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eG Foodblog: mizducky - The tightwad gourmand shapes up

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#91 Rebecca263

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 01:16 AM

I am SO dead jealous of your spices and seasonings! I adore Asian flavors, but with the advance of my PA, I can not eat anything remotely delicious. No ginger, garlic, peppers of any kind. Onions? Only cooked. WAHWAHWAH! Please, keep on cooking, and eating those lovely foods! I'm watching and enjoying vicariously!
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#92 FabulousFoodBabe

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:10 AM

Mizducky, I like your blog, and I like your attitude about the food and the weight loss. And Randall's perch cracks me up! Flat-screen monitors are the bane of cats, I think.
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#93 eJulia

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 04:18 AM

Oh, I almost forgot--Randall decided to pose for me in a most amusing way, with his own photo previously posted on this blog:
Posted Image

Audience participation time: this photo totally needs a caption. Winning submission wins ... oh, I dunno ... anyone remember the classic Marvel Comics "No-Prize"? :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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I don't have a caption, but how can anyone view a sleeping kitty without uttering an "Awwww".

Those closed eyes, the obvious total physical relaxation, the chin so tenderly rested on the "forearm".. just delicious.

This guy has now brought tears to my eyes twice while remembering feline friends past...
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#94 CaliPoutine

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:46 AM

That's kasha a.k.a. buckwheat groats in the blue-lidded container. I was going nutz for some time now, hunting for kasha in every store I could think of and not finding it, until I at last spotted it at Vineripe Market, a mostly middle-Eastern grocery that kalypso turned me on to during my previous blog. But Wolff's Kasha in the little cardboard box is an unknown critter out here, apparently. It wasn't just nostalgia for kasha varnishkes that had me hunting for the stuff (though kasha varnishkes IMO is certainly reason enough on its own). Buckwheat turns out to be an incredibly healthy grain, one that I wanted to make a point of including in my health regimen--more



When I lived in California, I always found Wolff's Kasha at Ralph's in the Kosher Section. Have you checked there?

#95 snowangel

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:53 AM

The meat department is similarly large, and similarly given to fascinating-sounding items not familiar to the Euro-American kitchen:
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I wonder what "pork melt" is? Any idea?

BTW, I've had a kitchen floor that looked just like that once. You can try a scrub with something like bar keepers friend (ton of work) which will help, but in my experience, it's probably hopeless. Mine did look a bit better and was easier to keep clean when I started putting mop and glo on it...
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#96 Pam R

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 07:33 AM

But Wolff's Kasha in the little cardboard box is an unknown critter out here, apparently. It wasn't just nostalgia for kasha varnishkes that had me hunting for the stuff (though kasha varnishkes IMO is certainly reason enough on its own). Buckwheat turns out to be an incredibly healthy grain, one that I wanted to make a point of including in my health regimen--more info here.

I don't know if these people carry it, but you could try Aaron's Glatt Market. There's a number of kosher places in San Diego.. look here. You know we Jews can't be without our kasha for long - somebody must carry Wolff's.

We were reviewed in the paper a while back and the reviewer mentioned our kasha knishes and how healthy they are. You can't believe the people coming in to buy them, not having any idea what they were! (Never mind that they were wrapped in a dough made with copious amounts of oil :wink: )

#97 mmm-yoso

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:13 AM

Hey mizducky - I'm having a blast reading your blog! Keep up the fine(and fun) work.

#98 Toliver

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:16 AM

El Cajon Blvd. is one of two east-west thoroughfares that bisect a major portion of the city of San Diego, incidentally passing through a wide variety of neighborhoods both moneyed and working class (the other such east-west route is University Ave.). Both roads dedicate their central portions to City Heights, sometimes cited as possibly the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the United States....

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There was an interesting PBS series called "Building Healthy Communities" that asked:

how can peoples of diverse cultures and thinking come together to redefine home, community, and civic participation in ways that lead to a sustainable, equitable and prosperous society?

