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  1. Hello everybody! I hope you guys like bananas! 99.9% of my diet consists of bananas. For protein, I pick ticks from my fellow wild men. But seriously... I work as a computer programmer in Poughkeepsie, NY. So what's this crap about being a wild man of Borneo, I hear you ask. I am really from Borneo. I was born and raised in Sarawak, Malaysia, but my grandparents originally came from Fuzhou, China. From the age of 13 until 26, I lived in Melbourne, Australia. For the last four years, I've been going wild in the jungles of Poughkeepsie. "Wild man gone wild" is now available in VHS and DVD from your local quality video store. Why is the wild man rambling? I think it gives some background to the type of food you can expect to see in this food blog. That's right, it's gonna be a confusing and incoherent mish mash. Ok, there will be Chinese, there will be Malaysian, there will be Australian, and there will be Sarawakian. There will be steak because I love steak. I like cooking only when it's not a "chore", so sometimes we eat out. I bet all the New Yorkers are dying to read about the wonders of Poughkeepsie's restaurant scene. Here's an attempt at providing some structure to the ideas swirling in my head, in no particular order: Pork congee - what I'm going to have for lunch today. Pictures to come. Asian BBQ pork - inspired by the recent eG BBQ pork thread. Kari Ayam (Malaysian Chicken Curry) Umai - Sarawakian raw fish salad Sarawak Laksa (of course... and nothing like the one from Penang) Tuna casserole (Australian recipe) Aussie burger with the lot (that means fried egg and beetroot, I'm afraid) Steak I'm terrible at making desserts, but I'll have a go at making kueh salat, because I miss it so. I hope that list meets with your approval, fellow eGulleteers. There's only going to be two of us eating the food, and our main meal is dinner, so the list may be overly ambitious. Forgive me if I don't get around to every item or if I change things around mid-stream. I can't make any promises, but there is a plan to eat some stinky durian and to incorporate as much stinky shrimp paste in the recipes as possible. Be prepared to hold your noses! If any term or ingredient is unfamiliar to you, please feel free to ask. My googling skills are at your disposal!
  2. Ok, so right off the bat I have a confession to make. Today is my birthday. How cool is that? First-ever blog and 54th birthday, all in one. Trouble is, I'm so slammed today and tomorrow that I don't even have time to celebrate - that'll come later in the week. But I did do a little something special for myself that I wouldn't do on just any morning - picked my breakfast fresh from the back yard. I got 43 lbs of blueberries from my two bushes this summer. These are the last of them. Around here blackberries are considered a noxious and invasive weed, but I can't help myself - I love them. These little strawberries were never bigger than a thumbnail, but now we're down to the last few brave survivors of our recent heat wave. Still yummy, though. Inspired by Dejah's Red River Cereal photo, I'm having Wheatena with my berries. I put peanut butter and brown sugar into the Wheatena (more about that later), and then right after I took this photo, I dumped the berries into the porridge. I'll spare you the image of the combined breakfast - it looks much prettier in its separate state. Oh, there's also coffee in this breakfast, although I'm normally a tea person in the morning. I was up until the wee hours getting semi-ready for my day, so coffee seems called for. This is a double Americano my husband made for me on his La Marzocco. So, besides being the Birthday Girl, I'm a personal chef. You'll get a little taste of that today and tomorrow, as I cook for a regular client, and for a party for a new client. And then for the rest of the week I'll finally get to catch up with some food projects, recipe-testing, and just plain eating that I've been wanting to do for weeks now. By the way, I'm a Weight Watcher too. Each meal I'll have something to say about it in WW terms, but I'll keep it at the end of each post, so you don't have to think about WW points unless you want to. So why the peanut butter? I like to get some fat and protein into my whole grains, whenever possible. A tablespoon of peanut butter stirred into a serving of Wheatena, a spoon of brown sugar, whisk it all together for a creamy and delicious 5 points. Add berries, and it's one of the best uses of 6 points that I can think of. I'll be back this afternoon with pictures from today's cooking. Here's the menu, just as a preview: Curried Chicken Salad Acqua Pazza, served with Pasta with Zucchini, Anchovies and Mint Chicken Braised with White Poppy Seeds, Black Cardamom, and Coconut Milk, served with Saffron-Cardamom Rice Ribeye Steaks with a Port-Rosemary Reduction Sauce, served with Glazed Carrots with Balsamic Vinegar and Butter Persian Meatballs with Spinach, served with Israeli Couscous with Dates and Almonds. Yum - as you might guess, my lunch will be tasting these creations. See you all later - I'm off into the world for my first day as a 54 year old person!
  3. FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD! The word "BLOG" is a familiar one in our house. My hubby Bill, is a prof. in the Faculty of Education, and "blogging" is one of the requirements for his Communications and Computer technology courses. But, I have never been involved in blogs until this invitation...and this sounds much tastier! Thanks for the opportunity. Life is much more relaxed now that we have retired from the restaurant biz. http://home.westman.wave.ca/~hillmans/soosera.html Since 2002, I have been teaching half time at our university in the EAP program with international students. This leaves me the rest of the day to cook . . . what else? Brandon is a rural city of 44,000. Dining out does not include gourmet meals, tasting menus, etc. Until I found Egullet, a tasting menu was a 9 or 11 course Chinese banquet, complete with a 26 oz. bottle of Crown Royal ;-) My cooking these days involve learning traditional family recipes from my 95-year-old mother, pulling out old recipes from pre-Soo's Restaurant days, and trying out ideas from Egullet and my overflowing collection of cookbooks. This week will be a hectic one for blogging. My sister and family are visiting from Burnaby, B.C. so lots of food will be involved. On top of that, hubby, our kids and myself are performing Saturday and Sunday at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Brandon Folk Music & Crafts Festival. We will have out of town musical guests . . . so more food! Good thing I am on summer vacation this month. DAY ONE I love my mornings. When university is in session, I am up at 5 a.m. so I could do my prep. while the house is quiet. These days, I can sleep in until 6 a.m. I take our daughter to work at her summer job at the hospital, then I get to relax with my breakfast and 2nd cup of coffee. Today, I sat out on the deck with a cup of Tim Horton's brew-at-home with Coffee Rich creamer, 2 slices of toast with my home made peach/apricot/pineapple conserve. I love this stuff on toast, ice cream or just by itself as a snack. The recipe is one handed down by hubby's Nana Campbell. She even used bits of apricot pits in her recipe! It added a touch of crunchy bitterness to the sweet and tang of the fruit, but not enough arsenic to topple us. For lunch, my daughter packed a roll-up made with whole wheat tortillia, poached chicken breast, a handful of spring greens with raspberry vinegrette, shredded carrot and juilenne cukes. At home, we had wonton soup with shrimp egg noodles, Shanghai bok choy, shrimp and lap cheung.
