28 January 2008
Douglas Coupland wrote, “You see, when you’re middle class, you have to live with the fact that history will ignore you. You have to live with the fact that history can never champion your causes and that history will never feel sorry for you. It is the price that is paid for day-to-day comfort and silence. And because of this price, all happinesses are sterile; all sadnesses go unpitied.”
We are the disappearing middle class, to us there is no connection between our plates and microwaves to the farmer’s field or slaughter houses. While this sad statement tethers us to the sterility of our daily lives and eating habits it also gives us the luxury to make a difference if even for a fleeting moment of self recognition. Since suburban ordinances restrict us from growing our own food and keep the farmer from processing theirs we can take an objective look at our relationship to our community and the environment that surrounds us. First through understanding, then through conscious thinking. We may not be able to solve the worlds problems but we no longer have to support them.
Calculate your carbon footprint
My Foot Print
National Recycling Coalition
Community Supported Agriculture
All Organic Links
24 December 2007
Almost eight years ago my neighbor George invited me over to try his newest batch of wine. For years he had been brewing his own wine his back yard shed and has determined that I was now old enough to indulge in his creation. From then on if he saw me coming home at a decent hour he would invite me into the garage and we would share a carafe of his wine. My dad later helped him put in an elaborate automated cooling unit to keep his wine at an ideal temperature. He and George don’t talk any more, the reason involving a night of heavy drinking, Canadian accusations, and a slew of twenty dollars being thrown about the yard; if only all of my dad’s relations ships could go supernova so poetically.
flickr: Gino Ginelli
My mother-in-law a few years later helped further my wine journey with a bottle of Shiraz. It was recommended to her at a Trenton wine shop before a dinner at our house. It was a refreshing change to her normal repituar of ultra dry Turning Leaf. By the time we were living in San Diego almost three years ago I felt lucky that we already had a favorite grape and a new favorite brand once we had found Yellow Tail Shiraz, lucky because we had only been actively drinking wine for a few years. That year Martha recommended that we try Pinot Noir for thanksgiving, explaining that it would compliment turkey very well. We took her advice and found a bottle from an Oregon winery from ninety eight. These similar bottles I have seen going for fifty bucks or more just two years later. It was unfortunate that I didn’t have the money to stock up on a box the way I wanted to, but isn’t the hardest part of collecting wine not immediately drinking it all?
I made the mistake of picking up a bottle the other day based on its contemporary label and the fact that is said Pinot Noir. I was only a little skeptical that it was a 200 vintage and from Chile, I have yet to find a South American wine that I really enjoy. There was once almost in Columbia when I had a reserve from a Chilean winery, but back home outside of the romance of the cartel, it could not hold its own. Last nights bottle of Pepperwood Grove 2005 Pinot Noir from Chile was very disappointing. It’s not that the wine was bad, but we might as well have been drinking two buck chuck. I don’t even think that I would serve this as a table wine. The biggest disappointment was the lack of any predominant taste, smell, or distinct flavors. You almost couldn’t distinguish the variety of grape.
I don’t drink cheap beer so I suppose I’m long over due to stop drinking cheap wine. The snobs have told me the difference between a seven dollar bottle of wine and a seventeen dollar of wine is phenomenal, and the difference between a twenty dollar bottle and a two hundred dollar is “…”
I don’t know about all of that but our experiences have led us to more disappointing wines than not, so in our newest step forward I will keep you posted.
29 November 2007
The term “hack” has been completely overused since the inception of the O’Reilly Publishing series. But that doesn’t prevent a lot of the good stuff in the “blogosphere” another overused term from popping up.
Life Hacker has come up with the Top 10 Food and Drink Hacks.
I can’t wait to use an empty CD spindle as a bagel sandwich, I still can’t make cloudless ice, and the no chip clip, chip clip bag is a must see.
28 November 2007
“Emeril Live” is being canceled after a ten year run.
Emeril Lagasse is The Food Network. What amazes me is the few number of people in our culture who actually do cook. Cooking has become to them a voyerous activity. People get caught up in upgrading their kitchens with granite counter tops and high end appliances only to microwave Top Ramen, and Hamburger helper night after night. Last week I caught the end of one of those house flipping shows, they had just upgraded their kitchen and the closing lines were, “Now we just need to know how to use this stuff.” Everyone had a good laugh, and cut to Cadillac commercial.
The food network has these quasi instructional commercials disguised as cooking shorts where you can make semi-home made crap food using their tobacco subsidiary products. Now that Racheal Ray had become the poster child advertising whore of the Food Network in an attempt to build an empire comparable to Opera and Martha Stewart, I fear that its out with the old and in with the new. It seems that all of the new shows on the Food Network center around low end semi-home made food, and glutonus extreme competition with a bad boy edge. If Emeril can be dropped who’s next Mario Batalli and Alton Brown? Hopefully they will start their own network for people interested in making good food, and learning from true chefs, and less interested in the sickening display of processed food narrated by Mark Summers.
For those of you who don’t buy frozen dinners, and microwavable five minute meals you might be interested in these sites:
Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
18th Century Cuisine
The Travelers Lunch Box
Bake or Break
The Fresh Loaf
The Splendid Table