Full of Potential

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Monday, December 06, 2010

We’ll look at the European Union’s decision to bail out Ireland—and what it means for the future of the Euro. Then, Bill Shore tells the story of attempts to develop a Malaria vaccine. Also, National Book Award-winning author Carlos Eire discusses his new memoir about leaving Havana for life in America. Plus, Ina Garten...the Barefoot Contessa herself!

Share your favorite holiday cookie recipe by 5 pm today!

John Boehner, Speaker of the House

New Yorker staff writer Peter J. Boyer discusses John Boehner, the newly appointed speaker of the House of Representatives, the most important Republican in the country. Boyer spoke with Boehner, his article “House Rule,” in the December 13 issue of The New Yorker, looks at the challenges he faces in his new role, including the influence of the Tea Party. 

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The Quest to End Malaria

Bill Shore tells the story of the scientists determined to develop a vaccine for malaria, a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. In The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria, he looks at the character and moral fiber of people who devote their lives to solving the world’s most pressing and difficult problems, and examines what drives them to persist in their work.

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Carlos Eire on his Memoir, Learning to Die in Miami

Carlos Eire discusses leaving Havana to come to America with his brother when he was 11 years old—along with his brother and thousands of other children—to begin their new life in Miami in 1962. His new memoir, Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy, the follow-up to his 2003 National Book Award–winning memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, follows him as he adjusts to life in his new home: learning English, attending American schools, and an uncertain future.

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Ina Garten: How Easy Is That?

Bestselling cookbook author and host of the Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa,” Ina Garten, discusses saving time and avoiding stress while having fun in the kitchen. Her latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips, includes easy to make recipes that are full of satisfying flavor, and includes her tips on equipment that makes a difference to her—like sharp knives, the right zester, and an extra bowl for her electric mixer.

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Ina Garten,

Guest Picks: Ina Garten

Read more to find out some fun facts about celebrity chef Ina Garten, including the albums she's listening to now.


Ina Garten on the Art of Cooking

Ina Garten was a guest on today’s show. She had this to say about gender differences in the kitchen:

“I think men tend to approach recipes differently than women. I think men tend to just throw things into pots. And I’m speaking for myself, not all women, but I follow a recipe exactly. Until I decide to change it.”

For me, recipes and cookbooks are more about inspiration than anything else. I tend to avoid the narrow confines of a “recipe” and generally follow my Italian great-grandmother's approach to making food: take handfuls of things and throw them into a pan with ample amounts of butter until whatever you’re making “looks right,” or stall until your guests have consumed enough wine that the dish “tastes adequate.” After all, you’re supposed to have fun with cooking. And what could be more entertaining at a dinner party than the occasional oil fire?

Still, I'm just one male cook and I’m not sure if my culinary philosophy proves Ina's theory about gender differences correct. So I surveyed the women who work on the Lopate Show to find out if they view cooking more as an art or a science:

Blakeney Schick:

When I’m using recipes, which is most of the time, I follow the recipe at least once; mainly because – theoretically – the recipe has been created and tested by the writer and so it should work. Then, based on what I end up with, I may tweak the recipe or throw it in the “never again” pile.

Julia Corcoran:

When I’m making something I’ve made before or that’s similar to a recipe I’m familiar with, I don’t usually follow recipes exactly. Lately I’ve stopped measuring most ingredients because I can eyeball things pretty well, and if I want to add more of one ingredient and less of another, I don’t worry about what the recipe says. But when I’m making something complicated or something I’ve never made before, I usually follow the recipe pretty closely. And with baking, I measure and follow recipes closely—the proportions of things matter more.

Melissa Eagan:

If it’s a recipe I’m doing for the first time, I follow it pretty exactly – especially with baking things. But then I’ll experiment. And if I don’t have a particular ingredient, I’ll use what I have around, instead. For instance, when I’d run out of parsley for veal scaloppini, I “made do” with dill – and it was even better. I find I want to see how the recipe was “supposed” to be and get that right, before I make it my own. But, with baking, since it’s more of a science, I tend to follow the steps.

While this survey his hardly a scientific sampling, the Barefoot Contessa appears to be roughly right—at least when it comes to my co-workers. Fortunately, I never bake for these people.


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