Weekend Reading, 3.17.14
March 17, 2014

PicMonkey Collage

I’m sorry I didn’t get to Weekend Reading yesterday, friends — the time got away from me! But this gives me a chance both to share some enticing links and to wish everyone a happy St. Patrick’s day. Perhaps you can celebrate with one of these five dishes.

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beluga lentil + black bean chili with purple cabbage | what's cooking good looking

Jodi’s beluga lentil and black bean chili with purple cabbage is absolutely appropriate for today’s chilly weather in the northeast, and of course cabbage is always a suitable ingredient for St. Patrick’s day. Yum.


Speaking of hearty and warming fare, Heather’s winter spelt berry salad is simple, frugal, and lovely.

brocsoba_FINAL4I love a recipe with a descriptive title. What’s more evocative than Laura’s simple, salty, sweet, nutty broccoli soba recipe?

Strawberry Chocolate Milkshake (6)

If you’re craving something sweet, Julie’s strawberry chocolate milkshake looks absolutely divine.


And if you’re craving both sweetness and a shade of green by which to commemorate this day, look no further than Kathy’s mint matcha chia pudding with dark chocolate. AKA all of Gena’s favorite things in one dish.

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1. A very fascinating article in the Washington post about whether or not lobsters and other invertebrates feel pain. Fair warning, the article does detail animal testing, but results suggested so strongly that crustaceans do feel pain that the researchers have actually started to modify their lab practices. Worth a read!


2. 19th century vegetarian personal ads. Do I need to say any more? These are amazing.

3. A heartfelt little article about linear time, via Scientific American. I think I understood only a small portion of it, but as someone who tends to be preoccupied with time, I was captivated.

4. Yet more findings in the effort to understand the link between saturated fat and heart disease. The study in question failed to find a significant correlation between increased saturated fat consumption and heart disease, and it seems to be part of a growing body of evidence to that effect. Full disclosure, I haven’t yet read the study (soon!). Of course, I don’t think this is carte blanche to eat saturated fat, nor does Frank Hu, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard who is interviewed in the Times coverage. Hu states, “The single macronutrient approach is outdated…I think future dietary guidelines will put more and more emphasis on real food rather than giving an absolute upper limit or cutoff point for certain macronutrients.” I couldn’t agree more.


Photo by Jessica Benko

5. This week, I received the tragic news that journalist Matthew Power had died of heatstroke at the age of 39, while on assignment in Ugunda. Matt was an old publishing friend. We weren’t close, but we’d met early in my days as an assistant editor, and he’d always been tremendously supportive. We lost touch when I left New York, but I always followed his work with interest and admiration. Quite recently, I’d been captivated by his remarkable account of the murder of a turtle advocate in Costa Rica.

In spite of how dangerous his work often was, Matt was one of the most generous and humble writers I’ve known, often taking the time to mentor younger journalists, ever quick to assure me that what he did wasn’t unique or heroic (even though it was). I’m grateful to him for giving me sound advice as I was just starting my career–not to mention taking me on my first ever motorcycle ride, from the Lower East Side to the Upper West Side in moments. I’ll never forget him, nor will anyone else who called him a friend or colleague.

You can read more about Matt’s life and journalism on Men’s Health, or listen to some snippets of an interview on NPR. As I read more of Matt’s articles, I’m drawn in particular to an essay he wrote about a youthful relationship with Allan Ginsburg. I’ll share the last graf from that piece:

During that last visit together in Cambridge, I sat for hours at the table and made little origami animals for Ginsberg. We watched The Simpsons. But there was none of the flaring, mysterious seduction of our earlier encounters. He never even mentioned them. I’ve wondered since that time if I should have gone to him in the night; if there was any youthful energy I could have imparted to help bring back some of his old strength. The last reserves of his old self seemed concentrated in his voice alone, which was as vibrant as always. And now, now he belongs to everyone. Not just to his love-boys, of whom I was but one of a legion (there are so many of us, wandering the Lower East Side with these tales.) But to all the fretful, hopeful humanity that he called his family. To all who’ve seen, in his words, the dearness of the vanishing moment-the beauty of an illusory garden, the chaos of the city, a night in bed-and who know that what he wrote thirty years ago about the role of poetry is also about the simple role of being alive:

“And what’s the work?” he told us. “Ease the pain of living.”

That seems like the right place to stop. Matt, you’ll be missed.

And readers, I’ll see you back here tomorrow.



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  1. Sending you and Matt’s family my deepest condolences and thank you for introducing your readers to his work. What a blessing to have his written words as a small comfort.

  2. hugs about your friend who passed. it’s always somewhat of a comfort if they go out doing something they love right?

    in regards to this recipe: (Laura’s simple, salty, sweet, nutty broccoli soba), i literally made something similar with my bounty of asian groceries. two weeks ago i stopped shopping entirely at trader joes/chain/wholefoods places. it’s been incredibly liberating and has also broken me of my ‘fall back’ tinned fish habit for a cheap/easy lunch. the recipe in which i will be repeating because it was so delicious was from an ottolenghi cookbook my SIL bought me for xmas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/4031177/Ottolenghis-broccolini-with-tofu-sesame-and-coriander.html i subbed the soy sauce for tamari and used coconut oil in lieu of the ‘groundnut’ oil. it was so good! i mean, i’m getting 3 huge blocks of freshly made (still warm!!!) tofu from this grocer for ONE DOLLAR. insane.

    i’ve also been taking advantage of their mung-bean pasta and buckwheat groats (1lb for $3). yeah….i am really happy to not only be eating better but saving $ too! i’m even getting a little exercise in hauling my groceries down city blocks haha 🙂

  3. 1) I’m sorry about your friend Matt. He sounds like he will be very missed.

    2) I love all your recipe picks! It’s fun because all of those blogs are new to me (except for Kat’s), so I’ve added to my blog reader & look forward to following.

    3) Those vegetarian personal ads! Hilarious. I also love how the article pointed out that vegetarianism was also associated with “progressive alternative methods.” Don’t think times have changed much!

    4) And, lastly, I really enjoy your weekend readings. Always such great reads. You have impeccable taste, & your editorial background serves you well.


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