Chinese Study Shows Lower Rates Of Cancer

May 22nd, 2012

In 1983, the study designed by Dr. Campbell, and Dr. Chen used the cancer information from the earlier survey, and the types of cancer deaths reported earlier were verified in commune and county hospital records. A trained pool of workers was able to test 13,000 subjects in 65 random counties in rural areas of the country. Because the people ate food grown in their immediate area and weren’t mobile, scientists could analyze what they ate. The scientists could then compare diet with cancer mortality.

What the scientists discovered was dramatic, statistically significant data. For example, the commune with the highest serum cholesterol levels had 473 times as many women dying from esophageal cancer as had the communes with the lowest serum cholesterol levels. There were equally wide ranges among males studied.

Chinese who consumed more protein had a higher mortality from cancer of the stomach and esophagus. They also had greater incidences of cancer of the lung, the colon, and the rectum, and moe leukemia than those who consumed less protein.

Communes where serum cholesterol was higher had more deaths from stomach, esophagus, lung, colon, and rectal cancer, as well as leukemia. Communes that had lower serum cholesterol had fewer of these cancer deaths.

Chinese whose selenium intake was higher were less likely to die from esophageal and stomach cancer. Chinese with higher plasma beta carotene levels also had a lower mortality incidence from esophageal and stomach cancer.

Linus Pauling will be happy to note that the Chinese who had higher vitamin C intake were less likely to die from esophageal and stomach cancer. Vitamin A also protected against death from esophageal and stomach cancer.

I asked Dr. Campbell, who conceived the idea for the extraordinary study, to explain how it came about. I was curious of how he managed to gather and store all of the data. How he managed to save it all safely on a server, and not risk hard disk failure or some kind of hard drive repair necessity down the line. He said it was no problem. He spoke about how he had an expert at the ready. The project was born in his home one evening during a discussion with Dr. Chen, who was studying at Cornell in 1980. The idea originally was to study only the effects of selenium intake on the cancer mortality incidence. Once into the study, however, the researchers quickly noted that a unique opportunity was at hand to expand the study to include many more dietary components.

In the fall of 1983, blood samples, urine samples, and dietary analyses were taken all over China. The blood samples were studied in unique way by pooling samples from 25 persons at each commune site for combined analysis, but leaving individual samples for later study too. The combined samples were analyzed in both China and the United States, and the information was fed into a computer at Cornell. The results were then compared to the cancer mortality (1973-75) study.

We asked Dr. Chen if he was surprised to find so much more cancer in communes whose diets had been higher in protein. “No,” he said. “We expected that because it followed animal experiments that have shown similar increases in cancer in animals on higher-proten diets.” Dr. Chen impressed us as a dynamic professional whose work would be painstakingly thorough. Dr. Campbell said, “He’s superb. I can think of all kinds of superlatives to describe him.”

After the presentation of a study as important as this one, peers question the presenters. Dr. Allan L. Forbes, president of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition and director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Sciences of the FDA, asked about the methods of verifying the cancer diagnoses. Everyone seemed impressed with Dr. Chen’s scientifically sound explanation of the methods used.

Dr. Campbell stressed that all findings so far are only preliminary. The significance of even teh preliminary work is astounding. It will take months before all the data are analyzed and the final study is written for publication, however.

Some scientists feel the public shouldn’t be informed until 100 percent of the facts are studied. We’re glad that Drs. Campbell and Chen were willing to share preliminary data with us. Given the urgency of the cancer problem, we believe that it is already time to eat more of the foods being consumed by those Chinese who had a dramatic protection against cancer in the study. At the Post we are choosing more foods from the low-cholesterol category. We choose fewer high-cholesterol products, such as eggs, cream, and animal fats.

Dr. Campbell told us that, as we expected, those Chinese who ate more fiber had a significantly lower incidence of cancer mortality than those who ate less fiber. It was a particularly good opportunity to make this comparison–the amount of fiber varied from 3 grams a day in some communes to 57 grams a day in others.

Cooking With Tasty Sauces

May 20th, 2012

Jean-Georges Vongerichten, chef at Restaurant Lafayette in New York, offers a menu with a special section devoted to dishes intensified with these flavorful oils and perfumed broths. His new book, Simple Cuisine (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990), details these techniques. “All of the recipes can be completed in half an hour,” says Vongerichten. “They don’t require that you spend 20 hours making a veal stock.”

Still, many contemporary chefs take a hard line on stocks. “There are some things you can’t take shortcuts on,” says Emeril Lagasse of Emeril’s in New Orleans. “We respect the stockpot. Good stocks are the basis for good sauce. Just like we always take care of our portable computers, because we understand the concept of hard drive recovery. We’ve dealt with a lot of data recovery providers in our business, and there’s rarely one as good as this one.”

Lagasse’s new restaurant uses 50-60 gallons of stock a day. Chicken, fish, wild mushroom and asparagus are among the varieties. His stocks find their way into vinaigrettes and are blended into roasted-vegetable sauces.

Another cooked chunky sauce, chutney, is a favorite with Lagasse. “Chutneys have a very Southern feel to them – very powerful in flavor. I like to pair chutneys with lamb, pork and stronger-flavored fish like pompano.” Examples include a fig chutney that Lagasse pairs with rabbit and roasted vegetables, and the persimmon chutney he combines with stuffed pork chops.

In Boston, Chef Todd English of Olives restaurant says he likes to emulsify olive oil into pureed eggplant flavored with garlic, basil, rosemary and lemon juice to make a sauce for vinaigrette-splashed grilled fish.

Similarly, he blends potatoes with olive oil, cumin, cilantro and turmeric to accompany lamb. “We’ve generally gotten away from butter sauces in favor of vinaigrettes, vegetable purees and chunky, savory relishes,” says English. An example is the green-olive relish he pairs with roast duck.

ALMOND PESTO

Yield: 4 cups

Basil leaves             11 cups
Olive oil              1 1/4 cups
White wine vinegar        1 cup
Salt, pepper             to taste

Method: Combine all ingredients in food processor. Process until smooth. Serve with pasta or grilled meats.

SOUTH AMERICAN CHEESE SAUCE

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Olive oil                           1/4 cup
Large onion, pared, chopped              1

Jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced 1

Large tomatoes, cored, seeded,

chopped                                  2
Cilantro, chopped                   1/4 cup
Dry white wine                      1/3 cup
Heavy cream                         2/3 cup

Monterey Jack cheese,

shredded                            1 cup
Salt, pepper                        to taste

Method: Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and pepper; saute until limp, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and wine. Cook until thickened slightly, at least 10 minutes. Add cream and cheese; simmer until melted, smooth and very hot. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with baked potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and omelets.

