Monday, October 26, 2009

WHen Worlds Collide

I always loved the Seinfeld episode that had George lamenting about his worlds colliding. He didn't want his girlfriend who knew "girlfriend George" to meet "baseball George and his friends", i have the names wrong, but basically George was freaking out that his girlfriend was learning to much about the "other Georges". George said something to Jerry along the lines of "Jerry, She can't meet XXXX, that would be like worlds colliding".

I love it when my worlds collide. The latest write-up on Serious Eats on the preview to Baconfest that was held last weekend (I stupidly did not sign up for it)...Explained how the guys that founded Baconfest got the idea supposedly after seeing a play by the Neofuturists. I love it when plays and food collide. Now all I need is for trail running, traveling, food, writing, plays and money to collide!!!!!!! I really was stupid not signing up to go to the Baconfest event, it sounds like it was a very cool thing and I love my wheat grass, arugula, beets and goat cheese but who does not love pork belly???? It is all portions and appreciation of what is in front of you......

Ciao(no food pun intended or intended)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pho to Go....

I've been to Hanoi and went hiking in the Sapa Region and kayaking on Halong bay. I loved Vietnam, it's cuisine is unbelievable yummy, a marriage of everything French and everything Vietnamese, lemon grass, dumplings, beef broth, bean sprouts and butter what a combination. My favorite countries to travel in are ones with great cuisine histories and great places to climb, trek and generally have fun in the outdoors like Morocco, all the wild mint in the mountains and great oranges and tomatoes, central China/Asia all the great noodle, egg plant and lamb dishes, I lived on noodles in Xinjiang province and I lived on saki, beer,gyoza and yasai itame in Niigata prefecture when I went to IUJ, of course biking through Burgundy, the Dordogne and all the great condiments I bought along the way, all the oils, vinegars and salts and of course foie gras.

So..given my lack of traveling and depression from all the lack of in my life, lack of mountains, skiing, hiking, I am going to start adding and make a list of local restaurants I want to check out. Chicago has a great Vietnamese community in the Argyle area so I am going to try either Tank Noodles or Pho777 for their Pho. I haven't quiet decided which one but Pho is one of those absolutely, amazing comfort foods. When I went to business school at NYU in NYC, I used to walk through China town with my friend Lili who is now married, twin boys and living in Hong Kong. We used to stop at a tiny little shop for $3 Pho, along with the cheap designer bag place, Fulton Street felt like Hong Kong and they would throw tons of bean sprouts on top of the bowl.

So my 2 things I am going to do, get up at 5am and run for an hour and I am going to try one of the cheap Pho places. It is really easy to bike around Chicago, since I have no money to ski or travel I might as well get as thin and fit as I can and eat, great, cheap food!!! Mysore is going to get in the lineup soon to.

I may be incredibly depressed but I still have to do things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Depression sucks, people who don't get it are so lucky!!!!!!! I am going to focus on enjoying the tiny, cool, cheap things that you can do in Chi-town and biking and running all over the place which is free too!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

40 something....

I have decided when you turn 40 you can go 1 in 2 directions, getting less fit or getting really fit. I have decided there is no in between for some reason. Well. I have made the mental and spiritual commitment to get fitter. I am the first one, to love to get really drunk, go crazy. lose oneself. However, there comes a point where I have to place my priorities. Too much of the world. wants to take the easy route, the blue pill world, the comforting one as we age. but you know, I SAY NO TO THAT!!! I LOVE BEING PHYSICAL, I love participating, I am totally in the wrong place, enough with working in a store that sells the dream of skiing and adventure. I have to figure out how to ski every day, trail run in the summers, travel to NYC and Paris and financially sustain myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is too short to live any other way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am determined to be strong, fit and independent and live in the mountains but have culture around me and great chefs, I believe it is possible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bu

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Food Beliefs

Michael Pollan outlined his Rules to Eat By in the NYT, then he asked for reader input on their food rules to which I responded as well. He posted his top 20 favorite food rules. Well, in my comment I stated that I don't really believe in rules, I am one of those rules need to be applied not obeyed and rules can always be broken kind of person, don't get me going on Cheney and Bush and their application of that belief...

