Thursday, September 11, 2014

This week's compost

What’s on the Menu?

Well if you were dining at the Menzies in Melbourne on the 7th September 1899 you could have started with Anchoix de Norwerge, followed it with Bouchees de Homard, Victoria, and finished up with Glace a la Vanille and a Cafe Noir, or so I gleaned from this wonderful digitised menu site forwarded to me by Barbara Santich. Can’t wait to trawl through the couple of hundred Australian menus in search of curry.

Gourmet baked beans: a ‘gastronomisation’ too far?
‘You can hear the husky M&S style voiceover in the product description: “Kentish cider, smoked pork collar, pumpkin and sundried tomato”. Naturally, all this luxury (or pomp) comes with a price. While Heinz baked beans currently retail round 50p for a 415g tin (12p/100g), Proper Beans costs a whopping £4.75 for a 330g pot (£1.44/100g). Which is quite a markup.’
Sorry, but you know there is only one comment I can make on this:

Food porn
‘The magazine was one of the most powerful platforms for food writing in the nation and, to the people in line, I was a rock star. My mother, a sensible Ohioan, was with me that night and she was appalled. She stood near as fans gushed admiration for my prose and recipes. Finally, as if unable to contain herself another second, my mother interrupted one woman's compliments and asked: "Do you actually cook that stuff?" "Of course not," replied the customer, who looked like my mother, tall, lean, with a white cap of stylishly coiffed hair. "Every week I cut them out of the magazine and promise myself I will cook them. Don't we all?"
For ten years, Molly O'Neill was a reporter and food columnist for The New York Times. In this 2003 article she makes a plea for food journalists to tackle ‘the difficult and controversial subjects that begin (or end) at the table’. Ta to Helen Greenwood for the link.

Cow and Moon: what it’s like when your local gets ruined
Now this isn’t a manifesto on the evils of gentrification. You’ll have to head to the Saturday paper for that. This is simply about the evils of some bozo pointing out the little jewels that glisten quietly in your suburb. This is no exaggeration, last night the queue for Cow and the Moon gelato shop stretched around the corner and down the street. Every Sydneysider wanting the scoop on the best gelato in the world. You only have to head to the “My Love affair with Newtown” Facebook page to see the pictures. And those pictures burn my soul.’
Between this and the reported movement of the boozed up hordes from Kings Cross to Newtown under the liquor lock up laws I am setting up road blocks on Stanmore Road, Trafalgar Street and other byways into Petersham. We already have people lining up ten deep to get into the bolthole that is Daisy’s Milk Bar since it was nominated for best cafe in the Time Out awards. I don’ t think C & M would appreciate my other idea which was to take harangue the crowd with a megaphone chanted WAAAAAANKERSSSSS!!! But, hey, it won’t be long before the next big thing comes along and Enmore and I can settle down to moo(n)ching at C & M.

Maggie Beer in crusade to improve food for aged care residents
‘HIGH-PROFILE cook and author Maggie Beer has launched a campaign to improve the food provided to elderly Australians in aged-care homes. Ms Beer has teamed with Country Health SA in spearheading a push to improve the food served in regional aged care facilities in SA.’
It ain’t going to be easy but gees I hope she makes some inroads. I recall the afternoon when I was with my mum around lunch time at her nursing home when as it not unusual for her she didn’t want to eat the overcooked veg and coagulated gravy on her plate. An Aged Care Assistant came in to give mum a pill, and asked mum whether she was going to eat or not. Mum said no. The Assistant then said ‘If I were you I wouldn’t be eating it either’, and went on her way leaving me gobsmacked (pun intended). In the lift for some time there was a terrifying notice identifying all the food they didn’t want us to bring in for our rellies on the grounds thay we might also be brining in nasties. Needless to say I’ve been ignoring it for the 6 or 7 years mum’s been in care. Whenever I get my act together and take mum just a simple bowl of takeaway Chinese fried rice or some rice and dhal and a bit of meat curry not a single grain is left.                                                                                                                                            

Big Food with a regional flavour: how Australia’s food lobby works
‘And don’t succumb to the temptation of reading corporate influence along party lines. Australian governments since the 1980s have been bipartisan in their faith that a thriving market economy can address most social ills. The food industry’s preferences are in keeping with the broader trend for governments from both sides of politics to favour deregulation of business as a default. AFGC arguments about “easing the burden of regulation” fall on fertile ground, while calls to regulate industry influence or protect public health struggle to get a hearing.’
A sketch of three key ways the Australian Food and Grocery Council makes sure the food industry continues to reap huge profits while putting the health of Australians at increasing risk. But what are the options for action given these scenarios?

Texas official is freaking out about school ‘Meatless Mondays’

‘“Restricting children’s meal choice to not include meat is irresponsible and has no place in our schools," Staples wrote. "This activist movement called ‘Meatless Monday’ is a carefully orchestrated campaign that seeks to eliminate meat from Americans’ diets seven days a week -- starting with Mondays.’

Damn right! Guns have a place in schools not vegetarians!

Step inside the knitchen

‘Knitters have transformed the foyer of the Warwick Art Gallery into a kitchen "entirely knitted, crocheted, felted, woven, and wrapped in yarn," said gallery director Karina Devine. "It's our knitchen!"’

As a knitter and a foodie I am in awe of this. 50 knitters over 7 months