Recently in Food Category

How hard can it get to feed the poor? Pretty hard.

Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.

That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.

"We don't really know what they want, we just think that they don't want us down there feeding people," said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.

And Kathy Barton, Houston's spokeswoman for the Houston HHS department said this:
The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless... because "poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care."

Pretty outrageous that private citizens are forced to stop doing charitable work because the government assumes the worst if you don't have the magic permit.

The silver lining here is that the Houston city council is talking about adjusting the statute so that people like the Herrings are exempt.

Cross-cultural food experiment


Fellow investigators,

I have engaged in a daring experiment, eating a food which is reported to be luscious but has an off-putting, almost disgusting name, which is: clotted cream. I presume any of you who have lived in England may have met this stuff, hm?

What got me interested was hearing a couple of ex-pat Brits raving about how wonderful it was the other day, during a morning radio show from DC. (It was a podcast, of course, as I am not up at such a time of day.)

According to them, the most typical use of clotted cream -- I looked it up on Wikipedia to get some idea of what it is -- is apparently on scones with strawberry jam, a dish called Cream Tea, so I set out today to get the ingredients.

A leading Internet seller of the stuff is located in Westford, MA, so I went to their shop and picked up a jar, and some jam. Nice enough. The same shop offers scone mix, but as I'm a lazy person (cf. Perl programmer), I passed it up in the hope of finding some already made.

A Panera Bread shop did have some scones, but not plain ones, just frosted ones with various fruits. It didn't seem appealing to add jam and a shmear on top of that.

Anyway, to the actual test:
The cream jar's label claimed that it was the ideal topping for berries, so I had some on raspberries, and was a bit disappointed. The stuff has a consistency like whipped butter, and putting something that heavy on raspberries wasn't a good match. It just wasn't easy to apply product A to fruit B. Besides, the non-sweet flavor of the cream was not that interesting a companion for sweet raspberries just passing their peak.

On the other hand, I had some on a Panera plain bagel, with jam, and found it just delightful there. Context is everything.

Continuing the quest for knowledge (of food), I am, yours fraternally,

Country food

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In this video from Texas, Chicken Fried Bacon sounds appealing, but you'd better take a low-dose aspirin before eating it, to help ward off any instant heart attacks.

43-year-old fruitcake

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No, that's not my age. I'm referring to this story about a rum-laced cake that survived in an attic from 1962 to now, and looks about the same as it did then!

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- Lance Nesta did what many people do when receiving a fruitcake - he set it aside, only to rediscover it more than 40 years later in his mother's attic. Nesta couldn't resist taking a peek at the cake, still in its original tin and wrapped in paper.

"I was amazed that it hadn't changed at all," he said.

Nesta's two aunts sent him the fruitcake in November 1962 while he was stationed in Alaska with the Army.

Here's the real divide in America: Starbucks nuts (left-wing, West Coast, urban women) vs. Dunkin Donuts addicts (right-wing, East Coast, rural men).

(I admit it: I'm one of those Independent wussies who wants to pick and choose. I'll be paying in Purgatory for my lack of moral courage.)

Congress forced the Nameless Entity to establish a telework program last year, so most Tuesdays I work from home. This made today's lunch possible, which consisted of

• Blueberry yogurt
• Roasted tater tots with creole seasoning
• Smoked and grilled cold salmon fillet on toast with cream cheese

Starting a museum of holy food?

A casino has bought a BVM-shaped pretzel for $10K. This is the same outfit that bought a grilled-cheese sandwich with a resemblance to an image of Our Lady.

Nobody's offered me anything for this sandwich of Fr. Sibley, but maybe I should keep it a little longer:

Y'know, I think I've figured out what they're doing. They spend $10K and get a lot of free mentions in the news. It's probably a reasonable price for a media buy. They don't need to do anything with the actual item they've bought. Maybe shellac it and keep it in the office. Besides, they're an Internet casino; they may not even have a place where they could display anything.

Strange Foreboding


On the food front:
I knew there was some fundamentally wrong with the order of the world when I walked into a Krispy Kreme shop the other day and the place was empty: not a soul on this side of the counter.

Apparently I'm not the only one to recognize something's not working for the doughnut maker.

King Arthur Flour in the house!


I'll let you know what happens with it.

UPDATE: is baking bread. She started while I planned music from next Sunday thru the 4th Sunday of Advent. It smells *great*

UPDATE 2: And it tasted great. We had a meal of pork loin, fettucine with home made pesto and fresh bread. What a woman I'm married to.

(from my great-grandmother)

Technically, these are really molasses cookies – but my family has always called them ginger snaps. They don’t have the acrid, overly intense spiciness of many ginger snaps. Rather, like good bread, they have a pleasant outer crust and a moist, satisfying crumb beneath.

You can chill the dough in the freezer for about an hour, or let it refrigerate for up to two days (wrap the dough in wax paper to keep it from drying out). If you refrigerate it, for easier handling you can take out the dough 20-30 minutes prior to forming the cookies.

Rolling the cookies in tubinado sugar – you know, Sugar in the Raw – gives the cookies a little more initial flavor, and compliments the molasses taste. That is my one minor improvement to this classic Johnson family recipe.

3/4 cup butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. dark molasses
1 egg
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
additional sugar for rolling, preferably turbinado


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, melt butter in the microwave until it is warm, but not hot.

  3. Add sugar and molasses to the butter; add the egg.

  4. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together.

  5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well-combined.

  6. Chill the dough.

  7. Form the dough into 24 small balls.

  8. Roll the cookies in sugar until their entire little bodies are completely covered.

  9. Put the cookies on two 13x18” ungreased cookie sheets. Parchment paper is optional. If you like a flatter cookie, you may gently press down on their tops with the heel of your hand.

  10. Bake 8-12 minutes. If they still have that “raw” look on top, they aren’t done. If they’re stiff, they’re overdone. Remember, they will harden somewhat after they come out of the oven, so take them out when they’re still moist.

  11. Remove them from the sheet to a cooling rack.

  12. Consume.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

You write, we post
unless you state otherwise.


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