cooking

Broths of Babylon

A few months ago when my friends and were planning another themed dinner party, I submitted the idea for Mesopotamia on a whim and it was picked. So I delved a bit into cooking from the Fertile Crescent, where many foods we eat every day originate. There are "recipes" that exist from this time and place, in the form of tablets from Babylon in the Yale collection written in cuneiform. The problem is that these terse "recipes" have certain ingredients that have not been conclusively translated. Perhaps archeology will fill in the gaps.

Home, here, there, and abroad: The best of what I ate this year

 An incomplete list of my favorites- I set the timer on 30 minutes to sift through my photos (makes me realize why I take them- Schwa, Ruxbin, Blackbird's dinner menu are absent because I didn't take any) and here is what I picked.

@home: lingonberry(frozen w/ no sugar/crap added from Erickson's Delicatessen & Fish), seaweed (Seasnax), reindeer pate (Smoking Goose Meatery), and buckwheat pancake (buckwheat from Chicago winter Greenmarket, soured in sour cream for a day, mixed with egg, cooked in butter)

Duck and DIY Food Processing

 It struck me as a sliced off lingering slivers of lovely red meat from the bones of the duck that I was doing something both very ancient and also very similar to the dreaded pink slime. Hear me out on this- pink slime's defenders talk about how it let's them use the whole carcass of an animal, which is an admirably thrifty concept. Of course it's been demented by desire for "low-fat" products, so the perfectly good little bits have to be mangled and treated like garbage in order to get the lean meat from it. 

Dr. Mcdougall is uncivilized

 One of the most hilarious articles I've come across lately is by low-fat vegan diet promoter Dr. McDougall. It's titled The Paleo Diet Is Uncivilized (And Unhealthy and Untrue). Who the hell uses words like "uncivilized" these days? The whole time I was reading it, I imagined Dr. McDougall as a snobby British gentleman with a tophat and monocle, as well as a Richard Dawkins-like scowl, pontificating on the savages. 

When in Rome

 In a weird turn of events, I have had two ancient-Roman inspired meals in the past month. It started when my friends and I decided to have a dinner party inspired by Apicius, an ancient Roman cookbook considered by some to be the first real cookbook. A translation is available for free online.

Eat fresh fruit, life with carnivores, fanmail, etc.

 I love that this is the entire dessert section for Zakary Pelaccio's Eat With Your Hands cookbook:

Easy Delicious Pork Belly + The Best Things I've Eaten Lately

 I've had some incredible meals lately, despite being very busy. I have a bunch of books I need to review, but you know how that goes. I think things will calm down for me after my work gets a real office and I also move into a new apartment. And stop traveling so much. 

Fish, blood, lamb

 An old lady about half my size almost pushed me into a bucket of fish today. I had just wanted in to Isaacson and Stein and I was kind of disoriented. I felt like I hadn't walked into a fish shop, but a school of fish already organized in a way I could hardly comprehend. Immigrants from around the world, Chicago old-timers with heavy accents, cooks from restaurants, and a few random confused white people circling bins of every possible fish I could imagine. Mainly whole fish, of course.

one Sister

 How is it possible to have so many brilliant meals in such a short span of time? I thought about that as I ate at one Sister, a small private supper club run by brilliant up and comer Iliana Regan. A couple across the table mused that it might be because in NYC people have to spend so much on rent that they don't have the money for food this luxurious and labor-intensive. Either way, this meal was certainly the rival of my meal at Next.

My Teeny Tiny Crib: Kitchen and standing desk hacks

Since late last year, I've been working from home. I live in a studio apartment, which is because I prefer having more money for food and travel, rather than more space I have to clean and pay for. Sometimes I wish I had a big place so I could have supper clubs, but I know I'd only use it about once a month anyway.

Either way, I constructed a standing desk out of random laptop stands, which was pretty easy since I'm about five feet tall. If I were taller I would have to adjust the actual IKEA desk, which the manual informs me that I should not attempt alone