The stills in this Food Note are from “Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers'“ (1980). The documentary reminded me of my brief stint of farm work this past summer and the one day that Sophie and I harvested garlic for so many hours and I saw my first black widow.
I’m writing this from my new office. And, by new office I mean that I moved my desk 90 degrees and now I can fake in all of my Zoom meetings that I have an office with a bookshelf and a printer, when really I’m still in the corner of my bedroom. I’ve been thinking a lot about working environments, meditating on some of the ideas my friend Matt spoke on in his most recent Candle Object newsletter. This minor spatial change has made me feel a lot clearer the last week or so, something that I really needed. I have felt all over the place recently - I have too many projects, interests, unfinished entries in my notebook, threads, and conversations. This is how I’ve always been, but lately it’s been hard for me to materialize completion on anything, and even harder for me to approach anything at all because I feel overwhelmed!!! I’m trying to be okay with the slow grind this year. My natural inclination is to reach for instant gratification, manifest something “real” as quickly as possible. Am I processing burn out?
Ok ok, this newsletter is supposed to be about food . . .
Last month, I wrote a segment for Daily Enjoy about making cooking goals when you’ve lost your joy for cooking.
In November, I started working on research and community development for Currant. We opened up our Discord (free, for now!) for conversation surrounding food. If you want to check it out, send me a message or subscribe to the Currant newsletter.
I am taking a break on soup for the moment. Ultimately, it’s super rewarding for me to cook for other people, but it’s hard for me to balance all of the prep and also work most days. I may have some one-offs of soup (and other food!) in the future — I’ll advertise this on Food Notes to limited space sign-ups.
I recently cannot stop making this “One Pan” Orecchiette Pasta that my mom sent me. She says she makes this all of the time and pretty much throws in any vegetable she has in the fridge that needs to be used. It really only does use one pan and is best with super flavorful homemade chicken broth.
This past week, I tried my hand at laminated dough for the first time. I wanted to start out with something that wasn’t super labor intensive, so I went with making Rugelach - a filled Jewish cookie originally from Poland. I made two kinds: one with strawberry jam and the other with Nutella, both with chopped and toasted hazelnuts. Rugelach is typically laminated with sugar, which means that the working surface is dusted with sugar as you create your layers and roll the dough. The recipe wasn’t as hard as I was expecting, so I recommend trying this if you want to get into laminated doughs. I used a recipe from A Good Bake by Melissa Weller with Carolynn Carreño. This cookbook from last year has become a staple for me as I’ve tried to delve deeper into more complicated baking.
Also from A Good Bake I recently made the Khachapuri (a traditional Georgian dish) with cheese, baked eggs, and nigella seeds. All I know to say is that it were so delicious and, again, unexpectedly easier than I anticipated. I feel most like a baker these days.
Tony’s Chocoloney recently launched a limited edition of parody chocolate bars to demand humans rights legislation to hold companies accountable for illegal child labor, which is still a widely prevalent issue across the supply chain in the chocolate industry. The packaging spoofs popular candy bars such as Toblerones and Kit Kats, both made by large-scale chocolate manufacturers. You can learn more about the campaign on their website. I also linked to a few pieces about the chocolate industry in a previous Food Note.
The World and What We Eat by Nicole Ziza Bauer in Life & Thyme
Food Pasts, Food Futures: The Culinary History of COVID-19 by The Global Experimental Historiography Collective in The Public Domain Review (a fictional syllabus for a course taught in the year 2070)
I’ve never actually made anything from Cooking in the Archives, but it pleases me so much to read.
The Bread Rise by Lexie Smith for The New Now
Not reading, but listen to this ohew mix for c-
Thanks for sticking with me, even when I’m scattered.