Arimathea | Commerce
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Monday, August 24, A.D. 2015
Trads in Aprons

Nicholas Check offers a delectable little serving about traditional cuisine in the Intercollegiate Review, “Conservative? Get Yourself to the Kitchen.” We must conserve and rebuild civilization brick by brick—and loaf by loaf.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, August 24, Anno Domini 2015
Wednesday, November 16, A.D. 2011

Athenos is not my favorite brand of packaged hummus, but Kraft’s Greek label commercials are sweet like Melissos’ honey. Enjoy what Yiayia says.

Yiayia on stay at home fathers:

Yiayia on fashion:

Yiayia on cohabitation:

Evidently, the ad campaign began in late winter earlier this year, but I only recently discovered the videos. I want more Yiayia commentary; grandmothers know better.

Posted by Joseph on Wednesday, November 16, Anno Domini 2011
Thursday, August 4, A.D. 2011
Snoopy Sno-Cone

My brother Aaron surprised me by alerting me to the continued production of the much beloved Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine. My first impulse was to buy it to enjoy during the horribly hot and humid August summer, but then the inner naysayer responded that it would not be used enough to justify a purchase, that I would have to find a place to store it, that the refrigerator already makes crushed ice . . . but still, Snoopy is so cute, and the shovel! Everyone loves the shovel until it breaks.

It is somewhat pathetic that products invoke such powerful nostalgic longings. I still miss my hometown produced Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow; I can still hear her moo. O Kenner, where have all my plastic childhood memories gone?

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, August 4, Anno Domini 2011
Food • (1) CommentPermalink
Thursday, July 28, A.D. 2011
Black on Black Crime Hot Wings

I was researching tourist information for a possible upcoming trip to Pittsburgh when I came across a bizarre news story from WPXI: “Avalon Restaurant Criticized For ‘Black on Black Crime’ Hot Wing Flavor.” A hot wings restaurant named Big Shot Bob’s House of Wings apparently decided to name a new sauce flavor “Black on Black Crime.” The owner stated that the negative reaction to the name surprised him, and he excused his bad business decision by saying that a loyal “African American” customer came up with the idea. I should like to have been privy to that colorful interaction.

The story gets better! After the public outcry, Big Shot Bob’s altered the sauce’s name to “Big Fine Woman 2000.” The shop allowed the woman who made the initial complaint to rename the sauce, and “Big Fine Woman 2000” is what she decided. Oh, artifice does not hold a candle to truth!

In reviewing online reactions to the story, I encountered much handwringing about black on black crime. If only we could stop black on black crime! Left unsaid is whether the ongoing plague of black on white crime remains joyfully accepted. I suppose that a better wish would be for the end of widespread black crime, or, even better, the end of crime simply.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, July 28, Anno Domini 2011
Monday, February 28, A.D. 2011
Cabot Cottage Cheese

It is Maslenitsa, or Cheesefare week—the last week before Lent. It is a good time to note the delights of dairy, and I therefore want to recommend Cabot cottage cheese to you. Cabot is a Vermont cooperative that makes excellent cheese and other tasty dairy products. My father and I visited the company’s main creamery two years ago on our New England trip. Caboteers are justly proud of their award winning cheddar, but there are many fine cheddars in the world. I usually buy Cabot, but I like other brands, as well. However, no one makes cottage cheese like Cabot. It really is addictive; it will make every other cottage cheese disappoint you. As such, I wrote the following rant to Cabot for revealing to me its beatific vision of bovine bounty but then mercilessly casting me into the outer darkness of gourmand gehenna.

I have a serious complaint to make: Cabot has ruined cottage cheese for me! Several years ago, one of your fellow Green Mountain folk introduced me to Cabot cottage cheese, and I had never before eaten cottage cheese so good. I grew up eating it both sweet (on mandarin oranges, pineapple, or peaches) and savory (on crisp lettuce with fresh home grown tomato slices), but your brand, even eaten by itself, bested every kind that I have ever had. For some time, I could find Cabot cottage cheese in various stores in D.C., but it was always hit or miss. Now, however, I can’t find it at all. Once you go Cabot, you can never go back, and I hunger in vain for your delectable dairy ambrosia. Breakstone? Gag! Please help me; tell me where I can find your cottage cheese in either D.C. or Cincinnati (preferably both). Thank you!

