Tom Harte

Host - Caffé Concerto

Tom Harte is a retired faculty member from Southeast Missouri State University where he was an award-winning teacher, a nationally recognized debate coach, and chair of the department of Speech Communication and Theatre.

A founder of “My Daddy’s Cheesecake,” a bakery/café in Cape Girardeau, a  food columnist for The Southeast Missourian, and a cookbook author, he blends his passion for food with his passion for classical music in his daily program, The Caffe Concerto.

An inveterate traveler as well as a connoisseur of food and classical music, Tom has been to the five major continents and sailed the seven seas in search of great music and great cuisine, delicacies which he enjoys most when consumed simultaneously.  He also hosts A Harte Appetite.

Ways to Connect

flickr user m01229 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

I have a confession to make.  For years I have been making a chocolate cake that everybody raves over. Once I took it to a committee meeting and one of the committee members said it was absolutely the best chocolate cake he had ever tasted.  Another time I took it to a party and people actually fought over the last slice.

Without fail, whenever I serve it, somebody asks for the recipe.  Well, the cake does contain some flavorful ingredients—Kahlua, sour cream, and almost a pound of chocolate.  But, and here’s the confession, it begins with a mix.

flickr user How Did I Get Here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/)

Recently we decided at our house that we needed a new toaster so we set off to the nearest appliance store only to discover there an astonishing array of models.

Some were imposingly hefty and cost well over $100. Some bore digital displays, others special defrost features, and still others individual settings for pastries and bagels. At least one model, the one we ended up buying, was a pop-up toaster in reverse. Bread slides down through it and is deposited onto a serving tray as toast.

flickr user David Pursehouse (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

The comedian Buddy Hackett used to tell the story about a man who didn't know anything about farming but who bought a farm anyway. A friend asked him what he was going to plant. "Razor blades and cabbages," the would-be farmer told him. "What could you possibly get out of that?" his friend asked. The landowner replied, "Coleslaw."

You can't blame that man for experimenting with "cutting-edge" agricultural methods. After all, coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, chicken, and fish that so often are the mainstays of summer meals.

Flickr user robinmcnicoll (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

I enjoy baking cookies. It gives me great satisfaction to see how my family and friends enjoy the results of my efforts. But the truth is I really do it for the dough.

Let’s face it. It’s hard enough to keep your hands out of the cookie jar, but what’s really difficult is keeping your fingers out of the mixing bowl. In fact, the practice of eating raw cookie dough has become so popular that many people buy packaged cookie dough from the grocery store with absolutely no intention of ever baking it.

flickr user Lukas Kästner (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Perhaps you've seen the promo on the Weather Channel in which a meteorologist presents a lesson about tornadoes. He fills a blender container with yogurt and milk and blends it on progressively higher speeds. Finally, a student in the class blurts out, "So a tornado is mother nature's way of making a smoothie!" 

I don't know how apt the comparison is for meteorological purposes but one thing's for sure -- smoothies have become so popular, they're popping up as frequently as tornadoes in Kansas during May.

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