Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The fact that my partner is from the St. Louis area means I have been introduced to local treats like St. Louis ribs and gooey butter cake, which is even better tasting than it sounds :-) We were there most of last week and had both. The barbecue was from Lil' Mickey's in St. Peters, and I can say it's correctly rated among "the best ribs in St. Louis." The sauce is AMAZING - great balance of sweet, tangy and spicy. I actually liked the chicken better than the ribs, but both were good. (The pulled pork was good too.)
St. Louis is also home to an oddly named ice cream dessert called "concrete," but I haven't sampled that yet. It's a frozen custard "blended so thick that it and its spoon do not fall out when the cup is turned upside-down."
Of course, when I first moved to central Pennsylvania in 1996, I remember thinking that "potato filling" sounded funny.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
"3. Go organic: Choose organic foods whenever possible, but remember it's always better to eat broccoli that's been exposed to pesticide than to not eat broccoli at all (the same applies to any other anticancer vegetable)."
Worth noting that curry powder usually contains some turmeric.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In January, a new state inspection found more problems -- ironically on the same day two House committees held a joint hearing partly about the previous month's cafeteria discoveries.
The good news is that this may provide some momentum for getting a food safety bill passed. The sponsor, Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Luzerne, told the Harrisburg Patriot-News the bill (H.B. 174) would improve the restaurant inspection process and resolve jurisdictional issues that led to the four-year lapse between inspections of the Capitol cafeteria.
Carroll told the Scranton newspaper the cafeteria's problems could have been avoided if his bill was already law: "My bill links together the inspections with the license renewal and posts the results on the Internet."
As the Chambersburg newspaper reports, under current law, many cities and towns do their own local restaurant inspections instead of having the state do it, but those local governments aren't required to post the reports on the Internet. Some do; others don't. Under Carroll's bill, those reports would have to be forwarded to the state, which would post them online.
The Democratic-majority House passed the bill last June, sending it to the Republican-majority Senate, where it has remained in committee. (Full disclosure: I work for the House Democrats, although I am only expressing MY OWN opinions on this blog. But if you think I'm being partisan, please read to the end of this blog post - you may change your mind. :-)
The Scranton newspaper also reported that "Carroll first introduced the bill several years ago. The House approved it last session (2007-08) but it died in the Senate Appropriations Committee."
The Jan. 26 Philadelphia Inquirer relayed this quote: "It's not stalled," said Kristin Crawford, executive director of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. "We've been reviewing the bill."
Maybe so, but June to February - that's eight months. If you live in Pennsylvania and want to urge your state senator to support House Bill 174, you can find his or her contact info at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/. (If you don't know who your state senator is, you can find out by entering your zip code at the top right of that page.)
You can find the names of the Senate committee members and their contact information here.
The state Senate did recently pass what appears to be its own piece of common-sense food-safety legislation, in response to another incident that has made news in Pennsylvania -- here's a summary from the Jan. 26 Patriot-News:
"Last spring, one of the department’s inspectors laid down the law to the ladies of St. Cecilia’s at a Lenten fish fry. After spotting the women in the kitchen at the Beaver County Catholic church cutting slices of their homemade pies to sell, the state food safety inspector doing the annual inspection ordered them to cease and desist. He warned them that they were about to commit an illegal act — selling baked goods to the public made in an unlicensed kitchen."
This week, the Senate passed a bill 49-0 to address this. As the Patriot-News describes it, the bill would "allow nonprofit groups, including church groups, Boy Scouts and youth sports teams, to sell homemade baked goods, provided they put the consumer on notice that the food was made in an unlicensed, uninspected kitchen."
That bill (S.B. 828) sounds reasonable enough to me, although the devil is in the details sometimes.
Bottom line: Both of these bills sound like common sense, and it seems like the people of Pennsylvania would be better off if both were to become law.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
This post from the author's website contains some basic cost-conscious advice.
(By the way, I've read several books that advise eating more vegetables and fiber, and I don't remember any of them mentioning Beano, which does wonders in reducing or eliminating the flatulence that results from eating those things. I haven't received any coupons from Beano as a result of posting this, and don't expect to. The stuff works. Not on absolutely everything, every time, but since I live with the Human Bloodhound, aka the Super-Smeller, Beano is very useful. :-) (Yes, I borrowed the nickname "Super-Smeller" from "Psych.")
Back to Anticancer -- here's a short description of the book from the author's website:
"When David Servan-Schreiber, a dedicated scientist and doctor, was diagnosed with brain cancer, his life changed. Confronting what medicine knows about the illness and the little-known workings of his body’s natural cancer-fighting capabilities, and marshaling his own will to live, Servan-Schreiber found himself on a fifteen-year journey from disease and relapse into scientific exploration and, finally, to health. Combining memoir, concise explanation of what makes cancer cells thrive and what inhibits them, and drawing on both conventional and alternative ways to slow and prevent cancer, Anticancer is revolutionary."
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
"People like the names of mothers, grandmothers and other relatives on their menus, and research shows they are much more likely to buy, say, Grandma’s zucchini cookies, burgers freshly ground at Uncle Sol’s butcher shop this morning and Aunt Phyllis’s famous wedge salad. ...
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
In addition to skipping the blueberries, I'm also not using buttermilk in the pancake batter. We don't keep buttermilk on hand, since it's unlikely we would use a whole container before it would go bad. So I tried a tip I found several places online -- adding "a tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup of milk and letting it sit for about five minutes." Apparently the key thing with the buttermilk is that the acid in it reacts with the baking soda to make the pancakes fluffy. Several websites also say you can use vinegar instead of the lemon juice.
(photo credit: New York Times)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The people who told us about sun block were the same people who told us, when I was a kid, that eggs were good. So I ate a lot of eggs. 10 years later they said they were bad. I went, 'Well, I just ate the eggs!' So I stopped eating eggs, and 10 years later they said they were good again! Well, then I ate twice as many, and then they said they were bad. Well, now I'm really screwed! Then they said they're good, they're bad, they're good, the whites are good, t-the yellows - MAKE UP YOUR MIND! It's breakfast! I gotta eat!