Alibi V.13 No.11 • March 11-17, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

I once went a whole year without ever touching a doorknob. Like many Americans, I was paranoid about the fine patina of pathogenic mutants (e.g. bacteria) that encrusts most surfaces. I even used antibacterial hand gels, figuring that if I killed off the little bastards in biblical numbers, my own odds might improve. Come cold season, though, I was still wiping sniffles away (albeit with chapped, medicinal-smelling hands.) A recent report from Columbia University reaches the same conclusion I came to that miserable winter— using products with antibacterial properties can't keep you from ever getting sick. In fact, they may actually do more harm than good. The year-long study found that households that use antibacterial cleaning products are just as prone to sickness as those who don't. Why? Viruses, not bacteria, are responsible for most common infections and antibacterial agents don't kill viruses. Plus, when you scrub down your kitchen with sanitizing products, you're really just wiping out the weakest 99 percent of bacteria. This eliminates competition among the strongest strains and pushes them into a dominant position, where they're free to have wild microscopic orgies long into the night. Before long you've got a few trillion "superbacteria" that are harder to kill than a crypt full of zombies. So play it safe and only bring out the big guns when you have to— or else Bruce Campbell will kick your ass.

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Singeli Agnew

Chewing the Fat

Aimee Tang of Fremont's Fine Foods

A specialty food store four-generations old

Last month we ran a story about local specialty shops but several readers e-mailed to let us know we had omitted Fremont's Fine Foods (7901 Fourth, NW), a North Valley shop that is probably the Duke City's oldest specialty foods store. I spoke with Aimee Tang, great-granddaughter of Fremont's founder, about the shop and its long history of providing Albuquerque with gourmet imported foods.

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Jeff Drew

Valuable Kitchen Lessons

Formula 409—You're Eighty-Sixed

Making your own cleaning products is cheaper and safer

It seems that cleaning sprays, foams, powders and gels get more high-tech every year. "New, no-scrub formula!" they scream from their labels. "Triple cleaning power!" Triple the cleaning power of what? Doing nothing? Nothing has been my method for a while now and—shockingly—my house is filthy. Finally humilated into the act, I recently geared up with rubber gloves and an arsenal of toxic chemicals, forcing my bathroom to submit to an all-out, day-long grime attack. Filth may yet win the war for control of my house but I won the bathroom battle.

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Image via Pixabay

EVENT HORIZON ()

The Birb-reakfast Club

Birds and Breakfast

Good morning, sunshine! Time to put on the coffee and slap some bacon and eggs in a pan. You know what could spice up this morning routine? Other than literal spices? Birds! Put that turkey bacon down, we're talking about the local bird population at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. This Saturday Nov. 17, Friends of the Refuge are hosting Birds and Breakfast from 8 to 11am. Enjoy a catered lunch in the refuge education portable (nostalgic!) before heading out to do some bird watching in the bosque. Only have lame human eyes that can't see very far and limited knowledge? No worries, binoculars and field guides are provided at no extra charge to this already free and all ages event.
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Image via Pixabay

EVENT HORIZON ()

Doughnut/Donut: The Grey/Gray of the Food World

Doughtnut, Donut Masterclass

Have you ever wanted to make your own doughnuts, but been (understandably) intimidated by the huge vats of boiling oil involved? The folks at The Specialty Shop want to ease your fears. Head there this Saturday, Nov. 17, for their doughnut/donut masterclass, where students learn how to make the old fashioned fried doughnuts as well as biscuit donuts, cake donuts and jelly-filled doughnuts. There are two classes: one from 10:30am to 12:30pm, and another from 2 to 4pm. Don’t worry, there are plenty of samples to fill up on during and after. The class costs $25 per person, and you can make your reservation by calling 266-1212.
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Chowtown Restaurant Guide

Whether you’re more familiar with the French Riviera or the French Quarter, there are plenty of places in Albuquerque to get a taste of authentic French cuisine. Read Hosho McCreesh’s review of Le Quiche Parisienne in this issue, and check out these other restaurants in the city that will cater to your wanderlust and make you feel, if only for the evening, that you’re dining in the City of Lights. Bon appetit, mes amis.