Posts Tagged: food

Tidbits for Monday, or the Week, Reading…

The White Succulent Flower that had no name sign

‘Roma’ star Yalitza Aparicio is so much more than her Oscar fairy tale

Cory Doctorow: Disruption for Thee, But Not for Me
Technological disruption is everywhere from AirBnB to Uber to… Mr. Doctorow hits the nail on the head on the Silicon Valley’s obsession with disrupting industries as toxic, his solution though is a bit hand wavey. I personally never use Uber/Lyft or AirBnB for reason that Cory details out and my own reasons of objection to the disruption of the disruption that makes it worse for everyone. I will write my thoughts up soon.

About Face : Death and surrender to the power in clothing of men.
But really a comic about the rise of lawlessness and fascism in the US. And the creepy black and white American flags.

In Defense of (Studying) Food : A Classical Zooarchaeologist’s Manifesto

Refugees Connect Their Personal Stories with a Museum’s Ancient Artifacts

“The Global Guides program at the Penn Museum hires recent refugees from the Middle East to give personalized tours. The leader of my tour was Moumena Saradar, a refugee from Syria who has lived in Philadelphia for two years.”

A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof
A hard but essential read if you are an American, visit America, or have any hopes for America’s future.

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here : What does it mean for the rest of life on Earth?
I thought I had posted this link last autumn, but a search of my site has shown that I did not. Read it. Insect life is the second layer of foundation, after algae and plankton, on this whole planet. We can’t exist without them, and to kill them or ignore our responsibility in their collapse is horrifying.

Photo Essay: For Jewish Israelis of Yemenite Heritage, Reviving a Past

Pre-wedding henna ceremonies have regained popularity in Israel’s Jewish Yemenite community, an expression of ethnic pride in their heritage and traditions.

Photo of unnamed succulent flower above taken at the Huntington’s Cactus Garden in late January 2019 by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D850 and a 300mm f/4 lens.

Sunday TidBits: Delete, A Class of her Own, Farming, and love letters to Nokia

Sun 09.15.13 – Various and sundry bits from around the internet that are worth your time:
1) She Makes War has a spot on layered vocals-only song & video (above) called “Delete” about one’s life online. After nearly 20 years online, I would like to delete bits of myself.
2) More Intelligent Life on Humaira Bachal’s fight for her own education and then schools for many others in her community of Moach Goth on the edge of Karachi, Pakistan. This is both a tear-jerker and absolutely inspiring story, go read it:

“Humaira was 13 when a crazy idea struck her. “My mother used to get us ready every day, tie two ponytails for us, put 2-kilo schoolbags on our backs and send us off. We would walk for 20 minutes–but on the way not one other child in this settlement would join us. One, they did not have money, and two, nobody considered girls to be anything. Those who didn’t mind sending girls to school couldn’t afford to, because of fees, and the cost of books and uniforms. By then I was in sixth standard [the equivalent of year eight in Britain]. I thought, I’m a big star, I know everything, so I will teach them myself!”
What would become the Dream Model Street School began in 2001, with one blackboard, at home. Humaira taught ten friends of her age, seven of them girls. She started with the alphabet, in Urdu and English, and proceeded to the names of things. She supplied blank pages from her own notebooks, until it got her into trouble with her teachers. Then the friends went round asking people to donate paper, or bought scrap.
Soon, Tahira, who was 11, and three other girls were teaching alongside Humaira. “We were militant about time. Time for study, time for play, time to eat–and time to go out and recruit. We didn’t have the sense to realise we didn’t have space, books, teachers, money. We went around to houses, telling people, ‘We’ve opened a school, send your children, you must send your children!'””

3) Mother Jones’ reports on how Ohio farmer David Brandt is having great success with the old trick of crop rotation with legumes as well as not tilling the soil between crops, sounds dull but it isn’t. The future of our food and topsoil depends on experienced farmers speaking out.
4) Jay Montano says Thank you to Nokia in “Kiitos, Nokia, and Nokia fans. Love,“, which is a love letter to the last 6 plus years of Nokia’s mobile history.
5) C. Enrique Ortiz bets that Nokia’s future will be bright because they will be able to focus on the upcoming mobile lifestyle use case in “Betting on Nokia“.
Happy Sunday and may your upcoming week be delightful.