The second episode dealt with City Heights (scroll down the page for the second episode) and showed how what started out as a great and noble intent ended up unintentionally changing the neighborhood. Sol Price (founder of the Price Clubs which was sold to Costco) was part of the redevelopment effort.
City Heights had a number large low-rent properties which is how it came to be so ethnically diverse. But unfortunately for all involved in the redevelopment effort the housing market in California took off (soared, actually) and a lot of the houses that were being rented were put on the market. This, combined with the redevelopment, turned the neighborhood into one of gentrification and now a lot of the low-income families that made up a large part of the diverse community can no longer afford to live in the area. Very ironic and sad, actually.

And I'm also wondering, along with Susan, what's a "Pork Melt"? Anything like a tuna melt? :wink:
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#99 Kouign Aman

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:24 AM

The meat department is similarly large, and similarly given to fascinating-sounding items not familiar to the Euro-American kitchen:
Posted Image

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Wow, everything but the squeal.
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#100 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 10:52 AM

Good morning, all!

Breakfast today is a repeat of Tuesday--back to the roast beef in a pita, with a big grapefruit. No photo this morning--it looks just the way it did the other morning. :smile:

Now to catch up on some more questions:

I am SO dead jealous of your spices and seasonings! I adore Asian flavors, but with the advance of my PA, I can not eat anything remotely delicious. No ginger, garlic, peppers of any kind. Onions? Only cooked. WAHWAHWAH! Please, keep on cooking, and eating those lovely foods! I'm watching and enjoying vicariously!

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Bummer about those food restrictions! I think I would have a breakdown if I couldn't freely use ginger or onion products in my cooking. I will happily keep on providing you with vicarious experiences, though ... :smile:

When I lived in California, I always found Wolff's Kasha at Ralph's in the Kosher Section.  Have you checked there?

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Oh yeah, I've hit every Jewish foods department of every supermarket chain in my area, plus the bulk grain departments of both my food coop and my local natural foods grocery store, to no avail. And I didn't get it, because I'd seen the stuff in those places in other cities where I've lived. I even had at least one natural-foods store clerk not quite believe that I wasn't mistakenly asking for Kashi, even after explaining about kasha to him several times. :wacko:


The meat department is similarly large, and similarly given to fascinating-sounding items not familiar to the Euro-American kitchen:
Posted Image

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I wonder what "pork melt" is? Any idea?

BTW, I've had a kitchen floor that looked just like that once. You can try a scrub with something like bar keepers friend (ton of work) which will help, but in my experience, it's probably hopeless. Mine did look a bit better and was easier to keep clean when I started putting mop and glo on it...

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I've been wondering about that "melt" stuff too. I think they actually might mean pork *milt*, which is another word for the spleen.

About the floor: yeah, I confess I'm not so sure I'm up for getting down on my hands and knees with a scrub brush for this joint. Maybe as a celebration for when my knees are completely healed ... (or maybe not.) :laugh:

I don't know if these people carry it, but you could try Aaron's Glatt Market.  There's a number of kosher places in San Diego.. look here.  You know we Jews can't be without our kasha for long - somebody must carry Wolff's.

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Checking out that list--whoa, there's a kosher sushi joint?!? Who knew? :laugh: And that's the same El Cajon Blvd. I was exploring yesterday--only even further eastward, I think, to judge from the street-numbers on the addresses. Looks like I've got to expand my explorations some more ... :smile:

And I've been meaning to go to Aaron's for a while now--it's a tiny storefront in a tiny strip mall in that same Convoy neighborhood where so many of my favorite Asian places are. I always spot it, and remember about it, right *after* I've just sped past it on my way somewhere else. :sad: Or else it's Shabbos and of course they'll be closed. Need to just make a plan and go there one of these days ...

By the way, if anyone has posted a question and I seem to have forgotten or missed it, please feel free to remind me. I do know I still have to post an expanded explanation of yin/yang and how I use those concepts, which I hope to get to sometime today.

