Buttery goodness!

There are too many links on the right side of this page, and I can’t seem to stop adding.

It’s because of stuff like this from The Onion:

“WASHINGTON, DC—New data from the U.S. Commerce Department show that rich, buttery goodness beat out automobiles, timber, and crispety-crunchitiness as the country’s most valuable commodity in fiscal year 2006.

” ‘Soaring demand among consumers for the melt- in-your-mouth sensation of buttery goodness, combined with increasing production efficiency, meant that more then 32 million tons were manufactured and consumed last year,’ said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who noted that sales of chewy, double-stuffed deliciousness stagnated in this same period due to inflation and regional shortages of cream filling.”

You can’t make stuff like that up. If you did, you’d be working at The Onion.

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Very tasty

If you missed it, Sue Gleiter did a neat piece today on professional tasters, local people with palates educated to the nuances of coffee, cookies, wine and … ice cream.

Jeez, that takes me back. When I was in high school, I worked one summer at Hershey Ice Cream on Cameron Street. It was 15 minutes in the freezer stacking product, 15 minutes out of the freezer, all day long, and all the ice cream you could eat. After a week, nobody ate very much.

But we learned a lot about the flavors, and I’m still partial to Hershey’s.

Kid in the kitchen


He’s 14 and cooking at Lacroix in Philadelphia, on Saturdays.

It started when Nick Normile’s grandmother took him to Italy: “The two ate their way through Venice, Florence, Rome, Pisa and Pompeii – enjoying course after course of dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. Nick gets a dreamy, faraway look in his hazel eyes when he thinks about the trip.”

In Sunday’s Inquirer, food writer Dianna Marder profiled a kid who loves being in the kitchen.

“He never measures, and rarely follows a cookbook recipe ingredient by ingredient, preferring to improvise – and to send Mom shopping for esoteric ingredients.”

Read the story here.

Chili and Change

At work and in life, we’re urged to accommodate change as if change were the point. As if people should want it to be, want life to be a whirl of new elements or new spins on what we know, because the world is more interesting that way.

Where I work, the news is a persistent burst of new whatevers that are … not your father’s whatever. Oh my, it’s new!

But as Buckaroo Banzai said, “Change ain’t lookin’ for friends.”

So when jumbled schedules and new assignments kept me from my weekly chili construction, I looked around warily for lunch alternatives. Make that easy lunch alternatives that work with a nod toward Weight Watchers, a constant presence in our house.

(Some recipes follow the jump if you’re interested.)

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The Phantom Responds!


The famed Phantom Diner of WITF and Central PA magazine has filed Her/His answers to our 10 carefully constructed dining questions. The crucial Last Meal question is, of course, last.


1. How many of you are there?

One and only one.

2. Are there any cuisines or styles of cooking you seriously don’t like?

Not especially fond of Sub-Saharan African cuisine, especially sadza.

3. How do you review a cuisine you are not particularly fond of ?

Try to stay away from Sub-Saharan African restaurants, especially those serving sadza.

4. How long do you wait after a restaurant opens to review it?

Varies, but always try to give a new place a few months to get their legs under them.

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A typical piece of produce at Weis or Giant traveled 2,000 miles to get there. At Broad Street or the West Shore Farmers’ Market, it’s more like 20.

A survey reported this month by the Food Marketing Institute shows consumers less likely to trust supermarket products. Done in the aftermath of the spinach scare, the survey found “the number of consumers ‘completely’ or ‘somewhat confident’ in the safety of supermarket food declined from 82 percent in 2006 to 66 percent.”  

That’s the lowest point since the apple /pesticide scare.

Overall, it’s a boost for local food and farmers’ markets. (Thanks to nutrition prof Ruth Anne McGinley at HACC for the slideshow link.)

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