Entries from blogs tagged with “food”
Some Lawrence folk from across the pond are collaborating to host Christmas dinner British-style — complete with figgy pudding and a visit from Father Christmas.
Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips Shop, 125 E. 10th St., and Brits, 929 Massachusetts St., have planned Traditional British Christmas Dinner events on two dates, Sunday and Dec. 16. For both events, doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m. at Queen Lizzy’s. Tickets, which can be purchased at either business, are $38 for adults and $19 for children 15 and younger.
The figgy pudding, of course, is for dessert. Queen Lizzy’s chef and owner Matt Poulton, who is from England, said the traditional dish is made with raisins, currants and figs then drizzled with brandy butter. He added, "It's a delight."
Also on the menu is wine for adults, an appetizer of cherry and almond baked brie and a dinner of roast turkey, ham, Yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes, honey roasted parsnips, almond roasted brussels sprouts, gravy, sage and onion stuffing, pigs in blankets (British style) and buttered carrots and peas.
Poulton said Tuesday that plenty of tickets remained for Sunday but only a few are still available for Dec. 16.
“I thought it would be fun for a lot of expatriates to come to, and something the locals might find enjoyable.” he said. “We don’t have Thanksgiving in the UK, so our big thing is Christmas.”
Printmaker Patrick Vincent, one of the Lawrence Arts Center’s two artists in residence, is on a quest to turn as many Lawrencians into bugs as he can.
For free, residents can send Vincent their photo and the name of the bug they’d like to be, and he’ll create a print of their face on that bug’s body. Vincent gives an artist proof of the print to the subject, and keeps the linoleum carving he printed it with for himself. The plan is to use those carvings in a later installation.
Last time I checked with him, Vincent said he’d completed a number of bugs but was still hoping for more. Apparently, he says, a lot of people are kind of creeped out by the idea of seeing their face on a bug’s body ... which is part of the reason Vincent, who regularly uses animal themes in his artwork, picked bugs for this project. He says, "The theme of bugs is an invitation for people to connect with a part of the natural world that is often ignored or reviled."
I thought the project sounded fun, not creepy, and sent Vincent my own picture and request to be a praying mantis. (Praying mantises clearly are not smiley bugs, and this was the only demure picture I seem to have taken in the digital age. Vincent left the veil on, which is actually kind of funny given that female mantises have been known to eat their mates.) Here I am:
Here’s Vincent and his own bug rendition of himself, as a honeybee:
Fellow artist in residence Monika Laskowska, incidentally, went with the potato beetle for her bug portrait. To submit your photo for the Bugs project, Vincent provides more information and instructions on his website.
We profiled each of this year’s five Phoenix Award winners in Sunday’s paper and here on Lawrence.com. But there’s another key artist involved with these awards — the one who makes the hardware that the winning artists take home.
The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission picks a different artist each year to create the actual Phoenix Awards, and this year it was printmaker and Old West Lawrence resident Sally Piller. Piller was commissioned to make six pieces — one for each award winner and one to display at the Lawrence Arts Center with previous Phoenix Awards.
Piller described her process for creating the unique prints-slash-sculptures:
She created six color woodblock prints — using oil-based ink on Japanese washi paper — and mounted each on the back of one of the solid maple color separation blocks used to create the prints (the photo below shows a step in the process). The borders are hand-carved, rolled with oil-based ink and accented with gold-colored leaf.
She mounted the prints using gesso and rice paste, then protected them with floating glass attached with rosette screws. Here are the finished awards lined up at Sunday's reception for the winners.
On Saturday, over in Johnson County, a library is playing host to what has to be one of the more unusual events they’ve had.
Butcher and charcuterier Alex Pope will butcher half a hog (like a side of beef, only pork) in a public demonstration beginning at 2 p.m. at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park. Pope owns Kansas City, Mo.’s, Local Pig, an artisan meat-cutting and sausage shop dedicated to locally and humanely raised meats including beef, pork, chicken, duck, turkey, quail, rabbit, lamb and goat.
The library promises real knives, real meat. All ages are welcome, though parental discretion is advised. The event is free, and registration is not required.
