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eG Foodblog: mizducky - The Tightwad Gourmand turns pro

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#31 mizducky

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:06 PM

So here is my haul from today's shopping:

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Cunningly displayed against the backdrop of my roommate's George Foreman Grill, we have here from 99 Ranch: bean curd sticks; seasoned nori strips (meant for garnishes on salads and soups, but I just snack on 'em instead of more fattening chips); fermented bean curd in chile oil; toban jian (chile-bean sauce); king oyster a.k.a. eryngii mushrooms (very meaty, terrific in stews); baby bok choy; little shrimp (in shell, heads off); a fish head (think it was from a carp--destined for soup). From Windmill Farms: fish oil capsules (for heart and joint health); powdered psyillium (for fiber and regularity--weight loss and blood pressure meds tend to make my bod do wacky things with water retention, which in turn tends to mess with, erm, other things, so my doc suggested I add a benign bulk fiber laxative to my routine).

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From North Park Produce: Mediterranean dark roast coffee; a little honey bear (hey, it was on sale for 99 cents!); celery; eggplant; blood oranges (moros, 99 cents/pound--couldn't resist); Laughing Cow Light cheese (the only low fat cheese I have yet encountered that actually tastes great) one each onion and garlic flavors; whole wheat pita (my standard sandwich-making bread--low fat, low calorie, high fiber, versatile, and nice-tasting). The bags of snack foods and the big honkin' jars of protein powder are the property of my roommate. :biggrin:

As long as we've started the grand tour of the kitchen, let me show you its full ghetto fabulousness: :rolleyes:
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Hey, at least the floor isn't quite as grungy as when I last showed it to you! :blush:

And the squalor continues over here:
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Not quite enough room in the pantry, so I created this funky little annex.

Meanwhile, a bunch of my favorite ingredients live up here:
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And then there is the vortex of chaos known as the fridge:
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Somewhere, Martha Stewart is cringing in horror. :laugh:

Anyway, so my meeting ran a little longer than I expected, and when I arrived home I was famished. So I quickly blanched and shocked the shrimp, peeled a quarter-pound's worth (yes, I measured), softened some bean thread noodles in some home-made turkey broth I had in the fridge, added some baby bok choy and the shrimp, and voila--soup!
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Simple, fast, filling, and satisfying. The apple is for a little later. The glass is full of diet lemonade (Kroger's store-brand knock-off of Crystal Light). I drink a ton of that stuff. Keeping well hydrated is crucial while losing weight, especially in a dry climate like Southern California. But I hate drinking water--it's just so ... boring. So one of my few concessions to diet industry products is diet soft drinks like this. I'm not totally thrilled with taking in that much artificial sweetener, but I'm even less thrilled with what happens to me when I get dehydrated.

#32 mizducky

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 11:19 PM

Did you get anything from the pastry case? Or are you not terribly tempted by sweets?

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I am extremely fortunate that I'm not really a sweets person. It was meat and fat that were my traditional downfalls--greasy burgers and fries, huge deli sandwiches, loaded pizzas, barbeque, that kind of thing. Not that I wouldn't inhale a boxful of Girl Scout cookies if left in my immediate vicinity, but given the choice between that and a whole Hebrew National salami, I'd choose the meat every time. No wonder I came down with gout! Ironically, an acute gout attack is marvelous negative reinforcement against overdoing it with the animal protein; I'm often tempted, but I just reflect on what it felt like to have my big toe totally immobilize me and the temptation passes.

I don't remember why the "duck" in your name, but perhaps you'll have to change it to a swan, after all that weight loss.  Congratulations!

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Thank you! (And thanks to everyone who has offered their congratulations!)

"Ducky" is an old nickname hung on my by my brother, who is two years younger than me. When we were both in college, only several states apart from each other, he would write me these letters that were so hysterically funny that they demanded to be read out loud to my friends. One letter my brother chose to open with the salutation "Dearest Ducky"--just because he liked the alliteration. My friends just about fell on the floor, and started calling me Ducky, greeting me with quacking noises. I actually was delighted--it was the first nickname anyone had ever hung on me that I actually liked--and began to encourage them. And the rest was history. :smile:

#33 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:01 AM

On tap for tomorrow (God/ess willing and my knees don't crap out): I plan to take you along to a whole 'nother side of the San Diego experience; maybe fit in that bowl of bun bo Hue along the way; and since I have no other commitments tomorrow evening, maybe I'll do some kind of cooking experiment with that fish head.

