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The Food Almanac: Monday, June 17, 2013

The Food Almanac: Monday, June 17, 2013


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Observances
On June 19, 1910, Father's Day was celebrated for the first time. The place was Spokane, Washington. It's only recently that Father's Day has become a serious dining day. This is because, really, nobody cares about pleasing Dad. If you forget Mother's Day, that's a capital offense. Forget Father's Day? Eh. (You should have seen the cards I got from my family yesterday, all of which were hilarious but essentially insulting.) I think the reason more people are taking their fathers and grandfathers out to a meal on that day is that the wives and kids want to go out, and Father's Day is a fitting pretext. I also believe that most fathers, given their true wishes, would stay home while everyone goes out, as long as nobody tells him what to do. For a change.

Chef d'Oeuvre du Jour
#181: Vegetarian tasting Menu @ Restaurant August, CBD: 301 Tchoupitoulas. Vegetarian dining in New Orleans restaurants reached a new peak in 2011, when Chef Jon Besh introduced something previously unheard of in these parts. It's a major chef's tasting menu, in which all the dishes are meatless. The contents of this change nightly, but draw upon resources John has developed in his own farmlet behind La Provence, and outfits like Covey Rise Farm. If you're not a vegetarian, try ordering this menu and adding a regular entree to it--perhaps splitting everything at the table. We did that one night and found it spectacular.This is one of NOMenu's 500 Best Dishes in New Orleans. Collect all 500!

Food Calendar
Today is Eat Your Vegetables Day. Because it's good for you, reduces incidence of mustache cancer, etc., etc. Most of us actually like vegetables. I could be a vegetarian if I didn't like steak so much. It's easy to understand why some people don't like their vegetables. It's because diners expect to get a vegetable side dish with their entrees at no added cost. Because it's free, restaurants and cooks feel little pressure to give the sides much attention. This is true even in some expensive, allegedly gourmet places.

Some restaurants, fortunately, take a different tack. They buy unusual vegetables (baby turnips, salsify, broccoli raab, pea shoots). They don't treat these with particularly more care than the neighborhood cafe does its peas and mashed potatoes, but it at least creates an illusion that they care. At the lower end of the prices spectrum, the few restaurant that try to make their vegetables special usually do so by melting cheese all over them.

If you don't believe all of this, ask a vegetarian how tough it is to get a good vegetable plate in most restaurants. Such a thing is a collection of afterthoughts.

It is getting better. A few restaurants are going after locally-grown vegetables with much greater interest. But the problem remains: the typical diner is much more interested in the protein on the plate, which must be done well. He won't pay extra for vegetables (except, curiously, in a steak house, where the vegetables are no better than in the places where they're free). And so the pressure is down on the vegetables.

Deft Dining Rule #52:
A restaurant with excellent vegetable side dishes probably does everything else excellently.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Grit, Texas is in the beautiful Hill Country, right under the X in Texas, near the junction of US 377 and TX 29. You might pass this way if you took a scenic route west from Austin. Grit is about five miles from the bigger town of Mason, where you can grab lunch at the Taqueria Tres Caminos.

Edible Dictionary
giardinera, [jyar-dih-NEH-rah], Italian, n., adj.--This word has two meanings, depending upon the context. Used as a descriptive term in the name of the dish, it means "in the style of the gardener," and implies that the dish will be full of fresh, crisp, colorful vegetables. When used alone, giardinera describes a marinated salad of vegetables. Common ingredients are celery, carrots, cauliflower, beans In and out of pods), onions, and peppers. All these are marinated with vinegar and olive oil. It's served as an antipasto. Giardinera of that kind is widely available in jars at the supermarket. New Orleanians will recognize it as the olive salad used on a muffuletta sandwich, but without the olives and garlic and with less olive oil.

Music To Eat By
Jimmy Buffett's song Cheeseburger In Paradise hit its high point on the charts today in 1978 at only Number Thirty-Two. It gets played a lot more than bigger hits of the time. It's the food reference, I tell you. On this date in 1972, the song Brandy was released by a one-hit wonder called Looking Glass. Brandy, I know you'll recall, was a fine girl. The last major hit on the pop charts by a classic big band--that of Jimmy Dorsey, no less--made it to Number Two on this day in 1957. It was a song about how to cook a steak: So Rare.

Whiskey In The Funnies
This was the day in 1919 when the comic strip Barney Google premiered. It evolved over the years into Snuffy Smith, which is still being published. I hear that Snuffy lately has turned his skill at distilling "corn squeezin's" into making small-batch bourbons aged in oak for twelve to fifteen years. But he still refuses to pay the "revenooers," so it's still illegal. I haven't tried the stuff myself.

