The Food Almanac: Tuesday, October 11, 2012

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, October 11, 2012

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In The Food Almanac, Tom Fitzmorris of the online newsletter, The New Orleans Menu, notes food facts and sayings.

Today's Flavor
It's appropriate that, right in the middle of Oktoberfest, this should be Schnitzel Day. A schnitzel is a piece of meat that has been pounded thin, and then cooked. Usually it's breaded and sizzled in a pan of hot oil, along the same lines as our familiar pannée meat, but with a lighter breading and less seasoning.

It's not certain where schnitzels originated. The most credible history has it first in Alpine Italy, from which it spread to Austria, then to Germany. The original schnitzels were made not with veal, but pork, which — makes sense. (I much prefer pork cooked this way to veal.)

The most famous of the schnitzels is Wiener schnitzel — or, as some restaurants have it, Vienna schnitzel, in honor of the place from which it came. It's simple, with a scattering of capers and a spritz of lemon juice. One I always liked was Holsteiner schnitzel — the same idea, but with a fried egg on top.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez
The best veal medallions (scaloppine, schnitzel, collops, etc.) are cut from the round across the grain. It's astonishing how many meat cutters don't seem to know that veal cut along the natural orientation of the muscle tissues is anything but tender.

Edible Dictionary
hasenpfeffer, German, n. — A stew of hare, unusual among German dishes in that it traditionally contains a good deal of black pepper. It's mellowed by the addition of pasta dumplings or noodles and sour cream. Hares are bigger than rabbits, as well as gamier in flavor. Because of those two conditions, the meat is usually marinated a few days before cooking in wine or even vinegar.

Looking Up
Late this evening, the Hunter's Moon reaches fullness. It's almost as bright as last month's Harvest Moon, and nearly as high in the sky. But what would you be out hunting in the dark? Mushrooms?

Food Entrepreneurs
Today is the birthday, in 1844, of Henry John Heinz, he of the 57 varieties of pickles and sauces. He found his path early, raising vegetables and selling them to grocers in Pittsburgh when he was 12. By the time he was 25, he was bottling prepared horseradish — in a clear jar, so you could see what you were getting. Then on to pickles, sauerkraut, mustard, pepper sauce, and soups. But the company's biggest hit was its ketchup (they've always spelled it that way). It's the leading brand in America. Heinz still uses the "57" as a trademark, although they have plenty more varieties of products than that.

Food Inventors
William A. Mitchell, a food chemist working for General Foods, created some of the most successful products in food marketing history. Tang, for example. A powder that you mixed with water to make a drink that tasted vaguely like orange juice, it actually replaced juice for a lot of people, who considered it modern. Mitchell patented Pop Rocks candy in the 1950s, but had to wait until the 1970s to see it explode — literally. Pop Rocks contain bubbles of pressurized carbon dioxide, and they pop when the candy dissolves in your mouth. His next hit was Cool Whip, the non-dairy whipped cream substitute, sold in a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Many containers of Cool Whip were no doubt bought for the container. I wonder whether Mitchell made anything that was real or tasted good. Well, you can't knock his success — 70 patents. Mitchell was born today in 1911.

Food In History?
This sounds like a kitchen accident, but wasn't. Today in 1922, Turkey and Greece called a cease-fire.

Annals of Chefs Gone Nuts
In 1999, in Paris on this day, chefs, incensed about a 20 percent tax on restaurant meals, rioted. Things got nasty enough that it had to be quelled with tear gas. The chefs' weapons? Eggs. Imagine.

Food Namesakes
Pro football player Ron Mayo was born today in 1950 . Texas Congressman J.J. Pickle was born today in 1913 . If only we could find someone named Ketchup and another named Mustard whose birthdays are today!

Words to Eat By
"Every man will have to give an account of himself for every good thing which he would have liked to eat, but did not." — Hillel.

Words to Drink By
"One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts." — Samuel Johnson.

