Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Renwald: A berry good farewell to the summer ]]> Lead story image

No summer is complete without a fresh berry pie. Stuffed between a flaky crust, the sweet medley of the bumbleberry keeps summer holding on as long as it can. July and August were hoarding months. Blueberries and blackberries overran the garden, and if you were stockpiling the bumper crop of berries during the last few months, then your freezer is bursting with the makings of an excellent summer pie. This may be your last, so use the farewell flavors of summer wisely. Before you know it, every dessert will be taken over by the autumnal seasonings of pumpkin and spice. … ]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:07:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fig helps bridge summer and fall seasons ]]> Lead story image

Summer’s fading greenery leaves behind a bittersweet byproduct of its slow farewell. On one hand, it signals the end of summer, the last of the long days and the last of the warm weather. On the other hand, though, it beckons the coming of autumn and all of its radiance. Autumn stirs the soul, and the change of the day length gets our hopes up. The vibrant colors — sage, russet and plum — return to the landscape, and we hope that the season’s flavors aren’t far behind. But the transitory period between summer and autumn seems longer than it … ]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 02:07:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Don’t labor over your menu; pick tomatoes ]]> Lead story image

Labor Day weekend always hums the swan song of summer. We may celebrate with picnics and barbecues, but it still is a bittersweet holiday weekend that says farewell to the carefree days of summer and — at the same time — grudgingly welcomes the return of the long days of the work week. One last chance to grill out, one last dip in the pool, one last road trip before the transitory period of Indian summer sets in, signaling the onset of autumn. These celebrations call for summery dishes, anything to hang on to the flavors of the season. The … ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 02:09:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Not your ordinary joes: These are sophisticated ]]> Lead story image

The back-to-school hoopla wakes up some of the best memories of smiling lunch ladies plopping out classic cafeteria foods. As boring and unsavory as they may have seemed all of those years ago, those foods carved out a little notch in our hearts reserved for childhood nostalgia. From the rectangle pizza slices to the peanut butter squares, all of the school lunch favorites have become comfort foods, the king of which is the sloppy joe. To a kid, though, the specialty and the schmaltz of the sloppy joe is lost. It’s just another cafeteria sandwich — a tasty one — … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:07:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: A special day to root for this cake ]]> Lead story image

Aug. 6 may be National Root Beer Float Day, but come 5 o’clock, when the albatross of rush hour traffic percolates every free thought, the notion of stopping at the local soft-serve stand to celebrate could be consigned to oblivion. Kitschy celebratory days, especially those without meaning, are hard to remember. But root beer floats, one of the pillars that helped engineer small-town America, have a unique flavor that wakes up our recollections and emotions. If you’re only going to remember that special flavor one day in the summer, it’s best to dog-ear this date in your planner. You could, … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 06:20:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Corn reborn: Use leftovers in a summer salad ]]> Lead story image

Ten ears of corn may seem like an excessive lot to bring home for supper if you have an average size family, but when sweet corn is at the peak of its season, it’s just too hard to pass up any opportunity to nab the fresh, golden ears. When in season, corn is cheap. Ten ears will set you back $2 at the most, and $1 during a summer special. The predicament, though, comes after you’ve eaten your first round of corn on the cob and you still have a half-dozen ears left. Corn, like most seasonal produce, doesn’t have … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:22:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Try basil — in ice cream ]]> Lead story image

Basil, maintained in most herb gardens for its versatility and abundance, falls into two culinary categories. One, it is the principal ingredient in pesto; and two, it accompanies almost any dish prepared with tomatoes and mozzarella. That’s it. Basil is, for many herb garden enthusiasts, simply parsley with culture. It’s a garnish, a little bit of color and spice. It will often replace mint leaves or cilantro in a more traditional recipe, fashioning a new name to the recipe with Italian vernacular. As far as playing the protagonist in a dish, it simply doesn’t. Even though it is the primary … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 06:17:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Whatever it is, butter it up with blueberries ]]> Lead story image

Blueberries don’t have quite the same remarkable flavor to them as other July berries. The distinct twang of both brambles and red raspberries launches a special effort by most who want to gobble them up before their short seasons in July end. Their flavors are always the special attractions in any recipe they are strewn into. But blueberries don’t have that same one-time-only asset. Their flavor is mild and subdued, and the berries often are thrown into recipes as an afterthought to highlight some of the other, larger flavors in a dish. Their mildness doesn’t stop us from swarming to … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 06:25:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ A ‘souper’ reason to celebrate France’s Bastille Day ]]> Lead story image

Bastille Day may be France’s holiday to celebrate independence, but the United States slowly has begun to popularize the precursor to the French Revolution using food. However, celebrating a French holiday here may have nothing to do with the French presence in our large cities. Instead, it may have more to do with extending our own fireworks-filled Independence Day celebrations and our infatuation with their delectable cuisine. French food is reason enough to celebrate anything! An assortment of clafoutis, macarons, croissants, onion soup and bouillabaisse sings to our senses any other day of the year, but since La Fete Nationale … ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 06:33:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dress up lemon bars with candied lavender ]]> Lead story image

