-Joe Kwon, the cellist for one of my all-time favorite bands, The Avett Brothers, has a blog about eating on tour.
-The Pioneer Woman compares pie fats.
-I'm finally reading Song for His Disappeared Love/Canto a Su Amor Desaparecido by Raul Zurita, and I'm liking it, of course, especially because of its relation to Chile. Chile is one of my favorite places in the world and I am endlessly fascinated with its cultural and political history. I've always loved Neruda, and it's interesting to compare his rhetorical style with Zurita's. They have such different approaches to language, two seminally important and politically-engaged Chilean poets.
-From We Who Are About to Die, details on the latest internet poetry project/bomb. Tweet lines of poems and use the hashtag #poetrybyemilydickinson. A dude is trying to search bomb the internet into returning "poetry by Emily Dickinson" search results with contemporary poetry.
If you're on the East Coast, are you preparing for Hurricane Irene? I bought some more food, but should I be getting water and stuff, too?
And hey, I added a Google Friend Connect widget there on the left side, if you'd like to follow Plums in the Icebox that way.
This recipe is so easy I almost feel silly posting it. But it's the only even remotely interesting thing I've made since we moved, other than the chili I mentioned a few posts ago. We have food, but our furnished apartment didn't come with as many pots and pans and bowls as I thought it would, so I'm a bit limited in what I can make. I'm pretty mad about the somewhat decent pots I foisted onto my friend Nate back in New Mexico, because if I knew the pickings here, I would have totally kept them.
There happen to be FOUR springform cake pans in the kitchen, but only one TINY saucepan and one decent-sized pot. I don't understand it either, but thankfully I'm limited only until my jobs (plural. I'm going to have more than one job, and I can't decide if that's awesome or depressing) both start. After that, I should have some money to go on a Marshall's kitchen spree or to pay the ridiculous $20 the thrift store in Falls Church was asking for a saucepan with lid. $20? You're a THRIFT STORE. You sell couches for $20, don't expect me to pay that for one measly pan, even if it does have a glass lid. Anyway.
Garlic & Sesame Asparagus
serves 1 as a side
total time: 15 minutes
total hands on time: 3 minutes
What you'll need:
1/2 a bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 in pieces
1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2.. Cut the woody ends from the asparagus and chop the remaining stalks into 1 in pieces.
3. Toss the asparagus in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
4. Transfer asparagus to a baking sheet or roasting pan and roast for about 10 minutes.
5. After 10 minutes, generously sprinkle on sesame seeds, toss or mix well, and roast for another 5 minutes.
I was eating solo this night, so I ate the asparagus really simply, alongside a fried egg. But this would be a good side for almost anything, especially more Asian-y main dishes, like marinated chicken, tofu or shrimp. It would be great with a little bit of teriyaki sauce drizzled on top, or served cold and added to a salad.
I posed this question on Twitter yesterday, but I'm still wondering about it.
Do men eat yogurt?
I don't think I have personally ever seen a man eat yogurt (except maybe frozen yogurt, and that's a different story). My dad certainly never did, and my boyfriend says he "would, but doesn't." What's the deal?
Yogurt is clearly marketed towards women; it's touted as a digestive aid, a way to lose weight, and low-calorie way to "indulge." These are things that our world imagines women are interested in. You know those commercials where the woman is on the phone with her friend being like "Yeah, yesterday I ate apple pie and the day before that a Boston Cream Pie" and the husband is in the background looking desperate, RACKING the kitchen to find these treats and is totally disappointed when he realizes the wife is just talking about flavors of yogurt? It's like HEY PULL ONE OVER ON YOUR HUSBAND WITH SWEET TREATS. YOU KNOW HE'D NEVER TOUCH YOUR YOGURT.
Even the fonts and colors on some yogurt packaging are clearly directed towards women: swoopy cursive (I'm looking at you, Yoplait Whips) and pink and purple designs. I mean, it's not like companies would or should be dressing yogurt packaging in plaid or anything, but isn't it weird that the marketing is that blatantly directed towards women? I've noticed that the packaging and marketing of Greek yogurt is a bit more gender-neutral, more blues and pseudo-Parthenons, but I still wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of people who purchase and eat Greek yogurt were women.
