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Seven Second Delay, May 2, 2005 In crafting the exciting food persona that is me, I carefully choose the venues in which I speak outside of this website. The current rule I employ is that I will only be interviewed by people that ask. I draw the line at appearing in articles or programs written or hosted by people who have no interest in me, my eating companions, and this website. After all, we must have standards.

Luckily, Evan Kleiman at KCRW lowered her standards a couple of weeks ago when she interviewed me for her show Good Food. I'm a big fan of radio, and her show seemed great. What I've heard since has made me a regular listener. Despite the fact that her show is broadcast across Southern California, you can (of course) hear it on the internet. The beauty is that (not of course) they make it available via podcast (downloadable MP3 syndicated through RSS). This is cool. Get it here (at the time of this post the "listen" link wasn't up. If it's not there when you click, check again later as it will be up soon).

Evan and her friendly producer were smart enough to not interview me live on her show (who knows what I would say on the air) so there was a two-week delay between the interview at the local NPR studios and the airing of the show. Anyone who's a semi-attentive reader of this site has likely noticed that the delay between when we eat a meal and when it gets documented on this site. The delay has grown longer than a year. This seems bad to me. I feel like the value of the documentation goes down with the big deltas between when we actually ate the meal and when it gets written up.

I have two options for how to correct this, a) quit my job and start blogging full time, b) write less about less than memorable experiences. I've constructed this table to identify the pros and cons of each option:

  Option A
Quit My Job and Blog Full Time
Option B
Write Less about Lesser Food
Pros
  • I could catch up relatively quickly by doing nothing all day but writing about food.
  • Everyone's doing it.
  • I could catch up somewhat quickly.
  • It's common practice in the media to not use as much "ink" (wait, we don't have ink) on lesser subjects.
Cons
  • The whole lack of a salary thing.
  • Who needs health insurance.
  • I could no longer afford to eat out or host this site. This would be ironic.
  • Those sub-par food purveyors don't benefit from the deep and detailed wisdom we have to offer (oh wait, they don't read this site anyway).
  • Unimportant details of my life may be lost forever.

 

As you've probably already concluded, Option A seems a little shortsighted. A real catalyst in the near-term but likely a showstopper for this entire site (and other things I enjoy such as shelter and transportation) at some date in the near future. So Option B is the only realistic possibility, though it has its own tradeoffs.

<RATIONALIZATION>Quality is about focus. And I feel that quality is suffering because I'm insisting on documenting just about every single meal I have out. And I have to wonder how many people really enjoy reading about meals that we didn't completely enjoy. I already don't publish pictures of food I ate that I didn't "like" or "love". It seems a natural progression to post less, or not much at all about those same meals. So, in an attempt to focus focus focus, we're going to spend more time on the good stuff, and less time on the bad stuff. </RATIONALIZATION>

I feel very lucky at how many people appear to check out this blog regularly. I'd really appreciate hearing from you on this issue. The comments link is to the left of this post. Hopefully you feel this is a good evolution of the site, but even if not (and maybe especially if not) I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

Just in case you missed it, make sure to check out the last post on our meal at San Domenico in Imola, Italy. Definitely not a lesser eating experience.

 

     
     
     
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

   

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  Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane. Today's major garlic suppliers include the United States (mainly California, Texas and Louisiana), France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: the white-skinned, strongly flavored American garlic; the Mexican and Italian garlic, both of which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the Paul Bunyanesque, white-skinned elephant garlic (which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek), the most mildly flavored of the three. Depending on the variety, cloves of American, Mexican and Italian garlic can range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Elephant garlic (grown mainly in California) has bulbs the size of a small grapefruit, with huge cloves averaging 1 ounce each. It can be purchased through mail order and in some gourmet markets. Green garlic, available occasionally in specialty produce markets, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves. It resembles a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb, sometimes tinged with pink. The flavor of a baby plant is much softer than that of mature garlic. Fresh garlic is available year-round. Purchase firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves, and those stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, though they will begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days. Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes. Among the exceptions are roasted garlic bulbs and the famous dish, "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," in which unpeeled garlic cloves are baked with chicken in a broth until they become sweet and butter-soft. Crushing, chopping, pressing or pureeing garlic releases more of its essential oils and provides a sharper, more assertive flavor than slicing or leaving it whole. Garlic is readily available in forms other than fresh. Dehydrated garlic flakes (sometimes referred to as instant garlic) are slices or bits of garlic that must be reconstituted before using (unless added to a liquid-based dish, such as soup or stew). When dehydrated garlic flakes are ground, the result is garlic powder. Garlic salt is garlic powder blended with salt and a moisture-absorbing agent. Garlic extract and garlic juice are derived from pressed garlic cloves. Though all of these products are convenient, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. One unfortunate side effect of garlic is that, because its essential oils permeate the lung tissue, it remains with the body long after it's been consumed, affecting breath and even skin odor. Chewing chlorophyll tablets or fresh parsley is helpful but, unfortunately, modern-day science has yet to find the perfect antidote for residual garlic odor.  

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