This year's Menu for Hope (the third year of its existence) food bloggers all over the world will raise funds for the United Nations World Food Programme, a worthy cause indeed: they reached nearly 100 million people in 2005. Our nitwit American government would have us believe that hunger cannot be quantified, thereby reducing the very personal experience of hunger (gnawing, ragged, desperate, ugly hunger) into a pleasant little bit of scientific code involving "food security". As in, you are no longer hungry, you have “very low food security.” Or, as a little boy at a shelter in San Francisco described his hunger, “my stomach is touching my back.”
To support fund-raising efforts, I Heart Farms is pleased to offer to a very lucky fan, courtesy of Chef Thomas Keller, Michael Ruhlman, and Susie Heller (the co-authors of The French Laundry Cookbook), an autographed copy of this cookbook, with personalized inscriptions by all three authors. Ah, this will be a well-traveled cookbook, going from my house here on the Central Coast of California to Napa, where Mr. Keller and Ms. Heller will sign and personalize your cookbook before sending it to the frigid shores of Lake Erie, specifically to Cleveland's own Michael Ruhlman, who has co-authored all of the good chef's cookbooks.
In case you are wondering if it's possible to cook from this cookbook, and if Ruhlman himself does so, well, the very first communication I had with Michael was about just this topic. (Don't you hate finding a typo that you can't fix, and knowing it's three years old? “Necessary ambiance necessary”? Department of Redundancy Department!) No, I have never cooked from it.
So here's how this works. For a measly $10, you can buy a raffle ticket for all kinds of glorious, splendiferous goodies that have been amassed by the talented and well-connected food bloggers whose works you probably already enjoy. If you want to see the hostess with the mostest, please visit the beautiful and beloved Ms. Sam Breach over at Becks Posh Nosh, our West Coast liaison, whose list of tempting goodies is off the charts. (Seriously.)
Then go on over to the Menu for Hope III donation page, and have at it. You will need to use a certain code for this item, and that code is UW37. Use that code in the Personal Message section of your donation (you'll see how it works at the donation site).
The final thing you need to know is that the book can only be mailed (via media post) to a United States address.
Menu for Hope III concludes at 6:00 PM PST on December 22. The raffle itself, which is being done electronically (hopefully not with employees of Diebold at the helm—just kidding, it is none other than the brilliant and wonderful Derrick Schneider who designed the program that will select the winners), will conclude on January 15.
That's all for today—I have something outrageous to post about soon, something that ought to piss us off about as much as hacking the ballot boxes in 2004 did. Time to open a can of Butt Whoop!
Meanwhile, wouldn't you like to have sweet nothings crooning from Thomas Keller in your very own French Laundry cookbook? Mais oui!
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “The rich swell up with pride, the poor from hunger.” —
Have you ever known hunger?
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UPDATE: December 17.
Please read this post.
We're adding four jars of organic fruit jams, made by Heidi Schlect, one of Slow Food Santa Cruz's delegates to Terra Madre in Italy this year. Code for the French Laundry cookbook and these lovely jams is UW37.