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Yet again there is another food related foot in mouth incident of bigotry. The food world had just been through the Paula Deen drama.
Now Guido Barilla, of Barilla Pasta has jumped on the anti-gay bandwagon .
You probably have a box of Barilla pasta in your home right now. I did.
Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.”
He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” he said.
Guido Barilla’s firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US.
When these things come out, I am curious if the anti-gay folks will rally in solidarity and boost the sales of the offending company.
I am not sure Barilla got the memo that politics and business do not mix, especially if you sell a consumer product. Does Barilla really want to loose his gay and gay supporter sales to champion his private believes?
Maybe. He’s rich. What does he care. But his shareholder care, which is why he apologized.
But I don’t buy it. I say let him sit with his believes and own them in the market place.
This is the last box of Barilla pasta I plan to buy.
I’m going to go with my local Michigan Brand Al Dente.
Or why not make your own homemade pasta.
Here is a recipe for Homemade Pasta from openly gay pastry chef David Lebovitz
1 1/2 pounds (665g) – 4 servings
7 ounces (200g) all-purpose flour
7 ounces (200g) coarse semolina
or 14 ounces (400g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Mix together the flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer, or mix them up and create a mound on the counter top with a crater in the center. If using a stand mixer, add the eggs to the dough and mix them together with the paddle or dough hook until well mixed. On the counter top, crack the eggs into the center of the flour and semolina. Use your fingers to gradually draw the dry ingredients into the center, mixing them with the eggs. The dough will be hard to mix at first – a pastry scraper will help you draw it all together – but eventually it will come together and be relatively smooth.
Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for at least three minutes until the dough is very smooth. The dough should not feel sticky. If it sticks to your fingers, knead in a small amount of flour, just enough so your fingers come away clean when you pull them away. Wrap the dough and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.
(You can keep the dough for several hours at room temperature.
Shaping the pasta:
To roll out the pasta, on a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into six or eight pieces. Working one piece at a time, fashion each piece into a rough rectangle, then pass it through your pasta machine on the widest setting (usually #1). Fold dough in half or in thirds and pass it through again. Then fold and pass it through one more time.
Continue passing the pasta through the machine, closing down the opening of the rollers a few notches with each pass (and dusting them very lightly with flour or semolina if the dough is sticking) until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Then, if you wish to make fettuccine or spaghetti, use the pasta cutter attachment to cut the sheets into the desired thickness, or cut the pasta by hand on the counter top with a chef’s knife to whatever size strands or shapes you want.
Once rolled, fresh pasta should be dusted with semolina (preferably) or flour to keep it from sticking if you’re not going to cook it right away. You can lay it on a semolina- or flour-dusted baking sheet or linen kitchen towel, until ready to boil. Or drape it over a suspended rolling pin or pasta drying rack until ready to use.
Cook for 2-3 minutes in boiling water.
I was at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market yesterday getting my fix of my favorite salsa from Nightshade Army Industries. I bought four jars, 3 red 1 green and Stefanie threw in a bag of ground cherry tomatoes.
The have a paper like husk wrapper like tomatillos, but are sweeter and are better raw.
They are sweet and fun to eat because of the wrappers, which makes them a fun party food.
Some say they have an almost tomato cross with a mango flavor. I think they have more of a sweet tomato with an sun dried tomato flavor.
They are my new thing. I try to try new vegetables each year. Last year was amaranth stem.
I have been on a health kick lately, so I’ve been making my own version of a health bar. There are whole sections of health food stores with these. Some are OK, but most taste like cardboard. And many load them up with questionable Soy Protein Isolate, a refined protein filler.
Packing a energy bar with Soy Protein Isolate helps with texture, moisture and creates a nice high protein ratio on the label, but it is questionable if its healthy.
My snack bars are full of natural goodness. They are 1 part toasted sesame seed, 1 part toast oats and two part organic rice crispy, with enough rice syrup and nut butter to hold them together.
Are they low fat, low sugar and high protein? Probably not.
But I’d rather have these then anything in a vending machine or on the health food store “health bar” shelf.
Feel free to adapt the recipe. I include options below.
Either way, most health bars are still high calorie with 200-250 calories just like a candy bar. I am not sure where these rank on calories, probably about the same. But my trick is to cut them into small squares and grab one when I need it.
Its sure better then hitting up my co-workers never ending Halloween bowl with candy.
Homemade Energy Bars: Base Recipe
1 cup of unhulled toasted sesame seeds (or untoasted hulled)
1 cup of Toasted whole oats
2 cups of organic rice crispy
1/2-3/4 cup rice syrup
1/2 cup of peanut butter (natural just ground peanuts and salt, I use health food store freshly ground)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
Other nuts and seeds (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews)
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, etc..)
Sweet miso (cooked with the syrup mixture if using)
Crumpled Seaweed Nori
Wash and drain the sesame seed. Place in a cast iron plan and slowly toast until the seeds are toasted. A test is when the seed do not stick to a metal spoon and you can press them into powder. (If you are using hulled sesame seeds you do not need to toast them)
Next toast the oats for a few minutes on medium heat until it is slightly brown.
Place the seeds, oats and the rice crispy into a large bowl.
In a sauce pan, combine the peanut butter, rice syrup, maple, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Heat just until the mixture melts together.
Add the warm mixture to the seed, oats rice and mixture to combine.
Press the mixture into a pan in an even level about an inch thick. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate to set.
Cut square from the pan. Eat at room temperature.
I like to cut them into squares and put them in snack size ziplocks. Each bag is about the size of a health snack bar. They make great work snacks and travel food.
They usually don’t last long, but you can refrigerate or freeze them.
This is the Real Greek Salad version I had when i was in Greece. No baby spinach, no olives, no fancy dressing, no peppercini.
