Friday, September 26th, 2014
6

The Chosen Vegetables

The cuisine of the Ashkenazic Jews is kind of awful. This is not the fault of my people; they tried their best, they really did. But the climate, socioeconomic struggles, and raw materials they had to work with left them with some pretty rough dishes. Worst, in my mind, is that there are a few big Jewish feasts in the late summer and early fall—the best time of year for produce—and Ashkenazic Jewish food doesn’t take advantage of that. So I would like to propose a way to make the feasts of early fall—Rosh Hashanah and the breaking of the fast after Yom Kippur—a little more vegetable-friendly: We must [...]

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3

How to Freeze Summer and Use It to Make Things Taste Fresh All Winter

“Pesto is the quiche of the eighties.” Haha, that’s a line from a movie I just saw for the first time. The pesto of this decade is…other kinds of pesto.

Pesto originally comes from Genoa, in northern Italy, where the specific ingredients and preparation were codified sometime in the sixteenth century. That kind of pesto—made with basil leaves, garlic cloves, pine nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino sardo, along with a fair amount of olive oil—is still by far the most popular, though its proper name now, in a world of many types of pesto, would be pesto alla genovese.

Most Italian dishes have, like, four ingredients max, but [...]

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18

Eat the Skin

Before eating many fruits and some vegetables, some people—bad, or perhaps ignorant people—do something which renders the produce less tasty, less colorful, less texturally interesting, and much less nutritious. The worst of these offenses involves one of my favorite fruits: the kiwi.

California grows the vast majority of domestic kiwi, and California’s kiwi growing season starts in October, which is mere weeks away. This is exciting, because the kiwi is a spectacular fruit: its color is otherworldly; it leans wonderfully to the tart side of the sweet/tart scale; and it has more vitamin C than an orange. But an awful lot of people don’t buy them, because they are [...]

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7

Eat the Seeds

It’s easy, and not wholly unwarranted, to roll one’s eyes at the aisles of exotic, imported “superfoods” in your local yuppie grocery store. These superfoodstuffs are often flavorless, or even outright unpleasant. (Goji berries: worthless, shriveled, lame-tasting superfruits.) Sometimes their packaging claims holistic or magical properties like cancer prevention or weight loss, which is very clearly superbullshit. But seeds, even some of the trendy, irritating ones, like quinoa, are healthful and flexible and typically totally delicious. You should not ignore them just because they have misleading or silly packaging or because Jared Leto once said in an interview that he loves them in his morning smoothie with reclaimed grass [...]

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11

The Most Correct Way to Grill Vegetables on a Stick

In a few days, grills will be ceremonially set ablaze for Labor Day (“it’s the end of summer,” we’ll say, even though the first three weeks of September are still summer, technically and temperamentally). Many of those grills will be piled high with vegetables. Good: Direct heat and smoke can do lovely things to plant matter. But the most common technique for grilling vegetables, the kebab, is performed incorrectly by the vast majority of American grillmasters of the universe—even though most other countries mastered the technique sometime around the time it was discovered that fire hurts when you touch it.

Stabbing things with a skewer and putting them over open [...]

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8

Don't Meat the Eggplant

Most summer produce has a cult of worship; there are those who wait all year for the few weeks of tomato season, those who will serve fresh corn with every meal, those who will gorge on peaches until the sweet-tart juice carves furrows into their faces like Grand Canyon erosion writ small. But there is one item which rarely if ever inspires devotion. I’m speaking here of the noble eggplant.

Many people do not like eggplant. Common complaints are that it is spongy, or bitter, or mushy. All of these are symptoms of improper cooking. Because, friends, when eggplant is cooked properly it can achieve something few other fruits [...]

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2

Watching "The Challenge" in the Presence of Gods

The whole day had been hot and sticky, in the high 70s and low 80s, one of the first truly gross New York summer days of the year, and yet Laurel and Devyn, two finalists on this season of The Challenge (formerly Real World/Road Rules Challenge) smelled fantastic. My friend wouldn’t stop talking about it. I couldn’t think of more than two questions to ask them, so eventually we asked Devyn what perfume she’s wearing. “Marc Jacobs Daisy!” she said, briefly looking up from her phone, where she was live-tweeting the finale.

This was the 25th season of The Challenge, which has been pitting former cast members of The [...]

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17

How to Make a Good Salad Without Dumb Leaves

When someone says salad, your first thought is probably a bunch of leaves, like lettuce or spinach or kale, plus some other stuff, and a dressing. Here’s the thing about the word “salad”: it means nothing. It doesn’t mean something cold; it doesn’t mean something raw; it doesn’t mean something with lots of different ingredients; it doesn’t mean something vegetable-based; and it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean a pile of leaves.

Leaves, even the stronger-tasting ones, are filler. No one has ever once thought, “Dang, this salad is good, but it’d be more good with more lettuce in it.” This idea of a leafy salad is perpetuated by make-your-own-salad joints that [...]

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0

Mad Dogs And Englishmen

"Yes, I've stepped in glass and dog dirt. You learn to scan your surroundings to avoid accidents, but they happen. Your soles are tough, though. The glass was painful, but it didn't do any real damage. With dog mess, I just wipe my feet on grass and then wash them at a tap." –A couple things here. First, "dog dirt," haha. Second, this broken-glass-and-dog-poop-strewn hellscape is Britain, obviously. 