Check out other Food Almanac columns by Tom Fitzmorris.

The Food Almanac: Tuesday, October 11, 2012 - Recipes

One-Pan Lingcod With Kale & Fennel

olive oil
2 cups fennel, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups kale, chopped
1/2 cup water
crushed red pepper
2 tsp fresh oregano
1 cup black or green olives, sliced thin
1 lb. cod cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp fennel fronds
1 tsp orange zest

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, cook fennel, and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, until they become fragrant. Add fresh tomatoes, kale and water and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Add crushed red pepper, fresh oregano and sliced olives. Season with salt and pepper.

Place cod in pan, sprinkle with orange zest and fennel fronds. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat, and drizzle fish with olive oil before serving.

Don’t Read This Almanac. Drink It.

Almanac Beer Company may not yet be a household name but their delicious sour beers made them one of our favorites and one to watch in 2014. They made waves last year by producing some of the best sours in recent memory with their Farmers Reserve series: Dogpatch Sour is made with fresh cherries, and Bourbon Sour Porter is an intentionally soured dark ale. Though their other releases have been excellent, notably their Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine and Barrel Noir, I was hoping they&rsquod keep expanding their sour production. Thankfully, my expectations have been fulfilled in a major way.

As announced via their blog earlier this week, Almanac has over 800 wine and spirits barrels and two 1,000-gallon oak foedres &mdash the same kind of massive barrels Rodenbach uses for their traditional sour red ale. That&rsquos not even the most exciting part: Almanac intends to release a new oak-aged beer every month for the rest of the year! These brews will be available in California and Washington, but you might be able to find them online, too.

You might ask yourself, what makes these beers special? At $10-plus for a 375-ml bottle, are they worth the price? Well, aging beer is expensive, takes up a ton of space and is time-consuming. Even more important is Almanac&rsquos commitment to local farms, orchards and small businesses, where they harvest a dizzying array of fruits and other unique ingredients like sourdough yeast from a local bakery in their recent Sourdough Wild Ale.

Each beer is literally like drinking a seasonal harvest, and this in a world where beers with fruit are often muted and bland. Almanac&rsquos offerings consistently showcase multiple layers of fruit in a single beer. Their newest brews, Brandy Barrel Peche, Valley of the Heart&rsquos Delight and Sourdough Wild Ale are all available now, and while the taste may be tart, the results are oh so sweet.

Plough Monday Lunch.

Age doesn't matter, unless you're cheese.
Billie Burke.


Oo arrr, I do miss them there ploughman lunches I used to get in the Old Country. Went down right nice with a Stout.
Now I makes um myself! Aharr.Nowt like a good piece of cheese an home made bread.

Janet . . . Excellent article! Your quoted historical sources are a stimulating conversation with one's ancestors. The ploughman and his laboring woman . . . one hopes they found merriment amongst all their labors. I want to believe their lives were substantially better than the lives of factory workers. At least clean air and fresh food.

Your writing, again, is lyrical, amusing, insightful, and wonderfully literate.

And as you are the writer, Le Loup is certainly a fine lead character on your pages. Can a reader ever see enough of "Oo arrr" in print?

I thoroughly enjoyed this article and will be pondering the ploughman . . . thanks to your research.

Thankyou, Le Loup, as always, for your interest and enthusiasm. I bet your home-made ploughman's lunches are pretty good! You are indeed, as sesanner says, a fine lead character here on this blog!

And thankyou, sesanner, for your very kind words. I should add that I have corrected the "few pounds s week" to "few pounds a year." I couldnt help wondering how much 'leisure time" the ploughman and his family got to tend their own garden (and hens, and cow) - which must have had to contribute a substantial amount to the family meals.

That pineapple chutney sounds like something I'll have to try the next time our local grocery has canned pineapple on sale.

