Archive for November, 2007

One for the Table

Friday, November 30th, 2007

One for The Table a new food blog/newsletter by author Amy Ephron has posted a short piece of mine about the world of food on the sidewalks outside our shop. The rest of the issue is dedicated mostly to writing about Maine, with contributions by Lucy Dahl, Brenda Athanus, Lisa Dinsmore, Lorraine Newman and Amy Ephron.

A carnivore’s foursome

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

In the New Yorker, Bill Buford chronicles the comeback of carnivorous behavior after years of abuse at the hands of vegetarians, The American Heart Association and a public fearful of the messy truths of meat. He does so by discussing new books by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (The River Cottage Meat Book), Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon – The Album) and Stephane Reynaud (Pork & Sons). It’s a thoughtful review of a subject demanding some thought, but I do believe he’s left out one more cookbook author who belongs here: Fergus Henderson of St. John in London. Henderson’s two books, Nose to Tail Eating (in America The Whole Beast), and Beyond Nose to Tail, are pure celebrations of meat, with other food stuffs along for the glorious ride. Henderson’s recipe writing is lyrical, with very simple recipes getting the same carefully crafted descriptions as the challenging and difficult ones. His respect for the meat, a theme in all of these authors’ works, is expressed in the care he takes with his words.

Pink sheep via Madonna

Thursday, November 29th, 2007


“If you are considering dyeing a sheep, first ensure that it is your own sheep…” So says Nathan Griffith of Sheep! Magazine, in response to animal rights activists’ reactions to a sheep dying stunt by Madonna. Read it here in the Guardian.

one of my favorite iconoclasts

Monday, November 26th, 2007

“Mr. Lynch never engaged in the sort of contrived tasting notes that often pass for wine writing today. Instead, he wrote of the joy and pleasures of consuming good wine, of the winemakers he met and the places he visited. He provided characters, context and travelogue, and even recipes.”

Eric Asimov in the NYTimes on one of my wine heroes, and a rare truly good wine writer.

Eat More Garlic

Monday, November 26th, 2007

National Academy of Science researchers have discovered a specific correlation between garlic consumption and the body’s natural production of hydrogen sulfide, which act as an antioxidant, relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow. The NYTimes reports this here.

And read the comments below the article, where you’ll find some mighty interesting ways people have devised to ingest large amounts of raw garlic.

This fall, for the first time, we planted garlic in the garden beds. We’re looking forward to those bulbs next year, but likely won’t be spreading slices on toast with peanut butter.

A cookbook as window onto African-American history

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Jan Longone, cookbook historian, collector and (formerly) dealer, talks with Molly O’Neill about the 1866 cookbook, Domestic Cook Book: Containing a Careful Selection of Useful Receipts for the Kitchen, by Malinda Russell. This small, 36 page work has served to reveal elements of African-American culture previously only conjectured.

Some help for your turkey

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Julia Moskin is just in time with some helpful advice on turkey carving in today’s NYTimes.

More on the revival of absinthe

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Edward Rothstein on the absinthe revival in today’s NYTimes. Unfortunately he speaks not a word about the man largely responsible for bringing back quality absinthe, Ted Breaux, or his magnificent effort, Jade Absinthe. One can only hope this elixer might be readily available in Maine before the turn of the next millennium.

A beekeeper’s movie review

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Susan Brackney, author and beekeeper, takes on the accuracy of the new “Bee Movie” in today’s NYTimes. How do the cartoon bees measure up to the real thing?

Pigs in America

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

David Shields thoroughly outlines the history of ham in America in his article, The Search for the Cure, available on Common Place. A snippet:

“William Byrd (1674-1744), the Virginia gentleman who championed an ethic of agricultural improvement, criticized the habit among country farmers (typified, for him, by the lazy North Carolinians described in his Histories of the Dividing Line) of letting hogs roam free in the forests to graze on roots and acorns. The semi-wild hog developed stringy muscle from its robust wandering life, and the farmer lost the benefit of its manure. Byrd would keep his pigs penned and fed on dung heap scraps. But with this diet, the meat of his animals, while more tender, risked becoming less palatable. What mattered more, taste or economy?”