Pull up a chair. I’ll pour you some of this Smuttynose Imperial Stout, one from their Big Beer Series, or I’ll get you a Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale from the fridge — my seasonal house beer. I was disappointed in the Siren Noire Imperial Chocolate Stout from Heavy Seas, tasted off to me, so I’m not pouring that one. Now, let’s talk food.
The biggest food news this week came on Monday from Capitol Hill where the Senate passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act with the Tester/Hagen Amendment. Although there are now concerns that provisions of the bill are not constitutional because they would allow the FDA to impose fees on importers and on companies whose food is recalled due to contamination. Since all revenue-raising bills must originate in the House, the Senate might have to bring the bill back to a recess-hungry Senate wrestling with tax cut extensions and filibusters.
Better news: the child nutrition bill is headed to the President’s desk after the House of Representatives passed it on Thursday. It gives the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds; provides funds to poor schools to subsidize free meals; increases the reimbursement rate for school lunches; and sets mandatory health guidelines for schools.
Ah, the things people do for marketing. The head of the Washington State Potato Commission just ended a self-imposed diet of potatoes-only to prove that potatoes aren’t fattening. He said he lost more than 20 pounds in two months. I would never want to eat a potato again.
This week Italian trade officials launched the “Italianissimi” campaign to combat the use of misleading words and images to imply products are from Italy. The campaign will educate consumers about food products that are authentically Italian. I’ve always found it easy to figure out if something was imported from Italy or made here, so I wonder how much change this campaign will cause.
If you have beer lovers on your Christmas list, take a peek at this holiday beer book gift list from All About Beer editor, Julie Johnson. I heard Santa might be buying me Pete Brown’s Hops and Glory: One Man’s Search for the Beer That Built the British Empire.
Friday night I heard Patti Digh read from her latest book Creative Is a Verb: If You’re Alive, You’re Creative. Stop listening to those gremlins in your head. Create something! Make something for dinner. Bake some cookies. Make some spiced nuts. Write a Christmas essay to your parents. Or try these simple creations to decorate your table.
If you don’t like the way they turn out, no problem, you’ve got to eat them eventually. Ho ho ho!