  4. Ok, so it’s on me to try and log my daily food habits. I am not sure how interesting how they will be. The problem is I really hardly ever plan my weekly meals, I more or less have a general idea of what we might have. Something along the lines of “hmm…I have not had any Indian at home in a while AND I have some yogurt, I need to do something with that” or “that basil is getting out of hand, I think some pesto might be in order” and so on. I honestly always envied the planners, you know those who have a set menu for everyday of the week. I tried that a couple of times, never works for us. The main hurdle is that I am pretty much the only cook in the house and both my wife and I work. We also have a one year old who needs to be dropped off and picked up from daycare. So by the time I get home which could be as late as 8PM dinner plans might have to be seriously re-vamped. This week, here’s what I am “planning” on: -I want to enter a recipe into the Food and Wine burger contest and I have a vision of a chicken burger with some type of Lebanese twist on it. Thought it might be fun. -I DO have a tree of basil so pesto might make an appearance in some form or shape. -I’ve been meaning to test a braised short ribs recipe with mushrooms. Hopefully it will happen this week. -A homebaked bread is a weekly must have. I also plan on having some pictures posted, mainly of dinner items. Since lunch is usually at my desk in the office and breakfast is usually nothing more than a cup of coffee except on some weekends. So, hopefully my log is half as enjoyable as the other ones have been so far and I look forward to some interesting discussions. Elie
  5. Good morning everyone. Sorry things got off to a later start - my oldest had nightmares all night, making the morning a bit more blurry than normal, and I just got back from dropping him off at preschool. Yawn. I remember back in college staying up all night to write a paper and being perfectly fine in the morning, but at 35 it doesn't quite work that way any more. I live at the outskirts of Los Angeles county in Diamond Bar, a smaller city at the edge of the hills and desert. It's a nice mix - LA isn't far away, but we're still out away from the city enough to enjoy hills that haven't been covered in housing. We actually have cattle grazing right over the fence from my townhouse complex. Foodwise, there are Indian and Asian communities throughout the area so it's easy to get most of the ingredients I tend to want. Meals are planned around my husband and two boys, 5 and 3. I do meal plan each week, which I'll go into in more detail on Saturday since shopping is on Sunday. I just got tagged yesterday, so what you'll see will be what was on the menu this week. I originally learned to cook by watching my grandmother. She was an incredible cook, focused on detail and how to feed her family well (she is still alive, but a series of strokes has left her unable to cook). Recently I was given her recipe box and cookbooks, which I treasure. As the keeper of the family recipes, I feel an obligation to keep those recipes alive and well by making them often and hopefully well. I got the highest possible praise last Thanksgiving when she said my rolls (the ones she made for every holiday) were as good as hers. The turn around of feeding her some of the things that are my fondest childhood memories warms my heart So, on to the blog!
  6. Greetings, Hopefully I am not stepping on Walt's feet by slipping this in before he has culminated his blog in his final dinner post, but early east coast mornings and late evening California dinners seem to cause some logistical concerns ;). I am not going to actually bother any of you with real content tonight, but I figured I would get introductions out of the way, and then begin my official blog tomorrow morning with breakfast. As far as bios go I am 23 years old, live with two roomates in Bear, DE (a little fake town of strip malls and suburbs) which is near Newark, DE (pronounced as in New Ark, not like that place in Jersey, and which is a wonderful little town with lots of charm, beautiful homes, tons of culture, great restaurants, and is somewhere I would love to attach my address to. Alas, someone built a post office near my apartment and called it Bear, so I can't). Geographically speaking in terms of places people might actually know, I Am around 45 minutes southeast of Philadelphia, and around an hour and a half north of Baltimore (I'll get around to explaining why this has significance). I am a public school music/drama/dance/etc teacher during the year (and I suppose an off-duty one during the summer) but am also teaching summer school for the next week and a half. This means that my breakfasts might not be much to look at for the next several days, but I will try to get something out. Summer school being a half-day activity I will have plenty of time to get home and play around with stuff in the kitchen however. Look forward to laughing at many pictures of me trying to cook, chopping off my fingertips, burning myself with hot oil and cast iron, and generally being a anti-posterchild for the food and kitchen safety movements. I can claim to own four cookbooks in total (one of which was given to me by Ms. Suzilightning, thank you very much) and I'm not positive that I have ever followed a recipe exactly even from them. I have no definate plans for what I will be preparing this week, and am very susceptible to suggestions by eG members. I am prone to using lots of spice, lots of herbs, and probably miss the boat on subtlety more often than not. So as I'm sure you are tired of reading my blabbering for the moment, I will just invite you to all sit back, pop open a cold one, and try not to cringe too much as I attempt not to butcher your favorite dishes as well as my own hands in the coming week.
