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Posts from the ‘Distractions’ Category

A to C: The Ice Cream Life

ice cream#sevenfirstjobs mania has really given me a lot of food for thought. Ok, not really at all, but it was good for some really bold A to C fodder like strawberry harvester to editor in chief in three steps (not an actual example).

That’s my segue to trying to figure out why at the end of the August Food & Wine’s regional round-up of ice cream there is a short personal essay from the author of He’s Just Not That Into You. “My Life in Ice Cream”‘ (that’s the name of the piece because it’s about ice cream and her life) wouldn’t have even registered as a blog post. Print, though…such veritas.

A. So, she works at an ice cream shop in the West Village as an NYU student and eats ice cream.

C. She owns an apartment in the West Village and is always on a diet and can’t eat ice cream.

There’s a lot of life between those two things. Though honestly, it doesn’t seem as egregious now as when I read the whole thing at the gym and got outraged. I’m convinced exercising has the opposite effect of its intended purpose (clear-headedness? calming?) on me.

Spoiler: Big Gay Ice Cream opens and she starts eating ice cream.



Taking the Cake

Two things became readily apparent after pawing through a shoebox of family photos I was recently reunited with.

One: no one took photos of food. At least not intentionally. (I do have a middle-school Christmas shot of me sharing a seat at the table with a bread bowl, one of my summer 2015 obsessions.)

Two: photography skills left a lot to be desired pre-digital. Nearly half were out of focus, the framing dubious, lighting wonky. Delete is now our friend.

The one exception to the food-free subject matter, I discovered, were birthday cakes. I don’t remember anyone ever taking pictures of them, but there they were, at least ten of them spanning from age seven to roughly 20. Because it’s Thursday I’m going to post them all.

monkey cake

Fairly certain this was seven. One of my aunts decorated cakes as a side hustle, or maybe just a hobby? I don’t know. She still exists. I should ask her.

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Bon Appétit’s March culture issue presents a full page of A-to-C action: “I Quit My Boring Job So I Could Make…”

Babies would be my answer if asked (no, I don’t have children) but whatever. It’s all well and good, not terribly upsetting or anything. The kimchi anecdote was my favorite, though.


Buying a bodega in Queens is going to be my new response to any life goal-type questioning.

I can’t speak to Mama O’s, but I bought a jar of Mrs. Kim’s last week on Fresh Direct as a whim and I must concede that it’s 10x better than the grocery standard Kimchi Pride. Fresh and effervescent overall, lightly gingery, with a funky, beefy backbone. Sadly, not made in a bodega in Queens.

Portland Old and New

I post sporadically enough that I can’t imagine anyone wondering about a few days or even a week of quietude. But just in case, I have been soaking up the pre-Portlandia Northwest and avoiding the blizzard while getting rained on daily.

sizzler goths

Goths schlumping along 82nd Avenue across from the Sizzler was my favorite Portland image as of yesterday afternoon.

fred meyer bar

And then I found out that Fred Meyer, the best regional grocery store ever, had a bar occupied by youths at all hours, so that caught my fancy.

Only two more days left of this.


A to C

Rather than periodically start Tumblrs (or even categories) I can’t finish (dishracks, anyone?) I’m just going to talk about my ideas to get them out of my system and move on.

I’ve always been fascinated by what I call “A to C” stories where Style section types seem to emerge fully formed and lauded for non-traditional toiling.

The most recent candidate for my “A to C” treatment would be lingerie designer turned avant-garde confectioner Maayan Zilberman, whom I wouldn’t even have given second thought to if she hadn’t seeped into my consciousness a few years ago when she went gray for Refinery 29 when I was wanting to go gray on purpose too. Obviously she is back to brunette. So am I.

So, how does one become a lingerie designer who makes a living gilding candy cock rings and crafting mentholated Q-tips good enough to eat?

Ms. Zilberman charged $1,000 to $1,500 for her cakes, which she sold mostly to art-world friends…

Creativity, confidence (and free time) are all good, sure. There’s no mystery really, the short profile isn’t opaque, and it’s the reason why the theme would ultimately be boring because the answer is always the same: know rich and/or well-connected people and/or be one yourself. Boring…

The candy is pretty cool, though.

