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Celery: Nature’s Toothbrush!

your colon will be as slick as a water slide

your colon will be as slick as a water slide!

Not sure exactly what kind of patronage those patrons are providing, but I have more than a suspicion the original audience for this delightful poster were denizens of the demimonde.

 

UPDATE: I am reliably informed that this comes from Dark Horse Comics’ series Devil Chef, which I must now keep an eye out for on Amazon.

OccupyVeggies!

carrots are the 99 %

carrots are the 99 %

For those of you who, like me, find the entire Occupy Movement to be really well-intentioned, justified, and (indeed) not a moment too soon, but also somewhat dry (The General Assembly is the Filboid Studge of participatory democracy) we have some good news! Occupy Wall Street’s Liberty Plaza General Assembly has taken a lesson from the mainstream media and spiced up its hard news Committee Reports section (is that Spokes? Or Tranches? Who can keepWall Street terminology straight anyway?) with some food-and-spirituality-related entertainment.

Behold:


Christine: let’s start. The name of your WG. Winter w Safer Spaces & spirit vegetable is edamame. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Roll call continued! Next, Pablo from OWS en Español! Their spirit vegetable is plantains. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Julian w Outreach, spirit vegetable is cauliflower. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Evelyn, w/ Human Rights working group – hasn’t decided on her spirit vegetable yet! #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Sean w Fire Safety, he’s sad b/c he has no spirit vegetable, someone recommends chili pepper. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Info WG: Spirit vegetable is okra. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Devin is spoking for Tech Ops working group tonight, and their spirit veggie is the artichoke! #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Ravi, w/ Organization – her spirit vegetable is carrots. #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA


Ben from Direct Action, their spirit vegetable is squash b/c they are going to squash capitalism #nycsc #ows
@LibertySqGA
LibertySq GA

(more…)

HalloWHAT?

Women laughing "alone" with salad Halloween Costume

Women laughing "alone" with salad Halloween Costume

If you’re at all like me (and who would admit it if they were?) you’ve got a stack of Self magazines head-high taking up the space where your life-size Aragorn used to stand proudly, and what have you got to show for it except an exhaustive knowledge of the phytochemical composition of any grocery item, the ability to perform a flawless  plié squat, and about ten million pictures of Women Laughing Alone With Salad.

Well, now you can put that collection to practical use as the model for a cheap and un-constricting Halloween costume! Bonus cultural literacy points for timely meme reference that only about 25% of your friends will get, even if you’re all on Tumblr.

If putting on and keeping on a happy face is too much for you, then you could always fall back on our suggestion of last year.

Which would you rather?

Celery pills, because who wants to EAT the damn stuff?

30 days’s worth of celery pills for the sake of your cartilage OR
Wanton pork! Come up and soo-ey me some time!

Be honest. Who doesn’t like a good wanton pork now and again?

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Push cart peddlers

Push cart peddlers clog New York streets! Mayor LaGuardia up in arms!

 

fiorello_laguardia.jpg

 

In 1936 the mayor rose up in anger against immigrants clogging the streets hawking wares from push carts. Your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore? Phooey. LaGuardia thought them positively unsanitary.

 

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Today, in spite of all the specialty food online, push cart peddling has returned. With only an occasional foray to Citarella or Zabar’s, Leyla manages to shop principally from farmers markets. Wednesdays and Sundays are Union Square. Saturday is Columbus Avenue beside the Museum of Natural History. Shlepping milk 80 blocks takes a lot of time and trouble, but her table is set with the freshest, tastiest foods.

 

It’s all local – Ronnybrook Dairy milk and yogurt, artisanal sheep and goat cheeses, dark wintered-over greens, bosc pears, and apples of every description. Recently Mr. Henry has fallen in love with Quaker Hill Farm honey and eggs (goose eggs, no less).

 

ronnybrook.jpg

 

When La Guardia insisted that push cart peddlers take up residence in covered market stalls, the grocery business began to consolidate into mom and pop stores run chiefly by Italians. These in turn consolidated into a few large chains. Then in the 1980’s came the Korean-owned fruit and vegetable markets featuring salad bars, the go-to solution for harried office workers.

 

Now Fresh Direct trucks clog city cross streets, hardly an improvement over the push cart of yore. The very best fruits, vegetables and dairy can be found once again on sidewalk peddler carts. Weathered panel trucks with New Jersey and Pennsylvania plates sidle up and disgorge large ice chests of the most remarkable goodies imaginable. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Snipping parsley

christina-hendricks.jpg

What does Christina Hendricks eat? Anything she likes, it seems.

On her divine frame those extra winter pounds find graceful placement.

While winter sinks its chill fangs deep into our bones, a fortunate few may take comfort in knowing they can sink their own teeth into a hearty meal without worrying too much about over-indulging.

