September 16

It's National Guacamole Day

GM. Guacamole. Rice Proportions. Frasier. Bermuda Onion. Bacall. Vitamin C Man.

Days Until. . .

Summer ends 6

Food Calendar

Holy Guacamole! Has a year passed already since the last day we celebrated this delicious staple of Mexican cuisine? (In America at least.) Today is National Guacamole Day. There’s not much to this fan favorite, but each one is different. The basics are avocado (Hass only - we don’t even recognize the bright shiny ones), tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. And salt, pepper, and other spices. The essentials are avocados, cilantro and lime juice, the more the better. We’ve had some that are just the essentials, and some that are loaded with everything. In a restaurant, tableside guac is best because guacamole doesn’t sit well too long. Some of our favorites around town are Johnny Sanchez, Barracuda, and the tableside version at La Carreta.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

Wild rice almost always needs to be washed before you cook it. Just let it soak in a bowl of water for a few minutes, and stir it to loosen the little particles of chaff. Drain, then start with new water.

Deft Dining Rule #869

The higher the percentage of wild rice in the rice pilaf, the better the restaurant.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Goose Lake is about as far east as you can go in Iowa, seven miles from the state line at the Mississippi River. It's closer to Chicago (156 miles) than it is to Des Moines (201). It's a fair-sized farming town of 235 people, surrounding by rolling fields of corn and soybeans to the horizon in all directions. The actual lake for which the town is named is a mile west, and is so shallow that it dries up completely in droughts. It's more of a marsh than a lake. But this is what geese love, so it's well-named. O'Brien's Pizza And Millennium Grill is the place to eat, right in the center of town.

Annals Of Getting There

General Motors was founded today in 1908 by William C. Durant. It makes me wonder what the restaurant world would be like without automobiles. They would certainly be more concentrated geographically. Restaurants of the 1800s in New Orleans were almost all in the French Quarter or along the main rail lines (such as St. Charles Avenue). To travel far required a horse. The drive-thru wouldn't exist, nor would most fast-food places. Doesn't sound so bad, really.

Food On The Air

Today in 1993, the sitcom Frasier premiered on NBC. The main character was a pompous radio psychiatrist played by Kelsey Grammer, who created the role on Cheers. In the series, Frasier and his brother Niles were portrayed as gourmets and oenophiles--or, to be more accurate, food and wine snobs. In one episode, they decided that Frasier's producer was mentally ill because she ordered a white Zinfandel. Also in the series was a foppish restaurant critic whose radio show came on before Frasier's. Why are my kind always portrayed as fey jerks? What? Oh.

Edible Dictionary

Bermuda onion, n.--A good bit on controversy surrounds the Bermuda onion, but most would agree that it's a mild, rather sweet, pale yellow onion, as big around as a standard yellow onion but flattened, like a Christmas tree ornament, at the top and bottom. They originally came from Bermuda, and from the Canary Islands before that. They took hold in this country as a result of large plantings in Texas. Those were the forerunners of Vidalia and Maui onions. Because of their sweetness, Bermuda onions are often served with lox and bagels. Sometimes, however, red or purple onions are used for that. As a result, it's widely thought that a Bermuda onion is a red onion. Not technically, it isn't.

Food Namesakes

Pro football player Todd Weiner kicked off his life today in 1975. . . Basketball pro Ron Brewer had his Big Tipoff today in 1955. . . Bilinda Butcher sings and plays guitar for the British band My Bloody Valentine. She was born today in 1961. . . Film director and writer Jules Bass was landed into the world today in 1935. . . French composer Nadia Boulanger (her last name means "baker" (came out of the oven today in 1887.

Words To Eat By

"A vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don't eat it."--Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Hungarian scientist who isolated Vitamin C and discovered many of its benefits. He was born today in 1893.

Words To Drink By

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."--Oscar Wilde.