moving

I’m moving, taking a wider scope, and packing my bags for thethingwithtomatoes.wordpress.com  Someday, I will migrate over the archives.

food for thought: 10.09.09

It’s been quite the week:

This actually made me feel good, as I read it while eating a delicous burger from Garden Path Farms, the Amish meat guys at the H Street Freshfarm Market. [NY Times]

Ben Ali passed. [14th and You, DCist, Serious Easts, slashfood, Washington Post Obits]  On a side note, yes, the Washington Post has an obit twitter feed, which seems a little bizarre/morbid.

Gourmet is dead.  But you can help save it here.  Also, follow Ruth Reichl on Twitter.  [NY Times]

Christpher Kimball’s editorial provoked a lot of responses from the interwebs, among them Ed Levine of Serious Eats.  You can find Kimball’s rebuttal to the blowback on his blog.  [NY Times, Serious Eats, Christopher Kimball blog]

 

Also, happy birthday to Guillermo del Toro, director of one of my favorite movies, Pan’s Labyrinth.

current rotation

Back at the last Food Blogger happy hour, I was asked for my go-to list of restaurants.  Here is my current rotation, in no particular order:

1. Red Rocks/Pete’s Apizza: Close to home, great pizza.  I prefer Pete’s if I’m not in the mood to sit and eat, Red Rocks if I am.

2. Commonwealth: two words- Welsh rarebit.  Also, I once had an arguement with a bartender here over what constitutes a snakebite.  Made me like him more.

3. PS 7′s: Call me a homer, as I’m lucky enough to count Gina and Frank as friends, but I love this place.  The drinks are spectacular, I always have a good time, and Chef Peter Smith consistently turns out amazing food.  Oxtail tots and cheesecake lollipops FTW!  And did I mention the bacon biscuts?  And the pickled…everything?  Ooh, and the burger in the lounge…

4. Matchbox: I will never tire of their cinnamon rolls, spicy meatball pizza, and pear salad.  The day the location on the Hill opened, I cried a little, as I used to live around the corner from it.

5. Marvin: Dinner is meh, but it’s always a good place for a couple of beers, and I will cut you over the biscuit with sausage gravy for brunch.  DO NOT go on the weekends however, it’s overrun by the Local 16 crowd.

 

Of course, more often then not, I like to eat at my house.  But you’ll have to work to get an invite to that table.  Or I have to meet you mattress shopping at Macy’s.

White House market opens today

I really don’t understand all the kerfluffle over the White House FRESHFARM Market that opens today.

Is there another one, at the same time, in Penn Quarter? Yes, and I HIGHLY doubt this one is poaching customers, especially since the two markets have the same vendors. Also, there are a ton of chefs in the Penn Quarter area that use that market, and somehow I don’t think they’ll be coming to the new market (with the same vendors) instead of the one directly outside their kitchens. This also speaks to the density of downtown. For cripes sake, I think we can support 2 markets in downtown DC.

Is Vermont Avenue a major artery? Uh, maybe, but not the part that’s going to be closed. Yes, there are always cars on it, but they are relatively scant, compared to the clusterf*ck that is 14th Street. Or 16th Street. Or K Street. See, we have plenty of clogged streets!  That part of Vermont Ave is not one of them.

I tend to universally support more farmers markets. Would it have been better to open one across the river? Probably. Does that change the fact that this is still a good thing? No.

Over at the Atlantic Food Channel, they note some concerns originally voiced in Mother Jones (emphasis mine):

Mother Jones offered more tempered enthusiasm, saying “this confirms my suspicions that President Obama is pretty damn cool”–but also offering four pieces of advice for how to make sure the market becomes “a very cool project”: give out free samples; feature hot meal options; make the produce (as) cheap (as possible); play music.

Working at the various markets, I’ve come to realize there are some vendors that set different price points based on the clientele.  I can’t blame them for this.  I think the solution lies in not making the produce as cheap as possible (if you don’t think growing food is hard work, then you don’t deserve to eat), but in making it affordable- and those are NOT the same thing.  There’s a two fold solution to this, and it’s already in place in many of the other FRESHFARM markets. 

The first part is making sure all the vendors take WIC/Senior FMNP and/or EBT.  Not allvendors at all markets take WIC and EBT, and even if they do, it’s not always in the “friendliest” manner.  I understand that there is some red tape involved, but if you’re really trying to make things affordable, isn’t it worth it?  Also, could we please try not to be rude or snide to anyone paying with WIC or EBT- that goes for vendors, shoppers, everyone.

The second part is a pilot program already in place at the H Street and Silver Spring markets (UPDATE: AND it is my understanding it’s already in place for the White House market today).  These markets got a grant (and private funds) to match any WIC/Senior FMNP coupons, effectively doubling the money.  Furthermore, these coupons can be spent on anything- eggs, honey, meat, cheese, flowers (never underestimate a well placed bunch of flowers to lift the spirits), while the FMNP programs are only for produce.

 

Bottom Line: More markets=more fresh, good local food.  And that’s never a bad thing.  However, until we address the root causes of why good food is so expensive (farm bill, subsidies, blah blah blah), the best way make the good stuff affordable is by working through programs like this.  And I’d like to commend FRESHFARM for their attempts.  So quit yappin’ and go buy something at your local market.  I saw pumpkins yesterday.

 

UPDATE #2: Forgot to mention that Capital Spice has the list of all the producers.

Next Food Blogger Happy Hour: October 7

photo

I’ll be there, mostly because this one is closer to home.

Reading list 9.9.09

Some things I’ve come across…

Apartment Therapy has a round-up of the Nation‘s food issue [the Kitchn]

South Carolina is using oyster shells…to make more oysters. [Slashfood]

I will now be the 34,987th person to talk about the White House farmers Market. [Atlantic Food Channel]

Apparently ground flax seeds make a good substitute for eggs. [The Kitchn]

If you’re not reading Barry Estabrook’s “Politics of the Plate” on Gourmet.com, you should be.   This post covers fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico. [Gourmet]

Remember, you can always find me on Twitter and on Tumblr.

where i’ve been

Hi Kids-

Will continue to post longer pieces here, but for a blow-by-blow of where I’m eating and what I’m doing, follow me on Twitter, or Tumblr

 

kiss kiss