You know that closet you keep meaning to tidy up? I grabbed a few minutes today to go through the blog rolls. Blog rolls are those little sections to the right, where we keep various links you might find useful. Bloggers come and go, and the food world on the Web changes and grows constantly. It was overdue for updating. In the top sections, I added more food Web sites that are worth visiting regularly. I check a list of 40 to 50 Web sites and blogs regularly (I'm very, very fast -- it's my old wire-editor training). Some tend to be more useful or interesting than others: Serious Eats, always a good daily stop, has added a separate web site for all things liquid, called Serious Eats: Drinks. CNN's food web site Eatocracy, helmed by Kat Kinsman and Charlotte native Sarah LaTrent, is a comer. The New York Times' blog, Diner's Journal, now runs daily links to food story (including a few of mine, a true honor). And the Atlanta Journal Constitution's blog reports on trends in that big city to our left. For local and Carolinas blogs, well, bloggers come and bloggers go. I try to keep a lively list of people who are sharing their food life in a relevant way. If I miss a good Charlotte- or Carolinas-based blog, let me know. There are rules, though: First, you have to post regularly, preferably at least once a month. Second, the blog can't just be a promotion for your business. We have a way to help businesses -- it's called "advertising" and without it, newspapers can't survive. Finally, if you ask me to link to your blog, you have to ask nicely. Seriously: I get grumpy when people ask me to link to them and they don't link back to me, or they want me to link to their blog that disses my paper. I do check on my links regularly. After all, it's my blog and I'll pry if I want to. I think that's it. Take a look around over there and let me know if there's something I should add. Happy reading.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
As chocolate makers go, Barking Dog Chocolatiers is an odd company: They make chocolates that are served for dessert at the restaurant Bonterra in Dilworth, they sell chocolates and they donate all the profits to three charities (SupportWorks, founded by BD owner Joal Fischer, NC MedAssist, and Friendship Trays).
But they don't do business in the conventional way. After I ran an item in the print paper about Barking Dog being features on the PBS/AARP show "My Generation," Joal called asking for a clarification. Sorry, Joal - your business is hard to explain.
Anyway, trying one more time: Barking Dog Chocolatiers is owned by Fischer and his wife, retired botany professor Debbie Langsam. You can get Barking Dog chocolates for dessert at Bonterra. You can go to the web site, www.woofwoofwoof.org, to learn more about the company and see the list of chocolates they make and more about the charity thing. But you can't order chocolates on the web site or buy them at the restaurant. You have to call Fischer and Langsam, at 704-333-1595.
Oh, and while some of their chocolates feature dog themes, they do not make pet treats.
Clear as chocolate milk now, Joal?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Photo: The Huffington Post
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Food writer Andrea Weigl is looking for people who get together on a regular basis around the food and drink in a restaurant or home. If your supper club has an event this month, please let her know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-829-4848.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Is it OK to repost a column I wrote in 2005? I hope so, because this time of year, I always think about taunt:
There really should be five seasons:
Winter, spring, summer, fall and "taunt."
Taunt floats around, showing up between the other, better established seasons. It's that season when you think summer has given way to fall, so you unpack the heavy clothes. Then you spend the next three week digging in your closet for anything not made of wool.
It's those strange stretches of days when the calendar says it's time to eat pot roast, but the summer crickets are still raising a ruckus under your kitchen window.
Taunt doesn't have simple symbols, like the snowflakes that decorate Christmas cards or the squashes and pumpkins on calendar pages in October.
You only know taunt when you're in it.
Taunt really cranks up in March. One day, it feels like it's time to brush fallen leaves off the grill. The next, it's too cold for anything that doesn't involve a slow cooker.
When the sun comes out, we have soft green grass and freshly sprouted daffodil stalks. When it changes its mind and ducks back behind the clouds, we have bare tree limbs and mud.
I can't fight taunt in March any more than I can fight summer in August. All I can do is lay still in the night, listening to the weather change yet again, and start listing all the things I'm ready to do.
I'm ready to snap the woody ends off asparagus. I'm ready for roasted asparagus drizzled with sesame oil and asparagus omelets. I'm ready to save up a bag of the snapped-off ends, to simmer them in chicken broth, puree them and strain them to make a bowl of pale green asparagus soup with a little cream.
I'm ready to trim the leafy tops from endless trays of strawberries. I'm ready for slices of pound cake topped with sugared strawberries, for smoothies made with frozen strawberries I picked myself, and spinach salads tossed with strawberries.
I'm ready for lettuce so tender, it feels like eating silk, and the brief appearance of sugar snap peas that don't come from a bag in the freezer.
I'm ready for mint, to toss with a little butter for a sauce on those peas, for glasses of iced tea and for an occasional julep to celebrate finishing a Saturday of yard work.
I'm ready for the tarragon I plant every year, even though I know it won't make it through July, and for long sprigs of thyme to strew over roasted vegetables, and tiny leaves of thyme to whisk into vinaigrettes.
I'm ready for spring onions and new chives, and that juicy, fresh-pulled garlic that hasn't been dried for long storage.
I'm ready for salmon on the grill, and the chance to sit out on the patio while it cooks without fighting mosquitoes and humidity.
I'm not ready for mosquitoes and humidity yet. I'm not ready for tomatoes and corn, for peppers and peaches, for green beans and broccoli and slices of melon at breakfast every morning.
Not yet, anyway. Those are coming, in their season.
This is just taunt. The season to wait.
Why is it good news that Continental will no longer serve complimentary pretzels? Because I had just finished reading this report on all the bacteria crawling in those tiny little airplane lavatories. Seriously, do you want to put food in your mouth on board a plane? Pack hygiene wipes. Lots and lots of wipes.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Wow, the copy of Mark Bittman's "The Food Matters Cookbook" was a very popular giveaway. I got a fat fistful of entries in just a couple of days.
When I ran the numbers through the Random Number Generator at www.random.org, Ann Ketchie of Concord was the winner. Congratulations, Ann.
And for all the Bittman fans who wrote in, he's now doing a new writing gig as an op-ed columnist on food policy. Here's a link to his most recent column, on the good/bad of farm crop subsidies.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Cello player Joe Kwon of the Avett Brothers is a major cook, as my colleague Helen Schwab explained in a story last year . You can sort of share his taste between now and April 9 at Laurel Market in Charlotte, 114 Cherokee Road. Kwon designed (by email exchanges with the owner) three sandwiches. Order one and you get entered in a drawing for a pair of tickets to the Avett Brothers' show at Bojangles Coliseum April 9.
The three sandwiches:
Breakfast sandwich: 2 eggs over medium, tomato, avocado, bibb lettuce and spicy mustard on toasted sourdough (yes, that sounds like a band on tour breakfast all right). That one's $4.95.
Sandwich 2: Genoa salami, pastrami, mayonnaise, jalapeno, sweet pickle, cucumber, red onion and cilantro on baguette, $6.75.
Sandwich 3: Proscuitto, fresh mozzarella, basil and horseradish sauce on cranberry walnut bread, $6.95.
You also can get the sandwiches at Laurel Market South, 1515 South Blvd.
Play on, Joe Kwon.