news, again.

  • there are so many people on food stamps (1 in 8!) that the stigma is disappearing, says the nytimes. i wonder if the writer has ever actually had a broken ebt card and had to have a manager called over the loud speaker in the grocery store.
  • also, from the nytimes, the plight of the soul food farm and the profitability of its csa.
  • ruth reichl was on npr. she made cranberry relish and knew the recipe by heart, of course. she said it keeps FOREVER and then giggled about it.
  • i still have almost half the cauliflower left. it did not go bad while i was in texas.



i am so far behind in my food news this week that i am just going to list the articles of interest. with short responses from me, obviously.
  1. "Is There Such A Thing As Agro-Imperialism?" my answer is yes. read, please.
  2. "Tuna's Death Spiral." the blue fun tuna are in a predicament. endangered? maybe.
  3. "In Mississippi Delta, a Promising Summer Washed Away by the Fall." farmers are in trouble in the delta. real trouble.
  4. "Butterballs, or Cheese Balls, An Online Barometer." what to do with your turkey and other thanksgiving whatnot? find out in this article.



i bought the biggest, baddest cauliflower at the farmers' market last week. i was on my way to brunch in fort greene when i purchased it. it's enormous, organic, was grown nearby, and cost only $3. insanity.

but i then had to carry it all the way and back to maura's house. and now i have to eat it. i have had cauliflower 3 times this week so far, including sauteed in butter with salt and pepper this morning. the meal pictured is curried cauliflower with tomatoes and onions, mixed with long-grain brown rice. it was truly magnificent. like something one would get in a restaurant.

forever? forever ever.

it took almost a month, but i ate all those empire apples courtney and i purchased on our drive back from the berkshires. eating an apple every day gets boring fairly fast and this last apple lived in a bowl on the counter forever. i finally ate it with cinnamon and peanut butter.



i might never be able to eat beef again. it all seems to get recalled. blech.

A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers. A facility in Ashville, N.Y., owned by the company, AFA Foods, recalled more than 500,000 pounds of ground beef on Oct. 31 after it was linked to an outbreak that has killed two people and sickened an estimated 500 others.
oh, new york, i wanted to believe you are better than other states.

can someone explain why this keeps happening? why would we buy beef from a corporation that refuses independent testing?


dance off.

i baked banana bread and rice krispie treats for kim's fundraiser for her theatre ensemble. i envision that the event was much like the end of girls just wanna have fun, but i think it was more of a regular dance party. with donations. and 1930s clothing.

another person was making cupcakes and cookies, so i decided to make goodies that could be individually wrapped. easily. i am pretty sure that i have not made rice krispie treats in 20 years. it's super easy. and messy, in a good way.

kellogg has been criticized lately due to its claims that rice krispies are good for immunity.

says the new york times:
Kellogg began adding extra antioxidants to its cereal last year, which it says help support the immune system. The company began advertising the change with large labels on cereal boxes that read in bold letters: ''Now helps support your child's immunity.''
but, there is a lot of madness surrounding the swine flu. so, kellogg will phase out the wording.

Kellogg said it will take several months to phase out the packaging but it will continue to offer the increased levels of certain vitamins in the cereal. Food makers have been facing increasing scrutiny for the labels that they put on their products, which have increased in number and scope in recent years.

the government was involved:

The FDA monitors the claims, but something like ''supports immunity'' is considered a structure or function claim -- which describes the role of a nutrient or ingredient and doesn't require the same scrutiny that other health claims might. So a company can say ''calcium builds strong bones'' or ''fiber maintains bowel regularity,'' but it's up to the manufacturer to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of the claim, and they are not preapproved by the FDA.

we need help. better labeling. better products.
this is the first world.


macarons, i love you so.

i've been to france many times, but i have only been to ladurée once, with ludo and blanche. it involved some very fancy fragrant tea in a formal setting, and frivolous desserts made for marie antoinette (or at least the film). but, ladurée is REALLY famous for its macarons.

