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Food in the time of a pandemic


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Bonjour...

 

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These are now down off the shelves.

 

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And doing a little kitchen rearranging. These French jars will get filled with various things, and my eclectic coffee making stuff (the stuff I don't actually use to make coffee) has been moved to another locale.

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Backstory to the books coming down is that I read this wonderful piece in Food & Wine Magazine...

 

Remembering Lulu Peyraud, a Quiet Legend in the World of French Food and Wine

 

She lived until she was 102!!

Quote

 

In the sweep of 20th century gastronomic history, it was perhaps a minor event, this meeting over dinner in Paris sometime in the 1960s. But it’s also possible to view it as a kind of consummation, the offspring of which include Alice Waters, Kermit Lynch, Jeremiah Tower, Jim Harrison, Chez Panisse, Lulu’s Provençal Table, the beatification of Domaine Tempier wine, California Cuisine, and Slow Food.

 

Such a list represents a channel wandering off to the side of the main current of Western food in the last century. It slips through quiet country, mostly out of earshot of televised cooking, monetized social media feeds, and the annual trumpet blasts of Michelin stars granted and withdrawn. But it is a channel that passes through my country in a vital and life-giving way. The meeting of Lulu and Richard, like the meeting of my own parents, holds a significance for me that is not just personal and emotional, but constructive, at least in part, of my identity.

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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It seems the buyers for the markets are having their "usual trends" twisted by the Pandemic. Normally this time of year I see the whole "New Years resolution" marketing of alleged healthy food. Instead I see marked down salad kits about to expire. I never see marrow bones at Kroger but yesterday a generous amount of nice ones - must have been requested. Mangoes for smoothies - the display was piled so high I held my breath getting a nice one out. Nobody else buying @$1/each.  The large snack tomato section decimated. The sweet potato bin overflowing with truly oddly shaped ones. The chips/snacks section barren. Adaptation is required of us all I guess. 

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8 hours ago, heidih said:

It seems the buyers for the markets are having their "usual trends" twisted by the Pandemic. Normally this time of year I see the whole "New Years resolution" marketing of alleged healthy food. Instead I see marked down salad kits about to expire. I never see marrow bones at Kroger but yesterday a generous amount of nice ones - must have been requested. Mangoes for smoothies - the display was piled so high I held my breath getting a nice one out. Nobody else buying @$1/each.  The large snack tomato section decimated. The sweet potato bin overflowing with truly oddly shaped ones. The chips/snacks section barren. Adaptation is required of us all I guess. 

 

Where are your mangoes from? They are way more than a dollar each here and this is the height of harvest in Queensland.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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1 hour ago, haresfur said:

 

Where are your mangoes from? They are way more than a dollar each here and this is the height of harvest in Queensland.

Per the sticker - Ecuador from distributor Coast Tropical "Tommy Mango"  Of course my silly mind goes to 

 

 

IMG_1551.JPG

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My latest delivery:

 

536807636_Ricefactory01-12.thumb.jpeg.dd6c4df73e79bd288cc9eea8b24f4165.jpeg

 

Some 2020 harvest rice, milled the day they shipped it to me. Some white, and some 50% milled. The box with 3 packages is a sampler of 3 different white rices; 1 pound of each. And some lower sodium umeboshi.

 

The Rice Factory.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Sometimes I long for the home I had in San Jose, if only (well, definitely only) for the backyard (and it was really close to a Mitsuwa), with its Meyer lemon trees and pretty-much year round vegetable garden. Then I watch a show like Night Stalker and realize - eh, California's not all that.

 

But it does produce some really great stuff...

 

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Simply steamed. Served with a yogurt-y, garlic-y, lemon-y dipping sauce. Not great for the wine, but we ate it before the steak dinner.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Went to our local Trader Joe's just before 10:30 a.m. today, did not need to wait in line outside to get in, first time in a while. Store was well-stocked, no big holes in the shelves like I had seen in the past. I spent too much, as usual.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Here in México we're hearing rumors that the government is about to enforce a rule from several months ago, that prohibits anyone over 60 from going out. Stores like Costco, Home Depot, Wal-Mart are not allowing anyone over 60 in their stores. Dunno how they can tell one's age, but that's what seems to be happening. This is a problem for people who might need to go out to shop for, you know, food. Because we have to restock after several weeks at the beach--dogfood, wine, big packs of Romaine lettuce, toilet paper--this is something we need to know about.

 

The small abarrotes (corner stores) will always be available, but for major shopping we depend on the big-box stores.  We're leaving the beach in a couple of days, so we'll test how this will impact us. Stay tuned--

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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I ordered two Cooks Venture whole chickens last week, as they were on sale at a very nice price. I think they are usually $4.49/lb. and they were at $2.99/lb.

 

I spent an hour cutting and boning, ending up with 4 boneless thighs, 2 boneless breasts, 4 legs, 4 wings, wing tips, drumstick ends, backs, etc. The breasts and thighs got frozen, the usable parts of the legs and wings made scarpariello, and the bones, backs, tip, ends, etc. got me this:

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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6 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I ordered two Cooks Venture whole chickens last week, as they were on sale at a very nice price. I think they are usually $4.49/lb. and they were at $2.99/lb.

 

I spent an hour cutting and boning, ending up with 4 boneless thighs, 2 boneless breasts, 4 legs, 4 wings, wing tips, drumstick ends, backs, etc. The breasts and thighs got frozen, the usable parts of the legs and wings made scarpariello, and the bones, backs, tip, ends, etc. got me this:

 

IMG_3381.thumb.jpeg.d61d4207fa23c5734423fccfd9ff1d47.jpeg

On sale where? Not like I'm in any shape yet for any real cooking (or anything involving large pots of boiling water) but it's nice to know...

