With the all-Blagojevich-all-the-time news cycle right now, we were surprised the Trib even ran a food section at all today. But then we learned from Bill Daley’s twitter that the Good Eating team plans their story schedule literally a year ahead of time. Therein, we believe, lies the difference between blogging and Legitimate Journalism, because we plan our story schedule approximately twenty seconds before hitting “publish.”
• The whole GE team banded together for a pre-holiday cookbook rundown. With gift-giving in mind, they’ve divided the 2008 crop of cookbooks into ten categories ranging from baking to expert advice to seafood. It’s been a good year for Chicago kitchens, with local names showing up — Mercat a la Planxa’s Jose Garces takes home the prize for best Spanish-inspired, and the Alinea cookbook gets a runner-up nod in the “expert advice” category. The supplemental photogallery has some other hometown offerings — who knew the Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club had a cookbook? Who knew publishers were still willing to publish cookbooks from Junior Woman’s Clubs?
• As long as we’re giving books as gifts (helpful hint: don’t have Amazon pre-wrap your presents, because it makes it look like you didn’t put in any effort! Which, if you’re ordering pre-wrapped books from Amazon, you didn’t!), aforementioned twittermeister Bill Daley has some ideas for wine books. Wine books are great gifts because they help your uncle recontextualize his borderline alcoholism as “intellectual appreciation.”
• We have a vague childhood memory of learning that a “white party” was a very chic thing to throw. It involved white tablecloths and white wine and all-white foods. If you are feeling throwbacky, Janet Helm has profiled various pallid vegetables, such as cauliflower and onions.
• Renee Enna does a sort of product-review-cum-recipe about quick-cook barley. She suggests it for a chicken stew, and recommends that we accompany the stew with “a glass of low-fat milk.” It might just be us (we grew up keeping kosher, which has lingering psychological aftereffects) but that sounds totally weird?
• Renee is back again, taste-testing a $36.25 veal chop from Allen Brothers against a comparatively el cheapo $28 chop from Whole Foods. The extremely surprising verdict: They’re both delicious.
[Photo via pizzodesevo’s Flickr]