Recipes Ideas

The abatement of shutdowns is a hot topic, as bread-and-butter achievement is now adjourned in abounding countries – including the U.S. But catastrophe a abeyance too anon could backfire, the World Bloom Organization says.

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Despite the acutely arduous conditions, which included shuttered polling places, a statewide calm adjustment and amusing break guidelines, aborigine assembly was decidedly robust.

Americans are still spending a fair bulk on aliment and online deliveries, but the shutdowns of stores, malls and restaurants led to a almanac 8.7% sales bead in March.

Citing disproportionate access from China on the World Bloom Organization amid added reasons, the admiral has said he wants to append U.S. allotment for the all-around bureau awaiting a review.

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Philanthropist Bill Gates and others acquaint adjoin undercutting the World Bloom Organization during a crisis that’s actuality compared to World War II and the Great Depression.

The admiral has been acutely analytical of the World Bloom Organization. “As the organization’s arch sponsor, the United States has a assignment to assert on abounding accountability,” he said Tuesday.

Antibody tests to ascertain accomplished acknowledgment to the coronavirus will anon be everywhere. But alike the best ones can accommodate amiss answers decidedly generally — and accord apocryphal assurance.

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Pete Gaynor has all-encompassing acquaintance at the bounded and accompaniment akin ambidextrous with accustomed disasters, but he faces article altered now.

The agenda change, which followed the admonition of bloom experts, comes as talks adjourned on Republicans’ advance to addition allotment for a baby business program.

To anticipate accumulation layoffs of airline employees, Congress accustomed $50 billion in grants and loans for the carriers, as allotment of the $2.3 abundance bread-and-butter abatement amalgamation accustomed aftermost month.

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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has accustomed above Vice Admiral Joe Biden the third high-profile endorsement this week, forth with Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders.

The U.S. Public Bloom Service has won aldermanic allotment for a accessible assets of doctors and nurses to arrange beyond the country.

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I have decided to move the entire recipe archive from the Companion blog to its rightful place here. The reason for their location on the "other" site is historic (and related to my gross ignorance of blog-things when I started my little experiment). It might take me a little time to change all the links to this archive from various posts. The recipe archive up to October 2007 will stay on the Companion blog.

Recipes from posts to the end of OCTOBER 2007 have been added to the archive so far. It is the world's most boring job, so I have let it lapse. I will try to keep it up to date from now on.

NEW recipes will be added to the bottom of each list, so if you haven't stopped by for a while, that's the place to look. Yes - in some ways an alphabetical list would be easier - but the old recipe names do not lend themselves to alphabetising that would make a great deal of sense today, and besides, it would be very time consuming.

A list of freely available Online Historic Cookbooks is also available to download as a pdf, from the link in the sidebar, if you are interested. If you would rather have the list in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, email me at theoldfoodieATfastmailDOTfm and I will send it to you.

The invention of “American Cheese”.

The man who invented ‘American Cheese’ was born on this day in 1874 on a farm near Stevensville, Ontario . Why did this Canadian call his cheese ‘American’? Was he honouring the country that enabled him to make his fortune? Or was it some sort of ethnic slur/joke against the folk across the border from his birthplace (like ‘Welch Rabbit’ is in England ? You decide which of these applied to James Lewis Kraft’s patented processed cheese - made from genuine milk solids, all pesky bacteria and mould killed, and virtually guaranteed not to spoil.

Kraft moved to Chicago in 1903 with $65 in his pocket and started peddling cheese from the back of a wagon. The problem is, the very nature of cheese makes it prone to spoilage (and this applied especially in summer in the days before refrigeration). There is a fine line between a perfectly aged cheese and a spoiled cheese and a spoiled cheese means loss of profit. Kraft was not a scientist, but he tried various ways around the problem – including canning. Shredding and heat-sterilising cheese solves the spoilage problem (or the ageing virtue, if you want to look at it that way), and the addition of emulsifiers stops the separation of fat from solid. If this mixture is then canned it will keep virtually indefinitely. This is what Kraft did – naming it ‘American Cheese’ for reasons which I have not been able to establish – and he patented the method in 1916.

