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Cook's Illustrated founder coming to 'burbs
By Deborah Pankey | Daily Herald Food Editor
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Published: 10/5/2010 5:24 PM

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The folks over at America's Test Kitchen certainly keep themselves busy. They publish two well-loved magazines -- Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country and an award-winning cooking show, "America's Test Kitchen (2 p.m. Saturdays on WTTW Channel 11), along with a number of books tied in with the show.

Now Cook's Illustrated founder Christopher Kimball and his righthand man Jack Bishop are touring the country and have appearances in the 'burbs later this month.

You can meet Bishop when he pops over to Oak Park Oct. 13 to talk about one of the franchise's newest books, "The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook."

He will inspire you with simple, reliable ideas for cooking healthier at home found within the 500-plus page binder-style cookbook.

Catch him at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Unity Temple at Oak Park, 857 Lake St., Oak Park. Tickets cost $5 and books will be available for sale. (708) 386-9800.

Then, at 7 p.m. Oct. 20, Kimball will be at Barbara's Bookstore, 810 Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge, to talk about and sign copies of his book, "Fannie's Last Supper."

The book recollects Kimball's incredible culinary feat to recreate a 12-course holiday meal from the 1896 yes, that's 1896 "Boston Cooking School Cook Book" by Fannie Farmer. The meal, concocted without the use of modern equipment like food processors and thermometers and using long-forgotten techniques, took two years of research and practice before it was served for guests in November 2009.

Kimball will talk about and sign copies of the book. The final meal was filmed for a PBS documentary scheduled for release later this year. (630) 920-1500 for details.

Ole: Don't let Hispanic Heritage Month slip by without taking a sip of a new/old cocktail, the Sangrita.

Sangrita is a traditional Mexican drink, generally fruity and nonalcoholic, that is enjoyed with a cordial of 100-percent agave tequila generally the blanco variety.

Try this recipe created by chef Rick Bayless of Chicago's Frontera Grill for Bohemia beer: In a small pitcher mix ¾ cup cold pomegranate juice, ¾ cup cold Bohemia (or other dark Mexican) beer, ½ cup orange juice concentrate (thawed but not diluted) and 2 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Frontera's Chipotle Hot Sauce). Serve in a small cordial or shot glass alongside a separate glass of ultra-premium tequila like Herradura Silver. Enjoy by alternately sipping the Bohemia Sangrita and tequila.

Tasty traditions: Families across the country have cherished recipes and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and their treasured dish could be worth $20,000 toward a family reunion!

Through Dec. 10, you can share an original family recipe that incorporates at least one-quarter cup of Smucker's Jam, Jelly, Preserves or Fruit Butter, along with an essay about how the recipe makes family celebrations special. The recipe must have been passed down for at least two generations and can be submitted at

To get your mind thinking about recipes that might qualify, the members of the Smucker family have shared two treasured recipes of their own Jewel Box Cookies and Grandma Lori's Marmalade Glazed Ham. You can find the recipes at the website.

• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at or (847) 427-4524. Listen to her discuss food and restaurant trends on Restaurant Radio, 5 to 6 p.m. Saturdays on WIND AM 560.