in or out of the kitchen.

have i mentioned i really like michael pollan? i bet it's obvious.

read this article; it's about america's love affair with food and food television. and even feminism.

my youth tastes like mayonnaise.

i really wanted egg salad this morning. a lot people do not like egg salad; many HATE it. it has a smooshy texture and mayonnaise and, well, i don't really understand those haters. some of my closest friends are mayonnaise and smooshy salad haters.

luckily, liz likes egg salad, and mayonnaise. and apparently all of the dishes i have made from my youth. this morning, after my corn chip appetizer, we had egg salad sandwiches with carrots and a salad of arugula, basil, bell pepper, and nectarines.

tina's egg salad:
1. boil eggs and then chop.
2. add in some chopped celery, a generous spoonful of mayonnaise, garlic salt, and pepper.
3. mix it up.

i even like it warm. are you grossed out?

i love mayonnaise. i try not to eat too much of it, as it's not really all that good for you. but, my youth tastes like mayonnaise: potato salad, egg salad, and even that super fruit salad. or maybe it's just the food tina made for me. yes.

oh my.

how early is too early to eat chips? i think never. i ate chips and hummus as an appetizer this morning at around 930am. sometimes, i just include them in the meal. i am sure you have noticed.

this was an excellent breakfast yesterday. perfectly fried egg: a lovely, runny yolk. salad of arugula, basil, red pepper, and feta cheese. a sliced apricot. and, the chips, with hummus.

uh oh.

this was monday, or tuesday's lunch. i cannot remember what i ate, but i think its sunflower-flax bread with feta, basil, and tomato. and, apricots and broccoli. god only knows.


in love.

i loved king corn. i think it was so smart and informative and i have shown it to my students more than once.

and now, ian cheney and curt ellis have launched "the truck farm." they have an old gray dodge truck and are growing vegetables and herbs in the bed of it. in brooklyn. because most new yorkers have no yard. and it's a success! hot damn.

so here's the website. there's a video to watch that explains it all. with marion nestle!!!

you will want one of your own. i certainly do.

reunited, and it feels so good.

in graduate school, i lived with 3 lovely people: lindsey, april, and hannah. we had not been together in years and so we organized a sleepover-reunion at my place this past saturday. of course, that meant that i had the opportunity to cook for everyone, in between the arm-wrestling and the discussions of sex and grammar.

we started with spring rolls in the backyard: rice paper skins full of bean vermecelli, cucumber, carrots, basil, and sunflower sprouts. a spicy peanut sauce made with chili oil. and of course, cocktails: whiskey sours made by lindsey with homemade ginger syrup and lemons.

we eventually needed more food, and while the girls munched on chips and hummus, i cooked a pasta dish with chickpeas and arugula. so easy for a group. i had found a recipe in the august issue of cooking light earlier that day. awesome.

1. cook pasta (i used a half-bag of the corn kind.)
2. in a pan, heat olive oil and add in chopped garlic (2-3 cloves) and crushed red pepper. when the garlic is browned, add in salt (1/2 tsp), tomatoes (2 cups chopped), and beans (i used one can of chickpeas, but you could use any white bean). cook for a couple of minutes.
3. toss pasta and tomato-bean mixture, with a little of the pasta water and a good handful of chopped arugula, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, and grated parmesan.
then there was more drinking. we finished most of the bottle of whiskey, in addition to a half-bottle of reyka vodka and an almost-full bottle of gin.

so, yes. we eventually went to sleep. i had been anticipating frying many eggs in the pan sunday morning, but my roommates were m.i.a. therefore, i only got to fry 4, not 6. that's ok, too.
we ate the eggs with fresh corn cut off the cob with butter and sea salt, in addition to carrots, cucumbers, sunflower-flax bread, and a baby plum.
(most photographs courtesy of hannah and her fancy camera.)

tornado potato.

omg. i listened to this podcast a while ago and then forgot to tell y'all about it. it is a tornado potato! i want one. i bet you do, too. you just didn't know it.



i mis-cut the loaf of bread. yes, i buy unsliced bread, and yes, i do not have a bread knife.

so, three baby-sized sandwiches of orange tomatoes and havarti. and nectarine. so cute.

this is what i do.

