Reality vs. Dualism: Raw or Pasteurized Dairy

“There exists a tendency to see all dairy foods as being either raw or pasteurized.  Like most dualistic concepts, this is a oversimplification, and there exists a rainbow between black and white.  If we want to move beyond what is actually a legal definition, to understand how different ways of processing milk impact the microbiology and nutritional value of dairy foods, we need to transcend this dichotomy.  Drawing hard lines and fighting over which side one is on, is the task of fools.  There is hyperbole, ignorance, sectarian childishness, and misinformation from both Pasteurian proselytizers and raw milk renegades.  I hope to show that there is a spectrum of levels of heating applied to milk that alter its microbiology in various ways. This microbiology is never static, and after the heating process, microbial communities continue to evolve and have new members join….

….My whole point is that placing cheese into a binary definition denies the complexity of microbiology, of life.  Maybe instead of trying to simplify everything and imposing a false sense of order on the world, we can embrace complexity and uncertainty, and humble ourselves in the process.  While simultaneously seeking knowledge, quantifiable data, and learning from other ways of knowing, of working with microbes to preserve food.”

-Trevor Warmedah, “Beyond the Raw/Pasteurized divide.” September 18, 2022

Learned a lot about cheese and microbes in this brief blog post, but I think I like the larger philosophical point more. What’s true of cheese is true of pretty much every dualism. Dualism is the stripping away of nuance. You’re either for us or against us. Sociologically, it’s fine, I suppose. Dualism is creating a sense of group cohesion. But, as epistemology? Dualism isn’t truth. It’s fiction. And, this fiction has a tendency to shape our reality beyond our social ties.

The Sifter

“The Sifter is a publicly available searchable database and is designed to be a tool to aid in finding, identifying and comparing historical and contemporary writing on food and related topics. It is overseen by an advisory board of rotating members of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery as well as other friends of food history. As with Wikipedia, it will be populated by its users. Entries will be made both in standard English and the language of the original document. It will be possible to enter data in over 150 writing systems. As many countries as possible will be included. Corrections may be made by registered users. Data visualization will be a component. With the aid of this tool it is our hope that what has been invisible will come into focus.”

One Pot Wonders

“…the editors of NYT Cooking have put together this modest (and beautiful), wide-ranging (and tightly focused) collection of recipes devoted to the celebration of one-vessel cooking, on the stovetop and in the oven.”

Various authors, “One Pot Meals.” The New York Times. Accessed: February 16, 2020.

6 Rules for a Perfect Grilled Cheese, Every Time

“So make your late-night, five-minute grilled cheese as many times as you’d like. We’re not stopping you. But in the light of day, when you’ve got ten minutes, a jar of mayo, and the desire to treat yourself to a little something extra, this recipe’s here for you.”

-Emma Wartzman, “6 Rules for a Perfect Grilled Cheese, Every Time.” Bon Appetit. September 24, 2019


  1. Be patient
  2. Use mayo
  3. Spread the mayo to the edges
  4. Use a melting cheese: American, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Gruyère, Fontina, Provolone, Taleggio, or Raclette
  5. Use bread with a tight crumb, i.e., lots and lots of tiny holes like in sandwich bread
  6. Carefully consider your fillings, i.e., nothing watery or that you wouldn’t eat raw

If you like this kind of thing, you might also consider the perfect omelette.

The Best Way to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time, According to Waaayyy Too Many Tests

“In all eggs, the whites and yolks had a pleasant texture—no rubbery whites, here. The six-minute egg was an especially creamy specimen, if you’re into a soft-boil. In one (the eight-minuter), the yolk weirdly sank down to the bottom of the white, though this didn’t affect anything other than appearance. Overall, this was the most straightforward method with the best bang-for-your-effort-buck results.”

-Ella Quittner, “The Best Way to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time, According to Waaayyy Too Many Tests.” June 19, 2019

Let’s just say that I understand Ella’s motivation. Bookmarking for future reference.

Who Cares? : On Nags, Martyrs, the Women Who Give Up, and the Men Who Don’t Get It

“Then I came into the living room at the moment we had to leave and realized that my six-year-old had been wrong. His homework hadn’t been done or checked. His lunch hadn’t been packed. He didn’t have a snack or fresh water. He didn’t have an electronic device to bring to school for their special day. Now not only was I suffering the guilt of not getting him ready, but he would have to suffer the consequences of no one helping him. He would have to stay in at recess to complete his homework. He wouldn’t get the thirty minutes of electronic time his friends would have. I was able to grab an orange and throw it in his backpack for a snack, but it was too late for the rest of it. Even though my husband had been the one on duty for the morning, I was the one left with the guilt of taking my son to school ill prepared.”