P.S.) I even made a pilgrimage to your creamery in Cabot two years ago as a side trip when I attended a friend’s wedding in Boston. There was no cottage cheese there, either! Your cheddar is great, but nothing even comes close to your cottage cheese. For the love of all that is true, beautiful, and just, please take it national!!!

You may find such a letter over the top, but then you have not had Cabot cottage cheese.

In its absence, I prefer Kroger and Trauth brands, with which I grew up. Still, they do not compare . . .

Posted by Joseph on Monday, February 28, Anno Domini 2011
Food • (2) CommentsPermalink
Thursday, August 5, A.D. 2010
The Pizza Turnaround

I still have not tried Domino’s new pizza, but I like the short company documentary about the project: “The Pizza Turnaround.” You may watch it below:

It is easy to forget that there are many real people behind every product sold, every ware peddled. Mass production obfuscates the human side of industry. Of course, the public relations team at Domino’s wants to humanize the company to the veiwers of the video for business purposes, but it is nonetheless true that workers—even the human cogs of the modern industrial machine—tend to see their products as something intimately connected with themselves. My uncle who worked at General Motors on the line felt that he was a part of the automobiles of G.M. His job was not simply a wage to him; it was an identity. Perhaps, many factory workers do not take pride in their work and only put in their time to earn a wage, but the view that wage earning is the height of noble work available in mass production is an upper class conceit. Such an opinion does not come from the workers, themselves. Men crave meaning, and the lower classes seek relevance in their action as much as upper class, educated men.

This spring, I had a conversation with a wealthy young man who thought that the lives of the masses were worthless and that it was the purpose of the state to bring dignity to the proletariat through educational and artistic programs. Do all socialists believe such—that life is not worth living unless one attends an Ivy League university and has season tickets to the symphony? Socrates may have been correct to state that the unexamined life is not worth living—for himself and for the philosophically oriented—but I find it ridiculous to reduce the lives of all men lesser than Socrates to dust. Even the peasant in the fields may find joy and fulfillment in life. There is no shortage of opportunities to experience the splendor of God, even in the meanest of circumstances. Moral evil and destitution that endangers survival take their toll on the soul of man, but the dearth of riches robs no one of contentment. A beautiful soul may even live a good life making pizza.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, August 5, Anno Domini 2010
Thursday, August 6, A.D. 2009
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

When my father and I were in Vermont last week, we went on the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour in Waterbury. I knew that wandering through Peacenik Vermont would be a culture shock, but I insisted in indulging in some anthropological field work.

The factory was full of colorful eye candy, the tour was efficiently conducted and informative, and we were able to sample one of the ice cream flavors being processed that day (Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, which was quite tasty). It was definitely worth the stop.

The flavors are great. Yet, something annoys me about Ben & Jerry’s “progressive” company.

Now, I do not have a problem with its company mission. Indeed, I think that its three part mission statement is an admirable example for corporate America. The three parts are the social mission (being a responsible corporate member of the community), the product mission (developing and maintaining excellent products), and the economic mission (being a sustainable, profitable company for shareholders that offers opportunities for workers). I think that the last two are necessary considerations for any business, whereas many capitalists only concern themselves with the last one and subsume other considerations as merely instrumental ways to further profitability. In contrast to them, I think that the production of goods ought to aim at excellence in the product even without consideration of profit, while, of course, realizing that at a certain point one’s striving for a better product could sacrifice necessary profitability. My point is that businesses should consider both as natural ends for their activity.

