• It’s personal memoir time for S-T writer Maureen O’Donnell, who turns to her mother for a taste of traditional Irish cooking. In a classic lesson in family history-gleaning, she gathers her sisters and nieces to watch her mother make traditional Irish breads (brown and soda). Transliterating her mom’s brogue (“It’s all in me head”) we get a recollection of families baking half a dozen loaves a day to feed 16-member families, and the real reason a cross is slashed in the bread top (“to let the fairies out”).
• Lisa Donovan looks into the culinary origins of callaloo — the leaves of the taro plant. The leaves lend their name to a silky soup in which they form the base, plus any number of additional ingredients: spinach, eggplant, green papaya, and aromatics.
• Keeping with the Irish theme, Dave Hoekstra dives into a bottle of McCoy’s Real Irish Hot Sauce, a mild, tomato-and-horseradish based hot sauce that comes not from Ireland, but from Union, Illinois. But it’s thick enough to pour onto eggs or potatoes, and Hoekstra’s sold.
• Gary Baca, chef at Joe’s Stone Crab, urges home cooks to cast off their fear of cooking whole fish, with a basic rundown of fish cooking techniques. At the end he bails it all out, though, saying that if you’re too intimidated by the whole sucker, you can just buy fillets. Rug, consider yourself pulled out from under.
• It’s a fake story from Kevin Allen, who reports that as of right now, neither the Sox nor the Cubs have any plans to lower concession prices to attract more recession-spenders. But at the same time, a White Sox spokesman says “But that could change by Opening Day.” In summary: The Sox and Cubs might or might not be lowering their prices. We’re on the edge of our seat, here.