Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

If you’re feeling snarky about cooking shows, you might like The Food Network Humor blog where you can read about Paula Deen’s latest endorsement deal, Giada’s double-dipping and Guy Fieri’s road show failures. One of their regular series is the Ridiculous Recipe of the Week. I’m relieved to see that I’ve been making frozen grapes correctly all this time.

Do you have happy memories of clam shacks? Plastic trays with paper cartons overflowing with golden fried big belly clams with a little cup of tartar (that’s tah-dah) sauce or a plastic bucket full of steamers with butter and broth on the side, plus a heap of french fries and a huge plastic cup full of beer? The Boston Globe ran a Q&A with Mike Urban, author of “Clam Shack: The Ultimate Guide to New England’s Most Fantastic Seafood Eateries.’’ Now there’s a book for the Christmas list! It’s been far too long since I’ve been to Woodman’s in Ipswich. My family’s go-to shacks are in Plymouth Harbor — Wood’s or Lobster Hut — where I gorge on a fried clam platter once or twice a year.

Would you go to the dentist more often if they offered you a wine or beer upon arrival and a free teeth whitening thrown in as a bonus? Dr. Clint Herzog, owner of Floss Dental, thinks you would. “We give free whitening to all of our patients because that’s like the adult lollipop.” I’m hoping this idea catches on.

My favorite recent book title: For Cod and Country: Simple. Delicious. Sustainable. Well, it’s that first part I really love, “for cod and country,” sounds like a pledge. I’m from the land of cod, where the beautiful “sacred cod” graces our state capitol – Massachusetts. Sadly, I don’t get to eat cod much anymore. The stock has been overfished by generations of my fellow statesmen and others. Chef Baron Seaver’s new bookhighlights the importance of sustainable seafood to the long-term viability of our environment and our diets.” During his book tour, he shared some good seafood buying tips with NPR.

I have an announcement. I’m now an acolyte of the Vegan Black Metal Chef. You must watch this video: Vegan Black Metal Chef: Episode 1, Pad Thai. It’s long but worth every delicious minute. Headbang furiously. There is no need to leave you with poetry this week. Vegan Black Metal Chef is all the poetry you will need.


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