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  1. That pretty much sums up my life this summer. It is the busiest one I can remember, chock full of good activities and events, but tinged with bittersweet as we graduate our oldest child from homeschooling and get her ready for college. We’ve homeschooled our three kids from kindergarten, and back when we started I had this crazy idea that one of the side benefits of our adventure might be that, when the children left home, I’d have spent so much time with them I’d escape the regrets and sadness of the empty nest syndrome. [insert hollow laughter here.] So, Miss Alyssa graduated on Saturday, and we celebrated with a casual cookout afterward with close family and friends. I’ve spent every free moment in the past month working on two extra projects: a DVD “slide show” with music about Alyssa’s growing up years (which was really my mom’s thing – she’s a video editing whiz) and a small scrapbook containing one photo from each year of her life and a little comment to go with it. Gathering photos and working on the text of these has been a wonderful way to spend a bunch of hours and has left me nostalgic and feeling much gratitude for how very blessed we are. Culinarily speaking, the grad party included pulled pork (don’t get excited – I rubbed it and roasted it on low heat all day in the oven – I’m not the griller many of you are), vinegar-y coleslaw, and a couple of Mississippi Mud Cakes from me, pound cakes from my mom, and a variety of side dishes and desserts from guests. The price of admission was being forced to watch the DVD, but nearly everyone there has known Alyssa since she was tiny and they are in half the pictures anyway, so I don’t think it was too much torture. After it was over, there were crumpled tissues all around. This week, our big blog event will be the three 4-H kids’ cooking classes I teach at our house. Otherwise, I’ll be trying to accomplish all the tasks I’ve been putting off until “after graduation.” I hope you’ll accompany me on my food shopping rounds – among the usual markets and produce stands I visit one particularly unique place in my continuing quest to feed our family of five well on a basically one-income budget. We can also talk about another factor in how I plan meals – my husband and I underwent gastric bypass surgeries about five years ago and our altered digestions demand some accommodation. What else? My Tiny Town is in the middle of orchard country and the cherries are at their finest right now, so surely they’ll make an appearance. Should we go out for dinner one night this week? Adams County isn’t overflowing with good restaurants, but I’ve been hearing about one again and again over the past few months that I’d really like to try. We rarely eat out, but perhaps I can persuade The Husband that we should do it “for the blog.” Who knows what else the week will bring? I’m off in a few minutes to sign paperwork at the borough office. (I’m the mayor, but it’s no big deal: Tiny Town = Tiny Government = Tiny Job. My job is so tiny they only bother to write me a check every three months.) I don’t imagine there will be anything food-related happening there beyond the employees’ first cups of coffee, so I think I can safely leave the camera at home.
  2. Hi, I'm Marcia, and I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm blogging this upcoming week :-). A little bit about me: I'm 42, married to a wonderful man named Jim, no kids, two cats, and currently living in Colorado Springs, CO. I grew up in northern New Jersey (a small town called Wyckoff, for those who may have heard of it) and previously lived in California in Silicon Valley for almost 10 years before moving here. So what's the great flyover? To paraphrase the Urban Dictionary, it's the middle class midwest, land that only serves to keep the two coasts apart, which is only "flown over", not visited. Eating well here has definitely been a unique challenge, but I like to think I've risen to it. It just takes a little more cleverness, determination, and flexibility when the whole area isn't exactly a foodie paradise :-). But we're not without good food, which comes in many different guises! The teaser picture of my tomatoes symbolizes the challenge for me: I work for my homegrown tomatoes every year, struggling against a climate that people love but tomatoes hate (dry air, cool nights), weather (hail), garden pests (deer and rabbits), and a very short growing season (May 15 – Sept. 15, zone 5). But I do it because I LOVE homegrown tomatoes, and the glory of the late August harvest makes it more than worth it. I'd planned on blogging about a normal week punctuated by a good friend's house party, but it turns out our deck contractors are doing the deck repairs/refinishing this week (weather permitting), so I expect a certain amount of chaos - besides the house party. It's getting quite late here, so I'll go into more about what we eat and why later today. Since I'm not exactly an early riser, although if the deck guys start early, so will I .
  3. Two foods, both alike in dignity In my fair foodblog, where we lay our scene… The picture on the left is from Kreuz Market, located in the small town of Lockhart (often called the “BBQ Capital of Texas,” and for good reason). This place serves up what to me is the best meat (NO sauce) in the state. And notice the beautiful brown butcher paper that serves as the canvas for all that bovine goodness. Nothing but the finest, you see. The picture on the right is from a small restaurant in New York City. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s called Per Se. And that little square of foie gras just happens to be the single best thing I have ever eaten. The full description of my recent meal there can be seen here. Suffice it to say, this place is, um, not bad . Both mouth-watering images, no doubt. But is one of these foods necessarily better than the other? Well, like a parent asked to choose a favorite child, I’ve got to say they are each special in their own way. Sure, the meat on the left is meant to be eaten with the two utensils God gave you (your hands), while the foie gras sits like artwork on a plate whose cost probably exceeds the per capita GDP of many small countries, but I’d happily pull up a chair to either table with a big smile on my face. “But wait a minute… What the heck does all this have to do with his Foodblog?” you may ask. Well, just about everything. You see, my life consists of a beautiful dichotomy. I go to college in New York City, home to some of the best restaurants in the country. Yet when summer rolls around, I find myself right back here at home in warm (well, hot) San Antonio, Texas, cooking for my family and friends pretty much every night of the week. And I wouldn’t choose to have it any other way. Texas and NYC are about as different as could be, but I would be lying if I said they each haven’t had an equally large role in shaping who I am (and how I cook, and how I eat…). They have both molded my culinary identity, so to speak, each in their own way. Over the course of my blog, I will try to provide a small glimpse into life here in Texas, seen through my eyes (and my stomach). As the week goes on, many of the wonderful Texan delicacies like you may have seen in my posts in the Dinner! thread will probably make an appearance. Think chicken-fried steak, corn bread, pecan pie, and the like. There will be the requisite kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry photos for all you voyeuristic food-lovers out there. I’ll hopefully have some photos of my favorite food market, and maybe even take y’all along for a meal out somewhere. Of course, you’ll also come to know all about my eating habits, my food philosophy, how I learned to cook, and all that. But for now, let me just say welcome to my foodblog, and I hope you enjoy it!
