November 17, 2005

The Kitchen Sisters The 13-part NPR series, Hidden Kitchens: Stories of Land, Kitchen and Community, is a wonderful, at times heart warming reminder of the cultural and social influence of food. By exploring the world of hidden kitchens be it street corners, unique kitchens or in this story below, a makeshift kitchen in a prison cell it showcases how people's stories of courage, redemption and resourcefulness connect us. It also features recipes, via the NPR website, for great regional, local dishes. Small stories that say something big. The oral history programs are produced by the San Francisco-based Kitchen Sisters. Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva have been collaborating together since 1979. Previous efforts were not related to the culinary. In fact they won 2 Peabody Awars for thier radio series Lost and Found Sound: An Aural History of the 20th Century and for "The Sonic Memorial Project. Now the This audio collection has now been assembled into a book that includes recipes, photos and additional stories that were not featured in the radio effort. Now the book is being turned into a three-CD audio book, read by actress Frances McDormand. If you are in San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 19, the Kitchen Sisters will be at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market at Noon. Making Clandestine Candy Behind Bars (link to NPR for audio program) "Robert 'King' Wilkerson, who created the most amazing kitchen. He was in prison at Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana for 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years he was in solitary...
More Comfort Food Surprised at the response to my macaroni and cheese post I became curious about comfort food. A recent study has found that gender, age and of course culture influence our choices. The study sponsored by Cornell and McGill Universities, found that women and men choose comfort foods for differing reasons. Women decide based on emotional needs and men based on level of happiness. Men tend to choose protein-rich foods such as steak and women prefer sweets such as cookies and ice cream. This makes some sense if you think of the fact that proteins tend to elevate your satisfaction (i.e. happiness) level. Sweets, such as chocolate tend to 'make you feel good.' It might also suggest that woman associate comfort foods with such negative emotions as guilt and men with the positiveness of reward. The study, a collaboration between New York's Cornell University and Canada's McGill University, revealed that women indulge in comfort foods to boost their emotions when they are down, whereas men are more likely to opt for them when they are happy. Jordan LeBel, co-author of the study and associate professor at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration states, "In the past comfort food was considered primarily as a strategy to alleviate stress, sadness and other negative emotions. Ensuring emotional well-being is still the goal, but pleasure and positive emotions can also determine food choice, especially in men." Another study found that if we are constantly stressed we tend to crave comfort foods more frequently. In a way...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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