Other plans for today: I'm done with catsitting. I have an appointment at 1 pm, after which I'm hopefully going to check out a farmer's market I have not visited before. I need to replenish my stash of fresh fruit. And then there's the always-entrancing prospect of figuring out what to have for dinner ...

Edited by mizducky, 09 June 2006 - 11:01 AM.


#101 Kouign Aman

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:01 AM

kasha - DZ Akins?
they have a small mart.

Looks like we'll be eating vietnamese one day this weekend. Where would you recommend? (Im only familiar with some of the places on Mira Mesa Blvd. Convoy / El Cajon Blvd etc are much closer to home). Are the places you've visited in this blog your favorites? I'm looking at mmm-yoso's blog too.
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#102 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:33 AM

kasha - DZ Akins?
they have a small mart.

Looks like we'll be eating vietnamese one day this weekend. Where would you recommend? (Im only familiar with some of the places on Mira Mesa Blvd. Convoy / El Cajon Blvd etc are much closer to home). Are the places you've visited in this blog your favorites? I'm looking at mmm-yoso's blog too.

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Oh yeah! I forgot about DZ Akins. They're in such a funny little location, I have to remember to specifically head over there.

DZ Akins is a big rambling place that strives to be a New York style deli/kosher-"style" restaurant. It's a matter of some opinion as to how well they do. :smile: My personal opinion as an ex-pat New Yorker is that they're a decent substitute for when I'm feeling nostalgic for that kind of food, but they're not really quite in that league. But then, any restaurant of this sort, even the best New York ones, is also competing with my memories of how members of my family made some of these same dishes, and tends to suffer by comparison (I have yet to find anyplace anywhere that beats my maternal grandmother's blintzes--may her memory be for a blessing).

Re: Vietnamese restaurants: IMO you certainly can't go wrong with Saigon--I think it's my favorite so far. They have a very extensive menu--pho and boba are only a small part of it. I went for dinner there awhile back with a bunch of other folks (organized by Kirk/mmm-yoso), and we had a terrific meal, including a whole-fish dish and I don't even remember what-all else. But there are bunches of other Vietanmese places on El Cajon and elsewhere that I haven't even had a chance to visit yet--mmm-yoso's way ahead of me on that score. :smile:

#103 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 12:15 PM

Once again, many thanks to everyone who has chimed in on the blog so far. Keep 'em coming, folks!

I'm off now for my day's rounds. See you later, with more photos about buildings and food ... :biggrin:

#104 racheld

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 02:38 PM

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Kitty Porn?

Oh, Randall, have I got a girl for you!!! She collects socks, buries her face in shoes til she has to struggle to shake them off, and thinks that feet are almost as good "Petters" as those at the end of arms.

I'm glad that you have such a fun little companion---we enjoy ours.

And all the groceries and restaurants!!! This is my kind of tour.
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#105 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 06:41 PM

And we're back. Well, almost. I have to go upload some photos, and then I'll tell you all about today's explorations.

#106 snowangel

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 07:13 PM

You mentioned roomate(s). How do they figure into your life, eating, and fridge/cupboard space?

What's for dinner?
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#107 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:15 PM

Whooops! Sorry folks, I hit "Submit" a little early--the complete full-length post is below.

Edited by mizducky, 09 June 2006 - 08:33 PM.


#108 petite tête de chou

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:24 PM

Lestat? Like the vampire? :raz:
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#109 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:32 PM

Gliding like a big blue cloud
From Tomkins Square to Upper Broadway
Beyond the park to Sugar Hill
Stops a minute for a latte’

--Donald Fagen, "Morph the Cat," from the album of the same name (2006)

Today's wanderings could be titled "A Tale of Two Coffeehouse." Or "A Tale of Two (Or Three) Neighborhoods."

