Tagged with “food” (34)

  1. Celebrating Passover and Easter

    Whether the last supper was a Passover Seder I do not know. I do know that the rituals of the Passover dinner have been in place for thousands of years, although always open to evolution. And yet, there don’t seem to be any universal elements about Easter celebratory foods. The episode looks at these two contrasting aspects of ritual food.

    First, Susan Weingarten talks about an essential item on the Passover table that is not mentioned in God’s original instructions for the last supper of the Israelites in Egypt.

    Then, I talk to Lois Long about a recipe made famous by her mother, Edna M. Holmgren. Magic Marshmallow Crescent Puffs won the Pillbury Bake-Off in 1969 and were subsequently expropriated by some Christians to retell the story of the resurrection.

    The recipe

    This copy of Edna Holmgren’s recipe is not quite the original. Lois Long told me that “the flour in the cinnamon sugar mixture was Pillsbury’s idea. I cut it down to 1 tbsp but I don’t like it. The original recipe has no flour.” I do wonder what it is there for. Possibly to soak up melting gooeyness, because many of the comments on the Hall of Fame website are complaints about the mess if the pastry isn’t very carefully sealed.

    Edna Holmgren and her daughter Lois Long at Pillsbury’s Hall of Fame celebration in 1988


    Susan Weingarten’s book Haroset: A Taste of Jewish History is published by The Toby Press.

    Huge thanks to Lois Long for sharing her time, her memories, and copies of some of her memorabilia.

    The cover image is a print by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen after Albrecht Dürer, from the Rosenwald Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

    The banner image of The Last Supper is by the workshop of Pedro Berruguete, circa 1495–1500, a gift of the Ahmanson Foundation to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    Oooops. Oh dear. I thought I had double checked the date of Pesach, but I apparently got it wrong. I said Thursday. It is Friday. Sincere apologies.

       Huffduff it


    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  2. Move Over Gin, We’ve Got Tonic Fever - Gastropod

    Is it true that the G&T began life as a pleasant way for the Anglo-Indian elite to take their anti-malarials? The science and history of tonic.


    Just a few decades ago, gin & tonics were considered rather stodgy and boring, the drink of suburbanites at the golf club. Today, the century-old drink is hot again. In part, that’s due to a boom in craft gin distilling—a ginaissance! But there’s also been a new wave of experimentation with gin’s life partner, tonic water. This episode, we focus on the tonic side of the equation. Which genius came up with the idea of combining quinine, a malaria drug, with soda water and sugar in order to create this refreshing beverage? How did the bark of a South American tree end up in everything from hair-restoring shampoo to cocktails? And is it true that the G&T began life as a pleasant way for the Anglo-Indian elite to take their anti-malarials? This episode, we take a sip of tonic’s history with Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt, authors of the new book Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water. Listen in for all that, plus beef-infused tonic wines, Aperol spritzes, and the gin & tonic’s true origin story. Cheers!

    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  3. Lost Lobsters » The Memory Palace

    We hear “Everybody Daylight” by Brightblack Morning Light (a couple of times), “the Pills Won’t Help You Now” by Chemical Brothers, “South American Getaway” from Burt Bacharach’s Butch Cassidy soundtrack. “I’m Not Going” on the 500 Days of Summer Soundtrack.


    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  4. Eat This Podcast: Bread as it ought to be

    Jonathan Bethony is one of the leading artisanal bakers in America, but he goes further than most, milling his own flour and baking everything with a hundred percent of the whole grain. He’s also going beyond wheat, incorporating other cereals such as millet and sorghum in the goodies Seylou is producing.


    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  5. Heritage Cereals Edited Audio : Nessie Reid

    Heritage cereals: historic crops for a more sustainable future Chair: John Letts (heritage harvest ltd.) Speakers: Andrew Wilkinson (Gilchesters Organics), David Howell (Offley Mill), Michael Hansen (Bread for Life), Tom Nicholson (The Oxford Artisan Distillery), Holly Tiffen (Grown in Totnes) Conventional cereal production is unsustainable and damaging to human health and the environment. Growing organically is a clear step forward, but modern organic varieties are unsuitable for low-input systems and unreliable in a changing climate. Genetically-diverse ‘populations’ of heritage grains developed using evolutionary plant breeding methods provide a more reliable, profitable and flavourful alternative to conventional (and future GM) varieties. Speakers in this session will examine the origins of heritage cereals and discuss their use in artisan baking, brewing and distilling.


