WBEZ | Cooking http://www.wbez.org/tags/cooking Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cooking up change in American medical schools http://www.wbez.org/news/cooking-change-american-medical-schools-112130 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Food as med manny.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s a stormy Friday night in Chicago and traffic is a mess. But, one by one, a group of damp medical students comes filing into a classroom at Chicago&rsquo;s Kendall College. They could be out drinking tonight or hunkered down with their anatomy books. But instead they&rsquo;ve traveled miles from the University of Chicago&#39;s campus to attend a voluntary 3-hour class that they&rsquo;re not even getting credit for.</p><p>The course is Culinary Medicine, which explores the intersection of food, science, medicine and nutrition. The idea is to learn how to help prevent and control some of our most pervasive chronic health conditions.</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t get a lot of devoted curriculum to this issue,&rdquo; says Erik Kulenkamp.&nbsp; He&rsquo;s a first-year med student at University of Chicago&rsquo;s Pritzker Medical School.&nbsp; &ldquo;And I feel like it&rsquo;s one of the things patients are most curious about and have the most questions about &mdash; lifestyle changes and things they can do to prevent things from happening to them rather than treating them once they occur.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Where&rsquo;s the nutrition training for doctors?</strong></p><p>Only about 30 institutions around the country teach culinary medicine. And according to a 2010 survey, only about 27 percent of all American medical schools teach the 25 hours of nutrition coursework recommended by the National Academy of Science.</p><p>This comes at a time when a recent <a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1710486">Journal of the American Medical Association study</a> found that dietary quality is the single biggest risk factor for death and disability in the country.&nbsp;</p><p>This seems crazy to folks like Stephen Devries, who runs Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.gaplesinstitute.org/">Gaples Institute</a>. It&rsquo;s trying to expand more nutritional training in the medical field. When he spells out for people the current requirements for nutrition training among medical professions, &ldquo;they are shocked.&rdquo;</p><p>Last year, Devries wrote a<a href="http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2814%2900308-8/abstract"> commentary in The American Journal of Medicine </a>decrying the current lack of nutrition education among doctors. He noted that a recent study showed only 14 percent of physicians feel trained to provide nutritional counseling and yet 61 percent of patients turn to their doctors as &ldquo;very credible&rdquo; sources of nutrition information.</p><p>Dr. Geeta Maker Clark is a clinical instructor at the University of Chicago; she also runs an integrative family practice in the North Shore University Health system. She pursued culinary medicine studies after medical school, and has used them in her integrative practice as well as a class for non-med students that she teaches with a chef in Evanston.</p><p>But a couple of years ago she was approached by University of Illinois at Chicago doctoral student Sabira Taher with an idea to expand that teaching to future doctors. Things moved slowly. But last month, working with U of C&#39;s&nbsp; Dr. Sonia Oyola (who co-teaches the class) and Kendall&#39;s chef instructor Renee Zonka, they finally launched this pilot class. The pilot is funded by a grant from the U of C Women&rsquo;s Board, but the university stresses it will not give students credit for taking it.</p><p>At this point the University says, &quot;Instructors are just starting to review data that was collected on the nutritional medicine project to help them assess the class and make refinements if it&rsquo;s offered again. It&rsquo;s possible some iteration will be incorporated into the formal curriculum in the future, but it&rsquo;s too early to say.&rdquo;</p><p>This is not the case at <a href="http://tmedweb.tulane.edu/mu/teachingkitchen/">Tulane University</a>, where med students are required to study culinary medicine. Maker Clark is using teaching modules from the Tulane program in the 4-week&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; course that meets for three hours a session.&nbsp; Each class begin with case studies and clinical lectures. But for the second part of the class they put down the pens and pull on the chef hats.</p><p><strong>Breakfast tacos as medical care</strong></p><p>During a recent class, the University of Chicago medical students cooked up spinach and feta frittatas, quick granola, banana nut muffins and breakfast tacos.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s one of the only opportunities we have at Pritzker to combine treating with pills and things that are directly in the patient&rsquo;s control,&rdquo; says first-year student Maggie Montoya. &ldquo;Also, it will help me with my cooking skills because I can&rsquo;t cook for beans.&rdquo;</p><p>This is a common refrain among med students who said they were eating a lot of take-out and processed food before they took the class. They see it as a way to improve their own health and become examples to their patients.</p><p>That&rsquo;s a huge part of this kind of training, says Dr. David Eisenberg of the <a href="https://www.samueliinstitute.org/">Samueli Institute </a>and the<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/03/30/qa-with-dr-david-eisenberg-on-self-care-skills-teaching-kitchens-thinking-outside-of-the-box/"> Harvard School of Public Health.</a> For nearly a decade he&rsquo;s been leading a <a href="http://www.healthykitchens.org/">4-day culinary medicine class</a> for health professionals at the Culinary Institute of America in California.</p><p>Surveys from doctors who&#39;ve taken the class have convinced him that such personal experience is key to translating the information to a patient. He cites studies showing that&nbsp; doctors who exercise or have given up smoking are much better at counseling patients on the issues.<br /><br />In a recent <a href="http://academicmedicineblog.org/sneak-peek-nutrition-education-in-an-era-of-global-obesity-and-diabetes-thinking-outside-the-box/">article for Academic Medicine,</a> Eisenberg lamented that so few medical schools prepare their students to dispense dietary guidance, &ldquo;and more importantly there are really few if any requirements on the part of graduating medical students to be knowledgeable about nutrition and its translation into practical advice for patients,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;And those competencies don&rsquo;t exist on the certification exams to become a licensed physician.&rdquo;</p><p>The accreditation body that decides standards for 4-year medical school training is called the <a href="http://www.lcme.org/">Liaison Committee for Medical Education.</a> Its co-chair, Dan Hunt, says that after four years of medical school, he might expect graduates to &quot;identify nutritional disorders, but I wouldn&rsquo;t expect them to be able to treat those disorders because they&rsquo;re going to get the management of the illness in the next set of [specialized residency] training.&quot;</p><p>But that&#39;s not really how it works. In fact, in its <a href="https://www.acgme.org/acgmeweb/tabid/134/ProgramandInstitutionalAccreditation/MedicalSpecialties/InternalMedicine.aspx">34- and 35-page accreditation documents </a>for doctors of internal medicine or cardiology, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education never once mentions a need for any nutrition knowledge. When WBEZ contacted Dr. Mary Lieh-Lai, at the ACGME to ask her why, she initially said that she doubted this was true. Lieh-Lai is the senior vice president of medical accreditation at ACGME and she asked for time to go over the documents herself, and then speak to us.</p><p>When we called 30 minutes later she conceded that nutrition is never mentioned in the documents, but added, &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t dictate the detailed requirements. We leave that up to the programs and the programs make those detailed requirements at the local level because it depends on the local needs and things of that nature.&rdquo;</p><p>Asked if ACGME might ever consider including nutrition knowledge as a requirement for accreditation, Lieh-Lai said, &ldquo;No.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>&ldquo;Tsunami of obesity and diabetes&rdquo;</strong></p><p>Still, Eisenberg blames the current situation less on negligence by the accreditors than a slow response to the &ldquo;tsunami of obesity and diabetes&rdquo; that&rsquo;s hit this country.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think we could have predicted that health care professionals would need to know so much more about nutrition and its translation into shopping for and preparing healthy delicious foods,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Nor did we expect that we would need to know more about movement and exercise or being mindful in the way we live our lives and eat or how to change behaviors. I think these are relatively new areas of expertise that (we) really must grapple with for the next generation of health professionals.&rdquo;</p><p>Back in the Kendall College kitchen Maker Clark aims to give her students some of that expertise. In just the last two hours her students have mastered 12 healthy dishes that they will be able to pass on to future patients.</p><p>Today, this class is just a small grant-funded pilot, but Maker Clark envisions a day when it&rsquo;s standard fare in local med schools.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;That would be absolutely fantastic,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If we can get it to the point where they are getting credit for it and then incorporated into the curriculum, that is a goal.&rdquo;</p><p>A more immediate goal is for students to share what they&rsquo;ve learned with others. Later this month, they&rsquo;ll be expected to teach healthy cooking workshops in underserved Chicago communities as their final project.</p><p>WBEZ will check that out and report back on it here.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at @monicaeng or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cooking-change-american-medical-schools-112130 Underground Korean-French dinner serves up mystery and music http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/underground-korean-french-dinner-serves-mystery-and-music-111470 <p><p>In mid-December I returned from vacation to find a handmade Christmas tree and card inviting me to dinner in a private suburban home hosted by &ldquo;a crazy hair stylist, a crazy dancer and crazy French Cuisine cooker.