Speaking of which: Right now I'm thinking of making soup, using a sinigiang soup packet I'd bought previously and that eggplant I bought today (thanks again, Doddie, for reassuring me that those packets are the real deal). But I'll be happy to entertain other suggestions--if I don't use 'em with this head, I'll certainly use 'em in future, because this whole business of cooking with fish heads is another recent fascination of mine. Pertinent info: the head weighed about two pounds before cleaning; the fishmonger did clean it, removing the gills and chopping it into about eight pieces or so; and like I said, my best guess is that it was a carp head (the species was not specified in the store, but my admittedly brief experience is that the big ones they sell for cheap tend to be carp).

#34 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:05 AM

Mizducky, you got (cleaned) fish heads, eggplant, bok choy and sinigang packet???? You're all set. Just boil a tomato and an onion in a small pot of water. When everything is boiling, add the fish heads and the sinigang packet. Give it 2-3 minutes of cooking (or until you see that the fish is done), then add the cut up veggies (bok choy and slices of eggplant). When the eggplant is done, the sinigang is too! Dip fish meat in fish sauce and sip the broth. Aaaah, sinigang heaven!

PS. To add tomatoey goodness, mash the tomato in the soup before serving. Tummy growling now for some sinigang!
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

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eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#35 hzrt8w

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:00 AM

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Congrats on your weight loss, Ellen!

Where is Golden Hill in San Diego? This restaurant looks lovely!
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#36 hzrt8w

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:12 AM

Oops--forgot to take the Obligatory Pocky Shot! But I did get this shot of 99's bakery case:
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That looks good. But I think the "Kee Wah" in Monterey Park (and San Gabriel, and Milpitas) - if you have ever tried it, is even better. (And so are a few in San Francisco China Town.) I hope Kee Wah will open shop in San Diego some day (and I might consider moving back to SD!!! :wink: ).

Edited by hzrt8w, 20 March 2007 - 01:22 PM.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#37 Rehovot

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:38 AM

Congratulations on everything! It's quite inspiring, what you've accomplished. And that soup is pretty inspiring too--really fast and delish-looking. Blog on! :smile:

#38 Carrot Top

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 05:00 AM

Somewhere, Martha Stewart is cringing in horror. :laugh:

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Your "appeal rating" ranks much much higher, at least in my book, than Martha's does, mizducky. :wink:

Congrats on the new regime. :smile:

That soup looked astonishingly rich-tasting.

#39 MarketStEl

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 08:48 AM

Checking in late for my flight to disgustingly sunny San Diego!

And let me add my Huzzahs and Congratulations on your successful shedding of 114 pounds one at a time. Spinning my wheels as I am in the neighborhood of 205, I can only salute you. (I'm probably engaged in self-sabotage. However, I did take one piece of advice you gave me a while back: I keep cases of Laughing Cow Light cheese in my desk drawer for snacking, along with tins of sardines; this--I hope!--helps cut down on the urge to overindulge at the campus dining hall, which I manage to do on my weekly visits.)

Keep up the good work, Ducks!

Now, on to your travels so far:

I'll be showing you my purchases in a soon-to-follow post, but meanwhile on to the next stop: Windmill Farms, a local independent health-food supermarket:
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Looks like a former Safeway, vintage mid-'60s. Am I in the ballpark?

So here is my haul from today's shopping:

[...]

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From North Park Produce: Mediterranean dark roast coffee; a little honey bear (hey, it was on sale for 99 cents!); celery; eggplant; blood oranges (moros, 99 cents/pound--couldn't resist); Laughing Cow Light cheese (the only low fat cheese I have yet encountered that actually tastes great) one each onion and garlic flavors; whole wheat pita (my standard sandwich-making bread--low fat, low calorie, high fiber, versatile, and nice-tasting). The bags of snack foods and the big honkin' jars of protein powder are the property of my roommate. :biggrin:


Actually, while we're on the subject of light cheese, you might want to see if you can find Cabot 50% Light Cheddar out your way. It actually has a distinct Cheddar sharpness and decent mouthfeel, though you can tell the difference between it and their full-fat product. Still, I've tried it, and it's not too shabby at all. (I don't know whether Tillamook makes a similar product. As I consider Cabot and Tillamook roughly equal in quality, with Tillamook having the edge on flavor, if you do happen to find something that calls itself "Tillamook Light Cheddar," try it. I know I haven't seen such a creature over on this coast.)

As long as we've started the grand tour of the kitchen, let me show you its full ghetto fabulousness: :rolleyes:
Posted Image
Hey, at least the floor isn't quite as grungy as when I last showed it to you! :blush:

And the squalor continues over here:
Posted Image
Not quite enough room in the pantry, so I created this funky little annex.

Meanwhile, a bunch of my favorite ingredients live up here:
Posted Image

And then there is the vortex of chaos known as the fridge:
Posted Image

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Posted Image

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Somewhere, Martha Stewart is cringing in horror. :laugh:

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No wonder you said you were thinking of me as you posted your fridge shots! Your fridge could easily pass for my own. So could your kitchen, with some minor alterations (a real tile floor and varnished hardwood door and drawer faces).

