Saturday, October 31, 2009

News From Chocolate Cravings

Chocolate Cravings is a small, local business. The owner has been selling her chocolate creations... Guinness Brownies any one?... at local farmers markets for perhaps the last two years. She makes all kinds of chocolate barks, chocolate bars, chocolate tarts, brownies, and more. I have tried so many of her creations, but to date my two favorites remain her dark chocolate bar, and her banana curry coconut milk chocolate bark! This last one I got to try when a friend of ours hosted a party, and was so generous as to buy enough bags of all different flavors of the Chocolate Cravings bark as to allow each guest to take two bags home as a party favor.
A few months ago the owner was able to open up her own shop on Lakeside Avenue just across from the site of the Lakeside farmers market. If you haven't checked it out stop in at the upcoming Lakeside holiday shoppers event listed at the bottom of this post. Everyone I know who has attended this Lakeside event in the past couple years has had a really nice time. With samples sure to be handed out, this event may be a great time to try some of the more adventurous creations.

Here are the updates from Chocolate Cravings...

Farmers' Markets:
Chocolate Cravings will be at the Williamsburg Farmers Market this Saturday, October 31st from 8:00am to 12:00 noon. As always we will have a selection of barks, brownies and chocolate treats including: Chocolate pots de creme European Praline Pumpkin Truffles
This will be the last regular season market until the holiday markets.
The dates for the market are:
Saturday, November 21 8:30 - 12:30
Saturday, November 28 8:30 - 12:30
Saturday, December 12 8:30 - 12:30
Chocolate Cravings will be at all of the holiday markets and will be taking orders for the holidays for delivery before Christmas.
New Kitchen/Store Hours
Chocolate Cravings moved this past summer to a new kitchen space in the Lakeside Hub Shopping Center. My address is 6929 Lakeside Avenue. Store hours:Monday 9:30 - 2:30 Tuesday 9:30 - 2:30 Thursday 9:30 - 2:30 and 3:30 to 5:30 Friday 9:30 - 2:30 and 3:30 - 6:30 Saturdays - hours in December tba
Come by for a selection of barks, etc. If you are looking for something in particular, please call or email me at least a day in advance so I will have it for you.

A Holly Jolly Christmas on Lakeside Avenue
Chocolate Cravings is participating in the Holly Jolly Christmas on Friday, November 13th from 5:00 to 9:00pm and Saturday, November 14th from 10:00 to 5:00. Over 20 retailers along Lakeside Avenue will be open. Complimentary trolley rides so you can visit us and others along the avenue.Come by to sample some chocolate goodies and check out ideas for holiday entertaining and gifts. Northside Artist Studio Open House - November 21st and 22nd Chocolate Cravings will be participating in the Open House and will be at Saturday 10:00 to 4:00 and Sunday 12:00 to 4:00 1514 Westwood Avenue.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Edible Garden to close

I was very sad to hear that after 5 years as a pioneer in local food support, the Edible Garden restaurant will close on November 7. Molly Harris, who ran the restaurant since its beginning, has been an inspiration to us because of her commitment to local producers. A year ago, when she realized that many farmers struggle to make money after the market season ends, she created Fall Line Farms, and with it a way for producers and consumers to connect over the long winter. We owe a lot to her work, and hope that in the expansion of Fall Line, the support in local food will grow.

Below are the menus for the next couple of days. I encourage you to stop by before the doors close- it is a great excuse for a drive in the country, and an amazing meal to boot.


