How to Cook a Wolf (or just a chicken)

In MFK Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf she says: You can still live with grace and wisdom, thanks partly to the many people who write about how to do it and perhaps talk overmuch about riboflavin and economy, and partly to your own innate sense of what you must do with the resources you have, to keep the wolf from snuffing too hungrily through the keyhole (25). The wolf here throughout her text represents both the inevitability of hunger (referencing Shakespeare: Appetite, a universal wolf.) and the increased stressors of this hunger as impacted by, in her case, wartime scarcities. The wolf is a looming figure of lack, uncertainty, and need. Everyone must eat, and in times of strife,...

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Finance Bros, Mortality Salience, and The Natural Wine Trend

  In The Years Annie Ernaux writes: They searched for new models of existence in space and time, in the exotic or the peasantry, India or the Cévennes. There was an aspiration to purity. Though she is reflecting specifically on the early 1970’s in France, I find this statement to capture something of an ever-reoccurring phenomenon. One which strikes me as deeply relevant to the philosophy and trend of “Natural Wine” as it currently reigns. Was it this last fall that Bon Appétit published its four page spread on natural wine? Long-time enthusiasts everywhere shook their heads in quiet dismay while the masses began showing up to their haunts tittering about orange wine. Suddenly, words like funky and glou glou had...

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Women in the Kitchen or The Commodification of Basic Equality

  I was raised by 20-something skater bros in the late 90’s of Southern California. I’ll attribute this to my equally pragmatic and idealistic view of the world. And so, I do not exist in some elevated delusion that the rest of my life will resemble my New York liberal arts classrooms, however, I suppose I do have high expectations of something resembling justice. I want to talk about what it means to have “women” cooking professionally, to have people of color, and queer people, and poor people getting paid properly to do labor that only became exalted into an actual profession when it became a domain of men. Mostly, cis straight white men. Chefs. Lately, I find people are...

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The shortcomings of instagram, who's entitled to gluttony, & what I think about Action Bronson

What is missing in what’s conveyed about food/eating on social media platforms like Instagram?  I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately and contemplating the role of women and femmeness in the food & wine world I like/sort of inhabit. There is a persistent trend towards concepts easily construed as masculine, or perhaps made more acceptable in masc people, that I see a lot of in the natural wine realms and in the foods scenes that accompany them. The ever-familiar glorification of a kind of “punk-rock-ness” that gets attached to everyone from the wild-haired wine maker who smokes too much pot and lives in a trailer on his vineyard to the red-faced chef loaded with the requisite sleeves of...

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I am fairly good at a variety of things. Cooking, writing essays, taking care of children, cutting hair, watercoloring—all these things I can accomplish with a decent amount of ease and proficiency. Making bread, however, is not one of these things. For years I quietly fretted over my seeming inability to make dough rise. Cakes, fine. Scones, fine. Pizza crust, fine. But never bread. My tendency to roll out nearly inedible and indecipherable bricks became so disheartening that I eventually just gave up. I consoled myself by becoming semi-convinced that my bodega-purchased fleischmann's was likely always around 45 years old and thus defunct. Eventually, after heeding my mother’s advice about grain bio-availability and the wonders of soaking/sprouting/souring I decided to...

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