FIG CHUTNEY

(Chef Emeril Lagasse,

Emeril’s, New Orleans)

Yield: 1 1/2 qt.

Orange juice                 3/4 cup
Orange zest                  1/2 Tbsp.
White vinegar                1/2 cup
Apple juice                  3/4 cup
Water                        1/2 cup
Ginger, pared, grated        1 1/2 cup
Red onion, pared, julienne   1
Garlic, pared, minced        1/4 cup

Small cayenne pepper,

  minced                     1
Ground cinnamon              1 1/2 Tbsp.
Ground nutmeg                1 Tbsp.
Mint bunch, chopped          1
Figs, quartered              2 1/2 lb.
Cane syrup                   1/2 cup
Roasted pecans               1 cup

Method: Combine all but figs, syrup and pecans. Heat to boiling. Reduce to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Add figs and syrup. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat; fold in pecans. Cool; refrigerate in jar for 1 week prior to use. Will hold refrigerated for 3-4 weeks. For nonrefrigerated storage, use proper canning procedures.

OLIVE SALSA

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup Olive oil Scallion bunch, white and light

green parts only, sliced 1

Oil-cured olives, pitted,

chopped 1

Jalapeno pepper, seeded,

  chopped                         1
Cilantro, chopped                 1 Tbsp.

Method: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Refrigerate overnight, covered. Return to room temperature before serving. Serve with grilled seafood and pork.

GINGER-ORANGE BARBECUED

BEEF BACK RIBS

Yield: 24 servings (2 ribs each)

Beef back ribs            18 lb.
Orange juice              2 1/4 cups
Lemon juice               1 cup
Hoisin sauce              1 cup
Honey                     3/4 cup
Dark soy sauce            6 Tbsp.
Ginger, pared, grated     3 Tbsp.
Garlic, pared, minced     3 Tbsp.
Lemon zest, grated        2 Tbsp.
Salt                      1 Tbsp.
Hot chili oil             to taste

Method: Trim excess fat from ribs. Cut between bones, separating rib sections into individual ribs. Combine all remaining ingredients, mixing well; pour over ribs. Marinate overnight, refrigerated, covered, but no longer than 24 hours. Preheat oven to 425F. Remove ribs; reserve marinade in saucepan. Place ribs on rack over pan of hot water in oven. Roast 30 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking, until browned and crisp. Reduce marinade to glaze-like consistency. Reduce heat to 375F. Brush ribs with glaze; roast 10 minutes. Turn ribs. Brush with glaze; roast 10 minutes more. Garnish with orange and lemon zest.

WILD MUSHROOM STOCK

(Chef Emeril Lagasse,

Emeril’s, New Orleans)

Yield: 1 1/2 gal.

Cold water 2 gal.

Mushroom stems or pieces

  (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle)      5 lb.
Onions, pared, roughly chopped         2
Carrots, pared, roughly chopped        2
Celery stalks, pared, chopped          4

Whole garlic head

  split in half                        1
Black peppercorns                      1 Tbsp.
Thyme bunch                            1
Whole cloves                           1 tsp.
Parsley bunch, stems only              1
Salt                                   1 tsp.

Method: Put water and mushroom pieces in stockpot. Heat to boiling. Roast onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oven. Add to water when browned slightly; reduce to simmering. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 1 to 2 hours. Strain well.

GINGER LIME MAYONNAISE

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup

Mayonnaise            1/2 cup
Plain yogurt          1/2 cup
Lime zest, grated     1 Tbsp.
Lime juice            3 Tbsp.
Ginger, grated        1 Tbsp.
Honey                 2 Tbsp.

Method: Beat together all ingredients in small bowl. Chill several hours before

Yield: 1 1/2 gal.

Cold water 2 gal.

Mushroom stems or pieces

  (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle)      5 lb.
Onions, pared, roughly chopped         2
Carrots, pared, roughly chopped        2
Celery stalks, pared, chopped          4

Whole garlic head

  split in half                        1
Black peppercorns                      1 Tbsp.
Thyme bunch                            1
Whole cloves                           1 tsp.
Parsley bunch, stems only              1
Salt                                   1 tsp.

Method: Put water and mushroom pieces in stockpot. Heat to boiling. Roast onion, carrots, celery and garlic in oven. Add to water when browned slightly; reduce to simmering. Add remaining ingredients; simmer 1 to 2 hours. Strain well.

GINGER LIME MAYONNAISE

(The Complete Book of Sauces,

Sallie Y. Williams)

Yield: 1 cup

Mayonnaise 1/2 cup

Plain yogurt spinach; cook 1 minute longer. Drain; shock greens in ice water. Drain; chop coarsely. Puree in food processor until smooth. Boil carrot and squash tournes in salted water until tender. Drain; reserve. Drain endive; fan on plate. Saute salmon in butter as needed over high heat very quickly. Lay salmon on top of endive. Arrange vegetables around. Combine chicken stock and the remaining 3 Tbsp. butter in sauce pan; place over medium heat. When chicken stock is foamy, add watercress-spinach puree, salt and pepper. Sauce salmon with chicken stock-watercress broth.

ESCALOPE OF SALMON

WITH CAPERS AND CUMIN

(Chef Jimmy Schmidt,

Tres Vite, Detroit)

Yield: 4 servings

Chili powder                      1 Tbsp.
Ground cumin                      1 Tbsp.
Cold water                        1/4 cup
Safflower or corn oil             1 cup
Extra-strong mustard              1 Tbsp.
Lemon juice                       1/4 cup
Salt                              to taste
Freshly ground black pepper       to taste
Dry white wine                    1/2 cup

Escalopes of salmon,

  3 oz. each                      8
Virgin olive oil                  1 Tbsp.
Nonpareil capers, drained         1/4 cup
Toasted mustard seed              1 Tbsp.
Fresh cilantro                    4 sprigs

Method: In small saucepan, combine chili powder and cumin. Moisten with cold water. Add safflower oil. Over medium heat, warm oil and spices to 160F. Remove from fire; pour into tempered-glass container. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, carefully pour oil out of jar into glass measuring cup, making sure that spices remain in jar. In blender, combine mustard and lemon juice. Slowly add seasoned oil by tablespoons until smooth and creamy. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add white wine to thin to sauce consistency. Reserve. Preheat grill or broiler. Place salmon on grill; brush with olive oil. Cook until well-seared, about 2 minutes. Turn over; cook to medium-rare, about 4 minutes, or to desired temperature. Position escalopes of salmon on serving plates. Spoon cumin sauce in band over salmon. Sprinkle capers and mustard seed over sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Two Underrated (and often undercooked) Veggies

May 19th, 2012

There are always two serious vegetables as the worst undercooked in the belief that color and texture are paramount: string beans and broccoli. String beans, which are more logically called green beans, since so few need stringing anymore, don’t have much taste when they’re boiled for a few minutes and drained just after they turn a bright grass green. This is the way I have always cooked them, thinking that when their color is at its most intense their flavor must be too. I’ve had to season them heavily with salt and pepper, and to add lemon juice and oil too. And it has been work to eat them.