October 29 - 31, 2009


Hearty Pasta Fagioli with Smoked Ham, Heirloom Beans & Pumpkin on Grilled Parmesan Crostini



Seasonal Mixed Greens with Roasted Seasonal Squash, Farm Fresh picked Apples, Toasted Walnuts & Cinnamon Honey Vinaigrette



Roasted autumn pumpkin and herb bisque




Teriyaki Glazed Grilled Bison Short Ribs with Braised Baby Bok Choy



Chili Pepper rubbed Pan Seared French Cut Breast of Chicken with a Spicy Tomatillo Salsa



Spanish Style Braised Pork Roast with Roasted Jalapeno Peppers, Tomato, Onion & Saffron Rice



Pan seared Maryland Style Lump Crab Cake & Sautéed Jumbo Shrimp combo with a Lemon & Herb White Wine Butter Sauce



Tuscan Style Butternut Squash, Grape Tomato, Eggplant & Faro Stew with Fresh Baked Garlic Bread



Grilled ½ lb Fresh Ground Pork Burger with Sliced Fennel, Roasted Marconi Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese & Roasted Garlic Aioli



Be sure not to miss Chef Ed’s Fresh Home Baked Desserts




Seasonal Mixed Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash, Candied Pecans, Sliced Fresh Ham & a Maple Thyme Vinaigrette



BAKED FRITTATA of the Day with Dressed Greens

SOUP of the Day


Pan Seared Pork Bratwurst Burger with Lettuce Guinness Beer Braised Onions & Brie Cheese on a Seeded Soft Roll



Open Faced Sliced Bison Pot Roast with Roasted Carrots, Turnips, Potato & Cabernet infused Brown Gravy on Peasant Bread



Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Roasted Apples, White Cheddar Cheese, Spinach & Herb Aioli on Fresh Baked Foccicia



Southwestern Wrap with Black Beans, Saffron Rice, Roasted Onions, Sautéed Peppers, Lettuce, Monterey Jack Cheese & Chipotle Aioli

$ 9.95


Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Thyme infused Sautéed Onions, Swiss Cheese, Spinach & Roasted Shallot Aioli on a Soft Roll




Chunky Natural Peanut Butter Surprise with Apples, Raisins & Chocolate Chips on Soft White Bread




Sunday Brunch at Edible Garden

11:00 am to 2:00 pm


Complimentary Selection of Homemade Mini Muffins, Crumb Cake Squares & Biscotti

ENTREES ($12 - $18)

Cinnamon Spiced Brioche French Toast stuffed with Mascarpone Cheese & Virginia Bacon with Maple Butter & Brown Sugar Drizzle

2 Toasted French Baguette Crostini topped with a Fried Egg, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Hydroponic Tomato, Basil & Reduced Sweetened Balsamic Vinegar

2 Large Fresh Eggs Any Style served with Sage infused Breakfast Sausage & a Sweet Potato & Onion Hash

Grilled 1/3 lb Burger of the Day topped with Bacon, Sautéed Onion, Cheddar Cheese & a Fried Egg on a Fresh Baked Bun & a side of Roasted Potato

Chocolate Chip Silver Dollar Buttermilk Pancakes with a Vanilla Bean English Cream & a side of Sage infused Breakfast Sausage

Quiche of the Day served with Seasonal Mixed Greens tossed with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette & Grilled Multigrain Toast


Chef’s Choice Dessert of the Day with Rostov’s Fresh Brewed Coffee or Tea



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Share with us!

Guess what?! The RFC has been asked back to Virginia This Morning for another spot in November! What to focus on this time? Since it is getting cooler outside, and we especially love feasting with friends, we're thinking of sharing recipes of favorite comfort foods from our readers on the November segment. We will be focusing on foods that improve in flavor after a frost, foods like greens, persimmons, root veggies or brussels sprouts. So, if you have a favorite food for winter using one of those ingredients, something that you look forward to and that you love making for people, email us the recipe. We'll post them all, and hopefully will be able to make some of the dishes for the show.

Thanks, y'all!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Saffron is blooming!

One of the first plants I put in my garden was the fall blooming Crocus sativus, cultivated for its highly prized stigma known as saffron. In the six years I have had this garden, I am surprised every time these flowers open- they seem to appear out of nowhere, and if I am not paying attention the flowers disappear just as quickly taking the precious spice with them. I am usually doing my perennial cleanup by the time the crocus opens, and I am always so grateful to have something new to appreciate. My patch of ten bulbs has now colonized to about forty, and I will definitely add to the collection as I slowly tear out the grass in my yard to make room for food and flowers.
Each flower has three red stigmas to harvest. Last year I made the mistake of putting the saffron threads directly into a storage jar- they molded and I lost the entire crop. This year the threads are going into a small strainer until they have dried (12 hours). Granted, I only ever harvest enough for one dish, but that one dear ingredient makes the meal that much more celebratory.
I'll have to wait until spring to order more fall blooming crocus, but I know I can get them locally through Brent and Becky's in Gloucester, VA. For now, I get to dream of what to make with this year's harvest.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Want more?

