Harvest Desk

Food
3:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Girl Scouts Bring Cookie Sales Online With Sites, App

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:37 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Fill 'Er Up: The Joys Of Good Gas Station Food

A look inside the kitchen of the Whoa Nellie Deli, in Lee Vining, Calif. The casual eatery, which operates out of a Mobil gas station, turns out everything from vegetarian chili to wild buffalo meatloaf and fish tacos.
Courtesy of Tioga Gas Mart

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:23 am

Gas stations have long been synonymous with cold pizza, dried-out doughnuts and mediocre hot dogs rotating on unappetizing roller grills. But in cities like Miami, Kansas City, and even Saxapahaw, N.C., among others, patrons can fuel up on gourmet grub and top off their tanks in one stop.

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The Salt
2:42 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Of Carrots And Kids: Healthy School Lunches That Don't Get Tossed

Samples of carrots cooked three ways are placed on a table for the kids at Walker-Jones Educational Campus, in Washington, D.C., to sample after they have finished lunch. The crowd favorite will later end up on the school lunch menu.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:50 am

You can lead a child to vegetables, but can you make her eat them?

A child, for instance, like Salem Tesfaye, a first-grader at Walker-Jones Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. Tesfaye picked up a lunch today that's full of nutrition: chicken in a whole-wheat wrap, chopped tomatoes and lettuce from local farms, a slice of cantaloupe and milk.

But, she confesses, sometimes she throws her lunch out. I ask her what she did today. "I threw all of it away," she says softly.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Feeling Like A Holiday Glutton? It May Be Time To Try A Fast

Nothing: It's what's for dinner.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 4:00 pm

Before this season of overindulgence freights us with unwanted pounds or a glutton's guilt complex, why not try the opposite of the holiday feast: the fast.

Fasting need not be a punishing, multiday ordeal of deprivation. Increasingly, scientists are warming to the intermittent fast, which can be as brief as one skipped meal once or twice a week.

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The Salt
1:27 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Taco Bell Dessert Nachos

The Taco Bell Home Dessert Kit: putting the D-I-E in D-I-Y.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:10 pm

Depending on where you are in the world, Taco Bell can be as many as 2 miles away. Fortunately the chain has started selling make-at-home kits, and today we're trying the Dessert Nacho Kit. It's a great chance to make your own cuisine, and you can keep the box around to help you stop spelling "dessert" like "desert" all the time.

Miles: It's a little disconcerting that the box has two expiration dates, one for the product, and one for the person eating it.

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The Salt
2:34 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Mexican Chef Serves Up An Authoritative Guide To Her Country's Cuisine

With over 700 pages and 600 recipes, Mexico: The Cookbook, attempts to document exhaustively the country's varied regional cuisines. Recipes in the book include (from left): potato and chorizo tacos; divorced eggs with tomatillo sauce; and tikin-xik fish, a grouper dish from the Yucatan Peninsula.
Courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini-Huff and Phaidon

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:21 am

If you want to give your taste buds a gustatory tour of Mexico, then Margarita Carrillo is ready to be your guide.

The Mexican chef and food activist has spent years gathering hundreds of recipes from every region of the country for Mexico: The Cookbook, her new, encyclopedic take on her country's cuisine.

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Code Switch
3:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

'The Banh Mi Handbook': A Guide To A Viet-French Sandwich

Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 5:29 pm

Some kids know they want to be doctors or pilots or professional sports players— Andrea Nguyen knew by the time she was 10 she wanted to be a sandwich maker. She says she's been making sandwiches and fooling around with the recipes and the ingredients since elementary school.

The sandwich she fell for first and that she still loves the most? Banh mi. (It's pronounced "bun-mee.") Her latest cookbook, The Banh Mi Handbook, is a guide for home cooks who want to make banh mi of their own.

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The Salt
6:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Free-range chickens stand in a pen at an organic-accredited poultry farm in Germany.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 11:05 am

If you looked at Earth from far off in the solar system, would it look like it's run by humans — or chickens? There are about three times as many chickens as people on this planet. And while horses and dogs are often celebrated as humankind's partner in spreading civilization, a new book argues it's really the chicken.

Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, tells NPR's Scott Simon about the chicken's malleability, its religious symbolism and the most disturbing thing he learned while researching his book.

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The Salt
5:22 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

Smoke and mirrors: Dave Arnold plays around with liquid nitrogen in a cocktail glass during his interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 1:36 pm

Dave Arnold can work some serious magic with a cocktail shaker. But he's no alchemist — Arnold, who runs the Manhattan bar Booker and Dax, takes a very scientific approach to his craft.