&rdquo;</p><p>It was from a man named David Cho, whom I interviewed more than 15 years ago about his nascent karaoke booth business.&nbsp; My first thought was, &ldquo;no way.&rdquo; But I figured I should at least call and decline. By the end of the call with Mr Cho, however, I told him I would go as long as my bosses OK&rsquo;d it, and I could pay for the meal.</p><p>When I told my friends on Facebook that I&rsquo;d been dining in the in the Northwest suburbs, Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel wrote back, &ldquo;10 minutes from the airport. You&#39;ll be over international waters before we know you&#39;re missing.&rdquo;</p><p>Sure, it was a risk but one I felt we are all too ready to avoid when it comes to meeting new people and checking out the workd of unknown culinary artists. Right? I invited my mom and 11-year-old daughter, to make sure I wasn&rsquo;t captured alone.</p><blockquote><p><a href="https://www.tumblr.com/reblog/109616767565/SaAaSRvg" target="_blank"><strong>Photos from Monica&#39;s 10-course meal</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>When we finally arrived, Mr. Cho met us in the parking lot of the very old condo complex. He led us up some stairs to a guy who looked like a Korean Harpo Marx dressed as a chef.&nbsp; As we entered the dining room/living room of his tiny place we found an elaborately decorated table, pink placemats, crystal. Loud French bistro music poured from the giant TV all night.</p><p>Hello Kitty, My Little Pony and other dolls filled the nearby shelves along with several more homemade Christmas trees. Other souvenirs included tiny chef dolls, Eiffel Tower replicas and pictures from chef James Hahn&rsquo;s many hair styling exhibitions.</p><p>I joined the other guests at the table and Hahn disappeared into the kitchen.</p><p>Within minutes, the first course was on the table. It was a purplish salad that Hahn said reflected his time in Nice, France.</p><p>Cho explained that Hahn was in Paris studying hairdressing when he first became fascinated with cooking. He said Hahn learned as much as he could about French food before returning to Korea to become a famous hairstylist. It has only been since his arrival in the States that he&rsquo;s started cooking for groups.&nbsp;</p><p>Hahn has hosted about 10 of these dinners, spending weeks planning and preparing the meals. Guests are invited from the from the ranks of Hahn&#39;s favorite customers at Gloria Hair Art beauty salon in Niles. They often donate money at the end of the meal to help cover food expenses. Hahn works completely alone, as prep cook, chef and server.</p><p>&ldquo;This is his secondary job or like a hobby,&rdquo; Cho said. &ldquo;So I don&rsquo;t know how many times he&rsquo;s going to do this in the future, making a 10-course meal by himself. He needs a lot of energy. So maybe he&rsquo;ll do two or three times more. As far as I know he&rsquo;s more than 40-years-old. I don&rsquo;t know how much more energy he&rsquo;s got left. Last time I was here he was even sweating a lot.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though I knew the meal would be a multi-course affair, I hadn&rsquo;t expected it to be so elaborate. By the 6th course of fried lobster in an apple garlic sauce I was ready to pop. But there was still steak, abalone, sashimi and dessert to come. (see full course list below)</p><p>As the meal progressed, I started to understand Hahn&rsquo;s prominence in the Korean community--if not exactly why I was called here tonight.</p><p>It seems that he had become a sort of dancing, hairdresser celebrity in Korea, appearing on talk shows and styling the hair of the stars.</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s recognized as No. 1 hairstylist in the Korean community,&rdquo; Cho said, &ldquo;And he wants to be known for all of the United States. He is especially known for giving crazy haircuts in 10 minutes.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Can he give me a crazy haircut?&rdquo; I asked.</p><p>&ldquo;He can do whatever you want in 10 minutes,&rdquo; Cho said. &ldquo;He doesn&rsquo;t take long hours.&rdquo;</p><p>We finally finished the meal with a refreshing dragon fruit salad, and Cho announced that it was time to watch videos. These included Hahn&#39;s appearances on Korean talk shows, his dance performances and dancing haircutting acts. During some, his clients are even upside down. The final video showed him dancing and styling a red-haired client on stage at Chicago&rsquo;s Korean Festival on Bryn Mawr Avenue this past summer.</p><p>The clips from Korea showed elaborate headdresses that Hahn had created from his clients&#39; hair trimmings.&nbsp; Some took a year to produce. They have to be seen to be believed.</p><p>It was nearing midnight and my daughter was getting sleepy. So we left our donation, offered our deep thanks and we said our goodbyes. Despite my initial apprehension, it turned out that all Cho and Hahn wanted was to share their passion for food with a fellow foodie. And everyone left the experience alive.</p><p>As I told my daughter on the way out: this may have been a slightly risky move, but if you pass up every crazy invitation you get, you just may miss out on some magical experiences.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/16202028940_84a71beaeb_z.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Course eight: Rare porterhouse steak slices in a garlic pepper salsa with microgreens. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></div><p><strong>Full 10 course menu</strong></p><ol><li>Ten-vegetable salad in the style of Nice, France. (pineapple jam)</li><li>Kemasal soup featuring a seafood broth, broccoli florets and shredded crab</li><li>Roasted burdock over bok choy, ginger and scallions.</li><li>Scallops in a cauliflower puree</li><li>Boiled shrimp and lobster tail in a pink sauce.</li><li>Fried lobster in an apple sauce showered in garlic chips. A slice of smoked salmon in a pink horseradish sauce on the side.</li><li>Steamed whole abalone served in the shell with mushrooms and accompanied by a piece of rolled grilled prosciutto.</li><li>Rare porterhouse steak slices in a garlic pepper salsa with microgreens.Broiled garlic lobster tail, tuna sashimi and an asparagus spear.</li><li>Broiled garlic lobster tail, tuna sashimi and an asparagus spear.</li><li>Dragon fruit, pineapple, persimmon, candied citrus and grapefruit salad.</li></ol><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at <a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/underground-korean-french-dinner-serves-mystery-and-music-111470 What happens when a Chicago mom tries to become a deer hunter? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 <p><p><em>Some of the images in the slideshow above depict graphic scenes from deer hunting.</em></p><p>After years of handwringing over the ethics of meat, I decided that this year I needed to kill my own &mdash; or maybe stop eating it.</p><p>My evolution started a decade ago with meat I bought from local farmers who raised the animals outside. Before long I tried to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-09-21/features/0809160163_1_organic-meat-sales-pig-factory"><u>attend the slaughter of every kind of meat I ate</u></a> for a summer. I moved on to<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D45zEpIzxiM"> <u>learning how to butcher</u></a> animals myself. And finally I thought I was ready to kill my own dinner. &nbsp;</p><p>It was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/columnists/chi-110226-hunt-novices-pictures-photogallery.html"><u>part of a project that I did</u></a> with my then-colleague Barbara Brotman when I was a reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.</p><p>We wanted to see if you could take two urban moms and turn them into hunters.</p><p>We worked under hunting mentors including Department of Natural Resources instructors Bill Boggio and Ralph Schultz, who told us &ldquo;If you can learn to walk like a squirrel, you can sneak up on anything in the woods.&rdquo;</p><p>But after freezing through several weekends in deer stands and deer blinds on the Illinois-Iowa border in 2010, we came away with nothing. A minor gun accident convinced our editors that it was probably time to stop. So that was the end of it.</p><p>Or so I thought.</p><p>As I&rsquo;ve continued to report on food ethics over the years the fact that I never faced the true cost of meat &mdash; never killed my meal myself &mdash; has gnawed at my conscience. &nbsp;</p><p>So much so, that this year I decided I had to hunt again. &nbsp;</p><p>I knew it would be a long shot. I&rsquo;d have to get licenses, guns, land, special equipment, time off from work and kids, and mentors to guide me. But somehow I managed to do it.</p><p>I revisited hunter safety. Brushed back up on deer anatomy. And relearned how to shoot a gun.</p><p>My new mentor was Kankakee county horsewoman and hairdresser Amy Strahan. She scouted a spot with me and even convinced her dad, Bill, to help us put together a tree stand.</p><p>Next I headed to the Farm and Fleet boys department for more than $200 in head to toe camo gear. Amy kept my hunting clothes in one of her horse stalls for weeks to soak up animal smells.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/HUNTER%20AMY.jpg" title="Amy Strahan agreed to become Monica Eng’s hunting partner for this year’s season in Kankakee County. She sits here in the woods just minutes before a four-point buck approached the two of them. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG)" /></div><p>Then in late November, I slipped on those clothes before dawn and jumped into Amy&rsquo;s truck. After a short drive, we crossed a craggy frozen field, climbed into our stand and sat in the darkness with the faint whine of the interstate in the distance. The warmth generated by our hike faded as the frosty predawn temperatures crept under my five layers of clothing. I started to remember that, the last time I tried the biggest challenge was just warding off frost bite. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But I also remembered that hunting gives you a front row seat to the spectacle of mother nature turning up the house lights on the world. I sat on the east side of the tree stand and welcomed the tiny warm of the rising sun on my face. &nbsp;</p><p>Three frigid deerless hours later, &nbsp;I was thrilled to hear Amy announce that she had to get to work and we called it a day. I spent the rest of the day just thawing out and vowing to bring hand and footwarmers next time.