Re: Food Deserts

1

I had chicken tenders and fries for lunch, because I'm basically eight when it comes to my taste buds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:03 AM
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Come to my house for some unsalted pasta with frozen veggies and cheese all baked together; we'll retrain those taste buds to standard midwestern bland.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:05 AM
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That's almost vegan.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:19 AM
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Because it's bland?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:29 AM
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It's vegan + diary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:30 AM
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I mean, if there's not meatballs, you may as well go all the way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:31 AM
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Sometimes there are meatballs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:32 AM
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8

I myself don't eat the pasta, of course.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:34 AM
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9

Cooking the same thing for dinner repeatedly does seem depressing in a way that's different from buying the same prepared food over and over again. I'm not sure why. But, e.g., I have a limited repertoire of things I can successfully get on the table after I get home from work, and it does sometimes become really apparent that I'm rescrambling five or six options, over and over and over again. (This actually doesn't bother me at all, but I think it gets to the rest of the family a bit.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:39 AM
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10

Sometimes I just eat the salad and then go to the bar for wings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:41 AM
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11

Cooking from scratch is cheaper if you have the time and equipment. Buying in bulk is cheaper if you have the cash on hand. Either way, it boils down to it's expensive to be poor.

Distantly related, I'm now on two small meals of real food and four meal replacements a day, and I hadn't realized how voluminous 50 calories of vegetables can be. Right now each meal has to be 50 calories of a limited array of non-starchy vegetables, rule of thumb 2 cups raw, 150 calories of lean protein, and an optional other 50 calories that for me are usually cooking oil. (Not fat- or carb-phobia, just being easy on the digestive system and warding off the pancreatitis that's an occasional side effect.) It seems obvious in retrospect, but never hit home to me, that how full we feel is not just a function of calorie intake but also how much food physically passes through our mouths.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:44 AM
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12

Prepared in the streets, home cooked at home.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:46 AM
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13

Avocado are non-starchy vegetables.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:47 AM
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My mom had the exact opposite problem as 9: she wanted to branch out, but the rest of us just wanted the same reshuffled options over and over again.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:56 AM
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I vaguely resent salad for pretty much that reason. You're sitting there eating for what seems like hours, and there's transparently no actual food value. I like vegetables, but at least if you cook them first some of the water cooks out of them and you're not getting old and dying while you chew your way through a massive pile of leaves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:56 AM
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I think 11 hits one of the most important bits (that didn't show up in the article): regular cooking has an upfront cost that doesn't really start to pay off till later. If you have to choose between some seasonings (garlic and oregano, say) and a frozen pizza and whatever you choose is what you're going to eat for dinner...

And there's also irregular hours, stress levels, less free time (the kid is hungry now) and so on with poor people. And at the very low levels of income you can't even assume people will have basic kitchen stuff that would let you cook in bulk and store a bunch of meals for later (and be miserable eating the same thing).

I'm suspect that the urban poor have mostly subsisted on a lot of cheap pre-prepared food for all of human history (when they existed). It's just that very recently cheap pre-prepared food has gotten a lot worse for you than it used to be* and so we're seeing problems show up.

*On the other hand, it's also pleasant to eat which seems like at least a bit of a change from the past. I suppose that doesn't really help with the problem, but I'm not sure if we should be pining for a return to the healthy old days.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:57 AM
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I resent salad for so many reasons, some of which are ameliorated by putting cheese on it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:58 AM
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Which makes for a nearly vegan salad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:59 AM
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A really good salad has cheese, fries, chicken, and eggs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:01 AM
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20

And olives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:03 AM
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21

And pepperoncini.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:06 AM
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I think a lot of cheap pre-prepared food has always been bad for you - in the past, due to lack of cleanliness and dubious ingredients (chalk to whiten, weird green dyes for peas, etc), meat of unclear origin and freshness. It's just that now there's enough food surplus* that cheap pre-made food also makes you fat. Frankly, if the poor were starving, we would not see all this fuss about food deserts - the whole issue is that we as a society are anti-fat and anti-working class, so we leap at the chance to fuss about food for the poor.

I have fallen off the vegan wagon this year, sadly. I was under stress and also starting to lift weights and cheese and eggs were just such convenient, flavorful meal additions. Leading to today's salmon salad lunch - very tasty, very high class, free at a conference where I am adminning.

Honestly, I cannot imagine how you parents manage to feed your kids reasonable healthy meals. I find that just making sure that I have something that is Not Frozen Pizza and not screwing up my budget is really really difficult.

Left to myself, though, and totally bereft of ethics and economic constraints, I would eat salmon at every meal.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:13 AM
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What, no croutons?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:13 AM
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24

"and due to dubious ingredients"


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:14 AM
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25

I'll drink the grains.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:14 AM
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I'm suspect that the urban poor have mostly subsisted on a lot of cheap pre-prepared food for all of human history (when they existed).

Bowl o'brown!

And in reality, as well. Mayhew:

A working-man told me that he often bought fried fish, and accounted it a good to men like himself. He was fond of fried fish to his supper; he couldn't buy half so cheap as the street-sellers, perhaps not a quarter; and, if he could, it would cost him 1d. for dripping to fry the fish in, and he got it ready, and well fried, and generally good, for 1d.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:18 AM
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the whole issue is that we as a society are anti-fat

That isn't the only issue. Part of the reason quote-unquote unhealthy food is attracting so much attention is because there is increasing evidence that the American diet does contribute to all sorts of health problems.

As a society there is both an inherent fat-shaming aesthetic and fat is seen as a conveniently visible reminder of all of the ways in which our diets are bad for us.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:21 AM
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But the reason it's a moral panic about the poor is because cheap food makes people fat. Although there's clearly the additional usual set of reasons for moral panics - the poor are being immoral and self indulgent via sugar, fat is "feminizing" and a threat to the national identity, there's money to be made off social work and pearl clutching, etc. Any actual benefit to poor people is incidental to a moral panic; if we as a society actually cared about the health of poor people, we'd be doing a lot of things differently, starting with addressing the insane levels of pollution found in poor neighborhoods, for instance. (Arsenic spumes in my neighborhood, for example, - much of the soil isn't safe for gardening. Not to mention all the light industry with accompanying nasty solvents. We as a society don't give a shit about that because it's inconvenient and unprofitable and it's difficult to blame poor people for arsenic and solvents.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:24 AM
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26: Fried fish is much better than white bread and margarine, which I'm told is the other option.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:27 AM
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Any actual benefit to poor people is incidental to a moral panic; if we as a society actually cared about the health of poor people, we'd be doing a lot of things differently, starting with addressing the insane levels of pollution found in poor neighborhoods, for instance.

I strongly agree with you about the first two parts of that sentence, but I'm not so sure about the third just because I'm generally suspicious of arguments in the form of, "you can't be serious about X because Y is a far more pressing problem and you aren't trying to do anything about that."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:34 AM
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Well perhaps "for example" would be better than "starting with". But we do tend to tinker with the things that are the most profitable/moral panicky rather than looking at the more inconvenient/less-enriching options (like addressing pollution-related health problems, which routinely get swept under the carpet in poor communities) instead of dinking around with "how can we provide more advanced shopping opportunities to poor people without actually giving them more money", which is usually our first step. Next up is hectoring them about taking cooking classes, clearly.

Also the "if we don't see major change in a year or two something must be wrong" business is tiring. People need access to resources on a sustained basis so that they can change at their own pace.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:41 AM
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22.3 As I recall my parents did it by having maybe ten standard dishes and rotating them around at random, pretty much like in 9. Most of them were things like "noodles with olive oil and garlic and black olives and maybe some parmesan if it was around" or "rice with cheddar cheese and lemon juice on top," which is good but also basic and the sort of thing that kids will be fine eating over, and over. (Also there was salad at every meal because salad is amazing and we weren't philistines.)

I think one of the most damaging things to the cause of "people make their own food" is the idea that cooking involves something fancy with lots of ingredients and technique like what people who enjoy cooking are enthusiastic about and what cooking classes tend to teach people to do. It can be that, but in my childhood it was mostly super basic stuff with a couple things on top of it and most of it could be cooked in the time it took to set the table and get everyone sitting at it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:43 AM
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On the one hand, I'm not so thrilled with the people who are all into making cooking fancy. On the other hand, compared to the type of cooking that some of the people who grew up around me used, I'm willing to give Mr. Gourmet Fuck some slack.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:47 AM
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I agree with 31, particularly this:

Also the "if we don't see major change in a year or two something must be wrong" business is tiring. People need access to resources on a sustained basis so that they can change at their own pace.

Also, on the cooking thread, I cook a fair amount and a majority of what I make is some variation on sauteed vegetables with some meat and rice (sometimes pasta or tortillas as the starch). Most of the time that feels like there's enough variation just based on switching out seasonings and different meat and vegetables. But there's a fair amount of repetition.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:50 AM
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35

Clearly we, as a society, are not doing nearly enough to shame poor people for their lack of stand mixers.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 10:55 AM
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31: You can probably get a grant to set-up a demonstration or test of a cooking class far more easily than you can to do any of that other stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:05 AM
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My home-cooked meals tend to be "Very Large Dish of Sauteed Vegetable, Usually Cauliflower" plus some cheese.

But every week I make a cake or fancy bread for the community ed class I teach, and that is a lot of fun. Last week was cinnamon streusel coffee cake with cinnamon filling. Luckily, several class members seem to have tapeworms, so there are never leftovers.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:05 AM
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38

Anyway, obesity is being treated as a medical problem because there's the medical community gets paid to treat the results.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:06 AM
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15: quote from my mother in law - " I don't understand why you eat so much salad, there's no goodness in it!"

The drudgery of nightly meal production is overwhelmingly not my drudgery, and I am super grateful to the guy who puts the food on the table. I pitch in whenever and however I can. Much of the variation in our meals comes from living in CA and having access to fresh fruit and veg, so those just change throughout the year. Lot of asparagus now, but then won't have any again until next year, etc.

Sadly it is more plausible to me that we would invest in education about nutrition than actually making good food affordable and accessible on a wide scale, because the former provides ample opportunities for the moralizing and pearl clutching frowner describes.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:08 AM
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36: Yes, and foundationally that is because we want to set up a system where we pay middle/upper-middle-class people to administer poor people. "I'm not actually giving you money, poor person, because you might use it wrong; instead, I am paying several graduates of good schools to teach you things they think you should know, and I will then hector you if you don't respond well to the teaching".

