Dear Readers,

Letters to the Editor welcomes your comments, questions, criticisms and suggestions. Looking for a specific recipe or trying to find a product? Please don't send those requests as a Letter to the Editor—we receive too many individual requests to reply to all of them here. Try our Message Boards or our Search page first.

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- The Editors


From India to Africa, From Greece to You

Dear Foodwine.com,

My name is Belinda Groves and I have just discovered your wonderful online column for the first time today. I am a newly married woman who loves to experiment with different foods from all over the world. I will now be visiting your column regularly. It is just what I have been looking for. In the meantime, could you help me out. I have been searching everywhere for a recipe for an Indian dish recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala or something similar. In fact, anything Indian would do, as I want to try something for my husband and friends.

Julie Sahni Thank you and I look forward to visiting your column more often and sharing it with my friends.

Keep well!

Mrs. Belinda Groves
Zambia, Africa

Dear Belinda,

Please check out our India page, which includes numerous Indian recipes plus sample recipes from several recent Indian cookbooks.

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

I am a big fan of your web page. I must open it about 10 times a day just to read your receipes. I enjoy cooking just like you do and try lots of different recipes. I was wondering if you can help me with my question. I had Greek food recently in Vancouver, Canada. I absolutely loved it! I had Greek rice which had herbs, not a lot of butter or oil, it was dry, and had a wonderful smell of celery.

I have no idea how to cook Greek Food. From your website, I was able to learn to make greek salad and roasted potatoes. If you can plz. send me a recipe of how to cook a Vegetarian Greek Rice, I would really really appreciate your help. Thanks so much for you time, and I look fwd. to your reply soon. Thanks again for making our dinner a bit more delicious!


Dear Janvi,

Though we cannot send recipes to everyone who requests them (we'd have no time left to cook!), we do have a Greece page available on our international Destinations page filled with Greek recipes.


Kate Heyhoe


Cooking Questions

Dear Foodwine.com,

I have a question: how do you make a cheese fondue? Also, how do you do chocolate in the fondue without it burning to the bottom. If you don't know, any suggestions you have would be helpful.


Ann Laur

Dear Ann,

I ran a Search on our website and the word "fondue" brought me to a handy little book we featured in May, 1998: Rick Rodgers' Fondue. It has all the answers, and the online cookbook profile even includes sample recipes.

Fondly in fondue,

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

Can you tell me if there is a way to make a substitute for self-rising flour? Can it be made from either all-purpose or pastry flour?

Thank you,

Joanne Garvey

Dear Joanne,

Sure can. Here's the formula: one cup of self-rising flour contains 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder plus 1/2 teaspoon salt plus enough all purpose flour to make 1 cup. (I guess this can be called "flour power!")

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

I made a pot of seafood gumbo about 11:00 p.m. Friday night. I let it sit overnight, because it was to hot to put in the refrigerate. Saturday about 3 p.m. I noticed it starting bubbling. I couldn't believe all my gumbo was spoiled that fast. What did I do wrong? Was it some seasoning I put in there? I put just about everything you put in your seafood gumbo. Please E-mail me with suggestions.


Dear Moneycea,

Yikes! You let it sit out 15 hours?! Egads, don't even *think* about tasting it! Bacteria start to party hearty when they're let to sit out for just a couple of hours. The United States Department of Agriculture says cooked foods should not sit at room temperature longer than 2 hours, but for safety's sake, I recommend no longer than 1 hour and even less time if the weather is warm—or if you're using seafood, which spoils very quickly. Rule of thumb: Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods should be kept over 140 degrees, and cold ones below 40 degrees. It's OK to let it cool slightly, but after an hour or so, into the fridge it goes!

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

We are looking for instructions to roast a whole pig on a spit. Can you give us any help?

Kathy Moore

Dear Kathy ,

Aha! Inspired by the movie Babe? Just joking! There's a book known as The Mainland Luau, by Patricia L. Fry, which gives instructions and illustrations for roasting a pig on a spit—as well as in a pit, in an oven (for little 10-pound oinkers) and more. We ran a story on it in May, 1996, which tells how to buy the book and gives instructions for making an above the ground pit barbecue. Check it out at Mainland Luau.