</p><p>But by 5 a.m. the next morning I was dressed and trudging through a now-slippery rainsoaked field cradling a 12 gauge shotgun. Let&rsquo;s just say this is not my typical day as an urban food writer. And still no deer. The whole thing was startng to feel futile and a little absurd.</p><p>As we climbed out of our stand for the second morning, I asked Amy what she thought.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little discouraging,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve usually seen something by now. But we&rsquo;ll just keep trying.&rdquo;</p><p>On the advice of farmer Roger Marcott, who was letting us use his land, we checked out another spot in a treeline across the road.</p><p>This time we had bellies full of big country diner breakfasts and a bottle of doe urine that we dabbed on cottonballs and placed in the trees.</p><p>Before we even loaded our guns, a buck appeared 40 yards away, snorted and dashed off. A doe frolicked in the distance but she was too far to shoot. My mentors always stressed that one of the worst things you can do is maim an animal with a bad shot. Waiting for a clean kill is essential.</p><p>So we settled down on a log tuning into every little crackle in woods. And then just as I was about to nod off, I heard a rustling in the tall dry weeds. A four-point buck was walking right toward us. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My heart thudded in my chest as the deer browsed the greenery and kept advancing. He was now 15 yards away but facing us. Side shots are always a lot cleaner, but he wouldn&rsquo;t turn. Finally, he raised his head and turned his body to leave.</p><p>Amy had taken four deer in the last five years, but I&rsquo;d never shot anything.&nbsp;</p><p>She held her 20 gauge shotgun steady with her scope focused on the target and assumed I was doing the same.</p><p>But I&rsquo;d chickened out. All I had in hand was my recording equipment.</p><p>Finally, when the deer turned to leave, she took a shot. The deer leapt in the air and dashed away. I assumed she missed or just nicked him. But we followed after him anyway.</p><p>The trail of blood grew thicker as we followed it into another nearby wooded area where just 40 yards away he lay motionless, eyes wide open, tongue flopped to one side and a scarlet hole in his chest.</p><p>I was stunned that it could be over that quickly. Amy was stunned that I never lifted my gun.</p><p>&ldquo;I had no idea you were just recording,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I was waiting patiently, waiting patiently, and then when he turned to leave, I took a shot.&rdquo;</p><p>Amy is a Kankakee mom, hairdresser and horsewoman who agreed to take me hunting this season. It was part of a decade long personal and professional project to&nbsp; understand the true cost of my meat.&nbsp;</p><p>She thought today I&rsquo;d shoot my first deer, but it wasn&rsquo;t to be. She said my face had gone ashen. But we needed to move quickly, to remove his internal organs and cool him down or the meat would start to rot.&nbsp; Neither of us had ever done this.&nbsp;</p><p>So we heaved the 170 pound buck out of the forest and called, Roger Marcotte, the farmer who was letting us use his land.</p><p>While we were waiting, I asked Amy how she felt.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think I would have been just as happy to let that buck walk on by.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though we both eat meat, the immediacy of the experience was filling us both with some remorse. She confessed that after she shot her first, &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think I would ever be able to do it again.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Roger arrived in his tractor and we loaded the buck and ourselves into the tractor&rsquo;s bucket, the part usually used to shovel grain or dirt. As we rode across the craggy field, the buck lay at our feet like a sleeping pet. I took some video and thought about how unlike a normal day at the office this had been. But it was about to get even stranger.</p><p>Amy&rsquo;s friend Luke Chappel was waiting for us with his field dressing equipment at the edge of the field.</p><p>&ldquo;Did you bring some [rubber] gloves?&rdquo; Amy asked.<br />&ldquo;No,&rdquo; Luke replied. &ldquo;I just go in raw.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Awwww,&rdquo; Amy responded.&rdquo;Really?&rdquo;</p><p>Luke explained the first cut is around the anus cavity to prevent any feces from spoiling the meat. Next we had to gently slice through the skin and fur on the buck&rsquo;s belly to expose and carefully remove his organs.</p><p>Luke&rsquo;s taken dozens of deer as a hunter. I asked if it ever made him sad.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have some remorse, there&rsquo;s something wrong with you,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You gotta have some remorse. You&rsquo;re taking a life. But this is going to feed your kids. You&rsquo;re not wasting it. You&rsquo;re not just leaving it there and killing things for fun.&rdquo;</p><p>We left the colorful jewel-like pile of organs in the field for the coyotes to eat and brought the carcass across the road to Faith&rsquo;s Farm. Farmer Kim Snyder raises livestock outdoors and she was letting me stay at her house.</p><p>After we hosed off the carcass and cooled it down, we hung it in a barn to dry age several days.</p><p>Amy had to return to her kids but Luke said he&rsquo;d take me out the next morning--the last legal day of the month. I was still feeling pretty shaken by the day&rsquo;s events, but agreed to go.</p><p>After a third restless night of sleep and more dreams about deer, I rose at 4:45 a.m. and was out in the field by 5. Luke and I settled down behind the same log where Amy and I had hunted but saw nothing. We called it a day.</p><p>For the next two weeks, I mulled over the experience, haunted by my failure to pull the trigger. My license granted me one last weekend of hunting in early December. And I went to bed thinking about it every night, but finally decided I was done. My boss, however, thought differently. I ran into him on the Friday of the last hunting window of the season. He said I needed to follow it through.</p><p>So I returned to Roger&rsquo;s land to meet Amy on Sunday, the last day of the season. She was delayed so I struck out on my own. Roger was just a phone call away if I needed help, but the help I needed was a compass. I got lost looking for our old spot and wandered way off course. I&rsquo;m sure I angered and amused several hunters who watched me in their binoculars spook the deer on their land.&nbsp;</p><p>Eventually, I was picked up for trespassing by the landowner. Her name was Vanna. She grows pumpkins and sews American Girl Doll clothing in the off season. I apologized and got a ride back to Faith&rsquo;s Farm.</p><p>There I checked my phone and found a new text from Amy. It said:</p><p>&ldquo;I feel so bad. I&rsquo;m so sorry. I am trying to rally some troops in case you get one. If you have a shot, take it. But I will warn you, the remorse is hardest the first time. But you feel it every time.&rdquo;</p><p>With this warning echoing in my head, I ventured back out into the field--this time to the nearby tree stand. At least I knew how to get there. And I load my gun.</p><p>It was a cold, windy December afternoon and worse in the treestand. But it was also supremely peaceful up there. As a mom whose life is organized by deadlines, I can count on one hand the number of times I&rsquo;ve felt totally justified doing nothing but tuning in to nature for hours.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, as the sun began to fall, it became increasingly clear that today the deer would win and I would lose. They&rsquo;d chosen to make themselves scarce. But I wasn&rsquo;t altogether ungrateful. I honestly don&rsquo;t know if I was ready.</p><p>Farmer Kim Snyder, who was housing me during my trip, told me as much. She blamed it on my city upbringing that didn&rsquo;t prepare me for the realities of animal life and death when it comes to food. She had a point.</p><p>When and if I do go back out next year, I want to feel more confident. I want to leave behind this nagging sense of fear and doubt.</p><p>To do this, hunting expert and author Hank Shaw told me that I needed to get to the range and sharpen my shooting skills in the off season. He said I&rsquo;ll still feel sad after a kill but the least I can do is &ldquo;give any animal I shoot a death that I would be proud to have.&rdquo;</p><p>For that, I&rsquo;ll need practice and maybe even my own a gun. This was never part of the original plan.<br /><br />I still don&rsquo;t know what the future holds. But deer hunting season doesn&rsquo;t start up again&nbsp; in Kankakee County for another 11 months. So I&rsquo;ve got a little time to figure it out.</p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-51e5f9a0-e4d5-f7cb-20cc-67497667a133">Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</span><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 Is it time for the 'Immigrant Diet'? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/it-time-immigrant-diet-110723 <p><p>At a little Asian grocery store on Chicago&rsquo;s north side, Douglas Cheok studies the produce as he shuffles down the aisles. The Malaysian-born communications consultant, carefully selects small amounts of ginger, garlic, leafy greens, and soba noodles.</p><p>Then he stops at a shelf lined with fermented bean curd.</p><p>&ldquo;This salted bean curd soaked in vinegar and oil adds a more solid taste to the noodle soup or whatever you cook,&rdquo; he says sharing an Asian secret to inexpensive flavor. &nbsp;</p><p>Cheok adds the pungent curd to his cart, grabs a few fresh shrimp and heads to the check out line to buy groceries. It all costs less than $15 but he says it will last well over a week.</p><p>Once back in the kitchen, Cheok chops, minces, boils and stir fries his ingredients into a large feast of soup, greens and noodles. In the process, he demonstrates what might hold the key to affordable nutrition for all.</p><p>At least that&rsquo;s the working hunch of public health professor Adam Drewnowski, who is researching folks who upend conventional wisdom by achieving high levels of nutrition on tiny budgets.</p><p>Drewnowski stumbled upon the phenomenon last year when he was examining data on nutrient dense foods. Much of it is fairly expensive, but there were a few exceptions. Among a small group of Mexican American adults Drewnowski found consumers who were achieving high levels of nutrition at a low cost.</p><p>&ldquo;So maybe the secret is being able to transform those real foods, the raw ingredients which can be obtained cheaply at ethnic markets, into tasty meals&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Maybe, if you know how to cook them and transform then you&rsquo;re going to be OK.