Weekend Reading

by msmaggiekerr

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy Croque Madame in Paris

I know, lame me, my first post is a list of things to read. “Isn’t a blog supposed to be of your voice?”; “What is it that you want to share with the world?” I’ve asked myself many times while contemplating starting a food blog. Why start a food blog now when everyone and their dog has a food blog? What will my focus be? I’ve never been to culinary school, what makes me a self-appointed authority on food that I now can tell you what will taste good and what will not? What you should make and how?

I’ll admit, I’m pretty obsessed with food, and I’m not sure why. On a purely fundamental level, food sustains life- calorie in, calorie expended, mineral & vitamin in, mineral & vitamin used for metabolic functions, and so the wheel turns. Growing up, my mother did all of the cooking, and growing of vegetables. My mother is Spanish and Filipino, but most of the food eaten while growing up was Filipino. I ate fish & rice for breakfast, or eggs and rice for breakfast; everything with rice. The first time I ate eggs with toast (I was 16), I thought it was the most novel and genius combination. French fries at 12yrs old became a lifelong obsession. We always ate home cooked meals, our veg always came from the garden, and our meat came from the long drive over to the farmer, but back then (the 90s), that wasn’t trendy, that was functional eating.

When I was in my early twenties I lived in the beautiful city of Montreal. Many of my friends’ French mothers developed my non-Southeast Asian palate: I ate cheese, lots of it, and I learned how to select a good one for a dinner party; I learned how to make a proper salad vinagrette that has become a staple in my cooking (and the recipe has been asked of many times, which I will share with you later); I ate seared fois gras (the only way it should be served, and not with the sweet, jam-y sauces that have been fashionable as of late), learned how to make ratatouille, a proper quiche, how to prepare and serve salmon, and how to prepare and make a gorgeous summer salad for that vinagrette. My friends’ mothers taught me how to cook, and they turned me into a food snob basically, but they also made me realize how pleasurable a really good meal could be. Not to mention the wine that was always present, dinner became a glamorous affair.

After Montreal, I moved to San Francisco in the early 2000s. San Francisco was such a pivotal point in my life, it changed me for the better and basically formed who I am today. While living in Montreal I partied hard- cocaine, ecstasy, those were fun. My significant other at the time posed an ultimatum; and so I entered rehab 6months after moving to SF and cleaned myself up. I went back to school (art!), and became absorbed in the political atmosphere that encompasses the city by the Bay. Food politics, as I’ll call it, was burgeoning. I had always had a naturalistic & healthy bent (read: I was anorexic for a couple of years, between the ages of 19-21, and being “healthy” was a great cover to disguise my lack of caloric intake. Furthermore, while consuming obscene amounts of drugs, I was always paranoid I would fry my brain and become that urban legend of the dude who thought he was an orange and asked people to peel him; I became obsessed with health to “counteract” the effects of the drugs. I’m not sure if it worked, but at least I don’t ask people to peel me….), so I threw myself with wild abandon into the healthy lifestyle that is San Francisco. If you ask me, San Francisco & Oakland were the kale & backyard chicken coop originators, not Brooklyn. Brooklyn just has a louder voice being so close to media giant NYC. Food, in San Francisco, was not only sustenance and pleasure, food could also be a political voice and identity. I could have a real effect on the world just by choosing where I shop (Alemany farmer’s market, the Ferry Plaza was only for visiting guests since it is much more expensive), & what I choose to eat. How empowering. I also fell in love with the writers in San Francisco waxing on about food, be it a recipe, a farmer, or the next hot chef. Sometimes those authors were so carnal you thought you were reading a porn magazine. I fell in love.

And so, here I am, a lady with a list of things I find interesting enough to post after a lengthy introduction. I have a recipe for you on Mon, check back in.

Genetic labeling in Vermont becomes law: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/big-food-plans-sue-vermont-new-gmo-labeling-bill

The B’n’B in Airbnb means Bed n Breakfast: http://www.salon.com/2014/06/06/airbnbs_dinner_sharing_plans_are_just_another_example_of_silicon_valleys_shameless_arrogance/

Sugars need to be broken down and labeled: http://time.com/2826750/theres-even-more-sugar-in-soda-than-you-think/

If you’re in LA, and you’re going to Dwell on Design, check out Coolhaus and tell me all about it, it sounds amazeballs: http://www.dwell.com/dwell-design/slideshow/coolhaus-architecturally-inspired-ice-cream

It takes 23min to burn off a can of soda: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/06/coke-ad-23-minutes-to-burn-off_n_5460258.html