Tag: random foodie stuff

Read This Now: Introducing the Weekly Link Roundup

After spending an unprecendented 3+ weeks in each other’s company, Irene Bean and I have come up with some exciting plans and goals to make this FamilyStyles blog a more delicious, useful, educational, entertaining and altogether excellent place to spend your time.

I’m in the process of migrating the blog over to another server, so apologies for any missing pages, weird links, and other bad things caused by my lack of coding skills and demonstrable inability to follow step-by-step instructions.

More importantly – we want to start a weekly link roundup of good articles, essays, ideas, and generally interesting and thought-provoking links from around the interwebs. Because other people are smart and do good work and write excellent pieces and we think they’re worth reading.

Thus. What I read this morning in bed and yesterday when I should have been working:

1. Food writer Corby Kummer in The Atlantic on the value of school gardens, rebutting another Atlantic writer who decries schoolyeard gardens as cruel, elitist, oppressive, and plain out wrong -  without bothering to speak to any educators, parents, children, or community members who have experienced such a program. Corby, on the other hand, actually makes the effort.

2. A GOOD article on aquaponics and making urban farming sustainable. You know how we love Will Allen of Growing Power and his vertically integrated closed loop sustainable urban farm programs. This article talks more about urban agriculture and introduced me to a fantastic San Francisco-based company called Cityscape Farms seeking to develop local food economies and transform the urban landscape by creating urban greenhouses.  I truly think that it’s these types of thoughtful, sustainable yet also business-minded approaches that are going to change America’s food system for the better.

3. Another GOOD article – yeah, I like them – on how Better Meat Requires Better Butchers. So true and so needs to be said. We pay so much attention to the bucolic ideal of small farmers with excellent animal husbandry over factory-farmed meat. But if the pasture-grazed cow is still sent to an industrial slaughterhouse because there are no small licensed facilities available, we’re very likely still losing out in terms of food safety, animal welfare transportation efficiencies, environmental pollutants, and numerous other problems associated with these industrial systems. So we need more butchers. Better for the animals, better for the eaters, better for the planet.

Plus, butchers are badass. Looks like it’s time for a new hobby. Way to begin the fight, Irene.

4. Lastly, a final GOOD article (I know it’s been 3 articles from them, it’s just…they’re really…don’t make me say it…you get the picture…) on the Slow Money Alliance, which is trying to be the Slow Food of the financial world by promoting value-added investment into local and regional farming enterprises. Can you imagine the impact it would have if more and more people directed their money towards small business rather than big business, companies that prioritize local production over international destruction, people rather than profits? (Note, this isn’t just some money-draining, feel-good hippie operation – the goal is to provide a return on your investment while supporting these ideals).  I’m interested to research this further myself.

UPDATE: Another interesting article called Who Will Grow Your Food? Part 1: The Coming Demographic Crisis in Agriculture by the author of A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil.  What will happen as farmers grow old or can’t afford to keep their land if no one is being trained to replace them? How will this affect our food system and the way we eat?

So. Hope you enjoy the articles. I sometimes find it overwhelming  trying to ingest just a few valuable drops of the tidal wave of information crashing towards me every day online and it’s nice to have things carefully picked out for you every once in a while. These pieces make me start copying and pasting links into various emails with the heading ‘YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ARTICLE NOW’, so this is just my lazy way of putting them all in one place. We’re going to try to do this weekly at least, so keep your eyes open…

Chocolate Cars, Pacman Pizza, and the Cutest Bento Boxes on the Planet.

