Binging with Babish

If you haven’t watched any of these brilliant YouTube videos you are missing out. The premise of the show is that it explores the food seen or mentioned on television and movies. Since yesterday was one of the biggest eating days of the summer it feels right to talk about food today. The best thing about this show is that you can use the videos as inspiration or can go on the website for his recipes. The remarkable thing is that he has faced a wide variety of foods from ramen and pasta to burgers and several other sandwiches. The best thing is that it all seems like it would be rather easy to make most of the things even the complicated ones like the Timpano from Big Night looks like the average home chef could make it.

Taste Buds

I find this a bit interesting as over the past couple of years as I grown into my 30s, I’ve become more fond of tart foods, like rhubarb, cranberries and limes/lemons. I stumbled upon this article from ages ago from theguardian about changing taste buds and ageing. It is a rather interesting read as it groups tasters into four specific groups children, teenagers, adults and old age saying that children have the most taste buds and by adulthood about a third of these taste buds exist. If you have time take a look at the article. Sure, I’ve liked other sour food for ages like all types of pickles and other soured food but I find it interesting that tart has become one of the flavors that I actively want.

News Roundup

Star Wars: This is something we already expected Rogue One will not have a crawl. This is the first of the Star Wars spin off movie that are being released under the Star Wars:Stories brand. We will get a couple more after Rogue One, in 2018 there is a Han Solo movie coming out as well as something else in 2020 and perhaps many more after these scheduled films. Since after the Saga films VIII and XI come out I think that they’ve said that is the end of the Skywalker story.

Politics: Here is a fun one currently 6 electors in the Electoral College have vowed to cast votes against Trump, and Michigan still hasn’t finished counting all the votes. This will match the most faithless electors since 1808, when six electors didn’t vote for James Madison. The number may rise or some electors might abstain from voting. We will have to wait until the middle of December for  this vote to happen. However it seems unlikely this will get Hillary Clinton elected.  On the other hand New Republic points out that Trump could just as easily be impeached from day one if congress wants to do something about it. According to the article Trump has run afoul of the “emolument clause” of the Constitution as Trump’s Hotel in Washington has some foreign diplomats are staying there to curry favor with the President-elect..

Beer: A Brewpub in Chicago was received a Michelin star. This is cool news as sure it is a recognition of the food prepared at the pub. Sure it’s a big honor but it’s based on the taste of a group of people. Who really cares although people put a great of emphasis on the Michelin star it really means nothing. The Michelin guide was made so people would drive out to a restaurant and wear down the treads on tires for they’d have to be replaced sooner.

The God of Cookery (1996)

Alton Brown has called The God of Cookery one of his favorite films about food and is even featured in his food on film festival November 12 and 13 in NYC. This is how I first heard about the film and when I discovered that it was on Netflix I forget about getting ticket and traveling to New York and just watched it.  The God of Cookery is a kung fu comedy food movie made in Hong Kong by Stephen Chow, who would go on to make Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.  Spoilers to follow.

The film beings with “The God of Cookery” Stephen Chow, a washed up celebrity chef, in the gutter ordering assorted noodles from a food stall. When he gets the dish he dissects the meal noticing all the faults in it. This leads to a flashback when he was “The God of Cookery” where we learn he was a corrupt celebrity chef who knows nothing about cooking but he runs a successful business empire. However at the opening of his 50th restaurant Chow is exposed as a fraud by his business partner and understudy Bull Tong.  After this Bull takes the title of God of Cookery. We return to the gutters where Chow is dissecting the noodle dish and food cart owner, Turkey. However after getting beaten by thugs for pan handling Turkey takes pity on Chow and gives him a bowl of barbecue pork on rice with an egg.  Chow likes the dish. The calm is soon interrupted as another street vendor comes to “discuss”(have a gang fight) which vendor can make which dish. Chow convinces them to combine the two dishes into one making Pissing Beef Balls. These become a hit.  This has Bull and the business partner antsy and after running into Chow one day as Chow has the chance to become the God of Cookery again at the next contest in a month. Chow plans to go to culinary school and Bull plans to kill Chow.

