Fall is in the air, my friends, and if you're along the Gulf Coast of the United States so are patio chairs, speedboats, and the occasional cow. Hurricane season is in full force, so it's no surprise that this week, we won't be seeing a lot from the New Orleans Times-Picayune where they are very glad Ivan knows what it means to miss New Orleans. There's not much in the Houston Chronicle either this week which I have to attribute to laziness since they didn't get much of the storm at all. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution site was completely inaccessible as I wrote this report, and I don't think that can be blamed on the storm. Atlanta is about 150 miles inland from the ocean - a long march from the sea for a weakening storm.
So let's start up in Chicago, where it's sunny and in the high 70's. The Chicago Tribune resisted the spate of Rosh Hashana stories last week so they could print Virginia Gerst's piece on sweet exotic fruits appropriate for celebration of the Jewish New Year. Janet Helm tells us whole grains are winning the carb wars. I bought some groats myself the other day. For the sake of the pun, I'll note that there's nothing by Bill Daley in this week's Trib online (bzzzt! wrong! See note below). Won't you come home, Bill Daley? Won't you come home?
If you have a garden in your home, the Hartford Courant's Dana Carpender finds ways to use up all that zucchini you're harvesting right now including zucchini gingerbread. The recipe exchange features a winter squash pickle and a batch of magnificent raspberry recipes.
I've called the New York Times's R.W. Apple a "magnificent bastard" in this feature before (a phrase I stole from George C. Scott as Patton describing Rommel). I have to emphasize how much I hate and admire the guy at the same time. Look at the pictures in the piece on Dubrovnik, Croatia and the Croatian table. Sigh. I suppose he earned it. William Grimes has earned a good meal in 30 minutes or less. An excerpt from the article:
It is worth stating at the outset that there is good fast food and bad fast food... Canned onion rings over canned green beans, a casserole dish I recall from childhood, may be the bad fast dish par excellence. At the opposite end of the scale I might place veal chops in sage-butter sauce spiked with a little vermouth, a simple Italian entree I have made many times. Both dishes take about 10 minutes to prepare. One is satisfying and delicious. The other is a crime against nature.
The Salt Lake City Tribune is gaga over gadgets and granola. Kathy Stephenson picks out the most practical kitchen gadgets - things I'd call essentials. Jill Wendholt Silva tells us granola isn't just for hippies anymore. Hippies? Who calls anyone a hippie anymore?
Ann Lovejoy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer isn't a hippie but she is a beetnik. That's right, she's a fan of beets and has three recipes to prove it. John Owen is looking for cheap eats for his Intermediate Eater column. Entries must be able to sustain life for at least 2 1/2 hours in a single-stomached vertebrate.
S. Irene Virbila is right on when she writes about the pleasures of the mortar and pestle in the Los Angeles Times. Charles Perry compares major mortar styles to help you pick the right one(s) for you. Valli Herman looks at a few cookbooks and picks recipes for Rosh Hashana. Honey, anyone?
The San Francisco Chronicle's Carol Ness is sweet on Splenda, or she would like to be. She gathered chefs together to try recipes with artificial sweetners instead of sugar. The results are... in the article. Click the link, why don't you?
The Montreal Gazette's Renee Breummer examines how food has shaped Montreal. Jeff Heinrich examines how our food is changing. I just discovered this food section, and I'm very impressed. Check it out for yourself.
In Ireland the multi-newspaper Unison.ie site tells us about that traditional Irish dish moussaka. The problem with a product like whiskey that takes 20 years to age is that you just don't know what you're going to get when you open the cask. It might be bright pink, as the distillers at Bruichladdich discovered with their latest single malt.
New Zealand's multi-newspaper stuff.co.nz brings us the news that anthropologists at Otago University will be studying New Zealand cookbooks to show how kiwi domestic life has evolved.
The Sydney Herald's Judy Adamson studies heirloom cookbooks herself and pulls a few choice recipes. Brigette Hafner follows the curds way for her recipes featuring soft cream cheese, quark, yogurt, and creme fraiche. Jeni Port (great name for a wine writer) tries to figure out why Australian Merlots don't sell.
William Campbell of the Japan Times might attribute it to the headaches red wine can induce.
So there you go, this week is all about headaches and hurricanes.
I'd like to make an appeal to the community - please let me know if you have or know of a newspaper with a decent food section that we're not reviewing each week. I'm especially interested in English-language papers outside the United States.
If you're in the hurricane zone, stay safe and dry and see you next week.
Note - When I checked the Tribune's website I looked at the bylines on ALMOST every article (sloppy research assistants, clearly). The one I missed way down near the bottom was, of course, Bill Daley's column on Viognier-based wines. Kudos to Daley for reviewing a bunch of wines under $10, along with the odd $20-30 bottle, and my apologies for missing the article. However, I stand by my puns, though Mr. Daley assures me he's heard that song ALL HIS LIFE, much as I've heard "Magic Buss". We go for the funny here, not necessarily the original...