5@5 - Overlooked Southern ingredients
October 5th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

What is Southern food?

We've posed the question many times in these here virtual walls, and each time, at least one commenter will confine Southern cuisine to its prevalent meat 'n' three and deep-fried parameters.

Hugh Acheson may be Canadian-born but he quickly learned that being Southern might just be a state of mind, especially when it comes to cooking. And, just because a food is served up below the Mason-Dixon doesn't mean it has to be drenched in Crisco and the antithesis of refined.

Acheson is the chef and partner of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia, and Empire State South in Atlanta. He is also the author of A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen and a recent contestant on "Top Chef Masters."

Five Overlooked Southern Ingredients: Hugh Acheson

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Hugh Acheson • Southern • Think

Box lunch: Therapeutic pastries and the gender of eating
October 5th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Cinnamon rolls are a "warm blanket" for a disheartened soul. - NPR

  • In today's lesson in caveman instincts, men eat more when women are around. - Jezebel

  • Hiring local farm hands instead of foreign workers is easier said than done. - New York Times

  • What exactly are Texas taxpayers paying for with the new season of 'Top Chef?' - Dallas Observer

  • Beetlemania in Florida threatens the avocado industry. - CFN13
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Twitter, feed me
October 5th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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This is part of "Our Mobile Society," CNN's weeklong series examining how cell phones and other electronic devices have revolutionized the ways we work, play and communicate.

There is nothing more compelling than a woman eating lunch on her own.

My friend Stephen told me this some twenty years ago, and it's stuck with me. At the time, I was shell-shocked from a split with my first serious boyfriend and feeling hard pressed to find pleasure in anything - eating, going to classes, running a brush through my hair. My friends had been incredibly compassionate for the first few weeks (okay, months) but were increasingly eager for an end to my wallowing. Stephen, terminally uncoupled himself, was single-minded in his attempts to show me some tough love and self respect.

"You keep making noises about being an independent woman. Do it. It doesn't make you a loser; it makes you...mysterious." He walked me to the host stand of our local bookstore/cafe and handed me over to our regular waiter with, I could have sworn, a sly nod.

Breakfast buffet: National apple brown betty day
October 5th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Harvest season is about to come to fruition - October 5 is National Apple Brown Betty Day!

Dig in to Nancy Reagan's favorite dessert! This dish, which is a cross between bread pudding and fruit cobbler,  is as American as apple pie and we've been serving it up since colonial times.

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