Friday, November 13, 2009

Top 10 Links of the Week: 11/6/09 – 11/12/09

This week, it’s the beginning of the Thanksgiving deluge, lots of debate about vegetarianism, and the power of Pepin. Good stuff!

To the right: the book I wrote with the Husband-Elect was on the shelf at Barnes & Noble! Yay! It was right between Hairy Hunks: A Celebration of Shaggy Stallions and You Say I'm a Bitch Like it's a Bad Thing. So ... very fitting.

1) Serious Eats: Turkey Brining Basics
Epic how-to post that would make even the most ardent Alton Brown devotee pause his Good Eats DVD. I started brining Thanksgiving turkeys about three years ago, and lemme tell you: it makes all the difference IN THE WORLD. So grab a five-gallon bucket, print this out, and start be-salting.

2) Simon Seeks: The most weird, wonderful and bizarre restaurants from around the world
Have you ever wanted to eat confit out of a coffin? Or chomp some spring rolls while being monitored by manatees? Maybe some eel in the emergency room? This super-neat comp of outrageous restaurants proves that finally, you can. And for the cost of a mere plane ticket.

3) Jezebel: The Challenges of Raising Kids Vegetarian
Insightful article about difficulties veg kids face once they’re out of the house. I’ve always wondered how parents deal with that: when he’s eight or nine and wants to try bacon for the first time, do you let him? Is it okay for his stomach? Also of note, in the piece’s comment section, there’s a meat-eating mom whose toddler went vegetarian all by himself. (It’s about the third or fourth one down.)

4) Kids Eat For
Parents! Go here now! It’s a database of U.S. restaurants where kids can chow down at no cost to you. Could have been half-baked, but is seemingly pretty thorough.

5) Hunch: How Food Preferences Vary by Political Ideology
According to this somewhat empirically valid study, liberals are more likely to dig ethnic food, while conservatives prefer Colby cheese to brie. And that’s only the tip of the Pizza Hut. The findings just keep going. Two things we all agree on, however: 1) ain’t nothing wrong with bacon cheeseburgers, and 2) ice cream sprinkles are weird.

6) Wise Bread: Start a Cooking Club – Cook Up Some Frugal Fun
How can you cook, socialize, save money, and have multiple glasses of wine all at the same time? With your own cooking club, of course. Americans across America are organizing the frugal-minded American get-togethers, with delicious results. Start your own today! (Or, you know, e-mail a few friends to see what they think.)

7) Washington Post: For Pépin, Impromptu Comes Easy
His name is Jacques. And he is funky. And he can make a five-course meal for six people for $24. Read and be amazed.

8) New York Times: Same Street, Different World - ‘Sesame’ Turns 40
Now 40, Sesame Street takes a different approach to food, exercise, and general wellness than it did in 1969. Don’t worry, Cookie Monster still gets his Chips Ahoy fix. Now he just eats a carrot first.

9) MSN Smart Spending: Keeping Thanksgiving frugal and fun
Sweet roundup of Turkey-Day-for-less links, along with repeated reminders to keep it simple and save your sanity. Gobble it up! (…Sorry.)

10) Food Politics: Are Vegetarian Diets OK?
Marion Nestle says: yes, duh. But much nicer and with lots more facts.


AOL: French Women DO Get Fat
Sacre bleu! Bleu sacré ! L'obésité est sur l'élévation France ! Kids’ menus? Oh grow up!
Best article on restaurant menus for the under-12 set that I’ve seen so far. Fishsticks, they are a’changin.

Eating the Road: The All-Inclusive All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet
This one goes out to my little brother. It’s dumbfounding in its thoroughness.

Get Rich Slowly: Dumb Money – JD the Junk Food King
You may know this story by its more universal name, “I’ve Been Working Non-Stop on a Project and Haven’t Eaten Anything Approximating a Vegetable in Two Months.” Happens to everybody.

Huffington Post: Eco Etiquette - How To Eat Local This Winter
Love letter to CSAs, which have surprisingly good options for the snowier seasons.

Improv Everywhere: I Love Lunch
Filmed for The Today Show and featuring Ann Curry, it’s a sweet follow-up to Grocery Store Musical.

The Kitchn: How to Control Plastic Container Clutter
For when your tupperware threatens to take over your life.

MSNBC: Obesity causes 100,000 U.S. cancer cases a year
And, according to the article, “causes nearly half the cases of endometrial cancer.”

Publisher’s Weekly: The Best Food Books of 2009
With Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond’s Almost Meatless, right up at the top! Yay!

Server Not Servant: 64 Suggestions for Restaurant Customers
Worth a read; but can be summarized in four words: don’t be an ass.

Slashfood: 10 Catchiest Food Jingles We Love to Hate
Please don’t hate me for linking this when you’re still singing the Gatorade jingle two weeks from now.

Washington Post: What an expert eye, and a game plan, can do for the single shopper
Legendary cookbook editor Judith Jones takes WP on a tour of farmers’ markets, where one-man shopping is eminently do-able. (P.S. I think it’s illegal to write “Judith Jones” and not “legendary.” I’ve never seen an article without it.)

Wise Bread: 5 Quick Fixes to Salvage a Good Meal
Pasta overcooked? Too much salt in the soup? Stale rolls? Wise Bread has solutions.

Interviewer: “What would you say is the most important skill to develop in the kitchen?
Mark Bittman: “The ability to go in there and start. I am the least impressive cook you will ever see. I am completely without knife skills, I screw things up all the time. When I’m in the kitchen I’m not obsessively trying to create the perfect dish; I’m trying to put dinner on the table. Comparing yourself to the people who cook on television is like comparing yourself to Andre Agassi. If you can drive you can cook.”


I’ve been waiting three years to find out what actually happened to Tony Soprano. That’s my friend Nick at the end. Apparently he knew and didn’t tell us.

(NOTE: Spoilers ahead for The Graduate, No Country for Old Men, The Wrestler, Lost in Translation, and The Sopranos.)

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