Near Kitchen Catastrophes; Cakes from Scratch; Colonizing Mars; Eat ---Em and Weep; Bugs and Grubs

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Laura Avery speaks with Mike Ceroni who's got says Blenheim apricots should be around for about six weeks, then catches up with Amelia Saltsman, who's got great ideas on how to use them. Don't miss out on other delectable summer fruit, including pluots, plums and nectarines. If they're not already sweet enough, Laura says you can top them off with cream from Organic Pastures Dairy Company.

David Ramsey, freelance writer and editor of The Localist, has some tips on chicken so hot it will have you in tears. Want to know more about the Prince Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville, Tennessee? Read his article in the Oxford American magazine.

Award-winning journalist Peter Menzel and his wife, news producer Faith d'Aluisio, traveled the world to explore grub-eating cultures. They've captured their experience in Author of Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects. Still hungry for more? Check out their new book, Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.

NASA food scientist Michele Perchonok has been the Advanced Food System lead at the NASA/Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas since September 2000. Her responsibilities include space-food product development, menu definition, nutritional requirements implementation, food processing, and food packaging development for long duration exploratory missions. She discussed the challenges of feeding the space explorers who will one day colonize Mars.

Andrew Friedman, editor of Don't Try This at Home brought us the tales of professionals chefs who've escaped disaster. Pretty funny stuff--if it's not happening to you!

Pastry chef Cindy Mushet, author of Desserts: Mediterranean Flavors, California Style, guided us through the creation of an old favorate, a homemade layer cake. While she discussed the importance of everything from beating and levening to calibrating the oven, she reminds us that the most important ingredient of all is patience. Then, back to the kitchen for then, the icing on the cake... frostings and ganaches.