Olivia Dish

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Carrots: Honey Underground

In Local Flavor, Markets, South Carolina on November 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm
bunch of carrots

The Celts' honey underground

A man bearing fresh produce is likely to win more points with me than one bearing roses.  I wonder if my friend Whit DeSpoon knows this.  He came by this morning, arms full of gorgeous stuff from the All-Local Farmers’ Market in Columbia–baby arugula, sunflower sprouts, and bunches of carrots, red and orange.

He was eager to show me the carrots in particular.  “Wow,” I said, “I love the red ones.”

“Did you know that most carrots used to look like this?” Mr. DeSpoon said singling out one of the reds, his brown eyes widening.  “I just learned this today. The Dutch started growing orange carrots to honor the Oranges, the ruling family. And that’s why we have orange carrots instead of red.”

I think I said “how about that” or something along those lines to indicate that I was impressed.  And I was.  But I was also thinking: is that really true?

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Woman Sharpens Her Knives: News at 11

In Kitchen Equipment on November 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm
Olivia's knife

My Knife, My Self

“No one knows where women sharpen their knives.”

The writer James Dickey told us, when I was a grad student, that this was an old Bohemian proverb. I wrote it down. I thought I might want to stencil it on my kitchen wall someday.

Years later, when I was writing a cable TV food show, I told the chef I was working for about the quote. His response: “That’s because women don’t.”

To prove his point, he went through my kitchen and threw out every dull, cheap, unworthy knife…in short, all of them. He marched me to a local store and insisted I buy a set of Messermeisters. Then he lectured me on proper knife care: don’t toss them in a drawer or dishwasher, use a wood or plastic cutting board, hone the blades frequently and carefully.

And NEVER EVER sharpen your knives yourself. Leave that to professionals.

Since then, I’ve followed the rules. Well I had, until a couple of weeks ago….

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