Chat with California Cook columnist Russ Parsons

Times Staff Writer

2007-08-23 13:07:31.0 Russ Parsons: Hey everybody! and you, too, Diddy. With summer at its peak, I thought today might be a good time to talk about tomatoes. I'll be happy to answer as many questions as I can, but I'd also like to know what you think. What tomatoes are you growing? And since tomato types are so specific to different growing conditions, where do you live?

2007-08-23 13:07:35.0 Ben: howdy

2007-08-23 13:08:25.0 diddyluwsky: atlanta..cherokee purple beel steak

2007-08-23 13:08:38.0 hqian: I have sun gold, enchantment, Jean Flaume, Japanese black kirim and black cherry. I live in Pasadena.

2007-08-23 13:08:44.0 diddyluwsky: beef stealk that is

2007-08-23 13:08:49.0 hqian: I have tons of tomatoes from my garden. I've been making gazpacho to use them up. Can you recommend some variation? I don't want to get tired of eating them. Thanks.

2007-08-23 13:08:59.0 Russ Parsons: Yeah, that's one of my favorite beefsteaks. Cherokee Purple and Brandywine.

2007-08-23 13:09:35.0 hqian: Beefsteak type don't grow well in most of So. Cal. Too hot here.

2007-08-23 13:09:46.0 Russ Parsons: How do you make your gazpacho? I really prefer it when you blend a piece of soaked bread with the tomatoes. I've etalked about this before, so bear with me, but the texture is so much better. It's really silky. And then you canvary the condiments as you wish.

2007-08-23 13:10:23.0 diddyluwsky: VERY ripe tomatoes

2007-08-23 13:10:27.0 hqian: I haven't used bread yet. What type of bread do you prefer?

2007-08-23 13:10:32.0 Russ Parsons: I think it's a combination of heat and humidity that makes beefsteaks a bit of a problem. They certainly grow well in the central valley and i've heard Fresno can get warm in the summer.

2007-08-23 13:11:07.0 diddyluwsky: baugettes rubbed w garlic

2007-08-23 13:11:24.0 Russ Parsons: I live near the coast and tomatoes are a real problem--just getting them ripe when it's only 70 to80 degrees. So heirlooms be damned, I usually just plant Sweet 100s of Early Girls. They do best in cool conditions.

2007-08-23 13:11:28.0 hqian: Actually, I can get good beefsteaks. But only 1-2 per plant.

2007-08-23 13:11:53.0 diddyluwsky: russ have to run...catch you later w rib query

2007-08-23 13:12:16.0 Russ Parsons: who knows p'amb tomaquet? that's a catalan tomato dish that's kind of a bruschetta--grill sourdough bread, rub with garlic and then squoosh the tomato guts all over the bread. lots of salt and i find black pepper does more for tomato flavor than basil.

2007-08-23 13:13:13.0 Seedboy: I live in Berkeley, and I can get Sweet 100s and Early Girls to ripen. We did not have a frost until late so my tomatoes were still going in March. My father in Long Beach generally has early girls all winter, also.

2007-08-23 13:13:40.0 Nik: Was that you at the Marina market last Sunday? Were you conducting a baby boomer field trip?

2007-08-23 13:13:50.0 Russ Parsons: Another of my favorite tomato dishes--and this is almost embarrassing--is just good dried pasta, chopped fresh tomatoes, a smear of minced garlic and some good olive oil. if there's a better summer dish than that, i don't know of it.

2007-08-23 13:14:30.0 Russ Parsons: hiya nik, and seedboy, i'm down with the lbc, as we say in the lbc. Yup, that was me. I was giving a market tour that had been auctioned off for a fund raiser for the long beach public library. i think they got their 39 cents worth.

2007-08-23 13:14:59.0 Seedboy: I'm serving lamb chops to a bunch of folks tomorrow night and hoped you could share a quick to prepare vegetable to serve alongside them? We're having tomato soup already, so hope for something else.

2007-08-23 13:16:20.0 Russ Parsons: How about something with zucchini? i did a recipe for a cold zucchini (well, room temperature) that should still be available on line. I really liked that dish--with mint and lemon zest and finished with pine nuts. if you can't find it at our website, i know the blogger "Wednesday Chef" has it on her page ... she really liked it too. that should be great with lamb.

2007-08-23 13:16:45.0 Administrator2: From zucchini back to tomatoes...

2007-08-23 13:16:47.0 hqian: Can you recommend a variety that is good for stir fry? I'm looking for one that'll give me the tartness when heated.

