Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I celebrated Labor Day yesterday by not opening my laptop, so the usual Sunday Table has morphed into a Labor Day Table.

I like the “if you can’t beat them, eat them” slant of these Washington City Paper and Baltimore Sun articles about the invasive snakehead fish. It sounds like a tasty fish. I’d love to do my part to eradicate the species.

Perhaps snakehead would also help me with my high cholesterol. I have until December to try to reduce it on my own. I don’t think I’m doing that well. But perhaps there’s hope. “A diet based around plants, nuts and high-fiber grains, including soy milk, tofu, nuts, oats, peas and beans, lowered “bad” cholesterol more than a low-saturated-fat diet.” The study participants followed a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism is not something that interests me. However, I could focus on eating less meat and more sides. I could also start having more oatmeal for breakfast, nuts for snacks, and peas and beans as sides.

Salmon is another heart-healthy choice. I’ve always been a fan of canned salmon – handy nutrition in your cupboard. The Atlantic asks whether canned salmon or canned tuna is a better choice. Which one is it? The one that’s countable, safely caught and lower in toxins. No, I’m not going to tell you, but the answer is easy to discover. Sorry, Charlie.

Farmed oysters are still a “Best Choice” according to the Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and they’re low in cholesterol while being high in “good for you” minerals. If you’re an oyster lover, check out this beautiful oyster shucking and serving board – The Halfsheller, designed and made by Tom Littledeer. It’s not too early to start your Christmas shopping!

Foodies love lists: the city’s (or country’s or world’s) best restaurants, Saveur’s annual 100 list, Anthony Bourdain’s 13 places to eat before you die, and so on. Eyes scurrying down the list, I’ve been there, yup, there too, I’ve had that, ooh, I need to find some of those. Admit it, you’ve done that. Now CNN has come along and added another one to the mental files – the world’s 50 most delicious foods. You’ll be surprised at some of the common items listed. #41 would test me but I’d be willing to give it a shot. I hope I don’t ever regret those words.

In honor of Labor Day, I’ll leave you with a poem by Jim Daniels, from Show and Tell: New and Selected Poems.

Short-Order Cook
An average joe comes in
and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries.
I wait for him to pay before I start cooking.
He pays.
He ain’t no average joe.
The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three.
I slap the burgers down
throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier
and they pop pop, spit spit. . .
pssss. . .
The counter girls laugh.
I concentrate……


Read the rest at The poem is under copyright. I don’t have permission to use it here.

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