Foodie Pseudery (49)
I don’t even know where to begin with this.
I don’t even know where to begin with this.
New York Magazine on the juice craze:
Juice announces that America is still a bountiful land of plenty despite our abuse of the Earth. Juice announces that you are hip to the trends, part of the scene that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, and other toned-and-together Celebrity Juice Fans featured in Star magazine. Juice says you don’t do manual labor: You make money with your fingers in the new economy, nails painted a cheery neon or pastel gel as you text. … And for a certain, uniquely American urban tribe, juice is a sacrament—or at least part of the sacrament.
Alain de Botton visits McDonald’s:
The harsh lighting, the intermittent sounds of frozen fries being sunk into vats of oil and the frenzied behaviour of the counter staff invited thoughts of the loneliness and meaninglessness of existence in a random and violent universe.
Destoying meals and wasting food for picturesque effect.
I just don’t understand this.
This is a tweet from 2013’s MAD Symposium:
‘You can do beautiful things with a knife,’ says Alex Atala. ‘Behind every dish, there’s death.’
This foodie pseudery was spotted by my friend Lize-Marie, who came across an entirely nonsensical description of a burger at a branch of MacDonald’s in Sweden:
The text reads: ‘Sometimes the journey isn’t the goal, but the taste of something new and exciting. Join us during our taste explorations from spicy India to exotic South Africa via Greece, Mexico and Australia.’
Up to a point.
The transcendence of onions – a discussion between Ruth Reichl and Michael Pollan:
R: In your new book, Cooked, you said, “There’s nothing ceremonial about chopping vegetables on a kitchen counter.” I have to tell you, I so don’t agree with you. For me, chopping onions, putting them in butter, the smells coming up, that’s all totally sensual, totally seductive. And truly ceremonial, in the best way. I built a kitchen so that people can stand around and watch me cook.
P: To me onions are the metaphor for kitchen drudgery. Cutting them is hard to do well and they fight you the whole way. But I worked at this for a long time, learned everything I could about onions—why they make us cry, how to prevent it, why they’re such a huge part of cuisine worldwide, and what they contribute to a dish. I finally learned this important spiritual truth, which is bigger than onions: “When chopping onions, just chop onions.” When I finally got into the zen of cutting onions, I passed over to another place. Part of the resistance to kitchen work like chopping is a macho thing. Men like the big public deal of the grill, the ceremonies involving animals and fire, where women gravitate toward the plants and pots inside.
R: Chopping is like a meditation.
P: A zen practice, I agree. I learned that from my cooking teacher Samin Nosrat, who is a serious student of yoga. She talked to me about patience, presence and practice. She thought they applied equally well to cooking and yoga. And they do.
Some of the battiest lines in Gwyneth Paltrow’s new recipe book:
You’ll also see striped bass called for in a lot of the fish recipes — that’s because it swims in the waters close to Gwyneth’s summer home [in Martha’s Vineyard], where we do a lot of cooking.
My old assistant, Cleo, insisted we include her secret afternoon shake.
Our dear friend Cameron [Diaz] is a master popcorn maker — and this is one of the many reasons she is Apple and Mosey’s favorite house guest.
I once overnighted a batch [of almond butter cookies] from London to my manager in Los Angeles who was doing the clean program and was dying for a cookie! They did not disappoint.
I know that Paltrow is – like Ruth Reichl, I suppose – an easy target. But a lot of what this recipe book of hers recommends, is dangerous nonsense. I want to draw attention to the fact that Paltrow is not a nutritionist. She’s an actress. With a deeply odd relationship with food.
The lament of the woman with two kitchens…
I have two kitchens. For most of the year, I cook in an Upper West Side apartment, in Manhattan. It was designed in the eighteen-nineties and is probably best described as a landlord’s misguided attempt to lure tenants with horizontal evocations of the upstairs-downstairs life. The ‘public’ rooms, meant to be seen and admired, were large and well proportioned. The ‘private’ rooms, out of sight off a long back hall, were for the most part awkward and cramped, and perhaps the lowliest room on this totem pole of domestic status was the kitchen, where your cook, emerging each morning through the door of a tiny bedroom—in my apartment, it opened between the icebox and the sink—was expected to spend her waking hours.
… there was no way to expand my kitchen to accommodate my own moment …… I am consoled, however, by my other kitchen. It is the ‘please come in’ room of the Umbrian farmhouse where I work, and cook, in the summer—a much more satisfying image of the way I like to live.
A frankly bizarre interview with Nigella Lawson:
Nigella Lawson bites her bottom lip as she snatches a giant knife off the counter with the stealth of a schoolgirl up to no good. Swiftly, she lops a loop of fabric off her curve-hugging purple dress.
The blade nearly grazes her jugular.
“The microphone got caught in my dress,” she explains, batting her eyelashes coquettishly as if to make amends for doing something naughty.
“I took the impatient and slightly dangerous way out.”
Impatient. Certainly. Dangerous. Perhaps a bit. Add to that larger than life with star wattage that could light the fire under a rocket ship….
A hurricane of hips, boobs and hair, the British food babe tosses her head and unwraps her black wool coat. It slinks off her shoulders like a dressing gown, instantly transforming the culinary space into a boudoir and underscoring why she’s famous for making food sexy.
But before getting down to the whisking and sprinkling of cooking Mini Macaroni and Cheese All’Italiana, a recipe from Nigellissima, Lawson sets her famously ample bottom into a chair so a makeup artist can smooth the winter’s kink from her appearance.