Megnut

Lack of food leads to obesity? Maybe, according to researchers at Boston University School of Public Health and the Boston Medical Center.

Also from the BBC, Food miles, "Thanks in part to concerns about climate change, more people are stopping to consider the impact that everyday goods - including food - have on the environment. So, what are the hidden costs of a weekly shop?"

From the BBC's food section, a list of what's In Season: May. Lots of familiar spring items, but also some new things like samphire, which I've never heard of, and sea trout, which I had for the first time last week. Each item is accompanied by recipes.

Great article from the San Francisco Chronicle about mushroom hunting in the Bay Area, The Mushroom Hunters: It's a long route from forest floor to Chez Panisse tabletop.

If roast duck is not your thing, what about trying, Quaglie in Tegame (Pan-Roasted Quail)? I love Flickr recipes because the pictures add so much to the process.

Though I've made plenty of roast chickens, I've never tried to roast a duck. But this recipes is tempting me to try it out, Marie-Claude Gracia's Roast Duck
by Susan Herrmann Loomis.

The foie gras battle is spreading

In today's New York Times, Organizing for an Indelicate Fight looks at a lawsuit filed by Sonoma Foie Gras against Whole Foods. Apparently Whole Foods (who does not sell foie gras for ethical reasons), "told Grimaud Farms last fall to stop processing and distributing Sonoma's ducks and foie gras or the grocer would no longer do business with the company." Sonoma Foie Gras has been unable to find another processor and is suing Whole Foods for, "intentional interference with contract."

If Sonoma loses the suit, it could hasten the disappearance of foie gras in California. In 2004 California passed a law banning the production and sale of foie gras by 2012.

"I hope I'm retired by 2012," said Thomas Keller, owner of the French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Per Se in Manhattan, who believes the government should not tell people what to eat. "If force-feeding a duck is cruel, then packing chickens in a cage is cruel, and then the veal and the beef. We are all going to be vegetarians soon if they have their way. We should probably start converting now."

Oh that TK! Seriously though, if PETA, et al have their way, will we ultimately end up eating humanely treated animals, or no animals at all? Accidental Hedonist raises a good point in her Chicago and Foie Gras post about how removed people are these days from meat production: "the mainstream public...are now so separated from the process of how our food is actually collected, harvested or made, videos showing gavage can be shocking and upsetting." When all your meat comes neatly packaged at the supermarket -- free of blood and bones and veins -- it's hard to remember you're eating an animal. Perhaps that's part of the problem.


Eight recipes from 'Around the Roman Table Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome'
including such yummy-sounding items as "Soft-Boiled Eggs in Pine-Nut Sauce".

Decanter.com has an extensive listing of Wine Courses for those interested in learning more about the subject.

Eating the whole pig

Via email from Moira, an article from last week's New Yorker, Carnal Knowledge: How I became a Tuscan butcher by Bill Buford. Buford, after spending time in Tuscany learning how to butcher pigs, buys a whole pig at the New York City Greenmarket. He gets a lot of strange looks from people as he lugs it home.

The realization confirmed something I'd always suspected: people don't want to know what meat is. They don't think of meat as an animal; they think of it as an element in a meal. ("What I want tonight is a cheeseburger!")

For me, meat wasn't a cause. I just believe people should know what they're eating. At the Greenmarket, you overheard discussions about fertilizers and soils and how much freedom a chicken needs before its eggs are free-range. Wouldn't it follow that you'd want to know your meat? I had brought home a freshly killed animal -- better raised than anything I'd find at a store -- and, in preparing it, I was hoping to rediscover old-fashioned ways of making food. This, I felt, could only be positive. But I was sure getting a lot of shit for it.

Over the Fourth of July weekend in 1994 I attended a pig roast in New Hampshire organized by some friends. I don't recall their reasoning behind buying a pig and butchering it themselves -- except that the one in charge had grown up on a farm. But for me the participation was a critical part of eating meat. I wanted to witness where the food came from. That said, it was a bit disconcerting to arrive at an apartment the night before the BBQ and discover a pig in a large metal crate on the front porch. He was killed the next day and we all learned how to skin him from the farmer hosting the roast. Hours and hours later, we ate the pig and I found it to be the tastiest pork I'd ever eaten.

It was definitely disturbing and I'm not sure I want to do anything like that again, but I'm glad it did it. It's important to know the animal behind the meal and to understand where our food comes from.

The Fanatic Cook wonders if Eating Locally is such a feasible and good idea for those that aren't young and well-off. She raises some interesting points.

