Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Did you know that one percent of all Google searches each day are for recipes? Google recently “added a new level of functionality that will allow users to sort by a recipe’s characteristics” like ingredients, cook time and calories. Unfortunately, Google’s preference for the huge recipe engines remains. “It’s going to favor some of the biggest sites and those who have optimized their content to be found easily by search engines. Expect a lot of and recipes to pop up on the first page of any search.” I prefer finding recipes on personal blogs so my RSS feeder will still be my go-to source.

Good news for my Massachusetts pals: we may have Fullsteam here in NC, but don’t be envious, you’ll soon have Mystic Brewery. Beer News reports “Mystic Brewery will focus on making pre-industrial style beers, like those from Belgium, but with a distinct New England agricultural influence.”

An MIT-trained mechanical engineer is “saving the earth, one beer at a time.” He’s invented a device that extracts energy from the spent hops, barley and yeast left over from the brewing process and uses that to process the wastewater at Magic Hat. A big beautiful circle. His anaerobic methane digester “is the first in the world to extract energy from the spent grain and then re-use it in the brewery.” Last year on Blog Action Day, I wrote about a few other breweries that are finding ways to conserve, capture and reuse energy and resources.

Your thoughts about this news will depend on your view about the role of government in our lives. My view is very gray; it depends on the issue. A Minnesota House committee passed the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, which now heads to the full House and state Senate. The act would prohibit lawsuits against fast-food restaurants based on the health effects of their food. I think the name of the act says it all. I’m not a fast-food advocate but I can’t stand the idea of suing them because they make you fat. You have a choice, buy a Whopper or drive to the supermarket.

Here’s a lovely story about a long ago visit to Egypt, a sweet waiter boy, a fresh egg and quenching fruit juices by Lisa Barlow at Salon.

If you’ve ever lived or spent time in the Central Valley of California, this story from Orion magazine, Desiccated Dreams: California’s Engineered Cornucopia Falters, is not surprising, but still depressing.

I’ll end with a poem by Wilmer Mills about Nigella Lawson.


She minces squid and a marinated scallion,
Mixes rice with shrimp and olive paste. . . .
Hope for the English meal, though half Italian
With her jet black hair and her elastic waist.
Unlike the other television cooks,
She brings to life a lobster that was dead
With common spices, her exotic looks,
And recipes she dreamed about in bed.

cooking beer nigella lawson

photo by snowpea&bokchoi (flickr)

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