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This Week's Best Long Reads, From Halal Cart Culture to Lunchtime Drinking

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

The Halal Guys.
The Halal Guys.

How Did the Practice of Women Jumping out of Giant Cakes Start?
Today I Found Out

While this may not have been the first time a wealthy man had thought to have a girl jump out of some large food item, it certainly popularized the practice. After reading about it in the news, it didn't take long for regular folks to think that their parties would be better with a woman inside some sort of baked good.

Comedy's Sweet Weapon: The Cream Pie
New York Times

Those who have spent a lot of time contemplating thrown pies generally agree that the humor depends entirely on the setup — the raison d'être for that in-the-face moment. Mr. Maltin cited as an example a 1931 comedy short called "Good Pie Forever," in which a young woman and her boyfriend drive around Brooklyn hitting people — newlyweds, policemen, judges — with pies.

Dispatches From the Silk Road: The Must-Try Uyghur Food of Kashgar
Serious Eats

You know you're in the right place when you spot masses of bleating sheep, goats, yaks, camels, donkeys and horses converge on a golden arched gateway. Inside the walled yard is barely-controlled chaos. A thousand beasts protest their proximity to other beasts by snorting, braying, kicking, biting, and running away, held back by rope tethers and sheer luck. Occasionally one gets loose and creates a magnificent drama as traders scatter while the hapless owner tries to recapture the animal.

Street Meat: The Rise of NYC's Halal Cart Culture

To some, the food carts littering the sidewalks of New York City are nothing more than street meat. To others, they represent a gastronomic paradise. These two faces of street vending have been side-by-side since the first entrepreneur thought to peddle his food on the city's streets centuries ago.

Make Mine a Large One: In Praise of Lunchtime Drinking
The Guardian

The high point of my own lunchtime drinking life came about 10 years ago, when lunch with a friend was brought to an end by kindly waiters gently explaining that, much as it pained them, they really needed our table because dinner service was in full swing. Obviously, this was confusing for us. Holding one of our own fingers in front of our own noses was confusing for us. Somehow, we had managed to have lunch for seven and a half brief hours.

'The Fried Chicken Capital': Where Racial Progress Began Along The Rails

But those trains didn't have dining cars, and local African-American women found a business opportunity in hungry passengers. The women would cook up fried chicken, biscuits, pies and other tasty goods and sell it from the train platform, passing it over to passengers through the open windows.

Your Baby Is Most Certainly The Size of Some Kind of Fruit

Week 9: Your baby may be the size of an olive, a cherry, or grape. Please rest assured that if your baby is a grape, it is not that one little runt grape that always tastes funny. It is a perfectly normal grape in both size and taste.

The Fine Art of Cooking in Prison

My neighbor early on was a guy named Rusty. He was a grizzled tinkerer with few teeth, less education, and more time behind the wall. He lived on crackhead soup for years. You can learn from a guy like that. I bought the soup and the steel, and he showed me how to do it.

Cannabutter: The Universal Family Bong-der

The concept of them getting shellacked on the sauce is a unicorn, and my aunt turns into Ed the Hyena from Lion King when describing their substance usage aversion. So, when 16-year-old me was caught red-eyed and green-handed, their reactions scared me off the devil's lettuce.