Do you keep a messy desk too?

Switching gears only slightly: I found out on Saturday that a fellow PGMCer in the baritone section is one of those cultural rarities: He's Vietnamese-American, and he loves cheese.* He got this from his father, who, he told me, routinely ordered pizza with extra cheese, took out chopsticks, ate the cheese off the pizza, and discarded the rest of the pie.

Usually, Asian cuisines and dairy foods don't mix. Do you find your love of both in any way unusual?

*I have made it a mission to have this fellow and Vince (see second foodblog) over soon for a cheese orgy.
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

#40 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:20 AM

Good morning, world!

Just having coffee at my computer right now, as I plan to have a late breakfast/brunch/blunch thing as soon as I get out of the house. But first, catching up with some queries:

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Congrats on your weight loss, Ellen!

Where is Golden Hill in San Diego? This restaurant looks lovely!

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Thank you, Ah Leung! Golden Hill is the neighborhood that wraps around the south border of Balboa Park; it merges into the equally wonderful neighborhood of South Park, which lies along the southern end of the park's eastern border. Both Golden Hill and South Park have lots of gracious older homes (old by West Coast urban area standards, I mean--lots of wood-frame Craftsman era homes), lots of trees, broad streets, and little funky shops. Lots of artists, musicians, writers, and other assorted creative-bohemian types live there. I'm hoping to work a more extensive visit to the area into the blog later in the week.

I'll be showing you my purchases in a soon-to-follow post, but meanwhile on to the next stop: Windmill Farms, a local independent health-food supermarket:
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Looks like a former Safeway, vintage mid-'60s. Am I in the ballpark?

It does look like a repurposed building, doesn't it? A preliminary poking about the web turns up that the previous market in this space was another indie known as Stump's (after the owner's last name); was unable to find out who owned the building before them. Windmill Farms' website, while very nice, is not particularly informative on the matter.

Actually, while we're on the subject of light cheese, you might want to see if you can find Cabot 50% Light Cheddar out your way.  It actually has a distinct Cheddar sharpness and decent mouthfeel, though you can tell the difference between it and their full-fat product.  Still, I've tried it, and it's not too shabby at all.  (I don't know whether Tillamook makes a similar product.  As I consider Cabot and Tillamook roughly equal in quality, with Tillamook having the edge on flavor, if you do happen to find something that calls itself "Tillamook Light Cheddar," try it.  I know I haven't seen such a creature over on this coast.)

Thanks for the tip--I'm pretty sure I've seen the Cabot light cheeses in some store or other; now I'll make a point of it to seek them out.

No wonder you said you were thinking of me as you posted your fridge shots!  Your fridge could easily pass for my own.  So could your kitchen, with some minor alterations (a real tile floor and varnished hardwood door and drawer faces).

Do you keep a messy desk too?

I try my damnedest not to, but succeed only by dint of finding drawers, boxes, and trays into which to shove the mess so I don't have to look at it. :laugh:

Usually, Asian cuisines and dairy foods don't mix.  Do you find your love of both in any way unusual?

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Nah, I'm a total Euro-American product there--in fact, cheese used to be my second-worst temptation right behind greasy meaty stuff. However, I do confess to sometimes still being a little startled by modern Asian dishes that incorporate dairy in non-traditional ways--for instance, cream cheese in sushi rolls. But whereas someone who grew up in an Asian culture might react with "Hey--that's an alien ingredient in my people's dish!" my reaction might be more like "Hey--that's that's one of my people's ingredients in another people's dish!" Then again, I'm certain there are plenty of Asians who are understandably perplexed by Americans' tendency to, say, splash soy sauce randomly over all sorts of non-Asian ingredients and proclaim the resulting dish to be "Asian" or even "fusion." Cross-cultural culinary borrowing can be fun! :laugh:

Ironically, though, I and my generation of offspring of Eastern European Jews have our own break-with-the-past relationship to cheese and other dairy. My ancestors, keeping kosher, would have held combinations of meat and dairy to be religiously unfit for consumption. Even though my grandparents largely abandoned the religion when they came to the Goldene Medina ("Golden Land" a.k.a. America), they probably still thought of cheeseburgers, and even reubens, as just kind of ... weird and alien. My parents, however, had no such compunctions--hell, they're the ones from whom I learned to hoover up every available bit of food in sight. :laugh:

(edited to fix as many tyops as I coud find... :biggrin: )

Edited by mizducky, 20 March 2007 - 11:24 AM.


#41 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:50 AM

Okay, I am at last headed out the door--and a good thing too, I'm hungry! See you all later this afternoon ... and in the meantime, if you have any questions or requests, please to be posting away.

