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Another Summer/Pandemic Diversion

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


The Whale in the Room

Most homes proudly display objects that their families use to signal something about themselves. It might be an old photo of ancestors they can’t quite remember—or, perhaps, even identify. Maybe a cookie jar from a distant childhood. A grandfather’s pipe, a grandmother’s rolling pin. A flag that supports the search for Vietnam-era MIAs and POWs. A souvenir carved coconut from a tropical honeymoon. A ticket from 1969’s Woodstock Festival of Music and Art. Bronzed baby shoes once worn by someone who is now a grandparent, several times over.
People keep these things—despite the admonitions of clutter-hating evangelists of home decorating—because they mean something, even if they’re not exactly sure what. Sometimes they’re kept because the objects spur them to think about the meaning of their lives. The objects also initiate conversations, especially with people who have never visited the home before. The objects are even preserved and displayed for no reason that anyone can remember.
Still, they are kept.
My house doesn’t have any of those things. Well—that’s not exactly true. I do have one thing. I don’t remember when I got it. I can’t even recall when I had it professionally framed—but I did. I pass by it every day and—all too often—it makes me stop and wonder.
The frame contains a receipt, the kind you used to get in diners and luncheonettes. They usually wound up impaled on a spike by the cash register, but somehow this one survived. At the top, in deep indigo ink, is printed “Guest Check.” Most of that line is missing on ours; it must have been torn, in haste, from some waitress’s order pad. Below the title, on a field of pale blue-green, are delicate lines for ordered dishes. The slip’s edges are slightly yellowed. I recall that this one has written, in the careful script that no one uses anymore, “BLT, W/W T, Mayo—$.75”. On the next line down, “Pepsi—$.10”. There’s no date on the slip but, with those prices, it is obvious that it was written a long time ago. You can’t see any of that, now, because the slip is framed to exhibit the back side only.
Today, peering out from its archival matted frame, you can just make out three words, written with a fountain pen, in faded peacock blue ink. There is nothing else. The inscription that has so captured my attention for all these decades is deceptively simple: “Call me. Ishmael”.
Of course, I know the source of the words, but something about them doesn’t quite compute. Why would someone write the opening line of Moby Dick on a luncheonette check? And why alter the quote with a punctuation mark? I might be way off-base—maybe the text has nothing to do with the book at all. But, if it’s not Melville’s Ishmael, who is—or was—my Ishmael?
I once knew someone, in college, over half a century ago, who had a dog named Ishmael—but I doubt that a long-dead dog has anything to do with this. The faded ink of the inscription could date from that time period, but the whole thing is just too unlikely to waste time on. 
Sorry for the distraction.
Looking carefully at the faded message, it’s hard to tell if its only punctuation is a period or a comma. That raises other questions.
If it’s a period, the message was probably written by Ishmael himself. It’s an instruction, possibly even an order, to some unidentified recipient. What was so important that the note was necessary? And for whom was it meant? Was the waitress—or the cashier—supposed to get in touch with Ishmael? While the message is quite curt, there’s no exclamation point to suggest any urgency. Perhaps the message was supposed to be a romantic invitation—although, if so, it lacks very much in the way of poetry, or even sentiment. I can’t imagine our imaginary waitress (or cashier) being too strongly moved by it. 
Unless they were already romantically-involved, and the note is a couple’s shorthand that both would understand.
The absence of even a hint of a time or date for the recipient’s response is, like everything else in the document, maddeningly vague.
On the other hand, what if that lone punctuation mark was not a period. If it was a comma, then the message was addressed to our Ishmael. All the same questions we’ve asked, so far, could just as easily be applied in that situation—but in the other direction. If so, the very existence of the guest check actually begins to make sense. Only the recipient would have been a position to have kept it. That he did suggests that it had some special meaning for him. Perhaps he made that call. Perhaps it led to something momentous in his life, something he wanted to relive in memory, again and again, forever. On the other hand, perhaps it led to the greatest disappointment of his life. Perhaps it was an emotional scab he could pick at, compulsively; or an old war wound he could rub, whenever it ached with a change in the weather.
There is yet another question. Why did neither Ishmael nor his correspondent continue to keep the guest check? At some point, it found its way into my house—so, whether by accident or conscious decision, it left their possession. Did joy fade with time, or pain relent?
Despite spending so many years on it, I have gotten no closer to solving the mystery of the annotated guest check. It’s almost a Zen koan—an inscrutable phrase that provokes (and unprovokes) understanding. It tugs at me, every time I walk by it, as cool and mute as a gravestone. All that I know, for certain, is that I feel strangely (and endlessly) moved by the happiness (or unhappiness) of Ishmael and his correspondent—whoever they were.
They call me.


