Surviving the Whiplashes of History and American Gun-Culture Violence

There comes a day, sometimes, when it seems all that there remains to do is to sit and weep, staring out at the world through tears of salt, gazing through windows of murky glass. Seeing leaves, earth, sky, rain, even the path of the wind in tall grass. But not seeing. No, not really. Where…

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Just a Few Pictures, and a Few Words

Florida is a state where nearly everybody hails from another place. (1) And that idiosyncrasy makes the state an exciting social laboratory for curious (nosy?) people like me. One of the most intriguing questions right now, out there in the wide expanse of the world, is how people deal with "other people's food." (2) The…

Kidnapped!* A Case of Plagiarism

Plagiarism - the worst sin there is, at least in the eyes of writers and other artists. Technically, "plagiarism" refers to "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing it off as one's own," according to Google. But I prefer the hidden and truer meaning of the word - "kidnapper."** Recently, I discovered…

Food, Photography of

Photography is pretty simple stuff. You just react to what you see, and take many, many pictures. ~Elliott Erwitt Truth be told, I love photography for many reasons, one being the sense of peace that comes with observing the world around me. Photography forces a photographer to be centered. To photograph means slowing down and…

Remembering the Magic and Wishing for Peace on Earth

I dedicate this post to the children and the parents, everywhere, especially Newtown, Connecticut. Every year, in December, a marvelous thing happens. At least I think it's wonderful. And not for the reasons you might think. Christmas comes around, bringing with it a sense of magic in the air, some thing that I felt as…

The Ancient Sin of Gluttony: What’s Really Behind the Shunning of Paula Deen

We need strategies that do not drag us back to the dispositional focus of the Inquisition's witch-hunts, that propelled the notion of the "Satan Within," when much good and evil is the product of situational and systemic forces acting on the same ordinary, often good people.  ~~ Philip Zimbardo  It’s been with a great deal…

Pass the Nostalgia, and Nix the Organics

I’ll be blunt: I like my food with a heaping handful of nostalgic romanticism. Yes, there are those who claim that the present food landscape sparkles with the dreamy hue reminiscent of rose-colored glasses, that the perfume of nostalgia permeates too much of present-day “discourse” on food. And then there’s the flip side of that…

Scaling Back, Nothing Fishy About It!

To all the wonderful readers of "Gherkins & Tomatoes": I would like to let you know that starting this week (11/16/2009), I will be temporarily posting two times a week --- likely on Mondays and Thursdays, with a picture or a new food book announcement on the weekends when pertinent. Due to a very large…

Slapdown Corner: For the Love of Food!

Like a pot of water heating on the fire, the “meaning of foodie” conversations percolating out there come to boil at times. And at times the heat gets turned off and things simmer down.* Until the next finger-pointing pundit comes flying out of the air. Frankly, it gets tiresome when people exercise their index fingers…