Tagged: Food

All Of A Sudden, I Am Interested in Twitter

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Sorry Chris, but this is going to be another "how cool is living in SF" post. The other day I was walking around and found a little trailer selling some incredible crepes. I talked with the folks there briefly, and they let me know that San Francisco has a great tradition of "street food" and that most of it is now coordinated by Twitter.

Turns out, you can get everything from curry to tamales to goat tacos, on the streets of San Francisco (sorry, I couldn't resist..) in conveyances ranging from the classic taco truck to a guy on a bike. And, they use Twitter to tell you exactly where they are going to be. They also give you hints as to what's on the menu.

Acting as a guiding force in this is an organization called La Cocina. They are helping street vendors deal with city ordinances and permits, acting as incubators for food ideas and even offering kitchen space for aspiring street vendors. Here's a map they put together of some of the many choices around SF.

I'm not usually one for the Twitter/flashmob/social networking sort of thing, but (probably because I love food like I love oxygen..) this whole thing just seems very cool to me. It's almost enough to make me sign up for Twitter and follow a bunch of these folks in hopes they make it to my neck of the woods. Especially those bacon wrapped hotdogs!

When I think about Pad Thai causing ignominious downfalls . . .

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. . . I'm usually thinking about me eating the rest of the take-out at one in the morning straight out of the refrigerator.

But apparently Thai food is even more destabalizing than that.

Thailand's prime minister was forced to resign along with his Cabinet on Tuesday after a court ruled that he had violated the constitution by hosting TV cooking shows while in office.

Was it worth it? That depends. Did it come with cha yen? I love that stuff.

Allow me to mention that I cannot imagine wanting to eat anything that any recent president would want to teach me to cook.

Did We Say Cyanide? Sorry. We Meant Oregano.

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Via BoingBoing: Swedish cooking magazine means to tell readers to add two pinches of nutmeg; instead tells them to add 20 nutmeg nuts, which is a lot. Too much nutmeg makes you delirious, apparently. I think I've experienced that myself. Though it might have been the spiked eggnog upon which the nutmeg was sprinkled.

Michelle Malkin Is In A Pickle

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One of Michelle Malkin's favorite themes about Barack Obama is that he's an elitist, because he does things like mention arugula. Real Americans eat iceberg lettuce, preferably smothered with some sort or orange cheese. A more rational pundit might have noted that Obama's arugula-and-Whole-Foods reference in Iowa was too subtle if it was a joke and rather tone-deaf if it was not. Malkin's objection is not so limited; she's seized on food as a class-dividing dog whistle and is committed to gustatory orthodoxy.

But I think that it's possible Michele Malkin's standard for what sort of food is elitist or strange might be even a little more extreme than we previously realized.

The Obamas also invited 60 Minutes to come film the family making tuna fish sandwiches earlier this year–you know, to show what a regular guy he is. Question: Who the hell puts Grey Poupon and gherkins (don’t ask me what those are, I have no idea) in tuna sandwiches for kids?

Even in fawning Malkinland, that's good for some eye-rolling from her commenters. And think for a minute what type of thinker that makes her. She's never heard of a gherkin (okay — odd to me, but whatever), but decides to (1) present it as something elitist, odd, or silly, (2) admit she's never heard of it, and (3) not bother to Google it.

That's because intellectual and journalistic curiosity are like elitist panini, but willful ignorance is like a patriotic Wonder-Bread sandwich.

To Our Unmarried Readers

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When you get married, don't elope.  Don't do it before a major holiday either.  We did this, and while it seemed right at the time because we were young radicals, in the end I regret that the experience wasn't shared with our families, who've been good to both of us.

But if you must, one advantage is easy reservations on anniversaries.  I just scored the best table in the best restaurant in the state, a multiple James Beard award winner for cuisine and for bakery/dessert, for our fast-approaching ninth.  On almost zero notice.

I shall food-blog soon.

Four Meals, Nine Bucks

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One bag of dried pinto beans cooked two days earlier as part of a larger batch (most delivered to sick relative last night, spiced without salt). – two bucks.

One kielbasa, purchased at farmer's market – four bucks.

Two cups rice – one buck or less.

One onion, one tomato, purchased at same farmer's market – one and a half bucks.

Two large spoonfuls Chinese mustard, paprika – half a buck or less.

Cooked the sausage and the onion in a cast iron skillet, seasoned the beans with the mustard, paprika, and the tomato, which was chopped after a short boil. Tossed in the sausage after cutting, and onion, mixed well. Served over rice.

Best meal I've had in weeks.