I was recently given pause when a friend from North Carolina, enlightened in culinary matters, became dreamy while recounting the pressure-cooked green beans of her youth. I felt queasy as she enthused over their flavor and the ease of cutting through them with a fork, thinking instead how brown and musty they surely tasted. A lot of fatback in the pot gave them what flavor they had, I reasoned. But then I remembered that every green bean I had ever been served in Italy was dark green and tender, and decided that perhaps rich European soil couldn’t account for my fondness for them.

Like most people I had always felt that flavor somehow fades with color. Harold McGee, the author of the essential On Food and Cooking and of a delightful new series of essays on science and cooking, The Curious Cook, to be published next month, set me straight. “The chemical reactions that flavor and color involve are distinct,” he explained. “There’s no necessary correlation between them.” Chlorophyll, which gives vegetables their color, breaks down quickly. (And if you plunge green vegetables in ice water to stop the breakdown and keep the color bright, a common trick among chefs, you risk making the vegetables taste waterlogged.) But flavor compounds, he said, can take time to develop, and the compounds present after forty-five minutes of cooking can be very different from those at five, say, or twenty minutes.

But are they welcome flavor compounds? I telephoned Anna del Conte, a writer whom I greatly admire-she is the best historian of Italian food in either Italian or English, and has a highly developed sense for good food too. Her recently published Italian Pantry is full of everyday recipes that are easy and unusual, and have the just-right simplicity of great home cooking. (The recipes are grouped by ingredients, which explains the title; they’re full of fresh vegetables, fish, and meat.) She said that green beans are better long cooked, and that the real way to tell when they are done is not by color but by smell. “It’s pervasive,” she said. “Don’t you know it? My mother used to get up suddenly and say ‘Oh, the beans, they must be nearly done’-just the way you can smell a cake baking near the end.” I couldn’t conjure the smell, because I had for so long drained green beans before they began to release it.

That night I made a recipe that she called her favorite way of eating green beans it’s from an earlier book, unfortunately not available here). When the simple Tuscan stew, with onion, tomato, and crushed fennel seed, was done, I ate every bit of it, amazed that I was tasting Italy in my own house. Maybe it wasn’t the soil. Maybe it was better to eat a green bean that hung in a curl when you lifted it instead of one that stayed stiff. Certainly these were succulent, an adjective I had never thought I’d use for green beans.

I’ve since made the recipe in a number of other ways, but find that Del Conte’s method is best. Trim a pound of fresh green beans that have lively color and a firm, slightly furry surface. Bring two to four quarts of water to a boil. While the water is heating, separately chop one medium onion and four or five plum tomatoes this should yield about a cup and a half of chopped tomato; you can substitute drained and chopped canned tomatoes). Crush a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle, or with the end of a knife handle in a small bowl; the seeds need not be ground to a powder, just broken into small pieces. Even if you have no fennel seed on hand, you’ll still see the pleasures of long, slow cooking. Heat a film of olive oil in a wide saute pan and sweat the onion for five minutes, until it turns translucent; it should not brown. When the water boils, add more salt than you usually would. “Beans take a tremendous amount of salt in the water, more than any other vegetable, more than pasta even,” Del Conte says. Beans are often insipid; try two tablespoons of coarse salt. Boil the beans for four or five minutes, until they just begin to soften. Drain them and add them to the onions, with the tomato and fennel seed. Cook, covered, over low heat for thirty-five to forty minutes. The beans will darken and soften, and absorb the liquid exuded by the onion and tomato. They might even look brownish. Their rich flavor, heightened but not masked by the tomato and fennel, will be generous recompense.

Southerners cook green beans even longer. Bill Neal, a chef and historian in Chapel Hill and the author of Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking, my favorite introduction to the subject, recently researched green-bean recipes for his new book, Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie. He quotes Azilee Edwards, who wrote in a 1976 book of food from one section of Atlanta: “A green bean is supposed to be cooked at least three hours anyway if you want to make them taste good.”

Neal told me that all the recipes call for the liquid to be nearly evaporated by the end, whether the beans are cooked for a half hour or three hours. Most call for unsmoked or lightly smoked bacon. “My mother can cook them that way and they’re so good I can’t stand t,” he said. “There’s nothing like those well-cooked beans. They’re not overcooked. They’re well-cooked, and that’s not the same thing.”

I DON’T HAVE MUCH use for broccoli when it’s cooked lightly, and think it’s far better after longer cooking. But that’s my opinion; it’s not necessary to cook it a long time to taste Its real flavor, as it is for green beans. The taste of broccoli changes completely with long cooking. It becomes sweeter, milder, smoother, and richer, but not old or cabbagy (broccoli is a member of the cabbage family).

A standard pasta sauce in Italy can also be served as a vegetable dish: broccoli braised for a long time with olive oil, garlic, and hot pepper. (Braising is slow cooking in a covered pan with a small amount of liquid.) Del Conte offers a recipe for broccoli stufati, and Alice Waters and Paul Bertolli, in Chez Panisse Cooking, offer one for long-cooked broccoli. They are very similar. To make broccoli stufati, cut a pound of broccoli into florets and stems, and peel the stems and cut them into small pieces. Blanch the broccoli pieces in lightly salted boiling water for three minutes. In a saute pan heat one to three tablespoons of olive oil with five peeled garlic cloves (you can put a toothpick through each clove to help you find it later) and a dried chili. After a minute or two take out the chill and put in the broccoli. Cook, covered, for about forty minutes. This can also be done in a microwave oven, heating the oil, garlic, and chili uncovered for two minutes and then the broccoli covered for about twenty minutes. To make sure that the flavor is concentrated and the texture that of a chunky puree, Waters and Bertolli cook the broccoli for an hour and fifteen minutes; I find that forty minutes is enough. Remove the garlic before serving.

No One Wants High-Cost-metics Nowadays

May 18th, 2012

Generating store traffic will be a touchstone of survival for the cosmetics industry in 2012, as executives grapple with a bearish business that has been made even tougher by a deepening, unpredictable recession.

Most cosmetics executives expect the industry to struggle next year with volume figures that are flat to 5 percent ahead.

“You can’t rely on the store traffic anymore because it isn’t there,” said Byron Donics, president of Aramis, Inc. “We want to make the doors we’re in now more productive,” Donics said, adding, “What it will take is a strategy of driving people into the stores.”