Which is not to say that no one likes cooking classes, or the people teaching them are terrible or whatever, or that no one ever benefits; but I really dislike the whole giving-grants-to-the-privileged-rather-than-money-to-the-poor system. As I've said here before, you can get an appointment to talk to someone about your "options" for free or cheap medical care in this town really easily; your actual options are all really shitty, but there are plenty of middle class people getting paid $50,000 and benefits every year to tell you about them.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:10 AM
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(I mean, I would support giving lots of grants to people in general - I love grants! I am not against grants! I just don't like them when they stand in for genuinely redistributive measures. After the revolution you can all have grants to teach cooking, or study plasmids, or whatever it is you people do all day.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:12 AM
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Right, but what's a doctor supposed to do when he or she starts to see what are unprecedented rates of obesity in children? Wait for the revolution? They can't start a revolution, because they've all had too much training about The Doctor's Trial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:14 AM
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42 before seeing 41.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:14 AM
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The sad thing about education in these cases is that a lot of highschools still pretend to teach this*, but as far as I can tell none of them (and no food classes) actually teach things that are particularly useful. Nutrition can be interesting, but I think educating people in it is questionably useful - I don't think people go to McDonald's because they think cheeseburgers provide important nutrition.

What would be useful would be a sequence of the really basic stuff that people who do fancy cooking rely on when they're lazy or in a hurry. "Here is how to make soup"; "Here is how to make stew"; "Putting things on top of rice"; "Putting things on top of noodles"; etc.

*I had to take Home Economics in highschool**, and it was a painful and blatantly useless collection of rules on how to be a housewife in the 1950s. We had a section (with filmstrips! and exams) on how to properly set the table. Sweartogod.

**Clearly a relatively new rule because it had only recently been desegregated (no seriously). Boys used to take Industrial Education and girls took Home Economics. The tone of Industrial Education classes was "You may want to consider this interesting field of work!". The tone of Home Economics was "This is your duty; you must do this properly."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:18 AM
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If you haven't taken "Putting Things On Top of Rice," you need instructor's permission to take "Putting Things On Top of Noodles."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:20 AM
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46

44.last: Also, sex ed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:21 AM
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If you do it in that order "Putting things on top of noodles" is just the instructor saying "more oily and less salty." (Well, and vice versa I guess.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:22 AM
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47 may have been posted before seeing 46. But I'm not making any promises.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:23 AM
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In retrospect, our junior high Home Ec and Industrial Ed classes were not nearly as gendered as they could have been. Both were very fussy and not quite as effective as maybe would have been nice, but I pretty much remember everyone enjoying the projects in both classes.

(Also we had a genuine seventies feminist (this was the mid-eighties) teaching social studies - the only "Ms" in the school at the time. She used to listen to me complain about being bullied and said a few helpful things, which was really nice of her, especially because I think I was probably kind of annoying. She later had an affair with the principal and it was a big scandal. Mostly I couldn't understand it because she was so pretty (for a woman who seemed relatively old - she must have been in her thirties!) - and the principal was just some big random shapeless guy. To me she looked a lot like Princess Leia only with blond hair. In retrospect, I think I probably had a crush on her.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:25 AM
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and the principal was just some big random shapeless guy

He was probably working too hard to get muscle tone. Plus that was before lifting was a thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:28 AM
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51

Anyway, don't body shame the poor guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:29 AM
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I haven't actually read the article Heebie linked, but isn't the whole point that just providing access and availability (that is, reasonably cheap, "nutritious"* food in places where people can find and afford it) isn't enough? So that you actually do need to provide some education if you want people to change their eating habits, for reasons that we think will both improve their lives and overall health outcomes? Assuming those premises are true, that gets you to some pretty good reasons for why you might want to have easy access to education on these issues, for reasons that have little to do with shaming the poor.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:31 AM
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dadbod sex object before his time.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:31 AM
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Really, in the mid-80s, teachers were still smoking all the time for obvious reasons (kids are assholes) and it kept them thin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:33 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if the entire drop in teen smoking wasn't due to the fact that teachers (and parents) no longer have so much nicotine in their own nose so kids can get caught even on a smoke several hours prior.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:35 AM
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I spent some time last year on a policy overview committee re food access and yes education is important but for a lot of people $$$$ issues trump all. Also, transport, storage, cooking options, time constraints. But you can solve a hell of a lot of problems for people by giving them money, and our persistent unwillingness to do so on anything approaching the necessary scale tends to make the ongoing drumbeat for education start to look more like shame the poor.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:40 AM
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It wasn't even that he was fat; I honestly don't remember, and someone has to be pretty large or pretty skinny before I really start to see them as much out of the ordinary. It was that he was a tall, looming blocky kind of guy in a suit with no distinguishing features of dress or personality. Like, if he had been really short with curly hair, or really tall and extremely blond or something it would not have seemed as mysterious to me. It was because he seemed to me at the time such a nonentity. I assume that he had something going for him, and I hope the consequences of the affair weren't too awful.

Our minister also had an affair with the choir director right around then. Even now I have trouble quite understanding that, because I liked them both a lot. They did end up getting married and seemed happy together. (Also they both had distinguishing features and could be picked out of a crowd.)

Sometimes I think I must have been all punk rock in college precisely because it put me in a social circle where everyone was easy to tell apart due to different hair colors, piercings, etc.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:40 AM
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The two vice principals at my HS had a *scandalous!* affair complete with matching acrimonious divorces and blissful subsequent marriage. It seemed to me at the time that the two of them were obviously much happier afterwards than before so I drew the wrong moral conclusion per the reigning animosity.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:44 AM
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If the divorces match well enough, do you get a discount from your lawyer?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:46 AM
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Maybe there's some ethics or tactics involved in not using the same lawyer for two different divorces that are a step toward the creation of one new couple.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:48 AM
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Home Ec classes sorted by constraints would be interesting. Five meals under $5/serving; five meals that can actually be prepared start to finish in under 30 min; five meals made from longlasting pantry staples -- that kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:57 AM
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$5/serving is really a low bar, unless you're supposed to limbo under the bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:59 AM
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I don't actually pay much attention to our food budget -- are you calling it too easy or too hard?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:06 PM
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I don't think people go to McDonald's because they think cheeseburgers provide important nutrition.

Not literally, no, but I suspect that there's a lot of misguided/out of date folk wisdom about food that leads people to think* they're being healthier than they are. They've been trying to unteach people the 4 food groups for most of my life, but it's still embedded in my thinking, and it's hard for me not to picture a healthy meal (for a child, at least) as equal-sized mounds of meat, starch, and veg, with a glass of milk alongside.

In that context, a cheeseburger with fries gives you everything but the veg (or fruit), and people seriously underestimate how much fruit/veg they should be eating, such that it's easy to tell yourself that a little fruit with breakfast is basically enough.

*some of this thinking being motivated


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:12 PM
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Too easy. I'm not saying that it's a gimme, but not as hard as the other two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:12 PM
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The fries are the vegetable, plus the pickles and reconstituted onion and the ketchup. The bun is the starch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:13 PM
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61: In high school I took a food/nutrition/cooking course that had some creative name which fails me now, and things like that were pretty much exactly what we did, along with some exploring of international cuisines. (Then my group discovered we had a deep fryer as part of our kit, and all we did was fry things.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:15 PM
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I thought about mentioning the pickle, but I don't think anyone is delusional enough to consider 2 thin slices of pickle a serving of vegetable.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:16 PM
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If you ask for extra, you can get as many as five.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:17 PM
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The recent vogue for pickled/fermented foods is really challenging AB's priors, which are that A. fresh/raw veg is best, and B. pickled things taste gross. Iris has always liked pickles and olives and such, and AB would insist that they didn't really count as vegetables (because all the nutrients had been cooked out), but nowadays everyone says those things are super good for you.

As the person preparing foods for Iris, I'm thrilled that the easy choices are healthy ones, and refuse to look into it further.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:19 PM
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My mom had the exact opposite problem as 9: she wanted to branch out, but the rest of us just wanted the same reshuffled options over and over again.

I have a variation on this problem which is that I would like to eat more spicy and outre mixed-together things that are just too far afield for Jane right now AND Jane currently both chafes at having things too often ("I'm not ready!") AND BUT would prefer to have the same single favorite not very healthy thing (scallion pancakes + cut up red peppers) every single night. I kind of waffle around partly doing what I feel like and partly catering to the peanut gallery and fully finding the whole thing tiring. And I really like cooking! Or at least I used to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:21 PM
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This part of the thread is almost enough to get me craving a McD's cheeseburger. Haven't had one in probably 8 years (I have had a Big Mac and a very disappointing chicken snack wrap thing).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:21 PM
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I'm very certain that if your child's favorite food is scallion pancakes and cut up red peppers, you can just run out into the street and yell, "I won parenting, you sons of bitches."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:22 PM
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72: Right. A cheeseburger costs the same as a McDouble, so you go for that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:23 PM
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I'm very certain that if your child's favorite food is scallion pancakes and cut up red peppers, you can just run out into the street and yell, "I won parenting, you sons of bitches."

Hooray! *waves tiny fists in the air*


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:23 PM
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What scallion pancake recipe do you use? I've never made them when it wasn't both disappointing and a huge hassle.

Conveniently, our kids are basically always happy with buttered noodles and quesadillas, so if I want to make something spicy or otherwise kid-unfriendly for myself and AB, we have those as fallback, yet the kids basically never demand them.

We've gotten into a weird equilibrium where I'm rarely making more than 2 meals a week*, which isn't enough to satisfy my desire for variety.

*between review dinners, leftovers, and nights out (work or events), the whole week tends to be covered. Maybe the 7th night I do something quick/simple like frozen ravioli with pesto.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:27 PM
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I personally don't know what scallion pancakes are and don't eat red peppers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:36 PM
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My kid recently said that she wanted to serve steak and oysters on the half shell for the lunch at her "[name of classroom] Bistro" school project where they run a "restaurant" for a day and invite parents for lunch. But the school dismissed her recommendation and went with hot dogs and mac and cheese. I was proud, though there's a possibility that she was humoring me.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:37 PM
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nowadays everyone says those things are super good for you.

Wait, pickles and olives are good for you now? That's the best news I've heard all day!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:40 PM
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The trouble with McDonald's cheeseburgers is that three is not enough, and four is too many.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:41 PM
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81

What scallion pancake recipe do you use? I've never made them when it wasn't both disappointing and a huge hassle.

