For Chronogram’s weekly podcast, this week I spoke with assistant editor Jennifer Gutman about the films I covered in my recent article, ramps, and how it’s possible that someone with a voice as sexy as mine is not already a media superstar. See those kittens up there? That’s some sterling new media savvy right there, and yet I labor in obscurity. They did use my ramp photo, though, so if you click and go listen you’ll get to see it for the . . . → Read More: Pod People
I just finished a long article, so I haven’t had any time for this recently. Regular posting should resume shortly, with some cool stuff on tap as the week unfolds. Get it? Meantime, a few links I have found interesting to keep you informed and entertained.
It’s been out for a bit, but this piece on addictive junk food is a must-read. Advertising this kind of crap to children should be a felony.
I find this sort of innovation to be exciting; it’s not a solution to the overuse of conventional fertilizers, but it may help slow the damage they do.
This also is not brand new, but it’s funny, and it expresses an appropriate level of contempt for fad diets, so many of which seem simply to be socially acceptable eating disorders. I realize that people can produce all sorts of anecdotal evidence supporting their weird choices, but all I can say about fads is that even if they seem interesting for a minute, they end up being useless, like Mumford & Sons or libertarians or Klout.
Here’s an interesting bit of meta-hilarity. A satirical menu goes viral, and is then revealed to be largely plagiarized.
Now I have to go finish a painting for a show that opens on Saturday. More to come; I have meant to do this more often, and it’s easier than . . . → Read More: Prose Before Hoes
I dislike Tim Burton’s movies pretty intensely; his cheesy goth aesthetic reminds me too much of people I went to college with and his wanton mutilation of classic children’s stories is arrogant and disrespectful to artists much greater than he. (The suckiness of the rewrites doesn’t help). Nonetheless, this cake is pretty cool. If more cakes were scary and too awesome to eat, the Internet would be a . . . → Read More: Cake Effects
There’s been an ocean of indignant digital ink spilled already about Paula Deen’s disgraceful deal flogging diabetes drugs after making herself sick eating the ghastly “food” she has become very wealthy advocating for years. As I mentioned on the Twitter, it’s like having unprotected sex with lots of junkies and hookers and then scoring a fat endorsement deal for STD meds. I’m not going to spend any more time on it, since it’s boring as well as depressing. But it did get me thinking, since it happened around same time I was reading about a few other equally distasteful subjects, all the while thinking about what it is that I want for this blog in the future.
I have always hated advertisements; back in the days when we had TV I was lightning fast with the mute button. I think they look tacky and ugly on websites, too, and the more they move around or occlude what I’m looking at the quicker I leave the site. I’m clearly not anybody’s target audience: I believe that voting with our eyeballs (and wallets) is as important as voting in elections these days, and I find commercials to be ugly. So while I ponder and slowly lurch towards several possible futures as a food writer, I can offer a few examples of what I absolutely do not want this happy second career to become.
Keep reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Food…
Just a quick post to beseech you all to head over to Food52 and vote for my entry in the Charcutepalooza finals. I’m amazed and humbled to be one of the two finalists, and since the prize is a week in France learning butchery and charcuterie, it’s hard not to be anxious about the outcome.
Be sure to scroll down a bit; there’s a contest at the top of the page that’s charcuterie-themed but closed to voting. You want to vote for mine just below that, where you see the picture of my egg yolk raviolo. If you haven’t read my Thanksgiving post yet, please do so. I cooked my ass off to try to win this thing.
This year has been a great deal of fun, and has made me a better and more adventurous cook. If you had told me a year ago that I would be a finalist in an Internet food contest, I would have laughed at you. But this competition was one in which I could really be myself, without feeling any need to pander. Anybody having doubts about whether to speak their mind and be themselves in their blog should take comfort from this; I am the world’s worst panderer and tried hard to write each post as if it was just another description of a meal with nothing more at stake.
I’ve been stunned at the good wishes and support that have been pouring in over the last 24 hours. Your vote for my entry will be . . . → Read More: A Year-End Appeal
I get books in the mail from various publishers as review copies from time to time, and they run the gamut from wonderful things that I’d actually buy to things that make me laugh and/or gag in disbelief. Shelf space is limited, so I thought I’d start occasionally giving away some of the worthy titles that I just don’t have room for. First up is Menus for Chez Panisse by Patricia Curtan. It’s a book about her letterpress work illustrating and typesetting menus for the restaurant through the years, and would make a meaningful gift for someone who loves printmaking and/or Alice Waters. Keep in mind that this is a coffee table book, not a cookbook; there are no recipes. It’s a hardcover copy, and it goes to a lucky commenter to this post who will be chosen at random after the comments close at 9PM on Monday, November 28.
UPDATE: Thanks to all of you for commenting, and I’m sorry I have but one copy to give away. The winner, chosen by Random.org (because I couldn’t find my 33-sided die), is Mark S. of From Belly to Bacon. I see a bunch of unfamiliar names below, so when I have a few minutes I’ll click your links and see what you’re all about. Stay tuned for the Thanksgiving post (I think you’ll like it) and more giveaways down the road . . . → Read More: Cyber Monday Madness
I’ve been thinking about Steve Jobs tonight, obviously. I have never owned a computer that was not an Apple. I worked somewhere once where I had to use a PC, and the UI experience was like being forced to wear some sort of Medieval torture helmet while trying to operate a computer; every operation was counterintuitive and frustrating. Nothing was where it belonged. Apart from my fundamental incompatibility with the Windows OS, at the end of the day I think I understand why I hated it so much: it was ugly. And that’s why I, like so many others, love Apple so much and are deeply saddened at his death (at 56, a year younger than my Mother was and from the same disease that took my Father-in-Law). It’s because his work was so beautiful.
Keep reading The Best Mind Of His Generation…
Did anybody read this horrifyingly ignorant drivel about how the alleged conflict between “Foodies vs. Techies” represents “the great clash that now reverberates through American culture?” Holy shit. I thought that Atlantic anti-foodie screed was bad, but this is the single stupidest thing I have ever read in or on the New York Times (which is saying something given the presence of David Brooks on their payroll). Looks like somebody’s angling for a job as Business and Economics editor at the Atlantic once McMegan gets tapped for an endowed chair at Cato or the Heritage Foundation.
Keep reading Emu-Egg Cassoulet With Crème Fraiche…
Even though it’s been raining for days, my mood is much improved. The brief flirtation of springtime warmth a couple of weeks ago was followed by a rude rebuff as unconscionable cold settled back in for far too long. But despite what felt like a giant step backwards, things kept growing. And now that the thermometer is nudging upward, there’s been a burst of verdancy all over the place. In the garden, last year’s spinach, mâche, radicchio, garlic, parsley, celery, and a few random onions are all bursting forth again, along with the first of this year’s plantings. I admire the hell out of these tough-ass vegetables, and the way they can survive exposed to a long, harsh winter and just bounce back like nothing happened as soon as the ground thaws. I show my admiration by eating them.
Keep reading Good Housekeeping…
Monsanto’s worst nightmare. Someone give the kid a . . . → Read More: This is what happens when kids don’t play enough video games.