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Posts posted by Arianna

  1. I generally have a pretty empty kitchen.

    I have lots of little bags of grains of various types (quinoa, cous cous, polenta) but never more than a pound of each except for oats and rice. I have my cans on a single shelf. Usually there are about 10, mostly beans, tomatoes, tuna, and my boyfriend's chili. Our freezer is usually pretty full up with frozen pizza (also the boyfriend's).

    Our fridge contains milk and juice and some other random stuff, but we definately don't fill it up all the way or anything. Of course, there are only two of us, and we don't have any other space to put things if we wanted to.

    Also, the fact that I don't have a car really helps out- if I wanted to buy a ton of groceries, I would have no way to get them home!

  2. No kidding. My daughter was vegetarian from the time she was five until she was 18, in a very carnivorous family.

    This is interesting to me. How does one get started as a vegetarian at such a young age? How do you think this affected her development? How do you feel is has shaped her view of food now?

    I've been a vegetarian since I was seven (although recently I have decided to start eating fish again.

    I became a vegetarian because the regular food was really gross at my summer camp and if you decided to be vegetarian you recieved better foor, but you had to stick with it the whole summer.

    When I got back, I decided to stick with it. It was never a real issue in my family (no one complained about having to make two seperate meals or anything). Meat was never incorporated into the dish, it was always cooked and added later. Meat was never the center of our diets anyhow. My parents made sure I got enough protein by making a lot of dishes with beans (they would also eat meat) and I learned how to scramble eggs and make grilled cheese at that age. I was fine and healthy. It also helped that no one in my house is that picky of an eater. My family, when asked what they want to eat, will say, "I don't care, whatever you want." Having someone with a preference made the decision of what to eat easier.

    Later, as I got a little older and could be trusted with the stove and whatnot, I started preparing everyone's meals. I liked cooking the most, and since I came home at 3 and my parents got home around six or seven, it was easier for me to make dinner and snacks for the hungry younger sibling and have everything prepared for them when they get home. We had a vegetarian household from then on, for about five years when I did all the cooking.

    Letting young people make their own food decisions is most certainly empowering and vegetarianism is not a huge deal, nutrition-wise.


    My favorite way to use up old bread or even biscuits that don't get eaten. Super simple, and totally decadent.

    The other thing that's good is just a slice of the bread covered with a consomme or broth and then broken up and eaten. Or, if it gets really hard, pulse it in the food processor so it's still coarse, bind it with an egg and add whatever herbs you like, and drop it soup for fluffy dumplings.

    And there are so many things to do with breadcrumbs! Browning them with butter and stirring into pasta is a classic- my grandmother calls it "peasant food." But you can also make a stylized tonkatsu, or if it's a sweeter bread you could coat peaches and fry them in butter and serve with ice cream.

    I don't ever worry about my bread going hard- there are so many options!

    Also, you could always take it to the park and feed the ducks. That's what we did when I was a kid.

  4. I have a few that have already been said: Raw onions (although I like cooked ones), ketchup (yucky sweet mess, and I work in a frites shop!- I will eat it if at some point it becomes savory, like in tonkatsu sauce or curry ketchup), sweet pickles (who thought of that?).

    Here are my weird ones:

    <b>Pizza!</b> I know I am going to get maligned for this, so let me clarify. I like pizza in it's traditional form- a thin piece of flatbread with sauce and maybe some cheese or some mushrooms applied SPARINGLY. But what I can't get over is American pizza, with it's dripping grease and the cheese that slides off and so many toppings who even cares about the bread underneath. This is a hard one because it is the food of choice for so many people, including my boyfriend's mother, who insists on pizza and nothing else for her birthday and mother's day dinners. Needless to say, I eat before we leave to go to her house.

    <b>Stone Fruits!</b> Actually, this isn't a dislike, but a genuine allergy. I get hives all over my body if I eat raw stone fruits (cherries, peaches, plums, etc.). If they are cooked I can eat them without the hives, but honestly, I remember the idea of the hives and that puts me off. It's a true bummer, because I do think they taste ok, and since I live in Washington State we get tons of local fresh ones at the farmer's market. I am always tempted, but then I remember the horrible itchy terrible hives and I stay away.

    As for your other dislikes, I can offer explanations for some of them:

    Cilantro- some people have a compound in their saliva that makes cilantro taste like aluminum or soap. It's natural, don't be ashamed! I am very happy I do not possess this compound.

