Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Probably very un-PC

March 8, 2011

In a small rebellion against my weight loss goals, I followed up my evening library run with the purchase of some Trader Joe’s spicy salami. “Calabrese Salame,” to be precise.

Hmmm, Calabrese, that has a familiar ring to it. Ahh, Guido Calabrese. Some re-firing of disused neuronal connections. Got it. He was the priest on Saturday Night Live! Pat self on back for remembering. Turmeric wins another round against Alzheimer’s.

Just to be on the safe side, but mostly to further procrastinate on dishwashing, I consult the Google Search Engine for confirmation.

Guido Calabresi … is senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit … a former Dean of Yale Law School … along with Ronald Coase and Richard Posner, a founder of the field of law and economics.



The benefits of a shaved head

June 28, 2010

Did you know that Richmond, Virginia has a large gay community? I didn’t even know it was legal to be gay in Virginia. It is, apparently, and the corner of 3rd and Broad, where my blond neighbor Justin and I found ourselves at 2am Saturday, is apparently the epicenter of that (very) (black) gay club scene.

I’d like to think that the $1000 or so I’ve saved on haircuts over the past nine years helped me “pass,” and maybe even helped save Justin’s butt. (Pun intended.)

The pizza there was good too. It’s the same the world around. What matters is how hungry you are, and how improvised your circumstances. I.e. pizza tastes better when you have no access to plates, napkins, or the other accoutrements of quotidian society.

Yaay for new cultural experiences.

Are you serious?

June 21, 2010

Fairly often, I will go on a date with a woman who tells me, without any hint of shame, that she “doesn’t cook” or “doesn’t read.”

Is that crazy? Or am I the crazy one here? These people who “don’t read” … WTF do they do with their time? Suck on the glass teat for six hours a day? And what do the non-cookers eat? McD? How much canned or fast food can you eat before you wonder what would result from cracking an egg, or what purpose the shiny “kitchen” serves? Can they really stand to eat every meal in a restaurant? Can they afford it? (I guess that’s where I come in.)

I know I’m supposed to be practicing my non-judgment, but every one of these conversations ever so slightly rocks my understanding of reality. After the Brazil-Côte d’Ivoire game this morning, we watched a wonderful cross-cultural soccer documentary: The Great Match. I’d like to make a documentary on one of these non-reading non-cooks, just to see what 24 hours of such an alien life form would look like.


June 16, 2010

I own a middle aged toaster.  For a few years now, it has fallen short in its assigned task of toasting my morning toast, but I don’t complain.  When I am in a leisurely mood, I double toast, or if I’m a particular rush, I’ll just eat my toast half-toasted.  People have suffered worse.  I think of Sarah Palin, having to worry over her morning moose burger whether that blur in the distance is Russians massing for the attack, or just a smudge on her designer glasses.  Poor, selfless, Sarah.  Surely I can deal with underdone toast.

And yet, when my own retail therapy takes me down the bustling aisles of Ross or Tarzhay, newer, shinier toasters have tempted me with their charms.  I’ve struggled, maybe even palpated their shiny faux-European edges, but in the end, have always resisted.  And not merely from some bond of affection or loyalty.  Staying toaster-monogamous is my little bit to Save the World.  True, a newer toaster may not only be better looking and cleaner, it would likely be more efficient, saving on electricity while perfectly toasting toast at the first attempt.  But, I reason, the environmental impact of toaster production and shipment from China outweighs any incremental savings.  I could never eat enough toast to justify upgrading a functioning toaster.

I have, in fact, been rather proud of my sacrifice.  I give blood, I shave infrequently, I refuse to buy a new toaster.  To better the world and lower my personal carbon footprint, no sacrifice is too great.  Yes, it is a grand responsibility, but I accept it, I embrace it, I am up to the challenge.

And I just noticed that the “Toast” dial is turned all the way left to “Light.”

And then there was one

June 2, 2010

As long as my cutlery (American:  silverware) performs its intended function of transferring the bacon and eggs off my plate to my mouth, I don’t give it a whole lot of thought.  One set I vaguely recall buying at IKEA a few years ago, and the majority has been handed down to me from goodness knows where, or when.  I do know, or at least I can confidently assume, that my spoons, knives and forks were once purchased as part of a set.  In other words, at some historical moment in time, they matched up in a ratio of approximately 1:1:1.

