The Puzzle That Seasons

Rubikpepper The Rubik's Cruet Salt and Pepper Mills take their inspiration from the iconic '80s puzzle. Behind the plastic exterior -- which has the look and feel of a Rubik's Cube -- lies a ceramic mill. Fill them with sea salt and peppercorns and twist the top row to season your food. They would be perfect if only you could twist all the sides like the original, but then they'd lose their functionality (and you'd never be able to figure out which was the salt and which was the pepper). $18 each, sold separately, at Unica Home.


On Sex and Graham Crackers

Did you know that Graham Crackers were originally invented to curb sexual desire?


House Passes Food Safety Bill

After an initial defeat, the House passed Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 on Thursday. The Washington Post highlights its key provisions.


Pollan on Julia Child, Food, and Cooking

Coming up this weekend in the Times magazine (or for perusal now online), a massive article by Michael Pollan on Julia Child, the decline of cooking, and contemporary food culture.


Just Another "Julie & Julia" Review


Does the world need another food blogger's take on Julie & Julia, the film adaptation of the book Julie and Julia, which was, of course, an adaption of the blog "The Julie/Julia Project"? Probably not, but as the one millionth food blogger to attend a free screening, here goes.

Overall, I found myself liking the film. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie, and in particular, Meryl Streep's performance. At times, it's hard to see past the cartoonish impression of Julia Child's peculiar mannerisms (a clip of Dan Aykroyd's spoof of Child on "Saturday Night Live" that actually appears in the film doesn't stray so far away from Streep's), but on the whole, she succeeds in turning the icon into a real person. Julia's relationship with her husband, Paul, and the scenes with her sister, another tall, gawky, and outspoken creature, are particularly humanizing.

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Food Safety Bill Defeated

On Wednesday, the U.S. House defeated a bill that would have provided for major reform the federal food safety system.


Race, Pluralism, and Beer

President Obama will not enforce a singular choice of beer today for Professor Gates and Sergeant Crowley. According to the White House, Obama has chosen Bud Light (blech), and his guests may choose their own preferred suds.


The Art of Tea

TeaChest Southern California tea connoisseurs, take note: The Fowler Museum at UCLA will present Steeped in History: The Art of Tea (August 16 to November 29), an exhibition on the history and culture of tea and its depiction in the arts in Asia, Europe, and colonial America (at right is a Japanese tea chest dating from the early 20th century).

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Taxing Fat

With extraordinary increases in the number of obese people and the skyrocketing cost of treating obesity, Freakonomics ponders a fat tax.