this is migas with avocado, farm-fresh corn with butter and salt, and black beans with garlic.

tracy calls. she asks what i am doing, and i tell her that i am photographing my food. she expresses exasperation. but it's what i do!

jack asks what i will be doing in 2 years. i said that i plan on having a new job. he thinks it will be food-related, potentially baking. maybe, maybe. that would be fun.

baby fruit.

those are not cherries.

ray brought over baby plums from the farmers' market. i bit into one before i photographed it. but it was super.

and, i am thinking of making baby food for the goddaughter once she arrives. a challenge. i am a one-woman cooking contest here.

baby. baby. baby.


i feel bad about the beans.

i feel a lot of pressure to use dried beans. it might be because they have less salt. and because that is the old-fashioned way of doing things. i am a fan of pickling my own pickles and making my own salad dressing and spaghetti sauces, and i guess it seems like cooking my own beans would be on that list as well.

but i hate it. i hate that i have to soak them, and then cook them. so much time involved. and it takes forever, and i have to make a concerted effort to remember to use them immediately. poo. the soft beans are the best, in my opinion. they only seem to get that way when they are canned.

and other people who cook use the dried varieties, and i feel like an idiot if i want the canned ones.

well, i do. and mark bittman sort of does too. this week, he wrote about "rethinking" the canned beans. he also struggles with the dried ones, but not in the same way. personally, i think he likes the canned ones even more than he has admitted. (i bet he is a secret canned bean eater.)

so there. i am going to stop overthinking the beans. the canned beans i buy are organic. and it's chickpeas and black beans. it's not a hamburger helper pizza burger.


food porn.

the following website can only be described as food porn. liz said it made her "uncomfortably hungry." i said that you never knew you wanted it like that until you saw it. it is gross and exciting all at the same time. you might not be able to look away.

ready. set. go!

this is why you're fat.



rotten tomatoes.

a fungus. it's highly contagious. it's out there, destroying tomatoes. this could be similar to the irish potato famine. the destruction of entire crops. higher prices at market. oh. my.

read more here.



apparently, it's getting easier to use food stamps at the farmers' markets. from the nytimes:

The use of food stamps at farmers’ markets has been authorized for some time. But the program has been limited because the federal government in 2004 replaced the traditional paper food stamp coupons with debit cards that were processed through electronic benefit transfer terminals. The system is expensive, costing about $1,100 for each terminal, plus monthly fees; furthermore, the majority of farmers’ markets operate outdoors, with no means to accept the debit card. “There’s a large expense associated with putting a terminal in each farmer’s hand,” said Jeff Cole, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Farmers’ Markets. Over the past five years, though, states and the federal government, with help from nonprofit organizations, have made hundreds of thousands of terminals available at farmers’ markets.



when it's not pretty.

i was not prepared when i went to the farmers' market yesterday; i only had $10. so silly. i had to choose wisely AND i had to make something for a dinner party. damn it, janet.

i will have to go back tomorrow, but here's what i got: jersey tomatoes, broccoli, kirby cucumbers, sunflower sprouts, and a demi-baguette. (and, for the dinner party, i made a salad of red-leaf lettuce, the cucumbers and sprouts, green beans, and cherries, as well as a honey-poppy seed vineagrette.)

for breakfast, i made a fried egg sandwich with havarti cheese on toasted baguette, and ate it with the kirbies (it's an addiction) and cherries. havarti cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. i love that it's like cream. right now, we have havarti with jalapeno peppers. i wish it were spicier, but it is pretty special in general.

today, i improved on the whole meal. i fried the egg in the cast-iron skillet. and! i put the sandwich together and cooked it whole in the skillet. it was toasted in all the right ways, havarti oozing out the sides. and! there was potato salad in the fridge. liz is really into making potato salad these days; this was a spicy-thai version. yum. and! i made a salad from pesto and the tomatoes.

i started to eat before i photographed it. but i am thinking of photographing the food in its imperfect half-eaten state more often. i like the messiness. good food is often not pretty.

eggs, not elephants.

lindsey is really into poached eggs. i want to like them more. but i always think of them as food for grandmothers, even though i liked them as a kid.

