A Harte Appetite

Ernesto Andrade/Flickr, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

Is there anybody who doesn’t like mashed potatoes?  For many Americans they are the one indispensable dish to serve on  holidays, like, say Thanksgiving, even though at the first Thanksgiving there were no mashed potatoes.  In fact, there were no potatoes at all.

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 Naotake Murayama (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

“Don't throw the past away.  You might need it some rainy day.  Dreams can come true again, when everything old is new again.”  So go the lyrics to one of the late Peter Allen’s songs, which he once performed on the stage of the Radio City Music Hall, joining the Rockettes’ kickline in the process, the first man ever to do so.

Allen’s characteristic flamboyance shouldn’t obscure the fundamental truth of his lyrics.  Sooner or later, it seems, what was dated is suddenly current, whether the flip phone, mid-century modern furniture, or the plot of every Hallmark Channel movie.

A Harte Appetite: Spinach

Jun 15, 2020
Credit: Huber.Edith/Flickr (License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

“On the subject of spinach,” screenwriter Delia Ephron, younger sister of Nora, advises, “divide into little piles.  Rearrange again into new piles.  After five or six maneuvers, sit back and say you are full.”  This directive, from Ephron’s book “How to Eat Like a Child,” reinforces the long-held stereotype that kids, and not a few adults, hate spinach.

A Harte Appetite: Hummus

Jun 8, 2020
flickr user stu_spivack (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

As famed Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi tells it, Abu Shukri has always been considered one of the best hummus restaurants in Israel.  One day another place, run by the son-in-law of the original owner, opened across the street sporting a sign that read, “We moved here.  This is the real Abu Shukri.”

The next day, the old restaurant hung out a sign which read, “We didn’t move anywhere.  This is the real Abu Shukri.  Shortly thereafter the upstart eatery erected a large banner reading, “The real, one and only, original Abu Shukri.”  The rivalry continued for years.