I’ve put together a photo gallery called Play With Your Food for Wired UK! It features my favorite examples of geek gastronomy like a seven-patty-stack-of-heart-attack Whopper in honor of Windows 7, the most adorable Super Smash Brothers bento box, and an absolutely amazing stop-motion video at the end. It will BLOW. YOUR.MIND. You’ll have to go to the site to watch it, but sneak preview screenshot here:

Pizza eat ghost. Me eat pizza. Want pizza now…

Ok, while I go eat pizza, you go check out the gallery and leave a comment because you luuurrrve me and want Wired to keep me around. Mmm. Pizza.

gay meat, sexytime, ultimate jelly, and the wobble

i woke up this morning to two delightful emails from friends with links to new york times food articles.

my wonderful and equally food obsessed friend olivia sent me this piece on goat meat.  any nytimes article that references borat, bra-biting, satanic disney characters, and goat as aphrodisiac gets two thumbs and an inflatable goat leg up from me. henry alford, you are f*cking funny. below, a simultaneously dopey and satanic jungle lamb:


dude, you may look ridiculous, but you make dope ass west indian curry wrapped in roti. mmmm.

from nadja, my mimosa fairy godmother of dolores park, this awesome article on insanely humungous, detailed, large-scale, architecturally inspired jello molds made by these two jolly looking british guys:


how could hanging with those dudes not be immense amounts of fun? jelly boys, i’m heading to london in two weeks, and i will make you my friends.  i will erect castle cakes next to your gelatin airports and steeples and we shall be the gods  of our edible world.


all photos thanks to the nytimes

speaking of cheese wheels… (huh?!)

Mei’s photo of those beautiful wheels of cheese reminds me of something I saw in passing the other day: an episode of the Amazing Race, taking place in Switzerland, with a task that involves carrying super heavy cheese wheels down a really steep hill.

In other words, cheese+steepness+Switzerland+little wooden carrying devices= yes.

Also, there is an amazing Asian-American brother-sister lawyer duo. Yes, they both went to Harvard Law. Yes, they are both gorgeous. Yes, they are Asian American. Yes, they kick the ass off this challenge. Yes, they are super sweet, and even fight rather nicely, as far as we can tell. Yes, Mei and I are the next reality tv show ass-kicking Asian sibling team. Glad you asked.

The goods:


hamburger, hamburger, DONUTS.

this is amazing. toy food, by nick cicierega, via serious eats.


more stop-motion and fresh pasta!

i’ve mentioned my awe of stop-motion videos before in reference to a beautiful cupcake video by kirsten lepore. turns out i have a friend who makes stop-motion movies! that’s like finding out a friend can recite the first thousand digits of pi or teleport or something equally impressive. here is emma’s wonderful movie. looks like pretty shells love fresh pasta as much as i do.


fryolation nation

i’m in dallas for the week! in crappy news, i’m in dallas for the week. on the bright side, they have deep fried pickles! friedpickles

speaking of the wonder of fried food, my friend jess just introduced me to an awesome site called this is why you’re fat. my personal favorite at the moment is the french fry encased hot dog on a stick, although you can click the link above to see some more awe- and vomit-inducing photos.


(via urlesque)

sweet dreams – a cupcake's story

irene, you’re going to love this. the following video by kristen lepore via serious eats is an absolutely incredible stop-motion movie about a lonely cupcake who leaves behind his frosted sugar world for a paradise of leafy vegetables and falls in love with a butternut squash.  i’m impressed by stop-motion animation no matter what (it’s one of those phenomena that i will always appreciate but never really understand how it works, sort of like airplanes), but i love her creations of icecream cone trees and kale and bok choy forests and sugar cube buildings. it’s also an allegory for returning to the natural world and the fallibility of artificially man-made (or cupcake-made) creations, but most importantly, it features (gasp!) inter-food group sex. i never thought it would make me feel awkward to see a cupcake get naked, but the emotion expressed by her food creatures will just slay you, for reals.


i love san francisco

for many many reasons and i will be very sad to leave. reason #1 right now? bacon camp, march 21st. fuck yeah.

i've got wood for your sheep.

irene! you’re going to flip. apparently there are other people out there also obsessed with food and settlers of catan, and multiple people have created insane settlers-inspired food items. like this jaw-droppingly amazing cupcakes of catan from quintanaroo’s flickr page (sorry, i don’t really know blog crediting etiquette yet, my apologies if this isn’t how it’s done. however, since no one is likely to read this except me and irene, i don’t think it really matters).

cupcakesofcatanpeople have also made pizza of catan and the oh-so-impressive gingerbread of catan, which are all shown on serious eats here. bean, looks like we’ve found our next cooking project… oooh! edible bananagrams!!!