Thursday, February 26, 2009


Why I love Brooklyn, in a few ways.

"'There’s a relationship to food that comes with that approach to the universe,' Ms. Langholtz said. 'Every person you pass has read Michael Pollan, every person has thought about joining a raw milk club, and if they haven’t made ricotta, they want to.' The prevailing attitude is anticorporate, she said."

Monday, February 23, 2009


Inspired by my new cookbook (thanks, H!) of Alice Waters' favorite simple recipes, The Art of Simple Food, at the last minute on Friday night, my dude and I decided to make homemade ravioli. Yay! It was a long, long process...we started around 8ish and sat down to eat around 11ish? But what fun. We made the pasta ourselves, of course (my first time ever) and filled the raviolis with fresh ricotta mixed with fresh herbs. I will let the photos speak for themselves.

Amazing. Totally Delicious.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Making Over School Lunch

Our friend A. Waters just wrote an op/ed piece for the Times yesterday. Here is a link to the full text on the NYT website. The key takeaway seems to be this:

"How much would it cost to feed 30 million American schoolchildren a wholesome meal? It could be done for about $5 per child, or roughly $27 billion a year, plus a one-time investment in real kitchens. Yes, that sounds expensive. But a healthy school lunch program would bring long-term savings and benefits in the areas of hunger, children’s health and dietary habits, food safety (contaminated peanuts have recently found their way into school lunches), environmental preservation and energy conservation."

Here's the thing. I love her. She's an amazing cook (I am currently ravenously devouring her Art of Simple Food), and I commend her efforts to help change the public school food system, but she's not a leader and she misses the mark (in fact, I am almost stepping my feet in the camp that claims her to be elitist...she is certainly at the very least disconnected from many things I see in my Brooklyn neighborhood everyday). I mean, quite simply in this paragraph failing to mention that focusing on children's nutrition can have a long-term impact on societal health which will in turn save Americans billions in medical costs which will fall more on the government as we begin to move toward a more socialized system of medicine in this country. If Waters wanted to hit home, she probably should have mentioned this. Here are some incredible facts on this issue from the CDC.

Yes, we potentially need to scrap the system and start anew, but let's recognize that using local and organic foods to feed mass populations is TOUGH. Especially in certain areas where many types of food do not grow. I am not saying it is impossible, but perhaps it would be more impactive and effective for her argument to start a bit less loftily, with some smaller goals, i.e. no trans fats, no fried foods, no junk foods types of things, less potatoes, less corn, etc. Instead it reaches way past the basics and starts saying, "Let's bring in organics." People are going to laugh and say that's impossible! Please, Ms. Waters, in the future try to outline some goals that are potentially quickly and readily acheivable and then we'll work our way up to this--as it is, it seems to daunting a task.

The thought coming out of Berkley is always a bit too flowery these days. M. Pollan is somewhat of an exception with his excellent journalistic skills, but who is really leading the charge in the nutrition/food revolution in our country? I feel as though we don't have someone with the right combination of charisma and authority telling our leaders that the 'food issue' can change the face of our nation as it affects the environment, energy issues, health and the general well-being of our people. It seems like the time is now, the willingness and interest are there...we just need someone to champion the cause a bit more aggressively. Argh!!!

*As a final note, I was googling for an image of school lunches to attach to this, and came across this little blog about school lunch by a high school student--it's pretty interesting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Re: The PB Salmonella Outbreak

Nice, to the point editorial in the NYT yesterday.

The takeaway:
"What was particularly galling about the latest recall was how federal inspectors had to threaten to use anti-terrorism laws to finally gain access to the Peanut Corporation of America’s testing reports. Those reports showed how samples were re-tested if they were contaminated and how some products were shipped even before the tests showing salmonella had come in."

"i will make bok choy for u."


osteoporosis is scary! i'm learning about bones right now in physiology. and if you do not fortify your bones well enough by the time you are young, you have a lot to work on when you're older. sure sure, this probably isn't news to you, but some of the details were to me... most bone growth is finished around age 15, and the last couple years before that are vitally important. this means the foundation is sort of set. beyond that, what we are basically attempting to do is help prevent deterioration within our bones, so eating lots of calcium-rich foods is still important, but also is going to the gym and doing weight-resistant exercise. bones are not as static as you might think--they change with changes in their environment and what you take into your body. they are even affected by the sun we get, as UV rays synthesize vitamin D which in turn aids in our absorption of calcium, hence creating stronger bones. when you challenge your bones with strength training (resistance exercises) they respond internally and become stronger themselves.

bok choy is a traditional chinese vegetable rich in calcium, vitamin C and vitamin A. also, it's cheap and delicious! so easy to make too...just wash, chop a bit and sautee with some of your favorite seasonings (i definitely recommend ginger as one element). This baby bok choy and cashews recipe looks delicious.

President's Favorite Foods

I should have posted this yesterday, but it's quite fun to peruse still.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Allowed in Your Food:

"Among the booklet’s list of allowable defects are “insect filth,” “rodent filth” (both hair and excreta pellets), “mold,” “insects,” “mammalian excreta,” “rot,” “insects and larvae” (which is to say, maggots), “insects and mites,” “insects and insect eggs,” “drosophila fly,” “sand and grit,” “parasites,” “mildew” and “foreign matter” (which includes “objectionable” items like “sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc.”)...

