Karen Resta

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Food art and artists

There have been many 'food-related installation art pieces' created in the past and in the present. Some are small-talk. Fewer, talk of larger things.

Art that lasts tends to speak of larger things.

One of the most well-regarded 'food-related installation art pieces' in the world is Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum.

The link posted goes to a virtual show of the work. If you don't know it, you should. :)

Hostile Blogger Gets Friendly Email from Lisa Garza

Annie, two things. First, I'm not at all surprised that you wrote what you wrote in the first place . . . it's almost what reality TV aims for - to poke at people in a way that stirs them into emotions that equal at best a football game with a beloved home team playing, at worst what kids do to each other in middle school.

They do this exceptionally well, and it gets the blood boiling, the characters chosen and parlayed against each other.

Liza Garza had all the pieces that people love to "hate" in a character.

And my goodness, your piece was well-written and fun to read, really! I enjoyed it.

That she turns out to be a real person is the surprise, isn't it. Not merely the character but a complex being with aspects of humanity.

I've seen this happen once before, with Amanda Hesser - on a forum. There was the original post picking out the stuff that was waiting there to be picked out (ah - it does exist in us all, in every single one of us in some way) and played with (hopefully with great wit, as your post held) and there was the joining in and the trashing of her and her work, and then voila! A surprise. She personally contacted the OP (no, it was not me ha ha) and turned out to be not only human but rather nice and generous with her time in trying to explain something the OP had questioned.

It happens. It's a part of virtual realities.
I don't think you're wishy-washy, I think you wrote a great blogpost, then you had a surprise encounter because of it that put a new face on things. A real face, the one that belongs to Liza Garza off-screen.

Not wishy-washy at all. A good writer and an honest one. :)

Shad Season

Yeah. He sat at the same table as me and ate crab I believe while I ate some disgusting Lobster Newburgh (my first at the age of fourteen) at Gage and Tollner on Fulton Street. Pre-Edna Lewis' reign there, bien sur.

But that has nothing to do with shad season. Do you have something to share about shad? That would be great!

Meanwhile if you want to talk about the other thing you can google me and find my blog. Maybe I'll post something about what you wish to talk about on it.

Recipe deal-breakers

Ha, ha! "Corral pig". Fabulous.

Here's a direct link to the article. Kim Severson does it again. :)

Recipe deal-breakers

I rarely follow a recipe as written but one deal-breaker that makes me turn away entirely is when brand-names are specified in the ingredient list.

It's not always in three-ingredient casserole-cookery books one finds this, either. It can be found in more aspirational tomes where the author wishes to specify a certain brand of high-end chocolate or any thing, really.

The information is useful, yes. For sometimes things simply won't come out right unless a certain quality of base ingredient is used. But to me these advisements belong in a side-bar as addendum, not smack-dab in the recipe as insistence.


Cook the Book: The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper

M.F.K. Fisher

Q. If you had to choose one above the other would you say that you are writing about food? Or writing about life.

Food to gain weight on

I'm not sure that a forum dedicated to nutrition as opposed to a forum dedicated to food would have answers that were necessarily more credible unless there were some sort of authority level of those posting answers to the questions that could be defined and then checked and even then I'm not so sure that could be done or would be done as a usual sort of thing . . . i.e. a doctor could post information and someone could check the phone book to be sure there was such a person but then without telephoning the doctor him or herself to ask them if indeed it was them who posted the information really there are no assurances.

Grain of salt. Is a good seasoning.

Cooking camp for kids -- need help!

Yoko paired with California Rolls was also great fun.

Cooking camp for kids -- need help!

And I'd almost forgotten Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was another great one, matched with the meatball-making lesson!

Cooking camp for kids -- need help!

I always matched the cooking lesson with a book that the kids would love, for additional focus and fun. Pizza went with Curious George and the Pizza . . . Minestrone went with Stone Soup, of course . . . Hummus went with D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths (that one was particularly fun as I had each child pick a paper from a hat that had a Greek God or Goddess' name on it and they had to tell a story while eating the hummus they had made about who - in their own particular myth - they had fed hummus to or somehow tie hummus into their myth somehow) etc etc.

