Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Can i make a bagel i connect with?"

Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be asking these questions.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Cookbook Review: Saltie

Image result for saltie cookbook

Saltie was a sandwich shop in Brooklyn that operated from 2009-2017. Like the second wave celebrity chefs of that era, Saltie trafficked in homespun recipes and elevated comfort food. Having never eaten there, I must say that I feel the cookbook encapsulates a place and time in American gastronomy that I look back on fondly. I was food-obsessed, and the Food Network and other media outlets had taken the pleasures of taste and democratized them and made them accessible. Now with Instagram, I am overwrought with images of fancified food, satiated beyond reasonable capacity, but back then, there was a real hunger for copycat recipes and home cooking. I made ramen. I was obsessed with pie. I fried donuts. I pickled. I was obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. I ate porchetta. All things that were delicious, but also novel. Now, we are anesthetized to new foods. Nothing surprises the palate anymore. Perhaps the best a restaurant can do is to make some food very balanced, very fresh, and very consistent (which is rare). But for that singular moment (which really lasted about as long as Saltie was alive), an egg salad sandwich with pickle from Saltie (which my gourmand friend Dave says was overrated) sounded and looked transcendent and revelatory. I can't say that I have cooked anything from the Saltie cookbook by Caroline Fidanza et al., but I like to leave it out like a stone or a talisman, conjuring nostalgia and inspiring me to continue to make honest food that looks beautiful and has authentic flavors. Now in a time when overpriced hipster sandwiches feel passé and bourgeois, I see Saltie as a marker of both the beginning and ending of an American "gourmet" food movement. There will continue to be hipster pizza pies (Pooleside Pies just opened), and bagel shops where you can get a dozen (not a baker's dozen) for $19, but beyond the fatigue of the palate and a deficit of original ideas, there will always be Saltie and the search for the perfect sandwich.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

rest in peace toni morrison

That evening the women brought bowls of pot liquor from black-eyed peas, from mustards, from cabbage, from kale, from collards, from turnips, from beets, from green beans. Even the juice from a boiling hog jowl.

Two evenings later Aunt Jimmy had gained much strength.

-from The Bluest Eye