After years of research, an animal scientist looking for ways to keep inflammation down in cattle came up with a novel approach: feed them flax. The flax in their food helps keep animals healthy and has an added benefit for those who later eat their meat: omega-3 enriched beef.
What do you do when your oldest friend in the world hits a milestone birthday? For that matter, what do you do when anyone you really care about has a birthday?
You bake them a cake, that’s what.
While chatting with a friend the other day over lunch, the conversation turned to travel– where we’ve been, where we’d like to go, etc.
“Have you ever been abroad?” I asked my friend in a tone not unlike a half-soused society matron at a garden party. He nodded. I was expecting him to mention one of the usual places one goes to expand one’s global horizons, like France, or Italy, or Japan.
“Well, I lived in Luxembourg for three years.”
This wasn’t the answer I had expected, which both threw me and delighted me at the same time.
“Luxembourg? Seriously?” I had to admit that, over the past forty years, I had never given that country the time of day, except perhaps in thinking that it’s name gave the Benelux countries a decidedly luxurious ring.
Sometimes, things have a way of just happening to you. When I woke up one morning several weeks ago, I found myself looking forward to a lazy Sunday afternoon, followed by an evening of cocktails, theater, and dinner with a few friends. If I had any plans apart from those, they were small ones– like wandering down the street to get coffee or sending off a few emails. Not once did I think to myself, “I think I’ll go get horse whipped by a severe-looking woman in a vinyl bustier and a Betty Page haircut.”
A terrible song has been going through my head for the past few days. I have absolutely no idea how it got there. I have some theories, but nothing concrete. I’ve been humming it at work and singing it in the shower, but it won’t go away.
So I thought the best way to get rid of it would be to share it with everyone I know.
It’s called “The Tapioca,” from the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing.
The graham cracker was created in tandem with the Graham Diet, which advocated fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, and lots of fiber, and denounced meats, alcohol, and spices. Dairy was to be used sparingly. A forefather of Dr. Kellogg and his cornflake-fueled sanitarium, Graham firmly believed that a bland diet would prevent people from having impure thoughts and such a reduction would prevent masturbation (which Graham believed lead to blindness and insanity).
Yes, that is correct. The graham cracker was originally invented to curb sexual desire. I think that is a lot to ask from a cracker, don’t you?
If one is going to create a signature cocktail, I say make it memorable. Make a statement. Create a drink philosophy and apply it to your inventions. I have currently been looking for a way to help alcoholics get more nutritional bang out of their cocktails by creating a series of meals-in-a-glass.
Where I work, there are a small handful of men who occasionally begin their sentences with the phrase “In my village…”
“In my village, we have a festival.” “In my village, we would never treat an octopus in such a way.”
These men can get away with saying such things as easily as they can get away with calling women “baby” because they are Greek. The have the accent, they have an old world charm about them that clings like the smell of clove and stale cigarette smoke.
And I have always been a little bit jealous. If I were to ever pepper my sentences with the words “In my village…” People would most likely assume it was Greenwich Village. And I can just forget about using the word “baby.” Ever.
Sunset magazine has long been the go-to source for “how to live in the West” especially when it comes to travel, gardening, home improvement and of course, food and wine. Since the centennial of the magazine in 1998, Sunset has been hosting an annual open house called the Sunset Celebration Weekend.
No matter what you do, fruit+sugar=sweet fruity goodness. And just like homemade pie, homemade jam is better than anything you can buy, even from a fancy place. Why? Because anywhere this side of Smuckers, you’re using more fruit and less sugar when you make your jam at home.
I’ve currently got Paris on the brain. I’m about to invade that city for a week of eating and drinking and wandering and thinking.
So, naturally, the first thing to pop into my head for today’s post was, “I should do something German.”
Because that’s how my mind works.
Rhubarb. I have loved it for years. And why not? It’s a tart, refreshing, and completely extraordinary thing when handled properly.
Of course, it is also highly seasonal. It’s one of the first bits of produce to show up in markets when the ground warms up in the spring, it hangs around in the summertime, when the living is supposedly easy, but it has a predictable habit of disappearing when the weather gets rough. It’s a fair weather thing. And, though most commonly lumped together with fruits, it is, in fact a vegetable– a truth I’ve found very difficult to grasp over the past few years.
And I know a lot of them.
Last weekend, I was (cheerfully) roped into helping prepare and serve a “proper” English tea by an old friend who had offered up her home, her china, and her silver tea pots for the benefit of my goddaughter’s school. I have placed the word “proper” in quotation marks, because this was a tea hosted by Canadian-Americans, which means that it just might have been even more so than a true, English tea. The Canadians, after all, still celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday. The English, however, have long since moved on.
I’d never thought much of the carrot in terms of dessert food. Before you ask the obvious “But what about carrot cake?” question, yes, I know it exists. I just choose not to acknowledge it any longer, thanks to my volunteering to bake that particular dessert for a friend’s wedding several years ago. 150 people to feed and a Barbie-sized oven left me exhausted, but proud of the mission accomplished. I have since moved on. I don’t think I’d even uttered the word “carrot” in years.
And then I went to a potluck dinner at a home I onced partly owned, hosted by a man I used to live with, and a dog who used to know me.
I’ve been spending entirely too much time watching episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child that my friend Craig gave me.
I find Mrs. Child oddly hypnotic. There is something about her uniquely-accented voice and the not-entirely graceful movement of her formerly 6′ 2″ body that compels me to watch her.
And watch her I do. Over and over again.
This week, I’ve been enjoying an early, black and white episode wherein she gives a champagne and coffee party in honor of:
“…the Queen of Sheba, which turns out to be this dark beauty, made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum, and butter!”
She then invites us into her kitchen where she promises we’ll make:
“the best chocolate cake you ever put in your mouth.”
That’s one heavy promise, but I love her enthusiasm.
I decided to put my money where Mrs. Child’s mouth is and examine this cake and the woman behind it, however superficially.