Tag Archives: food


Found this lovely under the chestnut oak out back. Guess what we’re eating for dinner tonight!


long food meme a la kij johnson

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Make recommendations of specific places/products when possible.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred

parthenogenisis -or- dragon love

Interesting article in the NYTimes today. In my advanced bio class in high school, we pricked frog eggs with rusty nails to “fertilize” them. It worked, but the nail had to be rusty (could this be nature’s comment on old pricks?).
The author makes a point that I’ve been thinking about for awhile now–that with the push to clone food, both animal and vegetable, in order to get a “consistent” product, it is obvious that this method is flawed. It is flawed because we are working directly against nature. All life thrives on diversity in order to be able to adapt to change. The shortsighted efforts of the food industry to manipulate through cloning will come back to bite us in the not so distant future.

Birds Do It. Bees Do It. Dragons Don’t Need To.
Published: February 24, 2008


DRAGONS and virgin births are the stuff of myth and religion. Except, that is, in Kansas, where they have recently come together in a way that should alter the way many of us look at nature and demonstrate the risks in our habit of using it to help us make ethical decisions.

Keepers at Wichita’s zoo got a surprise last year when they found developing eggs inside the Komodo dragon compound. Komodos are large rapacious lizards naturally found in Indonesia, but increasingly populating zoos around the world. Finding fertile embryos of dragons is a joyous occasion — there are only a few thousand of the lizards in the wild and captive breeding may be the only way to keep the species around.

But these eggs — two of which hatched a few weeks ago — were unusual: they developed from a female that had had no male of the species in close proximity for more than a decade. Judging from similar occurrences over the past two years in Britain, it appears that these lizards sometimes use a form of virgin birth in which eggs hatch without conception. The embryos are genetic clones of the mother.

Komodos — like many fish, amphibians and reptiles — have lots of reproductive tricks. For example, females can store sperm for a long time, tiding them over when conditions may be poor for reproduction. It’s possible that the Wichita dragon eggs could have been fertilized by the sperm from a male that was on site a long time ago. But DNA analysis of the “miracle embryos” from Britain showed that every bit of their DNA came from the females, and nobody should be surprised if this is also true of the Kansas dragons.

the rest can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/opinion/24shubin.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

or behind the cut

soup’s on!!

either i was extremely hungry (which is doubtful) or…
i just made the absolute best pasta fagioli soup that ever blessed this earth.
i mean, really unbelievably gooooooooooooooood soup!

so, um…sorry…gotta go eat more!

Food for thought…

It’s not easy to explain what I think is going on with us, in the matter of life, death, rebirth. There are many theories and beliefs out there, promoted by people with far bigger brains and better command of the language than I, but it irritates me no end to read what amounts to blind faith in the face of annihilation.

So, let me dispense with the simplest of theories…there is no heaven or hell, no rewards or punishments meted out when we die. I don’t believe there is one god who is watching over his little troop of naked apes, tallying our good vs. bad deeds for later review. I find it alarming that many scholars still seriously engage in theological arguments of this kind. But then, they are making a living from it, so vested interests (and winning wars) may have much to do with all that is in heaven and hell.

Many New Agers talk about being made up of stardust as if that’s something remarkably cool, but really, it’s all rather common. Dust is universal. Dust is dust. I don’t think we need to go back so far as the Big Bang to figure out what’s going on with our small lives. Does the universe go on forever? Fuck if I know, because my brain cramps up when I think about it. But, taking the cramp as a cue, I kinda doubt it. What about the Void? That hurts too, so I think I’ll leave it to the experts, but the shadows at the edges tell me the Void is hugely real with dark intelligence.

I am also not smart enough to explain or refute reincarnation or the many related ideas about what happens to us when we die. I really do need to leave this to those schooled in comparative theology, quantum physics, string theory, etc. Rather, I will attempt to relate what I think is going on based on what I see as I study Nature. I think it’s far simpler than we want to believe.

The Earth is a living thing: intelligent, rich, fertile, ever changing. The Earth is a roiling mass of life, fueled by a molten core, hot, violent, powerful and lovely. To look for that Garden of Eden, that place of peace, that Utopia is a waste of precious time, because the Earth has no time for such idleness. She’s too busy creating and destroying. It’s Shiva and Shakti and Kundalini.