    Any general dislike of a flavor like Bitter (coffee), Sweet (cheesecake and chocolate), Sour (pickles, olives), or Salty (pickles and olives again)- Your tongue is divided into those four categories by region. Some people have more tastebuds in certain parts, some people have less- it's all good! When you have a sweet tooth, it's really a sweet tongue!

  5. I don't mind dining alone at all, but I also make it very clear to people that I am NOT open to strangers conversing with me (i don't consider waitstaff strangers). I try to always get the paper or bring a magazine. I don't like to bring books because I always manage to spill food on them! Dang!

    But I keep my nose in my reading and i don't really look up. That seems to stem unwanted advances. Why is everyone so friendly on the west coast anyways? Jeez! :raz:

    I would never consider this acceptable in a fine dining atmosphere, but especially when i am traveling for business, if i am in a small cafe or some taqueria or pho joint i will whip out my computer and either do work or play games (or surf if there is a hotspot). Is that rude? I'm not so sure if there is any etiquette for that kind of stuff (does waitstaff hate it as much as if i were talking on my cell phone? I would never talk on my cell phone inside a restaurant).

  6. Whether this all matters is all part of your personal values, of course, and if you value making money above all else, then you won't see anything wrong with large multi-national corporations like Altria (formerly Philip Morris) owning large parts of your processed food supply (they own Kraft and Nabisco, which in turn both own hundreds of smaller brands- and yes, Altria still makes cigarettes).

    I personally value quality, sustainability, and local production, which don't always follow through when the larger corporation acquires the smaller brand. I can't make any promises, but if I was buying my cheese from a small, local company that had a completely internalized production process and offered the most delicious cheese, and that company was bought out by Altria, I feel like something would have to change. At the very least, the increased market power of a place like Altria would increase the amount of production in the cheese factory, which, depending on how much they would want to outlay on quality control, would almost certainly lead to a decrease in quality. If nothing ever changed when companies were acquired, I might not have lost my faith so easily.

    Many people value making money before all else, and money is all well and good, but there are ways to spend and earn it responsibly, without damaging people's health, planet, or local job opportunities.

  7. Lunch:

    The Honeyhole

    Than Brothers when it's raining and cold, but not really in the summer

    Saigon Deli (the one on 12th on the north side of Jackson)



    Vios when we feel fancy

    Umm probably the Honeyhole again. Although I can never finish more than a half sandwich and for dinner you don't have the choice, so I have to share or eat my Dirt Burger remnants later.

    We go to the Honeyhole a lot.

  8. I went to S&S a while back - too late in the day for full selection. Wasn't remarkable enough for me to drive back, but if in the neighborhood, sure.

    So what's being built out in the old Sit and Spin space on 4th just North of Blanchard? Looks like a full bar and lots of space. Can't tell from online info and no sign in the window when I walked by last night.

    Spitfire, a bar brought to you by Marcus Charles, the former owner of Marcus' Martini Lounge and the Rendesvous, and the current owner of the Bad Juju and part owner of Neumos.

  9. Only seen at Trader Joes:  Snackmasters Beef Jerky the absolute BEST of its kind, anywhere!!  No chemicals, no preservatives, and only $4.99 for 4 ounces!! 

    And, TJ's is NO WalMart!  They pay their average workers $21/hr, well above industry averages,  provide health insurance, and they don't lock up any workers in the store overnight...

    Wal-Mart commits many worker abuse crimes, and I'm not comparing the worker treatment at TJ's to Wal-Mart. What I am comparing is the fact that both companies strive to put locally owned businesses under. A stone has many sides, but it is still a stone.

    Also, here is a list of other places that Snackmaster's products can be acquired: http://www.snackmasters.com/availability.htm. Just so you know, it's not available only at TJ's.

  10. I am curious why the co-op has been hurt severely by TJ's?  Is the TJ's THAT much closer (1 block) that people wouldn't walk just a bit more to go to the co-op?  If TJ's prices are that much lower that so many people left the co-op, were they only shopping at the co-op because there was no place else to shop?

    I am all for loyalty to local / mom & pop operations, and will even go out of my way to patronize them, but from what I gather from your post (and I could easily be wrong) many people left the co-op to go 1 block away for better prices or things they could not get at the co-op. Why, otherwise,  would they not still shop at the co-op?



    Well, it depends on where you live whether you have to walk an extra block to get to the co-op or not. In my case, the co-op is one block closer.

