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July 20, 2011 | By Liesl Bradner, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Like many boys, Adam Chester's most embarrassing moments occurred in middle school, courtesy of his dear mom. He was changing gym clothes alongside his buddies when he heard a familiar, shrill voice from beyond: "AAADAAM!" In through the locker room door barges his mother, with the coach and Adam's 13-year-old crush following. In his mother's hand she was waving a piece of clothing. "You forgot your sweater!" "We lived in Miami and it was going to rain that day and when it rains it pours," said Joan Chester in her defense.
June 26, 2011 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
It was a new, foodie-type twist to the old inner-city gun buyback program. Hunger Action L.A., an advocacy group that helps to feed the poor and promotes healthful eating, called on Koreatown residents to surrender their high-calorie soft drinks on Saturday and get a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables in return. The "soda exchange," which was held as part of an annual food fair at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, wasn't exactly a raging success, however. Only two residents from the area around Normandie Avenue and Olympic Boulevard took their sodas to the fair.
June 16, 2011
  Aunt Mary's yalanchi (stuffed grape leaves) Total time: 2 hours, plus cooling time Servings: About 5 dozen yalanchi Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print. Upload pictures of the finished dish here. 1 (16-ounce) jar of grape leaves (counts can vary by brand and season, but a jar should contain about 60 grape leaves)
February 10, 2011 | By W. Blake Gray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's hard to pronounce, and it can make wines that smell gamy. But Mourvèdre just might be the best grape grown in Paso Robles, one of California's hottest wine regions. Mourvèdre (more-VEH-dra) has strong endorsements from two leaders of the region. Tablas Creek's French founders chose Paso Robles for their first American winery in large measure because they saw it as ideal for Mourvèdre. And Justin Smith, owner of Saxum, says Mourvèdre is the grape that got him into Rhône-style wines in the first place.
January 20, 2011 | By Faye Levy, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Imagine turning Tax Day into a holiday. That's what happened with Tu Bishvat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat, which is Thursday. During the time of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, Tu Bishvat was the date for determining the age of fruit trees in order to calculate how much tax was owed on the harvest. After the temple was destroyed about 2,000 years ago and most of the Jews were exiled, Tu Bishvat became a festival celebrated by eating fruit associated with the land of Israel.
January 11, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
A UCLA-led team reported Monday that it had discovered a 6,000-year-old facility in an Armenian cave that contained everything necessary to produce wine from grapes, including a grape press, fermentation vats, storage jars, wine-soaked pottery shards and even a cup and drinking bowl. The ancient winery is at least 1,000 years older than any similar installation previously known, and it was found in the same cave where researchers in June announced the discovery of the world's oldest leather shoe.
December 18, 2010 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Alison Wrigley Rusack stepped off the porch of an old house on a private ranch on the rugged southwestern edge of Santa Catalina Island, where her clan once raised Arabian horses. Under sunny skies, she cast an appraising eye at the surrounding peaks, lush ravines and aging structures of El Rancho Escondido. It was a favorite family gathering place, passed down by her great-grandfather, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., who bought Santa Catalina Island Co. ? which owns all the developable land on the island ?
November 4, 2010 | By Patrick Comiskey, Special to the Los Angeles Times
For the last 30 years, the red wine spotlight in and around Italy's Piedmont region has been dominated by its big guns, Barolo and Barbaresco. And rightly so: These majestic wines are some of the country's noblest. But there is also an unsung retinue of alternative bottlings, both from the Langhe region (where the Barolo and Barbaresco growing areas are located) and from lesser-known areas beyond its borders. These areas are finally gaining a toehold in the U.S. market and proving just how diverse the region is. Northwest Italy almost seems like a confluence of several great European red wine regions, possessing reds with the majesty of Bordeaux, suppleness of Burgundy, stature of Hermitage and charm of Beaujolais or the Côtes du Rhône.
October 14, 2010 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Kim Jong Eun, newly anointed as North Korea's next leader, is quickly learning one of the oldest axioms of power: Heavy lies the crown. Just days after tens of thousands cheered as the youngest son of Kim Jong Il stood on a podium with his ailing father at a lavish military parade in Pyongyang, bad press is already besieging the future ruler. In the first public signs of discord, Kim Jong Eun's older half-brother has questioned the family's hereditary transfer of power. Kim Jong Nam told Japan's TV Asahi that he is "against third-generation succession," adding , "I think there were internal factors.
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