#42 hzrt8w

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:11 PM

Thank you, Ah Leung! Golden Hill is the neighborhood that wraps around the south border of Balboa Park; it merges into the equally wonderful neighborhood of South Park, which lies along the southern end of the park's eastern border. Both Golden Hill and South Park have lots of gracious older homes (old by West Coast urban area standards, I mean--lots of wood-frame Craftsman era homes), lots of trees, broad streets, and little funky shops. Lots of artists, musicians, writers, and other assorted creative-bohemian types live there. I'm hoping to work a more extensive visit to the area into the blog later in the week.

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Oh yeah! Balboa Park... near downtown SD. Of couse! I remember that area well. Very nice! I have never learned of the name Golden Hill of the 4 years I lived in SD. :sad: I loved the wonderful dessert and coffee at that what-daya-callit place in the area... I am sure you would refresh me of the name. :raz: 5th and around Upas? Something like that?
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#43 MarketStEl

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 12:19 PM


Usually, Asian cuisines and dairy foods don't mix.  Do you find your love of both in any way unusual?

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Nah, I'm a total Euro-American product there--in fact, cheese used to be my second-worst temptation right behind greasy meaty stuff. However, I do confess to sometimes still being a little startled by modern Asian dishes that incorporate dairy in non-traditional ways--for instance, cream cheese in sushi rolls.


Philly rolls! (Named, of course, for the cream cheese, not because they originated in Philadelphia. In that sense, they are worthy descendants of the cream cheese itself.)

Then again, I'm certain there are plenty of Asians who are understandably perplexed by Americans' tendency to, say, splash soy sauce randomly over all sorts of non-Asian ingredients and proclaim the resulting dish to be "Asian" or even "fusion." Cross-cultural culinary borrowing can be fun! :laugh:


I have this recollection of reading somewhere an item that basically boiled down a bunch of ethnic and national cuisines to one or two key ingredients. Cilantro? Mexican. Ginger? East Asian. Curry? Indian. And so on. The article was a sort of culinary equivalent of the hip-hop music practice of "sampling." In this fashion, one could theoretically replicate the entire United Nations in a single dish, which would in all likelihood be nearly inedible.


Ironically, though, I and my generation of offspring of Eastern European Jews have our own break-with-the-past relationship to cheese and other dairy. My ancestors, keeping kosher, would have held combinations of meat and dairy to be religiously unfit for consumption. Even though my grandparents largely abandoned the religion when they came to the Goldene Medina ("Golden Land" a.k.a. America), they probably still thought of cheeseburgers, and even reubens, as just kind of ... weird and alien. My parents, however, had no such compunctions--hell, they're the ones from whom I learned to hoover up every available bit of food in sight. :laugh:

(edited to fix as many tyops as I coud find... :biggrin: )

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So had you retained your religious as well as ethnic ties, you would no doubt be a Reconstructionist Jew.

Say what you will about Christianity, it lets you off the hook for a multitude of sins. :wink: (There's a passage in, I believe, Acts where the Apostle Paul is presented with a vision in which all sorts of unclean foods are laid before him in a sort of huge buffet, and the voice of the Lord commands him to eat. He protests that the law forbids this, but the Lord replies that through the sacrifice of Christ, we are released from having to observe these petty rules. I could comment further on this, but that would be venturing way OT. :wink: )
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen
My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

#44 lucylou95816

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 05:09 PM

mizducky, that weight loss is sure something to be proud of. I am looking forward on how you are able to incorporate great taste in your food, which would be hard for me on a site like this. Now I must go read the first blogs..blog on.

#45 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 06:10 PM

Hello--a very weary duckling here, returned from her little field trip with lots to share. There will be a brief intermission while I get photos sorted. See you in a few...

#46 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 06:13 PM

Oh goody! More foodie pics. Doddie waits with eager anticipation. :)
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#47 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 08:09 PM

"You know I'm going to be twenty-five? ... That's a quarter of a century. Makes a girl think." -- Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like It Hot" (one of my all-time favorite movies in the universe)

Those of you who are movie buffs may already know that the "Florida" hotel where much of the action in "Some Like It Hot" takes place was actually played by a beloved San Diego area institution, the Hotel Del Coronado. We'll be getting to "the Del" shortly, but first we gotta coffee up:
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I bought this wacky little gadget in a local Korean grocery, after looking about in vain for one of those old-school Melitta plastic cones you would set on top of a mug to make a single serving of coffee. It's kind of a pain in the butt to use, as you have to stand there with the kettle pouring in boiled water bit by bit, but it makes surprisingly good coffee. That Mediterranean dark roast I bought yesterday, by the way, is quite tasty, although the staff person who helped me probably ground it a little finer than I needed it.

