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Nibbles: 3-alarm chili contest at Rock Bottom tonight

Thursday, March 27, 2003

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Some firefighters like it hot -- chili, that is -- and several fire companies will face off at 6 tonight for a Firehouse Chili Cook-off at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery at The Waterfront. Proceeds will benefit the Mercy Hospital Burn Center.

So far, firefighters from Homestead, Munhall and the city of Pittsburgh have agreed to prepare, and be judged on, their best chili recipes.

Samples will be available to the public for a $5 donation to the Burn Center. The winning recipe will be featured as a one-day Rock Bottom special at a later date.

Firefighters also will doff their aprons and guest tend bar until 10 p.m.

Muggle snack
Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter films, once said his favorite comfort food was Jammie Dodger biscuits with a glass of milk.

Luckily, you don't have to go to London to buy them for your Muggle world fan.

Jammie Dodgers can be found at A British Accent, Ohio River Boulevard, near Sewickley.

Elizabeth Gall, owner of the shop (and of a British accent), called to say she carries the biscuits -- chewy jam between two shortbread cookies -- and has customers who come by for them weekly.

Gall sells only products made in Great Britain and Ireland. Besides jams, teas, cheeses, candies and soda, she has hats, jewelry, toiletries, tea pots and cozies and tartans for kilts, which are made to order in Scotland. Call 412-741-8955.

Crisco contest
Crisco, now owned by J.M. Smucker Co. in Ohio, is looking for original three-course meal recipes consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert for its "Crisco Well-Oiled Kitchen" contest.

The three recipes must be original and have Crisco oil or shortening as an ingredient in each. Grand prize is a kitchen makeover and a $2,500 gift card to Home Depot.

Get an entry form at www.crisco.com or send a SASE to: Crisco Well-Oiled Kitchen Contest,
c/o Cohn & Wolfe,
292 Madison Ave.,
Floor 8,
New York, NY 10017.

Deadline is April 23.

Peel 'n' eat
If you're a shrimp lover, Old Bay's Peel & Eat Shrimp Classic is the contest for you.

Ten lucky finalists will vie for the title of quickest shrimp peeler and eater Aug. 29 in Baltimore.

The record is 87 shrimp in 10 minutes. Grand prize is $10,000.

To enter, write a 100-word-or-fewer essay on why you like Old Bay, your uses for Old Bay, why you love seafood in general and why you should be a chosen to compete in this contest.

Entry forms are on the Web at www.old-bay.com or call 1-800-632-5847.

Say cheese
Wisconsin is mooing contentedly about its sweep of the 2003 U.S. Champion Cheese Contest awards. The Dairy State snared almost half (49 percent) of the top prizes, including the prestigious Best of Show.

This year's competition was the biggest on record, with 681 entries from 21 states.

California came in second (15 percent), followed by Vermont (7 percent) and New York (6 percent).

Food 'porn'
Don't know if you can mention rich, creamy cheese and the Food Police back-to-back but the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a k a the Food Police, now publishes a newsletter called Nutrition Action Healthletter.

In true CSPI fashion, the newsletter makes sweeping damnations of brand-name foods that are full of fat or sugar or both.

Fast-food burgers (and probably most of the cheeses in the above-mentioned item) are high on the list.

Chow labeled "Food Porn" in past issues includes Pizza Hut's Chicago Dish Pizza, Barilla Tortellini and Kraft's It's Pasta Anytime.

But it also recommends foods containing the "Right Stuff," such as Classico Tomato Sauce, San Giorgio Whole Wheat Blend Pasta, and Dr. Praeger's Bombay Spinach Pancakes (?).

Editorials by executive director Michael Jacobson attack "the truth" about the Atkins diet and health foods "that aren't."

It's opinionated, readable and not to be taken too seriously. Cost is $15 for 10 issues.

Write to; Center for Science in the Public Interest,
1875 Connecticut Ave.,
N.W. Suite 300,
Washington, DC 20009.
Or log on to www.cspinet.org.

Don't miss the anti-CSPI Web site at www.CSPIscam.com.

This site purports to show "Why the Center for Science in the Public Interest is NOT Science in the Public Interest."

It's run by a group called the Center for Consumer Freedom, whose goal is to "protect a full menu of consumer choices."

They resent the "junk science" CSPI uses to make its attacks, and the media attention its statements are given.

A good old-fashioned food fight might clear the air here, maybe in a McDonald's kitchen.

The last word
"What is food to one may be fierce poison to others."

-- Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher

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