I hope you have loved your farmer's market season well- I know I have. I am sad that market season is coming to a close- I will miss my Saturday morning market ritual. So, I am here to share some great news. Want to extend the season and have fresh food available through the winter? We've got options. St. Stephen's Wednesday market will be open from 4- 7 pm, November 4- December 23. Boost your holiday dinners with local food from farmers and artisans. They've got it all from the best chocolate and pasta to pastured meats and goat cheese. Come and get it!

Are you looking for more of a commitment to local food? Join Fall Line Farms. This co-op, (which gives you access to the suppliers of the Edible Garden restaurant,) charges a one time administrative fee for access to local farms and producers. Check out their website for the specialty producers included in the program. The winter season at Fall Line begins on November 1 and runs through April 30, neatly sandwiched in between market seasons. Order specialty veggies, mushrooms, meats, and coffee and pick them up on Thursdays at several convenient locations, including new sites at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in the near west end and at The Fat Goat in Northside. Who says eating with the seasons is difficult? With these options, choosing to eat locally produced food is as easy (and delicious) as pie.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thought for Food Event

From the Evolver Richmond Spore:
In the last fifty years, the meteoric rise of agribusiness has wreaked havoc upon our global food supply. Corporate entities like Monsanto and Cargill are wiping out agricultural diversity with monoculture crops, bankrupting small farmers with unsustainable practices, toxifying our waterways with pesticides and fertilizers, treating animals cruelly, and endangering the web of life with genetically modified foods.

But a growing movement is striking back and taking action to maintain our food security in the 21st Century. These “greenhorns” are creating CSAs, tending rooftop gardens, building aquaponic systems, learning permaculture principles, starting Transition Towns and eco-villages, urban homesteading, saving seed varieties, and practicing slow food ethics to ensure agricultural sustainability. In this Spore, we will, explore and discuss the alternative food networks cropping up in our local communities, as well the importance of nutrition in our lives. Spores may want to look at current FDA dietary recommendations and contrast them with the rising interest in organic/live foods, ayurvedic diets, superfoods, healing herbs, and more.

Come join us on Wed, Oct. 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at Ellwood Thompson's Local Market.

Ellwood Thompson's Local Market
4 N Thompson St
Richmond, VA 23221

Cost: $5

For more information and to join the Evolver Richmond, visit their website.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lessons from cake

For Christmas last year I gave my mom a promise to make her one supper every month. The gift of a promise- yes, really. But it is now October, and we have only missed one month (June, I think- crazy market business.) Anyway, this has been a fantastic gift for me because I get some guaranteed, uninterrupted time with my mom, and because I get to cook things I have never made before for a very loving and safe audience.
So, RVA was in the NYTimes the other day, and ever since then I have wanted a piece of the Tres Leche cake from Kuba Kuba which was mentioned in the piece. So, what a better time to try to make such a (seemingly daunting) cake than for supper with your biggest fan? I had also been wanting to check out the Pioneer Woman's blog, and as it turned out, she had a gorgeous recipe for Tres Leche cake. Pioneer woman uses a TON of photos for her recipes which I thought was silly- that is, until I started making the cake. Then of course, I loved it. Having all of those photos is like learning to cook from an actual person, not just from a recipe.
Yesterday at the Market I had several discussions with different people about why folks don't cook anymore. There are several theories, but one I think is really important is that we truly learn by teaching each other, and somehow we stopped taking the time to give those lessons in food. I used to take ballet classes, and the most beautiful thing I learned from that experience was how important the human element is in teaching something with as many subtleties as ballet- and I believe the same thing is true for cooking. These lessons and techniques are passed directly from one person to the next, as are our beliefs about the components. So, I hope you spent the summer getting dirty in the garden with your kids, and I hope you will invite each other to the kitchen table this winter. There are still so many lovely things to learn.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Honey Vanilla Ice Cream

I have been working on this recipe all summer- making it to go with every claufouti and cobbler that passed through my kitchen. Here is my favorite version of french vanilla ice cream. You are going to need this to go with all of the apple desserts you're making!