But wait — there is a connection between beast and books. Pope “learned his trade in the best way,” the library announcement says, “by reading books.”
During the event, Pope is expected to talk about how meat makes it from farm to table, demonstrate his butchering techniques and share what he learned about the trade from reading books.
The library provides this link to some of Pope’s favorite food titles.
Fact: Some glass pipes are fancier than others.
And a good number of folks who create the fancy variety would prefer their work be called art instead of just, you know, paraphernalia.
At 7 p.m. Nov. 16, the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., is screening a documentary titled “Degenerate Art: The Art & Culture of Glass Pipes.” The film explores the culture of glass pipe-making from the origins of Bob Snodgrass’ famous “color-changing” pipe to what filmmakers describe as the “radical emerging art movement it has become today.”
The trailer includes video clips of pipe-makers with torches and their completed Chihuly-esque glass creations — multicolored, sculptural, elaborate and in some cases a yard or more tall. It also includes shots of pipe-makers being arrested in a paraphernalia sting several years back, which of course the film decries.
“This subversive art challenges our right to free speech and expression, as well as reflecting the nature of the people who make and collect the pieces,” says the film’s synopsis. “One of the last true underground American scenes, glass pipe art remains invisible to mainstream culture.”
Here’s the arts center’s event listing: www.lawrenceartscenter.org/film
And, for the trailer and more on the film, the “Degenerate Art” website: www.degenerateartfilm.com
It only took one touch from a piece of misplaced tape for me to realize my gray-on-white Chevron Pumpkin — looking promising after a flawless basecoat of glossy white spray paint — had turned the corner and was headed straight down the road to Craft Fail City.
Without primer, it turns out, paint doesn’t stick to real pumpkins’ waxy skin all that well. It hangs on fine if you handle the pumpkin carefully, but pressing on and peeling off painter’s tape does not, apparently, count as handling carefully.
My other chevron pumpkins for this week’s Go! story worked (apply tape to pumpkin skin, paint gaps a single color, peel off tape). But me and my West Elm-happy self were dead-set on pumpkin No. 3 being white and dove gray, no orange.
Obviously if my basecoat chipped off in the taping process, peeling off tape to reveal the final product was going to be a real problem. Yet the optimist in me pushed on, hearing “Keep going anyway, you can touch it up with a paintbrush and it won’t be a failure after all!”
Then, when the gray paint was dry and the tape peeled off (along with most of the white paint, of course), “This is kind of cool, like I was going for a textured look!”
Then, “Get real. This is a bona fide pumpkin craft fail. Your husband may have sweetly told you that pumpkin crafts aren’t meant to be perfect, but you cannot use this in your story.”
So gray-on-white (and orange) Chevron Pumpkin made the blog, where others can learn from my mistake. A few pointers on the other pumpkins from the story:
• Hot-gluing nearly 400 individual rhinestones on a pumpkin takes for-ev-er — don’t bother if you’re not really excited about the Black Widow Pumpkin (it's on my desk right now, and I’ve heard “awesome,” “soooo cute” and “kinda tacky” from officemates). With a low-temp glue gun, you can only do a couple stones at a time; with a high-temp gun you’d have to use tweezers or small pliers to avoid burning a finger.
• I freehanded Mr. and Mrs. Pumpkins’ mouths — but used a black ballpoint pen and had to apply two extra-thick coats of paint to cover up my lines. Should’ve just used a pencil.
• Black Stocking Pumpkins beg the question of what to do with the stem? Start by not buying a pumpkin with a short stem (like we did on one of ours), then you’ll have something substantial enough to tie a ribbon around for a more finished look.
Of course, it could be much, much worse. The official CraftFail website has plenty of projects that will make you laugh — and realize maybe you're not so bad at crafting after all. Also, we got a picture from our "Pumpkins and More Pumpkins" Pinterest board repinned ... to a board entitled, "WHO THOUGHT OF THIS? not I." I guess she didn't really like the Cozy Wrapped Pumpkin. Fair enough.
While Go! editor Katie Bean was out shopping for materials to create the Stocking Pumpkins in today's Go! cover story, something else caught her eye: No-carve pumpkin decorating kits.
