Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food Journalism - Is it for you?

Sam Hoffer, writes food column

Peg Russell

Sam Hoffer who writes "From My Carolina Kitchen," a food column for the Cherokee Scout which emphasizes casual yet elegant recipes and "how to tips," sent a newsletter with the following recommendation:
"This is an interesting newsletter I subscribe to from a food writer. Even though it is about food, it has some very good points for everyone.

The lesson about querying gives some good ideas about different kinds of publications to send queries to. In the section about Oprah, the quote, last paragraph, last sentence says it all. News you can use, third paragraph, talks about blogs and making money."

This is a market some of our members might find interesting to try. Click this site and see what think. To read the newsletter Sam Hoffer refers to, you must sign up on the website. This latest newsletter is not on the site yet.
Dianne's research finds that women read and prefer food blogs over print journalism.
For some time I subscribed to and it was great fun to read a recipe and then read the comments from those who had tried it already. Some made a few changes and liked the recipe better than the original.

On the subject of food, I want to share Peg Russell's marvelous recipe for the Rum Cake she brought to the Netwest picnic this year.

1/2 cup Bacardi Gold Rum
1 cup ch pecans
1 pk yellow cake mix
1 pk instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Preheat oven to 300. Sprinkle nuts in bottom of pan. Mix rest of ingredients; beat at high speed for two minutes. Pour over nuts. Bake one hour. Cool 15 minutes. Invert over a serving plate.

1/2 cup Bacardi Gold Rum
1/2 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water (I omit)
Melt butter. Stir in sugar, water, rum. Boil five minutes, stirring constantly. Prick top of cake with a fork and brush glaze evenly over top and sides.

Note: Can gently shake cake loose in pan, and pour glaze in sides of cake while in the pan. Leave in pan for transport.

Peg gives some history and interesting anecdotes on this recipe.

"The recipe came from a free Bacardi Rum booklet from years ago. The special gold rum (Bacardi Gold)has a strong flavor, and is best for cooking. Three years ago, my only baking pan was a bundt cake pan, and for that year I found many good recipes for bundt cakes. Last year I added tiny tart pans to make pecan tassies, and this year at a local church rummage sale, I bought a cookie press. I've already mastered the little flower press cookies (it said to put the cookie sheets in the freezer so dough would stick and it worked).

I would advise other wives not to send their husbands shopping with a list if it can be avoided. If I want something, by golly, Mike makes sure I have lots of it. The above cake recipe calls for a total of one cup of gold rum. Last fall Mike came home with a big bottle of Bacardi Gold. I took rum cakes to church luncheons, library pot-luck, Senior Games/SilverArts dinner, Marine Corps League dinner, served it for company... I think I made at least seven cakes to use all the gold rum."

Let us know when you try this Rum Cake recipe if you like it. Thanks Peg Russell and Sam Hoffer for sharing with our Netwest Mountain Writers and Poets readers.


  1. Though I don't cook much anymore, I did enjoy this article. Peg’s rum cake sounds delectable. I still enjoy reading old and ethnic cook books in my collection, especially the ones that date back to the 1920’s and 30’s. There is a lot of history, insight and writing inspiration to be found in the preparation of food.
    Thank you, Pat

  2. Pat, I am a cookbook nut.
    I have so many and after all these years, I seldom look up a recipe unless I have something special to cook.
    On my blog, I recently wrote about finding old handwritten recipes from my mother in law and how precious it is to me to find those things among my recipe books.

  3. Lady Banks has a long list of cookbooks at the bottom of her newsletter.
    This is always a fun place to go to see what is happening in the book world. Click on the address below.

  4. Peg's cake is wonderful. Moist and light. Thanks for sharing it.


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