  7. Boris kindly told me on Sunday that he was tagging me. Gave me a day or two to panic. Boris showed us a lifestyle and an approach to food that's a hard act to follow. Living and eating gets the big Tokyo squeeeze some days, and Tuesdays are a prime example! Later I want to show you some summer pickles (which involves some time-travel, since I started pickles on Monday so that they would be ready before blog week was ovr), some other preserved foods we make, and also talk about family cooking in those years when the house has more hungry mouths than bulging purses, and family schedules are fuller than the fridge! Meanwhile, this is how my blog really started... I got home around 4pm, to find my office at blood heat, and son1 using a mood-altering substance - an ice cube on a saucer, which he hoping would make him feel cooler while he studied for a test tomorrow. He and son2 consumed a cob of sweetcorn each (from a bag bought off the back of a farm truck which often comes round selling veges at weekends). Son2 grabbed a bottle of cold barley tea and a stick of string cheese, and headed off for 2 hours at cram school. Son1 and I dismembered some of the green soybeans and whorled mallow I had bought at a vege stand on the way home, in the interests of his science test tomorrow. By that time, son1 was HUNGRY again, but we didn't eat till 7:30, when son2 came back from cram school. Husband ate when he returned home after 10pm...pretty normal hours for a Tokyo worker. The rice includes an umeboshi cooked in with it to keep it fresh in lunchboxes tomorrow (bad wife! bad mother! should be up at 5am to cook rice...). The soup bowl (before miso soup was added) contains a fish sausage with a stick of burdock in the middle, and HALF A GREEN BEAN harvested by son2 from "his" plant at school. Shallow dish is squash and green beans simmered in dashi stock with soy sauce and sweet sake (mirin). Actually cooked that yesterday and forgot to serve it! Normally I would add the green beans at the last minute to preserve the color, but the family are getting sick of beans (very cheap from the infamous vege shack over the road at the moment), so I simmered them till they had absorbed more flavor. This is not so much a rough construction as a loose collocation... On the small plate, pork slice panfried with ginger, deepfried eggplant with a dab of yuzu-koshou, and some boiled whorled mallow leaves. Whorled or "Chinese" mallow is slightly mucilaginous, like okra or melokhia. Naganasu photo at bottom of page (Japanese text) Shouga-yaki (pork slices with ginger) usually has the ginger mixed into it, but I often make it with the ginger and a tiny sprinkle of cornflour and soy sauce "sandwiched" in the middle. The eggplant was 50cms long, a "naga-nasu" from Kyushu. The whorled mallow leaves (oka-nori or "upland laverbread") After dessert, the boys heard the breadtruck which comes every Tuesday evening, and insisted that we had a moral duty to introduce it to you! The driver was quite shy at the thought of making her worldwide debut. Not so my son2... In the end, they had to admit that the chocolate-filled cornet and the melon-pan had better be saved until tomorrow. I will also save talk of pickles till tomorrow, because I have a video to transcribe for class tomorrow, a sample translation to do, a shirt to iron, and a dish of chicken simmered in soy sauce and vinegar to make ready for tomorrow's dinner...not to mention dishes and bath, and it's already 10:30pm Tuesday night Japan time.
  8. Hello and Good Morning, foodbloggers! For some reasons I was tagged/untagged/tagged again. All within the last 48 hours. Just to give you an idea of the drama. I had no idea about the nature of the foodblog before. Now I'm the one who has to continue after Mongo's blog. Do I need to say more? Oh Gods, what is my sin? Is this a Hiob test? Please note, eGullet is about the only place where I have to deal with writing English language. I'm working part-time as a translator for English/German technical documentations. But writing in an foreign language is a different animal. Forgive in advance. And if anyone is tempted to answer, please translate the coolest, latest slang expression for me. Ok? It's now 7 in the morning here on a gray, rainy summer day in Erlenbach, a village near Zurich, in the German speaking part of Switzerland. That's the place where the blog is going to stop for a week. (Geographically, tiny Switzerland is the watershed of a continent. Within a circle of 50 kilometers, there are the springs of 4 rivers, each one reaching a different sea around Europe. ) I've grown up in this country where I was born about 50 years ago. My mother was of mixed Italian/Swiss origin, my father is a Bulgarian immigrant. For 19 years, I'm together with my beloved Beatrix. We built a home 4 years ago and now, we are living together here. I'm a bit tired today, because yesterday I visited a wine producer working at the majestic lake of Geneva. This producer devoted all his energy to variety called "Chasselas", a variety known to the Aegyptians already. It's cultivated at the border of the Lac Léman (the lake's real name) for some 900 years. This wine is generally not in high estem with the elitistic wine community (and Switzerland doesn't export almost any), but what Pierre-Luc Leyvraz achieved with his tiny production is a truly oustanding apéritif wine. Until now, it's a almost a grassroot evolvement. I have to unload 120 bottles this afternoon. On the way home, I stopped in Gruyére (the town) of course and bought some Gruyère d' Alpage (the deleicious summer, mountian variety of Gruyère, produced on spot by hand. Etivaz as a reperesentant of that Gruyère variety), a piece of Gruyère Surchoix (more mature than regular Gruyère) and some Extra-Vieux (Gruyère matured for 18 months). Now I'going to prepare some coffee and to walk over to my bakery to pick some fresh croissants. Afterwards, I've got some work to do. So again, foodblog community: Hello! We are going to spend an easy, less exciting week (we all need that after Hurricane Mongo, no?) and I try to give you an impression of our food and how we live here.
  9. my name is mongo jones and i once selected "revolution #9" three times back-to-back on a jukebox in a los angeles bar. the jukebox was shut off 3 minutes into the second playing. i'm just saying. see you all tomorrow. and if it all ends in tears, recriminations and mass-excommunications blame adoxograph.
  10. The warrior-shaman, stripped to the waist, held aloft a stone stained with blood. His skin glistened in the sunlight as he peered down at the girl tied to the rock in front of him. "It is your turn." he intoned "and there had better be meat." "Come on, what if I just promise to be different? I'll do stuff no one else has!" The tattered remains of a black tennis shoe fell from her foot with a thud. "There must be blood!" His teeth looked sharp, and he spit as he glowered. "Um, what about salad? A nice green salad?" She squirmed. "Salad's for wimps. You're not a wimp are you? I hate wimps." "Hey, look! Transit of Venus!" She pointed towards the sun. The warrior turned, shielding his eyes. "What? Where?" When he turned back to the stone, the girl was gone. "Bah.... she'll be back. She'd better bring meat." A voice called out from down the mountain. "Fine, fine - if nothing else there will be fish!." The warrior rolled his eyes. "I totally knew it. Wimp."
  11. Howdy, Y'all. Apparently I got tagged this morning. Thanks Seth! Awesome job, by the way. I'm normally on at all hours of the day, but today was a big cooking day for me, so I didn't check in after my first morning fix. Since the blog is supposed to start on Sunday, I'll try and remember what I ate/cooked yesterday. I'll start with an introduction. I'm Vanessa, and I live in Dallas, Texas. I have a habanero temper and a chipotle smile. I have the pleasure of living with my significant other of 6 years, three cats and a dog. Pictures of said beasts to follow, of course. They are our only children. We moved here just under a year ago from Chicago, where we lived for two Before that we were living in the culturally hopping Bryan/College Station, Texas. Its been an interesting year learning my way around Dallas. There are many delightful foodie finds both on and off the beaten path. I have a passion for several different ethnic cuisines and seem to acquire more the older I get. I'm 32, if anyone is counting. I'm trying not to. I'm just your basic self-taught, home cook. I'm not a picky eater, but the SO is, at least in comparison to me. But that is easily worked around. I cook a whole lotta Tex-Mex and Mexican food. Thats the SO's favorite, and its good to keep the powers that be happy, eh? Fortunately for me, I also love it. In no particular order, my other favorite cuisines are: Indian, Middle Eastern, Greek, and a new one for me, Ethiopian. I'm also fond of French, Italian and American Regional. I just love learning about different cultures, and since I have a culinary bent, thats generally how I relate. I'm going to go gather my thoughts and make some uploads to image gullet, and I'll post again before bed.