  4. Howdy folks. Welcome back to my little food-world. I'm really tickled to have been asked to blog again so soon, and am looking forward to having another really fun time with y'all. And I do hope that, once again, people will feel free to participate with questions, suggestions, stories, whatever turns you on about what I'll be presenting. In this week of traipsing around with me, you'll notice that a lot of the same obsessions evident in my first blog will still be in full effect in this one, including but not limited to: good cheap eats in little hole-in-the-wall mom-n-pop joints; ethnic markets; Asian cuisines; exploring neighborhoods; shameless references to classic rock. You'll also note a whole new obsession making its presence known, which I realize I've been harping about almost too often in my posts around eGullet recently--but hey, it's helping me keep my commitment, so I appreciate you all humoring me. Yep, I'm talking about my whole little crusade to come up with a weight-management plan for myself that is realistic, healthy, customized to my food preferences, and enjoyable enough that I can stick to it for a good long time without it driving me nutz. So far it's been going pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. So I'm only feeling a little bit nervous showing you all what I do now to implement this weight-management plan in my daily food doings. Part of what I do now with weight-management will be occupying most of my morning today (I mean, once I get done with the business of sleeping). I'll be headed over to my HMO for my weekly weigh-in and exercise class. Then I've got a bunch of errands lined up, some of which are food-related: one will be catching lunch at a local pho cafe, and at least one other will involve some shopping. I will bring camera along, of course, and do my best Harriet the Spy imitation for your enjoyment. Other plans will be revealed as the week progresses. Some of them are admittedly rather fluid--I do a lot of little shopping trips for fresh produce, and I tend to let what I cook be influenced by what looks good and appeals to me at any given moment. And this week, I'll also be soliciting opinions and ideas from you folks--so feel free to chime in. As to (somewhat) more solid plans: I do know there will be at least one outdoor farmer's market. I think there's supposed to be at least one food-related community event at my organo-groovy UU church. There will even, finally, be a visit to Ba Ren, the local Szechuan joint I love so well--my food plan includes, for the sake of my sanity, the concept of the pre-planned occasional splurge, and a few of my local foodish friends will help me demonstrate how that's done. Oh, and I can't resist filling you in about the photos from my blog teaser, especially as they too relate to planned blog stops: This is a wonderful Vietnamese soup known as "bun" -- actually, I think the word "bun" refers specifically to the type of rice vermicelli noodles used in this style of soup. This variation has tomatoes, periwinkle meats, and fluffy cubes of shrimp cake. The broth is spicy, and enriched with a fermented fish paste. Like its sister-soup pho, this one comes with a big pile of veggies and herbs to add in. I had this at Saigon, 4455 El Cajon Blvd, one of the westernmost outposts of a whole string of Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants and shops that I am busily exploring. I may or may not hit Saigon again during the week, but I'll definitely show you some of "The Boulevard's" delights. Oh yeah--and this blog would not be complete without an appearance by the owner of this scarf: I guess I gotta call him Fearless Ex-Housemate now, huh? I was over at Humphrey's Backstage Lounge, a local live-music venue attached to a very popular resort/restaurant complex, to hear one of FXH's bands perform, and I was lining up a photo of the extremely nice warm scallop and shimp salad they served me there. When FXH noticed how Humphrey's dishware pattern matched the scarf he was wearing (swag from the recent concert tour of Donald Fagen, better known as one half of the classic-rock act Steely Dan), he couldn't resist accessorizing my photo--and voila, he "scarfed" my salad. (ow. sorry, couldn't resist). It was in fact FXH's Steely Dan tribute band that was playing that night--whenever he plays there, he can't resist directing the audience's attention to the view out the lounge's windows: ...of course, it's night by the time he sings the lines "The end of a perfect day/Distant lights from across the bay..." All this is actually on topic, because there will be at least one more planned musical visit from FXH during this blog--and food will very much be involved.
  5. Welcome to my second foodblog here at eGullet. The first one was entitled So, you want to remodel your kitchen? and described the results of a recently completed (at that time) renovation of our kitchen. I also showed you some of the weirder stuff that lives in my kitchen (like basil seed and mastic) and invited you to guess its provenance and purpose. This time I'm going to continue in that vein, and ask you questions that are food-related, but not necessarily about items in my kitchen. The first question's already been posed, in the eG Foodblogs: Coming Attractions thread. Here it is again, just in case you didn't see it: The questions accompanying this image are "What is it? And what has it got to do with food?" The question's already been answered by azureus: So, brava to azureus/April, and more about the image. Not technically a cross section (which implies that one has taken a section, or slice, at a particular angle relative to the long axis of the critter or organ in question, and bone marrow doesn't have much of an axis of any sort) but rather a very, very thin slice of bone marrow that's been fixed (so that it won't decompose), decalcified (so that the bone is soft enough to be sliced with a microtome) and impregnated with paraffin (so that the marrow itself will be firm enough to slice in this manner). The tissue slices thus obtained are so thin and flimsy that they are generally handled by floating them on the surface of a water bath, from which they can be scooped up onto a a glass slide, where they will stick. The paraffin is then washed away with solvents, and the remaining tissue is stained with chemical dyes so that you can distinguish the different sorts of cells and their components. There are lots of different sorts of cells in bone marrow, and some of the most important are stem cells (which can't be identified using only a microscope, unfortunately), the cells that are the primitive starter cells for lots of different tissues in our body, and that's why I'm using this image as the "beginning" of this blog. In order to see it in this much detail you have to use a microscope, of course, and so the camera has to be mounted on the scope as well. The term for this sort of picture is a photomicrograph, and I'll be showing a number photomicrographs in the course of the blog. And what it has to do with food is that it's delicious roasted and spread on toast. What exactly makes it delicious roasted and spread on toast is pictured above: the "holes" in the photo, which aren't actually holes at all, but adipocytes, or fat cells. Each hole represents a single cell, stuffed with fat, and so bone marrow is not only fatty (so like butter) but very soft, as there's very little connective tissue (apart from bone, seen in this image as the large pink ribbon in the left of this image) to get in the way of your enjoying it. Time for me to go get breakfast. While I'm away feel free to pose additional questions about this image.
