Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

A Harte Appetite: Cakes

11 hours ago
flickr user Tracey Wilhelmsen (

Rose Levy Beranbaum, in her book, “The Pie and Pastry Bible,” a volume which I’ve read religiously, says, “There are two kinds of people: cake people and pie people.”

All my life I’ve believed I’m in the second category. I even served once as a judge at the National Pie Championships sponsored by the American Pie Council, of which I was a charter member.

Southeast Athletics

Did you don a mask last month in honor of the spooky season? Well, a hundred or so years ago you would have been a few weeks early. Researchers report that Cape Girardeau is one of several towns that used to hold extravagant Thanksgiving Masking, which included elaborate masquerade balls.  And, on Thanksgiving Day, children would run around dressed as beggars, going from door to door, pleading for garments along with masks imitating animals.  Parrot masks were a favorite.

“The woman was staring at Nina in what can only be described as a truculent fashion, jangling her extensive, culturally appropriative turquoise jewelry. ‘ I want my money back. It’s a very boring book; all they do is sit around and talk.’ She took a breath and delivered the coup de grace. ‘I don’t know why the manager told me it was a classic.’ ”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are lines from the the first chapter of Abbi Waxman’s very funny novel The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Visit Cape

Let’s take a moment to appreciate s’mores. This simple treat combines all the textures of a great dessert:  warm, gooey marshmallow; a graham cracker’s satisfying crunch; and the sweetness of a thick chocolate chunk.  Did you know the first s’more recipe dates to the 1920s, where it was called a “Graham Cracker Sandwich?” It wasn’t until 1927 that a Girl Scout handbook referred to the campfire delight as “Some More” – a snack meant to feed 16 hungry scouts!

A Harte Appetite: Granola

Nov 11, 2019
flickr user rusvaplauke (

You’ve probably heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You might have thought the phrase was coined by a committee of nutritionists or the Food and Drug Administration, but the truth is it actually originated in 1944 as part of a marketing campaign launched by General Foods to advertise breakfast cereal.  Thus,  the second most important ingredient in the widespread popularity of breakfast cereal is advertising. (The most important is sugar.)