So, I am not a huge newspaper reader. I like magazines, but really, our Nation magazines pile up. And then, right on top of each other -- two dandy things. First, my inspiration handed me the (Sunday October 2) NY Times Magazine on. . . food and drink. I loved it (more below). Even before this, I had snagged an issue of the Nation on. . . food and food politics. So, having read the one, I feel obliged to get to the other. More below.
So, the New York Times Magazine. Dandy on a rainy, grey, too-cold-even-for-the-start-of-October morning. This one had a piece on why it is lovely for famileis to eat together (complete with lovely pictures) -- yes, lovely. And it had a long set of question/answers with Michael Pollan (who, I admit, I am getting tired of being THE food expert; fortunately there were a LOT of other voices in the magazine on food). And loads of fun questions with various (yes, not ONLY Michael Pollan) peoPle addressing them. The questions range from "What do I do when my kid only wants to eat white foods" to things like what fish can I actually eat without feeling guilty (aka that might really be sort of sustainable) or should I be afraid of sugar substitutes (turns out a lot of the hype against them is just that, hype. And the replier says hurrah for stevia), who has the best hotel minibar (definitely not anywhere I have ever stayed), and how does one get a bartender's attention (not the way I try -- waving money).
Plus there is a Mark Bittman piece which basically gives you a stress free way to transform things from mediterranean to east asian or south asian or latin american -- truly dandy and complete with drinks. Among the items are poached pears for all four locales; squash soups for all four taste regions; braised fish; roasted meats; salads; etcetera. Really fun. Tweak this and that and transform your soup from Mediterranean to Asian. Tweak that and this and transform your finger food (which for some odd reason ia all about meatballs. They seem trendy. Why knew?) Plus, the sorbets can all be made as granitas. All four of them. All four regions. No ice cream machine. Made me smile.
I also liked the cheap wines pages -- only one Finger Lakes wine makes it. The question they're asking is what wine expertse recommend (or actually drink) when they are going for something cheap. And hte list says "with cheese" or "with grilled meats" or. . . you get my drift. You'll have to check it out to find out which Finger Lake gets mentioned -- but let me tell you, it was surprising to me. (The list features things around $11 if that gives you a hint. And it was from. . . .Ravines. Ok, I sort of spilled. But hey I still did not specify which lake. One of very few US wines to make the list at all. )
Finally, there is also a bit on the last supper game (where people tell what they'd like for their last meal.) I like the book better but this was fun.And it does make you think about why, oh why, does one postpone things given that death looms always just around the corner and sometimes, oh sometimes alas, right in front of you.
The Nation? More serious perhaps -- or at least the NY TImes hid its serious policy stuff (it is there) and serious health stuff (also there) amidst a bit more entertainment. In this case, not so much entertainment. But we all know the Nation for what it is. The Nation. The issue has all sorts of dandy things (though, yes, Michael Pollan appears AGAIN. Is he an industry himself in his critique of the industrial?) There are really in depth pieces on the farm bill and related matters -- ushing along to think about connectedness withn the ecology as linked to farming and eating and etc. Lots of expected names and lots of good points. I could say more -- and I should -- because this is truly sublimation nation material -- the politics of food -- but hey, this is it for me today. Find this nation issue -- I think it is a few weeks old now and by the time you read this will be older (maybe late September)-- and read it. Truly.