Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.
I didn’t write a post last Sunday because I was puking my guts out (excuse the bluntness). I had a bout of (food poisoning?) (stomach flu?) so I spent the day in bed, unable to move. It was a humbling experience and one that I never hope to repeat. I’m a food writer, though, so I guess it comes with the territory.
After I got that trauma out of the way, the week actually shaped up well. I successfully ignored Valentine’s Day, caught up with some old friends whom I haven’t talked to in a while, and watched some good movies. I also took a long hike along the Missouri River today, which was beautiful as always (see above).
February is an odd month. It’s shorter than the rest but it always manages to feel longer. Maybe February is a lesson in patience, one that I’m still mastering. Sometimes it’s important to realize that time as we know it is largely insignificant. The most important thing is to make the most of the time we have.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
This article about startups being accused of violating a dessert trademark is the most French thing EVER. French techies have adopted the English word “pitch” to describe their business activities. This does not sit well with Brioche Pasquier Group, one of France’s largest dessert producers. The company makes brioche-like snacks called “Pitch,” and now it’s trying to stop French tech startups from using the word by claiming that it owns it. You can read more about the situation here.
In a semi-shamless plug, I had an article go live last week that I’m proud of. I interviewed Thu Rein Oo, the executive chef at a popular St. Louis restaurant called The Crossing. Oo is a Burmese refugee and he’s worked his way up through the ranks over the years to his current position. He’s so kind and truly an inspiration. Check out the story here.
After I got sick, I lost my appetite. It was one of the scariest feelings because I usually walk around all day wanting to eat everything in sight. I decided the best way to jumpstart my appetite would be to make something delicious that I would look forward to eating for breakfast. Cue: This chocolate tahini granola. I’d highly recommend it, food poisoning or not.
I really enjoyed this article about restaurant critics’ moral responsibility in the age of #MeToo. There’s been a lot of back and forth the last year about whether food writers should let their morals guide their reviews. For example, should food critics review a restaurant if the head chef is accused of domestic violence or sexual harassment? I veer toward saying, no, they shouldn’t, but this story in The New Yorker presents all the angles.
Trump disgusts me on a visceral level, but the latest news about his “harvest box” plan makes me feel sicker than food poisoning. The White House on Monday released a budget plan that includes something called “America’s Harvest Box,” which calls for a drastic overhaul in food stamp programming. The country’s poorest citizens would see their electronic benefits, or ability to buy food, reduced by half, and instead would get boxes of shelf-stable food. This would remove choice for people using food stamps and it would essentially eliminate their ability to get fresh produce. The plan is “an unworkable solution in search of a problem,”Matt Knott, president of Chicago-based Feeding America, a national network of food banks and pantries, told the Chicago Tribune earlier this week. I couldn’t agree more.
I got excited Thursday when I got a message from my friend Lynn DeLean-Weber from Edelbrand Pure Distilling. She told me that one of the photos I took of her, her husband Martin Weber, and her daughter Tess got picked up by a blog that was writing about her brandy business. It made me remember how much fun I had visiting the farm in December. Lynn and Martin’s dedication inspires me. My goal is to start my own small business by their age, and meeting them helped me get more ideas about how to make this dream a reality.
In uplifting news, Union Loafers has chocolate chip cookies now and they’re some of the best cookies I’ve tasted ANYWHERE. That is not an exaggeration. I walked in for lunch Friday afternoon and I thought I’d get my usual turkey/soup or salad combo. Then I saw a little boy at the counter enjoying a chocolate chip cookie. I have pretty good cookie radar so I can tell just by looking at one whether it will be delicious or not. This one looked off the chart good, so I decided to order one. I was not disappointed.
Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started. I’ve listened to it 50 times between Friday and now, which elates and terrifies me.