Famous Restaurant Names
Mumtaz Mahal died today in 1631, from complications during childbirth. Her husband spent the next twenty years and a lot of his wealth (he was the Mughal emperor, so no problem) building her tomb. It is the Taj Mahal, one of the most photographed sites in the world. Its name has been applied to hundreds of Indian restaurants, including one here in New Orleans. The Taj Mahal on Metairie Road serves good food, but gives no hint of its namesake's grandeur.

Alluring Dinner Dates
While we're in India, let's ask Amrita Rao--model and actress--if she'd mind joining us for dinner at the Taj Mahal. She was born in Mumbai today in 1981.

Food And Wine On The Air
Today was the premiere, in 1942, of the greatest radio mystery series of them all, Suspense. The scripts, stars, and production were good enough that the shows still hold up today. It ran weekly for twenty years, until the last day of radio drama on CBS. For a long time its sponsor was Roma Wines, the biggest-selling wines in America at the time. It was generic plonk from California, made before California winemakers realized how good their wines could be. This is the day in 1994 that police followed O.J. Simpson's white Bronco around Los Angeles. The chase was on live TV, and it wound up in a fantastic trial that we ran gavel-to-gavel on WSMB. It constantly pre-empted my radio show, but it brought many new listeners to the show who had never heard of me.

Food Namesakes
David "Stringbean" Akeman, who played the banjo and did corny comedy on "Hee Haw," was born today in 1915. Actor Mark Linn-Baker stepped onto the Big Stage today in 1954. . Jello Biafra, the lead singer for the Dead Kennedys on their album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, was born today in 1958.

Words To Eat By
"An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh."--Will Rogers.

"Approaching the stove, she would don a voluminous apron, toss some meat on a platter, empty a skillet of its perfectly cooked a point vegetables, sprinkle a handful of chopped parsley over all, and then, like a proficient striptease artist, remove the apron, allowing it to fall to the floor with a shake of her hips."--Bert Greene, American food writer.

Words To Drink By
"With small beer, good ale and wine, O ye gods! how I shall dine!"--Unknown.


Bint Rhoda's Kitchen

My father used to pray the same prayer every day, as we sat down to eat:

Father, bless this food, and let it nourish our bodies.

It was a simple prayer, but a good one. My busy childish mind didn't linger too long on it, but I heard it every day, at every meal: Bless this food, Father. Allow it to nourish our bodies. Now a mother herself, my wonderful sister turned it into a little song for her children to sing as a mealtime prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for this food
You always provide for us
Bless this food to our bodies
Let our bodies do your work.
Amen

Whether I was sitting at the family table, or in a school cafeteria, or feeding my baby mashed avocado, I prayed this prayer. It was part of our ritual of eating, this song of joy and thanksgiving before meals. Some days my mind did not rest fully in the words, like a pebble skimming over a pond. Other days, I plunged more deeply. I regarded this prayer as a pointing-to my greater sense of thankfulness, for all of the many provisions I have received from the Father, from my shoe laces to forgiveness and grace.

I remember the first time I prepared a traditional nourishing meal for my children and sat down with them to eat it and prayed this prayer, once again: Father, let this food nourish our bodies.

I was sitting at the table between my two children and I had just carefully prepared two little plates full of food. I had done as much as I could on that day, with the time, money, energy available to me, to give them nourishing foods. And there was something incredibly satisfying about that. The food I set before them was good good in that soul-satisfying sense, the kind of good that means when you look at it, you hear the far-off echoes of Genesis whisper in your heart: God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.

But because I am little and He is big, because I am creature and He is Creator, because I know that I am finite, frail and fallible, and that He is my Great Daddy Who Knows Everything, I asked Him to bless it. I asked Him to allow the to food nourish their little bodies.

Because the truth is, perfect preparation does not always mean perfect success. Not in academics. Not in health. Not in anything. I bump up against the limits of my knowledge. I bump up against the limits of my time, resources, energy. I do as much as I can, and then, with my spoon in the air, I stop and pray: Let it nourish our bodies.


If you pray, what do you pray for your meals? Have the words changed over the years?


