Do you remember back when you were a kid and you would look at those colorful bricks of ramen noodles in the store? What did you think about that? Did you think “OOOoooooOOOOOOhhh! Ippudo! Slice me some pork belly on that son!”? Or, like me, did you think “Ew, poor people food. Lets hope nobody sees this in the basket.”
If you thought the latter, you’re clearly not a millennial. Pre-Ippudo when I was in college I was no stranger to the mysterious Oriental seasoning packet. Begrudgingly I slurped up slightly slimy noodles for meals at a time, oftentimes garnished with (shudder) frozen vegetables. It filled my stomach, I’m not proud. It was the mid-nineties, long before ramen became something of a cult.
As the years went on and my income ever still tentative, I put away the noodle bricks of my youth until a couple of years ago. Somewhere along the line I had missed the boat, but ramen had become cool again. Suddenly people were exalting the bricks on high like they had reached a new level of soup consciousness. Much like my grudge against the taco being “edgy”, I couldn’t see why people were so nutty over a bowl of noodle soup. I had to investigate. Read the rest of this entry »
This year, I’ve been on a frosting quest.
Not a buttercream frosting quest or a poured fondant quest, no maám. I want to know what that ultralight whipped frosting from grocery stores is and how its made, as its my achilles heel. My kryptonite. My everything. So I’ve let my fingers do the walking to find what this mysterious frosting is called and a recipe ratio I can hack.
This morning, as I was lathering up the shampoo, I paused. Then I continued shampooing. Then I paused again, a bit longer this time. I was perplexed as well as having soap in my eye.
I had no subject to write about today. My mind was elsewhere.
Noting the stinging, I pushed my head under the shower stream, admonishing myself to pull it together. “Think!” I told myself. “You’ve got about 5 minutes to come up with your magnum opus! You can do this, quit being a pansy!”
As the burning in my eyes subsided, I remembered this thing that my coworker showed me the other day. Something pure genius when it comes to transferring a lot of one viscous fluid to another container with a persnickety top. Although in our reference it was for hand soap, this idea originated from a vat of ketchup. Read the rest of this entry »
I was reading the New York Magazine approval matrix today and I saw this little point fairly far down on the “highbrow” and “acceptable” quadrant that caught my eye. Fred Armisen, funnyman supreme, had made a book trailer for Penny Marshall’s new book My Mother Was Nuts. My eyebrow raised a bit in a certain manner, my finger stroking my chin in that presumptuously educated way as one might when reading New York Magazine . Reeeeeaally.
I had to check it out.
I did, and I just about asphyxiated from laughing so hard when I watched it. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Stop right now and check this out, I’ll wait. Read the rest of this entry »
Be it out of convenience or laziness, every morning I take down the container of oatmeal for breakfast. Still blissfully sleepy and with damp hair, I make up a bowl the same way every morning. Oats, salt, water, done.
Every morning I finish my routine breakfast bowl with whatever strikes my whim that day, but it always includes my spicy favorite, cinnamon. Or is it cassia? I mean, if I’m only paying 99 cents for a big jar of it at some mom and pop joint, which one am I really getting here? Once the coffee had settled in, I put my fingers to work on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »
Every year for the last 3o some odd years, the Catholic church in my hometown has put on this event called the Sausage Fest. Yes, really. Without a hint of irony. The whole event revolves around fundraising for the school in the theme of recreating a carnival in Bavaria. It’s actually quite popular.
The entire parish gets into it too! For months, people plan for midway games, book entertainment (none of it stellar), truck in ears of corn, ship in kielbasa to grill. Barrels of sauerkraut get prepared. The Knights of Columbus have 24-7 bingo during sausage fest. They host a dance for the high schoolers and the middle schoolers complete with LED light displays, disco balls and (again less than stellar) DJ’s. There’s on site babysitting and a rummage sale too. This thing is a big deal. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday I was standing in line at my local bodega waiting to pay for my soda and staring into space (which I often do, on both counts). Normally I just look at the racks of chocolate thinking that I shouldn’t eat them, but yesterday was different. Something else caught my eye. Something flashy and colorful and reminiscent of my youth.
Bubble gum. Not just any bubble gum though, the trifecta of bubble gum competition competing for valuable shelf space. Bubble Yum, Bubblicious and Hubba Bubba in all of their glory. The packages elbowed each other slightly, puffing out their chests as if potential suitors. “Pick me!” they cried, offering hollow offerings of how superior they were to the others. One bubble gum pack, I believe, bench pressed his neighboring pack in a feat of strength.
Although I was flattered, I left with my original purchase of my soda and nothing more.
So let me just start out by saying that I despise restaurant and food critics with a special kind of hatred. I know, it’s a bit of me being a self hating food writer, but serious. If you have not had any experience working on the other side of the counter, isn’t any fancy pants new cheese or whatever going to taste “exquisite”?
But, this being known, I am always game for impartial comparisons in the food arena. I’ve compared chain restaurant foods stoned and sober, but what would it be like to compare one standard favorite food against another fancy favorite food (clearheaded as clearheaded can be)? Would the old fashioned food without fanfare or slick color coordinated logos trump over something new and “artisanal”? Was I buying into a sleek marketing rather than good food? I dove in, head first.
Also to note, I just like doughnuts. Read the rest of this entry »
The other day I was browsing my trusted Facebook news outlet for fair and balanced journalism. I stumbled upon this article that one of my eight thousand friends had posted regarding commonly held food stamp myths. My food writing ears perked up at this prospect.
People were erroneously alarmed. “Food stamps are out of control!” The article exclaimed. “They’re screwing our budget and being handed out like candy to these people! Poor people eat up valuable government dollars and cause massive inefficiency! Obama is the food stamp president!”
Mmmhmm. Read the rest of this entry »