travel

The Worst Part of Scotland Was Leaving It

 
 My travels started when I made an off-hand comment to a friend in the UK about WWOOFing in Scotland
 
“I really want to WWOOF in Scotland for some reason.”
 
For the uninitiated, WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” and it’s a loosely organized international directory of farms that accept volunteer labor, usually in exchange for some degree of room and board. 
 

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)

The Long Goodbye: a trip to Europe

Something very strange happened to me recently. It was almost as I if was reenacting 2008. It's hard to believe it's been that long, that it's 2012 now and it's been nearly 4 years ago since I hopped on that plane to Stockholm, Sweden. I remember that day very well because that morning I woke up with my eyes all red and very obviously infected. What bad luck. Can you get an eye infection from crying? Because I admit I had been crying. He was going to Hong Kong and I was going to Sweden and he said there was no way we could continue our relationship over those distances.

Liver, corpse demons, and historical vegetarianism

 In the US, liver has been in the news with the California foie gras ban going into effect. However, I hadn't heard until today that Japan is going through it's own liver debate. If you have asked me to NYC restaurant recommendations, I've probably told you about Takashi, a unique West Village spot that serves the cuisine of Korean immigrants who lived in Japan.

Incredible Meals I've Eaten

 Dr. Lustig's recent moralistic tirade on how we are all so fat and unhappy because are trying to get pleasure from food reminded me of exactly why I love food. For me, gaining a better relationship with food meant learning to enjoy it as an experience rather than just a rote vaguely pleasurable activity.

Music and other misc

 I just moved to Chicago recently and have been settling into my new job and new apartment (in Lincoln Park), so that's the cause of most of the silence recently. In the meantime, I've been enjoying some music. I'm a huge fan of a type of music called joiking, which is a traditional Sami style of singing that is mainly wordless chants. I mentioned Torgeir Vassvik in another post, who has a traditional album and a jazz-fusion (very popular in that region) album. Here are two joik bands I've been listening to.

I'm leaving New York

 When it rains here the windows of the buildings behind mine look like they are crying. The raindrops make dark trails in the wet cement. I want to open my window and hear the rain, but I only have one window and it is taken up by the air conditioning unit. I'm not sure whether to take it out or not. I seems like autumn comes so slowly here and one day it's 60 and the next day it's 85 again. I try not to do so much here because I know I am leaving.

Can complex flavors cause weight loss?

 I'm perfectly comfortable with blood, guts, and that sort of thing. But when it comes to the food of simple Americans, I can be quite squeamish. There is nothing so horrible as things such as meatloaf, casserole, "hamburger helper," or lasagna. Add some steamed mixed frozen vegetables and I'm in Hell. I'll never forget the one horrible summer at camp in Wisconsin where I was served mac & cheese with pearl onions and pieces of boiled ham. 

Tomorrow on the Runway

It's a testament to the size of this city that there are several "cult" paleo restaurants frequented by various "tribes." I don't know all of them and most of them I know from the grapevine, but Crossfit South Brooklyn's are Bierkraft (ask for the paleo "muffin") and Palo Santo. Apparently Crossfit Virtuosity's is Fette Sau, a famous Williamsburg BBQ place. Lately Eating Paleo in NYC's has been Takashi, which serves Korean-Style Japanese BBQ in the West Village.

Living in the Past

Ultuna, Sweden

"That's creepy. Why are your walls so empty?" my friend asked