Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Megalinks

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with advice on our restaurant situation. (Read all about it here.) I agree with most folks on the tipping issue. Having worked in food service in high school and college, I would have expected a severely reduced tip if I behaved like our waiter had. The one thing we DIDN’T do was talk to the manager (which, in retrospect – duh). I’m sure it would have made a huge difference in our experience. But hey - now we know.

And with that, on to the links!

Antithete: How We Eat on $250 a Month
Faboo step-by-step guide to feeding a family of five on ~$50/week. I bet singletons and DINKs could get a bunch out of reading this, too. (Thanks to Get Rich Slowly for the link.)

Ask Meta: Adventures in Veganland
Are you on the no-dairy/meat/egg train and need a plethora of suggestions for feeding yourself? Look no further, sweet vegan! In this handy thread, dozens of bright-n-shiny commenters come forth with their best from-scratch ideas. Behold!

Chow: Food Blog Heaven
Food porn alert! Chow runs down a brief list of its 10 favorite recipe sites, including two of my favorites, Smitten Kitchen and Accidental Hedonist. Bring a bib, because you’ll need something to catch the drool.

Consumerist: Make Your Own Groceries
Neato ideas from Consumerist about DIY food projects, but the link is truly worth it (once again) for the epic comment section. I’m agog. Aghast, even.

Culinate: How to stock a pantry, fridge and freezer
HEL-lo. Culinate BRINGS it with this two-page extravaganza of kitchen basics. I was all proud of CHG’s Pantry of the Gods entry way back when, but it doesn’t compare.

Culinate: Packaged goods – how to store your food
Jeez. Another one! These guys don’t stop with the comprehensive guides, do they? Must … plan … downfall. (Muahahahaahaa!)

Divine Caroline: Portion Size, Then and Now
Stellar pictorial on hamburgers, popcorn, bagels, etc. in the ‘50s and ‘60s versus today. Without exaggeration, 2008's food portions are three times the size. No wonder we’re all gigantic. While you’re on the site, please (oh please) read Five Foods That Cause Anal Leakage. You'll never look at sugar-free candy the same way. (Thanks to Slashfood for the link.)

The Financial Blogger: Festival of Frugality #126
This week’s FoF is a car theme, courtesy of TFB. While your there, be sure to click on Brip Blap/Paid Twice’s A Simple Way to Save Money on Food (hint: eat breakfast) as well as Money and Values’ Eat Less Food (on the glory of portion control).

Get Rich Slowly: Strawberry Fruit Dip
If you’ve been on such a strawberry kick lately, this will help. Mmm … dip.

The Honest Dollar: 100 Ways to Cope With Inflation
It's really an all-encompassing look at saving some bank, but #1-27 specifically focuses on what goes in the belly. #23 is something I forget to do embarrassingly often, resulting in what I’m sure is a feast for eagle-eyed supermarket cashiers. (Thanks to The Simple Dollar for the link.)

The Kitchn: Reader Feedback – What Can We Do With Buttermilk?
There is a single cup of buttermilk sitting in my fridge right now, so this comes at the right time. All you other buttermilk-holders – WITNESS!

Like Merchant Ships: Repurposing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cans
Yay, Meredith! I love posts like these, which are great for the environment, but ALSO double as brain exercises. Eat it, Mensa!

New York Times: A is for Amandine – A List for Beginners
The Grey Lady compiles a leviathan kids’ cookbook reading list for your very own miniature gourmand. Did anybody out there cook as a small child? I did not. I just assumed food came from Ma, a.k.a. The Giver of Macaroni and Texas Chainsaw Chili.

New York Times: One Country’s Table Scraps, Another Country’s Meal
“In 1997, in one of the few studies of food waste, the Department of Agriculture estimated that two years before, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten.” Oy.

New Yorker: The Last Bite – Is the world’s food system collapsing?
Manomanoman. I try not to get down when I read articles like this, but it’s tough after awhile. Something has to change. I’m just not sure what, and what I can do to change it.

Serious Eats: Most “fun” cookbook you have read or own
Because cooking should be fun, yo. My favorite: Amy Sedaris’ I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. I don’t know if I’d actually make anything from it, but she's cuckoo enough to make the tome completely awesome.