But let's be real. Yogurt tastes good, is really nutritious, and it's completely ludricrous to really think that men wouldn't eat it because it's branded or perceived as a food for women. Right?
Am I totally off base in my perception of this gendered yogurt eating situation? What do you think? One of my Twitter friends said "REAL men eat yogurt," like men have to overcome perceptions of eating girly food to eat yogurt, or something like that.
We arrived safely in Arlington. Some good eating happened along the way, in between the Hot Tamales and Doritos and sunflower seeds that were consumed during driving hours. In New Orleans, we ate at an amazing Salvadorean restaurant with my friend Katherine and then had breakfast takeout (biggest banana pancake ever) from a cute little place on Magazine St. I know that everyone loses their shit over how awesome New Orleans is, but holy shit, was it awesome. We were only there for a night, but I didn't want to leave. I could totally live there, humidity be damned.
We also had delicious tuna sandwiches made by my aunt in Birmingham, grilled chicken made by my cousin in San Antonio, and terrific grits at this restaurant, Wild Flour Bakery and Cafe, just over the Tennessee/Virginia line. I tried Snow Cream ice cream in Sevierville, TN. We got stuck in a pizza parlor in Fairfield, VA (a town so small it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page?) during a downpour, but the pizza was pretty good.
There are at least 8 Thai restaurants within a mile of our apartment, so that's good. We've also seen some Peruvian and Salvadorean restaurants we're hoping to try once we settle in (and once I start getting paid). There's even a Mexican restaurant called El Paso Cafe, so that's kind of a weird coincidence. The grocery store here is Harris Teeter, which uses a strange font on its sign and literature and has an upper level (!!??), but we're fully stocked now, so things are looking up.
I made some chili the day after we got here. It's kind of my move-in tradition. You can see my recipe over at Food Lush.
Hoping to get back into regular posting (and recipes!) soon so check back! And thank you for reading.
Posting will probably be light next week as I'll be driving cross-country. We're heading from Las Cruces to Cibolo, TX then to New Orleans then to Birmingham then to somewhere in northern TN and then, finally, to Arlington, VA. If you've eaten anywhere good along that route, holler at me in the comments. Oh, and any tips for eating healthy on the road are appreciated, too.
-My Food Lush post this week, which SHOCKINGLY garnered no comments, is about how I discovered Macedonian food.
-One of my all-time favorite bloggers, Rebecca Woolf of Girl's Gone Child, is pregnant with twins. She and her mom, Wendy Woolf, have been collaborating for awhile on some awesome and healthy recipe posts. But now (and for the rest of her pregnancy) the weekly recipe posts are featuring vegetables that correspond to Babycenter's estimated size of the babies. This week Rebecca's twin girls were the size of butternut squash (squashes?), so Wendy made a couple of different things with butternut squash. Cute.
-Sommer Browning is editing the month of August at Everyday Genius.
-Apparently there's an online journal of poetry called Country Music? I should submit.
I'm getting ready to move from Las Cruces, NM (where I spent the past three years doing my MFA) to the VA suburbs of DC, so my boyfriend can get a PhD. Although I'm mildly excited by the prospect of living somewhere where I can eat all kinds of good ethnic food and Panera on the regular, I'm also pretty sad about all that I'm leaving behind here in the west. I could go on and on and on and on, as I love the HELL out of New Mexico and the desert and the life I've had here, the people, the laid-back lifestyle, the jagged Organ mountains, the smell just before it rains, the gigantic sky...but just so I don't work myself into a frenzy, I've decided to focus on strictly food-related things. Here's a by-no-means-comprehensive list about some of the eats I'm going to miss in Las Cruces and in New Mexico itself.
Whataburger- The best fast food burger I've had the pleasure of eating. The best hangover food that you can eat in the car on the way home because you're so damn hungry. I know they have these outside of NM, but the closest one to where I'm going to be living is in Richmond, VA.
Caliche's-A local brand of frozen custard, so good on a hot desert day. They have a drive-through. They make incredible cherry milkshakes. And their logo is a cactus wearing a baseball hat holding some frozen treats. What's not to like?
