Even More Recent Food Neologisms

Tue, Oct 15 • 0


haloodie n. A person who has an ardent interest in halal food. [halal + foodie]

bliss point n. The specific concentration of salt, sugar, or fat that makes a food maximally tasty.

food forest n. A garden that includes mostly food-producing plants, particularly fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, vegetables, and herbs.

latte art n. A decorative image created by skillfully pouring steamed milk into an espresso.

flexivore n. A person who combines a mostly meat diet with the occasional vegetarian meal.

Courtesy of Word Spy.

Recent Food Neologisms

Tue, Jul 17 • 0

A look at some of the newer words and phrases about food.

pink slime n. An industrial meat byproduct consisting of compressed low quality beef trimmings treated with ammonia gas and used as a filler for ground beef.

100-foot diet n. A diet that consists mostly or exclusively of food grown in one’s garden.

pollotarian n. A person who supplements a vegetarian diet with poultry. 

diabulimia n. An eating disorder in which a diabetic person attempts to lose weight by regularly omitting insulin injections.

window farm n. A small, vertical, hydroponic garden installed by a window and used for growing crops such as herbs and vegetables. 

embedded water n. Water used in the production of food. “New research shows that we throw away, on average, twice as much embedded water per year in the form of uneaten food as we use for washing and drinking.”

Courtesy of Word Spy, and Schott’s Vocab.

How to pack okra for pickles

Sat, Jul 14 • 0

After you’ve trimmed off a bit of the stem end, and a bit of the pointy end, pack your one pint sterilized jars with okra, first filling the bottom with the enough okra to fill the bottom of the jar, thick end pointing down. Then cram as many more as you can in between then, thick end pointing up. Then tuck in as many tiny okra as you can in and around the top area. 2 pounds of okra should fill about 5 pint jars.

Sherwood Gourmet

Wed, Jul 27 • 0

There’s a little sandwich shop named Sherwood Gourmet, not too far from where I live, that I’ve been trying to help stay in business all summer long, even though they managed just fine without me for over 2 decades. My wife suggested we try it one day, and I’ve been going once or twice a week, feeding myself, my wife, and any number of my nephews, who have been working to help get my back yard into some kind of shape. Their prices there are only slightly more expensive than those at the Subway chain, so we’re trying to work our way through their extensive menu of sandwiches. Mind you, there are about 2 dozen different choices from their list of standards and all have been very good, but here are some stand outs worth recommending.

#1 — Little Italy :  Mortadella, capicolla, salami, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, oil & vinegar, hot peppers, on a kaiser roll.  This is a popular sandwich among my small circle of taste-testers. One nephew has ordered it twice, though he’s decided it needs extra hot peppers. I think the amount they put on is fine. $6.99

#2 — Suzanne’s Favorite (aka The Suzy) : Smoked turkey, black forest ham, havarti cheese, lettuce, honey mustard, on rye. This is my wife’s sandwich of choice. $6.50

#3 — The Hawaiian : Sweet challah bread, avocado, chicken tarragon salad. I have no idea why this is even remotely related to Hawaii. Maybe it used to use hawaiian sweet bread at some point. The chicken salad has a noticable and pleasant tarragon flavor. I think I prefer this on whole wheat, though. $5.99

#4 — Sherwood Egg Salad : Egg salad on toasted pumpernickle with lettuce. As simple and basic as it gets but very satisfying. $4.50

#5 — Bumble Bee: Black forest ham, smoked turkey, swiss, onions, honey mustard, on challah. The onions provide a nice bite. We prefer it on something other than the challah, though. $5.99

Honorable mentions :

FCPD (presumably “Fairfax County Police Department”) : Hot pastrami, provolone, on a baguette toasted with onions, yellow mustard, a little mayo, and pickles. This is a pretty huge sandwich. One nephew managed to finish it, but decided he’d eaten too much. It’s a hot sandwich. I’ve yet to order it and taste it for myself. $6.50

South of France : Pate de Champagne, brie, dijon mustard, lettuce on a baguette. This is a rich sandwich. You have to really like pate to enjoy it. We’ve ordered it a couple of times. I found the pate to be a little much, but one nephew calls this sandwich his favorite. It’s also the most expensive sandwich on the menu. $7.50

The staff that works there is incredibly friendly, and if you can’t find something that appeals on their regular menu, they’ll happily make substitutions, or help you come up with something that suits you exactly. I still have a bunch more sandwiches to try. In the meantime, you should go visit them at 7900 Andrus Road, in Alexandria, VA, two blocks south of the Sherwood Hall Library.

