Archive for the ‘food’ Category

The Mother of Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015

The Mother of Thanksgiving

America’s Thanksgiving national holiday doesn’t go directly back to Plymouth Rock. It’s due to the persistence of Sarah Josepha Hale (1788 – 1879). Mrs. Hale was a poet, a novelist, and the influential editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine. She was a New Englander by birth, and thought everyone in the USA should celebrate that region’s Pilgrim founders the way they did it in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Sarah Josepha Hale also wrote cookbooks, and described a New England Thanksgiving meal in her novel Northwood. The menu includes roast turkey, sirloin of beef, leg of pork, loin of mutton, bowls of gravy, plates of vegetables, a goose, a pair of ducklings, chicken pie, plates of pickles, preserves and butter, wheat bread, plum pudding, custards, pumpkin pie, rich cake, sweetmeats and fruits, currant wine, cider and ginger beer.


Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs

November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs

A holiday poem from Williams S. Burroughs: “Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons …”


Sweet potato vs. yam: What’s the difference?

November 25, 2015

Sweet potatoes and yams: What’s the difference? Americans have been confused about this for centuries. Joss Fong of Vox explains it all to you.


Short link:

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Pizza, a Thanksgiving Tradition

November 25, 2015

Pizza, a Thanksgiving Tradition
Fun Food Fact: The day before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days for take-out pizza, right up there with Super Bowl Sunday.


Short link:

Image (“First Fun Thanksgiving, after J.L.G. Ferris [detail]“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys

November 24, 2015

Turkey Carving Tips for Real Guys

Oh no! Despite reading Turkey Torching Tips for Real Guys you have a great big, fully cooked, deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey on your hands. You examine it minutely and discover there’s no little red zip tab to open so you can take out slices. What now?

That’s some big old avian cadaver you got there, buddy. There’s only one manly way to divvy it up. That’s right: chainsaw.


Turkey Torching Tips for Real Guys

November 23, 2015

Turkey Torching Tips for Real Guys
The National Fire Protection Association claims “turkey fryers that use oil, as currently designed, are not suitable for acceptably safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.” Wimps! Thursday is Thanksgiving, when we give thanks for college football and a four-day weekend. That’s when Real American Men generate Code Orange air quality by incinerating poultry on the patio. Yeah, buddy!

Any pantywaist can cook on those SUV-sized natural gas, propane, electric, or gelignite-powered barbecue grills with all those fancy features (good subwoofers can help spread sauce evenly, though). Nah, let’s get ready to deep-fry us some turkey. Here’s how:

1. Put Fire Department on Speed-Dial. Keep your cell phone in your welding apron pocket. It is unwise to enter a flaming residence to use the telephone.

2. Purchase more equipment. You can never have enough Real Guy outdoor cooking gear. Buy some new stuff at Home Depot first. Forget about those electronic gizmos from Leading Edge, you can never read their LCD screens outdoors anyway. Williams-Sonoma? Isn’t that the California wine the wife likes?

3. Don’t forget the turkey. It should be big enough to bother messing with. Double-check to make sure you are not buying a goat or lamb.

4. Check interior compartment of poultry (note: light does not go on automatically; use your Maglite). Any paper-wrapped parcels inside will not contain Surprise Creme Filling. Remove; give to wife or cat. If the bird is frozen, use your Benz-0-Matic torch judiciously or the meat will be dry. At this point you may marinate the turkey in any fluid mixture as long as it contains beer.


Crying Wolf on Turkey Prices

November 22, 2015

Crying Wolf on Turkey Prices

On Thursday, November 26th, Americans will wolf down 49 million turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. Since nearly 8 million of the big birds were destroyed this summer over fears of Avian Flu, turkey forecasts predicted prices would be up 15 to 20 percent. Supply and demand, right?

Not so fast:


The Real Paleo Diet Was Full of Carbs

November 5, 2015

The Real Paleo Diet Was Full of Carbs

Devotees of the “Paleo Diet” (aka “Caveman Diet”) eat meat, seafood, eggs, and “non-starchy” fresh fruits and vegetables and eshew legumes, dairy products, and grains and other carbohydrates. That’s their idea of what humans ate in the Old Stone Age, before people learned how to farm and raise animals. They claim our prehistory shows the human body is ill-adapted to digest those new-fangled Neolithic farmed foods.

But that’s not the real menu of our ancestors, which included bugs, grubs, and all the starchy carbs they could get. And even though there were Stone Age food processors, they were used to make porridge, not “paleo smoothies.”


UN Health Agency: Hot Dogs, Sausages and Bacon Are Carcinogenic

October 26, 2015

UN Health Agency: Hot Dogs, Sausages and Bacon Are Carcinogenic

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), has determined that consumption of processed meat is as bad for you as smoking. Eating 50 grams (1.76 ounces) of sausages, bacon, and ham daily makes it 18% more likely that you’ll get colorectal cancer. 50 grams is about 2 strips of bacon.

Processed meats include  bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, corned beef, beef jerky, ham, canned meat, meat-based sauces, and other meat products that have extended shelf life due to smoking, curing, fermentation, or adding salt or other preservatives.

Further concerns for carnivores: IARC finds that even fresh red meat — beef, veal, pork*, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat — is “probably” carcinogenic, too. The risk of eating 50 grams of red meat daily is “mainly for colorectal cancer, but associations were also seen for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.” American men eat twice that much, according to the North American Meat Institute.

*Note: Despite the National Pork Board’s ad campaign, nutritionally pork is not a “white meat.”


“World Health Organization: Red and processed meats have a strong link to cancer,” Akshat Rathi, Deena Shanker, Quartz

“Bacon Declared a Carcinogen, World Mourns,” Natalie Shoemaker, Big Think

“Bad Day For Bacon: Processed Meats Cause Cancer, WHO Says,” Allison Aubrey, NPR

“Hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats cause cancer, World Health Organization declares,” Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post

“The WHO’s new warnings about bacon and cancer, explained,” Julia Belluz, Vox

“Processed meats do cause cancer – WHO,” BBC News

“IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat,” IARC press release


Short Link:

Top photo (vending cart sign, Washington DC) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Add to: Facebook | Digg | | Stumbleupon | Reddit | Blinklist | Twitter | Technorati | Yahoo Buzz | Newsvine

Pizza Rat

September 28, 2015

Pizza Rat
Last week New York comedian Matt Little was at the First Avenue subway station waiting for the Canarsie Line when a fellow traveller walked down the stairs carrying a slice of pizza. Nothing unusual about that, except the diner was a rat. Mr. Little recorded a video on his phone, and it’s been watched 6 million times on YouTube:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 152 other followers