May 16, 2013 |
When the weather turns warm, I find myself craving the smell and taste of a great homemade burger off the grill. So what makes a great burger? There are a few simple rules. But if you remember just one of them, it should be that less really is more. Which is to say, the less you add to your ground beef, the less you handle the meat when mixing it, and the less you flip it while grilling, the better burger you get in the end. The foundation of my backyard burger is a 50-50 combination of sirloin and chuck.
April 21, 2013 |
Bernard Cross, 89, of Elkins Park, former president of Cross Bros. Meat Packers Inc. in Kensington, died Thursday, April 18, of cancer at his home. Once one of the largest meatpacking companies on the East Coast, Cross Bros. closed in 1979. Mr. Cross was past president of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, and a board member of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Solomon Schechter Day Schools. He was the founder and an officer of the Hebrew Free Loan Society and was a member of Ashbourne Country Club, Philmont Country Club, and Hackenburg Masonic Lodge.
April 12, 2013 |
Maliyah Gregg's eyes lit up when she spied a package of bacon on the counter for cooking class in the convent kitchen at St. Martin De Porres in North Philadelphia. And then she saw the spinach. "Can I eat just the bacon? Please? Just the bacon and a boiled egg. It will be like breakfast. Please?" After four weeks of cooking lessons, I had gotten the message loud and clear from Maliyah and the other 5th and 6th grade girls: We want meat! While many people are eating less meat and trying to center meals around other proteins for health and environmental reasons, these girls are not quite buying in. I heard the same chorus from my own two boys when I tried meatless family dinners when they were growing up. For them, it just didn't feel like dinner without meat.
April 5, 2013 |
Angela Chase, 18, in a pastel butterfly top and rhinestone glasses, doesn't look entirely comfortable wielding a giant bone saw over a bisected pig carcass. But on a recent Sunday, at a "Be Your Own Butcher" class at Wyebrook Farm in Chester County, instructor Janet Crandall coaxed Chase to use a smooth, confident, back-and-forth motion to cut through a bone. Tentatively, Chase worked the saw, struggling for a few long minutes as other students called out instructions and encouragement.
March 29, 2013
THE INDUSTRY'S Pat Szoke is a chef, but if he ever decides to hang up his apron, he's got a future in diplomacy. That much became clear last month when he adroitly responded to a question I likely pose more than I should: Do you like Spam? "I wouldn't say it's my number one choice," replied Szoke, who was seeking ideas for a limited-time menu inspired by the tastes of local food and drink writers. He'd never sampled Hormel's tinned wonder meat, a high point of American ingenuity that's somehow become "one of the most reviled foodstuffs known to man," according to Philly-based author Carolyn Wyman's 1999 book, Spam: A Biography . But he knew enough to approach the product with a healthy helping of skepticism.
March 22, 2013 |
A cheer went up when our second menu was announced: "Wahoo! Meat loaf!" After the success of the first cooking lesson at St. Martin de Porres School in North Philadelphia, I was encouraged - but also challenged by the calculus for the future: I wanted to demonstrate healthy, simple, inexpensive meals, but they needed to be prepped, cooked, eaten, and cleaned up in about 90 minutes. It's the same challenge facing families trying to get dinner on the table every night, with the added dimension of explaining, teaching, and supervising five fifth- and sixth-grade girls.
March 15, 2013 |
Taking home leftovers from a restaurant these days is as American as the apple pie you did not finish for dessert. It was not always so. Anyone who grew up in the '60s and '70s is likely to recall that what you left on your plate at an eatery was carried back to the kitchen, never to be seen again. That is, unless, it was steak or some other hunk of meat. For that, you'd ask for a doggy bag. Recalling my own experiences working at the Pub, the Cherry Hill Inn, and Cherry Hill Lodge while in high school, the routine called for the server to take your plate back to the kitchen and return with a grease-resistant paper sack neatly folded at the top, and what remained of your steak or chicken inside.
March 13, 2013
TO STU Bykofsky: Just a note to let you know that your column on horse meat was on point. I am a member of PETA and for years we have tried to outlaw horse slaughter. If these so-called gourmets would just read the material on horse slaughter in Mexico they just might change their jackass minds. Horse meat was never intended for human consumption. If these politicians succeed in getting horse-slaughter plants up and running, we will be doing a great injustice to our beloved horses.
March 9, 2013
By Erica Meier Headlines around the world have blared the scandal: Unwitting Britons who dined on hamburgers, meatballs, or other beef products were actually eating horse meat - and they're outraged. In fact, recent polls show that 20 percent of U.K. consumers are now eating less meat and 7 percent are saying "neigh" to meat altogether. In Philadelphia, the news seems to have had the opposite effect: At least one restaurant says it plans to add horse meat to its menu. The scandal raises many uncomfortable questions.
February 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A lot of federal managers are fretting about the sequester, the deep budget cuts that could take effect next week. But very few of those managers manage man-eaters. Craig Saffoe does, and he knows that even if $85 billion in federal spending gets sliced this year, he has to keep his lions and tigers at the National Zoo fed. "We can't just put these guys in a warehouse," said Saffoe, standing on the safe side of a steel mesh wall as Naba, a 300-pound lioness, rumbles like a restless volcano a few inches away.