2007-08-23 13:17:04.0 Nik: Whenever I see a travelogue of a Tuscany cooking school trip where thy go to a market, I think too bad this idea hasn't been picked up locally. I even mentioned it to the Kitchen Prep/Marketplace store...

2007-08-23 13:17:27.0 Russ Parsons: hqian, have you tried those little grape tomatoes? they've got thick skins, so they hold together really well.

2007-08-23 13:17:58.0 Russ Parsons: actually, nik, i've been thinking about working something like that out with lisa at prep. That's a very good cooking store/school.

2007-08-23 13:18:22.0 Michael: Can you tell me where to find Romano beans on the West Side?

2007-08-23 13:19:07.0 hqian: The enchantment holds up pretty well too. It's a bit bigger than roma. But still too sweet for stir fry.

2007-08-23 13:19:13.0 Russ Parsons: The best place to find romano beans is at the farmers market. failing that, check Gelson's or Bristol. Whole Foods should have them, too. It's kind of weird because they're sucha good ingredient, but they haven't quite caught on at mainstream supermarkets yet. maybe next year.

2007-08-23 13:20:27.0 Russ Parsons: What melons are people buying these days? I picked up an Ogen a couple of weeks ago that I thought was the best melon i'd had all summer. then i got a cavaillon Sunday that was even better. As the valley heats up, the melons are getting sweeter and sweeter.

2007-08-23 13:21:20.0 Cameron: I've had good success with a Galia (a nice green melon), and Chanteris (an orange fleshed).

2007-08-23 13:22:08.0 Russ Parsons: Galia's are great and so are Charentais. Incidentally, i picked up a good trick the other day from neil at weiser farms: to choose one of those melons, look for the ones that have a little crack at the stem end. when they're really ripe they do that.

2007-08-23 13:22:28.0 Nik: This question is for the Administrator.Where do you find a schedule of the other LAT live chats?

2007-08-23 13:22:30.0 Administrator2: Hi there Nik-- you can find out about other upcoming chats at, and Russ is here every Thursday at 1pm.

2007-08-23 13:22:58.0 hqian: Any one else growing beans? My beans did extremely poorly this year.

2007-08-23 13:23:36.0 Rosemary: I had over 600 pole beans this time

2007-08-23 13:23:47.0 Russ Parsons: Choosing melons can be a bit of a trick--the main thing is remembering there's a difference between the netted melons and the smooth-skinned melons. Netted melons, look for background color (not green) and smell. the smooth-skinned melons are tougher because they don't have much perfume. but they'll be slightly rough, almost sticky, when they're ripe. and if you seee themwith brown spots, those are the best!

2007-08-23 13:23:53.0 Cameron: Before I forget Russ; earlier in the summer, I had a green fleshed melon I think was called "Arava". It was probably the best I've had yet.

2007-08-23 13:24:01.0 Russ Parsons: rosemary, what in the world did you do with 600 pole beans?

2007-08-23 13:24:07.0 Nik: Thanks. Pete Siracusa, the farmers market fishmonger will be at the Bixby Knolls market starting Sept. 13.

2007-08-23 13:24:31.0 Russ Parsons: wow, cameron, that's a new one for me. i'll have to check it out. was it a honeydew type, or a muskmelon type?

2007-08-23 13:25:04.0 Russ Parsons: for those of you who aren't from long beach, Pete Siracusa and his dad run J&P Seafood, which sells a lot of often locally caught fish at local farmers markets. they're also at hollywood and redondo beach. he's always got interesting things in his truck.

2007-08-23 13:25:32.0 Rosemary: over a 3 mon time span the beans I mean

2007-08-23 13:25:57.0 singleguychef: Russ, I recently fell in love with Blue Lake Green beans but do you think I'm just falling into the trap of beans with a name with they're really just regular green beans at the store? Or is it best to always hunt down Blue Lake?

2007-08-23 13:26:35.0 Cameron: To tell you the truth, I may have misheard the vendor :). I looked through Seed Savers, and couldn't find anything though. I was a honeydew type (without netting), and I picked it up from the Weiser family farmstand. They should know.

2007-08-23 13:27:17.0 Russ Parsons: Blue Lake is usually a descriptor for round pole beans. It's an old variety and a very good one. but a lot of the beans that are sold as blue lake aren't really (though theycan be very good). my favorite round beans come from Harry's Berries. man, those things are terrific. Flat beans are usually called romano.

