The Farm Bill; Whoopie Pies; Food Styling
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Dan Imhoff shares how the national Farm Bill has sculpted agriculture in America; Amy Bouchard makes Wicked Whoopie Pies; Sandy Oliver visits the dinner tables of Colonial America; Jim Adelman offers more information about wine additives; food stylist Bonnie Belknap gives food the Hollywood treatment; Rachael Sheridan finds the best gourmet and fine foods in Los Angeles; Keith Thomsen breaks down the mysteries of composting; and Laura Avery gives the Market Report.
The Market Report ()
Laura Avery spoke with Maryann Carpenter of Coastal Farms. Maryann is known for her wide variety of heirloom field tomatoes which arrive in mid-summer. This week, she has baby pink and yellow turnips. She picks them medium-sized (about the size of a tangerine). They are delicious braised.
Peel the turnips and chop into a smallish chop. Cook them in a small amount of salted water and drain when tender. Add a little butter. The chef's secret is to drizzle them with a small amount of honey. A sprinkling of salt and pepper is last. She says this is a delicious way to eat her turnips.
Next, Laura meets with Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms. Alex will appear in person at the CUBE Makers Nights on May 3rd and 4th. (See Rachel Sheridan’s CUBE segment for additional information.)
Alex is excited about his Bloomsbury Spinach, which is a savoyed (crinkled-leaf) spinach. It doesn't have the tannic after-taste that makes most spinach an acquired taste. Alex is also famous for his potatoes and grows many, many varieties of them. He explains that a "new" potato is not, as many think, a red potato. A new potato is any potato that has just been dug out of the ground and not allowed to cure or set their skin. You can tell a new potato by its flakey skin that rubs off when you touch it.
Not all new potatoes are better. Chefs prefer the sunburst potato when it's four months out of storage because its dryness soaks up the fats and flavors of the dish they accompany. There's a potato for everyone!
Music Break -- El-Die-Bie! -- The Dave Pike Set
The Farm Bill ()
Every five years, the U.S. Congress passes a new Farm Bill. This significant land-use legislation has an impact on everyone – whether you are concerned about the nutritional value of school lunches, taxes, immigrant working conditions, biodiversity or access to healthful foods. The subsidization of certain food groups can affect the food market, defining the very foods we eat. For instance, because the Farm Bill favors the mass production of corn (used to make high-fructose corn syrup) it’s cheaper to buy calorie-laden processed foods than fresh produce. The good news is that Americans have a say in their food and farm policies. Awareness about food marketing, genetic foods, organic farming, and other food-related hot topics might make this the most contested Farm Bill yet.
Dan Imhoff is the author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill – he shares why the Farm Bill matters and explains the scope of this legislation, including where we go from here.
Music Break -- Cuban Love Song -- Edmundo Ros
Bakin' Whoopie ()
Whoopie pies are one of Maine’s best-loved and most traditional comfort foods – a soft-cookie sandwich with a fluffy sweet cream filling. Amy Bouchard is the proprietor of Wicked Whoopies, a booming whoopie pie business in Gardiner, Maine that Bouchard started in her own kitchen. In the beginning, Wicked Whoopies was born from Bouchard’s passion for baking and a need for additional income for her family. At a pace of twelve whoopie pies per hour, her business expanded quickly – burning out four mixers in just one week. When the kitchen became filled with baking trays stacked as tall as her 10-year old son and the dining room doubled as a shipping center, she decided to move to a commercial bakery. The rest, as they say, is whoopie-pie history.
