the appetizer:

Kate Heyhoe muses on the California Freeze, Super Bowl party snacks, Valentine's Day recipes and Chinese/Asian Lunar New Year celebrations.

Kate Heyhoe  

Thawing Out in the Year of the Pig

by Kate Heyhoe


Color this month's food news orange, with accents of green, gold and alas, withering brown.


February kicks off Super Bowl XLI in the orange-rich state of Florida, and Lunar New Year spotlights oranges as symbolic gifts of gold and prosperity. But things aren't so sunny in California, where last month's disastrous freeze slammed oranges, lemons, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, strawberries, lettuce, Asian greens and other crops already at or nearing mid-season harvesting. Expect produce prices to be up and supply down. Fortunately for all us saints and sinners, Valentine's Day chocolates are not affected. And neither is Mardi Gras!

Holy Guacamole, Batman! Lemons and Avocados Attacked
Farmers Fight Air and Ground War

Arctic air punched California in her green belt last month, severely rupturing the vital citrus veins that run from the Central Valley to Ventura and down to Southern California. Some oranges, lemons, and tangerines were harvested early, as were avocados, but enough turned to slush to cause economic pains in grocery bins across the nation. This year's shortage of farm workers meant more fruit than usual was left hanging when the front blew in. More @ California Freeze.


Year of the Pig (2007): Sound tasty? Chinese New Year and Lunar Year are upon us. Celebrate with Martin Yan, Susanna Foo, and our complete collection of recipes, lore, and customs at FoodWine's Chinese and Lunar New Year Handbook.

Mardi Gras Mask

Speaking of sex, cocktails, and love, did you know that "carnaval" means "farewell to the flesh" in Latin? Samba over to our Mardi Gras and Carnaval Handbook for King Cake, caipirinha cocktails, gumbo, jambalaya, and to discover how Mardi Gras became a worldwide celebration.

Valentine Hearts

Valentine's Hearts and Minds: Dark chocolate is good for the heart and the brain, being chock-full of antioxidants. So share the love with ooey-gooey delights from our Valentine's Day Handbook, along with a savory Cupid's Breakfast, Caviar and Champagne Specialties, sexy cocktails, and gifts to make with love.

Open Wide
French Fries

Chew on This: Bacon and French Fries for Breakfast? —That's what one mom was serving her kids over the holidays. Santa left us a leaky roof on Christmas, so the next day I was on the horn to any local roofer I could wrangle. Not an easy task. We live in a small country town, and many folks work out of their homes. At 9:00 AM I dialed one Yellow Pages listing; a woman answered with a tentative howdy, barely audible over the splattering of hot oil in the background. "Frying bacon?" I asked. "No. We already did that this morning. These are French fries for the kids. That's what they wanted." (I wondered if fried ice cream was for dessert, but kept my mouth shut; roofers are hard to come by.) I guess we all get to indulge over the holidays, but I sure hope this isn't a regular diet for those kids. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of traditional breakfast food, so given the choice, I'd probably prefer French fries over scrambled eggs any day. Especially if they were cooked according to the tips in Achieving Perfect Fries, which ensures irresistible fries, day or night.

Everyday Gourmet: Are you a busy food lover? Liven up weeknight meals with Leslie Revsin's fresh, quick and flavorful Shrimp Roasted in Olive Oil with Rosemary and Lemon. Leslie broke the gender barrier as the first woman to be head chef at the Waldorf-Astoria. Sadly, she passed away in 2004, from ovarian cancer, but left us with plenty of inspiration, and a hearty supply of recipes, which are as warm and welcoming as she was herself.

Just Add Bread and Salad: Spend your time wisely. Focus on a simple main dish, and make it a balanced meal with just a salad and warm bread or rolls. Today's Pick: Cheese Fondue Soup.

What to Eat This Month
Lamb Stew with Pimentos and Chiles
More Inspirations

Topic: Shopping at Big-Box Stores, like Costco, Sam's Club and Wal-Mart

Do you buy groceries at big-box stores? Tell us what you like, don't like and what you make with your big-box buys.


Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page created February 2007