The first day with the kids will be amazing in many ways, I'm sure - if you're not used to doing this sort of thing - kids in groups are awesome in many ways. :) You'll have a great time.

Would you eat...People?

Yes, there are specified amounts of insects (insect parts) that are allowed by law into all packaged and canned goods produced. Goodness knows how they measure it! I take the philosophic approach that without the insects flying around helping the alternately sexed plants to propogate and bear their delightful goodies that we end up enjoying there would not be too much to eat, so chowing down on their unseen parts doesn't bother me. :)

I'd guess that the insect parts are in the non-processed foods also - it's just that they are not measured or legislated.

Ha, ha! Legislated insects. I like that idea.

I'm not so sure that we are what we eat - though it is a phrase that rings so well that it really should have been an ad campaign ever since it was first said way back even before the Beatles' time.

I think we eat what we are.
Therefore since we don't eat humans we may not be human.

Cooking camp for kids -- need help!

I've taught kids cooking - both at home and in the classroom. You may not want to "dumb it down" but do remember that with children things take time. More time than with adults. So whatever recipes you choose allow twice as much time as you would with a grown-up, and be prepared to answer a lot of questions that may seem obvious to you . . . and be doubly prepared to keep the kids on-task, whether they like cooking or not.

More than the perfect recipe you'll need patience.

Think like a child and you'll be fine. :)

And don't forget to build in clean-up time with assigned tasks for everyone.

How to Make a Watermelon Keg

For an extra decorative touch you could draw faces on it with a Sharpee.

Pictures of Bacon for Karen

I think it needs no saying that all of us Karens give great thanks for this book.

Would you eat...People?


Among other things, Foodlexi - I'd like to profusely thank you for knowing how to spell "palate" correctly.

Would you eat...People?

Goodness knows, FastFoodCritic - that sometimes I do wonder about either boarding school or a nice roast in the oven of one or the other of my children. Either method sure would lower the bickering levels around here. :)

Great story, Foodlexi. Creates quite an image!
Yesterday I came across a review somewhere for a new book released about this topic. Can't find the review at the moment but here's the book itself . I do remember commentary from the review which detailed the flavor in different ways from different uh . . . reviewers(?) heh heh . . . with very different results - which brings up the always-interesting question of how people taste things and whether or not such a thing as a broad-range inclusive "objective" tasting of things exists - or whether how we describe what we taste and whether we think it is "good" or not is pure intellectual construction that rests upon where we come from and what we are taught.

Another thing that may be part of this topic could be that in theologic discussion of the Catholic rituals of consecration and transubstantiation it is a generally accepted fact that the wafer and wine do actually become a real "corpus". It is not wafer and wine being partaken of in that moment. A modern-day example (once removed and shifted into a different hunger than the physical) of consuming another.

Ricotta in the NYT...

Mmm. I love ricotta whisked slightly with a bit of milk or water to smooth it into a thick pourable creamy topping for a hot chunky pasta already topped with a light yet spicy tomato sauce (no meat - just tomatoes and herbs). The texture and taste variations as one bites in are incredible.

Would you eat...People?

I've hesitated to comment on this topic as I seem to remember it being removed as a topic once before. But with 45 comments and still going strong perhaps the topic will not be deleted.

My thoughts go along with Susquehanna's, followed by Foodlexi's. I don't think anyone can really predict what they would do if faced with this decision. In times of extreme duress sometimes people who daily espouse moral righteousness in their "regular" lives fall apart like a wet kleenexes and sometimes people who do not appear to be stunning examples of ethical prowess can come through with actions above and beyond what one might expect.

It certainly would be transformative, though - to be faced with this decision.
I do think that anyone who had to do this would (depending on their inner resources) laugh in life afterwards though - for like survivors of terrible wars (which we even have going on this very moment in some places in the world) and the acts which occur within them, people tend to forget the worst after a while except for a shadow here or there popping up in memory - or alternately they probably would not survive, really.

