Archive for October, 2009

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WND – The Bee’s Knees

October 29, 2009

red peppers - y

I come from a family that firmly believes that you should try everything at least once, and that when in Rome you should eat like the Romans, or like the Istanbulians or the Athenians or the Toledans or the Singaporeans or the Siamese, depending on where you happen to be at the time.  I’m absolutely on board with those theories right up until the food in front of me is raw, because I know it makes me a bad foodie but I really can’t get past the uncooked thing when it comes to raw meat/fish.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – Having an off day

October 22, 2009

apple peels

You ever have days where everything is just a little bit off?  Nothing specifically goes epically wrong, it’s just that the T is a little bit slower than usual which means you get to work just a little bit later than usual, and normally this isn’t a big deal but this morning you really needed to be at work exactly on time or perhaps even a little early instead of a little late.  Other drivers on the road are just a little bit stupider.  Things which are normally just make you roll your eyes are suddenly intensely annoying, like your coworker’s cell phone which serenades the office with Coldplay every 10 minutes, or the person in front of you at Starbucks who wants the venti, half-caf, sugar free vanilla soy latte, no whip at exactly 130 degrees. Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – Poor Jud is dead . . .

October 16, 2009

detritus

In a move that apparently surprised absolutely everyone, Conde Nast announced last week that it would be shutting down Gourmet magazine while its sister magazine, Bon Appetit, would survive. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

Gourmet was the original food magazine. Founded in 1941 it was the ‘it’ magazine for the foodie crowd long before the term foodie came into existence. It was the magazine that presented gourmet food to the American audience and epitomized the concept of haute cuisine in America. It was also the magazine that presumed that its readers all lived somewhere that they could get fresh apricots in February, and find obscure ethnic ingredients in their local grocery store, which is to say New York or California. It was the magazine where every recipe involved at least one ingredient I’ve never heard of, or would have to special order from the internet. Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – Ad Majorem Gloria Orangae

October 8, 2009

spices

This past Saturday was the 435th anniversary of the Siege of Leiden which is otherwise known in my house as the long historical story with no good food at the end (as opposed to the Escalade which is a long historical story which ends in chocolate and marzipan).

For those of you who may be a little fuzzy on your 16th C Dutch history, the Siege of Leiden was part of the 80 Years War during which the Dutch successfully overthrew their Spanish feudal lords and set themselves up as an independent nation.  The impetus for the war was mostly about taxation, with side excursions into the growing popularity of Anabaptism in the low countries which the Spanish (justifiably) saw as a threat to the Catholic faith.

In the year of our Lord 1574 the Duke of Alba laid siege to the town of Leiden which was a hot bed of radicalism and revolution.  Read the rest of this entry ?

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WND – The Zubin Look

October 2, 2009

mushroom stems

When I was in college I did a Junior Year Abroad in Edinburgh and ended up hanging out with a wide variety of other displaced US students (and a couple of Germans and a Welshman, but no actual Scots).  One of them was a Philosophy Masters student named Zubin.  He had a look that he would occasionally level at you that said – what planet are you from, and could you possibly return there posthaste.  It was an eloquent look and we promptly named it after him.  After graduation and upon joining the unwashed ranks of the working world I came to a greater and greater appreciation for utility of this particular gaze, because people are weird. Read the rest of this entry ?