You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

July 11, 2009

More Cell Phone Pictures Of Food

After posting a low-quality picture of little tomatoes, I thought I should follow up with even lower-quality pictures of other food.

Here's some barely-discernible aloe vera, de-skinned with the translucent insides in a bowl:


Now here's just the insides and the bowl:


I wonder if there's anyone else who's had experience with eating aloe vera. I hope it's good for you, because it has the consistency of a bag of chilled mucus.

Not pictured: a quart of watermelon sorbet made from blending one giant watermelon with a cup of raisins and the juice from one lemon, then frozen.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 11, 2009 01:13 PM

I don't know about eating it, but it seems like a pretty good aftershave.

Posted by: Cloud at July 11, 2009 02:09 PM

Might want to keep withing trotting distance of a loo - aloe's a pretty good laxative.

Posted by: nima at July 11, 2009 02:26 PM

Might want to keep withing trotting distance of a loo - aloe's a pretty good laxative.

Posted by: nima at July 11, 2009 02:26 PM

...while ice cream with blueberries makes you click the same button twice.

Posted by: nima at July 11, 2009 02:31 PM

I've used the fresh skins as a wound bandage, works well.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 11, 2009 03:08 PM

Might want to keep withing trotting distance of a loo - aloe's a pretty good laxative.

Ha! I scoff at your claims of

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 11, 2009 04:53 PM

I thought aloe came from toilet paper.

Posted by: Rob Payne at July 11, 2009 05:55 PM

What on earth would possess you to eat something that smells so foul?

Posted by: ethan at July 11, 2009 07:14 PM

What on earth would possess you to eat something that smells so foul?

Raw aloe gel doesn't actually smell or taste like much of anything. It's near-tasteless goop. But it's supposed to be very good for you.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 11, 2009 08:11 PM

Jon, you forgot the vodka in your sorbet. it's what adds that je ne sais quois. (actually it makes it freeze smoother, too)

Posted by: jerry at July 11, 2009 09:21 PM

Many of the more than 450 Aloe species are used in traditional medicine pretty much wherever they are found (southern Africa, eastern Africa, through the Horn into the Yemen, also Madagascar). Their use seems most frequent as purgatives and emetics. The liquefied pulp and/or juice of the leaves from Aloe vera (aka Aloe barbadensis) has become a common addition to various tonics offered in natural food stores, herbal apothecaries, etc. The amount of pulp/juice will determine the degree of laxative effect.

Posted by: Phillip Allen at July 11, 2009 10:59 PM

There are actually even more Aloe species than that, if one includes those species indigenous to Turkmenistan and other extremely remote areas in Central Asia. The Turkmeni strains also reputedly have neurochemical properties which make them the favorites of local Buddhist mystics trying to enter a trance state. Because of the laxative qualities of Aloe, however, many such mystics in recent years have begun to use the much more addictive poppies grown in neighboring Afghanistan, thereby contributing to the further degradation of local culture under neocolonial influences.

If anyone wants to play Dictionary, count me in.

Posted by: N E at July 12, 2009 12:54 AM

I had a bottled aloe drink from an Asian grocery store once. I was consumed by curiosity. It was sweet, basically flavorless, and full of tiny little floating blobs of goo.

Also, watermelon and raisins, seriously?

Posted by: Quicksand at July 12, 2009 02:19 AM

what jerry said.

Posted by: grimmy at July 12, 2009 03:21 AM

I'm in Korea teaching English and have learned aloe is popular in drink and candy form. The drink, as Quicksand noted, is sweet and pulpy (I'd add it's medicine-y in smell and taste, like an antiseptic commercially produced for the taste buds). The candy is indistinguishable from plain throat lozenges.

Posted by: ADM at July 12, 2009 04:53 AM

I drink aloe every morning, very good for the insides, it tastes like air. Applied to a burn soon enough, it will turn a bad burn into nothing much.

Posted by: knowdoubt at July 12, 2009 05:31 AM

I've never eaten it, but I have drunk the juice before, when I had a particularly painful bout of irritable bowel syndrome. It helped soothe the pain somehow. Tasted odd, though - sweet but also vaguely medicinal.

Posted by: deang at July 12, 2009 06:02 AM

Far better for you when applied externally.

Posted by: Nell at July 12, 2009 01:48 PM

How about making a sherbet out of those little tomatoes? (without vodka, which sounds more suitable for the watermelon version)

Posted by: Nell at July 12, 2009 01:51 PM

Learn something new every day. I had no idea it was edible.

Posted by: par4 at July 12, 2009 03:41 PM

Today, there was an excellent programme on my local NPR about food production in Cuba...a must listen!

"Transforming Cuba’s Agriculture"
Nearly 80 percent of food grown in Cuba is organic. Cuba has more urban farmers than anywhere on Earth. Miguel Altieri, Professor of Agroecology at the University of California-Berkeley will tell us how they did it.

Posted by: Rupa Shah at July 13, 2009 03:20 PM