Guessing Game Contest

As you've gathered by now, this blog occasionally veers off-course (whatever that might be) into food blogdom. I found a really fun post at a blog I enjoy. You'll find the link to The Merlin blog here. It addresses the subject of how you know you're a foodie society member. Ron Merlin of The Merlin Menu blog provides a checklist of signs to look for. In reading it, I had to laugh when I got to No. 17 which reads "17. You own a Dutch Oven. Period." because in my experience almost anyone who grew up in the Midwest before 1980, has a Dutch oven and has since the day they moved from their parents' home (which of course, had at least one or in my case three). Not being critical here, just enjoying how different parts of the country can affect you and in such a variety of ways. 
Take for example my friend who was born and raised in So Cal. She's had a tortilla press forever! Something this girl will probably never own. On the other hand I have not one but two cast iron aebleskiver pans! They were passed down from my mom and aunt via their grandmother respectively. I also have two editions of a Danish cookbook put together by a society of Danes in the Midwest during the 60's. In college, I wanted a copy so badly that it was on my Christmas list! 

Currently, kale, chard and so forth are "hot" (i.e., trendy) vegetables. Well, as a child they were a regular part of my diet. Back then, it was because it's what my mom and aunt grew up with. They were kids of the first Depression and this was cheap food back then. It's kind of along the line of rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, kohlrabi, smoked ham shanks, ox tails, beef shanks, smoked butt, short ribs and so forth. In the last 10 - 15 years it's all been "discovered" by chefs and "foodies" thus costs a bloody fortune. I mean, come on, $3.99/lb. (.45 kilos) for celery root? Rhubarb for $4.99/lb? And $1.69 for a bunch of 5 wilting kale leaves? I'm not even talking organic!

I had just read an article announcing that food prices will rise sharply in the next year due to the toll on crops caused by all the global disasters so this did not bode well. I guess we can all start planning our gardens now. A great site for gardeners, beginners and advanced, is  "You Grow Girl". If you check Gayla's archives you'll find info on container gardening too. If you go to her site and click on the section "about" you'll find some pics of some of her container gardens.
Yesterday, my friend was kind enough to take me grocery shopping since my eye is still pretty puffy and I had the surprise of my life. I reached for a bunch of common celery and as I did, looked up at the price. You will NEVER guess what it cost. Seriously. I dare you! This contest will be open till Jan. 29, 2011, midnight, Pacific Standard Time. 

Leave your answer in the comment section and be sure your name and email shows. The winner will be determined by the closest guess and will receive a bottle of my LA/LA (Louisiana/Los Angeles) seasoning mix along with various uses for it including the gumbo recipe I'm so fond of. I gave this mixture away for Christmas 2009 and everyone loved it to the point that once a year I make a new batch and it sells out in a week! So I just finished a new mix and am bottling it up.
I found these little bottles at Ikea and they're perfect for my spice mixes because they allow me to leave room for shaking the spice up before using. Something that's important to do since this mix of dry herbs, ground spices and salts settle by weight when sitting. So a good shake or three followed by a minute of sitting to allow the finer spices settle and you're set to go. If you open the jar immediately after shaking, then you get spice dust in your face!

You can enter two ways:  first by leaving a comment and second by posting a link to my blog on your blog, then send me the link to your blog where the link is posted. I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you! Note:  due to Customs Inspections around the globe, I am limiting the contest to the continental U.S. So very sorry about that!

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