Monday TidBits

I am currently buried under in work and thus don’t have any real photos to post from today and the two blog posts that live in my head about the Nokia N900 will have to wait for a day or so.
In the meantime, here is a few delightful links for you:
The Language of Food on Ceviche and Fish & Chips. A wonderful cultural historical linguistical exploration of vinegared meat from the Persia of the Sassanids to vinegared fish dishes of modern day Peru and the UK.
Tom Chi in his OK/Cancel form writing on how developers and designers need to work together and not in separated worlds in Bowman vs Google? Why Data and Design Need Each Other
These last two articles are on the differences between US/Nordic or Apple/Nokia in terms of advertising and approach written by Teemu Arina, who I met last year at Nokia Open Lab 2008, and Karri Ojanen, who I have not met but I love his name & admire his work. I have been formulating my own thoughts on the essential (good) differences between the design & advertising cultures of Apple v. Nokia which in many ways stem from the differences between Norther California and Finland culturally, and Teemu & Mr. Ojanen have beat me to the punch in: Interactive value creation, Apples and Nokias and with Digital (Advertising) in the Nordics.

i gigi is My New Favorite Brunch Place!

iGigi's Rosti with Poached Egg and Salad - Amazingly Delicious!
Sale e Pepe Josh Russell iGigi's Food Prep Counter, a Feast for the Eyes and the Mouth Josh & Jeremy, No Really - Look Across the Street to the Guy Leaning Out the Window Tomato & Thyme on the Rosti

Photos by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N86.

Sun 10.04.09 – Today Jeremy and Jessica took me to brunch at i gigi’s cafe on Western Rd on Hove, Josh Russell and Nik F met us there for a truly delightful brunch.
The food was a fresh riff off the usual breakfast and brunch foods. Each dish was well considered and beautiful as well as tasty. The best part is that each of the servers prepared the dishes on the sideboard right next to us. Fresh. Tasty. Moderately DIY.
Now when is i gigi going to open a Long Beach, Calif. cafe? ;o)

Lunch at Phở Basil Leaf

Thurs. 03.26.09 – This afternoon, my Mom and I walked over to Seal Beach’s Main Street to try out the new Vietnamese restaurant, Phở Basil Leaf. I had been watching the arrival of a Vietnamese place with trepidation, as I am so spoiled with being less than 15 minutes away from the mecca of Vietnamese food – Westminster and Garden Grove’s Little Saigon. My trepidation was further fueled by the menu that Phở Basil posted in the window of the storefront just a few buildings closer to the Seal Beach pier from O’Malley’s.
The posted menu seemed to be Americanized Vietnamese. Instead of the usual Phở menu of about 10-15 different variations of beef phở, there were only four listed: beef, chicken, pork and tofu. I have never, in 25+ years, of going to authentic Vietnamese restaurants seen a tofu phở on a menu before.
As a dedicated cha gio bún (Bún chả giò) fan, to see that the only bún options were in beef, chicken, pork and tofu, made me think, “Ugh, the attack of Americanized Chinese-Vietnamese food. Ugh.”
Even though Phở Basil Leaf opened over 6 weeks ago, I was waiting to try it out. Waiting for my Mom to be available, so that if the restaurant was dull and Americanized, then my Mom could not force me to go again.
Luckily for us, Phở Basil Leaf was good to surprisingly fresh. The “Summertime Spring Rolls” (as seen above) were fresh and delightful. My Mom declared them the best she has had in years, I thought they were good. My pork bún was good, but not nearly fish sauce-y or basil-y enough. My Mom liked her beef phở.
Phở Basil Leaf is good, but given the immense amount of competition within 7-15 miles, I would love to see them step up their game and aim for a wider variety of authentic Vietnamese and not just dumbed down for Seal Beach’s Main Street.
Phở Basil Leaf, give me some rice wrapped pork (not chicken) chả giò for my bun with a big basil & fish sauce kick. Where is the beef phở with meatballs, beef marrow, and fish balls?
Phở Basil Leaf, challenge us. Seal Beach’s Main Street is not Main Street America, but a main street in the most diverse metropolitan area in the world, we can not only handle kick ass Vietnamese, but we will drive for it.