Eating local and the eat local challenge

Apparently May is Eat Local Month, at least for 2006 for those in the local-eating circles. For the month of May various people, see the Locavores in San Francisco and Eat Local Challenge. It's only May 2 so it's not too late to get started if you're interested in this kind of thing. A neat site related to eating local is the 100 Mile Diet site, which even has a tool to help you map your 100 mile food radius. Living in NYC, I was not surprised to discover that approximately half of my 100 miles is off the coast and in the ocean.

While I'm not officially participating in Eat Local Month, the farmer's market near me is in full swing now and I'm trying to do as much of my shopping there as possible, for as long as possible. And while I'm on the topic, here are 10 Reasons to Eat Local Food. [via A Full Belly]

A delicious-looking recipe for cooking Sweet Plantains. In Mexico we had some plantains (at least I think they were fried plantains) as side dishes in some of the traditional cheap places where we ate lunch. Jason wasn't a fan but I was, so I think I'm going to try and make these at some point.

Happy birthday dear megnut!

Today megnut.com is seven years old. It's hard to believe, actually impossible almost to believe it's been going for so long. This site has seen me through singledom, coupledom, engageddom and now marrieddom. It's seen me through tech start-up entreprenuer times, unemployed times, working as an independent consultant, more entreprenuer times, more unemployed times, and then a shift to restaurant and kitchen work, and now a more food-focused life. When it started, it was one blog among maybe a hundred. Now it's one in a sea of millions of blogs. Nearly every friend I have, including my husband, can be traced in some way to this site.

For a long time, it was just something this site was just something I had or did. I didn't put too much thought into what it was supposed to be or what it meant to me. But you can't do something for seven years and not realize, "Wait! This is really meaningful to me, and special, and I'd be really sad if it went away." As you may have noticed by the recent volume of postings, it's not going away anytime soon. In fact, I'm feeling a new-found excitement about blogging and this site and its potential. Seven blog years is like twenty dog years, which is like 80 human years, but don't worry, this old blog has a little life in her yet. Happy birthday megnut.com, old girl!

While on my honeymoon in Mexico, I ate a lot of ceviche. Most of the time it was really tasty, and made me realize it would be just the thing to make this summer when fresh tomatoes and fish would be easy to come by. I found this recipe for Mexican Ceviche that looks about like what I was eating. Except for the oregano. If I make this, I think I'll leave out the oregano.

Tips For Selecting The Right Beef Cuts For Your Meal And Budget.

Looking for lardo

Searching for delicious pig fat in Italy, Hog Heaven: Cutting the Lardo di Colonnata.

Some people might recoil at the idea, but there are few things as sublime as thin ribbons of pearly white lardo piled high on top of warm crostini. Though buttery in texture, it packs a complex flavor of herbs and spices borne on a subtle tide of brine. Years back, we'd sampled a northern Italian version of lardo, and marveled over the way, as it gently melted on the tongue, soft notes of rosemary and sage played on our taste buds. We discovered that every region in Italy makes its own particular lardo and that Colonnata's was the most prized. Naturally, we had to find out why.

Oh yum!

Epicurious has Julie Mautner's culinary tour of Southeast France, for those who are interested in Provence.

Enjoying soft boiled eggs

Remains of the breakfast dayEver since I ate my first soft-boiled egg about a month ago (I know, I know, I must have been living in an eggless cave for the past 34 years...), I've been smitten by these warm gooey eggs. But I'm having a problem now. I love making soft-boiled eggs from the eggs I get at the Greenmarket because they're so fresh and tasty. But they're a pain to peel, even after running under cold water. It takes me about four minutes to peel the top off of one and one minute to eat the whole thing! I did some research online and apparently fresh eggs are much harder to peel than older ones. Quite the dliemma: I don't want to eat older eggs soft-boiled. It's the freshness that's the key to the yumminess of the soft-boiled egg, at least in my novice opinion.

Then I read about an egg topper (see a Zyliss® Egg Topper for sale at Sur La Table) but I'm not quite sure how it works. One description I saw said it takes off the egg top, including the shell. Does that mean you need two little egg cups for just one egg? Or do you just eat that little cap first, then discard it on the plate before you dig into the yolk in the cup? Soft-boiled egg-eating readers, I ask for you help!

Comments are open. If you eat soft-boiled eggs, or know someone who does, please share your secrets with me. How do you open them? Peel or top? How long in the water? What else?

Free wine and cheese today at Astor

Today May 1st from 5-7pm Astor Wines & Spirits is having a "Spanish Fiesta!"

Nine winemakers from across Spain pour over 20 wines at a walk-around tasting featuring samplings from Murray's Cheese. 10% Off All Featured Wines

Astor Wines & Spirits
399 Lafayette at 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

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