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Showing posts from April 11, 2010

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#156)...and the yogurt that brought traffic to a halt

$58.27 in groceries in a plastic crate.

So there I was as usual...pedaling and coasting down Elmwood Avenue on my way home from the local food co-op. The day was sort of odd...it seemed autumn-like. Anyhow, I was almost to the intersection of Elmwood and North Streets when I hit a small bump in the road (literally and metaphorically). The light was just changing, so like a person in a car not wanting to miss it I stood on the pedals and and pushed through. As I was flying through the intersection I heard something that sounded like a "pop." As I turned I saw it was a yogurt container that fell out of the crate. I pulled hard on my breaks and screeched to a halt as the container of yogurt (which surprisingly didn't break) spiraled through the intersection. What surprised me, and what I find truly interesting, is that cars also came to a halt. Drivers stopped to avoid hitting the yogurt, allowing me to retrieve it. I felt a little embarrassed and flashed them the peace sig…

Women with Bikes, circa 1900

I like this photo...found it here.

R.I.P. Rose Gray

I just learned the sad news that the chef and restaurateur Rose Gray passed away few days ago. She was chef and co-owner of the River Cafe in London. Amongst the many cooks that have gone through her kitchen the most famous is probably Jamie Oliver...who was just a young lad when he worked for her before he became such a celebrity. I never met her, nor have I been at her restaurant, but her cooking has nonetheless influenced me. She was, I believe, a successor to the long line of great female English cooks and food writers such as Elizabeth David (who, quite literally, changed the way I cook and think about food and food writing). R.I.P. Rose, and thank you for your contributions to the culinary field.

To read her obit in the London Guardian, click here; in the London Telegraph, click here; in the New York Times, click here; and finally, to read a story remembering her life in the Economist, click here.

New U.C.C. Video Message

I've mentioned in past posts (or at least alluded to) that I am a member of Pilgrim-St. Luke's United Church of Christ (click here to go to our website...you can see me standing on the right with my son). It is, I think, a radically liberal denomination (click here and here), and for that reason I am proud to be part of it. Last year, as part of their God is Still Speaking ministry, the U.C.C. launched a series of television commercials that were somewhat controversial, especially the bouncer and the ejector commercials (click here and here to see them). Today the U.C.C. has released this introspective internet-only video message called the Language of God. It's not quite two minutes long but it's moving. Click here to see it at it's original location.
Urban Simplicity.

If Bikes Were Cool Enough For Elvis They're Cool Enough For Me

How To Cook a Spaghetti Squash (and make it taste really good)

If you've never cooked spaghetti squash it can be one of those daunting vegetables make makes you look the other way...but if you try it you'll find it really is simple to prepare, and fun too. This is a simple recipe that will make even the most mundane vegetable taste great. It's really a variation on the classic aglio e olio (oil and garlic), and one that I've posted on my blog in many variations. One of the differences with this version is that you first have to contend with the spaghetti squash itself...but it's quite simple and here's how to do it.

Start by splitting it lengthwise with a sharp knife, taking care not to slip with the knife as some of the squash can be large.

Next, scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Spaghetti squash can be cooked in any number of ways (boiling, steaming, roasting, etc.) and in the professional kitchen I more often than not roast it, but at home I will usually microwave it for a few minutes (yes two years ago I actually broke d…

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#155)

A double order of General Tso's chicken. Click here to read a story I wrote for Artvoice a while back delving into the story behind this dish.

Urban Simplicity.

Another Great Bike Advert

This is actually an advertisment for the health care company, Kaiser Permanente. And while the company is indirectly advertised, riding a bike is overtly so. What I like about this is that it shows people of all ages riding a bike not just as a "hobby" but as a mode of transport...no spandex, no hunching over curly handlebars, just riding as if it is a natural way to get around...and it is. This short clip echoes one that I posted a few days ago (click here to see it)...freedom. To see the video at it's original location, click here.
Urban Simplicity.

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#154)

Another bike.

One of the (many) unique features of the Mundo is that it has lower side rails that are great for carrying heavy objects, but even better at fitting the front tire of another bike, allowing you to tow it. I'm pretty sure that xtracycle offer this feature but I've never ridden one so I can't vouch for it entirely. Anyhow, I had to take my son's bike over to his Mom's house so we could ride home together and this was the best (and most fun) option.

Urban Simplicity

Yin and Yang....and the Tao of Pug

Yin and Yang....and the Tao of Pug.

Too cute for words, I think.

Urban Simplicity

Delicious White Bean Soup Recipe

White Bean Soup
                                             Makes about 6 quarts 3 pounds dried white beans 3 tablespoon olive oil 4 ounces diced pancetta, ham, or sausage 2 cups diced onion 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced carrots 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (2 teaspoon dried) 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups crushed tomatoes 4 quarts chicken or ham broth

Pick through the beans for any stones or debris and place in a bowl with enough hot tap water to cover them. Allow the beans to soak for 1 hour, drain them and discard the soaking liquid.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot and sauté the pancetta over medium/high heat until it begins to caramelize (approximate­ly 5 minutes). Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed hot pepper, rosemary, salt, and black pepper, sauté 2 minutes.
Add the beans and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or unt…

The Cadbury Bicycle Factory

Image Found Here
Ever since I was a teenager I've found the idea of carrying stuff by bike an interesting concept. Indeed one of the bikes I own now is a grown up version of those my friends and I planned in our heads 30 years ago. I beeive I first thought of this when seeing pictures of bicycles in Africa...how they are used for every possible thing, from a delivery service to an ambulance. Anyhow, below is short clip advertising the Canadian company Cadbury and thier mission to supply bikes to Africa. It's only a minute long and truly inspiring to watch.
Click here to go directly to the clip at YouTube. Click here to go to the Cadbury Bicycle Factory promotional page. Urban Simplicity.