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GOURMANDISE

Cooking for Cash

We can't tell you exactly what Snyder resident Judith Mettlin will be preparing when she goes to the Pillsbury Bake-Off in San Francisco on Feb. 26, but we can give you a hint:

Her recipe uses only three main ingredients.

Mettlin will be one of 100 finalists from all over the nation selected to go to California to compete for the grand prize of $1 million. Her recipe for "Island Paradise Salad" is in the "Yummy Vegetables" category.

We're keeping our fingers crossed. Though the really big bucks have eluded her so far, Mettlin is no stranger to national cooking contests. She's been to the National Chicken Contest in Little Rock, the National Beef Cook-Off in Sacramento, the Build a Better Burger Contest in the Napa Valley and another bake-off in Orlando. Last year she won the local Tops Family Bake-Off with her Shrimp Soup. "It was truly delicious," she says.

Obviously Mettlin has a magic touch. How did she dream up this latest entry, for instance? "I was just sitting at my computer trying to think of something good," she says. "And I just put it together.

"My daughters -- both of whom live in Los Angeles and plan to come up to San Francisco to watch their mother compete -- were vegetarians for years, and I'm used to cooking with fruits and vegetables."

The Bake-Off winners will be announced on television on CBS Feb. 29 at 11 a.m.

Vintage bottles

In case you've been living in a cave someplace, allow us to tell you that this is the year that classic Coke will be made available in a new embossed 8-ounce glass contour bottle. Current 8-ouncers have a printed trademark -- the embossed bottle has not been used since the late '50s.

Wow, you say. But there's more, much more. "To reprise an element of fun" -- we are quoting the Coke company here, of course -- "the bottom of this classic package will carry the names of various cities around the country as they did on the first glass contour bottles ."

Different cities though. Way back in 1915, the names of cities on the bottle bottoms were embossed as a way to identify where the product was manufactured. This year's were selected because of a "special connection to Coca Cola."

Atlanta is there, of course, and Cokeville, Wyo., for obvious reasons. Also Vicksburg, Miss., where a guy by the name of Joseph A. Biedenharn was the first to put Coke into bottles.

Also Niagara Falls, N.Y. And why is that?

Let me quote the company just once more: "If all the Coca-Cola ever produced were flowing over these famous falls at its normal rate of 1.4 million gallons of water per second, the falls would flow for about a day and a half."

Bet you didn't know that, did you?

Breaducation

Soul Lievito, artisan bakers at 4776 Broadway, Depew, will be giving a series of hands-on bread classes all winter long.

Basic Methods will be taught Sundays at 4 p.m. The dates are Feb. 6, Feb. 20 and March 5.

Working With Whole Grains will be taught at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, and Feb. 14 and at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19.

Classic Flatbreads will be offered at 6 p.m. Monday, March 13.

Classes are limited in size and generally run for three hours. Please call 686-0752 for more information.

Quotable

"For many years, nobody ate chicken wings and for good reason: They are inedible. They are essentially meat-free bones. You might as well chew on a plate of toenails. But one day a shrewd restaurant owner came up with the idea of serving the wings "Buffalo style,' which means "to people who have been drinking beer.'" -- Dave Barry (as quoted in the book "Never Eat More Than You Can Lift and Other Food Quotes and Quips" by Sharon Tyler Herbst. (Broadway Books.)

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