  6. Once upon a time, there was a little girl whose Mum used to take her out for Report Card Dinners, beginning with Grade 1, the onset of thirteen years of straight As (...then university happened. Let’s not go there ). We would go to fancy places when we could afford them, and less-fancy places when we couldn’t. My palate wasn’t too discriminating at the age of 5: I was happy to go out, period, and had as much fun at Le Champignon as I did at The Old Spaghetti Factory (I have an abiding love for spumoni and pistachio gelato to this day) or The Noodlemaker (watching the koi madly swim beneath the little bridges, summoned to their dinner by the gong--was there ever anything more enchanting for a child?). The waiters at Le Champignon were charmed by my nascent French-language skills and always gave me extra desserts off the pastry tray. The Report Card Dinner underwent a few changes over time, as circumstances and location changed (when we moved to the East Coast to live with my stepdad, the economic situation meant that an RCD was more likely to just be something special, home-made, than a dinner out in NYC or, later, Philadelphia), but the concept of good food as a reward for good behaviour or good marks was set. When I have something to celebrate, the first thing I want to do, still, is go out for a good meal. Fast-forward 30-something years, and I’m back in Vancouver, living in a flash condo just outside of Yaletown, with a gas stove and granite counters... cooking now and then, baking a lot of homely but tasty birthday cakes for my co-workers, finding eGullet thanks to Jamie Maw’s column in Vancouver Magazine, finding some bosom pals who appreciate food the way that I do...real estate goes insane, I decide to sell my condo, take my profit and run, and buy a little house in East Vancouver. The little house has an enormous problem, though: the kitchen is a joke. It comes complete with an electric range and a built-in banquette, reminiscent of an RV. Just my style....NOT! It just so happens, I know this kitchen designer... I decide I need a new kitchen, dining room, and refurbished bathroom upstairs (the living space is up, bedrooms are down). I hire a guy I know to act as my General Contractor and do this work for me, with kitchen design, cabinetry and so forth from Daddy-A. Now we come to the matter of the title of this blog: Power, Convection and Lies. Some of you may recognize a riff on a favourite 1980s New Order album. I’ve kind of always wanted a big fancy range, somewhat for snobby reasons (I mean, let’s be honest here!), but also for practical reasons. I got a real jones on for Power when I took the Serious Foodie cooking class at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. Then I had a dinner party which brought home to me the utility and desirability of two ovens and an extra burner or two... So I’ve sold my soul to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for a 48 in. Wolf range with 6 burners and a chargrill--and two ovens, one of which is Convection. My first! we'll see what it does to my baking. That brings us to the Lies. I know that construction is always later than they say it will be, and I mean they’ve only been working on the 300 sq. ft or so of the renovation since the beginning of March ...everyone told me the millwork would be late, bla bla bla. The first thing that was supposed to be finished was the bathroom, since it’s rather inconvenient running down and upstairs all the time, and I didn't have water available upstairs for about two months. Then things were to be done as much as possible so that the millwork could come in, the countertops could be installed, the appliances could be installed, and Bob was supposed to be my uncle.... Well, I rescheduled my blog when it became apparent that the earlier date would be impossible. The millwork was right on time, the countertops were early, the appliances came in a week ago...and they’re still not completely installed. The other rooms are in even worse shape! My contractor has a habit of saying "I’m going to do X tomorrow, Deborah," and then not only not doing X, not doing anything. If I had more money, I’d fire him and hire someone a little more reliable, but I won’t go into the whole rigmarole. Suffice to say that, while I thought about calling this blog Power, Convection and Size, Lies seems more appropriate just now. So here I am. Blogging. My house continues to be a work in progress, but I hope it progresses rather quickly as I have invited 7 Gulleters/spouses over for dinner on Saturday The menu is sort of set; the wine has been bought; the crystal has been unpacked and I just hope I can get my house in shape in time! Aside from Saturday dinner, we’ll do some Vespa shopping (I commute to work on my new Vespa, Enzo, every day ), go to the first Trout Lake Market of the year (since my house conveniently backs onto Trout Lake ), hit a luau, and I’ll show you a couple of my favourite restaurants. With luck, God and the electrician willing, I’ll even be able to do some cooking in the midst of all this! and watch some hockey! Go Oilers! I will have more pics in the morning. Well, a few. Everything is still pretty topsy-turvy, but I am determined to make my coffee in the new kitchen tomorrow, for the first time. Time for bed. Good night, Gullet!
  7. Welcome to our second eG triple tag team foodblog. In the previous triple tag team, the bloggers were trying not to smoke. In this installment, summer is around the corner and our bloggers are smokin'! Expect to see some grilled pizza, smoked butt, smoked salmon and brie, and kebabs. Some will smoke bacon, make BBQ sauce, do a rotisserie roast, or experiment where the whim takes them. Welcome back Marlene and snowangel, and welcome first-time blogger lancastermike. Take it away!
  8. The next eG Foodblog will begin Wednesday, 10 May and run through Tuesday, 16 May. This installment will be brought to us by not one, not two, but three bloggers. They are all fired up and ready to show some hot stuff. After a week without a foodblog, I’m sure some of you faithful viewers were ready to light a fire under somebody. Well, not to worry. Tune in. We are back, and we are smokin’ . . . !
  9. Good morning everybody! Between the Dutch Cooking thread, the Amsterdam thread and my regular postings on the Dinner thread, I feel that my daily food-life is pretty well-documented here on Egullet. (too well, some of my friends might say). So when I was thinking about doing another foodblog (after the fun I had doing the first one February 2005), I wanted it to be really special. I was very happy when it turned out I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite weeks in the year with you all! I have a lot of fun things planned for this week. I have shuffled my workweek around a bit so I only have to be at the office 1 day during this blog, on Friday. The rest of the week will be devoted to food and festivities Tomorrow is my birthday. I love my birthday. I usually manage to get a whole week of celebrations out of it, and this year is no exeption. On Sunday I had the first birthday dinner for 10, with family. Tomorrow I’ll start the day with coffee and cake with a friend, then do a bit of shopping and sightseeing in Amsterdam, and have dinner at one of my favorite places with my husband and some friends later. On Sunday the 30th, there’ll be a party for about 18 people at my house! Lots of Egulletters have helped me plan the menu over on this thread, and I’m sure it’s going to be great! On Monday, I’m baking somethng to take to work on Tuesday and treat 20 or so co-workers. Now that’s the Birthday Cakes part of the blog title explained. I’ll talk about the Royal Celebrations part later… or maybe some of you already know what I'm referring to? If you have any question, things you would like me to eat or do, let me know. (but please don't say frites ) It looks like it's ging to be a nice, moderately sunny day in Amserdam today. I'm going to go out for some air & a little excercise. See you later!
  10. Good morning, everyone! I'm in a bit of a rush, as I spent most of the morning cleaning up the kitchen after Easter dinner. Now I've got to shower and get outta the house in time to catch the 7:47 R3 to Swarthmore. I'll catch up with all of you once I'm settled in the office.
  11. Good Morning! Evidence #1 that spring is officially here - this picture taken from my kitchen window this morning: That's right. The Canada Geese have come home. Evidence #2 - Passover starts Wednesday night. And I'm tired. Some of you may recall that I blogged last year . You can read up on last years events over here. (in case you missed it ) This year many things will be quite similar to last year. I'll be in the kitchen baking and cooking most of the same items, probably going to the same restaurants for a quick dinner in the next few days. On the other hand, the family business has changed quite a lot since last April - so I'll share with you how I spend my time at work when not in the kitchen. And between now and the end of the week I need to get a couple of recipe columns in. As I share with you, I'm happy to answer whatever questions you may have. I might have some questions for you too - so let's get started!
