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Posts Tagged ‘pickled grapes’

A few days ago I read Mary Rechner’s essay “Why I Hate Food” and I’m still thinking about it.

It begins:

The aesthetics of today’s food culture (jam jars, wire egg baskets, communal wood tables) will soon appear as dated as macramé, but I fear the damage to a generation of women who are tending (and butchering) rabbits and chickens, and raising vegetable gardens (often along with children) has already been done. These activities are obviously more creative ways to spend time than watching soap operas, but urban homesteading and “the home arts” should not be confused with real art-making, which involves challenging the status quo, not feeding it.

The one sentence that really got me, though, was this:

The primary reason I refuse to place “eating correctly” at the center of my consciousness is because in doing so I would lose ground on my essential life project: living a dogma-free existence while maintaining psychic (and actual) time and space to write fiction.

And I thought, yes.

I like to cook.  I like to eat.  I like to cook and eat things that are made with recognizable ingredients (chicken, carrots, lentils, broth, milk, flour, butter, raspberries, etc.) (and no, those things do not add up to any particular/peculiar recipe!) and not things that come out of a package and are placed in a microwave.  But (more…)

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A friend of mine recently turned me on to kombucha.  (See Small talk and pickled grapes for the story of my introduction.)  Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that left me deeply skeptical until I had actually some.  It was light, mildly sweet, nicely tangy, and I immediately became a convert.  I don’t care so much about its possible health claims; it just tastes good.  (For The New York Times‘s take on kombucha, click here.)

(Here are two bottled versions you might be able to find at a store.  You can try it before committing to make your own!)

This same friend also introduced me to the concept of pickling grapes, which I actually did — even though I thought that with 15-month-old twins I’d have neither the time nor the inclination for this kind of project.  But (more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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