There have been peoples in past history whose warriors brought home the bodies of the most important enemy they had killed, to dine upon it in their own villages - as an honorary act. It was thought that if the flesh of the opponent was eaten then their abilities and strength would be taken in by the victor to use in future battles. A very basic thought which extends today into the ways we think of eating meat vs. eating vegetables. Beef is brawn, still, in our minds. A salad is merely rabbit food.

But anyway. I have no idea whether I'd eat a person or not. Probably it would depend on my mood and whether there was brandy available for post-dinner drinks.

Awesome Burger Haikus: We Have Some Winnahs!

I still love that one by someone that went juicy juicy juicy juicyjuicy . . . . :)

Burger Book Giveaway: 'Hamburger America'

fat, juice, cheese, heat, char
(grease spot on my paper plate
ketchup on my shirt)

Jamie Oliver Calls for a Ban on Sex to Get Men Cooking

He couldn't have been like . . . kidding, could he have been?

If so, the results were pretty good.

One brash remark made followed by lots of other commentary on many other things, all reported in the newspaper to people with hungry ears. :)

Chinka chinka. Two points for Jamie!

(I'm not seriously worried about his sex life nor that he'll affect anyone elses, but who knows. Everyone just might hop to and wear banners: "Jamie says NO. You must COOK FOR ME FIRST.")

50 Blogs from 50 States

Luna Pier Cook you're right as usual. I already asked foodvox if he had something against Puerto Rico and Guam. He means well I think but sometimes the details of reality may escape him. Probably been hanging out with Barry Fig a bit too much. :(

Burger Book Giveaway: 'Hamburger America'

an angry Adam
makes cheeseburgers sob, o yes
their tomatoes wilt

I was only doing it for the fun of it anyway and would have given the book to someone else (having been lucky enough to win one on SE already). :)

But when you start a thrilling party like this god only knows what might happen. : O

Burger Book Giveaway: 'Hamburger America'

beach grill smoke icon
esculent succulent bite
epiphany: MEAT!

Burger Book Giveaway: 'Hamburger America'

ketchup'd succubus
of coal-sparked umami cries!
lie here on cloud buns

Shad Season

Shad season is here. I'm happy, because I like shad roe a lot. I'm also happy because something I wrote about it got published in The Christian Science Monitor(pen name Ren Bejtman). (Can I wear a funny author's hat now and smoke Sobranies?)

Here's my story . It had a recipe with it which was edited out, for Shad Stuffed with Sorrel Sauce.

I'd love to hear your shad story too - catching or cooking!

The one thing I want to learn is (?)

If you had the opportunity to learn one thing about food, cooking, or any extension of those subjects (the connections are endless: writing/reading; sociology; politics; agriculture; art; media; restaurant operations etc) from the expert of your choice, what would that one thing be (and who would your chosen expert be)?

Chinese Dumpling and Soup Technique

My daughter's friend visited us for dinner the other night. It was great fun, because she brought some dumplings she and her mother had made (Chinese dumplings - the family is from Southern China) and wanted to show us how to cook them, as my daughter had mentioned how much she loved dumplings.

As I seem to not be able to keep this within a 1500 character message, this will be continued in the next post. :)

Artisan: Can it also be Corporate?

I heard a radio ad today for a snack cracker. The ad incorporated several things to pique the interest of the potential customer:

A call to be healthy with inclusion of the concept of "snack packs."

An additional emphasis on both health and aspirational lifestyle by the use of a celebrity spokesperson (a chef who specializes in healthy foods who has appeared both on Celebrity Apprentice: Martha Stewart who is now on the show Real Housewives of NYC) to recommend the product as a good choice to the potential buyer.

Lastly, the word "artisan" to describe the product (which includes what was defined as "artisan" cheese).

The first two parts were vaguely amusing to me but the last part where the word "artisan" was summoned in argument to buy really spiked my interest.

"Artisan". Can the word be legitimately used when the product being touted is a corporate one, being produced by the gazillions of pounds to fill every supermarket shelf in the US and beyond?

If it can be legitimately used in this case, how and why?

Or could this be a case of PT Barnum's famous saying merely being true one more time?