First stop: Normal Heights. Now, this community website helpfully explains that "Normal Heights was named for San Diego Normal School, a teacher's college that was the forerunner to San Diego State University." However, I am informed that some wags have done the inevitable and nicknamed it "Abnormal Heights." Nothing particularly weird about the place--in fact, it's a pretty charming neighborhood, with a cute business district given to antique shops and used bookstores, that hosts a number of terrific yearly street festivals. But then there is this decidedly funky establishment:
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I go to LeStat's whenever I start feeling nostalgic for the scene along Broadway/Pike/Pine in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, as this coffeehouse has become a kind of clubhouse for folks of a goth/punk/boho persuasion. The espresso drinks are admittedly a little uneven--my latte today had kinda limp foam and kinda muddy espresso--but the vibe estabilshed by the clientele and thrift-store Edward Gorey decor is some of my kind o' fun:
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Alas, the majority of their food menu is stuff I now only eat for splurges (basically scones and muffins), and they were already out of their soup of the day at 1:00pm (?!?), so after I finished up my appointment and latte here, I decided to move on to my next planned stop, to see if I would have better food-luck there.

Note: If I had wanted to linger on Adams Ave., I could have just headed over to the next block and Jyoti-Bihanga, a well-thought-of vegetarian restaurant run by devotees of Sri Chinmoy, but I really did want to have plenty of time to explore my next stop ... which was La Mesa Village.

La Mesa is a town at the east termini of University Ave. and El Cajon Blvd., just beyond the San Diego city limits, that has taken its downtown area and turned it into another cute-as-a-bug's ear little walking neighborhood full of antique shops and etc. They too have a bunch of community events throughout the year--I got to experience their fun Oktoberfest the other year when FXH's band performed there. And ... they also have a farmer's market on Friday afternoons which I had never checked out before, so now was my excuse to do so!

Oh yeah, and there's also a San Diego trolley stop that leaves you right in the heart of the action:
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(Sandy, my bruthah, this one's for you. :laugh: )

Alas, the cheap-and-healthy eats opportunities right on the main drag of this neighborhood seemed to be rather scarce, but fortunately I had scoped this establishment with some advance web research:
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My second coffeehouse of the day! Only right now I was craving food, not coffee (because of my GERD, coffee has sadly gone from a several-times-a-day necessity to a very occasional treat).

Cosmos' decor is kind of a laid-back hipster/Jetson's retro look, with a scattering of kidney-shaped tables (some of which I think I recognize from the IKEA catalog):
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While I was waiting for my order (not the speediest service, but the 20-somethings behind the counter were sweet and fairly enthusiastic), a guitar-and-standup bass jazz duo set up in front of me and began to work their way through the Brazilian jazz tune "Insensitive."

When my sandwich did arrive, though, it was pretty darned nice:
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The ingredients in this veggie sandwich are not in themselves unusual, but the freshness and quality of the ingredients and the care with which they were assembled definitely was. The guacamole had a nice chunky texture. Both it and the cream cheese spread on the other end of the sandwich had slivered almonds embedded in them. The bread was a very fresh and yummy wholegrain. The side salad, a tabbouli-like creation based on couscous instead of bulghur, had a nice bite of pepper to it and little bits of feta and red onion mixed in. At $5.75 this is a little above the "cheap eats" range for a sammich, but was still quite welcome--especially when it came with a jazz duo.

Satiated, I made my way through this muraled walkway to the farmer's market, now in progress:
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This turned out to be a sweet, but not very large, market, mostly given over to organic and specialty produce, with a couple of prepared food stands, a few flower-and-plant stalls, and only one vendor of gewgaws (jewelry in this case):
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I struck up a nice conversation with the folks staffing this stall about their candy cane beets, of which I got a bunch:
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I also bought from them a big bunch of epazote, which I have never played with before! All hints and advice on how and where I can use this stuff will be heartily welcomed.

Everything looked nice and attractive, and the prices were decent for this kind of relatively upscale produce, but again this wasn't exactly tightwad-friendly territory. So ... once again I began to contemplate a Plan B.

