Well, the food section was not so bad this week. I’ve been curious about P*ong for a while, that article about plastic bags was just peachy, and there was even a recipe for homemade maraschino cherries! And Melissa Clark even made them for the express purpose of garnishing her Manhattan – a woman after my own heart. I know that cheapie maraschino cherries are terrifying, but I am still always shocked and annoyed when I get a Manhattan with no cherry, no twist of lemon, no garnish whatsoever. Maybe I’ll send Melissa Clark a bottle of my own brandied cherries as a thank-you for a fantastic-looking recipe. Lady whisky lovers unite!
But there is this weird thing by Mark Bittman – “101 simple meals ready in 10 minutes or less.” I guess it’s good that it’s not typical “a can of this plus a bottle of that” sort of shit, and yes, American palates are so impoverished that even suggestions like “toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta” are actually improvements on what constitutes dinner for most people. But my friend Selma and I once kept count of a crazy meat streak Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist” column in the dining section was on, and in the end it was something like ten weeks with 100% meat recipes! It was insanity. So, although he might be terribly alluring to those who like their rotting carcasses minimally prepared, I don’t have much use for him.
Like many “fast food can be gourmet” recipes, he relies heavily on eggs. I’ve always thought that humanity divides cleanly into those who think eating eggs is strange and those who don’t, and MB is clearly in the latter camp. For more New Yorker-esque “fun”, here are some stats on the article:
Of the “101 simple recipes,”
-31 were vegetarian. BUT! Of those 31:
-3 mentioned that they could be made with meat
-10 were vegan (but one of them was that rather meh one above)
-11 used eggs. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot of eggs to you, but it really does to me, especially since so many of rest of the veggie recipes that weren’t eggy were cheesey.
-Fun fact: 21 of the 101 recipes used eggs. Does Mark Bittman really think 20% of our meals should be eggy?
Anyway. Those stats weren’t terrible. But it got me thinking. I can do this! And I just happen to have a free night. By 3 am, friends, I promise you 101 simple meals ready in about 10 minutes – sans industrialized cruelty and death! Weee!
Here’s a scary picture of me with a chef’s knife!
Check yourself, Bittman!
PS: I buy my Wednesday New York Times at Jack’s Meats, a little butcher shop in New Paltz. I am known there as the “crazy cat lady” because we buy our homemade, organic, free-range cat food from them there as well, and every two months I bring in my own containers (with “cat food only!!!” written on them in big black letters) and a concoction of supplement powders, chopped garlic, pasta, and greens to be mixed into the meat (email me if you want the recipe – our cats are the healthiest in town!). So every Wednesday I come in, get my paper, take out the dining section and hand the rest of the paper back to the guy behind the counter (Jack?), along with $1.25. I don’t need to read the stinkin’ New York Times. He always says, in his NYC-Italian accent, “Ya, you only read da food section, hmm.” This week he said, “So…I think only things you like are meat for cats and newspapers about food, eh?” “Sort of!” I said.