Tuesday, August 31, 2004

what this blog is good for

... is not only reminding Foodgoat that he hasn't made plum dumplings in almost a year, but reminding him exactly how the recipe goes, which helps a lot when you've forgotten it.

We meant to make them for the IMBB? Dumpling parade, but never quite managed to get it together. When we finally did, Foodgoat realized why he doesn't make it that often -- it's a lot of freakin' work.

But sooooo goooood though.

Monday, August 30, 2004

stupid immune system

After a nice dinner of Indian takeout, a much contented Foodgoat had a full stomach.

I had a dry a mouth.
Then an upset stomach.
And itchy hives all over.
While my body puffed up to twice its size.
Then I threw up.

The Hidden Peanut strikes again!

Unbeknownst to me, my favorite Indian restaurant must have changed their recipe for malai kofta to include peanuts somehow. One of the great frustrations of my life is the inability to eat at so many Asian restaurants - Thai in particular, but also often Chinese, Indonesian, and now Indian - because of a penchant for using peanuts or peanut oil. It's not even just the allergic reaction, it's the contant vigilance, verging on paranoia, about every ingredient in every dish. Not to mention the fact that sometimes waiters just tell you there isn't any peanut oil because it's easier. In any case, it's all very disheartening. This weekend sucked.

On the happy side, a few weeks ago I received my first package of candy, minus the Abba-Zaba (peanut taffy) in the brilliantly conceived candy along.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


Foodgoat's daemon, the wild and lovely Maia, passed away this morning. She only lived 4 1/2 years, but it was 4 1/2 years of glory.

Qui me amat, amet et canem meum (Who loves me will love my dog also)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Foodgoat declares war! And seeks revenge

Our interlude of quiet has been shattered. A vile and cruel act has devestated the peace of this short era of bloglessness, a vandal has set upon the happy kingdom of Foodgoat. The victims were many, and they were not yet in the prime of their lives: they were still green and their glorious futures were still before them. We are mourning their untimely loss and the grief is yet too near.

A moment of silence, please, for our tomatoes.

Our tomato plants, the first things we planted, grew tall and produced much fruit. We watched the small green things grow and grow, until they were heavy, until they weighed down the plants and we had to tie them up. We saw that this week, this week with its heat and its sun, would finally take the tomatoes into red ripeness. And after so many weeks and months of waiting, we would have our own crop of fresh, home-grown tomatoes. Oh, how Foodgoat looked forward to them! A supermarket tomato, bland and hard and artificially ripened, is no comparison at all to a homegrown, organic, fresh off the vine, sun-ripened tomato bursting with flavor. Foodgoat had so many plans.

And then Sunday morning, we awoke to find ... the big, almost-ripe, as big as your hand tomatoes ... gone! Nowhere to be seen! Just a sad stem where they once hung. Some heartless vandals, specifically, some trespassing deer had eaten them all.

They had also chewed both my new elderberry trees down to stems.


But the tomatoes .... GRRRRRRRRRR!

Deer prowl the neighborhood because the creek that runs by our house leads into a park. Few of the neighbors have a fence in the backyard. Since the tomato tragedy, Foodgoat and Sienna have chased the deer (at one point separating a mama deer from her fawn), thrown sticks at deer, and ran after deer with a hatchet. My aunt has suggested we kill the deer and make a jerky, but I believe you need a license for that.

Friday, August 20, 2004

More odd food concepts

It's Friday, it's still gloomy, and I'm drawing a great big blogging blank. Hence, I post links.

-Just don't feel like getting up all that energy to use those swallowing muscles? Tired of having to taste liquor? Now you can get breathable alcohol and skip all those wasteful steps.

-The governor of Hawaii goes up against a Camel ad campaign for pineapple-flavored cigarettes. Pineapple-flavored cigarettes? Ew. Doesn't have quite same appeal of my strawberry-flavored lip gloss, but that's just me.