Katie might have been tempted by these all-in-one options, but she stuck with her mission to find patterned black hose for our original plan.
For chronic craft-failers or people who are too busy for the whole crafting thing to start with (nothing to be ashamed about), she shares some of the easier options to be had out there.
I’m a fan of DIY, but I don’t always have time to do the projects I want to do.
As I was shopping for supplies for the stocking pumpkin I made for our Go! cover story this week, I found that stores have anticipated the trends in pumpkin decorating we saw online. There were several examples of pumpkins like the ones we had discussed for the story pre-made and many kits that eliminate the running around for different supplies. Here are a few examples from my shopping trip.
I was most surprised to see full kit options. Some seem to involve painting; others just have pieces you stick on. Here are a few examples I saw:
There were also pre-decorated pumpkins available in the same styles we saw on Pinterest.
There were many faux pumpkins available in different shapes, sizes and colors. If you choose to invest the time and money (they were a little more expensive than fresh pumpkins), you can have a decoration that will last for years. We do not recommend keeping real pumpkins for years — they have a long shelf life, but not that long.
However you choose to decorate your pumpkin, take a picture and share it with us and other readers in the decorated pumpkins of Lawrence photo gallery.
Free State Brewing Co. calls it a beer fit for a blacksmith — and apparently beer festival judges.
Free State’s Iron Man Imperial Stout nabbed a bronze medal in the American-Style Stout category at this weekend’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, touted as the world’s largest commercial beer competition.
“It’s kind of a testament to the craft of brewing,” brewer Geoff Deman said of the beer, named in honor of a local blacksmith who frequents the brew pub.
With ten malts and five hop varieties, Iron Man starts with deep roasty flavors and finishes with a slight malty sweetness, according to Free State’s description. The beer tips its hat to history, as Imperial Stout was a key British export in the Baltic trade that elevated art and industry in Russia and England during the 18th century.
Two other area breweries joined Free State on the medal list, according to results from greatamericanbeerfestival.com. Boulevard Brewing Co. of Kansas City, Mo., got two gold medals — one in the Belgian-Style Witbier category for its ZON, and the other in the Other Strong Beer category for its Reverb Imperial Pilsner. Topeka’s Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant took gold in the German-Style Kolsch category for its Capital City Kolsch.
This year’s festival, which ran from Thursday through Saturday, drew its largest competition field to date, with 4,338 entries from 666 breweries across the United States and Guam. The festival awarded a total of 254 medals for the best examples of each style beer.
Free State's Iron Man — a small batch brew — is not on tap at the brew pub, 636 Mass. However, bottles are expected to be shipped to select area liquor stores at the end of this month.
In other crafty beer news, 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, just tapped a 2010 Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, according to their Twitter account. And Free State is playing host to its first-ever happy hour Thursday night (it's only been legal for, oh, almost four months now, so I'm sure Free State fans will be glad the brewery's finally on board!). The pub is advertising $2 select pints from 9 p.m. to midnight, plus chances to win Free State stuff.
I’ve undoubtedly eaten more than my fair share of Nutella on its own — on ice cream, toast, crepes, fruit, by the spoonful and (I confess!) straight off a knife — but never baked with it.
On the one hand, I’ve always thought, it’s kind of expensive and so decadent, why waste it by mixing it with other things? On the other hand, I mulled as I recently dipped crackers in it for the first time, wouldn’t some kind of salty-sweet dessert with Nutella and pretzels be awesome?
Envisioning gloops of Nutella and chunks of pretzels just needing some kind of something to hold them together, I pulled up a handful of Nutella recipes online but found none like what I had in mind. So I came up with my own.
These cookie bars (inspired by the Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from September’s Kansas University tailgating food story) have mini pretzels and white chocolate chunks in the cookie dough. Not wanting to dilute the Nutella by stirring it into anything, or risk it being smeared away from the top or bottom of a cookie, it’s scooped straight out of the jar and sandwiched safely between layers of dough.
This probably goes without saying, but these are extra good with a glass of milk.
