Friday, June 27, 2008

J.M. Smucker Co., new owners of White Lily respond to my constructively critical e-mail

With a tradition of excellence that spans our more than 110 years of heritage, we take seriously our role as stewards of our high-quality brands. We acquired the White Lily brand in 2006 from C.H. Guenther & Sons, Inc. Guenther retained ownership of the Knoxville milling facility in addition to their other U.S. milling locations.
Throughout its history the ownership of the White Lily brand has changed hands numerous times. Since we acquired the White Lily brand our primary goal has been to restore and return the brand's historic standard of excellence. As part of these efforts we recently moved production of White Lily to a premier milling operation. This fifth generation family milling operation has served as a secondary miller of White Lily for generations. We took great care to maintain White Lily's unique recipe and production processes, including the use of only the same soft red winter wheat which was primarily sourced from Ohio, Michigan and Indiana throughout the history of the brand. In fact, the current milling operation is located in the heart of soft red winter wheat country which means the wheat will move from field to milling more quickly than when it was produced in Tennessee.
Further, there have been no changes to the product specifications or milling process and our experience and testing demonstrates the product consistently delivers the high quality performance consumers demand of White Lily products.
We are proud to include White Lily in our family of brands and you have our commitment that we will continue to be guided by our respect for White Lily's historic standard of excellence and the deep loyalty of its consumers. You can continue to trust in the uniqueness of White Lily flour and depend on it to help you create cherished meals.
Sincerely,Debbie SparrowConsumer Relations Representative
Ref # 8009069

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Check out site dedicated to buying local, Florida seafood


I happened upon an ad on television from the seafood marketing folks in the Florida ag department. I highly recommend that you check out their web site, http://www.fl-seafood.com./
The site seeks to educate and stimulate Florida consumers to buy locally just as you all are doing with local produced vegetables at local farmers' markets. To patronize the local seafood industry is good for our economy and insures your fish has not been shipped inordinate distances reducing its freshness. International dumping of seafood from overseas has raised serious concerns about the safety of those seafoods. Eleviate those concerns by being sure you know where your seafood was swimming last night.
Make use of this site to find vendors and restaurants that serve Florida seafood. Check out the recipes and other information that will help you bring home the safest, tastiest, and freshest product. You may be pleasantly surprised that a government site can be this valuable.
This summer, my recommendation is to: GO NATIVE and go to http://www.fl-seafood.com/.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

COMPANY MESSES WITH A HALLOWED FLOUR

Not since Coca-Cola devised a new recipe thinking that they knew what was best for their loyal customers has a company failed as a steward of a fine product. Today's New York Times article on the closing of the Knoxville mill that produces White Lily flour is a must read for any serious baker.

Take heed and let them know what you think of the closing and the errosive effect on the quality of this product that has been cherished by generations of Southern bakers.

To read the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/18flour.html?_r=1&ref=dining&oref=slogin

Monday, June 16, 2008

ALL MY ROADS LEAD TO NEW ORLEANS




As far as I am concerned all of my culinary roads lead to New Orleans' cuisines.




I heartily recommend that you read the dining column in the New Orleans Times-Picayune located at www.nola.com/dining. Judy Walker, the food editor, and Marcelle Bienvenu (pictured above respectively) have long written rich articles on their local cuisines and their works printed in the local paper always amaze me and remind why I love the cooking of Louisiana.

As New Orleans reconstructs its infrastructure its library of recipes is also being remembered and re-collected by hook or crook. Many recipes were lost in the flood and, through the efforts of Walker and Bienvenu, people around the country have tapped into their files, notes, and shoeboxes to provide those missing links to New Orleans that could have been lost forever.

I have just subscribed to their weekly e-mail newsletter and I am relieved that I will not lose touch with their efforts and take on Louisiana cuisine.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Captain Yogi's Fish Shanty/ Canandaigua Lake, NY



video



My wife and I first visited Captain Yogi's Fish Shanty, on the road running along the eastern shore of Canandaigua Lake in western NY state, during the Thanksgiving holiday, 1999. To say we were immediately smitten is an understatement.


Captain Yogi's, then owned by the good Captain and his wife, Admiral Lois, served marvelous fish fries to neighbors enjoying summers on the lake, a reprieve from western New York's long, cold winters. At first sighting, the shanty could be a beach-side Jimmy Buffet place, but you will find no traces of Southern accents here, just tasty New England-style seafood. Their restaurant is a 33 year tradition for lake dwellers and they claim to have served 2 1/2 million clam strip dinners since June 5, 1975. OK, the Captain probably never liked math in school.


The Captain, a jolly big man wins over his customers with his delicious food and kindly manner. His becurled wife, Lois, is a "piece of work" who is full of personality, a fine manager of the business, and has some sort of special aura that I can not define for you. For many years, she and her husband have made their dedicated customers feel at home and relaxed by greeting each one like a long-lost relative. Fun is the name of the game in Captain Yogi's and tasty food is the main product.


The torch has been passed to new owners, Nancy and Jeff, so the Captain and Lois can take life easy from the long hours that the restaurant business requires. When we there last week, Lois had dropped in and we were very, very happy to see her. The Captain was not there as he was "probably playing cards." I would bet he is the kindliest card shark on Canandaigua Lake.


I have surveyed the many dishes coming out of the kitchen ranging from clam baskets, to New England clam chowder, broiled scallops, baked flounder, crab cakes, scallop asiago, hamburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, and......yes......peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


To be honest, I have tasted none of the above. I always order the fried haddock and fries with the goodie bar (a very diverse salad bar). Further, I informed the new owners that I do not expect to advance past that dish. It is perfectly prepared and I fully intend to order the same thing everytime I visit Captain Yogi's. If they remove the fish fry from the menu, they should prepare themselves for a renactment of the Civil War within their restaurant.


The main chef is still in place. He cooks with clean, fresh, hot oil and the fried items come out golden, crisp, without a hint of grease. This guy knows exactly what he is doing and the proof is in the tasty dishes he turns out. Also, Captain Yogi's has the friendliest waitresses who greet everyone as if they were bringing you into their own homes.


The chef and the waitresses have worked for the Captain and Lois for years, a good sign that suggests stability and quality in this business. Everything is prepared to order and there is no fast food here. Be prepared to stay awhile and enjoy delicious food and a fun atmosphere.


Yankees have a thing about sitting outdoors. Most smart Floridians do not sit outside in the summer. The weather in western NY is usually suitable for outdoor dining, but I prefer to sit inside when I can. Now that we have a dog, however, those days are over. They were very nice to bring a water bowl and allowed us to dine in their outside court yard. My pup approved.


Lastly to the good Captain and his Admiral, Lois: your customers love you and your food. You can leave the business, but you will never leave our hearts. To the new owners, Nancy and Jeff, we wish you good luck and smooth sailing.


One last note: the county is dry so adult beverage drinking is not allowed.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

New Postings to Go Up Next Week

I am on the road in western New York state and can not upload photos from my digital cam. They tell me it is too old. I bought it in 1999. Nine years does not seem that long to me, but it does to photo shops.

I will start uploading information, recipes, video, and photos when I return home early in the week.

Pardon the interruption.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Be Sure to Check Out My Favorite Links

One benefit of the several blogs I read (over and above their content) are the links that they recommend. I have found many new surprises that I return to over and again.

Check out my Favorite Links to see if there is anything there that you might enjoy.