On Thursday, taste testers at the University of Maine will try to rate a new gourmet product that incorporates minced crab into fresh pasta. The test will take place from noon to 4 p.m. in Holmes Hall and will be conducted by UM’s department of food science and human nutrition.
Bob Gadsby, a U.S. Customs Service inspector from Montana, took the cake (and $25,000) in the 44th annual National Chicken Cooking Contest with his recipe for Tuscan Chicken Cakes. His recipe is among 51 finalists featured in “The Chicken Cookbook,” which includes recipes for Chimchurri Chicken Thighs, Spicy Chicken Cutlets with Three Pepper Slaw, and Mustard Chicken Drumsticks with Sticky Sauce, among others. To order a copy, send a check or money order (no cash) for $2.95 along with your name and address to: Chicken Cookbook, Department NCC, Box 307, Coventry, CT 06238.
April is National Pecan Month. The National Pecan Shellers Association is looking for recipes that use pecans in surprising and creative ways. The most delicious, most unusual recipe in the “I Can Use Pecans in THAT?” contest will win $100. Runners-up in each of three categories (consumers, kid cooks, professionals) will receive $50. Recipes for candy or desserts are not eligible. To enter, send an original recipe that includes at least 1/2 cup of pecans with step-by-step preparation instructions to: Beth Hubrich, Contest Coordinator, National Pecan Shellers Association, 5775-G Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 by July 13. For information, rules, or to enter online, visit www.ilovepecans.org or call Beth Hubrich at (404) 252-3663.
Spa in a box
Everyone welcomes spring in Maine, but the fluctuation in temperature can take its toll on your hair and skin. What’s a girl, or guy, to do? Open a box of baking soda, of course. It’s much less expensive than a trip to the spa, and baking soda can soothe the skin, get rid of hair-product buildup and invigorate your tired tootsies. The folks at Arm & Hammer recommend the following recipes to turn a simple box of baking soda into a spalike experience: For a facial exfoliant, mix 3 parts baking soda, 1 part water and the juice of an orange (or, if you prefer, 4 drops of your favorite essential oil) to form a paste and massage on your face in a circular motion. To clarify your hair, add a teaspoon of baking soda to your usual shampoo portion, mix and wash as usual. For a magnificent manicure, mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water or liquid soap to form a paste. Rub into your hands in a circular motion to get rid of ground-in dirt and make your cuticles soft and smooth. For a pleasant pedicure, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a basin of warm water and soak your feet. In the bath, add a half-cup of baking soda to the water to neutralize acids on the skin and wash away oil and perspiration.