Friday, June 28, 2013

Odds and Ends, Part 1

I’m also not sure how one concentrates ham, but apparently it’s very pleasing to the pig.

One of the most archetypal double-edged swords of the information age is the ubiquitous cell phone camera[i]. It’s a fantastic tool for all those “I wish I had a camera” times, but the darker side is that utterly navel-gazing, life documentation obsession we’ve all developed[ii]. As much as I may mock the “Hey look at what I had for dinner” Instagram crowd, I know I am firmly and hypocritically entrenched in the shallower end of their pool. I often find myself taking a picture knowing in the back of my head that it’s going straight-to-blog[iii]. When in Rome….

Not every picture is part of a theme or can be easily grouped, so I’m usually left with a bunch of orphan shots or small groupings that range from the scenic to the surreal. This first of three posts is focusing on food. Here in no particular order are some bits of the last year or so:

I swear it's
One of my friends grows peppers of all sorts. This is his seedling grow setup. It’s pretty intense.

Massive Mole
Torta Blue cheese-cilantro
For several years we have done a 5k in Houston with some friends. The primary reason for doing so is an annual trip to Mexico’s Deli, for massive Tortas and amazing blue cheese-cilantro soup. NO calories are lost that day.

no Putting on el
The Hispanic foods section at the local Kroger has a wide section of not-quite brand name clones.

I’d never eaten cactus before. It’s actually pretty tasty.

Not really
The “e” makes all the difference. And if this isn’t meat or soy….what is it>

No, Stress b
Stress be complex? No, Stress be Simple. Women be complex.

Ahh the British food aisle. The only place where “spotted dick” and “treacle” are not a cause for medical alarm.

When we were kids, there was just Captain Crunch. Then they got crunch berries mixed in. Now it’s just berries? Damn it, kids don’t know how easy they have it. You had to earn those early crunch berries with the severe mouth lacerations of the actual cereal.

One of the best things to happen to chocolate next to one of the worst.

Why would I want a taste of trash?

This is a bar of chocolate that comes with a strip of licorice on it. I bought this chocolate in Iceland in 2011. It got lost in my bag, and I just found it a month ago, two years later. When I opened it, it was still 100% fresh. I blame the unholy alliance of the chocolate and licorice.

A harvest from our meager garden

2013-05-04 19.41.19
Fixing for homemade Pho, some of which are homegrown

[i] Most people discovered this in the 90s. I finally got a “modern” cell phone in 2010. Amazingly enough, I don’t cry over all the plates of food I haven’t photographed in restaurants in the mean time.
[ii] The combination of cell cameras and social media is a positive feedback loop. At some point we’ll simply upload 24 hours of straight camera footage each day.
[iii] Though it does lead into a larger question about this camera-rich era. An exponentially larger base of photographers are taking an exponentially larger number of pictures, but only a fraction of them are getting printed like traditional film pictures. I remember looking through my parents film albums, and my own, but how often do we go back and look at our everyday pictures on hard drives?  It feels like we’re taking them more, but enjoying them less. As if the taking is the point, and the result is secondary. At least with the blog, as navel-gazing as it is, they are being put toward a purpose other than contributing to the massive digital “tail” we all accumulate and drag through our lives these days. 


Vincent Verweij said...

Quorn is made with a fungus protein. It's actually pretty good. Try the wings one day. Closest thing to chicken Vegetarians have gotten so far.

Justin Bower said...

Well that solves that mystery at least. That's pretty innovative...betting it's a 100% less water intensive than growing turkey or soy, so I'm all for it. I am a fan of fungus, generally speaking.

Joel said...

I'm very confused about the trash tasting. Did you ask anyone about it?

Justin Bower said...

I think it's just poor's over a counter of prepare foods where you take a number to be served...I think the trash is where you put the spoons and the numbers (the "now serving number x" slips of paper).

It's just an odd juxtaposition.