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Found Recipes
4:05 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

A Boozy Parisian Pineapple That Tastes Like The Holidays

Roasted pineapple
Alan Richardson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:22 pm

"It almost tastes like Christmas."

That's how Dorie Greenspan describes Laurent's Slow-Roasted Pineapple, a sweet, spicy and boozy dessert she's perfected after much trial and error. The dish, she says, is a "true found recipe," because it took a great deal of cajoling to pry it out of its creator, Laurent Tavernier.

Tavernier cuts hair in Paris, where Greenspan, author of Baking Chez Moi, has lived part-time for years. He's a great cook, she says — but while he would show her photos of his creations on his phone, "I could never get a recipe.

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Food
4:28 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Nigella Lawson Loves Leftovers And Knows How To Use Them

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Food
3:23 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

For A Century, Thanksgiving's Must-Haves Were Celery And Olives

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Found Recipes
2:56 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Good Luck Keeping Your Paws Off 'Mittens The Cat Cake'

Gesine Bullock-Prado's "Mittens The Cat Cake" takes a few days to make — but she says it's worth it.
Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 1:59 pm

Forget turkey — it's time to talk about dessert. Imagine, if you will, a cake, shaped like a dome. On the outside, brown and white swirls of chocolate and marzipan. On the inside: a rich pumpkin mousse.

Now, if you happen to be eating at the home of Vermont pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado, you can quit daydreaming and just dig in.

"I do this cake every Thanksgiving, and it's so beautiful," she says. "And then it just happens to taste pretty amazing."

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The Salt
6:03 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Can Breeders Cure What Ails Our Breast-Heavy Turkeys?

A 40-pound tom turkey flaps his wing as Chris Conley carries him to a pen at Raymond's Turkey Farm in Methuen, Mass., on Friday. The farm raises approximately 20,000 broad-breasted white turkeys per year.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 10:19 am

Many Americans will be sitting down Thursday to a wonderfully meaty, broad-breasted white turkey that grew to maturity in a remarkably short period: just 136 days, on average.

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NPR Story
3:42 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Astronauts Will Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner In Space

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 11:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now this - Thanksgiving in space. This year, two American astronauts will be celebrating the holiday aboard the International Space Station. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, Thanksgiving in orbit has its pros and cons.

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Code Switch
2:51 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Stories Of Your First Thanksgiving In The U.S.

We don't endorse using a trident to carve your turkey.
floodllama Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 11:12 am

This past week, we called for stories about your first Thanksgiving in the United States. Who'd you spend it with? Where were you coming from? What'd you eat? What'd you think of it? we wondered.

And many of the stories we heard from you were about food: You had issues roasting the turkey properly. Your mom found, um, a creative solution to making your bird golden-brown. You ate a lot of different alternative Thanksgiving meals. Your stories were goofy and weird, but most of them made us smile. Here are some of them:

Leticia Ortiz

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Coca-Cola Wades Into Milk Business With 'Fairlife'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Obama Pardons Turkeys Mac And Cheese

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today I'm taking an action fully within my legal authority.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That's President Obama today. After he faced more than a week of criticism over his executive actions on immigration, today he had a bit of fun.

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Cooking This Thanksgiving? Your Worst Enemy In The Kitchen Is You

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

I'm Ari Shapiro with a reality check about your cooking.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM "NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION")

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The Salt
2:54 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Why American Honey Importers Are Wary Of 'Turkish' Honey

An apiary on the outskirts of Chengdu, China, produces about 440 pounds of honey a day. American honey importers say they suspect the uptick in honey coming from Turkey actually originated in China.
Liu Jin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:38 pm

Turkey is a land of fine honey. Bees produce more of the sweet stuff in Turkey than in any other country except China. And Turkish consumers happily eat most of it themselves. Very little Turkish honey is exported. When it is, it usually commands premium prices.

But some American honey producers say they've observed something odd: cheap Turkish honey headed to the U.S. The U.S. producers think it's not really Turkish honey — and that it actually comes from a country farther to the east.

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The Salt
11:37 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Native American Side Of The Thanksgiving Menu

Renee Comet Photography Restaurant Associates and Smithsonian Institution

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2012.

Everyone knows the schoolhouse version of the first Thanksgiving story: New England pilgrims came together with Native Americans to share a meal after the harvest. The original menu was something of a joint venture, but over the years, a lot of the traditional dishes have lost their native flavor.

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NPR Story
4:13 am
Wed November 26, 2014

For Native Alaskans, Holiday Menu Looks To The Wild

Akutaq or agutak — also known as Eskimo ice cream — is a favorite dessert in western Alaska. It's made with berries and frothed with fat, like Crisco.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:19 am

When Americans sit down to their Thanksgiving meal, most tables will feature traditional fare: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries. But should you be looking for a different kind of holiday meal, head for rural Alaska.

