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------------------THE FOOD REFERENCE NEWSLETTER-----------------
December 28, 2006     Vol 7 #18   ISSN 1535-5659
Food Reference Website -


-------------------------IN THIS ISSUE--------------------------

   ->  Website News
   ->  'Food for Thought' by Mark Vogel
   ->  Quotes and Trivia
   ->  Website of the Week
   ->  Food Trivia Quiz
   ->  Readers questions
   ->  Ancient & Classic Recipes
   ->  Did you know?
   ->  Who's Who in the Culinary Arts
   ->  Requested Recipes
   ->  Cooking Tips
   ->  Culinary Calendar - selected events
   ->  How To Subscribe to this Newsletter
   ->  How to Stop receiving this Newsletter
   ->  General information and Copyright

-------------------------HAPPY NEW YEAR!------------------------

This is the final issue for 2006, and I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year.  I thank you for your support and look forward to the 8th year for this newsletter and

Please patronize our sponsors - they are the ones that make the newsletter and possible!

----------------'FOOD FOR THOUGHT' BY MARK VOGEL----------------
DINING ON DEATH ROW - If you were on death row what would be your last meal? Think about it. It’s not as simple a question as it appears. Your first instinct might be to pick your favorite food. But maybe.....


"I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation."
Madame Benoit

-------------------FOOD ART & CULINARY POSTERS------------------

The finest selection of food and beverage related posters and art work to be found anywhere. There are thousands of posters - food art, restaurant art, kitchen art, culinary art - food posters, culinary posters, food identification posters, fine art, etc, all suitable for your home, kitchen, restaurant or office.


Kudzu was introduced to the U.S. in 1876, to control soil erosion in the South. Native to China and Japan, it can grow up to 1 foot per day, and virtually takes over telephone poles, trees, buildings, and anything else in it's way. We know it primarily as an uncontrollable weed, and sometimes as cattle forage.    In Japan and China, it is also grown for its edible roots, which can reach 7 feet long and weigh 450 pounds. The roots are dried and pulverized into kudzu powder. This kudzu powder is used in cooking to thicken soups and sauces, dredge foods for deep frying, etc. The leaves and stems can be used as in salads.    Kudzo is high in fiber and protein and a good source of vitamin A and D.

---------------CULINARY SCHOOLS, TOURS AND CRUISES--------------

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------------------------FOOD TRIVIA QUIZ------------------------
The Food Trivia Quizzes are now moved to their own separate section after the newsletter is e-mailed. Check the Navigation Bar at the top of the page.

---------------------------COOL APRONS--------------------------

Great Gift ideas!Hundreds of designs or Create & Personalize your own for the same low prices!!!

---------------FREE TRIAL ISSUE OF SAVEUR MAGAZINE--------------

Food Reference subscribers can get a FREE trial issue to Saveur magazine - the award winning magazine that celebrates the people, places and rituals that establish culinary traditions.

------------------------READERS QUESTIONS-----------------------

QUESTION: (from June, 2005) Hi James! I just know you can answer this...I have a friend in Finland who cannot find shortening to make her favorite quiche recipe, and she wants to know if there is another name for it there.  She said her recipe actually calls for Crisco, but that caused way too much confusion in Finland.  No one there knows what shortening is, it seems.
I told her sub in lard.  But the BEST part of her question is, "Why is shortening called shortening?" 
Can you give us a hand here?      Karen

ANSWER: Karen,
Shortening is an edible fat used to 'shorten' baked goods.  Shortenings include lard (about 98% fat), butter (about 80% fat),  margarine (about 80% fat) and processed shortenings made from vegetable oils, treated to produce an odorless, white shortening that is 100% fat - such as Crisco.
Because Crisco and similar flavorless shortenings were originally developed in the U.S., they are more well know here - and because they are 100% fat, they make the best shortening (leaving out the consideration of flavor that butter or lard give).
The term 'short' has a very old derivation -  it originally referred to substances that were easily crumbled, including coal, paper, dried dung, chalk, sand, etc.  This most likely was based on the observation that friable (brittle, easily crumbled) substances had short fibers, or that they crumbled into shorter (smaller) pieces.
(Its culinary use dates back to at least the 15th century).
(To make something shorter, means to cut into smaller pieces - see the connection?)
Short pastry has a high proportion of fat to flour, which produces a flaky dough - a dough which crumbles into shorter (smaller) pieces - (shortcake, short bread, short crust, etc).
Tell your friend to look for solid vegetable oil, or just use butter with the highest butterfat content available. (possibly adding a VERY slight sprinkling of flour to compensate for the slight moisture content in butter verses shortening - I stress VERY slight - it may not even be necessary, depending on the size of the recipe).
Chef James


Kvass is a fermented Russian beverage, similar to beer, with a low alcohol content. It is made from fermented rye or barley, or soaked and fermented dark rye bread. Kvass is frequently flavored with mint, juniper or fruit due to its bittersweet taste.

