Only in the richest country on earth

From Vice:

At 29, Brown works approximately 40 hours a week, splitting her time between a McDonald’s in Durham, North Carolina, and a food-service gig a local hospital. “It’s still not enough,” she said. Both jobs are part-time, and she doesn’t receive health insurance through either employer. She can’t afford insurance on her own, either. That’s a problem since Brown is diabetic, and she has to pay for her medical expenses out of pocket. She’s trying to do all she can on her own—she receives no food stamps or other assistance, she notes—but it rarely feels like she’s doing enough.

“It’s really rough right now,” she said.

Read the whole piece.

NPR: After 6-Year Battle, Florida Couple Wins The Right To Plant Veggies In Front Yard

Holy shit, some people are assholes. Thank goodness these people won the legal battle to plant produce in their front yard. Jebus forbid!

Okra. Bell peppers. Cherry tomatoes. Jalapeños and squash.

Those are some of the vegetables that Hermine Ricketts and her husband, Tom Carroll, planted in front of their home in Miami Shores, Fla., on Monday.

That’s the day a Florida law went into effect that nullifies local bans on vegetable gardens at residential properties. It was one of those ordinances that had forced the couple to uproot a garden that Ricketts had tended for 17 years.

Ricketts had her vegetable garden in front of her home because that’s where the sun is, as NPR’s Greg Allen reported in 2013: “[H]er house faces south and her backyard is mostly in the shade. A retired architect, originally from Jamaica, Ricketts says she gardens for the food and for the peace it brings her.”

“This is a peach tree that I put in, and around it, I had kale, and in between the kales, I had some Chinese cabbage,” Ricketts said then. “And I also had Swiss chard, yellow Swiss chard.”


Behind the scenes with us!

Go behind the scenes on last week’s cooking video. check out the set, the gear, the lighting, and also go shopping with us.

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Is organic really better?

There are occasional foods I lean toward organic for, but for the most part, I’m fine with non-organic produce. We eat smoothies every morning for breakfast and I imagine we’d go broke if we ate ONLY organic.

Our lettuce tends to be primarily organic, but the fruits we add generally are not. Organic lettuce in bulk is usually a little less pricey.

Anyway, check out this video to see what it says about this debate.


I don’t know why Mel Magazine chose to write about and rank 18 veggies from Asparagus to Blooming Onions (in this article), as if there aren’t any decent vegetables between straight corn and a breaded, fried onion. But it’s good to get veggie encouragement.

I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, and his discussion of corn growth and consumption is spot on with this article. Although there are hundreds of veggies left off the list, I think.

A snip:

1. Asparagus: “This tasty green stalk comes in first place on my vegetable ranking,” Friedman says. “Asparagus is a great source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and building strong bones.” Friedman also mentions that asparagus provides vitamin A (which prevents heart disease), vitamin C (which supports the immune system), vitamin E (which acts as an antioxidant) and vitamin B6 (which, like vitamin A, also prevents heart disease).

Serious Eats: How to Upgrade Your Kitchen and Save Money at a Restaurant Supply Store

What an excellent source of kitchen information for all my home chefs out there.


Propane Torch


I always chuckle when I see those $50 mini crème brûlée propane torches sold by retail kitchenware stores. They perform like dinky little toys, boasting very little of the fuel capacity and firepower of their heavier duty counterparts. Do yourself a favor: if you want a torch in your kitchen, do what the pros do and buy a full-size one at a restaurant supply (or, frankly, a hardware store). They’re easy to use, safe (as with anything, just follow the instructions), and will deliver enough flame to keep you fired up for years to come. I’ve seen them sold for as little as $15.