Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What's This Winter You Speak Of?

It's been cold here in Los Angeles these past few days. No, I mean it. OK, I know it isn't Chicago cold or anything like that, but it has actually dipped below freezing at night. That's bad news for a state that grows crops year round. According to the LA Times, we should be expecting winter-long shortages of citrus fruits and some herbs, and the effects of the freeze could be felt into the beginning of the summer. With an increasing number of restaurants advertising that their food is locally grown, I'm curious to see what kind of changes we'll see on menus around town.

The Times, for its part, seems to be in denial. Alongside newsy reports on the frost and its effect on local markets, there are articles on barbecuing in winter and recipes for "always sunny margaritas." I found the barbecue article to be particularly insufferable. I guess it's sentences like this one that I find so tiresome:

"On a gray afternoon, barbecuing becomes a private, meditative, poetical sort of thing, kind of like hiking back to town for a gallon of gas."

Right. The author goes on to regale us with boastful tales of grilling in a light drizzle, with only a beer to keep him warm. Listen pal, I'm from upstate New York, and I have seen my brother cook a flank steak on an outdoor grill during a blizzard. So spare me the Hemingway-esque musings on the manly solitude of the grillmaster. Seriously. And while we're on the subject, I don't find it difficult to stay warm on these chilly California nights. I've got a little something I like to call Kentucky straight bourbon to keep me warm.

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