20 Healthy Uses of Therapeutic Grade Lemon Essential Oil

Citrus Lemon has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function. It may serve as an insect repellent and may be beneficial for the skin. CAUTION: Citrus oils should NOT be applied to skin that will be exposed to direct sunlight or ultraviolet light within 72 hours so if you're planning on going outside after applying any the Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus) I would highly recommend that you wear long sleeve shirts or cover the area(s) were you have applied the Lemon Essential Oil. Here are my 20 healthy recommendation on using Therapeutic Grade Lemon Essential Oil:

1. Use 6 drops of Lemon oil & 6 drops of Purification in a squirt bottle mixed with distilled water to use in the bathroom as an air freshener.
2. Use 1-2 drops to remove gum, oil, grease spots or crayon.
3. Use 1 drop of Lemon oil to add flavor to baked goods or beverages.
4. For homemade lemonade, in a blender mix 2 drops of Lemon oil, 2 tablespoons of honey and two cups of pure water.
5. Rub a drop on a corn, callous or bunion mornings and evenings.
6. To clean and increase the shelf life of fresh fruit, fill a bowl with cool water and 2-3 drops of Lemon oil. Be sure all surfaces of the fruit contact the lemon water.
7. Add 2-3 drops to water and spray counter tops to sterilize them.
8. Alkalize your body by adding 3-4 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to 1 glass of water in the morning and before going to bed at night.
9. Add a drop of Lemon oil to your dishwasher before the wash cycle.
10. Rub a drop of Lemon on your hands after using a public bathroom.
11. Use a paper towel soaked with several drops to sanitize bathroom fixtures, especially on the toilet seat.

12. Place a drop of Lemon Essential Oil on cold sores, herpes or other mouth ulcers to lessen pain and aid healing.
13. Put a drop of Lemon oil on bleeding gums caused by gingivitis or tooth extraction.
14. Put a drop on oily skin or acne to balance sebaceous glands (oil glands).
15. Rub several drops of Lemon oil on cellulite to improve circulation and help eliminate waste from the cells.
16. Rub two drops of Lemon oil topically daily to clear athlete's foot. Apply the Therapeutic Grade Lemon Essential Oil daily until the athlete's foot clears up.
17. Rub several drops of Lemon oil on varicose veins to improve circulation and relieve pressure on the veins.
18. Rub a drop on a wart morning and night until it disappears.
19. Rub on butcher's block or other cutting surfaces. Lemon is a very effective disinfectant and germ killer.
20. Put 10-15 drops of Lemon oil in each gallon of carpet cleaning solution to help pull out stains and brighten the rugs.

I also want to highlight when I recommend certain amounts or drops of the Essential Oils I am referring to Young Living Essential Oils. If you decide to use another companies Essential Oils you will have to increase your dosage as I am sure their quality and grade will not be at the standard of Young Living Essential Oils. I also can not guarantee the effectiveness my recipes if you choose to use the different company's oils. As the distillation process for manufacturing the oils will be different as well. Our competitors use the stems and leaves for making their essential oils whereas Young Living uses the flowers of the plants. The difference is night and day in terms of quality and their medicinal or therapeutic affect.


The Food Almanac: Monday, June 17, 2013 - Recipes

You don't have to include the cereal, but it adds great texture and a tasty crunch!

Use white candy melts and brown M&M's for the eyes,
add peanut butter, oatmeal or molasses cookies for the ears,
and you have one super cute monkey cake!

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 c . milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (softened)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • approx. 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 cup cocoa rice cereal
  • 2 large peanut butter, oatmeal or molasses cookies
  • 2 white candy melts
  • 2 brown M&M's
  • Decorate and serve this cake on the same day. Otherwise, the cocoa rice cereal will get a bit soggy (at least it does in Florida humidity!).
  • You can insert toothpicks into the cake under the cookies to help support them.

I love this combination of peanut butter, chocolate and crunchy cereal. :)
Enjoy!


Real Estate Revenue Discrepancy

On page 2 of Jan Klein's April 15, 2013 Proposed Final Budget , her own numbers show the millage to be 27.67 mills.

Through a Right To Know to the PA Department of Education, the millage is being shown as 23.05 mills . Also, there is a difference of $1.725 million in approx. tax levy for Tax Rate Calculations.

On the State form from the State
Approx. Tax Levy for Tax Rate Calculation: $61,863,271

WHAT IS GOING ON? Are there two sets of books? Isn't that FRAUD.


Right Royal Recipes.

Public holidays are a sacred element of Australian culture, and even the most ardent republican does not refuse to stay away from work on this day - the official Queens's Birthay holiday - in this old colonial outpost.

In honour therefore of my English heritage, my English visitors, and HRH herself, I give you a smattering of 'royal' recipes from Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery (1870's). Then I will be off taking the English visitors out on a day trip to the rainforest.