Sherwood Gourmet
M-F 7a-7p Sat 9a-6p Sun 10a-4p

Jamie Gets a Surprise

Mon, Mar 29 • 0

So, in this clip of Jamie Oliver’s new television show, he demonstrates to the kids how processed foods are supposed to be awful and terrible.

He cuts up a chicken, removing all the normal chicken parts, and is left with a carcass. He tosses it into a food processor and turns the carcass into a paste. He puts it through a sieve to remove any really big parts of bone and gristle, and then he adds flavorings and stabilizers … they sort of look like flour and chicken soup mix … forms them into patties, covers them with bread crumbs and puts them in a frying pan. Then he asks the kids if they still want to eat it.  Their reaction seems to surprise him. The kids say that they would still eat the bogus chicken nuggets.

And why not? In this age of recycling, and over-population, why shouldn’t it be acceptable to eat all of the “nasty bits,” especially if you can make it more palatable? Of course, he’s very careful to point out, in the voice-over, that this isn’t the way chicken nuggets are allowed to be made in this country. The implication, though, is that other countries — England? — might allow this sort of thing to go on.

They say that the pig is a magical creature. That everything can be used for food except for the oink. In other countries, they eat all sorts of parts of all sorts of animals that our culture has been taught to shun. Aside from whatever is in the stabilizers and the flavorings that he added, I can’t really see anything wrong with making the stuff most people would toss away into something useful and edible. (Even if, I must admit, I’m not sure I’d be willing to eat it.)

Win a free Cooking Monster Measurement Magnet!

Tue, Mar 2 • 2

One lucky Cooking Monster reader will win a free refrigerator magnet. It has many useful measurement conversions, to help you in the kitchen. All you have to do to qualify is leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite springtime food is.  One entry per email address, only. For an extra chance to win, add yourself to our Twitter Followers!

Please refer to the Cooking Monster contest rules.

Contest ends APRIL 15, 2010.

This contest has ended. Please visit for future Cooking Monster Give-a-ways.

Sorry for the lack of updates…

Fri, Feb 26 • 1

I’ve been completely distracted with buying a new house.

If any of you have had to deal with a short sale, especially with Bank of America, I feel for you. We put our offer in on a house in June — an offer about $10k more than the asking price. And we waited, and waited, and waited. More than six months, we waited. Every week, asking our agent if there was any news, and never getting any answers. Every few months, we’d get a panicked email from our agent telling us that the house had gone back on the foreclosure list, and that we had to scramble to get paperwork out to prove that we really did want to buy the house. (Come to find out, we learned later that this was usually caused by the seller not providing the bank with some paperwork in a timely manner, and when those deadlines expired, the bank would start the steps towards foreclosure.) The bad part about that was that though we were able to take the house off the foreclosure list, the short-sale process would start back to point zero.

In the end, the only thing that seemed to work to get the ball moving was an email I sent to the office of the President of BoA. I told him about the nightmare process we’d been going through. It seemed to work, because a month later, I got a phone call from a representive of the President of BoA, and while she couldn’t discuss details on the mortgages the seller had, she assured me that she’d oversee the process to completion. Three weeks later, the bank finally did approve the sale. I can’t say whether this tactic would work now, though. The then CEO Ken Lewis stepped down in the beginning of 2010, and I don’t even know who the new one is or how responsive he or she would be. (I can tell you that the address of the old CEO was ken.d.lewis at bankofamerica dot com, so maybe you can figure out their email address naming convention to figure out the address of the new one, if you ever need to.)

So, after many months of waiting for the bank  to process the short sale, we were finally granted permission by the bank to purchase the house we wanted in early January, 2010! BUT…

But, we were undone by the neglectful and idiotic seller.  Even though he apparently lived less than a mile from the property, it seems that he long ago gave up any emotional attachment in his property because he failed to winterize the house, allowing a pipe to burst. The water damage went undetected for several weeks, and a crop of nasty toxic mold grew. Even though my wife and I had invested more than six months of our lives in waiting for the property at 4300 Rock Creek, we decided to walk away from it. Inevitably, the house will now fall into foreclosure, and some investor will buy it for a song, fix the mold damage, and probably never tell buyers that the house was tainted.