  12. I'm it this week. And who am I, anyway? You could check out my bio, if you really want to, but really all you need to know is that I'm not professionally involved with food, although more and more I wish I were. I have amassed nearly 1000 posts here in (I think?) pretty quiet fashion. I mostly take from eGullet-- I learn new things every day, and I'm very grateful. I live in Brooklyn, with my wife Robin and our two children, Leah (2 years old) and Nate (almost 7 months). I am a lawyer, but for the past four months I've been on a leave of absence taking care of the kids. This leave of absence ends June 1. That's right, we are at the beginning of my last week of freedom. (Incidentally, I did a sort of half-blog for a while about new stuff I was learning to make while on leave. You can find it here.) When my leave began, I wanted to tackle a bunch of disparate projects, but eventually I became primarily obsessed with baking bread. I began baking every day, and I eventually got my own sourdough starter (whom I call Ringo) up and running. This daily bread-making has become part of my identity now, and it's going to be tough to part with it. Once I return to work, my daily baking is going to have to end, so I've recently been baking more than ever, trying to cram in what I can before I go back. So this week you can expect some bread from me. And I'll try to show you a few things about how we live here in Brooklyn, U.S.A. We will be traveling later this week. We'll be leaving Wednesday night to go to my mother's home in Maryland. My mother knows not of this eGullet business (at least, so far as I know ), and it might be best if this remains the case. So you may not get much in the way of food photos while we're in Maryland, but I'll give you some reports that you might find amusing. So, on with the blog already! Oh, by the way, I've been instructed to tell you that if you reply to the blog, you're fair game to be tagged as the next blogger. And that you have a moral obligation not to say no! I was apparently the very last choice to be tagged for this week. (They said it was because I live in NYC, where so many of the bloggers have lived, but really...) I've always been picked last since I was a child, so I'm okay with it. But don't put some other loser in my position! Say "yes" when you're tagged! Take it for the team! (Now will anyone dare reply? ) Okay, so dinner this evening was (drum roll, please)....... tuna salad. Behold, mortals! See, I made this poached chicken with aioli on Friday, and there's just a ton of aioli left over, which I love, but I'm having a hard time getting rid of it. Yesterday I assembled a bunch of cooked and raw vegetables for a sort of veggie "Grand Aioli," and tonight I briefly entertained thoughts of a Bourride, but it was so hot out, and like a jackass I had the oven at 500 degrees already for some French bread. The thought of turning on a burner was just too much, at least until we put in our stupid air conditioners. (See Note 1, below.) So it's just a tuna salad sandwich, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's also got a little extra: it's made with homemade aioli on homemade bread. It tasted pretty good. I also put together some Biga (a firm batter of flour, water and a little yeast that will bubble all night, creating flavor for future breads), which I'll use Monday and Tuesday. I got my hands on some actual Italian "00" flour (their white flour), so I thought I'd make a Pugliese and maybe some durum wheat bread with my "00" Biga: For tomorrow: I dunno. I can never plan ahead. My wonderful wife got me this great gift for our anniversary: It's the seven quart Le Creuset (we have an oval five already, I think). Give me some ideas. What should I make in this pot? If I like your idea I'll use it on Monday or Tuesday! Also: I got these beautiful radishes at the greenmarket on Saturday: I dipped some slices in aioli yesterday. What else should I do with them? Put them in a salad? I haven't the faintest idea. Help me out. See you tomorrow (or later this morning, really). It's late. Note 1: This is what most of us New Yorkers do, by the way. We take down our air conditioners in the winter because otherwise we'd freeze, and we store them in closets, or in the corner, or wherever we can, and then when it's hot again we risk our backs picking them up and we install them in our windows, blocking our pathetic views of alleys and neighbors in their underwear. Glamorous, huh?
  13. Good morning, everyone! Guess who's it this week? (Thank you, Judith! I'll try to do you proud.) Actually, I've had a very crazy week, getting ready for our annual wine festival. I was on the phone trying to deal with screwed up orders for stemware, cookbooks, t-shirts and supplies, and I was absent-mindedly lurking through eGullet (my favorite way to relax) when I received a message that I had a PM from . . . hathor ?? Oh no, that can only mean . . . And the little devil tagged me on the eve of a major wine festival! Quick bio: My real name is Mary. I live at Dover Canyon Winery and Vineyard in Paso Robles, California. It's a small winery in an appellation that includes 80 wineries and over 200 vineyards, including some old vine vineyards. I live with my SO, who is also the winemaker, and he loves to cook. (Life is sweet.) This morning we are cleaning up the debris in our home from a barbecue-party last night to celebrate the efforts of our volunteer staff after the grand tasting Saturday, as well as my son's 21st birthday. (It feels very weird to say to him What are you drinking, honey? and have that be okay!) Anyway, we will be grilling appetizers in front of the winery today—lamb ribs rubbed with a mixture of sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, herbs de Provence, and duck breasts rubbed with a cayenne-cinnamon salt. We get our meat from a local butcher that operates a shop behind his home. He also processes wild game for local hunters—venison and boar mostly. The herbs de Provence come from an herb farm just down the road. I'll take pictures today and try to get them posted first thing tomorrow. As soon as I figure how to do it. We're expecting several hundred visitors today, so I need to scurry, but I will check back later!
