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  1. Hello eGulleteers, and welcome to my first ever food blog. First, a little bit about me and where my eating & cooking are inspired from: I grew up in the Southwest (AZ), and after marriage spent a few years in Vegas, then off to Bangalore, India for a couple years, and now live in the far southeast part of New Mexico, right on the Texas border. Here's a picture from about five minutes down the road: Now, growing up the way I did (with a Jewish/Italian father) in the land of great Mexican food (imagine those meal combos!), and living in Vegas and India, my family and I have developed a taste (addiction?) for flavors that reach out and grab you. I have a naturally small appetite, so I really don't want to put anything in my mouth that doesn't taste amazing. When we lived in India, I really began to enjoy cooking. Partly it was the amazingly cheap and incredibly fresh ingredients available, and partly it was the desire to be able to replicate the amazing food of Bangalore when we finally moved back home. That's also when I discovered eGullet. So - all that to say this: I'm depressed. Seriously. I live in a town that has more than a hundred 'Mexican' restaurants, but in which black pepper is considered spicy. I live in New Mexico, yet in a mysterious vortex that doesn't have a strong green chilly culture. Oi Vey! I live in the south (land of sweet tea) but in a city with not one single barbecue joint. Am I being punished? This is the part of the country in which if you order a 'latte' people look at you funny and assume you're a 'foreigner' or of dubious morality. Don't get me wrong, there's some good food here, but very little of it is at a restaurant. We've got some friends that are amazing cooks, and I've been learning some new techniques & tools, but other than that, it's a food desert here. See the picture of the farm above? We're surrounded by them, but there's not a single farmers market here. So - this week you're going to follow me around as I try (desperately) to tickle my palate with the limited supplies available, and as I search high and low for something new and interesting. Full Disclosure: Some of these meals (and shopping) are a week old, because we were traveling and my schedule is a bit hectic, so if you see me post two dinners in one day, it's not because I'm time-zone hopping, but compressing two weeks of eating into one. Hope you enjoy the ride!
  2. Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my fourth eG Foodblog. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Memo to self: must try harder the next time I do a Foodblog since Kerry got it right, with a little help from Mitch. This Foodblog will be a little different from all the others. There'll be lots of the usual cooking, eating and picture-taking; however, I'm borrowing a page from Iron Chef, sort of. This week, you get to decide what Soba cooks for lunch and dinner. But I'm getting ahead of myself slightly. Back in 2008, I decided to embark on a year-long experiment -- to cook seasonally and within reason, locally. I shop almost exclusively at Union Square Greenmarket, as well as neighborhood food shops in the Upper East Side. Sometimes I'll pick something up at Citarella, especially if it's fish. Lately I've been -- against my better judgment -- becoming fond of Eataly. I usually don't use much canned or overly-processed food. I suppose that might be a little limiting but I view it as a challenge. It keeps me constantly thinking about food, what to cook, what to prepare for the next meal. And it helps sharpen my curiosity and appreciation for the beauty of food. And that's what this Foodblog is really about: that the beauty of the world around us is reflected in the food that we eat.
  3. Hello from the Portland, Oregon 'burbs, my fellow eGulleteers! I'm super excited to share my week with you! First a little bio: I'm a mother of three little people, Aria (5), Mina (3), and Gio (10 months). My husband and I relocated to Portland from outside of Milwaukee, WI, in 2002 after the snow plows knocked over our mailbox one too many times ...I highly recommend a corporate relocation package if you can swing it. Anyways, we had a couple of options, but when we came out to see Portland, we fell in love. It's really a beautiful city, lots of green space, with an amazing food culture. I went to culinary school and got my certificate in Patisserie and Baking in 2004, although before and after culinary school I actually worked at a preschool. I bake quite a bit in my spare time, and I got into the habit of baking birthday treats for the other teachers and staff at the center I worked at. At the end of April, I decided to leave my job at the preschool (by then I was Center Director) to start a home-based baking business. I'm still working through the challenges that starting your own (legitimate) business entails, but in the meantime, I make custom cakes and cupcakes for birthdays and casual get-togethers. I'd love to hear any of your experiences with getting into the food business! It's a little challenging to bake with the offspring underfoot, but I love staying home with them. I've always loved to cook and bake, my parents were so-so cooks, and I started cooking the family meals at about age 10. I learned most of what I know from a combination of reading cookbooks, experimenting in the kitchen, and watching cooking shows on PBS, and later, Food Network (back when it wasn't all Next Food Network Stars wandering around the country, marveling at giant pizzas) so I'm still developing my "style." I basically started with a clean slate, no major food traditions to uphold, although my Grandma was an amazing baker. I do have some of her recipes as well. I've got quite a bit planned for this week, but I'm completely open to suggestions if you have things you'd like to see around the city. Let's get this food party started! -Heather (Genkinaonna)
  4. Hello Everyone! I am starting this off a bit early since I am on the West Coast and by the time I finish running around tomorrow it may be a bit late for some. I live in the South Bay of Los Angeles, on the city versus the ocean side. This is a view from the peninsula looking out to the ocean. Catalina Island is 26 miles out there but obscured by haze. To the right is the newish Terranea Resort on the grounds of what long ago was Marineland - the original home I think of Shamu the killer whale. To the left is the Trump golf course. I, however, live on the city side in an old small formerly rural town called Lomita. This is a shot I took in January of the hay truck offloading at the old feed store. As an example of the diversity of the Los Angeles that I love, the Christmas decorations are still up on the light poles, and the building in the background is the Chabad Center. I used the book "An Embarrassment of Mangoes" in my teaser photo. Really Los Angeles is an embarrassment of food diversity and my little property is a citrus heaven. I hope to introduce you to a few of my local markets and restaurants and also give you a look at my cooking.