2007-08-23 13:27:55.0 Russ Parsons: I'll ask them the next time i'm there. the weisers have had a great run of melons so far. and really, it's just starting. we've got another month at least.

2007-08-23 13:28:12.0 Rosemary: My beans were Fasold, from Thompson & Morgan seeds

2007-08-23 13:28:34.0 Seedboy: Braise those beans with black olive, basil and good olive oil. Stole the recipe from Olivetto in Oakland.

2007-08-23 13:28:36.0 Russ Parsons: How were they? good flavor? and how did you fix them?

2007-08-23 13:28:47.0 singleguychef: Thanks about the beans. I guess I'll just go with the old snapping test. :)

2007-08-23 13:29:02.0 Russ Parsons: Hey seedboy, if you're going to steal, steal from the best! Oliveto is great.

2007-08-23 13:29:31.0 hqian: I grew fortex beans last year. They're stringless and very tasty.

2007-08-23 13:29:45.0 Russ Parsons: yeah, they used to call those beans string beans, but they've pretty much bred the string out of them. snap beans still works, though. that's the first thing i check: if they snap when you break them in half. then i eat one of the halves. deal closed.

2007-08-23 13:30:16.0 pastille: my best melon so far this year has been a crenshaw from marina farms, I have a hard time finding good ones at the FM , especially cantaloup type, I always seem to get too green or too ripe.

2007-08-23 13:31:42.0 Russ Parsons: cantaloupes (actually, most of them are truly muskmelons) will continue to ripen after they've been picked. if it seems a little green when you get it home, leave it on the counter for a couple of days and it'll get better. Overripe can be a problem, because they're so fragrant. If you think that might be the case, press the rind--when they get overripe, the rind will be kind of mushy.

2007-08-23 13:32:07.0 hqian: Russ, I just ordered a whole sack of New Mexico green chile (arriving in a couple of weeks). Do you have any favorite recipes?

2007-08-23 13:34:09.0 Russ Parsons: oh man, i'm an old new mexican--lived there off and on since 1958. the best green chile sauce is started with a thin roux, then just add the chopped chile and some garlic. you can saute some pork with the roux if you want. to make enchiladas: fry the tortillas in hot oil just to soften, dip them in hot sauce and then layer them with cheese and grated onions. a little sauc eon top, a run into the oven and you're there. incidentally, REAL new mexicans prefer their enchiladas flat instead of rolled--since they were traditionally made with blue corn, which is too fragile to handle easily.

2007-08-23 13:34:29.0 Rosemary: My beans were perfect pencil straight, did a quick boil, then butter satue

2007-08-23 13:34:33.0 Cameron: Hey Russ. Last week, you mentioned Elephant Heart plums in the paper, and I picked some up this weekend. Absolutely delicious; they're challenging Santa Rosa for flavor. Tonight, I'm going to steal a page from your latest book (How to Pick a Peach); I'm making a Elephant Heart sorbet inspired by your mention of Elephant Heart jam.

2007-08-23 13:35:44.0 Russ Parsons: Cameron, there's a better idea: make the plum gelato from the book. i made it twice this summer and once with elephant hearts. It's really, really good. If you want, you can strain it before freezing for a finer result, but i like it chewy with little flecks of plum.

2007-08-23 13:35:59.0 hqian: Pardon my ignorance, what is roux?

2007-08-23 13:36:30.0 singleguychef: Mmm, that plum gelato sounds yummy.

2007-08-23 13:37:03.0 Russ Parsons: sorry, my bad. a roux is a thickener: cook 2 tablespoons flour in 3 tablespoons oil, just until it begins to color and turn moist. it will thicken liquid at this point (for that amount of roux, it will nicely thicken 1 cup of stock, or 2-3 cups of chile).

2007-08-23 13:37:13.0 singleguychef: Can I ask about tomatoes since it seems we're in the heart of the season. People talk about San Marzano. Do you know if they're grown locally in California or is there an equivalent variety here that tastes just like San Marzanos?

2007-08-23 13:37:35.0 Russ Parsons: if i do say so myself, it is a good gelato--there's just a little bit of cream, and i steep it with black pepper and clove (just a ltitle) to play up the spiciness of the plum.