PRETZEL-NUTELLA BARS WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNKS
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Servings: 18 bars
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cups mini pretzels, broken
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 jar (13 ounces) Nutella
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, stir together cake mix, oil and eggs. Mix in pretzels and white chocolate chunks. In a greased 9-by-13-inch pan, press three-fourths of the dough into the bottom. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.
Spread Nutella over top of partially cooked dough. Drop remaining dough over the top. Bake 20 minutes more, or until top is lightly browned. Cool and use a sharp knife to cut into bars.
National spotlight shines on library’s banned books trading cards, now available for purchase online
The Lawrence Public Library’s banned book trading cards are blowing up — even with no bubble gum in the pack.
With requests to get them coming in from across the country, the library ordered a second printing and started selling packs online last night.
Emails from teachers, book lovers and other libraries started rolling into library marketing director Susan Brown’s inbox Sunday, when we published a story about the innovative art-books collaboration and the colorful cards it created.
At first Brown figured the library could just mail cards, pay the postage and mention that a donation would be great. But things snowballed fast.
“Monday morning, my inbox was just flooded,” Brown said. “By Tuesday we knew that we had to have a plan.”
The library lassoed up a PayPal account and permission from each artist for the second printing. They set up a purchasing mechanism on the library website, www.lawrence.lib.ks.us, where shoppers can get a pack of all seven cards for $7. After-cost proceeds will go to the library and the artists.
The library believed the trading card project was the first of its kind and expected some national attention, at least in the library world, but Brown said this much attention was a good surprise.
The Associated Press picked up my story, and on Friday The Huffington Post wrote a story along with images of the cards. A number of blogs have highlighted the project, too.
Not only does the project’s popularity showcase the library’s efforts to promote reading, Brown said, “It really highlights the arts scene in Lawrence.”
Locals can still get the trading cards for free in-person at the library, 707 Vt., and the Arts Center, 940 N.H. — as long as supplies last.
Here's our photo gallery of all the cards:
One 10-piece, 1,090-calorie Chicken McNuggets meal, please.
For the first time today, I learned how many calories are in my favorite meal at McDonald's. I’m still trying to decide whether I’m worried about it.
As promised, the fast food giant this week added calorie counts to its menus — no more having to go the extra mile to check online (or look at the box), the count is right there next to the price. Lawrence locations are included, with calories on both drive-thru and in-store menu boards (confirmed at Sixth and Wakarusa, no reason to doubt the other spots don’t have them up, too).
The 1,000-plus calories in McNuggets do not shock me. While I’ve never been a big calorie counter, I am generally health-conscious and well aware typical McDonald’s fare is not a healthy choice.
When I head to McDonald’s — always the drive-thru — I’m either starving, in a hurry and don’t want to trouble myself to get out of my car AND/OR have a salty greasy food itch to scratch and wouldn’t give healthier options the time of day, anyway. McDonald’s satisfies those needs like none other.
Obviously, my health would be better off without McDonald’s (at least the kind of stuff I order there). However, if I depended on the drive-thru for frequent meals and sustenance rather than occasional indulgence (or if I had diagnosed medical conditions such as high cholesterol or blood pressure), I think I’d be a lot queasier about the calorie counts — and all the other counts. My nuggets and fries had a combined 28 grams of protein (56 percent of the recommended daily allowance), but they also had 1,270 mg of sodium (53 percent RDA) and 48 grams of fat (73 percent RDA), according to nutrition information on the boxes.
Hmmm. I guess that does make me extra glad I ate homemade salads for lunch the previous two days.
P.S. You’re probably wondering, “What’s the highest-calorie item on the menu?” Got it. Weighing in at a whopping 1,400-plus calories, that would be the Angus Bacon and Cheese Burger meal. The sandwich alone has 2,070 mg of sodium (86 percent RDA) and 39 grams of fat (60 percent RDA).
Until a few weeks ago, I knew sumac as a vigorous weed that grows in the ditches alongside Kansas highways and turns bright red in the fall.
It turns out, Middle Eastern people have known for hundreds, if not thousands, of years that dried and ground berries of the sumac plant make a tasty addition to food (not necessarily Kansas ditch-sumac, there are many varieties of the species). I've since noticed that Aladdin Cafe has a dish called Sumac Chicken on the menu, too.