So it is with surprise and increasing concern that during each weekly (so sue me) dishwashing ritual, I notice the ratio increasing – 1:2:2, then 1:3:3, 1:4:4 … my spoons and forks presenting themselves in roughly equal, and perfectly adequate, numbers, while the quantity of knives drops, and drops, till the present day, which finds me washing “the knife” before each meal, and guarding it jealously in between courses.

I don’t like to think of myself as the kind of person who would think that strangers are breaking in to his house to steal his tableware, but I see no other reasonable explanation.  I can only hope that the perps are gypsies  (PC:  Roma), their crystal ball predicting fame and fortune in my future, and planning therefore to pay for carriage maintenance by auctioning my used knives in the eBay Celebrities Auction.

Fame and fortune … mmm.  Dancing with the Stars, tossing unopened pistachios, dating Sharon Stone … here I come.

Menlo Park 94025

May 30, 2010

Reading the papers, it’s easy to despair of the survival of integrity in this world.

And yet, every so often, my faith is rejuvenated.  Yesterday, for instance:  my starving grad student neighbors were dumpster diving to put dinner on the table, when they found a wallet containing $1200 in foreign currency.  Caring not how a semester’s worth of In ‘n Out burgers might revive their emaciated frames, or for that matter how large sums of cash are often linked to dealing in controlled substances, they tracked down the delinquent owner, and returned the money untouched.

Now that just warms the cockles of my heart.

Kill Your Television

May 27, 2010

I just returned from a blind date.  Ok, not “just” – I got back home at a decently platonic hour.  She was, as I’d surmised from her okCupid profile, a Googler.  Proud of that bit of deduction.

She doesn’t cook, it turns out.  Why cook, when you can eat breakfast, lunch, AND dinner at work, every day?  Wow.  Can boyfriends get in on that plan?  I will say that she had great skin – daily oyster shooters must have a moisturizing quality.  And apparently Google has replaced M&Ms with cherries – on the occasion last month of their first ever employee 40th birthday, they’ve begun to take a look at food choices for longer-term health.

Despite the skin, it was not a match made in heaven.  I think it’s true what they’ve been telling me all these years:  “you’ll become set in your ways.”  I came home and updated my profile to specify a non-TV owner.  My four randomly assigned immediate neighbors are non-TV owning marathon runners.  Is it too much to ask the same from the love of my life?  Besides, with Law & Order coming to a close, there’d be nothing to watch on her TV anyway.

more American every day

January 24, 2010

Yesterday I learned that in the US, pineapples are not “tinned” – they are “canned.”  I feel more assimilated every day.

Unfortunately, canned pineapples have lost most of what’s healthy about them:  the compound bromelain.  On the bright side, frozen pineapples, such as those I use to sweeten my green smoothies, do retain their full complement of bromelain.

Come over, and I’ll make a green smoothie for you.  Pineapples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, kiwi, mangos, chia, home-made-yogurt, a date, maybe,  and a whole lot of greens … mmm good (for you)!

Let [my neighbors] eat cake

October 25, 2009

Months since ordering The Cake Bible off, I’ve finally cracked open the book.  The foreword was great, so naturally I had to set it down and procrastinate by writing this blog entry.

Writing – assures the Stegner Fellow – will not pay my bills.  Perhaps, then, baking?  I’m scheduled to learn all about pizza over Thanksgiving.  Music is always an option; perhaps I’ll be struck by lightning – this year’s weather has been quite unusual – and will pick myself off the ground to find myself the next Django.  Just like one of the characters in Musicophilia. I should probably hold my guitars from time to time.  Would be such a shame to be the next Django and not know it.

How does the “Chocolate Domingo Cake” sound?

Hallmark baking

September 19, 2009

Before Cuisinart, how did people mix their batter for baking.  Or … did they?

Is apple pie merely the kitchen equivalent of a Hallmark holiday, a Valentine’s Day for the gastronomical set, promoted by big corporate interests?    Was Julia Child a shill for KitchenAid?  Is it all a trap to keep women confined to the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant?

Speaking of which, I think I know how I’m going to dress for the Nike “Women’s” Marathon next year.  It’s either that, or Gandhi.