2007-08-23 13:38:09.0 Administrator2: Abe, your question is next, I promise! :)

2007-08-23 13:39:06.0 Russ Parsons: san marzano is both a variety and a place. i think san marzano's grown in california are quite good--but a lot of the tomatoes sold as san marzano aren't really. look at the stem end: a san marzano will be squared at the end. Maryanne Carpenter at Coastal Organics also has a great sauce tomato she grows from seeds brought back from Italy by Evan Kleiman. I think she just calls them Evan's Sauce Tomatoes, or something like that. they cook up really silky and flavorful.

2007-08-23 13:39:08.0 Abe: :)

2007-08-23 13:39:21.0 Abe: How many ways can you prepared Tofu so is doesnt become boring?

2007-08-23 13:39:53.0 singleguychef: Thanks, I'll look for those tomatoes you mentioned!

2007-08-23 13:40:11.0 Russ Parsons: That's probably a question for a better cook than me Abe! personally, my favorite way to fix tofu is just plain, with some dashi and green onions on top and soy sauce around the outside.

2007-08-23 13:40:46.0 hqian: I love tofu! I usually dice and brown them first, then stir fry them. I use different sauces, Chinese, Thai...

2007-08-23 13:40:54.0 singleguychef: Abe, have you tried the softer versions of tofu? I find it's more tasty and lend well to cooking more variety of dishes than the firm type.

2007-08-23 13:41:20.0 Cameron: I'm a big fan of Japanese grilled tofu; on skewers, with a little soy sauce and mirin for a glaze.

2007-08-23 13:41:37.0 Russ Parsons: I had some soft Korean tofu at the Tofu Festival a few years ago that I still think about. they served it with just a spicy cabbage kimchi and it was remarkable.

2007-08-23 13:41:45.0 Russ Parsons: see abe, i told you you just needed to ask better cooks than me!

2007-08-23 13:42:11.0 Abe: I mostly eat the firmer type, havent tried the soft stuff yet.

2007-08-23 13:42:36.0 Rosemary: I just picked 6 San Marz this am

2007-08-23 13:42:50.0 Russ Parsons: what are you going todo with them rosemary?

2007-08-23 13:43:50.0 hqian: One thing I do with softer type of tofu. Saute some green onions in oil, then mix it into the tofu with salt. Very traditional Chinese and tasty.

2007-08-23 13:44:15.0 Cameron: For firm tofu, you can actually saute it. Think of it like a steak; brown it in a little olive oil, make a pan sauce out of the crusty fond, and voila! You don't even have to worry about cooking it all the way through.

2007-08-23 13:44:45.0 Russ Parsons: I find that real san marzanos usually benefit from cooking--use cherries for raw sauces. I like to peel them, saute them briefly with a goodamount of garlic and some dried red pepper. use a really good quality of dried pasta for this: i like latini better than any others. the pasta really carries the flavor of the tomato.

2007-08-23 13:45:22.0 Administrator2: Russ, you were talking about grape tomatoes earlier and I LOVE them...but I pretty much just eat them straight out of the container, or sometimes in salads. You mentioned them in stir fry...what else can you do with them?

2007-08-23 13:46:24.0 Russ Parsons: Grape tomatoes are a relatively new introduction--the last 10 years at the most. they are sweeter than most regular tomatoes (food geek alert: they brix 12-13% rather than 8-9%), and they have thick skins so they keep their texture well. i really like them chopped up with pasta--the raw sauce i was talking about.

2007-08-23 13:46:49.0 Administrator2: Thank you!

2007-08-23 13:46:51.0 singleguychef: Russ, I recently tried to make a version of Provencal Chicken. So I had chicken in a skillet with tomatoes and black olives and I added summer squash. It turned out really watery, I guess from the squash. Do you know if that's how Provencal Chicken should be? Next time I'm thinking of thickening the sauce.

2007-08-23 13:47:12.0 Russ Parsons: if you chop the tomatoes, salt them and add a little olive oil and then let them sit for a couple of minutes while the pasta is cooking, teh salt will pull moisture from the tomatoes and make a nice little sauce right there.

2007-08-23 13:47:52.0 Administrator2: That sounds amazing-- can't wait to try it!

2007-08-23 13:48:18.0 Russ Parsons: A lot of times we forget that most fruits and vegetables containLOTS of water. So what I'd do is saute the chicken, then remove it and cook the vegetables. Raise th heat to cook off some of the moisture, then add the chicken back to finish the dish for 5-10 minutes and marry the flavors.

2007-08-23 13:48:48.0 Nik: Good Food is a great resource! Even better that it is podcast. Does anyone else download food podcasts? Which ones? I came across the KitchenSync one with an interview with Deborah Madison. Interesting...She says Local is the new organic.

