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Want to know what's brewing in Brooklyn, sautéing in San Francisco, appetizing in Atlanta or hatching in Hawaii? Get the nation's authentic food stories directly from the fields and kitchens of its edible communities.
Interstate Bakeries Corp. said today its Wonder bread brand would disappear from Southern California grocery stores after it shuts down bread baking operations in the region Oct. 29.I remember as a youngster, the Fluffernutter sandwiches, that really, can only be made on Wonder Bread.
Kansas City, Mo.-based Interstate said it planned to close all four of its Southland bread bakeries, located in Glendale, Pomona, San Diego and in Los Angeles southeast of USC. The company will also close 17 distribution centers and 16 outlet stores.
In all, about 1,300 jobs will be eliminated.
Wonder bread was first marketed more than 80 years ago and has been sold in Southern California since at least the 1940s, the spokeswoman said. Interstate acquired the brand when it bought Continental Baking Co. from Ralston Purina Co. in 1995 for $461 million in stock and cash. - Latte Times
The man who created the Famous Amos cookie empire three decades ago and eventually lost ownership of the company -- as well as the rights to use the catchy name -- is now running a modest cookie shop in Hawaii.
But he's hardly struggling. In addition to being proprietor of Chip & Cookie in Kailua, the former cookie king is now a muffin mogul.
Amos, who turned 71 last month, is co-founder and shareholder of Uncle Wally's Muffin Co., whose products are found in 5,000 stores nationwide, including Costco and Wal-Mart. The company, based in Shirley, N.Y., expects to produce 250 million muffins this year and 1 billion muffins annually by 2010. - Courier Journal
Hurricane Dean has delivered a potentially fatal blow to a once-vibrant banana industry on three small eastern Caribbean islands, authorities said Saturday.
In St. Lucia and Martinique, two adjacent islands that caught the brunt of Dean's 100 mph winds on Friday, authorities said the entire harvest was ruined by flooding or toppled trees. The storm also battered the banana industry in nearby Dominica.
"From what we have seen, farmers may have to start all over again as the last of the banana industry may have been wiped out," said Stephenson King, the acting prime minister of St. Lucia. - AP
speaking of bananas....Macadamia Banana Cream Pie
1 cup chopped unsalted macadamia or cashew nuts
1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg white
3 egg yolks
5 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia or cashew nuts
Prehat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare the crust: Combine the nuts, coconut, and brown sugar in a medium-size bowl.
Beat the egg white until stiff, and gently fold it into the nut mixture.
Press the mixture evenly into an 8-inch pie plate, making sure the sides are thickish (the crust will shrink while baking). Bake until the crust is lightly browned, 7 minutes.
Remove the pie plate from the oven and let it cool on a rack. (The crust will tighten as it cools.)
Prepare the custard: Beat the egg yolks in a heavy medium-size saucepan. Add the cornstarch and sugar, and mix well. Then stir in the milk, salt, and butter.
Cook the egg mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is bubbling and thick, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.
Whip the cream with an electric mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled custard.
Peel and slice 1 of the bananas, and arrange it evenly on the bottom of the reserved crust. Spoon the filling into the crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for another 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve the pie, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the top. Then peel and slice the remaining banana, and arrange the slices in a circle on top of the pie, with a few slices placed decoratively in the center. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 to 8 servingsFrom: The New Basics Cookbook
There's something in the air at the bustling Pike Place Market.
The scent of fresh Pacific salmon blows as the fish are tossed above tourists' heads by the fishmongers/carnival barkers at Pike Place Fish Market. Just-picked fruits, produce and flowers emit their sweet perfume. And, courtesy of coffee brewing at the planet's first Starbucks, the signature aroma of the Northwest wafts all around.
...But the flavor at Pike Place today is decidedly upscale. And with the exception of San Francisco's glamorous Ferry Market Building, no other spot on the West Coast can boast such a rich concentration of foodie delights. - Sandy Eggo Union Tribune
Decades before the original Starbucks, salmon-tossing fishmongers and Rachel the life-sized piggy bank made the Pike Place Market an international tourist attraction, there were eight wagons filled with produce and consumers hungry to avoid the rising price of onions.
...When the Seattle landmark opened in 1907, middlemen had driven the price of a pound of onions from 10 cents a dollar. Consumers wanted to buy directly from the farmer, connect with their neighbors and socialize. A century later, it draws both locals out for a week's worth of fresh produce, and tourists from around the world.
"The market defines Seattle," said Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck, whose father, Victor Steinbrueck, is credited with saving Pike Place Market in the 1970s. "It embodies the best of Seattle - our people and our diversity." - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Happy Birthday Pike Place! Here's to at least 100 more!