My friend recently hosted a Turkey-themed dinner party (not random, she was just back from a three-week trip there) where she and her husband made main courses for the feast and assigned side dishes to the rest of us. My assignment was Shepherd’s Salad, with a note saying I didn’t have to use the sumac the recipe called for if I didn’t have any.
Of course, I didn’t have any (I didn’t even know what it was). But of course, I was curious. I Googled, determined I could surely find some in bulk at a Middle Eastern market in Kansas City, and wasn’t disappointed — only $2 for a big scoop, too!
The flavor is bright and citrusy, a little like coriander but more earthy. The color is a beautiful deep purpley-red.
Everyone liked this fresh pretty dish, which works as a salad alongside kebabs, lamb or fish, or an an appetizer or snack with crusty bread (to soak up the juice!).
TURKISH SHEPHERD’S SALAD
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 large cucumber, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place all vegetables in a medium sized salad bowl. Add sumac, salt, pepper and mint. Toss. Drizzle with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Chill until ready to serve.
(Recipe adapted from giverecipe.com and english.turkishcookbook.com.)
UPDATE: The full video is complete.
And it's really beautiful. I like how they show time-lapse of the mandala under construction, still-shots of the monks, and even shots of members of the public watching them work. (Also, I kind of like how they added a little Jayhawk in the corner.)
Have a look:
Journal-World photographer Richard Gwin and I were at KU's Spencer Museum of Art Tuesday to report and shoot our feature story on the Tibetan monks creating a sand mandala there. (Note: They should be working on it for a few more hours today if you haven't had a chance to check it out. Hurry, though, by 2 p.m. it will disappear!)
As we sat a few feet away, watching the intricate, brightly colored mandala emerge one centimeter of colored sand at a time, I said to Richard: "Someone really should make a time-lapse video of this. Wouldn't that be cool?"
He pointed up. The Spencer's photo staff had already thought of this, and had a camera on a tripod set up on the balcony above, aiming down at the monks and their mandala.
The museum has posted this teaser video already, and promises a full video next week. I'll watch for that and post it when it's ready. In the meantime, check out this teaser. Cool, no?
Lawrence is hitting Hulu today, as the main focus of the third episode in a new travel series called “Up To Speed.”
With cities like San Francisco and New York also covered in the Hulu original show, why would kooky tour guide/historian/philosopher Timothy “Speed” Levitch stop here?
Well, producers say, our “tumultuous” Civil War history is interesting. Kansas “straddled the line between right and wrong” (pretty sure their description of “wrong” side is referring to Missouri there). In his Kansas episode, Speed — with help from a talking Bowie knife and a fiberglass Jayhawk — highlights heroes, criminals and “monumentally ignored monuments” (ie: Founders Rock at Robinson Park, for one) of Bleeding Kansas.
Plus, Speed now lives in Kansas City, Mo. If you know more about film than the average bear, you may recognize him as the subject of a 1998 documentary called “The Cruise,” which trailed him sharing historical facts and his love for New York City from atop Gray Line double-decker buses, according to imdb.com. You may also know that “Up To Speed” director Richard Linklater also directed “Dazed and Confused,” “The School of Rock” and “Bad News Bears.”
Here's the Kansas episode.
To see what Speed has to say about other cities, visit hulu.com/up-to-speed.
Making official photos of art objects takes more TLC than you may realize — especially a 7-foot-tall art object sporting a massive tulle dress.
Kansas University's Spencer Museum of Art shared this time-lapse video of staffers setting up and shooting Sophie-Ntombikayise, a larger-than-life sculpture by 29-year-old Johannesburg, South Africa, artist Mary Sibande. The piece posed unique challenges because of it's size and shape.
See the custom set-building, lighting, shooting, tear-down and resulting shots — in this fast-forward style video, it takes less than 4 minutes.
Sophie is the first sculpture of Sibande's to enter the permanent collection of any museum in the United States, according to the Spencer. Read more about the object — now on display in the museum's central court — in my last blog post.
Hat-tip to photographers Matthew Gonzales and Ryan Waggoner for sharing their work!
