Graeme Wood

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Encounters in the Changing Middle East

Review of Neil MacFarquhar’s The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday, in the Barnes & Noble Review.

On October 3, 1997, New York Times correspondent Neil MacFarquhar was bicycling down Fifth Avenue and got hit by a bus. This was a bad day for MacFarquhar but, in a strange way, a lucky one for journalism. After a coma and long recovery, MacFarquhar returned to work with lingering frailty and a permanent medical excuse never to cover another war. His Sarajevo and Kabul days over, he moved to Cairo in 2001 and reported on the parts of the Middle East most underserved by foreign journalists, namely the parts that are not war zones.

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Filed under: Barnes & Noble Review, ,

Knuckle of Pork, German Delight

Originally appeared at The Atlantic‘s Food channel.

When I was a butcher — a student job I held for less than a year in California — the cut of meat that most thrilled my knife was beef knuckle. To cut the knuckle from a quarter of cow hanging from a meat hook, you start by finding the kneecap at the top and then hacking it loose from its topmost sinews. Thus unmoored, the kneecap provides a convenient handle on which to tug down as you separate the knuckle from the rest of the leg. The knuckle falls away from the bone in a very natural way, perhaps because gravity is on your side: with a knife in your dominant hand and the kneecap in your other, you let the blade tickle the leg. The knuckle sags away, more eager than most cuts of meat to be tied up and packaged.

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Filed under: Atlantic Monthly, , ,

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