Scary X 2

Here is the thing about Halloween. It is about candy, fear, and costumes.  It is the one day of the year when it is OK for kids to take candy from strangers! It’s not a holiday for adults. The sluttification of Halloween is admittedly a national disgrace, but the cutification of Halloween is just as wrong. This “Three Witches Snack Bento” offends on three levels:

First, there is no candy. Second, aforementioned cutesiness. Third, are the witch faces drawn on with Sharpie??? Maybe this dish should be called “Mommyblogger’s Revenge.”

Candy Season Is Upon Us!

photo of gene wilder, an actor, dressed up as willy wonka (purple top hat and coat), surrounded by Oompa Loompas who are little orange people with white eyebrows. The oompas are all around Willy Wonka, he is in the midd;e

It is the start of the most wonderful time of the year, the time where you get lots of candy all the time. And candy. How to handle the abundance?  This morning, Shut Up Foodies pal Jane Minty, the proprietress of Moist & Tasty baked goods came up with the brilliant idea of a Halloween Advent Calendar. This seems necessary and prudent. Basically you could ramp up to Halloween by eating a little more candy each day.

I propose we take the idea even further and create an algorithmic stream of data-driven doses that will take you from October 1 to March 30, the official time frame of Candy Season. Surely some nerd out there can do the math that would allow us to flow from the initial high of Halloween to the tryptophan-and-candy-corn coma of Thanksgiving (but you have three days to recover!), on into Christmas* and Hankkah and Kwanzaa and their delights, through the dark month of January and the double-edged sword of Valentine’s Day (lovers give one another candy, singles buy candy for themselves, etc.), finally tapering off once the last bit of Easter’s chocolate bunny has been consumed.

Ideally you could also program in your menstrual cycle and other factors that might spike a need for candy—birthdays, deadlines, laundry, mornings—that the program wouldn’t otherwise have anticipated. The CandyCal will make me meeeeeeliiiooooons, I just know it.

Jane Minty brought another one of my dreams to life when she made a tercaken for our friend Krista’s birthday. However, it would be remiss of me if I did not point out that my dream involved me getting a tercaken, not Krista. How did this happen? The nefarious Ms. Garcia, living up to her blog name “Goodies First”, preyed upon Ms. Minty’s good nature in a brazen manner. Click  here to see where she snatched my dream., and look below to see what she feasted on, yellow cake surrounding cherry pie surrounding Oreos.

Her underhandedness did not stop there. In a blog post boasting about said cake, she has neatly written me out of history!

As many great ideas do, the Turcaken arose from a joke. I think it initially had something to do with Twitter and trying to come up with the cocktail equivalent of a turducken. All I know is that I wanted a Turcaken for my birthday and got one.

Why yes, it did have something to do with Twitter and trying to come up with the cocktail equivalent of a turducken. Is that a knife you see in my back, one with tercaken crumbs on it? Recounting this story has weakened me. I will close by noting that today I learned of cupcake pie, and my birthday is in 14 days.

*This reminds me of another brilliant idea/huge disappointment: There should be a candy advent calendar that actually IS candy. So  you eat a piece every day and then on Christmas you eat the calendar itself. Must I think of everything for the whole world??

Boorito, Halloweenies!

Chipotle says that if you roll up in your Halloween’s finest, you get $4 off your food. According to Slashfood:

In its latest costume contest, Chipotle is encouraging you to dress up as the “most horrifying processed-food product” you can think of, or you can take one of their suggestions: chicken nuggets, canned pasta, frozen pizzas, hot dogs or lunch meats.

Quelle horreur. I plan on going as Chipotle’s tortilla. How meta!

PS.  $1 mil of proceeds are going to Jamie Oliver’s… thing.

Hostile Makeover

a man in a japanese chef's outfit before a flat table with a cooking surface in the middle; what he is cooking is on fire

This really long story in the Miami Herald about Benihana turning the company around at the corporate level has all kinds of talk about convertible stocks, renewal programs, outsize risk, and proxy battles. However, I paid little attention, because how awesome would it be if their board meetings were like the restaurant and the rich people had to do presentations while chopping things and scooting food to the right person. REALLY AWESOME, THAT’S HOW AWESOME.

Would You Die For Your Food?

I’ve probably mentioned before that every time I go to the movies, I assess that film’s potential to become a Rocky Horror Picture Show-like phenomenon. Obviously all the Jane Austen movies could have been influential, and I really hoped for Velvet Goldmine, but nothing yet.

It’s no surprise then, that I do love a cheesy theme bar. The Tonga Room in San Francisco is very pure, with the rain and the lightning and the lagoon.  But they don’t have GUNFIGHTS!!! According to this Los Angeles Times story, two bars in Wyoming have them nearly every day. Here’s the gunfight at the Irma Hotel:

I think they should up the ante here and arm everyone with paintball or lasertags and you get to eat what you kill.

Other People’s Kitchens

This book sounds amazing! Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1860-1960, by Rebecca Sharpless. From Amazon:

As African American women left slavery and the plantation economy behind, many entered domestic service in southern cities and towns. Cooking was one of the primary jobs they performed in white employers’ homes, feeding generations of white families and, in the process, profoundly shaping southern foodways and culture.

Rebecca Sharpless argues that, in the face of discrimination, long workdays, and low wages, African American cooks worked to assert measures of control over their own lives and to maintain spaces for their own families despite the demands of employers and the restrictions of segregation. Sharpless also shows how these women’s employment served as a bridge from old labor arrangements to new ones. As opportunities expanded in the twentieth century, most African American women chose to leave cooking for more lucrative and less oppressive manufacturing, clerical, or professional positions.

Through letters, autobiography, and oral history, this book evokes African American women’s voices from slavery to the open economy, examining their lives at work and at home. Sharpless looks beyond stereotypes to introduce the real women who left their own houses and families each morning to cook in other women’s kitchens.

I couldn’t get a cover image to load. Bonus amazingness–the author’s name is Becky Sharpless?!

Spaghetti Tacos

In case you haven’t heard, Spaghetti Tacos are taking over the world, courtesy of iCarly and the internet.  A professor of tacology and spaghetti studies from some place is quoted in the above-linked NYT article, saying:

“This combination seems to be an inevitability, sort of like chocolate and peanut butter running into each other on that Reese’s commercial,” he said. “The amazement should be only that it took ‘iCarly’ to bring it into our melting pot of a culture.”

“Spaghetti tacos has made it possible to eat spaghetti in your car,” he said. “It’s a very important technological development. You don’t even need a plate.”

How delightful.  I’ve always wanted to eat spaghetti in a car. **

More coverage on Spaghetti Tacos here.

**sarcasm font needed

A Backlashing of Bacon

A table lamp with a lampshade made of bacon

We are in the midst of a bacon bubble—and a growing number of chefs (some of whom quietly admit they helped inflate the bubble to begin with) say it’s about to pop. Bacon had a good run, but now it has gone flabby—used too much and too often, it’s lost its novelty and coated fine dining with a ubiquitous veneer of porky grease.

You think? From the Wall Street Journal, which has run 361 articles mentioning bacon in the past two years.