Friday, May 28, 2004

Sure, it's organic! (wink, wink)

My sister recently told me about the weakening of organic labelling laws, obviously driven by Big Agribusiness trying to cash in on people's desire for (and willingness to pay more for) safer and less chemically-treated foods ... without actually adopting measures to stop using pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and antibiotics and other chemical nasties.

Grrr .... !

I will have to start carrying around this shopper's guide to pesticides in produce (courtesy of too many chefs).

Snoop DeGrill

I couldn't resist a linking to the news of the upcoming Snoop DeGrill. Now that is a barbeque grill worthy of a Foodgoat backyard.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


After a week of pain, a mysterious rash, and persistent pleading from me and various mothers, Foodgoat finally relented and went to the doctor. Diagnosis: shingles.

He's something of a medical curiosity, because shingles is very rare in someone of his age and general good health, but it's much less fun than it sounds (I'd post a picture of his rash, but the digital camera isn't feeling well either). Foodgoat is very unhappy.

Personally, I (partly) blame all the recent fast-food meals. It can't have been good for either of us. Anyone see Supersize Me yet?

So last night I did what I could: I made an anti-shingles meal. It consisted of ...

sauteed beef (red meat contains a lot of lysine, an amino acid which inhibits the growth of the shingles virus)
brown rice (B vitamins, important for nerve health and the immune system)
green salad (calcium and magnesium, for the health of nerve endings)
garlic bread (garlic has antiviral properties)
pomegranate/blueberry juice (more antioxidants than any other juice and helps the immune system)
ice cream (for morale)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

I like soy sauce and all, but ewwwwwww!

Tasty Checks

Tasty Checks

I like my new junk food themed checks. They're not as cool as these designs, though.

Food Comic of the Day

Food Comic of the Day

Today's comment on the difficulties of navigating the politics of food and femininity is brought to you by the newest link in my favorites section, Angry Little Girl (which, by the way, has some kick-ass t-shirts).

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Skinny on Skinny Cans

The New York Times has an article, Opening 13 Cans of Whoop, featuring a taste test of the growing encroachment of skinny cans promising to boost your energy. Appropriately enough, it's in the Fashion section, and not Food section.

Foodgoat is way ahead of this guy. Months ago, he discovered the amazing revitalizing qualities of Red Bull. He then collected all the energy drinks in at the store, he got them from the Asian market.

He intended to post about them, but he never did (let's face it, I'm the blogger at heart around here), and caffeine overdoses are one food adventure I don't care to ride along with. Foodgoat may have happily survived the time he had 14 cups in an hour, but I never quite recovered from that freshmen night I took a caffeine pill to finish a paper. Eek!

Running on Fat

Running on Fat

My big cause, aside from universal health coverage and requiring couples to go camping before getting married, is recycling.

I used to drive by a huge landfill on the way to my cousins' house (it's since been covered up and turned into an expensive housing subdivision and golf course), so maybe that's why I can't stand just throwing anything away. Garbage dumps just seem like giant coordinated littering, if you ask me. So I recycle, I freecycle, I re-use, and soon, I will compost.

But one thing that throws a wrench into all this happy tree-hugging is cooking oil, which is hard because I love all things fried, and we go through gallons of olive oil. You can, in theory, use it multiple times by careful filtering, but eventually it does get smelly and funkified. But you can't pour it down the drain. You can't pour into the trash. You can't compost it. You're reduced to collecting it into (recycle-able) jars and cans and wrapping it in (recycle-able) newspaper and putting it in the trash like so much toxic waste.

Enter biodiesel. Diesel cars, outfitted with a not-too-expensive conversion kit and an extra fuel tank, can run nicely on plain old used cooking oils and fats. Restaurants are happy to just give that stuff away because they have to pay for disposal anyway. Drivers are happy because it's a lot cheaper than gas. Environmentalists are happy because emissions are much cleaner and it's a renewable resource. Farmers are happy because it's a big potential market. I'm happy because the oil is being used instead of sitting into a smelly pit or seeping into the groundwater and because it just seems so sensible.

Granted, not knowing anyone with a biodiesel vehicle, this doesn't change what I do with the oil. So I haven't deep fried in much too long. But Foodgoat may soon be in the market for a new car, so I may be dropping hints about diesel cars as well as hybrids. Unfortunately, it's really only German manufacturers making diesel cars, and we all know what happened to his last German-made car ...

Monday, May 24, 2004

One week into the house and still I'm living out of boxes and wondering where all the spices ended up, so cooking ain't happened.

