Thursday, November 21, 2013

This fortnight's compost

Double the pleasure   - last week was very thin on the food ground so a fortnight’s work to make up for it J

1    1. BYO Cutlery: why we should all start carrying our own knives and forks

“Sadly, we are still at the point where it is considered weird to carry cutlery, rather than weird not to. I've lately started stashing bamboo sporks in my handbag and I get some odd looks when I produce them (in cafes, I hasten to add, rather than at other people's houses. I'm not that odd). But I don't care. Green issues aside, there's something satisfying about using a familiar and well-loved object rather than some impersonal plastic thing that doesn't even work properly. Those medieval knife-carriers were not so daft.”

Yeah but how will I explain it to Jetstar security?

2    2. The McRib: Enjoy your symptom

‘The McRib is like Holbein’s skull: we experience it as (quasi-)foodstuff, as marketing campaign, as cult object, as Internet meme, but those experiences don’t sufficiently explain it. To understand McRib fully, we have to look at the sandwich askew.’

A delicious fun exploration of desire that may have its tongue firmly in its pork cheek or maybe not which would make it even funnier.

3    3. Bibimbap: the ultimate comfort food.

“My bones can feel the cold weather coming and I have a caveman's urge to get close to fire and fill my belly. There's only one thing for it: bibimbap. This Korean dish is the champion of comfort foods. Try saying it aloud. Bi-bim-bap. Even the sound of the word is satisfying. “

I’ll see your bibimbap and raise you a mulligatawny!

4     4. No more free range eggs in Queensland

“The Queensland government has quietly brought about changes to state regulations that will now ensure the end of true free range egg production in Queensland. The recent change  to regulations of free range eggs, lifting the number of hens allowed per hectare from 1,500 to 10,000.”

Ah, Queensland, beautiful one day, a bad yolk the next.

5     5. Eat Your History
Finally caught up with the Eat Our History exhibition at the Museum of Sydney. It's built around dining settings and kitchens from houses within what was the Historic Houses Trust but is now part of Sydney Living Museums. Some lovely recreations of the settings, well chosen crockery, cutlery, kitchen equipment and such, and clever and unpretentious use of video and e-book technology. Noice.

Friday, November 8, 2013

This weeks compost

1    1. Changing tastes; why foodies are the new food critics.

“Overall, I found the main attraction of blogging for foodies is that it functions as a form of what I call “creative production” – that is, it’s about finding everyday ways to express a sense of creativity and to have the feeling of making something in this postindustrial world where most of us no longer have an opportunity to make things or be creative in our paid work.

Restaurant blogging, then, is not simply an exercise in consumerism gone wild. It’s more a way of taking a consumer activity and making it productive and creative, turning it into a craft activity.”

A nice piece of research on food bloggers. As one, I concur with the conclusion that what I do is turn a consumer activity into a creative one – but then I would, wouldn’t I J

2     2. Real bun fight as Hungry Jacks and Wamberal takeaway shop Wambie Whoppers tussle over burger name

Fast food giant Hungry Jack's has created a social media furore after demanding that a Central Coast takeaway shop stop using the name "Whoppers" in its name.

The takeaway shop on the Central Coast Highway at Wamberal has been known as Wambie Whoppers since the early 1990s - and the name is shared by its popular giant burger.”

I give full notice to Hungry Jacks that should they win an action against the Wambie Whopper I will be entering the fray with my own Petersham Whopper and urging all and sundry to do the same. This kind of bullying from the fast food has got to be stopped. In the meantime I support the call to get onto the Save Wambie Whopper Facebook page and like them, get others to like them and get onto Hungry Jack’s website and Facebook page and whop them good!

3    3. Community Kitchen brings together asylum seekers, public

“Asylum seekers in Australia are not allowed to work, so feeling isolated and lacking purpose is common. But a community kitchen in Sydney’s north west is fast becoming a place for many to socialise, share experiences and cultures.”

Wonder if any of the pollies who continue to demonise asylum seekers has ever bothered to sit down and eat with them.

4. Human need for protein causes us to over eat: study

“When the proportion of protein in a food is low, it is generally cheaper,” she said. “This works on two levels to dilute dietary protein: through the food industry and also through the consumer.” A study in which Dr Gosby was involved found that, when people dropped the proportion of calories they got from protein from 15 per cent to 10 per cent, their overall energy intake shot up by 12 per cent, or about 1000 kilojoules.

The sun never shines on the poor, does it.

5    5. Why do we still waste so much food at home?
Just had a quick squizz at this report on domestic food waste in Britain and concur with a simple message of buy local, little and often.

6    6. Claude Corne: Chef gave Sydney the French connection.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

This week's compost

1    1. Fire-Eaters. The search for the hottest chilli.

“Chiliheads are mostly American, British, and Australian guys. (There is also a valiant Scandinavian contingent.) Chili growing is to gardening as grilling is to cooking, allowing men to enter, and dominate, a domestic sphere without sacrificing their bluster.

Ah, nothing like a little bit of pop sexology, eh. Gals, put down that chilli and get back to that lemon frangipani pie!

2    2. Oooh, burn! Sriracha factory neighbours complain about smell.

“But the pepper sauce that kindles such adoration in its fans is reportedly scorching the olfactory systems of the factory's neighbors. According to the complaint filed with Los Angeles Superior Court by the city of Irwindale, the stench of cooking peppers isn't just unpleasant - it's painful.”

Wonder what the Scoville heat unit count is on the chillies being used?

3    3. Recipe for disaster
"A thick river of treacle is threatening to swamp a town in Sao Paulo state in southern Brazil, after a fire in a warehouse melted more than 30,000 tons of sugar."

Where are the enterprising young kids dipping apples into it in preparation for a massive sale as tourist mementos!

4     4. Vertical gardens.

Tess Corino sent this email and the pics attached to This week’s compost.

“ hi Paul,

a bit of freshly gathered compost for you maybe.

  thought you might be amused by this interpretation of the vertical garden trend, which I love, especially when at least some of the plants are  edible,  and so many people hold up as one way that we will be able to feed ourselves in the future.

I took these photos a few days ago at Sydney airport, in the Jetstar section.  A new cafe has just opened, in the sunniest spot of the whole terminal.  They have installed a huge space divider, made of metal, two storeys high.  Full of plastic plants!  To add to the absurdity, a lot of them look like they represent edible herbs, sage etc.

I asked one of the guys in the cafe who designed it, he said : "I did."
Apparently they wanted to put in real plants, but Sydney Airport was concerned that the watering system would be a security risk.  But the guy  (sorry, did not get his name, but obviously one of the owners) could not understand why I thought that putting in a huge number of plastic plants as a replacement was worse than dropping the idea altogether.  He said I was the first to complain.

I must be strange.  Pity it did not work, a bit of greenery and lovely herb smells would have been great in the airport.  There must be ways to keep them fed and watered that isn't inviting to the people who want to blow up Jetstar.  And I wonder how they will dust the ones on top.”