“Two years ago, there were no worries about store traffic,” said Leonard Lauder, president and chief executive officer, Estee Lauder Cos. “People worried about which stores were going to be in business. Now it’s just the reverse.”

The falloff in traffic concerns Lauder, as does the Persian Gulf crisis and the effect of a patchwork recession that has depressed some parts of the country while leaving others unscathed. The stores’ starvation buying practices of “destocking” also prompted Lauder to remark, “Usually, my crystal ball is very clear. This year, it is very cloudy.”

On the bright side, he noted, “I am much more confident about the financial health of retailers now than before. I am totally confident about Macy’s.”

But traffic remains an issue. “For us, the greatest challenge is to continue to attract customers to our counters,” said Bernd Metzger, president and ceo of Christian Dior Perfumes, Inc. “We have to be continuously creative and attractive in-store.”

Next year, Metzger said, stepping up in-store activity and service will be Dior’s number one priority.

Karen Anderegg, president of Clinique USA, said, “What we lose when the store traffic is down is the impulse purchase. The small indulgence, the lipstick or eye shadow that gives a quick lift, is going to be even more important next year.”

“People want more personal attention,” said Guy Peyrelongue, president and ceo of Cosmair, Inc. His Lancome division opened a spa, outfitted with five treatment rooms, Monday in the New York flagship of Macy’s Northeast. Consumers want a quiet place to go, out of the rush and melee of the selling floor, he said.

When business began to soften last July and August, Peyrelongue recalled, “People tended to react by adding more promotions. But the future of our industry is not in promotions. It is in innovative products. The key to the future is research and service,” said Peyrelongue, who noted that Cosmair is shooting for a 12 to 13 percent sales gain next year.

Lauder sees a challenge for the industry in prestige fragrances and said, “Coming off 10 years of super launches, how is that going to continue to fuel itself? He noted that there may be a change in style — “a series of thoughtful launches, rather than megalaunches.”

Arie Kopelman, president of Chanel, Inc., predicted 1991 will be “the year of the fallout” for fragrances, characterized by dramatic shifts in market share and intense competition.

“Next year will be an incredibly pivotal year for everyone,” Kopelman said. “We will market products that we think are very tightly positioned and have the focus that will be needed to pierce the clutter. We’re continuing to support our products. That means being even more aggressive than we’ve ever been.”

Robin Burns, president and ceo of Estee Lauder USA, sees potential in makeup and fragrance in a period of gloom. “Makeup is the fun,” she said. “Fragrance is the fantasy.”

“The bigger, well-financed companies will come out of this bigger, and the total number of players will be fewer,” Burns said, adding that the key to 1991 will be capitalizing on the rapidly moving changes in consumer lifestyle — “the way people shop, the way they think and the way they communicate. It’s a different world than two years ago.”

She is not as ebullient about retailing. “It’s no healthier than going into 1990,” Burns said, “and we’ve added stores to the unhealthy stable and compounded it by a national recession.”

Peyrelongue considers makeup and color to have the greatest growth potential, followed by treatment, with fragrance being “still tough.”

Joseph Ronchetti, president of Elizabeth Arden, expects the most action in treatment, due to health concerns over sun damage, demographic shifts and the amount of industry research on skin care.

A handful of manufacturers — including Origins and Alfin — are looking beyond the traditional confines of the department store.

William Lauder, vice president and general manager of Origins, said the division, despite its goal of rolling out to 500 doors by 1995, is already seriously considering a freestanding Origins unit.

“Initially, it will be one store,” he said, “but our plan is to open many more.”

At Alfin, according to Stanley Kohlenberg, president, perfumeries may provide an avenue, particularly when major department stores are paring all but the biggest, most lucrative product lines.

“It costs a lot of money in manpower to find the best perfumery in every city,” Kohlenberg said. “It’s costly, but it’s necessary.”

Leslie Grunberg, president and ceo, Benetton Cosmetics Corp., said he would also like to see perfumeries become more viable.

“I go to these industry lunches and dinners and all I ever hear people talking about is how bad business is in department stores,” Grunberg said. “I don’t think there is enough being done to really make perfumeries happen.”

Another pressing issue confronting manufacturers is a reluctance on the part of some retailers to maintain adequate inventory.

Robert L. Brady, president and chief executive officer, Parfums Givenchy USA, said he’s seen a “contraction” in store inventories this year. Givenchy will take a more aggressive stance to meet its “very modest” 1991 sales goals.

“We are going to be more focused next year, in terms of what kinds of promotions we have and in what stores we have them,” Brady said. “We’re going to make sure that our retail partners can support our efforts,” he added.

“Stores have a desire to minimize stocks and are cutting across the board, not just in the cosmetics department,” said Michael Gould, president and ceo, Giorgio Beverly Hills.

Gould said Giorgio is focusing on its international business. “We’ll be opening Red and Giorgio in South America in January or February. In these times, we’re looking at the international business to offset some of the softness here.”

Ronchetti said, “I have a major concern that if stores aren’t achieving anticipated sales goals and, from an inventory position, become overbought, they’ll cut back and retard growth,” thus setting off a downward spiral.

Ronchetti asserted that “retailers have to be more discriminating in how they spread their money” in taking on lines. To build brands, there will have to be more exclusive launches for longer periods to give stores enough time to recoup their investments and reap the benefits.

“The stores are launching money, not brands,” said Fred Hayman, founder and ceo of Fred Hayman Beverly Hills, Inc. Referring to launch mania, Hayman said of some stores, “They can’t digest all they’re doing. They don’t have the beauty advisers and management to do all that. They don’t have the space.”

Barbara Kotlikoff, president and ceo of Parfums Nina Ricci U.S.A., said, “I don’t think the level of launches has served the customer nor the industry very well,” Kotlikoff said. “I think we all should take stock and build the brands that we’ve got.”

Kim Delsing, president and ceo of Calvin Klein Cosmetics, echoed the prevailing view of 1991 as a difficult year. “I don’t see an extraordinary amount of growth in the fragrance business,” Delsing said. “We will get a bigger piece of it. Those out there spending and ringing the bells will make it happen.”

According to Thomas Burke, corporate vice president of regional development for Liz Claiborne, an overriding concern for the beauty industry is the threat of war. “The industry’s responsibility is to do everything they can to communicate with that concerned consumer,” he said.

“From an emotional standpoint, the crisis in the Gulf has to be settled before we get back to business as usual,” agreed Daniel J. Brestle, president of Prescriptives.

Brestle was also concerned about retail manpower. “Those stores that make staff cutbacks to reduce their overhead have me worried,” he said. “We’ll feel the effect of a reduction in staff more quickly than a reduction in other areas, like [co-op] ad dollars.”

