it's okay to play with your food

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Keeping It Real

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Ruth Reichl. I greatly appreciate my weekly email newsletter from Gourmet Magazine: Gourmet Weekly. Editor Reichl shares food happenings like seasonal produce, fun condiments and innovative cooking ware. Much of it however is grossly expensive.

For instance, this week's subject line is Luxuries to Help Beat Winter Blues. How this is any different from the usual content is beyond me, but I appreciate that the exorbitance is out in the open. It features a black truffle salt ($17.99 for a 3.5 oz. jar) and a $115 felted scarf in the style of a slab of bacon. I love knowing that these things exist. I don't love knowing I can't afford them without committing to a steady diet of peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

That said, little things in my life have been making the air less bitter, the wind less brutal. Here is my list of more modest, but still potent, luxuries to stave off those winter blues...

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is my guilty pleasure food. With its Slim Jim associations, I usually hide my predilection for it. Though, to my credit, I only like the good stuff. And today I stumbled upon the mother lode: homemade beef jerky at the Dutch Market Place in Reading Terminal - not to be confused with the Dutch Eating Place. It was delicious: sweet, salty, and spicy. ($4.20ish for 1/4 lb.)

French 75s

The French 75 is my favorite cocktail. I discovered it at Southwark, a South Philly establishment that specializes in retro drinks. Made up of gin, champagne and lemon juice with a flirty garnish of lemon peel, it is summer time in a glass. ($9.00)

Blood Oranges

'Tis the season for citrus and blood oranges are flush with color and flavor. And they're the slightly sinister members of the fruit family. (Price varies)

Free Downloads from eMusic

Signing up for a free trial at eMusic gives you access to 25 downloads of great independent music. Then you can join for a monthly membership and keep downloading. Not about food, but a daily dose of good music can be just as nourishing. (Two week trial, free; see for membership rates)

This weekend: a Peruvian inspired menu of greens, malanga and spicy roasted chicken

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