Category Archives: Let’s read

Soup in a book?

I just read one of the books I got at Powell’s in Portland… Kafka’s Soup by Mark Crick (he wrote and illustrated this creative little book), is subtitled “a complete history of world literature in 14 recipes.” And it is. Even though, I admit I have not read most of the authors replicated here (high school English classes did nothing to boost my lagging interest in literature) the recipes (a la Kafka, Woolf, or Chandler, for example) were entertaining if not actually laughably funny. My favorite was the Rich Chocolate Cake a la Irvine Welsh– written with a deep Scottish accent and plenty of cursing, of course. Crick weaves the recipe instructions into the story like so: “The tins go intae the oven at 400 degrees. Ah cook everything at the same temperature; ah f**in hate those yuppie bastards with their fan assisted bollocks and temperatures. When you’re cookin, you’re cookin.” Cooking lesson and social commentary in one!

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Two of my favorite things…

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Lunch and boxes together! In one place! I may be the last person in my foodish (my “foodie” substitute) circles to find this website but I’m relieved that I finally did. One could spend hours– or days, if one had that kind of time– lost in this site full of food in boxes, a la bento and Japanese schoolkids lunches. Wow. Thanks to the very-pregnant-due-yesterday-S for this tip. And good luck with the arrival of Baby B sometime this week… any day now…

Burrito = Sandwich ???

Listen up people: a burrito, though it looks like a sandwich, sits in the hand like a sandwich, and sticks together like a sandwich, is not, i repeat, not a sandwich.

Now bear with me, I know this is confusing… just as I know this is old news for fellow foodish Bostonians who heard all about this last year. I can hear the collective do-we-need-to-hear-this-again already. But this all happened when I was but a pre-blogger, so late is better than never!

This was an important issue last November. Matters of mealtime vocabulary and sandwich self-identification were at stake. Sandwich experts were asked to weigh in with their opinions. Local fabulous chef, Chris Schlesinger, who conveniently had just opened a sandwich place in Cambridge, had this to say: a sandwich is European in origin and uses “two pieces of leavened bread” while a burrito is Mexican-specific, is normally served hot and rolled into an unleavened tortilla. The two cannot find common ground here, clearly.

But let’s see what food vocabulary guru Alan Davidson has to say in his Penguin Companion to Food… from page 829 under heading Sandwich he says “Sandwiches take so many forms in the modern world, including double- and triple-deckers, the open sandwiches typical of Scandinavia, … and legions of toasted sandwiches.” His tome (it weighs two pounds, I just checked) is notable for two things: there is no listing for Burrito but at least burrito is not mentioned under sandwiches. The mystery deepens.

I happen to think that a sandwich is anything that involves a bread product used to keep the fillings in one place. Under this gastronomic umbrella I include anything that might be found or easily eaten at a baseball game. That means the sausage/hot dog/bratwurst family is well represented as well as the burger and the cheese sandwich groups. And I’ll admit that under my definition, I’m not sold on the burrito is not a sandwich angle. But in the interest of respect for ethnic foods, I’ll let that lie.

I’ll end with a book suggestion for those who need more information on this hot topic and pictures of two of my favorite recent sandwiches (courtesey of Burgerville, Portland, OR, and Chez Dad, homeland of I smell food).

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My first guest-blogging stint!

While the Bibliophile, my friend R, is away, I am blogging for her… so check it out for the next two weeks on her website. Bon voyage… (evil laugh here)…

Korean BBQ (II)

Our three-person book club met this afternoon over tea (black with rose) and cake (pound with lemon and basil)… Incidentally, the pound cake recipe is one of the worst written ones I’ve seen in a while (note to self: remember to never actually use the recipes from the Improper Bostonian) I have a culinary degree and it was not easy to follow. Not to say it was impossible, but if a recipe is written well you should just be able to follow the ingredients and the steps, in order. That was not the case here. It was way too vague and meandering. To show you what I mean and post it here would be a disservice, just in case anyone actually tried to use it! So, we’ll move on to the book we read, The White Darkness— about a trip to Antarctica, so interesting, but Y(oung)A(dult) genre, so, not exactly my style. Sorry, R and C, I know you like this stuff better than I do. Thanks for putting up with me…

Anyway, onto the important part! We decided to have Korean BBQ for dinner since R has been hankering for it ever since she heard of our California hijinks last week. So we all (with Mr. Food and Misters R and C in tow) went to New Jang Su BBQ and had some amazing food. I don’t remember what we ate but it hardly mattered. I had my camera but was too busy eating to even take photos until it was all gone…

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You’ll have to ask R if you want to know what we ate. She’ll remember. She goes there so often they know her. All I know is that it was good. And that I probably won’t even need a snack before bed– except for this lime sherbet drink I’ve got here… that doesn’t count, does it?

Didn’t think so.

La bloggeuse

I met up with Clotilde Dusoulier last week when the rain was coming down and the tornado warnings were a-plenty here in Boston. But we both survived the experience and lived to write about it. Here’s my version of events: from today’s Boston Globe. Hers is of course in blog form!

Twist my wrist

Tuesday night I attended a book launch and cooking demo at The Butcher Shop in the South End for Nancy Silverton’s A Twist of the Wrist. The fun things I get to do in the guise of a Boston Globe reporter! Anyway, this one was quite entertaining. Nancy is quite gracious and certainly said some zingers that night that didn’t make it into the article that comes out this week… let’s see what do we still have… “the freezer doesn’t have to be the devil” (about the quality of some frozen foods)… “I used a lot of mayonnaise. I never would have opened up a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise for anything but tuna salads for the kids” (about her newfound respect for mayo)… well, I guess most of the zingers got in! And for the rest you’ll have to see the Food section on Wednesday.