My favorite stop...The "Low-Flying Fish" dudes!
The Federal Trade Commission documents revealed that Whole Foods plans to close 30 or more Wild Oats stores, a move that the company believes would nearly double revenue for some Whole Foods stores.
The FTC also revealed how Whole Foods negotiates with suppliers to drive up costs for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Regulators also discussed the company's closely held marketing strategies.
Regulators are trying to block the deal on antitrust grounds, arguing that it would mean higher prices for organic and natural food. A judge is considering whether to temporarily block the deal.
Many of the details in the documents, which FTC lawyers filed electronically, were not meant to be released publicly, but words intended to be redacted were actually just electronically shaded black. The words could be searched, copied, pasted and read in versions downloaded from court computer servers.
...With Tuesday's filing, the FTC threw open the window. Among the details cited in the government filing:
-- The opening of a Whole Foods store can cut revenue 30 percent or more in nearby Wild Oats stores.
-- Whole Foods set "ground rules" barring suppliers from selling directly to Wal-Mart. "It wants Wal-Mart to have to go through distributors because that raises Wal-Mart's costs," the document said.
-- Company documents labeled "Project Goldmine" predicted that buying Wild Oats and shutting down certain stores would increase revenue 85 percent to 90 percent at nearby Whole Foods stores.
-- Education is key to the site selection for a new Whole Foods store. "As a company, we look at college graduate density. That's one of the single most important things," the government quoted a company official as saying.
-- The takeover will send as many as 80 percent to 90 percent of Wild Oats shoppers to Whole Foods stores, according to Whole Foods documents cited by the government. "As a result, they will unambiguously be worse off," because of increased prices, the FTC argued. - AP
"The soup of the day is going to be beef noodle. The vegetable of the day is steamed cauliflower," says the sweet Southern voice. There's nothing too unusual about that. What is unusual is what comes next, her singing a song in her charming off-tune way with made-up lyrics, and the fact that up to 50,000 people a month from all over the country call a phone number just to hear her talk about the lunch menu at a place they will never eat. Oh, and to wish them a beautiful day.
It all started as a way to cheer up employees worried about impending layoffs at the United States. - Airserv
Haven't called it lately. She retired from the "official lunch place" years ago...I was one of those 50,000 folks a month calling in to get a little southern sunshine.
We all grabbed forks and sampled. The pasta was mushy, but the sauce was not unpleasant. The rice on the thai chicken was crunchy — in a good way — but could have benefited from a way of heating it, as the hot chicken on top didn’t melt the gluey clumps quite enough. Everything else tasted more or less like their civilian counterparts.
“It’s as good as any airline meal I’ve ever had,” shrugged my husband.
I’d say it was better. - Culinate
air tankers: 8
air attack: 2
water tenders: 66
total personnel assigned: 2,912
cost to date: $61.5 million
growth potential: extreme
terrain difficulty: extreme
heavy brush contains a high dead component. some conifers at higher elevations. live fuel moistures are below critical levels. a continuous fuel bed lies ahead of the fire's dominant spread direction.
Labels: Zaca Fire
One of Santa Barbara County's most famous landmarks is now threatened by the month old Zaca fire.Cold Springs Tavern sits on the top of San Marcos Pass, which is in the line of fire.
...The tavern has been around for 131 years and once served as a stage coach stop. These days it's a restaurant and famous "western-style" weekend hangout for travelers.Who knew that you needed to wrap it up like a "baked potato" to save it, though...
It has been featured on many national shows including "California's Gold" with Huell Howser and the Food Network with Rachel Ray. - KEYT
Firefighters wrapped an historic tavern in aluminum on Tuesday to protect it from an advancing blaze that continued to threaten dozens of rural cabins in northern Santa Barbara County. - SanLuisObispo.com
Welcome to the Hearst Ranch Store. Since 1865, the Hearst family has raised cattle on the rich sustainable native grasslands of the Central California coast. Hearst Cattle are grass-fed and grass-finished and humanely raised. Our animals are not given growth hormones or antibiotics, ever. The result is beef with extraordinary flavor that’s as memorable and natural as the surrounding landscape. - Hearst Ranch.Guess I know where I'm going to buy my tri-tip, now. Wish I could only pick it up by hand everytime.
Officials say a tortoise who was stolen, slashed and mutilated is still being fed through a tube in his neck but is healing nicely. - KSBY
"He's doing pretty darned well now," said Jeanie Vaughan, the center's owner. - SFGate
Labels: Bob the Turtle