Happy almost-Friday. Did you know rolling pins can be used for self-defense? OG lifestyle goddess/self-made businesswoman Martha Stewart brought up a good point during her Facebook Live pie demonstration yesterday afternoon. About the wooden rolling pin she said, “it’s a great weapon. Kim Kardashian should’ve had one these. But, I doubt she bakes very many pies. But... she should keep one of these in her bedroom actually.”
In other food-related news:
— America’s beloved Barefoot Contessa is in Washington, DC this week, and the Washington Post sat down with her to discuss her time as a government employee, her career change, feminism, and cooking for Michelle Obama. Here’s a tidbit from what Ina Garten shared with the Post:
There was a generation of women who wanted to be like men — to act like men and have jobs like men. I never did; I wanted to act like me. I love cooking, I love feminine pursuits. I just want to do them in my own way. The best example I can give to other women is to be independent and have a good business and be able to take care of yourself. It’s one of the great joys of my life to take care of my husband, and he takes care of me, too.
— Speaking of Washington, the White House just received a $2.5 million donation to maintain its kitchen gardens. The funding — brought in from the Burpee Foundation, the W. Atlee Burpee Company, and the National Park Foundation — will help keep the garden going in the post-Obama years. Michelle Obama led the planting of the garden in 2009, and it includes fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
— And speaking of produce, Michael Pollan addresses the politics of big agriculture in the New York Times Magazine this week, exploring the question: “why did the Obamas fail to take on corporate agriculture?” Pollan, an author and activist, takes on “Big Food” and the various sectors of the food industry, and addresses the challenges the Obama presidency faced in reconfiguring agricultural law.
— Milkshakes are one of the few things fast food often gets right. Newsday put together a definitive ranking of the nation’s chain milkshakes, from Wendy’s to Shake Shack and beyond. See how Wendy’s chocolate frosty compares to Shake Shack’s chocolate shake.
— Starbucks has pushed the definition of “peak Fall” even further with the release of a new topping for pumpkin spice lattes: pumpkin spice whipped cream. The PSL has been around for 13 years, and its birthday gift this year is the matching whip, made with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg. The special topping will be available today through Sunday at select stores, along with “Happy Birthday PSL” pins.
— Eater contributor and frequent fine diner Elizabeth Auerbach notes that Michelin, the world’s preeminent restaurant rating system, has changed its definition of what constitutes a place worthy of one star.
The old definition:
One star: A good place to stop on your journey, indicating a very good restaurant in its category, offering cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard.
The new definition: