Category Archives: Food Glorious Food

March 8, 2013, 9:14 pm

Sticky Fingers: Columbia Puts On The Freshman Fifteen

nutellaHave you gotten over the Nutella thefts at Columbia University yet?

The first news was that $5000 of this Italian spread (made of chocolate, sugar, hazelnuts and palm oil) was being taken from the dining halls every week. Meant to be put on toast, it is also commonly ingested by simply sticking a spoon (or a finger) in the jar. The HuffPo originally pegged Columbia’s losses at 100 pounds a day, which kind of makes me gag every time I think about it.

My Lose It! iPhone app pegs a cup of Nutella at a whopping 1,600 calories: eat the entire jar, and it’s 2,000 calories. This makes me think that Columbia students must be readily identifiable on the Upper West Side as the young folks with coats straining at the buttons and chocolate smeared all over their faces.

But now the Columbia administration is saying that the thefts are only about a tenth of what was originally reported on …

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May 26, 2010, 5:10 pm

Positively 30th Street Early For The Train Cheesesteak Blogging

There has been radio silence for the past several days because, although she has many virtues and resources, the Mother of the Radical (MOTheR) — with whom I have been visiting — does not have WiFi. Fortunately, however, Amtrak now provides a WiFi connection in its Philadelphia station, and I have arrived here early enough for my Shoreline train to have a cheese steak sandwich for lunch. Hence, I am inspired, and wish to debunk the following three myths about what is known elsewhere as “the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwich,” or “Philly Cheesesteak.”

First of all, there is no such thing as “the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwich.” It is called a cheesesteak, and the only place you can actually get an authentic one is in Philadelphia or its immediate environs. If you are anywhere else in the country — with the exception, perhaps, of the portions of New Jersey that are in proximity to…

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March 31, 2009, 1:49 am

Patriarchal Equilibrium Anyone? Judith Bennett Responds

Over at Notorious Ph.D., Judith Bennett caps off Women’s History Month and the the blogfest on History Matters with this wonderful rejoinder.

I’m still recovering from the flux, as well as five days away from my various desks, so I don’t have anything smart to say in response. But who needs to be smart when Judith Bennett is around? And girlfriend, you are darn tootin’ — 58 is not the older generation — not from a Radical perspective, at least. Daughters of the ’50′s in solidarity forever — not to mention thanks for being a good sport and coming out to play.

Please note: there is a new widget to the left entitled “Farmer Radical’s Garden News” which will be periodically updated with various newsflashes about local food. Although I have gardened since I came to Zenith lo these many years back, if Alice Waters and Michelle Obama want raising food to be a national project, dammit, I…

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November 27, 2008, 4:04 pm

A Radically Different Thanksgiving: Revolution, Terrorism and Pies

I’ve never been a great fan of Thanksgiving, except for the part attractive to all academics — a big break before we start the Christmas push. When I was a kid, it was one of those endlessly long days where my reading was repeatedly interrupted for the sake of dreaded family activities. N and I usually celebrate it by staying home together, or by going to the movies. Rarely do we spend this holiday with any member of our very extended family, although I do remember one large, memorable Thanksgiving dinner where a small nephew wept inconsolably when the turkey was presented. “I wah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah- ant chicken fingers,” he hiccoughed wetly, at the top of his lungs.

But this year N is abroad working on a project. En route to her final destination, she got stuck in Bangkok, where protesters have launched an all-out effort to dispose of their current form of democracy and…

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November 21, 2008, 1:32 pm

Radical Thanksgiving: Do Something for Someone Else

It’s always hard to know how to celebrate Thanksgiving, particularly if traditional romances about the family don’t really speak to you (a frequent problem for queer people.) It’s even more complicated if you are also a Radical historian who is well aware that the first Thanksgiving in 1621, treasured in our national culture, was more or less the beginning of the end for the Wampanoags who were the primary native participants in the event. Already beginning to suffer from European diseases in 1621, by 1676 and the end of Metacom’s war, the Wampanoags were scattered, exiled, dead, sold into slavery or had melted into the general population to try to protect themselves. Contemporary groups of Wampanoags have reconstituted themselves and regained small amounts of tribal land, most prominently in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

So Happy Thanksgiving! How shall we celebrate?

As I get…

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February 27, 2008, 1:04 pm

Meetings: Which Ones Do You Go to? What Do You Do When You Are There?

I got home last night, after a particularly hectic and brutal start to the week that had caused me to sleep very little the night before. But strangely, I was in an excellent mood, in stark contrast to my feelings about my job when I had left the house that morning. Why? Because I had been in a meeting of chairs of departments. Strange, but true. I felt better because I went to a meeting. This is not just because, for the first time in my memory they took attendance at the chairs meeting and I happen to know that there was at least one person who was absent who is always criticizing me for various sins of commission and ommission. Well, let’s see who gets a demerit now, shall we?

Unfortunately, I can’t write about what happened at the meeting, although I doubt any of you would find the story as entertaining and fulfilling as I did while mulling it over later. I tried to tell N, who…

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December 31, 2007, 2:00 pm

The AHA for Dummies; or, A Guide to History’s Oldest Annual Meeting Designed for the Novice Conference Goer

Is she in Heaven? Is she in Hell? That damned, elusive Radical!” (A cry often heard at conferences, originated by the Baroness Emmuska Orczy.)

This is just to say: if you are pseudonymous, anonymous or a lurker, I insist that you come up to say hello to me at the AHA. I would love to meet you. I can’t tell you precisely where I will be at any given time, and the blogger meet-up is, I think, scheduled for a lunch I am supposed to eat elsewhere. But I can certainly be found at my own panel, Sunday at 11 (pray god it doesn’t start to snow at 9 as it did in Atlanta a decade ago); and I can also be found at the interviewing workshop Tony Grafton has organized for Friday during the 9:30 a.m. session where, as I understand it, there will be role playing of various kinds. I am looking forward to learning a few things too, so come one, come all. In between, I can only specifically promise …

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September 4, 2007, 10:23 pm

Reminiscing: the Radical Was Once A Visiting Professor

I haven’t forgotten that post I said I would do about what visitors should expect from the institutions that hire them. I even thought I might do that post tonight, as I was enjoying oatmeal with brown sugar and fresh bluberries, and a large glass of fresh squeezed o.j. early this morning at the student center. But not now, and this is why; today, as I was leaving the Castle, dead beat from a day of being chair, one of our visiting faculty came out of his office. He leaned over the bannister, gave me a big grin and said good night. Now wasn’t that nice? And our other visitors are terrific too — I can’t tell you how terrific, since I promised not to write about others. But aside from saving my life, they are really great, smart people, and genuinely excited to be at Zenith, which is nice to see.

So, the night before I start my survey course for the umpteenth time, I began to have…

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September 1, 2007, 7:16 pm

Houston, The Radical Has Landed

Well, Zenith is open for business. You can read about it from New President’s perspective here. Don’t you think it is interesting that New President has decided to blog? I do. And I wonder if it is his very own, or if it is minded on a daily basis by the publicity arm of the university. Somehow I can’t see New President having the time to check his blog every couple of hours to make sure some whack job has not left a comment that is offensive to many university constituencies. But time will tell, and the next time you scoff at the idea that the Radical is Emulated by All, think again, dear reader.

The beginning of school means that your Radical has been hustling nonstop as chair of the best major since someone invented the American university in the nineteenth century: first year students, returning students, new visiting faculty — all have passed through my domain (or my e-domain…

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