(to be continued ... )

#110 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:34 PM

Lestat? Like the vampire?  :raz:

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Totally like the vampire. See the complete (not premature) post for a little more detail. :smile:

#111 Smithy

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 08:34 PM

Oh, I almost forgot--Randall decided to pose for me in a most amusing way, with his own photo previously posted on this blog:
Posted Image

Audience participation time: this photo totally needs a caption. Winning submission wins ... oh, I dunno ... anyone remember the classic Marvel Comics "No-Prize"? :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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Awwww...! :wub: OK, I'll play:

"Accept No Substitutions"

When may I expect a non-call from Stan's successors? :laugh:

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#112 maggiethecat

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:05 PM

Edward Gorey, Vietnamese food, cats, swimsuits and gout: You're talking my talk and walking my walk!

My siblings and I had a hoot teasing our father (a man in otherwise excellent shape) about the gout that popped up in his 75th year. (Fielding and Woodhouse references.)Sure, Daddy had been a bon vivant in his prime. But last year his sister, my Auntie Char, decided to tour Greece and Asia Minor with her church group, hitting all the big St. Paul venues. She was wheeled off the plane in Toronto crippled by gout, and in her case I think we can rule out foie gras and vintage port. Am I doomed?

I've come to think that Vietnamese food just might be the healthiest, lightest and tastiest on earth, not least because mint and basil are served up like a bread basket in a "western" restaurant. Clean , fresh and not weird. My son-in-law (see avatar) is American-born of Vietnamese descent, and his enthusiam for all good food grew up in Louisville, KY, where his "boat people" parents and grandma made great food in poverty and foreign circumstances. (It was hard being cool in high school when everyone knew your grandmother kept chickens.)

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#113 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:14 PM

For a change I took University Ave. back westward into town. Interesting watching the neighborhoods transition as you drive along ... it wasn't too long before it was clear I was back in the multi-culti barrio of City Heights, where things are a bit more gritty, but also IMO a bit more real (as in "keepin' it real"). When I saw there was plenty of open on-street parking in front of this establishment, I took it as a sign from the Parking Goddess that I should check it out:
Posted Image

Gayla (or anybody local to San Diego), can you supply some more background on this place? From what I can piece together from Google, this is a relatively new store, opened in a renovated building by one Mark Kassab who seems to have been involved in this neighborhood both as a businessman and as a community supporter for some time ...

Anyway, I felt like I had been giving the Mexican community's food contributions short shrift in this blog so far. Supermercado Murphy's helped correct that pretty quickly.

Inside the well-maintained facade was a compact but full-service market, complete with reasonably-priced produce:
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Full-service meat and seafood departments:
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And a bakery:
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Plus a takeout department with a small dining area, and several aisles of groceries. I assuaged my tightwad heart with a few bargains, and hurried home with the day's haul:
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You can't see it in this picture, but the thought-balloon over Randall's head sez: "Hmmmph! The hairless ape is paying more attention to that pile of lawn clippings than she's paying to me! What nerve!!!" :laugh:

My full haul for today:

From the farmer's market:
Candy cane beets
Epazote
Strawberries (sadly, a little overripe)

From the supermercado:
Spinach
Cilantro
Goat meat! Labeled "chivo", the cuts are big chunks with lots of bone, but at $1.79 a pound I just couldn't resist. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but that's just part of the adventure, y'know? :biggrin:

#114 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:36 PM

Catching up on a few comments:

You mentioned roomate(s).  How do they figure into your life, eating, and fridge/cupboard space? 

What's for dinner?

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There is one roommate. I found him, and the room for sublet, through Craig's List. He's a decent guy--another musician--and as apartment-mates we get along well. We mostly coexist in a neighborly way rather than householding or socializing together. We don't share any cooking, but he's a real good sport about anything stinky or fragrant that I cook--in fact, he seemed to actually like it when I cooked a seaweed-heavy soup the other week and the whole kitchen started radiating the smell of the ocean. :laugh: He's not the world's tidiest guy--I'm being generous here--but I can live with that. All in all, he's being a good roommate.

