It is, of course, Homer Simpson who has defined our culture's love of bacon. His declaration that he could be a vegetarian only if bacon grew on trees pretty much sums up our endless hunger for the stuff.
Bourbon doesn't grow on trees, either, but the corn-based, fermented whiskey is both vegetarian-friendly and a fine complement to all things fried, smoked or both.
Put them together and you get The Pitch's Bacon & Bourbon Festival, a drinky porkathon with something for every Homer Simpson. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10, eight Kansas City restaurants - including Accurso's, Anton's Taproom, Barrel 31, Blue Bird Café, EBT restaurant, and the Rock & Run Brewery and Pub - join more than 25 whiskeys to fry and pour their wares at the Guild (1621 Locust). The event is sold out.
One of the businesses appearing at The Pitch's Bacon & Bourbon Festival on Thursday is Our Sassy Pantry, which offers among its jams a savory concoction starring bacon. I was trying to figure out how best to deploy it when inspiration struck: Farm to Market dropped off a loaf of its limited-edition banana-nut bread.
The bread is available in select supermarkets through April 20. That's Easter Sunday - and Easter is the reason for this particular batch.
"We've been offering limited runs of sweet breads for the past 10 years," says Farm to Market vice president John Friend. "We do the chocolate-cherry bread around Valentine's Day and Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's Day. We wanted to do something special for Easter and kicked around the idea of hot cross buns, but my father has a great recipe for banana-nut bread, so we're using that."
Rachel Cantor, the author of the recently released novel, A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee's Guide to Saving the World, has always been passionate about pizza - she spent six years of her childhood in Rome and became, she says, "a real pizza snob" - but that wasn't the reason that she chose it as a profession for her novel's protagonist.
"He needed to be in a room by himself with a telephone," says Cantor from her home in Brooklyn. "And I remembered that many years ago I overheard a conversation between two writers talking about their very worst jobs. One of the writers said that he - or she, I can't remember - had a job as the person who answered the phone for the complaint line for a national pizza chain.
"He had to field complaints from all over the United States and find a way, from prepared company guidelines, to resolve the complaint. When I was looking for a job for my character, Leonard, that seemed perfect. He's working out of a highly surveilled home office."
Cantor will read from her novel this Thursday, March 20, at the Central Library, 14 West 10th Street, at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested by clicking here.
This year marks the first time that the Guardian Angels parish (4232 Mercier) in Westport has created a St. Joseph's Table in the school cafeteria.
Yes, it's all Mardi Gras and beads and booze tonight, so live it up. Lent begins tomorrow, kicking off fish-fry season in Kansas City - and with plenty of opportunity to eat meatlessly for the next six Fridays during the Lenten season. No matter what your religious affiliation, these modestly priced meals - fish, shrimp or some other meatless alternative (usually, but not always, available for diners who don't care for seafood) - can be a cost-effective way to take a family out to eat.
For the last several years, Fat City has listed the area churches offering these meatless meals. If you have additional questions (directions, prices), we suggest contacting them directly. One of the most thorough calendars for choosing the most convenient fish fry can be found by clicking here.
I asked Marty Denzer, reporter with the Catholic Key, which church has the snazziest fish fry - if such a thing even exists.
For the second year in a row, restaurateur Anthony Accurso - of Accurso's Italian Restaurant at 4890 Main - was selected by participants (using gumballs as ballots) as the winner of the "KC Sweetheart Award" at the third annual Pitch Sugar Rush event. Sugar Rush was held February 20 at the Promise Wedding and Event space at 1814 Oak.
Accurso had one of the most elaborate displays of desserts at the event, serving samples of his restaurant's signature cheesecake on a red velvet cake crust, a melon-basil-and mint frozen granita, and an intoxicating house-made brown-sugar ice cream made from Maker's Mark bourbon infused with cherries and blood oranges: "It's a pretty potent ice cream," Accurso says. "We had to ask for IDs of anyone who wanted a sample."
When Fervere Bakery and Bread Studio's owner and baker, Fred Spompinato, says his February holiday bread is a pain to make, he means pain - not pane (pronounced pahn-nay) - as in Pane e Cioccolata, the 1974 Italian comedy called Bread and Chocolate in the United States.
Why pain? Fervere's upcoming limited-edition holiday loaf, which is only available on Valentine's Day, is a variation on the crusty almond-and-cranberry bread that the bakery has been making since November. For the Valentine's Day loaf, the Fervere bakers add pieces of Christopher Elbow chocolate to the dough, And not just any chocolate, but a chocolate created by Elbow that melds well with fruits and nuts.The difficult part, Spompinato says, is breaking the chocolate into the even pieces required for each loaf and distributing them evenly through the dough.
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