July 31, 2013 |
It's not easy peddling fresh fruit to a nation of junk-food addicts. But in rural Kern County, David Cain is working to win the stomachs and wallets of U.S. grocery shoppers. Cain is a fruit breeder. His latest invention is called the Cotton Candy grape. Bite into one of these green globes and the taste triggers the unmistakable sensation of eating a puffy, pink ball of spun sugar. By marrying select traits across thousands of nameless trial grapes, Cain and other breeders have developed patented varieties that pack enough sugar they may as well be Skittles on the vine.
July 20, 2013 |
Dear SOS: During my family reunion in Portland, Ore., this past summer, we stumbled upon what we all decided were the tastiest beer nuts. We had them at Deschutes Brewery at 210 NW 11th Ave. I also discovered, upon returning to California, that some of my friends didn't know what beer nuts were! I would very much like to make some and share with them. Beverly Matsuda Irvine Dear Beverly: Deschutes Brewery was happy to share its recipe for this classic sweet-and-salty bar snack.
July 17, 2013 |
Neil Diamond is being accused of getting a little extra help from his friends at Fox when he sang "Sweet Caroline" at Tuesday's All-Star Game in New York. The 1969 hit, a signature song for the 72-year-old Diamond, has been an unofficial theme song of the Boston Red Sox since 2002 and has been played since the Boston Marathon bombings as a sign of unity. On Tuesday night at the All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York -- broadcast on Fox -- Diamond crooned it to a seemingly appreciative crowd.
July 14, 2013 |
All you need to know about the British Open is that you don't dare call it that when you are at one. You can get away with typing it in stories back to the States, but don't say it to the guy eating fish and chips at the next table. It is The Open Championship, and if that sounds like it is meant to brand itself as the only one, then you are catching on. This year's Open Championship will start Thursday and continue through 72 holes and four grueling days of its usual golf misery and weather wonders.
July 9, 2013 |
Like it were planned, and perhaps it was, American fans of Chris O'Dowd left bereft by the end of Christopher Guest's HBO series "Family Tree" may jump, as from a lovely frying pan into a really nice fire, to O'Dowd's own "Moone Boy," which begins streaming Wednesday on Hulu. As it happens - and not surprisingly, given that the improvisatory "Family Tree" made much use of O'Dowd's own voice - the two series have a lot in common. Both are sweet and a little eccentric, interested in small things and informed by the creator-star's seeming good nature, though perhaps that is just the soft music of the accent.
July 4, 2013 |
To begin talking about the new indie film "The Way, Way Back," I want to go way, way back. Praise for the movie's excellent cast, anchored by Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Allison Janney and teenage rock Liam James, will come later. As good as the actors are, we must begin with the originality of the screenplay by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. The writers, who also co-direct and have small roles in the film, take a fairly straightforward story of coming of age in a time of divorce, with all the frictions that arise as kids find themselves dealing with mom and dad's new loves, but they make it feel fresh.
June 29, 2013 |
You'll find bins full of corn at farmers markets and supermarkets. These usually aren't your parents' ears, though - remember the old advice about the only way to cook it was to have the water boiling when you went out into the field? New varieties of corn have been bred to be sweeter and to hold on to that sugar longer before it converts to starch. It's convenient corn. How to choose: Ears should be well filled out (check the tips of the ears to make sure there are kernels), and make sure the silk is still soft, not dried out. Don't shuck the whole ear before buying, though; it makes the farmers really cranky.
June 18, 2013 |
The thornless blackberries in Mary Steffens' backyard in Echo Park are going on three years, and one of the plants is finally setting fruit -- big, purple-black globes of nearly seedless, sweet-tart juiciness. Steffens got the plants from a friend at Ocean View Farms, the community garden in Mar Vista, but her initial planting site was too sunny. So two years ago she moved the plants to a spot that got late afternoon sun but was shaded during the hottest part of the day. “This is basically a Northern Californian berry,” she said.
June 13, 2013 |
If the NFL wants to play at Dodger Stadium, Frank McCourt could be the sole landlord. In any case, the value of the Dodgers sale could exceed $3 billion. Those details were included in previously unreleased provisions of the sale agreement between McCourt and the Dodgers' new owners, Guggenheim Baseball Management. The Los Angeles Superior Court last week denied Guggenheim's request to keep those provisions secret; The Times obtained a financial summary of the deal Wednesday.
June 13, 2013 |
Los Angeles audiences had a brief opportunity to catch rising Broadway actor Seth Numrich in a local production of the play "Slipping" in April. The 26-year-old actor left the play early so he could begin rehearsals for a revival of Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth" at London's Old Vic Theatre, with Kim Cattrall. "Sweet Bird of Youth" officially opened this week and has garnered enthusiastic reviews from London critics. The production is directed by Marianne Elliott, who previously worked with Numrich on the Broadway run of "War Horse.