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January 2008

January 31, 2008

Are you supposed to waterboard cows?

There is a lot of buzz on the 'net today about the video that the Humane Society took inside Hallmark Meat Packing, where workers are shown abusing downer cows as a means of getting their sick carcasses to the slaughter line. The video is sad, disgusting, and when you consider that this company is a major supplier for school lunches, downright scary. (link: Video of animal abuse at Hallmark Meat packing - be warned it is graphic)

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January 24, 2008

Wandering the web...bacon, booze and other tasty tidbits

a bay tree in winter

For a number of reasons - mostly sloth, indecision, not wanting to brave the tundra outside my door, er, I mean research - I have been wandering around the web a bit today and there is some amusing stuff out there. Things I want to eat, things I want to drink, things I I thought I'd share a few.

Before we start, we should pour ourselves a drink. Something interesting. Something  local. Something that includes at least one basic food group. How about Bacon Vodka?  McAuliflower of Brownie Points  has been doing a little meandering of her own lately, but I think she still lives close enough to be local and I am quite sure she will back me up on bacon being its own food group so I am covered, right?

More tidbits after the jump...

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January 22, 2008

Cooking classes in Skamokawa

Inn at Crippen Creek cooking class

photo: Kathleen Morgain


Would you like to learn to bake bread like those gorgeous loaves in the picture? If so, you are in luck. Kitty and Don Speranza, a pair of talented and passionate cooks who own The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm in Skamokawa, WA, are now offering cooking classes to the community as well as their overnight guests.

Before moving out to eventinierTown, Don and Kitty owned and operated Mangiamo! Catering and Italian Eatery in Portland, Oregon. Their bread is such a huge hit at the Two Island Farm Market on Puget Island in Cathlamet, WA during the summer months that they started a bread subscription service to keep their customers happy in the off-season. (Ahem, their bread is so good that I buy their focaccia all summer long instead of making my own.)

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January 18, 2008

Berry Marshmallows with Chocolate recipe


The first week of January is the time of year for lofty goals and noble aspirations and the food world is no exception. Food-related resolutions seem to fall into two categories: Proscriptive and prescriptive. There are far more of the former and they mostly take the form of "I will change my diet by not eating sugar, fat, HFCS, bread, chocolate, and so on." There are, to be fair, some positive "I will eat..." resolutions out there (mine is to grow some vegetables along with the herbs in my garden) but most of them are framed in the negative. What a way to start the year, with a list of things you are going to deny yourself!

Far more fun are the prescriptive resolutions. I particularly like "I will make ____ for the first time." and the ones that start "I will learn to..." If I was forced to make New Year's resolutions - and thankfully, I am not - I would fall into this camp so I have a soft spot for them.

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January 15, 2008

Plastic knife pot roast (with recipe)

Will it cut?

Tonight I bring you the tale of the plastic knife and the pot roast, in which we will attempt to answer the question: Will the little red plastic knife be able to cut up vegetables for a pot roast or will it have to call on the reinforcement knife lurking in the background?

The bright red beauty is a Zyliss salad knife - theory being that if you cut your salad with plastic/nylon instead of metal the lettuce won't oxidize and turn icky brown. I tear lettuce for salad by hand so that purpose was of little interest to me, but I have been looking for kid-safe tools and wondered if it would work to cut veggies but not fingers. 

Setting my expectations at some reasonable level, I decided that I would try something soft to start with. Handing the knife and a tomato to someoneElse, I watched, ready to admit defeat when the knife mangled the tomato.

Except it didn't. 

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January 07, 2008

Equifinality and the 30 minute meal

First, since I can't put the link in the title, and I was recently at a writing workshop where it was pointed out that you shouldn't throw out obscure words without enough context to make it fairly clear what you meant: equifinality

While I have been know to snark about Rachael Ray (hereafter known as RR) from time to time, she does have a good idea from time to time. I even laud some of her goals: if 30 minute meals (hereafter known as 30mm) got people "into the kitchen" (whatever that means; is there some study somewhere?) and if CAKE helps get people thinking about some of the problems we've got with kids (and adults) and food in the US (and elsewhere), then brava!

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January 03, 2008

Simple, flaky biscuit recipe



If I had to pick one word for my life the last while, it would have to be scattered. Just as one crazy thing is brought under control, the next careens into view. Like garlic butter in your cake pan. Or a teetering stack of biscuits.

One of my surest cures for scattered is bread. As I gather the bits of ragged dough and knead them together into a cohesive whole, I am, likewise, remade just a bit, my loose edges reintegrated and all that. It's one of my favorite meditative states.

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