Hugs, Kisses And Avocados

So I totally hate goodbye crap. And anyway, I know you all read this for dessert glamour shots, so I won’t get all OHMYGODTHISBLOGISALLABOUTME. But I did birth this thing, so I guess a proper sign-off is necessary.

Endless Simmer is a fucking wonderful place. It’s funny and silly and naughty and just serious enough to be considered a worthy read. Endless Simmer created my writing career. It was the first place I wrote about food, and then it quickly progressed to The Onion’s AV Club (thanks Chris Mincher, my first editor!), The Washington Post Express, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post, Eater DC, The Chew…and now Northern Virginia Magazine.

I credit the Simmer for forcing me to write every day. To think critically about food. To order obscene dishes and mock them. To take pictures of Brussels sprouts and Andrew Sullivan in a Subway. To meet food obsessed people around the country and throughout the world and to keep in touch with one of my very best friends, BS.

Endless Simmer was my home. My priority. And very often I had to stay in, come home early or ignore my fiancé to write a blog post.  Only a few times would I call BS at 3 o’clock in the morning, wasted, to let him know I couldn’t file my morning slot. He laughed at me.

I’m super bummed to stop writing here. And I kinda wish it wasn’t so damn awesome that it wouldn’t be seen as a conflict of interest. But it is pretty rad. And will continue to be. The wonderful folks here will keep it going, bringing ridiculousness from kitchens and restaurants from Brooklyn to Orange County.

So thank you Endless Simmer, for turning me into a full time (I have a dining budget!) food writer. And thank you to: readers, bitchy commenters, people that yell at us for using the word fuck in the headline, all food bloggers, Rachael Ray, Erica our singer laureate, publicists, Liz Lemon, Eleanor and the entire TFG crew, the many dedicated and hilarious contributors, Mom, DAD GANSIE, Scott, Sherry, Bennett and BS.

And I’m still holding out that Friday Fuck-Ups turns into a coffee table book.

Hugs, kisses and avocados,

Photo: tissue box on new editor’s desk

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Learning How To Be a Food Critic

Nowadays, in addition, the critic must blog extensively, answer reader questions, write best-of lists, tweet, and see to other social media concerns, as well as write extensive features that require him to travel quite literally around the globe. Plus spending time with editors, fact checkers, copyeditors, etc., as all this prose is processed into print. Given all this, you can easily see why someone could burn out in two years, and come to the conclusion that all the glamor and good food has to be weighed against a monomaniacal existence in which you don’t have time for family or friends, and life is just one giant Vegas-style buffet. —Village Voice food critic Robert Sietsema

My friend and Washington City Paper food editor Chris Shott (and my former editor) put this quote on his underused tumblr. I watched (and accompanied) Shott as he schlept from bar to restaurant to burger shack to bar to restaurant to bar, all in one night. He then blogged and interviewed chefs and blogged and edited freelancers and wrote and ate and wrote and blogged and ate, all in one day. Oh, and drank coffee. And then when out that night. He repeats this all week.

Being a food writer is not a glamorous job. It’s a totally awesome gig, but it’s really fucking hard. It’s tolling. It’s a lot of food. Food as sport. Food is not really enjoyable because it’s not meant for pleasure. It’s now meant for a story. For a clue to a larger narrative. To a question about ethics or trends or judgement or beauty.

It’s a job like any other with pressure and deadlines. But it’s also part public-service. It’s also an art. Criticism is an art. It’s a whole lot. A whole fucking lot. And I’m just starting to understand the role of a professional food journalist.

Earlier this month I joined Northern Virginia Magazine as its Dining Editor. Because Endless Simmer is seen as a conflit of interest, I won’t be blogging here any longer. Tomorrow will be my last day.

More ranting, love, sadness, joy, regret, excitement and tears tomorrow.


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Wish List 2011: Huge Fucking Cheese Slicer

When I stayed in Copenhagen earlier this year, the hotel breakfast spread fucking rocked.

Soft boiled eggs (with adorable holders and spoons), 5 different dark, seed-crusted breads, cereals, granolas, 3 different types of yogurt-ish products (samoa, soured milk) DIY fresh-squeezed – and ultra pulpy – OJ and sliced (fancy!) meats.

But most of all, I couldn’t get enough of the cheese. It wasn’t just slices, or a wedge or shreds.

But cheese hooked into this almost torture-looking device that easily slices cheese fresh from the block. I had just as much fun using the contraption as trying the various types of wonderful cheeses available. So, someone either fly me back to Copenhagen’s Scandic Palace Hotel or find me one of these machines.

Demonstration below:

More in Copenhagen Travels

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Return to the Daily Churn: Ex-Virtual Worker’s Guide to Office Reentry

I recently took a new job that requires me to go to work every day. If you’ll remember, I started working from home over a year and a half ago. I was nervous about eating ice cream every 15 minutes with such easy access to my freezer.

I manged to work through it, loving the freedom from schedules and getting the opportunity to make my own lunch – fresh – every day. While I miss my pajamas, I adore my new gig and also found some new ways to deal with the distance from my own kitchen.

Thermos Nissan Stainless Steel Backpack Hydration Bottle

This is seriously no fucking joke. This thermos keeps things so fucking cold that I’m nervous this device is illegal. Ice cubes stay frozen for over 24 hours. It is legit and will keep you from constant runs to the water cooler. (It’s better just to IM your coworkers anyway.)
(Photo: Meijer

Chobani 32oz Greek Yogurt

I’m not gonna eat breakfast before I leave for work. I’m just not. Instead, I keep a big tub of yogurt in the office fridge and pour a few spoonfuls into my from-home bowl; I also brought in a spoon. The giant portion makes it easy to eat however much I’m hungry for and cuts down on all of packaging that comes with individual serving containers.
(Photo: Chobani

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10 Christmas Treats Better Than Christmas Cookies

Last week I couldn’t figure out what the deal is with Christmas cookies. And after some ranting, I was still curious-slash-irritated. I decided that I’d actually rather eat the dreaded cupcake over some  snickerdoodle. Let’s stroll through some other Christmas eats more exciting than those damn cookies.

10. Ho! Ho!

(Photo: Strange Days)

9. Life is Like…

(Photo: omgitsrenzo)

8. Honestly, I Don’t Know What This Is Made Of, But It’s Gorgeous, Right?!

(Photo: Icy Snow of Winter)

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