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    Upstate NY
  1. "The Delightful Delicious Daylily" by Peter Gail. Includes soon-to-be-classic recipes*, such as Daylily Stuffed Tomatoes, Daylily Blueberry Pancakes, Aspic-Filled Daylily Blossoms. Unfortunately, after reading about the swollen testicles suffered by one Daylily gourmand, my husband has lost some enthusiasm for this cookbook. *Yes, I know Daylilies are widely consumed in Asian Cuisine. An Asian cookbook about Daylilies would not be strange. Daylily Blueberry Pancakes? Strange!
  2. Andrea, I'd like to thank you for such a wonderful book. My husband is half Vietnamese, born in Thailand and moved to Orange County around the time that your family did. We browsed through the book together last night, and he was so excited to see recipes that his mother used to frequently prepare. Plus, his mother did not talk to him about Vietnam, wishing him to grow up a "typical American boy", so it was a very moving glimpse into what her life must have been like. We can't wait to get started cooking from it!
  3. chickenlady

    Curing olives

    Thanks for the info--I'm not sure how I got their web address saved wrong in my favorites. Anyway, they're opening their site for ordering tomorrow, so just in time. I'll also check out the other resources too.
  4. chickenlady

    Curing olives

    I set a reminder in my calendar to try to purchase raw, uncured olives around this time, but the Penna website seems to be down. Anyone know what's going on with them or know of any alternate sources? Thanks, Julie - who sincerely regrets not taking advantage of all those olive trees when she lived in Southern California instead of Upstate NY!!
  5. As one who is fascinated with all things Russian (I was briefly a Russian Studies/Language major in college, but gave up that idea after only learning how to say "Hello. How are you? I am six." after 3 semesters of study. Although, it's possible that too much partying got in the way of my studies. ), I have to say fascinating blog so far, Alina. Thanks! One question about your kitchen: Your cabinets look very much like the ones I saw in Germany. It seems that in the area I visited, it was common to supply your own kitchen cabinets, counters, and appliances, along with closets and even, in some cases, interior walls, when renting an apartment. Is this the case there? (As a completely off-topic aside, the upstairs landlady absolutely forbade any additional people from taking showers each day, particularly not water-hogging Americans, so my boyfriend and I had to go to the Base gymnasium to bathe each morning!!) Thanks again! Your photos and the food look fabulous!
  6. Is it a rosette iron? I have to admit that I've picked up several at antique stores because they're so beautiful and they bring back memories of making them with my German grandmother. I've also got some that you can use to make little shells for filling. I keep thinking that some day I'll use them, but even if I don't I still love them. Brilliant! My husband gave me a fish poacher for Christmas 4 years ago and I have yet to use it. I feel guilty everytime I see it, but it is next to impossible to get whole fish here, or even long fillets. The pork loin is brilliant, and I happen to have just purchased a whole one. I love my mezzaluna, too. I can get the same effect with a knife, but there's something so satisfying about using the mezzaluna. Other than the rosette irons and fish poacher, I use most of my gadgets, although not as often as I should. A few that I haven't used yet (mini muffin tins, mini bundt tins, mini cheesecake tins, mini tart molds... Sensing a theme?), I fully intend to use. I just need the right occasion. Oh, I've never used the "Slice-a-Slice" that I searched all over the Western Slope of Colorado for on my last vacation. But how can you not love it?
  7. Thanks for the tips, everyone. I haven't tackled the beast yet, but am planning on cutting it into roasts for maximum flexibility. I haven't taken it out of the plastic yet, but it looks the same on both ends. Several of you mentioned irregular or fatty ends. Will these become apparant when I unwrap it? Also, thanks for the great cooking ideas. One question: can I use loin interchangeably with tenderloin? I know there would be significant differences in cooking times for roasts, but what about recipes that call for it sliced into bite size pieces? I have never even heard of such a thing, but clearly you've made a study. I guess we'll have to try it out.
  8. Due to a great deal through my co-op, I am now the proud owner of a really big big piece of pork. I knew I was buying 8.5 pounds of pork loin, but for some reason I thought I would know what to do with it once I got it. Well, I am clueless! Right now it's packaged as one large piece in plastic. I would like to portion it into manageable servings and freeze those. I have a vacuum sealer. My question is how should I cut it up? Chops? Roasts? How big? How thick? I really have no inkling on this. Anyone have any suggestions or advice? Please be explicit--I am a recovering vegetarian and have never before purchased or prepared pork loin. Thanks! Edited to add that we are a family of four: 2 adults & 2 toddlers, if that makes any difference.