______________

The Whale in the Room is protected by copyright, and is provided for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author’s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.



Copyright ©2020 by Gary Allen.

A Fable

Sunday, July 19, 2020

You Don’t Know Beans

My little Jackie is one sweet little kid; a sweet little idiot. The boy is all good intentions and no brains. 
He knew we was hungry, so he planted a garden. We also tried to raise chickens and rabbits. He loved them so much, he let ’em “play” in the yard—where they all got eaten by foxes. But, afore that happened, they ate up all the seedlings in his garden. Of course, he was never gonna’ get around to weedin’or waterin’ it, so it’s not like we were ever going to get anything to eat from it, anyhow. The boy means well, but he’s as dumb as a brick.
No, that’s not fair—to bricks.
The only thing that kept us going was Emily, our beloved milk cow. She gave us butter and cheese, and—since she was what-you-call a “cash cow”—we traded her extra milk for stuff like flour and sugar. I used to like to bake cakes and cookies for Jackie. Or did, until we didn’t have no egg-laying hens. 
Damn foxes. 
And then Emily’s milk dried up. We had no bull to freshen her, so all she did was keep the weeds down around our little cabin at the edge of the forest. Weeds that I could have used to make soup. 
Stupid cow.
I’m too old and weak to work for anyone else, nowadays, and Jackie—well who would ever hire someone like him? There was nothing left for us to do but sell Emily. Thinking back on it now, I ‘spose I shoulda’ been the one to take that cow to market. Maybe I thought that a cute little kid might get a better price than I coulda’. 
You think you can guess how that turned out, doncha’?
Well, maybe you can—an’ maybe you can’t—but I betcha’ you don’t know the whole story.
Lemme tell ya’ ‘bout the morning the two of ‘em walked into town together. I made a necklace of daisies for her to wear— to dress her up a bit, y’know—and put our last crust of bread and a sliver of cheese in Jackie’s pocket. I told him how important it was, that he had to get a good price for her. “Maybe we could get some more chickens,” I said, “maybe even enough to go into the egg business.” If nothing else, we could live on scrambled eggs and the few wild onions that Emily hadn’t eaten. He nodded like he knew what I was talkin’ about.
I know, now, that it was foolish, but I believed him. 
I swear, sometimes I think that he’s not the family idiot. I am.
Anyway, off they went.
That evening, I spotted him away off, skipping up the path in the dim twilight— alone. He was swinging a little pouch, and he had that big goofy grin on his face. Excited, I called out to ask if his pouch was full of gold coins. 
“Even better!” he shouted back. 
That’s when I began to worry. Turns out, I had good reason to. The pouch did not hold gold coins. It did not hold silver coins. It did not hold copper coins.
It held beans.
Five beans.
Not even enough to make soup.
My first instinct was to beat the boy senseless, but it was far too late for that. The child was born with no kind of sense. Maybe he had just enough sense to see that he was in big trouble, because he started right in telling me that they weren’t just any old beans.
He said they were magic beans. He’d traded them, for daisy-wearing Emily, with some old tramp he’d met along the path to town. He said that the tramp had promised that the beans would grow so tall that they’d lead to a place in the sky—where he’d find bags of goId, a hen that laid eggs if solid gold, and a harp made of gold that would sing anything you asked it to. I’d never heard such nonsense in my whole life! 
Besides, if I’ve told him once, I’ve told him a million times, that he should never talk to no strangers. But the boy just can’t help himself—he can git along with anybody.
Like I told ya’, he’s a sweet kid with no smarts whatsoever.
I took the pouch and sent him up to bed with no supper. I weren’t trying to punish him—neither of us had any supper, ‘cause there weren’t none to be had. In disgust and disappointment, I tossed the beans out the window, where they landed in Jackie’s “garden.” 
I just plopped down to the table with my head in my hands, wondering what in hell to do next. I fell asleep there, a fitful kinda’ sleep with nightmares fulla’ thunder and earthquakes. 
I usually wake up early, when the sun first come in through the window, but the next morning I woke in the dark. Jackie was shaking me. He tried, at first, to drag me to the window, then out the front door. Looking around the corner, to where his garden shoulda’ been, all we could see was an immense bean vine. Five thick stalks twisted around each other. They clung to the side of our little house, then spiraled up into the clouds.
‘Afore I could stop him, Jackie begin shimmyin’ up them giant plants. Up and up he went, ignoring me when I screamed for him to, “come down this minute, young man!” Don’t know whether he heard me or not, but he soon disappeared into the clouds. 
I was beside myself with fear. I ran, back and forth around them damn vines, looking up, pullin’ my hair, and cryin’ out for my baby. 
I heard a distant rustling sound, way up high, then something tumblin’ down through the big leaves. “My god,” I thought, “he’s falling!” What would I ever do to stay alive—in my old age—if I lost my Jackie?
The sound got louder, swellin’ into a kinda’ whooshin’, ‘afore endin’ in a horrible crash. I couldn’t bear to look, at first, but then thought there might be something I could do to save the boy. I opened my eyes and turned to the cabin. The roof was all caved in an’ dust was swirlin’ around so’s I could barely see. 
“My god! My boy! My house!” Only when some of the dust settled, could I see what happened.
Poking out of what was left of my poor roof, the torn stem of a huge green-bean pod. That damn vegetable done ripped through the thatchin’, an’ the rafters, an’ Jackie’s upstairs bedroom—only comin’ to a stop when it reached the kitchen table. Somehow, my boy must have broken it off when he was aclimbin’ through them giant vines. 
When he climbed down, a while later, he just stared at our wrecked house. He told me he was disappointed because the old tramp had lied to him, exaggeratin’ the beans’ magic. He said he’d walked all around, lookin’ everwhere, but never saw him no giants, no gold, or nothin’. 
Just clouds. 
I was bawlin’ my eyes out—from grief an’ relief—but he tried his damnedest to comfort me. He told me that we had nothing to worry about.
For once in his life, the boy was right about somethin’. His sweet good nature, an’ all that pointless jabberin’ he’d done over the years, made him the darlin’ of all of our neighbors. When they learnt of our misfortune, they all come a-runnin’. Dozens of ‘em showed up with tools and such, everthing they’d need to fix our caved-in roof. 
Not only that, they built us a small barn, and a real—fox-proof—chicken coop. They even left us some livestock—a young heifer, and some chickens and ducks—to get us restarted. 
So far, none of them hens has laid a golden egg. Not a one.
You know how—when folks pitch in, like that—they expects to be fed, right? By a stroke a’ luck, I was able to be their good neighbor, too. While Jackie told ‘em all stories about the things he seen—and didn’t see—up in the sky, I served everyone from platters heaped high with thick slabs that I hacked from a Boston Baked Bean.