  14. Good morning and thank you Ms. Victoria, I hope I can do justice to the blog tradition! But first, a shout out to all of us Mothers, mommies, moms, mas, mammys, and mahs: Happy Mother’s Day!! I’m a "here and there" home chef. Right now, here is NY, and there is Italy. My husband and I have spent a quiet weekend at our house in Northern Westchester, we’ve been getting the house ready for spring and summer, planting flowers, cleaning up the outdoor plants…and we’ve been eating rather well. A quick bio: married, 1 son, 2 cats. We’ve been married a long time…20 years…and lived together for a few years before that. Our son is just finishing his first year in college, he can’t make it home for Mother’s Day because he’s working away finishing his last project of the semester. We are going to Philadelphia on Tues to bring him (and his mountain of stuff) home, I’ll still be his mother on Tues, so we’ll celebrate then. Most of the week we live in a loft in Soho, which is in downtown NYC; weekends we try to head up here to Westchester. I’ve had some formal training with cooking, I graduated from an accelerated program at the NY Restaurant school (the school has since merged with some other school, I’m not sure of the name anymore). I thought I wanted to become a caterer, but as this was an early mid-life career change, I found I could make more money working in the garment center, and have weekends off; so now I just cook for family and friends. Some of the high points in my life have been very literally high points: I’ve climbed and stood on some of the world’s highest peaks with my husband and son. We climbed Kilimanjaro, Mt. Elbrus and some peaks in Bolivia to mention the really high points. We are avid downhill skiers. Anyone want to talk about the trials of cooking at altitude?? Now that’s a real pain. I commute to work in the city by bike, which is an adventure in its own right. Hold on: we just got some great news!! Our friend who is an avid hunter, just called to say he finally got a wild turkey!!! Its been a long, dry spell since he’s been successful. Our deal is, he hunts, I cook. He just called from upstate on a scratchy cellphone connection to let us know the good news. Oh boy!! Enough bio. Onto the food. We left work a little early on Friday, so we were able to eat to come up here to the house, and have dinner at home, which is a rarity on Fridays, as we usually have to leave the city late, after the traffic has abated. Friday night was grilled artic char and shrimp, served on a nest of cappelini with a parsley brown butter sauce, and some grilled baby fennel. Need to work on the baby fennel part, it would be great if you had very sharp teeth and were in need of fiber…maybe this is one vegetable that needs to come to maturity before eating. We opened a 98 bottle of Haynes vineyard Turley that was magnificent. A bit overboard for the fish, but it was delicious. And it was Friday night, after all! Saturday lunch was a warm white bean and shrimp salad. Is there any more symbiotic relationship than parsley and garlic? This was served with a Tavel rose that worked perfectly with the bright flavors of the salad. I’ll post photos later, right now, I’m working off a really s l o w dialup connection, but I can post when we get back to the city. Saturday dinner was a TV dinner. That means the temperature dropped, it started to rain, so we had to eat inside. So dinner was served while we watched Sling Blade. Remember, that old Billy Bob Thorton film? It had some serious story flaws, but overall it has held up and is still interesting to watch. We had grilled quail for dinner. The quail had spent the afternoon relaxing in a ginger, garlic, and lemongrass bath. So they were simply grilled and served on a bed of rice, along with some white asparagus, and a terrific watercress salad. The watercress was a type I had never seen before: very thin stalks with oversized leaves. It was firm, crunchy and very peppery. I tossed it with some sliced red onions, micro-planed some orange zest on top, and made a simple vinegarette with EVOO and orange juice. The oranges are very, very, very tart. Sunday morning I made my favorite Sunday brunch breakfast. It has a number of names: salade du pays, survival salad, but it’s a frisee and lardon salad. I’m able to get some nitrate free, applewood smoked bacon in a slab. That gets sliced up into cubes and cooked, frisee salad gets a very light simple vinegarette. This all gets tossed, 2 poached eggs on top, a little toast and you have the perfect meal. We had some fresh squeezed orange juice (need to find some sweeter oranges to mix in with these babies!), and grapefruit juice. Coffee is illy brand coffee, made in the mokka with the foam coming from the chuga-chuga. I honestly don’t know what its real name is, we bought it in Italy, and I just made the motion and chuga-chuga sound to the man at the store, and he instantly produced exactly what I wanted. Anyway, the chuga-chuga is a metal cylinder, heavy bottomed container that you heat the milk up with, the top has a plunger with a mesh screen attached. When the milk is warm, you pump the plunger a few times, and voila! You have perfect foam for the cappuccino. Low tech perfection. Here you can see my dear old Caloric stove. The clock has worked in years, but the burner space is large, the oven is large, its truly an old reliable friend. We have a bunch of people coming for dinner, its Sunday Soprano Supper. Something that has become sort of a tradition, we eat dinner and watch the Sopranos. Of course, we start with the Simpsons, because you just have to love the Simpsons. And for the Sopranos, you need a bunch of people around to keep you up to date on the plot. I need to go and get some groceries, so we’ll be back…!
