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I make homemade chicken broth for Ian yesterday, as he recovered from wisdom teeth extraction. Here’s more blog posts about chicken soup and here.

I’m feeling bummed out about journalism today. Pacific Standard (I’ve written for them) shut its doors. A freelancer for NPR was fired for a political tweet. So many people that I know are jumping ship. What happens when journalism dies?

This article about Roman cooking in the New York Times reminds me of my husband.

Did #MeToo go too far on the college campus?

OK, now I’m fascinated with Tardigrades.

Image is from a 1920s architecture textbook.

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Living Well

I love these two profiles at the New York Times about Dan Buettner, a longevity expert.

I entered a cooking depression last week. Sometimes it feels so pointless. All that work goes into a product that is instantly gone. It’s not a book or a painting that will be there for eternity and has the potential to be appreciated by thousands. A meal is for a handful of people for an hour at most. When I started logging my calories into the iPhone app, food became a number, which made the whole process of cooking even more dull.

But there is more to food than a number. It shouldn’t be an artform either. It’s best when it’s fun and simple and honest.

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Recipe: Spinach With Pancetta and Feta

I’m such a food blogger wannabe. Indulge me. I’m having fun taking pictures of food.

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Spinach With Pancetta and Feta

Sassy spinach — Not overcooked and with a lot of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup(s) red onion diced
  • 1/4 ounce(s) pancetta small cubes
  • 1-1/2 bunch(es) fresh spinach chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • some feta cheese crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

  • I was tempted to use garlic and red pepper in this recipe, because that’s how I do most greens. But today I was in a dainty mood.
  • If you want to be especially fancy, then lay the spinach out on some paper towels to dry. Less water in there, means a nicer presentation.
  • Sautee the onion and pancetta in olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper while it is cooking. Salt helps the onion break down faster.
  • Add the chopped spinach. Use tongs to flip it over and over, so it cooks evenly.
  • Cook it until it’s 90% done. You want a little crunch and sass left in your spinach. It takes some practice to get to that 90%, but no one is going to the emgency room from ingesting undercooked or overcooked spinach, so worry not.
  • Put it on the plate and add two big spoonfuls of feta cheese.

No Reservations

Anthony-bourdain-no-reservations2 Summer time TV is deadly. Soccer's done. There's the dance show, but it's sucking badly this season without the crazy Mary Murphy. The only thing on my DVR is Tony Bourdain's No Reservations.

I've long been a fan of Bourdain. Kitchen
Confidential
was a fun read about kitchen culture, which laid the foundation for all those cooking competition shows. There would be no Hell's Kitchen without Kitchen Confidential. The Food Network should send him royalty checks.

No Reservations showcases Bourdain's ability to swallow just about anything without triggering the gag reflex. It enables him keep spouting his purple prose about bone marrow and fish heads. You don't always walk away from the show with a hankering for a light meal of live octopus, but you do get carried up in his enthusiasm for food and drink. He has a lust for life. For traveling the corners of the world to get drunk with strangers and for find something extraordinary in a food cart in Denver.

It's good to find one show on TV that captures the real spirit of adventure, especially in a time of pseudo-reality shows and laugh-less sitcoms.

Food, Food, Food by Macaroni

by Macaroni

First, let me thank Laura for inviting me and the rest of the gals to guest blog at 11D. As Laura mentioned in my guest blogger profile I saw Food Inc. last week, and this Sunday I saw Pressure Cooker. The former details the food industry, while the latter portrays the life of high school students in North East Philadelphia who wish to pursue careers in the restaurant industry.

Excited to see Food Inc. I was somewhat disappointed, though I do recommend the film and in particular I like the social message it sends. Basically the film suggests that only a few industries own and operate most of the food we eat. Of course the film details the horrors of the meat industries, and touts the organic, local home grown movements. (Organic food now appears in Walmart. Who knew?) So too it highlights the decline in regulatory oversight. Anyone with an interest in food and the policies surrounding them is likely familiar with most to the content, especially if you've read any Michael Pollan (I'm reading Omnivore's Dilemma. Yawn, or is it just me?) or Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation–the writing is so poor I couldn't make it past the first 10 pages, but I will have to try again since I'm teaching a Food & Politics course). The film is somewhat choppy in places. A segment of the film gratuitously mentions Montsano and seed cleaning, yet no background is given on either topic. Despite the flaws I will probably show this film in my Food & Politics course, and I do like the social message "demand to know what's in your food and advocate for more regulation."

Pesto (aka spouse) and I saw Pressure Cooker on Sunday, which highlights the sad realities of urban education and poverty in North East Philly. While the cinematography is not  terrific, the story line is uplifting. The film follows three high school seniors from Frankford and their quest to secure scholarships to attend some of the nation's top culinary institutes and/or colleges. Their teacher is a bad-ass with one liners you won't forget, "French fries and hamburgers, that's so ghetto."  A self-proclaimed foodie who resides in NYC and  is currently summering in Providence, RI we have access to excellent food. Many of these chefs hail from culinary schools like the Culinary Institute of America (NYC) and the Johnson & Wales' Culinary Arts Program (RI). Watching the students' progression as they learn to cook, and seeing them realize their dreams makes this a must see film.