I just returned from an extended Labor Day weekend in my hometown, and I am fairly useless. My draft box contains half a dozen half-baked posts, but I won’t finish them until I remember how to do anything besides eat, swim, and play.
This week’s post selection is held together by no theme other than enjoyment.
First, thanks to everyone who sent me the link to If White Characters Were Described Like People of Color in Literature:
She didn’t know it yet but the girl of her dreams had just walked in. Her eyes were radiant and her skin glowed with mozzarella undertones.
I linked some time ago to a Toast post which made fun of the ways (mostly white) writers write about nonwhite skins; this Buzzfeed piece is another humorous angle on that cliché, making outlandish comparisons that show how ridiculous it is to describe skin exclusively in food terms. As I’ve discussed on this blog, whiteness is sometimes compared to food–vanilla, sugar, cream–but these terms are usually reserved for white femininity, which should tell you something about the connotation of food/skin comparisons: namely, they convey that the object of comparison is an object of appetite. I suppose there’s a time and a place for that, but the sheer ubiquity of this figure of speech–the fact that some stories feature characters of color who are all compared to food, and that within a literary landscape you’ll find numerous mentions of coffee or cocoa skin–ought to give pause to would-be writers.
At Table Matters, Alicia Lamoureux recaps the 1883 Supreme Court decision that defined the term “vegetable.” The debate was more about taxes than semantics: the Court allowed that some vegetables are botanically fruits, but that tomatoes and similarly seeded fruits were legally vegetables and subject to certain state tariffs.
There’s a recipe at the bottom of the post for a tomato upside-down cornbread cake that I’m sure would be delicious: I love a good upside-down cake, and I like the idea of a tender buttermilk cornbread with earthy, sweet carmelized tomatoes soaked into it.
Of course, by speculating on the theoretical deliciousness of a recipe I have not tried, I am now subject to ridicule by Mallory Ortberg of The Toast, who roundly mocks all of the different genres of comment people leave on recipe blogs. (I once linked to a Tumblr dedicated to a similar purpose, but nothing is sufficiently lampooned until Mallory does it.)
I really enjoyed this New York Times article about the history of the Mason jar and examples of how and why it has been reclaimed and repurposed by Generation DIY. Mason jars, like moustaches, are a calling card of the population we regard suspiciously as hipsters. The fact is, though, they are awfully useful! My canning friend is my main source of jars, since she will stock up on flats before we do something like this:
Sometimes I bring my empty jars to the next canning session (hence the odd-sized containers marked “fridge”) but I also use them to store dried herbs, fruit puree, salad dressing, infused oils, bacon drippings, and other odds and ends.
While I’m on the subject of myself: I’m still updating my Summer CSA Pinterest board with recipes, but when the first autumn squash comes in I’ll move to the Fall CSA board. Also, did you see the wonderful Q&A Domestic Deborah did for me? I had a lot of fun answering her questions. If you’re a lady who loves food and cooking, I believe she is still taking subjects for her Women in the Kitchen series.
Lastly, from NPR, the best thing I have seen on the internet this week: