Weekend reads: Defending frozen veggies, out of fashion well-done meat, and more
Part of being an advocate for a cause is to constantly push for more change. It means never being quite satisfied with victories, no matter how small or large. But it's also important to put things into perspective every once in a while.Recently, Change.org editor Sarah Parsons criticized a White House video in which a chef suggests that buying frozen, non-organic vegetables from big box stores is an acceptable way to purchase affordable, healthy ingredients. "Frozen veggies, and big box stores, and non-organics — oh my!" she wrote. Certainly the antithesis of any sustainable foodie's mantra, myself included.
But as I thought more about it, I tried to put things into perspective.
With national Canning Across America events, a stack of new preserving cookbooks, and runs on jars, canning can no longer be described as a lost art. Chances are, you’ve made a batch of jam in the past year or so.
I prefer my meat cooked through, gray, no trace of pink. Shoe leather? To me that signifies "food safety." Mine is the hockey-puck, the charcoal, the hunk of tuna that is still on the grill. Gourmands consider well-done timid, even cranky. It's the gradation of people who don't really like to eat. So at a restaurant, I wouldn't humiliate myself by ordering seared tuna, well-done; I just wouldn't order the seared tuna at all. Nor would I choose hanger steak or even a really thick fish like halibut that might come out still glistening. My pride is not the only issue: If the chef thinks the dish should be rare, far be it from me to suggest an edit. Also, I've read enough kitchen dirt—waiter blogs, Anthony Bourdain memoirs—to know that diners who ask for well-done are answered with filets that have been loogied on. So I gravitate toward entrees that will fall off the bone: short ribs, osso buco, pork shoulder. That these dishes are substantial proves my culinary cred—shows that I'm not the skinny girl who nibbles and picks.
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