What I ate on my way to, during, and from my first IRL academic event.
Really enjoyed your discussion of airport food. Sometimes I use airports to indulge in foods I wouldn't normally eat, but actually enjoy (like too many fried carbs).
I also love the ingredients in ranch! But the execution is sometimes to be desired. I feel like it wants to be herby, but then people make it with overpowering dried spices. When I had a pizzeria, I made a ranch inspired buttermilk lime dressing. I used it for a roasted corn salad with romaine and some other veggies, but it was also popular for folks to dip pizza in. It worked particularly well with mushroom pizza. Sorry, it's restaurant sized:
In 8qt round cambro blend:
12 cloves garlic
zest of 4 lemons or limes
1T mustard powder
1.5t black pepper
Add in a thin stream and blend until well emulsified:
4c Rice oil
2c Olive Oil
1/4c lime juice
1/8c white vinegar
Add more buttermilk to taste and consistency.
Chop fine and blend briefly into dressing with burr mixer:
1 bu cilantro
1/2 bu parsley
1/2 bu dill
1/2 bu oregano
Ah, airport food! It’s crazy to realize we’re actually living in one of the better times to eat in an airport - local restaurant representations in more and more terminals! However, you need to either have the time to meander, ask a helpful stranger or hospitality specialist, or just get lucky to take advantage.
Last year, my partner and I went to San Francisco with her sister and her partner, to see a Sparks concert and spend a few days taking in the city, followed by a weekend in Santa Cruz for just the two of us.
Bianca doesn’t have a sophisticated palate. One of her least favorite phrases is, “You eat with your eyes first.” As a very literal-minded person, it doesn’t make sense, no matter how many times she contradicts herself by looking at food and saying “Yum!” or “Yuck!” She is, however, a vegetarian, so it can sometimes be tricky finding food she can eat, though less and less so. It’s definitely worlds apart now than it was in the eighties, when my vegetarian mom was trying to bully us all into following her lead. Her favorite foods are treats from fast food restaurants, because they were a respite from her mom’s harried and budget-conscious offerings during childhood. I met her at film school, where I auditioned for the lead role in her project. I laughed so hard at a scene in the script, where the mother is straining spaghetti, drops it into a sink full of dishwater, curses, fishes it out and serves it that I determined I must be in this movie. I got the part, and she told me that the incident had actually happened.
This trip resulted in two of my favorite restaurant experiences with my love, both involving that most maligned and unexpected of culinary inspiration points, the fast food restaurant. First, driving up to Santa Cruz in our rented, seafoam green Fiat 500, sunset making gold out of Pacific blue, we passed through Pacifica and saw something I had read about a few years back and laughed heartily: a Taco Bell Cantina. It was right on the beach, the most primo of real estate. Knowing her affinity for Taco Bell, I asked if she wanted to stop, but she was in get-there mode so we kept going. A minute later: “We should have stopped.” So, I turned around and we found a parking spot. We got bean and cheese burritos, I got a margarita, and we watched gorgeous California surfers at sunset from the deck of the most gorgeous Taco Bell in existence. You really should check it out!
The second memory is of the airport terminal itself, which has an Amy’s stand. Not one meat option on the menu. She was in heaven! That, as well as the copious filtered water stations, the robot vending machines full of cupcakes and other delights made San Francisco her favorite airport, and one of mine, as well.
Love the travelogue format. Viva the airport Bloody!
Are you free to share the name of this magical nasal spray? This spring is Suffer City!
PS. I've had scenarios where Precheck did not show up on my boarding pass and they can *usually* add it at check-in, whether on the phone or at the airport, but not always. The thought of having to be organized enough to get through regular security (no stacking devices! shoes off! things in bags!) makes my stomach clench.
Looking forward to the newsletters inspired by this trip! Also thank you for recommending "Ingredients for Revolution" - I managed to acquire both volumes of the Bloodroot cookbooks a few months ago and got a little obsessed with feminist restaurants and cafes. Nice to know someone else has already written the history, so I don't have to!
Thanks for introducing Sucharita Kanjilal's work, I need to read what she has written on that topic! And eagerly awaiting the oat milk conclusion and what you end up writing about the fear of being served meat...too relatable
Airport food is the bane of my vegan existence! And I absolutely love the play-by-play of your travel experience here because it feels even more “day in the life” than your regular newsletters do.
Thank you for sharing! I am fascinated by the lectures and wish I could have been a fly on the wall.
Cameron Steele’s brief review is really nice - and this:
‘Throughout the book, Kennedy explores the Indigenous, Black, ecofeminist, punk, and other radical movements, writers, and cooks who have worked to promote vegetarianism and veganism in the U.S. and abroad. In doing so, she reveals the false bottom of the rich, white, skinny lady as the face of plant-based eating. She dives into the “hyper-restrictive raw food movements” that have harmed veganism's reputation. She dismantles tech-made veggie burger companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods as corporations that prey on Americans’ lack of imagination when it comes to diet, that have modeled themselves off “the central tenet of capitalism: endless growth.”’
wow... makes me even more eager to read
this is college! and with anthropologists! so what do you think of the academic conference thing? this one sounds fantastic, for the panel and presentations (you really hit the jackpot there, wish every academic panel I’ve known was this interesting) and of course (maybe the best part) the socializing afterward ... with anthropologists!