Food Sites for November 2009Thursday, November 5, 2009
It's November, a gray, dull period that -- but for an event that takes place, in the US, every year, on the fourth Thursday of the month -- should be utterly forgettable. Since the opportunities for picnics, barbecues, public intoxication, skinny-dipping, and similar bacchanalian revels have been temporarily curtailed, we offer the -- admittedly less-enticing -- prospect of visiting some food-related websites. It's small compensation, we know, but here it is.
Subscribers to our updates newsletter receive only these updates from our blog, Just Served, in their e-mailboxes. The rest of our little non-update screeds still go into the blog, but they no longer intrude themselves in our subscribers' mailboxes. For those rare individuals who receive these updates and might actually want to read more, we'll provide links to newly-added pieces here, in the update headnotes, such as:
"Writing About Food Memories" is a tiny essay meant to show students in my food writing class that there are more than one way to revisit one's past on the page. Oh... before you ask, the examples provided are my writing, but not my food memory. It's a purely hypothetical memory -- which, I suppose, means it's not a memory at all.
"Parmigiano-Reggiano Redux" celebrates not just a fantastic cheese, but the fact that the ability to re-write the things we have posted on the web allows us to correct our cheesiest writing: the facts we left out, our errors of fact, in fact, an entire gamut of rhetorical screw-ups.
True gluttons for punishment should visit A Quiet Little Table in the Corner, a page that provides an ever-changing master index of any other web places that carry our stuff. It's hosted by Marty Martindale's Food Site of the Day, and you should check out some of the goodies she's got posted while you're there.
Since Thanksgiving is soon to be upon many of us here are some appropriate comments, either already in, or soon to be added to, On the Table's quote pages. In keeping with the holiday's essential excess, there are far more quotes than any reasonable person needs:
"Coexistence... what the farmer does with the turkey -- until Thanksgiving." Mike Connolly
"I loved my mother very much, but she was not a good cook. Most turkeys taste better the day after; my mother's tasted better the day before. In our house Thanksgiving was a time for sorrow." Rita Rudner
"It [Thanksgiving] was founded by the Puritans to give thanks for bein' preserved from the Indians, an' we keep it to give thanks we are preserved from the Puritans." Finley Peter Dunne
"It was dramatic to watch [my grandmother] decapitate [a turkey] with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with 'gourmet' status." Russell Baker
"On Thanksgiving, you realize you're living in a modern world. Millions of turkeys baste themselves in millions of ovens that clean themselves." George Carlin
"Thanksgiving Day -- Let all give humble, hearty, and sincere thanks, now, but the turkeys. In the island of Fiji they do not use turkeys, they use plumbers. It does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji." Mark Twain
"Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence." Erma Bombeck
"Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty (in France, by contrast, there are three such days: Hier, Aujourd'hui and Demain). [i.e Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow]." Michael Dresser
"Turkey takes so much time to chew. The only thing I ever give thanks for at Thanksgiving is that I've swallowed it." Sam Greene
"An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." Irv Kupcinet
"What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" Erma Bombeck
"...Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for -- annually, not oftener -- if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments. The original reason for a Thanksgiving Day has long ago ceased to exist -- the Indians having long ago been comprehensively and satisfactorily exterminated and the account closed with the Lord, with the thanks due." Mark Twain
PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs -- or know of wonderful sites we've missed -- please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have suggested sites -- thanks, and keep them coming!
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PPPPS: Leitesculinaria has been redesigned -- and it still contains some of the best food writing and recipes around. So far, it contains only a few of our own articles -- but, eventually, they'll all be here.
PPPPPS: Since Thanksgiving is lurking, just around the proverbial corner, we thought we would remind you that Dr Sanscravat's investigation into the psychodynamics of combining sweet potatoes and marshmallows is available here. You've been warned.
----the new sites----
(seafood databases, plus links to all sorts of market news; available in 22 languages)
("…nearly 7,500 books, pamphlets, and ephemeral items relating to the history of cookery in New England," dating to the early 19th century; part of the Special Collections of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts)
(article, in Toronto's Globe and Mail, on a new approach to an old subject; think sommelier as molecular gastronomer)
(site of food-writer, teacher and tour guide, Nancy Zaslavsky)
("Peer-reviewed publications by UC [University of California]'s Agriculture and Natural Resources Specialists and Farm Advisors;" articles on topics from "Animal Science" to "Vegetable Crop Production," in PDF format)
(the skinny on Chicago-style hot dogs; their history and official ingredients, plus a gallery of wiener emporia -- both fixed and mobile; for a video on building a better dog, visit How To Make Chicago Hot Dogs)
(recipes, ingredients and sample menus)
(Robert Chenciner's article on a specialty of Central Asia that many cultures refuse to consider as food -- at least those who have either British or Jewish ancestry)
(recipes that are little-known outside of South India)
----still more blogs----
----that's all for now----
Except, of course, for the usual legal mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam.
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Our books, The Resource Guide for Food Writers, The Herbalist in the Kitchen, The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries, and Human Cuisine can be ordered through the Libro-Emporium.
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...for the moment, anyway.
"The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #109" is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication -- unless with the author's prior written permission -- is strictly prohibited.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Gary Allen.