A Harte Appetite

flickr user gordonramsaysubmissions (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

History is full of famous duos -- Romulus and Remus, Gilbert and Sullivan, Batman and Robin. But of all the prominent pairs over the ages perhaps my favorite is Ben and Jerry.

That's because the ice cream produced by that Vermont institution is the closest to homemade of any store-bought brand I know. And what could be better during the hot summer months than a scoop of homemade ice cream? (Unless it's two scoops).

Let's Have a Picnic

Jul 17, 2017
flickr user mahohn (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Though Southeast Missouri's muggy summer climate may occasionally test it, I've always held the conviction that there's something special about alfresco dining. Whereas Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, one of the high priests of gastronomy, put it, the universe is your drawing room and the sun your lamp.

Perhaps it's because the great outdoors enhances the appetite and produces, as Brillat-Savarin observed, "a vivacity unknown indoors." Whatever the reason, I don't think I've ever been to a picnic I didn't enjoy, even if, the affair ended in rain.

flickr user Whitney (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

According to a recent article in Men's Health Magazine, the masculinity of salads has always been suspect. I suppose it's true that if real men don't eat quiche, they probably shun salads as well. Especially to the extent that salad may conjure dainty lunches for ladies. 

There's nothing dainty about pasta salads, those robust combinations of noodles, vegetables, and often cheese and meat, bound together by a distinctively flavored dressing. When it comes to one of these, making do with a salad for lunch -- or possibly dinner -- becomes thinkable, even to me. 

flickr user David Pursehouse (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

The comedian Buddy Hackett used to tell the story about a man who didn't know anything about farming but who bought a farm anyway. A friend asked him what he was going to plant. "Razor blades and cabbages," the would-be farmer told him. "What could you possibly get out of that?" his friend asked. The landowner replied, "Coleslaw."

You can't blame that man for experimenting with "cutting-edge" agricultural methods. After all, coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, chicken, and fish that so often are the mainstays of summer meals.

flickr user Delphine Ménard (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Not long ago the Hungarian government banned the sale of paprika marketed by three local companies because it was found to have been adulterated with a South American strain of a spice that might prove dangerous. Subsequently, seven senior members of the three companies were indicted.

The resulting scandal demonstrated that in Hungary they take their paprika seriously. Just as seriously as the Italians take their pasta, the Japanese take their rice or the English their tea.

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