...In case you’re curious: you’re probably ingesting one to two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it, a quantity of insects that clearly does not cut the mustard, even as insects may well be in the mustard. "

Curious? Read more here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

andrew bird - oh no

n the salsify mains of what was thought but unsaid
all the calcified arhythmitists were doing the math
it would take a calculated blow to the head
to light the eyes of all the harmless sociopaths
oh arm and arm we are the harmless sociopaths
oh arm and arm with all the harmless sociopaths
calcium mines were buried deep in your chest
oh calcim mines you buried deep in your chest
oh no we're deep in a mine
oh no a calcium mine
so let's get out of here
past the atmosphere
squint your eyes and no one dies
or goes to jail
past the silver bridge, oh the silver bridge
wearing nothing but a one-sie and a veil
oh oh deep in a mine,
oh oh a calcium mine
arm and arm we are the harmless sociopaths
arm and arm with all the harmless sociopaths
in the calcium mines buried deep in your chest
oh the calcium mines buried deep in your chest
oh oh deep in a mine
oh no-- calcium mines oh no

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I found this blog particularly interesting today:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New York

Dear New York,

I still love you one year later.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Feb 7

Beirut - Cherbourg

And a fall from you
is a long way down
I've found a better way out
And a fall from you
is a long way down
I know a better way out

Well it's been a long time
since I've seen you smile
Gambled away my fright
Till the morning lights shine

Well it's been a long time
since I've seen you smile
Gambled away my fright
Till the morning lights shine

Sunday morning
only fog on the limbs
I called it again
what do you know
And I filled our days
with cards and gin
You're alight again, my dear

I will lead the way, oh, lead the way
When I know
And I'll sleep away, oh, sweep away
What I don't
Well sieze the way, oh, sieze the way
No, I won't
I will lead the way, oh, lead the day
When I know

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baguettes and Bags

Hi. I am particularly interested in telling the world, today, that I do not find it problematic or dangeroux to hang your baguette out of your bag with the naked end sticking out into the world. Not to mention with the flour dusting the back of your coat! This, in my humble belief, is what makes the damn thing taste so damn good. I've taken these things all over the place--on my bike, on the subway, walking around for hours, through Central Park, on trains, you name it...and I have never once been unnerved by the potential of germs or dirt getting into my mouth from the end (if in fact the end even MAKES it home at the same time I do in the first place! eek I like to eat the end as a snack on my way, esp if it's warM) and do not intend to ever cover it or put the naked end face first into the bag in which I am carrying it. I love a good dirty baguette, but then again perhaps this is just all a naivete I picked up as a young girl living in France....ooh la la sigh sigh. I do sit here home sick from work thinking up the one million ways I could have contracted a virus in this heinous city...but gosh darn it baguette dirt is not one of them!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Organic Corporation: An Oxymoron?

So we had this assignment for class tomorrow night. The professor asked us to watch a bunch of YouTube videos about Stoneyfield Farms that were basically all made BY Stoneyfield Farms and wanted us to write up what we thought about their business practices on our online discussion board. Naturally, everyone, like the sheep they are, was immediately sold on the company being totally green and wonderful and helping local farmers, etc, blah blah blah. I didn't entirely buy it, it's a $330 million company! So, I did a little more investigating. If you're interested, here are the YouTube videos we watched:

Stoneyfield Farms

Yogurt on a mission

Make Money, Save the World


And here is my response to them:

The YouTube videos about Stoneyfield paint the picture of an ideal organic and green company driven by ethical and world-conscious principles. These principles and some of their endeavors are completely noble: being a part of a greater green movement through recycling efforts, going beyond just selling products, promoting commuting via rail and offsetting carbon emissions, etc. The idea of creating a community and starting from the ground up with ambition and little money is remarkable.

However, what has happened since they have become a $330 million company is not entirely in the same vain, according to some other accounts. Stoneyfield utilizes many small organic farms across the country to procure their milk, etc for the purpose of distribution under their corporate name, but does it pay enough to these small farms and farmers to give them an equal share and opportunity? According to some accounts, it does not. One article I read claims that it simply does not pay local farmers their fair share of the profits. Other accounts attack the company for not backing up health claims that they label their food with (article here) as well as lobbying for loose regulations and restrictions for USDA pasture and feed requirements (article here). Not to mention, have you noticed the high cost of their products?

Stoneyfield farms is certainly a company making strides toward being green, earth-friendly, consumer conscious and organic. Many of their efforts are entirely commendable, but the high profits and corporatization of the company make me question whether or not sustaining these base and founding principles is entirely possible.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sometimes solo brunch is the best brunch.

The National

I’ve been draggin around from the end of your coat for two weeks
everywhere you go is swirlin, everything you say has water under it

You know I keep your fingerprints in a pink folder in the middle of my table
you’re the tall kingdom I surround
think I better follow you around

You might need me more than you think you will
come home in the car you love, brainy brainy brainy

I’ve been draggin around from the end of your coat for two weeks
you keep changing you’re fancy fancy mind every time I decide to let go

I was up all night again, boning up and reading the American dictionary
you’ll never believe me what I found
think I better follow you around

You might need me more than you think you will
come home in the car you love, brainy brainy brainy
you might need me more than you think you will
come home in the car you love, brainy brainy brainy