This week in food…

Since starting this blog two weeks ago, I’ve been wondering how, or if, it would change my relationship with food. I’m relieved to report that for the most part, the changes I’ve noticed have been positive. I chop vegetables and wash bowls faster. I’m more prone to improvisation. When I get home tired from work, I can still summon the energy to make dinner because I know the extra effort will be worth it, and I’m excited to taste the finished dish. Also, there are always yummy leftovers in the fridge, so I always have stuff to take to work with me (and consequently, have been saving money by not eating out for lunch or buying snacks) and spend less time standing in front of cabinets, wondering what to eat. In the words of my mother, the biggest noticeable change is that she can always tell when I’m cooking because I have my camera with me (Though I have to admit, I’m still not quite used to taking pictures of my food).

Moreover, because I’m constantly on the lookout for new tips and recipes, I’ve been reading a lot more food-related articles. Here are my favorite finds from this week:

Tips and Tricks

How to Prevent Mold Growth on Berries: Rinsing your berries in warm water before refrigerating them apparently prevents mold. Is it magic? No. Science! (Just kidding. It’s definitely magic).

New York Centric Articles

Creating the Perfect Brooklyn Meal: Both a helpful guide for navigating Brooklyn’s many acclaimed eateries and a great source of inspiration for your own kitchen. I’m definitely keeping Colonie’s brussels sprouts combination in the back of my mind.

7 Unusual Meals to be Had Off the 7 Train: Ever spend long nights lying awake, wondering where to find roasted guinea pig, Colombian hot dogs, and Turkish “meat-canoes” in New York City? I’ve got you covered. If you’re wondering where to find a great place to take your in-laws or out-of-town guests, you should probably keep looking.

A Food Critic and His Two Daughters Review New York’s Best Ice Cream: Finally! A food review that understands that despite a foodie’s proclivities toward the unusual or pretentious, when it comes to dessert most of us revert back to being 8 year old girls. The close-ups of melty, toppings-laden ice cream and imaginative descriptions will make you drool on your keyboard.

Just for Lulz

The Most Annoying Dinner Party Ever: At first, I thought this was just going to be more complaining about vegetarians, people with food allergies, and other dietary restrictions, but this clever illustration pokes fun at prevalent but mostly unrecognized food tribes, like Pollanvores, Sobertarians, and Beigeatarians.

Books

– The Peculiar Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender: I didn’t have high hopes for this light summer read, but the writing is gorgeous and Bender has one of those gifts for structure that is both subtle and masterful. The book is about a girl who can taste other people’s emotions in the food they make; she literally eats feelings.  An excerpt:

My birthday cake was her latest project because it was not from a mix but instead built from scratch — the flour, the baking soda, lemon-flavored because at eight that had been my request; I had developed a strong love for sour. We’d looked through several cookbooks together to find just the right one, and the smell in the kitchen was overpoweringly pleasant. To be clear: the bite I ate was delicious. Warm citrus-baked batter lightness enfolded by cool deep dark swirled sugar.

But the day was darkening outside and as I finished that first bite, as that first impression faded, I felt a subtle shift inside, an unexpected reaction. Because the goodness of the ingredients—the fine chocolate, the freshest lemons—seemed like a cover over something larger and darker, and the taste of what was underneath was beginning to push up from the bite. I could absolutely taste the chocolate, but in drifts and traces, in an unfurling, or an opening, it seemed that my mouth was also filling with the taste of smallness, the sensation of shrinking, of upset, tasting a distance I somehow knew was connected to my mother, tasting a crowded sense of her thinking, a spiral, like I could almost even taste the grit in her jaw that had created the headache that meant she had to take as many aspirins as were necessary, a white dotted line of them in a row on the nightstand like an ellipsis to her comment: I’m just going to lie down. . . . None of it was a bad taste, so much, but there was a kind of lack of wholeness to the flavors that made it taste hollow, like the lemon and chocolate were just surrounding a hollowness. My mother’s able hands had made the cake, and her mind had known how to balance the ingredients, but she was not there, in it.

Hope you found some of these links enjoyable, helpful, or intriguing. Happy weekend!

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