I very frequently just buy 'em frozen at the asian supermarket, but when I'm feeling ambitious I make these and freeze them. I definitely find it most pleasant to make a bunch at once and then cook one at a time from frozen--then the hassle is cordoned off and they become a convenience food.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:44 PM
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Oops, not those, where is my recipe? Hang on.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:45 PM
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Jammies is out of town YET AGAIN this week, so the menu is all junk food, all week, because I am not cooking dinners that generate whining when I'm on my own. So, bean and cheese tacos, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, and ravioli. Done.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:45 PM
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Also, I was ushering the kids out to the minivan this morning, right on schedule, when it dawned on me that Jammies had taken the baby's carseat to the airport, by mistake. This morning was a royal clusterfuck, to put it mildly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:48 PM
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Lucky you have a roof rack.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:48 PM
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Anyway, boiling water dough, let rest, roll out into disks, brush with sesame oil, sprinkle with chopped scallions, roll up, roll the cigar into a spiral, roll out into disk, put on stack with pieces of parchment or wax paper or whatever in between, put whole stack in freezer bag, freeze. Cooking them at the same time you do the rolling out is a recipe for super irritation. But anyway, like I said, I often punk out and get them pre-made.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:57 PM
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That sounds like an exciting morning, Heebie.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 12:58 PM
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It was one of those horrors where you first think, "this is unsolvable!" I had a moment where I believed that I'd be housebound with all four kids all week, because I couldn't go get a carseat.

Then I stopped being an idiot, had a friend take Hawaii to school, remembered we had an ancient toddler seat in the attic, got rained on while being not-strong-enough to get the latch system to work, discovered the instruction book was glued shut from having gotten wet, realized that our other toddler seat was the same brand and so used the other instruction booklet, which is when I remembered that you can use the regular seatbelt to buckle in carseats. But I got very wet and flustered, and I'm not going to get all my grading done by the 5 pm deadline by any stretch. Boo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:03 PM
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There is an interesting feature of parenting where days can go downhill much faster than farther than they could before. So before, sure, some days would be crappy. But with kids there can be this vertiginous plunge into everything-is-terrible that was at least relatively unfamiliar to me before.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:06 PM
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Cooking classes at my school were segregated by academics rather than gender: the bottom two sets got to do home economics, but the top set had to take Latin. There was, however, a cooking club one afternoon a week after lessons finished, which was always hopelessly oversubscribed as it offered the one chance in the week to eat something that was actually palatable. Quite how the school kitchen converted what looked like perfectly normal ingredients into the revolting crap that was served to us for breakfast, lunch and dinner I have no idea, but they had obviously been honing this skill for years.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:10 PM
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79 - Well, it's either quick pickled stuff (which is probably just blanched vegetables with a bunch of vinegar) or fermented stuff which seems to add but not subtract nutrients. I'm pretty sure the actual pro-biotics! fad is nonsense though. "My digestion and pooping improved when I started eating loads of fermented cabbage(or whatever) I bet it was the fermentation and not the fiber that did it!" isn't the most obvious conclusion to draw.

I'm kind of curious to know when the fad started though - does anyone have a firm number? Mostly I'm curious because I don't remember many people talking about it when I started doing it myself but there must have been some generalized interest floating around.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:22 PM
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I got a call this morning from the secretary at the school where my wife was not working (she alternates between two schools) that I needed to call the daycare teacher's cell phone. There has been construction outside daycare and today they cracked a gas main and the entire 4-block area around it was evacuated. It turns out the daycare either doesn't have our contact info (they've lost/erased it before) or didn't take it when they evacuated- they looked up our home number online and left a message (and of course we weren't there, we use daycare because we are not at home during the day) and they looked up one of the schools they remembered she worked at. Using a commandeered city bus, they evacuated the kids to the national guard armory a couple blocks away where a MEMA coordinator and three national guard troops were supervising the building.
Once I picked up and we were home my daughter wanted to relive everything by having me draw it- "Draw a big bus! Now draw me on the bus! Now draw this girl on the bus, crying! Now draw this teacher outside the bus! Now draw this teacher!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:24 PM
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86 sounds like the first ones I tried (maybe J Kenji Alt's? No, his were the second ones I made, disappointing).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:26 PM
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92: It's a good thing daycare doesn't let kids smoke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:28 PM
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||
Complete non sequitur, but I got a friend request over at the other place from a name that I vaguely recalled as having attended the same high school as me, but absolutely nothing else about the person attached to the name. So I clicked over to his page and first saw a post stating:

Get ready cock the pig next sat got too get the yard mow and get everything clean up around here we have 120 lb hog going on the grill next Friday night

Cock the pig! It's not just for moles any more. I'd already gotten my money's worth. But then came this priceless exchange. I blacked out the last names, but it helps set the scene if you know that Terry and Jerry share the same last name. I don't foresee accepting the friend request, but I may just bookmark it to check in now and again.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:34 PM
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A few thoughts:

1) If generations of people have been eating convenience foods, then even giving away broccoli is not going to make people want to eat it. This is a problem African American farmers running subsidized farmers markets in South Side Chicago have encountered. If someone has never seen a green bean before, they're not going to buy or eat them, and if they do they probably won't like them. Palates are trained from birth, and retraining can be done but it takes effort.
2) I have a friend who was head chef at the top French restaurant in my hometown's city for 2 decades. She volunteer teaches cooking classes for a food pantry, using only the items in the box. She is aware that teaching Mexican immigrants how to cooked with canned beans is potentially very offensive, and she does her homework and has put a lot of thought into how to be appropriately humble and culturally sensitive. I agree with the general sentiment that trusting poor people is the best thing to do, but #notallchefs are Jamie Oliver. She's not an exception either. A lot of people working the front lines in the war in poverty are not clueless and out of touch or even separate from the communities they serve the way a lot of the policy people are.
3) OTOH, my guess is actually very few Americans actually cook from scratch, especially if they work. Wealthy people can eat out or do those meal programs, and MC people have Blue Apron and TJ's frozen foods. There's a lot of "healthy" convenience junk food that is also nutritionally bad but doesn't have the stigma that cheaper fast food or junk food does. If we argue that poor people need to cook everything from scratch, then we might as well also side-eye all the convenience food at WF.
4) Urban poor have, as noted above, never cooked their food. Kitchen equipment/space is probably more available now than it's ever been, and street food is well documented in Europe from Roman times onward. Also, lots of it was terrible for you and really did kill you (read Marx's stuff on what's in bread). Dying of diabetes or a heart attack at age 65 is actually doing pretty well historically speaking (not that I think that should be our comparison. We are doing really shittily compared to industrialized countries, and I think that should be the standard we hold ourselves to). It's a problem, but framing it as a decline from a Golden Age of nutritious Streete Foode isn't the right narrative.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:40 PM
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95: it is impossible for me not to read those in the voice of Quagmire from King of the Hill.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:40 PM
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I started writing, took a break, and finished before there were 90+ comments, so apologies if people have already said all this.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:41 PM
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That is amazing. You should absolutely accept that friend request.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:42 PM
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I'd like to imagine that Cock the Pig is a mascot in the vein of Elsie the Cow.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:42 PM
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I'd like to imagine that I preview before hitting "post."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:45 PM
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That was awesome and "fuck you mouth fuck" goes into the permanent set of tools.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:46 PM
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95

Accept the request and keep us updated on this person's life. Also, was it just me or did anyone else actually have trouble following the argument?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:48 PM
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I was impressed that they managed to understand each other well enough to have an argument, but they were clearly using the same writing style so maybe that was it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:49 PM
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I sent it to Keegan first, who replied "I think it's trying to communicate." We've been calling each other mouth fucks ever since.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:49 PM
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Is it bad that my first thought was about how important punctuation really is?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:49 PM
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Cooking from scratch is cheaper if you have the time and equipment. Buying in bulk is cheaper if you have the cash on hand. Either way, it boils down to it's expensive to be poor.

Yes, absolutely.

I.F. and I mostly lived off of Trader Joe's prepared foods back in SF. So great, but yeah, alternating gyoza and sausage/kale/avocado for breakfast may not have been the healthiest thing ever. We're trying to cook more now, but it's hard to train new habits. Which is one reason that I'm not sure how I feel about Frowner's middle-class-grantees-teaching-the-poor -- I, for one, really could use some guidance about this stuff. That said, it's a lot cheaper to find recipes and advice online than it is to actually buy the equipment you need, and without the latter, you're kind of hosed.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 1:55 PM
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Isn't sausage/kale/avocado a very healthy breakfast? It sounds healthier than my most common options (Special K* or two hard boiled eggs or sausage biscuits).

*the prepared breakfast cereal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:03 PM
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And healthier than my alternating Bojangles/Hardees/nothing-but-coffee routine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:09 PM
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Only 1/3rd of that is available to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:11 PM
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My mother is doing some service project right now that involves trying to get "at risk" three-year-old's to eat healthy things. So, twice a month she goes in and provides the kids some healthy snack. Thus far, her major breakthrough seems to be that you can get kids to eat vegetable sticks if you cover them in ranch dressing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:23 PM
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How many of you cook from scratch every night? It is cheaper and healthier to eat food prepared yourself every evening*, but the reason the poor tend toward obesity is not that they're unusual in not cooking for themselves, but that the options when you're not cooking for yourself when you're poor are much worse than if you have the money/knowledge to get better options.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:27 PM
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That actually sounds like a win to me. I mean, ranch dressing isn't poison, it's just fat, and three-year-olds (as well as other people) need some fat -- a kid who gets used to eating carrot sticks with ranch dressing is a kid who will eat carrot sticks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:27 PM
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I think, even after all the practicalities are accounted for, a big part of this, as per the article, is explained by "I look to eat what people like me eat", where the upshot of that is as fuzzy as the way people consciously or unconsciously make "people like me" judgments.

In Austin these two taco restaurants are right down the block from each other on a street that's the northern boundary of a neighborhood that's in an advanced stage of gentrification. In spite of the prices being basically the same, the first gets a lot of black and brown patrons and the second really doesn't get any. Part of that is that the first has been around a lot longer, so it predates most of the gentrification, but I bet a lot of it is the fact that the second codes hipster/foodie: the tacos have slightly fussier and non-standard ingredients, they sell horchata with a shot of espresso, etc.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:28 PM
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I do it almost every night - but it's usually just putting rice in the rice cooker or noodles in water, and then quickly sauteeing some of whatever vegetables/meat/pickles I have in the fridge to eat with them. That doesn't take noticeably longer than buying food (it's probably quicker than walking down to the end of the block to buy Chipotle or something, and no more difficult). I'm cooking for myself, though, and that has to make a difference given how much people talk about the amount of time/effort that goes into cooking.

