Hot Book Contest
Sept. 30 is the deadline for entering the fifth annual Tabasco Community Cookbook competition, sponsored by the McIlhenny Co. Nonprofit organizations that published a fund-raising cookbook in 1993, or will publish one in 1994, are eligible. Entries are judged on layout and design, title, theme, story line, reflection of regional culinary traditions, recipe content and the organization’s fund-raising efforts. Winners receive contributions for designated charities, plaques for their organizations and stickers for their books.
For an entry form or a copy of the booklet, “Compiling Culinary History: A Creative Guide to Crafting a Community Cookbook,” send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope to: Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards, Hunter MacKenzie Co., 41 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010-2202.
Celebrity Cat Lovers
Every year the Catfish Institute honors a famous catfish connoisseur, but this year it has honored two: novelist John Grisham (author of “The Firm”) and C & W singer Vince Gill (not just because of his name, we feel positive).
The North -40 Solution
What would be a good long-term solution to the problem of storing perishable foods--meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables? You could just stick it in the Canadian Arctic. Megatons of food could be stored there for as long as 23 years with no preservative but the -10o to -65o temperatures. Ben Berck, chairman of Manitoba Environmental Research Council, made this faintly science-fictional proposal quite seriously at the 208th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington on Aug. 22.
Stoli on Ice
Russian bankruptcy officials confirmed Aug. 16 that the Kristall joint-stock company, maker of Stolichnaya and two dozen other brands of vodka, has been declared insolvent. Used to operating at a loss, like many inefficient state-run enterprises from the Soviet days, Kristall has had trouble facing foreign competition. More expensive imported vodkas tend to have more prestige than top domestic brands, and vodkas from Finland, Germany, Poland, the Ukraine and Belarus often cost even less than the cheapest Russian vodkas. The Russian government says it plans to work with managers to restructure the debt-ridden company. (One reason the government is so eager to cooperate: It owns 51% of Kristall’s stock. Another: Vodka--which is taxed at the 90% level--provides about 10% of the government’s revenues.)