Zero-Cal Ramen, a Holiday Cookie Catalogue, and Hedy Lamarr (Who?): Eating & Reading

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Miracle noodles!

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor

• The New York Post takes a (typically scathing) look at picky holiday eaters. I like the alternative offered up by the persnickety Kyle Megrath, a vegan, who packs his own food in Tupperware to take to dinner parties. I realize that in some way it’s just as narcissistic and melodramatic as all the other can’t-or-won’t-eat-it sorts, but at least he doesn’t force the cook to make concessions and impose his superior minority position on the meal. Of course, he COULD just eat before he shows up. Your worst nightmare!

• Adam Platt takes his mother to La Grenouille for the Dover sole. Reading along, I couldn’t help thinking of my own mother, who sometimes accompanies me on my own rounds as a restaurant critic. I just can’t hear her, even with all her spunky opinions, making that kind of pronouncement upon a dish. Unless it was Harry Belafonte, whom she met a month or so ago at a French restaurant—but then that’s a different kind of dish. Reasons to Love NY: 2011

• The Hedy Lamarr you never knew—though I suspect most of you probably don’t know her at all, being 26 and convinced (though you only just learned the name) that she was somehow before your time. As if your time doesn’t take into account all previous times. But my point is—Hedy is TIMELESS. As the venerable Richard Rhodes well knows. The author digs up lots of fun facts for his slim new bio. Inventor of torpedos! Would-be maker of soft drinks! Glamour and Munitions: A Screen Siren’s Wartime Ingenuity 

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor

• Over the past two days, I’ve downed approximately 17 varieties of eggnog for a tasting (Look for it soon on Best Bites!). And yet this coconut-milk-based recipe from Fatty ’Cue still sounds pretty delicious. How I Learned to Love the Nog

• If you’re heading on a cookie-baking bender, check out Serious Eats’ insanely comprehensive guide to all the different types out there, from thumbdrops and meringues to “pregnant” and 3D cookies. The Serious Eats Guide to Cookie Styles

• Over at Slate, Annie Lowrey takes one for the team by trying out zero-calorie Japanese noodles made from an indigestible type of yam. “The smell is faint, but distinctive,” she finds. “A slight hint of shellfish, or dog food made with fish, or perhaps feeding time at an aquarium.” The Miracle Noodle

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor

Note to DC bars and restaurants: Do not put the pickles away early when the City Paper’s Chris Shott is in the house. Most Ridiculous Restaurant Excuse of the Year? “The Pickles Have Been Put Away”

• Someday we’ll be saying: “Whey and seafood CSAs? So 2012.” Bon Appétit predicts next year’s top 25 food trends. What’s Next: 25 Food Trends Taking Over in 2012

• Time’s Josh Ozersky admits he sometimes fasts in order to pig out when the occasion calls. “Instead of eating healthier, I’m going for longer stretches without eating so I can actually enjoy a whole meal. I don’t starve myself; I drink a protein shake if I get hungry and consume endless glasses of diet iced tea. . . . Am I crazy, or is that not the best and simplest solution to our national fatness nightmare?” writes Ozersky. Are you crazy? For the love of God, Josh, put the diet iced tea down. Forget Dieting, Try Intermittent Fasting

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.