—Gemma Hartley, “Who Cares? : On Nags, Martyrs, the Women Who Give Up, and the Men Who Don’t Get It.” November 2018.

I do most of the traditional gender role jobs of a woman. I cook, clean, wash dishes, do the laundry, buy groceries, etc.

One difference that I notice is that I don’t care how something gets done. If the goal is to make sure everyone eats, then a weekly soup or take out food are perfectly acceptable options.

But, I’ve known women that add further requirements. The food needs to be fresh. It needs to be healthy. They don’t believe in eating leftovers. A lot of these requirements are good ideas, in the main, but need to be thought of as guidelines rather than an absolute rule. Men do this as well, but it is more common among women. I think a lot of it is about control.

Take the example above, I think the child not being prepared and having these imagined negative outcomes might be a catalyst for the child taking more responsibility for themselves. Maybe next time they’ll remind the parent or remember to bring the electronic device themselves. You learn responsibility by having it and coming up short. This is true for children, husbands and wives. If someone can get to 80% of how you would do it over time, why would you want to continue doing it yourself?

You wouldn’t unless you just want to exert control. In which case, you’re not performing emotional labor. You’re merely someone who isn’t a good delegator.

Sure, there are men, likely a majority, that do a bad job of housework to get out of it. But, it’s like managing colleagues, bosses, and subordinates in the work place. You train, eliminate unnecessary requirements, and fire the ones that can’t get the work done. It’s why we need to live with someone before taking on a long-term commitment.

Men need to do more “emotional labor.” Most need to do more around the house. But, on the other side, if you were to hire someone, you would do so knowing that it isn’t going to get done exactly your way, if for no other reason because it’ll take more time and cost more. Same is true for partners, except instead of currency you pay in caring. Pay less.

Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook

“There ain’t a thing I do, / a person I know, / a dish I cook, / couldn’t be made / a mite better. That’s / no reason / not to love it / for the best that it is / right now.”

Not just recipes, but full of wisdom about cooking and life.

In the Introduction of the 2017 edition, it points out that any seasonings indicated in the recipes beyond salt, fat and sugar can probably be quadrupled to be right. They were probably revised downward to reflect the bland 1960s New York palettes of the audience of that time. I tried Turnip Greens ‘n Corn Dumplings with some changes, such as yogurt for sour milk, and enjoyed the result.

Originally discovered this cookbook from the article below:

“But in The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (2015), food historian Toni Tipton-Martin argues that Princess Pamela’s cookbook positions itself as a ‘clever retort to scientific cooking’ that could characterize so much of cookbook writing of the era, especially the kind that got published by predominantly white authors. Tipton-Martin provides a useful framework: Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook isn’t a manual so much as it’s a highly organized diary of her culinary knowhow. Numerous notes in the margins of the book’s reissue, inserted with asterisks by the Lee brothers, fill in the gaps that her original instructions invite.

She prefaces each chapter with a sort of evocative, lush canto; each poem is a time machine. Some read like proverbs: ‘You play ‘possum with that man and you end up cookin’ it for him,’ she writes before a recipe for roast opossum with sweet potatoes. Others attack the dazed, uninformed ignorance of soul food that surrounded her in New York City: ‘Practically every kind of people eat somethin’ that somebody else make a godawful face at,’ she opens her entry on tripe. ‘If that don’t tellya what this race-hatin’ is all about, nuthin’ will.'”

—Mayukh Sen. “She Was a Soul Food Sensation. Then, 19 Years Ago, She Disappeared.” February 2, 2017.

The Dirty Secret of ‘Secret Family Recipes’

“…true originality is rare. Multiple cookbook authors have stories of asking people to send in family recipes and receiving dozens of nearly identical versions. “A lot of that has to do with [recipes sharing] very common ingredients,” says Stephanie Pierson, who wrote in to describe her experience asking for brisket recipes.”

—Alex Mayyasi. “The Dirty Secret of ‘Secret Family Recipes’.” February, 27, 2018.