Archive for the 'Food & Drink' Category

Eight Ways People Can Help the Chef on Thanksgiving

November 15th, 2006

As Thanksgiving draws ever closer, I’d like to offer another list excerpted from Take Control of Thanksgiving Dinner. You know the old saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. As long as you have just one willing assistant and my book, you’ve got all the help you need to prepare a complete Thanksgiving meal, […]

Five Things You Can Ask Guests to Bring on Thanksgiving

November 13th, 2006

You’ve carefully planned a full Thanksgiving menu, bought your ingredients, and arranged a lovely feast—and then, inevitably, someone asks, “What can I bring?” You have everything under control, but you also don’t want to turn away help or hurt anyone’s feelings. What do you say? Here are a few suggestions, excerpted from my book Take […]

23 Food-Related “World’s Largest” Structures

November 1st, 2006

When I was a kid, I remember passing through the town of Vegreville, Alberta on a family trip and seeing the giant “Pysanka” that is the town’s claim to fame. I found this enormous replica of the highly decorated eggs that are a Ukrainian Easter tradition impressive not only for its size, but also for […]

57 Things You Can Get by Monthly Subscription

October 30th, 2006

You’ve heard of the Book-of-the-Month Club, no doubt, a handy way for bibliophiles to feed their obsession without leaving the house. I’ve personally been a member of a fruit-of-the-month club and a chocolate-of-the-month club too. But the range of items you can receive by mail, once a month by subscription, is truly staggering. This list […]

13 Online Sources for Fair Trade Products

October 24th, 2006

October is Fair Trade Month, a time to raise awareness about the benefits of buying Fair Trade products such as coffee, tea, and chocolate, among others. The Fair Trade movement is based on the principle that farmers and small producers around the world should receive equitable pay for their work. As part of this effort, […]

16 Anise-Flavored Liquors

October 20th, 2006

Anise is a common flavoring for everything from soup to cookies, and is popular in many parts of the world. One of the most prominent uses of anise is its inclusion in various liqueurs (sweetened spirits distilled with natural ingredients such as fruits and herbs) and unsweetened liquors such as absinthe, arak, and raki. Although […]

Four Web Sites For People Who Dislike Salsa Ingredients

October 19th, 2006

Although I haven’t been able to find a Web site for people who dislike hot peppers, I think it’s pretty interesting that there are groups of people organized around their dislike of the other main ingredients of salsa. If you are among their number, here are the Web sites for you. Tomatoes: Cilantro: […]

11 Unique Pumpkin Carving Ideas

October 16th, 2006

Halloween is just around the corner, and for those of you already making plans to carve a jack-o-lantern, I’ve got some suggestions for you. Sure, you could make a traditionally spooky pumpkin, or you could create a pumpkin that expresses your political views, your love of George Lucas films, or your weakness for southern-born country […]

28 creative uses for lemons

September 27th, 2006

When we first toured our current apartment, one of the delightful things we discovered is that it had a lemon tree in the backyard. Once we moved in, we tried to think of all the things we could make with lemons, and we found quite a few, including sugary lemon bars, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, lemon […]

Six Intriguing Uses for Peanuts

September 5th, 2006

In the last few decades there has been a sharp increase in the number of people who are allergic to peanuts. According to an article in the June 24, 2006 issue of New Scientist, “Allergenic foods are often things a population eats a lot of,” and “Today, the average American eats 3 kilograms of peanut […]

Nine types of Swiss cheese

August 30th, 2006

When North Americans use the term “Swiss Cheese,” what they are most often referring to is a pale yellow cheese with many large holes throughout. This is a type of Swiss cheese, but it has a specific name, Emmentaler. It’s ironic that one type of cheese should come to represent “Swiss Cheese” since it’s been […]

Seven ways to hard-boil eggs

August 29th, 2006

For some reason, the seemingly simple task of hard-boiling an egg appears to be very confusing, and numerous techniques have sprung up to demystify it. Of course, you’re looking for a yolk that’s firm but not dry (or green!), a shell that remains intact during boiling, and, preferably, an egg that’s easy to peel. What […]

12 ways to make a dry martini

August 28th, 2006

Ah, the martini. This simple and elegant pairing of gin and dry vermouth is always classy, but impossible to get right, because everyone has a different idea of the proper way to make one. There’s the whole shaken-or-stirred issue, of course, and the question of whether a martini made with vodka instead of gin is […]

39 flat bread variations from around the world

August 25th, 2006

I have a great fondness for many different kinds of cuisine; one day I may be in the mood for Indian food and the next day for the spicy dishes of Ethiopia. I think of these cuisines as very distinct from each other, but in one major way they are similar: both feature a type […]

Ingredients in Chinese Five Spice

August 16th, 2006

One day I glanced at the ingredients on a bottle of Chinese Five Spice in my spice rack and was confused to see that it contained not five, but six spices. When I tried to figure out which was the rogue sixth spice, I ran into some trouble, because in fact there are several different […]

Six rules for buying and eating bagels

August 14th, 2006

As I described in Rise of the Bagel at Interesting Thing of the Day, I’m a big bagel fan from way back, but I can’t get over the way some people insist on treating a bagel like a piece of bread or a dinner roll. It’s a wonderful, unique food with a distinctively crunchewy texture, […]

Six drinks invented in San Francisco

August 8th, 2006

Quick, name something that was invented in San Francisco! You probably thought of Rice-a-Roni, and you’d be right. You’d also be right if you said the television, fortune cookies, the slot machine, bay windows, or any of these famous beverages: The Martini (maybe) The Cosmopolitan (probably) Irish Coffee (sort of) The Mai Tai The Mimosa […]

Seven foods made using microbes

August 1st, 2006

Years ago I took a microbiology class to fulfill the requirements for a degree. It was specifically designed for students like me, arts majors who needed those crucial science credits. As such, it stayed away from “serious” biology and focused more on the societal impact of microbiology. From infectious diseases to the misuse of antibiotics […]