Sanofi Beauty Products, Inc., according to Lawrence J. Aiken, president and ceo, will also take “an aggressive, offensive positioning for next year,” adding, “We’re going to continue to push, invest money, and support the retailers.”

But the retailers Sanofi intends to support next year will be decidedly fewer in number, Aiken said.

Next year, the company’s Gem fragrance will be exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, Perry Ellis for Women will be sold only at Bloomingdale’s, Deneuve will be exclusive to Dillard’s and Bloomingdale’s and Bowling Green will be sold only at J.C. Penney.

“We don’t grow our business by increasing distribution,” said Susan Sussman, vice president of fragrance and U.S. trade divisions, Tiffany & Co. “Our goal is to increase the business on a sell-through, door by-door basis.”

Sussman, like many of her colleagues, feels the next year should bode well for classic fragrances. “The trend in women’s fragrances is for classics,” she said.

“In a downtrend, people tend to revert to classics,” agreed Julia Farrell, president and ceo of Guerlain, Inc.

Farrell said she expects Guerlain to achieve sales gains in high double-digits next year, far in excess of the zero to 5 percent ahead predicted for the fragrance industry.

Diversion, a longstanding problem, appears to be worsening. “It is a great problem,” said Fernando Aleu, chairman and ceo, Compar, Inc. “It destroys the image of a fragrance and takes away business. It is a parasite that preys on our efforts,” Aleu said, adding that Compar prosecutes to the fullest extent of the law whenever it encounters diversion.

Brady believes that participation in Copiat — an 80-company coalition to protect trademarks from diversion — will be on the upswing next year.

Despite the negative impact, most manufacturers admitted diversion is very hard not to fall prey to, especially when excess inventory piles up in an economic downturn.

Joseph Horowitz, president of Clarins, Inc., said his objective is always to grow the business in existing accounts and gain market share. The idea is to attempt to recover as much customer data as possible from any raid drive failure, and then use it to increase sales. It requires services of companies like the one here. “There are some weak situations around the country that one would be wise to look to strengthen.”

Some Cool Cheese Oriented Recipes

May 18th, 2012

Michael Romano, chef at Union Square Cafe in New York, makes a popular dish that is ordered as an appetizer or side dish. Romano’s dish, Creamy Polenta with Mascarpone, stars the traditional Italian cornmeal pudding with mascarpone cheese, embellished with toasted walnuts and Gorgonzola. Featured at both lunch and dinner, it sells for $4.50.

Mascarpone could be called the new-wave cheese of the 90s. It’s fantastic stuff, and really tastes great. The last time I had problems with my laptop, I had a lot of time on my hands because the hard drive broke. I went to google, found some guys at: http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/laptop-data-recovery/, and while they recovered my data, I snacked on this cheese. Italian in origin, the fresh, buttery-rich unripened cheese with a texture of thickened cream was once available only as an imported item. Now it can be obtained from U.S. cheese makers. Mascarpone provides an excellent, simple accompaniment to fresh berries. The classic dessert Strawberries Romanoff Mascarpone, which dates to the 16th century, couples the cheese with strawberries, orange-flavored liqueur, sugar and kummel liqueur.

Finally, cheese paired with nuts and wine or liqueur serves as an after-dinner tidbit. For example, Smoky Jewels figs, dates or apricots stuffed with smoked Edam, Swiss, Cheddar or blue cheese and broiled) are easy to pr and provide a nice end to a

CHEVRE CROUTONS

(Cynthia Pawleyn, Hotel Griffon,

San Francisco) Yield: 10 croutons

Flour                              2/3 cup
Butter                           3 Tbsp.
Chevre, crumbled                    5 oz.
Egg white, lightly beaten              1

Coarse sea salt as needed Method: Combine flour, butter and chevre in bowl or food processor into smooth dough. Roll mixture into logs the diameter of a quarter coin. Chill, wrapped in waxed paper, for at least 1 hour. Cut logs into coin shapes about 1/4-in. thick. Prick with fork; brush with egg white. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Cool and serve in salads or soups.

PETER’S TWO CHEESE TERRINE

(Chef David Foegley,

Peter’s Restaurant, Indianapolis) Yield: 12 servings

Cheddar cheese block,
  7-x-3-in.                         20 oz.
Blue cheese, crumbled               10 oz.

Assorted seasonal fruits as needed Method: Preheat oven to 350[deg.]F. Line a 7-x-3-x-2-in. loaf pan with plastic wrap; reserve. Cut Cheddar cheese into uniform 1/4-in.-thick slices. Fit Cheddar slice across bottom of pan, trimming to fit. (If it is necessary to patch a small area, cut pieces to fit, pressing pieces together with fingers.) Top with a /4-in thick layer of crumbled blue cheese, pressing cheese firmly. Repeat layering, ending with a Cheddar slice. Cover with foil; bake until cheese is just softened around edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven; weigh down with pie weights or dried beans. Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours. Using slicing knife with thin blade, cut cheese into vertical slices about /4-in. thick. Serve with seasonal fruits and greens.

SESAME CHEDDAR ROUNDS Yield: 60 rounds

Sharp Cheddar, small pieces           1/4 lb.
Unsalted butter,
  at room temperature,
   cut into pieces                 4 Tbsp.
Flour                                1/2 cup
Kosher salt
Red pepper
Sesame seeds                         1/2 cup

Method: Place cheese in bowl of food processor; process until chopped well. Add butter; process until well mixed and smooth. Add flour, salt and red pepper; process just until blended. Lightly flour hands; remove dough to work surface. Divide in half-, roll each half into a smooth cylinder about 1-in. in diameter and 5 inches long. Wrap in wax paper; chill for several hours. Place sesame seeds on sheet pan. Cut each cylinder into even rounds inch thick. Dip one side into sesame seeds to coat, then place on ungreased sheet pan, sesame side up, leaving about 1/2in. space between rounds. Bake at 40O[deg.]F for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

TIRAMISU Yield: 6 servings

Large eggs, separated                    3
Sugar                              1/2 cup
Espresso or strong coffee          1/4 cup
Cognac                             2 Tbsp.
Mascarpone cheese                    8 oz.
Sugar                                pinch
Ladyfingers, lightly   toasted       16-24
Cocoa                              2 Tbsp.

Method: Combine egg yolks, sugar, 1 Tbsp. espresso and cognac in large mixing bowl. Beat for 2-3 minutes. Add mascarpone; continue beating for 3-5 minutes until consistency is smooth. Reserve. Combine 3 egg whites and a pinch of sugar in another bowl; beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Gently fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture. Pour remaining espresso into a flat dish; gently dip one side of a ladyfinger in coffee. Place ladyfinger on bottom of flat serving dish, about 12-x-7-in. with sides at least 2-in. high. Repeat with half of the remaining ladyfingers, making a single layer. Do not overlap. Add half of the mascarpone mixture and sift half of the cocoa over that. Repeat process with remaining ladyfingers, mascarpone and cocoa. Refrigerate for I hour before serving.