The Mennonite Bread Children- At the LC Farmer's Market, there are these Mennonite teenagers that sell bread. They have braces and they always wear button-down shirts and little caps on their heads, and they are heartbreakingly nice and their bread is so effing good. I don't eat much of the bread anymore, since I became largely glutarded (look for more on that in another post), but they also sell chia seeds, so I still get to bask in their sunny religious glory when I buy chia seeds. I'll miss the entire Las Cruces Farmer's Market, really.
Green Chile- I'm not really sure what to say about green chile. It's just...New Mexico. We're the only state with a state question, and that question is chile-related: "red or green?" I used to prefer red, but now I like green. Hatch green chile, the smell of chile roasting in the air in the fall, green chile peanut brittle, eggs wth green chile, green chile bagels and scones, the chile fields stretched out on the outskirts of town, ristras, chile-related decor, chile everything, chile and chile and chile and chile. I know I can get green chile where I'm going, but it's not, in no way possible, going to be the same. It'll be in a can or it'll be sent to me from some Good Samaritan friend who I'm going to have to beg, and I'll keep it in the freezer. And it just won't be the same green chile, not as green chile is meant to be eaten.
Burritos from Santa Fe Grill- If you thought burritos made by a guy with a full-face tattoo at a gas station would be anything other than absolutely incredible, you'd be wrong. Santa Fe Grill, of which there are several locations inside of Pic Quiks all over town, has over 50 different varieties of burritos, as well as sandwiches, burgers and other Mexican food. And the food is good. And they cater!
Burritos, in general: Yes, I know they have burritos in northern Virginia. But the particular culture of the Southwest means that burritos are everywhere: sold by a guy out of the back of his truck when the bar is letting out, at the farmer's market, at all community events, at convenience stores. I love this and I will miss this when my best burrito option is one from the Chipotle assembly line.
Habanero's and Alfredo- Habanero's is my favorite restaurant in Las Cruces. It has the best Mexican food of anywhere I've eaten in town, which is saying a lot for a city that's only 40 miles from Mexico and has countless Mexican restaurants. Spinach and artichoke enchiladas, amazing potato tacos, incredible chicken mole, and the famous welcome soup. They give you free (spicy, delicious) soup while you wait for your order to come up. Everything is fresh and made to order. Alfredo is the chef and proprietor and remembers me without fail, always asking if I'm going to order the chicken mole.
Pecans: Tons of pecans are grown in southern New Mexico. I live in Mesilla, a historic town that's kind of half for tourists and half for lifelong Mesillero farmers, and there are pecan orchards within a 2 block walk of my apartment. The pecans grown here are tasty, of course, but pecan farming is also a large part of the local economy and local history.
Local Salsa: Obviously, a lot of salsa is produced locally in NM. Even Albertson's and Wal-Mart carry these local brands, like Sadie's, 505, and my personal favorite, El Pinto. I've loved trying all of the different brands and finally getting away from the Pace Picante and Tostito salsas I ate while growing up in Maryland. I'm sure I can buy good jarred salsa in the land of Whole Foods, where I'm headed, but there's just something about eating real Southwestern salsa in the Southwest.
It occurs to me that the majority of things on this list are related to Mexican food, which seems about right. The abundance of amazing Mexican food (which is really New Mexican food) everywhere in this region has been one of my favorite things about living here, and will be one I'll undoubtedly miss the most. Other than, you know, every single other thing about living here.
Honorable mentions: Thai Kitchen on Highway 70 and in Mesilla, SB's Late-Night Lunchbox, Andele's, Double Eagle (the fanciest restaurant in town that's also haunted). The coffee shops Spirit Winds and Milagro , where much of my MFA thesis was written. Out of the way places: Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, NM , Adobe Deli outside of Deming, Blue Moon Bar outside of Hatch, the famous Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque.
This is my favorite Greek yogurt. I like any and all Greek yogurt, but this particular flavor by this particular company is the ultimate, at least for me. It doesn't have as much protein per serving as Fage or Chobani, but I don't care because I think that The Greek Gods Honey-Flavored Traditional Greek Yogurt is the best damn yogurt ever.
Don't eat this yogurt if you don't have a sweet tooth, because it's really really really sweet. It's Greek yogurt so it's still relatively healthy, but this tastes way more like ice cream than you expect it to. But maybe that's why I like it so much; it kind of feels like having dessert. I eat it with sliced bananas, dried berries and sometimes granola and it's so delicious. It tastes like honey. You should eat it.