Hating Mother’s Day is as damaging as sentimentalizing it

Amidst yesterday’s many saccharine mother shout-outs and articles, seeing “Why I hate Mother’s Day” pop up in my Twitter feed was a breath of fresh air. Hating Mother’s Day? Of course I clicked. On a day that wallows in the sappiest of mother-cliche (If a child doesn’t pen an ode to mother’s food, does that mother …

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Authentic cuisine: Jewish Artichoke alla giudia in Rome

Edible authenticity puts class politics on the plate

Just who does “authentic” cuisine serve? Anya von Bremzen, writing in the April issue of Saveur, isn’t so sure. I don’t normally buy food magazines for the articles on Italian food, but the April Saveur has a piece on Roman food, “Eternal Pleasures“, by von Bremzen, who also wrote one of my favourite cookbooks, Please …

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Three generations, three languages: A former refusenik on language and identity

Ha’aretz has an interview with Soviet refusenik writer David Markish, who immigrated to Israel in 1972. Thirty-six years later, Markish still writes all his books (15 so far, though almost none available here) in his native Russian. Markish’s father, Peretz Markish, a prominent Yiddish writer, was executed by the Soviet regime and the family was …

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Butch Bakery website screengrab for gendered food terms

Crimes against language: A guide to gendered food terms

We may have replaced stewardesses with flight attendants and firemen with firefighters, but that’s ok because food is getting its man on these days. It’s the “manification” of food? Not to be confused with that “mancession” we’re slogging through. So cute, you just want to pat him on the head. This slow creep of gender-specific, …

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Roman Vishniac Exhibit at Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam; photo by the Persian-Dutch Network

Roman Vishniac’s photography: The impoverished life that wasn’t quite

A few years ago, I was at a lecture on Jewish immigration where someone asked why Soviet/Russian Jewish immigrants were so smug about their academic credentials. The response? Academics was just about the only thing they had to feel good about, since, as a group, Russian-Jews were not well accepted by the established Jewish community. …

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Cover for The I Hate to Cook Book by Peggy Bracken

The kitchen-bot revolution 2—And a robo-chef in every kitchen

(This is the second of two posts on “Mombot.” In my first post, I talked about the gender dynamics of kitchen-bots and found that there was surprisingly little to say about it, compared to other models of service robots that have been developed.) The New York Times headline that first grabbed my attention—“Just Like Mombot …

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The Jetsons with their robot housemaid

The kitchen-bot revolution 1—this ain’t your mama’s kitchen

(This is the first of two posts on “Mombot.” It may not be quite the gender apocalypse that is the catwalk fembot, but the possibility of a kitchen robot raises some interesting issues about who is, and who should, be doing the cooking in our sustainability obsessed food culture. The next post will be up …

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