  15. In real time, I was passed the torch by balmagowry on Thursday, I believe. But with the schedule being off due to Stinger’s truncated blog, I got to ruminate on my fate for a few days. One would think this would give me plenty of time to think of a schedule of events and write a beautiful, sweeping introduction to my food life. One would be wrong. Mr. Victoria, hereafter known as Keifel, and I have been supremely lazy this weekend so far, aside from dragging the boychick, our son, off to the farmer’s market entirely too early for his liking yesterday. However, I will try to give a little background, since I haven’t gotten around to doing a bio post either. I will try to shorten what could be a long story. My husband and I have been married two and half years, but we have only been living together for about two months. We met online four years ago, fell in love, decided to be rational creatures… oh, wait. Did I mention my husband is from Trinidad? And that he didn’t have a resident visa? Well, we fell in love. He got a work visa. He went to London on business. On his return, he discovered his papers were not in order. He was summarily deported in July 2001. Then September 11th happened. His employer withdrew her support of his work visa. We got married in January 2002 and started jumping through all the necessary hoops to get him here and lo and behold, he landed in Nashville in March and we have been disgustingly happy since. How does this apply to the foodblog? Keifel doesn’t have a work permit yet, that hoop is still flaming. So, currently, I have the good fortune to have an amazingly devoted house husband, who drives me to work and the boychick to school and cleans and does a great deal of the cooking. So what goes on at ms. victoria’s over our week together with the foodblog will involve him and he has been kind enough to be both a good sport and help with pictures. I have only been in Nashville since last November and am still learning the lay of the land. I quit my old job as an associate television producer to find my fortune (or at least follow my bliss) as a personal chef and a writer. I’ve applied to the culinary arts program at the local state school and am working as a temp at another university in the area. Until a month ago, I was also waiting tables but the current temp gig pays fairly well and I wanted my weekends back. Generally, things are in flux, but the good kind. We are still kind of hitting our groove in the kitchen. I tend to be a haphazard cook as far as menu planning at home. I cook what I feel like eating or decide at 8 PM to make bread. We are getting more into a routine of sorts and I am learning meat cookery from my dedicated carnivore of a husband. (Until he got here I was either hardcore vegetarian or maybe eating fish, I have fallen off the veggie wagon and into the omnivore sidecar.) For this week, I do have a little bit of a plan. We are going to have a Trini dinner at least one night and a Mexican dinner on Wednesday to honor Cinco de Mayo. Aside from that it will be catch as catch can and I will only be able to post photos from home in the evening. I am now off to the kitchen to make French toast for breakfast before we go to church (UU if anyone is interested) and the Pottery Barn thereafter to shop for a teapot. Our kitchen (a little messy, right after we moved in):
  16. When StInGeR infomed me that the flame was passed by PM, I was at the office, and my heart was beating, hard. After several minutes of hyperventilating, I came back to reality. I thought I wan't going to start till Sunday! Time note: I am located at GMT +1. I am in Lyon, France. 6 hours ahead of the eastern seaboard, 9 hours ahead of the west coast. 1 hour ahead of London. 6 hours behind Hk Dave. Sorry if my posts seemed to be times wierdly. I am at home in Lyon, I am not traveling. It is my home. We are at the moment doing our best to save money. Therefore just about all of my meals are prepared at home. I think my blog will carry two predominant themes: sourcing and cooking. Blogging makes you want to take pictures of everything. I wanted to take a picture of people on the metro because they looked tired and hungry. I have no idea what this blog will produce but I hope it entertains some of you. I want to do justice to the people that make things possible for me. So, here we go. My first stop after work was to Marechal Center, in the 1eme, where I live. It's a store that also has a caviste, by the name of Nicolas LANGLET. This guy is recognized in the neighborhood. He knows everything about wine. When I arrived tonight he was excited and had a wine to give me a taste of. My butcher, M. THERMOZ, was kind of mad at me when I arrived because he was in a hurry to close. "You're late!" he said. " have no time to talk, I'm closing this place as soon as possible" he said. He gave me my bacon and said - "a demain!" When I got home, I realized my house is a mess. That's normal. I usually leave projects halfway done wherever they have begun. This is my closet. It's all mine. I have built a small bar in it. It's where I try and corral up my cookbooks. They usually are scattered all over the house, and they all don't fit in my closet. It's a good thing I never put everything away at the same time. (my husband's closet is rather orderly and scientific, and contains lots of technologically advanced equipment. It makes for a good balance.) Dinner tonight: Started witha small glass of Clairette de Die tradition, which we got at last Octobers foire des vignerons independants: We ate like pigs yesterday so we're eating very simply tonight. A little paté, polish dills for me and little corichons for the hubby: Salad, and cheese. I will cook over the weekend. Can anyone tell me: What's this fruit??? It's bedtime here, and I'm off, but tomorrow morning it's the market - quai St. Antoine as usual. Things should be really pretty because Spring is really in full swing here now. -Lucy
  17. Well today I'm going to start this blog very slowly as I had a very bad night with the youngsters of my family (read too many beers and way too many shots). I'll start with an introduction and then later today I'll post about the mayhem and madness making and devouring Easter lunch My wife is a NYer born and bred - Me, I'm Australian through and through. We met just after 9-11, when I was across here on an exchange with the fire department. AFter spending 3 weeks in NJ and NY together, then my wife (I'll call her V) visiting me for 2 weeks in Australia, we got married last April in NJ - tomorrow's the big one year anniversary. For those of you wine conniseurs, we currently live in the Clare Valley in Australia which is the home of such great wineries as Taylors, Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Barrys and MANY other smaller boutique wineries - god I could spend a day here just writing about the wineries in our area. I believe grand total it's about 120 wineries both big and small, good and bad The unfortunate part of living where we do is that restaurants and supermarkets are few and far between, and sometimes it's just basically a pain in the ass trying to get the supplies I want for a meal. Our family over here actually moved to NJ from the Bronx back in the 80's. They're Italian-American, so food is definitely a thing of importance which is great for me because good food is damn important to me too. I'm the youngest of the "kids" so I get ALOT of perks until it comes to cooking and then they basically shut the kitchen door and leave me locked in there until the food is ready They're slowly realizing that I'm a better cook than the MIL, so every time we come back for vacation I get an email from my FIL requesting various things. One day I'm going to have the nerve to tell him that grilling when it's like 32F outside is just not fun!!!!! Food wise, V and I will basically eat anything - Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek - you name it, we'll eat it. OK I'm lieing, the only offal I'll eat are kidneys and V will eat nothing of the sort. Call me a wuss if you like but that's just me, other than that everything's fair game.... those deer and groundhogs in Dad's backyard are looking pretty damn good. Anyone know what groundhog tastes like?? Anyway that's all for now, I have Easter lunch to hook into and make (read create ) and then later today I'll post about dinner last night and lunch today. Cheers Tom PS I hope everyone has a great Easter and just keep on smiling NOTE: sorry guys I'm yet to move into the 21st century so there won't be any pics just verbal descriptions of what we're eating