Sterilised emulsified canned cheese may be absolutely consistent and may keep forever, but a lot of folk feel that it is bland and – well, just ‘aint cheese. Kraft’s timing however was perfect. One organisation that does not care a hoot about flavour but cares a lot of hoots about durability in food is the military. Six million pounds of his cheese ended up in ration packs during World War I soldiers developed a taste for it (or at least a familiarity with it), it remained relatively cheap during the Great Depression, and Kraft’s name became famous, or to some – infamous, on account of its synonymity with “not cheese”.

Here is an American World War I recipe that uses cheese – no cheese specified, but presumably “real” as it is grated. It would have been a perfect recipe for a meatless day, and comes from Farmers’ Bulletin 487.

Corn and Cheese Souffle.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of chopped green pepper
¼ cupful of flour
2 cupfuls of milk
1 cupful of chopped corn
1 cupful of grated cheese
3 eggs
½ teaspoon of salt.
Melt the butter and cook the pepper thoroughly in it. Make a sauce out of the flour, milk, and cheese add the corn, cheese, yolks, and seasoning. Cut and fold in the egg whites beaten stiff turn it into a buttered baking dish and bake in a moderate oven 30 minutes.
Made with skimmed milk and without butter, this dish has a food value slightly in excess of a pound of beef and a pound of potatoes.

An Enchanting Christmas Pudding.

If antiquity be the only test of nobility, then cheese is a very noble thing … The lineage of cheese is demonstrably beyond all record. Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)


Alton Brown was born July 30, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. [4] [5] As a child, Brown was a Boy Scout. Brown's father, Alton Brown Sr., was a media executive in Cleveland, Georgia owner of radio station WRWH and publisher of the newspaper White County News. [6] [7] He died on Alton's last day of sixth grade from an apparent suicide. [8] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, after studying film at the University of Georgia, Brown was the cinematographer for several music videos, including "The One I Love" by R.E.M. [9] [10]

Brown was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows airing on American television, so he set out to produce his own show. In preparation, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, graduating in 1997. [11] [12] Brown says [13] he was a poor science student in high school and college, but he focused on the subject to understand the underlying processes of cooking. He is outspoken in his shows [14] about his dislike of single-purpose kitchen utensils and equipment such as garlic presses and margarita machines, although he adapts a few traditionally single-purpose devices, such as rice cookers and melon ballers, into multipurpose tools. [15]

TV series Edit

Good Eats Edit

The pilot for Good Eats first aired in July 1998 on the PBS member TV station WTTW in Chicago. Food Network picked up the show in July 1999. Many of the Good Eats episodes [16] feature Brown building makeshift cooking devices in order to point out that many of the devices sold at conventional "cooking" stores are simply fancified hardware store items. Good Eats was nominated for the Best TV Food Journalism Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2000. [17] The show was also awarded a 2006 Peabody Award. [18] In May 2011, Alton Brown announced an end to Good Eats after 14 seasons. [19] The final episode, "Turn on the Dark", aired February 10, 2012.

On Alton's 2017 book tour, he stated that Good Eats would have a sequel [20] and that it would be released to the internet in 2018. This was changed in late 2018 when Brown made arrangements with The Cooking Channel to air "revised" versions of several episodes with new recipes entitled Good Eats Reloaded, in which he stated new episodes of Good Eats are also in the works. Thirteen episodes of Good Eats Reloaded aired late winter and early spring 2019, and were added to the Good Eats reruns on The Cooking Channel. It was announced on June 5, 2019, that the new show will be called Good Eats Returns it premiered on the Food Network on Sunday, August 25. [21]

