May 17th, 2010
In the epilogue of The Art of Eating In
, I bemoaned my oversight of home gardening as one of the restaurant-free food subcultures that I explored in its chapters. Thinking that my outdoor space-free residence would eliminate the option, I'd left out the very preface to cooking: growing the stuff. Fortunately, there have been many sage leaders in doing just that, even in the tiniest urban crevices they can find, and their voices are getting some much-deserved attention. Last month, Just Food paid a lively tribute to the pioneering food advocate, Joan Gussow, who at one point during the ceremonies quipped that she'd originally wanted to title her classic memoir, This Organic Life,
"Eating My Lawn." So since writing the book, I've been inspired to close the gap between agriculture and what's on my plate, both in theory and actual, trowel-wielding practice. This time, I am so not alone in my quest.
Reason For Not Eating Out #42: Because You Can Grow Your Own Food
Mar 13th, 2010
You know the saying. If everyone else was jumping off a cliff, would you?
It's a small reminder to use your own head, and not follow the masses mindlessly. So no, of course not. But if you did, or had to -- jump off a cliff, take a leap of faith -- and all those masses were at your side, it would sure make you feel a little better about it. And that's what's gradually happening with not eating out.
Reason For Not Eating Out #40: Strength in Numbers
Nov 12th, 2009
When Taylor Erkkinen and Harry Rosenblum opened their Williamsburg store for kitchen appliances and cookware in 2006, they'd had a notion about cultivating a community around cooking through occasional classes and demos. But who knew that the educational programs they would hold at the store would soon become The Brooklyn Kitchen's biggest draw, with classes frequently selling out a day after being announced?
Reason For Not Eating Out #37: Going Back to School
Oct 6th, 2009
You can't exactly sit through a restaurant meal and claim to have the best culinary know-how of a group by pooh-poohing this, or extolling that. Well, maybe you can to an extent, and many people do -- and I have, too. But it's much more convincing, in my opinion, if you walk into a social setting with your own homemade dish, and compare it against those of all the others in the room, who did the same. And that's what I'm speaking to in this Reason, perhaps long overdue: the competitive aspect of eating in.
Reason for Not Eating Out #36: For the Sport
Sep 7th, 2009
A cook's gotta do what a cook's gotta do. That usually includes dealing with the whole vegetable or grain from its raw to fully-cooked and plated states. Sometimes, it means the same for an animal. And the way I see it, all the better for the person cooking it.
Reason For Not Eating Out #35: The Whole Side of the Story
Apr 1st, 2009
pan-fried asparagus tips with lemon
Reason for Not Eating Out #30: This Is Why You’re Not Fat
Apr 5th, 2008
I couldn’t resist compounding this very attractive reason for not eating out with all the rest, even though it has less to do with eating than it does writing about it. For instance, I could go on not eating out for a lifetime and die fairly happily, I think. But half the fun of this whole experience has been about sharing the obsession with... you. Is it worth my while to do without blogging? Absolutely. But if a tree belches his food-infatuated ramblings out into the forest and no one hears it, does he really belch it out at all?
Reason for Not Eating Out #20: Book Deal
Mar 22nd, 2008
In the words of Roy Orbison, only the lonely know the way I feel tonight. I'm putting my feet up on a coffee table, pulling a blanket up to my chin, trying to decide which channel to turn on, or which of the eight magazines in front of me to pick up and look through, then relinquishing in contented inactivity, the only sounds in the entire apartment from stock simmering on the stove, ever so lightly, underneath the pot's lid. The aroma creeps into my nose. It’s probably not the way poor Roy felt when he sang it, but I feel great tonight. Dum dum dum dumdy-doo-wah.
Reason for Not Eating Out #19: Because you can almost afford to live alone
Feb 28th, 2008
Here's a moment where I really wish that a friend of mine had executed her idea to write a parallel blog to mine called, "Not Having Sex in New York." The plan was, we would be able to compare and contrast the relative advantages or disadvantages of both plights and the unique revelations we each discovered.
I still have much to wonder about what it would be like only having sex in a strange city, country or town, where one found oneself for various reasons -- work or pleasure. Alas, I can only offer you my side of the story, the only-eating-out-when-out-of-town one. Ho-hum.
Reason for Not Eating Out #18: When you do eat out, things are different…
Dec 29th, 2007
Many people have asked me over time how I manage to "not eat out" around the clock. Just what am I eating when it's not one of the recipes published on this blog? (Much of the time, the plain answer is noodles -- spaghetti, noodle soup, fried noodles; noodles.) It's true that I don't broadcast my every cooking failure or success here, which therefore makes it hard to grasp the extent to which my cooking ceases to be fun, experimental and imaginative, and instead becomes necessary motions performed in order to live. This coming year, I plan to work harder on this. But looking back on this year -- an entire year, in fact -- of not eating out, what does seem clear is how much my cooking has improved.
Reason for Not Eating Out #16: Great Leaps Forward
Sep 28th, 2007
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do.
I've been waiting weeks to share this milestone with you: My first birthday in the blogosphere. The real one-year anniversary for this blog flew by sometime in early September while the redesign was still in the works, so the party had to wait. So now it's time to break out the big balloons and silly string, let the honking toys a-herald one successful year of not eating out. Oh, and check out my new look.
Reason For Not Eating Out #13: 1 Year of Not Eating Out, 114 Recipes, and only 6 Regrets
May 29th, 2007
dandelion greens, wood sorrel and second-year burdock stem in a soy vinaigrette made with wild garlic and hedge mustard, all foraged from Prospect Park (except liquids)
The food of this city is bountiful. It's brimming with so much, and in such great variety, that you will never be keep up with it all, no matter how addicted you are to Eater. Think I'm just talking about restaurants and specialty shops? Try its wildlife sometime. It's fabulous.
This weekend I attended not one but two foraging tours of Prospect Park: one led by "Wildman" Steve Brill and one by Tim Vireo Keating, director of Rainforest Relief and forager of 30 years. I can't say this is normal for a single weekend, since Tim Keating's tour was an infrequent event organized by the Wetlands Activism Collective -- but Wildman gives regular tours all throughout the tri-state area. Prospect Park in Brooklyn is definitely one of my closest and largest parks, and now it's also one of my closest and largest groceries.
Reason for Not Eating Out in New York #10: Oh Foraging You May Go
Jan 30th, 2007
Here's what I ate on Sunday:
Chicken chilaquiles with green sauce and black beans for brunch made by Sam and Richard.
Baked brie and mango spread on crackers for a dinner appetizer made by Sean and Meredith.
Reason for Not Eating Out #6: Dinner parties are contagious