The last bacon sale

It really is amazing bacon. You’ll be happy if you get some.

In Gabe’s own words…

Hi Everybody,
So the great news: KCHD is fully approved our bacon. Period. 100% legal. No exceptions. If any haters out there would like to call Larry Smith to verify this: 206-218-9021. YAY!!!!!!!!

The bad news: Because of all of the stairwell drama, we have lost our lease and will be for sure out of the building by the end of the month. Lunch Counter is closed. Swinery will be closed, for at least a while (while we look for a new home, which may or may not be in this state).

The Sale: We have about 24 days to make and sell some bacon. I would love to fill your homes and senses with the wonderful smells of our bacon frying. Bacon is $12/# and the same great All Natural, Hormone Free Berkshire Bacon (Noelani’s Favorite). While we are at it, we have some fresh sausages, some bacon burgers, and probably THE BACON EXPLOSION. Sausage is: $8/#, Bacon Burger Patties: $12/#, Bacon Explosions: $20 ea.

Pre Orders Start Now, email me at; We will be open 9am-5pm, April 19th – April 24th for pick up.

Please forward this on to EVERYBODY and we have special BACON PIMP shirts for anyone who organizes/buys 50# or more. Also T-Shirts are half price with a purchase of 5# or more. Spread the word. Not a secret anymore.

Think Globally, Drink Locally and Stop being such a Snob!

A little over a year ago a couple of really smart guys did a study about what goes into a bottle of wine’s carbon footprint. Turns out that the vineyard itself is actually carbon neutral and depending upon fertilizer choice and harvesting techniques can actually go negative (if you believed Ronald Reagan in the 80’s you aren’t going to get that point). The biggest contributors to the production of CO2 in the manufacture of a bottle of wine are the packaging and the shipping. So what have wineries and wine regions been doing to either a) minimize the CO2 being created or b) exploit this fact to ensure that their wines are seen as the “greener” choice by consumers? More important, what can we, as consumers, do to encourage green behavior and make greener choices?
Continue reading “Think Globally, Drink Locally and Stop being such a Snob!”

A new take on the immigration debate

Ok, maybe not that new, but, I’m quite happily gorged on tamales made by some folks who aren’t necessarily entirely documented, so…

I’m going to say that America is better place with taco trucks, run by Mexicans, intending to feed Mexican tastes. Whereas places like Chili’s and Azteca are a cancer on the American sense of taste (and barely qualify as food), it’s rather difficult to find a bad taco truck. And since Mexican food is clearly thousands of times better than any homegrown “American food”, America will be a better place to live with more people from Mexico here to feed us and teach us how to cook properly.

And true, it goes for most Latin American cultures. Papusas, arepas, ceviche, empandas, tamales…We’re better off with more, more, more influence from Latin America on our cuisine. And what is more important and vital to survival, community, and happiness than good food? I hereby call for an exemption for immigrants who can cook and save us from “American food” to better the country.

Ok, I admit, part of it is that I have only experienced “American meatloaf” and Kraft macaroni and cheese since meeting my husband, and I’m frankly nonplussed by what my mother called “white people food” when I was growing up (she’s Sicilian). Part of it is that what I’ve experienced of “American” food is bland and uninteresting and leaves most of any given animal as waste. Part of it is that a particular taco truck in NJ that makes transcendant sopes worth spending the money on the croos-country ticket home. But a lot of it is that, well, once you get some good cabeza or lengua tacos at a local taco truck, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would ever eat a KFC original recipe breast. Or, for that matter a really good mole pablano enchilada makes a corn dog seem like a sacrilege.

More Mexicans in the US equals better food for America.

P.S. Oh, and I’ve involved myself in a weirdand frustrating debate with some Microsofty who thinks that “Daddy’s Roommate” will undermine all the good in America. I’m feeling disillusioned. I thought Microsoft only hired people with “Intellectual Horsepower” not idiotic homophobia. Really, they hire people that stupid? That completely and unabashedly bigoted? I thought Microsoft had standards! So disheartening. Remind me that there are good people out here who care more about the basis of the constitution than trying to create a fundamentalist christian theocracy. Please. I’ll sleep better. And remind me that people who think that way are a minority, and won’t destroy what this country stands for.

And give me reason to believe that Sarah Palin isn’t trying to be this century’s George Wallace, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Oh and P.P.S–In addition to donating to Obama’s campaign, remember to contribute to the no on Prop 8 in California. And if you’re a California voter, god, if she exists, will likely smile on you for voting no.

What the World Eats

Check out What the World Eats: a  pictographic essay from Time showing all the food consumed by families from around the world in a week.  Some of the worst stereotypes are confirmed (check out the German’s beer bottles) and the variation in cost is huge (from $5 to $500).  Fascinating stuff.  Sadly, no Australian family though.

Flying is dangerous

… to your health, at least on American Airlines. I was flying from Seattle to Atlanta the other day, and I didn’t have time to get any food during the brief stopover in Dallas. So naturally, I was starving by the time I got on the plane for the second leg. Just a little snack was all I needed to tide me over until I got to the hotel, but American has stopped serving ANY food on the flight, not even peanuts with your drink.

You can buy a “snack” though, for $3. The only options are: cookie, chips, and M&M’s. (My flight back also offered trail mix, but I don’t think they had any at this time.) Hoping for something with oatmeal I can at least pretend is a little bit healthy, I choose the cookie. It’s a sugar-covered snickerdoodle monstrosity the size of a salad plate. I hate snickerdoodle. I send it back, and resort to asking for chips. At least I know I like chips.