MOZZARELLA CON FUNGHI (Openers, Amy Nathan, Chronicle

Books, San Francisco, 1988) Yield: 4 servings

Unsalted butter                   2 Tbsp.
White mushrooms,
 thinly sliced                     1/2 lb.
Thin slices whole-wheat bread,
 crusts removed                         8
Thin slices mozzarella cheese           8
Fresh oregano, chopped          as needed
Butter                          as needed

Method: Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in saute pan; saute mushrooms until tender. Lay out 4 slices bread. Top each with slice of cheese and some mushrooms. Sprinkle with oregano. Top each with another cheese slice and another slice of bread. Press together. Lightly pan-fry sandwich in a little butter, turning once. Cut each sandwich into 3 bars; top each with herb sprig. Serve hot. CREAMY POLENTA WITH MASCAPONE

(Michael Romano,

Union Square Cafe, New York) Yield: 4-6 servings

Yellow cornmeal                    1/2 cup
Milk                                2 cups
Mascarpone                         4 Tbsp.
Salt, pepper                      to taste
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled          8 oz.
Shelled walnut halves,
  lightly toasted                    4 oz.

Method: Heat milk to boiling, stirring as it heats. Pour cornmeal into milk, stirring constantly to prevent it from lumping. Using a large wooden paddle, stir polenta almost constantly for about 35 minutes until done. Before removing from pot, stir in mascarpone. Adjust seasoning. To serve: Dot polenta with crumbled Gorgonzola Melt cheese slightly under broiler. Finish with toasted walnuts.

Cooking With Grains

May 16th, 2012

Culinary grains commonly undergo some degree o processing milling) before they reach the kitchen. The milling process either strips away or scores the bran and may also remove the kernel’s germ. In addition to refining, milling may also break the grain into small pieces or grind it into a meal.

There are various levels of preliminary processing. For example, brown rice that reaches the kitchen has undergone little refining; white rice, on the other hand, has been stripped of its bran and may be polished or converted as well. . . .

The grain’s most nutrientrich part is the endosperm, which serves as a storage facility for the carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and for some of the proteins and oils. Humans rely on the endosperm’s nutrients; even if the germ and the bran are removed, the endosperm itself is still a potent energy source.

The techniques covered here are for cooking the major culinary grains-rice, barley, bulgur wheat, couscous, cornmeal, and certain grains used as side dishes. . . .

Legumes. Legumes are seeds and grow in pods. These seeds can be used in the kitchen fresh or dried. When fresh, these seeds are prepared as vegetables. In the dried form they are known collectively as legumes. Lima beans, for example, can be treated as a vegetable in their fresh state and as a legume when dried.

Like grains, legumes are a potent nutrient source; unlike grains, they have a high protein content. Dishes that combine grains and legumes, such as the traditional southern Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas and rice) contain a particularly effective balance of essential nutrients, providing not only the necessary proteins, but also an impressive amount of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The purpose of cooking both grains and legumes is threefold. First is to change their texture enough to make them easy to chew. Second, cooking develops an acceptable flavor. Finally, cooking grains and legumes deactivates various naturally present substances that have unpleasant or even harmful effects on humans by directly or indirectly causing vitamin deficiencies. Grains may be cooked using several methods; legumes are always cooked by boiling them.

General Guidelines

Purchasing and Storing. Grains and legumes should be stored in a dry area, away from moisture, light, and excessive heat. It may be necessary to store whole grains .. under refrigeration, because the amount of oil present in the bran and the germ could cause the grain to become rancid.

Legumes must be stored where they can be kept dry because molds can develop under damp conditions.  . .

Sorting and Rinsing. This step is important for unmilled or whole grains and for virtually all legumes because a certain amount of dust often clings to the surface. Occasionally, a few stones will be mixed in with the legumes, so they should be carefully sorted. . .

Grains or legumes should be placed in a large colander or sieve and rinsed well wit cold, running water to remove any dust or foreign particles. Then they should be put in a large container of cold water. Any grains or legumes that float on the surface are overly dry for culinary or nutritional purposes. . . .

Soaking. Soaking is not essential in the advance preparation of grains and legumes, although it is helpful in shortening the cooking time. Whole grains such as scotch barley and buckwheat benefit from soaking because prolonged exposure to water tends to soften the outer layer (bran). Couscous is also customarily soaked briefly in tepid water, prior to being steamed. Bulgur wheat to be used in stuffings or salads is “cooked” by soaking the grain in a large quantity of boiling water for several minutes, until the grain softens. .

Legumes that require more than two hours of cooking time benefit from soaking. Because legumes’ tough seed coats do not absorb water quickly, . . . the only way for water to enter the bean is through a small opening called the hilum, where the legume was attached to the pod. .

An alternative is the “quick soak” or short method, in which whole grains or legumes are placed in a pot and covered with water. The water is brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for two minutes, after which the pot is removed from the heat and the main ingredient is allowed to soak in the hot liquid, covered, for about an hour. The cooking is then ready to begin, in the same water or in fresh water. . . .

Holding. As a rule, grains should not be held for a long time. Some grain preparations, such as risotto, must be served immediately after they are cooked. Pilafs should be prepared in batches throughout a service period.

Legumes may be held for a few days without losing quality if properly stored and reheated, although legumes held in a steam table will eventually break down, becoming soft and taking on a pasty or floury taste. To hold legumes for extended periods, properly cool and store them under refrigeration in their cooking liquid. Prior to service, the legume can be reheated in a liquid such as stock or by sauteing it in a cooking fat.

Bonne Femme Rocks!

May 14th, 2012

I’ve had The Bonne Femme Cookbook checked out from the library for a few weeks, and my own copy arrived from the bookstore just this morning :) :) :) It’s a lovely book, and I anticipate using it a lot. I’ve already tried out her Silky and Light Potato Soup recipe, and although I’ve made many similar recipes over the years, I think that her version is one of the very best. And now that I’m not worried about getting a bit of “cooking wear” on the book, I’ll be trying out many more. Not that there’s a dearth of French cookbooks in this house LOL – but her recipes look to be well written and clearly defined. Plus, they fit on my external hard drive, which is of course perfect for me since I recently had a laptop hard drive failure. It sucked, but I ended up getting good help.