That's where Nellie Gamechuck lives, in a village squeezed between tundra and a bend in the river in the southwest part of the state. Ask her what's for dinner on Thanksgiving, and she opens up the deep freeze. "Walrus meat, moose meat," she says. Digging down through the layers, she reaches the dessert level: salmonberries.

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The Salt
3:16 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Gluten-Free? Vegan? Thanksgiving Recipes For Alternative Diets

Baked Squash Kibbeh: Middle-Eastern kibbeh is a finely ground combination of beef or lamb, bulgur and onions either formed into balls and deep-fried or pressed into a pan and baked. For a vegetarian version of this flavorful dish, why not pair butternut squash with the warm spices?
Steve Klise Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:05 am

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

More and more Americans are passing on gluten — some for medical reasons, most by choice. Others are adopting diets that exclude meat, or insisting on the kinds of unprocessed foods that early man would have hunted and gathered.

All of this is a challenge to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

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Food
3:14 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipes From 'Morning Edition' Listeners

Melissa Lea, or @melilea14, suggests a truce in the age-old sweet potato war.
Melissa Lea

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:10 am

Last week, amateur cook and writer Maureen Evans told us how to tweet a recipe in 140 characters or less and broke down the code from her Twitter cookbook, Eat Tweet. Then we asked listeners to give it a try, and we're compiling some of our favorites:

Harvest Desk
8:50 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

High Turkey Prices Unlikely To Impact Consumers

Credit flickr/Calgary Reviews

Wholesale turkey prices are at an all-time high this Thanksgiving, but you may not see that at the grocery store.

Farmers raised fewer turkeys this year than they have in the past three decades - about 235 million gobblers, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Ann Knowles raised seventy on her small farm in western Illinois. She coops up the plump birds at night to guard against predators, but lets them roam freely during the day.

KNOWLES  "They get to strut. And they chase in bugs. So I think they’re little dinky brains are probably pretty happy."

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The Salt
5:32 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

The turkeys at Kate Stillman's farm don't have to be loaded on a trailer and driven hundreds of miles this year. They now meet their ends on the same farm where they lived their lives.
Chris Arnold NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:22 am

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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The Salt
11:42 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Take A Bite Out Of Ringo: Giant Cookies Honor Pop Culture Icons

Brittanie Reed and her mother, Wendy Fitt, the two pastry chefs behind Snickety Snacks, took their inspiration for these sugar cookies from a series of Beatles finger puppets by the artist Hanasaurusrex.
Abram Landes/Courtesy of Snickety Snacks

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 1:05 pm

Chocolate chip. Oatmeal raisin. Snickerdoodle.

When it comes to cookies, these are the classics. They aren't the prettiest confections in the bakery case, but you don't feel guilty about gobbling them until only crumbs remain.

You will probably hesitate, however, about nibbling on an edge of one of the artfully decorated sugar cookies from Snickety Snacks.

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The Salt
10:34 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Want A Calorie Count With That? FDA Issues New Rules For Restaurants

How many calories in that doughnut? A Starbucks coffee shop in New York City displays calorie information next to menu items. New FDA rules will require all chain restaurants and similar eating establishments to post calorie labels.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:33 pm

Soon, you may not be able to ignore how many calories are in the breakfast sandwich or doughnut you like to stop for in the morning.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday will release new rules that will require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to begin posting calorie information on their menus.

"Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home, and people today expect clear information about the products they consume," FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg said in a statement.

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The Salt
2:20 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Thanksgiving Hot Durkey

Happy Thanksgiving!
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:15 pm

Olson is a marketing company that promises its clients it will "revolutionize engagement" with its customers. In the case of client Oscar Meyer, this meant sending us eight packs of hot dogs, a loaf of bread, toothpicks, twine and instructions on how to make "the Hot Durkey," in the hope that it would go "viral," which is not the usual meaning of the word "viral" when applied to hot dogs.

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The Salt
1:18 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

For The Next Food Drive, Go For The Canned Tuna, Not The Saltines

Peanut butter, canned tuna and canned fruits in natural juices are among the "superfoods" on Feeding America San Diego's list of requested donations.
Courtesy Feeding America San Diego

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:15 pm

When you donate to a food drive, do you ponder the nutritional labels of the can in your hand? Or do you grab a packet of ramen or a bag of marshmallows from the dark corners of your pantry and hope it hasn't expired?

Healthfulness isn't typically a well-intended food donor's top concern, says hunger advocate Ruthi Solari. The ramen and marshmallows, along with a container of Crisco and a few other items, were basically the entire contents of a food box delivered to one of her volunteer's grandmothers who received food aid, Solari says.

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