August 23, 2012 |
You're out for a summer drive on a rolling stretch of rural highway in Loudoun County. You pass the gourmet grocery store selling strawberry salsa and pickled peaches, the roadside workshop with five styles of Amish porch swings and an endless selection of birdhouses out front. You suddenly smell the rich zing of barbecued ribs and chicken. And then you spot the Aldie Country Store, a rickety, paint-chipped, two-story house built in 1897. It has a giant smoker and beat-up picnic benches outside.
August 16, 2012 |
Dear Dr. Fox: My 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Rondo, has a large bald hot spot on the upper thigh of his right hind leg. I took him to a veterinarian when the spot was small. She said it came from hormones in a vaccination that was too strong for him. She prescribed Animax ointment nystatin-neomycin. I used the entire tube, to no avail.The spot is getting larger and has a bumpy feeling. What do you suggest to make it heal? Although it does not seem to bother Rondo, it is unsightly for such a little dog. C.R.W., the District DF: If this is indeed the spot where your little dog was vaccinated with a relatively huge shot for his size, then you could have a serious problem developing, especially because it is getting larger and has a "bumpy feeling.
August 15, 2012 |
Squash plants don't just produce squash for the table, they also produce squash blossoms. These are delicious stuffed with cheese, rolled in a thin batter of whole-wheat flour and water, then fried quickly in hot olive oil. I make them with the male blossoms of bush-type squash such as zucchini, because unlike the female flowers that generate the fruits, the males are expendable; you only need a few for pollination. Rumor has it, though, that squash plants aren't just for fruits or flowers.
August 1, 2012 |
So somebody finally figured out why commercial tomatoes taste so bland. According to a recent article in Science , it's because the selective breeding that has made tomatoes ripen to a uniform red also has made "ripe fruit sugar and lycopene levels decrease. " But the tomato, the authors confidently conclude, can be turned around just as simply as it was robbed of its power to satisfy and nourish. I see it a little differently. It's true that people associate a deepening redness with ripeness — in a strawberry, raspberry, cherry, apple (unless of course it's a Russet or a Granny Smith)
July 2, 2012 |
"Is there anything you don't eat?" a guest is asked. Often the answer is "meat," and a cook needs a game plan for feeding vegetarians or vegans who suddenly appear. Because most of them urge you not to bother on their account, you could just hand them bread, peanut butter, jelly and a knife. But it's more fun to find a creative way to feed unexpected "veggies," even when the meal you've cooked excludes them. Think of it as a home version of " Iron Chef . " If you have a garden, the first step is obvious.
June 27, 2012 |
A while back, I wrote about my adventures stuffing some huge nasturtium leaves . I had blanched them and filled them with the rice mixture normally used for dolmades, which are grape leaves stuffed the traditional Greek way. For comparison I stuffed grape leaves, too, but that late in summer they were disappointingly tough, even after blanching. "You're supposed to pick them when they first come out," a friend said with withering scorn. So this year I gathered them at the perfect moment and tried again.
June 17, 2012 |
It's not hard to interpret this. AT&T and Monterey, Calif.-based Language Line Services on June 18 are rolling out a new mobile phone service for federal employees and business customers that allows users to instantly access interpreters for 170 languages. The service, which will cost $9.99 a month plus $2.99 a minute, allows users to push *4 (representing the"I" — for interpreter — on the dial pad) and get a specialist on the line in seconds. "We have had significant interest from a number of federal agencies, so we expect some strong, immediate uptake from the service," said Chris Hill, vice president for AT&T's Mobility Solutions.
April 16, 2012 |
Gourmet coffee roaster Joel Finkelstein has long coveted a stall at the Dupont Circle farmers market, where face time with affluent food lovers could boost his sales and raise the visibility of Qualia, his cafe in Petworth. But Finkelstein and the rest of his coffee-roasting ilk are banned from participating in the renowned Sunday market and nine others operated by FreshFarm Markets . The nonprofit group allows only vendors who sell products from what they grow or raise on local farms and facilities.
March 13, 2012 |
The third time I was asked whether I had been to Woodberry Kitchen, the Baltimore restaurant where chef-restaurateur Spike Gjerde walks the talk of locally sourced cooking, I took note. All this buzz from Washingtonians, a people who launch into lengthy negotiations just to cross the Potomac for dinner, had to mean something. In this case, it meant they have good instincts. Woodberry Kitchen, in the Hampden neighborhood, is part of Clipper Mill, a 19th-century industrial park repurposed into a multi-use 21st-century business and residential complex.
March 13, 2012 |
When my palate is needy, there's a pesto I love to make: a rough-textured, smoky-tasting blend of toasted pumpkin seed, garlic, olive oil and cayenne pepper. It's drier than traditional herb pestos, yet it holds a moist crumb. Its irregularity — creamy and a little grainy, in a good way — is something I find thoroughly addictive. But the mixture is dry enough that labeling it as a pesto seems a little misleading, unless you're already familiar with the etymology. Pesto translates, more or less, into "pounded," from the Italian pestare, "to pound," and it calls to mind the traditional means of making that fragrant Ligurian sauce of basil, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil: a mortar and pestle, which, incidentally, shares the same linguistic roots.