Now that the Spencer Museum of Art at Kansas University has finally reopened after its water-main induced closure, visitors will be greeted by someone new.
She goes by “Sophie.”
Sophie-Ntombikayise is a larger-than-life sculpture by 29-year-old Johannesburg, South Africa, artist Mary Sibande. Sophie was scheduled to go on display last weekend in the museum’s center court, but the Aug. 1 water main break kept the museum closed until Tuesday of this week. (Note: Although the museum’s art objects and galleries escaped unharmed, unfortunately 15,000 to 20,000 books from the Murphy Art and Architecture Library in the basement were damaged.)
I got a peek at Sophie earlier this summer, when she was waiting in the wings for her debut. Even in a dimly lit temporary gallery, where she was stored with other art objects on their way into or out of display, she was impressive.
Sophie culiminates Sibande’s series of sculptural installations featuring four generations of women in her family, all of whom worked as domestic servants, according to the Spencer. It’s the first work in a U.S. museum collection.
The figure’s skin (formed in cast resin) is onyx-black, with down-turned face and slightly contorted, outstretched arms. Her size and skirt, however, stuck with me most. Sophie is pushing 7 feet tall, and her vivid purple and blue dress has piles and piles of billowing tulle that roll onto the floor in a circumference wider than her height.
The “wonderfully overblown” gown is meant to be an artificial hybrid costume of a maid’s uniform and regal Victorian dress, the Spencer’s exhibit announcement explains. Through Sophie, the announcement says, the artist addresses the traditional role of black women in South Africa and other countries where there’s a history of black servitude.
Did I mention Sophie is larger-than-life? Here’s a link to photos, but this piece is among those that are, without question, better — to scale — in person.
If you follow my colleague Chad Lawhorn's Town Talk blog, you know something has been going on with the restaurants at the southeast corner of 10th and Mass. After a month of being closed for remodeling, The Orient, Oh Boy! Chicken and (sort of) Angler's Seafood House reopened last week — as the same restaurant.
I stopped in Friday to check it out, and Nancy Nguyen, who owns all three restaurants, said the style of the new place is more "like a bistro." Nguyen she was looking to reduce her overhead and pare down the time she spent running between all three establishments.
"One person, you can't do it," she said.
The 3-in-1 conglomeration at 1006 Mass. has signs outside for The Orient and Oh Boy! Chicken. Inside, the decor is mostly Asian with some chickens and a fish here and there. There are two separate menus, one for The Orient (with its "pho-nomenal" pho and other Vietnamese dishes) and one for Oh Boy! Chicken (which offers gluten-free fried chicken, catfish and down-home sides).
Nguyen said the cost of flying in fresh fish three times a week has gotten too high to support. Rather than have it on a daily menu, she said, she expects to serve some of Angler's specialties, such as lobster tail, as weekend specials.
If any of you have been to that little Mexican-Chinese restaurant in downtown Eudora, Jasmine, it's kind of like that. If your party can't decide what its in the mood for, everyone can sit at the same table but dine in different worlds. (Incidentally, that place has both Mexican blankets and Asian things on its walls. It's really something.)
P.S. Alleged Vermont Street BBQ-to-be, next door at 1004 Mass., still has paper over the windows and "Coming soon!" signs on the door.
I’ll be heading over to the fairgrounds tomorrow in search of the biggest vegetable in Douglas County.
Those hulking, twisted monster pumpkins we’ve seen pictures of filling up entire pickup beds come to mind. More realistically, extension agent Jennifer Smith tells me, the Douglas County fair will have a few big zucchinis and a couple other veggies in the contest (The categories are largest pumpkin, fall squash, watermelon, muskmelon, summer squash and zucchini).
Smith did not seem hopeful that any of our Douglas County veggies would be smashing world records. But I looked them up out of curiosity anyway. Indeed, this year’s fair would have to produce some seriously ginormous veggies to top any of these.
According to guinnessworldrecords.com:
- The world’s heaviest squash weighed 1,236 pounds and was grown by John Vincent and Brian McGill (both Canada) and presented at the Cornerstone Landscaping Giant Vegetable weigh off in Stroud, Ontario, Canada, on Oct. 24, 2009.