I am not so sure that I agree with the “social mission,” thinking that “social justice” is an individual matter rather than business’s business. A company improves its community by employing people with honest work and fair pay. It ought to be responsible with the natural and cultural resources that its uses. Beyond that, I think that Ben & Jerry’s social activism would be better carried out by Ben and Jerry as individuals or through their charitable foundation. “Corporate charity” does cause confusion about the proper role of businesses and about the true nature of charity, in my opinion. However, it’s their company, and it certainly isn’t doing bad things.

So, what is so objectionable about these left-wing Vermonters? They shamelessly display their obnoxious, Leftist preachiness. At the factory and in every one of their ice cream parlors, one encounters in every direction the self-righteous, smug back-patting that I find so distasteful among Leftists. Signs, brochures, product design, and wall paintings all invite the snarky observer to scream out, “Good for you!” à la South Park.

What is with these latter day righteous crusaders? From folks who seem quite sensitive to the “holier than thou” attitudes of arrogant Christians, one would expect more discretion and humility.

I suspect that Ben, Jerry, and their pals would defend their self-glorification as an “awareness” campaign: “See, we do our part, and you can do your part, too.” I see the point, but I don’t believe it. Rather, I think that we see in them the secularized traits of their “divinely elected” ancestors’ spiritual prelest. For Yankee Leftists, their green communities are the City on a Hill, and their social justice activism are signs of their election. Not to preach the gospel of global warming, recycling, clean energy, and anti-racism would be to hide one’s light under a bushel. Instead, let your light shine before men—and remember to contribute to the D.N.C.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, August 6, Anno Domini 2009
CapitalismFood • (1) CommentPermalink
Friday, April 3, A.D. 2009
German Dark Wheat

Man does not live by bread alone, but I come close to it. I love bread—all kinds, styles, and flavors. It necessarily accompanies most meals, and I believe that dietitians who preach a carb free lifestyle should be exiled to some unpleasant Asiatic desert. Woe unto the Atkinsites! Let them be anathema!

I agree with our arrogant European brethren that mass produced packaged bread cannot compete with fresh local bakery goods. When I lived in Paris, I visited la boulangerie multiple times each day for my staple food. I also hold that no one makes white bread as well as the French and that no one makes dark breads as well as the Germans.

That said, we take what we can get, and it is not always convenient to purchase bread at a bakery in the United States. In Cincinnati, I used to live within a block of Grote Bakery; so, we could have fresh bread all the time. (Grote bakeries sadly closed after fifty years in A.D. 2002.) In D.C., there is a lovely German bakery in Arlington, but who wants to travel across the Potomac to buy bread? So, one often must settle for grocery bakery bread or worse—prepackaged industrial bread.

Among the mass produced breads, I have discovered a new favorite—Pepperidge Farm’s German Dark Wheat bread. It has a strong grainy taste, though without the bitterness of most dark breads. I love rye and pumpernickel, but sometimes they overpower their meal complements. This German dark wheat bread offers a milder though flavorful choice for dark bread.

Pepperidge Farm’s German Dark Wheat is from their “100% Natural” line of breads. Loaves from this line do not have the soggy, “hold your fingerprint” quality of many mass produced breads; they have a firm but soft texture that holds up well in sandwich conditions.

If you like dark bread and if you condescend to eat prepackaged bread, you may wish to try Pepperidge Farm’s German Dark Wheat.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, April 3, Anno Domini 2009
Food • (1) CommentPermalink
Friday, March 13, A.D. 2009
Amy’s Foods

If you are interested in vegan food and you do not have the time or the will to make dishes from scratch, I recommend that you try Amy’s brand of foods. Amy’s makes a wide selection of packaged foods, from frozen meals to cans of soup. I especially like Amy’s soups because I love soup and because it is hard to find soup without animal stock. If you can stomach eating victuals loved by insane smelly Leftists—and there is not much of a choice if you are a vegetarian—then you might as well enjoy some good food. The family owned business makes products that are vegetarian, organic, and created with Jewish Zen love in California.

