Last month, the magazine The Atlantic launched a comprehensive food section on its website. They're covering everything from food politics to home cooking, with big name writers like Bill Niman and Ari Weinzweig (the co-founder of Zingerman's). What we've been smitten with lately, besides that rock in the skillet, which we'll get to, are some short, sweet pieces by a farmer from Texas...First, the rock. One of The Atlantic's columnists is Sally Schneider, a cookbook author and contributor to "The Splendid Table." She writes about using plain old stones she's picked up on vacation to weigh down a butterflied chicken. There's a recipe, which looks good, but we really liked the image of Schneider filling her kitchen with boulders from Shelter Island and the south of France.
And we love the dispatches from Carol Ann Sayle of Boggy Creek Farms in Austin, Texas. She writes this about a pile of compost:
"I think to myself, if ever I find myself homeless and freezing in the winter, I will find a big compost pile like this one and burrow into it for the night. Not too far inside of course, as with temperature in the mid-one-hundreds, one could turn to stew pretty fast."
It's an article about compost that we couldn't stop reading. When does that happen? She also wrote a tender homage to a half-blind chicken named Onesy.
The Atlantic is really spreading the field with this site. There are behind-the-scenes restaurant stories, a whole section on artisan food making, a coffee column from the original co-founder of Starbucks, and a cocktail column. There's a lot to sift through, but it's good stuff.