Good Eats Reloaded and Good Eats: The Return Edit

Brown relaunched the show in two versions: as Good Eats Reloaded on Cooking Channel (which updates, reworks and adds to original Good Eats episodes), and on Food Network as Good Eats: The Return in August 2019 (all-new episodes). Both the Reloaded series and the Return series are said to be returning in 2020. New episodes of Reloaded premiered in April 2020. New Return episodes were in the writing process and planned to be filming over the summer of 2020, but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [22] [ failed verification ] These episodes eventually saw exclusive release on the new Discovery+ streaming service. [23]

Iron Chef America Edit

In 2004, Brown appeared on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters. This was the second attempt to adapt the Japanese cooking show Iron Chef to American television (the first being UPN's Iron Chef USA, which featured William Shatner). Brown served as the expert commentator, a modified version of the role played by Dr. Yukio Hattori in the original show. When the show became a series, Brown began serving as the play-by-play announcer, with Kevin Brauch as kitchen reporter. Brown also served as the host for all five seasons of the spin-off The Next Iron Chef.

Feasting on Asphalt Edit

Brown's third series, Feasting on Asphalt, explores the history of eating on the move. Brown and his crew traveled around the United States via motorcycle in a four-part miniseries about the history of road food. Brown samples food all along his travel route. He includes a "history of food" segment documenting famous road trips and interviews many of the foodies he meets en route.

The series premiered on Food Network on July 29, 2006. The miniseries was picked up for a second run, Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run, in 2007. Six episodes were filmed during April and May 2007. The episodes trace the majority of the length of the Mississippi River through Brown's travels. The second run of episodes began airing on Food Network on August 4, 2007. The third season uses the title Feasting on Waves and has Brown traveling the Caribbean by boat in search of local cuisine. [ citation needed ]

Cutthroat Kitchen Edit

In 2013, Brown began hosting the cooking competition series Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network. In each episode, four chefs are each given $25,000 with which to bid on items that can be used to hinder their opponents' cooking, such as confiscating ingredients or forcing them to use unorthodox tools and equipment. Three chefs are eliminated one by one, and the winner keeps his/her unspent money as the day's prize. The series premiered on August 11, 2013. [24]

Tours Edit

The Edible Inevitable Tour Edit

In October 2013, Brown launched "Alton Brown Live: The Edible Inevitable Tour," his first national tour visiting 46 cities through March 2014. The show included stand-up comedy, talk show antics, a multimedia lecture, live music and "extreme" food experimentation. [25] After a hiatus of several months while Brown worked on his Food Network shows, the tour resumed in October 2014 and concluded on April 4, 2015, in Houston, Texas, after visiting more than 60 cities. [26]

Eat Your Science Edit

Brown mounted a second tour show, Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, in 2016. The show toured through the fall of 2017. All totaled, Brown's shows have played over 225 dates including Broadway. Both his tours have included "large, unusual and probably dangerous" food demonstrations, audience participation and even food songs performed by Brown and his combo. Brown has been quoted as saying his final tour will launch in fall of 2020. [27]

Awards Edit

Brown is the recipient of two James Beard Awards. He won the Best Book award in 2003 for his first book, I'm Just Here for the Food, and the Broadcast Media Award in 2011 for TV Food Personality/Host. He has also been nominated four additional times. [28]

Other appearances Edit

Brown served as a mentor on Season 8 of The Next Food Network Star alongside Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. During Season 8, each mentor selected and mentored a team of five finalists. Alton's finalist, Justin Warner, was the Season 8 winner however, Brown will not be producing Warner's show. [29]

Brown appeared on the Travel Channel show The Layover with Anthony Bourdain which focused on the city of Atlanta in 2013. In the episode Bourdain takes Brown to the Clermont Lounge. [30]

Brown guest-starred as the "Guest Bailiff" and "Expert Witness" in John Hodgman's comedy/court show podcast Judge John Hodgman. [31] [32]

In October 2017, Brown was featured on the Food Network television show Chopped in a five-part series called "Alton Brown's Challenge."