-Wondering how to present the crudites at your next party? Consider Butlers in the Buff (via Urban Junkies). Or not. Unless you want guests to start giggling uncontrollably every time they eat a cannoli.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Nothing new

It's been a rather dull week. The weather is gloomy, the highlight of the news was Paris Hilton's missing dog, and the Olympics are so boring.

Food-wise adventures have also been subdued, but I did discover Altoid's new Apple Sours. Nice and puckery, but I like the citrus flavors better.

Food comic of the day

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Tip o' the hat to Julia Child

I confess, I never really watched Julia Child, or read her books, but in her last interview, she sounds splendid. Foodgoat, the blog, was partly inspired by the Julie/Julia Project, where a blogger attempts to make every and all recipes in Julia Child's classic "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year (hilarity ensues). And we all owe Ms. Child a debt of gratitude for drawing American cuisine out of the gelatin mold and meatloaf era.

This is the week of Vegetables

Last night we made a huge pot of vegetable soup, consisting of mashed up carrots, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, Swiss chard, celery and whatever else that wasn't too moldy. And today, on the back porch, was this cornucopia ...

A local farm, Basket of Life, has a small CSA (where they share part of the crop with members every week), and I ordered one of their extra baskets this week. We got fresh corn, red potatoes, big green peppers, a bag of green beans and another of purple and yellow beans, squash, giant zucchini, tomatoes, hot peppers, and some odd yellow vegetable we haven't yet identified. Oh, and a loaf of oat bread. All fresh and organic and heirloom varieties.

Surely this will make up for eating at Wendy's on Sunday.

We couldn't wait to try the corn, so we grilled two cobs (which turned out to be incredibly juicy and fresh) along with blackened catfish and eggplant marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (and later topped with Parmesan cheese). Throw in some roasted garlic bread and orange juice, and voila!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Great food concepts

The trend, these days, is customization and personalization. You're not such some face in the crowd! A number in the vast census of life! Just another Gap-dressed, Coke-sippin', Value-Meal-chompin' cog in the American machine! No! You are special. You are unique. And to prove it, you get a necklace with your name on it (just like Carrie) and you have desserts made just for you at Cold Stone Creamery. And now, you can also go to the Baby Donut Company.
Start with a glazed goodie made in-house. Then add the filling of the day (chocolate mousse, strawberry, or apple pie). Choose an icing -- marshmallow, caramel, or chocolate, to name a few -- and finish it off with your favorite candy topping, like M&M's, Kit Kats, or sprinkles.
It's in L.A., though, so I'll have to wait until the next time I visit my brother to go. Usually I prefer my donuts plain as Jane, cake or just glazed. But right now I could go for an apple pie filled, caramel-coated, Twix-topped donut.

Foodgoat refuses to have pizza delivered, just as he refuses to use the fast-food drive-through, deeming them lazy slacker-baits. But if I lived in Minneapolis, I'd still have my Galactic pizza delivered to my house (using an electric car!) by Captain Fantastic. (via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Quotes of the day

From 86-year old Mike Wallace (that 5,273,520 worth of 60 Minutes, by the way) about his recent scuffle with the po-po, courtesy of Gothamist:
I ordered a car service to pick me up to take me over to a restaurant where I was going to get some meatloaf and then go home. All of a sudden some traffic and limousine cops intervened. So all I was trying to do was protect my meatloaf.

From Lisa Whelchel, forever known as Blair in the "The Facts of Life" (you remember ... you take the good, you take the bad, you take em' both and there you have - take it away, boys!), about how to punish children, via spiceblog, via uggabugga:
"For lying or other offenses of the tongue, I 'spank' my kids' tongues. I put a tiny drop of hot sauce on the end of my finger and dab it onto my child's tongue. It stings for a while, but it abates."

Cereal killers!

