Looking Back at Gourmet

October 13, 2009

Stella’s curled up next to me, purring.  Hailey’s at my feet.  I’m getting ready to tape an interview with Terry Gross, and I’ve been thinking about the pieces that made me proudest at Gourmet. There were so many that transcended recipes and dealt with food as culture, science and politics. 

These are the ones that came immediately to mind:
The first farm issue ten years ago, with all the articles on hard times for farmers, and how they coped. The Latino issue, with that terrific Junot Diaz piece.  David Foster Wallace’s Consider the Lobster, which drove so many people crazy.  Barry Estabrook’s piece on tomato slaves, which had such a profound impact. His early piece on problems with fish farming, which also had an impact. The stunning piece about transfats, and how the bad news about them was kept from the public for more than 20 years. Daniel Zwerdling’s piece on chickens. David Rakoff on Jews and bacon. Bruce Feiler’s hilarious adventures as he tried to buy his way into restaurants.  All those gorgeous Ann Patchett essays.  Francis Lam on omelets. Michael Pollan on Joel Salatin. Aleksandra Crapanzano on falling in love in Paris.  Ben Cheever working at Cosi. John Haney’s Fair Shares for All. Phyllis Richman on land trusts… the list goes on and on. 

I am so sad that it’s over.

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What now?

October 12, 2009

While we were creating gourmet.com, it didn’t feel right to be posting here. But now that Gourmet is, sadly, a piece of the past, this is where you’ll find me.

At the moment I’m still working on Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth, which debuts this weekend on public television.  Right now I’m viewing the rough cut of the China episode, getting really hungry as I watch myself and Dean (Fearing) cooking spicy eggplant, the best sweet and sour pork I’ve ever tasted (the secret is a syrup made from osmanthus flowers), and wonderful little egg-wrapped dumplings.  We were in Yangshuo, a stunningly gorgeous part of the world. The whole time I was there I had the surreal feeling that I had walked right into one of those achingly beautiful 16th century Chinese ink drawings.

I’m still on booktour, too, and as soon as I know where I’m going to be, and when, I’ll post that.  Right now I can tell you that I’ll be reading at The Book Loft in Great Barrington this Saturday at 1, and I’ll be in Philadelphia on October 26th.  Tomorrow I’m going to be talking to Terry Gross on NPR.

You can follow me on Twitter, too.

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Where to Find Me

April 23, 2009

My new book, Not Becoming My Mother is just out, and I’ll be traveling all over the country in the next month or so.  My next appearance will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28th.  To view my entire tour,please go to gourmet.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter.

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Curious about my schedule?

August 25, 2007

Curious about my schedule?  I’ve been at The MacDowell Colony for the past few weeks, working on a new book.  And next week I go to England,to give the keynote address at the Oxford Symposium on Food.  The topic this year is: Food and Morality.  Plenty to talk about there.  After I give the speech, I’ll post it here.  At the moment I’m off to the farmers’ market to buy corn and peaches.  Dinner tonight is going to be grilled steak, charred over a very hot fire, sliced tomatoes from my garden and fresh peach pie with homemade ice cream.  Can’t wait. Wish you were here.

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Gnudi, gnudi, gnudi!

June 26, 2007

Had lunch at The Spotted Pig today.  You can’t get in there at night without an endless wait, but in the daytime it’s airy, pleasant, relatively calm.  People in this funky room are laid back, happy, chatting  from one table to the next about what they are eating.

But everyone seems to be eating the same thing.  Burgers, big ones, with Roquefort and huge piles of lacy fries. And even on this absurdly hot day, sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi with crumbs of brown butter and crisply fried sage leaves.

One bite and I instantly understood. They seemed to fly up off the plate and float into your mouth where they hovered a moment, like feathers, before evaporating.  And then you were left with crisp shards of sage, a bright green flavor, and the memory of the cheese.  They were so good you found yourself dreamily  putting first one little puff into your mouth, and then another, until you looked down and found that the plate was empty. 

Afterwards we had bowls of cherries on ice, and tiny cups of intense coffee. 

A wonderful meal.

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