A few of Dale DeGroff's books came down the chimney the other day, and just in the nick of time. This new-found appreciation for cocktails has kept me quite busy, but I can't help but come back to the Manhattan time and time again. At this point, it is, to my mind, the perfect cocktail.
Posts from December 2008
But there's a whole world of cocktails out there, so these books will help my expand my horizons. Tonight, my horizon expanded, if only slightly...
Dirty counter. Yuck.
There's a thread over on Chowhound, quickly deteriorating into idiocy, as open forums tend to, discussing Oxo's gadgets. The thrust of the initial post is that Oxo makes really good products, with the OP (original poster, in internet forum-speak) wondering if there was anyone unhappy with their Oxo gadgets.
I didn't really read much of the thread, as I don't care what other people think, because in general, they don't think. But since someone asked, and I know that I don't care for my Oxo tongs, I thought I'd throw something out there, for the greater good. Who knows, I figured, maybe someone would even ask "why" or "how" or want to actually discuss or learn something about someone else's experience. But that didn't happen so much.
So, instead of wasting any more energy there, I figured I'd just post about the tongs here, as I've planned on doing for some time.
Bottom line: I don't like my Oxo tongs. Both sets of 'em.
And here's why...
Tongs should be an extension of your body. Like really strong heat-resistant metal hands. They should be able to pinch, grab, push, pull, and feel...at the very least. You shouldn't have to think too much about tongs, just as you don't think about how to get your hand to your mouth when you're licking something tasty from your fingers. My Oxo tongs just don't provide that level of service.
Every week so often, a dish moves me to the point that I proclaim it "Dish of the Week." The last Dish of the Week was easily taken by Cedar Grove's Chengdu 1, whose preserved pork dish blew my mind, man.
This week the notable dish came from the unrelated Chengdu 23, in Wayne, NJ. Unrelated in ownership, but related in name, geography, and approach to Chinese cooking.
Is it odd that the only two times that I've proclaimed a "Dish of the Week" that they happen to be from Sichuan restaurants? Maybe, but probably not. The fact of the matter is that these are two exceptional restaurants, serving fantastic Sichuan-style Chinese food. I'm not surprised when I'm blown away at these places. Can't say that about 99% of the other restaurants in the area, or anywhere for that matter.
I'm guessing it's more reminiscent of the complete lack of self-respect that would drive someone to go to Burger King in the first place. Mmmm, complete lack of self-respect. Sexy.
Brilliant marketing though, I'll give them that.
Disclosure: I do go to BK on too many rare occasions, although I bathe and scrub myself all OCD-like afterward to, you know, clean off the self-loathing . Make mine a double, with cheese.
Chengdu 23 in serves some awesome Sichuan-style food, food which I eat several times a month. I've mentioned the place here. In addition to a regular menu, they offer dim sum service on Sundays (maybe Saturday?). We recently stopped in for dim sum on the way to the new Wayne Corrado's, and were really happy with the meal.
You'll essentially be ordering off a menu, but they do have carts that roam around with tasty looking dishes that you'll have a hard time refusing. The dishes range from 3 to 5 dollars, give or take.
Warning: cell phone pictures ahead...
We food bloggers spend a lot of time with food. Eating food. Complaining about food. Experimenting with food. Over-thinking food. Traveling for food. Food, for many of us, is a hobby.
But for an awful lot of people, food is simply a necessity, and one which is hard to come by. This situation isn't getting any better.
Some stats, from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey:
- More than 35 million Americans, including 12 million children, either live with or are on the verge of hunger. - USDA, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006
- The number of families coming to churches and food banks trying to get help to feed their families has increased approximately 20 percent. - National Anti-Hunger Organizations, 2008 Blueprint to End Hunger
- According to a recent survey, 6 percent of Americans said they or someone in their immediate family has gone to bed hungry in the past month because they could not afford enough food. - 2008 Hormel Hunger Survey
- One out of every five New Jersey families does not earn enough to afford the basic necessities – housing, food and child care – although 85 percent of these households have at least one family member who is working. – Poverty Research Institute, June 2008
- In New Jersey alone, an estimated 250,000 new clients will be seeking sustenance this year from the state’s food banks. – “No Food on the table,” By Judy Peet, The Star-Ledger, Oct. 23, 2008
- At the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), requests for food have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. - CFBNJ
- Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism. - CFBNJ
Spearheaded by a New Jersey blogger at Jersey Bites, over 100 New Jersey bloggers have gotten together today, 12/15/08, to raise the awareness of the hunger issues in New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen is lending his voice as well (he's not a blogger, as far as I know, but we let him in anyway). We're blogging out hunger!
Really though, 100
narcissists bloggers posting about the issues food banks are facing doesn't actually help. But you can help. Contact the Community Food Bank of NJ, or any food bank for that matter, for details on how you can help. Watch the below clip to find out more about the current situation, and how you can help. Whether it's by getting involved in a food drive, or just donating a buck at checkout when you're shopping for that dry-aged steak that you love so much. Click on The Boss's face above and print out the donation info. Helping is easier than you think.
The bloggers who are part of this campaign (after the jump):
chocolate. Chocolate covered pretzels, during this particular test.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm amazed at the google searches that bring people to this little ol' New Jersey dining/food blog.
On the off chance that you'll be amazed, or at least mildly entertained as well, I offer you, the searches (and some commentary):