Random News Story: Watermelon Sells for $6,100

A black jumbo watermelon produced in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido is on sale for 630,000 yen (US$ 5,945)  at Tokyo's Isetan department store Friday, June 6, 2008 shortly after being flown into Tokyo, some 500 miles south of Hokkaido, following its bidding earlier in the day. The 24-pounder (11 kilograms) premium Densuke is the biggest among the first of 65 sold as part of the season's initial harvest and another Densuke that weighs 17-pound (8-kilogram) has fetched a record 650,000 yen ($6,100), making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold in the country — and possibly the world. (AP Photo/Tomoko A. Hosaka)

A black Japanese watermelon weighing 17 pounds just sold at auction for $6,100. Having never tried one myself, I can only imagine the awe-inspiring taste of this watermelon to justify such a hefty price.

The AP article that reported this story simply quotes a Japanese agricultural expert: “The melon is crisp and hard, with an unparalleled appeal. It’s a watermelon, but it’s not the same. It has a different level of sweetness.” Wow – thanks for the insight, now I’m ready to shell out the dough.

And to think we complain about the cost of produce in the U.S.

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Wild Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Soup

About two weeks ago I purchased a variety of mushrooms from River Valley Ranch at the Farmer’s Market. Well, those beautiful shitake, portabella and oyster mushrooms have been sitting in the refrigerator slowly decomposing. So today I decided to put them to good use and turn the mushrooms into a tasty, seasonal soup. As you can see in the photo, I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture until I was already halfway through! Read more of this >>

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Starbucks Finally Has it All!

It just keeps getting better! First I hear that Starbucks will soon be offering free Wi-Fi (news courtesy of Gapers Block). I thought it was too good to be true so I checked it out myself on the Starbucks website and found that not only will customers with a Starbucks card receive two free hours of Wi-Fi each day, but soy milk (my dairy substitute of choice) will no longer require an extra charge, and there will be free refills for brewed coffees – iced and hot!

I can’t wait to shoot that smug barista at the Old Town Starbucks a “haha I told you so” look tomorrow! He always gives me a hard time about my soy topper.

Now, if I could only find my Starbucks card…

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Arlington Heights School District Bans Birthday Cakes: Schools going too far or is it about time?

A news story that made local headlines this week got me thinking about a greater concern of the habit of celebrating and rewarding with food. The story focused on an Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 which, beginning with the next school year, will enforce a ban on bringing birthday cakes and cupcakes to school.

My initial reaction was frustration in schools taking healthy eating too far. I am all for better nutritional education and food options in schools, but I have a certain nostalgia for bringing birthday treats to class as a kid growing up in nearby Buffalo Grove. I still remember the anticipation of waiting for my mom to arrive with cupcakes, brownies, cookies or doughnut holes, and the excitement of being allowed to distribute the goodies to my classmates on my special day. How unfair that these kids wouldn’t get that same experience. Read more of this >>

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