i have just finished reading au revoir to all that, the book i began months ago about the decline of french food. of course, author michael steinberger mentions ladurée; it's a spectacular, incredibly french experience that one cannot miss in their lifetime. in the book, one learns that mcdonald's (which is part of the reason for the fall of french food) sells macarons. and! they are made by holder, the company that bought ladurée in 1997. it's distressing in a way that i cannot actually describe, though at least mcdonald's knows what is good for it.

and i not going to believe that the era of french food is really over, maybe just plateaued for now.

i love macarons. and i will not be able to return to france any time soon, but almondine is opening a location in park slope. michelle and i have been anticipating its arrival for some time, as the dumbo location is just too inconvenient for any person who doesn't live on the waterfront. almondine is the closest a new yorker can get to a ladurée macaron. in walking distance. yes.



an index of things.
(not to be confused with one my favorite blogs, indexed).
  • the final issue of gourmet was so hard for me to find that tina had to mail me one. i guess that everyone else wants one, too. and then, as i read it, i was a little teary at its imminent disappearance. the recipes and photographs are beautiful and delicious. tracy and i have plans for a second thanksgiving, gourmet-style, which includes a pumpkin-ginger trifle. i have been dying for a reason to buy a trifle dish. and now, it is here.
  • marc bittman wrote about a maple pear upside-down cake. i want it now. (yes, i am channeling veruca salt.)
  • two of my students told me not to bring michelle canned soup. she's been out sick and the kids know we are friends and envision we spend every waking minute together. ANYHOW, why no canned soup? there is bpa in everything. ugh. at least they know. i didn't even have to tell them.
  • smitten with the potential of remedy quarterly. kick-started them on kickstarter.
  • crush on sam kass, white house chef. dreamy locavore.
  • bought hawthorne valley farm yogurt this week. i eat plain yogurt every morning with a little bonne maman confiture. this yogurt is a little sourer and more liquidy than others. i love that it comes from nearby and is organic and that they have a csa, but it's not my favorite. hence, i have been waxing poetic about french yogurt. they really know their yogurt, those french.
  • the food rut remains. this photograph is of a creation from early this week. it's a soupy noodle dish. i boiled the vermicelli in vegetable broth and added in sauteed carrots, broccoli, and chard. also included were white beans of some sort. i have so many kinds of dried beans and this jar wasn't labeled. i keep wanting to call them navy beans, but they aren't navy and that confuses me. but i think they are navy beans.
  • i want to go to the henry public. and i need an omnivore to accompany me. there is a turkey leg sandwich! i am curious. i always loved dark meat as a kid. i talked to tracy for a long time the other night about the dark meat of my youth, usually chicken thigh covered in italian bread crumbs or baked with mushroom soup.
i think that this might be all for this index. there's more. i'll get there.

a treat.

these are busy times. and late monday, i thought that my efforts deserved a beer. and so i picked up a samuel smith imperial stout. it was the perfect weather (cold, windy) for this type of beer. it's filling and sweet, a little bit chocolate and a little bit coffee. everything you want in a drink.

especially when it comes in such a beautiful bottle.
and poses on flip books.

i drank the whole bottle; i couldn't help myself (and no one here drinks beer).


so fast.

the botany of desire will only be online in its entirety through tomorrow. watch now!


coffee constant.

i am drinking A LOT of coffee. my colleague has caught me drinking coffee at work 2 mornings this week, which is after i have had coffee at home. but i love LOVE it. i am busy and tired. and, i mean, coffee is so good.

i was home all day yesterday, and drank coffee all day, which is something i only allow myself to do on the weekends. in graduate school, april and i would drink it all day, every day, probably about a pound per week. obscene, really.

