Monday, May 7, 2012

Food and Doom-final blog post

New Orleaneans are culturally inept to change. We still use nineteenth century modes of transportation, namely the streetcar. We still have early twentieth century types of corruption in city government. And there are still signs of racism which seem will never go away. Just as these things seem to be long over due for change so does our food. As good as it is, wat we eat has basically been the same for a century or more. Think about what we eat; whether it be red beans and rice, jambalaya, dirty rice, gumbo, fried or boiled seafood, delicious as they may be they are still very simple and very old recipes. And I think that speaks to the continuity in the socioeconomic status of most New Orleaneans. When we were shucking oysters Thursday, someone described them as a poor man's food. If u think about what most New Orleaneans eat, it is very simple and therefore relatively inexpensive to prepare. We are essentially eating like we are in the Great Depression, except maybe that isn't as outlandish as it sounds. As one of the guest speakers pointed out, I believe she said that over eighty percent of the children in Orleans Parish Public schools qualify for free or discounted lunch. She also explained how wat the schools are feeding the children is not healthy and is quite possibly leading to an increase in obesity. She explained that the reason why the food is so unhealthy is that its very inexpensive. So if the food that is being served to the children in school in unhealthy and leads to obesity because its cheap, then the traditional New Orleans dishes that we prepare for ourselves that is cheap to fix must be unhealthy and causing an increase in obesity. I mean think about it, it's basically food that is meant to pack on pounds in small portions when there is a scarsity of food or money. Sounds like we've got some big problems in New Orleans, and ironically what so many people love about New Orleans(its culture and tradition) is what is intrensically wrong with New Orleans.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Food Interview

     Chicken backs and chicken necks, I used to eat left over food. That was all that was left after my brothers and sisters ate all the best parts of the chicken that was all that was left for me. He was an old time Italian, he used to cook all kinds of vegetables: mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens. That's all we ate, we didn't eat much chicken so I didn't have to eat the backs and necks too often. That's all I had to eat, I had to like it. The point isn't whether you like it or not, the point is whether you want to eat or you want to starve. That's all we had to eat, its what he believed in, nothing but greens, cooked very little meat, had pieces of pickled meat for seasoning. He died of a heart attack, so much for eating all those vegetables. He used to drink a lot, he used to drink that old crow whiskey. That's why he didn't live that long. He had a hardened liver, that's what liquor does to you.
     I can't remember going to restaurants, he did have a market though. I can't rembember but he always was in the grocery business. I think the first one he had was in the city on the corner of Josephine and Chipewa. Most people cooked themselves, you know, it was econmical. Oh the 40s and 50s. Well people those days people liked to cook. I mean you cook a pot of beans or what have you and you can feed a couple people for a few days. Spaghetti and gravy, gumbo, they were all economical meals.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Lunch

For this Sunday's lunch I wanted something that would be warm, hearty, and tasty partly because it's a cold day a also because i was sulking in my wounds caused by the Saints' loss to the 49ers the previous day. And so i decided to fix myself a hamburger and french fries. I wanted the burger to resemble that of Lee's famous burgers, a locally owned burger joint that's been around for several decades. What's unique about Lee's burgers is that they mixed diced onions in with the ground meat when forming the patty and then fry it up with onions embedded in the burger. Being from New Orleans, I love onions. I made mine what is the equivalent of the "works" at Lee's with lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, mayonaise, mustard, ketchup, and shredded cheddar cheese, minus the tomatoe only because I didn't have any at my disposal. I rounded out my meal with a side of steak fries from Brother's Food Mart who surprisingly, in my opinion, make some of the best french fries around. I had large glass of lemonade to wash down this delicious meal. The lemonade, I made from the lemons produced by the lemon tree in my front yard, which are better than any lemons you're gonna find at a grocery store I might add. They're not too bitter and they're huge, some people even mistake them for oranges.