I'm not convinced it's that much healthier though - every time I see that kind of advice being given I suspect that they mean it's healthier to cook food yourself if you don't know how to make food taste good. ("There's a lot of salt in that pre-prepared food!" Yes! I know! Because you add a bunch of salt when cooking things to make them taste good!)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:30 PM
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I'm not convinced it's that much healthier though - every time I see that kind of advice being given I suspect that they mean it's healthier to cook food yourself if you don't know how to make food taste good

According to leading doctoral candidates/sisters of mine, it's in general healthier to cook at home pretty much regardless of what you're cooking.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:32 PM
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113: My sister calls it "white dippy". Ketchup is "red dippy".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:34 PM
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112 is probably right. My brother eats less from-scratch cooking than I do and is much thinner. He goes to bars half as often and doesn't eat there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:35 PM
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I do cook from scratch nearly every night without much repetition. We probably eat out/have something prepared once every two weeks or so, though occasionally more often. BUT, we're both enthusiastic cooks, have no kids, have jobs that get us home by 6 pm, have few good eating-out options in our own town, and have a reasonable amount of disposable income. It all sort of works together to produce the optimum conditions for cooking frequently - I feel like tweaking any of those conditions would change things quite a bit.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:36 PM
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There's a lot of salt in that pre-prepared food!" Yes! I know! Because you add a bunch of salt when cooking things to make them taste good!

And because it's a preservative - I salt a fair bit and it's still considerably less than you usually see in prepackaged foods.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:40 PM
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106

Or how much spelling 'goddamn' as 'god dame' really messes with comprehension, even after you've interpreted it.

107
I would have problems with a rando middle class Jane doing it, but much less with trained chefs volunteering their time.* And IME the chefs who do do it get trained on what sorts of equipment people have to work with and what sorts of people might attend the cooking classes (e.g. immigrants who might have extensive cooking skills but not be familiar with specific US ingredients like peanut butter.) The woman I know experiments at home with using the cans themselves as her primary cooking utensils.

112

For me it comes and goes in phases. And I rarely cook without any processed stuff at all, like dried pasta or canned tomatoes. I also usually use canned beans because I am too lazy and don't plan ahead with soaking. I bake entirely from scratch. My convenience meals are omelets or pasta with garlic, olive oil, canned tomatoes, and whatever vegetables I have lying around. I just recently tried out some TJ's frozen stuff (gyoza, mushroom ravioli + sauce, burritos), but it got tiresome after awhile and at least with burritos & ravioli it doesn't seem like that much more work to make slightly less pre-assembled versions. When I do cook, I do a lot of chilis and bean soups, salads, and rarely meat, mostly because I'm cheap. I rely mostly on eggs, beans, and cheese for my protein.

*As long as it's optional, I don't see how people can object to experts volunteer teaching classes that they might otherwise charge a lot of money for.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:42 PM
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How many of you cook from scratch every night?

My wife has cooked most nights, most meals all the time we've been together. We go out or get takeout a couple of nights a week. I always clean up.

I have a limited repertoire of meals I've cooked for the family. There was a period when I was not working and she was working both before and after dinner and the kids were young when I cooked half the nights.

Our meals are more "from scratch" than anyone's I know.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:43 PM
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I saw cotton and I saw black
Tall white mansions and little shacks
Mouth fuck man, when will you pay them back?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:44 PM
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Other than condiments, the only non-scratch ingredient we ever use is frozen ravioli (Rosett/ are really quite good), and we do takeout literally a half dozen times a year. We do eat out every single week, due to the review gig, but neither convenience foods nor takeout are part of our diet. We probably don't eat at non-review restaurants more than a half dozen times a year (not counting travel, of course), so we're talking literally 300 meals a year that are scratch made, leftover scratch, or leftover restaurant (although the kids tend not to eat that;it's usually leftovers of the grownups' entrees, less kid-friendly).

We do eat later dinners than most families with kids, but I also make very little effort to do simple meals on weeknights; if I put a priority on earlier eating, we could, but I don't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:45 PM
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I cook from scratch 5-6 nights a week, and we plan out the menus over the weekend. I do feel like we're in a limited-rotation rut and it's hard to work new things in, though they do slowly appear (kimchi fried rice with fried egg, where by "rice" I mean "whatever grain is left around", is a notable newcomer).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:46 PM
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it is really time-consuming and tiring to feed one's family home-cooked meals every night.

Seriously, this.

I'm increasingly annoyed by professional, full-time foodies -- cookbook authors, chefs, etc., whose full-time jobs revolve around food -- telling other people (mainly women, let's face it), for whom cooking is yet another time burden on top of some other full-time occupation, that it's easy-peasy to put a home-cooked meal on the table every night.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:48 PM
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Per 121, I wasn't counting dried pasta and canned tomatoes as convenience/prepared foods. I don't mill my own wheat, either.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:48 PM
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If you go by this more recent major research, the safest range of sodium intake is maybe 3-6 grams a day. A Hungry Man XXL Boneless Chicken package, with 24 ounces of food, has 2.6 grams of sodium. Unless people are really going overboard, I doubt packaged food is doing much harm on that score. (Probably on many other scores, of course.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:49 PM
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If you take the chicken and put it between two hot pockets, you can make a nice sandwich.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 2:55 PM
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Yeah, the definition I mean here is minimally processed: canned good and dry goods fine, but emphasis on whole foods rather than boxed pre-packaged Meals (tm).

We do about six-seven nights of the week; restaurants or takeout once every two weeks. As near as I can tell we're the exception among our friends, and both of us like to cook. We do a decent amount of cooking ahead/freezing leftover sauces/soups, etc.

111: Total win. According to our pediatrician if kids are offered healthy foods they mostly self-regulate well, so if the carrots need some ranch, that's fine, because next week, they won't eat a carrot and then will eat four in a meal. (True in our experience with the Calabat, who will eat everything, but in cycles.)

115: Lots more salt, sugars and fats in outside-of-the-home prepared food. Part of it is shelf stability, part of it is that if you want to market a universally bland-but-appealing flavor that will sell, fat, sugar, and salt is how you do it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:03 PM
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What I find the most tiring/tiresome about cooking is meal planning and shopping. I am an expert at pulling together a dinner out of random ingredients, but that also takes mental effort. If I could show up in a fully stocked clean kitchen every night and make dinner (like the Top Chef kitchen area), I would love cooking a lot more. Right now I enjoy and am pretty good at the actual cooking part, but I hate the shopping/planning part.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:06 PM
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Also, a lot of sugar/salt in packaged foods to balance each other out. So, sugar to cut the saltiness rather than to add sweetness. It's kind of disturbing when you see how much non sweet stuff has HFCS in it as one of the top ingredients (sliced bread, I'm looking at you).

When I buy canned/packaged stuff, I look for stuff which is what it says it is and doesn't have lots of other stuff added as well. It's depressing at how much better (enlightened topless) Europe is in this regard. My armchair hypothesis is the reason fewer Europeans need a crane to leave their homes is mostly that their cheese doodles are less packed to the gills with stuff that is harmful.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:12 PM
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"'Mother fucker'! I'm trying to type 'mother fucker'! Stupid autocorrect!"


Posted by: Opinionated Jerry Redacted | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:13 PM
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131: I'm with you. That, and if I had a grunt to clean the dishes, instead of shop/cook/clean all being on my shoulders, I think it'd be easier.

At the moment, we average about 2 meals + 1 dinner leftovers at home each week, though we do all breakfasts at home together. The other nights are "in passing"; I leave around the time she gets home, or she has an evening meeting, or I'm running an evening game, or we're off to a friends house together. Those nights are too often eating out--and too often eating alone.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:16 PM
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4-6 nights a week. Or, rather, my wife cooks 4-6 and I do 0-1. But I kept up about that same schedule when I was single; we might get more takeout but we kind of do live in the ghetto and thus an OG food desert.

The key for me on weeknights is making shit that is super easy (generally, meat+kale for me, meat+kale+buttered noodles or some other crap for the kid), plus leftovers, so I'm in a lot of sympathy with 126. More than 30 minutes total on everything=fuck you. Foodie evangelists are mouth fucks. What you need are tasty, super easy things; sausages over kale is a great example. BTW less salt is the ultimate bullshit and the wrong way to go. Sautee some vegetables, add a ton of salt, add some butter, they'll taste great and it's super quick and boom you've eaten veggies at home and it wasn't a pain in the ass or gross.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:19 PM
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Actually "less fat" is also the ultimate bullshit, as long as you mean good ole animal fat and not HFCS or whatever. A big piece of fat cooked in with your greens is awesome.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:21 PM
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135

Yep. Saute kale with butter, garlic, and salt and you can eat a whole plateful. Or add some bacon for flavor, and it's still really healthy while tasting like it's not. Roasted veggies w/ olive oil, salt, and pepper are basically crack. The problem is people eat them steamed and boiled, then decide they're gross and go back to hot pockets. Chopping them can be a pain, but you can get pre-chopped stuff if you're lazy.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:23 PM
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Other recent mouth fuck updates:

May 9 at 9:10pm ·
Going too bed and get up and hit the gym. For about three hr. The gym moor fun when I. Don't have too pay for talk to every one latter. Good night

May 4 at 11:52am ·
Guy let me tell you something woman dame kill me they can't fine there dame hair boo they just put down 5 min ago but dame they can tell you what you did and say. Nine year ago that a dame woman for you

April 27 at 1:34pm ·
I want too thank every one for come out sat too the cock out I had a blast and the pig was grate thank every one for come


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:25 PM
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Weirdly on topic: out local CSA farm just sold to a local non-profit. It sounds like Food Commons Fresno been working for a few years on trying to rework the flow of food from farms; they've partnered with CSAs and urban farming groups. (I'd never heard of them before.)

Interestingly, we're getting our existing subscriptions transferred over to ooooby, a successful Australian CSA coordinator. It's an interesting world, and one of the very few times it feels like Fresno's on the cutting edge of something.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:26 PM
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I don't understand why single people- poor or otherwise- should be expected to cook. Instead of pushing affordable supermarkets, I think that there should be a push for affordable cafeterias with a wide variety of nutritious options and delicious salad bars. You might even get to know some of the regulars. Not wait service, so no tipping.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:27 PM
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Wow, Mr. Mouth Fuck really is an amazing specimen.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:30 PM
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My wife cooks weekdays and I cook weekends. Most of the time its from scratch, but occasionally its something like "pasta + sauce from jar" or "chicken + Indian simmer sauce + rice." I occasionally make my own chicken tikka masala sauce from scratch, but that's a lot of work and it only tastes marginally better than the stuff from a jar.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:34 PM
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138.3 for mouseover text.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:36 PM
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I can definitely go through a tray or two of roasted veggies, but didn't like the results when I roasted fava beans, which someone here mentioned. Maybe I did it wrong?

