9.11.2008

Budgets, Ina Garten, Pig Slaughtering, and Young Adult Books! Oh, my!

A couple of food things to share:

- More Than Burnt Toast has become the 100th member of Barefoot Bloggers, a blogging community dedicated to the recipes of Ina Garten. I luuuurve Ina Garten – her recipes are my go-to, my fail-safe, my always-awesome. She has never failed me. So I’m considering joining the BB group. Hell, I’ll look for any excuse to make her Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart (Yes. I do bake. Sometimes. Especially, or only, when there is pumpkin involved.). Stay tuned.

- Slow Food NYC is hosting an event called “Slow Food Nose to Tail Eating: Pig Butchering Demonstration and Tasting.” Naturally, I must go. It’s on Sunday, November 16th from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at the Institute of Culinary Education. Tickets are $40 for Slow Food Members, $60 for non-members. The event benefits Slow Food Harvest Time education programs in schools in East Harlem and Williamsburg.

- It’s monetary crunch time in the Lutz household. I have no problem confessing here that we’ve accrued some debt. And it’s time to break it on down. Adam suggested that we cut down on our food “budget” (there really isn’t one…). On our current plan, we only have $300 a month for food. Which isn’t doable, seeing as we normally spend in the $500-$600 range (including beer and wine). Adam said that we could pull money from other places to put into the food. But I loves me a challenge. I said, “No. Let’s try to make this $300 happen.” I thought about all the food I throw away every month. I thought about people who live on a hell of a lot less than this (poor me, right? Only spending $500 a month…). I considered the superfluous glass(es) of wine I drink each night. I thought about how we eat an entire ball of buffalo mozzarella in a meal when we could easily halve that amount and just amp up the salad. There’s lots of ways to make this happen. Again, stay tuned, as a foodie who has never had a food budget in her adult life tries to cut down dramatically while still enjoying the finer things…

- Lastly, I mentioned earlier that I was reading my way through some young adult foodie fiction books… So I read A La Carte, and I just finished High Dive by Tammar Stein. High Dive was an enjoyable read, but I wouldn’t call it a foodie book. A college freshman, Arden, travels alone to Europe to sell the family vacation home. Her mom is serving as a nurse in Iraq, and her father has recently died. This is actually more of a book about children of military families; I have a friend who grew up as a “military brat” and many of the experiences she has shared with me are similar to Arden’s: difficulty making long-term friends, rootlessness, being alone in foreign countries, growing up on base. Other than some cursory descriptions of meals in caf├ęs, there really isn’t much about food. I would, however, recommend this to older teens longing to travel or who grew up in military families. Next on my list is Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser…

Eat, drink, and hope the new food budget helps with the pants zippering…

2 comments:

Susan T. said...

An Ina Garten blog ring. Who knew!

I cook her lemon chicken often. I'm also a Deborah Madison fan.

Laura Lutz said...

It's funny because some of my favorite Ina Garten recipes are her chicken ones (Chicken with Forth Cloves of Garlic!). Yet she famously doesn't care for chicken - she has said in her books and on her show that it's usually very bland.