2007-08-23 13:48:58.0 singleguychef: Thanks, that's a good suggesion. I get lazy sometimes and always want to cook everything at once. ;-)

2007-08-23 13:49:16.0 Rosemary: Russ, sorry, my computer is too old for fast chat

2007-08-23 13:50:06.0 singleguychef: Yes, everyone's talking about local, sustainable, etc. I still think it's hard to be completely local.

2007-08-23 13:50:33.0 Russ Parsons: I think that's a great line from Deb. And one I heartily approve of. Funny story: Deb Madison is the first person who told me I had to move to California--that was back in about 1983 or 84 and she was staying with us in New Mexico while she finished the Greens Cookbook. I'm forever indebted to her for that (and, of course, for so many other things). she's a great resource.

2007-08-23 13:51:27.0 Russ Parsons: of course it's hard to be completely local. that's only for masochists. but as long as you keep in mind that in most cases, fruits and vegetables that are grown closest to you will have better flavor, that's the most anyone can reasonably ask.

2007-08-23 13:52:01.0 singleguychef: True, which is why I think going for fresh is similar to local.

2007-08-23 13:52:33.0 Russ Parsons: it is very similar. though, maybe we should be a little more specific and say "freshest".

2007-08-23 13:52:52.0 singleguychef: Ah yes, freshest is the best. :)

2007-08-23 13:53:03.0 Administrator2: What have you been cooking this week?

2007-08-23 13:53:59.0 Russ Parsons: i'm embarrassed to say that i haven't been cooking very much this week at all. i'm a judge on a tv food network series they're filming in Glendale, so my days have been spent locked in a studio!

2007-08-23 13:54:09.0 Administrator2: Ahh, say it isn't so, Russ!

2007-08-23 13:54:26.0 singleguychef: Russ, is that for Throwdown?

2007-08-23 13:54:57.0 Russ Parsons: next week, too. i'm going through withdrawal. actually, though, sunday i did fix a really nice linguine with clams and red chile pesto that's going to be in next week's section. from osteria mozza.

2007-08-23 13:55:33.0 Russ Parsons: no, not throwdown, it's a new series called ultimate recipe search. it's like iron chefs for home cooks. so far it's been a lot of fun. and tv is definitely different than newspapers!

2007-08-23 13:55:45.0 hqian: Can't wait for that pesto recipe. Got lots of basils.

2007-08-23 13:56:00.0 singleguychef: That sounds fun, you have to let us know when you're on TV!

2007-08-23 13:56:39.0 Russ Parsons: actually, i'm afraid,that's chef's license. there's no basil. but pesto with basil is really easy to make. pick up one of those granite mortar and pestles at a thai grocery. you'll whack it out in no time. and it's much better (i think) than blender.

2007-08-23 13:56:57.0 Russ Parsons: it's six shows airing in February, Ibelieve.

2007-08-23 13:57:27.0 singleguychef: Do you think Osteria Mozza lives up to the hype?

2007-08-23 13:58:00.0 Russ Parsons: back to pesto: pound some garlic with a little bit of salt. Add the basil a handful at a time and pound it into a paste. Slowly stir in olive oil, using the pestle to stir. finish with pine nuts and some parmigiano.

2007-08-23 13:58:07.0 hqian: Don't have pestle and mortar. My blender version isn't too bad though. I'll make another batch and freeze them later today.

2007-08-23 13:59:08.0 Russ Parsons: i think osteria mozza does a great job at what it's supposed to be. i don't know whether any restaurant could live up to that hype, though. that's a shame, because if you go in thinking it's going to be really good osteria-style food (kind of homey, big flavors), you'll be very happy.

2007-08-23 13:59:18.0 Nik: I love to explore the housewares section of ethnic grocery stores. Aside from the mortar and pestle, are there any other great (albeit quirky) finds?

2007-08-23 14:01:06.0 Russ Parsons: i'm a freak for mortars and pestles, i'm afraid--i've got 3 or 4 molcajetes (including one rick bayless sent me from chicago that is from the chicago bulls, with michael jordan's number painted on it), i've got one from England, a couple from japan. The Thai one is the most versatile. it's like a provencal marble one. other than that, let me think: i like those japanese mandolines. for $35 that's a great buy. What other gadgets do people use? oh, and lime squeezers from mexican groceries.

2007-08-23 14:01:30.0 hqian: Speaking of mortar & pestle, Times had an article on that a few years ago. But I don't remember any more where I should go to find a Thai verson.