so, for breakfast, fried egg (yes, still), black beans with chard, garlic, and onion. also: tomato and mozzarella, and yellow corn ships and hummus. with more beowulf blend coffee.
study snack: more coffee. carrots. everything i want in the world. (i love that you can see my earplugs in this photo, in addition to au revior to all that and a postcard to hazel.)
caputo's is this awesome italian meat and cheese shop on my block. i have been buying fresh mozzarella there (i like it salted), and yesterday, i stepped it up and bought fresh pasta as well. i might not go back to dried. this was awesome.
i put the broccoli in the pasta water for a little while. this way it was already cooked through when i stir-fried it with the onions, garlic, and bell pepper. (i was also then able to re-use the water, and preserve some of the vitamins.) i added the tomatoes (organic, probably not local) and mozzarella last. yum.

might be.

i think i am in a food rut. nothing sounds exciting. and everything sounds the same. i am still eating, because, well, i am hungry, but let's just say i miss summer and summer fruits. this is a stir-fry of chickpeas, broccoli, orange bell pepper, swiss chard, onions, and garlic over long-grain brown rice.


BUT, i am dreamy over white house chef, sam kass. so there's that.

let's start here.


i haven't had the flu (knock, knock) since the 8th grade when EVERYONE got it. i never made it to school that week but, apparently, the line to the nurse's office was all the way through the school. there were probably about 900 kids in the school.

that was also the year i got the flu shot. and became a vegetarian.

i teach high school and spend my days with teenagers. those kids share everything (gross). it's expected (almost) that i catch something at some time, and while i have had a cold here and there, no flu. or anything. 2 sick days in 5 years--mostly because i needed rest. the kids (and staff) have had pneumonia, strep throat, mononucleosis, flu, swine flu, god knows what else.

i have a jar of star anise. i don't like licorice. i am unsure what encouraged the purchase. apparently star anise has shikimic acid, the active ingredient in tamiflu, the H1N1 and H5N1 antiviral drugs. we rely on a random fruit to save us. but, a person needs a lot of it, and the only way to get the proper dose is in the vaccine.

i don't want to get the vaccine, and do not plan to do so, especially for H1N1. it's so new. i had the chicken pox and survived and they vaccinate the kids for that now, too.

and the vegetables. i think this blog is a testament to the fact that i eat pretty well. i over-think everything in the grocery store, trying not to buy foods that traveled too far, come from companies who i know are evil, and/or have ingredients i don't understand or want.

there must be a connection between eating well and not getting sick, right? or i just have good genes? i hope both are true.



watch the entirety of the botany of desire, the pbs program based on michael pollan's book of the same name, here. i am super busy so i haven't seen it yet, but i will. you know it.


the breakfast of marathoners.

the nytimes is rocking it this weekend. in addition to world news and politics, topics include:
  1. fresh produce instead of cookies at the corner store in newark and cleveland.
  2. "the carnivore's dilemma:" an essay on meat as a huge contributor to climate change.
  3. recipes for st louis gooey butter cake AND ginger-apple upside-down cake.
that insipid-looking sandwich is my breakfast from yesterday. it's not really as sad as it looks. it's organic whole wheat sourdough bread with dill havarti and 2 fried eggs, with garlicky yukon potatoes, and cinnamon coffee.


monsanto, the maker of agent orange, bovine growth hormone, ddt, and genetically modified seeds, suffered a tremendous loss on friday when france's highest court ruled that it LIED about roundup, its weed-killing herbicide.
The decision came just days ago and confirms an earlier court judgment in France finding that Monsanto had falsely advertised Roundup as being "biodegradable" and that it "left the soil clean."
almost all of our crops in the united states are gmo (genetically modified organisms) and most of those crops are monsanto-owned, as monsanto sells 90% of the WORLD'S genetically engineered seeds.

i can't really say that i am sad for monsanto. 1.) we haven't found the genetic modifications to bring higher yields. 2.) this is false advertising. 3.) at least, in europe, the government is unafraid to tackle the companies that are detrimental to the people.

the free market does not mean no regulations.


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