______________

You Don't Kmow Beansone of the stories in a new book of collected, and re-imagined, fables—is protected by copyright, and is provided for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author’s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.


Copyright ©2020 by Gary Allen.


Food Sites for August 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Sweet Basil, the perfume of summer.

Eating, in the hot months, is all about freshness, using cooking methods that won’t heat up the house, but burst with flavors that never need the slow cajoling of a wintery braise. Give us something quickly grilled, served with a sun-soaked side dish—like a Caprese salad—and something tall and cold and sparkling to keep us company us on a shady porch or patio.

The Corona virus has forced some odd changes on most of us. Unless you happen to be a writer—in which case it’s possible that you haven’t noticed anything happening at all. Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper (or white window on a computer screen) is pretty much the same, everywhere, no matter what’s bedeviling all those non-writers in the outside world. Penwipe Publishing has been on vacation this month, which is just as well because we are plugging away at yet another book (or two), and had nothing ready for release into the wild.

On the off-chance that you get a chance to go on a roadtrip this summer, we’ve added a few more podcasts, to keep you company.

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook (where, among other things, we post a LOT of photographs), and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner. There’s even an Amazon author’s page, mostly about our food writing.

A few thoughts about the apotheosis of summer, from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes/What would life be like without homegrown tomatoes/Only two things that money can’t buy/That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes. Guy Clark
It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. Lewis Grizzard
A number of rare or newly experienced foods have been claimed to be aphrodisiacs. At one time this quality was even ascribed to the tomato. Reflect on that when you are next preparing the family salad. Jane Grigson
 Gary
August, 2020

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites we’ve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those who have pointed out corrections or tasty sites (this month we’re tipping our hat to Cara DeSilva), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if you’ve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or don’t wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. We’re happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and we’ll see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


— the new sites —

(Adam Levy’s blogposts on “all things bibulous—wine, beer, spirits and cocktails, along with travel tips, book reviews, bar reviews, [and] recipes”)

(Sarah Wells’ article, at Inverse, about the future of nanotechnology in farming)

(Karen Chernick’s GastroObscura article about Sophia Massarella’s efforts to photographically document the traditional citrus growers of Italy)

(Murray Carpenter brews a pot of yaupon for NPR’s Morning Edition)

(Adam Levy’s blogposts on “all things cheese—type, pairing, history, trends, ...travel tips, book reviews, [and] recipes”)

(modern-traditional Native American cooking and archaeology in Kentucky; Eric J. Wallace’s Atlas Obscura article)

(Jess Eng’s article at GastroObscura; you may not be able to walk like an Egyptian, but...)

(Nishant Batsha’s article, in Contingent Magazine, on the history of spice mixtures in Indian cuisine: “the history of curry before Columbus is a history of spice”, with an emphasis on asafetida)

(Aaron Goldfarb provides the definitions at VinePair)

(notes from an exhibition that was held at The Folger Library)

(Ohio’s answer to Pennsylvania’s scrapple, substituting oat meal for corn meal)

(Gerard Paul’s article at Many Eats)

(mostly Chinese restaurant menus from US and Canada, archived at Vancouver Island University)

(Sylvia Lovegren’s smoke-ringed article in American Heritage)

(Jeff Koehler writes about the last place on earth where Coffea arabica grows wild for GastroObscura)

(peer reviewed articles on all aspects of food science and technology)

(a PDF of Andrew Dalby’s 2010 book)

(PDF of Steven Shapin’s essay on how, historically, we have described wine; in Nicola Perullo‘s Wineworld: New Essays on Wine, Taste, Philosophy and Aesthetics)

(Thomas Guindeuil’s article in Annales d’Éthiopie; in English, book in French)

(Nawal Nasrallah’s account in Rawi magazine)

(Part 1, “What We Ate,” of Zev Robinson’s Vimeo documentary)


— inspirational (or otherwise useful) sites for writers/bloggers —
















— another blog —



— podcasts —






— changed URLs —



— that’s all for now —

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

As an Amazon Associate, this newsletter earns from qualifying purchases made through it. These include my own books (listed below), and occasional books mentioned in the entries above. If you order any books via those links, the price you pay is not increased by my commission. 

Occasionally, URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs for our books:

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Hardcover)
(Paper)
(Kindle)
(newsletters like this merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book)

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)
(Kindle)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sauces Reconsidered: Après Escoffier

Terms of Vegery
(Kindle)

How to Serve Man:
On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)

How to Write a Great Book
(Kindle)

The Digressions of Dr Sanscravat: Gastronomical Ramblings & Other Diversions
(Kindle)

Ephemera: a short collection of short stories
(Kindle)

Prophet Amidst Losses
(Kindle)

Cenotaphs
(Kindle)

Future Tense: Remembrance of Things Not Yet Past
(Kindle)

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #238 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author’s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.


Food Sites for July 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

It's the berries.

We’ve gone through another month of anti-viral isolation: nothing but reading, writing, cooking, drinking, and taking in the ever-changing view of the garden; perhaps pulling the errant weed. Which is to say, no different from what our life was like before the pandemic.

However, Corona (the novel virus) has caused some unexpected symptoms to manifest themselves in the Hudson Valley. Against all odds (and, some might argue, common sense), it has caused Penwipe Publishing to infect an unsuspecting public with yet another of our Kindle Books. 




Future Tense: Remembrance of Things Not Yet Past is a non-food book—and a novel to boot. It asks the question: “What would it be like to suddenly have clear memories of things that don't happen 'til decades later?” A small group of hippies—at an upstate New York bar, in 1968—find themselves in that very situation. What follows is a before-and-after story, in which its never quite clear which is which. Confusion, wild speculation, enlightenment, and lust abound—so, pretty much just like the sixties.

BTW, we’re continuing to include podcasts, at least as long as pandemic and political chaos occupy the news. So, maybe forever.

You can, if you wish, follow us on Facebook (where, among other things, we post a LOT of photographs), and Twitter. Still more of our online scribbles can be found at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner. There’s even an Amazon author’s page, mostly about our food writing.

Some berry sweet remarks from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did. Dr. William Butler (and quoted in Izaac Walton’s Compleat Angler)
A man in the wilderness asked me, “How many strawberries grow in the sea?” I answered him, as I thought good, “As many as red herrings grow in the wood.” Mother Goose
The strawberry grows underneath the nettle;/And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best/Neighbour’d by fruit of baser quality. Shakespeare; King Henry V. Act I. Scene 1
We respond to strawberry fields or cherry orchards with a delight that a cabbage patch or even an elegant vegetable garden cannot provoke. Jane Grigson
You have to ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste. Goethe
Gary
July, 2020

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs—or know of wonderful sites we’ve missed—please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those who have pointed out corrections or tasty sites (this month we’re tipping our hat to Cynthia Bertelsen), thanks, and keep them coming!