So it was, in mid January, that my wife and I joined our agent on the house hunt again, looking at all the properties in our area that were for sale in our price range. One Sunday, we went to 16 different properties. Ugh. We settled on making an offer on a recently remodeled three-bedroom, two-bath house 15 minutes south of where our apartment is now. Our agent set up a rigorous closing schedule, and I’m happy to report that as of February 18, my wife and I became proud home-owners!

The kitchen was completely remodeled, with all new appliances, and it’s quite big, too. We’re doing a little more remodeling now, and scheduled to move in at the end of March. So, if you don’t hear much from me in the next few weeks, you’ll know why. Wish us luck!

Recent Food Neologisms

Sun, Jan 10 • 0

A look at some of the new words and phrases about food.

Foodoir n. A memoir that includes recipes or that is focused on food, meals, or cooking. [Blend of food and memoir.]

Whole Foods Republicans n. “Independent-minded voters who embrace a progressive lifestyle but not progressive politics. These highly-educated individuals appreciate diversity and would never tell racist or homophobic jokes; they like living in walkable urban environments; they believe in environmental stewardship, community service and a spirit of inclusion. And yes, many shop at Whole Foods, which has become a symbol of progressive affluence but is also a good example of the free enterprise system at work.”

Koodie n. slang. A kid keenly interested in food, especially eating, cooking or watching reruns of Julia Child. A kid who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a mini-gourmet; usually trained by one or both parents to have an unusual, and sometimes fanatic, desire to eat unusual foods. Evolution from the now defunct word “foodie.”

TweetWhatYouEat, n. (commonly known as “twye“). A Twitter application that helps people track what they eat, thereby encouraging them to eat more healthily.

Men-tertainers n. an increasing number of males are spending their free time organising dinner parties for their friends.

Courtesy of The Double-tongued Dictionary, Word Spy, and Schott’s Vocab.

Talk about wretched excess.

Wed, Nov 4 • 0

20091104receiptRussian billionaire Roman Abramovich apparently dropped $47,221 to cover lunch for a party of six at a New York restaurant last week. Most of the cost came from seven bottles of wine, $5k each.

Note the automatic 20% gratuity added at the end.

(via buzzfeed and serious eats)






Roasted Turkey — An Old-Fashioned Method

Mon, Nov 2 • 4

turkey-roastedSo my tivo likes to record random episodes of Cook’s Illustrated‘s Cook’s Country for me, and one I happened to watch this weekend inspired me to give it a try… larded turkey.

Larding is an old fashioned method of cooking large pieces of meat, back in the days when ovens didn’t have thermostats, and cooks couldn’t control the heat in their wood-fired ovens the way we can now. Nevertheless, the presenters on the television program seemed to indicate that it was an easy way to keep the breast meat of a turkey moist without resorting to a long brine (and considering it’s Cook’s Illustrated, the banner-bearer for brining, it seems to be a very suspicious stance for them to take).

The basic idea behind larding is that you cover the breast of the turkey with layers of fat to make it both cook more evenly and to baste the meat while it cooks. Some recipes have you butter the breast, but most of that gets melted away in the first few minutes. You could also try putting bacon over the breast, but the folks said that they thought the smokey flavor of the bacon imparted unwelcome flavors. So they settled for salt pork — basically, unsmoked bacon. So the deal is, you prick the turkey breast all over with a fork, then layer it with ¼” thick slices of salt pork, and then cover all of that with a layer of water-soaked cheese cloth, then a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. This whole thing is cooked in a relatively cool oven (325º) for 2-3 hours, until the meat registers 140º with an internal thermometer. Then, all of the layers are removed, the oven is turned up to 425º and cooked for 40-60 minutes more, or until the meat registers 160º — which allows the skin to darken and crisp up. Finally, the bird is allowed to rest on the cutting board for 30 minutes.

Considering it avoids the whole logistically messy brining step, I have to say that the breast meat of the bird turned out quite moist … though I missed the herbal notes that the brine usually adds. I needed to salt the sliced turkey quite a bit, but that’s hardly a hardship.

So all in all, I’d say that if I had the time and inclination, I would prefer to brine the bird, but this method works fine in a pinch, and is much better than any other method I’ve tried for cooking a turkey that wasn’t brined.

(If you’d like to read the recipe, it’s available for free, online.)

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