sick day.

i stayed home sick today, the second sick day i have had in 5 years. don't despair--it's not the swine flu or anything. i think i just needed rest.

i had egg salad on organic sourdough wheat with tomato for lunch. and a carrot. and stumptown coffee. and then keith brought me some super juice with a billion percent of the daily recommended vitamin c. ok, not that much. but a lot.


1. the kids in japan think farming is cool.
2. the smart choices program has been suspended!
3. i read other people's food blogs, too:
  • smitten kitchen-- clean and lovely. and delicious. you will want to be in her kitchen all of the time.
  • simply breakfast-- it's a bit like mine, but admittedly only about breakfast. and has super photography. it's really beautiful.
  • happy lady eats-- kitschy, with lots of products.
  • clara's kitchen-- clara is 94 and cooks meals from the depression and shows it to us on youtube. her own series. she's adorable, even if her cooking tools are always misplaced.
4. i am going to buy the final issue of gourmet, the november 2009 thanksgiving issue, out now. also, i JUST discovered that gourmet has a food politics section. where have i been? seriously.
5. there's a crisis on the dairy farms. consumer demand is down and the dairy farmers need a market to sell their goods. today, they explained this to the senate agricultural committee, who will apparently consider fixing the milk pricing system in the next farm bill.
6. the photograph is of the teeniest fingerling potatoes ever; i got them at the carroll gardens farmers' market. these are not even the smallest of the bunch; the runts were long gone when i took the photograph.


because i forgot.

i bet you want to know what i've been eating.
  1. monday, october 26, dinner: elbow pasta with organic tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, oyster mushroom, onion, and garlic.
  2. sunday, october 25, breakfast: fried egg, black beans with onion and jalapeno, garlicked baby fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, sliced cucumber, and corn chips. (pretty much a bit of everything i had in the apartment)
  3. monday-friday, october 19-23, breakfast: organic plain yogurt with blackberry-peach jelly (from my trip to the berkshires) and beowulf blend coffee from oren's. (i love that it's a literary blend, even though i didn't love beowulf when i read it in high school.)
  4. lots of empire apples, also from the trip, but not purchased in berkshires. they are from upstate new york. eat locally, kids.
there are a plethora of foods that we don't grow anywhere near here, and a good citizen would try not to eat them when they are not in season. but how does one go all winter without tomatoes? thoughts?


a lament.

i want to join the park slope food co-op ("the cooperative," liz says). i love the socialism of the whole thing: making a contribution to the store for better-priced GOOD food. it's only 2.75 hours a month; i am reminded. i do more than that each week at housing works.

but it's easy to mess up. an unplanned cancellation of any kind requires 2 make-up shifts and before your next scheduled one! i have friends who have been banned from shopping because they fall too far behind. when i am with other co-opers, i feel as though i should be a part of this shopping extravaganza, but i cannot commit. i worry too much. i can't do it. i don't want to get in trouble. and in the end, this feels dumb.

luckily, i have the farmer's market to get my goods. they are nice and never get upset and their produce is so damn beautiful. AND this week's nytimes reminds me that i am not alone.

ADDENDUM, october 29: adrien grenier has some feelings about the co-op, too. he's a member, but doesn't shop there. he also does not shop at the whole foods.


hands full.

my roommate's boyfriend's family has a farm. and he's from cooperstown, new york, like ommegang and the baseball hall of fame. and he makes pesto.

so the roommate cooked up that tasty pesto with some broccoli rabe and bow-tie pasta. the roommate seems to think this blog is one of the weird, nerdy things i do, but he's the one who mentioned that his cooking should be described here, even if the boyfriend actually made it.



a surfeit of things. yes, just things.
  • the anatomy of a burger. let me tell you where the e. coli comes from. or not.
  • the 2008 farm bill, which includes the conservation reserve program transition option, which includes "offers a special incentive of two years of extra CRP rental payments to owners of land, which is currently in the CRP but returning to production, who rent or sell to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who will use sustainable grazing practices, resource-conserving cropping systems, or transition to organic production." holy moly. subsidies to organic farmers. it's a start.
  • a podcast: what farmers think of michael pollan.
  • libertarian ideas on wal-mart and the selling of good food.
  • the "fried food capital of texas," the texas state fair. wishing i was eating deep-fried peaches and cream.
  • purchased the 1957 betty crocker cookbook for kids for jordan rose. if she grows up to hate baking, i expect to get this book back. it's amazing.
  • for myself, eating for victory by jill norman. one of these days, i am going to write a cookbook for eating during the current depression/recession/cataclysmic economic mess.
  • oh, and, um, i am on twitter. follow me here.


so vexatious.

i don't really understand why farmers (the farm bureau, specifically) don't seem to care about the environment. it's seems like the relationship between humans and land would be more mellifluous. but apparently, they don't care about climate change.

they don't care. the farmers. c'mon.

and yes, that's a beautyberry. thanks again, lady bird.


that time of year.

it's the week of the annual nytimes magazine food issue. let's start with michael pollan's list of food rules, submitted by others. it's weird and funny. and full of odd truths. BUT, there is more, including articles on mexican coke, jamie oliver, polenta, food in india, and jonathan safran foer. read along.


oh, ruth reichl.

gourmet magazine will soon be no more. all those glorious food photographs. and interesting and smart recipes. a magazine that was prestigious and delicious. and i thought it would be bon appetit, i guess, like everyone else.

people will have to come to me for food advice now.


lost city.

lost city: a cool blog about the destruction of new york buildings and culture. some of you historians and librarians and contrarians might like it. and yes, it has to do with food.


i explained the laws of supply and demand this week to my students, including elasticity and the likes of alfred marshall. it was perfect and unfortunate that i could use a real-life example.

from the nytimes:
Three years ago, a technological breakthrough gave dairy farmers the chance to bend a basic rule of nature: no longer would their cows have to give birth to equal numbers of female and male offspring. Instead, using a high-technology method to sort the sperm of dairy bulls, they could produce mostly female calves to be raised into profitable milk producers.