Food Websites: How, When, Where, Who, Why? (And More?)

Food websites: Everyone has their favorites. (Naturally for everyone here it is SE so when we talk about other sites, it is mere bandying-about of words!)

Some questions for those who are adept in web-think:

*How does a website with an innovative idea get started, if the person who has the idea is not web-capable themselves?

*When websites are started, how do they make money (when that is part of the goal)? (Remember we're talking specifically about food websites, if that makes a difference at all . . .)

*Where do you like to go in terms of food websites (aside from SE) and what is the major appeal? Recipes? Talk? Organizational tips? Stories? Product information? Dining out information?

*Who in the field of web design is known for their capabilities in putting together food websites from concept to completion? Are there stars in the food website development business? What sort of business arrangements are made with the entrepeneur who has an original idea - and what are the costs involved?

*Why am I asking all this? Well . . . why not?

*And More: As always, there is more that goes beyond the usual forthright question. I always want to hear it. :)

How are foodie-websites born? Tell me all about the birds, bees, and cabbage leaves.

Fat (the word) - Should it not be used?

There have been some excellent discussions about words that have to do with food and the world of food - and whether or not these words should be consigned to the trash heap as worthless descriptors. "Foodie" was one word discussed.

What about the word "fat"? Should it be kept as descriptor or tossed? What is your opinion?

Big, Bigger, Biggest. What was yours?

It's all about size.

We live in a society that celebrates Big.

So tell me about it. Have you ever had the urge to make the biggest pie in the world, or to buy the hugest amount of smoked salmon?

What was the largest amount of people you've cooked for? How many cream puffs did you devour in one sitting?

Don't worry about sounding like you're too big for your britches. Get out your bragging rights and dance. Talk Big. (About food, of course.)

Aprons - What does your apron say about you?

I used to know this guy who had a favorite apron he wore all the time. He loved to take pictures of himself in it and post the photos for everyone to see how he loved his apron.

I don't wear an apron but prefer to wreck my clothes. At home, that is. When I was a professional chef naturally I wore a regular white cotton apron and found it very useful.

Do you wear an apron? Not wear an apron? What sort of apron do you wear and why do you like it, if you do? If you don't wear an apron, why not, and should you be?

The guy I mentioned earlier - his apron was a life-sized silk-screened photograph of Yoko Ono's naked behind. I always had to ask myself when viewing the photos he posted: "What are you trying to say about yourself?"

Scrolling Photos

Wow. I mean like wow.

I just scrolled over that Circuit City ad and the kids in the photos jumped to the front of the screen just like an Action Adventure movie.

Can you make that happen with Robyn's photos? Or other photos on the site?

It would be really cool to see loaves of bread whooshing towards me, or ketchup rising and moving towards my face. I'd love that.

In the future will everyone be a vegetarian?

My fifteen-year old daughter informs me that among the high-school crowd on MySpace one of the more popular things to do is to define oneself as a vegetarian (even though there are several people who have defined themselves as such that she knows are definitely not so in real life).

It's also becoming the Thing to Say that: "In the future, everyone will be a vegetarian".

She asked me if I believed this and I said no, some people would probably take to eating vegetarians before they gave up meat entirely.

So - am I wrong? In the future will everyone be a vegetarian, like they are trumpeting on MySpace?

The Potato in Authentic Chinese Cookery

I am making a hot and sour soup while thinking about potatoes.

The white (or red) potato that is in such common use in the "new world" and in Europe - it is not in common use in Chinese cookery as far as I have ever noticed.

Is this so? Is there any "authentic" regional Chinese recipe which includes the white potato (as opposed to the more common sweet potato often used)?

Or did this tuber simply never enter into the cuisine of the country?

Out-Dork Us All

Back issues of the eminent Journal for the Study of Food and Society (predecessor, 1996-2004, to today's food studies journal Food, Culture and Society) are on sale for $10 an issue; see an example here. This ain't Cooking Light, but if you're interested, make checks out to "The Association for the Study of Food and Society" and mail your requests to Warren Belasco at 6909 Fifth Street NW, Washington DC 20012 USA.... More