Everything tasted better when my grandma was around.
Growing up, we didn't get to see my dad's side of the family all that often, but I noticed at some point that all the food we ate in Grandma Kinsman's presence was exponentially more delicious. Later on, I came to realize that it wasn't due to some special grandmotherly mojo, but rather that she used real butter rather than margarine, and my family shopped accordingly when she was in town.
No matter the ingredients, I was predisposed to enjoy her cooking. I loved her and she loved me, her weird, short-haired, misfit granddaughter, even if the rest of the world wasn't inclined to. Seldom did I feel that love so strongly as when her yearly shipment of holiday cookies arrived.
Here in the cold, dark, horrible nub end months of the year, I jam clementines into my mouth like it's my job. Two, four, six at a sitting, I'll dig the edge of my least-ragged nail into the rind and claw away the loose skin to reveal the dewy, seedless segments inside. Rinds pile up in pungent heaps on every flat surface around me - exoskeletons shed by sweet-blooded alien insects that have come to Earth to lift me from my seasonal funk.
I'd stop and take them to a trash bin, but that would mean precious seconds not spent stuffing oranges into my face in the manner of a crazed bonobo. I will set upon a cheap, plywood crate or red net sack full of clementines and dispatch quarters, thirds, halves at a time until there is nothing left but a fine mist of citrus oil coating all nearby surfaces like a cheery arterial spray.
I am certain it is horrifying to watch, and it is in the best interest of all my personal and professional relationships that these little fruits are only available for a brief period each winter.
Poor Vinnie. That's not actually his name, because this wasn't his fault. Sadly, his real one is, in some quarters, synonymous with "That Kid Whose Parents Didn't Let Him Trick-Or-Treat."
In my 1980s suburban youth, in my neck of the woods, a certain level of sugar-charged entitlement overtook the last day of October. While no one was especially extravagant in their candy offerings (save for one or two houses on a well-to-do cul-de-sac giving out full-sized Hershey bars, and believe me, word got out) perceived stinginess was met with great public indignation.
Drake takes drink orders, greets regular customers with a warm handshake and sets the tables for the next wave of the lunch crowd. It’s a stark change from the sheepish man who patrons first encountered when Harvest Café opened its doors in the beginning of 2011.
“My goodness, it’s like night and day. You’d see the change in him week by week,” says Jean Ringhoff, a regular at the café who works at a nearby bank. “At first, he barely made eye contact.”
Drake, like the restaurant itself, now commands a second look.
Editor's note: this is a part of FN Dish's Back to School Communal Table. Follow #pullupachair on Twitter and see other contributions below.
Sometimes, late in the night, the craving comes to me. I fight it, as I must, for the sake of decency and taste and everything I have strived for as a grown-up human being. I cannot...I will not...I must not...pour bottled Zesty Italian salad dressing over a heap of drained ramen noodles and slurp down the whole hot, harsh mess hunched over the kitchen counter in my bare feet. Even though (as I recall) it would be freaking delicious.
A growing number of conservationists are advocating the consumption of invasive species in an effort to fend off environmental destruction.
Invasive species, as defined by the USDA’s National Agricultural Library, aren't native to the local ecosystem and may cause economic, environmental or medical harm. They can exist in many forms: plants, animals or even microorganisms.
Many of the invasive plants, such as dandelion and purslane, were originally introduced by settlers for medicinal or ornamental reasons, while many of the invasive animals like Asian carp and green iguanas were brought in as food sources, pets or for pest control.
Eatocracy's Managing Editor Kat Kinsman attempts to vegetable garden on a roof deck in Brooklyn, NY in USDA Hardiness Zone 6b. Feel free to taunt, advise or encourage her efforts as this series progresses.
Very early one summer morning, my husband crept into my home office, and was alarmed to find two rabbits staring at him. It wasn't the lagomorphic presence that rattled him - just that there should have been a third pair of eyes blinking back.
He ducked down and peered deeply into the cluster of old potato chip boxes that Claudette had fashioned into into a makeshift warren. No bunny. It was then he noticed that the dog fence cordoning off her living quarters had been nudged apart just wide enough to let her tiny body slip through. She'd made a break for it, and there was only one place she could have gone.
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.
“It looks horrible and has a French name – which is already a very bad thing. Nobody needs to eat foie gras and it’s very expensive, so it’s a very easy target,” said Yanay.
Yanay is the General Manager and Vice President of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York. The 200-acre farm is the premier producer of foie gras in the United States, and provides the controversial delicacy to top chefs like Thomas Keller and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
A person might think that a job as a food editor entails downing metric tons of beluga caviar and silver-plated Big Gulps of vintage Krug Champagne at lunch (Double Big Gulp at dinner) seven days a week. That person would be wrong - for the most part.
While the vast majority of my meals are taken while huddled over a plastic clamshell of CNN cafeteria salad bar scraps, I’m occasionally let out of my crate and allowed to sup amongst the humans. And yeah - sometimes it gets fancy. For some reason, this usually necessitates the presence of archaic silverware.