Archive | Food Matters

Unicorn Venus

Yesterday I had a nightmare that I was forced to consume one of those Starbuck unicorn drinky thingies, as my youngest goddaughter calls them. I woke feeling sick, and not just because the combination of neon food coloring, glitter dust, cream, white sugar, and mango and mocha syrups would put me in all kinds of hospitals. That wrongheaded beverage represents everything toxic and fake in our dystopia right now—especially in our reality TV White house.

Officially, Venus retrograde is over but we’re in its shadow until May 18, which means we’re still wearing Venus Retrograde goggles. Our aesthetics are off, diplomacy is impaired, love connections are misfiring, and bank balances are at an all-time low. It doesn’t help that, with Mercury retrograding in bratty Aries, checks are getting lost in the mail and airlines are throwing cosmic temper tantrums.  We even have a Retrograde President—a unicorn drinky thingie president*, if you want to get technical about it. Continue Reading →

Food Fabulous Food Writers

I have been a professional film critic for more than a decade, but anyone who’s ogled my personal library knows that my most ardent cultural passion is actually food writing – not just cookbooks but essays about restaurants, markets, cooking, and foraging. In short, I like to read about eating. Everything lives inside a great piece of food writing: history, science, art, crafts, politics, culture, even our connection to the divine. The best part? In most cases reading about great meals confers less guilt and more pleasure than the meals themselves – especially when rendered by the writers I’ve selected below.

A.J. Liebling
“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite,” intoned New Yorker writer Liebling, and he knew of what he spoke. Gluttony was the name of his game, and he detailed his heaping boards with the same zeal that he applied to city life and boxing, his other signature topics. In the memoir Between Meals, he describes favorite dinners of his youth. A typical menu: figs, artichokes, three kinds of cheeses, oysters, ham, “sausage in crust,” clam chowder, a peck of steamers, cognac, bay scallops, sautéed soft-shelled crabs, ears of fresh-picked corn, a swordfish steak, a pair of lobsters, a Long Island duck, boar, a bottle of champagne, and a bottle of Bordeaux. In Liebling’s extravagant prose, you don’t just discover your appetite. You discover a past that did not fear the future. Continue Reading →

Don’t Call Me Sweetie

I just realized that today marks my two-year anniversary of quitting sugar and sweeteners of any sort. Sometimes I still drink alcohol–what I call “adult sugar”–and I’ve eased up on restricting white flour. But overall it’s been two years of experiencing my life un-doctored, which has made me fiercer and more motivated to change what needs changing. This is especially useful when your country has been seized by a reality TV madman. I’ve also been overall healthier: I’ve only been sick once, my skin and eyes are clearer, and my energy levels have improved vastly. (Weirdly, my waistline didn’t shrink at all.) The biggest takeaway: Sugar is like nicotine, which I quit at age 30. It doesn’t get you high yet it’s just as addictive as heroin and nearly as lethal in the long run. Next step: quitting gentle, unavailable men….

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy