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Food Sites for October 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014



Ain’t no frost on these punkins yet, but it’s just a little ways off. Some are destined for jacks o’lanterns, some to be smashed in the street, but around here they’ll find their way into pie shells, bread pans, and – a personal favorite – ravioli (with brown butter, crisp-fried sage leaves, toasted pecans, and crumbled gorgonzola). Winter’s coming, we shouldn’t be overly concerned about calories, right?

Regular subscribers to our updates newsletter receive these updates from our blog, Just Served,  directly -- but there is much more at the blog that isn’t delivered automatically.

If you are so inclined, you can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. Not all of the blather we post there is about food, but there’s usually enough to provoke literary dyspepsia. Knock back some omeprazole before visiting the links to all of our online scribbles posted at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

We’re all supposed to consume things that are in season, hence these excerpts from On the Table’s culinary quote collection (no guarantees that they’re locally grown):

My favorite word is “pumpkin.” You can’t take it seriously. But you can't ignore it, either. It takes ahold of your head and that’s it. You are a pumpkin. Or you are not. I am. Harrison Salisbury
What calls back the past like the rich pumpkin pie? John Greenleaf Whittier
Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. Jim Davis (Garfield)
Gary
October, 2014

PS: If you encounter broken links, changed URLs -- or know of wonderful sites we’ve missed (as does Cara DeSilva, who is always finding great sites) -- please drop us a line. It helps to keep this resource as useful as possible for all of us. To those of you who have suggested sites -- 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 ----

(article about Nawal Nasrallah’s translation of Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq’s Kitab al-tabikh)

(the simple, elegant – and commonly- accepted – theory doesn’t stand up to scrutiny)

(Yunfei Zheng, Gary W. Crawford, and Xugao Chen, on development of peach varieties, ten thousand years ago; in PLoS ONE)

(Jaime Jurado’s article in The BREWER International)

(an archive of Janet Fletcher’s columns in The San Francisco Chronicle)

(a large archive of posts by Cynthia D. Bertelsen)

(reproductions of vintage menu art, signage, and ephemera, and guide to other collections)

(“Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen”)

(Paula Wolfert’s article in the Los Angeles Times)

(“A peer-reviewed e-journal published by McGill Library,” in English and French)

(“But…” Rachel Laudan asks in the Los Angeles Times, “…what would an ‘authentic’ cookbook really look like?”)

(these culinary terms are neither quite German nor quite Russian, which makes sense since they’re from “two German colonies located near the Volga river”)

(a group of scholars working to improving free online access to historical archives of recipes)

(online food magazine from CNN)

(“Worcester’s American Antiquarian Society puts historic recipes [hand-written pages] online”)

(something like an annotated index of interesting food writing, with samples and links to complete texts)

(article about food photographer Tonelli, in Digital Camera Magazine)

(video reviews of international cookbooks)

(not Ray Charles’ Georgia, but the spice section alone will keep this Georgia on my mind)

(Rachel Laudan on what to do and what not to do, the whys and hows, and supporting resources)

(illustrated explanation of ingredients; from Saveur)

(2.6 million copyright-free illustrations, from 500 years of publishing)

(sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton on why a healthy home-cooked meal is not always an option)

(Maxim Edwards on Armenian coffee traditions, heavily-infused with history and politics)

(Nicholas Gill’s article, about Renzo Garibaldi, that will have you thinking a lot about aged meats)

(searchable directory of holdings in the USDA’s National Agricultural Library)

(e-zine about regional foods of the world)

(Kevin Cox, on pastas made from wheat, rice, and other starches – such as beans, sweet potatoes, and yams)

(Niki Achitoff-Gray on the science, properties, and preparation of many grains, even those that are not grasses – such as amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa)

(recipes that pair well with wine)

(Andrea Stone tells, in National Geographic, why “ancient grains and ‘orphan crops’ like fonio and amaranth have advantages for farmers and consumers”)


---- inspirational (or otherwise useful) site for writers/bloggers ----



---- yet more blogs ----








---- changed URLs ----

Culinary Historians of Canada
(formerly Culinary Historians of Ontario)




---- that’s all for now ----

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

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:

Want to support On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon. Com, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there (it doesn’t even have to be one of our books) will earn a commission for this newsletter.

The Resource Guide for Food Writers 

The Herbalist in the Kitchen 

The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food And Drink Industries 

Human Cuisine 

Herbs: A Global History 

Terms of Vegery 

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

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

“The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #168” 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 (c) 2014 by Gary Allen.





food sites for September 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014


“A Colonel of Corn,” from Terms of Vegery



With September, harvest kicks into high gear, the nights grow cooler, and we begin to feel more like cooking and -- as the old timers said -- “putting food by.” This summer has been frantic, busier (and stranger) than any in our memory. Frankly, we’ll be happy to return to a slower life, with slower food, and maybe a few more calories than we’ve allowed ourselves. As Leslie Newman said, As the days grow short, some faces grow long. But not mine. Every autumn, when the wind turns cold and darkness comes early, I am suddenly happy. It's time to start making soup again. 

Regular subscribers to our updates newsletter receive these updates from our blog, Just Served, directly -- but there is much more at the blog that isn’t delivered automatically.

While you’re waiting for the happy little popping sounds that indicate that your home-canned foods might not actually give you a mid-winter case of botulism, you can follow us on Facebook, and Twitter. Still more links to our online scribbles are posted at A Quiet Little Table in the Corner.

Not corn, this time -- but another member of the Poaceae tribe -- in this month’s excerpts from On the Table’s culinary quote collection:

Rice is a beautiful food. It is beautiful when it grows, precision rows of sparkling green stalks shooting up to reach the hot summer sun. It is beautiful when harvested, autumn gold sheaves piled on diked, patchwork paddies. It is beautiful when, once threshed, it enters granary bins like a (flood) of tiny seed-pearls. It is beautiful when cooked by a practiced hand, pure white and sweetly fragrant. Shizuo Tsuji
Rice is born in water and must die in wine. Italian Proverb 
Eating rice cakes is like chewing on a foam coffee cup, only less filling. Dave Barry 

Gary
September, 2014



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 of you who have suggested sites -- 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 ----

(four journalists “dig up the roots of American food”)

(database of archived materials, worldwide – a search, using keyword “food,” found over 29 thousand archives)

(article by Jaime Jurado)

(“…website for all things associated with the Historic [Tudor] Cookery Team at Hampton Court Palace”)

(Adam Gopnik on the nature of food writing, in The New Yorker)

(NPR story about a course being offered at Washington DC’s American University)

(a taste of luxury from the time of George II)

(article by Eric LeMay, in Alimentum)

(an aggregator of interesting food articles from around the world)

(spoiler alert: the pots are older than agriculture)

(Michael Ruhlman’s blog post on the subject)

(article does not specify if a dry rub was used, nor what style of sauce was served)

(“Feminist Food & Culture Quarterly… that aims to disrupt the canon of mainstream food and cooking magazines”)

(article by Tamasin Day-Lewis in Saveur)


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








---- yet another blog ----

Cooking the Books (not the same as the forum above)


---- that’s all for now ----

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

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:

Want to support On the Table, without spending a dime of your own money on it?

It’s easy. Whenever you want to shop on Amazon. Com, click on any of the book links below, then whatever you buy there (it needn’t even be one of our books) will earn a commission for this newsletter.

The Resource Guide for Food Writers (Paper) (Kindle)

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)

Terms of Vegery (Kindle)

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

Here endeth the sales pitch(es)...

...for the moment, anyway.

______________

“The Resource Guide for Food Writers, Update #167” 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 (c) 2014 by Gary Allen.





REMEMBRANCE OF PETS PAST

Friday, August 1, 2014


Yesterday, I said goodbye to Smokey, the cat who spent the last thirteen years of her alloted span of twenty with us. It's been a long time since I've had to go through the experience--but, today, I recalled that I had written about it, ages ago. 

It's not for the squeamish.
________________

It is no easy thing, living the life of a literary cliché, but there’s no avoiding the fact that I am a writer who lives with cats. I have always lived with cats. There is little doubt that I shall continue to live with cats. Individual cats are inextricably tangled in all the threads of my experience. 
I have measured out my life, not in coffee-spoons--as did Eliot’s Prufrock--but in deceased cats.
My first cat, Frosty, died of classic altered-male-cat-urinary-problems. He was an ugly, mean-spirited gutter cat who spent his last miserable days soaking all the rugs and furniture with his dribbling excreta. Thus, he guaranteed that we would remember him--not so fondly--whenever the weather turned dampish, for years afterwards.
My mother vowed never to get another cat. 
A week or two later, our next-door neighbor handed her a little gray female kitten. Twinkie (short for Twinkle Toes) was--fortunately--everything Frosty was not. She was charming, loyal, companionable--walking me to the school bus-stop in the morning, waiting for me in the afternoon. She would even follow me fishing--‘though it meant negotiating a half-mile of swamp, hopping from dry spot, to rotten log, to weedy tussock, to floating board to be with me. 
When she was hit by a car, in front of our house, I was convinced that my knowledge of science was enough to prevent her demise. I explained to my father that she was merely wounded. I was eleven or twelve, and full of confidence in the invincibility of knowledge--but she was furry and dead.
I cried for six or seven hours, partly for her loss, partly for mine. We buried her in the backyard.
In college, I continued co-habiting with cats. One lovely--but dim-witted--tortoiseshell, was named George C. Scott because she always wore what appeared to be an oddly knowing sneer or twist of her upper lip. Her sister was Peggy Sue, a smart and sexy calico. They shared my house with a sweet motherly tabby named Jane Goodall--the first of several “Jane cats.” After a summer spent on a commune in New Mexico, in 1969, I arrived home to find a feverish George sitting in the kitchen sink with cold water dripping on her head. She died of distemper at the vet’s a couple of hours later. 
Some years, and many cats later, I was given a huge, peach-colored, altered male named Cicero--as soft and floppy and comfortable as a well-loved toy. One day, he didn’t come home. A stranger came to the door to tell us he had been hit by a car. He was in bad shape, but alive, at the vet’s office. We went to see him immediately. His head had been crushed and he looked like he should be “put to sleep.” My girlfriend couldn’t even look at him. 
I stayed to comfort him, petting whatever parts did not seem too bloodied, and he seemed to respond. Day after day, I went back, and each day he got a little stronger. When we took him home, he could barely walk. The only way he could get around the apartment was to lean against the wall, and shuffle along edge, circling the entire room to reach the opposite end of the threshold from which he started. We nursed him back to near-health, and he was as grateful as a cat can be. 
One day, as I was leaving the house, for something that seemed important at the time, I spotted him between two parked cars across the street. When he saw me, his eyes lit up with joy. I yelled for him to stop, but he ran towards me, across two unbroken lanes of traffic.
He was hit two, maybe three, times, his body twisting and lurching involuntarily on the double yellow line. I grabbed him from the moving lines of cars, trying to hold his thrashing body close to me.
I have seen his terrible, trusting, blissed-out face, across the road, thousands of times since then. 
Still more years, and more cats, passed through my life. I had four cats: two city cats who moved to the country (Alice and Electra) and two country cats (Sebastian and Jane). The city cats were wimpy non-entities but the country cats were wonderful. Sebastian, huge and black, as gentle and kind as Cicero. Jane, another tortoiseshell, was sweet, soft, with golden eyes. Jane, one hard winter, drank some water that contained Drano or antifreeze (we’d had terrible plumbing problems that year) and developed a wheezing cough. I was about to drive to Florida to visit my parents, so I dropped her off at the vet. I made him promise to call us about her condition.
He never called. 
A couple of days after Christmas, I called him. He told me he “did what he could but... .” He asked what I wanted done with the body. Very calmly, I told him to keep it ‘til we got back and I would take care of it.
After returning to my cabin in the Catskills, I chopped a Jane-sized hole in the frozen soil, then drove to the vet’s office. When I arrived, the receptionist seemed uncomfortable, and tried to avoid making eye-contact. She called for the vet to come out to the waiting room. 
He explained that there had been a mistake, that Jane had been hauled off for disposal at some anonymous pet disposal center. He apologized profusely, and handed me his bill. I paid it and left. A half mile down the road, I had to pull over because I couldn’t drive through the tears.
When I got home, I buried my soggy hankerchief in the grave I had dug for Jane.


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