By the way, the “Amy” name comes from the owners’ daughter, who was born along with the company.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, March 13, Anno Domini 2009
Thursday, January 8, A.D. 2009
Man Candy

If you were expecting a display of Adonises in all their glowing Olympian masculine pulchritude, you will find none here; on principle, this web site posts no photographs of its webmaster. For man candy is candy for man, not man as a sweet, delectable goody for the ravenous out there—with an exception made for the forthcoming treatment of the gingerbread man.

Rather, I wish to honor the contents of my Christmas stocking this year. For the first time in years, my mother—eh, I mean, Santa—wholly succeeded in filling my stocking with delicious candy instead of those horrible chocolate Santa Clauses that make stocking stuffing a sacrilege. Mind you, the offense is, in Anti-Dentite Seinfeldesque fashion, not to good Saint Nicholas but to chocolate. I do not understand how confectioners could screw up the precious gift of the gods so—both at Christmas and at Pascha with those horrid sugary but tasteless hollow Easter Bunnies. Only wicked Peeps have managed to destroy holiday celebrations in a more sinister fashion.

No, this year, my mother chose wisely. In addition to the necessary nods to tradition with apples, oranges, and tree nuts, she actually stuffed according to my tastes. It is funny how parents can manage to ignore your food preferences for decades (“I didn’t know that you hated canned asparagus”) and then surprise you with treats that you actually like.

First honors in my stocking go to my favorite non-chocolate, non-fruity candy—Ferrara Pan’s Boston Baked Beans.

I have enjoyed these tooth-destroying lovelies since I first had them at the YMCA concession stand when I was around six years old. They have a distinctive taste unlike any other peanut candy.

Next, my mother could not go wrong with Reese’s. The other contender for my favorite candy is Reese’s Pieces. E.T. may have started my love affair with the peanut buttery goodness of a candy, but I have kept the flame burning long after that alien left Elliot to collect more plants throughout the galaxy. Though I prefer the pieces, I settled for the cups in my stocking. Harry Burnett Reese’s mixture of chocolate and peanut butter made the world a better place—and it gave his pal Milton Snavely Hershey’s company a better line of products after Reese went to see the Great Candy Maker in the sky.

My mom also struck gold by taking the cinematic angle. I never eat during movies, but I do like “movie food.” So, I appreciate the Raisinets and Goobers, though I have tried to boycott Nestlé‘s hungry evil empire for years. Besides their shameless exploitation of Third World miserables, why must the Swiss company swallow up all the small confectioneries around the world? I am no supporter of the Peoples’ Global Action, but neither am I a cheerleader of global capitalism. Willy Wonka’s Candy Company should be American as Quaker Oats, and Crosse & Blackwell should have remained British all along. How I love their Branston Pickle Relish! Yet, I suppose that corporations owned by investors who care only for their profits will freely and enthusiastically toss their traditions and legacies to the winds of multinational capital. Stocks have done much good for the world, but I wonder if private companies are inherently better. Their owners tend to be more concerned about the good of the company, its workers, its customers, and its products than random investors who could care less what they own as long as the dividends continue to enrich them.

Furthermore, my mother gave me delicious Andes Mints, now owned by Tootsie Roll. At least, they remain a Midwestern company.

Lastly, I received a tin-boxed gingerbread man from New Hampshire’s Original Gourmet Food Company. The tin was cute as was the man inside; so, the presentation was appealing. However, the happy guy tasted more like a sugar cookie than gingerbread. I am a gingerbread fanatic, and packaged weak-spiced gingerbread cannot compete with the fresh gingery taste of traditional Christmas gingerbread men. Local bakeries, such as Cincinnati’s Servatii’s, offer decent cookies, but the best treats are homemade. My brother Adam and his girlfriend made a wonderful gingerbread land this year, complete with village, castle, trees, and ginger denizens—that is real gingerbread.

All in all, my stocking was a resounding success. Thanks, Santa. You must be an Anti-Dentite.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, January 8, Anno Domini 2009
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