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

On sale where? Not like I'm in any shape yet for any real cooking (or anything involving large pots of boiling water) but it's nice to know...

 

These come from Fresh Direct. I have a standing Wednesday delivery slot, so there is no delivery charge per order - I think I pay once every 6 months.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

These come from Fresh Direct. I have a standing Wednesday delivery slot, so there is no delivery charge per order - I think I pay once every 6 months.

We have the same thing - we have a standing Sat morning delivery with the Delivery Pass or whatever they call it. I was actually one of their original customers when they started.  At the time, my neighborhood was one of their test neighborhoods - I still remember the weekend when they had people standing on all 4 corners of 31st and 3rd Ave handing out flyers with coupons for trying them out.  I still find their customer service to be great - anything comes in damaged or not good they refund it immediately. But I will say that their produce has gone downhill a bit since when they first started.  When they first started, they poached Fairway's produce manager, as well as their cheese manager.

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6 minutes ago, KennethT said:

But I will say that their produce has gone downhill a bit since when they first started.  When they first started, they poached Fairway's produce manager, as well as their cheese manager.

 

It's winter; pretty much everything comes from far away, or has been in storage locally.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Just now, weinoo said:

 

It's winter; pretty much everything comes from far away, or has been in storage locally.

I meant in general, over the last couple of years - not specifically right now.

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Quality decline aside, I am really hopeful that FreshDirect will expand to Boston at some point soon. They've been saying for a decade that they want to operate from Boston to DC, and they staked out the DC end of that in 2017. We could use the competition here.

Edited by dtremit (log)
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Maybe it's what I order, maybe it's the sun and the moon and the stars, but the produce I've been getting is just fine. I buy the local organic stuff from Lancaster Farms, Hepworth Farms, et al. And their california product is no different than what I might buy anywhere else; sometimes it's better. I've had quite good luck with artichokes lately. The herbs are great - my standing order for chives, organic parsley, dill, thyme - all fine and big bunches.

 

I don't get much, if any, fruit from them, as I prefer to fondle that stuff myself. Same with avos, which I get at Essex Market.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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On a positive note,  in the lead up to Super Bowl, the aisles are not jammed with towering beer and soda displays, or chips and dip. There was a cold case full of avocado dip, 

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For instance @KennethT, two different styles of choke, both from FD...

 

833184792_Artichokes01-16.thumb.jpeg.e9750b00ed2ce62d7a6937105f650075.jpeg

 

And thees came in recently (and I'm still figuring out how to best utilize, probably something tapas-ish)...

 

IMG_3394.thumb.jpeg.2f4a323641723f7cd6c1db350793e4c4.jpeg

 

Though I used to make a cream of artichoke soup similar to the one at Duarte's, in Pescadero.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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29 minutes ago, Eatmywords said:

@weinoodo you ever pinch yourself thinking what a charmed food life you're living?

 

Well, I leave the pinching to Significant Eater.

I don't do much different than a lot of my circle of friends and food people do...it's not like stuff magically appears, as I do make an effort, be it going to the farmer's market, getting product from local restaurants which have pivoted to providing raw materials, ordering boatloads of stuff online, etc. etc.

However, I also realize that we're lucky to be in the position we're in, as well as to live where we do, which makes access a hell of a lot easier than for many.

 

And I do try my best to give back; I'm certified both with City Harvest and our local NORC to do food realated work; once the pandemic subsides, I will be back at that.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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50 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Well, I leave the pinching to Significant Eater.

I don't do much different than a lot of my circle of friends and food people do...it's not like stuff magically appears, as I do make an effort, be it going to the farmer's market, getting product from local restaurants which have pivoted to providing raw materials, ordering boatloads of stuff online, etc. etc.

However, I also realize that we're lucky to be in the position we're in, as well as to live where we do, which makes access a hell of a lot easier than for many.

 

And I do try my best to give back; I'm certified both with City Harvest and our local NORC to do food realated work; once the pandemic subsides, I will be back at that.

Haha, no explanation required.  Just admiring your ability to source the best products, knowing or figuring out how to treat them, great tools at your disposal and living in arguably the best food city in the world.  Don't get much better for a food lover. 🥂 

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That wasn't chicken

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

And I do try my best to give back

And I appreciate it. Your posts frequently break up a very long day for those of us confined to spaces even smaller than a New York city apartment. Living vicariously still beats the other option!  But I do worry about your insufficiency in the matter of Thai basil.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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20 minutes ago, Anna N said:

  But I do worry about your insufficiency in the matter of Thai basil.

@weinoocan have my older Thai basil that I've let flower.  it's really pretty and still tasty.  If you clip all the flowers, it will continue to grow vegetatively, but at its age it keeps wanting to flower.  I have a new plant that's about a week old that still has some growing up to do, but I'm sure will be just as tasty.

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54 minutes ago, KennethT said:

@weinoocan have my older Thai basil that I've let flower.  it's really pretty and still tasty.  If you clip all the flowers, it will continue to grow vegetatively, but at its age it keeps wanting to flower.  I have a new plant that's about a week old that still has some growing up to do, but I'm sure will be just as tasty.

 

Have you explained to the plants that they're going to be moving?

 

1 hour ago, Anna N said:

And I appreciate it. Your posts frequently break up a very long day for those of us confined to spaces even smaller than a New York city apartment. Living vicariously still beats the other option!  But I do worry about your insufficiency in the matter of Thai basil.

 

Thank you. The funny thing is - our first apartment together was half the size of this place! And 4 flights up. Oy - those were the days..."I was so much younger then, I'm older than that now!"

Indeed, NYC for a food person, is quite good - I mean, it ain't France (Or Spain, or Italy (or Sonoma or Napa, for that matter)), but it'll do. And believe me, you put with a lot of shit to live here, and not only 5 foot ceilings.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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