Posts from April 2008

'Is Food Better than Sex?' Kathryn Flett's Take for 'Observer Food Monthly' 7th Anniversary

On Sunday, April 27th, The Observer Food Monthly celebrates its  7th Anniversary.

Check the Sneak Preview.

Amongst the highlights, Is Food Better than Sex (Kathryn Flett and infamous Alex James).

On a more mundane and practical side, Nigel Slater offers his 50 Favorite Summer Recipes.


As you can see (above) the cover of this special edition addresses both concerns.

Related: Food, Memories...'A Taste of my Life'...Nigel Slater on the BBC

Week End Plans: Portland Indie Wine Festival (May 2-4)

Independent Movie Buffs can splurge on the Tribeca Film Festival in New York right now, tomorrow London is staging the Rock Against Racism 30th Anniversary Concert, if you are a fan of small wineries here is something for you.

Making Week End Plans from May 2 to May 4, Portland (Oregon) has its 4th Indie Wine Festival in the historic Pearl district.

Who makes the cut?  Here's how it works (in the organizers words):

"Small, independent producers are the heart and soul of Oregon’s world-class wine industry. The Portland Indie Wine Festival is your opportunity to meet the next generation of winemakers emerging from cellars all across the state. This relatively unknown brigade of craft wineries (those who produce less than 2,000 cases each year) represents a diversity of styles and a bent toward sustainable agriculture and production."

Besides the tastings, discussions on topics such as Terroir 101: Can you Taste Place in Chocolate, Coffee and Wine? led by Aubrey Lindley of local chocolate emporium Cacao are offered.

Read the Event Blog for inside scoops.

Find Event and Hotel Package Deals on Travel Portland.

Tickets for the Festival itself are $60 for one day and $100 for two.

Send us your report if you make it there.

More Oregon flavored bits: Otherwise Normal People, Competitive Rose Gardening...A new Sport?

and Living Room Theaters: A Movie, A Glass of Wine and a Bite...All in one place

History of Vodka via The Vodka Museum in Moscow

Where did it all come from might you think when you sip a cocktail with vodka in the mix?

The History of Vodka by The Vodka Museum in Moscow might bring some closure.

It might only be the Russian twist on the story mind you.

Found this Museum on Coudal.

Related: Vodka from the Pampas or rather Mendoza...Wine Scented that is!

Papilles et Pupilles Allergies: Improve your French, Find Recipes that Don't Make Them Sick!

I was not looking for French foodie Anne Lataillade.
She found me via ze blog of L'Atelier des Chefs.
She happens to be signing her book Pains Gourmands on April 26 at their Lyon outlet.


Based in Bordeaux she originally started her adventures in the blogosphere with Papilles et Pupilles and since her 2 kids have allergies she added Papilles et Pupilles Allergies.
So if you want to work on your French and collect some recipes that don't make your friends or loved ones with health issues sick, visit both of her sites (in French Only).

Related: No Wheat Today (or tomorrow)...Gluten Free Cooking Blogs

No 9: Have Corporate Massage, 10 Ways to Spend Your Lunchbreak

What could be more timely than thinking of Ten of the best ... ways to spend your lunch break as suggested in The Guardian today.
All of their ideas imply that you leave your desk or office or place of work which is a good thing.
Taking in a lecture (number 1) might not be everyone's idea of a relaxation.
I personally like best of all No 9, Have a Corporate Massage.
You might be in the right job if your company offers that kinda perks.

On sunny days, I would go for lunch in the park.

In Paris, L' Atelier des Chefs offers 30 minutes Lunch Cooking Classes.

Emilie Boyer King tells us more about the program in What's for lunch in Paris? Maybe a cooking lesson . What could be better than learning and lunching at the same time?

Ateliers des Chefs is also in Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes and opened its first international spot in Brussels.

Any other suggestions?

Related: Bored at Work on Friday...With 'Office Snapshots' peek into other people's rooms

How Does Plastic Wrap Cling? asks Tiffany Martini (on Chow)

Finding a plastic wrap that really works, sealing properly or even better tight, easy to cut to size all that without shriveling can be challenging.

Tiffany Martini (Chow) tries to get an answer to How Does Plastic Wrap Clings by putting the nagging question to Clair Hicks, Professor of Food Science at the University of Kentucky.