  12. My name is Gerhard and I live in Wilderness in Eden. Two years ago I decided to retire and do nothing for a while. The problem with doing nothing is that it is difficult to know when you are done. That is probably the main reason why I decided to buy a guest house. The Artist's prodding did play a role. Her version was that I interfered with the creative process and was a nuisance around the house. Mine was that I was merely offering support by way of constructive criticism. Be that as it may, I woke up one morning with the thought that we should up stakes in Johannesburg and move to the coast. If we could find a large house, we could convert it into a guest house. I could keep myself busy looking after guests and cooking. The artist always had a yen to live at the seaside and I got enthusiastic support for the idea. She would paint and I would be the innkeeper. Two weeks later we bought Mes Amis in Wilderness, an existing, somewhat dilapidated guest house. 9 guest bedrooms and a large 2 bedroom apartment for us. The location is terrific: right on the beach with a splendid view of the Indian Ocean. Wilderness is an area of rivers, lakes, wetlands, mountains, forests and the Indian Ocean. Perhaps slightly overdeveloped, but still a quiet, bucolic village where the main economic activity is tourism and life proceeds at a gentle pace. We have a temperate climate, with an average min/max of 17/25 in summer (Oct-April) and 8/18 in winter. In May 2004, we relocated. The artist, sissy tutu and I. I made the mistake of visiting our local animal shelter shortly after arriving, and the result was two new additions to the menagerie, Bibi and Becky. This will be mainly a breakfast blog. That is where most of my culinary creative energy is spent these days and it may just be mildly interesting for you to follow me through a few days of cooking for the guests. (And, of course, for the artist and myself). Breakfast is served a la carte in our breakfast room: It is now just after 11am and breakfast service is done. We had 13 in, a table for 8, two for two and one single. As always seem to happen when we have a large table, the whole lot sat down at the same time. Here is today's menu: The front and back and the inside Between helping Miki with table service, giving Veronica a hand with cooking and smooching the guests, I did not have time to take pics, other than the fresh fruit: I'll do better tomorrow morning. The 8 Italian guests checked out and service should be easier. Voluble bunch, the table for 8. The shy young Swiss couple in the corner were somewhat bemused. Every time I headed for their table to discuss their plans for the day, and advise where I can, I was waylaid by the Italians. Time to take it easy. I intended watching the cricket test, but we are (again) getting soundly beaten by the Aussies. I have a large pot of duck legs on the stove and may as well start preparing the jars for the confit. The rest of the day will proceed placidly. Patricia will draw up the list of stuff that we need to order – groceries, fruit, veggies, meat, toiletries, cleaning materials and so on and place the orders for delivery tomorrow after I've checked the list and added my two bits. Time then to take the dogs for a walk on the beach, have a short siesta and then get ready to receive guests. That involves checking the reservations book and memorizing new guest names. It is often very easy to guess names correctly when the guests arrive. Tonight we have a German couple, two ladies from the UK, a businessman from Johannesburg and a repeat couple from Cape Town checking in, so I should be able to greet them all by name. I will, if you will allow me, tell more about my innkeeping day tomorrow.
  13. It’s not even 6am yet and I was so excited about starting my food blog today, I couldn’t fall back asleep. I had quite the late night last night, yet my body seems to be telling me that 4 hours of sleep is enough when there is food to write about! First, a bit about myself. My name is Henry H Lo. I am in no way connected to the “industry” but have found that I have a passion for good food and cooking my whole life. I am 33 years old and an architect in Seattle. The relationship between cooking and architecture is generally discussed among the architecture world. Both are art forms which are not always recognized as art by the general public. Just as food must provide nourishment for life, architecture must provide shelter. Once these basic requirements are established, only the educated few can see the artistic qualities which some architects/chefs elevate their work to. A few exceptions exist which are too obvious as to not be recognized as art. The buildings of Rem Koolhaus, and Ferran Adria’s work come to mind. I find that my architecture is greatly influenced by lessons I've learned from the cooking world. After all, in both endevours, we are creating "functional art." Another nice thing about being an architect was the fact that I was able to design and build my own kitchen. More on my kitchen to come. When I found out I would be food blogging, I set up a number of events in Seattle for myself and my friends to take part in. Here’s a short list of the things I have planned for this week: Friday March 17th Trail the chef at Veil Veil I did this last night and had a great time. More on this to come. Here's a teaser photo though: Friday March 17th Dinner at Crush Crush Had a great time! Stay tuned for more information. Saturday March 18th Dinner at Veil Sunday March 19th Brunch at Monsoon Monsoon (That's me on the webpage behind the potted cypress. The owner is sitting to my left) Sunday March 20th “Sopranos” Pot Luck Monday March 21st Dinner at The Barking Frog Barking Frog Tuesday March 22nd Dinner Party at home Wednesday March 23rd Special lunch at Salumi Salumi Thursday March 24th Dinner at Mistral for 20 Mistral Friday March 25th Trail the chef at Mistral Saturday March 26th Dinner at Marjorie Marjorie I also plan on taking you all on a sandwich tour of Seattle. After all, the sandwich is the perfect food! I am really looking forward to sharing my great food town with the rest of you. Please feel free to let me know if there are any specific places or things in Seattle you would like me to explore. Talk to you all soon!