Dinner right now has turned into the leftover shirataki/bok choy stuff I made last night--after today's wanderings and eatings, I'm pretty pooped and pretty satiated. But I have big cooking plans for tomorrow--stay tuned for a post coming up shortly! :smile:

Oh, I almost forgot--Randall decided to pose for me in a most amusing way, with his own photo previously posted on this blog:
Posted Image

Audience participation time: this photo totally needs a caption. Winning submission wins ... oh, I dunno ... anyone remember the classic Marvel Comics "No-Prize"? :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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Awwww...! :wub: OK, I'll play:

"Accept No Substitutions"

When may I expect a non-call from Stan's successors? :laugh:

View Post

Well, I think I want to see if we get any further submissions--I count two official ones so far. :wink: Stay tuned!

My siblings and I had a hoot teasing our father (a man in otherwise excellent shape) about the gout that popped up in his 75th year.  (Fielding and Woodhouse references.)Sure, Daddy had been a bon vivant in his prime.  But last year his sister, my Auntie Char, decided to tour Greece and Asia Minor with her church group, hitting all the big St. Paul venues. She was wheeled off the plane in Toronto crippled by gout, and in her case I think we can rule out foie gras and vintage port. Am I doomed?

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Hmmmm ... I dunno about "doomed", but it does sound like there is a definite genetic predisposition to gout in your family. It might be wise to have your doctor check it out. Often a person can be running elevated levels of purines/uric acid in the blood for years before those nasty crystals precipitate into an attack, and there are tests that can detect that. Your doctor can then suggest what if any preventative actions you might want to take. My dad had gout, but I never thought twice about it until the night my big toe decided to bite me (so to speak), and I found myself wishing I had given it a second thought.

#115 mizducky

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 10:48 PM

Big-time Audience Participation Time!!!

To paraphrase the title of one of the more popular long-running posts on eGullet: behold my meat! Any suggestions for what I should do with it? :laugh:
Posted Image

This is the chivo I bought this afternoon at Supermercado Murphy's (Babelfish translates "chivo" as either "goat" or "kid" i.e. young goat). About 1.25 pounds total. Bone-in meat--I'm no meat expert, but the shape of the bones makes me guess this is meat from right along the spine. Looks like it's meant for stew meat.

The challenge: I'm planning on spending Saturday at home cooking instead of galavanting around town some more, and I'd like to build those plans around this goat. So I soliciting suggestions from the audience. Ya wanna help get my goat? (ow. sorry. couldn't resist... :laugh: )

To make the game more interesting: as you may recall, I also have several other goodies I've accumulated this week; plus other stuff in my vegetable crisper, some of which may be in need of being used up real soon before they go off; plus a variety of condiments, staples, seasonings, etc. They don't all have to be used in the same dish as the goat--in fact, it might be unpleasantly scary if they were! But I think it would be pretty entertaining if I could come up with some interesting combinations. Like--how about some wacky non-standard borscht using the goat meat and the beets I also bought today? :smile:

To recap other stuff I've bought this week:

--shallots
--yellow onion
--Asian basil
--enoki mushrooms
--dried European mushrooms
--chicken broth
--balsamic vinegar
--scallions
--ginger
--red fermented bean curd (nam-yu)
--bean sprouts
--epazote
--candy cane beets with their greens
--spinach
--cilantro

Some likely additional players from the fridge and pantry: garlic; three fresh Roma tomatoes; a big can of peeled Roma tomatos in their own juice; rice (brown, white, and Arborio); chickpeas; a whole troop of Chinese condiments and seasonings, including light and dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, toban jian (chile-bean) sauce, shrimp paste, salted black beans, Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder, and fu yu (white fermented bean curd) with chile; a handful of Japanese condiments, seasonings, etc, including medium-brown miso, kombu, bonito flakes, dried shiitakes, rice wine vinegar, and hijiki; some miscellaneous other condiments/seasonings/etc. such as extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried red chiles, etc. ... and there's other stuff my brain is no longer remembering. (Damn! I've sure accumulated a bunch o' stuff since I moved in here back in February!)