Next order of business was grabbing brunch/blunch/whatever--I wuz getting pretty hungry, and I knew this place would take good care of me:
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Mien Trung is a tiny little Vietnamese place located in Linda Vista, a neighborhood just south of Kearny Mesa with a large Vietnamese enclave. Mien Trung has an unusually short menu for a Vietnamese restaurant, that doesn't even bother with pho -- but they make what I and various foodie friends have decided is probably the best bowl of bun bo Hue in San Diego:
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This is the #2 Bun Bo Hue dac biet (all sorts of diacritical marks missing)--it's the delux extra-large version, and in addition to the traditional slice of pork hock, slices of well-done brisket, chunks of beef tendon and cubes of pork blood, it contains a couple of slices of gio lua, that mortadella-like Vietnames steamed sausage. The broth is fiery hot and delicious, the bun noodles maybe a little overly soft but quite soothing, and the side-dish of veggie/herbal add-ins generous and varied. They have a bunch of other intriguing things on the menu, but I'm so enamored of their bun bo Hue I've yet to bring myself to order something else from them.

Suitably fortified. I head for the Coronado Bridge. This is a long tall graceful arch of concrete that rises waaaaaaay high over San Diego Harbor (the better to let huge freighters and military seacraft pass under it) to connect the mainland with the northern end of Coronado Island. With my fear of heights, driving this bridge is an adventure! So the only photo I have of it for today is this shot taken once I was well-settled on terra firma on the other side:
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The City of Coronado is entirely separate politically from the City of San Diego--and in many other ways it might as well be on a whole other planet. It's not just that they've got money. They've also got a whole more mellow scene going on:
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A shot down the peaceful end of the main drag, Orange Avenue.

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Spreckels Park, named after the wealthy shipping magnate whose early investments in the sleepy 19th century village of San Diego were fundamental in booting it towards big-city-hood. (More about John D. Spreckels here.) This little park is near and dear to my heart for the annual summer concert series held here, to which seemingly the whole town comes, bringing their picnic coolers and blankets along. My buddies in Rockola have been regulars in this concert series for years.

And there are also food-oriented reasons I've dragged you all out here, one of which is: a farmer's market!
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This weekly market takes place in the parking lot of "The Landing," which is one of those touristy shopping/dining complexes that developers persist in selling to cities as a great business deal. Eh--not my cup of frou frou. But their parking lot does make a nice place to sell produce:
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The strawberries looked especially gorgeous, but I was afraid they'd get all bunged up by the time I finished gallivanting around and headed home. But I couldn't resist buying a bunch of lovely-looking beets for a buck.

To be continued ...

#48 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 08:53 PM

Okay, on to The Del:
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They've been adding on to this hotel for years and years, but the heart of it remains this grand Victorian wedding cake of white-painted wood clapboard and red cupolas.

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Marilyn and the cast of "Some Like It Hot" are far from the only notables to have crossed its threshold. Another interesting chunk of its history, not 100% confirmed but oft-repeated, is that this is where Edward VII first met a Coronado divorcee by the name of Wallis Simpson. It is at least certain that HRH did stay at the hotel, at any rate.

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And like any grand hotel, the Del has a number of dining venues both casual and formal--everything from the popular Moo Time Creamery ice cream parlor, to its brand-new signature restaurant 1500 Ocean (the entrance to which, I believe, is somewhere down along this terrace).

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Alas, the grand ballroom was closed for a private function, so I couldn't get you a shot of the astonishing woodwork in its arched cathedral ceilings. And I was avoiding using flash lest security pitch me out. But I hope you can get some impression of the Victorian extravaganza of woodwork going on in this interior. It's really breathtaking in real life.

Heh, and the reason I know the interior of this hotel so well is that, like just about every other hotel in town, Rockola has played private gigs in here; in fact, one of the very first of their gigs on which I went along as administrative support was a big formal dinner in that main ballroom. Insider tip: if you're not an actual guest at the hotel, don't park in the hotel's lot if you can possibly manage to find street parking--they charge a mint!!!

So, after all that running around in that rich atmosphere, I was beginning to feel a bit peckish again, so I headed back to the other end of Orange Ave. and this establishment:
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Coronado Brewing Company is a microbrewery pub with quite a following among the locals. It's also yet another Rockola connection--they've played a number of gigs here over the years. It's been a few years since I've eaten here, and it occured to me that it might be a likely place to write a recommendation about, so I wanted to revisit with my new food-writer hat on.