Slashfood: Ever had a garbage plate?
Rochestarians, unite! Nick Tahou’s in the house.

Slashfood: What are your foodie limits?
In order: mayonnaise, anise, scallops. Anything else is fair game.

USA Today: New breed of American emerges in need of food
A.k.a. Kris, Shut Up About Your Anise Aversion, You Silly Woman. It’s a bit sobering after the la-di-da of the last article, but this piece needs to be read. Lots of people are going hungry right here in the U.S., and again, it’s up to us to change the situation. (Thanks to Consumerist for the link.)

(Photos courtesy of Flickr members vebate, Pinball Mafia Productions, and erikthered.)

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JJ (Lady Di) said...

I haven't opened the buttermilk page yet (I'm on dial-up and it's taking a while) but I like to use it for biscuits and pancakes. I also use it for making mashed potatoes (real or instant - I do keep instant around for those times when I'm sick) since it gives a nice sour cream taste to them. And I've got a nice bread recipe - I've made it in the bread machine and added whole wheat flour to it too but here's the original:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Split-Top Butter Loaf

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 24 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tsp sugar
3/4 c warm water -- 105 to 115 degrees F
1 env active dry yeast
1 1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 tbsp salt
1/4 c honey
3 tbsps butter -- in pieces
6 c bread flour
2 tbsps butter -- melted

Stir sugar into warm water in small cup. Sprinkle yeast over top. Let
stand until foamy 5 to 10 minutes.

Heat buttermilk, egg, salt, honey and butter in saucepan until butter
melts and mixture registers 110 degrees F to 120 degrees F on instant-read
thermometer. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add 2 cups bread flour; beat until smooth. Stir in yeast mixture. Add
remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough holds together and pulls
away from the sides of the bowl.

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and
elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to large greased bowl, turning to
coat. Cover with clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in warm
place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Let rest for 5 minues. Grease two 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 2
3/4-inch loaf pans. Divide dough in half; lightly coat halves with flour.
Gently pat each half into 7 x 5 inch rectangle. Transfer to the 2
prepared loaf pans. Cover with clean kitchen towel. Let rise in warm
place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/4 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. With a razor blade or very sharp knife, make a
slash down length of each loaf.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Open oven; pull rack with breads
out slightly. Brush loaves with some of the melted butter. Bake another
15 minutes. Brush again with butter. Bake another 5 minutes or until
loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove loaves from pans to wire to cool.

"Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each) at $1.42 each loaf."
"Family Circle 2/1/00"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 166 Calories; 3g Fat (18.1%
calories from fat); 5g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber;
16mg Cholesterol; 311mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean
Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Autumn said...

Well, "The Last Bite" and USA Today stories got me super-depressed and overwhelmed. And then I visited Slashfood, and some dude was hating on picky eaters. Sigh. Rough link day.

1) My reaction to guilt and panic regarding to aforementioned stories: Resolved to keep playing FreeRice.com till the computer glare burns out my retinas, make better effort to shop at the farmer's market in town, and take some extra canned goods to the church's food pantry. It's not much, but at least it's something.

2) I like to think that I'm picky because of my overly sophisticated/sensitive palate, not because of my lack of openness or courage, as dude from Slashfood suggests. The texture of certain fish bothers me. While I like the flavor of tomatoes, sometimes the soupy insides full of seeds weirds me the HECK out. And frankly, chomping down on a water chestnut gives me the willies. But I have managed, by dint of hard work and determination, to overcome my distaste for mushrooms, olives, and hummus. Now I love all three, and hope for continued changes of heart (er, tongue). In the meantime, though, everyone needs to show some love for the picky eaters. It was traumatizing to be force-fed squash casserole in our formative years!!

(Oh, and I DESPISE anise. I can smell it a mile away. Damn you, biscotti!)

K said...

Great selection of links this week! I read or saved for reading at a later date almost all of them.

Daniel Koontz said...

Hi Kris,
Particularly enjoyed reading The Last Bite, thanks for sharing the link.

But I couldn't help myself and had to write a rebuttal to the article. I thought I'd share it with you and your readers!

Casual Kitchen