The lemon bar, normally a summertime specialty, is one of the lucky seasonal treats that has metamorphosed into a year-round dessert. In a way, it seems unfair that lemon bars now share the same plate as Christmas cookies or pumpkin pie. That’s like hearing the ice cream truck’s familiar tune when snow is on the ground. Summer foods should stick to their season, but the lemon bar already has acceded to a perennial destiny. How is it, then, that a lemon bar could get special notice during the warm months when the hankering for something so refreshing is present? You’ll … ]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:31:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Celebrate summer with sage gravy, pork chops ]]> Lead story image

Autumn has its colonial culinary ties — heirloom vegetables that accentuate rustic, rich recipes. Squashes and other gourds line pot pies, casseroles and stuffings for birds. The winter holidays sing the praises of old European traditions. Gingerbreads, fruitcakes and eggnog create the flavors that most associate with Christmas and the new year. But is there one iconic cuisine linked to the great American summer? Some may say it’s barbecued food. Steaks and ribs, hot off the grill, pay delicious homage to the long hot days of an American summer. Yet barbecued food only hits one small tip of the giant … ]]> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 06:20:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Celebrate anniversary with rosemary chicken ]]> Lead story image

June weddings deliver excitement and emotion. Starlit nights and the sound of laughter from too much champagne are the stuff that make up memories. Could it be the seasonal blooms so full of color that make June such a popular wedding month? Or perhaps it is the long nights, when the air is balmy, but dancing beneath a moonlit tent makes it seem soft and silky against your skin. Whatever it is, June is the month when memories are created and age-old traditions are resurrected. June weddings also deliver June anniversaries. Sadly, though, all of the food traditions are left … ]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:19:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: It’s a berry good time for custard pies ]]> Lead story image

Strawberry season unearths a fervent fascination with local berries, but the piqued interest seems to last only as long as the season — little more than a month. Most of that enthusiasm is reserved for devouring the strawberries fresh (store-bought berries can’t compare); the rest of that enthusiasm gets put into enjoying the berries in one of their classic configurations. Strawberry pie and strawberry shortcake — does it get any better than that? It does. While these two seasonal treats are some of the tastiest of the summer, they are also commonplace. There’s no reinventing the shortcake, and the glazey … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 06:23:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Peanut-free brittle will get taste buds racing ]]> Lead story image

The food traditions associated with the Indianapolis 500 are a little elusive, but they are key components to the culture that ritualizes perhaps the greatest alternative to patriotic activities on Memorial Day weekend. Indiana’s state sandwich, the pork tenderloin, gets downed before the race — at the concession stands or in the parking lots — and, of course, milk is the crowning symbol of achievement for one triumphant driver. Even odd food traditions dictate the culture at an Indy race. For instance, there is one thing that the Indianapolis 500 has in common with a kindergarten classroom: Eating peanuts is … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:45:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Create a magnificent moment for Mom ]]> Lead story image

High tea on Mother’s Day is as postulated to this greeting card holiday as is a bouquet of flowers. There’s something about tea and moms that just seems to go hand in hand. Dressing up in your best spring finery, tossing back dainty sandwiches and sipping a calming chamomile brings out the best in Mom. It also provides a sublime venue in which to pull out your best charm and your best gifts. But a compact mirror and perfume aren’t making the cut anymore. Today’s mom wants something from the heart, and the gift givers are complying. In fact, 41 … ]]> Sun, 08 Jun 2014 06:32:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Asparagus a star worth waiting for ]]> Lead story image

Blame it on the long winter, the bitter bite to early spring, and the hard ground that remains in a semifrozen state despite erratic weather that has the temperature at times around 70 degrees. There is still no sign of spring’s wild asparagus. If you look closely, the smallest heads are there, but we still may be a week or more away from enjoying the crisp spears in salads, soups or dinner specialties. It’s worth the wait, though. In fact, the old adage that says “absence makes the heart grow fonder” rings true. There’s something especially satisfying about freshly picked … ]]> Sun, 01 Jun 2014 06:20:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Candy corn the right touch for Easter baskets ]]> Lead story image

At what age does receiving an Easter basket become too passe? If the glamor of digging into strands of plastic grass in search of a chocolate egg is never outgrown, then that means the contents of your Easter baskets are always fresh and exciting. Today’s basket assembler — or Easter bunny — knows exactly what to do to keep the excitement afloat. Homemade candies scream “ingenuity.” They scream “great flavor,” too. And, of course, they give you bragging rights on Easter morning. It’s hard to roast, refine or temper cocoa beans into something that can fill a bunny mold, though. … ]]> Sat, 17 May 2014 06:16:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Renwald: Don’t bail on kale just because winter’s over ]]> Lead story image

The secret’s been out about kale for a long time. This peppery green, which bursts with nutrients and other good-for-your-body fibers, has long been the country’s “it” vegetable for these reasons alone. Blended into juices and tossed raw into salads, kale hit new heights a few years back when health-conscious celebrities touted its nutrient-packed perks to the media. Oddly enough, its flavor didn’t get much press — at least not by those who ballyhooed it for its health benefits. The epicures, however, those who marvel at its interesting flavor (which is strange for a leafy green) — they are the … ]]> Sat, 10 May 2014 06:13:36 -0500