Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favorite Place On Earth

The Bakery.

I just love them. All bakeries. Every single one.

I love the smells, the sounds, the energy. I love how each loaf of bread, each roll, each cake or cookie is like a little piece of artwork... art that someone slaves over, wakes up at 4 a.m. for, unconditionally devotes their life to... and which will only last for a day.

No one opens a bakery to become wealthy. It is a profitless artform. Good bakers believe in artisanal food and quality product. They know someone else is going to make it cheaper, faster, more white and spoungy and on-sale in the grocery isle, but they don't care because they believe in their craft and they know that if there is still a market for truly great bread, even if it is small and getting smaller, then they must continue to create.

I don't envy the small-scale baker. It must be a hard life slaving for pennies when even learned palettes choose mass produced crap with enriched flour, preservatives, and ingredients I can't pronounce, all mixed, kneaded, baked, packaged and boxed without any real human contact. If you've ever baked at home you know how intimate and how alive baking and bread can be. A true labor of love.

Sigh... Such an old-timey profession. I just hope we as consumers support our local bakers now before there just aren't any left... cause let's face it, there really isn't a more perfect food then a truly exceptional loaf of bread.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Philadelphia Just Got Better

Did you know that Philly Pretzel Factory will customize pretzels for you? Amazing new discovery.

For the next party I host for out of town-ers I'd like to have a variety of Philadelphia celebrities. I'm thinking pretzel heads of Joey Lawrence, Bob Saget, Bill Cosby, Patti LaBelle, Richard Gere and Phyllis Hyman (I don't know who she is but apparently she's famous, from Philadelphia and, as a side note, has a very unfortunate name). I wonder if they'd honor this request.


Get Your Rocks Off

Best website ever:


Vegetable Du Jour

My most loved vegetable of the moment: Belgian Endive... Mmm... raw, grilled, in salads, stuffed, used as a spoon... it's so bitter and crisp and good.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Could Anything Be Hotter Then Cupcakes Right Now?

It is kind of annoying, but come on, who doesn't love cupcakes?



... They're just so... likable.

There are so many places now selling cupcakes in the city that it would be hard to mention them all... but the other day I was in Collingswood, NJ and I saw this...

Mention-worthy... ingenious in fact.


You Can't Get Squat For 40 Cents

... Unless of course you go to the Asian Market.

You may or may not know of my deep and unconditional affection for Asian markets. In today's "Neatest Thing About the Asian Market" segment we explore Tofu.

In my local market there are raging tubs of tofu. Big blocks of it float around in their gloriously cloudy juices. They sell for 40 cents a block.

You heard me... Tofu = Four-Tee cents. Asian markets are good.

First Oriental Market Inc. - 1111 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-4850 (215) 271-2528

Body of Christ For Your Next Dinner Party?

Eucharist Bread

4 cups whole-wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup honey or molasses (or a ¼ cup of each)
½ cup oil
¾ cup milk
¾ warm water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, mix together honey (and molasses), oil, milk and warm water. Add the dry ingredients one cup at a time to avoid lumping. Knead for 1 minute using more whole-wheat flour until the dough is not sticky. Roll into ½ inch thickness and cut into 2"-5" circles (depending on your need). Score the top of one side in quarters (don't be too shy because the lightly scored disappears in the baking process).

Bake for 5 minutes on each side. Cool completely before storing in plastic bags. It is better to be slightly under-cooked instead of over-cooked because it will not crumble for those who intinct.


Like a Black Hole, or Kids with Cancer... It Just Makes No Sense

Does anyone know about this magical Walden Farms? I was in Rittenhouse Market the other day and there I happened to notice three flavors of: Walden Farms Calorie Free Veggie Dips in 'Bacon', 'French Onion', and 'Ranch'.

On the label they claim to be calorie free, fat free, carb free, gluten free, AND sugar free... AND (not that they're yogic or anything) the ingredient list isn't going to give you heart palpitations or require a team of researchers to decipher.

So it's true? There really is a God? Miracles really do happen?

I bet not. I haven't tasted them yet, so I shouldn't go getting all judgemental, but I'd be downright shocked. Something is telling me they probably taste like a cardboard monkey's asshole... but I could be wrong, in which case I'm going to start playing the lottery and trusting my fellow man because, by golly, good things really do happen.

P.S. If your curious check out their website. They appear to have a whole line of equally as unimaginably calorie-free products, including chocolate syrup and "whipped peanut spread"... Waaaa happpaaannn????


Diet Food