There's something rotten in Denmark, methinks. The Danish FDA has banned the sale of Kellogg's breakfast cereals. Just because it seems that regular consumption of the vitamin-enriched, sugar-packed, artificially-flavored, preservative-laden, habit-forming, advertisement-promoting products might damage children's kidneys and livers.

Don't they know that Kellogg's cereals were invented to be healthy? Will Kellogg made the first corn flakes to cleanse the digestive system (and curb certain inclinations) of patients at the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium.

My favoritw Kellogg's cereals, in order, are:
Leave an open box of Honey Smacks on the counter in California and in ten minutes a supercolony of ants will have staked out a new HQ.

Plus, your pee will smell like Smacks. Is that TMI? Sorry.

Smart Start isn't nearly as sweet, fooling you into thinking you're eating something healthy, but it's sweet enough to be good to eat.

I love kettle corn, I love caramel corn, is it any wonder Corn Pops is up there on my list?

Corn flakes are boring but Frosted Flakes are ... eh, screw it, they're grrrreat!!!
Let's face it, advertising works on me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

New appliance!

Is it just me, or does food taste much better when housed in a brand-spankin'-new GE refrigerator, with spill-proof shelves and a very, very cool (yuk, yuk, yuk) bottom drawer freezer, than when it was in the 30 year-old Frigidaire that came with the house that had rust on the shelves, an ever growing layer of frost, and an unidentified, but definitely unpleasant, odor?

Why yes, I am happy with the new appliance.

It also allowed Foodgoat and I to do something we've never done together before: buy ice cream novelty treats. Foodgoat got ice cream sandwiches; I got orange sherbet push-ups. I only regret that they can't be packed in my lunch.

Background revealed

All these years, it was believed that Sienna, our houseguest was but a baseborn mutt, a dog of undistinguished and humble origins.

But then Foodgoat's sharp-eyed SIL spotted a picture of a Ridgeback, and the mysteries of Sienna's more purebred lineage began to be revealed. It is now believed that Sienna is in fact a noble Rhodesian Ridgeback, also known as the African lion hound. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a South African dog used by Dutch settlers most famously to hunt lions. Ridgebacks could locate and hold the lion at bay so the hunter could get close enough to get in a shot.

Ridgebacks are natural guard dogs, notorious counter surfers and "kings of dozing", and look just like her, so the Sienna-as-ridgeback theory is looking pretty good.

But the hallmark of this breed is the ridge of hair which runs backwards along the spine, which Sienna lacks. About 10% of ridgebacks are born without this important identifying characteristic. So we speculate that poor Sienna was abandoned by an unscrupulous Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder for not being up to code, which is how she ended up in the pound, where Foodgoat's bro picked her out.

No word, however, on whether it's a breed characteristic to absolutely love strong Danish bleu cheese, or whether that's just Sienna.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Yay for snack novelties!

Among the benefits of having to pack my own lunch every day is being able to put in the snack foods to supplement the nut butter and jelly sandwiches. No more trying to trade away a mushy red apple or gazing longingly at someone else's Oreos! The first lunch snack I remember coveting were Fruit Roll-Ups, but today we indulge in Cheese Combos. Sure, it's just a rolled up cracker with Cheez-Wiz squirted in the middle, but it's still pretty tasty. And I don't think it would taste as good if it didn't have that tubular shape.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Foodgoat's Back! cooking adventures renew

Thank god it's Friday! Between radiation issues, not so great weather, and pink paint that dries to brown, it's been a tought week. We need some goodness around here, folks.

And what has more inherent goodness than a fine dish o' jambalaya? I think I must have been from N'awlins in some past life, because Creole and Cajun foods delight me like no other cuisine. My personal fave is crabcakes, but jambalaya ranks right up there. This recipe is slightly modified from the one at Blue Chef. We've tried several recipes from there, and each and every one of them has been simply smashing, darling.


2 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
12 ounces smoked andouille sausage
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 (28-ounce) can diced, peeled tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon TABASCO® sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon filé gumbo powder
1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend

Heat a large, heavy dry pan over high heat.