Royal Children's Puddings.
Slice a penny loaf, and pour upon it a pint and a half of boiling milk. Let is stand till soft, then beat it lightly with a fork, and add a heaped tablespoonful of moist sugar, a little grated nutmeg or any other flavouring, and four well-beaten eggs. Half fill some snail buttered teacups with the mixture, and bake the puddings in a well-heated oven. If liked, a slice of butter may be added, but its absence will make the puddings more digestible.

Royal Fritters.
Put a pint of new milk into a saucepan over the fire, and as it rises in the pan stir into it half a pint of light wine. Pour it out, and let it stand a few minutes to cool. Skim off the curd, and put it into a basin. Beat it well with two tablespoonfuls of sugar, a little grated lemon rind or other flavoring, three well-whisked eggs, and as much flour as will make a stiff batter. Fry the fritters in the usual way. Drain them well, and serve on a hot dish. Send cut lemons to table with the fritters.

Royal Punch (to be served hot)
Put a quarter of a pound of doubly-refined sugar in large lumps into a bowl, and with it two limes and a thin slice of fresh lemon. With a bruiser rub the sugar and the fruit well together, then mix thoroughly with two glassfuls of calf's foot jelly in a hot state. Take brandy, rum, arrack, and curaçao in equal quantities, and stir them into the preparation. When thoroughly mixed, add a pint of boiling green tea, and serve hot. The quantity of the spirit must be regulated by taste half a pint of each will generally be found sufficient.

Royal Sauce for Turkeys and Fowls.
Take the breast of a cold roast fowl, free it from skin, and pound it to a paste in a mortar with a slice of bread which has been soaked in milk and squeezed dry. Add as much white stock as will make the paste smooth and of the consistency of custard, and seasoning of pepper and salt, and simmer the sauce over a gentle fire. Let it cool, stir into it the yolks of two eggs which have been beaten up with half a cupful of cream, and stir the sauce again over the fire, but do not allow it to boil after the eggs are added. If liked, this sauce may be flavoured with five or six blanched and pounded almonds.

Quotation for the Day.

There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink, cannot reconcile themselves.
George Santayana (1863-1952


A Lusitania Lunch.

5 comments:

I hate to say it, but two hours to cook carrots might well have been "right", given the mind-set of how to prepare vegetables. Years and years ago when I visited my pen friend in England, she boiled the potatoes for two hours and thought that was quite proper. (Twenty minutes usually works nowadays.) I don't know that it was the carrot texture that has gotten more tender over the years, but our attitude to vegetable preparation has, in general, reduced the excessive cooking time.

I can remember the far-gone days when carrots were more or less seasonal. In much of the year, they were "mature" carrots that had been in cool storage. Some old recipes direct that you core them, because the paler central portion can become quite woody as they grow. Likewise, the scraping so often directed was to rid them of the hairy rootlets that formed in the sand barrels of the storage cellars. I think modern improvements in refrigeration have pretty much eliminated those concerns.

Goodness! If this is second class, what did the first class passengers get? For that matter, was there a menu for third class/steerage?
Sandra

Urk on the hodge-podge. I much prefer the Canadian version see here:

I believe it was humorist Calvin Trillin who once wrote that all well-brought-up English girls boil vegetables for three hours, just in case a guest forgets his teeth.


Secrets of a Southern Kitchen

I served this with fresh sliced cucumber and carrot sticks, I think it would also go nicely with a green salad.
We all liked this, a lot. Even the leftovers disappeared by the time everyone made it to bed.

Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!

See Ya in the Gumbo at Ms enPlace
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Melt in Your Mouth Monday at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Make the Scene Monday at Alderberry Hill
Recipe Sharing Monday at Jam Hands
Make, Bake, and Create at Hope in Every Season
Wonderful Food Wednesday Mom's Test Kitchen
Foodie Friday At Rattlebridge Farm

11 comments:

That looks really good Charlene. And I think I could substitute black beans for the meat. I use real cheese now, because the vegan stuff is just nasty! I have those days a lot also. After 35 years of marriage, I've become quite bored with cooking.

Hi, Charlene! This looks perfect for my family. I like pantry (and freezer) cooking. If you are interested, The Law Student's Cookbook has a "Pantry Party" every month. This month's theme is cheese-your dish would be awesome for this month! Here's the info: http://lawstudentscookbook.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/pantry-party-june-2013-announcement/

Thank you for linking with See Ya in the Gumbo!