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0

Spoilers for the New Season of "House of Cards"

- Frank dies.

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2

Cat Large

This here is Pickles, whom noted animal blog the Daily Mail says is three feet long and weights 21 pounds. "Everyone's obviously first reaction is like wow that cat is huge," said Pickles' new owner. You can find many more pictures of this large cat over here.

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1

Laughing Falcon Mocks Your Misfortune

There is literally nothing on the internet that interests me today; the only thing I found interesting enough to read fully was this three-sentence description of Canadian primates on Wikipedia:

The only primates that live in Canada are human beings. They are only distantly related to the New World monkeys of Central and South America, and the species originated in east Africa. Humans first arrived in large numbers to Canada around 15,000 years ago from North Asia, and surged in migration starting 400 years ago from around the world, especially from Europe.

Which is pretty funny but not really enough for a post, you know? So I'm just going [...]

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2

Russian Fools Climb Tall Tower

Here you will find a video of two Russians breaking into the Shanghai Tower, which when completed will be over 2,000 feet tall (the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall, for comparison), and climbing it all the way to the top of the scaffolding. The first two minutes are just the pair climbing stairs, and, like, the stairs don't have handrails but it's not all that dangerous otherwise so you can just skip to 1:55 or so to see them climb above the smog and mist of Shanghai and crawl up the scaffolding, which seems VERY dangerous and scary.

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0

2014: The Year Of The Unicorns?

Eeeeeee the great Montreal band The Unicorns, which recorded one perfect, perfectly weird album (2003's Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?), are mulling a reunion.

Penner told the Kreative Kontrol podcast that the band recently acquired back the master rights to their 2003 full-length Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? and might reissue it. Penner said the band discussed the idea of remastering the album and "including some other recordings that never made it out."

But, Penner added, "the important thing right now is that we might play some shows and maybe even record some new material while we’re at it. These are all maybes, [...]

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1

Headline Impeccable

"Horse Lives in House Like a Normal Person," reads a Huffington Post headline. This headline is followed by several pictures of a horse in a house. The story is not bylined, somehow, but I would like whichever intern or spambot or dog owned by Arianna Huffington who wrote it to know: this is a perfect headline for a perfect story. A+++++ would read again.

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4

Mean Dead Guy App Says You Don't Write Well

The new Hemingway App site yells at you for using long words, adverbs, long sentences, complex structures, and passive voice. I ran a post I wrote about "The Real World" through it, because I always thought ol' Ernie would really enjoy gabbing at length about a show that is seriously not even good, and here's what I got:

7 of 44 sentences are hard to read. 16 of 44 sentences are very hard to read. 14 adverbs. Aim for 3 or less. 11 words or phrases can be simpler. 11 uses of passive voice. Aim for 9 or less.

It's kind of a dickish website but, like, so was Hemingway.

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2

Brands, Hurry Up And Take Advantage Of "Flappy Bird" Mania Before The Next Thing Comes Along!

How about:

• Flappy Board starring Shaun White Sage Kotsenburg, sponsored by Mountain Dew

• Floppy Birdeos (don't let the flying Oreos dunk too long in the milk!)

• Flap Aboard U.S. Airways (the bird would be a plane here)

• Flappy Curd, brought to you by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

• Flappy Goatherd, brought to you by the American Dairy Goat Association

• Nappie Bird, great one for Pampers or other diaper manufacturing concerns

• Chappy Bird, navigate a flying tube of chapstick through damaging cold dry air to get to the lips

• Crappy Turd, excellent for a satire site like The Daily Currant to promote their [...]

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2

Boring Dog Wins Westminster Dog Show

"Rangel called Sky 'the little perfect dog' who always seems to know what to do in a show ring. 'You put the lead on her, she puts the tail up.' With a laugh, he added, 'You put food in your pocket, and she’s like, "What do you want me to do?"’ He was as effusive in praising Sky as he was four years ago for Sadie. 'We love her,' he said. 'She knows she did something good. She’s a princess dog.'" —Westminster is, generally speaking, bad for dogs, as it encourages inbreeding, the dominance of "purebred" dogs, and impractical or downright dangerous physical traits, like brachycephalism (a flat face, [...]

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1

Crocs Climb Trees

"Dinets and his colleagues observed crocodile species on three continents—Australia, Africa and North America—and examined previous studies and anecdotal observations. They found that four species climbed trees—usually above water—but how far they ventured upward and outward varied by their sizes. The smaller crocodiles were able to climb higher and further than the larger ones. Some species were observed climbing as far as four meters high in a tree and five meters down a branch."

–Pictured: a crocodile that has climbed a tree.

Photo by Kristine Gingras

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1

"Major Mafia Roundup," Major Mafia Reading Roundup!

Major mafia round-up this morning in New York and Italy. Details to follow.

— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) February 11, 2014

 

According to CBS News, which had a reporter on the scene in Italy, a joint effort from Italian police and the FBI resulted in the arrests of dozens of members of the Italian 'Ndrangheta and our own homegrown New York Gambino crime family. The 'Ndrangheta are based in Calabria, in southern Italy, and, though not as well known as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, have been much more powerful in the past few decades; it's estimated that their criminal efforts (mostly drug trafficking, extortion, and blackmailing) account [...]

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