Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I’ve got an egg, avocado, green onion, cheese and cilantro burrito to make so this will be a quickie. A little leftover avocado from my Mexican Shrimp Cocktail dinner is the prompt for breakfast this morning. Then we’re off to Fayetteville for Father’s Day and yardwork.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, my father, brothers and honey especially. A special Happy Father’s Day to you, Daddie Dave. My dad isn’t that handy in the kitchen but he introduced me to a lot of my favorite foods — raw clams and oysters at the raw bar in Faneuil Market, brats at a Wisconsin backyard BBQ, and good craft and German beer. I’m sure there are other examples, but my memory stinks, I often have to rely on my brothers for childhood memories.

A beer will be most welcome after today’s weeding session. Jay Brooks would probably agree with me on that. In a post about the new USDA dietary guidelines, MyPlate, he asks, “But where’s the beer?” He laments its absence, “despite the fact that for adults who regularly drink in moderation the odds are that they’ll live longer than folks who abstain or drink to excess.”

I had never heard of the Japanese seasoning shichimi togarashi containing chile, sansho (a spice that tastes like Sichuan peppercorn), dried tangerine peel, seaweed, ginger and sesame seeds. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an intriguingly delicious blend. I wonder if Penzey’s has it. Chowhound readers share how they like to use it in a recent post on Chow.

According to Specialty Food magazine’s research, the hottest trend in the healthy food segment is citrus fruit and flavors. I just saved a recipe for a coconut citrus coating for fish; I’m following trends and didn’t even know it.

If you are on a budget, you might not be able to afford organic citrus. A good buying strategy is to only choose organic for the fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have pesticide residue: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches and spinach. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a list of the Dirty Dozen to avoid and the Clean 15 to help you make organic vs. conventional produce shopping decisions.

Manhattan drinkers and hot fudge sundae lovers, there’s no longer a need to buy food coloring #40 maraschino cherries. It’s cherry season, you can make your own! I bet these homemade maraschino cherries would make the most delicious drink garnish ever.

Instead of a poem this week, I’ll leave you with “The Sweetest, Saddest Comic You’ll Ever Read About Oysters.” Follow the link to read the entire tale.

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