JANUARY 20, 2012: BITS AND BOBS FROM THE INTERNET

From grist: Tamar Adler’s and Kurt Michael Friese’s gentle but firm appeal for Americans to get back in the kitchen. Tamar Adler is fast becoming one of my heroes, and I will be reading more of Kurt Michael Friese.

From Rob Hopkins’s blog Transition Culture: A map of Guildford, England, back in 1793, when food was grown everywhere in and around town. While I’m not one who longs for the old days, I agree with Rob Hopkins when he suggests: “Perhaps it’s just me, but a walk of the imagination around the landscape captured in this map is not just a look back into our past, but also, in many ways, a look forward into our future.”

From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette: An article about a bill in the Massachusetts’s legislature to remove the risk of liability to restaurants that want to donate leftover food to various food agencies.  Obviously, some care will need to be taken to ensure food safety, but a lot of restaurant food is wasted, and what a great thing it would be to keep even a portion of this wasted food out of the landfills.

From the New York Times: I have as an unreasoning aversion to modernist cuisine (aka molecular gastronomy) as I do to the Danish director Lars von Trier. However, Melissa Clark’s piece, where she describes adapting some of the less esoteric methods of modernist cuisine for a dinner party, has made me reconsider my position. Mind you, I’m not about to rush out and get a sous vide machine.

From the Kennebec Journal: After seven months of being without a permanent home, the Hot Meals Kitchen is back at St. Francis Xavier Church Hall in Winthrop. Special thanks to Craig Hickman, who opened his home to the town for preparation of free Wednesday meals so that people could get a hot meal even though the Hot Meals Kitchen was closed. (Hickman is secretary for the Hot Meals Kitchen’s board.)

From MPBN: From the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, a report about food insecurity in Maine. In Maine, “about one in five kids under the age of 16 live in a food insecure home. Maine also has a 25 million pound gap of food that’s needed to feed the hungry.” And, here’s a surprising statistic: “Maine imports more food than any other state in the lower 48.” Especially when you consider “There was time when Maine produced most–if not all–of the food it needed. In the Civil War, New England was considered the wheat basket. The beef industry was developed in Kennebec County before it shifted west.” A timely and fascinating report, and kudos to Muskie School of Public Service.