Reason For Not Eating Out #44: Because Cooking Will Help Heat Your Home

Brrr! Two blizzards, about two feet of snow on the ground, and two straight nights of temperatures in the teens. Have you been staying indoors a lot this new year? I don’t blame you, and I’m not moving much either. Maybe ordering in some take-out sounds tempting, but after a couple nights of this, you might realize how much more often you’ll have to walk outside to get rid of the copious container-trash. Not fun! No, I find it much … Read More

Reason For Not Eating Out #42: Because You Can Grow Your Own Food

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

Reason For Not Eating Out #41: Because I Don’t Need to be Doted On

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

Reason For Not Eating Out #40: Strength in Numbers

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 #38: Having the Wildcard Every Time

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

Reason For Not Eating Out #37: Going Back to School

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 #36: For the Sport

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

Reason For Not Eating Out #35: The Whole Side of the Story

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 #34: Check Arithm-ethic

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

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