  18. Jensen contacted me earlier in the week and asked if I would take over the Foodblog for the coming week. I agreed with the caveat that I would not start until Sunday night. I am still standing by that, but I thought I would go ahead and do some kind of intro as I am at work and have nothing better to do . This blog is going to begin and end with crawfish boils (kind of a compare and contrast thing). It is that time of year down here and everyone with a hundred bucks and an 80 qt pot is having a crawfish party sometime in the next two weeks. They are really fun social events and take absolutely no prep other than getting out all of the cooking gear, cleaning up the yard and the patio/deck/barn/dock, going to the seafood market, and going to the grocery store. All of the action (cooking and eating) occurs outside so you don't even have to spend a day shoving all of your junk into closets and under beds in order to fool your friends (who know better anyway) that you live a "Martha Life". Tommorrow's boil will take place in the backyard of my old next door neighbor (she moved, I stayed) and friend Robin. She has a beautiful house by Lake Pontchatrain in Mandeville and her swell new husband is a great cook (as are many men in Louisiana-it is very common here for men to be the primary food preparers in a household-always has been). This will be a small operation (150 lbs. of bugs or so) and about thirty people. Lots of beer, soft drinks, and laughter. Simple and easy and everyone will help with the set up and the cleanup so the hosts don't have to kill themselves and besides, that's half the fun of this type of entertaining. Next Sunday's boil (end of blog) will be a giant deal. It is my company party and there will be a huge trailer set up to boil TONS of crawfish. There will be a couple of hundred people there along with a band, tents, kid games, and the rest of the trappings of company parties. An entirely different vibe than a party in someone's back yard. Still prety fun, though. In between I will keep you up to date on the daily food doings in the Mayhaw Household. I will be roasting a turkey in a very unusual manner early in the week (so that we can eat it for the rest of the week in various disguises) and then I will take the carcass and make a little gumbo out of it. I will also be making some shrimp ettouffee one night, chicken creole another, and at some point I will be doing a little bbq'd redfish (it depends on when I get the fish). If I take a day off during the week and have the time I will probably do some kind of real BBQ on my open brick pit (that thing is da bomb ) over pecan wood. Probably brisket. I will also throw in some baked goods (I bake alot, much to my wife's and my waistline's dismay) and this week, for the sake of the blog, I think that I will just do the Southern thing-chess pie, pecan pie, peach pound cake, and probably some yeast rolls one night. I would imagine that you will see a fair amount of vegetable sides as the market down the street (awesome veg. stand 2 blocks from my house) is starting to fill up with spring veggies. Fear not- we will have some okra. You won't be seeing much about breakfast food or lunch except on the weekend, as I am not home when the boys eat it (I leave for work at 6 a.m.) and none of us are there for lunch (which is usually, for both my wife and I, a brown bag affair consisting of leftovers) and both of the boys take their lunch to school as well (even though they are both in private schools, the food is uniformly uninteresting and generally awful and they won't touch it). Incidentally-I have been married to my wife Mrs. Mayhaw (Robin) for 20 years and have two boys, Miles (14) and Graham (11). My children are unusual in that they will eat damn near anything (except blue cheese and one of them, inexpicably, does not like okra in any form-and they don't eat escargot-it's a long story) so they are very easy to feed. Frankly, I am not sure that he is mine and have been considering a DNA test to prove paternity ). I will do my best to provide regular photographs but I am not promising anything-even though I make my living using all of the new technology, photo gullet is still something of a mystery to me and I may be pm'ing some expert or another for a little help. Anyway, I am looking forward to the week and I hope that you enjoy it.
  19. I'm not going to start my "official" blogging until tomorrow but, while I've got a few free minutes, I thought I'd at least introduce myself. My name is Jen Jensen and I live in Sacramento with my husband and 14 year-old daughter, Kathleen (AKA the Spawn). We are imports from BC (Canada) and have lived here for 5 years now. I "retired" when we moved here, as I only have a "live" visa, not a "work" visa. Before moving here, I worked as a technical writer on various IT and business process projects. My hobby is dog racing (whippets, not greyhounds) so we also live with four of the five dogs I own. Living here in CA with us are Streaka (AKA Über--as in Streaka über alles.); Tighe (AKA Goober, because it rhymes with Über and matches his personality); Dayton (Dids); and Rogie (meiner Deutscher Junge), whom I co-own with a friend back home. My fifth dog, Derby, is Tighe's daughter and lives with my friend in BC. In the coming week, I'll be eating at home, eating out, and (most exciting of all) eating at Tigh-na-Mara, a spa/resort on Vancouver Island in BC. The trip to Tigh-na-Mara is why I won't be starting until tomorrow ... I want to be able to include my meals there in the blog. Until tomorrow ...
  20. It appears that it's my turn.... I was coaxed into this but had already begun thinking about volunteering. As a single guy I tend to cook only on occasion and thought this might serve as the impetus to have some extra fun in the kitchen and also get out to a few more restaurants. Alacarte had to wrap up early due to personal obligations - I might just as well get a head start on this. My story: Growing up in an Irish household in Syracuse NY afforded me exposure to little other than a meat 'n potatoes menu but a two year stint as busboy and waiter opened a new world of food and drink. Syracuse restaurants have begun catching up to larger metro markets in recent years with more progressive menu items and a wider array of ethnic offerings. Extensive personal and business travel and a recent four year stint living in the NYC metro area allowed me to explore even more options. My currently favored cuisine when dining out is Vietnamese but I remain fond of Polish, Thai, Ethiopian and Afghani food, among others. Syracuse is a city of 150,000 with suburbs perhaps twice that size. Traditionally a blue collar town and now struggling with a failing economy, our options remain limited but recent years have seen a real French restaurant open in the area, two additional Vietnamese restaurants and a contemporary Mexican influenced bistro. I remain hopeful that we'll see continued improvement. We still lack an upscale high end steakhouse, all the Italian restaurants are red sauce joints and there is not one single seafood restaurant in town. Presently working as a sales engineer in the world of network analysis and troubleshooting tools, I've walked a rather circuitous career path. The food related aspects of my carer started off with a flourish - at age 14 I was employed part time by my uncle, a Standard Brands food salesman, to serve as "Mr. Peanut" at grocery store openeings and similar events. The costume was hot and heavy and the pay was low but an unlimited supply of dry roasted peanuts had great appeal at the time. At age 20 I spent a summer working on a tomato ranch - yes Virginia - tomato ranches really do exist! We grew 5,000 acres of tomatoes and as the only gringo among the large force of laborers, I was treated to some incredible homemade food on occasion during the morning "taco break". More recently, I spent a number of years tending bar on weekends for a catering service, primarily serving at weddings and barmitzvah's for the more affluent portion of Syracuse's Jewish community. My interest in quality coffee, something that dates back 25 years or more, was elevated to the status of current obsession a few years ago. At this point I roast my own beans (when time permits), make my own espresso blends and serve up killer lattes on a daily basis at my home espresso bar. I hope to mix it up during the coming week: a farmer's market visit, dinners at a few of our more interesting local restaurants (including a new place in which one of the partners worked front of house at Nobu a few short years ago), an artisan bakery visit and maybe.... just maybe.... some real cooking in my own kitchen. Speaking of my kitchen - after four years of cramped apartment living, I'm more than a bit thrilled to have a REAL kitchen again. The previous owner of the home which I acquired a few months ago was at one time co-owner of a local restaurant. He did extensive renovations - the kitchen has a few very minor quirks but overall it's a great place to work and entertain in. I'll get some better and more realistic photos up later but here are the ones the realtor used to lure me in (the perspective is exaggerated - the rooms are not nearly as large as they appear). View into the new kitchen View from the dining area towards the peninsula
