25 March 2015

Canada's Potato Heartland: Poll

Everyone, it is of the utmost importance that you participate in this online poll to determine which of the following three places is considered to be Canada's Potato Heartland. The poll will close on April 1, so make your voices heard -- before it's too late!

Which of the following is the Potato Heartland of Canada?

24 March 2015

Guest Counterpoint: The Lemon

The following originally appeared as a comment on my Lemon post and was written by my dad. I feel like it warrants its own separate counterpoint post, so here it is.

I'm sorry; I have been silent long enough. "Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence." [Henri Frederic Amiel] There is only one nub to a lemon -- on the end opposite to where the stem attaches the lemon to the tree. There is no nub on the stem end, just a slight bump. I'm not a snob about lemons. But the fact is that anyone who actually tolerates RealLemon, much less prefers it to a real lemon, should not be allowed to be the editor and publisher of a gastronomical blog, or even contribute to it. The only difficulty a tyro lemon slicer might encounter in the performance of his or her extremely simple task, is keeping the knife (Victrianox or any other) away from the little green stem remnant at the stem end of the lemon. The nob, or nub, is at the other end and does not pose any problem. The stem remnant can be just flicked off with a stroke of the thumbnail. The other thing you could do to avoid any nub or nob difficulty is what any citrus connoisseur does before wedging the lemon (or lime, or orange, or cumquat etc), namely take your knife (preferably a serrated Victorianox lemon-specialty knife) and cut off the tips on both ends. You don't even have to look and see which end has the stem on it. Just cut them both off. Easy as pie. Lemon pie. Lime pie. Any kind of pie. Just deal with it as if it were a watermelon or a cantaloupe or a honeydew. Exactly the same principle -- just a smaller piece of fruit.

And I hate to say it, but your disaffection for lemon zest is absurd. Lemon zest is the best argument ever put forth for the existence of God. How else could something so good be brought into the world? Do you make your lemon chiffon desserts out of RealLemon? Your lemon-poppy seed muffins? Your faux chocolate chip cookies?

Of all the Herculean jobs
I've ever had in all my life,
The cutting off of lemon knobs
Is fullest of fun and freest of strife.
Deliver us from citrus slobs
Who can not cut around the knobs.

19 March 2015

Important Announcement: Zines Now Available

Attention Food Thoughtz Fans: Today I managed to retrieve the templates from my Food Thoughtz zines, so if anyone wants a copy, let me know. Theft or vandalism of library property is no longer required (although, I guess still an option if your only goal is random vandalism and theft of library property. If this is your interest, please do not involve me in it). As a reminder, here is what the zine looks like:

So. You know. Let me know.

08 March 2015

The Lemon

Believe it or not, I feel almost exactly the same way about lemons as I do about limes: I would like to have more lemon wedges in my drinks, but I often feel that the amount of energy I have to put into the task is not worth the benefits of the results. I find lemons to typically be more difficult to wedge than limes, which I assume is in part because they're larger and more oblong, but also because they have those hard little nubs at either end and I am always afraid that I will put too much pressure to try to get through the nub and then I will cut myself (which has probably happened to me several times, and has probably happened even more frequently to my mum because she cannot go a single day without cutting herself on the constant influx of brand new Victorinox knives that she always insists on buying at the Rock Creek General Store).

Does anyone remember this awesome shirt I got at the Grand Forks
Thrift Shop, circa 2002? I would have paid almost any amount for it,
but the woman let me have it for free because she thought it was too ugly
to be sold for money. She told me that if she had found it first, she would
have thrown it out. It breaks my heart to think of how many gems might
have been lost at the GF Thrift due to overzealous and out of touch staff.

Some of my suffering is offset by the fact that I almost always have RealLemon lemon juice on hand. It's pretty good, and I don't like when people are such lemon snobs. First of all, RealLemon tastes more or less like real lemon—especially when all you're doing with it is adding a few drops to soda water—and second of all, if you just use lemon juice, you don't get all of that annoying pulp and those annoying seeds. I know that RealLime also exists, but ... I don't know. For some reason I can never bring myself to buy it.

I guess it might be worth mentioning to say that I actually really don't like lemon flavouring in most things. I really hate when baked goods have a hint of lemon flavour. Sometimes I will see a cookie—like some sort of chocolate chip cookie or something—and it will look amazing, but then you bite into it and it kind of tastes like lemons? I hate that. There was no reason for me to expect that that cookie would taste slight like lemon, and if I had known that it would, obviously I wouldn't have eaten it.

And I hate lemon zest. I hate seeing those tiny little curls of skin.

The lime and the lemon share more
Than the common family name Rutaceae:
Wedging either is a total chore
And it's more work than I'm willing to apply.

04 March 2015

The Lime

One thing you may not know about me is that I like to add a splash of lime to a variety of drinks. One summer when I was working on the farm I was really into bringing water with a bunch of wedged lemon and lime to work and I found it very refreshing. But I really struggle with wedging limes, so I don't have them as often as I would like to. I guess when I think about it's not really that difficult of a task, but it's a task I really do not like to do.

Another thing that you probably do know is that in one of my English classes we were reading WWI poetry. At first the poems were really celebratory about how great war is and how all of the young men should go to war. And then as the war dragged on, the poems became less celebratory and more about how it was the worst. One poem in particular referenced wheelbarrows full of lime to dust on bodies so they would stop smelling so much. In the middle of reading the poem, the professor interrupted herself and said, Just to be clear, everyone knows what lime is, right? And this awful student—really the worst male undergraduate English student anyone could ever imagine—put up his hand and in the most pompous manner imaginable said, Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 'lime' is a small, green citrus fruit. Can you imagine? Can you imagine that in the midst of WWI, limes were so plentiful that armies were trundling through the trenches full of rotting bodies and sprinkling them when lime juice? It's especially unbelievable because wedging a lime is so tedious that I can't imagine any of the soldiers would have time for it. Although I guess they might have juiced the limes in advanced and used spray bottles, but I don't even know if spray bottles were widely available during WWI—much less in the trenches.

Hey. Lime.
Why you gotta take so much time?