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, … Read More
I am not the type of person to get my nails done, or have my eyebrows plucked and pruned. If I could figure out how to cut my own hair, I would. Though I enjoy the convenience of it, I have never felt truly comfortable riding in the back of a cab, and get a slight jolt of awkwardness when a hired hand opens a door for me, or takes my bags. Don’t even tempt me with a foot massage … Read More
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.
There’s nothing ickier than raising a fork to eye level and finding that intimately human object entwined in your food: hair. All the sudden, it’s like you’re in bed with the chef. And how well that person cleans him or herself, or where he or she has been in the last twenty-four hours — and who that person is — you have no clue. Panic ensues.
I was out with a small handful of NYC-based food writers the other night. We were on our way to Edible Brooklyn‘s food trivia night, so I was feeling quite smug about my smartness in all things food-related right then, especially being among such illustrious company. As we made our way from the West Coast-oriented bar (with, according to my mentors, not enough beer cred for that claim) Pacific Standard to the Australian meat-pie joint, Sheep Station (kitschy, but the … Read More
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?
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 … Read More
Here comes the check. And there are eight people at the table. But some who ordered appetizers, and some who didn’t. Some who drank eight glasses of wine, some who don’t drink. Some who didn’t eat communal courses due to dietary restrictions, too. How to handle this piece of paper? Pass it around, and see if everyone pays their dues on their own (drunken) accord? Split it up evenly? See if someone decides to be the check calculator, naming the price for each diner? Then, … Read More
My great-grandmother was a keen tatter. Every Christmas, my family took out her tatting: intricate cotton snowflakes, bells, Christmas trees, flowers, all tatted by her own hand. Tatting, I was told by my father, her grandson, was a dying art. It’s a bit similar to crochet, but the particular style of weaving has fallen out of favor through the years, for some reason. I’m aware that knitting and home-sewing have become chic hobbies in recent years, even (or especially) for … Read More