- I enjoyed the lamb fennel tajine so much that I’m still talking about it, this time in more detail at the Penn Press Log. The recipe came from our new book Scheherazade’s Feasts, a collection of recipes adapted from the medieval Arab world.
- A friend sent me a link to this Jezebel post that notes several examples of men (and women too, probably) describing wines as through they are women–full-bodied and bold or elegant and delicate–and pokes fun by describing other drinks as different types of men. (e.g. “Pinot Grigio wears a light blue dress shirt and charcoal grey pants to work. Every day.”) At almost the same time, I saw this Hairpin post full of female-authored poems about whiskey. It’s hard to choose a favorite: “Fairytale” has such a raw punch (“We’re not trying to bring the fathers back”) but “In Which Christina Imagines that Different Types of Alcohol Are Men and She Is Seeing Them All” felt ruefully familiar, both in regard to the dates and the drinks. At any rate, the poems that imagined drinks as fathers and lovers made me sympathetic to the more widespread tendency to imagine drinks as (desirable, available) women. Sexualizing wine may be the byproduct of sexist culture, but it’s understandable if we look for people we lost or haven’t yet found in the drinks we pour for pleasure, for solace, or for comfort.
- This post at The Toast is ancient in internet years, but I’ve been meaning to write about it forever–practically since before the post was written, since I’ve more than once observed and been annoyed by white authors describing the skin and eyes of black characters as though the only two appealing brown comparisons in the world are coffee and chocolate. Coffee and chocolate are appetizing and even appropriate in some circumstances, sure, but if you paint everyone in your fictional world in candy colors. . . . then your world is disappointingly flat, and kind of gross.
However, if you have even a half-baked idea and wait too long to write about it, Mallory Ortberg will think of it herself and whip it into a biting satire before breakfast. The comments, too, are great fun as everyone jumps in to carry the hack trope of appetizing skin to its outer limits.
- At Public Books, Alison Carruth as almost as unimpressed by Cooked as I was.
- Vindication from Food & Think: Pumpkin Beers Don’t Have to be the Worst Thing to Drink This Fall. Money quote: “‘On the whole, these are basically pumpkin pie beers,’ Bostwick says. ‘What you taste is spices. I’m not sure most people even know what pumpkin itself really tastes like.'” William Bostwick, I know how you feel.