(Linked to this. Note this prime remark: “Now, however, serving lion meat is becoming a point of pride.”)
Archive for Worth a Fork
Just for the fun of it, here’s a photo from the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, at the College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. From left to right: Rusty McKee, Ellsworth McKee, Debbie McKee-Fowler, and Senator Bob Corker.
All those McKees are connected to privately held McKee Foods in nearby Collegedale: Debbie, 57-ish, is an executive vice president. Here’s a newly stylized rendering of how she looked at four:
Uh-huh. And how did this happen, anyway?
Inspired by a picture of his four-year-old granddaughter in her favorite battered straw hat, O.D. [McKee] decided to name the new cakes after her — Little Debbies. Neither Debbie nor her parents knew that she was the new face of the brand until after the first package came off the assembly line.
And I’m out of Swiss Rolls, dagnabbit.
The haircutter was a smart chap who is attending the U in Native American studies, and had written a piece that morning on Ethnobotany. The class, he said, had veered from historical studies to the discussion of Native American “subsistence” practices as an alternative to capitalism. I asked him if that meant we grew everything for ourselves in our backyard; more or less. A community should be able to feed itself.
Well, there go last Monday’s pork chops. No way am I slopping hogs out by the cottonwood tree.
I noted that capitalism and increased yields meant that people did not have to spend the entire day on food, and were freed up for things like science and art, and he said yes, that’s the tradeoff. I noted that it’s good to have strawberries in February, though, isn’t it? When the frozen food industry made it possible to have things in winter without the effort of canning, that was good. Right?
No, not really. The carbon footprint of the industry isn’t worth it. Example: eggplants. In the winter they only come from Europe. Better to do without than ship them over.
Got that, Minnesota? Yes, you have no bananas; you have no bananas today, or ever again.
I nodded, if only because I don’t like eggplant, and decided not to pursue that particular line of discussion. After all, I didn’t have my glasses on, and he had a pointy scissors.
And this is why I go to a stylist (so to speak) who rebuilds sports cars.
I’m thinking “yes, it would”:
Some days I wonder if it really would be so awful to find some kind of equivalent of Purina People Chow, that was nutritionally balanced but had nothing I “shouldn’t” have and just force myself to live on that, instead of all the label-reading, and the trying to substitute, and wharrrrgarrrbl, everything.
In fact, why eat at all? Just get a suitable I.V. drip.
This calls, I think, for a PROUD OMNIVORE T-shirt.
There exists a recipe for ice cubes, because, as the person who posted it explained:
I’m publishing this recipe because I’m sure that there are other families who have members, who don’t know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.
And it’s pretty simple: two minutes to prepare, let stand in the freezer for two hours, and there you have it. Beyond the capacity of coworkers, though.
(Tip from @GaelFC: “Do not substitute vodka.”)
Canada’s National Post has an excerpt from Michael Moss’s book Salt Sugar Fat (Toronto: Signal Books, 2013) about “the day they took the Cheese out of Cheez Whiz.” A sample:
[Dean] Southworth had been part of the team that created Cheez Whiz in the early 1950s. The mission had been to come up with a speedy alternative to the cheese sauce used in making Welsh rarebit, a popular but laborious dish that required a half-hour or more of cooking before it could be poured over toast. It took them a year and a half of sustained effort to get the flavor right, but when they did, they succeeded in creating one of the first megahits in convenience foods. Southworth and his wife, Betty, became lifelong fans and made it part of their daily routine. “We used it on toast, muffins, baked potatoes,” he told me. “It was a nice spreadable, with a nice flavor. And it went well at night with crackers and a little martini. It went down very, very nicely, if you wanted to be civilized.”
So it was with considerable alarm that he turned to his wife one evening in 2001, having just sampled a jar of Cheez Whiz he’d picked up at the local Winn-Dixie supermarket. “I said, ‘Holy God, it tastes like axle grease.’ I looked at the label and I said, ‘What the hell did they do?’ I called up Kraft, using the 800 number for consumer complaints, and I told them, ‘You are putting out a goddamn axle grease!’”
Of course, axle grease keeps better. Southworth duly read the list of ingredients, and did not in fact see any mention of “cheese” at all, though several components — whey, for instance — did show up here and there.
