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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 

Food Section Wednesday

Yeah. One of the favorite days of the week for foodies. It's the day of the week where a good number of newspapers print their food sections. Shall we take a look at what's "cooking?"

The Contra Cost Times has a wonderful little article highlighting Greg Patent and his upcoming book, "A Baker's Odyssey", a book created to help preserve some old world recipes and techniques.
"Recipes are a form of oral history that connect people to their past," he says. "They are a part of who they are. Preserving those recipes takes effort. So often, people will have the intention to save those special recipes, but it doesn't happen. Maybe it doesn't get recorded, and by the third generation the recipe is lost." Patent's passion for old-world recipes prompted him to spend two years criss-crossing the nation in search of favorite recipes from more than 60 immigrant bakers for his book, "A Baker's Odyssey," (Wiley Books, $34.95), which also includes a one-hour instructional DVD featuring Patent.

..."I am an immigrant baker myself," he says, further explaining that he grew up in Shanghai with his Iraqi mother and Russian father. Patent started baking as a preteen and started winning awards. At 19, he won the Pillsbury Bake-Off and $1,000. He studied and even taught zoology before realizing that his real passion was baking.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution highlights a cookbook put together by usually bickering politicians in the State Capital.

Who knew that "What's Cooking Under the Dome," a new cookbook where Ehrhart's recipe appears alongside a hundred others submitted from all over the Legislature, would prove such a conversation starter? Not to mention the way it, uh, tenderizes the image of a place that seems to be made up mostly of nameless, faceless bureaucrats. Or worse.

"All the public usually hears is stuff like how the governor, lieutenant governor or speaker can't get along," said Senate human resources director Jason Fleury, who helped a bipartisan group of House and Senate administrative assistants organize the project. "It's nice to hear the other side of what goes on here."

...The first 500 copies of "What's Cooking" sold like hot Coca-Cola Cakes (Page 61). In fact, it's just gone back for a second printing of 300 copies. Some legislators bought them for constituents, while other Gold Domers snapped them up for friends, family or themselves. That's brought unanticipated side benefits. After all, when co-workers get their hands on the recipe for Dona's Grits Casserole (Page 38) or Pumpkin Pie Dip (Page 9), conviviality can't be far behind.

The Forum, from Fargo, North Dakota, highlights a recipe for Mochaccino Biscotti. Seems you might need some warm deliciousness if the weather outside is, well, really cold, (-13 and with windchill factored in -31 at the time of this posting) not the California cold you often hear me complaining about.

In Mochaccino Biscotti, the rich flavor of coffee partners with cocoa and cinnamon to produce a not-too-sweet Italian cookie with just enough chocolate flavor to satisfy any chocoholic. Big chunks of toasted almonds add their intense flavor and crunch.

The recipe makes many, so share with friends. They look beautiful sealed tight in a jar decorated with ribbon or tied in a pretty gift bag. Wrapped up with a pound of your favorite coffee beans, it’s the kind of surprise any cappuccino-lover could appreciate.

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I like that idea that recipes are this kind of glue that binds us all. Nice writeup!

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