so, last egg in the carton. i decided to poach it. such a disappointment. i made it in the pot with boiling water, but lindsey has explained how to do it in a cup. maybe in the future i will try this again. for now, i am sticking with fried.

luckily, there were other treats with this meal: toasted pita and hummus, sauteed green beans with lemon and parmesan, and heirloom tomato. i love when they are shades other than red. i feel like they taste better.



i am pretty sure i ate the same sandwich for breakfast and lunch today. pretty boring: cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, and bread. better updates to come.



from the nytimes:

The Obama administration announced Monday that it would seek to ban many routine uses of antibiotics in farm animals in hopes of reducing the spread of dangerous bacteria in humans. In written testimony to the House Rules Committee, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, principal deputy commissioner of food and drugs, said feeding antibiotics to healthy chickens, pigs and cattle — done to encourage rapid growth — should cease. And Dr. Sharfstein said farmers should no longer be able to use antibiotics in animals without the supervision of a veterinarian. Both practices lead to the development of bacteria that are immune to many treatments, he said.
thank god.

an institution.

when people think of new york, they imagine a couple different scenarios, often based on age and film preferences, i think. woody allen's new york, jerry seinfeld's new york, larry clark's new york, darren star's new york, spike lee's new york (brooklyn). and so forth.

so, my new york includes the lower east side, as does nora ephron's.

shopsin's is an institution. it has a cult following, i would say. it used to be located on bleecker street, in a much bigger location than it is now. and there were rules: parties of 2 or 4, no cell phones. it's run by kenny shopsin and his kids, and there was always insane name-calling and cursing between family members.

it is now in the essex street market, at essex and delancey. it's in a small stall there, but is still full of lovely goodness. some of the craziest dishes ever. (like slutty cakes!) no substitutions.

some examples. (but seriously, click the menu link on the page and see the whole thing!)
DAD- egg salad, bacon, cheese pancake sandwich
KRAKATOA- egg,sausage stuffing potato volcano
MR.MENTION- jerk oxtail, beef-a-roni, eggs, toast
BINGO-fried brussel sprouts, guacamole mayo, ciabatta (this one is a sandwich!)

so. tracy and i went there last friday. we ate like it was going out of style. it had been well over a year since i had been there. they have weird hours; the market is closed on sundays. there are maybe 12 chairs in the whole place. we knew that a friday morning was the perfect time. AND, tracy and i like it there more than most other people we know. why? no idea.

i had “the original” BLISTERS ON MY SISTERS: fried eggs, bubbling cheddar cheese, rice, beans n' greens on crispy corn tortillas in a skillet.
yes, kids. that is the entire skillet. on the table. i did not eat the whole thing. i also ordered hash brown potatoes, which are deep-fried chunks of potato. this was to share. i mean, c'mon.
tracy ordered turkey bacon and MIGAS: eggs, grilled peppers, onions, avocado, tortilla strips, cilantro, salsa roja. it came in a BOWL. and was delicious.
this was a ridiculous meal. our eyes were so much bigger than our stomachs. and we ate a lot.


alone, eating.

there's a new book called what we eat when we eat alone and it's by deborah madison and patrick mcfarlin. it makes the suggestion that what we eat when we eat alone is different than when we eat with others. (and there are recipes.)

i tend to agree, reminding you of this and this. and i am going to give away some more secrets. i am feeling honest and open this morning.

1. i also really enjoy chickpeas straight out of the can. why? it's gross. why don't i put them in a bowl at least? no idea.
2. potato chips (ruffled or crinkled) with ketchup. it's like french fries, people!
3. saltines, straight from the sleeve.

what do these things have in common? ease and salt.

a podcast from npr interviewed the author and illustrator. i learned that people eat many more disgusting things than me. thank god.

i want to know what you eat when you eat alone.


fat, not phat.

oh my. i almost forgot the obesity study.

americans have been steadily gaining weight over the years, apparently most predominately in the south. we are eating approximately 300 more calories per day.

obesity, as defined by the centers for disease control and prevention:

For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.