And then another buck to take it off again:
Food blogger José Ralat-Maldonado tweeted during his first visit to the Outpost American Tavern in Dallas: “A fee for leaving cheese off a burger?”
Aside to Ronald McDonald: You did not see this.
The original title of this piece, judging by the URL, was “Energy drink with controversial name unwelcome in neighborhood store.” And, judging by the circumlocutions, unwelcome in the news copy:
There are dozens of energy drinks on the market, but a new product has a name that’s causing a stir in a Houston neighborhood.
“I think it’s disgraceful,” said Emma Broussard, an officer with the Independence Heights Super Neighborhood Association. “I don’t want this out here.”
Other members of the association agreed.
“This is not the kind of thing we want our children to see,” said John Branch.
The drink uses a slang term that refers to part of the female anatomy.
And if you’re a normal person of an age in double digits, you might well have thought something worse than the actual name of the product.
No, really. Consider “Greenback Dollar,” a hit for the Kingston Trio in 1963. On the 45, the first line of the chorus is “And I don’t give a [guitar strum] about a greenback dollar,” leaving you to imagine what went ungiven. (If you paid five bucks for the LP, you found out.)
Mulva Dolores was not available for comment.
Jonesing for some Girl Scout Cookies? There’s an app for that:
The Girl Scouts of the USA has just relaunched its Cookie Finder app, a tool that can help you locate the sweet treats in your area.
The Cookie Finder app uses your location to help you find where and when Girl Scout cookies are being sold in your area. The app also includes lots of details about the various cookies available and users are encouraged to vote on their favorites. The app encourages sharing and lets you post your favorite cookies and where they are being sold to Facebook and Twitter.
Like I’m going to admit to eating three boxes of Samoas.
Apparently the Android version lags the iOS version in features, for now.
And this filly showed up in this past weekend’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
Whatever else Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk may be, he’s definitely not the kale-eating overlord of Mars.
A brief explanation:
[A] press representative at PETA had sent The Jane Dough staff an open letter written to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. The well-publicized launch of the SpaceX Dragon capsule last year, and Musk’s claim SpaceX would make it to Mars by 2018, got PETA thinking: “The opportunity to colonize Mars means a chance to make a fresh start, especially now that we’ve degraded our own planet by treating our fellow animals like disposable widgets, filled the air with pollution that will soon make the sky in Soylent Green look clear, and populated the Earth with so many humans that the premise of Logan’s Run starts to look practical,” the letter said.
Somebody’s been trying to sneak out of Carousel, don’t you think?
Anyway, this is how you deal with PETA. From February 2004:
Last week, PETA offered twenty grand worth of soy products or something to the folks in Slaughterville, Oklahoma, in the hopes of persuading the town to change its name to “Veggieville”.
Bill Hightower, who raises Limousin cattle in Slaughterville, came up with a counteroffer: “We’ll give them $20,000 worth of hamburger if they will move to India where they will be appreciated.”
Eventually a deal was struck that would require neither side to buy new stationery.
While most studies show that certain organic crops, such as corn, would have slightly lower yields and lower total production than conventional crops, the studies also show organic farming can feed the world, and in developing countries organic methods would increase food production and self-sufficiency.
Or maybe wouldn’t:
Both of these things cannot be true. Well, they cannot be true unless there’s an unspoken premise in the second that the world eat organic bean burritos per day and give up their steaks and chicken. Which is not so unspoken in other parts of the movement.
While I am generally at least somewhat enthusiastic about organics, I suspect that the best part of the bean burrito is the pesticide residue.
And we could save a hell of a lot of the corn crop if we’d quit squeezing it into the nation’s gas tanks.
Side note: The nearest Crest store occasionally carries Dole-branded organic bananas, clearly marked, albeit at a 75-percent price premium (98 cents a pound versus 56, subject to minor variations). But the last three times I picked some up at this store, they ignored the little “ORGANIC” tape and rang up the lower price. I have no idea what they’re thinking.
Someone out of my distant past left this status update on Facebook yesterday:
For years I’ve been eating 12 green grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to ensure good luck. Last night, AFTER going through the ritual for yet another time, I discovered WHY the results haven’t been outstanding. Ignacio directed me to an online article that explained that it is necessary to wear RED UNDERWEAR while eating the grapes.