Music Break -- Chaparall -- Orchestra dalle Haensch
Federalist Foods ()
Sandy Oliver captures our country’s Federalist and Colonial food traditions in her book, Food in Colonial and Federal America. She documents how American cooking practices changed very little from the early 1600’s to the mid-1700s. The majority of Colonial settlers still cooked on an open fire with kettles and Dutch ovens, although the elite had more well-equipped kitchens. Meals were heavy on meats, but it’s during this period that the outline of the meat, vegetable, and starch model started to develop in the American meal. There was breakfast, the main meal at noon, and tea or a supper that consisted on leftovers from the main meal. The Federalist and Colonial periods were also when the uniquely American style of fast cooking and fast eating started to take hold. Chemical leavenings made cooking faster, which was particularly popular in kitchens that didn’t have servants. Sandy explores how everyday food customs were interpreted by the colonists – from appetizers to desserts and even party foods, she provides a sampling of early American life through the history of food.
Sandy Oliver began working in food history in 1971 when she founded the fireplace cooking program at Mystic Seaport Museum. Since then, she has researched historic food customs and practices – providing training programs for museums and acting as a consultant and speaker on the cultural history of food. She is the editor and publisher of Food History News in Islesboro, Maine.
Music Break -- Calhoon Road -- Karminsky Experience
More About Wine Additives ()
Last week, Good Food featured a segment about the additives that are commonly used in wine to enhance their flavor – most commonly coloring agents and chemicals. These processes are used to insure consistency and to protect big investments for the wineries. Many wine lovers are unaware of the additives and there is a movement to divulge all wine ingredients on labels. However, a few facts stated on last week’s show were incorrect. Jim Adelman is the General Manager of Au Bon Climat wines and Qupe Winery. He provides additional information about wine additives and makes a few corrections to our segment. For instance, Jim argues that the flakes that show up in wine are often calcium tartrate, a naturally occurring formation more commonly known as cream of tartar (not tartaric acid, which is sometimes added to wine). He also reports that many European winemakers use additives and that it’s not strictly a North American practice.
Music Break -- Bugaloo for Ernie -- Gloria Coleman
Edible Hollywood ()
Food stylist Bonnie Belknap has one of the most interesting jobs in Hollywood. Her company, Gourmet Proppers, has created astonishing food effects from exploding buffets to a fantasy edible forest with delicious, edible tree branches. From cigarettes to record albums, Bonnie can create almost any object out of edible materials. It doesn’t stop there – her designs have to be tasty and meet the dietary requirements and preferences of the actors, which creates an entirely different challenge.
Bonnie takes us behind-the-scenes – revealing her strangest requests and her funniest on-set disasters.
Music Break -- Aria Pulita -- Enzo Scoppa
Go Gourmet ()
Living in Los Angeles means having access to some of the finest gourmet foods available. But do you know where to find them? Rachel Sheridan is the food buyer at Cube – the bright-walled Los Angeles café that offers a sizeable selection of charcuterie, cheeses and pastas. Cube has organized a culinary fundraiser, the Maker Nights -- a benefit for Slow Food in Schools (a national program that helps children appreciate wholesome foods and sustainable food practices). On May 3rd and 4th, the restaurant’s dining room will welcome three of the country’s top artisan food makers and an heirloom farmer, who will partner for two evenings of scrumptious menus and food discussions. Rachel shares some of the delectable dishes and fine foods that can be found at Cube – from a Black Truffle Pizza from the Marche region of Italy to raw sunflower honey and Cube’s Artisan Four Cheese Mac & Cheese.
615 N. La Brea
Music Break -- 93' Till Infinity - Souls of Mischief
Keith Thomsen is the director of the Smart Gardening program – a gardening education program sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. He organizes composting classes and teaches useful ways to create and utilize this environmentally sound practice. While composting is a simple process, it can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start – especially for urban dwellers in apartments. Keith teaches us what’s compostable, how to set up your compost and exactly how and when to use those worms. To learn more about composting, watch our composting videocast with Keith Thomsen's brother, Curtis.
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GOOD FOOD THANKS ITS UNDERWRITERS:
Du Vin Wine & Spirits: In business for more than two decades at San Vicente in West Hollywood, Du Vin offers more than 10,000 bottles of hand-picked wine, with staff specialists in the wines of France, Italy, Latin America and California.
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