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Douglas Cheok show how he cooks healthy on a budget</strong></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XKVFUFgUWUM" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Drewnowski is the Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington and he&rsquo;ll be looking at a different sample of data later this year from Seattle. There he also expects to find Asian immigrants like Cheok.</p><p>So what is it about these immigrants that allows them to pull off this feat? &nbsp;</p><p>The folks at Oldways believe it&rsquo;s about sticking to traditional diets. OldWays is a nutrition non-profit aimed at improving health through heritage. And it urges folks to adopt many of the healthful tenets of Mediterranean, Latin American and Asian diets. This month they are launching classes on the African Heritage diet as well. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Traditional diets are not expensive diets,&rdquo; says Oldways president Sara Baer-Sinnott. &ldquo;The longer that immigrants are here in the US and become acculturated, the less likely they are to continue their traditional way of eating and therefore their health statistics decline. They become more obese. They have more hypertension. They are overweight. And by following traditional diets, it&rsquo;s not a very expensive way to eat and it&rsquo;s a healthier way to eat.&rdquo;</p><p>These diets can be especially affordable in cities like Chicago with abundant, low-cost ethnic grocers. While limes can cost 50 cents apiece at mainstream stores, they can often be 12 for a dollar at ethnic grocers.</p><p>Kenny Moore is a produce buyer for Pete&rsquo;s Fresh Market which serves heavily ethnic communities. He says that he&rsquo;s able to offer bargain prices because he sells such a large volume.</p><p>&ldquo;On a whole Hispanics and Asians do buy a lot of produce and so it helps our volume and our buying,&rdquo; Moore says. &ldquo;They like cooking and use a lot of herbs and vegetables to do so.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ethnic%20grocer%202.jpg" title="Ethnic grocery stores can offer incredible deals on produce because they sell so much of it, store reps say. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></div><p>The situation in these ethnic neighborhoods would appear to be a public health professional&rsquo;s dream: affordable, accessible produce and lots of folks who know how to cook it. So does that automatically equal great health? Not always. &nbsp;</p><p>While Asian-Americans suffer less obesity than the general population, Latinos check in with more. In fact, 6th grade Latino boys suffer from the highest childhood obesity levels in the nation, despite generally robust access to fresh produce. &nbsp;</p><p>Public health researchers are still trying to sort it out why this happens.</p><p><strong>&ldquo;</strong>There are plenty of grocery stores in the neighborhood but buying healthy food. It gets tricky,&rdquo; says Erica Rangel a coordinator for <a href="http://enlacechicago.org/">Enlace, a health and education non-profit</a> in the Little Village neighborhood.</p><p>She recently gathered a group of women enrolled in an Enlace healthy gardening program to talk to about what&rsquo;s contributing to poor health in their community.</p><p>Graciela Contreras is a school lunch lady, gardener and grandmother who suffers from diabetes. Ironically, she blames some of the health problems in her community on traditional Mexican foods.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re used to the way we were taught to eat by our parents in Mexico &mdash; to eat tacos and enchiladas all that,&rdquo; she says in Spanish. &ldquo;That comes with more fat. So we are teaching our children and grandchildren to be healthier by eating vegetables. I steam the vegetables now.&rdquo;</p><p>Rangel believes the health issues have more to do with genetic factors, assimilation and little time for scratch cooking.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s easier when you&rsquo;re trying to feed a family and you feel that pressure to just buy in bulk things with higher sodium that are processed foods,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;You find it everywhere.&rdquo;</p><p>The other ladies offered similar sentiments. But I also chatted with local 6th grader Victor Marquez. While he doesn&rsquo;t have a weight problem, he says he know a lot of boys who do.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think they&rsquo;d have a problem if they ate good food but they eat bad foods,&rdquo; Marquez says. <strong>&ldquo;</strong>They eat junk like frozen stuff, chips, pizza, candy chocolates, lollipops, whatever.&rdquo;</p><p>But what about the fresh fruit stands that operate on nearly every block in Little Village? Don&rsquo;t his pals buy their fresh cups of mangoes, corn, melon and pineapple?</p><p>&ldquo;I always see kids get the chicharrones and the raspados and those aren&rsquo;t good because they&rsquo;re like ink,&rdquo; he says &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Those chicharrones are deep fried artificial pork rinds and the raspados are snow cones drenched in inky sugar syrup. One vendor told me they&rsquo;re her No. 1 seller with kids.</p><p>But there may be hope for these kids off the street and back in the home. Drewnowski has some new research coming out that suggests the longer folks spend cooking, the better they eat. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>That certainly seems to be true for Douglas Cheok.</p><p>Back in his kitchen, he&rsquo;s chopping vegetables and boiling water for his stir fried greens and shrimp noodle soup. In less than an hour he&rsquo;s turned out enough dishes to last him all week. &nbsp;</p><p>As Cheok finally sits down to his his meal of shrimp soup and tofu with greens, he shares a startling secret.</p><p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t know how to cook before I came to the States,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;In Malaysia eating out was cheap so I didn&rsquo;t have to cook.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, the retiree says that if he can learn to cook, &ldquo;Anyone can learn. You don&rsquo;t need a college degree to know how to cook. But it is always good to know how to cook.&rdquo;</p><p>And it might not hurt to live near an ethnic grocery store.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/48706770&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/it-time-immigrant-diet-110723 Chicago Food Swap lets foodies diversify their diet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/swap.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>While most of us stock our kitchens from grocery stores or farmers markets this time of year, hundreds of Chicagoans have found another way to fill their larders--by trading homemade treats at <a href="http://www.chicagofoodswap.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Food Swaps</a>.</p><p>Last month, at a little store in Oak Park, dozens of amateur cooks showed up with boxes of pastries and pickles and hearts full of expectations.</p><p>Ian Fecke-Stoudt started the event with several little servings of chipotle peanuts, pickled red onions, vegan dog treats, saffron salts and double chocolate ginger snaps.</p><p>But by the time the event was over, the Humboldt Park vegan&rsquo; had his bags jammed full of lot more.</p><p>&ldquo;We got pickled mushrooms, jam and mustard, pickled ramps, sunflower seed butter, focaccia, almond milk, vegan chocolate peanut butter fudge, apple tahini, chia pudding, mango coconut muesli and lots of other stuff,&rdquo; he reported.</p><p>Fecke-Stoudt is part of Chicago&rsquo;s enthusiastic food swapping community. They&rsquo;re a group of friendly do-it-yourselfers who meet at different locations to trade their wares each month. Some are former kitchen pros, but most just have a passion for cooking (sometimes too much) and want to share what they have. <a href="http://www.westoftheloop.com/" target="_blank">West of the Loop</a> blogger Emily Paster said she decided to launch the swap a few years ago,&nbsp; after reading about one in Philadelphia.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m kind of that person with the basement full of jams and pickles, more than any family could eat,&rdquo; she admitted, &ldquo; And so as soon as I read about it I thought &lsquo;I have to do that because then I could actually do something with all this jam and my husband will stop giving me a hard time&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;The May event was a specialized vegan swap, but the offerings are usually all over the map. And Paster says that this helps home cooks fill in their culinary gaps.</p><p>&ldquo;So I&rsquo;m a big canner,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m scared of yeast.&nbsp; Like I can&rsquo;t do yeast bread, too scary. So I love to come in and get some amazing artisan bread.&rdquo;</p><p>But for swapper Linsey Herman, it&rsquo;s also about meeting new people and trying new things.</p><p>&ldquo;I like the community aspect and I like the idea that some people take the idea of the swap very seriously,&rdquo; the former professional cook said. &ldquo;There was a family who are not vegan but studied up on vegan cuisine and they took some really interesting risks and they had great results with a a fudge and a seitan. You do get to try a cornucopia of products and you never know what people are going to bring.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But what about food safety? Paster says that swappers are instructed to use their best hygienic practices but she warns that there are no guarantees.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re the kind of person who is sort of skeeved out by the idea of eating food someone else prepared it may not be for you,&rdquo; Paster said. &ldquo;I think some people take comfort in the fact that you get to talk to the people who made it and so it&rsquo;s like going to the farmers market in that regard. You can ask the questions if you do have dietary restrictions or an allergy. But it may not be for everyone. If you are super strict vegan or have celiac disease, it may not be for you. We would do our best to accommodate you, but it is a little bit of an assumption of risk.&rdquo;</p><p>Although it varies by state, food swaps aren&rsquo;t regulated by health or business authorities in Illinois. They technically operate as private get-togethers where no money changes hands. And while the concept may seem weird and novel to Chicagoans, it couldn&rsquo;t be older. In fact, trading for food was one of the earliest forms of food procurement. And it&rsquo;s never gone out of style in many rural areas.