Fava beans, shelled from the pod, but not from the outer shell, roasted w/ olive oil, salt and pepper. Not as good as I hoped. Should I have done it differently?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:38 PM
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We grocery-shop together and plan the week's meals then. I've always done as much of the not-cooking as possible so she'll want to cook.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:40 PM
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Every Monday night my wife cooks tilapia, because my son likes it. So I just had some tilapia. Pan fried tilapia: so, so boring.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:42 PM
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144: I have always blanched and removed fava beans from the individual shells inside the pod. I didn't know that was an optional step.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:43 PM
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It isn't, really.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:54 PM
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I was hoping roasting would somehow be different.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:55 PM
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Mr. Blandings said at some point (in a flickr comment!) that it's an optional step at the very very beginning of the season.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:55 PM
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140: a decent neighborhood diner! Daily special and a side of greens and someone to notice if I've been gone for a week.

I wonder, about the OP, how long it takes for the expected payoff to actually be positive. If I expect cancer at 50, postponing diabetes to 60 probably isn't worth forgoing pizza and a beer now. Which is to say, what Frowner said, from a glummer angle.

We had friends for dinner Saturday; five people four sets of dietary restrictions; fortunately the newest set was completely handled by the first three. We do use canned tomatoes - and coconut milk and bought pasta - but we check the ingredients every single time. Most table salt will give a friend of mine migraines (dextrose). And sometimes we write a note explaini g that we're customers because all other manufacturers use X.

But I've been cooking from scratch since I was twelve, with a younger brother with intolerances, I've internalized a lot of the decisions -- and its still tiring.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:56 PM
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131: We make a list before we shop, and write it on the kitchen whiteboard, because for us the tricky part is deciding what to make that day. Too mentally taxing; much easier to pick from a list.

135: I have a strong belief that fat and salt doesn't count as bad if you're adding it to whole foods you're cooking yourself. Donuts are bad for you, but omelettes with peppers and sausages are health food.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 3:59 PM
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My two younger kids have developed lists of food they WILL*NOT*EAT that are almost entirely different from one another, which is an enormous pain in the ass and I am not responding in a calm, mature manner.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:02 PM
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MHPH, 91: given that we need a minor ecology of gut flora to digest properly, it seems plausible to me that lots of people are better off with some set of fermented food. Especially people who take antibiotics often, etc. Of course one would like to feed them plain fresh cabbage for a week as pure I tellectual inquiry, but it's so hard to double-blind that.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:02 PM
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152.2: I have convinced myself that doughnuts home-made with eggs from my mothers' happy chickens are health food.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:05 PM
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Like a sandwich of donuts with an egg in the middle?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:06 PM
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The Ron popeil donut dropper batter is nearly an egg custard.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:09 PM
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I should put this text in my pseud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:11 PM
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Out of 50,000 people whom I would have guessed have used a Ron Popeil product, clew would be #50,000.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:12 PM
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Now I want a donut, but they always seemed a cold-weather food to me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:12 PM
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154 - True enough - but the things we think of as probiotic are (1) not always those flora and (2) when they are they're at best one or two bits of the hundreds we actually use. So replenishing the necessary gut flora isn't really going to work with sauerkraut/etc. - there's really not even enough there to be better than you'd find in any normal food anyway. (Also plain raw cabbage can be pretty amazing if you dress it first like a salad, especially if it's red cabbage with a red wine vinaigrette and some sugar, left to sit overnight to soften, which is dangerously addictive and I can't be held responsible of someone makes this and discovers what happens if you spend a few days eating a lot of raw cabbage.)

Normal pickling fermentation only works because all the necessary bacteria are already floating around covering every available surface in massive numbers don't think too hard about this if you're germophobic. And we aren't talking about two or three kinds of things going on - we're talking about probably dozens of genuses of bacteria in our guts, and probably three (sauerkraut) or fewer in pickled things.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:18 PM
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We take cabbage, toss it with lime juice and salt, and put it on fish tacos.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:26 PM
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I will try this with the softened red cabbage. How much sugar?

I inherited a donut dropper from a grandmother, wore it out, and got a new aluminium one. The original would have cooked them in a skillet over gas, but I am cautious of third-degree burns and use a plug-in deep fryer on the counter.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:27 PM
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77 had me worrying for a second that my dad had started commenting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:32 PM
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I will try this with the softened red cabbage. How much sugar?

I've made quick-pickled cabbage before which is quite tasty and probably more vinegary than you would want for a salad. Looking up two recipes they both have a ratio of about 9:2 vinegar:sugar. So I'd start with that ratio and experiment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:35 PM
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Just treat it like salad only with a little sugar in the vinaigrette - the salt and sugar (and probably the vinegar as well) soften it as it wilts so it isn't like chewing on a head of cabbage. It isn't pickled or anything, though.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:39 PM
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Talking about recipes always makes me realize that I'm more like my grandmother than people would think. Aside from ones I have in cookbooks and can look up recipes that people ask for always just look like a potentially incomplete set of ingredients. I'm not as bad as her, though, or at least I like to think so. But I think it's just because I don't particularly do a lot of baking. (The recipes she passed down are magnificent because they end up looking like: "Mix eggs, flour and water then bake until done." You have to read the title to know what you're supposed to end up with.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:42 PM
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167 corresponds pretty well to my father's description of his mother's recipes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:44 PM
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We cook from scratch about 5 times a week, aside from when Jammies is out of town.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:44 PM
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Usually these threads make me feel awful about myself, but today I'm fine even though for dinner I bought pizza for my kids and the principal's kids because no one dos came to PTO in a rainstorm. Last night the two big girls ate half a pound of olives between them, among other things. But Nia also asked why I never make mashed potatoes and after being reminded she even helped with the mashing last time shrieked, "Noooo, the kind from a box!" Sorry, kid.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:46 PM
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Aside from ones I have in cookbooks and can look up recipes that people ask for always just look like a potentially incomplete set of ingredients.

That is me as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 4:48 PM
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Before anyone feels to confident I should add that my grandmother was a questionable cook at best. As I recall she managed to go her entire life, and raise four children, without ever owning a cutting board.

They didn't eat out (almost ever), but apparently she just did any cooking necessary standing over whatever pan/bowl/pot the thing in question was about to go into, and using her knife like a paring knife. I don't know how it worked, to be honest, but I suspect the answer is "well enough that no one died" and not much more. (And yet she had recipes to pass along! I don't know how that worked but I suspect that it may not have been expertise in cooking that resulted in their lack of detail.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:01 PM
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95 is the greatest thing ever. Is "mouth fuck" a misspelling of "motherfucker"? Do you think he pronounces it that way?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:09 PM
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I'm wondering if they're partially using voice recognition.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:22 PM
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Favas in their velvety pods are yummy grilled but only when they are super slender, like imagine Chopin's elegant little finger. You mercilessly eat the whole thing. Need high high heat.

It will surprise no one that we eat homemade all the frickin time, but many many nights it is some version of TRO's standby meal - vast swathes of green veggies and a varying morsel-to-hunk of meat dosed according to whether one is a rail thin dancer or a sedentary office worker, also eggs or lentils/beans. In addition to pasta, bread, roast potatoes, rice, whole wheat coucous are regular in the starch rotation, I usually skip this or only have a bit. Also we are die hard devotees of salad, a nice green salad with a little piece of cheese is such a lovely end to a meal. And then some fruit for those still ravenously hungry aka the dancer and I just drown that fruit in cream for him. At some point presumably there will be some girth on him to show for all that cream.

When I'm not working on the weekend I try to build up some meals in the freezer, but then I enjoy cooking. If I'm home I time I pitch in to help with dinner, and I'm scary fast.

The thing that's never made sense to me with eating yogurt or sauerkraut or whatever to populate your gut is that all of it needs to go through your stomach first aka the hellish bath if acids, and I'm not aware that the little buggers can survive hydrochloric acid. I think a better bet is to eat foods with fibers and other constituents beloved of the friendly bugs that can survive the acid bath. Or get a poop transplant!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:22 PM
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Why not do both?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:43 PM
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But don't people in fact report success with eating yogurt when afflicted by, you know, uh, lady issues?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:46 PM
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Not just eating it, I hear.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 5:55 PM
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Just because Candida is a girl's name doesn't mean it's only for girls, you know. But what clew said.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 6:14 PM
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Is that way Jamie Lee Curtis is going on about?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 6:41 PM
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Ok well everything I've seen in my minutes of cursory googling suggests that "just eating it" is a reasonably effective course of action, but I'll defer to my brighter comrades.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 6:52 PM
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As with fortune cookie mottoes: "between the sheets".


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:03 PM
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Eating it is a kind of indirect way of getting it to the afflicted area. Cutting to the chase is recommended!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:14 PM
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I realized what you were driving at in 178, clew, but if 182 is suggesting that one read the phrase "Eating yogurt" here as actually "eating yogurt ... with your vagina", then … I don't believe you.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:14 PM
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Oh right, I lost track of what we were even talking about.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:19 PM
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Recall, the question was "does consuming such things have any effect, given the acid pit that is one's stomach?", not "can one bypass the stomach entirely and just dab it on directly?".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:19 PM
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185 to 186.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:19 PM
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Eddies in the time-space continuum.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:22 PM
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He is?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:25 PM
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I don't know who goes to nosflow for medical advice but "dab it on directly" seems like even worse advice.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:28 PM
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I know women who swear by tampons soaked in yogurt. One can choose to rate their expertise up *or* down given that they get yeast infections a lot.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:34 PM
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I am genuinely and sincerely confused about whether or not people here are advocating for smearing yogurt on vaginas as a treatment for yeast infections. I guess I assume they are not? But I don't really know how else to read some of these comments.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:35 PM
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192 before 191. I guess you are advocating that.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:36 PM
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It's kind of a wash.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:37 PM
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I have had good results with the direct application method. Really! And I don't get yeast infections a lot. AREN'T YOU GLAD TO KNOW THESE THINGS ABOUT ME.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:38 PM
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I'm not going to answer that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:39 PM
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Well, nothing succeeds like success.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:41 PM
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Success and cultured dairy products.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:44 PM
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Even if it helps athlete's foot and toe nail fungus, I'm still going to use big pharma's products.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:46 PM
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You know what's a dirty-sounding word? "Spume".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:46 PM
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Garlic is good too, but probably not if you eat it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:47 PM
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Therapeutically, I mean. Eating garlic is its own reward.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:47 PM
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193: I'm not advocating it. Im reporting advocacy, but I'm not one of these women.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:51 PM
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I'm kind of curious about the mechanics of this whole process, to be honest.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:52 PM
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I have definitely read recommendations to cure yeast infections by freezing yogurt in a tampon applicator and then inserting the yogurtsicle into the vagina. I have also read suggestions to just stick a clove or two of garlic up there. Suffice to say, I learned the hard way to just ask my doc to write an Rx for Diflucan if I'm taking antibiotics.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:55 PM
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I have also read suggestions to just stick a clove or two of garlic up there

Wow that sounds painful if there is any sort of cut on the garlic at all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:57 PM
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By which I mean that the traditional remedies failed as thoroughly as Monistat. I don't have this problem very often, but if Diflucan stops working it will be a Very Bad Thing.