SO instead of my top 20 food rules, I thought I would make a list since I love lists, of my top 20 food beliefs...

1. Butter is not bad for you. There is a reason French Techniques were the basis of American cooking for a long time and the reason French food tastes good. (Thank you Peter Kump wherever you are up there!) I really love Farmer's summer butter from the GCM.

2. I don't believe in "Supermarkets" but I believe in "Super Farmers".

3. A triple shot of Tinygreens wheat grass every week is one of the best things I can do to keep myself healthy, I truly think WG is a miracle substance(but yes, the taste takes getting used to!!!!!) For first timers, a cider chaser helps!!!

4. I always try to buy as high quality ingredients as my pocketbook allows and mostly from the GCM or MCA markets. Then I don't have to be a good cook, the ingredients will speak for themselves.

5. I stay on an even keel mentally if I have a daily helping of spinach or arugula, I just feel so much better, I notice a difference the next day.

6. I avoid rice at all costs, except Carrie Nahabedian's risotto. I am just not a rice person.

7. I avoid thick slabs of red meat, and most steak houses although who doesn't love Gibson's and the people who run it?

8. However, I accept that I need to eat meat every now and then, when I do I try to know where it came from.

9. I would rather spend $40 at a restaurant that I know sources from local farmers and is focused on sustainable ingredients than pay $30 because it is cheaper. Usually, it is the reverse, "the restaurant that is convenient or easy or the place of the moment" ends up being more than the restaurant that is sourcing sustainably.

10.I try to avoid all large grocery stores, how can things be fresh if they are so large? And I wish the Green Grocer was closer to where I live.

11. I truly believe that if people ate more fresh, local produce including meats, they would think differently and feel better and Obama would definitely get re-elected!!!

12. I truly believe that if more of the population supported local community gardens and ate from those gardens, and people stayed away from packaged goods, the nation's healthcare bill would be reduced.

13. I truly believe that the American healthcare system is based on fixing things rather than prevention. If people did little things, like drink more water, buy one vegetable from a local farmers market, and cooked and ate it, did a little Pilates or Yoga even once a week, the healthcare bill would go down.

14. It truly pays to look at where the chef is sourcing their produce from and support chefs that care about quality, that support farmers and that support sustainable seafood and artisanal meat products.

15. There is a reason that food at quality restaurants costs what it does. If people realized all the prep work, little techniques that you wouldn't think much of sometimes but as a whole adds up to a really tasty product and if they realized what the staff gets paid, maybe people would go out to restaurants more because they would realize it really is a bargain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Farmers and chefs cannot charge enough to make up for all the time and effort that goes into their end product.

16. If everyone picked up one piece of trash from the ground that wasn't theirs the world would be a cleaner place.

17.A commenter to Pollan's rules said it perfectly, stop OBSESSING and EAT the damn cupcake, obsessing over food is a waste of energy.

18. There is nothing wrong with desserts or bread, just don't eat the entire cake at one sitting.

19. I am truly lucky to live in Chicago with access to one very amazing farmer's market, the Green City Market, which is a wonder of Chicago and to all the farmers that surround us from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana!

20.I am lucky to live in a city with so many amazing and talented chefs who can source pretty cool produce, I just wish I had the funding to eat more often and support all those chefs by dining at their restaurants!!!!!!!!

21. Sorry I had to add this one, when you are 5' 2" it helps to focus on running ultramarathons when you love great food and are a serious eater like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22.Sorry one more just came to me, people who buy food because it is cheap and make decisions on price, look at the big picture, look at healthcare and the healthcare crisis and the nation's health as a whole, the population saved money in the short term by buying cheap packaged goods items from large supermarkets and look where we are now!!!!! Kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul, we saved money in the short term and look at the nations' health in the long term....And then all people do is want to be fixed!!!!!!!! Which is one reason contributing to most (not all)of American medical care's focus on fixing and alleviating symptoms rather than a focus on preventing the problem to begin with and healing and sending the patient on a different health path.