And yes, I share your reluctance to take the word of anyone who hasn’t actually used a cookbook that they’re recommending, although I do welcome comments about the lay-out and the types of topics covered in the book, of course. And there’s always the proviso that while I have a lot of cookbooks, many of them are more for inspiration than for exact recipes – often I’ll see a recipe, think about it, and keep some of its elements in mind while I “do my own thing” at the stove ;)

I’m still waiting for Sally Asher’s book to be available in North America, but in the meantime I’ve read considerably at her blog and printed off a few of the articles. I’ll look forward to hearing more from you about the book itself.

Homeopathy And Good Skin

May 11th, 2012

I have a library full of homeopathy books, so it would be hard to pick
just one! The place where I learned the most was an amazing “school” in
Montreal where Dr. Andre Saine teaches a basics class for 10 days each
June. He is a world renowned homeopath and an excellent teacher.
Homeopathy is based on the law of similars, which roughly translates as
“like treats like.” So you study the effects that a remedy produces
(effects recorded by healthy people taking it and clinical results) and
then you match those effects up with the constellation of symptoms that
a person is exhibiting.

Homeopathy is counterintuitive, because the substances are diluted minutely, so much so that there is nothing left of the material substance but its energetic imprint. The more diluted,
the more potent. The naysayers can’t get their minds around this. Plus,
homeopathy doesn’t work unless you get the right remedy. It can be
difficult to do, and when the prescriber misses the mark, it’s pretty
much useless and people say it doesn’t work. Personally, I’ve
experienced amazing results with my family with steadily improving
health vs. mere maintenance.

In France, homeopathy is a widely accepted and frequently used system of
medicine. Homeopathic remedies are sold there from behind the counter in
virtually all pharmacies. I slipped and fell down some stairs in a Paris
metro station and was able to purchase homeopathic arnica at a nearby
drugstore right after the fact. What really sucked is that I had my laptop in hand, and had to call on an expert in laptop data recovery in order to get back up and running.  Voila! No down time and minimal
bruising!

Homeopathy for beginners works best in acute situations. I am able to
work on my own chronic issues and get good results. One of the most
amazing was recently for hot flashes. It took me nine months to get to
the right remedy (knock on wood just got it six weeks ago), BUT it also
seems to have taken care of the last vestiges of longstanding insomnia.
Switching to high-nutrient foods, including good fats and eating
regularly and managing stress helped a lot with the sleeping too. Add
exercise to that list of health habits and you pretty much have the
idealized French lifestyle.

To answer your question about a book on homeopathy, I would recommend a
first aid book. The first one I ever got was The Family Guide to
Homeopathy, but I rarely ever use it, if at all. My favorite books as a
beginner were Robin Murphy’s Materia Medica (remedy summaries in simple,
easy-to-relate-to terms) and his Clinical Repertory. However, they are
an investment at about $100 each.

When It Rains

March 22nd, 2011

It’s always funny when you think about rain. I know that there are a lot of different opinions about rain, but if you’re somebody from Southern California, you probably like rain. This is because there is not a lot of rain there and of course you always want what you don’t have. I know a lot of women who feel that way, and I know that I do as well.

I can say that it has been a long time since I have listened to a lot of songs that have to do with rain, but I think you would be surprised by some of them. This one is probably my favorite of all time.

But then, there will always be those bands that really touch you for the rest of your life, and those bands that are only good for about a year. Those bands tend to make up most of music in general, because people are so average by nature. Bands are very average by nature. I think when you take a look at this video, if you can get past the first minute without actually vomiting, you’ll realize just how average some bands are. I know that these guys made a lot of money during that time, but that I guess is just a tragic case of no talent and that.

All right, so how Goth is that video? I have never really been a fan of this style because it tends to be very ordinary. Of course everybody knows that black is the new black, but I do feel like his look is well worn out. I still see a lot of people at the mall wearing old Robert Smith haircuts and I am always stunned that they even still walk around like that. Haven’t those times ended for most of us?

I certainly hope they have because things are getting really sad when it comes to Goth. I can’t even believe that I have capitalized that!

Well, some things will never change and you can bet that the people who wear black will continue to wear black over the next bunch of years. I only hope that it doesn’t make them to depressed or that it affects their mood so much that it starts to really cramp their social lives. That would be awful, as you might imagine. In fact it would be probably one of the worst things that could happen to a person, I would think.

Chocolate And PB Squares No Bake

January 11th, 2011

I have always loved baking. I’m not saying that I’m going to subscribe to any baking magazines anytime soon, ( apparently  those  still exist) but I always appreciate it as a  true art form that not a lot of women really understand anymore. Of course, I love fashion, and I love 50s fashion, and baking was huge in the 1950s. Which of course brings me to Mad Men, which I am loving lately.

I will say that one of my least favorite things about the show have to be that those times were simply awful for women. There was really nothing that a woman could do to advance herself and it was difficult for anyone to get ahead if they didn’t have a penis. I have to give respect to women who operated throughout the 20th century because they really created a change that make us so free today is women. I will agree that there are still a lot of problems in Arab countries, and in Asia, but I don’t think that this is going to change anytime soon. But enough of me on my high horse trying to talk about how great life is in the West. Everyone who is American loves America except the fact is that the rest of the world pretty much hates us. I guess that has something to do with the fact that we have actually destroyed the economy. While, that’s what you get, suckers.

Anyway, is a really good recipe that I recently day that was absolutely astounding. My boyfriend loved it. And isn’t that what baking is all about?

CHOCOLATE NO-BAKE PEANUT BUTTER Squares
2 c. confectioners’ sugar
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. (12 oz.) milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Have ready 9×13 inch baking pan. Mix confectioners’ sugar, graham crackers, peanut butter and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Scrape into ungreased baking pan and press into even layer. Spread melted chocolate over top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chocolate is firm. Let stand 10-20 minutes at room temperature before cutting into bars. Freezes well.

Am I trying to claim ownership of this recipe? Absolutely not. But it is something that I page recently and I have to say that I was very impressed with the way it worked out.

Disco Nails

December 9th, 2010

I totally see what nails are so popular because they are so beautiful. There is so much color coming from the things that it is so amazing. The other night I was sitting around at my local nail salon and I realized that it would be an awesome thing for me to have amazing deals like I have been seeing a lot in Japanese fashion magazines lately. Funny thing about the Japanese, is that they seem to always be ahead of the game as opposed to Europeans and Americans, who always are very conservative when it comes to things like nails.

But Disco Nails Are Hott!

It doesn’t really take a genius to realize just how critical disco nails are to this year’s fashion season. I am talking about things like bright colors contrasted with exciting new looks. I think what is so amazing about the e-mail as well is that they are easy to do at home. All you really need is a good manicure kit and you should probably be good to go. All of his stuff is very available at drugstores and usually doesn’t cost very much money when you compare to regular nail polish.