  14. I thought about calling this "Meet Me at the Bar" because, well, I do have a bar in my living room, but I don't want people to get the wrong idea, and besides, my Mom might be reading this. (Actually, my parents know I have a bar in my living room. I've had it for years.) Then I thought about calling it "A Girl and her Cookware" because, having worked at a cookware store for more years than I can believe, I have collected a frightening amount. So why "Park and Shop"? People of a certain age (women, probably) might remember the old board game by that name. Or maybe not -- maybe my sister and our friends were the only ones who played that strange game. In brief, here's an overview. You had two markers: one car and one pedestrian. You drew cards that told you which shops you had to visit. You started out with your car, and "drove" to one of several parking lots, depending on where your shops were located. Then you used your pedestrian to visit all the shops. (I know, we're not talking the excitement of buying property on Boardwalk, but hey, we liked it.) Of course there were squares you could land on that sent you to jail (I don't remember why -- jaywalking?) or otherwise set you back. But mostly, the strategy involved trying to find the shortest, most economic way of visiting all the shops on your list, and that's why I always remember it, because in many ways, that's my shopping life today. Back when I worked in an office and had a civilized hour for lunch, I often used that time to run as many errands as possible, and that's when it first came to me that I was living the "Park and Shop" game (without the parking, but close enough.) Now, since I am without a car, much of my food planning revolves around trying to figure out exactly that same thing -- how to get to all the shops I need to without making unnecessary side trips, taking impossibly long bus routes, or ending up with so much stuff I can't carry it. But "Public Transportation and Shop" doesn't quite have the same ring, does it? So "Park and Shop" it is. I'll talk more in a while about the shops I visit, how this whole process plays out day to day and how it influences my cooking style. But first, here's the way I start all my mornings, feeding the boys. Damien, Mookie, and Felix having breakfast. Max generally prefers private dining. Once they've eaten and I've let them out, I can concentrate on caffeine. I have a 10-cup programmable Krups machine, but I've found that my little one-cup Melita, which started life as a travel coffee maker, is more manageable for just me. I drag out the big black machine only when I have company. So, if you'll let me drink my coffee, I'll be back with more about the week ahead (kitchen pictures, too).
  15. Good morning! My name is Kathy, and I live with my husband and two small boys in Diamond Bar, California. I usually just tell people I live at the very edge of Los Angeles, which is completely correct, if only by a whopping three miles. Or I mention that I'm close to Disneyland, which is also true. I did a food blog last summer and enjoyed myself so much I had to do it again. This time around I'm older, wiser, and only slighty more insane. This week will be all about (hopefully) controlled chaos in my kitchen and house. After years of planning, we have finally decided to move to Oregon. There are many reasons for the move, but the main thing is that we both feel more home there than here. It's an exciting time and a slightly crazy one as well. In an effort to get the house ready to sell, we're painting and installing new flooring and generally fixing and fluffing everything to hopefully get the most money possible in this already insanely high market. Hey, every last bit helps . Getting everything done hasn't been easy, but I love a good challenge. I'll be finishing up the kitchen and putting in some last bits of tile. Since we're moving soon, I'm trying to use what's left in my pantry and freezer, so suggestions are more than welcome (ideas on what to do with three cups of cracklins, anyone?). I'll be making Pepper Steak and falafel and whatever else sounds appealing. Also grabbing something at In-N-Out before they become just another burger chain. Pictures hopefully soon to follow. My Canon S400 is having issues, so today's first order of business after dropping the boys at school will be a trip to the camera store. Back again in a few hours!
  16. Good morning, all! I'm really excited about doing my first foodblog, and I can't wait to show you around New York City, my adopted hometown. This week we'll be hitting the opera (pre-theatre dinner and during-intermission Champagne make it food-related!), Babbo, a couple of markets, and loads of other fun spots. I'll also be cooking a whole bunch, and giving it my all to make something I've never made before...but more on that later. I've lived in Manhattan since graduating from college in 2001, and have loved it from day one. At first, my forays into the New York food scene were exclusively restaurant-based - milking my California-based mom for dinner at all the new places I wanted to try when she was in town, while eating Kraft dinner or Ramen at home when she wasn't. At some point, I realized how much money I could save and how much better I could treat myself if I actually started cooking for myself. I always had the skills (I used to throw brunches and cocktail parties), but just never cooked for myself on a regular basis. Well, that's changed, and if I'm still not the most accomplished home cook I know (and certainly not anywhere close to it here on eGullet), I am one of the happiest. I live on the Upper East Side, a neighborhood known for its museums, its palatial Park Avenue apartments, and its (clothes) shopping. I'm hoping to show you my version of the Upper East Side, filled with tiny coffee shops and tinier produce shops, fantastic bakeries and even the occasional decent restaurant. But not to worry - we'll also be making visits to SoHo, Chelsea, and Greenwich Village, at the very least. I am off from work this week, since my mom is here from California, and am leaving right now to meet her for breakfast before she has to catch a plane home. But, I'll be back with a full report on breakfast and any adventures undertaken on the way home. In the meantime, I'd love to hear from all of you - is there anything you'd like to see me do this week? Any place you'd like me to visit and photograph to death for you? Anything you think I should make? I have a bit of a head cold, and am pondering garlic soup for dinner tonight. Recommendations are VERY welcome! See you soon!
  17. My name is Rochelle. I host the Cooking and DC & DelMarVa forums here on eGullet. Long timers may remember the Diary of a Cooking School Student I kept back when I studied at L’academie de Cuisine for my culinary degree. Fans of the Foodblogs may recall that I completed a turn in the hot seat about a year ago, when I was the chef for a sorority at the University of Maryland (34 Hungry College Girls). My, how things change in a short year. Since I kept that sorority-chef blog, my life has shifted dramatically. My husband, who is almost done with a doctoral degree in music, landed a position at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV (about 85 miles from Washington, DC), which he started in August 2005. So we sold our house in Takoma Park, MD and moved to Harpers Ferry, WV last summer. This meant I had to leave my job at the sorority…which was okay with me, it was getting a little boring although it was a fun and fairly easy job to do and do well. So, what next for me? I had long fantasized about teaching cooking skills, and I decided to try to piece together a career that would include that as one of my primary revenue streams. I also wanted to try my hand at catering, and I wanted to land some sort of regular food writing gig. So I founded my own business, Rochelle Myers Catering and Cooking Classes, and got cracking. Last fall, I catered a few weddings and private parties, and I managed to line up some teaching gigs for this winter. I also teach private classes when I can find the work. And I even managed to hook up a monthly gig writing a “Cooking 101” column for the Martinsburg, WV Journal-News. I’m always looking for more work, but for now I’m pretty busy. This past summer, we discovered that I am pregnant with our first child. The future food nerd/music snob is slated to arrive sometime around 10 April. We feed him only the best…my homemade food via the umbilical cord, and a steady diet of classical music via my mp3 player and a set of earbuds stuck in the waistband of my maternity jeans. I expect that when he turns 14 he’ll be listening to thrash metal or gangsta rap or whatever the equivalent is at that time and eating McDonald’s as a rebellion against his super-focused artistic parents. We couldn’t be more excited about our baby and eagerly await meeting him. Right now, I am teaching a bunch of one-off cooking classes at Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD (about 30min away), and also teaching a six-course “basics of cooking” series for Jefferson County (WV) Public Schools Adult Education program. This week, I’m also putting together my next column for the Journal-News, so there should be a visit from a staff photographer who comes and snaps images of my work-in-progress to publish with my article. My mom is visiting this weekend because there is a baby shower being held in my household on Saturday;she might be bringing a friend, and I expect to cook for them a little bit, plus probably have one or two meals out at some of our limited local restaurants. On Sunday, I’ll be going back to my alma mater, L'academie de Cuisine, to check out their 30th anniversary gala dinner—should be a good time, they’ve invited back a bunch of alums to prepare special dishes for the event. In between, I’ll be eating whatever strikes my pregnant-lady fancy, preparing low-carb meals for my husband who is losing weight, and sleeping about 10 hours per day. Gather ye antacids while ye may…
