Tagged: brooklyn

Jew-ish Things to do on Hanukkah

1. Get a menorah! This one is pretty.

2. Go to Grand Army Plaza to watch a giant menorah lighting.

3. Make gourmet latkes, or just go buy some.

4. Go have dinner at Mile End.

5. Rewatch the Rugrat’s Chanukah episode. Because you watched it the first time.

6. Listen to NPR’s Hanukkah Lights; stories from authors.

7. Attend a Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic culinary face-off.

8. Learn about the true meaning of the holiday.

9. Instead of gelt, treat yourself to some Vosges chocolate.

10. Get in the festive spirit. Buy a christmas tree, then decorate it! Or just get a Hanukkah bush.

Things That I May or May Not Do on Thanksgiving

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m currently in the midst of menu planning with members of my family who are all located around the country, and this year  we’re gathering in Palm Beach. It’s the first time we’re all celebrating together, and everyone will be contributing in some way to the meal. I am responsible for desserts, since I have a lot of experience eating them and stuff, so I’m trying to figure out what to do. Here are some things I am considering doing:

Things I will definitely do

  • Spend several hours in advance of Thanksgiving on Food52 browsing and thinking of things that I may or may not make, but that all look really good
  • Buy a lot of cocktail mixers, mix them, and then drink cocktails
  • Change it up every few hours with prosecco
  • Be responsible for dessert
  • Eat more than I am accustomed to
  • Feel guilty about eating more than I am accustomed to
  • Run in a Turkey Trot 5k (see above)
  • Track that run on Runkeeper
  • Run some more
  • Go to the beach (I’m going to Florida, people)

Things I might do 

Things I won’t do 

South Brooklyn Unites

My neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, fared relatively well through Hurricane Sandy. There was some damage, but it wasn’t as devastating as I’ve seen in other parts of New York City. Unfortunately, nearby Red Hook and DUMBO were hit badly, like so many other areas. Beginning this past weekend, South Brooklyn businesses are uniting to help those local business owners who need it. By Brooklyn, a borough-centric goods store on Smith Street, compiled a list of all the restaurants and shops participating. Ways you can help: buy a bottle of wine at Smith & Vine; have a cocktail at Brooklyn Social; Eat Pork, Help New York at Seersucker; Stock up on lox at Shelsky’s; get some tacos at Oaxaca. Or you can check with local groups to see if they need volunteers.

Open Letter to the Corn Tortillas from Union Market

Dear “corn tortillas” from Union Market on Court St. in Brooklyn,

Your low price deceives you. The $1.99 cost your sticker bears next to that green star leads foolish buyers like me to believe that your taco-facilitating abilities are authentic. I am here to tell you that they are not.

At just under two dollars, you feign to be comparable to the fresh, handmade masa corn tortillas I have known from the markets of San Francisco’s Mission District; of San Diego, and other places where I have successfully purchased corn tortillas. Those range in price from $.75 – 1.50 and depict hopeful palm trees and mariachi and women with dahlia flowers in their lush hair. Usually there are also red and green colors, the colors of the flag of that beautiful country south of the US border. Have you ever even been out of the country, “corn tortillas”?

Your texture makes me think not.

Your packaging is clear, empty. Like the bleak dystopian universe that your lack of ability beckons me to descend into for all of eternity. Or at least until I can go on vacation to California, or Mexico. Or just get myself to Queens’ Tortilleria Nixtamal.

Under pressure, you fall apart. Specifically, I mean underneath the grilled fish or scallops that I season with the Mexican blend spices that I also buy from the store of your origin. I’m there, anyway, at the store and I need some spicy season. So what? That stuff can handle the heat. But I know you couldn’t. I bet you couldn’t even handle tofu.

In fact, I know you can’t handle tofu because two weeks ago I tried to employ your supposed abilities on vegetarian tacos and within minutes, that spicy soy protein fell out of your “corn”-based form and all over my plate. I had to use a fork. And a knife.

Drawing from my 25+ years of experience as a Californian, I know that you’re not supposed to eat tacos with utensils.

Where are you even from, Canada? Is the origin of your private labeling warehouse somewhere that doesn’t even know the glories of sunshine, and of fish tacos, and of guacamole? Sometimes I wonder if you’ve ever even seen an ocean.

Time and again, I am disappointed. And yet, I persist. I want to believe, corn tortillas from Union Market on Court St, that we can have a life together. That together, we can make something special.  But you can’t be the kind of corn tortilla that I need. And so, I have to cut you into quarters, add some sunflower oil to your bleak-looking surface, squeeze a lime with a dash of salt and bake you for twenty minutes in the oven. I will confess that as chips, you are pretty delicious. But that’s not what we agreed to, and I wish you would try harder.

However, the flour tortilla version of you is pretty acceptable.

Disappointedly, but still vaguely optimistic and unlikely to go out of my way to change my shopping habits,




Carroll Gardens Post-Sandy Dining

Do: Brave the line at Union Market to cook up a lovely meal at home. Or Trader Joe’s if you’re feeling adventurous. Bonus: Make an apple crisp if you’re feeling seasonal.

Don’t: Go to Battersby. It would be wrong to think that you’ll get a seat for anywhere less than an, oh, two-and-a-half hour wait. I guess making it on Bon Apetit’s Top 10 really does mean something.

Also a do: Go to Seersucker. Get the fried chicken. And biscuits. You’ll be happy.