  • An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
according to the most recent study, 25% of new yorkers are obese. and 28.1% of texans. and holy moly, 32% of mississippians. but, there has been an early release of new information.

the rates of diabetes are rising in correspondence with rates of obesity. already, 7.8% of americans are diabetic. 1/4 of them do not know about it. AND there has been no change in the amount of physical activity that people are doing.

ergh. almost all foods include processed sugars and fats. it's actually pretty gross. we eat foods that are not foods, foods that LOOK like foods, foods that are modified to SEEM like food, but are lacking in vitamins and nutrients. it's more expensive to buy water and apples than soda and french fries and pork rinds. it's infuriating and frustrating and people are seemingly lacking in information about food.

and, on that note, how is possible that manufacturers do not have to label when food is modified? or where it comes from? i am so agitated this morning.


the easiest.

sometimes you make a dish so easy, it's hard to understand why you had never done it before.

seriously, kids. this was a cold pasta salad tossed with grape tomatoes, sliced basil, crumbled feta, and a sprinkling of pepper. feta cheese is pretty salty so you don't need to add salt.



have i mentioned that i love fried eggs?

last week's farmers' market bounty allowed me to make some pretty exciting breakfasts this week. oh my. i haven't been to the grocery store in a month. luckily, liz buys things like rice and sugar in the cooperative.

1. saturday, june 27. with ray and liz.
  • sliced mango
  • asparagus sauteed with lemon and olive oil
  • watercress salad with tomato, kirby cucumber, and carrot
  • egg over-medium
  • whole grain bread
2. tuesday, june 30. before school.
  • whole grain bread toasted with hummus
  • kirby cucumber and tomato with shredded parmesan
  • egg over-easy
3. friday, july 3. with liz and kim.
  • roasted potato with garlic and olive oil
  • whole-grain bread
  • salad of sunflower shoots and sliced peach
  • egg sunny-side up
  • pasta salad with feta, basil, tomato, pepper
i want a diner. i love frying many eggs in the skillet. kim and liz conceived a small restaurant where i make one meal. people would eat whatever i made, which would be based on what i obtain at the farmers' market, which is also what they do weekend mornings. i am ready.

the last of the winter meals.

i think summer food is my favorite: all those berries and nice fruits and greens and sprouts.

one last meal at the end of the cold: brussel sprouts and asparagus sauteed in olive oil and garlic with fresh parmesan, chickpeas cooked in the cast-iron skillet with tomatoes and paprika, jasmine rice, and fried tofu. i really only like tofu when it is fried. it's the best way.

kim said she loved it. one of the best meals in a while.

leftover chips.

a secret: when there are only chip crumbs left in the bag, i pour them in a bowl with salsa and eat them like cereal. it's so good. but we had so many crumbs! as if there was such a thing. the bottoms of too many bags of chips.

migas were the only answer. usually, migas are made with tortilla strips, but chips work, too. i had never made migas before. and, it was a success.

1. whisk egg with milk.
2. in the cast-iron skillet, saute onions and garlic and peppers and jalapeno in oil.
3. add the chips to the skillet and stir until they get a bit greasy.
4. pour in egg mixture and stir. 5. i would have added cheese if i had any. preferably cheddar or monterey jack.
as you can see, i ate it with roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and avocado.



i am sure you've heard there has been a beef recall. it expands on an old one. gross.

from the u.s. department of agriculture:

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2009 - JBS Swift Beef Company, a Greeley, Colo., establishment is voluntarily expanding its June 24 recall to include approximately 380,000 pounds of assorted beef primal products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. This recall release is being reissued to expand the June 24 recall to include approximately 380,000 pounds of assorted beef primal products.

beef is not what's for dinner.


got me looking so crazy right now.

well well well

we knew it would happen. i went to see food, inc. i mean, isn't that obvious?

it's terrifying. not like the end of food, which i had to read fast because the anxiety it produced was overwhelming. but i wanted to throw up. everything that i have been writing and talking about for years was put onto a movie screen with accompanying visuals of feedlots and dead chickens and iowa. and veggie libel. it's scary out there. (and then, there are things like this image that frighten me, but i cannot truly explain why.)

people, you should watch it. it's so important. it's like all of those books i read all in one place. and here i am, being so self-righteous, writing about high fructose corn syrup and seeds and organic produce like i am some sort of scientist. i do not mean to be insane. mostly, i want to eat food. i know you do too. and it's not the shelf.

food, inc. reminds me that i am not alone in my desire. or neuroses.


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