Brown voices Yum Labouché in Big Hero 6: The Series. The character is a judge for an underground cooking competition. [33]

Brown appeared on episode 196 of MythBusters titled "Food Fables".

Commercials Edit

Brown has done commercial work for General Electric products, [34] including five infomercials touting the benefits of GE refrigerators, washers and dryers, water purifiers, Trivection ovens, and dishwashers. [35] The infomercials are produced in the Good Eats style, employing the use of unusual camera angles, informational text, props, visual aids, scientific explanations, and the same method of delivery. These infomercials are distributed to wholesale distributors of appliances/plumbing devices.

Brown has also aided GE in developing a new type of oven. He was initially called by GE to help their engineers learn more about the effects of heat on food [36] that grew into an active cooperation to develop GE's Trivection oven. [37]

Brown has promoted Colgate toothpaste, [38] Dannon yogurt, Welch's, Shun knives, and Heifer International. [ citation needed ] In 2010, he endorsed kosher salt use in a campaign for Cargill. [39] In 2020, he began doing commercials for Healthy Choice's line of low-fat, low-calorie, vegetable-based "Power Dressings", [40]

Twitter Edit

In 2012, Brown gained popularity by pioneering the use of humorous "Analog Tweets," wherein he posts pictures of hand-drawn Twitter responses on Post-it notes which he has stuck to his computer monitor. [41]

The Alton Browncast Edit

On June 28, 2013, Alton Brown joined the Nerdist Podcast Network with his podcast The Alton Browncast, covering food news, men's style, music and other topics. [42] Through February 15, 2017, 68 episodes have been produced. [43]

Pantry Raid and Quarantine Quitchen Edit

With the COVID-19 quarantine in 2020 and the subsequent delays in production on Season 16 of Good Eats (Season 2 of "The Return"), Alton took to YouTube to make two new online cooking series.

Pantry Raid was a series of once-weekly shorts (usually released on Fridays or Saturdays) for making palatable foods while staying safe at home. The episodes were filmed in the Good Eats test kitchens at Brain Food Productions, and consist of Alton and a cameraman as the only personnel onsite. [44]

Quarantine Quitchen [aka "QQ"] started as a single livestream titled "The Browns Make Dinner", referring to Alton and his wife Elizabeth making dinner at their loft apartment in Georgia. After the success of the first such "episode", the once-weekly series is now released live every Tuesday. [45]

Brown lives in Marietta, Georgia. He and his former wife DeAnna, an executive producer on Good Eats, divorced in 2015. [46] DeAnna and Alton have one daughter, Zoey (born in 1999). [47] A few members of his extended family appeared on Good Eats (such as his late grandmother, Ma Mae, his mother, and daughter, Zoey, who is known on the show as "Alton's Spawn"), but most of his "family" portrayed on the series were actors or members of the show's production crew. [48] [49]

Brown and Atlanta restaurant designer Elizabeth Ingram became engaged in 2018. [50] According to Brown's Instagram account, as of September 2018, he and Ingram had married, on a boat in Charleston, South Carolina. [51] Brown and Elizabeth Ingram have two dogs: a terrier named Francis Luther and a Boston terrier/pug mix that the couple rescued in 2018 named Scabigail Van Buren, affectionately nicknamed “Scabs” Scabs has also made a few appearances on the new episodes of Good Eats.

In the fifth episode of Season 18 of Worst Cooks in America, Brown referred to his current wife as his third wife.

