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October 19, 2010

The Christopher Kimballatron -- tomorrow's contest preview

kimballThis guy is going to be appearing Thursday night at the Friendship Heights Village Community Center in Chevy Chase. The host of "America's Test Kitchen" will be promoting his new book, "Fannie's Last Supper."

Wednesday's contest depends on your having at least a glancing familiarity with Christopher Kimball's prose style, which most notably appears as an "editorial" in his "Cooks Illustrated" magazine.

I'm trying to find a real example to share with you.

Until then, make do with this version I made myself with the Christopher Kimballatron. I found it on the sadly defunct Flak magazine.

It's easy -- just input a few in a key variables and you're on your way.

Here's an example:



Biscuit's Bittersweet Reward
By Christopher Kimball*

There's an old Vermont road that I think about from time to time. It travels past the Bunker Hill School in District 15, and then turns slightly to the left. After that, it passes the hayfields and winds through a number of old apple orchards. It means more to people around here than you might expect. This is where Jennie Achenfield started her famous sweet corn stand. This is where the McKenzie Family of Broadhurst stops every year to catch fireflies. And this is where Biscuit — just a few years old, but with all the vigor of a good country dog — met a tragic end, chasing his last car straight past the hayfields.

He never made it to the apple orchards.

That's the kind of memory that comes flooding back when you sit down for nutmeg doughnuts.

And while it might not mean much to people who spend their time thinking about television hosts who think anyone with sufficient enthusiasm can cook a great meal, it means a lot to people around here.

We may think that we've moved past fixing our tractors, or feeding the pigs corn mush. But really, shouldn't we worry that feeding the pigs corn mush has moved past us? Old Sherman Pickering would shake his head a little sadly to hear it, but he'd probably smile a little too. That's just the kind of guy he was.

Amid all the minor botherances of country living, there are little moments that snap everything into perspective. The unfortunate experience of using a milker on a cow with a sore teat. The taste of knuckleberry pie. A healthy dose of Scotch and the smell of smoke from a hunting rifle.

Sitting there on the porch on a clear, calm day like this, just a week after that hailstorm, the worst on record, kind of gets you thinking. Older now, and wiser, it's easier to appreciate that in a small town, the worst sin is not being useful.

Well, as noted Vermonter Calvin Coolidge said, "If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it." Pretty smart words, even for a guy who dealt with all the hassle of being president. It must have been all the nutmeg doughnuts he ate.


* but devised by James Norton

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 9:42 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Contest


Wow, this contest seems to have jumped the line between posting a witty quip and taking on a freelance writing project.

I think I may need to join the union before I can produce this much content.

I realize I'm courting rebellion.

"I love a good contest as much and usually more than the next guy, but I might sit this one out", said the unreliable narrator.

Worst contest everrr...

Villagers - gather your pitchforks and torches. To the castle!

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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