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The super history of supertasters

Last week, I posted a link to a story on the Atlantic, all about the history of research into supertasters — humans with the ability to taste a bitter compound called phenylthiocarbamide. It's a big part of why some people can't stand the taste of broccoli, and others love it. But that one piece isn't the full story. According to taste geneticist Stephen Wooding, it wasn't even totally accurate. Instead, he suggested three articles that anybody curious about supertasting should read. First, a history of the science that he wrote for the journal Genetics. Second, a long read by Cathryn Delude about research that might, someday, make broccoli delicious for everybody. And a University of Utah site that explains the genetics of taste. Maggie

Potato removed from clergyman's anus

"He explained to me, quite sincerely, he had been hanging curtains naked in the kitchen when he fell backwards on to the kitchen table and on to a potato," said Sheffield, England A&E nurse Trudi Watson. "But it's not for me to question his story." [Metro] Rob

Cucumbers encumber man


A farmer carries cucumbers to sell in the markets of Allahabad, India. Photo: Jitendra Prakash with Reuters.

All New Square Foot Gardening

Squarefoot Gardening.jpeg I decided to try my hand at gardening again after last having a vegetable garden in college 35 years ago (which I remembered involving a lot of work). After doing some research online I found Mel Bartholomew's squarefoot garden method appealed to my inner geekdom. Bartholomew's method relies on building and gardening in four-foot by four-foot plots/boxes. He then provides details on how to plan the optimal mixture of soil, fertilizer, and supplements to match whatever you want to grow in them. After using the method for three years I am a sold. The method assumes you know nothing, does not require you to be very handy, is inexpensive, takes up a minimal amount of space and water, is very practical and detailed, can easily be entirely organic, requires minimal weeding, and, best of all, yields lots of fresh veggies. What more could you ask for? The other books I looked at required tilling, fertilizing and weeding rows or did not focus on the basics. --John Cowling All New Squarefoot Gardening Mel Bartholomew 2006, 271 pages $12 Don't forget to comment over at Cool Tools and/or submit a tool!

HOW TO Make Some Truly Wonderful Sweet Potatoes

altheapotato.jpg

You! Stop! Drop those marshmallows! Before you make a mistake you'll regret, consider this recipe instead.

Grammy Althea's Marshmallow-Free, Awesome-Full Stove Top Sweet Potatoes

You'll Need

  • Sweet potatoes, probably about two pounds, peeled and chopped into thick hunks. Two pounds is approximate. You should have enough sweet potatoes, when chopped, to fill your skillet.
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 pound of brown sugar
  • Water
  • Cast-iron skillet

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