Brown was once a motorcycling enthusiast, [37] although he no longer owns one. He gave up motorcycling by 2012, citing issues of slowing reflexes and safety. [ citation needed ] In a recent Quarantine Quitchen episode, Brown stated that he currently owns a 1980 BMW R60. [ citation needed ] Additionally, Brown is an airplane pilot, and was featured in the aviation magazine AOPA Flight Training. [52] He owned two planes, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 414. [53]

Brown enjoys vintage watches and wore a different watch for every season of Good Eats this was used in production to quickly identify which season a clip is from. When his watch broke down midseason, [ which? ] he continued to wear the broken timepiece to maintain this system. Twenty years after the Omega Seamaster watch his father left him was stolen, Brown bought it from an eBay seller and had it restored. [54]

Brown changed his eating habits in 2009 in order to lose weight and become healthier, losing 50 pounds (23 kg) over the course of nine months. [55]

Brown discussed his Christian beliefs in a 2010 interview with Eater. He said at the time:

I'm not a spooky snake handler because I live in Georgia and I'm Christian… that I believe in the Bible, that I travel with the Bible, that I read the Bible every day. I'm still me. I'm still a guy doing a job. I find, actually, that people ask me a lot about it. I don't hit people over the head with the Bible . I still feel a funny little tinge in my stomach when I'm out to dinner with my wife and daughter in New York. We'll go to dinner and we'll be sitting around the table and we'll say grace. You know what? People are going to stare at you. I used to feel really self-conscious. But I've gotten to a point where I think, nah, I'm not going to feel bad about that. I'm not going to apologize about that. [56]

Brown said in a December 2014 interview in Time that he "could no longer abide the Southern Baptist Convention's indoctrination of children and its anti-gay stance" adding that he is now "searching for a new belief system." [57]

In November 2020, Brown declared on Twitter that he has almost always voted Republican, but that he supported Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, as well as Democrats running in U.S. Senate races in Georgia. [58]

In November 2020, Brown drew backlash for a tweet that flippantly referenced the Holocaust. In the now deleted tweet, he posted, "do you think the camp uniforms will be striped, like the ones at Auschwitz, or will plaid be in vogue?" He subsequently commented that he has "no gold fillings" in an apparent reference to the Nazi's practice of extracting the gold teeth from their victim. [59] He apologized the next day, saying on his social media, "It was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country. It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste." [60] [61]

Fish Fry Tradition Alive, Well in Mon-Yough Area

Deep fryers pop and hiss, phones ring, volunteers shout out orders and collect totals. The air smells of fresh seafood and butter, cabbage and onions. Lines of people form, all waiting to place or pick up their order on the first evening of the Lenten season.

It&rsquos just another Friday for church members and firemen alike at local area fish fries in the Mon Valley.

For the West Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Dept. in North Versailles Twp. and Mary Mother of God Parish in McKeesport, frying fish and serving the community go hand in hand with Lent. Both institutions cite religion and tradition as the reason for the fish fries each year.

&ldquoGod and Money,&rdquo said Bud Pusey, West Wilmerding assistant fire chief. &ldquoThat&rsquos how we live here in the Steel Valley. That&rsquos all we know. We get up and go to work each day to make a living and try to do the right thing. We work and we eat, and that&rsquos how it&rsquos always been.&rdquo

During Lent, Catholic and some other Christian denominations abstain from consuming meat on Fridays.

This practice has been documented as far back as the Middle Ages, and in some texts, even further back in history, said the Rev. Terry O&rsquoConnor of Mary Mother of God Parish, which includes Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church and St. Patrick&rsquos Church in McKeesport, St. Angela Merici in White Oak and St. Robert Bellarmine in East McKeesport.

The practice &ldquobrings the wealthy and the poor together&rdquo in their somber appreciation of Jesus Christ&rsquos sacrifice, O&rsquoConnor said. &ldquoIt&rsquos us trying to get closer and closer to the Lord.&rdquo

Lent is not only about sacrifice, he said. &ldquoWe are called to do good works as well,&rdquo said O&rsquoConnor.

Mary Mother of God Parish donates 10 percent of all the proceeds from its fish fry directly to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The parish will hold its fish fry every Friday except Good Friday at the social hall of Corpus Christi Church, located on Market Street in Downtown McKeesport.

