Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grazing the food web.....

A few share plates of food bits from across the internet that have caught my attention....
Zester Daily is a site I go to regularly for their wide and varied food related news. With raised beds replacing well manicured lawns as the new status symbol in front yards and parking strips across the country, their series of posts called "Tomatoes for Amateurs" might just come in handy if you've just dug up your first garden patch and are wondering what the hell to do now. The link is to the first in a series of three posts on tomatoes, from planting to sauce, and I love how they open it up: "The best tomato sauce is the one you make from scratch. You start with seedlings."
If the fact that bottled water is the biggest scam, both environmentally and economically, hasn't quite pierced you consciousness yet, then check out this piece from The Vancouver Sun. Apparently in tests done by a laboratory in Montreal, many brands of popular bottled water had bacteria counts that were up to 100 the permitted limit. In classic understated scientist speak, researchers called the bacteria counts "surprisingly high". Guys, around the country your tap water is tested daily, probably tastes just fine, and if you're still scared spend the twenty bones for a Brita filter pitcher. Then fill up your reusable stainless water bottles and maybe feel a little better because you just chalked up another mark on your sustainability scorecard.
"It will begin with free-ranging and highly lubricated conversation about everything from politics to perversion and, unless you host has had the foresight to lock you in, may well end three months later when they find you lying face down in a bar in Macau, heavily bearded and with the name of a transvestite fire-eater tattooed on your left buttock."
That vivid bit of prose comes near the end of a very entertaining bit in the UK Guardian, which I regularly go to for that particularly British slant on things foodish. The piece concerns the concern many have about when exactly to serve the cheese course. Is it before or after the dessert? Does it matter? Do you care? Whichever side of the bootlace you fall on (a great line I stole from another item in the UKG), you just might after giving this a read.
Cookbook author, CIA trained chef, food world insider, Iron Chef judge, and generally interesting guy Michael Ruhlman has always had one of my favorite food blogs. He is on a hiatus from blogging for the last two weeks of May, so in place of new posts he's doing his version of a "Best of Ruhlman". If you've got questions about homemade ravioli, short rib pastrami, or how to make a quiche (and I have to admit I have never made this unfairly maligned yet always satisfying dish), then check him out. Great stuff always!
The beautiful image is by Ruhlman's wife Donna, whose very tastefully done food porn accompanies his posts.
My wife is not usually a picky person. She normally keeps an even keel and is fine going with the flow. But when it comes to her beloved fresh cherries, and the season here in PDX is fast upon us where they'll be flooding the farmer's markets around us,, she doesn't approve of my grab-a-handful method of shopping. She is a pick-through-the-bin-one-by-one until she has a bag of perfect specimens. I've never been able to divine exactly what her criteria are. I find it wiser to stand a pace or two behind her while she in that particular groove, as my suggestions are usually met with a (deserved) dismissive silence. For the rest of you who might want to get the most cherry for your money you should check out this story, in of all places the LA Times, on how to pick the perfect cherry. Or you could email my wife. Um, just kidding, sweetheart........

1 comment:

Nico said...

Funny that you just blogged about Ruhlman's ravioli. I was just reading that post last night, inspiring me for today's lunch: The revelation of the day that elevated my version to the best I've ever had (I dare to say better than Tabla's): a dusting of orange zest and Spanish smoked paprika in the ricotta filling!