Your Friday Moment of Zen

An illustration of a fish (lemon sole) with a flat body, golden scales, and darker spots

[Illustration: Biodiversity Heritage Library (license here)]

You did it! Another week crossed off!

We're putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate the fact that the week is done. Up with the days that start with S! Down with the days that don't start with S!

We think of this series as something of a send-off for the week, giving you the option of a brief interlude for your Friday afternoon. Of course, if your work week is just starting, or if you're still in the thick of it, think of this as a pick-me-up for your personal hump day, or as a nice way to kick off your weekend shifts.

We hope to provide a short mix of mostly silly, mostly food-related, mostly entertaining things to look at, listen to, and read, and we hope you'll find it amusing, and maybe, sometimes, edifying and enlightening. We also see it as an opportunity to go over some of what's new on the site, which you, dear readers, may have missed.

If you have feedback, or if you run across any interesting/oddball/totally crazy stories/podcasts/images/videos during the week that you think may be appropriate for this little collection of miscellany, email us! We can't guarantee that we'll use it, but we will 100% appreciate the effort.

What's New on Serious Eats

You can, of course, browse all our content in reverse-chronological order. But for you, on this day, some highlights:

  • Daniel went into the gumbo-verse and somehow came out intact on the other side, giving us the lowdown on what qualifies as a gumbo, providing a recipe for a nicely traditional Cajun chicken and andouille gumbo, and terrifying us with visions of nutria stew.
  • Speaking of slurpable regional-American dishes that spark endless authenticity debates, contributing writer Terrence Doyle ate his way through Boston's seafood restaurants to find the best chowdah in the Cradle of Liberty. Wicked. Nahc. "I'm nawt a cawp!"
  • Responding to popular demand, we rounded up a bunch of our cookie recipes that don't require eggs. More (and more variety) than you'd think! Plus, it features Stella's most recent cookie accomplishment—vegan olive oil chocolate chip cookies.
  • Stella showed us how to blend almond flour with AP flour to make an almond cake that's sort of like a Euro almond torte crossed with an American-style layer cake. It's equal parts fluffy and nutty, like a hyperactive pet rabbit.

Our Favorite Comments of the Week

From Stella's recipe for glossy fudge brownies:

Made these for my wife and found to my delight they have aphrodisiac properties. I thought they could be a tad more chocolatey at 72%, so I might up that to 77% next time.

From a commenter (who we are frankly quite worried about), in response to "'You're All Monsters': Our Unpopular Very Correct Food Opinions" (sorry we keep bringing this one up, but it's still producing comment gold):

@Niki: Yesss! Mush is the best texture. Soggy is the only way to eat fries.

Sandwiches are a necessary evil at best. If you’re actually Lord Sandwich (the Earl of Sandwich? w/e) and you can’t pause your billiards for dinner, I guess go ahead and wrap some bread around your meat. I can’t stop you from two centuries in the future. For everyone else, bread makes your meat terminally bland, and adding nastiness like mayo and pickles only makes it worse. The only ok sandwich is grilled cheese, or PBJ in a true emergency when you don’t have a spoon to eat your peanut butter off of.

I might or might not be able to think of a savory food that wouldn’t be improved by ranch dressing. Pizza is really not one of those foods. Ranch might actually make it taste like something.

Anti-sandwich. Anti-pizza. Anti-pickle. Pro-mush. *head explodes*

A Brief Verse Break

luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew....

I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
unmoving dance
of the snowy anemone

and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.

From "Ode to the Onion," by Pablo Neruda.

Food Numbers, News, and Hijinks

  • $8.99: price of a set of finger guards to protect yourself against Cheeto dust, mozzarella-stick grease, and all sorts of other grubby finger foods.
  • $2,282.48: total approximate retail value of the grand-prize package awarded to Mrs. T's Chief Pierogy Officer, a role you can soon apply for on the company's Facebook page.
  • 12,000–35,000: number of Haitians killed in the infamous "Parsley Massacre" ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, 82 years ago this week. So named because Trujillo's forces identified Haitian migrants according to how they pronounced the Spanish word for parsley (perejil).
  • I bet I can erase at least half of this. With my mouth!
  • Thanks to a promotion by KFC, you can now play an online dating-simulator video game in which the goal is to win the affections of an extra-crispy, very-much-not-original-recipe anime Colonel Sanders.
  • And there must be something in the fast-food water, because Wendy's just released a D&D-like tabletop role-playing game called "Feast of Legends", which enjoins you to fight against the enemy of frozen beef.
  • Noted felt-food artist Lucy Sparrow has just opened a new exhibit at Rock Center, titled Lucy Sparrow's Delicatessen on 6th and featuring an abundance of fruit, cheeses, shellfish, chocolate—all made of huggably soft cloth.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!