On Racism in Food

posted in: Ruminations | 9

Several years ago an ex-boyfriend’s mother offered to prepare the appetizer for a dinner I was cooking. Her dish, once assembled, was a salad. Yet it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The top was sprinkled with stiff pegs of noodle and raw radish slices, and it smelled like sesame oil. I asked with genuine curiosity what was in the dressing and she fired off a strange list with the likes of mayonnaise and soy sauce. If food is a … Read More

Reason For Not Eating Out #58: To Rewrite the Dating “Rules”

The first rule of dating is that there are no rules. But hopefully you know that already. So why should you read this, from a person who probably knows less about the secrets to dating success than any given stranger on the subway? Because if you’re reading this, then you probably like to cook. And that in itself holds some powerful dating potential.

What NOT to Give the Cook on Your List (2015 edition)

posted in: Ruminations | 8

It’s been a while since we’ve played Scrooge. In 2011, I compiled 10 things not to give the home cook for the holiday season. Last year, I offered 5 “alternative” gifts for them instead. But we’ll take it back to that curmudgeonly place where it all began, since there are always newfangled food toys coming from the North Pole (or Mount Sinai for Hanukkah Harry land). Ho, ho, Who got me this crap?!

Be a #FoodBloggerSanta and Give Your Extra Swag to Charity

It was last Tuesday. #GivingTuesday according to the hashtag gods, which came at the heels of #CyberMonday and (pre-hashtag era grandfathered) #BlackFriday. I felt like the initiative to give to charity came at an inopportune time, since people just spent so much over the weekend already. But in my inbox, there was a handful of emails from PR firms offering me samples of new food products in exchange for my sharing them over the Internet, or just my consideration of doing … Read More

Giving Thanks in a World of Conflict

posted in: Ruminations | 18

Hey guys, I made a buckwheat-crust apple pie recipe recently. But that’s not really what I wanted to write about this week. In light of the Paris and Beirut attacks and continuing threats from their perpetrators, it’s awkward for me to talk about the relative pros and cons of a nutty, alternative grain. But I think we do need to come and sit around the table.

Update on New Cookbook: The Food of Taiwan

For the last eight and a half years, I’ve been writing here and elsewhere about my main passion in life: not eating out in New York. You must know plenty about that. Fortunately, the topic of home cooking is infinite; there is no end to delicious (and budget-friendly, healthy, seasonal and sustainable-minded) recipes that can be cooked up, or avenues to explore within this broad realm (urban farming? foraging?). Or, indeed, books to read and write about it. I’ve taken a passion for the … Read More

5 Alternative Gifts for the Food-Obsessed on Your List

posted in: Ruminations | 1

The holidays are supposed to be about throwing your hands up in the air and relaxing, but those weeks just beforehand are a frenzy of anxiety and anticipation. Some of this is very unfortunately caused by the lovely tradition of giving. As a co-worker made clear today (with “I haven’t even begun!”), holiday gifting can be a chore. But it doesn’t have to be. Especially if you’re a food-obsessed like me.

My Five Favorite Food Books of the Year

posted in: Ruminations | 2

It’s that time of the year to look back at the year. This Monday on my podcast Eat Your Words, I’ll be joined by two local foodies to discuss our favorite words on eating this year. That is, we’ll be rounding up our favorite food books from 2013. Since I promised my guests to provide them with my own short list before the show, I thought I’d go into what these picks are, and why I think they’re so great, beforehand. … Read More

We Are So Divorced From Nature Example 1: Moonlit Lavender

A large factor in my quest to cook more was getting acquainted with the basics. I would say “back to” the basics, but given that I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in New Jersey, I didn’t have too much experience with nature aside from cooking store-bought ingredients now and then. It seemed worthwhile — and agreeable enough — to get “down and dirty” by cooking from scratch for a while. But the seedling for this idea was that, … Read More

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