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Facebook Connect Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Connect with Facebook?" mean? For a couple of years now Facebook has been offering a service to allow folks to sign into other websites easily without having to enter a whole lot of information everywhere they go. This system has evolved over time and we've integrated it here for our members' convenience. If you'd like to hear what Facebook has to say, check out their developer's guide and help pages.     Why is this on the site? The main benefit is an easy registration process for new members who discover this forum via Facebook. Traditionally,... read more

Inebriated Fruitcakes

  "Fruitcake is a geological homemade cake," Charles Dickens     When I was a kid I hated fruitcake. Ok, hate is a pretty strong word, an intense dislike is probably more appropriate, and this is coming from someone who's had a sweet tooth since the day they were born. But to be honest I didn't really gave it a chance.   One of the sticky little blocks always seemed to appear around holiday time, I'd spot it stashed in the back of the refrigerator. I wouldn't eat it even when there were no other sweets in the house. The way its plastic wrapping stuck to it kind of... read more

How To Make Gazpacho

On a recent hot and humid eveni ng I was standing in my garden with an empty plate in one hand and a small juice-glass of wine in the other; I was looking for dinner. I set down the glass of wine on the edge of the porch and picked a few leaves of basil and a couple small chilies, and put them on the plate. A couple perfectly ripe tomatoes also went in the mix, as did a cucumber and small bell pepper. As is often the case, I nibbled herbs and vegetables as I foraged. And as I bent to look in ankle-high weeds for low growing herbs I absent mindedly bit into a chili.... read more

The Tasting Of Choice Rare Teas

Tea tasting is at its elemental level nothing more than the act of consciously assessing a tea’s quality, or if one is doing a blind tasting it’s identity as well. It is most important to state here that tea tasting is in no way to be thought of as the ever enjoyable act of drinking tea. Here we are concerned only with the actions and activities involved in consciously cataloging the sensory impressions that tea can stimulate. Almost all of what is commonly called the sense of taste is actually the sense of smell. This can be easily experienced by holding the nose so... read more

The Wines Of Spain

Spain is a country rich in culture, history, culinary artistry, and of course, wine. Within the past decade, Spain has undergone a renaissance in their wine industry. Even though technology is not something that I like to include in a conversation about wine, it has truly been a blessing for Spanish wine. It has been a tremendous help in improving the quality, longevity, and overall flavors of the wine. While retaining the incredible flavors of each area, which is key. For a long time the wines from Spain would reach the United Stated in a poor state. They would not... read more

Buying Soft Shell Crabs

Soft-shell crabs are one of America's favorite seafood delicacies. While all crabs shed their shells to grow, only a few species of crab can actually be eaten in this form. The Blue Crab is the only commercially available soft-shell product. The scientific name, callinectes sapidusis, is derived from Latin and Greek. Calli = beautiful; Nectes = swimmer; sapidus = savory. The translation is not only accurate but surprisingly poetic - the beautiful, savory swimmer. Blue crabs grow rather rapidly, 12 - 18 months, from the juvenile stage to adulthood. A full-grown Blue Crab... read more

A Brining We Shall Do

In my XX number of years in the kitchen, believe it or not, I have never brined anything.  Well, I did once, unfortunately I brined a turkey that already had 8% salt solution enhancement, ACK!  It was a Thanksgiving of side dishes only, so I never tried it again, until now. All of the turkeys or parts thereof, that I have prepared, I’ve  just chucked into the oven and said a pray, oh please kitchen gods, let my meal be good this once?  Recently, I have been buying Jenny-O turkey breast tenderloins that are already flavored.  It took me till now to look at more than the... read more

Vodka Cheers Comrade

Cheers Comrade What comes to mind when you think of Russia?  Communism? The Cold War? The Iron Curtain?  As a chef and epicure, my first association is vodka!  (And caviar of course).  The Brits would agree.   In the 16th century, the British ambassador to Russia deemed it their national drink.  The word vodka comes from the Russian "zbiznennaia voda" which translates as "water of life", a rather hospitable phrase that has been oxymoronically linked with bellicose, totalitarian regimes and evil dictators.  Ivan the Terrible, the unspeakably ruthless and murderous... read more

Rushing Water Fisheries

In a culinary world where chefs quest for new commodities and methods of cookery it is understandable that the idea of cooking with trout does not purvey the concept of modern cuisine. Nor does it really spark the culinary imagination. This is certainly the way I felt - until I encountered the fish form Rushing Waters. In the heart of the Wisconsin countryside - Palmyra to be exact you can discover Rushing Waters Fishery. Rushing Waters is a trout farm with a difference. It is an operation that is focused on quality not quantity. A rare philosophy in the fish business... read more

Finding Comfort Between Two Slices of Bread

Finding comfort between two slices of bread   Jim Berman   There is probably more in print - and on television - about Pittsburgh's Primanti Brothers than every James Beard Award winner. Combined. And that is the last the time "James Beard Award" and "Primanti Brothers" will appear in the same sentence. In case you missed the article in National Geographic, the spots on Man vs. Food and the Jon Stewart Show or are not a 'burgh resident, then you probably do not know about Primanti's goodness. From the wall-hung catalog of about 20 meat/fish choices, the rest is... read more

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