</p><p>Tara O&rsquo;Loughlin comes Northwest Indiana into the Chicago swaps, where her turkey and duck eggs are kind of no big deal.</p><p>&ldquo;But the duck egg seem to be so popular here,&rdquo; she said displaying her last dozen of the large eggs great for pastry and noodlemaking, &ldquo;People really have gone crazy over them. That&rsquo;s why it was fun to meet Emily here and meet people who love duck eggs so much.&rdquo;</p><p>So how does a food swap work? Each month (it went monthly last year) Paster posts the location and date of the next swap on the Chicago Food Swap site. Folks register to attend and the list is closed when it reaches capacity (this month at about 70). Once there, swappers set up at tables and browse and sample during the first 30 minutes.</p><p>When Paster gives the start signal, &ldquo;things get a little crazy,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like letting the horses out of the gate.&quot;</p><p>Some people stand by their goods fielding offers while others wander around making deals. Most of these deals go through but some don&rsquo;t. Fecke-Stoudt explains that, as a vegan, trades can be tricky.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes people want our kale chips because they&rsquo;re paleo,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but they have something with lots of meat and other animal byproducts and...&rdquo;</p><p>Other deals go sour if one swapper feels the others product isn&rsquo;t worth as much.&ldquo;So sometimes we&rsquo;ll trade two small things for one big thing,&rdquo; Fecke-Stoudt said.&nbsp;</p><p>For those thinking of attending their first swap, Paster offers a list of tips on her site. And if you want to be the belle of the swap, she suggests going savory.</p><p>&ldquo;There is often a heavy emphasis on cupcakes, brownies, quick breads and caramels and they are often too good to pass up,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But for that reason savory does very well. If people bring soups or tabouleh or little mini quiches that they could eat for lunch the next day, those are very hot.&rdquo;</p><p>If you ask 10 swappers about their best food trade, you&rsquo;ll probably get 10 different answers. Gena Boehm of Libertyville, said she had this very discussion around the dinner table the other night.</p><p>&ldquo;The kids said that it was red velvet cup cakes,&rdquo; Boehm said. &ldquo;My son loved some preserved peaches we got last summer and my husband and I thought we had some really amazing bread one time last year. It&rsquo;s always different. If you ask me six months from now it will be something else.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Food Swap will be held at Sur La Table in downtown Chicago on June 29.&nbsp; This gives you just enough time to perfect those mini quiches, that cabbage kimchi or mango muesli recipe you always wanted to swap and share.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-196e5857-a6e0-3796-f705-73efcdb988f8"><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 Grilled meats serve up dangerous compounds, but you can avoid some http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grilled-meats-serve-dangerous-compounds-you-can-avoid-some-110214 <p><p>For many, Memorial Day weekend means it&rsquo;s finally time to bust out two things: the white shoes and blackened meats.&nbsp;</p><p>American dads may take pride in their cross-hatch grill marks, but those juicy, charred slabs of meat are coming under incresing scrutiny for the dangerous compounds they develop when protein meets dry blazing heat.</p><p>These include heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and advanced glycation end products or HCAs, PAHs and AGEs.</p><p>Peter Guengerich is a biochemistry professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He&rsquo;s been studying HCAs and PAHs for 25 years, and he says that, on their own, the compounds aren&#39;t all that dangerous.</p><p>&ldquo;But our bodies have enzyme systems that convert these into reactive compounds,&rdquo; Guengerich said. &ldquo;Things that get stuck irreversibly on your DNA and can cause mutations and potentially cancer, most commonly colon cancer.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s important to note that this has little to do with charcoal vs. gas or other fuels.</p><p>Dr Jaime Uribarri of Mount Sinai Medical Center says what matters are the AGEs &mdash; the crispy, browned, tasty bits that form on the outside of grilled meat and other foods.&nbsp; In the kitchen they&rsquo;re considered flavor, but in most medical labs, Uribarri says, they&rsquo;re linked to inflammation that causes &ldquo;diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, dementia and essentially most of the chronic medical conditions of modern times.&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, recent Mount Sinai research shows that mice fed a diet high in AGEs &mdash; similar to a Western diet &mdash; developed marked cognitive decline and precursors to Alzheimers disease and diabetes. Those fed a low-AGE diet were free of those conditions.&nbsp;</p><p>So does this mean an end to the all-American cookout?&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If it is something done only once a year it may not be that bad,&rdquo; Uribarri says.</p><p>Only once a year?</p><p>Professor Guengerich won&rsquo;t go that far, but he does urge moderation.</p><p>&ldquo;Well basically if you only eat these things occasionally, [I&rsquo;m] probably not too concerned,&rdquo; the biochemist said. &ldquo;But if you are making a habit of eating these things every other day, grilled at high temperatures, you probably should think about it a little bit more.&rdquo;</p><p>But before you put away the Weber you should know there are lots of ways to cut down on these compounds at your barbecue.</p><p>To reduce the AGE&rsquo;s, Uribarri suggests a few things.</p><p>&ldquo;Make sure the meat is not left for very long periods of time on the grill,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Whenever possible, the meat should be marinated or freshened with juices during the cooking. And simultaneously, eat a lot of fruits vegetables and things that will kind of antagonize the bad effects of these compounds.&rdquo;</p><p>These would include antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, pomegranates and cherries &mdash; one Michigan butcher even blends them into his burger meat.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/blueberries.jpg" title="Eating antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, cherries and pomegranates with grilled foods may help reduce the harmful effects of grilling byproducts. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG) " /></div><p>Studies also show that marination in wine, vinegar or lemon juice can lower the meat&rsquo;s pH and cut way down on the formation of AGE and HCA. Another study shows that rubbing meat with fresh rosemary can cut HCA development most entirely.</p><p>Guengerich says you should also cover your grill with foil to avoid carcinogenic flare ups that produce PAHs on the surface.</p><p>&ldquo;And if you are particularly concerned you can preheat [the meat] in a microwave and get the juice out,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Then take it out and put it on the grill and you&rsquo;ll actually reduce your exposure by about 90 percent and you won&rsquo;t lose that much in the way of taste either.&rdquo;</p><p>Then there&rsquo;s the low-tech method of simply scraping off what Guengerich calls &quot;the black crud&quot; from the outside of your food. Those grill marks are rich in these carcinogenic compounds.<br /><br />Fans of cole slaw, broccoli and Brussels sprouts may also have more leeway. One study found that regular consumption of these cruciferous vegetables can help clear DNA damage wrought by the grilling process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>And finally, Uribarri suggests simply swapping the dry high heat cooking for gentler water based methods most of the time.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;So take for example a piece of meat,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You put it on the grill to cook for half an hour, you generate so many AGEs. Then you take the same piece of meat, but now you put it under a lot of water to cook as a stew, you generate much much fewer. &ldquo;&nbsp;</p><p>This may be effective, but will anyone really want to come over to your house this summer for a burger boil?</p><p>Wiviott doesn&rsquo;t think so.<br /><br />&ldquo;No one wants to eat nine ounces of poached chicken or turkey breast,&rdquo; the pitmaster of Barn &amp; Company says.</p><p>&quot;Conversely, if you grill it and you have texture and crunch and flavor and salt and fat, that&rsquo;s when something really tastes good.&quot;</p><p>Wiviott is the author of &ldquo;Low and Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in FIve Easy Lessons.&rdquo; And he finds&nbsp; it hard to swallow all the recent science deriding his favorite foods.</p><p>&quot;In my lifetime, I&rsquo;ve seen coffee be not good for you; now it&rsquo;s good for you. Red wine not good for you; now it&rsquo;s good for you.&nbsp; Butter, pig fat. Margarine was good for you and now it&rsquo;s not,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I mean, since the cavemen started cooking, people have cooked their meat over an open fire and we&rsquo;re still around. So I can&rsquo;t imagine that it&rsquo;s all that bad for you&hellip;.Plus, it&rsquo;s absolutely delicious.&quot;</p><p>So does this mean you have to choose between boiled meat or colon cancer? Between long life and a char-striped hot dog?</p><p>&ldquo;Well it is a carcinogen,&rdquo; Guengerich says. &ldquo;But I don&rsquo;t want people to have a guilty conscience or feel like they are going to get cancer tomorrow. Just be moderate about your consumption of anything. Grilled foods included.&quot;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Farmers-market-cabbage.jpg" style="width: 620px;" title="Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can help clear DNA damage from byproducts of grilled meats. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG) " /></div><p><strong>Tips for Reducing Grilled Food Dangers</strong></p><p>If you don&rsquo;t want to give up grilling meat all together, experts say, there are several ways to reduce the formation and your consumption of heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and advanced glycation end products. Here are some of them:</p><ul><li>Pre-cook your meat in a pot of water, a low-temperature oven or microwave before finishing briefly on the grill.