Slice sausage into bite sized pieces and brown in olive oil. Remove sausage from pan with slotted spoon and reserve drippings for next step.

Wash chicken thoroughly, cut into half-inch cubes and brown in remaining oil.

Return sausage to pan and add onion, celery, garlic and peppers. Sauté until vegetables are cooked through.

Add liquid ingredients, including tomatoes and their juice. Stir to combine.

Add filé gumbo powder and Cajun spice (here Foodgoat uses cumin, chili powder, hot paprika, salt, and pepper).

Add about a pound of shelled and deveined shrimp. Simmer over low heat for at least an hour.

Season to taste with TABASCO®. Serve with cooked rice.

I didn't find my thrill in blueberry juice

With all the recent news about blueberries being so healthy and full of those antioxidants, I dared to experiment with a bottle (two, actually) of Wyman's Wild Blueberry Juice, a recent product that's the result of a glut of blueberries and better PR about how blueberries are Good For You.

I like blueberry pancakes, I like blueberry cobbler, I like blueberry Slurpees ... doesn't it follow that I would like straight-up blueberry juice?

Well. It's ... a little odd. I don't dislike it, exactly, but it's rather too blueberry-ish. No wonder they're trying to sell it as a healthy tonic, a quick way to injest a lot of blueberries, rather than as a tasty beverage.

(No politics today. Have been told that it's getting to be rather too much. Apparently not everyone obsessively reads Wonkette like I do.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Din Din for Dissidents

We didn't hear much about the protesters at the Democratic Conventions, except that the protesters thought the Boston police were the best-humored law enforcement officers they've ever clashed with. Maybe it's because the protesters were all off finding something to eat, given that when they tried to set up an open-air food kitchen on Boston Common during last week's convention, they were stripped of their pots, pans and stoves. Well, they're determined not to let hunger get in the way at the New York City GOP convention.

Food Not Bombs is leading other organizations, including the Anti-Capitalist Kitchen and Tamales for the Revolution, in preparing to set up kitchens, so that the thousands of young, down-in-the-heel protesters expected don't starve or abandon their posts to look for a White Castle in Jersey. No chocolate fondue fountains here: we're talking rice and beans and sauteed veggies and fruit salad. If the kitchens run out of grub, the Anarchist Grapevine urged protesters to dive into "New York's fine Dumpsters."

If you ask me, forget the peacenik herbivores - what the Secret Service should keep their eyes out for are pie-wielders. You never know when the Biotic Baking Brigade or the Mad Anarchist Bakers' League or the Meringue Marauders will strike. I have a feeling there's a cream pie out there with W's name on it.


The french fries are barely cold, but the infamous stop at Wendy's has been revealed as - gasp! - a publicity stunt. John Kerry and John Edwards and wives had gourmet box lunches waiting for them in their bus.

Their other lunch, which at $200 was definitely not from the 99-cent menu, featured shrimp vindaloo, grilled diver sea scallops, prosciutto-wrapped stuffed chicken and steak salad.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Harold and Kumar go to ... Krispy Kreme?

Yes, I still kind of want to see Harold and Kumar go to White Castle, which opened a few days ago and had the infamous sliders at its premiere (with Drew Carey as Surfer Ken). Do I not stand in solidarity with my Asian peeps? Do I not, when the moon is full, also hear the midnight siren song of mediocre fast food? Do I not have, somewhere inside me, a pot-head slacker as well?

Um, actually, no, I don't. Perhaps I don't want to be all that inclusive.