Kate Heyhoe


Dear Foodwine.com,

Hello! I know you must get a thousand letters like this one but please help!!!!!! I am usless in the kitchen but I can cook pasta! and I am having my first dinner party in February for 8 people and i am worried to say the least!!!!!!!!!!!! I just do not know what to do. Please help!!


Kerry Anne

Lasagne Dear Kathy ,

Aha! Sounds like an important event.

Rule Number One: Make something you've made before—don't try something new.

Rule Number Two: Make something you're comfortable serving, and your guests are comfortable eating—forget lobsters, crabs in shell and snails.

Rule Number Three: Make something that can be prepared largely in advance—with 8 people you've got enought to do as hostess.

I suggest a lasagna, but a special one. Fill it with exotic mushrooms, various cheeses (provolone mixed with mozzarella or smoked mozzarella; goat cheese and ricotta, etc), grilled or roasted vegetables, fresh cooked minced spinach and ricotta, prosciutto, Italian sausage, bits of ham, fresh herbs or other goodies. Come up with an elegant combination—don't make it seem like a "pizza with everything on it." Try out the recipe at home before making it for your guests, to ensure it turns out the way you want. Once satisfied, if you're making a tomato sauce from scratch, you can make it ahead and freeze. Then, the day before the event, assemble the lasagna and refrigerate until the next day. Bring to room temp before baking. This is easy on you and keeps the kitchen clean.

Serve with a mixed salad—baby greens, radishes, romaine, watercress, whatever you can find that's fresh and tender. Make a fresh vinaigrette—don't use a bottled dressing (again, try it out before making for the event.). Lightly dress the salad just before serving and be sure to salt and pepper it—most salads suffer from being too heavily dressed and end up wilted.

As a first course, if you plan to have one, you want something to contrast the main dish. A light brothy soup with mushrooms and julienned basil? Shrimp sautéed in garlic, olive oil and herbs, with toasted bread (crostini)? Prosciutto, thinly sliced, and fresh fruit? Or, how about an antipasto platter? Visit a good Italian deli and tell them what you want to do—ask for a variety of sliced meats, salads and marinated vegetables, olives, etc. You don't need a lot—just enough to arrange on a platter for everyone to share—it's an appetizer, meant to enhance the rest of the meal. Include some toasted bread slices or thin Italian breadsticks (grissini).

A fresh fruit dessert is always welcome after a hearty meal. Or, buy a dessert from a bakery. Pound cake topped with ice cream and puréed frozen berries is awesome, and if you can find them, garnish with mint sprigs.

Good luck—let me know how it goes!

Buon appetito!

Kate Heyhoe

Want more tips and recipes with an international flavor? Check out my weekly column: Kate's Global Kitchen.


Guessing Well

Dear Foodwine.com,

In January's Gourmet Guess questions #8 does not provide the correct answer as part of the multiple choice. AVA stands for Approved Viticultural Areas introduced in 1978 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Do I still get the point??

Robert Tomé
The Food and Wine Network
Toronto, Canada


Dear Foodwine.com,

I e-mailed you an observation re. Q#8 on this month's Gourmet Guess, I stand partially corrected.- Partially because according to The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia AVA does in fact stand for Approved Viticultural Area, however I also found AVA to mean American Vintner's Association??

E mail me with your thoughts.

Robert Tomé

Hi Robert,

Barron's Wine Lover's Companion by Ron & Sharon Herbst is a comprehensive dictionary of 3500 wine-related terms. They do not list an entry for Approved Viticultural Area but they do carry American Viticultural Area and AVA, which they list as equivalent to each other. It is also the name used by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), which administers the program for the U.S. government. Of the choices we offered, that's the answer we were looking for.

On the BATF website at [link removed]

the only terms used are American Viticultural Areas and (in support of your argument) Approved American Viticultural Areas, which appears once—but nowhere did we find the phrase "Approved Viticultural Areas." So where did Sotheby's came up with their definition?

Since the thousands of contest entries each month are processed by a computer, we cannot give you "credit" for Q#8 unless you chose our answer.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention—since 1994 our contest has invariably provoked argument and discussion, and hopefully, some good fun.