In West Wilmerding, the fish fry was created eight years ago as a way for the fire department to raise money for its operations while also providing a service back to the community, said Pusey, who also serves as the fire department&rsquos treasurer.

They serve fresh fried fish sandwiches, crab cakes and fried shrimp alongside traditional sides such as haluski, macaroni and cheese and french fries.

The department allows people to call-ahead and make advance orders, but also serves walk-ins and delivers to the surrounding communities.

Picking up the bread used for their fish sandwiches each and every Friday &mdash as well as Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent &mdash allows customers to have the freshest experience possible, says Pusey. All the food is prepared the day of the fish fry.

No food is precooked. &ldquoEverything is homemade,&rdquo Pusey said. &ldquoCertain people make certain things. It&rsquos all homemade by our firemen, firemen&rsquos families and volunteers that just want to help.&rdquo

Pusey said they receive good feedback on their portion sizing: &ldquoMany seniors in the area enjoy our food because we serve larger portions to assist the community in making the food last. They can get two meals out of one serving.&rdquo

Calling ahead to pre-order is key for the fire department. Once they are sold out, that&rsquos it. &ldquoA 135 pounds (of fish) goes fast!&rdquo Pusey said.

All call-ahead orders are held to ensure they are fulfilled should the department run out. The department serves an average of 225 meals on any particular Friday and serves as long as it can until supplies run out.

The Halaszynski family takes a break while assisting in the assembly of pierogi and haluski for the Corpus Christi fish fry. From left to right, Vanessa, Jennifer, Eric, Cassandra and Kathy Halaszynski. (Emily Pidgeon photos for Tube City Almanac)

In McKeesport, Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church also uses the &ldquocall-ahead&rdquo or pre-order method during their busiest times.

The social hall, where all the food is prepped, cooked and served, has a separate &ldquocall center&rdquo where customers can call in their order for carryout or delayed pick-up, or to request an order be delivered.

Walk-in orders are also welcome, but wait times could be long and availability may be limited depending on the time of day.

&ldquoFolks really enjoy the delivery feature,&rdquo said Joann Dorazio, who is running the fish fry for the parish this year. &ldquoSome people just can&rsquot get out or get down to us, so they appreciate that we deliver.&rdquo

Dorazio and many other church members dedicate hours of their time to prepare over 12,000 pierogis for the fish fry season, just as they have for the past 15 years.

The dough and fillings are prepared each Tuesday for six weeks leading up to Lent. The goal is to make 2,000 pierogi each week to meet their quota. Church members make the dough and pre-measure fillings to allow other volunteers quick access and a fast turnaround.

Every Tuesday, about 50 volunteers fill and pinch each pierogi by hand, and once they are turned over to the kitchen staff, other volunteers check the pierogi to ensure they are closed properly and meet the church&rsquos standards.

After combining several family recipes and trial and error, volunteers found the recipe they believed to be the best one that could be made in large batches.

Joann Dorazio, head of Corpus Christi's annual fish fry, helping Noah Pidgeon pinch pierogi. (Emily Pidgeon photos for Tube City Almanac)

Once all the pierogi have been made, the leftover dough is utilized to make noodles for one of the parish&rsquos side dishes, haluski. Each noodle looks different. No volunteer is turned away, and grandmothers can be found assisting their grandchildren in rolling the noodles and sprinkling flour to keep the noodles from sticking.

Mary Mother of God Parish, Corpus Christi Fish Fry is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. every Friday during lent, except Good Friday. The social hall is located at 803 Market St., McKeesport.*

West Wilmerding Volunteer Fire Dept.&rsquos Fish Fry is open Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent (including Good Friday) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or until they are sold out. The department is located at 330 Kline Ave., North Versailles Twp.

Emily Pidgeon is a freelance writer from McKeesport. She may be reached at [email protected]

* &mdash Editor's Note: Corpus Christi did not have a fish fry on Ash Wednesday. This story was corrected after publication.

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