7.30.2008

Food Things

-- First, after more than an hour of hopping to many, many offices, I FINALLY got myself admitted to a Food Studies class in the fall as a non-matriculated student!!!! Naturally, the school didn’t exactly give me a wide range of sexy classes to take – I’m taking a non-sexy core class. Food Systems I: Agriculture. Here’s the description:

Food Systems I: Agriculture
E33.2033 30 hours: 3 points


Surveys issues surrounding food production from an agricultural perspective. Students will gain anunderstanding of how agricultural production shifted from a Jeffersonian ideal to an industrial and politicalpracticality. Topics include the agrarian ideal of the yeoman farmer, the ascendancy of markets and agricultural commodification, the politicization of agriculture and the farm bill, and sustainable agricultural systems.

No, definitely not sexy. But fascinating, nevertheless.

-- Los Angeles has blocked any new fast-food “restaurants” in their poorest areas, particularly South L.A. Places like Subway that are usually in strip malls and don’t use heat lamps are exempt. I actually have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, something needs to be done because the poorest people in our country are the ones with the highest rate of obesity and fast food restaurants certainly play a role in that. However, I’m not a fan of governments legislating behavior and I’m annoyed that personal accountability and responsibility, as well as education about nutrition, is being undervalued or totally ignored. Additionally, kids won’t have new fast food places coming into their neighborhood…but often what they get at school is even worse than fast food. Spend some time and tax dollars worrying about that, lawmakers.

-- I found this article in the San Francisco Chronicle: 10 Techniques Every Cook Should Know. It even includes video. Happily, I can do almost all of these things successfully: Breading, Browning/Searing, Dicing an Onion, Making Pan Sauce, Rolling Out Pie Crust, Making a Roux, Segmenting Citrus, and Making a Vinaigrette. Where I am less successful is Tempering: sometimes I’ve nailed it…other times, I’ve had chunks of cooked egg or bits of curdled cream in my dish. And the last one is Folding: I’ve actually never folded anything since I don’t bake and I’ve never tried a soufflĂ©. So I don’t even know if I can do it or not.

-- As I mentioned in my earlier post, my friend Heather introduced me to the book What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (See their website). It is the definitive source. Wanna know what to eat with that IPA you have in the fridge? This book has a list. Wondering what in the hell one drinks with Pad Thai…or pretzels? This is the book. Not only does it have “chicken” but it breaks it out into “chicken with lemon or lime”, “chicken tikki masala”, “chicken with cream sauce”, and maaany more. It includes beer, cocktails, wine, tea, and even water. I checked out the 2006 version from the library but Heather informed me that a new edition is coming out this fall (but I can’t find the new one anywhere online). So look out for a new edition sometime soon. Likewise, Heather is highly recommending The Flavor Bible, which is also by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It comes out in September so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that one too.

Eat, drink, and master the 10 Techniques Every Cook Should Know

1 comment:

Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg said...

Hi Laura,

Thank you for the lovely mention (with photos, no less!) of our books WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and THE FLAVOR BIBLE.

We commend you -- and your wise friend Heather -- on your obviously *excellent* taste! : )

Best of luck with your Food Systems class this fall -- sounds fascinating!

Delicious wishes,
Karen & Andrew