Lighten Up

There are a lot of overly serious food blogs out there. What’s there to be so serious about? I hope people are laughing as they read my food blog.

I find “foodies” in general to be an overly serious lot. They make unfunny jokes about agrobusiness or sourcing free-range capon as they sit around trading cooking tips, sampling Asian tapas and sipping lychee soju martinis. I get antsy when people refer to me as a foodie. It feels like I’ve got some kind of ugly condition and people are whispering about me. I imagine them picturing me waiting in line at the latest food truck, and then Tweeting about it when I get home.

Yoga students and starlets tend to be overly serious about food, too — except in an opposite way from foodies. Rather than looking for the newest obscure Italian salumi, they spend their time scouring menus and ingredients lists, ever vigilant for things like butter and salt. Their lives become more about what NOT to eat, and how much fun is that?

Mario Batali, Julia Child and Colonel Sanders ala The Simpsons

I saw a recent episode of “The Simpsons” where Marge, Bart and Lisa become foodies and launch their own food blog. It was very funny. More

So This Skinny Girl Walks Into a Bar…

The Bacon Tree

Tomorrow one of my skinny yoga teacher sisters is coming for dinner. (Yes, I’ve got two.) She’s not exactly a vegetarian – she eats a lot of fish, which is okay in the culinary curriculum of many vegetarians. (Fish being some sort of pseudo-animal, I guess, more related to an avocado than a pig.) There should be a new name for these types of eaters — quasitarians, maybe… or rationalitarians. She will also eat “small quantities” of meat. I’m not sure exactly where the line is on that one. I think I’ll play it safe and grill some whole sea bass, slice up some tuna crudo, make a couple pizzas. More

You’re a What-atarian?

I was at a dinner party talking to my friend Jon, who was poking at a plate of quinoa.

“What is this?” he asked.
“Quinoa,” I said.
“What’s quinoa?”
“Yoga food,” I said.
“Is it pasta?”
“It’s a grain,” I said.
“Spell it.”
He asked if our friend had grown it in her garden. I excused myself. Over by the stove, a gal was looking at the Venetian bean soup I had brought.

“Is there meat in it?” she asked.
“Yes, pancetta,” I replied. She looked puzzled. “It’s like Italian bacon.”
“Oh,” she breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m a vegetarian. But the exception is pork.”
My kind of vegetarian.

Although it seems a somewhat cut-and-dry concept, you meet many different kinds of vegetarians. I was doing a cooking workshop for my friend’s Girls Gourmet Group the other night. I should’ve researched their eating preferences first. I held up a dead chicken soon to be Moroccan chicken with preserved lemon and olives, and they all looked mortified. Turns out three of the five girls are vegetarians, and one is a “sometimes, mostly” vegetarian. (Which meant I had a window with the chicken for her…) But the three were not “strictly” vegetarian, as they had gobbled down a catch of fish last time I cooked with them.

“So you eat meat that swims but not that flies or walks?” I asked by way of clarification.
“Right,” they said.

I think some people are vegetarians for moral reasons, and others for dietary reasons. Some are vegetarians for proximity reasons (i.e. they’re partner is a vegetarian). I’ve always admired vegetarians. I love the idea that nothing was killed in the making of your meal. But I also love meat. More.

There are those people on the fringe who think that the plant cries a silent scream when you pull it from the earth. What do those people eat?

When we eat meat at our house, we (usually) eat very small quantities. A few ounces each of Kobe beef, a couple thin slices of pancetta in a pasta, etc. I think if the carnivore world at large took a more ethical approach to meat — eat less of it, know where your meat comes from and that the animal had a good life — the world would be a much better place on many levels.

I never could’ve married a vegetarian. Except, maybe, for that pork vegetarian.

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