"friends" news and stories
In a funny post on a Seattle Post-Intelligencer reader blog, blogger Christina Hyun talks about growing up in an Asian household, and how her friends always told her that her house smelled better than their's did. On the flip side, Hyun always marveled at the huge quantity of bread/cereal/cookie products in her Caucasian friends' houses.
I can't relate as much to the cultural aspect, but as a kid, I was definitely envious of my friends' kitchens. My own mother tried to keep our diets pretty healthy, and flat-out refused to buy certain products (Fruit Roll-Ups, Ssips fruit punch, and Cookie Crisp cereal immediately come to mind). Other kids' parents often commented on my "healthy" appetite, as I downed cakes, cookies and fruit punch like it was going out of style. "Oh - my mom won't let us buy this stuff," I'd say, mouth half-full of Tastykake pie, red goo stuck to my chin. The mothers would nod warily as they added "Tastykake pies" to the grocery list.
As I got older, the rules loosened, and I heard rumors that my mom even allowed soda in the house - after I went off to college, of course. But by then the thrill was gone, and fear-mongering about obesity and diabetes had taken its place.
What about you? What products did other kids' kitchens have that made you green with envy? (Or were you that "other kid?")
Mid-nineties kitsch aside, it's actually something of a serviceable cookbook, if you can believe it. The recipe names are sort of cheesy, with dishes ranging from "Call-Back Spaghetti and Meatballs" to "Fire Escape Flank Steak." But the ingredient lists are reliable and the instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. I wouldn't necessarily recommend heading out and buying yourself a copy of this book if you don't already have it. However, for those of you who have his one tucked into the far corner of your cookbook shelf, pull it out, dust it off and whip up a batch of "Phoebe's Fabulous Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies."
Filed under: Holidays
Both studies and common sense tell us that eating communally it good for us, so someone out there went and declared this week (September 16-22) National Eat Dinner Together Week. Sponsored by the National Pork Board (who oddly situated it in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays*) it is a good reminder to clear off the table, make a pot of soup, a roasted chicken or a stop at your local prepared foods market and sit down with your friends and family.
*The Jewish side of my family is highly secular. They don't think twice about eating pork products most of the year, but even they try to avoid them during the High Holidays. Seems like an odd choice on the part of the Pork Board.
via the Epi-log
Filed under: On the Blogs
When a book goes so far as to put the phrase "from family and friends" in the title, you know it is going to be the type of book that a home cook can relate to. After all, we are generally cooking for our family and friends, aren't we? Brown Sugar: Soul Food Desserts from Family and Friends is the sort of cookbook that makes you want to cook for your loved ones, in addition to providing you with plenty of recipes that will put smiles on their faces.
The book is about soul food desserts and is, in fact, a follow-up to the author's previous work on that subject. The recipes have been collected from all over the country, so there is no regional bias towards any specific area, but the thread that connects everything is the "homespun style of African-American cuisine sprinkled with a healthy dose of brown sugar" - and while that sounds like a metaphor, there is quite literally brown sugar in just about every recipe in the book. They are all written in a casual, friendly style and are easy to follow. Some of the recipes include Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, Orange Buttermilk Pie and Burnt Sugar Ice Cream.