However, I did run into a garden center yesterday 15 minutes before closing and came out with a bunch of raspberry bushes and an elderberry plant. I have very little resistence when it comes to buying plants, even though my record isn't so great. The house's yard is lovely already, but it's a flowery yard, and I want a useful, productive yard.

The elderberry, a tribute to one of my favorite movies, Arsenic and Old Lace, is indigenous to the northern part of the U.S. and produces big black berries that old ladies make wine with. It's rather old-fashioned, I guess. But I think it's coming back in style: it's hardy and apparently easy to grow, and produces nice white flowers. Unfortunately, it's one of those plants that don't self-pollinate, so I need to run back to the garden center again to another elderberry plant.

I've never actually had elderberry, but I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, May 21, 2004


Now see, why didn't I think of this? I would totally eat at Cereality, the cereal bar and cafe. You eat out of your very own cereal box and the workers are dressed in pajamas.

I am Asian

I almost choked on my dried mango mid-morning snack when I saw that McDonald's, icon of generic food, is trying to co-opt my ethnic identity.

I suppose I can accept them recognizing Asian-American kids as a huge consumer market. I guess I could also see some value in at least including the some educational material that challenges the assumption that all Asians are the same.

But, honestly, do they really have to trademark the phrase "I am Asian"?

I'll still eat their French fries, I'll do it resentfully.

Thursday, May 20, 2004



(cricket sounds)


Where is Foodgoat? Where is Ladygoat?

I'll tell you where. They're buried in the house underneath a pile of poorly labelled moving boxes. They're pulling out their hair trying to figure out why suddenly both the bathrooms leak. They're using their brand new satellite dish for the high-definition TV to listen to the easy listening music channel because they're so tired from an intense week of packing/moving/unpacking that they want to take naps instead of figure out where all the darn books should go. And they're impatiently waiting for the DSL Internet connection to kick in, 'cuz otherwise they're cut off from the world.

And that is why I haven't posted. And why I missed the latest IMBB? round (believe me, I really wanted to participate in the rice theme!). And why I have about 258 unread posts, just from food blogs!,in my newsreader.

Not only that, moving had another downside: we never had time to cook a real meal and even if we did, we did't know where the wooden spoons were. Instead we've hit nearly every fast food joint in the South Euclid-Lyndhurst-Cleveland Heights area (which is not nearly as big as it sounds). Once upon a time, when I was an impressionable child, eating fast food every day would sound like a treat. Now it just makes me feel ... icky.

Just about the only fast food place I haven't eaten at recently, and that's because poor Cleveland doesn't have it, is Jack in the Box. Is it an Ohio thing, or a East Coast thing? I don't know. Anyway, they're all over California, and it ranks up there as one of the places I'd rather eat at. They had a Sourdough Melt that sounds almost good right about now.

Remember about 10 years about when there was this huge E. coli fast food scare? It nearly bankrupted Jack in the Box but they came back after a few years with the clever "Jack's back" campaign that put Styrafoam heads with yellow cone hats on everyone's radio antenna. Apparently, Jack in the Box is experimenting with yet another makeover: JBX, the hipper, edgier Jack in the Box. Is this like when Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC?

I'm rambling, so suffice it to say hold tight. A proper post (with pictures! with even more links!) is on its way. Maybe tonight. Maybe tomorrow (no, wait, tomorrow's the much-anticipated light-fixture shopping night). Saturday, then (hmm, that's gutter-cleaning day ...)...

When was homeownership supposed to get fun again?

Friday, May 14, 2004

I eat with a pitchfork

I eat with a pitchfork

At least that's what my new t-shirt says.

Actually, I eat with a spoon (in my right hand) and a fork (in my left). It's the Filipino way. Having spent more time in recent years dining among the Euro-Americans, I have achieved some level of ability with using the fork and knife method. I tend to use the European method (keeping the fork in my left hand), but will occasionally use the American, or zig zag, method (switching the fork between the left and the right).

In my view, though, the Filipino way is still the more sensible, and Foodgoat has come around to seeing it my way. Spoons, it's true, are not so helpful when eating pasta or salad. But anything with rice is much easier when it's scooped up in a spoon. I continue to be perplexed by the idea of trying to eat rice, non-sticky rice at that, with a fork. It's just so difficult. And a knife, to be honest, is really not necessary most of the time, and even when I have one I hardly ever use it. A well-cooked meat dish should be tender enough to be torn to pieces using the tip of the spoon and a fork to hold it down. (That same tip is also just the right shape for ripping off all the shrimp legs at once.)

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Good doggies

When I went to the grocery store, the most interesting thing that happened was that I parked next to a convertible with two very well-behaved dogs, sitting calmly in the back seat.