</li><li>Cover grill with foil to reduce drips and flare ups, which produce PAHs, or consider wrapping your meat in foil before placing it on the grill.&nbsp;</li><li>Marinate meat with vinegar, lemon juice or wine for at least 10 minutes before grilling. This can alter its pH, thus reducing the formation of AGEs during cooking.</li><li>Rub your meat with rosemary or other antioxidant rich fresh herbs before cooking.</li><li>Before eating, scrape off the carcinogenic &ldquo;black crud&rdquo; that may develop on meat or other foods during grilling.</li><li>Remove browned and blackened chicken skin before eating.</li><li>Eat cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis to provide your body with sulforaphane, which has been known to help clear DNA damaging compounds more quickly.</li><li>Eat antioxidant rich, deeply colored fruits and vegetables with your grilled meats to help counter the effects of the compounds.&nbsp;</li><li>Consider a weenie boil rather than a weenie roast. You will produce many fewer AGEs in the process.&nbsp;</li></ul></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/grilled-meats-serve-dangerous-compounds-you-can-avoid-some-110214 Did Norman Rockwell ruin Thanksgiving turkey? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/did-norman-rockwell-ruin-thanksgiving-turkey-109193 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Norman-Rockwell_Freedom-from-Want%20%283%29.jpg" style="height: 386px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want, 1942. Lent by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust. All Rights Reserved. (SEPS by Curtis Licensing)" /><strong>&#39;Freedom from Want&#39;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Later this month, millions of Americans will sit down to Thanksgiving dinners of unevenly cooked turkey &mdash; dinners that look suspiciously like the one in Norman Rockwell&rsquo;s&nbsp;&quot;Freedom From Want&quot; painting now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">The overcooked white meat will require pools of gravy to choke it down, and undercooked globs of dark meat will get quietly pushed into the garbage (or microwave).</p><p dir="ltr">Sure, some cooks have devised strategies around these pitfalls, but with 20 degrees between cooking temperatures for the leg and the breast, it&rsquo;s a rare bird that comes out perfectly done all the way around.</p><p dir="ltr">So who&rsquo;s to blame for this culinary crime? And why do we endure this ritual torture like another year of Uncle Charlie&rsquo;s corny jokes? &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Looking for answers</strong></p><p dir="ltr">John Caveny, who raises Bourbon Red Heritage turkeys on <a href="http://www.cavenyfarm.com/">his farm</a>&nbsp;in Monticello, Ill, echoed what many of America&#39;s top chefs have been saying for years: turkeys should not be cooked whole if you want the best tasting bird.</p><p dir="ltr">Caveny follows a &quot;Cook&rsquo;s Illustrated&quot; method of dry brining his turkey parts with three parts kosher salt and one part baking powder, then leaving them covered in plastic wrap for a couple of days in the fridge.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This allows the moisture, salt and baking powder to go back and forth through the muscle,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It imparts the flavor of the salt, and the baking powder raises the pH of the meat, tenderizing it a little. It works well, and even better well when you&rsquo;ve cut turkey into pieces first.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Similarly, Julia Child&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbur.org/npr/165471083/comfort-and-joy-making-the-morning-edition-julia-child-thanksgiving">famously recommended</a>&nbsp;disassembling the bird and then reconstructing it for the table and chef&nbsp;<a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/11/in-videos-cooking-thanksgiving-sous-vide-turkey-with-grant-achatz-alinea.html">Grant Achatz recommends</a>&nbsp;breaking it down, cooking the breast, thighs and legs sous vide&nbsp;(a high tech boil in a bag system) and saving the other bits for gravy.</p><p dir="ltr">So if top chefs and turkey farmers recommend breaking down the bird first, why do so many of us insist on keeping it whole? Caveny blames the Norman Rockwell painting.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Prior to that, meat was usually cut up in the kitchen and brought to the table sliced or at least into more manageable portions than a whole turkey,&quot; he said.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Roy-Lichtenstein_Turkey%20%281%29.jpg" style="float: right; height: 264px; width: 300px;" title="Roy Lichtenstein. Turkey, 1961 is also on display at the 'Art and Appetite' exhibit in the Thanksgiving gallery. Private collection. (Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.)" /><strong>Is it Rockwell&rsquo;s fault? </strong></p><p dir="ltr">I recently took in Rockwell&#39;s famous painting at the Art Institute of Chicago&rsquo;s new exhibit, &quot;Art and Appetite.&quot; Curator Judith&nbsp;Barter&nbsp;said the one hundred paintings and sculptures in the exhibition are about much more than just food.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Freedom From Want,&rdquo; for example, depicts a sense of abundance and security that so many Americans longed for in the post-Depression era. And what better than a whole honking turkey &mdash; not some measly platter of slices &mdash; to say abundance?</p><p dir="ltr">But&nbsp;Barter&nbsp;pushes back on the notion that there weren&rsquo;t a lot of whole turkey roasters in the years prior to Rockwell&rsquo;s painting.&nbsp;She said the recipes, texts and paintings she studied for the exhibit indicated that &quot;whole turkeys were common in the 19th century.&quot;</p><p dir="ltr">Food historian and Roosevelt University emeritus professor Bruce Kraig generally agreed.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When turkeys first arrived in Europe in the 16th century, they were cooked whole in various ways,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Roasting was one of them and boiling was another very popular way. Roasting whole turkeys seems to run right through colonial cookery and the 19th century.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Kraig points to a page in the first American cookbook, &ldquo;American Cookery&rdquo; by Amelia Simmons, published in 1796.&nbsp;<a href="http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/coldfusion/display.cfm?ID=amer&amp;PageNum=18">The recipe</a>&nbsp;for roasted turkey calls for a stuffing of wheat bread, suet, eggs, sweet marjoram, sweet thyme, pepper, salt and &ldquo;a gill of wine.&rdquo; (It also recommends serving the bird with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, but also mangoes. Talk about early fusion recipes!)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Breeding a bigger bird&nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">But Kraig points out that turkeys of Simmons&#39; era were relative waifs compared to their modern chesty cousins.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The modern broad breasted turkey was bred and crossbred throughout the 19th century with the intention of making them fatter and larger with very big breasts,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;This was in direct response the whole mythic story of turkey at the first Thanksgiving.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The turkeys got so busty, in fact, that by the time the Broad Breasted White (today&rsquo;s dominant breed) came along in the late 1940s, it could no longer have sex and could procreate only through artificial insemination.</p><p dir="ltr">Despite this lack of fun, the breed grows quickly and produces prodigious amounts of (easily dried out) white meat. Earlier breeds, and indeed heritage birds, grow slower, sport more fat and offer a more even ratio of dark to white meat, thus making them easier to cook evenly.</p><p dir="ltr"><b>Breaking from tradition&nbsp;</b></p><p dir="ltr">So it&rsquo;s not so much Rockwell&rsquo;s fault, per se. It&rsquo;s that Rockwell&rsquo;s painting coincided with a revolution in turkey breeding &mdash; one that produced giant breasts that are harder to cook evenly with legs and thighs attached. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Caveny says he can tell by the way the breastbone lies on the bird in Rockwell&rsquo;s painting that the artist was depicting a heritage bird &mdash; not an industrial Broad Breasted White &mdash; on his the table. So those who cling to Rockwell&rsquo;s whole-bird ideal are probably trying to pull it off with a different breed entirely.</p><p dir="ltr">Janet Fuller is the former food editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and a current writer for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/">DNAInfo Chicago</a>. A couple of years ago she wrote a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/food/8688787-423/bird-deconstructed-cooking-turkey-in-parts-ensures-tender-meat-richest-gravy.html">story in the Sun-Times</a>&nbsp;urging folks to give up the ghost of the whole turkey for a more edible bird.</p><p dir="ltr">She even served the cut-up version at her own Thanksgiving dinner. I asked her, did anybody squawk?</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;No,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It worked great. The leg meat, in particular, was amazing &mdash; falling off the bone in the braising liquid, which became my gravy. It is some extra work because you do it in stages, but it was fantastic.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a producer at WBEZ and co-host of the food podcast&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/chewing-fat-podcast-louisa-chu-and-monica-eng">Chewing the Fat</a>. Follow her on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 19 Nov 2013 16:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/did-norman-rockwell-ruin-thanksgiving-turkey-109193 The Mo Rocca Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/mo-rocca-interview-104589 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.28590838527447426"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mo%20Rocca.jpg" style="height: 280px; width: 350px; float: right;" title="Mo Rocca cooks, makes documentaries and writes books. What a mensch. (Thom Kaine)" />Today I chat with a man whose voice you&rsquo;re probably familiar with if you&rsquo;re a regular NPR listener, as he&rsquo;s a frequent panelist on </span><em>Wait, Wait...Don&rsquo;t Tell Me!