Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thrilling Purchase

And a question: Given all the time I spent reading the blog French Laundry at Home... Why did I never buy this book before?

Also, I have to share my favorite line so far: "The great thing about foie gras is that it's foie gras—like the great thing about caviar is that it's caviar."

Summer Garden Porn

This year's garden, though less ambitious than I'd like (story of my life), is going gangbusters this month, thanks to unseasonably sunny and hot summer weather here in Seattle. (Today's predicted high: 87!)

Of all the things I've tried for the first time this year, my proudest achievement is a tossup between potatoes (I just bought organics at the grocery store, chunked them up, and planted them in a repurposed sandbox, mounding dirt around the plants as they grew) and tomatoes.

Not just any tomatoes, though—these were grown from seeds I bought at the garden shop, against the stern advice of the saleswoman, who advised coming back for plants in a few months. I've been told over and over again that you can't grow tomatoes from seeds in the Northwest—it's too cool and wet for too long to give them enough growing time to set fruit—and while I've yet to harvest anything, the green ones are already coming in. Now I'm just crossing my fingers for a few more weeks of 80-plus temperatures and blue skies.

The first tiny tomatoes.

Potato plants—Russian banana fingerling, purple, and Yukon Gold

Wanna know how to tell the difference between male and female squash blossoms? Go here.

Lemon cucumber plants, with the last of this year's fava beans in the background

Tomatillos—another plant I've been told wouldn't grow in the Northwest. It grows like a weed.

Aaaah! They're taking over!!! (Note defenseleess carrots underneath squash plants; the leeks have already been buried.)

I had no idea what these were until I pulled one up. Who would've thought I planted parsnips?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Reason to Love Big Cities


And I thought the $3.99 brie-topped baked potato I bought at Michou for lunch today was a killer deal... Serious Eats NY has a roundup of food you can buy in New York for a buck or less.

On the list: Deep-fried meat/veggies/fish on a stick (including squid, tripe, beef and broccoli) from a street vendor in Queens, $1; agadashi tofu at May's Place in the West Village, $1; and a falafel half-pita from Cinderella Falafel, $1.

News Flash: No Matter How Many Cookies You Bake In It, Your Car Will Not "Reverse Global Warming"

Photo by Flickr user Amber in Norfolk.

And we're back!

Sorry, folks, for the long absence... as you may or may not already know, I've taken a new gig at PubliCola, which involves my professional and personal passions, respectively: reporting on politics and blogging about food!

I'm hoping, however, to get back to blogging here on a more regular basis now that things have started to settle down a little in my professional life. Although, honestly, the first thing that really got me itching to blog again wasn't about food, exactly—it was this article, linked on the Huffington Post (a site that makes my blood on pretty much an hourly basis) about how "baking cookies on your car's dashboard will OMG save the planet!!!"—which, depending on how you look at it, is a perfect example of greenwashing, "environmental" consumerism, cognitive dissonance, or all three.

I'm not exaggerating. Here's the headline:
Cookies: The New Dashboard Jesus?
They aren't being ironic, I'm afraid:
TreeHugger's virtual “watercooler” (via Skype) was all a buzz this morning with this delicious tip via Lifehacker: warm, chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookies baked a la dashboard.

Which we love not only because it’s one more way to keep our kitchens cool during the dog days of summer but because it’s energy-free, no oven—or fossil-fuels—required. And in the grand scheme of things, helps reduce our carbon emissions!
"Have your eco-friendly cookies and eat 'em too," "reverse global warming," blah blah blah.

Look. I've got no problem if you want to bake cookies on the dashboard, eggs on the sidewalk, or whatever. But the idea that you can "reverse global warming" by baking cookies IN YOUR CAR—the same car, I'm gonna go out on a limb and presume here, you drive to work every day—borders on self-parody. Unfortunately, it isn't April 1.