I recommend Homestead Creamery milk and cream, which are available in glass bottles at Kroger.

2 Cups Heavy Cream, separated
1 Cup whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 Cup honey
a pinch of salt
1TBS (or thereabouts) vanilla

Heat 1 Cup cream, milk, egg yolks, honey and salt over low heat, stirring constantly, until resulting custard coats the spoon. Pour mixture into remaining cream through a strainer, adding vanilla.

Cool in refrigerator, and freeze in your ice cream maker.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Compost Workshop this Saturday

From the Backyard Farmers:
This Saturday, October 17th, join us for a Compost Workshop at the Humphrey Calder Community Garden at the corner of Patterson and Thompson. The event starts at 10:00 am and will feature discussions on the composting process, cover crops, vermicompost and biodegradable products. This event has been put together by local businesses and organizations who are interested in educating people to lead more sustainable lives. Special thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Backyard Farmer, Tricycle Gardens, Green Duck and Worm Crusaders.

10:00 am – Welcome, Introductions and Overview of Compost
10:30 am – Break Out Groups
· What Is Compost – a detailed overview of what it is and how it happens
· Growing Soil – a discussion on the importance of organic matter and soil fertility and how we can accomplish this in our homes and on our farms
· WORMS – a discussion and demonstration about the wonderful work of worms and how to use worms at home to recycle your food waste
· Trashenomics – a discussion of where we are today and how much we could and should be composting.
11:45 – Compost Grab Bag and Conclusion
12:00-1:00 – Community Conversation on Composting in Richmond (optional)

This event is a great opportunity to learn a lot about one of the easiest ways to have a positive impact on the environment. You will learn how to grow your own compost and prepare your soil for a plentiful harvest in the Spring. Bring your friends, family, colleagues; tell your teachers to bring their students! There is a suggested $10 donation, but this event is open to the public.
Registration is suggested, but not required. Please contact Jess Barton at to reserve your spot.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Slow Food in Richmond

Slow Food is continuing its national membership drive, and from now until October 15 will match your donation dollar for dollar and waive the membership fee. The Richmond chapter of Slow Food is in formation, and will be set up sometime early next year.

For more on this beautiful and important movement, (and to join!) check out the Slow Food website.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shannon talks Apples on Virginia This Morning


Thanks to Anne at AgriBerry, and Chris from Thistledown Farms for their great apple knowledge and selection. Also, many thanks to the staff at Virginia this Morning for their support and for this fantastic opportunity.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Apple recipes for Virginia this Morning

We are so excited to have another spot on Virginia This Morning on October 7, especially because we get to talk about apples! Going apple picking is an annual RFC tradition, and so we have made our fair share of apple dishes. Here are several recipes we have come up with after our Carter Mountain adventures:

Curried Apple and Winter Squash Soup
Serves 4
3 small or 2 large winter squash
You can either peel and seed the squash raw, then add to the saute at the same time as you add the apples, or you can roast them before hand and add after the apples are soft. (I prefer the latter)
If you are roasting the squash, split each one in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the skin gives easily when pressed.
Let cool, and peel. Coarsely chop.

Heat over high heat:
2 TBS Butter
1TBS Black Mustard Seed
1tsp whole cumin seed

saute for a few minutes, then turn heat down and add:
2 medium sized yellow onion, coarsely chopped

Saute on medium heat until onions are translucent. Add:
2 Medium Apples, peeled and coarsely chopped
1TBS grated ginger root
2 TBS curry powder

Saute on medium heat for a few minutes to incorporate the spices into the squash, and
(You definitely want to stop and smell the soup at this point- heaven!)
Add: 4 cups broth
Let gently boil until veggies are soft, about 15 minutes. Puree, adding 1 cup of cream.
Serve with sour yogurt and cilantro.