I had arrived in time for their happy hour pricing, so I decided on a pint of their Nutter Brown Ale, and an order of what they redundantly called their "Asian Spring Rolls". First came the beer:
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Okay, I'm far from the most experienced beer person in the world, but I kinda thought the head on a freshly pulled pint would be a little taller than that. But I have no complaints about the flavor--really bright and fruity, with a little bitter bite underneath, very pleasant to drink. On to the spring rolls:
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They look pretty, and the serving is generous. And I liked the veggie filling--in addition to carrot and red pepper slivers, there was a generous amount of shiitake mushroom, plus green beans, which I found delightfully different. But the wrappers were way too thick, and thus kind of heavy and doughy. And they got a little heavy-handed with the ginger in both the filling and in the dressing on the greens underneath, so by the time I finished, the ginger flavor had blotted out everything else. Oh well. I should know better than to order the one Asian item on the menu of a non-Asian place, but I really wanted something light. Next time I'll try one of the salads ... and if that doesn't pan out, I guess I'll either not be writing this place up afterall, or maybe referring it to our writer who covers booze--because I do think their beers merit further exploration.

It was getting on towards 4:30pm, so I scurried back across the bridge before rush hour got too crazy, and came home to be greeted by this li'l guy:
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Actually, Randall ain't so little--he's a big chunky hunk o' kitty who really likes his chow. Speaking of which, he gave his daddy--my roommate--a bit of a scare when Roomie suddenly realized he'd been feeding Randall one of the recently recalled brands of cat food for several weeks. But Randall seemed to have no symptoms after all that time, and in fact a check of the serial numbers on the caseful of food proved that it wasn't one of the suspect lots, so apparently all is well in kittyland for the time being.

#49 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 09:07 PM

but first we gotta coffee up:
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I bought this wacky little gadget in a local Korean grocery, after looking about in vain for one of those old-school Melitta plastic cones you would set on top of a mug to make a single serving of coffee. It's kind of a pain in the butt to use, as you have to stand there with the kettle pouring in boiled water bit by bit, but it makes surprisingly good coffee. That Mediterranean dark roast I bought yesterday, by the way, is quite tasty, although the staff person who helped me probably ground it a little finer than I needed it.

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MizDucky! We have the same korean pot! Lookee here from my blog:

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Great minds brew/sip alike. :biggrin:
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#50 Pan

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:03 PM

[...]I have this recollection of reading somewhere an item that basically boiled down a bunch of ethnic and national cuisines to one or two key ingredients.  Cilantro?  Mexican.  Ginger?  East Asian.  Curry?  Indian.  And so on.  The article was a sort of culinary equivalent of the hip-hop music practice of "sampling."  In this fashion, one could theoretically replicate the entire United Nations in a single dish, which would in all likelihood be nearly inedible.[...]

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Not to hijack this great blog, but there are some problems. First of all, cilantro is used a great deal in certain kinds of Indian food, as well as in Cantonese food, etc., etc. Ginger is used in South and Southeast as well as East Asian food. And "curry" is not an ingredient in Indian food, but rather, essentially a catchall term to describe various kinds of dishes -- many of which we'd think of as similar to stews -- using a masala (blend of spices, but one which isn't normally bought already blended in a store).

#51 mizducky

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 10:48 PM

MizDucky! We have the same  korean pot! Lookee here from my blog:

Posted Image

Great minds brew/sip alike.  :biggrin:

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Cool! I did miss that connection when your blog was going by. Have you ever used it to brew coffee, or only tea? Somehow, from the way mine is behaving, I think it would work better for tea ...

I've been looking back over this blog so far, and I think I've caught up with any questions that have been asked so far, but if any of you out there have posted a question and I missed it, please let me know. Meanwhile, it's time to sing:

"Fish heads, fish heads ... "
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"... rolly-polly fish heads ... "
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"... fish heads, fish heads ..."
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"...eat 'em up ..."
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"...YUM!"
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That made a great light dinner to round off the day's eating extravaganza. And believe it or not, all that stuff y'all saw me eat fit just fine into my food plan. Including the beer--a pint counts as two carbohydrate exchanges. Part of the secret is the ratio of veg to protein and carb--small amount of protein, modest amount of carb, party hearty on the veg. Another part of the secret is how much of that was soup. Brothy soups are great for weight reduction--lots of nourishment and flavor, very filling in terms of volume, but low-impact in terms of calories. I mean, yeah, you could certainly turn a serving of broth-based soup into a diet torpedo if you loaded it with, say, a ton of pasta or a pound of rich fatty meat. But if you keep the protein/carb/veg ratios the way I've been doing, you're golden.

Not that I leave that ratio to chance. Over a year into this process and I still write down everything I eat. I've got months worth of Excel files on my hard drive, containing little daily lists of foods eaten, and tallies of how many servings of protein, vegetables, fruits, starches, and fats that all equates to. And I have another spreadsheet recording every week's weigh-in, plus a graph of that data. Yes, it's mechanistic as hell. But I know from years of past experience, attempting to "diet" and failing, that if I don't keep track, the Lizard Brain wakes up and starts persuading my rational self to forget a little here, lie a little there, go "oh, just this once" a few hundred times more than once ... and pretty soon, the whole danged diet is down the tubes and I'm frustrated and depressed and, oh, what the hell, as long as I've blown it, might as well hit the nearest buffet and really blow the whole thing out of the water...

