Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Items for your consideration.

This should probably be three or four different posts, but the bits all do fit under the umbrella of things for you to consider.

So first. I have this master plan to become a more efficient grocery shopper, which I may have mentioned. I feel like I spend way too much time faffing about at grocery stores, and while this is mostly an activity I enjoy, I simply do not have such a wealth of free time that I want to blow it all trekking between the co-op, Whole Paycheck, and Rainbow Foods. In a perfect world, I would be going to a wonderful market daily to pick up things for dinner, or there would be one conveniently-located place that carries everything I need at a good price, but things sadly are not set up that way here.

WiseBread has been posting little tips about grocery shopping and bulk food prep and such on an ongoing basis, in case you're interested. Many of those tips aren't going to work for me because I am a vegetarian, I don't buy many packaged foods (forget coupon-clipping tips), and I'm not cooking for a crowd. But I'm tracking expenses this month (and probably next) to figure out how much I really spend on groceries. And, inspired by some listmaking urge and my own inner librarian, I just took inventory of the cupboards, and categorized and rearranged the contents. Then I went to the condiment wing of the fridge and did the same. I dumped some languishing, assy dressing from Trader Joe's and a 6 year old tub of thai curry paste. I froze some prepared garbanzo beans for later use. And I may actually make a spreadsheet on Google Docs to use as a shopping list and food inventory. I know, it's crazy.

The Millennial Crier is always at least pretty entertaining, but I think it is especially so if you have spent any time at all thinking that grad school is/was a bit of a wankfest for you. To wit: today's entry, a summation of the concrete ways in which the writer has improved since college.

This song by Rose Polenzani came up on my ipod today and I really think a lot of you will like it (unless dreamy folky music pisses you off). I love the lyrics and all the funky harmonica effects.

This was awhile ago, but I suggest you go get The Lives of Others if you have not already seen it. Beautiful and thought-provoking and just really well-made and acted. We also watched La Vie en Rose (aka La Môme) this week, which is worth seeing just for Marion Cotillard's astonishing performance as Edith Piaf. What a voice; what a sad, crazy life. I see that Cotillard is nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. Without even seeing any of the other movies (except Elizabeth and I thought that was crap), I'm going to hazard that probably no other performance this year comes close.

Also, have you been watching this Austen fest happening on PBS? I thought "Northanger Abbey" was campy and adorable, with totally appealing romantic leads. Hooray!

That is all.


  1. If you haven't checked it out, I think you will probably love the Mark Bittman cookbook. He's really quite focused on varied grains and things from scratch that aren't necessarily time-intensive. My husband & I are slowly moving toward a packaged-food-free home where veggie burgers & pizza are the primary culprit. There are some great ideas for veggie burgers in that book.

    Also, for whatever reason, I thought this might strike your fancy both as an educator and as someone who likes learning:

  2. Thanks for the link--I can't believe I've never heard of this before. I doubt I will ever give up totally on packaged food--I mean sometimes you just need to eat a Boca burger. Also, I'm the primary cook here and when the Brit looks in the fridge he doesn't really see edible food unless it's already prepared or easy to heat up. Some convenience is not a bad thing. But I will totally check out that cookbook.