This leads Chow to a Shaolin monastery where it turns out that Bull as trained as well. As The God of Cookery contest is about to begin Chow shows up at the last minute. The contest is sort of a parody of Iron Chef, the hit cooking show from Japan in the 90s. Chow and Bull are deemed to be the only true competitors at the contest by the judge. As they both begin making the same dish it become interesting as to who will win, however Bull and the business partner have a bomb hidden in one of Chow’s pots and they blow it up ruining his first attempt so with like three minutes left Chow make the bowl of barbecue pork on rice with an egg. As the judge eats the food she adores the dish prepared by Chow however she is being blackmailed by Bull so that he can retain the title of “God of Cookery”. At this ruling Chow says that there is no one God of Cookery as whoever cooks with heart is a God of Cookery. The heavens open up and judgment is dolled out.

It’s a fun story as when you think of Kung fu and cooking you don’t think comedy but here it is and it works real well. If you’ve like other films by Stephen Chow or are a fan of food you might like this one as well.

News Roundup

World Series: Well the series has gone the distance with game seven tonight in Cleveland. Either the Cubs or the Indians will end a long World Series drought. Cleveland pulls their ace, Corey Kluber, out yet again pitching in his third game this series. Chicago has Kyle Hendricks going on regular rest. Kluber has been trouble for the Cubs to get hits, however Hendricks is about in the same boat as he hasn’t allowed a run since October 16th. Yet it seems like the Cubs bats are waking up at the right time having scored 12 runs in the past two games. It will be an exciting evening if you have some plans change them so you can watch history be made by either team.

Food: Alton Brown is going to be bringing back his popular television program to the internet. It will be a sequel to Good Eats and sounds great. If you haven’t heard about head over and watch the video, I loved watching Good Eats and can’t wait for some sort of new version of the show to come back.

Voting: The DC Council has unanimously approved an interesting idea “automatically register residents to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles.” This is a common sense idea that need to be done across the nation, everyone already gets a license so why not just bring the two together. If only the federal government could do something like make Election day a holiday or some way to increase the voter turnout.

News Roundup

Nature: Scientist at CERN have discovered that trees are good for clouds.  Now this doesn’t seem like it is that big of a breakthrough as anyone could have told you that trees make nature better. The scientists have discovered that trees can produce gases that make cloud seeds. It is an interesting process and perhaps we could do more for the world by planting more forest. It’s a good idea.

Beer: In yet another change it seems that Beer is now a healthy food. In a recent study they have figured that beer with hops might protect against liver disease. Sure it isn’t the best of research but I always find it funny how every couple of years some thing which we thought was bad for us is now the new trendy think to do. Look at wine and coffee over the years as well as fat and how many time we were told that drinking wine/coffee was bad for us and eating fat was a good thing only to be reversed a few years later. As Julia Child put it “Everything in Moderation . . . including moderation”.


2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

It’s time for the Olympics to officially begin. This will be the 31st Summer games and there a couple additions to the sports Rugby (sevens) and Golf have been added both of these sports used to be in the Olympics. Rugby last appearing in 1924 and with the Americans as the defending Gold Medalist. Golf on the other hand last appeared in 1904 and the results are a bit skewed as the Americans  taken home 10 of the 13 medals given out. It will be interesting to see if these new sport stick around as we’ve just heard about some new sports joining the 2020 Olympics (baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding).

Rio is the first South American nation to host the Olympics as well as the first time Portuguese is the official language. This year there will be some new nations like Kosovo and South Sudan, as well as a team of refugee competing. The Cauldron for the Olympics won’t be actually at the main Stadium but near the Port. Now the big thing is to decide what Brazilian food to make for these Olympics.

Corpus Christi

This week the readings are Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 118, Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians 11:23-26, the sequence Lauda Sion, and Luke’s Gospel 9:11b-17.