Instead of the standard bag’o’chips, it’s a blue plastic canister the size of a can of tennis balls. Think Pringles crossed with a Big Gulp. It’s a huge can of Lays Stax or Flax or something. They’re vile. But I’m starving, so I eat a few of them, barely making a dent in the stack.

There’s nowhere to put this huge container as I’m cramped here in the middle seat, so I try and get the attention of the stewardess to give them back. (I probably ate 10 chips, making that snack 30 cents a chip. Yay.) While I’m waiting, I read the nutrition label. This “snack” they’ve handed out contains NINE HUNDRED calories. That’s HALF the daily calorie intake of most people. But at least, as the huge label on the front tells me, it has NO TRANS FATS and 20% LESS FAT THAN OTHER CHIPS. Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel better.

Next time I’m flying Alaskan.

NY dining scene: so 5 minutes ago

While I know ALL of us will disagree with the statement that “there’s only so much you can do with a pork belly,” I have to say I agree with the overall thrust of this New York Magazine article. I think he misses the larger point, that New York’s continuing transformation into an amusement park (to be sure, the world’s most expensive amusement park) is a big part of the problem. New York is losing out to Las Vegas because it is trying to play Las Vegas’ game — and when you play Vegas, the house always wins.

I, for one, absolutely believe that Seattle is far ahead of New York — on a per capita basis at least. As I have said many times, I would not trade Seattle for New York. (London, though… that might be another story!)

Fish are friends, not food.

If you’ve not seen Finding Nemo, you don’t know the hilarious scene where the sharks get together for something akin to Seafood Eaters Anonymous. “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food,” they state, with great earnestness. It all comes apart because, duh, they’re sharks, hello.

Fast forward to Fish Wednesday. Readers of my Nerd’s Eye View blog will know that Fish Wednesday happens pretty regularly around our house, if not quite weekly. About a month ago, I started wondering where my fish was coming from. I get my veggies from a CSA, why was I getting my fish from the Safeway? Was there a better way to buy fish and did it matter where it came from?

Also, hey, while I’m at it, I thought, this is a good story for a food magazine. I pitched it to an editor I’ve written for and she accepted the idea. A little research will go a long way and I’ll be able to sit down and write a nice 1200 word piece. It turns out these are very big questions, dammit. I have been hoping for a simple sort of answer, some easy rules that will assuage my conscience and keep a nice plate of fish in front of me. The whole thing is quite a bit more difficult than anticipated.

Last week we visited with Mike McDermid who runs the Ocean Wise program out of the Vancouver Aquarium. And this week, we spent some time with Mark Plunkett who’s the conservation guy at the Seattle Aquarium. While I certainly feel much more educated as a consumer, I don’t feel like I’ve come to any easy conclusions.

There are a couple of basic things I can put my hand on, and for now, they’ll have to do. Step away from the Tiger Prawns, sorry, but put the crustacean down. Don’t touch that Chilean Sea Bass, no matter how gorgeously it’s marinated in wasabi and sake. (Argh!) No Orange Roughy, no farmed Atlantic Salmon.

I have a ton more reading to do. I’d like to talk to the guy at the fish counter at our neighborhood “green” market, I’d like to get in touch with the folks that buy seafood for our neighborhood not so green market, and I need to spend some time on the Seafood Choices Alliance web site.

I told our kind host at the aquarium that I felt like the story was starting to unravel for me. It wasn’t so much that it’s coming apart, it’s just that I’ve opened the proverbial can of worms. (Heh. For fishing. Get it? Heh.) When you start to ask where your food comes from, you unleash a whole lot of other questions that you hadn’t previously anticipated.

I find it both fascinating and frustrating. Frustrating in that I feel I can’t just sit down and hammer out my tidy little essay about sustainable seafood. And fascinating in that the avenues to explore are unlimited. I’ve not yet been to an oyster farm, talked to a fisherman or a chef, visited a seafood distribution hub… Dammit, it’s just supposed to be Fish Wednesday, not a master’s thesis.

Give a woman a fish and she’ll cook it, photograph it, and serve it up on Fish Wednesday. Ask a woman about a fish and she’ll embark on a Hemingwayesque journey to find out where the fish came from, what impact eating that fish has on the environment, whether or not it’s okay to eat the fish in the first place, and any number of as of yet unasked questions.

You can tuna fish, but you can’t just ask about it and expect an easy answer. Stay, um, tuned.

National Soup Swap Day is January 23rd, 2007

No, it’s not a joke. My post about Soup Swap was picked up at BlogHer, where it was found by the soup loving goddesses of The Gracious Bowl, a DC blog about, yes, SOUP. Inspired by our soupy goodness, they decided to host their own. Meanwhile, in Boston, the Wooden Spoon of Power was passed along to a new Master of Soup Ceremony. All these events converged, emails were exchanged, and National Soup Swap Day was declared.

The Soup Swappers of Boston, Washington DC, and Seattle encourage YOU to host a soup swap in your town on January 23rd, making this a craze that sweeps the nation. And, so there’s soup for those that might not get the chance to have some, please add a canned soup drive for a local shelter to your soup swap party, courtesy of the thoughtful ladies of The Gracious Bowl.

If you want to know how to host a soup swap, there are general guidelines here. If you do host a January 23rd soup swap, please drop me a line so I can let the other soup swappers know who’s participating and add your city to the press release. And you, you overseas people? You know who you are. We’d love to be able to call it International Soup Swap day, so if you can round up your neighbors and get them in on the swapping, do let me know.

Swap on!