We are creatures of the Earth, in all our glory and ordinariness. And we are as ordinary as bacteria and as magnificent as elephants. We are made of the same stuff as gods and rocks. We are bound by the laws of the dimensional sphere we occupy on Earth, which limits our existence by time and space. So, being creatures of the Earth, we are born of Her, we live by eating of Her bounty just as all the other creatures do, and we cycle back into the Earth and are eaten by Her. If you watch what happens in Nature, what every life form does is eat, procreate, break down and is then eaten. Each thing, including the stones and plants and animals — each thing of the Earth cycles through this spiraling process in its own time and place. Each thing of the Earth, understanding this spiral of life, exists in its own time — except for us.

Being naked and defenseless in our bodies, our specialized brains have tricked us into thinking more of ourselves than is our due. We have evolved a unique arrogance of individuality. Believing in our own personal importance, we have equated death with oblivion, and in utter disregard for all that is right in front of us, we have invented theologies to explain why we, and only we, go on apart from all the rest. While all other creatures live in the present, growing, eating, fucking, dying, we live in a place in our heads that ignores the present moment. Instead, we bemoan the past and fear the future and invent elaborate schemes to escape death — to cheat the Earth of Her food.

It makes no sense to think that we alone are creatures above the rest, exempt from the natural cycle of the Earth, the stars, the Universe. If we truly look at things, we will see the spiral of life. Our galaxies are spirals, our DNA a twisting helix. This is the course of existence. This is the way time works. Nothing is linear. Nothing is forever and nothing stays dead. It all twists and transforms, cycling through to feed the next thing, carrying food (our bodies) and DNA (our dust) in a labyrinth of ever changing patterns.

We are simply creatures of the Earth and as with all things of the Earth, it is a giveaway. We get to live, breathe, eat, think grande thoughts, have sex, break bones, die, and feed the Earth. We don’t escape our bodies and plop ourSelves into another body as if we were playing musical chairs, nor do we walk through a tunnel and hang out with our loved ones in the light. The ideas are comforting, but fanciful, and I see no evidence of it in Nature.

Nature’s way is far simpler and more mysterious. It is the Tao of Food and Dust. We pass on our dust through our children and their children and our bodies pass on to feed the Earth and Her creatures just as they fed us.

We are what we eat, and then, we are what eats us. This is the spiral. This is our giveaway. In the end, we are all food.

i think it’s time for a fast

so, i was reading my friends and in one of the comments to kijjohnson‘s post was a link to this tasty gem:

ok, be warned! this is gross. funny, but gross. it has also made me realize that canned goods (or any packaged “food”) is evil and i will never never ever eat any packaged food again, especially if it’s from china, japan, korea, mexico, the midwest, the southern states, and of course texas. in fact, i just may never eat again.

i need to go scrub my eyes out and disinfect my mouth.

e-coli of convenience

my idea of convenience food is triple-washed, bagged lettuce and baby spinach. i love the convenience and fusslessness of it. it’s so much easier to grab a couple handfuls of baby lettuce than to core the head of lettuce, wash, dry and rip.

imagine my dismay to find out that my ONLY convenience food is potentially deadly.

apparently, next to raw meat, bagged and cut lettuce is the most likely food source to be contaminated with e-coli. and, even tho’ this is the first i’ve heard of it (Dateline NBC), contaminated lettuce has been a problem since the 90s…maybe even earlier.

so, i’d like to warn you all that we need to go back to the OLD way of making our salads. buy UNCUT, locally grown lettuce, hopefully from known sources and eat it immediately. if you must store it, do so without washing or cutting so that those nasty e-coli buggers don’t have an easier time contaminating your food. wash well and tear just before eating. your best bet is to cook most of your greens (especially spinach).

here’s a link with some useful info and helpful links.


i should have known my romance with prewashed, bagged lettuce couldn’t last. i suppose i’ll probably carry this to the point where i won’t eat any lettuce unless i grow it myself.

and of course, i’ll be in a whorl of worry until i’m sure my dad and sister don’t suffer from the salad i served them tonight.


soul food

the hana is a sweet little sushi place a couple miles down the pike from our house. it’s a family owned restaurant with a regular and loyal clientele. it’s not fancy or trendy which is why we like it–and of course, the food is excellent. brni and i sort of use the hana as a decompression chamber. every saturday evening we wash away the toxic load of the week with friends, saki and food from the sea.

the hana will cure what ails ya.

birthday wishes

my in-laws have a tradition of going out to dinner to celebrate birthdays. the birthday person gets to pick the eating establishment. this sounds reasonable, but my in-laws aren’t known for their culinary wisdom and sometimes do odd things at the table.

this time, we ate at paul’s favorite chinese place in west chester. they have an impressive, laminated menu sporting creatively named dishes. the dish i picked was named after a chrysanthemum.