The Body and Blood of Christ are the important part about this week. We talk about food, bread and wine and fish. More specifically it is about the sharing of food with one another. This is a distillation of our faith sharing a meal with someone Melchizedek and Abram did it, Jesus and the Apostles did the same as well as those five thousand in the Gospel. However it isn’t only food we share but ourselves as a life of faith isn’t one lived alone we need to engage with others. As Pope Francis highlighted in his Homily on the actual feast day, “Do this in remembrance of me” the words of Christ to his apostle at the Last Supper isn’t  just about the Eucharistic meal but about ourself as well. “Do this” is a simple command and we work throughout our lives to follow it.

Lesser known…

Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005)
John Paul II the Pope for most of many of our lifetimes having served for 26 years. Some claim to be a part of the JPII generation since he was their Pope having grown up in a church lead by him, others claim to be a Benedict XVI generation and I’m sure there are some out there who are a part of the Francis generation but I like the more wide spreading term as the Vatican II generation as We have all lived in the post Vatican II world  for a half century now and much of the interpretation of Vatican II came from John Paul II. May we all pray to John Paul II, the pope of the family, this week and ask him to help inspire those at the Synod on the Families.

International Nacho Day:  The lowly Nacho has it’s own day, this is real cool as most people would say they like Nachos and now they have a reason to eat some. I know that I will be going out this week and getting some Nachos in some form from somewhere on the 21st.

Luigi Guanella (19 December 1842–24 October 1915)
Luigi Guanella was an Italian priest who was sensitive to the needs of the poor and this gave birth to his religious communities who provide for their needs throughout the world. Luigi founded several religious orders including the Servants of Charity whose motto is In Omnibus Charitas – In all things Love. When he was canonized Pope Benedict XVI said ” We can summarize his whole human and spiritual life in his last words on his death-bed: “in caritate Christi”. It is Christ’s love that illumines the life of every person, revealing through the gift of himself to others that nothing is lost but is fully realized for our happiness.”



20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today is the Feast of the Assumption, typically a Holy Day of Obligation, however since it falls on a Saturday this year in the United States at least I know for sure that the obligation is nullified as having to go to church for both Saturday and Sunday would be difficult for some people, not to mention those who typically attend the vigil service. So instead of the Assumption we celebrate the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. If you got hungry last week be prepared again since food is the main theme once again in our readings. We begin in the book of Proverbs, one of the writings of the Old Testament this one follows Psalms and is written by King Solomon. It is a collection of sayings, teachings and aphorisms. We hear today that Wisdom has set a table and calls out “Let whoever is simple turn in here, to the one who lacks understanding, she says, ‘Come, eat of my food, and drink of the wine I have mixed! Forsake foolishness that you may live advance in the ways of understanding.’” Eat so you understand it’s sort of funny when you think of this as way back in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of a specific fruit, but here we have Wisdom saying come and eat so that you can become wise. This also prefigures the Bread of Life Discourse in John’s Gospel.

The Psalm is the exact same thing as last week we sing about tasting and seeing the goodness of the Lord. As we reach the epistle we hear from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians we pick up a little ways from where we left last week. Paul calls on us all to watch carefully how we live our lives and urges us to live not as foolish persons but as wise ones. Then we are all to try to understand the will of the Lord. The St. Joseph’s Missal say this is all about how we can’t skip Mass on Sunday as each of us is an integral part of the worship service as we do it together. I think that’s a bit of grasping at straws sure the communal aspect of our faith is on display at the celebration of the Mass but the main thing Paul’s pointing at is we should not be ignorant about our faith since in his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes that “we are fools for the sake of Christ but wise in Christ.”

Finally, we reach the John’s Gospel were we get part three of the “Discourse on the Bread of Life.” We pick up at the last verse from last week. Jesus says “I am the Living Bread from heaven who ever eats this bread will live forever.” This sent the crowd into a frenzy as they all wondered how a man could give his flesh to eat. Jesus replied by reiterating that unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you do not have life within you. Jesus continues by saying that unlike the manna that came down from heaven in the desert those who eat of the bread of life will live forever. Thinking about that it sound like a great deal. Yet by eating of the flesh of the Son of Man we are to become more like Christ, just at at the feast offered by Wisdom we eat and become better people. So I hope that we all can go out this week and explore some aspect of the faith, read up on a Saint , pray the Rosary or something of that sort.