I don't really have time for this, but someone needs to warn the innocents about the Times. First of all, Sam Sifton exaggerates the difficulty of making veal demi-glace, replacing it with a bottle of pinot noir, a waste of good wine and good money (although, considering what they charge for veal bones around here, maybe this would save you money). The concept ("the cheat") is good if misnamed, but this is the opposite of what you want. Sam, just explain to everyone how to make demi-glace. It's not hard. But making pasta is hard, and it's time-consuming. A lot of people are going to be very angry with the minimalist when they discover it takes a lot longer than 20 minutes, and the end product looks like it was extruded from the play-doh fun factory. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make pasta anyway. And he is right that it's a lot faster to ditch the machine.
report on lentils reminded me to post this picture of Castellucio, on May Day. It is sunny and ~20 degrees warmer on the other side of the pass. After you descend from the clouds and come down into the valley, it is like you have entered another world: Patagonia, we said at the time, the moon. Everything is that pale green color you start to see after 4 or five hours of driving north from Boston. Shitty, acid soils. One imagines Le Puy is similar, if less extreme; Idaho maybe more so. "Bad" conditions = good lentils (smaller, more intense and more delicate).
Other ingredients: winter greens and whole grains (note that Fletcher wisely dodges the spelt bullet) and Velveeta [via Sauté Wed.]. The most exciting thing about the Fancy Food Show appears to be the long pepper; but I'd rather be at Madrid-Fusión. Damn you, Euro!
The Times's vodka review is its most e-mailed article at the moment -- which does inspire at least small confidence in the future of America -- but heavy drinkers can save themselves a lot of vodka problems by investing in a Brita [this blog is semi-broken; scroll down to the experiment, 11/5]. The last link, but the way, was unearthed with Technorati tags, which is something you should pay attention to.