Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great Moments in Food Photography: Nan's French Fondue

While flipping through my favorite cookbook the other day - Egg and Cheese Spaghetti and Rice Dishes - I came across this drool-inducing image.

Doesn't that look good? I bet it really sticks to your bones. Well, as a special treat I've decided to share the recipe with you, my loyal readers. Enjoy!

Nan's French Fondue

1-1/2 long loaves French Bread
1/2 cup butter, margarine, or Country Crock
1/2 cup sharp prepared mustard
1-1/2 lb. sharp natural or process cheddar cheese, slice 1/4-inch thick
4 eggs, well beaten
5 cups milk, hot
1-1/2 teasp. Worcestershire
1/8 teasp. cayenne
1/4 teasp. paprika

1. Day before: Slice French bread into 1/2-inch slices; spread generously with butter and mustard.
2. In 4-qt. casserole, alternate layers of bread and cheese slices to fill casserole.
3. Combine eggs, milk, Worcestershire, salt, and cayenne. Pour over bread and cheese layers. Sprinkle top with paprika. Refrigerate, covered, until next day.
4. About 1-3/4 hours before serving: Start heating oven to 350-degrees F. Bake fondue, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours.

Makes 8 servings (though you'll be hard-pressed not to eat the whole thing in one sitting).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What's wrong with this picture? Brooks & Dunn make the cover of Country Magazine, creep out reader

Longtime reader Aaron Semer stopped by the Erasable Pen offices recently to drop off this thought-provoking issue of Country Magazine.

The cover of the periodical – which was found on an end table inside Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – disturbed Aaron greatly, but he wasn't exactly sure why, so he decided to hand it over to us for further inspection.

This turned out to be a wise move, as it took our experts just under three hours to determine the real problem with the magazine's cover.

If you take a close look at Ronnie Dunn (the charming fellow on the left), you'll notice his beard is completely disproportionate to his hair. In fact, they're of two distinctly different follicular genres.

Dunn's unfortunate condition is the direct result of improper management of the Norelco Maverick Beard Trimmer. You see, he clearly has his Maverick locked in on the number 7 setting. Any knowledgeable beard groomer knows that this is too high of a setting, thus too thick of a beard to accompany such a slick, well-coifed hairstyle. The beard is too long, too unkempt, and quite honestly, too masculine. A lower setting, say a 3 or a 4, would streamline the beard, making it far more apropos for his overall look, and far less disturbing.

Aside from that, we found nothing wrong with this cover photo.

Nor did we take issue with the following ads, discovered on the back pages of the same magazine...

Friday, May 2, 2008

German scientists invent scented text messages - Could downloadable food be next?

It was reported this week that two German companies have patented the technology for sending scented text messages via cell phone. So like, you know, you could send someone the smell of a rose (as an expression of love), or the ocean (if you're standing on the beach staring at the sea), or the aroma of the urinal biscuits at your local dive bar (if you've spent the night out drinking alone and want to share the experience with your friend who stood you up).

Don't believe me? See story here: www.thelocal.de/11619/

While your first reaction to this news is likely, "JIGGA WHAAAA????!!!," your second reaction should be, "hey didn't Dan Lurie (of Erasable Pen fame) come up with a similar idea years ago? Something involving emailing food, or something?"

Yes, that's right. Not long after the advent of electronic mail, and the internet, I started thinking about how glorious it would be if you could instantly access a snack, or even a full meal of food, with the click of a mouse.

This idea of using computers to prepare food was also partly inspired by the fact that the George Foreman Grill looked a heckuva lot like an iMac.

The gist of my notion centered on the concept of sending food as an email attachment, or downloading your favorite dish just as you would an MP3. I shared this idea with a number of friends and colleagues but it never really went anywhere. The technology didn't exist yet (or so everyone thought), and, to be honest, I'm not so sure the world was ready for my idea.

But now that it's possible for us to send and receive smells on our cell phones, my concept can no longer be considered "far-fetched." Mark my words. Within months, you will be able to use your computer, or Palm Pilot, to instantaneously download a fried-bologna sandwich, either using bit torrent or some other newfangled file-sharing program.

Soon you will be able to access this sandwich from your home computer.

The saddest thing about all of this is I'm sure someone else has already patented my idea by now. So instead of being able to take credit for its brilliance, I will simply have to enjoy the delicious convenience of downloadable food like all the rest of you average citizens.