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The Orlando Sentinel, Fla., Heather McPherson Column: Should You Make Time for a Spot of Tea?

August 6, 2008

By Heather McPherson, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.

Aug. 6–Grab a seat. The weekly buffet of noshes and nonsense is open.

Take time for tea. Drinking four to five cups of tea a day may help maintain a healthy mind and body, according to research published in a supplement to the August issue of Journal of Nutrition. One study’s results suggest that many cups each day could improve attention and focus.

This and other studies on tea polyphenols — including research on neurological health, genetic susceptibility to cancer, and insulin sensitivity — are included in the Proceedings of the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health. The supplement also provides an update on the evidence in support of tea’s role in cardiovascular health, and the bioavailability of its beneficial flavonoids.

You can’t make this stuff up. The Chock full o’ Nuts coffee slogan “The Heavenly Coffee” now has a deeper meaning for some java junkies.

The movie The Bucket List has spawned consumer interest and requests for Chock full o’ Nuts coffee cans to stash loved ones’ ashes. In the movie, empty cans of Chock full o’ Nuts coffee are used as burial urns for the main characters played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Inspired by this idea, a handful of consumers are seeking to emulate the film by choosing to have their ashes, or ashes of a loved one, preserved in a Chock full o’ Nuts coffee can.

I’m thinking a can of baking powder for me. Nah, too claustrophobic.

Road trip anyone? The Wine Makers is a television series for public television that leaves behind the predictable world of food and wine programs for the unscripted territory of wine makers. In this reality show, 12 contestants compete for a chance to create and launch their own wine label nationwide. The first season has been shot and should pop up on local PBS schedules early next year. But casting calls for season two will be held across the country Sept. 7-21. Audition cities include Miami, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco and Napa, Calif.

Director Kevin Whelan describes the ideal candidate as “someone who is ready to take their passion for wine to the professional level.” Personally, I think the person from Napa, Calif., has got to be a ringer.

To learn how to register for an audition, visit WineMakers TV.net. Phone calls will not be accepted. Really. They mean it.

My kind of holiday. National S’mores Day is Sunday. To celebrate, I posted a bunch of great recipes at OrlandoSenti nel.com/thecookinggal that include variations on this campfire classic, tips for making s’mores on the grill and even indoor s’mores recipes such as S’mores Ice Cream Pie.

Anyone for a sugar shooter? A handful of bakeries around the country are offering frosting shots in tiny paper cups for a super sweet pick-me-up. I haven’t seen the trend in Central Florida, but icing sneakers everywhere will applaud the idea.

Food Editor Heather McPherson can be reached at 407-420-5498, hmcpherson@orlandosentinel.com or her blog OrlandoSentinel.com/thecookinggal.

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Copyright (c) 2008, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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