On one level, it's definitely gotten easier with time--it's become routine. On another level, it's reaching new levels of challenge, specifically because it's become routine. Way too easy to take for granted. Much more difficult to keep the motivation up, the fire in the belly burning, so to speak. Blogging about my process this way is actually a great help with that. All alone in my head, it's easy for me to take for granted how far I've come. But having you all reflect back at me the objective enormity of my progress so far reminds me that it is indeed a big deal, that it is indeed something I have every right to take some pride in. And for that I offer you all major gratitude.

Edited by mizducky, 20 March 2007 - 10:50 PM.


#52 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:32 PM

MizDucky made sinigang soup! *round of applause from all Filipino readers alike. With the cold and drizzly day that we're having right now, I'm craving for a bowlful of that wonderful soup.

PS. my Korean teapot specifically for brewing tea. I am banned, I mean, off regular coffee. *sob* I drink nasty instant decaf coffee to get my fix. :(
Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

#53 purplewiz

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:43 PM

Meanwhile, a bunch of my favorite ingredients live up here:
Posted Image

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Pearl River Bridge! It always warms my heart to see their products...I had to hunt for sources for them out here!

And let me add my congratulations on your weight loss. I know how the changes make many things different, but it's great that eating delicious food (and sharing it with us) is still the same!

Marcia.
Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

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#54 mizducky

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 02:26 AM

Oops, spotted a couple more posts I meant to respond to:

Oh yeah!  Balboa Park... near downtown SD.  Of couse!  I remember that area well.  Very nice!  I have never learned of the name Golden Hill of the 4 years I lived in SD. :sad:    I loved the wonderful dessert and coffee at that what-daya-callit place in the area...  I am sure you would refresh me of the name.  :raz:  5th and around Upas?  Something like that?

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Oh yeah, you mean Extraordinary Desserts. I hear they're fabulous. :smile:

Meanwhile, a bunch of my favorite ingredients live up here:
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Pearl River Bridge! It always warms my heart to see their products...I had to hunt for sources for them out here!

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Even better, it's their dark soy sauce. I love this stuff to pieces. It's like liquid umami.

I'm about to crash, but first, what I have on tap for tomorrow (or more accurately, later today): a friend of mine is coming by, and we're going to take a little trip to the South Bay area, for yet another side of the greater San Diego cultural and culinary mix.

And tomorrow night: I really need to do something with all the produce I've bought so far. Or several somethings. I'm not sure how many of the following I will get to, but some simple stuff I'm thinking of: the beets I want to roast off, and their greens I could combine with some spinach I bought before the blog started. The big shrooms I really like braised with meat; I've got a few likely varieties of pork in the freezer, or I could see what looks good at the market I'll be hitting tomorrow. THe weather's been uncharacteristically rainy, cloudy, and chilly, at least by SoCal standards, and some warming comfort food is in order.

(edited to fix at least the one grammatical error I caught)

Edited by mizducky, 21 March 2007 - 04:31 PM.


#55 bavila

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:38 AM

I second the vote for the light Cabot cheddar cheese. Not too shabby.
Bridget Avila
My Blog

#56 jeniac42

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 06:02 AM

Wonderful blog! I wish I'd seen it before I went to San Diego around, oh, 2001. I had a hard time finding places to eat, although I stayed in the Marriott hotel and enjoyed a damn fine and fairly cheap pastry that seemed to be some kind of almond cake soaked in honey and covered in chocolate.

And I think your weight loss is a tremendous achievement. I've been trying to follow WW on and off, and have definitely fallen OFF - I know what you mean about a slip here, a slip there, and then, whoops! suddenly I'm eating everything I can get my hands on.

Looking forward to reading the rest....
Jennie

#57 MarketStEl

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:19 AM

[...]I have this recollection of reading somewhere an item that basically boiled down a bunch of ethnic and national cuisines to one or two key ingredients.  Cilantro?  Mexican.  Ginger?  East Asian.  Curry?  Indian.  And so on.  The article was a sort of culinary equivalent of the hip-hop music practice of "sampling."  In this fashion, one could theoretically replicate the entire United Nations in a single dish, which would in all likelihood be nearly inedible.[...]

View Post


Not to hijack this great blog, but there are some problems. First of all, cilantro is used a great deal in certain kinds of Indian food, as well as in Cantonese food, etc., etc. Ginger is used in South and Southeast as well as East Asian food. And "curry" is not an ingredient in Indian food, but rather, essentially a catchall term to describe various kinds of dishes -- many of which we'd think of as similar to stews -- using a masala (blend of spices, but one which isn't normally bought already blended in a store).