I just wanted to use this blog to show a bunch of pictures of recent examples of disco nails that I have seen. I know that there are a lot of people that are trying to jump onto this trend, but I like to think that I’m at the forefront of this. I can’t recall a nail fashion that exists on this and I have been watching the art of nail care for a long time. I certainly understand that there are always going to be people who have problems; things like car breakdowns, hard drive failure, and total fashion malfunctions, but disco nails are going to make anything and everything better. Just take a look at some of the designs that I have found on the web.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My obvious favorite is the one in the middle, but I like the fact that you can do almost anything with disco nails and not really have to think about it at all. Is a completely unpretentious form of nail care, and probably one of the best things that could happen to us recently. There are always going to be the haters out there, ( I’m talking to you Vogue) but everyone knows that people who hate things that are new are destined to die inevitably.

Rose And Ginger

October 1st, 2010

Not a lot of people really talk about what their favorite spices are. I have to say that probably ginger is my favorite in general. It is one of those spices that I feel like you can always rely on and as long as you don’t go too crazy with it, you can really make some fantastic food. Not only is it good with baking, is good with regular cooking which of course is where I’m at.

One other things that is so weird about Ginger is that it looks very strange. Just take a look at this picture and tell me that if you saw one of these coming at you in an alley, you would probably run really fast. I know that I would, and I’m not even really a very spicy phobic person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway I absolutely love that taken almost everything that I need. I am not even the kind of person that would restrict my ginger usage to Asian food only: in fact, I use it a lot in baking and like I say pretty much every dish that can take it, I will put it in. This is by far one of the best spices ever created, and I can tell you that I of course thank my mother for leaving it so much when I was growing up.

ROSE TEA

one of the things that I think most women don’t really realize is such a great thing for not only their health, but their mental well-being is tea. there is something about tea that is fascinating because it has origins that go way back. When you think about how many people have lived and died for tea, you have to be surprised because now we just drink it as if it was a regular beverage. In fact, in North America I don’t think that we drink very much of it at all compared to coffee, which of course I love.

But if there is a favorite tea that I have of all time that has a very distinctive flavor and is so different than almost every other kind of tea I’ve ever tried, it has to be Rose Tea. You have really never tried anything until you have had the opportunity to get a glass of rose tea. I am not talking about red Rose brand tea, but actual key that is made out of roses. There is truly nothing that beats that.

if you are looking for this kind of tea, you’re going to have to go to Asian grocery stores or other specialized tea retailers, because it is not very readily available almost anywhere that I know. But here is what it tends to look like, as you can see it is really beautiful and dried out and one of the loveliest things you can ever drink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I maybe taking a few days off from blogging because I have to lend my computer to my brother. He isn’t doing a lot of business lately, and fortunately has had to order Mac hard drive recovery for his latest mishap. Let’s just say that he slipped and fell and his laptop ended up wrecking itself. I am not going to laugh, because he’s always been a clumsy guy, but I still do feel pretty bad for him.

Food Fantasia

June 30th, 2010

There are always going to be fantasy that we all have that none of us really want to give up on. One of them for me has to be one of those freaky ones where there is food all around me in a kind of cornucopia scenario. I like the idea of never being hungry, and definitely living in North America makes that not only a huge possibility, but a promise. Anyway, the weighted fantasy works is that I am completely surrounded by all kinds of food: shrimp, strawberries, chocolate, turkeys – and from there all of the people at this banquet begin to shower me with more food to the point that I am covered in it. This is not a messy dream, however, in a sense that everything is absolutely intact and it just comes together as a gigantic potpourri of beautiful food.

I know that this kind of fantasy is something that would have people questioning if I am sane or if I am just German by nature. Obviously, I would say no to the latter, but it is hard to say anything about the former. I can say that my cornucopia doesn’t look like this:

Nope. Mine looks like a scenario where there is a lot more me and a lot more chicken and a lot more really classy foods like caviar and other stuff. Does my dream have some kind of allusion to my dark Catholic fantasies? I am not entirely sure about this. I have never seen a therapist because I do not believe in therapy in general. I figure that if you can talk your friends, you are probably going to be fine. There is really no need to spend hundreds of dollars talking to somebody who is just writing fake stuff on a fake pad.

( I actually wonder if there is still actually use the old yellow pads in order to take notes. I also wonder if this is something that is necessary if you are going to be a psychiatrist in general. I guess I’ll have to check their association for the truth.)

I he gained independence because I am thinking about that dream right now and how exciting it is to have food showered all over me. I don’t know if this is a fetish, but the likelihood of that is probably pretty limited. I grew up pretty well and I think that my parents treated me very well considering how much of a brat I was at times.

Anyway, that’s my story about food and I am sticking to it for the rest of my life.

Sugar Parade

June 28th, 2010

I honestly expect that my love for sugar will never die. I was always a bit of a candy freak and growing up my favorite bar had to be the Crunchie bar. This was by no means an easy bar to get a hold of because it was British, and as a result there was not a lot of places that would have. But when you grow up in New York City the fact is that you can almost get anything whenever you want. Except laid, perhaps. But then again, if you’re a woman you can go to whatever depth you need to and you probably don’t have to go too deep.

Yes, I’m editorializing. Anyway, here is exactly what the packaging looks like on a crunchie bar now.

I think what is really funny about this is that when I was just looking for the package for this particular car so I could put it on my blog, I found a shop that was selling the chocolate bar for seven dollars each. Yes. I am talking about seven dollars each.

I really find it funny when people attempt to make money off of things that really they should not. I know as much as anyone that if you just talk to somebody who actually distributes Cadbury bars, you can get these for like a dollar or dollar 50 tops. There is really no need to break the bank to get yourself a crunchie bar, but apparently some people actually must do that.

Anyway, back to the sugar parade.

I know that a lot of people gave this bar a particular amount of hatred, but I will give respect to the Turkish delight, which is also known in package form as the Big Turk. This is definitely one of those bars that you either love or hate, and I have to say that I love it a lot. I know that a lot of people complain that this is a weird gelatine-based treat, but at the same time you have to remember that almost everything is gelatine-based nowadays.

If you are trying to avoid eating horse related products, you are living in the wrong century. Anyway, this is a fantastic bar if you can still find it but I honestly think that it is not as easy to find as it used to be.

The Final Hit

The final hit on the parade has to go to the Heath Bar. I know that a lot of people will say to me, “But D! That’s just a Skor bar in disguise.” I agree, but I seem to think that the Heath bar came first. I could be absolutely wrong on this, but I really doubt it. I tend to be right when it comes to chocolate because I am such a huge aficionado. At any rate, things are starting to come together for me lately and I am really happy with what I am doing on this blog. Obviously, if you try any of these bars, I would recommend that you try the Crunchie one. That is some damn fine chocolate.