Admin
Thursday, 21 June 2012 07:41

Finally!

Guess what time of year it is everyone? I wait for strawberry season every year now for ... years. Although the fresh strawberries you can get in the supermarket are adequate, that's their downfall as well: mere adequacy. I want to taste fruit that is local, just-picked and still warm from the sun it grows under.

My kids look forward to them as well. For over 10 years, I hand-picked and sold these gems at my farm stand, with my children right alongside me. They earned extra money picking and selling, learning important lessons along the way. They learned the hard way when they wanted something special at the store, but they had eaten five out of the eight quarts they picked - they were going to have to settle for something else. And no, I didn't cave in! But I always made sure they had their fill of strawberries both in the field and at home. It worked. After the third or fourth day, they wanted nothing more to do with strawberries. I learned a lesson as well: Not only didn't they want to eat any more strawberries, they didn't want to help pick anymore either. Tough love bit me right in the strawberry patch.

Published in The Cooking Edge
Thursday, 24 May 2012 00:45

Graduation party on a budget

My oldest is graduating high school this year. Along with the realization that my kid who just yesterday was a little baby is now grown up and I've grown older along with him comes the fact that there has to be a celebration.

And yes, between him and his friends there will be party after party. And with the economy still in a slump, you'd think that people would be scaling back on their graduation parties. However, according to GraduationParty.com Americans will spend an average of $983 on cap-and-gown parties this year.

Here are some tips on having a great grad party without breaking the bank.

Published in The Frugal Edge
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:12

The second Yankee Chef

My father, Jack Bailey, was the second Yankee Chef (with his father being the first), and his birthday is May 10. He would have been 74 years of age this year. I remember well the types of food he adored, and one of them was pork chops. Didn't matter how they were cooked, bone-in pork chops were his favorite. He also enjoyed any recipe that screamed New England, using ingredients such as blueberries, molasses, fiddleheads, maple syrup and apple cider. Because his salt intake was limited, he used pepper extensively on his chops and steaks, which he always loved anyway. He also had an affinity for sweet potatoes and yams. Dad would smother every meat he cooked with grilled onions, a habit I proudly continue. Dad would have thoroughly enjoyed this week's recipe, created with him in mind, because I use bone-in chops along with apple cider and a few fixin's he would have loved. I think you will love it too.

Published in The Cooking Edge

BANGOR During the month of March, in its fight against hunger, Bangor Savings Bank collected more than 7,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly in response to a unique food drive overseen by each of the bank's 56 branches. The donated food was then distributed to local food pantries that serve each of the branches, ultimately feeding Maine families.

'Bangor Savings Bank recognizes that many Mainers struggle to put food on the table,' said Jim Conlon, president and CEO of Bangor Savings. 'For the past two years, we've been fortunate to partner with Good Shepherd Food Bank to support their efforts in providing Maine families with food. This targeted food drive was a way for us to involve our employees, customers and the public in giving to their community and recognizing the real issue of hunger in our state.'

Peanut butter is one of the most expensive foods for food banks to purchase in large quantities, and it is one of the highest demand food items because it is protein-rich and contains 'good fats.' Naturally, pairing peanut butter with jelly creates the mainstay American lunch the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Once the request for peanut butter and jelly donations went out, the response was immediate and great, with customers, bank employees, schools and other community groups dropping off peanut butter and jelly donations in quantities ranging from a single jar to bags and boxes full. Welch's donated 10 cases of grape jelly to jump start the initiative.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 15:22

A taste of Orono

ORONO Many cities and towns can boast of fine eateries, but there's something unique about Orono. The influx of hungry college students paired with a close proximity to other bustling towns has allowed for a diverse and delightful mix of eateries within a stone's throw of each other.

When class is in session, Orono is a bustling town, but as the semester winds to a close and the students go on break, things quiet down some. For those of us who enjoy the area year-round, that can mean it's our turn to check out some of the wonderful eateries with slightly less of a crowd. It doesn't matter if you're looking to grab a sandwich on your way to a meeting, going to have a blast with your friends or taking your special someone out for a romantic evening. There is a place for you.

If you haven't been to Orono to see what it has to offer, you may just want to take a look. Here's the 10 cent tour:

Published in Cover Story

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition from environmentalists that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food.

The agency said Friday that petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions on the much-debated chemical, commonly known as BPA, though federal scientists continue to study the issue.

The Natural Resources Defense Council's petition was the latest move by public safety advocates to prod regulators into taking action against the chemical, which is found in everything from CDs to canned food to dental sealants.

About 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies, mainly because it leaches out of food and beverage containers.

Published in Livin'
Sunday, 25 March 2012 16:06

The journey begins...

As anyone who has read my work with any sort of consistency can tell you, I live my life in a state of semi-arrested development. While in many ways, I appear to be a fully functioning adult, there are a few grown-up things that I just never mastered.

Cooking, for instance.

That's right I am a man who has somehow managed to wander into his 30s without ever having learned how to cook. I'm not talking bag/box/can cooking I'm a man-child, but even I can swing boiling water and operating a can opener. No, this is about such mystical dark wizardly terms as 'ingredients' and 'recipes.' This is about learning, slowly but surely, how to prepare a meal that doesn't involve Chef Boyardee or Papa Gino.

Published in The Ham-Fisted Chef
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