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And while we're at it, curries are a staple of Caribbean cooking too. At least the article didn't toss in "jerk seasoning" -- which is a blend of spices -- for good measure.

Blog on, Ellen....
Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia
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#58 mizducky

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 09:41 AM

[...]I have this recollection of reading somewhere an item that basically boiled down a bunch of ethnic and national cuisines to one or two key ingredients.  Cilantro?  Mexican.  Ginger?  East Asian.  Curry?  Indian.  And so on.  The article was a sort of culinary equivalent of the hip-hop music practice of "sampling."  In this fashion, one could theoretically replicate the entire United Nations in a single dish, which would in all likelihood be nearly inedible.[...]

View Post

Not to hijack this great blog, but there are some problems. First of all, cilantro is used a great deal in certain kinds of Indian food, as well as in Cantonese food, etc., etc. Ginger is used in South and Southeast as well as East Asian food. And "curry" is not an ingredient in Indian food, but rather, essentially a catchall term to describe various kinds of dishes -- many of which we'd think of as similar to stews -- using a masala (blend of spices, but one which isn't normally bought already blended in a store).

View Post

And while we're at it, curries are a staple of Caribbean cooking too. At least the article didn't toss in "jerk seasoning" -- which is a blend of spices -- for good measure

View Post

I think I've seen the original of the text you are discussing, or at least something similar, as a brief quote in the signature of somebody around eGullet. Maybe I'm wrong, but for whatever it's worth, I had always assumed the quote was meant to be taken tongue in cheek. I can't remember exactly how it goes, either, but the way it was written, it had a certain wittiness to it that to me implied the author knew there was more to these cuisines than the culinary soundbite they were giving each one. Maybe whoever has that quote in their sig will happen by and give more info about where it comes from.

#59 mizducky

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:04 AM

"This is no social crisis
This is you havin' fun
Gettin' burned by the sun
This is no social crisis
Just another tricky day for you."

--The Who, "Another Tricky Day"

Anyway ... good morning all!

Sitting here with a cup each of coffee and low-fat plain yogurt, getting ready to be up and at 'em ...

I don't want y'all to think I do this much running around during a typical week. I'm definitely upping the travelogue activity for the benefit of the blog. And a good thing, too--if I did this much running around every week, I'd be exhausted! But for one week, with all of you along, it's sure a helluva lot of fun.

No getting burned by the sun today, though, I expect. Instead, it's another drizzly chilly day here in SoCal. And my knee is continuing to act up for no very good reason ... except it finally struck me: duh! weather shift to chilly and humid, of course my joints will be acting up! It's just that we really do get so little real "weather" around here, I've gotten a little spoiled about it.

Because I've been so busy blogging over here, I haven't gotten around to doing my weekly weigh-in post over on my weight management blog. But I did weigh in, and discovered that I'm plateauing again--still at 220 lb. like last week. But that's totally okay as far as I'm concerned. For one, at this point I'm slowly and asymptotically creeping up on my tentative goal weight, and I was expecting my weight loss to decellerate as I neared my goal. Note that some traditional dieting pundits might have advised me to decrease my food intake to keep the rate of weight loss up. I refuse to do that--for one thing, much below the amount of calories I'm eating is simply unhealthy. For another, I treat the number on the scale solely as a metric to keep track of my progress, not as a goal in itself. As long as I'm eating healthily, and keeping an average calorie intake/expenditure that is less than I would need to stay at equilibrium, I am content that the weight will come off sooner or later, and otherwise I'm in no all-fire rush to push my bod just for the sake of speed.

And about my goal weight: it is only tentative, but one thing I can tell you: pushing onward all the way down to what those actuarial tables say should be my "ideal" weight is strenuously NOT a goal for me. For one thing, I'm convinced that the data in those tables are set artificially low. For another, I know from (painful) previous weight loss experience that the "ideal" weight in those tables is way too low for me to maintain healthily for any period of time. Right now I'm looking at getting to 200, seeing how that feels, and then maybe gently pressing towards 180 and seeing how that suits. My real goals, actually, are all functional: for instance, being able to walk a mile without a blink of an eye. Whatever number on the scale does that for me, is fine by me.

Meanwhile, my co-conspirator for today's rambles will be here in just under an hour, so I need to start making myself presentable. I'll be checking in here until it's time for us to hit the road. Any requests or questions?

#60 mizducky

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:58 AM

Okay, hearing no immediate requests, I am off in search of more mulitcultural culinary delights. See you all later this afternoon ... and meanwhile, requests and questions are still very much welcome!





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