Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Notes from the Pantry: and now the fun begins

Orders of business: I am no longer unemployed.

Yes, three days ago, I started work at a science teacher at a Montessori middle school. I can already tell it will be awesome; however, I (a) am not a trained educator, (b) am new to the Montessori method, and (c) dip from the bio/psychology end of the geek spectrum. Teaching physics and earth sciences to "the wolves" will be quite an adventure. But the situation calls for optimism: the other staff seem rad, and the students I've met are a hoot. OH, and the school has COOKING lessons. :-D

Moreover, I just got a check in the mail, which means that the Town Crier published another article of mine in their paper. Hurrah! It's a blurb on food politics books I've been reading: http://www.latc.com/2007/07/11/special_sect/special_sect4.print.html
Elsewhere in this issue, Eliza includes an account on the chicken slaughter workshop we attended in the spring.

Last week, I ventured to the Ferry Building to help out with their weekly cooking demo. The chef made an amazing mixed berry pie (tayberries + strawberries from the farm I'm visiting Sunday), as well as a fantastic salad (strawberries, mint, tarragon, romaine, pistachio, and lemon-shallot vinaigrette). The salad surprised me -- I'm don't usually fall for mixed herb salads, but both the mint and tarragon added interesting complexities. I made this salad three days in a row (minus pistachio - I impose a five-ingredient limit on greens). I'm excited to cook with them again -- their market chef, Sarah, mentioned that they have a number of talented chefs come through for demos, and it's a good way to pick up neat kitchen tricks for free!

Lastly, I've been hitting the espresso. Hard. I'm trying to find a bean source I like more than Peets, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that, as much as I want to support the "small local roaster," Peets Garuda blend consistently rocks my world. All my love to Barefoot's incredible artisanry, but their love of fruity hightones doesn't suit my lowtone needs. I might give Blue Bottle's beans a whirl, or have another shot at roasting.

I'm not wine-snobby enough to be able to dole out the fancy adjectives, but I have noticed that with wine, beer, and coffee, words like "soft," "earthy," and "complex" tag the things I like and "fruity," "jammy," and "bright" tag the things I don't. It's fun to get to know one's palate. :) I wish there were regular public food tastings, or a food and scent museum, or gustatory health clinic, as though cultivating a sense of one's olfactory sense was as essential to wellbeing as hearing and sight. But hey, I'm a hedonist. I believe in backrubs, lavender, and full-fat dairy. God bless America.

Maybe this can be a political platform.

Employed-ly yours,

M

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