The Blog is Back!
The Blog is Back!

Hey! It’s been a while! Sooo… what have you been doing for the past 10 years or so? The …ahem… unique challenges of 2020 have given me (and probably you) some time to think. Personally, I’ve spent the time planting vegetables on the balcony and reflecting on food writing. I made my first website (about tomatoes, naturally) in 1998. For a while, I wrote about writing. And in 2004, when I started food blogging at Miss Ginsu (which was then The Hedonista) there really weren’t so many food blogs out there.

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San Francisco is for Nom Nom Nom
San Francisco is for Nom Nom Nom

I’d been pretty convinced of New York’s status as the finest food city in the States, but a few experiences last weekend have shaken that conviction a bit. Out in San Francisco, I spent a fast-paced, food-focused weekend hosted by Foodbuzz, an online community of bloggers and food lovers. Most of the activity was based around the Ferry Building, which is like a gastronomic Disneyland, especially on Saturdays when the farmers’ market takes place there.

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On Egg Labels and Grocery Store Tourism
Travel On Egg Labels and Grocery Store Tourism

An adorable goat’s milk yogurt label from Trento, Italy This may seem a bit strange, but one of my very favorite overseas travel activities isn’t visiting the museums or galleries (though they’re very nice, of course)… it’s touring the local groceries, markets and drug stores. I like to see how the average person lives. In Italy, for example, your average shopper has access to powerful traceability and sourcing information. The eggshells come with printed sets of numbers.

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On The Clock Cake-A-Palooza

I’ve always found cake to be a culinary curiosity. It’s one of those foods we often tend to value more for the way it looks than the flavor beneath the frosting. A lot of the offices in which I’ve worked buy cakes to mark people’s birthdays. In my experience, these cakes usually come from a supermarket. Everyone gathers ‘round to sing “happy birthday” and then someone cuts up a generic marble cake with frosting that tastes like vegetable shortening mixed with sugar.

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The 2008 Top-Ten Tastiest

The end of the calendar year is a fine time to cast a glance backward before we press on into the new frontier. What went well? What didn’t go so well? How can we improve? What should be cast away, never to be spoken of again? And so, before we recycle the upsie-downsie pages of 2008, here’s a rundown of what we’ll call: The 2008 Readers’ Choice Top-Ten Tastiest Posts

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New Favorite Thing: Hidden Kitchens Podcasts

I haven’t done a plain old-fashioned passionate rave for a while, so it’s probably about time. Now, I admit, sometimes I’m slow to catch on to stuff. “Hidden Kitchens,” a terrific NPR mini-show that sometimes appears buried within Morning Edition broadcasts, is sort of a case-in-point. I’d heard a few of the shows in the past, but I just never got around to subscribing to the podcast. Silly me! In the mere minutes each episode contains, the Kitchen Sisters plunge a listener into worlds that contain so much more than cooking and food.

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Barbecue for a Thousand People
Barbecue for a Thousand People

It’s not every you get to play with 600 pounds of meat and a smoker the size of a Humvee. I’m going to back up for a second and tell you this: Every year at work — and this is a food company, mind you — we’ve eaten the same classic American cookout menu: Burgers, hot dogs, chips and watermelon. I mean it’s good, but we’re a food company… shouldn’t we make more ambitious food?

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Kind of Blue: Dad’s Classic Sunday-Morning Blueberry Muffins
Kind of Blue: Dad’s Classic Sunday-Morning Blueberry Muffins

I’ve met people who seem to resent their bodies. Maybe they find their skin and bones limiting or ugly or even bothersome. Truthfully, there is responsibility involved in owning a body. It needs to be fed, walked, watered, bathed and stroked. Some would, understandably, rather just spend time on other projects and pursuits. On the other hand, there here are, among us, those who truly relish living in their bodies. They’re sensualists.

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Recipes Recession-Proof Recipes: DIY Tamales

I’ve noticed that after you’ve been blogging for a while, you find that your commenters often come up with even better material than you do. Oh, how I love online community! A couple of my favorite blog comments can be found at the bottom of this post, in which commenter M. delves far beyond my sci-fi depth and in this post, in which an anonymous commenter has an astoundingly deep knowledge of butter.

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Recipes Ten Thousand Picnics, One Custard Baklava

Our extended cold, damp spring was all forgiven this past weekend. For those of us who stuck around for the holiday, three glorious days of sunshine, blue skies and idyllic chirping birds reminded us that New York can actually be a pleasant place to live. From my informal survey of city parklands, I estimate there were roughly oh, somewhere in the neighborhood of ten thousand picnics happening around the city this weekend.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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