Ginger Apple Turnovers with cranberries
makes 6
Heat oven to 400 degrees
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
Heat 4 TBS butter over medium high heat
add: 3 apples, peeled, and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
add 2TBS chopped ginger
cook until apples are soft
Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp lemon zest

Puff pastry is neatly divided into thirds when unwrapped. Flour a board and a rolling pin, and roll each third until the short end is about 6 inches long. Cut each third in half, so that you are left with six 6x6 (approximately) inch pastry squares. Place filling in one half of the square, fold over, and seal edges with a fork. Brush each one with cream (or milk). Place turnovers on a cookie sheet, then bake for about 15 minutes, or until tops are golden.

Shannon's Apple Crisp
Here is my Husband and Mother-in-Law approved recipe...( A mixture of Gala, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp or other sweet-tart apples like Braeburn works great for this. Ann from Agri-berry recommends blending different apples together to create a more complex or less one dimensional flavor.)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
For the Apples:6 large to med. apples, cored, pealed and sliced into about 1/8inch thick pieces.
Cinnamon ( about 1tsp. be careful, too much and there is no going back)
Nutmeg (1/4-1/2 tsp)
Dark Brown Sugar, or Honey, or some of both.
Add a couple tablespoons of the sugar. (you can also add about 1/4 tsp of ginger if you like and about 1/2 cup raisins)

For the Crumble:
1 cup Oats slow cook (but not steel cut)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 stick cold butter cut into small pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional). You can use a food processor to get this done in a few seconds, or you can put all the dry crumble ingredients into one large bowl and mix them together. Add the small pieces of cold butter, sprinkling them across the mixture in about 3 batches, working each wave of butter bits into the mixture by working them in with a couple of forks, or your fingers. You are squishing and separating the butter bits so that more and more surface area is coated and working it in until you have a nice crumbly texture. This really doesn't take long, no more than 5 min by hand.

Spoon the apples into a pie dish, then using your hands put the crumble on top pressing it down slightly as you cover the entire surface of the apple mixture. In the end the crumble mixture is about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 1 hour (give or take depending upon your oven.) Cool some and enjoy! I light to eat mine with a little Greek yogurt instead of ice cream.

Superb, Savory Apple Cheddar Quiche

This Quiche melds the flavors of Thyme, caramelized onion, sauteed and fresh apples, extra sharp cheddar and toasted walnuts. Quality ingredients make this dish. It is delicious! It is a great for breakfast or brunch with bacon or sausage.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

The Crust
11/4 cup all purpose flour (plus a little extra for rolling out the dough)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
6 Tbsp. Cold butter
4-6 Tbsp. Milk
2 Tsp. Dried Thyme
Combine flours and thyme in a food processor. Slice butter into about 8 pats, then dice into small cubes. Add butter to the flour mixture and pulse the food processor until the texture is even and crumbly, almost like corn meal. This should only take a few seconds. Then with food processor running add the liquid on tablespoon at a time until the dough can hold together. I have always needed at least 5 tablespoons, and since the amount of liquid you need is dependent upon the amount of humidity in the air I usually need all six to make this fall and winter time recipe.

Sprinkle flour on a flat, cool work surface. Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough turning it a quarter turn between eat roll until it is about 14 inches across. Carefully lay the crust into the bottom of your pie pan and crimp the edges of the crust. Cover the crust with plastic wrap and put in the fridge until the other ingredients are ready.

The Filling

-2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (Plus 5 slices for the top) I use Kerry Gold Cheddar for it's great flavor and because it's made from the milk of pastured cows. One block of Kerry Gold Cheddar is all that you need for this recipe.

-One Very large yellow onion, or two medium onions
-11/2 Tbsp butter
-1 large tart apple
-1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- cinnamon
- fresh ground pepper
-3 larges Eggs
-1 cup whole milk
First grate the two cups cheddar, and cut five slices. Half onion and slice into 1/4" slices. Saute the onion in the butter on medium high heat. While that's cooking peel and slice apple into 1/8" slices. Cut enough of these slices into 4ths to fill 1/2 cup.

