Saturday, April 18, 2009

Just recipes, part 2: 2008

Yesterday, I started doing a recap of the recipes I'd included in my blog since I started it in October. I ran out of time after going back through 2009. Here are the recipes from 2008. 

Tomato Aspic (with John Kater's easy version in the comments)

And the ever-popular do-ahead Thanksgiving recipes can be found by clicking here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just recipes, 2009

I realized this morning that I've been at this blog for six months now. So I thought it might be nice to list the recipes I've published here, with a link to the posts that contained them. This is a list from 2009; I'll list those from 2008 tomorrow.

Hope this provides a little inspiration for the weekend. I'll be at the Charlottesville City Market tomorrow morning, seeing what's available for the Earth Day dinner at St. Paul's at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22.

I also had all the recipes from President Barack Obama's inaugural luncheon on my posting for Jan. 21.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A White House seder

This is the first year in many we haven't had a Seder. But the White House did. Here's a photo from it. They used the Maxwell House haggadah (which I almost picked up at the grocery story, but they wanted you to actually BUY some Maxwell House coffee).

A White House spokesperson said that on Passover during last year's primary campaign, Obama along with some Jewish and non-Jewish staffers held an impromptu Seder in Harrisburg, Pa., and everyone who attended that Seder was invited to this year's White House edition.

In addition to the first family, the guest list includes close friend and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Obama friend Eric Whitaker, White House associate counsel Susan Sher (who does liaison work with the Jewish community) and her family, White House videographer Arun Chaudary and Obama personal aide Reggie Love. Also on the list are White House staffers Eric Lesser, Herbie Ziskend, and Lisa Kohnke, and three staffers for the first lady: Melissa Winter, Dana Lewis and Sam Tubman.

The spokesperson said the food was "kosher-style," with the White House kitchen staff preparing the food. Guests brought additional dishes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Avast, ye maties! Beware of N. Africa seafood

The Somalian pirate saga has finally made it into the prime-time news, but the line between the good guys and bad guys may not be so clear. The Independent newspaper of London last January had a commentary by Johann Hari that noted some of the pirates are in the business of blocking polluters off their coast. If things are as bad as the UN envoy paints it, no one should be eating the seafood fished out of North African waters. If you don't know where it came from, don't eat it.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."
And many thanks to John Trotter for posting the commentary to Facebook - bet he didn't think it'd be used in a food blog!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A tax so sweet

Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.
— Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

Kelly D. Brownell, Ph.D., writing in the New England Journal of Medicine last week, is proposing we tax soft drinks and snacks containing sugar and high fructose corn syrup to lower obesity and raise revenue. Why we are loathe to take that step when we have controlled alcohol and tobacco consumption in that way for years doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

My Mini-Med School class last week was full of information on the role of glucose in the body and how dangerous it can be when it spins out of control. If we have an epidemic, and many health professionals point out that obesity and diabetes have gotten to that point in the United States, we need to something about it. Taxing sugar more may be a first step.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hot cross buns - an Easter tradition

If you're anywhere near an Episcopal church today, go to the reception in the parish hall after the service. You'll probably be offered a hot-cross bun. I've found the ones in the grocery stores to be on the dry side and not very interesting, but you'll find a recipe for making your own, plus a little lore on how they became associated with Easter, here.