  18. This Foodblog is a Foodblog unlike any other. It's the first time we've ever done a Foodblog with more than two participants. Second, three Society members will each embark on a very special journey over the next twelve days...and hopefully remain on course once this installment is over. Each of them has decided to quit smoking. This Foodblog will explore certain food-related issues that will arise from their decision: associated weight gain, healthier diet, better sense of taste, and an all-around sense of well-being and wholesomeness. Whilst there is no formal program unlike two of our previous Tag Teams -- A Tale of Two Kitchens and When Pocky Meets Pad Thai -- here is a general overview of things to come: Thursday, 2 February: Asian cooking using dishes from the various pictorials in the China forum Saturday, 4 February: Roasting meats Monday, 6 February to Wednesday, 8 February: Cuban cuisine Saturday, 11 February: Smoking pork butt Also planned are big breakfasts on the weekends and at least one meal at an "institution" school cafeteria, convention hall etc. Finally, I would like to take this moment to dedicate this Tag Team to the memory of my grandfather and my stepfather. You see, my grandfather died of lung cancer when I was ten years old. It was a devastating blow to my grandmother. Michael, my stepfather, died a few years ago of a heart attack caused in part by his diabetes -- which might have been exacerbated due to his smoking. Although he went cold turkey in the early 1990s, I firmly believe that had he quit even earlier than that, that he would still be alive today. As you can see, this Tag Team is very special to me. I hope that it's a special one for you too. Soba
  19. Greetings from the OTHER Charleston! I am getting a rather late start because I got slammed the minute I got into work, but I am very excited about doing this blog. First, a geography lesson – anyone who watched World New Tonight last night on ABC is probably confused about where Charleston, West Virginia is located. They had a correspondent in Charleston (the capital city) reporting on the mine safety legislation that just passed, but the map they displayed showed Charles Town, a WV city about 5 hours away. Here is where both cities are located. West Virginia has been in the news recently for some very unhappy events. I hope to show you that West Virginia is more than these depressing occurrences, and that while not a culinary mecca, there is good food available to most residents of this state. I welcome, nay, encourage, any questions about West Virginia and its food. As the title of my blog suggests, there will be baking in this blog. Lots of baking and indeed baking with bacon. I found an interesting recipe for Swedish Ginger Cookies that calls for bacon fat. Mmmmm, bacon. I also just purchased some almond meal and might try to make macarons for the first time (inspired by this macaron thread on eG). I may bake other items on request, so think about what you might like to see. In addition, I need to bake myself a birthday cake (sorry, no cassoulet on my birthday). My birthday is Thursday (I will be 37), but I will probably get to baking and decorating this weekend. I would like your suggestions on what kind of cake (or pie?) I should bake for myself. My friends all think I am strange for wanting to bake my own birthday cake (and for other reasons also food related), but I love to bake (even if I do cuss a lot whilst doing so). Ideas? I have to run out for an hour or two, but before I leave, here was this morning’s breakfast: All hail the coffee maker, without which I would never get going. There is yogurt underneath all that granola. Gotta run, be back soon! Edited for tipos.
  20. Greetings and salutations from sunny San Diego! Any of my closest friends will tell you I am not one to be easily intimidated, but I admit it is a bit unnerving to be directly following such exemplary bloggers as John Whiting. But don't worry, I'll get over myself fairly quickly. I was originally going to subtitle this blog something like "Beggars Banquet," or maybe "The Tightwad Gourmand" (as in "you've heard of the Frugal Gourmet, now meet ... " et cetera and so forth). These titles were attempts to address the fact that, for various reasons, I live a pretty low-budget lifestyle, but still manage to have a damn good time enjoying food. In fact, I kind of revel in finding and enjoying good cheap eats, and this blog would be a chance to go on at length about that revelry with folks of like mind. For one of the many things about eGullet that has really turned me on is the great egalitarianism of food tastes here--I've noticed that many of the same people who contribute passionately to topics on five-star restaurants and rarified vintages also weigh in with equal vigor about sliders, barbeque, chili, and other "just plain folks" food. But as to the blog title I wound up with: by the serendipity of scheduling, it turns out that I will be moving at the end of this month to a neighborhood a few miles away from the one I currently live in. That means not only a whole different kitchen, and a whole different household with different tolerances about cooking, but also a whole new neighborhood of food resources to explore. So--one of the themes of my blog this week will be taking you all along with me as I get ready to move my personal food act across town. If I'm lucky and the fellow currently occupying my new digs vacates in time, you'll actually get to see my new kitchen and what I'll soon have to work with; but at the very least I'll take you with me as I start exploring the shops and eateries around my new neighborhood. There might even be an IKEA run in there somewhere--meatballs ahoy! I don't get to do big cooking projects in my current living situation nearly as often as I'd like, partly because my current household companion (who I've immortalized in various posts as Fearless Housemate) is really sensitive to food smells, and partly because this wacky house has a substandard kitchen exhaust fan that vents directly into FH's bedroom--YIKES! So I do try to spare the poor guy from being stanked out of his own room as much as possible. HOWEVER, Fearless Housemate will be out with his band on a gig this Saturday evening, so I plan to execute some kind of minor cooking extravaganza in his absence--the exact nature of which will be determined by what looks good in the markets, what feels good to me, my energy level by the time we get to Saturday, PLUS your input and suggestions. As for the bulk of this week's meals: I'm taking inspiration from Pan's foodblog, in which he demonstrated the dining, take-out, and delivery food wonders of his immediate neighborhood. Only I'll have *two* neighborhoods full of dining and take-out opportunities to draw upon--my new one as well as my current one, both of which feature a fabulous array of inexpensive ethnic eateries. In fact, the teaser photos for my blog demonstrated just a small sampling of the local riches in my current neighborhood: The above, in order of appearance: a bento box from Nijiya Market; a medley of cold Szechuan-style appetizers from my beloved Ba Ren; and the iconic San Diego takeout meal, a fish taco combo, this one from El Cotixan, the nearest 24-hour taqueria to my current abode. And that's just for starters; within a five-mile radius of where I'm sitting right now, I can also sample such cuisines as Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Middle Eastern, Filipino, Indian, South American, Greek, Hawaiian, Jewish-style deli, several different styles of hamburger from national chains to one-of-a-kind monsters, and others cuisines that I'm still only just discovering after three-and-a-half years in this town. Oh, and one other little adventure: on Sunday evening, I'm going to be playing Mistress of the Church Coffee Reception. The congregation of which I am a member is going to be hosting a distinguished lecturer, and I volunteered to do battle with the social hall's brand-new high-volume high-speed high-falutin' coffeemaker. I'm told it's supposed to be easy, all the instructions are written out and taped to the beast. Ooooo-kay ... so how come nobody else volunteered for this task? I sense a potential for this to turn into something right out of an "I Love Lucy" episode, so I'll be sure to bring my camera along in order to record any coffee carnage. There will be other neighborhood adventures as well, depending on time, schedule, whim, energy level, and audience suggestion. About those audience suggestions: I do hope folks will chime in early and often with questions and comments as well as suggestions. As you may have noticed, I like to have a lot of fun while hanging on the board here, and it's so much more fun when I have accomplices to help bat the conversational shuttlecock around. P.S. Oh yeah--despite my fondness for Frank Zappa, there will be no corn sandwiches in this blog (shudder). However, there may well be some fried seafood of some sort, though perhaps neither oysters nor eels (not that I wouldn't mind that...)