And yes, the smell of garlic really does seep through ones pores.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 7:59 PM
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Yeah, Diflucan is awesome. If you don't go for free-range garlic, it's easy to make a pessary by wrapping the garlic (cut or cloves) in cheesecloth or gauze, wrap with dental floss or something similar and leave a tail for removal, all good. But again, what J said about Diflucan.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:04 PM
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Hey, learning.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:06 PM
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My interest in the gut population thing is so much more boring, the kid had an appendectomy and apparently the appendix is thought to be the hideout clubhouse for the friendly beasts when their population is otherwise wiped out by illness or drugs, so I feel the need to encourage a very healthy group of wee beasties in the boy au cas où. In addition to the usual high fiber suspects they apparently like raw Jerusalem artichokes. Luckily so does the kid!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:09 PM
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MC people have Blue Apron and TJ's frozen foods.

Going back to this comment up-thread, I recently got a free trial box from Blue Apron (via a referral from a friend), which I got last week and finished cooking today.

It was interesting. I think they clearly put a lot of effort into making it work as well as possible, and I still wasn't at all tempted to subscribe.

It wasn't bad, the three recipes spanned the spectrum, one of them was very tasty, something I wouldn't have thought to cook on my own, and which I would make a again. One was both more work and less tasty than had I tried to improvise a recipe on my own, and the final one was about as tasty and about as much work if I'd tried to figure it out myself, but also a recipe which I wasn't that interested in and wouldn't make again.

The whole thing left me a little bit confused about who their target audience would be -- I could see it being useful for somebody who wanted to build up a repertoire of recipes (possibly x. trapnel above) but most of those people are going to be younger people who would find the cost prohibitive.

I'm glad I got a chance to try it . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:11 PM
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raw Jerusalem artichokes

I have heard that those cause flatulence.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:13 PM
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I have heard that those cause flatulence.

Me too!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:17 PM
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I think there might be a connection between propensity to cause farts and being delectable to friendly gut beasts, but so far as I can tell if you've enough of the beasts the farting isn't an issue.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:18 PM
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Jerusalem artichokes

A few years ago I saw a car driving around Berkeley with a bumper sticker that said "THE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE IS NEITHER".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:22 PM
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Doesn't the gas* come from bacteria eating the inulin (it's a starch that our digestion doesn't break down quickly so it gets to the lower parts of the intestines mostly intact) and excreting gasses? (Other foods high in inulin include beans, and cabbage.)

If so a thriving ecosystem down there wouldn't prevent much gas (but it would be a reason to think it would be good overall for the bacterial colonies since it's an easy way to deliver food to them more efficiently).


*I still think that instead of the various common names we should just go with the historic "fartichoke".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:25 PM
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The way to reduce the gassy effects, I think, has to do with cooking them in certain ways and only harvesting them at certain times. I had an interesting experience once when I ate some which were probably not doing well on either category. The effect was strong enough that it transcended "uncomfortable" and "embarrassing" and when straight to "impressive" and "ludicrous".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:27 PM
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||

Just got home from having VW sign his graphic novel for me. My cholera is feeling better already.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:32 PM
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Let's just try "smear yogurt down there" as a universal solution. We should teach poor people to do that. Then they're carrying around a healthy non-processed foodsource. they won't smell bad from farting, and they won't be yeast-infected.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:32 PM
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218 -- did you tell him that his Cholera book has competition from "smear yogurt down there."


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:33 PM
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It's the new "put a bird on it."


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:36 PM
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I think if you eat lots of beans (etc) the effect decreases. Certainly that has been my experience.

Which rather suggests there's some kind of adaptation process, perhaps microfauna based, which causes that.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:39 PM
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I don't think I'd have expected T"R"O to be a fan of particularly squeamish euphemisms.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:42 PM
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I don't get farty any more from beans or cabbage, having been veg for Yeats, but when I started eating meat again it gave me astounding gas for months. That is, for months after changing my diet, not per meal. Not voluminous or loud, but a horrible corpselike sweet smell, as old dogs sometimes develop.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 8:49 PM
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having been veg for Yeats

Tell us more...


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:05 PM
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We eat dinners from scratch nearly every night. It's so much easier to cook now that my daughter is happy just banging on spoons and plastic in the kitchen. Most of the meals take 30-60 minutes to prepare. I try to have a large number of rotating dishes, but there are repeating themes. Each week there's usually a fish dish, a lentil dish, a Mexican dish, pizza night, an egg dish, and a hearty salad (chickpeas, quinoa).


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:08 PM
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Bean-rows. The bee-loud glade.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:12 PM
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I've done the yogurtsicle and fresh yogurt, and had success with mild yeast infections. I've had better less messy success with acidophilus pills directly inserted. I've also tried garlic (peel a clove and shove it on up), which caused no problems but wasn't immediately successful. It did cause low level garlic breath. I've found the garlic naturally comes out after about 24 hours, which is the amount of time you're supposed to leave it in.


Posted by: Candida | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:16 PM
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So has anyone else got that one song from Carmina Burana going through their head? You know, "rosa rubicundior / lilio candidior / omnibus formosior"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:39 PM
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218: thanks for making the journey to the wilds of Brooklyn. It was wonderful and disorienting to meet you in person.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:46 PM
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Just you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:46 PM
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Fucking cholera.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 9:46 PM
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I promise that life will be sweeter 'cause it said so in my dreams.


Posted by: TonyOrlando | Link to this comment | 05-11-15 11:36 PM
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Food deserts, cooking etc is one of those issues that has huge dick magnetism, by analogy to crank magnetism. (Crank magnetism is when myths cluster together - antivaxxers who are also 9/11 truthers, frex.) Issues with dick magnetism just tend to attract dicks, independent of their merits. In this case it's either snobs or else Orwell's people who are drawn to socialism by a hypertrophied sense of order.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 3:38 AM
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I'm very certain that if your child's favorite food is scallion pancakes and cut up red peppers, you can just run out into the street and yell, "I won parenting, you sons of bitches."

Have just seen "Her" and it wasn't great but there was a subplot about a "School Mom" computer game that was basically along these lines (accumulating "Jealousy Points" by bringing better cakes to PTA meetings, etc) that was quite good.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 4:08 AM
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I can't help inserting an extra 's' in deserts in the title. Dessert deserts deserve desertion.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:19 AM
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Yummy slurpee!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:39 AM
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230: Amazing turnout you got -- when we left, it looked as if you were going to be there signing for hours.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:50 AM
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The whole thing left me a little bit confused about who their target audience would be

SWPL people of a slightly older/more affluent group who decide they don't want to eat out all the time (anymore) and who can't be arsed to naturally develop a cooking habit, but who want to eat foodie-style, and this is the expensive shortcut?

That is, they never particularly learned to cook as young adults, they had busy lives and plenty of means enabling them to basically never scratch cook, but now the kids are older (or gone) or whatever, and they feel social pressure to start cooking, but they face many of the barriers discussed upthread (skills, menu planning, time). BUT, they have money, and $50,000 kitchens, and Blue Apron solves the other problems. The part where the recipes aren't the best is kind of irrelevant, because they're not foodies to begin with.

I should clarify that I'm thinking of specific people I know, more or less. I don't know if they're really the target audience, but they exist and would be well-served by this (or at least a version of this; BA may not have nailed every component).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:53 AM
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||

What's the best translation of Xenophon's Anabasis?*
I've read the Penguin Rex Warner translation before. I want to take it with me on the plane to reread it but maybe in another translation? How's the Rouse translation compare? Reviews seem pretty positive. Is there another, better more recent one?

*Oudemia Bat Signal.


|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:55 AM
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240 Cursed html closing tag!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:55 AM
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The whole thing left me a little bit confused about who their target audience would be

Bloggy evidence suggests financially well-off youngish adults and parents of young children who are like "I like the idea of cooking and would like to make new things, and to get takeout less often, but the planning/shopping part makes me really really tired."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:57 AM
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240: It's a really long flight. I recommend just learning ancient Greek so you can read it in the original.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:59 AM
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243 I also have Herodotus.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:04 AM
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Don't tell them at customs in case they're worried about it spreading.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:06 AM
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240: Have never read the Rouse translation so can't help you there (both Warner and the Dillery Loeb are perfectly fine is my impression from back in the day), but if you're enough into the Anabasis to want to read multiple translations, you might want to check out Michael Flower's book about it too, it's very good.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:10 AM
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246 That looks very good indeed. And only $10 for the Kindle edition too.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:34 AM
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246 That looks very good indeed. And only $10 for the Kindle edition too. Thanks.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:34 AM
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That is, they never particularly learned to cook as young adults, they had busy lives and plenty of means enabling them to basically never scratch cook, but now the kids are older (or gone) or whatever, and they feel social pressure to start cooking, but they face many of the barriers discussed upthread (skills, menu planning, time). BUT, they have money, and $50,000 kitchens, and Blue Apron solves the other problems. The part where the recipes aren't the best is kind of irrelevant, because they're not foodies to begin with.

I agree completely with the entire comment, but the passage I've quoted could be a template, removing reference to cooking and substituting any one of many other activities.

Those activities could be anything people commonly do or once did for themselves, often learned if at all from parents or other family members, and done for the savings and competence but also for the pleasure and satisfaction of doing them.