PPS: If you wish to change the e-mail address at which you receive these newsletters, or otherwise modify the way you receive our postings or—if you’ve received this newsletter by mistake, and/or don’t wish to receive future issues—you have our sincere apology and can have your e-mail address deleted from the list immediately. We’re happy (and continuously amazed) that so few people have decided to leave the list but, should you choose to be one of them, let us know and we’ll see that your in-box is never afflicted by these updates again. You’ll find links at the bottom of this page to fix everything to your liking.


— the new sites —

(Leslie Pariseau’s history of the way wine has been treated in The New York Times’ restaurant reviews; for Punch)

(Niki Achitoff-Gray describes 23 different types—from aebleskiver to okonomiyaki—at Serious Eats)

(Laura Hampson’s introduction to London’s wild foods; in the Evening Standard)

(Michael Y. Park’s survey, at Bon Appétit)

(Natasha Frost’s Gastro Obscura article on how one aspect of restaurant culture was shaped by larger cultural shifts)

(PDF of Andy Smith’s 2006 book)

(MIT Technology Review’s analysis of various ways to understand why certain flavor combinations work well together)

(J. Hoberman’s Bookforum review of Ben Katchor’s book, The Dairy Restaurant; remembering the eateries of a mostly bygone era)

(a single-serve cup of food history from Priya Krishna, at Vox)

(3,000 years of Chinese gastronomy; a paper by Calisi Boudicca)

(a seven-millennial trip from Peru to the microwave; Michelle Delgado’s article at Serious Eats)

(Richard Collett’s GastroObscura article)

(Ali Pattillo’ Inverse interview with Archer-Daniels-Midland food scientist, Marie Wright, on why we gravitate to familiar flavors)

(transcribed database of the Amerine wine label collection at University of California at Davis)

(Jan Whitaker, on the mobile history of stand-up street food, from lunch wagons to food trucks; at her blog, Restaurant-ing Through History)

(Tim Chin’s article at Serious Eats)

(Michael Pollan’s article in The New York Review of Books; the infection is not biological, it’s political)

(Peter Atkins paper in 2013’s The Handbook of Food Research)

(Matthew Wills’ short history of chile peppers, at JSTORDaily)

(research in viticulture, enology, wine biotechnology, plant biotechnology, microbiology, plant pathology, entomology and soil science)

(Matthew Taub’s GastroObscura article about a 1536 treatise written by Vincent Obsopoeus in Bavaria)

(the science; from Wine Folly)


— inspirational (or otherwise useful) sites for writers/bloggers —










— podcasts —










— that’s all for now —

Except, of course, for the usual legalistic mumbo-jumbo and commercial flim-flam:

As an Amazon Associate, this newsletter earns from qualifying purchases made through it. These include my own books (listed below), and occasional books mentioned in the entries above. If you order any books via those links, the price you pay is not increased by our commission. 

Occasionally, URLs we provide may link to commercial sites (that is, they’ll cost you money to take full advantage of them). We do not receive any compensation for listing them here, and provide them without any form of recommendation—other than the fact that they looked interesting to us.

Your privacy is important to us. We will not give, sell or share your e-mail address with anyone, for any purpose—ever. Nonetheless, we will expose you to the following irredeemably brazen plugs for our books:

The Resource Guide for Food Writers
(Hardcover)
(Paper)
(Kindle)
(newsletters like this merely update the contents of the book; what doesn’t appear here is already in the book)

The Herbalist in the Kitchen
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Human Cuisine
(Paper)
(Kindle)

Herbs: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sausage: A Global History
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods
(Hardcover)
(Kindle)

Sauces Reconsidered: Après Escoffier

Terms of Vegery
(Kindle)

How to Serve Man:
On Cannibalism, Sex, Sacrifice, & the Nature of Eating
(Kindle)

How to Write a Great Book
(Kindle)

The Digressions of Dr Sanscravat: Gastronomical Ramblings & Other Diversions
(Kindle)

Ephemera: a short collection of short stories
(Kindle)

Prophet Amidst Losses
(Kindle)

Cenotaphs
(Kindle)

Future Tense: Remembrance of Things Not Yet Past
(Kindle)

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #237 is protected by copyright, and is provided at no cost, for your personal use only. It may not be copied or retransmitted unless this notice remains affixed. Any other form of republication—unless with the author’s prior written permission—is strictly prohibited.

Copyright ©2020 by Gary Allen.

The Libro-Emporium

Doorstops and lavatory entertainments abound in our book store.