Oh yeah--whatever we come up with has to fit in my food plan. So, no deep-fried goat burgers or beets in cream sauce, okay? :biggrin:

One other rule: while I'm not adverse to making one more quick shopping trip to pick up an extra ingredient or two, I'd like to keep that to a minimum. I should have enough different things kicking about that additional shopping won't be necessary.

So -- that's the game. I plan to start cooking as soon after noon PDT tomorrow as possible. Let the suggestions commence!

#116 MissAmy

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 10:52 PM

A coffee house called Lestat! :wub: Magnifique, mon chere!

Ok, so I think San Diego may be the next place I check out. What's not to love: great cheap Vienamese places, cool Asian and Farmer's markets, cool people, and a coffee house called Lestat!

As a connoisseur of all things Lestat, I must go soon!

ETA: Doh! In my zeal for vampire realted paraphanelia, I missed your last post. Here's what I suggest: a nice braise, with roasted beets as a side. Simple, and tasty.

Edited by MissAmy, 09 June 2006 - 10:55 PM.

-Sounds awfully rich!
-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

#117 kalypso

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 10:57 PM

Hmmm.........Supermercado Murphy's, I haven't been there. What's the cross street on University. I really like Pancho Villa Market on El Cajon where the 805 crosses under it. Really wonderful produce section with pretty decent pricing. The produce department here is run by the Bony family, who used to own Henry's before they sold out to Wild Oats, and who still do run Windmill Farms in Del Cerro and Coronado. Prices are substantially cheaper then Windmill Farms for the same items. I also like the meat counter here because they have all the Mexican cuts of meat rather than the American ones. So when I want to do Milanesa I don't have to hassle with cutting the meat myself. They also sell chicharrones at the meat counter :rolleyes: Not so wild about the fish selection. There's also a prepared foods section which I haven't had the opportunity to try yet, but which does appear to hold some possibilities. And it's probably not on your diet, but the bolillos here are really good. Good selection for dairy and Mexican cheeses. Prices for staples, though, are pretty high.

If beans are allowed on your diet, or you go the vegetarian/vegan route every now and again, you can't make a pot of black beans without epazote. Be forewarned, however, a little goes a very long way, even in beans. It's what makes black beans really special, I can't imagine them without it. Epazote has a resinous, strong flavor that some folks say tastes like turpentine. Personally, I think it's an acquired taste.

The other thing it's good in are esquites, also probably not diet food. Have you ever seen the Mexican corn-on-the-cob that's slathered with mayo (or crema), cotija cheese, lime juice and chile powder? Esquites are a kissing cousin. You start with good old field corn, slightly chewy, fairly starchy. Cut the kernels off the cob and then make a stock using the cobs. This is where the epazote comes in, you add it to the corn cob stock. Saute the corn kernels off in some butter and onions and yet more epazote if you want it. Add the stock and simmer until they stock begins to evaporate and the mixture thickens. Drain off the excess liquid, then serve the corn, hot, in plastic cups and adorn with the same add-ins as for on the cob. Clearly not diet food, sorry.

Epazote matches well with cheese, particularly goat cheese, and Mexican goat cheese is milder than American goat cheese. Cheese (like Oaxacan string cheese) and epazote is a common filling in Mexican quesadillas, which are made with masa (not flour tortillas) and toasted on the comal. These are pretty heavenly and depending upon what your starch/carb limitations are, you could probably work real quesadillas into a diet.

You can dry whatever epazote you don't use, though it will loose some of it's pungency.

Since the farmer's market in La Mesa was something of a bust, would you consider going to Hillcrest on Sunday, next to OB that's the next best I think. Where is Cosmo located in La Mesa?

#118 mmm-yoso

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:24 PM

Cool Super Mercado Murphy - we were just there a few days ago. Man do they have alot of sweets. It's on the corner of University and Menlo! I was suprised to see so many Asians shopping there.

