January 18, 2008

"Virtue on a Plate"

Umm…remember those brownies from yesterday? Well, they’ll gone. And I don’t think anybody else had any. Pitiful.

So in a guilty sugar haze, I put together my “Virtue on a Plate”…some baby greens, edamame, carrots, pine nuts (that’s good fat – so don’t look at me that way!), buffalo mozzarella (that's good fat too - good for shiny hair!) and some negative calorie Italian dressing. So, there I sat, eating my salad, looking like a nun during Lent. Of course, the chocolate smears up and down my shirt didn’t add to the picture of virtue, but I tried.

Speaking of salads, I am reading the most fascinating, terrific book on the history of “foodie-ism” in America. “The United States of Arugula – The Sun-Dried, Cold-Pressed, Dark-Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution” by David Kamp.

I recommend this excellent book if you are interested in the personalities, politics, and processes behind our schizophrenic food culture. The book is not only educational, but very entertaining (although there are a few things I’d rather NOT know about Craig Clairborne).

What I found most interesting (so far, I’m only about half way through) is the chapter about Chez Panisse, the legendary restaurant in Berkeley. And how Alice Waters and her crew completely altered the course of how restaurants are conceived and run. It’s a riotous, almost unbelievably story of how they pulled it off. And how the restaurant continues to be such a huge influence in the food world. It's kinda magical.

I’m currently on the chapter about the Northern California revolution toward sustainability, growing and eating locally, and how it dramatically changed our notions about eating. The chapter on Bill Ninam and his evolution toward organically grown beef will change your ideas forever about what constitutes a good steak.

Great book. I think I need to get a goat, some French beet seeds and an olive press.

And some organic, free-trade chocolate for brownies.


Jenny said...

Too funny Catherine,
Good way to redeem yourself for the brownies. I try to do that occasionally so I don't feel so guilty!

That salad looks and sounds tasty! Have a great weekend!

Catherine said...

Yeah, I try, but then I go bake a cake to get that nonsense out of my head! Have a terrific wknd!!!

Emiline said...

I like the salad. Especially the cheeses.

Sounds like a good book-
Have you ever been to Chez Panisse?

Creative Commons License
"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.