October 24

National Bologna Day

Yeasty Singer. Margarine Man. Baloney. Garbure. Broken Hollandaise. Shaved Fish. Good And Plenty.

Days Until. . .

Halloween 7

Food Calendar

We hear that it's National Bologna Day. Bologna isn't the very lowest form of cold cuts--that condemnation belongs to luncheon loaf--but it's pretty bad. It's sort of like the inside of a pork-and-beef hot dog on a large scale. The city of Bologna in Italy knows nothing of it, and should sue. I found a recipe for a baloney sandwich called the Bourbon Street Special at the Oscar Meyer web site. It's like a muffuletta made by someone who's never eaten one.

Today In History

The United Nations was born on this date in 1945. But this day is most remembered as Black Monday, the day in 1929 that the stock market crashed, usually noted as the trigger for the Great Depression began.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Bologna Creek, Oregon is in the mountainous, lightly-populated northeast corner of the state, 215 miles east-southest of Portland. It flows into the John Day River, a tributary of the Columbia. Two forks of the creek rise in Bologna Basin, then join to flow through Bologna Canyon between the 4000-foot peaks of Negro Knob and Thorn Spring Butte. Bologna Creek brings down enough alluvial matter to block the flow of the John Day enough to back it up a bit. In a wet year it chinook salmon swim up the creek. Giving the cattle ranchers in the area a respite from all that bologna. Another alternative is the Day Creek Lodge, a mile away up the John Day from the Bologna Confluence.

Edible Dictionary

garbure, French, n.--A thick, wintertime soup made with potatoes, beans, cabbage, root vegetables of the season, and herbs. After all that cooks down enough to become thick enough to hold a spoon upright, an assortment of confits of birds, sausages, and ham goes in, with enough fat to enrich the soup greatly. Garbure is popular in southwestern France, especially in the town of Bearn. It probably has origins in the Basque culture in that area. Two traditions attend the making and eating of garbure. One involves the order in which the vegetables are added, so that they all become cooked simultaneously. The other is saving a sip of wine until all the solids in the soup have been consumed, and then adding it to the broth. This is supposed to have a salutary effect on the foie.

Deft Dining Rule #477

Beware of any restaurant menu that mentions emulsions more than twice. It means the chef is more caught up in his technique than in making you happy.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

If your hollandaise breaks, add a tablespoon of warm water and see if it re-emulsifies. If not, start over again with just one egg yolk, whisking over gentle heat until it gets thick, then whisk in the broken sauce a little at a time.

Music To Eat Sashimi By

Today in 1975, John Lennon released an album of his greatest hits. It was called Shaved Fish. Yoko Ono really needs to open a sushi bar with that name.

Annals Of Candy

Good and Plenty was introduced today in 1894. It's the oldest branded candy in America, and is still going strong under the Hershey umbrella. A single Good and Plenty is a little tube of licorice inside a thick candy shell.

Food In Music

Today in 1929 (which, incidentally, was the day the stock market crashed and triggered the Great Depression), Rudy Vallee began broadcasting his radio show, sponsored by Fleischmann's Yeast. Vallee was a heartthrob for his looks and his singing. He had the boyish charm that makes girls swoon. Why that should translate into sales of yeast is hard to figure, but he did help Fleischmann's become the dominant brand of yeast in America--a position it still holds. Rudy Vallee's expiration date was July 3, 1986.

Food Inventions

Hippolyte Mège Mouriés, a major food chemist in the dawn of that science, was born in France today in 1817. In 1869, he won the prize offered by Emperor Louis Napoleon III to create an acceptable butter substitute: margarine. He used more or less the same process by which fat can be made into soap. He came up with many other ideas, including a process that greatly reduced the amount of wheat needed to make bread, and a method of canning meat.Nathaniel Wyeth was born today in 1911. He invented polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic that can be made into thin-walled bottles strong enough to hold carbonated beverages under pressure. As in two-liter bottles of Big Shot pineapple drink.

Food Namesakes

George Crumb, a composer who won a Pulitzer Prize, was born on this date in--again! 1929! Black Monday! Here's another odd coincidence: Crumb was from West Virginia, and today is the day its citizens voted to form a new state, at the outset of the Civil War in 1861. . . Motown Records founder Berry Gordy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today in 1996. . . Santo Farina, who played steel guitar with his brother Johnny on the classic 1950s tune Sleepwalk, was born today in 1937. It was the last instrumental to hit Number One for five years. . . Jose Serrano, U.S. Congressman from New York, was born today in 1943. . . Lazar Weiner, who composed dozens of Yiddish songs, was born today in 1897. . . . Tila Tequila, Singapore-born, Vietnamese-heritage, American model, was born today in 1981. . . Professional golfer Ian Baker-Finch teed off his life today in 1960.

Words To Eat By

"My favorite sandwich is peanut butter, baloney, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise on toasted bread with catsup on the side."--Hubert H. Humphrey.

No wonder we didn't elect him President.

Words To Drink By

"And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
'I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine.'"
--G.K. Chesterton, British writer of the 1800s.