Tasting Maryland's bounty
The bounty of Maryland, from its farms to its waters, will be in the spotlight at the 111th state fair Saturday to Sept. 7 at the Timonium fairgrounds.
Each day, producers of a different type of food will showcase their produce with cooking exhibitions, food samples, and free recipes in the demonstration arena in the center of the Maryland Foods Pavilion.
Opening day is Pork Day; it's followed by Egg Day, Seafood Day, Poultry Day, Dairy Milk Day, Lamb Day, Fruit and Vegetables Day, Grape and Wine Day, and Beef Day.
The pavilion has for the past several years housed a number of food vendors who promote Maryland products. Vendors include the Maryland Waterman's Association (serving seafood); Maryland Turkey Producers (serving turkey); Delmarva Poultry (serving chicken); and the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association serving lamb). "It's the best place to eat at the fair," a fair spokesman said.
Smart shopping in the next few weeks can increase contributions to a fund that helps young victims of cancer. Most of the major food stores in the Baltimore and Washington areas have teamed up with the Children's Cancer Foundation Inc. of Baltimore in an effort to raise $750,000 for building construction and research. From Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, 400 to 500 products in the stores will be marked with yellow shelf tags that read: "Purchase this product and join the fight against cancer in children." Producers of those products are making donations to the foundation's fund raising.
Among the products are items from Kraft, Campbell's, Esskay, Procter & Gamble, Frito Lay, E. & J. Gallo, M & M's, Mars and Kal Kan.
The foundation is an all-volunteer group that has raised more than $5 million for young cancer patients since it was founded in 1983. The foundation says that 95 cents of every dollar contributed go directly to construction funds and research facilities.
Among stores and chains supporting the effort are Super Fresh, B. Green and Co., Farm Fresh Markets, Giant Food, IGA stores, Magruder, Mars, Safeway, Santoni's, Valu Food and Basics.
It's waffle time and we're not just talking breakfast, either
Summer isn't over, though recent weather might fool you into thinking so. Still, it's not too soon to start thinking about those crisp fall days and the kind of foods you might serve your family when it's too cool to grill and the tomatoes run out.
Leslie Freiberger, a California graphic artist, photographer and party planner, has written a cookbook that may provide an answer: "The Waffle Cookbook" (HP Books, $8.95, paperback).
These are not the ordinary kind of waffles you're probably thinking of, that breakfast dish with butter and syrup, but a wide array of "gourmet" waffles made with barley, rice, carrots, Cheddar cheese, papaya, eggnog, sour cream and chocolate, among other things. The waffles are topped with such things as cream cheese and lox, veal stew and raspberry syrup. Among the more than 100 recipes for appetizers, breakfasts and brunches, lunch, dinner and desserts, there's even one for "Doggie Waffles" -- Ms. Freiberger's household contains, besides herself and her husband, four dogs and a cat.
Here's an example from the dinner category:
% on sour-cream waffles
FOR THE WAFFLES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/4 cups dairy sour cream
1 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup vegetable oil
vegetable oil or shortening for grids
FOR THE TOPPING:
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1 small onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
L 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup small green peas, cooked
Prepare creamed chicken (directions below). Heat oven to 250 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, beat together sour cream, milk, egg yolks and oil. Gradually stir in flour mixture. Beat until smooth. In a small bowl whip egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold into batter. Lightly brush hot grids with shortening or oil. Pour enough batter to fill two-thirds of the waffle iron. Cook until crisp and golden brown. Keep finished waffles warm in the oven on a rack until ready to serve. Serve finished waffles whole or cut into halves. To serve, top generously with hot creamed chicken.
To make creamed chicken: In a large saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in flour, then chicken stock and sour cream until blended. Add onion and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. In a medium-sized skillet, melt remaining butter over low heat. Add chicken; saute until almost cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove cooked chicken from skillet. Stir into cream sauce. Add mushrooms, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt and peas. Cover and cook over low heat until ready to serve, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Discard bay leaf.
Coffee producers are convinced that American adults, especially baby boomers, are ready for a new beverage that's neither carbonated nor alcoholic. Latest entry into the field is from Maxwell House, which is introducing a new cappuccino drink called Cappio, designed to be served chilled or over ice. The beverage, made with coffee, real milk and a touch of sugar, comes in three flavors: traditional coffee, mocha (coffee and chocolate) and cinnamon. The drinks come in two sizes: single serve 8-ounce bottles (in packs of four, suggested retail price $2.79) and in 24-ounce bottles (suggested retail price, $1.99). Each 8-ounce serving has about 130 calories, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 15 milligrams of cholesterol and 109 milligrams of caffeine (similar, Maxwell House says, to regular coffee).
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