- The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 pounds 8 ounces and was presented by Chris Stevens (USA) at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minn., on Oct. 9, 2010. The pumpkin measured 15-feet-6-inches in circumference.
- The heaviest watermelon weighed 268.8 pounds and was grown by Lloyd Bright (USA) of Arkadelphia, Ark, in 2005. Lloyd grew and weighed in for the Annual Hope, Arkansas Big Watermelon Contest on September 3, 2005.
- The longest zucchini courgette measured 7-feet-10.3-inches on Oct. 17, 2005, and was grown by Gurdial Singh Kanwal (India) in his garden in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
- The heaviest zucchini courgette was grown by Bernard Lavery of Llanharry, Rhondda Cynon Taff, UK in 1990 and weighed in at 29.25 kg (64 lb 8 oz).
Incidentally, if you’ve ever considered taking up giant-pumpkin growing as a hobby, you’ll find everything you need to know at pumpkinnook.com — “The Internet Shrine and Library for Pumpkins.” There’s even an entry about naming your pumpkin. Personally, I'd have a hard time picking between Fertile Myrtle, Sasquatch or Jabba the Glut.
After interviewing pie-baking champion Aliene Bieber for this week’s food cover story, (and, along with the rest of the newsroom, quite enjoying the pie in this picture), I typed up the recipe she shared with me to keep for myself (and inevitably not execute as well as she does someday when I try it). But, I figured, why keep it only for myself when sharing on the blog is so easy?
We also have recipes for Harold Agnew’s Basil Chive Bagels and Katherine Berkowitz’s Whole Wheat Bread. You can find those here, along with winning recipes from last year’s 4-H food contests.
Here is Aliene’s cherry pie recipe, with two approaches to choose from for the pastry.
3 cups tart red cherries
1/2 cup cherry juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter
Mix sugar, flour and salt thoroughly in a sauce pan. Add cherry juice, extract, cinnamon and coloring. Stir until well blended. Cook until thickened then add cherries. Let stand while making pastry.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup shortening
About 1/3 cup of cold milk
Sift flour, salt and sugar into large bowl. Add shortening. Cut into the flour with pastry blender or hands until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle with milk. Toss mixture lightly until mixture forms a soft ball. Roll out half of dough. Fit into pie plate. Trim off edge. Roll out the other half of dough for top of pie. Put cherry filling into pastry lined pan and dot with butter. Place top pastry on pie. Trim and tuck edges.
Bake at 400F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes longer.
Aliene’s Pie Crust (for two-crust pie)
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup butter-flavored shortening
4 Tablespoons cold nonfat milk
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
Mix flour, salt, sugar and shortening until you have a crumbly mixture. Using fingers, mix lightly. Add milk and syrup. Mix just until dough forms a soft ball. Roll out half at a time. If baking for a one-crust pie, bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. If making a two-crust pie, bake according to recipe.
If you’ve ever attempted to develop your own film, you know there’s a million and one disasters lurking in the pitch-blackness that is the darkroom.
You can’t get the film canister open. You cut your hand with the can opener while trying. You scissor through the middle your best shot because it’s too close to the end of the roll. Your film falls on the floor and you can’t find it. You can’t get the film to catch on the reel. When you finally do, you mess up and it sticks to itself. Some lout opens the door to the darkroom and everything is ruined. Ruined!
Even if all of those steps do go perfectly, there’s no guarantee you even exposed any of your photos correctly to start with (no “preview” button in film photography).
It’s not hard to see why most have abandoned all the fumbling, uncertainty and messy chemicals of darkroom photography for digital. That makes it a novelty to see honest-to-goodness, handmade black and white prints.
While reporting Sunday’s Pulse cover story, I was surprised to learn that at least at the Lawrence Arts Center, the biggest fans of the darkroom seem to be teens. I got to hang out with them for a while under the redlight and loved seeing what they came up with on their photo shoots around downtown Lawrence.
There was only space in the paper for one student shot, but instructor Ann Dean kindly emailed me extra photos so I could share them here. Instagram has nothing on these kids.