Which is basically true, at least in Spain:
As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or “old night,” the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear.
But wait! There’s more:
If scoffing grapes at midnight isn’t strange enough, convention says you must do so while wearing red ropa interior, or underwear — a bra, a sock, a garter, whatever. And — stranger yet — the undergarment should be given to you by someone else.
Maria, the stall owner, reminded me not to forget a third traditional lucky charm to accompany red underwear and grapes: drop a gold ring into my celebratory glass of cava (local champagne-style bubbly from Catalunya). “Just don’t swallow it!” That would, no doubt, be a harbinger of bad luck.
Mulligans, alas, are not available. From that Facebook status:
Since it was too late for a redo, I doubled up on collard greens, hoppin’ john and pork roast today.
Which Southerners will recognize as a different approach to achieving the same goal.
A woman comes between a sick man and his beloved Twinkies. And that woman is Little Debbie:
As I unpacked the grocery bags he stood by — sniffing, hacking, and being pitiful because I wouldn’t let him help unload the car. I gingerly showed him the box and used my best Mom face. You know the face you activate when you’re trying to convince an 8 year old to try something new? He chuckled, which made him cough, as he closely surveyed the box. I opened it, handing him a Cloud Cake, hoping for the best. Opening the wrapper, he peeled it like a banana and sniffed the cake. Taking the tiniest bite, he shifted his eyes back and forth inquisitively, chewing ever so quickly. His eyes lifted to meet my hopeful gaze and he said “Hey, these aren’t bad.”
There you have it — an expert food review from the biggest Twinkie fan in the world. He decided that the Cloud Cakes aren’t as fluffy as his beloved cream filled sponge cake, but the taste is nice and the filling just right.
He’ll adjust — until the Hostess bankruptcy is over and done with, anyway.
How do we know this car is for women? Well, there’s a heart instead of an apostrophe in “She’s.” It’s available in pink or “eyeliner brown.” And it comes with a PlasmaCluster A/C system “that pumps out specially treated air that improves your skin.”
Eyeliner Brown, I assume, is Encyclopedia Brown’s teenage sister. (Last eyeliner I actually paid for was blue, but you don’t want to know about that.)
Also coming under scrutiny is Cadbury’s new Crispello chocolate-covered wafer, which they say is “a lighter way to eat chocolate.” Says Ms Friedman:
Because, as we know, women need a lot of coaxing to get over our well-documented hormone-linked aversion to chocolate.
I’m wondering if this is Cadbury’s answer to Nestlé’s XY-oriented Yorkie bar.
About five years ago, I started buying organic bananas, which seemed to keep a lot better, though I never keep them more than five or six days.
The latest batch has a label I hadn’t noticed before. Apparently Dole, who buys these up from Central and South America, is now labeling the product with a three-digit code to indicate a specific source, and this is the source: Asociación Bananeros Orgánicos Señor de Chocán San Vicente Piedra Rodada, on Peru’s northwestern plain. Planting began in 2007; export began in 2009.
This, of course, flies in the face of our current (and mostly laudable) tendency toward locavoraciousness, but it’s going to be 26 degrees tonight. Nobody is going to grow bananas anywhere nearby.
A query came down the tweetstream Sunday night: did Nabisco still make Lorna Doone shortbread cookies?
A few Web storefronts still list them, but quantities are apparently always limited. And more to the point, NabiscoWorld has taken them off the brand list. Since the cookie has a history going back to 1912, you’d think there’d have been some sort of hundredth-anniversary promotion, and, well, there wasn’t.
I blame Edric.
Dave Schuler’s annotated list of the ingredients in Hostess Twinkies begins, as all such lists should, with the most prominent ingredient:
Enriched wheat flour is wheat flour from which most of the nutrients have been removed. We make a lot of it here but some is also imported from Canada, Australia, and elsewhere.
Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. Most of the nutrients indeed have been removed; however, a few of them — certainly not all — have been added back in.
And anyway, it’s all in the description. I saw a box of taco shells the other day that boasted “Whole Grain Corn.”