as i was looking at the menu, i saw movement out the corner of my eye. upon further inspection, i found a rather large roach-like bug nestled in the folds of my scarf. i quietly showed brni my little visitor then i gently shook him off my scarf and onto the floor. that’s when i decided to fill up on those crunchy things you dip in chinese mustard and wash it down with medicinal doses of wine to kill the germs. my dinner did not disappoint. it was very pretty and wholly inedible.

towards the end of the meal, brni’s father gave each one of us a pamphlet that he picked up in florida from some nursing home. we have five wishes, and they are:
1. the person i want to make care decisions for me when i can’t.
2. the kind of medical treatment i want or don’t want.
3. how comfortable i want to be.
4. how i want people to treat me.
5. what i want my loved ones to know.

after we fill it all out, we need to have it signed by two witnesses who are willing to swear that we are not crazy and they aren’t going to make a fortune when our designated loved ones pull our plugs. brni and i made a rather quick exit after that.

i feel kind of guilty about dumping the roach on the floor the way i did, because now that i think about it, he was probably just trying to hitch a ride to safety.

bad mad cow news…

this is from Organic Consumers Organization. aside from the coverups and our lousy testing standards, it now appears that mad cow disease can be contracted through blood products.
there are real reasons not to eat red meat, but if you do, please…eat only meat produced by organic producers who do not feed their animals contaminated feed. of course, this means never eating at fast food joints, most restaurants and school cafeterias.

JAPAN: Japanese food safety regulators were shocked by a new Ministry of Agriculture study revealing that nearly half of Japanese confirmed mad cow cases would not have been discovered if the nation had been using U.S. testing techniques. Although the U.S. already has a shaky reputation internationally for its lax testing procedures for mad cow disease, consumers in Japan, formerly the largest overseas market for U.S. beef, were shocked to learn, that in 9 out of 20 cases, U.S. testing would have mistakenly allowed animals with the fatal brain-wasting disease to go to market.

U.S.: New evidence, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, reveals yet another mad cow cover-up by the USDA. In this case, back in 2003, a cow with all of the symptoms of the fatal and contagious disease had brain samples tested, which mysteriously turned up negative. Newly uncovered USDA documents reveal that the agency knowingly tested the wrong part of the brain and made no efforts to do further testing.

UK: A select group of blood donors in the UK are being advised to get checked for vCJD, the human form of mad cow disease. Roughly one hundred donors gave blood to three people in 1993 and 1994. Those three people have since died of vCJD, and UK doctors say the chance the disease was transmitted via donated blood is quite high.

More Mad Cow Info: http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm

bitch & beer

That’s what we call our not quite monthly get-togethers at Gullifty’s. A few of us (3 core plus a few occasional stragglers) leave work and meet at Gullifty’s in Rosemont to bitch about work and life as we know it. We actually have a fine time, lots of gossipy tidbits, clamorous comments, tasty revelations and mounds of humorous family stories. We tend to tease each other mercilessly, so we are careful to invite only those with skins thick enough to laugh at themselves.

I ordered the nicoise salad w/grilled tuna for dinner. A vodka and tonic later, everyone’s dinner arrives while I remain plateless. So Laura asks, “Will her dinner be here soon?” “In just a few minutes.” Fifteen minutes and a second vodka and tonic later, “Just a few more minutes, sometimes tuna takes a long time to cook.”
odear, this can’t be good.
Meanwhile my work companions took pity on my plateless plight and gave me bits of their dinners…I had two paper-thin slices of cantaloupe, a stalk of celery, 4 french fries, 2 potato chips and a bit of crust from a quiche.

Forty-five minutes and a third vodka and tonic later, my dinner was served. Semi-ravished, I lit into a somewhat aged piece of fish and bits of fishy green beans and waxy potatoes. bleh. Couldn’t eat more than a couple bites before deciding that life is too short to eat bad food. I sent the dinner back and requested a cup of coffee.

When the bill came, they had charged us for my late meal. Judy stopped the waiter and said, “I think there’s a mistake on this bill…” and proceeded to tell him we shouldn’t be charged for my dinner due to tardiness and taste. Then a very handsome asian man came over to inquire why we didn’t want to pay for my meal. So, I told him politely about the forty-five minute-three vodka and tonic wait and the old fish and he apologized and removed the charge.

It was all so civil, it hardly happened.

… and then my dear friends paid for my drinks in honor of my birthday.

all in all, a nice night out.

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