The New Mother’s Market in Santa Ana

The New Mother's Market in Santa Ana

Sun 11.09.08 – For various reasons, my local Whole Foods market is the worst store in the chain in SoCal, I won’t go into all of it, but let’s just say 2 things on the matter : stock & employee morale. It is not fun to shop at a market where one gets guff from the checkers & baggers about one’s purchase choice and general bad attitude. On the stock issue, even before it switched from Wild Oats to Whole Foods, it has been hard to convince this local (was Wild Oats, now) Whole Foods to carry items that would be of interest to folks with multiple food allergies. Thanks for the gluten-free bread you carry, but Glutino is corn & yeast full, how about carrying a lot more of the gluten-free, yeast-free rice bread that sells out very quickly, obviously I am NOT the only customer who buys it*.
Thus due to the idiocy of the local Whole Foods employees and purchasing/stock management, I find myself driving at least 2 times a month to south Huntington Beach to the Mother’s Market to purchase a much wider and deeper range of gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, egg-free, canola-evil-oil-free, and corn-free items. My local Whole Foods is less than a mile away, the closest Mother’s Market has been over 30 minutes away.
No longer, the genius’ at Mother’s have decided to do battle against the corporate bloat that Whole Foods has become and they have opened a branch in Santa Ana, that is technically farther away from me but is actually much easier to get to due to easy freeway access. All hail the nice Mother’s Market folk.
Now, our family of food allergy sufferers has been frequenting the original Mother’s Market health food store mothership in Costa Mesa since the early 1980s when we were first diagnosed. I am over the top excited that Mother’s is expanding and is now in a lovely big store in Santa Ana, just across the street from the Westfield Main Place Mall on Main St, just north of the 5 fwy and just south of the 22. Great location, big wide aisles (all the other MM stores have very crunched aisles due to trying to fit as much stock as possible into a small store), and a great selection that far outstrips the average Whole Foods in the variety department.
Whole Foods only real distinctives over Mother’s has been their butcher & fresh meat, wine department, and multiple locations. This new Mother’s is the first store that has a good selection of packaged meats and not just frozen meats. Yes, there is no wine, but I can go to BevMo. What Mother’s lacks in meat & wine, they more than make up for in vegan, raw, allergy-free, and just plain selection of multiple brands of local or health food over the ever increasing corporate organic banality that is Whole Foods.
Here is an example of what I am talking about, beyond gluten-free bread choice: My local Whole Foods only carries one brand of Japanese styled nori and seaweed products, only one brand. The BIG problem with that one brand is that it is grown & produced/made in China. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! Wake up Whole Foods! I don’t care what you say, you need, if you want to retain your indy/organic/wholefood reputation to provide a non-Chinese grown/made brand. I don’t care if you have had an organic certification on the brand, HELLO! China is poisoning its own children in the name of profit.
Whole Foods did you test the nori and the water that it is grown in to make sure it is pollution free? HELLO! Now Mother’s Market, even in their tiny-ish, cramped Huntington Beach store, has a selection of 4 Nori brands of which 1 is made in Japan and 1 in Canada. Whole Foods in a huge store only offers one brand made in a country which is terribly polluted and has crooked producers that add plastic additives to extend food. Nice, how marvelously whole food of them.
I want more than a label that says “Organic”, I want to see that the company and the individual stores are putting thought into their purchasing decisions. It has become more and more obvious that Whole Foods is buying in bulk at the corporate level and not thinking about why they started the Whole Foods stores for in the late 1960s/early 1970s in Austin for in the first place. Additionally, I would like to go to my local Whole Foods and think that the employee type folks I interact with care enough to remember what customers want and do more than mock me, yes I have been mocked for my purchases more than once, when I get to the check out counter.
Dear Whole Foods, get your act together. Remember your roots. Do something about employee morale and attitude, while you are at it, please train your lovely college-aged employees on why insulting customers is bad and why folks would want to shop at your store.
Dear Mother’s Market, thanks for staying independent and expanding into Santa Ana. Thanks for still hiring dreadlocked, tattoo’d vegan kids** rather than well-scrubbed college kids, cause vegan kids understand odd diets and don’t mock. You rock.
div class=”note”* The obnoxious, bad attitude employees always say to me when I inquire, “It just sells so fast.” Me, “Why not carry more of it then if it is so popular?” WF employee, (brain explodes), “ahhhh…. Well, you should check back next week.” Idiot. How to sell groceries in an upscale, speciality store & keep your job => keep popular items in stock. And furthermore, be nice to the customer who is merely making a request.
** Much like you can tell a good restaurant by who works there, a good health food store should always have an employee ratio of 60% vegan/hippy/punk/crusties/tattoo’d folk over straight/clean/oblivious folk. The local Whole Foods when it was Wild Oats had a good ratio, but with the advent of the Whole Foods takeover, the vegan/raw/hippy/crusties have fled leaving cranky CSULB students as employees. Damn folks, its Long Beach, y’all should be able to find a vegan, LGBT, crusty somewhere in town… And the fact that you can’t only puts the final nail into your corporate coffin. Or at least demonstrates the incompetence of the store manager***.
*** Who by the way has the worst attitude of all the employees at the Long Beach Whole Foods.

Lunch : Coconut Uttapam

Lunch : Coconut Uttapam

Sun. 07.13.08 – Today I went to the Udupi Palace in Artesia for lunch. I decided to branch out today by deviating from my usual Sada Dosa and trying something new. New today meant the Coconut Uttapam, which was, while tasty, so filling I could only eat half. Now I have lovely coconut uttapam leftovers for breakfast tomorrow morning.
My month of July NaBloPoMo daily food blogging continues over at the Happy Tastebud.