A ZeroHedge piece on the liquidation of Hostess Brands brought this tinfoil-wrapped comment:
I think, considering the shelf life of these products, that their manufacture can be easily outsourced to China with a little melamine, extra BHT, and sawdust added to the formula. After all, Hostess products are nothing more than a drug delivery vehicle. The psychoactive ingredient is GMO HFCS, and as long as the consumer’s blood sugar skyrockets to mind-numbing (on purpose) levels, who cares what else is in there? Twinkies will be around, regardless of who makes them, for a long long time.
Ah, yes, the warm, the richly coloured, the infinitely friendly world of Twinkie-holiday. O brave new world, that has such wheelers and dealers in it!
Drew Magary’s “Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog” complains bitterly about a food item:
Item #02-741009 Callie’s Charleston Biscuits
Williams-Sonoma says: “Flaky, buttery, and made by hand by celebrated caterer Callie White.”
Price: $72 (set of 24)
Notes from Drew: That’s $72 for biscuits. At Popeye’s, the biscuit comes free with your order. At Williams-Sonoma, it costs you the rough equivalent of your phone bill. How good could these biscuits possibly be? There’s a threshold past which biscuits cannot improve. Even the best goddamn biscuit in the world isn’t $72 better than a Popeye’s biscuit. Unless that biscuit can make you teleport.
You may be assured, however, that if it can, I’m buying it — even if the only place it takes me is the nearest Popeye’s, which is less than half a mile away.
(Via this @syaffolee tweet.)
Restaurant reviews in The New York Times, I am given to understand, run from zero to four stars. This place, apparently, ventures deep into the Negative Zone, judging by the questions they pose to the proprietor. For instance:
Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?
How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable? Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil? Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?
Or even this:
What accounts for the vast difference between the Donkey Sauce recipe you’ve published and the Donkey Sauce in your restaurant? Why has the hearty, rustic appeal of roasted-garlic mayonnaise been replaced by something that tastes like Miracle Whip with minced raw garlic?
And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?
It is de rigueur to scoff at the Times these days; but you’ll never see anything half this harsh in the Oklahoma Gazette.
(Suggested by this @inthefade tweet.)
Last year, Denmark imposed a tax on high-fat foods, by which they meant over 2.3 percent saturated fat. This month, they announced they were scrapping the whole idea:
[A]uthorities said the tax had inflated food prices and put Danish jobs at risk.
The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar.
Oh, and one more thing:
The ministry said one of the effects of the fat tax was that some Danes had begun crossing the border into Germany to stock up on food there.
Sikken en overraskelse — or, as the French would have it, quelle surprise.
Sign in Crest Foods today: “ENERGY DRINKS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE THROUGH ACS.” “ACS,” I presume from the context, is short for “Access,” the brand name on Oklahoma’s EBT card.
Wondering if there had been a legal change, I went to the USDA, and found this:
When considering the eligibility of energy drinks, and other branded products, the primary determinant is the type of product label chosen by the manufacturer to conform to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines:
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods
- Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible
I didn’t go back to read any labels, but I did come up with what I think is a reasonable hypothesis: the store was letting this issue slide a bit, and was slapped down by the authorities for so doing.
I’m doing my interpretation of the DASH diet (“Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”) — lots of fruits and vegetables, low salt, careful amounts of lean protein, moderate amounts of whole grain, limit sugars and less-healthy fats. But I’m thinking of it as the “Rainbow Dash diet” instead. Because that amuses me a lot more. And most of the stuff I eat (oats, vegetables, sweet potatoes, stuff like apples) is probably stuff Rainbow Dash would eat. And it makes me feel better about “diet” to think of it as “Rainbow Dash diet.” Brains are funny things.
If it helps, it helps. (Though not even Otis Spunkmeyer, I suspect, would recommend a Derpy diet.)
Monday is — well, it’s a Monday, so it needs all the help it can get, and let’s face it, every day is improved by bacon. Accordingly:
On Monday, September 24, Call Me Stormy will unveil our most ambitious project to date — A DAY OF BACON — an all-out, non-stop salute to bacon. Every hour on the hour, covering an entire 24-hour marathon, we will post a clip from a movie, cartoon, TV show, stand-up comedy routine, music video or newsreel celebrating the wonders of bacon.
That’s a whole lotta bacon. And why, you ask?