Un-American Activities: Have Yourself a Kentucky Little Christmas

It turns out that #KentuckyChristmas is real cornucopia on Instagram.

I went looking for this:

But was also treated to this:

Tell me more…

Day 7 Bright #decemberphotochallenge #bright #lightsunderlouisville #kentuckychristmas

A photo posted by Karen Stratton (@karen.stratton) on


It’s Kentucky cookies, Y’all! #kentucky #kentuckyhome #kentuckychristmas #cookies #cookiecutter #baking #lexington #sharethelex

A photo posted by Kentucky Everything (@kentuckyeverything) on


A photo posted by Becky Eaton Creech (@antbecca) on

Cute and sweet?


A photo posted by Kelly Snowden (@ksnowds) on

Ok, bye.



For years I’ve vowed to stop being so restaurant-y, at least here, because who cares, and go full-on freakshow. I mean, what else is the point of a blog on the cusp of 2016. Twitter or Instagram is where one performs. I don’t want to talk about Snapchat or Vine.

I’ve tried writing two short off-the-cuff takes on a few new Bushwick restaurants for days now (never mind the 25 800-word pieces on a much drier subject that I have due the first week of January for real) and just can’t get the words out, partially because I’m not amped-up but mostly because I’ve started taking migraine medicine that makes me really stupid and also makes me not care that it takes half an hour to write one paragraph (and if it’s anything like before I gave up on it last time in June, it also eventually makes me not that hungry, which is a little weird).

While I couldn’t write about two restaurants, I did see two press releases that I wanted to say had something to do with each other. Both involved an American brand and an foreign pizza chain with an odd name. Domino’s buying Joey’s (German) and something about Subway and Kotipizza (Finland). That’s as far as I got. It’s a confusing time we live in.

Actually, I just got a baby step farther in a different direction. Kotipizza makes a pizza called the Americana and it’s a Hawaiian with blue cheese and I would eat that in a heartbeat. The New Mexico Monster is something else that also exists.

Stuffed Peppers of the Week

Photo: Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times

Photo: Andrew Scrivani/The New York Times

If I were a more paranoid, narcissistic type, I would start thinking I was being trolled. Obviously, editors at The New York Times have better things to do than push me to the edge by publishing stuffed pepper recipes in their cooking newsletters.

But here you go: made all modern with farro and smoked gouda.


Big Mac Attack

Food bringing one to tears, literally, has always been one of my favorite restaurant writing/travelogue tropes. By which I mean, I’m simultaneously jealous of the diner’s ability to feel feelings so strongly and kind of don’t really believe them either. 

Commenters too can post incredulous things, and for this crew it’s the cliche of having to eat a burger after a tasting menu, possibly an American affectation. (The burger, not the hunger–in a pintxos bar in San Sebastián I overheard two Scandinavian men speaking in English about having to get a hot dog after a meal somewhere I didn’t catch.) I have never encountered this problem in my life, and I’ve eaten a few multi-course extravaganzas in my day (though only one so far this year).

For Valentine’s Day the year before last, celebrated the 13th as all rational prix-fixe-avoiding couples should, I did get a Big Mac after a dinner at WD-50 as a joke to both the world and my gastrointestinal system. I wanted to live the double-excess life, if only once. It was fun yet fleeting, especially considering I was moving out my shared apartment the 15th.

I plan to casually document this anomaly when I see it, as evidenced above. Help me out if you spy it too. Together we can  try to reach some understanding with these vocal bottomless pits.

Would You Rather? “Princess Storybook” Character Breakfast at Disneyworld’s Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Edition

Would you rather read a personal essay about a grown woman dining alone at a Disneyworld “Princess Storybook” character breakfast from Eater?

Or Lucky Peach? For now, the latter is print-only so Eater wins on a technicality, but it’s a pretty compelling write-a-story-only-you-can piece from the new fantasy-themed issue. I’ll link when it becomes available.

Clearly, though, the real question is whether a grown woman can get a bread bowl at Disneyworld.