I don't know any dogs who could show that much restraint. Especially considering all those people walking by with bags of meat and cheese and ice cream. The dogs I know would have bolted like bandits and made nice with all the customers coming within a 20-yard range.

Over at the Firmary ...

Over at the Firmary ...

Foodgoat has posted some new songs! Care to listen? No songs about food. Yet. I'm still hopeful for a donut song in the future, though.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Subtle, isn't it?

Subtle, isn't it?

If I had my Mystic Sink, I could fill it up with Gucci ice cubes(via Daily Candy).

I know high-end kitchens are the new status symbols, but a $60 designer ice cube tray may be going a bit too far. Tori Spelling doesn't even have it on her wedding registry. Then again, maybe she already has one?

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Food, from a 3-year-old's view

Food, from a 3-year-old's view

On Sunday we went to Foodgoat's brother's house for lunch, where his nephew took over the digital camera for a while. Here's what lunch looked like from George's point of view.

First, Dad cooks.

Then, you see your favorite cake, the chocolate Hungarian one your Great-Grandma makes. It must be your birthday again!

Kid Brother's way ahead of you: time to get into the booster seats.

After making sure you've got just the right cup, food magically appears right in front of you.

You don't particular like the lemon tart Dad made, but Kid Brother sure does.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Mutant egg

Mutant egg

One of Foodgoat's eggs turned out to be twins!

I don't know why but I found it really disturbing.

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Am tired of painting, and gulping down fast food in between painting. If anyone is interested, look at what we have been doing. (Here are the before pictures)

Friday, May 7, 2004

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I turn 29 (for the first time!) and received from Foodgoat this Donvier Yogurt Maker. Fresh, natural yogurt at a fraction of the cost of commercial brands, without all the plastic waste, here I come!

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Mystic sink

Mystic sink

One of the consequences of being a new homeowner with a kitchen that could use some sprucing up is that things like faucets and doorknobs start to seem incredibly fascinating. Alas, already some of my dream plans are being constrained by cold, hard reality. But, for the record, I really want this river-inspired sink that has water coursing gently over 4 feet from the faucet to the drain, in my kitchen. Never mind that it's pretty much useless for washing dishes and would take up practically all of the counter space, if it didn't cost almost as much as the closing costs for the house, I'd be hauling it right over. (via mocoloco)

Low-Fat, High-Protein Cicadas: New Health Snack?

Low-Fat, High-Protein Cicadas: New Health Snack? Hmm, I do like asparagus.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Have computer virus. No Internet access. No Foodgoat post. :(

Monday, May 3, 2004

Dad accused of smacking son with a snack via veg blog
Having recently discovered the handy-dandy Blog This! button (which has made posting links on the Firmary blog waaaaay easier), I figured I'd start sharing interesting food news on the Foodgoat blog as well. I'm all about sharing information. Also, it will relieve any guilt I may have for not posting as much about my own food experiences in the next few weeks while moving.

The power plant is run by nuts! via envirotech



Well, Hobby Day turned out to be quite a lot of fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy my little guess-the-store-brand-of-honey-and-olive-oil tasting. I felt a little badly at first because people would say "Oh, did you make the bread?!" Umm, no. "Oh, so you made the honey!" No, I didn't. "You made the olive oil!?" Alas, no again. Sorry, my hobby is just eating things and telling people that I ate them.

Surprisingly, no clear winners though: of the West Side market honeys, some preferred the sweeter Ohio spring blossom while others preferred the deeper and more robust Ohio fall flowers honey, and a few favored the Sue Bee Special NASCAR edition honey from the grocery store (which, interestingly, everyone said tasted like what they were "used to"). I thought the telling the difference between the unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Galucci's and the Carabelli's mild olive oil from the store would be easy for people, and it was for some but not for others.

There have been few food adventures of late, because more than once we have forgotten to eat, immersed as we are in fixing-up-the-new-house-and-trying-to-get-rid-of-old-lady-smell adventures. I now know how to paint a ceiling and that ugly lace curtains are virtual sponges of musty odor, and Foodgoat can mud walls. And you should see me in my Home Depot painter cap.

However, I did manage to steal away today to one of my favorite places in the world, Half Price Books. I managed to score from the clearance section in the back, usually a graveyard of Oprah's Book Club and B-list celebrity tell-alls, two great cookbooks, Betty Fussell's I Hear America Singing: The Cooks and Recipes of American Regional Cuisine and Bob Blumer's The Surreal Gourmet: Real Food for Pretend Chefs. $1 each! Woo hoo!