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Charlene I love love it's recipe I added some roasted chiles and black beans to the recipe and it came out so good this is something I most definitely make it again for my family thanks for sharing

I did the same thing and added some sliced black olives. Yummmmmmm

Made this recipe exactly as written and it was great! Family loved it. Served with a tossed salad. Your hint to only make a half batch of cornbread if making from scratch was spot on! Thank you for sharing this one.

Has anyone baked this and reheated later?

Yes, it reheats well in the microwave or in the oven.

Can you put this together in the afternoon and bake it later that day?

Do you drain the corn, or just pour corn and juice all in?

It depends on the corn--if I use one like Green Giant Niblets, I just dump the whole thing in. If it's an inexpensive store brand, they tend to have more juice so I drain about half of the juice off.


Our Farmers and their Favorite Salad Recipes

I had the opportunity to interview 3 of our world class farmers and get their input on their life work and life loves. I asked them each to answer 5 questions and to offer a favorite salad recipe. Hope you find their answers and recipes of interest. I had lots of fun talking with these guys, they are amazing! Let us know what you think. thanks
Helen L. Aquino, Village Farms Marketing Manager

Mitch Fortier
Farmer in our Delta Greenhouse in British Columbia


The Food Almanac: Monday, June 17, 2013 - Recipes

This month Cook the Book parent bloggers Ohbriggsy and Meg over at Grow and Resist gave us the inspiration to dive into Street Food by Susan Feniger. J.K. and I Love street food, hence our attendance at the SF Street Food Festival every year. When I picked up the book from the library this month and paged through it, I discovered a wide variety of cooking styles with great pictures to distract you. As always, I was instantly attracted to a few recipes, but postponed making them for a bit. I admire how some bloggers start cooking day 1 from the book, but it always takes me a while to decide what to make.

One recipe did catch my eye, something I thought would be perfect to take along and trade at the SF Food Swap. It was easy to get down to business and make some "Earl Grey Tea Dust" inspired by Ginger Dust (p209) I also made "Rooibos Dust" and the real deal using ginger as well. I also made Heirloom Tomatoes with Garlic and Balsamic Vinagrette (p48) as my swap potluck dish. It was a hit!

Potluck Gold!

Earl Grey Dust


Both of these recipes were simple and adaptable. In fact I felt that way about all the dishes I made from Street Food this month. It would be easy to change up the recipes I cooked to accommodate what was on hand in the pantry. However, it was more fun to plan lunch and shop for the "special" ingredients. Stephanie, J. K. and I set the date, and decided on the menu.

When I went to buy the cactus paddles, I couldn't resist getting Mexican cheeses and sour cream as well!
Welcome to Lunch!
Cook the Book Menu:
Cactus Rellenos with Corn Salad and Arbol Chili Salsa
toppings of Mexican sour cream, avocado, pickled jicama
Canton Ginger Kick Cocktails (with ginger syrup)
Danish Black Licorice and Cherry Biscotti with Buttermilk Koldskal

Ready to eat!
The recipe for Cactus Rellenos was my choice for lunch because I have wondered what/how people cook them ever since I moved to SF and saw them for sale in the Mission at the produce bodegas. During our lunch, Stephanie said that many people use them as a vegetable. They cook them the same as peppers or squash. Considering you have to scrape all the pointy stuff off to use them I'll just keep on eating peppers instead, but now I feel ready to face the cowboy trail, able to live off the desert land (as long as I have a sharp knife to clean the spines off my food-although I bet they'd burn off if I had fire).

I made the Corn Salad the day before, I thought the dressing would meld with the corn overnight. However, when I tasted it after tossing them together it was simply delicious. It was just as tasty the next day, but I think this dressing could make any veggie salad a hit!

I picked up the dried A chilis the morning of the meal when I biked over to the mission to grab the cactus paddles. That was also when I spied the Monterey Jack and Mexican Sour Cream. They even had a bag of already "shredded" Cojita cheese. Score! I roasted the tomatoes over the open flame instead of under the broiler, I think that it uses less energy that way. Now you're cooking with gas! I took 90% of the seeds out of the chili's. It had the perfect tiny bit of heat for our trio, but if you're into the spicy, just leave in the majority of the seeds in order to burn up your taste buds. This effortless salsa also made it on the short list for swap ideas. I mean, I have Plenty of dried chilis left for another batch. They're chili'in in the freezer right now.


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Comments:

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  2. Mohammad

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  3. Bralkree

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  4. Faetilar

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  5. Akinorisar

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