The Joys of Modernist Cooking at Home; the Horrors of Chinese ‘Gutter Oil’

• The latest food-safety scandal in China involves “gutter oil,” cooking oil that is literally scooped from sewers and sold illegally. This makes exploding watermelons sound fun by comparison. [Global Spin/Time]

• Life ain’t the same on the ranch in Texas, where the ongoing severe drought is rendering cattle country somewhat like the Dust Bowl era. [USAT]

• If you want to know where to avoid going on a bleary morning, the Post rounds up the city’s snobbiest baristas. [NYP]

• Be not afraid to try modernist cooking at home; olive oil powder is particularly fun and easy to use. [Serious Eats]

• Though the U.S. is decades behind Japan in vending-machine coolness, a display tomorrow in New York of twenty high-tech machines — which can accept credit cards, spit out full meals, and more — might help us down the road toward amending that. [Crain’s]