Posted in Diabetes, Essays, Favorites, Features, Food, Health, The Reluctant Diabetic, Writing on 08/30/2011 09:24 am by Catherine
Before I received the diagnosis that I had Type 1 diabetes, I saw food as food, and ate it as such — simply, casually, with no real thought attached.
The winter of my senior year of college, after a bad cold and a painful breakup, I began eating more — not to cope, but to feel full. I was hungry, always hungry. Hungry and thirsty and tired, piling my tray in the dining hall with pasta, cheese, dessert, getting up in the middle of the night to slurp water from my dorm’s bathroom faucet.
I gorged myself and yet my pants were looser, my arms thinner, my stomach flatter. One afternoon I threw it all up, convinced I had food poisoning. My stomach eventually settled but my mind did not. The world swirled. I couldn’t stand without stumbling. On February 17th, 2001, I entered the hospital, and since that day, food has never been the same.
Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times recently published an essay of mine in the Well blog called “Thinking About Diabetes With Every Bite.” about my experience living with Type 1 diabetes. Not only was I thrilled to have such a personal piece placed in the Times, but I’ve been incredibly touched by the wonderful feedback I’ve gotten from other people with Type 1 (and Type 2). It’s inspired me to keep writing about diabetes — if you want to read more, check out my Reluctant Diabetic blog over at the diabetes website, A Sweet Life.
Posted in Favorites, Features, Food, Travel, Writing on 12/18/2009 01:59 pm by Catherine
Last weekend I had the pleasure not just of attending a workshop about chocolate, but of writing about it for the New York Times.
Wearing a short-sleeve shirt embroidered with his name, Mr. Recchiuti, whose shop is in the Ferry Building Marketplace, looked more like a mechanic than a fine chocolatier — albeit one with cocoa powder on his hands instead of grease.
He greeted each of his 19 students with a spoonful of liquid chocolate and a white plate holding eight samples arranged like numbers on a clock, with a small bowl with two roasted cocoa beans and a pinch of chocolate-covered barley — a “taste project” — at the center. The students would taste single-origin varieties of chocolate from around the world, and watch Mr. Recchiuti transform chocolate into confections that presumably could be replicated at home.
Posted in Favorites, Features, Food, Writing on 11/13/2008 04:16 pm by Catherine
Novella Carpenter remembers the day she killed her first chicken. It was a rooster named Twitchy who had been injured by an opossum that got into her backyard chicken flock. About to leave for vacation, Ms. Carpenter, 34, had no way of caring for the wounded Twitchy while she was away. So she took it to the back porch and chopped off its head.
Before I wrote this article for the dining section of the New York Times, I had no idea you could keep chickens in the city. Now I kind of want to get some.
Posted in Features, Food, Writing on 11/13/2008 03:51 pm by Catherine
Ms. Noble, professor emerita at the University of California, Davis, said the rules were simple. Close your eyes. Don’t talk. Turn off the background music. Smell before you taste. Each tester was given a comment sheet that included suggestions from Ms. Noble for tasting notes, like melon, apple, cinnamon, coffee and pumpkin.
“With the first one you’re likely to say, ‘Oh God, it smells like a tomato — how will I kill the next half hour?’ ” she said. “But that’s O.K. It takes time. And just think — you might come up with the perfect word no one has ever used to describe that note.”
With that, she set the tasters free.
During the summer, my diet primarily consists of fresh tomatoes and mozarella (and strawberries) — so I was thrilled to get to attend a tomato tasting in Capay valley and report on it for The New York Times.
Posted in Favorites, Features, Writing on 11/13/2008 03:46 pm by Catherine
Don’t get Andrea Goldstein started on “Troy,” the 2004 film based on Homer’s “Iliad” that starred Brad Pitt as Achilles. A freshman at the University of Chicago, Ms. Goldstein, 18, was so incensed after seeing the movie that she wrote an anti-“Troy” polemic in her high school newspaper.
“On an absolute value scale of 10 to -10, this film gets a -7,” she wrote, granting it a generous 3 points for set design and for its casting Orlando Bloom, whom she said did a good job “playing himself,” as self-involved Paris. “It’s like a train wreck: you stare in fascinated revulsion.”
I love Latin. And apparently, I’m not alone — as I discovered when I researched this piece for the New York Times about teenagers who are obsessed with the language.
Posted in Features, Travel, Writing on 11/13/2008 11:41 am by Catherine
Be forewarned — the point of the temple stay is not, as the pictures on its Web site might make it seem, to lounge next to a brook nibbling crackers as you consider what it means to reach nirvana. The point is to live like a monk. And monks, it turns out, keep strict schedules, are vegetarian and spend a lot of time silently meditating in positions that can become, quickly and without much warning, incredibly uncomfortable for those unused to them.
I got my first hint of this austere lifestyle when I arrived and was greeted by Cho Hyemun-aery, who introduced herself in fluent English. In the guesthouse, she showed me the communal bathroom and the small room my friend and I would stay in, which was unfurnished except for sleeping pads, blankets and small pillows. Then, after we’d dropped off our bags, Ms. Cho handed us our clothes for the weekend: two identical extra-large sets of baggy gray pants and vests, along with sun hats and blue plastic slippers. We looked like we’d stepped out of a propaganda poster for Maoist China.
On a trip to South Korea, I decided to participate in a Korean temple stay, and wrote about the experience for the New York Times.
Posted in Travel, Writing on 11/13/2008 10:39 am by Catherine
David Robertson, 50, is the man behind the Lost Trail Lodge. He designed the lodge himself — on the back of a napkin — in 1997, and spent the next five summers building it. Since no real road leads to the Lost Trail, Mr. Robertson had to carry in all the materials and furniture piece by piece, including four hot tubs, 21 beds, a six-burner cast-iron gas stove and three refrigerators.
After a fantastic trip to the Lost Trail Lodge, I wrote an article for the New York Times’ travel section about off-grid lodges.
Posted in Features, Writing on 11/13/2008 10:36 am by Catherine
The projects in ReadyMade, Shoshana Berger’s do-it-yourself magazine for the MTV generation, are rated according to difficulty, with instructions that should be easy to follow. But sometimes it’s easier to build a chandelier from old wine glasses — an idea from a 2005 issue — than it is to build a relationship. Just ask Ms. Berger.
Step aside Lois Smith Brady: in what might be my sole foray into the Mergers and Acquisitions section, I got to profile a fantastic couple for the New York Times’ Vows column.
Posted in Food, Writing on 11/10/2008 12:44 pm by Catherine
It used to be, an egg was an egg. Now they can be cage free and free range, vegetarian and omega-3 fortified, organic, “certified humane” or “American humane certified.” The incredible, edible egg is becoming unintelligible.
For the New York Times dining section, I attempted to figure out how to interpret the labels on egg cartons. Unfortunately, researching this piece only made me more confused.