1-2 peeled and sliced cucumber
1-2 ripe tomatoes large wedge or diced
salt and pepper to taste
a little olive oil to drizzle
and a huge slice of feta
Here’s a pick of a dried nettle leaf. I don’t know why I never thought of drying out my nettles until now.
I am a big fan of fresh nettle tea as a cleansing tea to make the seasonal transition. I always buy a bag full when they appear at the Farmers Market some time in the Spring, but I always get too much. I do make some tea, but most has gone bad.
Stinging Nettles are a pain to harvest because they have sharp tiny burs that sting the skin. But they go away after they are cook in a tea or if they are dried.
To dry the nettle leaf (don’t dry the streams), I simple place them on a bakers cooling rack for a few days.
Once dry it is crumpled up and stored in a tin, which can last for at least a year. I combine my nettles with dried mint with a 1:1 ratio.
You’ll need a lot to make a tea, like around 1/4 cup because they are very light.
Emily and I are in the works with starting our own Tea Company. More on that later.
I can’t say I am surprised Paula Dean was dropped by the Food Network. I thought she was over when she lied about having diabetes for three years, while presenting her over the top fatty and sugary food. She then announced that she will be the spokes person for a diabetes drug.
Her new scandal, she said the N-word and then somehow tried to justify it. I am not sure the advise her handlers gave her, but I assume it should have been to say, “I AM SORRY” as big and as sincere, and to as many people who will listen. Just say “I am sorry” and repeat it a million times.
And you have to mean it and you have to change your ways and be a model of good behavior.
But Dean did none of that. Instead she held this out until court and put herself on the record about saying the N-word and upped the ante by implying she also says other off color joke about other groups.
She also stated that “most jokes” are about Jews, gay people, black people and “rednecks.”
I am not sure where this was coming from with Dean. Did she think that she is a redneck, so this is all OK?
But lets not forget how this all started.
…not only did Deen admit to using the n-word, but also making anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic jokes, as well as having planned a “southern style wedding” in which she hired black waiters to take on the appearance of slaves
She was supposed to come on the Today Show to explain herself, but cancelled, which sent the message that she either could not really explain her behavior or she did not have the courage to answer potentially tough questions.
Will she make a come back? Will her supporters say the folks who agree that most JOKES are about those OTHER PEOPLE who are Black, Jewish, Gay or Redneck, give her another chance?
Will the PR wing of her empire do their magic and keep the Paula Dean “Gravy Train” rolling?
I’ll be curious to see this play out. Food Network dumped her, but she also has a magazine with a million subscribers, cookbooks, endorsements, restaurants etc….
I can’t imagine advertisers be excited to support a magazine with her picture on the cover especially if boycotts are started against the advertisers and products in protest.
Also foodie tourists to Savannah who were once excited to go to Dean’s restaurant will avoid it especially Northerners.
I love Savannah. And I Love the South, which is not a given for a suburban Jewish kid from New Jersey. Yes, a Jew who is among the four groups of people who all jokes are about according to Deen.
When I was in Savannah last, I met a group of folks from New York who were doing a food tour of the town. They had stopped at this cupcake place, Back in the Day, the best cupcakes in the world.
There was a sign picture of Paula Deen on the wall of the place.
The food tour stopped at Paula Deen’s.
Seeing these folks gave me the impression that the New South had arrived if New York City Jews were now flocking their for tourism, that the old racist South persona had finally faded away and we Northerners could embraces our Southern brothers around a plate of ribs and corn bread.
In no small part Paula Deen had lead the charge that the South was friendly and welcoming and that food brings folks together. Diabetes be damn, pass me another red velvet cupcake please!!!!
The irony here is that Dean who is known for her over the top friendly Southern hospitality and an ambassador for the South, the New South is now the face of old school Southern racism.
No one knows how this will play out. Maybe enough people who either buy her apology or side with her off color humor/attitude, to keep her food empire going.
Or Maybe not.
Maybe America and the South deserves another cook to represent them. Maybe the Food Network can build up another Southern Chef who does not make off colored jokes about slaves and the old South.
Southern American food (and food in general) is supposed to bring people together.
Maybe the Lee Brothers
I am going to be doing a 48 hour film this year. It is kind of improv for film makers. You get a theme and then you have to write, shoot, edit and hand deliver a film in 48 hours.
It is truly an amazing feet.
Our team is currently doing a fundraiser to help support the project.
Most of the money I am told goes to help feed the some 20 person crew.
I figure that I will be the crew chef as well as video crew and maybe even act and write. I really never thought about the food element of film making.
Please help out if you can. We are 1/3 towards our goal.
I have been getting into whole wheat baking these days. Here is a recipe that works great. I use whole wheat pastry flour and butter milk in this traditional recipe. I provided a Straight Rhubarb option here, having found some great organic bright red local Rhubarb.
As for the Strawberry version, I can’t seemed to get myself to cook fresh strawberries. So I simple slice them and put them on top.
Whole Wheat Short Cake (makes 6 large short cakes)
2 Cups of whole wheat pastry flour
5 TBSP Sugar
1 stick of cold butter
1 TBSP baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg for egg wash
sugar for dusting top
2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of water
1 tsp minced ginger
zest of one lime
Place all of the ingredients in a thick bottom pan. Bring to a boil then simmer until thick. let cool. If it is still not thick enough, add a few table spoons of corn starch to thicken by stirring it in and bringing it to a boil them letting cool.
Top filling with a shortcake and ice cream and enjoy.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and mix. Chop up the cold butter into the flour mixture into small pea size pieces. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the butter milk and the egg. Mix to combine. Don’t over work.
It will be a wet dough. Scoop the dough into six equal sized blobs on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with egg and sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake for 12-14 minutes on a center rack.
Cool and serve with whip cream and your favorite fresh berries.