Mr. Food and I are about to embark on our first ever tropical vacation– so I leave you with a photo of a bowl of cherries (yes, “aunt” S, these are your fruit!) and will be back shortly to post about our eating adventures. Until then…
What do you think? The photo up top is one I took a couple years back at the best gelato place I can think of anywhere (and you could say I’ve done my share of research…) — Capogiro in Philadelphia. Now that I’ve found that my work computer (though not my home computer) will allow me to upload new photos for this template, I might just stick with it and vary the pics once in a while. Oh the foods you will see!
… in the last few busy weeks.
First of all, a meal lovingly prepared by Auntie N and her sister S when we visited them in New Hampshire a couple of weeks back when little L was in town. (Except she’s not so little now, still working at not growing taller than me!) You can see the zucchini, potatoes, and fish which were all featured at dinner that night. On Sunday I tried an experiment involving fresh figs (brought in by cousin T), ham sliced straight from the hock, and a drizzle of olive oil. My family wanted to replicate a dish we had tried the night before at the restaurant where cousin A works. I toothpicked the ham to the fig and gathered the bundles together on a roasting pan and cooked until the meat was browning and the fruits were leaking juice. And it worked! I mean, as far as experiments go this wasn’t novel, but for me it was. Next time I get my hands on figs I’ll do it again. Mmmm.
As the next weekend started– nearly coinciding with our 5th wedding anniversary– we were lucky enough to go to a Red Sox game. Not only that, but we had tickets (notice I didn’t say seats) on The Green Monster (thank you, thank you, to future lawyer B and her man K). We went with those crazy guys who post the big red Ks whenever Daisuke Matsuzaka is pitching so red-painted faces (and in one case, a whole bald head) made our group stand out. And at least two guys (yes, it was mostly guys in our band of 9) risked the giant monster dogs, pictured here with the evidence of the loooong rain delay in the background. But we waited it out for two hours and then watched most of the game– too bad we had to leave to catch the last train home.
Mr. Food and I got up (late) the next morning to head west for K and T’s wedding (at last!) which was in Washington, Mass. last weekend. Lunch on anniversary day was at my favorite restaurant in Amherst where we gulped down their fish tacos and funky aguas frescas (one melon and one jamaica). Next stop, milkshakes (err, I mean, frappes!) in Huntington — we stopped at the Country Store here ostensibly for directions but came away with a refreshing mint chocolate drink made thoughtfully to be “straw-able” the best way I could describe what we wanted when the kind scooper asked how she could make it for us. Sorry no photos here, we drank it before I could think to photograph…
And then the wedding– we didn’t get a picture of the cake, there really wasn’t a standard one anyway– dessert was chocolate cake or strawberry shortcake (biscuit-style!!!) or other things I can’t right now remember. The important part is that the weekend was lovely; so thanks to the newly married couple still honeymooning in Iceland and congratulations from all of us (yes, the cats too, they remember you).
Ok, for all those of you who haven’t yet even heard of the new Pixar flick, Ratatouille, it’s time to get your head out of the stockpot and go to the theater. I won’t reiterate all the rave reviews my fellow bloggeurs and bloggeuses and just plain old critics have written on this lovely film and its realistically crazy kitchen scenes. Let’s just say: go see it.
And while you’re there, try to avoid watching the new Catherine Zeta-Jones movie, No Reservations. Sure it’s a great story and all… and I know this not because I snuck out of work to see it the day it came out when in reality I am stuck at my desk… but because the original movie, a German film called Bella Martha (known in U.S. as Mostly Martha) was so enticing. So do yourself a favor and rent that one instead. And have a feast handy because your stomach will be growling by the end of it.
To follow up on the previous is-a-burrito-actually-a-sandwich-debate, here we go with another legal matter (and yes, Mr. Food’s journey through law school has rubbed off on me a bit!).
In today’s installment: is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?
On the vegetable side we have any kid who has ever refused to eat a tomato based solely on its associations with other-salad-foods-like-the-dreaded-spinach-leaf. Clearly it’s a VEGETABLE because normal little kids don’t want to eat it. That is, unless it is disguised as pizza sauce or ketchup (head’s up to brother J for this one!). It’s usually eaten as a part of a savory course, rarely does it appear in desserts, so vegetable all the way, right? Maybe.
Now, anyone who’s ever taken high school bio knows that technically the answer is FRUIT. I mean, those guys are filled with visible seeds, right! Biologically and botanically, that makes it a fruit. Culinarily, as well, one could argue that tomatoes are fruits. Some folks (Mr. Food, namely) like to sprinkle theirs with a bit of sugar or just eat them whole, a la apple/pear/peach, actions typically taken with fruits, not vegetables.
So, fruit or vegetable? Something fun to eat or something to be avoided (old beliefs that tomatoes were poisonous notwithstanding)? Does it actually matter to the day-to-day eaters of the world? Probably not, but the conclusion to this debate does have legal implications. The legal case brought about by the Tariff Act of 1883 was set to decide whether tomatoes should be classified as fruits (not taxed) or vegetables (taxed). The court found that, though tomatoes are still botanically a fruit, they are legally for taxable purposes, a vegetable! A vegetable! All the botanists are rolling in their graves and the stage is set for the is-a-peanut-a-nut-or-a-legume debate. But that, we are not ever going to get into (sorry, Dad).
In the end I accept the legal findings of the court a century ago but in my biologist’s heart I know that the tomato will always be a fruit to me. So there.
At last, courtesy of The New York Times and my-favorite-author-of-the-week Kim Severson, the supremacy of British supermarket candies can no longer be denied! Read all about it! My favorite line has got to be this: “Hershey’s tastes like ear wax” — well, yes, it kind of does, but without all those bitter notes. Note to those about to take European vacations: I prefer Refreshers, Mint Aeros, and Walnut Whips. (Thanks in advance.)
I’d just like to point out a lovely article with a refreshing viewpoint on that baseball record about to be broken by that big guy with the bat… except it’s not about that, but another more obscure but just as essential milestone– one that won’t get its holder into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In the end, the sneaky writer calls for more managers to use their rage to creative ends when they approach the ump with a mind towards getting tossed from the game. More throwing of resin bags, anyone? 755 homers? Let’s hear it for 131 career ejections!