Sugar Plums Dancing in My Head, Ed. #4

The one and only Nick Tahou Garbage plate. (Source)
Garbage Plates

A few days ago, Edward Schneider, a contributor to Mark Bittman’s blog, Bitten, posted on garbage plates. Living in a suburb of Rochester, NY, where the garbage plate was invented, I was excited to see what Schneider had to say. He writes:

The scholar in me knows that “garbage plate” has a particular meaning in the lexicon of regional American gastronomy, specifically that of western New York State. But in my house it has broader connotations, relating to the amalgamation of disparate leftovers into a single mass, for human consumption.

In other words, if there’s a half cup of this and a third cup of that, plus a quarter cup of ratatouille, it all gets microwaved or sautéed and mixed up into a one-person meal.

Oh, a topical bait-and-switch. Bummer.

The comments section is filled with other’s “surprising combinations they have perpetrated in the name of clearing out the fridge” but the best comment is from Nathan, who seems just as disappointed in this Bitten post as me:

“It’s actually just Rochester, not ‘Western NY’,” writes Nathan, “and it would be blasphemous to mention Ratatouille in the same conversation as a Garbage Plate there.”

Hee! So true.

If you haven’t heard about garbage plates, take a look at Please Pass the Salt Potatoes’ Nick Tahou Garbage Plate video, produced by by the Telecom students at Cayuga Community College. Their professor, Steve Keeler, co-leads the Media/Broadcasting: The British Experience course I participated last January (Steve’s a big foodie, to boot).

I Smell Sex and Candy…

I’m not a Gwyneth Paltrow fan, so my excitement for this fall’s Spain … On The Road Again, the HD food and travel show in which she’s featured, is a bit dampened. Paltrow, along with Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and actress Claudia Bassols, ate and drank their way through Spain driving from place to place in — I kid you not — a fleet of Mercedes.

It certainly makes sense to have a show featuring chefs on a foodie road trip, but why include Paltrow and Bassols? The only reason I can think of — unless Paltrow and Bassols have some culinary training that we’re not aware of — is eye candy. And I hate when food and/or travel shows feel the need to “spice” things up with gratuitous T & A. The gorgeous locales and the sumptuous food aren’t enough; the narrow definition of female beauty has to be introduced and exploited once again?

Additionally, Batali was recently quoted on Paltrow’s exercise regimen:
“[She] loves to eat … and, you know, she never puts on a pound! I think she works out three hours a day – which is one of the keys to success. If we all did that, we’d all look like Gwyneth Paltrow. Or at least closer.”

Arrgh. It’s enough to put one off one’s sangria and paella. But that’s probably a good thing because if we want to look like Paltrow, we either have to spend one-fifth of our waking hours exercising or starve ourselves instead. Whee!

My camera, a Sony cyber shot, has been down for months due to what I thought was a faulty adaptor. I bought a battery charger, thinking that would solve things but, unfortunately, the battery isn’t the problem; it’s something with the camera itself.

So, I’ve been borrowing Shane’s camera for the blog but he left the adaptor in Florida last week and the camera ran out of juice yesterday. Today, I went to Radio Shack for a universal adaptor and, although brought in the camera and had the manager select the adaptor, it appears the adaptor fried the battery.

So, again, no frigging digital camera.

Shane is so irked by all this that he doesn’t want to discuss getting a new camera. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m a nudge and all I WANT to do is bring it up until the situation is solved. (This is a habitual dynamic, played out in everything from pet care to child rearing.)

In any event, if you have suggestions for digital cameras or repair ideas, please let me know.

On a more positive (and drunk) note

Red wine may be much more potent than was thought in extending human lifespan, researchers say in a new report that is likely to give impetus to the rapidly growing search for longevity drugs.

The study is based on dosing mice with resveratrol, an ingredient of some red wines. Some scientists are already taking resveratrol in capsule form, but others believe it is far too early to take the drug, especially using wine as its source, until there is better data on its safety and effectiveness. […]

One of the more spectacular results was obtained last year by Dr. John Auwerx of the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology in Illkirch, France. He showed that resveratrol could turn plain vanilla, couch-potato mice into champion athletes, making them run twice as far on a treadmill before collapsing.

You know what this means? You can go that much further on a bar crawl if you stick to red wine.

Categories: Sugar Plums Dancing In My Head


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