But I'll Draw The Line At Little Umbrellas

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Via khomotso, an inhabitant of our forums, I found this new cocktail blog. I'm enjoying more cocktails, and experiments with same, since my wife bought me a shaker and some decent glasses. The blog looks like fun, and goes on my watch list — the reference in the title alone sells it.

My Kind of Tourism

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A college friend sent me this marvelous tour of Oxford's pubs, making me feel warm, nostalgic, thirsty, and old all at the same time. The article beautifully captures the diverse atmospheres of the different watering holes scattered across the venerable city. I have fond memories of trying them all, and of drinking in not just the damned warm beer but also the sense that you had sit yourself down for a friendly drink in a spot where history had happened. It seemed amazing at the time that you could go to such a place that had been there so long and that there would be a chair and a pint for you — it was like being able to get a reservation at the Lincoln bedroom for a long weekend. At the time the pubs still had to close at 11, so we'd meander slowly back to Stanford's architecturally depraved dorm on the High Street, perhaps stopping at a Kebab van to have a pita filled with some unknowable meat carved from a juicy haunch on a spit, careless of the danger, happy recipients of the amused goodwill of the English.

I mean, we learned stuff, too. But the pubs stand out.


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Last night we tried Ka San Korean BBQ in La Crescenta, a couple of miles from us. Katrina and I had eaten there years ago — before kids, if I recall correctly — immediately after they opened. It did not go well. Their air conditioning system was cranked up so high that we could see our breath (not a joke — I mean that literally), and their BBQ tables were not working, so we had to eat only things cooked in the kitchen. But the whole point of Korean BBQ is cooking at your own table — stuff cooked in the kitchen is much more likely to be congealed and greasy.


Nature, Red in Tail and Claw

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I've mentioned before that I like it when circumstances force us to confront what our food looks like in pre-processed form prior to preparing and consuming it. It's a link to reality and a small hole poked in the cocoon of antiseptic and artificial modernity that embraces us.

That feeling was put to the test this weekend, when my good friend Roger and his wife Andrea — now sadly moved to New Jersey — sent us a lobstergram.


Early Thanksgiving Time Waster

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My friend Caren is (among many other things) a vegan. Being myself, I make endless fun of her for it (and she gamely pretends that my tiresome jokes are funny.. most of the time.) She is also (among many more things) a talented writer and excellent cook. She has combined these three things to start a wonderful blog called The Fennel Files.

Her blog reads like a really good cookbook. Each entry is a story which segues seamlessly into a recipe that even makes this avowed carnivore salivate. I really enjoy the breezy and intimate tone of her writing, and how she layers the recipe with personal recollections. You almost feel like you are getting a family secret handed down to you every entry.

By the way, the title of her blog is a reference to my oldest completely unfunny canard about veganism. I'd like to think that my lack of wit has inspired her to better me in every way.

So, go forth ye foodies, check out the Fennel Files and don't blame me if veganism starts to sound pretty darn good!

Two Days til Thanksgiving: Cheese Appetizer.

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This is something that I prepare around the holidays. It's quick and easy to make and keeps well in a used cookie tin, or indefinitely in a freezer bag. Since it has no real name, I refer to it here as "Cheese Appetizer." Typically we serve Cheese Appetizer to company on arrival, as the finished product looks appealing if presented properly. Only a few of them will take the edge off of hunger without destroying the appetite. Be aware that this snack is deadly to vegans and the like.


One pound of sharp cheddar cheese, grated.

One pound of "patty" sausage, the sort that one rolls into patties.

One cup of flour.

Tabasco or hot pepper sauce to taste.

Grate the cheese, and add it in a mixing bowl to the sausage. Sprinkle pepper sauce. Add flour. Knead the mixture until it becomes of uniform consistency with cheese and sausage evenly distributed. Then divide the mix into nuggets about the size of a small walnut.

Place resulting product on a greased or otherwise non-stick cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees (until it reaches desired level of brownness). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place Cheese Appetizer in tupperware or a cookie tin if to be served within the next day, or freeze in a bag for reheating later.

Cheese Appetizer may sound disgusting from the ingredient list, but it looks wonderful if the nuggets are assembled properly, and I've never had any go uneaten when serving to others.

Only 9 days til Thanksgiving

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Every year Mrs. Patrick and I enjoy this holiday with friends from college. We don't do family (that's Christmas), nor do our like-minded heathen friends, though they're starting to bring children into the mix. Bummer.

This year it's at our house. Among other things, I'm making Brunswick stew, a dish most commonly enjoyed in the Carolinas and Virginia. As a purist, I prefer to make it with rabbit, but it will be hard to explain to visiting children that they're eating Mr. Bunny. This recipe therefore uses chicken. (more…)