Monday, November 16, 2015

Best Of My Holiday Blogs

After publishing 184 food blogs, I've run out of holiday topics. I can only talk about turkey/wine pairings and oyster dressing so many years in a row. I could veer from talking about traditional holiday food, and write about cutting edge gastronomic fare, such as turkey which dissolves on the tongue. That's not genuine cooking to me though, and it certainly has nothing to do with holiday fare.

Instead, I’ll be taking a break from blogging. During the next 6 weeks I’m going to; design & send this year’s Christmas card, design next year’s calendar, rewrite a few chapters of my book, and look into raising money for a copyright lawyer so I can self publish “Murder According To Hoyle.”

In the meantime, readers can browse some of my best holiday blogs.

 Turkey served
Title: Turkey | Date: 10/27/2010 | Photographer: Howard Portnoy | This graphic was released into the public domain by the photographer.
Turkey Day Cometh - Includes my Oyster Dressing recipe |

Kicking Off Thanksgiving Dinner - Covers Deviled Eggs and other Thanksgiving appetizers |

A Taste Of The First Thanksgiving |

What are the Best Holiday Wine & Food Pairings? - A Guest Post by Vintage Wine Gifts |

Feed Someone This Thanksgiving |

A Taste Of Traditional English Christmas Dinner |


Instead of the usual links to related products, you'll find links to a few hunger related charities, you can donate to, at the bottom of this entry.

| No Kid Hungry | Save The Children | Feed The Children | Random Acts Of Pizza |
| Meals On Wheels | Loaves & Fishes |
| Portland's Sunshine Division |

SEE YOU IN 2016!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Seasonal Eating? Pt. 2

Roast beef with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and vegetables
Title: Roast beef with Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes and vegetables | Photographer: HotBabyHot | Date: 03/29/2007 | This graphic was released into the public domain by the photographer.
As I said in my last blog, I remarked to my friend, Dani, that a certain recipe would be a good soup for Fall. She looked at me as if I'd confessed to being D.B. Cooper. The idea of "seasonal food" was a foreign idea to her.

I was taken aback by her reaction.  Being a "food person," I figured people generally ate; rustic & smoky dishes (sausages, roast beef, pot pie) in the fall, heavy bone warming dishes (mac and cheese, foul dressing, stew) in the winter, crisp fresh greens (spinach, spring greens, asparagus) in the spring, and grilled foods (corn on the cob, BBQ ribs, burgers) in the summer.

Of course, we eat many other things outside of those boxes, and I knew there was plenty of overlap, but I thought seasonal eating was a generally practiced rule of thumb.  Struck by the possibility that seasonal eating wasn't as common a practice as I had first thought, I conducted a poll and asked my readers if they eat according to season.

 photo poll.jpg
Screenshot of results of poll taken at On My Plate: Seasonal Eating?.

Nobody, who took the poll, was strict about eating only seasonal foods.  However, 60% of those polled said they at least try to eat seasonally.  The other 40% claimed their diet isn't influenced by the time of year.  I'd tend to question the accuracy of the second statistic.

Few people, if anyone, enjoy fruitcake and eggnog in April, roast a turkey with all the trimmings in August, or grill ribs in their backyard in December.  Weather and holiday traditions DO dictate, to some degree, when we eat certain foods.

Tradition aside though, in an era of super markets and chain restaurants, we CAN pretty much eat what we want when we want.  Unlike our ancestors, who were limited in what they could eat by growing seasons and geography, we can go to Applebee's in February for those ribs.  We can buy oranges in June, asparagus in October, and tomatoes in December.  They're watery tomatoes, which have been bread for greenhouse mass production, rather than flavor, but they're tomatoes.

While we're technically not limited in what we can eat at any given time, I don't think there's any denying that many foods are going to taste better during certain times of year.  Tomatoes and corn on the cob are going to taste better purchased from a Farmers' Market in August than ones found in the grocery store in March.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seasonal Eating?

Recently, I came across a recipe for Corn & Cheese Chowder on Pinterest.  With corn, bacon, onions, bell peppers, and two kinds of cheese in a creamy base, I remarked to my friend, Dani, this would be a good soup for Fall.  She looked at me as if I'd announced my candidacy for President of Mars.  The idea of "seasonal food" was a foreign concept to her.

Historically, people ate what was accessible during certain times of year.  However, now that we have grocery stores, I wonder if people still eat seasonally.

Before I write a full blog about this I'd like input from my readers.  Please use the survey below and let me know if you eat seasonally.

Does the season influence what you eat? free polls

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Water Water Everywhere

I was at Fred Meyer, an Oregon grocery store owned by Kroger, when I passed a shelf displaying multiple types of bottled water.  While the selection of over a dozen brands of bottled water floored me, I had NO idea that the Natural Resources Defense Council actually counts the number of brands selling bottled water in the United States to be more than 700.
Bottled water
Subject: Bottled Water | Date: 08/05/15 |
Photographers: James Kiester & Dani Cogswell | This picture was taken by the author of this blog. |

I find it interesting that there are so many versions of the exact same product.  Understand, this is water in bottles, with different labels.

Companies DO try to put their own spin on the product.  One company states their bottled water is, "made by nature, not by man."  All water is made by nature.

Another purveyor of packaged H2O puts on their bottles, and I'm not making this up, their "pure pristine water is imported from Earth."  Forget the implication that other bottled water is from extraterrestrial sources.  Linguistically, you can't "import" a product from a place where you are.  If a product is from a place where you are, we call that a domestic product.

The fact that 700 companies sell enough bottled water to make the enterprise economically viable means consumers are buying this stuff like potato chips.  It's been said that Americans spend $6 billion a year on bottled water because it's safer than tap water.  Ah, but this is not so Number One Son.

According to Food & Water Watch, common tap water is tested more frequently than bottled water.  The drinking water, from our faucets, is continuously monitored and treated according to federal standards. If local tap water is unsafe then water companies are obligated, under federal law, to notify the public, and correct the problem.

Admittedly, if you're putting together an Earthquake emergency kit, or a roadside emergency kit, the inclusion of bottled water makes sense.  It might also make sense in some sports/training situations.  Even in these cases though, price should be the only factor determining which brand a person buys.