Dear James Beard Foundation,

Martha and some looker doing what we love to do – drink Champagne.

While we adored commenting on the JB Awards this past Spring, we are terribly sad that we weren’t invited to Chefs & Champagne.  Martha Stewart’s blog about the affair has me crying in my poor man’s mocha this AM (to those not in the know, that’s Swiss Miss + coffee) about missing it – it was all champagnes and wines and some tent and then you’re kinda near the beach!  Oh, James Beard Foundation, please don’t forget us again!




Image taken in the Food Tasting lab in bldg 17: Bags of Space Station food and utensils on tray.

Image taken in the Food Tasting lab in bldg 17: Bags of Space Station food and utensils on tray.

If you pay any attention to us at all, you know that we love Science. And there’s nothing more Sciency than space travel. Which brings me to these two fascinating stories on the Discovery Channel website: The Top 10 Worst Space Foods and The Top 10 Best Space Foods. There is nothing that is not interesting in these pieces, especially because you can figure out whether or not you are living an orbital lifestyle here on Earth. Or let’s say for example you were planning a space-themed wedding. Now you know what to serve!  (It’s not too late, Chelsea!) Here’s highlights:

Graham Crackers: Bad in Space They hold together well in microgravity, but the crumbs fly about and you breathe them in. (Plus, dry mouth, amirite, astronauts?) The NASA folks tried shaving down the sides to make it work, but even the best minds in the world couldn’t get graham crackers to work. Since I thought graham cracker-eating adults like myself were a small minority of the world’s population I am heartened to read that interstellar travelers also enjoy them, if only on Earth.

M & Ms: Good in Space This is hardly breaking news because M & Ms, along with french fries and burritos, are among natures most perfect foods, but still good to know.

Carbonation: Bad in Space Turns out that burping while in orbit is kind of a downer. This is troubling, because other than coffee, both Meatball and I drink carbonated beverages almost exclusively (seltzer, kombucha, and champagne derivatives being our mainstays). However, I can buy into bubbles as a terrestrial phenomenon, because if you think about it, they are like drinking space, and why would you do that in space?

There’s more–including the story of astronaut John Young smuggling a corned beef sandwich onto the Gemini III mission. Actual dialogue:

Grissom: What is it?

Young: Corn beef sandwich.

Grissom: Where did that come from?

Young: I brought it with me. Let’s see how it tastes. Smells, doesn’t it?

Grissom: Yes, it’s breaking up. I’m going to stick it in my pocket.

Young: Is it?

Young: It was a thought, anyway.

Grissom: Yep.

Young: Not a very good one.

Grissom: Pretty good, though, if it would just hold together.

Young: Want some chicken leg?

Grissom: No, you can handle that.

Grissom: What was the time of that booster again? What elevation?

THEY COULD SMELL THINGS? This opens up so many questions that I may never sleep again, not to mention the fact that there is an entire Space Food section on  Where’s that movie, Tom Hanks?

WSJ Writer Brags About Some Stuff

Jay McInerney in happier times

In the brief and tumultuous blog yesterday AM  entitled Drinking Alongside Paul McCartney, Mr. McInerney discusses the following FASCINATING EVENTS of last weekend.  I encourage you to read it, or, you could just read my synopsis:

This weekend Mr. McInerney had house guests from California. They needed to eat, why – I do not know, considering people like this don’t really eat.  So, they called a hoity-toity “insanely fashionable East Hampton restaurant”, and most likely threw a snobbish temper tantrum –  asked for the manager, got a table.  When they got there, they were pissed that nobody cared who they were as they’re escorted to their table without the usual 76 trombone parade.  Jay was all, *shrug* “Sorry, that girl is toooooooooootally getting fired who seated us because I am super duper important and wonderful, and you all deserve more than 15 minutes of socialite fameballing.”

Ten minutes after they are seated, Paul McCartney, accompanied by his girlfriend, sat down at the empty table next to their’s.   Since they were trumped in importance, although wildly important in their heads when thinking of the facebook statuses this would inspire, the collective bitching about the shit entrance stopped.  (Then Jay describes how great looking Paul & Co are in a sort of brown-nosing, flattery-is-the-best-policy sort of manner.  Sorry dude, he’s not gonna call you.)

Unfortunately, these losers were sober except some woman named Anne who was drinking champagne (this is where it gets a little too “Vile Bodies” for me).  They order some 3 year old bubbly that I guess we should know, name-drop name-drop look at my wine knowledge, etc.

Not long after Jay made his selection, he couldn’t help but notice that Paul McCartney had the same wine on his table (zoinks!  tiny bit of pee in the pants!), most likely because he was extremely close, trying to literally crawl up Sir Paul’s bum at this point.  Then he grabbed the sommelier and said, “Yo wine lady, Paul’s got great taste, har har honk honk guffaw” and she said, “Oh, he asked what you were drinking and ordered it” (LIES) and then the finish:  “Clearly a gentleman of taste and discrimination, and secure enough to be happy with a seat in the back room.”


Mango Crime, On the Rise

Apparently mangoes are the new furbies, although illegal in the States, as reported by The Toronto Star:

“You can’t even compare the taste. If you really have a knack for mangoes, you won’t like anything but Pakistani mangoes,” said Haider, who made the 12-hour drive last weekend from Virginia to Toronto, his third trip this summer, just to eat the seasonal delicacy. After his past failed smuggling attempts, he brought his family along this time for a weekend binge.

Talk about your forbidden fruit.  The US won’t allow Pakistani mangoes in because they do not meet USDA standarblahblahsomethingelse, so many people try to get them up in Canada.  I personally think that binging on mangoes may be the answer people have been looking for in regards to that pesky obesity thing we’ve got goin’ on here, but what do I know.  Apparently this is a big! deal!  Don’t let them eat the delicious mango!

Maybe Scott Schuman will have some luck…

Even The Sartorialist protests:

Come on Conde Nast, don’t you think you overreacted pulling the plug on Gourmet so quickly? Not only was it my favorite food magazine, but it was also my favorite travel magazine. I not only wanted to eat the food but I also wanted to go to that place and meet those people.

To make matters worse the archives of Gourmet are either so buried in the Epicurious website or they are gone completely. The only element that is still easy to find are the recipes. If that’s all they thought was worth holding onto then they didn’t realize what they had in the first place.

I really, really loved Gourmet. It wasn’t just for foodies, it was for everybody – chefs, eaters, artists, photography fans, world travellers… even fashionistas that don’t eat! C’mon, Conde Nast!

The Way We Live Now

drawing of a construction worker

[T]he owners hired bartenders who don’t look as if they make their own bitters or collect first-edition bar books.

Oliver Strand, in his review of The Commodore in the Times. Apropos of this I have been meaning to post about how I was buying lettuce and the guy next to me was all “Have you tasted this salad mix?”

“No,” I replied, turning to walk away. “Try some!” he yelled. “It’s super spicy!” I was like, “God, OK,” so I took a couple leaves and ate them. “Yes, very spicy.” He beamed at my like I was a good girl and I could finally get away. It was like the foodie version of a construction worker yelling at me to smile.