Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Quickies #43: Recovery from the Flu edition

Clam Chowder from last year's DineLA lunch at Ford's Filling Station

As my tweets this past week indicated, I've fallen ill to the flu for about a week. Lots of fatigue, rampant fevers (felt like I was holding a fireball in each hand on Monday!) alternating with chills, and a throat sore enough for me to favor texting and miming over speaking. And of course, missing out on delicious foods, from the first of the Silverlake Wine tastings to Kogi stopping in downtown to serve its Korean barbecue tacos during the ArtWalk. But at least mid-week I felt well enough to grab some pho and wonton noodles, as opposed to staying home with chicken noodle, steamed veggies and oatmeal.

Oh well, I take it as nature's way of telling me to save my calories and dollars till the
DineLA meals, which I have four I already lined up (as well as two from the Newport Beach restaurant week.)

But moving to interesting tidbits of the week:

I've just noticed how
dramatically improved the LA Times Daily Dish foodblog is. The layout could still use a little work, but the content is much better than a year ago, when the blogposts were way too wordy, not particularly engaging and pretty infrequent for a newspaper blog. In fact, it looked like the dumping ground for articles that didn't make it to hardcopy (and while they're still very well-written pieces, they're simply not bloggy.)

Now there's the sampler platter with considerable linkage to interesting food articles; impromptu local food-scene gossip (though Eater LA still clearly has the corner on that); delightful musings musings on local in-season ingredients, favorite recipes and food events; quirky features like the 1,001 things to do with bacon and; now, a new series of simple how-to videos for cooking a fresh, tasty everyday entreƩ stat. But most importantly, the writing is just livelier, simpler, shorter and easier for monitor-watching eye to grasp on to.

If you're glanced by and passed up on the Daily Dish months ago, now's a great time to give it a second try. I, for one, check it out almost every day now (on top of my usual Wednesday ritual of reading the section itself). Definitely worth the kudos, especially given LATimes' staff (Food Section being no exception) becoming leaner in the recent years. Keep up the good work!

Speaking of interesting food articles, New York Times had a pretty fun piece this week, essentially mythbusting some food folklores -- you know, the tips your friends, family and other cooks and chefs have passed on and you're not quite sure if they work but too afraid to deviate. Well, the NYT science and food crew isn't scared of asking questions and they've confirmed and debunked quite a few of those tricks of the cooking trade -- such as whether browning meat help seal in the juices, if adding a little sugar to veggies help them keep their color and shape and what's the point of adding vodka in a sauce if it's just going to boil away while cooking? Check out the article and find out, and you'll even get some new trivia knowledge to dish out at your foodie friends.

If you're looking for more -- there's also's ongoing "Nagging Question" column, where staffers tackle one weird question a week, from whether running cheap vodka through a home water filter will improve its quality to if eating Luna Bars will make a guy grow boobs.



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