one.