29 August 2003

food porn

today i visited the Clements Library at the University of Michigan to meet with Jan Longone, the curator of the Culinary History Collection there. if ever there was academic food porn, its this. the collection houses historic cookbooks, menues, pamphlets, posters, advertisements, etc. i'm completely smitten. i'm hoping to do some work with the collection while i'm at school. cataloguing or processing or something. i don't even care. just the opportunity to work with those materials makes me feel all tingly inside. there is so much that you can do with the collection...so many histories ready to be researched. and jan longone is absolutely fabulous. a shortish, rather rotund older woman with a new york accent and an absolute passion for her work. i don't know the word for the female version of avuncular, but she is it. and she has a personal culinary history collection that is ten times the size of the clements collection (and soon to be donated to the library in its entirety!). she dragged me all over the library, through the stacks to show me the monographs, to the reading room to show me what they're working on, into her office to show me the website and cataloguing work. it was hard to not drool on the materials in the collection.

as for food, ann arbor has, thus far, failed to present anything particularly blog-worthy except for mediocre bear at leopolds, the organic brewhouse. its not their fault, necessarily, and sometimes the beer turns out really well. just not this batch. tonight i'm going on a "pub crawl" with the ALA (that would be the American Library Association) student chapter which should be kickin'. there's nothing quite like a bunch of librarians and librarians-in-training stumbling around boozing it up. yee haw!

18 August 2003

a cat after my own heart

after years stuck in a dinky little apartment in the city, my cat has made the big move out to the suburbs to live with my parents for a year while i'm living in my no-pets apartment in michigan. so, now that he's somewhere with lawns, less traffic, etc., he's ready to be an outdoor cat. this morning i took him out for the first time and what he did fully confirmed that he and i belong together. he walked outside, spotted a particular plant, headed straight over and started to eat it. yes, a cat after my own heart. this after he, last night, managed to remove a cardboard box from a bag, open the box, take out a ziplock bag and chew thru the bag to get to my pork jerky from toronto. i like to see that kind of commitment in a cat. its touching.

16 August 2003

munching on the remaining pork jerky while watching fleetwood mac "the dance." hmmm...i'm always the cool kid. but man this pork jerky is tasty despite the fact that i feel like i'm eating dog food. and let me tell you, the dog loves the stuff! came home yesterday to find her digging her little snout into the bag. luckily she couldn't get to the stuff, so i trimmed off the tips of the jerky for her and replaced the bag. the cat, too, is committed to jerky acquisition. he all but sat on my head in his attempts to eat the jerky right out of my hand.

i've never had pork jerky before...only beef, turkey and buffalo and i must say pork is the most moist and tasty. i think i'm hooked. hopefully they sell it somewhere around here and i won't be forced to make four hour drives from ann arbor to toronto to get the stuff. there's this fantastically large asian mall up there, mainly chinese and it is completely overwhelming for the ignorant whities (that would, of course, be me). there's more food in that mall that is not familiar to me than food that i've cooked with or eaten. how exciting! my favorite stores sell dried food, displayed in little glass jars lining the store. five different kinds of dried wasabi peas, six kinds of pickled mango, about ten kinds of pickled ginger, a zillion kinds of dried mushrooms. gulp. and all that jerky!

i wonder if stevie nicks is a vegetarian. probably. but i bet christine mcvie likes herself a good steak now and then.