Category Archives: food

And This Is Bad News?

OK, yes, in this economy, I don’t relish any business going under.

But still, I think this might be good for the county’s soul:

A new study by AlixPartners, an international business-advisory firm, suggests that up to 40 percent of the nation’s chain restaurants could be fighting for their very survival within the next 12 months.

The startling study reveals that many chains are taking a beating as a result of a combined one-two punch of fewer diners spending less money and massive debt. AlixPartners’ analysts described the plight of the industry as worrisome, citing low-price, quick-service eateries as the lone bright spot.

Four out of ten chain restaurants may go under in the next year? Does that mean that we can say goodbye to bland and “fun” places like TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s in favor of locally-run restaurants serving ethnic and local cuisine that have some heart?

Can we do away with crap like Buffalo chicken tenders, blossoming onions, and fried cheese spooge?

A guy can dream.

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Michelle, It’s Not Just About the Garden

It really is great that Michelle Obama is growing an organic vegetable garden at the White House. She’s sending a great signal about buying locally to eat healthfully.

But, she’s not going far enough:

However, when The Washington Post asked Mrs. Obama for her favorite recipe, she replied, “You know, cooking isn’t one of my huge things.” And last month, when a boy who was visiting the White House asked her if she liked to cook, she replied: “I don’t miss cooking. I’m just fine with other people cooking.” Though delivered lightheartedly, and by someone with a very busy schedule, the message was unmistakable: everyday cooking is a chore.

Cooking is a chore? Sadly, for most people, it is. To those, cooking it much like sweeping or washing dishes — an annoying task that must be completed to maintain a household.

It’s a shame that prepared and packaged meals have taken the place of real cooking in too many American homes.

As we lost our skills at the stove, we also lost something less tangible but no less important: the opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen, talking and cooking.

Indeed. One of the most pleasurable things in life for me is to cook for others. It gives me a creative outlet, lets me explore new things, and shows my family and friends that I like them and want then to be happy when they are in my home. It’s something of a catharsis after spending an irritating day at work. I can think of few things better than preparing a meal while having a glass of wine with my friends and family.

An added bonus is that cooking at home gives me the ability to control my food in order to make it more tasty and healthy (I’m starting to put ground carrots into most everything I cook, as the carrots don’t seem to change the flavor of most dishes, but that addition makes my dishes more healthful.

Getting away from fast food and processed food is an admirable goal, but it would be made better if the art of cooking were seen as the next step that will help people live happier lives.

I Love Being an American

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If we had Jack in the Box in Indiana, I would totally order this meal.

And then I would wonder why I’m fat.

What Was Sarah Palin Cooking???

Sadly, I’m still obsessed.

Did anyone see her on Fox’s Greta show last night?

She was cooking in her business suit and put some hot dogs in buns and then placed them in the oven.

Who does that? I was worried about the buns burning.

Later, she stuffed the hot dogs with cheese.

Again, who does that?

I’m not questioning her abilities as a chef, but what the fuck was she doing with those hot dogs?

El Mojito – Edited

After all of the rain we have been getting in Indiana, I was glad to relax on the deck with.it was exciting to have a dry and comfortable evening on the deck. I hope we have many more evenings like this one in the near future, free of floods, mostly.

But while being out there, I felt the need to mix one of my favorite drinks: the mojito.

To me, mojitos are like comfort food, except that they are drinks.

How do you make a good one? This is my process:

Squeeze the juice from two key limes into a glass.

Add a dash or two of simple syrup, according to taste.

Tear up four mint leaves and place them in the glass.

Muddle those ingredients.

Add ice to the rim.

Pour rum to the top of the glass.

Enjoy, use, and drink your mojito.

(On edit it seems clear that when I wrote the first version of this post, I had already had a few mojitos.)

Cilantro

From I Hate Cilantro:

“about one year ago i decided to go on a grand adventure… i decided to become an exchange studnet. i choose the country of Costa Rica beacuse i speak spanish and suppossidly the food is delicious. boy was i wrong…

i moved here about one month ago with my host family. i was very excited to try all the new foods.. and on my first day i was served up a heaping plate of declious looking rice and beans. i took one bite and resisted the urge to spit it all out. my food tasted like dish soap!! SOAP. there was soap in my food. i looked at my new family memebers to see if they had dected the soapy food disaster.. but no. they exclaimed how delicious the meal was. by means of magic i managed to choke down the rest of my meal convincing myself that the next would be better.

and once again… i was wrong. the evil green soap plant lurks in all my food here. it is the herb of the country. its in my eggs my beans my rice my soup. i cant seem to escape the horrid flavor. its been two months and there is no end in sight. my host family adores the rancid taste of cilantro. i guess i am stuck choking it down for another eight months… if i make it that long..

Heh. I was glad to read that post. Back in the 80s, I had my first experiences in Latin America. The people were warm, the nightlife was great, and the feeling of being in an exotic locale energized me.

The only problem was the food. Sure, technically the food in Mexico and Colombia was great. My host families worked hard to prepare meals that I would like, and overall I did.

But I thought much of the food had a soapy flavor. I began to think that people in Latin America didn’t rinse their dishes after washing them.  In my mind, not rinsing dishes must have been one of those incomprehensible cultural issues; I’d just have to get used to it.

Well, the soapy flavor of the allegedly unrinsed dishes turned out to be cilantro.

I was horrified to learn that people put that stuff in their food on purpose.  Why, oh why would anyone do that?

As time went on, I got used to cilantro in the US, as it became our country’s New Trendy Herb. I gagged and choked it down to be polite.

Now, I can take cilantro, but ugh.

More from I Hate Cilantro:

“I recentley lived in Chile for two years. The first month I was there I was presented, at a house of a native Chilean, with a very aptizing looking dish of salmon, avocado and green leafy plant that I thought to be a parsey garnish. I took a bite and nearly threw up. I quickly learned that this horrible bane was cilantro and that it was the most popular herb and flavoring ingrediant in Chile. As I often ate at peoples houses I was forced to gag my way threw many a meal not wanted to be rude. I had never heard of cilantro before in my life and didn’t know anything about it. Everyone else around me loved the stuff and I was so confused about how anyone could enjoy this rancid noxious weed.
I am so glad to back in the U.S. where I am not forced to eat this devil herb. However I have learned that I cannot eat at Indian restaurants as they cover everything they make with cilantro as well.
I was so happy to learn that there are fellow cilantro hater out there and that there isnt something terribley wrong with me. I think that there must be some chemical in the plant that only some people are able to taste and most people are simply unaware about how bad it can taste to us.

I’ve learned to be OK w/cilantro, but sometimes the soapy taste of a dish with way too much cilantro makes me want to vomit.

But I’m over it.

Photo of the Day

From my New Favorite Blog – Suicide Food:

I’m not a vegetarian, though I know that I really should be for a multitude of reasons that include my health, the natural environment, and concern over the treatment of the slaughtered animals. I’m just too lazy and a product of my culture to make that change just yet.

That being said, I’ve always been disturbed by advertisements for meat products that involve the animals that are going to be eaten who seem to be celebrating their own demise or the demise of a loved-one of theirs.

Why the hell should Charlie the Tuna’s feelings be hurt if he’s not good enough to be killed and have his body processed, put in a can and be a part of someone’s sandwich or casserole? Shouldn’t he celebrate the fact that StarKist will allow him to live, despite their perception of his genetic inferiority?

But seriously, go check out Suicide Food.