    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  6. Food — and bombs — in Laos

    http://media.blubrry.com/eatthispodcast/p/mange-tout.s3.amazonaws.com/laos.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 19:58 — 23.0MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | More

    A bombie cluster munition on a farm in Khammouane Province, Laos.©2010/Jerry Redfern

    Karen Coates is a freelance American journalist who writes about food – among other things. She emailed to ask if I would be interested in talking to her about a book that she and her husband, photographer Jerry Redfern, have produced. It’s called Eternal Harvest, but it isn’t about food, at least not directly. Its subtitle is the legacy of American bombs in Laos. Some of those bombs are 500-pounders. Lots of them are little tennis-ball sized bomblets, which are as attractive to farm kids as a tennis ball might be, with horrific consequences. The story of unexploded ordnance in Laos was an eye opener, for me. But I also wanted to know about food in Laos, and so that’s where we began our conversation.

    Over the course of nine years and a bombing mission every eight minutes, round the clock, more than 270 million cluster bombs – or bombies – were dropped on Laos. The cluster bombs were a small part of the 2 million tonnes dropped on Laos, almost half a tonne of ordnance for every man, woman and child in the country. Some was aimed at breaking the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The rest was jettisoned by pilots who had been told not to return to base with any bombs left in their planes. The failure rate, as Karen said, was around 30 percent. Unexploded ordnance remains an ever-present threat, and not only during the business of farming. About half the people killed, according a a 2009 report, were going after scrap metal. A scrap metal collector can make $5 a day, compared to the average wage of about $1 a day. And that’s not the only way the bombs are “beneficial”. Many farming families use craters – created by bombs that did explode – as fish ponds, improving both their income and their nutritional status.

    Casualties have dropped, from about 1450 a year in 1975 to about 350 a year in 2009, but less than one per cent of the land has been cleared.

    A technician with a UXO Lao bomb disposal team scans for bombs in a woman’s yard as she continues weeding. They work along a new road built atop the old Ho Chi Minh Trail.©2006/Jerry Redfern


    Eternal Harvest: the legacy of American bombs in Laos has a website and is available from Amazon.

    I started reading up about bomb crater fish ponds at Nicola Twilley’s Edible Geography. Fascinating accounts of individual farmers bring an otherwise dry FAO field manual on common aquaculture practices in Lao PDR to life. The maps in this online post by Xiaoxuan Lu about her thesis give some idea of the scale of the problem.

    Karen writes online at The Rambling Spoon and elsewhere. There’s plenty there about restaurants, Lao cookbooks and that nine-day field trip we talked about.

    The music is a Lao folk tune called Dokmai (Flower) by a group called “Thiphakon (roughly, resonance of angels)”. I found it online.



    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

  7. Baking bread: getting big and getting out

    Ah, the self-indulgent joy of making a podcast on one of my own passions.

    “They” say that turning cooking from an enjoyable hobby into a business is a recipe for disaster, and while I’m flattered that people will pay for an additional loaf of bread I’ve baked, there’s no way I’m going to be getting up at 3 in the morning every day to sell enough loaves to make a living. But there are people who have done just that, and one of them happens to be a friend. Suzanne Dunaway and her husband Don turned her simple, delicious foccacia into Buona Forchetta bakery, a multi-million dollar business that won plaudits for the quality of its bread – and then sold it and walked away.

    http://media.blubrry.com/eatthispodcast/p/mange-tout.s3.amazonaws.com/suzanne-dunaway.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 20:42 — 19.0MB)Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | More

    Suzanne was also one of the first popularisers of the “no-knead” method of making bread, with her 1999 book No need to knead. Using a wetter dough, and letting time take the place of kneading, has been around among professional bakers and some, often forgetful, amateurs for a long time, but it was Mark Bittman’s article in the New York Times that opened the floodgates on this method. Since then, as any search engine will reveal, interest in the technique has exploded, both because no-knead is perceived as easier and because the long, slow rise that no-knead usually calls for results in a deeper, more complex flavour. I’ve had my troubles with it, and had more or less given up on the real deal. But I’m looking forward to seeing how a quick no-knead bread turns out, especially now that I know that in Suzanne’s case it was the result of a delicious accident.


    If you created the graphic riff on Breaking Bad, or you know who did it, please let me know. I would really like to give proper credit.



    —Huffduffed by chrisaldrich

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