Now the first cows bred with that technology, tens of thousands of them, are entering milking herds across the country — and the timing could hardly be worse.

The dairy industry is in crisis, with prices so low that farmers are selling their milk below production cost. The industry is struggling to cut output. And yet the wave of excess cows is about to start dumping milk into a market that does not need it.

oh my. the technology is failing us. it's the brave new world. they are using what they call "sexed semen" to force the cows to produce the gender wanted. they collect it at a "stud farm." oh my.

too much milk. and it's obviously modified. and not labeled as such. the farmers are losing out. there must be a better way, a better policy overall.

texas, our texas.

the don juan at juan in a million.

kids, this taco dish was a major part of the reasoning i had for visiting austin when i am otherwise insanely busy. adam richman attempted to eat 8 don juans on man v food. when i questioned blake about the validity of this place, he agreed that it was spectacular. and that richman was crazy when he attempted the challenge.

i love a good eating challenge, but i could barely finish the mess of taco paragon on my plate. (or make it to the wall of fame.) the don juan is eggs, cheese, and potatoes. the omnivores eat it with bacon, too. it's more than 3 heaping tacos. because, of course, this perfection goes in a tortilla with salsa. people line up around the store to eat this on the weekends. yes, i saw the line on sunday.

and! juan shakes everyone's hand when they come through the door. a solid handshake. i love a good handshake. texans excel at handshakes.

post-juan, blake and i visited the lbj presidential library. my first presidential library! (for the record, i was so full that i had to walk around or i thought i might explode.)

there was an animatronic lbj! he spoke about his great society from the confines of his ranch, it seems. it was truly a sight to behold.

blake watches him. and is mesmerized. and happy.
here he is up close. frightening. i am in awe.
but i am so very content with the entire adventure.

yellow rose of texas.

mmm... curra's. more mexican food. for breakfast. with oaxacan coffee (which means it has vanilla!).
huevos al albanil: eggs with pasilla and borracho sauce. so, pasilla is a chile pepper; the name means "little raisin." and borracho sauce is the kind with beer in it. yes. and onions and tortillas. and chips and salsa.
what do you do after a meal like this one? go swimming at krause springs with lori. and then?

ice cream at amy's. i had cinnamon. it's like ambrosia.

as pretty as a lady bird.

a trip to the lady bird johnson wildflower center followed the tacos. a jaunt around the grounds included learning about how long it takes the water to get from there to barton springs, the definition of savannah, a peak into research on green roofs, and lots of cacti. and obviously, a beetle. (a great person used to call me ashley beedle for fun.)
lady bird johnson is responsible for the wildflowers that grow across texas. apparently, she was the reason for the highway beautification act, which includes bluebonnets in the spring along the interstates. unfortunately, not in september.

the water at the center was so good; i kept drinking it at each and every drinking fountain.

on the way home, we stopped to buy the "family reunion" 6-pack of shiner, which had 6 kinds of beer, and bob's jalapeno chips. it was the happiest hour.
and a cactus, for good measure.

hole in the wall.

it was an actual hole-in-the-wall. on manor road. (pronounced may-nor. why? no idea.) there was no door to this taco stand. just a window. a walk-up window.
across the street, there was a bus stop with painting of longhorns. and it was over 90 degrees out.
also: a church and a laundromat and hair salon.
a girl of indiscriminate age took our order. i got two tacos: one with migas and cheese (which means tacos in my taco) and another of potato, egg, and cheese.
we walked into some east austin neighborhood to find a random bench in a sort-of park. and we ate the tacos. with a green sauce. jamie says that it is from a different kind of pepper every time and that you never know what the color will be. and it was an impressive sauce.
and they were the best tacos of the trip.

oh, yeah.
the other kids eating their tacos:
jamie.don't fret. there's more.

the stars at night are big and bright.

a short story. told in parts.

i went to austin last weekend to hang out with blake and eat tacos. and go swimming. and do things related to the johnson adminstration.

i rode the train to jfk and took this picture. it's around 7am. the plants have taken over the abandoned train track; the graffiti includes the tag, "fuck you toys." i have no idea what that means.
jet blue for the second time ever. free wi-fi in the jet blue terminal. seltzer and blue potato chips on the plane.
i await blake's arrival to the smallest international airport i have ever been inside. all of the retail establishments are austin-related. EVERYTHING. no starbucks.
greeted with an imperial sugar dr. pepper. blake is so awesome. these are hard to come by.

before texas, jejuneness.

september 22:
  • cauliflower with oyster mushrooms, olive oil, and dijon
  • salad of red-leaf lettuce, goat cheese, tomatoes
  • perfectly fried egg
september 21:
  • whole-wheat pasta with fresh basil, tomatoes, and garlic
pretty simple. but tacos were on the horizon! i couldn't think.


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