What’s Purple and Lies at the Bottom of the Ocean?

The first joke I remember hearing was one my dad told me when I was roughly four years old, and yes, it was a food joke. I didn’t think it was terribly funny at the time. Actually, I didn’t think it was funny at all. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate it slightly more for its dry, surreal humor. I’ll lay it on ya: Q. What’s purple and lies at the bottom of the ocean?

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Happy SSZoYNP Day!

Yes, friends… Early August means it’s once again Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors’ Porch Day (or Night — your preference), one of those obscure and frivolous holidays we rootless Americans create out of festive necessity. That said, I think the concept is solid. The zucchini (or courgette, for you Europeans) tends to hit a point of outrageous surplus right about now. Once you’ve already sautéed, puréed, broiled, grilled, fried and stuffed them, there’s a risk of becoming bored with zucchini.

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A sweet moment in airport security

Okay… raise your tiny fist if you’ve had something taken from you at the airport gate. Yeah, me too. My water bottles, tweezers and little red Swiss Army Knives have all made it into the TSA refuse pile. Fellow foodies returning from far-flung feasts (the recent AAA estimate put this year’s holiday travel number at 37.2 million Americans traveling 50 or more miles from home) should appreciate this delicious moment relayed from the rim of the shiny silver TSA arch.

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Your food career… a short quiz

Want to make a career out of your food obsession? If you’re gleefully hoisting a fresh bunch of seasonally appropriate herbs in eager agreement, well… you’re not alone. Culinary school enrollment in the U.S. is now at an all-time high, thanks to a progressively elevated status in the media for culinary professionals (i.e. Food Network, celebrity chefs, Bravo’s Top Chef, Kitchen Confidential…). But maybe you already have a degree and you’re not so sure about shelling out $60,000 for the CIA (even if it is kind of cool to say you’re at the CIA), or $20-$40,000 for one of the other culinary schools.

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The Triple-Rock Social Club: Want Coffee With That, Hon?

Neighborhood joints should have a bit of fun with their menus, right? I mean, maybe restaurants in contention for multi-star reviews have some reason to write up flowery prose with cursive fonts, but I feel that the corner bistro and the neighborhood greasy spoon can afford to demonstrate a little personality. Sometimes I love a menu so much, I’m forced to beg for it (failing that, I’m sometimes forced to thief it).

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From Wisconsin Comes Really Cheesy Poetry
From Wisconsin Comes Really Cheesy Poetry

Speaking of cheesy poetry… The Dairy Lama out of Wisconsin presents this adorable site, filled with a collection of internationally submitted haiku glorifying dairy products. From Adventure to Science, crude to lovely this “Mooku” leaves no subject ignored, no curd left unturned. Here’s a couple of favorites to nibble on… Wiser men than I Say that cheese is milk’s bid for Immortality Slytherina Cows walk in the rain

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Stewed Sparrow’s Brains: Venus in the Kitchen Cookbook

Aiming to create a personal collection of culinary recipes extolling the “rejuvinating effects of certain condiments and certain dishes,” Author Pilaff Bey’s 1953 volume, “Venus in the Kitchen,” (which, incidentally, contains a blithe introduction by Graham Green) contains a wide variety of preparations for a list of head-spinning stomach-churning aphrodisiac ingredients. The usual suspects are present, of course (Oysters in Champagne, Wine Sauce for Game), as well as a host of recipes that sound nearly inedible (Marinated Sow’s Vulvae, Filet of Skink).

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Light-as-Air Brunch: The Path of the Righteous Man

George Saunders is amazing. He’s one of my favorite fiction writers, and if you haven’t read his story in the current issue of Harper’s, you really should run right out to your favorite bookstore and snatch up an issue this instant. Meanwhile, here’s his recipe for a morally upright brunch, from a NY Times Magazine article this weekend. Terrific fare for puritans, models and protesters. Light-as-Air Brunch Air, approximately 6 cubic feet

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Feeling Isolationist? On Making Your Own Rations.
Feeling Isolationist? On Making Your Own Rations.

Neighbors making you crabby? Problems with your boss? Just sick of the world in general? Maybe it’s time to hole up in an undisclosed location and make your own rations. Not sure where to begin? Fear not, neophyte. War reenactors and historical anachronists have maintained the ancient art of assembling flavorless food and that knowledge is now available on the internet for your weekend-project pleasure. Thanks to the wild, wild web, you can pay a quick visit to the World War Two Ration Technologies K Ration Page and there’s now a wikihow Hardtack Tutorial to learn you a few tasty nuggets of information designed to steer you from ration-building failure and public humiliation.

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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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