No other meat tastes as sweet as candy. None is so richly aromatic. And none so well represents our spirit at a time when we are under assault from violent extremists who are hellbent to limit our freedoms, including the choice of bacon as a breakfast entree. We could use a laugh and a pick-me-up, and bacon’s just the right thing to do the trick.
And besides, it’s been weeks since International Bacon Day.
Fervent fans of the McDonald’s McRib will have to wait past October and November, when the cult favorite usually emerges, until late December, according to a leaked memo.
The sauce-slathered pork sandwich was originally set to be launched from Oct. 22 through Nov. 11, according to a memo from the McDonald’s Operators National Advertising Fund, obtained by Ad Age. Instead, the popular, limited-time product will appear during the holiday season along with a bigger advertising push that emphasizes its “high-quality pork” and “unique taste,” according to Ad Age.
Not to worry. I have the patience of a saint.
Unfortunately, he has mine.
No, not for your engine. This is another oil entirely:
The olive oil you buy in the store is probably not olive oil. Back when olive oil got to be popular the Mafia got involved. Now what you get is canola oil colored with a little chlorophyll. You can tell the difference by putting it in the fridge. Real olive oil will coagulate, canola oil won’t. There is an outfit in Australia that tests olive oil. They started up a few years ago and so far they have not found any real olive oil.
Well, not a lot of it, anyway, and what they found often wasn’t all that great. Then again, I tend to get suspicious of stuff that can be sold for ten bucks a quart, even if it’s 5W-20.
(Normally this is where I would say something along the lines of “Popeye was not available for comment,” but there are times when I regret my keen grasp of the obvious, and this is one of them.)
Julia Child loathed the stuff, one in six Nature staff (informally surveyed) says it tastes of soap, and a popular website collects haiku poems denouncing it. Now, researchers are beginning to identify genetic variants behind the mixed reception for the herb Coriandrum sativum, which North American cooks know as cilantro, and their British counterparts call coriander.
Now the last time I had a really good taste of soap, I’d earned it, having said something unkind (and almost unprintable) about one of the kids in the neighborhood, so I’m not making the connection here, but then I wasn’t one of the research subjects:
[R]esearchers led by Nicholas Eriksson at the consumer genetics firm 23andMe, based in Mountain View, California, asked customers whether coriander tasted like soap and whether or not they liked the herb. The researchers identified two common genetic variants linked to people’s “soap” perceptions. A follow-up study in a separate sub-set of customers confirmed the associations.
(Via this syaffolee tweet. She “loves the stuff.”)
Then again, you’ll probably drink it straight anyway:
A while ago, my buddy, Captain Artie told me about Van Gogh PB&J vodka, but, alas, my local liquor emporium did not have it. Artie promised to bring me a bottle on the occasion of his next visit, but my most excellent daughter beat him to the punch. Ten seconds after she gifted me with the bottle, out came two tall shot glasses for an instant tasting. The fragrance is more nutty than fruity, but it all comes together when
All I need is a bacon vodka, and my life will be complete.
“Absolutely everything, except a few roots, leaves and seeds from the forest primeval, is bad for you,” says Lynn. I dunno. Murmuring pines aren’t known for their food value, and hemlock — well, ask Socrates when he comes back from break.
Still, this seems pretty inarguable:
[W]hat I really hate is how this stuff gets into my head. I resolve to ignore it all and just eat sensibly but then I go to buy groceries and I can’t keep from thinking about the latest set of “rules” we’re supposed to follow and I feel like there’s nothing I can buy that’s safe. So I just buy what I always buy and worry that I’m bringing poison home to feed to my family.
I alternate between “The advice will change again next month so just ignore it,” and “There must be something to this; they can’t be completely making it up.”
“They can’t be making it up”? Of course they can. The worst tyrant is the thoughtful tyrant. The second-biggest problem, after the aforementioned tyranny, is the notion that if we just follow a few simple rules everything will work out fine. Two minutes on Google will give you counterexamples galore.
Mark my words: if we are ever smart enough to get rid of this stupid ethanol mandate, “they” will suddenly announce hitherto-undiscovered benefits to high-fructose corn syrup, because “their” gravy train is a hell of a lot more important than your gravy.