  9. I know I've seen it at several of the shops around Marché Jean-Talon.
  10. We've also been loving the blackcaps this year. The extra dose of rain has made them much plumper and juicier than usual. We're picking about a quart every three days. They're naturalizing like crazy along the edges of our neighbor's "back 40", an area they only use to dispose of rusty autos, old fireplaces, and tires. Earlier this year the wild strawberries were also fabulous. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of showing the neighbor kids where they were and they would eat them all every morning before catching the school bus. We went up for blueberries last weekend, but they're still at least another week off. Blackberries are usually ready around the same time. I know there are tons more wild foods to be had in the area (including fiddleheads, morels, chanterelles, and ramps). I'd really like to learn more about the possibilities. Hhmmm... I have a bookstore coupon. Maybe I'll go check out some books this morning.
  11. My most embarrassing restaurant moment was on a blind date. My best friend set me up with her boyfriend's roommate, a UCLA law student. He must be intellegent and a hard worker, right? Well, the second we showed up at his door it was immediately obvious that he had been partying for a while already. This is where I should have gone home. Instead, we all squeezed into her boyfriend's miniature sports car and off to the restaurant. Now it wasn't a fancy place, more of a touristy seafood restaurant in one of those marina malls overlooking the harbor, but still... First, as we walk in, he charges through the door, releasing it just in time for it to swing shut and hit me squarely in the face. Next, he tries to order more drinks, repeatedly and loudly. He's only 20 and the waitress is having none of it, but he won't let it go. More follows with rude comments about fish, hitting on the same (by now, very annoyed) waitress, and general juvenile behavior; I just wanted to crawl under the table. Finally, the check comes and he informs us that he doesn't have any money and goes to the bathroom. Presumably to vomit. My friend and I had to dig through the bottoms of our purses and even went out to the car to scrounge through the ashtrays for extra money to cover the check. (Even her boyfriend didn't have any money!! ) I was so afraid I was going to have to call my mom to come pay our bill!! We managed to just cover it, but I know we left a really shoddy tip for the poor abused waitress. I was so embarrassed, I don't think I ever even set foot in that mall again. Friend apologized profusely afterwards. Some things are unforgiveable.
  12. Gilroy Garlic Festival is always a classic, and it's coming up soon. Where else can you taste garlic ice cream (surprisingly refreshing served in half a cantaloupe) and garlic wine (as bad as it sounds). Plus it's a gorgeous stretch of California to visit. (Tip: if you're camping the night after attending, be sure to leave your rainfly unzipped! ) Saveur Magazine also publishes a list of events, food festivals and other dates of notes in the "Fare" section in the beginning of each magazine. I'd tend to view those as reliably quality events. Maybe you could check out back issues. You can also find quite a few sites with fairly extensive listings by Googling "Food Festivals". I know websites don't help you much with the quality issue. If only you knew of a website where you could bounce your ideas around with a lot of dedicated and knowledgeable food-obsessed people from all over the world...
  13. Yeah, I had this in Barcelona and have been whipping it up ever since. Super tasty and simple. ← We make this all the time with the overabundant Swiss chard from our garden. It's also delicious stuffed into chicken breasts. While I do enjoy raisins in things, particularly savory-type dishes, I absolutely refuse to eat them out of hand. Last year my toddler learned how to raid the cupboard for raisins, her favorite snack. Let's just say that she can't keep her misdeeds a secret for very long...
  14. So did you take the mulberries? What did you do with them? Last weekend we were visiting some friends and they were talking about this strange tree in their yard. Looks like Cousin It, but they had no idea what it was. My husband was practically beside himself with joy--its a mulberry!!! Four adults and four toddlers hovered around the tree for nearly 30 minutes snatching the ripe berries and jamming them in our mouths as fast as possible. Unfortunately, these friends are moving downstate this weekend, so the joy with our find has been short-lived. I am now obsessed with growing my own mulberry tree.
  15. On the other hand, this is a great way to to learn more about that ingredient you might not love. (I'm the type who never completely crosses something off her list; although, I recognize that everyone is not this way.) Or a great excuse to splurge on that special item you would never prepare normally. I used to be a vegetarian, and even though I eat meat now, I still tend to gravitate to vegetarian recipes. But a couple years ago I made a bit of a project of a Julie Sahni book, in the process discovering that I absolutely adore lamb.
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