Monday, February 27, 2012
We've been watching a lot of Portlandia lately. And we've been identifying with the nutty citizens of Portlandia. Heavily. Finally a show dedicated to the pre-hipster Gen Xers. That's right hipsters, before your cookie-cutter Urban Outfitter wanna-be lifestyle, there was Gen X. We are the original dufus city-hippy individuals. It all started in the early to mid 90s when our boomer bosses started talking about their bread machines. We ran out and bought our own bread machines. Soon there was cross-generational bread machine recipe swapping, and we began to sort of understand the yuppies we mostly resented. (Food always brings us together.)
When an entire culture starts to take their bread too seriously, you can expect colossal shifts across the land of Popular Trends. The bread makers beget artisan loaves which beget $5 cups of coffee which beget home brewing which beget recycling which beget farmers markets which beget home gardening and personal composting which beget canning which beget too many food bloggers (hi!) which beget urban chickens which beget farm-to-school which beget head-to-hoof which beget home cured meats and who knows what happens next? Artisan pickles?
We Gen Xers believe we created pre-hipster mores.We believe we invented or made cool thick dark glasses and mullets, or rye bread and mircobrew. Yet, to quote the great Gen X band Barenaked Ladies, "It's all been done" (who can fault a band that uses a cat camera to film a music video?). There is no new thing; just salvaged, recycled, and reused. We are ridiculous.We take our bread and ourselves too seriously. Maybe reinventing pop culture trends make us feel important, maybe we are just bored and need delicious "new" diversions. Whatever the reason, those of us who take ourselves too seriously are really funny! Which is why I love Portlandia. I see what a dork I am.
I called our local takeout and asked about their olive antipasto. The olives are loaded with fennel and flavor. The manager gave me their recipe, and I was shocked that what I thought was pickled fennel root is actually celery. I am not a celery lover, but that is the best part of the antipasto. I tried to recreate the fenneled olives and added fennel root rather than celery. Edible, but not so great. For now I'll continue to get my olives takeout and ponder whether there is such a thing as artisan pickles...