NYC summer dessert survey

Poll for New Yorkers, what is your favorite summer time dessert:

  • Marino’s Italian Ice
  • Mister Softee
  • Something yuppie, like Van Leeuwen

The answer you give will reveal something about you.

Morning (nearly afternoon) in Brooklyn

Poached eggs, collard greens, baguette

This is what I ate for breakfast/lunch. The poached eggs were decent, though not spectacular. I probably would have needed to make hollandaise sauce to achieve spectacular.

That breakfast was part of a larger effort to eat in for the entirety of the week, something that has been cooked up by the Huffington Post. Called The Week of Eating In, the HuffPo has challenged readers to buy, cook and eat their own food in order to be healthier, save more money and stop supporting food that is made inhumanely (whether that means toward the animals that are killed for it or the laborers who are underpaid and over-worked). Of course, one could manage to comply with the rules of the Eating In challenge by buying a chicken from one of the big poultry manufacturers, which are linked to what can only be called disgusting treatment of chickens, as well as alleged labor law violations; while one would be breaking rules by eating at one of the many restaurants in New York that source their food locally from farms with humane practices. (Though I think the HuffPo people do encourage readers to try and buy local). But despite that, I think it is a worthwhile effort to encourage people to eat at home more.

In New York, so many people barely ever cook, which is really a stupendous waste of money and not terribly healthy.  Plus, cooking is fun! It’s kind of like conducting a mini chemistry project every night. What happens when I crack eggs into boiling water? When I try to make a flavorful stock by putting a bunch of chicken bones in water? (I rarely ever do this myself, but I hear it’s the best way to get stock). When I use bacon to coat a pan before making a tomato pasta sauce? (usually, the answer is that it turns out better).

Not that I want to totally come down on people who don’t cook much. People certainly live busy enough lives as it is, especially in this city. And I don’t know that most of us would opt for the sort of back-breaking work and total change in lifestyle–i.e. owning and operating a farm–that would achieve true compliance with the locavore imperative. There are reasons the course of human history is one that moves from an agrarian society, with its unpredictabilities, like the weather, and its toil. That doesn’t mean we have to support large-scale producers that underpay their workers and box their live chickens in tiny spaces. It might not be easy though. See that photo at the top of this entry? While those greens and the bread are both from the Green Market, I have no idea where the grocery store eggs came from. I guess I should have bought those at the GM, as well, but I needed eggs earlier and there is a bodega just on the other side of the street. And as for the GM, while I trust that everything there is certified whatever, what if it isn’t? We can really never know for sure ‘less we do it ourselves…

Disclosure: I broke the week of eating-in vow by buying a New York-style slice of pizza on Friday night. Problem was, I went straight from work to a couple of events and did not have time to stop at home and make dinner. And I also bought a scone from the farmer’s market that week, and a couple of coffees…

Daily dose of the world ending

So, I feel pretty lucky these days to be (thus far) impacted by none of the following, from the New York Times:

Bio-fuel production is being blamed for the world’s food shortage. [Link]

If you can believe it, homeowners may be even more over-extended in the UK and Spain than in the US. [Link]

Many U.S. retail chains are either closing or down-sizing, including the Sharper Image, Foot Locker, and Ann Taylor.  According to the Times, the closures are “expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.”  For one, consumers will have to go elsewhere for intense chair massages. [Link]


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