Once the onions have become translucent add the 1/2 cup of chopped apples and continue cooking on medium high until the onions have become caramelized.

While the apples and onions are cooking beat the 3 eggs and the cup of milk. Add a couple pinches of salt, about 8 good turns of the pepper mill and two dashes of cinnamon to the egg mixture. Set aside. Place 1 cup whole walnuts on a cookie sheet and set in oven to roast for 5 minutes. Take out and remove immediately from cookie sheet. Allow to cool slightly and then finely chop.
Now you're ready to assemble your quiche. Sprinkle 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts across the bottom the pie crust. Then add all of the shredded cheddar cheese. Next, add fresh apple slices around the sides so they are standing end to end long ways. Place 5-7 fresh apple slices on top of the cheddar cheese. Finally add the caramelized onion and cooked apple mixture. Re-whisk the egg mixture and pour over the onions. Smash onions down a bit if they aren't covered by the eggs. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and then the slices of cheddar arranged on top.
Cover and Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Apple Honey Salad
This is one of my favorite ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without a lot of fuss. It's easy, delicious and as far as sweets go... quit good for you. I also would eat this with Greek yogurt for breakfast. Core and chop one medium sized apple leaving the peal on.
Add 1/3-1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
and 1/4 cup sweetened, dried cranberries.
Add enough good local honey to just coat the mixture.
Red Cabbage Apple Slaw
I love this recipe, love it. It is so good and goes so well with pork, chicken, roasted vegetables, burgers, basically you name it. Here's what you'll need...
1 small red cabbage
2 medium tart apples (like granny smith)
2 large carrots (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4-1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp celery seed.
Core the cabbage and cut into eighths. Chop the quarters into 1/4" slices. Grate the apple in a food processor or by hand. Same for the Carrots. Whisk all the other ingredients together well and then combine with the cabbage, apples and carrots. This dish taste best when it's been made a few hours ahead of time. Store it in the fridge, but be warned that the red cabbage will turn your yogurt and mayo sauce to a slightly grey color if it's left to sit to long.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Scary Foods

I will eat anything- well, try it anyway. Ok, everything except meat. But plant wise- why not? Just this year, I have tried Mulberries and Persimmons right off the tree, Wild Asparagus, Oyster Mushrooms that I helped inoculate, Native Passion Fruit, Lotus, Kousa Dogwood fruit, Toothache plant (THAT was interesting...) and Stevia. Ginkgo fruit is on the list, which, if you have ever smelled its flesh, you would know how very daring my plan is. (Most people say that the fruit of this tree smells like puke. I am very excited...)
Anyway just this week, I have run into two plant products which are entirely edible, that I cannot bring myself to try. The first is a ghost pepper, given to me by the Venezianos of Sweetwater Farm in Louisa. I like spicy foods, but I am absolutely terrified of this pepper. The ghost pepper has a Scoville rating of 1,001,304 SHU- WAY hotter than a habanero. In fact, in certain parts of the world, people rub the tops of their fences with the oil from this pepper to keep elephants out. Elephants! I might get brave and make a hot sauce out of it, but right now the pepper and I are having a bit of a standoff. It is the hottest pepper in the world, and I still value my taste buds...
So, the second plant product I discovered that I WILL not eat is Corn Smut. (First of all- the name is not so enticing.) I have a prejudice about corn anyway, what with its taking over the idea of real food and all, so I don't plant much of it. I did have some stalks of a dent corn called 'Bloody Butcher' which was coming along nicely, when I saw one of the cobs on the ground with these gray leechy looking things surrounding it. It looked like the corn was nursing this colony of fat, gray larvae of some kind- really, really gross. So, I poked it. Turns out, those distended, sick looking things WERE the kernels, swollen to twenty times the normal size and infested with a black fungus that is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Egads. Here is a link to some one's blog who did wind up eating it. Gives me shivers...