A Harte Appetite

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

Ready for a fish story? While cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage, I visited a salmon hatchery in Ketchikan - the salmon capital of the world - and renewed my respect for these persistent and tasty creatures. 


Nov 6, 2017

An old Spanish proverb says "Of soup and love, the first is best." It's an obvious overstatement, but it is true that soup can be alluring. And few things make a meal more elegant than a soup course -- especially if the soup is served in style! Say in a crystal or silver cup, a hollowed out squash (or other vegetable), or a bowl-shaped loaf of bread.

I won't soon forget the cream-of-cilantro soup I had at a Mexican restaurant in San Francisco a few years ago. It was served in a brilliant, blue bowl designed to set off the soup's beautiful green color.

Candy Corn

Oct 30, 2017
Flicr user WsMom (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Just about every major holiday in America is associated with its own signature version of what Jonathan Bartlett, author of The Cook’s Dictionary and Culinary Reference, calls “those sugary confections that feed our ‘sweet tooth,’ rot our teeth, and lift our spirits.”

At Christmas it’s the candy cane. On Valentine’s Day it’s the chocolate heart. For Easter it’s marshmallow Peeps. And come Halloween it’s candy corn.

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

"On every breakfast plate in the South, there always appears a little white mound of food. Sometimes it's ignored. Sometimes insulted. But without it, the sun wouldn't come up, the crops wouldn't grow, and most of us would lose our drawl." That's what Bill Neal and David Perry said in a little cookbook published a few years ago. They were talking, of course, about grits. And, at least from a Southerner's point of view, they didn't overstate the case by much. 

Perhaps you've noticed the recent newspaper ads for something called the "vinegar diet," which promises that you can lose weight without cutting calories or going hungry. The hitch is you have to drink vinegar several times daily. I haven't tried the regimen but I suspect it would sour me even further on dieting. Unless, however, I could substitute that most un-vinegar-like of vinegars, the balsamic variety.