--------------------------FRESH FLOWERS-------------------------

Fresh Flowers Directly from the Growers

--------------------ANCIENT & CLASSIC RECIPES-------------------

Mrs. Samuel Whitehorne, SUGAR HOUSE BOOK, 1801, Collection of the Newport Historical Society.

Get them quite ripe on a dry day, squeeze them with your hands till reduced to a pulp, then put half a pound of fine salt to one hundred tomatoes, and boil them for two hours. Stir them to prevent burning. While hot press them through a fine sieve, with a silver spoon till nought but the skin remains, then add a little mace, 3 nutmegs, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and pepper to taste. Boil over a slow fire till quite thick, stir all the time. Bottle when cold. One hundred tomatoes will make four or five bottles and keep good for two or three years.


"Some people are fat, some people are lean. But I want you to show me the person who doesn't like butterbeans Yay!"
B-52's, Song, 'Butterbean', 1983

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--------------------------DID YOU KNOW?-------------------------

Lamb's Wool was a drink popular from the 16th to the 19th century in England. It was made with hot beer, sweetened and spiced with soft, baked apple pulp added.

-----------------WHO'S WHO IN THE CULINARY ARTS-----------------

M.F.K. Fisher (July 3, 1908 -  June 22, 1992)
Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was an American food critic and writer, author of various articles, essays and books about food, she also translated Brillat-Savarin's 'The Physiology of Taste' in 1949.

---------------CULINARY SCHOOLS, TOURS AND CRUISES--------------

Culinary Schools & Cooking Classes - Food and Wine Tours for the amateur & the professional. U.S. and abroad.
The best of the best.


"I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts."
Orson Welles, actor, director, producer, writer (1915-1985)

------------------RECIPE REQUESTS FROM READERS------------------

Serves 6.

3 cups julienne-cut cooked pork loin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
6 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup drained, chopped pickled beets

Cooking Directions
Place bacon pieces in large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat; remove and discard about half of fat from pan as it accumulates. When bacon is browned, raise heat and stir in onion and green pepper, cook and stir 1-2 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Add potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned. Stir in pork and beets; cook and stir to heat through.

“Red flannel” hash is a classic New England dish that gets its name from the beets contained herein. Serve this casual supper with buttered rye bread and a cucumber salad in dill vinaigrette.

 Email your recipe requests, food info or history
 questions to me at

--------------------FOOD ART AND FOOD POSTERS-------------------

The finest selection of food and beverage related posters and art work to be found anywhere. There are thousands of posters - food art, restaurant art, kitchen art, culinary art - food posters, culinary posters, food identification posters, fine art, etc, all suitable for your home, kitchen, restaurant or office.

--------------------------COOKING TIPS--------------------------

Letter to the Editor, London's 'Daily Telegraph'

"If you boil an egg while singing all five verses and chorus of the hymn, 'Onward Christian Soldiers.' it will be cooked perfectly when you come to Amen."


2005 Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans reopened exactly 4 months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

1817 The first coffee was planted in Hawaii.

1600 The British East India Company was incorporated by royal charter. It was created to compete in the East Indian spice trade.

1895 C.W. Post of Battle Creek, Michigan introduced Postum Food Coffee, a coffee substitute made from wheat, bran and molasses.

1990 Campbell's Soup introduced Cream of Broccoli soup. It became their most successful new soup in 55 years.

1888 The first patent for wax coated paper drinking straws (made by a spiral winding process) was issued to Marvin C. Stone of Washington, D.C.

1905 Actor Sterling Holloway was born. He was also the voice of Winnie The Pooh, the honey loving bear in Disney's animated version.

For a complete listing of each day's events, go here:

----------------FOOD & WINE MAGAZINES & CATALOGS----------------

Hundreds of Food, Recipe, Wine and Beer Magazines at great discount prices.  Also Health & Fitness, Home & Gardening, Hunting & Fishing, Environmental, Travel, Nature, Recreation etc. Magazines - and more!


Largest of the citrus family, the pummelo, native to Malaysia, is believed to be an ancestor of the grapefruit. They are a giant citrus fruit that can reach 10-11 inches in diameter, with a firm flesh and less juice than a grapefruit.


"I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer."
Brendan Behan, Irish author (1923-1964)

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Food Reference Newsletter  ISSN 1535-5659
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