  21. Marlena and I decided to put our blogs up separately, because we want to see lots of questions, and would hate to miss any. We offer round-the-clock coverage for your every quibble, query, or latent culinary quest, so please don't disappoint us - ask away about the foodlife you see in our blogs, or whatever hidden aspects of food culture you think we might be trying to keep hidden in the shadows outside the blog world (that's right, isn't it, Marlena? ). I was wondering what to call this blog, when I realized that my husband's belly was all but telling me - the end of New Year in Japan is a blessed relief from a surfeit of BEANS and SWEET POTATOES! Talking of surfeit...while the third day of New Year started much the same as the breakfasts described way back in my first blog 18 months ago, lunch was very "oshougatsu" (New Year). On our way to my father and mother in law's, we picked up two trays of sushi and a tray of mixed fried hors d'oeuvres (and certainly out of the reckoning of most people's culinary oeuvres, I wouldn't want care to be named as the creator of a platter of deepfried pork with onion sauce, deepfried green bean and meat rolls, deepfried prawns, deepfried potatoes and sweet potatoes, and something flat and squarish which remained unidentified and uneaten to the last.) The sushi, however, was good. The expensive sushi was plump, glossy squid, sea urchin, salmon roe, schnapper, and tuna. The cheaper sushi focused more on things like cucumber rolls and omelet. Here's son1 forcefeeding son2 with a cucumber roll, just to set the tone of the blog... Here's what was left when we remembered the camera...the paper plates and cups are a nod to my mother in law, who is getting a little senile and gets terribly confused about laying the table - better for us to bring EVERYTHING, and take EVERYTHING home. Here's my mother in law dishing up buta-jiru (a winter miso soup with root vegetables and pork in it). After some bad experiences, we never eat anything at her table that we haven't seen prepared - this soup was unaccountably sweet, but she was once an accomplished cook, and you can see how she reacted when asked to pose with her soup! She's standing by her 2-ring gas burner, the standard cooking equipment for any Japanese kitchen. On the way home, we went back to the supermarket, and spent about USD73 or GBP42...with two big boys, I count our food supply in hours rather than days! Here it all is - the 10% off pork scraps, the NZ lamb, the wieners, the nori (seaweed) squares, the bean sprouts, the snacks, the tea, the udon noodles, the rice, the mochi rice cakes, the hot dog rolls...any questions? Now here's the prep for tonight's dinner. Any idea what we're having?
  22. Greetings--at this moment, I'm in the heart of Hampshire, England. Its 9 a.m. and I would have started this blog earlier--say about 3 hours earlier when I first woke up--but couldn't figure out a good title for it. I'm still not convinced, but I'm getting thirsty for caffeine and hungry hungry hungry, so figured I'd better tap something out before I spent all week fretting and never got a posting made! I decided on the title because I lead an unusual bi-continental lifestyle. I live in the Hampshire countryside of the United Kingdom, and write a food column--Roving Feast-- for The San Francisco Chronicle. i also write cookbooks, do broadcasting, and have a daughter in new york city. I'm here, I'm there, I'm inbetween, sometimes I want to cry out: who am i and where do i live? This week I'm actually at home in Britain working on a project that will keep me tied closelly to the kitchen; more about that later. Last week we were in a shepherds hut on a greek island perched high above the sea. we were there for several weeks; i love greece, and this week will probably still be making a few greek dishes in an effort to extend the well being i get when i think of being there. plus i love greek food which is seldom made well in american or british restaurants, or even in many restaurants in greece either. shortly after i do this blog, in a week or two, i'll be back in san francisco catching up on the tastiest stuff going on. so this is a good time to write a foodblog as will have time to devote to writing about each and every delicious thing we eat. this week should be fun, too, because it is the tail end of christmas, and having missed the original olde english christmas, my british husband is trying to catch up with the christmas pudding, mince pies, and all the things he went without during our sojurn in greece. and most of all, i'm really really glad to be doing this blog, because its getting me back in the egullet.org mode: i've been away tooooooo long working at things that seem so important! now i know that nothing is as important as egullet! right? okay. i'm off to brew some caffeine. having brought back that finely ground coffee from greece. This morning instead of my usual dark roast french press, its going to be greek coffee, brewed in a briki, the little long handled traditional pot. i take my greek coffee metrios, that is with a medium amount of sugar. its thick, and strong, and fragrant, it smells like being in Greece! in keeping up the theme, and because i've already been awake hours without eating and figure its lunchtime at least, i'm making us feta cheese omelets. usually i only make omelets for lunch or dinner, but hey, i'm not really locked into any time frame for any meal. i pride myself on being able to eat anything at any time! Feta cheese omelet: learned to make this from a greek mechanic a long time ago in another lifetime when i drove my vw van to greece and broke down somewhere near patras. the mechanic fixed our car, and fixed us an omelet that i've been making in variations ever since. today I have some really excellent feta cheese that i bought in the athens central market. it is made from sheeps milk and is very creamy and rich. i had a lot of fun speaking with the cheese monger there in my pidgen greek; i ended up making a lot of baaaa-ing noises in an effort to differentiate between goats, cows and sheeps milk. I break up a few thick slices of feta, so that they are bite sized, and add them to beaten eggs; probably 2 ounces of cheese to one egg. i'm using three eggs for the two of us. Heat the pan with a little extra virgin, then pour it in; the edges sizzle in the hot oil; then i turn the heat down, and pull up the crisp sizzled edges every so often for the liquid egg to run in. I like to keep the cheese dispursed evenly throughout the pan. When the omelet is golden on the bottom, invert it onto a plate then turn it over in the pan and brown its top. Sometimes I do this under the broiler instead. Okay, its ready to go; though i usually sprinkle dried oregano over it, today i have fresh dill, and green onions; i'll chop them and sprinkle them over the top. i also have some pita--the greek pita without pockets--that i also brought back from athens. i'll warm that up too. Speak with you later, after we've eaten and digested. Marlena
  23. Boker Tov Kulam! Good morning everyone! Chag Hannukah Sameach (Happy Hannukah) and Merry Christmas from the Land of Milk and Honey! Last night was the first night of Hannukah and my town lit the big Hannukiah in front of the "Welcome to Hod HaSharon" sign. I am very excited about blogging this week. This is my first blog and I hope that I can live up to the other wonderful blogs. Didn't Zucchini Mama do a great job this past week? My other half, David (a.k.a. Tapenade) or he may tell you "my better half" is going to be joining in on the blog. We have planned a lot of interesting things for you to see. Tonight you are all formally invited to an Israeli wedding. David and I are going to a colleague of mine's wedding and we will show how weddings are done here. Don't worry, I am taking a gift for all of us and you can relax in your pajamas. Anything goes here in Israel!