#119 prasantrin

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:48 PM

Big-time Audience Participation Time!!!

To paraphrase the title of one of the more popular long-running posts on eGullet: behold my meat! Any suggestions for what I should do with it? :laugh:


The only think I can think of is Rogan Josh, even though it's usually made with mutton, I would think goat would be OK. It would only help use your onions, though, and you would need yoghurt.

#120 divalasvegas

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 12:48 AM

Big-time Audience Participation Time!!!

To paraphrase the title of one of the more popular long-running posts on eGullet: behold my meat! Any suggestions for what I should do with it? :laugh:
Posted Image

This is the chivo I bought this afternoon at Supermercado Murphy's (Babelfish translates "chivo" as either "goat" or "kid" i.e. young goat). About 1.25 pounds total. Bone-in meat--I'm no meat expert, but the shape of the bones makes me guess this is meat from right along the spine. Looks like it's meant for stew meat.

The challenge: I'm planning on spending Saturday at home cooking instead of galavanting around town some more, and I'd like to build those plans around this goat. So I soliciting suggestions from the audience. Ya wanna help get my goat? (ow. sorry. couldn't resist... :laugh: )

To make the game more interesting: as you may recall, I also have several other goodies I've accumulated this week; plus other stuff in my vegetable crisper, some of which may be in need of being used up real soon before they go off; plus a variety of condiments, staples, seasonings, etc. They don't all have to be used in the same dish as the goat--in fact, it might be unpleasantly scary if they were! But I think it would be pretty entertaining if I could come up with some interesting combinations. Like--how about some wacky non-standard borscht using the goat meat and the beets I also bought today? :smile:

To recap other stuff I've bought this week:

--shallots
--yellow onion
--Asian basil
--enoki mushrooms
--dried European mushrooms
--chicken broth
--balsamic vinegar
--scallions
--ginger
--red fermented bean curd (nam-yu)
--bean sprouts
--epazote
--candy cane beets with their greens
--spinach
--cilantro

Some likely additional players from the fridge and pantry: garlic; three fresh Roma tomatoes; a big can of peeled Roma tomatos in their own juice; rice (brown, white, and Arborio); chickpeas; a whole troop of Chinese condiments and seasonings, including light and dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, toban jian (chile-bean) sauce, shrimp paste, salted black beans, Szechuan peppercorns, five-spice powder, and fu yu (white fermented bean curd) with chile; a handful of Japanese condiments, seasonings, etc, including medium-brown miso, kombu, bonito flakes, dried shiitakes, rice wine vinegar, and hijiki; some miscellaneous other condiments/seasonings/etc. such as extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried red chiles, etc. ... and there's other stuff my brain is no longer remembering. (Damn! I've sure accumulated a bunch o' stuff since I moved in here back in February!)

Oh yeah--whatever we come up with has to fit in my food plan. So, no deep-fried goat burgers or beets in cream sauce, okay? :biggrin:

One other rule: while I'm not adverse to making one more quick shopping trip to pick up an extra ingredient or two, I'd like to keep that to a minimum. I should have enough different things kicking about that additional shopping won't be necessary.

So -- that's the game. I plan to start cooking as soon after noon PDT tomorrow as possible. Let the suggestions commence!

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Congrats on a great blog mizducky. I commend your sensible and delicious approach to leading a healthy lifestyle. I have so much more to say about your endeavor, but the hour is late (early?) and I have to turn in soon.

Re: your goat meat: I love goat and have enjoyed it prepared in many different ways. I notice that you already have many of the ingredients for three dishes I have in mind. How about jerk goat or goat curry? I didn't see curry powder or paste listed, but I'll bet you've got those hanging out in your pantry somewhere. And how about a riff on osso buco? Call it mizducky's goat-o bucco!!! :blink:

Edited by divalasvegas, 10 June 2006 - 02:40 AM.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!





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