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Episode: 137

Why did the bear sh*t in the woods? To cover up all the Foodiness™ trash


You know I like to hike, right? Adam and I have a repertoire of hikes that we pull from every weekend, and one of the best, which means it’s strenuous enough for us plus has bathrooms, is called the ‪‎Major Welch‬ trail, at‪ Bear Mountain‬ state park. Bear Mountain is just across the Hudson from Peekskill, which is where tiny bungalow is located. It has a steep, sheer rock face, plus a steady uphill hike to approach that rock face. It’s long enough, and tough enough to satisfy our hiking needs. Just a really good hike.

Except that the park is a dump. Bear Mountain was one of the first WPA/CCC-era state parks to be built during the depression, it has a beautiful old ‪Adirondack‬ style lodge building, an old carousel, a skating rink, a lake, lots of stuff. It had a major makeover a few years ago, and it would be a beautiful, National Parks caliber place, if it weren’t only 50 miles from NYC. As I said, it’s a dump. Literally.

The place is so overused, and so overrun with douchebags and morons every weekend, that we can only bear to go there on weekdays, park outside of the actual park and hike in, do the climb, use the bathrooms and get the hell out. Major Welch is one of the best climbs in the region, imho, and when you get to the top of Bear Mountain, you get a view of the entire lower Hudson valley, clear down to Manhattan! You can see the city from there. It’s pretty cool. You can also drive up to the top–not so cool. Because after you sweat and pant your way up the rocks, there’s all these a-holes in their cars, blocking the view. Or people who hiked up the easy trail, the one with steps and handrails. Grrr.

And what do all those a-holes, d-bags and morons do at the top, other than take selfies so tantalizingly close to the edge? (Adam has to practically restrain me…just a tiny little tap, that’s all it would take). They buy crap from the vending machines that have replaced the old hiker’s shop and bathrooms at the top! Yup. You can drive your douchy SUV to the top of Bear Mountain, hoist your woefully un-fit self out of the car, buy a can of pumpkin spice ‪Pringles‬ and a blue-flavored ‪Gatorade‬, take you f-ing selfie, and get back into your stupid car and drive back down, leaving a trail of exhaust fumes for me to breathe in. Thanks, America. Oh that, and a trail of litter and trash and garbage a mile deep. Sweet. God bless us, everyone. We’re doomed.

Episode: 136

Fear No Food!


I gotta wrap up the summer early this year. I’ll be pretty busy with a restaurant consulting project through Labor Day, thus my need to end the summer shows with this episode. But who knows? If things go swimmingly well, I may be able to squeeze in a show in August, we’ll just have to see.

Anyway, to wrap it up, think back to last week’s show, and you’ll remember my discourse on Doneness Spectrum Disorder (DSD)

Remember? This is a newly discovered and named (by me) mental disorder in which people feel the compulsive need to overcook proteins and undercook vegetables. It’s pervasive, insidious, and may be undermining our food culture as we know it. It’s right up there with Orthorexia, which I think I have, as the two biggest dangers facing us today. But the good news is, It’s highly treatable, and curable. In fact, the cure rate is 100%! And, it’s totally covered by Obamacare, to boot. Thanks, Obama! All you need to do, to treat DSD, as I call it, is learn to be a better cook. You can take classes, watch videos, hire me to teach you privately, so easy! And yet, it’s still so pervasive…

And I think I know why. I think it all boils down to fear. The pathological fear of food that we Americans have, because we live in a food culture that is so overwhelmingly processed and manufactured. Packaged means safety. Raw food, loose food, actual food, food pulled warm from the earth or icy from the sea or dripping with blood or dirt is a little too real for us. Too 19th century. Too primal. Too close to the literal bone. We want clean, tidy, safe, to keep our fears of blood, death, decay, and contamination far from our minds and consciences. We live in mortal fear of our food, fear of it sickening us, fear of it making us fat, fear of not getting the right nutrients, fear of the cultural signifiers that our choices reveal in us; our class, income level, sophistication level or lack of it. It drives us, this fear. Which is really too bad, because it’s just food. Well, if you eat actual, real food, it’s just food. everything else, is #Foodiness, or just basic crap. So tune in today, as I finish up the season, go berry picking, and get angry. (So what else is new…)

Episode: 135

Suffering from Doneness Spectrum Disorder? There’s new drug for that.


This is a Public Service Announcement. Today’s episode of LGR will be 100% Foodiness™ free for your protection. This is a special edition of LGR, harkening back to the days of Why We Cook, my first HRN show. You’ve been warned.

If you listened to last week’s show, “Tales of Foodiness™ Fishiness”, you heard the story of my young years, and summers spent fishing on Long Island for bluefish, flounder, porgies, and other species found in Long Island sound. And as I think mentioned, in the way that time distorts memory, it seemed as if we caught and ate bluefish every single weekend of my life, from approx. 1969-1981, which was probably not quite the case, but nonetheless….childhood exaggerates memory. A lot of bluefish was consumed.

And…it was probably overcooked, because that’s how people ate fish back then, overcooked. My parents discovered some recipe for bluefish called “Greek style” which involved baking it whole, covered in thinly sliced onions, tomatoes and green peppers, and liberally sprinkled with dried oregano. They were not terrible cooks, but it was the 70’s…enough said, amirite? So in making Greek-style bluefish, in order to not turn the fish to dust by totally overcooking it, you had to take it out before The aforementioned topping vegetables ever really cooked enough, so you had kind of semi-overcooked, dryish fish, with thinly sliced onions, green peppers and tomatoes that were just kind of halfway cooked, steamy and soft. A raw onion, pepper or tomato is fine, and a properly cooked any of the above is great…but anywhere in between?…Just thinking about it now is making me kind of depressed, and I may have to go lie down for awhile after the show.

Food are cooked along a spectrum of doneness, and I’ve realized, that along with all the other spectrum disorders, this is a real, very serious, but highly treatable problem. So today, we evaluate, diagnose, and address, Doneness Spectrum Disorder.

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