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

Thank you very much for your immediate response. That is very impressive. I trust you researched the book in which I referred to—Sotheby's published in '97. I have seen your answer to the question on the American Viticultural Area Web site, however you haven't commented that my answer was correct as well??

(This is fun.)

I do understand the answer you were looking for.

Quiz me on France??

I need Practice!!




Dear Foodwine.com,

One day, quite a while ago, when I was hours away from leaving the country and the Internet, I received a nice surprise in the mail. It was a Cooking Light CD from you, a prize I assume from Gourmet Guess. I've enjoyed it, and I want to give you a belated thank you. The game was fun, and I appreciate the gift.


Luci Block
Winter Park, FL


Dear Foodwine.com,

I want to thank you for the wonderful Rikon Risotto Cooker I won in the December 1998 Gourmet Guess. I have used it and cannot believe the results—my first attempt, Risotto Al Fungi, made us think we were back in Venice! I can't wait to try all the recipes in Pasta, Risotto & You.

Thank you once again, I shall continue to enter and enjoy your great website.

Betty C. Ford
Silver Spring, MD



Dear Foodwine.com,

I would like to know where I can go for classes on wines.

Ed Luster
Staten Island, NY

Dear Ed,

For wine lessons, phone your local wine shops and adult education schools. Hope you find one. Meanwhile, study a good beginner's book like SIP by SIP by Bonadies.

Fred McMillin


Hi there, The links on page /food/recipes/carvturk.html do not work. This is a good page and the links are well worth restoring.

If you get them working again, please let me know.


Dean Hedstrom

Dear Dean,

Though we've been online since 1994, due to technical limitations and lots of old non-working links, our archives only stretch back to 1996. And, as you discovered, there are still some old links in there as well, due to joining several domain names into one in recent years. Thanks to you, Dean, we immediately fixed the old links you discovered.

To all readers: If you find a non-working link, write to us at

and tell us on what page you found it. We'll fix it right away. Also, if a link contains "2way.com" simply replace 2way.com with globalgourmet.com and it may work—and then let us know where you saw it so we can fix it permanently




Dear Foodwine.com,

First, kudos on your fantastic site. I specifically like your column.

Second, I am the author/publisher of The Great Ranch Cookbook. I feature 30 western guest ranches, their travel aspects (activities, accommodations, rates) and their chefs (backgrounds, menus, tested recipes).

I am a member of IACP and a free lance writer. I have a degree from The Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and I trained under Chef Chuck Wiley of The Boulders Resort. I have managed an award-winning guest ranch in southwestern Montana and I am a member of Dame Julianas, the first fly fishing women group in Arizona.

I would appreciate consideration for a review of my book in your site. I can send you a review copy and press kit if you are interested. I await your reply!

Gwen Ashley Walters
Carefree, AZ

Dear Gwen and all cookbook authors,

You can submit your cookbook to us but we cannot guarantee reviews nor do we return any materials sent to us. If the cookbook is unique, well-done or special in some way, we will try to review or profile it. All cookbook authors should first write to us, like Gwen here, at

and we will email you our shipping address.



Dear Foodwine.com,

I looked for 20 min. for an omlette rec. I got lists of everything but.

What's up.



We went to our recipe finder located on our main page at AOL keyword: eGG. I chose Global Gourmet website recipes (which is the same as the Search link here on our website) and searched for omelet and quickly found Making the Perfect Omelet, plus a few other omelet recipes.

Good luck!



Dear Foodwine.com,

Thank you for all the eGG-Rolls, this year's recipe chats and happy new year to all there at your location.

Thanx again,



Dear Foodwine.com,

Made your gravlax recipe with basil and cilantro for Xmas, and it was wonderful. Served it with a sweet/sour mustard and dill sauce, and everyone loved it. I particularly enjoy your recipes from new cookbooks.

Eloise Mayer


Dear Foodwine.com,

I love your ideas and comments. I have used some of your recipes and my family loves them. They are rib sticking and good tasting. Thank you and keep those recipes coming.

Dorothy Marie Mirowski


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