    What I am saying with that part is that I understand why TJs would want to center itself in my neighborhood- there is a lot of population density there, so there are lots of customers. But it's also a fairly large neighborhood, landwise- there are plenty of other blocks that are ready for re-development that they could have landed on, and also parts of the neighborhood that could really use a close-by grocery store. Its obvious that they have basically quested to steal this co-op's customers by setting up right next door.

    People have stopped shopping at the co-op for some things because Trader Joes has the national distribution and buying power needed to undercut the co-op's prices. I hope people still go to the co-op for things like produce, since the produce is terrible at TJ's, but for the really high profit margin things like cheese and wine, people go to the TJ's instead because the co-op can't possibly beat their prices.

    People forgo the co-op and go to Trader Joe's for the same reason people forgo their local any other kind of store and shop at Wal-Mart.

  11. don't they only live for like 48 hours or so? so if you just put everything in the fridge (or just eat it all or something) and clean up everything, then in theory you only have to wait two days until they are all gone, right?

    that's why they run so many breeding experiments on them. they should breed them not to eat fruit, dang nabbit!

  12. People who have said they dislike Trader Joes:

    I am with you.

    I especially hate the one closest too my house in Seattle. They opened it up <b>1 block</b> from the local established co-op. (For Seattleites, this is the new Capitol Hill Branch, it's one block away from the Madison Market, which is probably one of the most respected markets in all of Seattle).

    I find this too be strangely competitive and not at all sportsman-like. People in this neighborhood of Seattle tend not to own cars, and shop at whatever market is closest, but there is plenty of Seattle for all kinds of grocery stores and I don't understand why they had to open the TJs right next to the co-op. The co-op has been hurt severely by this, and isn't TJs talking the talk about the food and community and whatnot? Hurting the co-op is not good for my community.

    I am a member of the co-op, and the only time I went into the TJs I was kind of creeped out. People have raved about the warm service and everything- I got the same kind of greeting that I do at Safeway (granted, the Safeway employees at my local one are very nice). I didn't see how this store was oh-so much better than the co-op.

    I also agree that it's creepy how everything is packaged, especially the produce. I want to be able to pick out my own tomatoes, damn it! Also, I believe the packaging leads to waste, especially with the produce- when the date expires they have to throw it away whether it is good or not, which they would do in no other market. Plus, excess packaging is a great way to use up all those resources we're running out of.

    I think I understand how TJs can be a windfall if you live in an area where the only choices are Krogers or Whole Paychecks, but how can urbanites be jealous at all at what TJ's has to offer? Especially in the NW or California, the produce is definately more expensive than what you can get in the other markets. Someone upthread said they lived in the Bay Area and thought 5 avocadoes for 4 dollars was a bargain? Those people need to get to the local Mexican market, stat.

    I wish everyone who lived in suburbia could have as good access to wonderful foodstuffs as I do in the city, but I for one wish that Trader Joes never stepped foot in my neighborhood.

  13. they sell puffed millet in bags at the health food store for a cold breakfast cereal, and that's pretty much the best way to eat millet. salads are also good, i like to put quinoa in a salad with tomatoes and kidney beans, it's so easy and i can eat it for every meal of the day.

    yum, quinoa is so cheap and good. that should be what kids make in dorm rooms instead of grilled cheese and whatever else.

  14. the other thing that i don't get is that pasta isn't that hard to make. . . it's the domain of kids living in dorms and one of the only things my boyfriend can make proficiently, and he <b>really</b> can't cook. i mean, making fresh pasta is hard, but boxed pasta is really not that bad. why don't we invent something to turn doorknobs for us while we're at it.

  15. However, I've reluctantly just about given up on *all* supermarket apples. Even when I was in Seattle buying Washington State Red Delicious apples in season, they totally bummed me out--like eating vaguely apple-flavored cellulose. Sometimes I have some luck with supermarket Golden Delicious apples--a bit overly sweet, but at least the apple flavor is decidedly *there*. Most of the time. :sad:

    I live in Seattle, and you can definately never get good conventional apples. They just grow those crappy ones to sell everywhere and they send them to our own stores! I go to the co-op and buy nice local ones that actually are crunchy. Or even better, the farmer's market with the one farmer who sells all sorts of heirloom apples- black concords, matsuis, and other weird, crunchy, wonderful apples that i can never remember the name of.

    good apples are the joy of existence. i could never live somewhere where you couldn't get a good apple.

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