In Experiment of the Week - Static Cling? #269 (Teachers Corner) the conclusion is that "most kitchen plastic wrap is made of low density polyethylene, also known as LDPE. This plastic makes a good barrier to water and air, but it does not stick to itself. To make it cling, they add another chemical, such as polyisobutylene or poly[ethylene-vinylacetate]. These chemicals do not mix totally with the LDPE. Instead, they act like the adhesive on tape, only not as sticky, and it only sticks to certain things".

As for the Mindful Momma, in Plastic Wrap 101, her focus is on the greener brands.

In the worriers corner, E:The Environmental Magazine published The perils of plastic: your cling wrap could be leaching chemicals - Your Health way back in September of 2003.

Related bit: Reynolds Plastic Wrap with EZ Slide Cutter, a consumer product I love

Could Wine Lead to Breast Cancer asks Sally Squires?

From Drinking a Glass of Wine or Two a Day is Good for your Heart the pendulum is swinging to Drinking Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages could be a Cause for Breast Cancer in Women says Sally Squires in For Women, the Wineglass Is Half Full (Washington Post).
It did catch my attention.
Anyway who drinks wine for health reasons to be honest.
I think that with the business and economic situation being what they are in the US, some people tend to drink more if anything...male and female alike...if it has to do with anything, the word is stress...

What's your take?

Nostalgia Circa 1978, Rock Against Racism 30th Anniversary Concert, Sunday April 27, London

The 40th Anniversary of the Events of May 1968 is around the corner.
Soixante Huitards are not the only ones to commemorate.

Youngsters from 1978 (and current ones) get their shot with the 30th Anniversary 'Rock Against Racism' Concert on Sunday, April 27 in London.

The 2008 Event is Free but a Donation is requested to cover the organizational costs.

The Guardian thinks that Without Rock Against Racism , punk would only have been about nihilism'

Check the Event Site for Line Up and Updates.

Amongst the best known names you will find, The Good The Bad The Queen, Jerry Dammers (ex Specials), Poly Styrene (remember X Ray Specs) and many others...

I might have missed this event if I did not see it mentioned by Gideon Rachman (Financial Times) who attended the original concert.

Enjoy, If you're there. Send us your impressions and a few pictures if you can.

Straight from Labastida, Montebuena Rioja 2004, a Steal

Now that the weather heats up, I will have to come up with some lighter reds and maybe some whites and rosé wines.

In the meantime I do have to recommend this Montebuena, Rioja (2004) straight from Labastida.

It is a medium red. Various reviews find traces of everything from coffee and vanilla to berries.
Ripe berries and/or jammy might be amongst the most overused 'wine tags' akin to truffle oil in cooking fads.
I don't need to add to the flood of adjectives.
Good fruit and balance, soft tannins, Tempranillo of course.
A steal at $12.

As you can see from this photo of Lunch at the winery (borrowed from their importer), they are down to earth people.


Reminds me of breakfasts of soup, sausage and other peasant foods when I worked in Armagnac at harvest time for a couple of weeks eons ago.

Related: My Castle for a Wine: Castillo Labastida, Rioja Reserva 2001

Tokyo Art Map, On Paper and It's Free (April-May Issue is Out)

I know it's almost the end of April.
I should have paid more attention to Tokyo Art Beat activities of late.

Anyway to complement their website and blog reporting on the creative scene in Tokyo, TAB decided to publish a paper map of what they deem to be noteworthy art events around the Japanese capital.


Note the 'trapeze' shape.

Here is how they describe the guide:

"The first issue (April-May) features 50 events grouped in 7 areas: Ginza, Kyobashi, Ueno, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Omotesando and Shibuya.
On each panel you will find 5 to 6 event details (title, short event description, schedule details) and a small map indicating the location of the venues.
In addition, a special section highlights the “Art Week” events happening in the Marunouchi area: Marunouchi Art Weeks, Art Fair Tokyo, New Tokyo Contemporaries, and so on.
The 50 locations (museums, galleries, shops and cafes) were selected from a list of the most popular venues among TAB users (combining recommendations on MyTAB and page views)."

And it's Free which will appeal to the Consumed to Thrifty crowd.

End of Tokyo Thursdays #36

Last week:
Map your Tokyo Stay thanks to 'Tokyo Metro' Multilingual Site