In winter it’s more difficult to find fresh vegetables with exciting flavor. More than in the warm months, meat dominates the menu, perhaps more than it should. The menu’s balance shifts towards foods dense in calories and fats.

parsley.jpg

It’s a great time for big red wines, a good digestive aid, but the craving for greens remains. Salads are a mainstay, and that’s fine. But what do you do when even the lettuce is boring?

Parsley has intense chlorophyll. It’s a natural cure for bad breath. Even the Henry’s noble hound Pepper loves it. (By the way, it cures bad breath in dogs as well as in people.)
zylissshears.jpg
But when chopping parsley with a knife, sometimes the little leaves lose their appealing shape.

The solution is to use a simple pair of kitchen shears. Wash and dry the parsley well before snipping so the leaves will be crisp enough to cut.

Sour grass

Death, divorce, and debt – the glorious three “d’s” of Sotheby’s and Christies – currently bedevil the extended Henry family, though fortunately not the immediate household. Mrs. Henry believes in keeping up routines and bloat.jpgdoes not countenance such prodigality.

Christmas holidays likewise bring forth a perpetual wellspring of objects seeking new ownership – apple corers, nutcrackers, scented candles in matched sets, cherry red windbreakers and frightful neckties.

Holidays also bear gifts of depression, indigestion, intestinal cramp, bloat and a throbbing gall bladder. Each year Mr. Henry swears he will leave for the holidays because too many around him take leave of their senses, and because despite his renowned self-control at the table, during holidays he abandons all sense of moderation and proportion.

Christmas tradition revives bad food habits from the storied Middle Ages, blithe era of famine, contagion, and dogma. Eggnog (vanilla nutmeg ice cream in a glass!), triple cream cheeses, bon bons wrapped in sparkly foil, preserved fruit, mincemeat, liqueurs, layer cakes, assorted chocolates with cream filling, and nuts roasted in peanut oil, palm oil, or coconut oil. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, fat was a good thing.

barleygrass.jpg

Today these caloric gut-bombs serve as anti-depression medications self-prescribed to remedy seasonal affective disorder, better known as the blues and the blahs, horse latitudes of the soul.

What brings out the holiday nuts? After four scotches nutty Uncle Jack dressed in plaid jim-jams slips on the patio black ice and cracks his humerus. Ha! Not so funny now, Uncle Jack’s funny bone.

Brother Clifford treats his seasonal disorders with sour green juice of fresh barley grass mixed with V-8. It puckers the gums mightily, but also promotes good digestion and cures bad breath.wcfields.jpg

Clifford subscribes to the philosophy of a ph-balanced diet, that is, eating foods that promote an alkaline environment in the blood. Contrary to expectations, preachers of the ph-balanced way do not necessarily extol foods that are themselves alkaline. Lemons and limes are recommended, for example. Wine and vinegar are forbidden, as is coffee. Leafy vegetables are encouraged. Meat is discouraged. It’s hard to keep up. You’d better buy the ph bible.

Clifford claims it cured his incipient diabetes, chronic headache, chronic backache, and fatigue. If you add hoarseness, cottonmouth, snoring, dropsy, flatulence, hip pain and plantar fasciitis, you’ve got old age pretty much covered.

Eating Animals

Have you noticed lately that vegetarianism has been on the upswing? Jonathan Safran Foer has been hectoring us about the evils of Eating Animals, cataloguing our collective moral depravity and bloody Morlock slouch towards planetary destruction.

weena_and_morlock.jpg

What accounts for the ascendancy of this idea?

Is it wrong to dine upon the flesh of sentient creatures? Granted, the noble pig is clever. Like Mr. Henry himself, a pig can admire its image in a mirror. But what about the chicken, the sheep or the cow? What pull do they have on our heartstrings?

slicedpig.jpg

Ever since Mr. Henry watched a video in the Monterey aquarium documenting an octopus delicately tasting the arm of its beloved handler and then erupting in pulsating colored stripes of delight, he has foregone pulpo on the menu. What a glorious creature, the octopus, prince of invertebrates, capable of unscrewing a mason jar. Show me a pig that can do that.

blueringedoctopus.jpg

Why can’t people live in harmony with animals without resorting to the barbarism of slaughter?

The answer is time. While a pig has all day to root around for the tastiest tubers, modern persons like ourselves need to cook something dense with food value, get it done, and get going. It is damnably difficult to find satisfaction in vegetables alone if you are cooking in a hurry, unless you happen to be one of those raw-diet enthusiasts, in which case you and the pig share the same diet and possibly the same flavor profile (hence the South Seas nickname for tasty captives, “long pig”).

cannibal.jpg

And what can we say about the inevitable smugness that clings to vegetarians? It’s maddening when a table guest announces that meat is vile succor. Perhaps South Seas cannibalism started right there. A local chief just had enough of that superior attitude.

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