Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Food, Writing on 08/14/2011 03:03 pm by Catherine
Standing in the middle of the room at the Sweetwater Distillery in Petaluma, Calif., Bill Owens held a feedbag full of stale donuts high in the air. With a crowd gathered around him, he dumped its contents — chocolate glazed, jelly-filled, iced with sprinkles — into a tank filled with hot water and plunged an industrial mixer into the liquid, splattering warm, sticky bits onto anyone who stood too close. A dog wandered up and began licking the floor.
As part of my research for this article about moonshine for Salon, I got the chance to track down local distillers and sample their homemade spirits. (And no, drinking moonshine isn’t actually against the law.) My advice? Beware the slivovitz.
(The piece also got picked up by the New York Times’s Idea of the Day Blog.)
Posted in Essays, Favorites, Features, Writing on 08/13/2011 04:54 pm by Catherine
My dislike of partner yoga started with a stranger’s sweaty thighs. I had just moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to the San Francisco Bay Area, and I was working my way through a Sunday morning Vinyasa class with the same discipline, determination and Type A drive I bring to most attempts at relaxation. But I kept getting distracted by the young man next to me.
To be specific, I was distracted by the moisture he was producing. No sooner had we started sun salutations than the man began to sweat, energetically and abundantly. By the time the class was halfway through, drops of perspiration rolled off his nose with the regularity of a leaking faucet, and a puddle had formed on the floor in front of his mat. Instead of wiping off his face with a towel, he removed his shirt. Now sweat began to drip from a new spot: his nipples.
When I go to yoga, I want to be alone. Apparently I’m not the only one, as I discovered after I wrote this article for Salon.
Posted in Favorites, Features, Writing on 11/13/2008 04:22 pm by Catherine
I could never be happy in a traditional job. I hate fluorescent lights. I detest working in groups. While I can get interested in just about anything, nothing interests me enough for it to be a full-time career. Also — and, to me, this is no small thing — the smell of office carpet makes me existentially depressed.
So I became a freelancer — thus joining the growing armada of the self-employed who sit at the same cafe table every day and thrust their business cards in your face during casual conversation. For the most part, it is a satisfying existence, a life of freedom and flexibility and almost no personal connection to “The Office.” Then there are days when the clock slips past noon, but I haven’t been outside, I haven’t spoken to another human being, and I start to wonder if I’m going to wake up one morning when I’m 70 and regret never having owned a pantsuit.
It’s true: I have a love-hate relationship with my career choice. In celebration of tax day, I put together some freelancing tips for Salon.
Posted in Favorites, Features, Food, Health, Science & Technology, Writing on 11/13/2008 04:19 pm by Catherine
Oct. 17, 2006 | I can’t say I’ve ever eaten yogurt fortified with microencapsulated fish fat before, but hell, there’s a first time for everything. I’m in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and Ian Lucas, executive vice president of global marketing at a marine research company called Ocean Nutrition, has just handed me a spoon. The yogurt sitting between us is flecked with peach, but it also contains a surprise: powdered oil from smushed anchovies, encapsulated in pork gelatin. You might say it’s surf and turf in a cup. It’s also just one of a slew of newly developed food products that have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
With the yogurt still in front of me, Lucas pours a large, cold glass of fish-oil fortified milk as I rip open a bag of omega-3 tortilla wraps — all products that contain what’s referred to in industry circles as designer lipids. Food technologists working the world over have been busy figuring out how to shrink fish oil capsules to microscopic size and bake them into bagels. Entire companies have devoted themselves to breeding algae laden with omega-3, which can be dried into flakes and used as animal feed, or sprayed as powder and used in food products. There are already omega-3-fortified eggs and infant formulas on the market (not to mention margarine, gummy candies, orange juice, fruit chews, nutrition bars, chocolate, bread, pizza crust and, yes, yogurt) — and eventually there will be omega-3-fortified cake. There will be cookies. There will be omega-3 ice creams and cheeses. Research has even begun on omega-3 pâté.
I’ll admit it: I went through a year of my life where I was obsessed with omega-3 fatty acids. Luckily for me, Salon shared the love.