Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
There is an actual group which is touting skipping the taking of 26 showers for every 4 ounce piece of beef you eat in order to offset the vast amounts of water used when turning cattle into food. They say that California uses an insane amount of water while raising cattle and this is a way to bring this fact to light.
3 of us spent wednesday morning in the rain digging up the campus garlic. Between Jacob, Gayle and I we ended up with a lot of garlic. The table has them hanging from both sides and on another shelf as well. the shop's back office smells strongly of garlic...or pizza...as someone said. They need to cure and harden off for a couple of weeks and then we'll pass them on to the students' food bank.
The city of Rock Hill, a St. Louis suburb that sits along Manchester Road, saw the city council table an ordinance which added changes to their existing backyard chicken ordinance. They tabled it because too many chicken owners were at the meeting and unhappy with the proposed changes.
The changes included allowing up to six chickens for personal use, a 30 dollar permit fee, limitations on size and location of coops and pens, and inspections every 3 years. The issue which bothered residents the most was the coop issue.
Well this explains all the HGTV/Food Network/restaurant stories regarding the use of shipping containers. There are a whole lot of shipping containers that have no use for shipping stuff and so are being taken over by the housing industry, farmers and restaurants.
On episodes of Tiny Houses on HGTV you'll see a shipping container turned into a home. Some urban restaurants have begun opening in these as well. I do believe I've read that somewhere in St. Louis has a new eatery in a former shipping container.
But now farmers and local produce growers have taken a liking to using them as well. They can be insulated against heat or cold, have planting shelves hung inside with good lighting and vegetables grown anywhere all year long. Arctic or desert or plain old midwest. The new term is vertical farming or urban farming and uses the hydroponic method of growing lettuces and other produce.
One DC food guy is trying to get these going out there and said, "These things fit in back alleys." Ha. So true, but watch out for the zoning people.
While fascinating on a voyeur sort of level, I've never understood how so many people can be part of food eating contests, especially the annual hot dog thing on Coney Island. Joey Chestnut is the traditional winner, last year wolfing down 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He also holds the record for this event with 63 dogs and 9 straight years as champion.
But eaters don't just limit themselves to the Fourth of July, they enter food contests all year long. Am I the only one who wonders what this is doing to their digestive system? What it does to them can be read here.
Anyway, Chestnut weighed in this morning at 230 pounds, much heavier than most contestants. 30,000 people will be there watching today and it will be televised on ESPN2 at noon eastern time and 11 central.
All of a sudden the food world is messing with a most perfect dip, the guacamole. The first evidence of this came a couple of days ago when I came across a recipe/story about brusselmole, a guac made with brussel sprouts. Oh my...no. No surprise this originated in England, the home of brussel sprout menus.
But then yesterday someone asked President Obama if he liked peas in his guacamole. The full recipe also included sunflower seeds. Oh my...no. This is not guacamole. Also noted a guac with yogurt named Yogamole.
Please food world, leave the guac alone. The hardest part of making this dip is finding the perfect avocado. In grocery stores around here they are often hard as a rock or as soft as cream cheese. It's necessary to handle the avocados to test their ripeness-not hard but not soft either-it's a tricky business. I'd bet grocery store produce workers entertain themselves in the back room by sharing stories of how customers handle the avocados. The most handled fruit/vegetable ever.
Oh, and, for once I agree with the president. He said, oh my...no.
Supposedly those of us in flyover country are the gullible ones. New Yorkers are sophisticated, worldly-wise and not suckers. Well, when it comes to food, it's the east coasters who will fall for anything.
"At $14 for a small container, St. Louis native Kristen Tomlan's edible cookie dough has built a following in the crowded New York City snack market. And she doesn't even have a retail location yet." These are the same people who stood in line for hours and paid upwards of 100 dollars for a Cronut. Remember the Cronuts?
Yes, 14 dollars for a tiny package of cookie dough. I'd say the smart one is the St. Louisan.
Here's a lesson on why studies have to be taken with a grain of salt. It's a new study on the heart health benefits to eating chocolate. I saw the headline and said, "hurray".
"Study: Chocolate can reduce heart-disease risk" And the conclusion-
"Eating the equivalent of two Hershey’s bars — about 100 grams — of chocolate had a lower risk of heart disease. Chocolate is full of flavonoid antioxidants, and can increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the bad LDL variety." You know there's a 'but' in there don't you?
25,000 people were part of this study which is good, but according to the authors, many had worse outcomes. And, spoil sports...
Cocoa beans have healthy chemicals also found in red peppers, green peppers and broccoli, but “if you are overweight, and you are thinking of protecting yourself by eating chocolate you are being kind of silly."
So guys, while chocolate has good stuff in it and tastes so good, why don't you just stick to broccoli.
This is one of those things we never think about, hear about or even imagine I'd bet, but the financial benefit must be worth the risk for some in Illinois. It is illegal for liquor stores in Indiana to supply liquor stores in Illinois (largely Cook County) but it's happening more than we might believe. Liquor taxes are five times higher in Cook County than Indiana which is a substantial amount of money, worth a trip for many Chicago area liquor stores.
It doesn't appear as though it is against the law for Indiana stores to sell the products and business is, as one retailer said, gangbusters. Problem seems to be there are only 16 liquor inspectors for the entire state of Illinois and thousands of stores.
Indiana is very close to the Chicago area which makes it quite easy to do. I wonder if similar things go on Missouri to Metro East since liquor taxes are much less in Missouri.