For many, many people that connection has been broken or atrophied beyond recovery. They have purchased services and conveniences instead. And as people become aware that these activities transmit memory, culture, and values, they feel the void. And they are characteristically buying something else to fill it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 8:08 AM
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What's the best translation of Xenophon's Anabasis?*

"The Warriors", obviously.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 8:10 AM
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250 Literary translation. Otherwise, you'll get no argument from me.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 8:39 AM
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[T]hey feel social pressure to start cooking

[T]he planning/shopping part makes me really really tired

I thought about both of those, and, sure, that probably is a large enough group of people to support a service like Blue Apron (which, again, was done about as well as you could ask for). I know that I'm fortunate that I (a) don't have kids and (b) have multiple grocery stores and a weekly farmer's market within walking distance so the shopping part isn't difficult (the planning part occasionally gets tiring, but that's separate).

On the other hand, for somebody with time/schedule constraints there is the disadvantage that Blue Apron doesn't support the plan of, "make a big batch and freeze/refrigerate leftovers."

It just seems like a specialized service -- particularly compared to something like Trader Joe's insta-food, for which the market and appeal seems obvious.

Those activities could be anything people commonly do or once did for themselves, often learned if at all from parents or other family members, and done for the savings and competence but also for the pleasure and satisfaction of doing them.

The hipster affection for artisanal pickles (or artisanal cinnamon toast) is probably related as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 8:43 AM
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Has anyone done a parody version of The Warriors set in contemporary rich-person gentrified New York? It could be called "the Picklers"; they have to get back to their artisinal pickle emporium without being hurt after the plan to unite all of he food co-ops falls apart over Israel/Palestine and free-range parenting disputes.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 9:04 AM
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It just seems like a specialized service -- particularly compared to something like Trader Joe's insta-food, for which the market and appeal seems obvious.

Well sure, but you don't need to be TJ-big to be successful. I suspect a couple things about the business model: 1. they know the market is out there, but they're really unsure about the exact scale/demand*, so in a sense the whole operation is market research**; 2. there are handwavey plans for expansion up and down the scale in order to broaden the market. That is, Blue Apron Kids Edition (meals to make with your kids), Blue Apron Dinner Party, Blue Apron Stews, etc. None of them may ever happen, but that's their answer when investors say, "But isn't that a tiny, specialized market?"

*demand in the sense of how many of these things will a given customer order - what % of customers will buy weekly, monthly, etc?

**conceivably some of the funders are viewing this as almost a Trojan horse service - if you've bought Blue Apron, you're a good customer for these other services


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 9:18 AM
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Blue Apron is cooking with training wheels, right? By doing it for a while you get a feel for what sort of ingredients you need, how much of them, which ingredients you DON'T typically need, how long the cooking takes, etc. without as much frustration as the typical learning process.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 9:25 AM
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255: That was my reaction. It's going to be a very, very small long-term market -- even people who like it are mostly going to fall off one side or the other after a couple of months to a year, into "That was fun, but I really don't cook," or "This is fun, now that I've done it enough times I can manage without the service."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 9:32 AM
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253: Love it.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 9:38 AM
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In the dept of things that are implausibly supposed to transform you into a master chef: an old friend of mine recently developed a device that replaces the burner knob on your stove, and then communicates (via bluetooth mediated by a smartphone/tablet app) with a probe to maintain temperature by mechanically adjusting the knob stem. Their Kickstarter appears to have been a huge success, and they've gotten a fair amount of publicity, but other than candy-making (where I think it could be legitimately useful), what would you do with something like this? The target market appears to be people who can't contemplate pulling off a simmer if their iPhone isn't involved somehow.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:16 AM
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Perfectly simmered broths?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:17 AM
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258: I used to have a thermostat on my gas burner in Japan that I could set to three different temperatures for deep-frying, and used it all the time. I really miss it now.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:19 AM
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I can imagine it for deepfrying. There's a fair amount of oil cooling when you put the food in, then overheating, and so on, that I have a tendency to lose track of a bit while I'm poking at the actual food -- with a temperature sensor keeping the oil as close as possible to 375 or whatever, it'd be an improvement.

Other than that, it sounds nuts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:20 AM
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It would be prefect for making onion soup if it could also stir the onions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:22 AM
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I got lazy and didn't make onion soup this winter. I feel that making onion soup is something I should do once a winter even though I've only do it like maybe four times.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:26 AM
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262: And chop the onions.

Also cry real tears for that artisanal salty flavor.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:27 AM
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259 - This is easy to do with a standard probe thermometer so I don't know how much value it adds aside from, well, iPhone! Just dump the probe in the pot and set the alarm to go off at, say, 198F. I used to do it this way until I realized that I'm cooking for myself and broth clarity actually doesn't mean much outside of looking pretty.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:32 AM
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TRO you are on fire in thus thread, keep rolling dude!

The most hilarious commentary on"artisanal" oversized-and-priced toast I've seen is from a French ballet dancer currently seconded to SFB on instagram, let me see if I can link to it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:33 AM
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https://instagram.com/p/0lRdAwHreG/

I think I did it! Woo hoooo! Major techno triumph!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:36 AM
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236- me too! Except then I keep getting stuck in a nonsensical train of thought about different kinds of desserts. Food desserts, drink desserts.. wait do drinks count as food? ... frozen desserts, just desserts, unjust desserts...


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:41 AM
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That doesn't strike me as very hilarious?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:49 AM
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It needs an egg or something to go with the toast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:53 AM
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Cross cultural humor sort of a niche within a niche. But the main thing is my MAJOR TECHNO TRIUMPH neb! I'm copying and pasting all over this phone thing!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:54 AM
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Toast looks a little burnt.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:56 AM
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But congrats on your copy/paste success! I didn't know how to do that on my phone for a long time!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:56 AM
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I didn't SAY it was HILARIOUS, Neb, you big jerk. I'm allowed to say things that aren't hilarious if I WANT to.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:57 AM
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:/


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:58 AM
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Fight for your right
Not to be hilarious
All the time.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 11:05 AM
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NMM to Freud biographer Peter Gay, even in your dreams.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 11:41 AM
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||
Heebie is once again summoned to defend the medical professionals of her batshit-insane state.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 11:48 AM
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258: my sister has a giant stove in her flat in NYC that boasts a big CHICKEN NUGGETS button over the oven. It's got all the impressively heavy wrought iron mouldings and big flames and all. But it's also got a CHICKEN NUGGETS button. we agree that this is the most American thing imaginable.

I couldn't persuade her to press it and find out if it calls out like an Amazon Echo to get takeout, though.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:05 PM
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For the record, I've lived in America just six months short of my entire life and I have never once seen an oven (except a microwave oven, maybe) that had a button reading "chicken nuggets".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:09 PM
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I have a friend who does BA - works a fair bit but no kids. I think for her it must be about the planning part; I know she already knew how to cook and has cooked from a young age since I partially learned to cook from her foodie mom as well.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:10 PM
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The microwave has one as well.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:17 PM
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The chicken nugget button works just like the "eel pie" button, NBD.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:20 PM
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[CLICK]

my kitchen is full of repellent snakefish. damn you. damn you to hell!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 12:37 PM
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I love eel, but always have to steel myself to repel Grassian memories, usually with limited success.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 1:07 PM
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I was given a free BA delivery box once, and my experience was very much like Nick's -- there was one great recipe that I would never have thought to make otherwise; one mediocre one; and one recipe for something that I've made much better on my own. I wouldn't pay for it myself -- it's so expensive, and I hated how much packaging I had to throw away (like, a half-dozen tiny plastic tubs and bags, each holding like a tablespoon of vinegar or an ounce of cheese).

A friend of mine uses BA all the time, and it works really well for her. She didn't used to cook at all, and she doesn't like planning or dealing with leftovers. Before joining BA she ate out or got takeout for every single meal, so from her perspective, $10/meal is relatively inexpensive (whereas I can't help thinking of it as $60 for a meager bag of groceries.)


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 1:11 PM
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I never read The Tin Drum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 1:11 PM
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Back to the "sticking things 'up there'" subthread, I had my annual gyno appointment today. Apparently I had missed noticing A HUGE FUCKING LUMP in my right breast. She got me in to see a radiologist an hour later for a mammogram and ultrasound. Radiologist said the lump "doesn't look good at all" (by which he meant that it was most likely cancerous), and now I'm waiting for a surgeon to call me to schedule an excisional biopsy in the next few days.

This has not been a good year.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:09 PM
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yikes. Thinking of you.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:11 PM
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Oh J, I'm so sorry. I hope you have clarity very soon. Keep your imaginary friends updated, please.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:17 PM
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Oh Christ. Hoping good hopes and UGH I'm sorry you're getting terror and misery.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:18 PM
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My roommate does Blue Apron (wealthy family, never learned how to cook), and I'd agree with the assessment of others. Lots of recipes have needlessly obscure ingredients in a way that would make them fiddly to recreate. As someone who cooks, I can see an obvious substitute that makes the meal tastier (e.g. potatoes instead of weird root vegetable), but that's not a substitution my roommate is able to make. Also they send you everything in little baggies, even spices & butter, instead of asking you to buy things that might help you build up the foundation of a well-stocked kitchen. They're also supposed to be healthy, which I can see is a selling point but sometimes it detracts from quality. My roommate had to make bechemel with olive oil and coconut milk and some tiny fraction of cheese. It was a horrible oily disaster, and I had to try to convince him it was the ingredients, not him. He also has a habit of making bits from each recipe and then going out of town, leaving me to put meals together from dozens of random ingredients in small plastic baggies left behind from 5 different BA recipes.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:20 PM
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Oh Lord, J. All good thoughts for you.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:20 PM
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288

Oh no. Hope it is a false alarm.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:21 PM
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Oh no, J. Thinking of you from over here.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:26 PM
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Oh dear, J. Thinking good thoughts your way.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:27 PM
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288: Shit, that's awful. I am so sorry. Good luck.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:31 PM
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I'll keep you in my thoughts. That's awful.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:34 PM
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I don't know if it's funny or sad that neither my husband nor I noticed the lump--it's really quite obvious now that I know it's there.

