Life's too short to eat bad food - Me

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sunday Brunch

One of those weird things.  Early last Sunday morning (way to early - an insomniac night) I read a post from a friend, cook and restaurateur that he was suspending brunch service until March.  That is sad - it's a bottom line boost.  Despite my own concerns (not to mention Bourdain's), about brunch in general, I am sure Steven knocks his out of the park.

But, despite my promise that on our next available "date" Trish and I will dine at Europa, brunch is not likely.

Sunday mornings are sacrosanct and almost ritualistic in nature. At eight the Today Show comes on.  Alison climbs the counter to get our special plates, assigned by design to each of us. Trish picks her off the counter and dances with her singing " A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes".  Trish cuts the bagels, I slice the onion (preferably red but plain yellow works fine).  After the local weather, the toasters get activated and I make the mimosas.  The kids Tang is ready.

Ellie gets a blueberry bagel - she doesn't do lox.  She takes about 2 hours to Spackle the cream cheese on.  The rest of us do everything bagels.  Alison takes a whole one - butter on one side cream cheese on the other - disgusting, but better since she stopped dunking it in orange juice.  Trish and I do it pretty much the same way, except I do capers. They are whole if we make them, open-faced if they are from Bagel Jay's

We toast: Cheers to new life and Bon Appétit. We added "and so it goes" after Vonnegut died, but have lost it.

9:00 if it's Sunday, It's Meet the Press.  10 another Mimosa and This Week.  We switch to Face the Nation at 10:30. PBS at 11 - we like Meacham and Stewart, but they don't hold our attention as much as Moyers, so we usually go up and Trish cuts my hair.

The we get on with the day.

So, Steven I wish you good luck when brunch resumes, and we will get there for dinner, but we just really enjoy this quality family "alone time".

And we giggle.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I would not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am - Dr. Suess
I grew up a Kosher home.  The first time I had a cured pork product at a classmate and neighbor's home.  It was bad baloney on white bread with mayo.  Served with milk.  I wanted to vomit, but I was nice.

It wasn't until my mother passed and we stopped being Kosher that I learned how bacon and eggs taste (and the bacon doesn't taste that way anymore - what do you think?).

My admiration for cured pork grew as quality improved and imports increased, but I have become a firm believer that the best is done yourself.  I wrote of the first attempt at a home brined and smoked ham earlier.  This one may have been better.  When you put the ham in a sandwich you taste the ham, not just the mustard.

It is worth the effort and I got a big bone and trimmings for pea soup!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frère Jacques

In February of 1981 I prepared a dinner to impress a red-headed nursing student from Bowling Green.  Her roommate (my law school classmate) and her boyfriend were there as well.  The dinner was not a disaster, but the soup was. (We still dated a year and a half).

It was then I decided I needed to learn to really cook, a journey I continue on today.  I went to a local used bookstore and asked not for cookbooks, but books that would teach me to cook.  She sold me Vol. 1 and 2 of Mastering and La Technique by Jacques.  I didn't cook through them a la Julie and Julia, but boy did I practice and learn.

Jacques and Julia taught me that you can disagree over cooking without being disagreeable.  Jacques and Claudine gave me ideas of how to cook with my kids. Jacques, himself, continues to inspire me.

Jacques is 75 today.  Celebrate with me!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is a test

Just trying out an app!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Life's too short to eat bad food

I am sorry.  This is still too high, but we cannot get the government to create one agency to supervise our food supply and give them the powers to enforce.  Ultimately the blame lies with us for accepting crap on our plates.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A new local find.

I love discovering local places like The Village Smokehouse in Orchard Park.  A small local niche business using excellent ingredients and giving one a choice over generic supermarket choices, or niche specialty items.  Found them when picking up some sheet music for Beezil.

I do my own smoking, and it's a haul from here, but I'll do what I can to support then.

No website or Face book page yet. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Food Wars: Episode V - The Monster Thickburger Strikes Back

If you're afraid of butter, use cream. - Julia Child
This is an interesting article in the WaPo about how the food "wars" have become part of the broader culture wars.  One side can can come off as condescending.  The other as ignoring reality.  Julia Child berated the "Food Police", decrying those who suggested using "healthier" and foul tasting substitutes for the real thing.   She enjoyed the occasional In-N-Out Burger and McVomit's fries until they stopped using lard as the frying medium.  But I cannot even imagine her making a political statement defending the KFC Double Down as food.

My personal motto, noted above, is "Life's to short to eat bad food". This does not imply avoiding foods that are technically bad for me. Give me a fat laden Mangalitsa rib chop or an occasional Ted's Hot Dog. I like diner food. They make me happy.

It refers to food that is just bad. Engineered.  Mostly it refers to the crap served at national chains.  Why would anyone go to Olive Garden for cookie cutter pasta when we have so many locally owned "Spaghetti Houses" with better food and better value.

It's OK to splurge on food that is bad for you if it tasty and well prepared.  However I revere the words of James Hilton in Lost Horizon: "I would say it was "moderation". It's the virtue of avoiding excesses of every kind... including the excess of virtue itself".


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cooking or Death - The First Loaf

Beezil made her first loaf of bread this weekend.  I love watching these kids cook!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Situation Normal All Fraked Up

I have written about this before. We need to completely overhaul the way our government oversees our food supply.  Congress passed legislation which, while minor, is a step in the right direction.  The House passed a bill, and then over the strong objections of Sen. Tom Coburn the Senate passed a bill. But they added a provision not in the House in a way that violates the Constitution. They frakked it up. Now they start again.

Oy.  I am going to beat my head against the wall.

In The News Again

This time on on food and nutrition. Look for more in my piece in Buffalo Rising to be posted soon.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Life's too short to eat bad food -