Bits and Bites

Oops, wasn’t I supposed to be on vacation? Well I am, but I was feeling so guilty for abandoning you for so long that I decided to stop by and share a few bites to tide you over. And, well, it could possibly be that two weeks of uninterrupted relaxation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…but you didn’t hear that from me!

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Ever wished you could see what really goes on behind the scenes of a professional food photo shoot? Well, this ain’t it, but it is awfully funny.

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1402012047_8c567e3125.jpg Thanks to British Airways and their new ‘entertainment on demand’ system, I had a choice of over twenty movies to watch at my leisure on my flight over, which almost made the nine hours in a sardine can bearable. While I’m usually happy watching anything on planes as long as it takes my mind off the tedium, rarely do I see something I enjoy so much I’d almost consider staying on the plane for the return flight just to see it again. Waitress was one of those movies. In case you missed this wonderfully poignant indie film about love, pies, and pregnancy go ahead and place a big red circle around November 27 on your calendar because that’s when it’ll be out on DVD. The movie is funny, witty and wise with superb acting and first-rate pie porn, but what makes it so heartbreakingly compelling is actually knowing the tragedy that happened behind the scenes. Sweet, sad and highly recommended.

And since we’re on the topic, what are some of your favorite food-centric flicks?

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There’s been some heated debate making the rounds recently about what to call food-focused people. I must be living under a rock, because I had no idea that the consensus for many people is that the term foodie is as passé as cucumber foam, implying culinary elitism and a slavish devotion to trends. It’s not exactly clear to me which term is poised to take its place – chowhound? epicure? food freak? – but whether you agree with it or not, it would seem that self-designation as a foodie is now verging on a political statement.

Let me just say that when I was first discovering food, none of these terms yet existed. When my parents wanted to tell their friends how into food I was, they called me a ‘gourmet cook’. In fact, they still do. The funny thing is that nothing makes me cringe as much as this term; aside from the fact that my interest in food extends far beyond cooking, I’ve always interpreted it as implying that I’m the kind of person who insists on sticking sundried tomatoes in everything and would sooner cut off my arm than serve my guests supermarket-quality balsamic vinegar (neither of which, incidentally, could be further from the truth). At any rate, after years of silently rebelling against gourmet cook, I welcomed the term foodie when it came along, despite the fact that it sounded kind of funny, since here at last was a term that simply conveyed a passion for food, whatever type of food and in whatever capacity that may be. Little did I suspect that within a few short years even this term would carry its own connotations of culinary snobbery, but as linguists are so fond of saying (okay, maybe they’re not, but they should be), the only guarantees in life are death, taxes and semantic shift.

Nevertheless, it kind of puts me in a quandary. I’m not ready to go back to being a ‘gourmet cook’, and none of the other current options quite tickles my fancy either. Thanks to Tea and her grandfather, though, I think I’ve found the solution. Next time anybody even starts to debate food monikers around me, I’ll whip this out of my hat:

"You can call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for dinner."