</em></p><p>Also a former<em> Daily Show </em>correspondent, he&rsquo;s now contributing his corresponding talents to <em>CBS News Sunday Morning</em>. Recently, he starred in the documentary <em><a href="http://electoraldysfunction.org/">Electoral Dysfunction</a></em>, which looks at how much there is to know and not-know about the Electoral College. If that weren&rsquo;t enough, he&rsquo;s also got a Cooking Channel show called <em><a href="http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/my-grandmothers-ravioli/my-grandmothers-ravioli/index.html">My Grandmother&#39;s Ravioli</a></em>, as he learns to cook from this country&rsquo;s fine crop of grandparents.<br /><br /><strong>Who have been some of the guests to call in for &ldquo;Not My Job&rdquo; on WWDTM that you felt starstruck by?</strong><br />Well <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130739954">Dick Van Dyke was just the best</a>. &nbsp;When he sang the lyrics to The <em>Dick Van Dyke Show</em> theme (who knew there were <a href="http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/thedickvandykeshowthemesong.shtml">words</a>?!), we were all beyond thrilled. &nbsp;Those 45 seconds were maybe the most exciting 45 seconds of my career -- and I was just listening.<br /><br /><strong>If your grandchildren cooked with you one day, what recipe do you think would be most pleasant or meaningful to make with them?</strong><br />Probably my own grandmother&#39;s ravioli -- and that&#39;s not just a plug for my show (Cooking Channel, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET). &nbsp;My grandmother was an amazing lady. &nbsp;She worked full-time at a downtown DC department store (in the china and crystal dept) until she was 87. &nbsp;She would often walk to and from work, about 3 miles. No kidding. &nbsp;And she insisted on making these gargantuan holiday meals for us. &nbsp;(My own mother worked hard and cooked for us all week so she needed a break.) &nbsp;Making the ravioli (big handmade pasta envelopes filled with ground beef, spinach and garlic -- really pretty simple), with a light tomato sauce, would be a great way to keep her memory alive. &nbsp;And they&#39;re delicious.<br /><br /><strong>What are some of the Rocca family holiday-time culinary traditions?</strong><br />Lots of pies. &nbsp;Lemon meringue, apple, cherry, pumpkin. &nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>What&rsquo;s the best thing you&rsquo;ve eaten recently?</strong><br />My romantic life has been scandalously quiet recently. &nbsp;The duck poutine I had at <a href="http://www.bistrosixone.com/">Bistro Six-One in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario</a> (I was there doing a story on the Canadian perspective on the War of 1812) made up for that. &nbsp;It was so good, it sent me to another place. &nbsp;Honestly I didn&#39;t know what was happening to me. &nbsp;Every one of my chakras was in overdrive. (Please note, I do not know what chakras are.) &nbsp;I only wish Rob Reiner&#39;s mother had been there to witness the scene. &nbsp;<br /><br /><strong>What are some of the most surprising things you learned during the making of <em>Electoral Dysfunction</em>?</strong><br />We don&#39;t have a constitutionally enshrined affirmative right to vote. &nbsp;And that&#39;s not just some quirky factoid. &nbsp;It&#39;s the root of the very confusing and costly and chaotic way that elections are run in this country. &nbsp;And it continues to corrode our confidence in democracy.<br /><br />Also, people who make documentaries are people of deep faith in the value of content over flash. &nbsp;They have to believe in what they&#39;re making to see their projects through years of struggle. &nbsp;I am lucky to have worked with <a href="http://www.turingfilm.com/about/production-team/bennett-singer">Bennett Singer</a> (from Chicago!), <a href="http://ny011.urj.net/DavidDeschamps.htm">David DesChamps</a> and <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0268266/">Leslie Farrell</a>.<br /><br /><strong>You have a background in musical theater; what&rsquo;s a favorite old show of yours you think is underrated that you&rsquo;d love to see revived on a major stage?</strong><br />Gee whiz, everything has been revived at least a couple times by now. &nbsp;I don&#39;t know the book of <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anyone_Can_Whistle">Anyone Can Whistle</a></em> (and maybe that&#39;s the problem) but the score is so great. &nbsp;I&#39;d like to see that. &nbsp;I&#39;m also curious to see if they can ever get<em> Funny Girl</em> back to Broadway. &nbsp;Streisand was so outsized by the time she did it at the ripe old age of 21. &nbsp;I think it would be great to see it with revived with someone who&#39;s equally larger than life (if that&#39;s possible). &nbsp;Maybe Lady Gaga as Fanny Brice? &nbsp;(She could also play lead in <em>Bells Are Ringing</em> - what a score! - in the Judy Holliday role. &nbsp;I&#39;m stealing that idea from my good friend Gerard Alessandrini, creator of <a href="http://www.forbiddenbroadway.com/">Forbidden Broadway</a>.)<br /><br /><strong>Typically, what&rsquo;s the first step you take when researching your interview subjects?</strong><br />Read anything I can about them. &nbsp;If I&#39;m doing a profile, I don&#39;t shy away from watching interviews of them on YouTube. &nbsp;I hate to resort to this, but if they&#39;re giving me nothing I&#39;ll go to stories I know they&#39;ve told before, if only to loosen them up.<br /><br /><strong>Do you have any tricks on how to improve the situation when a subject is being unfriendly, taciturn or just plain boring?</strong><br />Change the subject abruptly. &nbsp;Philip Seymour Hoffman is a difficult interview. &nbsp;(If I ever meet him again, I&#39;ll tell him -- and I mean this in a totally non-snarky way -- that he <em>should not be giving interviews</em>. &nbsp;He&#39;s one of the few actors who doesn&#39;t need to. &nbsp;He&#39;s that good at acting. &nbsp;The work speaks for itself. &nbsp;Giving an interview is apparently painful for him ... and it&#39;s ain&#39;t a picnic for the interviewer.) &nbsp;Anyway, out of the blue, I said &quot;You know who&#39;s terrific? Laura Linney!&quot; &nbsp;Of course she is terrific. &nbsp;And Hoffman smiled and really loosened up for a bit. &nbsp;I think he was happy to talk about someone else and he appreciated the spontaneity. &nbsp;Or maybe it just surprised him.<br /><br /><strong>Who are some dream interview subjects of yours?</strong><br />Oh heck, why deny it, Streisand. &nbsp;But I wouldn&#39;t let her know it&#39;s a dream. &nbsp;That would irritate her. &nbsp;Of course I wouldn&#39;t act like it&#39;s a chore. &nbsp;I&#39;d find a balance. &nbsp;(Yes, I&#39;ve rehearsed the interview 50 times. &nbsp;Just me and a chair a la Clint at the RNC.)<br /><br /><strong>What&rsquo;s the most difficult part about writing for children&rsquo;s television?</strong><br />Keeping everything moving. &nbsp;You can&#39;t mark time or tread water, like you can in grown-up entertainment. Kids are too smart. &nbsp;They&#39;ll get instantly distracted if the story isn&#39;t moving forward. &nbsp;Writing for them is the best exercise in learning how to write dynamically.<br /><br /><strong>If you wrote <a href="http://www.amazon.com/All-Presidents-Pets-Reporter-Refused/dp/1400052262/ref=la_B001K8W3AQ_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1356643826&amp;sr=1-1">a new book</a>, what do you think it would be about? Would you return to humor/satire or do something a little more straightforward?</strong><br />I want to do more history. &nbsp;I want it to be funny. &nbsp;Maybe more naturally funny. &nbsp;Less high-concept. &nbsp;(Helen Thomas as a turkey buzzard who had an affair with Millard Fillmore qualifies as high-concept, yes?)<br /><br /><strong>How does it feel to be the 336th person interviewed for<a href="http://zulkey.com/WBEZ?"> Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</a></strong><br />That&#39;s the area code for Winston-Salem, NC where I spent two of the best summers of my life, studying acting at the North Carolina School of the Arts. &nbsp;I&#39;ll always be grateful to my parents for sending me there and the teachers who taught me (sorry I never lost my lisp!) and the friends I made, including Lisa Anderson (who lives in Greensboro, also 336!) and Parker Posey, who has gone on to have a spectacular career!</p></p> Fri, 28 Dec 2012 08:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-12/mo-rocca-interview-104589 The Tess Rafferty Interview http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/tess-rafferty-interview-103938 <p><p>Thanksgiving is just hours away, so I thought today would be an excellent day for a cooking-related interview. Fans of <em>The Soup </em>may recognize Tess Rafferty from her occasional appearances on the show, most famously as the <a href="http://www.thesouptv.com/latest/diddy-dirty-money-meets-dirty-dancing-maxi-pad/216911">dancing maxi pad</a>. But recently the comedian and writer published her first book, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Disaster-Memoir-Tess-Rafferty/dp/1250011434/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1347999216&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=tess+rafferty">Recipes for Disaster</a></em>, a memoir described as &quot;what&rsquo;d you&rsquo;d read if Bridget Jones wrote a culinary memoir.&quot; You can learn much more about her <a href="http://tessrafferty.com/">here</a>. &nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/TR%20-%20Cover%20-%2010.12.12.jpg" style="float: right; height: 450px; width: 300px;" title="Tess Rafferty. (Photo by Justine Ungaro)" /><strong>Working at <em>The Soup</em> seems like the ultimate dream job to some. But what were some of the less-fun aspects of watching lots of TV and writing jokes about it for a living?</strong><br />Have you ever heard the parenting tip that if you catch your kid smoking a cigarette you make them smoke a whole pack so they never want to smoke again? That&rsquo;s what watching reality TV for a living is like. When I started on the show I offered to cover a lot of shows because I was already watching them anyway. By the end of it, I was yelling at my husband to turn off the TV if I caught him watching <em>The Real World</em> on one of my weeks off.</p><p>Also, reality TV has changed a lot in the time I was on the show. It started out as something that resembled reality and then became, &ldquo;Oh no. Kim Kardashian wants help picking out the color of her Bentley and her sisters don&rsquo;t care. What&rsquo;s going to happen?&rdquo; Also, too much of it became <em>The Real Bad Girl Wives Club of the Who Cares?</em> &mdash; just a bunch of women yelling at each other with a bad soundtrack and constant bleeps. It&rsquo;s seizure inducing. I had to put a wallet in my mouth just to watch it.