By the mid-50s, onions futures contracts were the most traded product on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In the fall of 1955, Sam Siegel and Vincent Kosuga bought enough onion futures so that they controlled 98% of the available onions in Chicago. As the growers began buying back onions, Siegel and Kosuga purchased short positions on a large amount of onion contracts, and driven the price of 50 lbs. of onions down from $2.50 to 10¢, cheaper than the actual bags. Then-congressman Gerald Ford sponsored a bill, known as the Onion Futures Act, which banned futures trading on onions. [more inside]
SLBBC - Three cheers for the onion: onions are eaten and grown in more countries than any other vegetable but rarely seem to receive much acclaim. It's time to stop taking the tangy, tear-inducing bulb for granted and give it a round of applause. [more inside]
On the opening date of their tour Pantera frontman Philip Anselmo and his band The Illegals had a special guest guitarist shred on Pantera classic "Walk". A 13 year old battling cancer. Loudwire has more. via
Tomorrow, the 2013 Ashes series (England verses Australia) begins with the start of the first match at Trent Bridge (Nottingham). Though England and Australia have battled since 1861, the Ashes were first contested in 1882. Australia lead England 31-30 in series victories. England start as strong favorites with the bookmakers. Glenn McGrath cautiously predicts a 2-1 Australia series win, whilst Ian Botham predicts a 10-0 wipeout for England over the two series. The 2013 Ashes will be streamed live to 53 countries over YouTube. With Britain in the grip of unusual summer weather (sun), much play is likely. [more inside]
Undoubtedly, at some point in your life, a recipe has told you to brown or caramelize some onions for 5-10 minutes. As many frustrated cooks have found through experience, this step of the recipe is a damned lie. In fact, the now-ubiquitous suggestion of 5-10 minutes isn't even a remote approximation of the amount of time it takes to brown an onion; Alton Brown and Julia Child weigh in on the matter, suggesting that the task can take anywhere from 45 minute to an hour. [more inside]
Don't toss that celery base! Did you know you can use it to re-grow a new bunch of celery? The same thing works for romaine lettuce and bok choy. You can regrow scallions or leeks or any cooking onion. You can grow garlic. What about lemongrass or ginger? Try planting pepper seeds or key lime seeds; a leftover pineapple top or the classic avocado pit. You can eat the leaves from carrot tops or sweet potato vines or just keep them as houseplants. Seeds Straight From Your Fridge (NYT link)
"The Great God Pan," by Arthur Machen. "The Beckoning Fair One," by Oliver Onions. "Green Tea," by J. Sheridan LeFanu. "The Boarded Window," by Ambrose Bierce. "The Horla," by Guy de Maupassant.
Cool Food For The Hot Summer Ahead: Bruce Cole's Sauté Wednesday has some enticing summery tips, as well as a superb collection of links to yummy articles on food and drink. Here in Portugal, we know Summer has begun when the first fresh sardines, start arriving, fat and silvery from the deep blue sea and straight onto the open-air barbecue, to be scoffed with buttery, yellow potatoes and great big salads overflowing with grilled green peppers, cucumbers, the first ripe tomatoes, sweet new onions and crunchy lettuce leaves.
It's New, It's Wonderful, it's....No Cry Onions! from the nature.com website, scientists have identified the enzyme that causes a "tickling" of your tear ducts, ergo the ensuing crying. More genetically altered food - how are we feeling about this?