But I might have seen it already had it been titled "Harold and Kumar Go to Krispy Kreme." (We have been known to drool all over the window between us and Great Machine, where as I've eaten at White Castle exactly ... once.) And it might have been a one big glazed donut commerical too, according to Gene Expression, had not Krispy Kreme turned down the chance at free product placement. He finds it very ironic that White Castle jumped on it:
Back in the 20's when White Castle(WC) started, hamburger meat was considered disgusting, something that only the very poor would consume. This was because of the ease of bacterial infection and the prevalence of other animals worked into the food. Cheap food stands like WC were also suspect because of the sanitary practices of the staff. So WC had to build an image. To do so they took two words; White (implying clean and wholesome) and Castle (implying strong and safe), and the stands took off. They also took great strides to build/maintain this image, making their staff and stands appear impeccably clean and cooking the food where the customers could see.

Now, in 2004, WC has associated itself with a movie that includes such "unwholesome" activities as; pot smoking, sex, and sexual perversion …
Such dissonance is not lost on the company. Sez White Castle:
We thought the values were very inclusive in terms of the actors being Korean-American and Indian-American. As for the other...things (drugs, sex, etc.) that take place, well, they're not White Castle values - but from our point of view, we saw it as authentic with the lengths our customers will go to get our burgers.
Drug policy isn't much of an issue in this election, nor could I find photos of any of the candidates in a pot-induced feeding frenzy (and if I did do you think I'd show it here? Heck no, I'd be over selling my soul to the National Enquirer), but here's the most detailed comparison of where they stand that I could find.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Democrats Pig Out

Just as Wendy’s is used to demonstrate the folksy roots of John Edwards, so food can be used to attack, as well. The food museum blog pointed out this LA Weekly report, that uses the gourmet feasts, unseen on network TV, at the Convention to demonstrate Democratic Party hypocrisy and the gripping, drooling jaw of special interests.
Things got worse the next night when I decided once again to follow the money. And it led right to the Wellfleet oysters and mango lobster cakes. And the grilled swordfish. And the stuffed figs and sushi. And to the ham, turkey, pasta, grilled vegetables, smoked duck, jumbo shrimp, fresh clams, cream puffs, napoleons and éclairs. And to the gourmet wine bar and two or three other free-flowing bars. And lapping all of this up late Monday night, the California Congressional Delegation and much of the cream of Democratic “progressivism” — including Dr. Dean and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

By day, they rail against special interests. By night, they party down with them.


I’m sorry, what? I was still stuck on the idea of mango lobster cakes. Now that sounds dee-lish.

Oh, yes, hypocrisy, craven greed, got it. Need further food evidence that this is not the party solely of the proletariat? Check out this chocolate fondue fountain from the media party.

Hmmm ...I’m thinking fresh strawberries and pound cake would go well with this ...

Do special interests have a fork in the Democratic pie? Oh, probably, just as they do in the Republican pot, too. But describing the glorious meals isn’t working up my indignation meter right now. It's 4 pm and it's just making me hungry.

The proof is in the photo-op

As they do every year, John and Elizabeth Edwards celebrate their anniversary at Wendy's ... except this year they did it with the presidential candidate, his wife, and dozens of news crews.

Elizabeth ordered a Classic Combo Single, John got the same but with cheese, and they split a Frosty. Teresa Heinz Kerry, whom we suspect does not celebrate any occasion at a fast food joint, pointed at a picture of chili on the menu and asked the cashier what it was before ordering a bowl. John Kerry had the same, along with a chocolate Frosty (that’s what my mom always orders from Wendy’s!). Teresa told reporters later that it was surprisingly good. "It's good chili," she announced. "It could even be made by Heinz."

Kerry paid the bill, and the Democratic presidential ticket sat down in one of those vinyl booths.

Also present were Cate Edwards, who was asked by her mother to fetch napkins. She and Vanessa Kerry sat at a separate table with the omnipresent Ben Affleck. Way more cool than eating with the ‘rents. They sipped drinks while Affleck had a double hamburger.

Inspired by this, Foodgoat and I also hit Wendy’s for dinner on Saturday, Foodgoat for one of the new Bacon Mushroom Melt and I for a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. That 99-cent menu is pretty spiffy. No one cared to document this for the media, however.