in a perfect world of yancies: Food Before Thought

04 November 2012

Food Before Thought

Chilly weather and fading light provide great accompaniment in the kitchen, so we've been staying in and trying out all kinds of new recipes lately. From a list that's into double digits at this point, I present our family's two consensus favorites:

First, from the New York Times, Chicken Thighs with Delicata Squash:
(Thanks to the Times for the beautiful photo. And the recipe!)

Amazingly flavorful dish, and Franklin seemed really like it, especially the squash. And how could he not? Fresh sage? Maple syrup? Roasted and caramelized lemon wedges? Yum!

The Times also posted this great little video, which is worth watching even if you'd never come near a chicken thigh:

Note, though, that chicken thighs are delicious, so you should probably try some soon ;)

The little guy's other favorite, which Emily and I liked pretty well (though it could have used a little more zazz): Broccoli Cream Pesto from Smitten Kitchen:
(Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.)

Now every now and then, Franklin's food travels a circuitous route from spoon to lips to floor and then at last to tummy. I'm probably oversimplifying the science here, but this totally fascinating New Yorker story about the importance of the human "microbiome" has me at least a little reassured that that path may not be cause for too much concern.

Lots and lots of interesting stuff there. Unfortunately it's behind their pay wall, but if you want to borrow my copy, reader, just let me know.

In the meantime, here's one great bit:

By the time a child can crawl, he has been blanketed by an enormous, unseen cloud of microorganisms—a hundred trillion or more. They are bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and fungi (including a variety of yeasts), and they come at us from all directions: other people, food, furniture, clothing, cars, buildings, trees, pets, even the air we breathe. They congregate in our digestive systems and our mouths, fill the space between our teeth, cover our skin, and line our throats. We are inhabited by as many as ten thousand bacterial species; these cells outnumber those which we consider our own by ten to one, and weigh, all told, about three pounds—the same as our brain. Together, they are referred to as our microbiome—and they play such a crucial role in our lives that scientists... have begun to reconsider what it means to be human.

Such a great read. Seriously, let me know if you want my copy.

In other ongoing attempts to understand ourselves, the Seattle U Philosophy Department put together this poster for their upcoming workshop on the Sophist:
Sophist Poster
Not sure how many of those names you recognize, reader, but let's just say I'm the only one on there who hasn't published multiple books. So, no pressure, right? In fact, I should probably go finish my paper and stop all this blogging!

Okay, before I go, you've almost certainly seen this before, but here's another look at Franklin in his Halloween costume:
Happy Haloween!


  1. The article in the Times sounds fascinating.

    And the Workshop...well it seems you are your own critic and need to start pounding out a book...or two.

  2. Hey! You have a professor from Keio University coming?! You can tell him that your sister studied abroad at his arch rival, Waseda (o^_^o)
    Hope it's a good workshop!

  3. Wow, I'd somehow skipped that article. I want to pack in the probiotics...but it seems like those might be either sugar pills or danger combinations. What to do? (Eat dirt! says baby)

  4. Babies always give the best advice :)

    Hard to tell what to make of this sort of nascent science, but it definitely raises all kinds of fascinating questions...