  21. Thanks to gsquared I will be hosting this week's food blog. This week is more or less like any other week, except for Friday - which is my birthday. We live at the bottom of Napa Valley in California, in a reasonably small town. MsMelkor and I both work from home, so the only time we go out for breakfast/lunch during the week is for work. Almost every day starts with a cappuccino. We are working on perfecting our cappuccino making skills so we each drink 4 or so a day - I make them during the week, MsMelkor makes them on the weekends since her work day starts around 6:30am, while mine starts at 9am. Because it wouldn't be right to start this blog without pictures of the cats here ya go. Texas: Rosie:
  22. I am, courtesy of Al Dente, to inflict my fooding upon you for the coming week. Not a bad week to do this, as there is not much planned that would require me to expose my shortcomings as a cook to your scrutiny. Wednesday we host a lunch for the partners of our GP. The wife is intent on selling their practice some paintings, so this will be a sort of business lunch, the idea being that I soften them with good food and wine, leading into the sales pitch. I will work on the menu tomorrow and give details later. My daughter wants me to prepare a lunch for her adventure club on Sunday (I do all the prep and she will go and cook it), and we will have an indaba (conference) on that on Wed., after the medics have departed. For the rest of the week it looks pretty much like "normal" family dinners, barring, of course, the unexpected. We generally eat fruit and cereals for breakfast, salads and so for lunch and focus on dinner as the big meal of the day. Most of our meals are al fresco. Johannesburg has wonderful wheather - mild in winter and generally mild in summer. We live in a small suburb that is the home of a large number of arty people, and has 32 restaurants within walking distance from our home. Our house has a veranda running around two sides. It is furnished and is where we spend most of our time. Here is a pic of part of it with the dining table and deck in the background. From the garden (the dogs on the couch are Tutu and Sissy) We also have a cat, Sipiwe: The deck has a large thorn tree protruding for it, providing great midday shade: The garden is small, but very lush with large, mature trees. So - dinner tonight. We had a 8 people around for dinner last night, and I am still coming down from the effort, so dinner was simple - pan fried salmon with stir fried noodles and coriander with a puree of basil. We accompanied it with a bottle of Villiera Gewurtztraminer 1999. The intense talc and fruit flavours went well with the salmon, which was, by the way, Norwegian farmed. My fishmonger gets a daily consignment flown in from Norway. We never get wild salmon down here, so to me, the Norwegian fish is as good as it gets.
  23. My fellow eGulleters... Hello there, my real name is Mike, I live just outside of Washington DC, and Uptown tagged me. We'll see how this makes my week a lot different food-wise. I have some bad dining habits mixed in with my own pretty-good-for-an-amateur cooking along with some meals from some excellent, or at least reliable, restaurants in the DC area. Can I start with last night? It's been so cooooold. And for whatever reason, braising seems to be the way to go when it's chilly. So, I went to visit my best friend, his wife, and my twin Godsons, armed with a bunch of short ribs, carrots, onions, celery, beef broth, red wine (lots of it), garlic, parsley, tomato paste, anchovy paste, and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. A delicious meal ensued. More details later as this PC at my friend's place is misbehaving, and the Indian carryout just arrived.
  24. This is not the blog of a gourmand. Or one by a witty American living abroad who has somehow managed to master the cuisine of her new. I don't come up with interesting foods with which to feed a classroom full of kids with short attention spans. Still, this week I will try to come up with some way of keeping you interested, entertained and coming back for more. If I must resort to discussing the old standards - sex, drugs, rock & roll - I will not hesitate to do so. I am shameless! My DC-area compadres know me a bit, so will some of the kind NYC folks. For the rest of you, feel free to check out my bio for some background. You are most welcome to post random questions, as well as comments related to my postings. In this blog, you'll find random musings on the role of food in my life as well as descriptions of meals in the restaurants of DC, my attempts at cooking and an ever-growing list of why I find it so difficult to cook well and with frequency. Lately I've been trying to add new dishes to my repertoire. Before Christmas, I mentioned this to a family member or two and as a result, I received several cooking-related gifts including a large set of Henckel knives, a food processor and some cookbooks. Pretty cool. I have only sliced myself once so far. My inspiration? I have a boyfriend who cooks. He, who shall be known from here forward as PLM (short for Privacy Loving Man; I also contemplated using PITA for Pain in the Ass, but I was feeling nice as I typed), is a fantastic, inventive cook and has marveled/teased/harassed me about my inability or unwillingness to cook. The message only took a year and a half or so to sink in, but recently I've had this weird desire to try to cook! I've always enjoyed baking, making desserts and sweets, however unless I'm working from a recipe, every non-dessert dish I make ends up tasting the same. I guess I tend to rely on the same spices w/o a recipe and as such, it doesn't matter if it's pork or chicken, same overall flavor...not very exciting. I'm not sure why I've steered clear of recipes (duh!), for the most part, until recently. People had always suggested that but I guess I embraced my status as a non-cook rather than making the effort and finding out that I was simply a bad cook. My other excuses (and these are just the tip of the iceberg): Reason #1 Ingredients spoil quickly when you're a single girl. Reason #2 I really enjoy eating in restaurants/ordering takout. Previously when people would ask me if I liked to cook, my stock response was "No, but I'm excellent at dialing the phone." Reason #3 I'm a creature of habit. I can (and have) eat the same dish every damn day without caring. For years, this has meant "pasta and peas." Every roommate I've had since college has known about pasta and peas. The recipe (it's not one I suggest you follow, but I'm sharing anyway): Boil pasta. Preferred shapes include cavatelli (frozen, if available) or tortellini. Next would be penne. Macaroni doesn't hold enough sauce. Defrost some of Mom's spaghetti sauce in the microwave. When she and my father visit from PA, I can always count on a fresh supply, delivered frozen in small tupperware containers carried in a refrigerated bag looking like an organ for transplant. Add peas. Toss cooked pasta with a bit of butter or olive oil, adding salt (seasoned, if available) and pepper (red pepper flakes work), some milk or cream (to create that imitation vodka sauce taste) and finally, the warmed up spaghetti sauce. When it's all mixed and hot, it's done. Add fresh parmesan or romano to taste. That dish got me through many weeks and years! But I know I can do better so it's time for change...
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