</p><p><strong>Who were some of your favorite guest stars to appear on <em>The Soup</em>?</strong><br />Wendi McLendon-Covey and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erwdAmIlfjU">Rob Corddry</a> blew me away. They both so talented, and they hung out with the writers afterwards and told us how great the show was, which was such a huge compliment. <a href="http://www.hulu.com/watch/165286">Seth Green</a>&nbsp;was a frequent guest and always up for anything. And <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnejQuR9Qok">Yvette Nicole Brown</a> always knocked whatever we gave her out of the park, always asked who wrote it and sent us Lollicakes afterwards. So basically anyone talented who kissed our asses and fed us. Writers are insecure people and we like sweets.</p><p><strong>What kinds of memorable responses did the show receive from the people it made fun of?</strong><br />We featured a clip of someone who had that adult baby fetish and they later wrote someone on the show and told them to check out their blog, which detailed their experiences trying to potty train themselves.</p><p><strong>How did writing for TV and standup help you write the book?</strong><br /><em>The Soup</em> was like boot camp: One of the best joke writers I know described it as throwing a hundred pitches in a row. Writing jokes every day, 49 weeks a year, then thinking of jokes on the fly, really helps you be quick about what you&rsquo;re writing and not overthink things or second guess yourself. I don&rsquo;t get scared about sitting down and starting something anymore. And when I wrote&nbsp;<em>Recipes</em> <em>for Disaster</em>, I couldn&rsquo;t afford to. I was still at <em>The Soup</em> full time and had to write the book at night and on the weekend. Also, being stand up gave me what I think is a very conversational tone when I write.</p><p><strong><em>Recipes for Disaster&nbsp;</em>is a culinary memoir.</strong><em>&nbsp;</em><strong>What&rsquo;s the biggest dinner party challenge you&#39;ve ever set up for yourself?</strong><br />I served a three-course dinner, of which two courses were fresh, homemade pasta. I wanted to make ravioli and serve it in <a href="http://lacucinaitalianamagazine.com/ingredients/recipes-for-basic-brodo">a <em>brodo </em></a>but decided we needed a protein course, too. So I made <em>boeuf bourguignon </em>and&nbsp;thought, &ldquo;Wouldn&rsquo;t it be fun to serve it over homemade fettuccine?&rdquo; I have different definitions of fun from everyone else, I guess. I spent much of the day before covered in flour, rolling out pasta and making frantic calls to a chef friend, trying to figure out the best way to store the pasta without having it dry out or get too gooey.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s your go-to dish when you want to impress your guests without trying very hard?</strong><br />Lately I&rsquo;ve been making a <em>Coq au Vin</em>, which always tastes great, but is also easy enough that I make it on week nights for just me and my husband. But when guests come over I cook it with pancetta.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s the key to a good roast joke?&nbsp;</strong><br />Writing about the same targets day after day, I always looked for a detail about someone&rsquo;s life that hadn&rsquo;t been talked about yet and tried to find the funny or unexpected in that. Roasts are fun&nbsp;because you can be inappropriate and hard hitting, but you have to back that up with something just as funny and shocking &mdash;&nbsp;otherwise you&rsquo;re just writing mean, stupid things about people.&nbsp;</p><p>Here are three of my faves that aren&rsquo;t also too filthy to print, from my first&nbsp;<a href="http://www.comedycentral.com/episodes/1l6bj2/roast-of-roseanne-roast-of-roseanne-season-1-ep-101">roast of Roseanne</a>.&nbsp;I was really honored to be part of it, having been such a fan of roasts for years:</p><p>&ldquo;Roseanne, of course you were attracted to Tom Arnold. You thought with all of that powder on his upper lip, there must be a donut somewhere.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Roseanne you&rsquo;ve butted heads with writers, producers and executives. You&rsquo;ve given more Jews upset stomachs than lactose.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Roseanne, you old hippie broad, I can&rsquo;t believe you&rsquo;re still on Twitter now that you know hashtags don&rsquo;t tell you how much the hash costs.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>How does it feel to be the 331st person interviewed for </strong><a href="http://Zulkey.com/WBEZ?"><strong>Zulkey.com/WBEZ?</strong></a><br />I feel like that&rsquo;s a very lucky number because it&rsquo;s one less than the amount of electoral college votes Obama got in the election. So it&rsquo;s like an Obama landslide minus Delaware or Rhode Island.<em> [Editor&#39;s Note: Due to the timing of publication, Rafferty was actually Interview no. 332&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash;</em><em>&nbsp;or, the Obama landslide </em>with<em> Delaware or Rhode Island.]</em></p><p><em>Read an extended version of my interview with Rafferty <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/2012/11/the_tess_rafferty_interview.php">here</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/tess-rafferty-interview-103938 Thanksgiving war stories from a Butterball ‘call girl’ http://www.wbez.org/content/thanksgiving-war-stories-butterball-%E2%80%98call-girl%E2%80%99 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-23/AP070427036341.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" calendar.="" class="caption" foto="" ladies="" news="" of="" pr="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-23/AP070427036341.jpg" style="width: 428px; height: 400px;" talk-line="" the="" title="Take a page from one of the experts featured in Butterball’s 2002 &quot;Ladies of the Talk-Line&quot; Calendar. (PR News Foto/Butterball)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F68040657&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Dynamic Range is taking a break for Thanksgiving and will be back the first week of December. In the meantime, check out this updated episode that originally ran in November 2011:</em></p><p>Butterball produces 20 percent of the turkeys Americans eat every year. And since 1981 their <a href="http://www.butterball.com/tips-how-tos/turkey-experts/overview">Turkey Talk-Line</a> experts have handled some 100,000 calls each holiday season from frantic home cooks trying to impress their in-laws or salvage a dinner gone horribly wrong.</p><p>Butterball&rsquo;s corporate headquarters are in Garner, North Carolina, but their call-in line is located in Naperville, Ill. And, as the company struggles with its public image and <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/business/butterball-probes-turkey-abuse-accusations-1C7103234">new allegations of animal abuse</a> at its North Carolina plants, the ladies of the Talk-Line may be the company&#39;s best public face: Some of the experts who work there from November to December every year seem to comfortably conform to a kind of 1950s Suzy Homemaker ethos, pleasingly plump Betty Crockerites who majored in home ec. Others are bilingual registered dieticians with master&rsquo;s degrees.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-23/AP061115045108.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="Before: nineteen-week-old turkeys at the Clayton Straughn farm near Turkey, N.C. (AP/Gerry Broome)" />Sixty call specialists will be on hand this year to answer questions ranging from the mundane &ndash; <em>How long will it take my 18 lb. beast to thaw?</em> &ndash; to the shocking &ndash; <em>My turkey is on fire. What should I do?</em></p><p>The answer to that last question, incidentally, is to hang up and call 9-1-1.</p><p>Butterball&rsquo;s experts recommend taking as long as four full days to thaw your turkey. They&rsquo;ll also be happy to walk you through the steps of microwaving the bird, if that&rsquo;s what you want to do. It&rsquo;s apparently their &ldquo;least popular method,&rdquo; despite being all the rage in the &lsquo;80s, but is still not as horrifying or as gross as <a href="http://www.ask.com/food/Lobster/Microwave-Lobster-Recipes.html">cooking a live lobster in the microwave</a>.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-23/butterball turkeys_flickr_anthony easton.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="After: Butterball turkeys. (Flickr/Anthony Easton)" />Renee Ferguson is a former Butterball expert and self-described Butterball &ldquo;call girl&rdquo; who parleyed her experience on the hotline into a cookbook &ndash; <em>Talk Turkey to Me</em> (Wishbone Press 2006) &ndash; and an appearance on the Food Network&rsquo;s <em>Throwdown</em> with Bobby Flay.</p><p>Ferguson appeared on the show&#39;s &ldquo;Turkey and Dressing&rdquo; episode, for which she made <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/turkey-recipe-recipe/index.html">roasted turkey with an apple sausage dressing</a> and an <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/apricot-amaretto-sauce-recipe/index.html">apricot amaretto sauce</a>. Flay won the round with his combination of a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/black-pepper-pomegranate-molasses-glazed-turkey-with-wild-rice-goat-cheese-dressing-recipe/index.html">black pepper-pomegranate molasses glazed turkey</a> with a <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/wild-rice-and-goat-cheese-dressing-recipe/index.html">wild rice, goat cheese and chorizo dressing</a>.</p><p>If you have any last minute cooking disasters before the big meal on Thursday you can call Ferguson&rsquo;s former colleagues in Naperville between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 1-800-288-8372. (And now, you can also tweet them <a href="https://twitter.com/butterball">@butterball</a> with the hashtag #TurkeyChat.) In the meantime, listen to Ferguson&rsquo;s account of her all-time favorite calls &ndash; and some of her cooking war stories &ndash; in the audio above.</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range </a><em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em>Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s<em> vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Renee Ferguson spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.culinaryhistorians.org/">Culinary Historians of Chicago </a>in November of 2010. Click <a href="../../story/culture/books/talk-turkey-me-good-time-kitchen-talking-turkey-all-trimmings">here </a>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Wed, 21 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/thanksgiving-war-stories-butterball-%E2%80%98call-girl%E2%80%99