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December 19, 2003     Cape Gazette
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December 19, 2003

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Wine Continued from page 98 take a sip of the wine named Cre- mant de Loire. Believe it or not, the Loire Valley is the second old- est and it is also the the second largest sparkling wine producing region in that country that sepa- rates Spain, Italy and Switzerland from Holland. I refrain from mentioning its name because whenever I have, the storm of protest melts down my email. Those sophisticated enough or with proper book "larnin" will be able to guess the name of the country and probably haven't been hoodwinked into the "boy- cott". The Cremants are produced using the Champagne method. Although several grapes may be used to produce these wines, I prefer those made using Chenin Blanc only. If you choose a blend, remember it is not a vari- etal wine when you are describing it to your friends. When made properly these lovely wines are fruity and fresh with good acid. It is this profile which cleanses the palate from the fatty binders that make most terrines and cheeses taste so delicious. The grapes, for all of the best made Cremants, are hand picked for best ripeness. After vinifica- tion they are bottle aged for one year prior to release. It is this careful attention to production that allows me to recommend an entire group rather than specific producers. If you must have a name, try to find a Monfort. In Food Continued from page 98 bottom all around the orange. Section with knife. Add oranges to syrup and add liqueur. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate. Caramelized sugar preparation: Place sugar in small frying pan over medium heat. Shake rather than stir as it heats. When com- pletely melted and light golden, pour immediately onto foil lined cookie sheet or pie plate. When completely cool, peel away foil and break into small pieces. Put a halo on this and you have a Christmas cake. CANDY CANE COOKIES ! stick unsalted butter, softened 1/2 C shortening 1 C sifted confectioners' sugar 1 egg 1 1/2 t almond extract 1 t vanilla extract 1 t salt 2 1/2 C flour red food coloring 1/2 C crushed peppermints 1/2 C granulated sugar small candy, canes Preheat oven to 375 F. In bowl or mixer or in food processor, combine butter, shortening, con- fectioners' sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extracts. Mix well. Sift to- gether salt and flour; stir into dough. Divide dough into two halves. Blend 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring into half of dough. Roll about 1 teaspoon of each col- addition to the food ability of the wine, I am sure you will also en- joy it as an aperitif. Another quality, that many find appealing, the wine isn't as aus- tere and dry as the most common- ly served Champagnes. The fruit gives the appearance of sweetness to these wines and although well chilled is required, it isn't neces- sary that they be served crackling cold. To finish out this week's ad- vice to the road weary and embat- tled, a bit of holiday gift purchas- ing aid from my favorite tongue- in-cheek food writer Irena Chalmers. You may consider the next few paragraphs as Bidenized whole cloth, although in some cases, in the interest of brevity I edited her wonderful stuff The largest selling cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (MTAOFC), Knopf 2001, has sold several million copies for several reasons. There are many great recipes. The writ- ing is good quality. The directions are accurate, easy to follow and dependable. More important than all of that, Mrs. Child was well promoted and people loved her personality. Barbara and I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Child, on an elevator, at a "Wine Specta- tor" wine tasting in NYC. She is exactly as you see her on TV, friendly, generous with her time and very gregarious. She is also quite tall and has a wonderful broad smile that makes her very attractive. She took time from a very busy agenda to meet some friends, who were in New York with us, just to be nice. or dough into strips about 4 inch- es long. Place strips side by side; press lightly together and twist like a rope. Place on ungreased cookie sheet; curve top down to form cane. Bake about 9 minutes. Carefully remove from sheet with spatula while still warm; sprinkle with mixture of crushed candy and sugar. Decorate with small "MTAOFC" in today's market may never have seen the lite of day. Why you may ask? Ms. Chalmers makes the claim that publishers would probably shy away because few buyers are in- terested in French cooking. For the same reason, people have stopped going to French restau- rants: they don't serve Italian food. Amen to that, say I. She goes on, "The shocking truth is that we are becoming a na- tion that is cooking illiterate so who needs a cookbook? When Mom calls the children to come home to dinner, they run neither to the kitchen nor to the dining room. Instead they run to the garage. They think they will be going out to eat. If Mom is asked if she is cooking dinner tonight she is likely to retort, 'Fat chance' or 'slim chance,' which curiously enough has come to mean the same thing." Do not purchase "The Sweet Potato Queens' Big- Ass Cookbook" (and financial planner) or "Cooking with the Mob" or "White Trash Cooking". Although they have become large sellers they have no value as cook books. Let me finish with another won- derful Chalmerism. "What, after all, is rustic, hickory-grilled Tus- can coarse-grained crostini? Why, it's toast." Do buy Mrs Childs' book. It is filled with great ideas and just tell your friends it is far northern Italian. A tidbit: this book was co-authored by Simone Beck who was the complete chef and mentor to Mrs. Child. candy canes. "You are right, Mom. Christ- mas is more than presents. I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me," said my precious Sealy. "Besides, this is the only time of year when I can have a Christmas tree in the house." A very merry Christmas to all. And most importantly, peace on Earth. mE 329 Savannah Rd., Lewes (302) 644-8400 Open 8 am CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Dec. 19, Dec. 25, 2003.99 Candy canes: A symbol of the season For millions of Americans, the blue spruce with candy canes and candy cane is synonymous with paper ornaments, but it wasn't un- Christmas. Whether used as tree til the turn of the century that the decorations, taped to gifts or sim- red and white stripes and pepper- ply enjoyed during holiday get-to- mint flavors became the norm. gethers, candy canes evoke mem- ories of the wonders of childhood. So powerful is their appeal that consumers spent nearly $65 mil- lion last year on candy canes. The modern candy cane's de- sign originated from the symbol of the shepherds' crook, represent- ing the humble flock keepers who worshiped the newborn baby Je- sus. To honor the occasion, the candies were bent into shepherds' crooks. In 1847, August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decorated a small In the 1920s, Bob McCormack began making candy canes as a Christmas treat for his family and friends. His Famous Candy Com- pany, later changed to Bobs Can- dies, began with only five em- ployees who completed the labori- ous process of twisting, cutting and bending each candy cane by hand. To see how candy canes are made, and to share your favorite candy cane recipe or story, visit the Bobs Candies' website at LEWES ISHHO, USE 1130 Highway One 5 Points, Lewes, DE 644-0708 I.$ tg. 9tRIMP 8 20 CRA# BALL9 91WOEED FIgH DIP I2 0Z. O0016 OZ. I LB. 9CAIJ.OP9 WRAPPED W,00ACON & 6 9TUFFED MUgHROOM9 #29.99 While supplies last  ....... { {{ i{-{{{i  {*:  *:>v:ee {..."..  :e  {{  ......