May 17

National Cherry Cobbler Day

Sticky Fingers. Chinook. Hopper. Botticelli. Saint Of Cooks. Cherry Cobbler.

Food Calendar

Today is allegedly National Cherry Cobbler Day. This would be a better dessert if it weren't always made with canned cherries. Those of us who have been Boy Scouts or Scout leaders have eaten more than our share of cherry cobbler cooked in a Dutch oven over an open fire. You make it by dumping in (but not mixing) a box of white cake mix, a stick of butter, and a can of cherries. You cover it, put it right on the fire, and wait a half hour or so. (It's one of the better campfire dishes.)

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

You can melt chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave oven, but no matter how you do it don't wander far. Taking your eyes off melting chocolate is like punching a button in an elevator with your eyes closed, and you don't even get to meet new people.

Annals Of Popular Cuisine 

On this date in 1989, retired Rolling Stone guitarist Bill Wyman opened an American-style restaurant in London called Sticky Fingers. Its menu reads like a cross between those of Houston's and Outback. Its website features an almanac of its own. For example, we learn that on this date in 1968, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull moved into 48 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London. However, the site does not report that on this day in 1975, Mick punched a restaurant's window in, and had to be taken to the hospital for twenty stitches. Wyman's place has no connection with an American chain of barbecue places with the same name.

World Food Records 

On this day in 1985, Les Anderson caught a ninety-four pound, four-ounce chinook salmon in Alaska--a record. He used rod and reel, yet. I wonder what such a thing would taste like, or whether you'd even try to eat it.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Snail Creek flows southward for twenty-six miles through central Indiana. It ends in Sugar Creek at a point about twenty-five miles southeast of Indianapolis. (The water then goes to the Wabash, Ohio, and Mississippi.) Most if its route cuts through endless fields of corn and soybeans. But how are you going to keep them on the farm after they've seen the lights of the Boggstown Restaurant and Cabaret, just a mile south of Snail Creek?

Food And The Arts 

Sandro Botticelli, who painted the iconic "Birth of Venus," was born today in 1444. His masterpiece is known to foodies as "Venus on the Half Shell."

Annals Of Food Research

Elvin Charles Stakman, a plant pathologist, spent his life combatting world hunger by researching and fighting diseases in food plants, notably wheat, corn and other cereals. His passion for his work was fueled as much by concern for the poor (especially in Mexico) as by scientific imperatives. He was born today in 1885.

Edible Dictionary

aglio olio, aglio e olio, Italian, n.--Literally, "garlic and oil." This is among the simplest of pasta dishes, served tossed with a sauce made by cooking chopped fresh garlic, parsley, and crushed red pepper in olive oil until fragrant. It's found in Italian restaurants everywhere, particularly in the South. It has the reputation of being a poor man's dinner, but this should not be taken to besmirch either its goodness or its popularity. Pasta aglio olio is known in New Orleans as pasta bordelaise.

The Saints 

This is the feast day of St. Pascal Baylon, a lay Franciscan brother who lived in sixteenth-century Spain. He worked as a cook, and is one of many patron saints of cooks.

Food Namesakes 

Sir Nicholas Hickman Ponsonby Bacon, 14th Premier Baronet (an hereditary knighthood in England) was born today in 1953. . . The famous racehorse Seabiscuit died today in 1947, at fourteen. . . Sugar Ray Leonard, the boxer, was born today in 1956.

Words To Eat By

"It is part of the novelist's convention not to mention soup and salmon and ducklings, as if soup and salmon and ducklings were of no importance."--Virginia Woolf.

Words To Drink By

"Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer."--Arnold Schwarzenegger.