  24. A Merry Zucchini Christmas to You! "Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a ...?" In this blog we'll be flying over the Canadian Rocky Mountains for Christmas in cowboy country. As they say in this household: "Keep yer fork Duke, there's pie!" Hello from sunny Vancouver! This is your Saskatchewan expat correspondent Zucchini Mama reporting from the funky boroughs of Little Mountain Neighborhood, just up the hill from Aurora Bistro. During this Christmas blog we'll be making and consuming some prairie soul food, baking up a storm, and heading to the rootin' tootin' town of Cochrane Alberta, birthplace of country singer George Fox and home of Bernie's Bavarian Bakery! Yee haw! Git along little dogies! This can be a challenging time of the year when psychological tectonic plates are shifting. Memories of holidays past suddenly bob to the surface, and the ghost of Christmas futures can inspire or haunt us. So let's all share our Christmas present: our culinary traditions and our survival techniques. (Sometimes they may be one and the same.) Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hannukah, or you just hunker down for a binge of your favorite movies, tell us what you're eating this year. It would mean the world to me if you would put up a couple of "postcards" and a few words about what makes this specific Christmas or holiday special to you, with specific references to your family food traditions. (It would also take a bit of pressure off me as a first-time blogger who is relatively new to eGullet.) Besides, I'd love for this blog to be a kind of window on the world for my son Ullie to be able to enjoy for years to come--an educational thread and an aide-memoire of his fifth Christmas on earth. I am a big fan of eGullet and am drawn to it as if I was warming my hands around the hearths or stoves and ovens in people's kitchens all around the world. Some days it's like a global kitchen party. So come on in, pull up a comfortable chair, grab a snack and a drink and let's chat and cook. We'll have a giant eGullet potluck. I feel that since joining eGullet I have felt a renewed incentive to suck the marrow from life's bones, (particularly if the marrow is chocolate ganache, darling). So let's do it. Let's seize the carp du jour, chomp the char tartar, and take the time to stop and scratch and sniff the cocoa solids. Let the Zucchini Mama Christmas Party begin!
  25. Much like cookbooks, what the world needs now is many fewer restaurant critics. Over the next week, it’s my goal to ensure that you talk me out of my job, while I, meanwhile, try to talk you into it. So to speak. In other words, I want you to ask me lots of questions. My life doesn’t hang in the balance of my next review, something that I’ve been doing professionally for the past 15 years. But from writing about restaurants I’ve also come to know the food service business quite well, I suppose. And behind the swinging doors lie much bigger stories, especially of the collaboration of chef, farmer and fisherman; distribution; cross-cultural influences (Vancouver, where the culinary DNA is still knitting itself together, is a fine laboratory to observe that in); the collusion of wine with food; and more recently, the necessity of sustainability, especially as it relates to the global fishery. This week I’m going to eat my last Russian caviar. Ever. No, restaurant reviewing would be much less interesting if I couldn’t write about these bigger stories. So I hope that I can transmit to you how the research works, how the writing gets done, and ultimately, lend a sense as to how culinary cultures--born from diversity--emerge with a sense of their new locality. We’ll be covering a considerable amount of real estate across this big, raw-boned place: • We’ll begin today In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley Wine Country and for the next two days and nights look in on some agricultural history (in an attempt to track the area's culinary evolution) and wineries, cook with chef Michael Allemeier of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (braised boar cheeks will be featured at a Friday night dinner party with some wine folks) and a revisit to a restaurant to demonstrate our review process and methodology. • On Saturday I’ll return to our home in Vancouver—where we have some friends joining us for a little seasonal cheer, ‘Seven Hour Sacrificial Lamb’ and ‘Cheesier-Than-Mariah Carey Scalloped Potatoes.’ • On Sunday morning we’ll be flying to the wild outside coast of Vancouver Island to the ecotourism town of Tofino, which is about an hour’s flight in a twin engine aircraft. Once there we’ll be looking in at coastal cuisine from the pans of chef Andrew Springett at The Wickaninnish Inn and, in a more casual vein, at the construction of excellent fish tacos at Sobo. • On Monday we’ll be returning to Vancouver to go behind the scenes at pastry chef Thomas Haas’s (he was the opening executive pastry chef at Daniel in Manhattan) lovely production facility, and observe John van der Liek at the Oyama Sausage Factory, which carefully produces more than 150 products. We'll aslo track the history of a new restaurant, from development menu to opening night and review. • Through the balance of the week we’ll look inside many more professional kitchens and markets, hopes and dreams. I’m sure we’ll find a few other things to do too. Once again, I very much encourage your questions. Last night, the Ice Wine harvest was supposed to start. In order to trigger that, Vintners' Quality Alliance reguations demand the temperature must stay at or below -8 degrees Centigrade through the entire pick, which can take a while. Anything else is just Late Harvest fruit. Alas, there was a slight inversion off the lake yesterday afternoon and it was called off. So we stoked the fire and rolled back into bed. But now I’m off to pick up some croissants down the hill at La Boulangerie. We baked some Irish soda bread yesterday as well. I’ll make some strong coffee when I’m back, and begin to tell you a little more about this disturbingly beautiful place . . . Welcome, Jamie Image: On the Beach - Okanagan Lake last afternoon, 1530 hours.
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