The good thing is that I've read quite a bit about breast cancer, treatments, supports, etc--two friends were diagnosed when we were in grad school, so the whole group of us educated ourselves. The bad thing is that I saw a whole range of treatment options up close, and they all looked awful and painful.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:38 PM
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288: That's awful. Good luck, I hope the biopsy brings positive news, and that sounds really scary.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:39 PM
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All good thoughts, J. All of them. xoxo


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:39 PM
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Thank you, all. FYI: mammograms really do hurt like hell, even when they're all cool and 3-D.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:42 PM
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Yikes. Thinking of you, JR.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:54 PM
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288: Good luck, J. (And also Thorn, and Messily, and probably several other of you who have been stricken with something or other while I have fallen behind on reading the comments.)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 5:59 PM
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Oh no, J. My friend said that she'd been chemo-buddy for three friends in the past year and all are fine. Said she, "it doesn't seem like cancer is "the Big C" anymore. Now it is a regular "c", and a diagnosis mostly means a yucky year ahead."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:04 PM
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Agh, that is bad news! Good luck to you, JR.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:05 PM
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Oh no, J, I'm so sorry! Please keep us updated!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:08 PM
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Good luck, J, Robot!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:11 PM
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278: well, that answers one question. All these doctors with their bullshit intimidation "we don't accept marketplace insurance policies" and I always wondered how they could tell.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:13 PM
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Agh, J, Robot, so scary, fingers crossed. May the odds be with you.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:13 PM
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Oh no. Sending good thoughts your way, J.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:24 PM
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309. They can't tell (as you suspected) but they sure want to be able to tell. The Texas Medical Association backs it!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:30 PM
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Oh, man, J. So sorry.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 6:58 PM
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Yikes, JR. Hope everything turns out okay.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 7:42 PM
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Oh J, Robot, that is horrible news. Good luck!


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 8:04 PM
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J so so sorry that is hell on wheels! Hope all news gets better from here. Make sure they give you some anti anxiety meds starting like now.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-12-15 10:22 PM
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Shit, that's not good news. Hope the biopsy is done asap, and hoping for the best. Sending virtual hugs.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 12:27 AM
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J, that's horrible. More large virtual transatlantic hugs

(also, why this impulse to tell you your news is horrible? Surely you understand that much better than we can; yet it seems the immediately natural thing to say. I suppose it's just s spontaneous expression of sympathy: compassion is the thing that makes you say "ouch" when someone else stubs their toe)


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 12:59 AM
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Fingers crossed, JR.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:13 AM
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Good thoughts to you, JR.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 3:40 AM
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The latest: I have a consultation with the surgeon on Tuesday, which could be moved up once he reviews the film.

You know what kills me about this? Exactly a year ago, my gynecologist did a DNA swab, given my family history of breast and ovarian cancer, to see if I had the BracA gene (or whatever). My insurance company didn't think my family profile was risky enough so they wouldn't cover it, and I didn't get the results. Fuckers.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 6:51 AM
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Lord, so sorry J. Good luck.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:21 AM
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321.last is atrocious, but at least you now have the comfort of being able to write them a letter saying that, because they refused to pay for a $100 genetic scan last year, they can now look forward to paying several tens of thousands of dollars for treatment this year.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:23 AM
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The cost of BRCA testing has gone significantly down since the lawsuit against Myriad. Please get tested, since what your test results are could influence your treatment choices, if you wind up needing treatment. Also, insurers should meet a fate that only Halford could devise. I'm so sorry you're going through this.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:29 AM
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Good luck, J! My fingers are crossed for you.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:46 AM
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Wait, so they ran the tests and had the results but they wouldn't show them to you because insurance wouldn't pay? "Nyah nyah, I know something you don't know, and I won't tell you unless you pay me $1000!"
Anyway breast cancer is one of the areas where genetic characterization most influences treatment decisions so genotype the shit out of that fucker.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:56 AM
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Best of luck, JR.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:12 AM
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Oh man, J, my best to you. May it be at the easily treatable end of things.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:12 AM
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I'm so sorry this is happening, JR. And your insurers should die in a fire.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:13 AM
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I seriously hope 326.1 is wrong because that sounds like a clear breach of ethics on the doctor's part.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:26 AM
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Ugh. What JRoth said. God but I hate the health insurance industry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:28 AM
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Ugh. That's awful. I read 321 as they took the swab but didn't run the test because of insurance, but either way it's just awful. I hope your treatment goes well.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:58 AM
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Oh yeah, I guess that's possible- I read "I didn't get the results" as they existed but were not revealed, but I guess collecting the sample then not running it would also explain not getting the results.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 9:00 AM
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[Oh, I just saw the Anabasis thing. Glad potchkeh got to it! I'm not sure I have a proper English translation of it. I have a very elderly interlinear version -- the chief virtue of the A. to classics students being that it is so bloody easy that you can just straight up read the Greek and feel good about yourself for once.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 9:20 AM
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Taking this to now be the complicated-medical-issues thread- an update!

I was wrong about the mitochondria thing. The mitochondria themselves are okay; it is getting riboflavin across the cell membrane so the mitochondria can access it that is the problem. The doctor (who is pretty adorable) drew me many pictures of this, to make sure I understood. Anyway this is what we're talking about, apparently.

(She also spent a long time telling me not to google things and then panic, because everything on the internet is about the most severe forms with babies who die, and mine is very mild, so I should not freak out. So, nobody freak out!)

Anyway, there is (as always) some more testing to be done, and a pretty unclear prognosis overall, but hopefully some stuff will improve over time if I start eating a shit ton of vitamin B2.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:34 PM
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That is spectacular.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:39 PM
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ALL MACKEREL DIET


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:42 PM
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That really sounds like a breakthrough. And good job on not being a baby who died?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:42 PM
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These are some pretty good foods though I guess you'll be going the "pill" route.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:43 PM
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What has shit tons of B2? Let's all send it to Messily! (Good luck!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:43 PM
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338 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:44 PM
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All the wasabi soy almonds are for Messily!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:46 PM
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Popcorn with nutritional yeast for every meal!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:46 PM
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Solute carrier family gene mutation? We're working on some of those! Not the riboflavin one though.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 1:50 PM
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Yeah I asked about food and she said "this isn't the kind of thing that can be remediated through diet" as in I will be taking 1500 mg/day. (normal RDA is 1.1-1.3 mg)


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:25 PM
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Also whoops my link broke

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown%E2%80%93Vialetto%E2%80%93Van_Laere_syndrome


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:27 PM
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How much is that in mackerel?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:31 PM
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According to this, about 5,000.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:35 PM
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Almost 950 lbs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:35 PM
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J. Robot, very sorry. Thinking of you.

E., great that something has been identified.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:36 PM
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And all the best, J Robot.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:37 PM
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I guess you could wrap the pill in fish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:40 PM
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Messily, I'm glad that that sounds like good news, and am also glad that you get a once in a lifetime chance have the diet of an Elephant Seal.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:41 PM
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"The Elephant Seal Diet: How I gained health, wealth, and a proboscis on 950 pounds of mackerel per day"


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:43 PM
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Paleo, Elaine Morgan faction.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 2:58 PM
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J.Robot: thinking of you. hang in there!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 3:08 PM
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Wow, you're not kidding about rare. Around sixty cases ever identified in the hundred years since the syndrome was found?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 3:19 PM
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I don't think that's accurate, because one of the articles the geneticist gave me is a study with N=74, focused only on patients with presentation starting before 18.

I mean, that's still crazy rare, but probably more like a few hundred than 60.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 3:26 PM
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Late to join the chorus, but congrats, Messily! I hope you see huge and rapid improvements.

J, Robot, good luck. I hope everything breaks your way from here on out.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 4:41 PM
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That's great to hear, Messily! I hope that more details/a plan of action are forthcoming for you.

And yes, my doctor took the swab, and then the lab called me to say that my insurance didn't think my family profile was sufficiently risky to cover the test* and I decided not to pay out of pocket for them to process the swab. It seems as though the "excisional biopsy" for which I'm scheduled is basically a lumpectomy + pathology report, and my (somewhat hazy) understanding is that I will be tested for the BRACA gene if the lump is indeed malignant.

* Paternal grandmother needed a single mastectomy in her early 50s; both her mother and one of her sisters died from ovarian cancer in their 50s. The maternal side tends toward lumpy/fibrous boobs, which I a, thankful to have avoided.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 5:24 PM
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361

338 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 5:28 PM
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362

"I will be taking 1500 mg/day. (normal RDA is 1.1-1.3 mg)"
Way to go all Le Chatelier on those cells.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 5:30 PM
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I will be tested for the BRACA gene if the lump is indeed malignant

Once again: folks, when there are big ol' lumps and even moderately bad cancer, why not just do the test? You're already possibly in for unnecessary treatment, etc., so it isn't like you're probably worsening those chances. And it is a pittance compared to the lumpectomy and biopsy cost.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 6:06 PM
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I scored kale-colored nail polish today it's so awesome but probably insufficiently stuffed with b12 to address your needs EM.

J Robot thinking of you! My surgeon for biopsy thing was all into trying to put it positive spin on maybe she could avoid me ending up oh so slightly asymmetrical and I was like not high on the list of concerns! Her mother is a Wiccan, tracking that down provided some distraction.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 7:17 PM
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363: I'm already gearing up to fight the company over coverage for a separate condition, so this was not a battle I wanted to spend time on. The sick part of it all is that I have a relatively decent plan, too.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:23 PM
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366

Fuck Tha Insurance Companiez


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:29 PM
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367

Track 2 from
"Straight Outta Coverage"


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 8:31 PM
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364.2 impressively incoherent even for me, I plead typing on bus.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-13-15 9:26 PM
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Really it was 364.3 that threw me.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 5:18 AM
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The surgeon's first name and age put me in the track. My lapsed No Cal Unitarian / hippy parents radar are keen!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 7:51 AM
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I doubt that my surgeon will also be a Wiccan child, but one can hope.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 9:03 AM
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And I'm just vain enough, or at least find of my breasts, that I am concerned about scarring and symmetry (assuming that this will be the only needed surgical intervention, of course).


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 9:05 AM
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Oh, J. Robot, I am sorry to hear this. Hoping for the best possible results for you.

And Messily, that's hopeful!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 9:59 AM
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Both were minimal for me and both have faded in impact. And of course you are fond of 'em!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 10:15 AM
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Just in case it's helpful the child of a Wiccan estimated she excised an appx "golf ball" bit of me. I tried not to hold the sports reference against her. At any rate, that's not nothing! And yet things have recovered nicely. Hang in there my dear!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 12:10 PM
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Wouldn't even think of that as a sports reference, except very faintly.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 12:31 PM
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Thanks, dq! I picked up my radiology report, and the lump is apparently 2.2 x 1.5 x 2.06 cm--that must be more or less golf ball size, but I'm too lazy to check.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 05-14-15 5:24 PM
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