Posts Tagged 'letters'

A letter of appreciation

Dear Celery,

You’re taken for granted, I know: relegated to a mere vessel for a fatty, overpowering legume spread; mercilessly used up and cast aside, your soul siphoned off for stock. With such refinement and elegance as yours, it must seem cruel punishment to be typecast again and again — and so coarsely! — as a crudité. The Sideshow Bob to Krusty the Buffalo Wing. The Gallant to that Goofus Carrot. You’ve not just taken a backseat to your ugly Cousin Celeriac, it’s like you might as well not exist any more.

You’re misunderstood. Your sturdiness and pluck mistaken for an excess of oral fiber; your singular assertiveness misjudged as indiscreet, unladylike. But I want you to know that I understand your charm. I know what you bring to the table — and I like it.

Treated with little understanding as to your special qualities, you’re like that brainy, gangly, slightly awkward girl in class. The boys find you intimidating, and you’re ignored at school dances. But handled right, you grow up to be a knockout — all leggy sophistication and smarts, with a mysterious air of exoticism. They’ll all want a piece of you.

Sometimes all you need is for someone to lay you down and show you a little finesse. You don’t need to be hidden under stinky, gloppy layers of blue cheese or hummus; you just need a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Easy, breezy, beautiful. That’s you.

Don’t forget it,

a letter of sugar & spice

Dear Ginger,

Growing up I thought you were an Asian immigrant relic, your gnarly tree-likeness on the refrigerator shelf both off-putting and bizarrely mystical. Kind of like how the forest sequence in Princess Bride feels. (Or in hipster speak, like Jan-Å vankmajer-lite.) And then you would show up in food unexpectedly, a bitter fibrous bomb soon followed by the requisite “ew, Mom!” I started avoiding you whole; I knew you were a necessity in tasty Asian dishes (kimchee!) and in tummy-calming tea, so I tolerated you over the years—minced, ground up, and brewed, barely perceptible. So why didn’t you tell me you were so yummy candied? Baked into a scone with your raw brethren? Covered in dark chocolate? Kicking some badass soul into sweet?

keep kicking it,

A letter of overexposure

Dear Bacon,

On a conceptual and gastronomic level, I have no problem with bacon chocolate bars, egg and bacon ice cream, or bacon caramel. The bacon chocolate-chip cookie at Meatopia IV was pretty good too. (I do, however, draw the line at the Bacon Martini. That just doesn’t sound like a good idea at all.)

And you know you occupy a hallowed place in my kitchen, Bacon — you really do. I even keep the stuff that reminds me of you — there’s a jar of bacon drippings I leave right by the stove. There’s no one like you for cooking up greens. I’m even going to start curing a slab of you next week.

But I worry, Bacon.

I worry that you’re becoming too ubiquitous. That you’re trying too hard. That instead of being the life of the party, you’re becoming the joke: a little too eager to get shitfaced, jump on the table and dance. You’re That Meat that’s the last to leave, after the hosts have been hinting for an hour.

Your appearance in the lardons made for a good laugh — especially since they only tasted okay — but is that what you’re going for now? Laughs? You just want to make a spectacle of yourself? That makes me sad.

Why don’t we take it down a notch, Bacon? Just relax and be yourself. Everyone likes you already; there’s no one you need to impress, no need to get all dolled up and pretend you’re something you’re not.

Keep it real, Bacon, and you’ll always have a place on my plate.

Yours, even in lean times,

a letter of mobilization

Dear Taco Truck,

Better and more knowledgeable writers have penned their own love letters to you, the petition to save LA’s taco trucks is more than encouraging (come on, you too!), and I’m only just really getting to know you. But I needed to write to say this:

You had me at cabeza.

For someone whose childhood imprinting of Mexican was the Taco Bell Nachos Supreme, this is revelatory. So juicy. So flavorful. So… multiple. So I’ll be back. You, taco truck, are the town troubadour of tastiness. Your ambulatory existence draws crowds wherever you go and inspires legions. You have replaced the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile in my fantasies of meals on wheels.

Same place same time? See you there.



A letter of inquisition

Dear Pope,

Why would you come all the way to New York City and eat Italian food?

I guess it must be a catholic thing.

Next time you’re in town, I recommend hitting up Momofuku. You might not be able to get into Ko, but Ssam Bar on a Monday or Tuesday night isn’t bad.


PS. Nice ride you got there.

a letter of indecision

Dear Rabbit,

I totally thought I was going to fall in like with you. Not only did you play a little hard to get, resulting in a special trip to Victors Meat & Deli that was unexpectedly charming, but you came well recommended, in Tamasin Day-Lewis’s Tarts With Tops On and well-appointed: in a pie. Although to be honest, what caught my eye wasn’t “rabbit pie” as much as “then stuff the prunes with rabbit liver and kidneys.” I’ve always wanted to stuff a prune. On top of that, a very informative 76th issue of Art of Eating piqued my interest. I was sold on your potential awesomeness.

And yet, I’m not sure we really hit it off. We had some good times—what’s not to like about some morbid bunny humor and a makeshift lesson over the pot in small animal anatomy?—and my friends liked you, but I found you kind of… boring. You had an initial taste of the sweetly gamy and enough of an interesting texture, but after a while I found myself more interested by your accoutrements than in the gustatory conversation I could have with you. And here’s the worst part.

You kind of taste like chicken.

There, I said it. I’m a total philistine. Maybe it was the recipe and not you, and maybe we just didn’t really click this time. But I think if I don’t fall for you in a pie, chances are I probably won’t entertain thoughts of you in my kitchen any time soon. Maybe at a restaurant though with expert preparation. So check me undecided. I’m not giving up hope though. Until next time.



p.s. rest assured, you’re still the most bizarre thing (alive) that i’ve seen in a nyc subway car though.

A letter of apology

Dear Microwave,

I’m sorry about all the mean things I’ve said about you over the years. To your face, even. They were nasty, uncalled for, and only somewhat true.

I really did, for the longest time, think I didn’t need you, that you just took up a lot of needless space, that you would lure me into your nefarious, cheating ways and away from my true love, Good Honest Cooking Over a Stove.

I realize now, and I have McGee and Bittman to thank for it, that I was underestimating you all this time. You’re good for so much more than just reheating rice. You make some amazing eggplant curry. And with a minimum of fuss!

Just like every other appliance in the kitchen, you too have your own special talents that you bring to my table. And instead of turning up my nose, I really should have welcomed you into my home. And I am sorry for that. For all the wasted time we’ve been apart.

I hope you’ll forgive me, Microwave. I’ll always leave room on the shelf for you. Bygones?


P.S. I will never again make fun of Joyce for relying so heavily on you.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram


Flickr Photos