2007-08-23 14:01:55.0 Russ Parsons: any southeast asian grocery will have it. And they cost less than $20. really a great value.

2007-08-23 14:02:19.0 Russ Parsons: i also like the big nested steamers from chinese groceries. those are really handy.

2007-08-23 14:02:46.0 Nik: You mentioned Korean tofu and Kimchee. I am positive that if you eat kimchee every day you are less likely to get a cold.

2007-08-23 14:03:08.0 Russ Parsons: hey,i'll go in for that experiment!

2007-08-23 14:03:49.0 singleguychef: Did you know Korea has a university that studies the benefits of kim chee?

2007-08-23 14:04:27.0 Russ Parsons: you mean besides being delicious?

2007-08-23 14:04:44.0 singleguychef: Yes, the health benefits. I'm pretty sure I read it in the Times.

2007-08-23 14:05:33.0 Russ Parsons: When you think about it, why is that any different than all the nutrition and dietetics departments at american universities and the foods they study?

2007-08-23 14:05:45.0 Nik: a couple of years ago we went to the Korean cultural center where they had a cooking contest using Kimchee. None of the participants were Korean. I think it is coming up again this fall

2007-08-23 14:06:22.0 singleguychef: It's probably not that different, but funny that a whole unversity is focused on one thing. Granted, it's the national dish. :)

2007-08-23 14:06:47.0 Russ Parsons: that's funny! there are, of course, hundreds of types of kim chee made with lots of things other than cabbage, garlic and chile. i imagine if you lived in a really cold climate wherethe mainstarch was rice, you would tend to develop lots of flavorings!

2007-08-23 14:07:06.0 singleguychef: Russ, this might just be a weird question, but why do they call pluots a pluot when it really seems to be just a plain ole plum?

2007-08-23 14:08:20.0 Russ Parsons: most pluots are predominantly plum, but they are in fact crosses between plums and apricots. crosses that are predominantly apricot (of which there are fewer, and they tend to be earlier) are called apriums. personally, i think pluot is one of the single worst food names ever invented. that and the stem broccoli they call "asparation."

2007-08-23 14:09:21.0 singleguychef: Oh yeah, the aprium! Again, is it really? I think my Safeway calls those broccolini, or something.

2007-08-23 14:10:05.0 singleguychef: Back to pluots, I have to say that this year I discovered the Flavor King and love it! But it's just a tasty plum to me.

2007-08-23 14:10:33.0 Russ Parsons: broccolini is much better, don't you think? asparation sounds like it was developed by a marketing guy who had been to one to many "think successful" seminars. Actually, part of it was because they were selling it as a cross betwen asparagus and broccoli. total bs. the only thing it has in common with asparagus is a long stem. but it is a very good vegetable.

2007-08-23 14:11:28.0 Russ Parsons: you're right. and dapple dandies are good, too. the apricot lineage is important mainly to botanists and farmers (the trees are slightly different and they take slightly different growing conditions, as i understand). the flavor is very definitely plum, though (sometimes, the texture is slightly apricot-y).

2007-08-23 14:11:35.0 singleguychef: I think broccolini looks more elegant on the plate, but I think plain ole broccoli tastes better.

2007-08-23 14:12:31.0 singleguychef: I'll keep an eye out for dapple dandies. Lunch hour is over for me. Thanks Russ for your time, it was an enjoyable chat!

2007-08-23 14:12:52.0 Russ Parsons: i think broccolini has a slight bitter flavor, almost like broccoli rabe, which makes it good in some dishes. but of course i love broccoli, too. funny thing about broccoli--it and cauliflower are so closely related that a lot of vegetables people think of as broccoli are actually cauliflower, and vice versa.

2007-08-23 14:13:38.0 Russ Parsons: Looks like we're startingto wind down guys. How about a couple more questions and then I'll be back to writing!

2007-08-23 14:13:59.0 sue: how do you eat figs? does one eat the whole fruit (outside and inside)? Help!

2007-08-23 14:14:58.0 Russ Parsons: one eats figs as often as one is able. seriously--the choice of peel or not to peel is up to you. Some figs (kadota, for examlpe) have thicker skins and are better peeled. most figs, that's not an issue.

2007-08-23 14:16:22.0 Russ Parsons: Thanks for coming by everybody, that was a great chat! see you next week, same time, same channel!

2007-08-23 14:16:50.0 Cameron: Thanks Russ. See you next week.

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