Your Friday Moment of Zen


Illlustrations of a mushroom

[Illustration: Biodiversity Heritage Library]

You did it! Another week down!

We’re putting up a post very much like this one every Friday afternoon, to celebrate the fact that the week is done. Week, bye!

We think of this series as something of a send-off for the week, giving you the option of a brief interlude for your Friday afternoon. Of course, if your workweek is just starting or if you’re still in the thick of it, think of this as a pick-me-up for your personal hump day or as a nice way to kick off your weekend shifts.

We hope to provide a short mix of mostly silly, mostly food-related, mostly entertaining things to look at, listen to, and read, and we hope you’ll find it amusing, and maybe, sometimes, edifying and enlightening. We also see it as an opportunity to go over some of what’s new on the site, which you, dear readers, may have missed.

If you have feedback or if you run across any interesting/oddball/totally crazy stories/podcasts/images/videos during the week that you think may be appropriate for this little collection of miscellany, email us! We can’t guarantee we’ll use it, but we will 100% appreciate the effort.

What’s New on Serious Eats

You can, of course, browse all our content in reverse-chronological order. But here are just a few highlights:

A Glimpse Inside Serious Eats HQ

Senior Culinary Editor Sasha Marx holding a large 'nduja.

Sasha with his massive ‘nduja baby. [Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Our Favorite Comments of the Week

From “9 Actually Great Uses for Your Microwave”:

Poppadoms: no need to deep fry these to get them to crisp and puff up….just take a single one from a packet of premade, dried poppadoms and give it 20 secs on full power; you can watch it curl and puff up through the glass…WAY faster than deep frying, much less messy and healthier (no oil needed)

From “This Rich Duck Stock Makes the Case for Buying Whole Ducks”:

Better still: make a duck alongside your turkey for thanksgiving, toss in any chicken bones you happen to have in the freezer, and make… turducken stock.

From a commenter (who we are frankly quite worried about) on Facebook, in response to our Philly cheesesteak-inspired riff on nachos:

Is this fattening

A Brief Book Break

They brought in an imposing platter. A woman with her hair in a bun set it on the table, and Landry’s wife, the young Englishwoman, and the blonde clapped their hands.

“Marvelous,” Landry exclaimed.

“An authentic Chaumont peacock,” said Reynolde.

And he jerked his thumb in a brutal gesture that clashed with the distinguished conversation I’d just been hearing.

“They say it’s an aphrodisiac,” said Landry’s wife. “Did you know that, Maggy?”

The woman offered the platter to my father and me so that we could serve ourselves.

“Let me explain,” Reynolde said to us, articulating his words as if he were speaking to the deaf. “A Chaumont peacock is fed on cedar buds and stuffed with truffles and nuts.”

I held myself perfectly still to keep from gagging.

“Try it! You’ll tell me what you think!”

After a while, he noticed that I hadn’t touched my dinner.

“Go on, try it! It would be criminal to leave that in your plate, my boy!”

At that instant, a kind of metamorphosis occurred in me. They were all—except for Papa—giving me cold, dismayed looks.

“Go on, boy! Have a taste!” Reynolde repeated.

My pathological timidity and docility had vanished and I suddenly understood how superficial they all were. I felt as if I had shed a dead skin. I retorted in an implacable voice:

“No, sir, I will not eat one bite of this.”

From Family Record by Patrick Modiano, translated by Mark Polizzotti.

Food Numbers, News, and Hijinks

  • 10/10: Score our pancake recipe received in The Kitchn’s head-to-head test of eight popular recipes on the internet.
  • 16: Runtime in minutes of this episode of Cooking With Paris, Paris Hilton’s cooking show, in which she demonstrates how to make lasagna.
  • 225: cost in USD for a single night stay in a “bread and breakfast suite.”
  • 1993: Year in which Merriam-Webster added to its dictionary the phrase “Chinese restaurant syndrome,” which activists and leading MSG manufacturer Ajinomoto want changed.
  • 10,030: Number of “pinches” of salt and pepper required to make every recipe in The Food Lab.
  • 50,000,000,000: Number of bees “wiped out in a few months during winter 2018-19,” which beekeepers and environmentalists believe is due to industrial agricultural methods, particularly ones used by the almond industry.
  • What did you eat for breakfast?
  • Dreams breakfast.
  • Come for the hot milkman, stay for the appearance of “country-fresh cow juice” in the text.
  • Snoop Dog made a fake meat sandwich with doughnuts as buns.
  • Every grain of (perfectly aligned) rice.
  • “Is there any New York City food Bill de Blasio DOES know how to eat?” (But really, extra cream cheese? What?)

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

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