Miss Ginsu: About/Bio


FoodLink Roundup: 10.13.08

Cupcake's Link Roundup
Last week, Cupcake was shopping and dining at the Brooklyn Flea. Where in the world is Cupcake this week? Post your guess in the comments.

Open Letter to the Next Farmer in Chief
Common-Sense Food Activist Michael Pollan Strikes Back!

Brazilian-inspired soup
A slightly lighter take on that classic Brazilian takedown: feijouada.

Bread Without Yeast
Just add flour, water and patience.

Change Your Pumpkin, Change Your World
Is food political? You bet your sweet squash it is...

New food links — and another postcard from Cupcake — every Monday morning on missginsu.com

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Dinner with Sarah. Palin, that is.

Watching the debates tonight? Why not really get to know the candidate and dine Sarah Palin style?

My crafty contact M. in the Bay area used Google's 10th anniversary index yesterday to check around for what the potential Republican veep was cooking up a decade ago.

Turns out, she was glazing salmon and submitting her recipes to AlaskaSeafood.org.

glazed mahi

Recipe by Alaska Fisherman Sarah Palin
Wasilla, Alaska

* 1 can (12 oz.) tomato sauce
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup molases
* 3 tbsp. ketchup
* 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
* 2 tbsp. dried minced onion
* 1 tbsp. Worcestershure sauce
* 1 tbsp. mustard
* 1 tbsp. dried bell pepper dices
* 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon and nutmeg
* 4 to 6 Alaska salmon fillets or steaks (4 to 6 oz. each)

Blend all ingredients, except seafood, in bowl; let set 10 to 15 minutes. Dip seafood into sauce, then place on hot oiled grill, not directly over heat source (coals or gas). Cover and vent. Cook about 6 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness, brushing with extra sauce, if desired. Do not overcook or burn edges.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Also great with Alaska halibut or cod!

Has anyone tried this one?

Maybe a person could pair it with the neglected Palin Syrah?

It's a bummer we don't have a Biden recipe to go with it. Maybe a Biden cocktail is in order. Or Biden biscotti. Or maybe Biden brownies for dessert.


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Nibbling at the Front Line

When I returned to the Upper Midwest last summer for a visit, I couldn't help but notice a change in the fields. The vast oceans of wheat and the fields of sunflowers were gone. In their place grew soybeans and corn.

And according to the National Corn Growers Association, spring planting trends will continue to favor corn.

So what's wrong with lots of corn? For one thing, it means that other crops become more scarce as corn prices go up and farmers turn to the big corn payoff.

Films like King Corn have attacked the environmental and dietary risks of our national corn obsession.

And on the topic of corn-fed beef, food writer Michael Pollan says: "The industry can always make the popular arguments, because they certainly make things cheaper. But is it really cheap? Think of the taxpayer, who's actually subsidizing every one of those burgers. All that corn requires an immense amount of fossil fuel. Corn requires more fertilizers and pesticides than other crops. It takes the equivalent of half a gallon of gasoline to grow every bushel of corn. [Almost] everything we do to protect our oil supply ... is a cost of that burger."

A very active athlete, J consumes New York City like Galactus chews through planets. Thus, he's bound to notice the effects of agricultural policy on food costs (and small-scale businesses) a little more quickly than I would.

Herein J reports on how things are going for those on the front lines: old-school vendors on the Lower East Side.

A moist, tasty muffin (for $2.25) from the Tra La La Juice Bar.
1. There's a fantastic dumpling shop in my neighborhood that has sold their pork & chive fried dumplings at 5/$1 for the last ten years. When I went in last night, the price had gone to 4/$1. I mentioned the change to the owner. She said, "flour tripled, $18/bag to $60/bag, and my other ingredients are up too."

2. A guy in the local covered market makes muffins. My favorite one has been $1.75 since I moved to NYC. It went to $2.25 a couple weeks ago. Explanation: "All of my ingredients have gotten more expensive. Using corn for fuel was the stupidest thing anybody could have come up with, 'cause now the price of corn — the root of all US agriculture — has shot up, taking everything else with it." He went on a tirade, talking about how biofuel has to be shipped in trucks that burn more biofuel rather via pipelines, &c.

I just stood there, listening and chewing my $2.25 muffin.

Just a little something to chew on the next time you see high-fructose corn syrup in your sports drink or corn ethanol at the gas pump.

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Fig Quote Friday: Platina


"Some figs are called Chian from a place, taking the name from a city in Syria. I think the African fig is so-called from that province. The anxious Cato brought its fruit into the Senate when he was seeking a third Punic War and badgering the senators, especially those who did not think it at all the stuff of Roman virtue that Carthage be destroyed. As soon as he said, 'How long do you think this fruit has been picked from its own tree? Since all agree that it is fresh, know that it was picked not three days ago at Carthage, so close is our enemy,' at once the Third Punic War was launched, by which Carthage, once the rival of the Roman Empire, was destroyed."

— Platina from On Right Pleasure and Good Health, 1465

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