Museum of Food Anomalies; Friendly with Fish; Dinner Blog; Coffee Talk; Secret Syrup; Gold and Le

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Laura Avery speaks with Coastal Organics' Mary-Ann Carpenter, who's famous for her summer displays of heirloom tomatoes. Mary-Ann say's it's been a strange spring so her vegetables are going to be a bit late this season. Right now she has some fabulous carrots: orbits (round like a ball); scarlets, which are red, and kaleidoscope that look beautiful when sliced. She also has garlic chives, red and green chard, baby broccoli and soon she'll have some gorgeous cherry tomatoes.

Laura also spoke with Peacock Farms' Scott Peacock, who has some lovely mid-winter tomatoes, which he grows in hoop houses. Scott explains how his crops are harvested.

Michael Hanttula is the "curator" of the web-based Museum of Food Anomalies or MOFA. Go to the website to see some of his frightening and funny specimens, like the ghoulish face captured in a mutant honeycomb or the Mickey Mouse ears growing on a unsuspecting strawberry.

Rob De Borde is the author of Fish on a First Name Basis, soon to be a Good Food Cookbook Club selection. Rob is a writer for Alton Brown's Good Eats and also the voice of Tako the Octopus on the animated web-show Deep Fried Live.

Veteran actor John Pleshette loves to cook. His latest adventure, however, is the weekly recipes that he has been sending out to an increasingly large readership.

Lissette Gavina of Gavi--a Coffee introduces us to the people who grow the coffee, and explains how relationships are developed between growers and distributors to be beneficial for everyone.

Gordon Jones received an ancient recipe from a mysterious old man for the Shagbark Hickory Syrup he now widely produces from his 64-acre farm in Indiana. He offers two recipes we can try with his syrup.
Crispy Hickory Spareribs

  • 3 lbs lean pork spareribs
  • 6 fl oz Shagbark Hickory syrup
  • 1 Tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Roast ribs on a rack in pre-heated 400-- oven for 30 minutes. Combine the remaining ingredients in a pan and bring to boil for 5 minutes, Remove ribs from rack and reduce heat to 350--. Place ribs in a baking tin and cover with the sauce. Bake uncovered for a further 45 minutes, basting frequently. Serve with a green salad.

Hickory Chicken Wings

  • 2 1/2 lbs chickens wings
  • 4 fl oz Shagbark Hickory Syrup
  • 5 Tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine the syrup, chili sauce, onion, cider vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a shallow dish. Marinate the chicken wings for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, keeping covered and turning occasionally. Grill, oven bake or barbecue the chicken wings until thoroughly cooked, basting occasionally. This recipe is also a delicious on, chicken drumstick.

Jonathan Gold of the LA Weekly says it's easy to swallow a $14 hamburger, especially those served at Father's Office and The Hungry Cat.

Ann Le, author of The Little Saigon Cookbook, recommends the Vietnamese restaurant Pho Tau Bay at 3610 West 1st Street in Santa Ana. She recommends the bahn chau.