  5. !חג פסח שמח or Happy Passover! This is not the first time I've done an eG Foodblog during Passover. It's hard to believe that the first one was in 2005 and the second one, just one year later in 2006. Since it's been 5 years since I last blogged, I thought it was time to do it again. For those of you who don't know me, I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. If you take a look at this map of North America you'll find Winnipeg right in the center - about 100 km north of the US border (we border North Dakota and Minnesota) and dead centre between the east and west coasts of Canada. I work in the family business - we call it Desserts Plus, but the emphasis is more on the Plus and less on the Desserts. We're kosher caterers and have a kosher food store in Winnipeg. Tomorrow (Monday, April 18th) marks the end of the 3 busiest weeks of the year for us -- we expect over 150 catering orders to go out over a 4 hour period, plus customers coming in for last-minute items before Passover starts tomorrow evening. You probably won't hear much from me tomorrow -- unless there are some lulls during the day. But if you have any questions, please ask them! I'll get to them as soon as possible. The plan for the week is a small seder dinner on Tuesday night and a lot of home-cooking over the holiday. It's 11 PM and I have to go finish packaging the chopped liver -- I've been here since 8 AM and have to be back by 8 AM tomorrow - and there's still stuff to do before I go. (This is about 1/3 of the 90 lbs. we made this year)
  6. G'day! My name is Evan but you know me as haresfur. I'm an FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) transplant to Bendigo Australia. Bendigo is a Victorian era gold rush town in the State of Victoria, southeastern Australia. It is a "Rural City" - quite the oxymoron, about 150 km from Melbourne. The population is about 110,000, which is I think the 3rd largest city in Victoria. That gives you an idea of how sparsely populated it is once you get out of the Melbourne area. I'll keep the blog focused on food but context is important to me, particularly as I discover a new culture. First, I'd like to recognize and thank the traditional owners of the land, the Dja Dja Wurrung people. Bendigo is a "City in the Forest" but the box-ironbark and mallee Eucalyptus across the street from me were looking rather sad when I arrived after 13 years of drought. Record rainfall in the last year has seen an amazing renewal in the undergrowth. The wattle in the teaser picture was happy last spring. Anyone know if all wattle seeds are edible or just some species? The gold rush starting in 1851 saw an influx of people including a substantial number of Chinese, some of whom came by way of the California gold rush. Many never left and I was told the town helped look after the single aging miners and now the Bendigo Chinese Association is a major supporter of health services. Easter is the time when the only Imperial Dragon in the southern hemisphere Sun Loong wakes to take part in the parade. He's hard to wake up so the day before Easter, the Lion Dancers and drums make a lot of noise followed by 100,000 fire crackers. As Anna N noted the Chinese population is well integrated and the greater community takes part in the lion teams, Chinese pipe band, and dragon teams. It takes a lot of people to carry 100 m of dragon. I encourage you to visit the Golden Dragon Museum website to learn more. Well enough of that. Bendigo is 17 hours ahead of the west coast of N America so many of you will be seeing this a day early. I'm a bit intimidated by the level of culinary expertise and passion here but I'll try to show a bit of my food life and have you explore the area with me. So my day started with a wet nose shoved into my face at 4:00 AM. It was a legitimate demand for food from the young Dalmatian, Spock (a rescue that came with name Spot, but I couldn't deal with that). He and the old Dalmatian, Misty, missed supper after having chicken frames for tea because he was asleep and Misty could lose some weight. The cats got tuna and I had Anzac biscuits and orange juice. Wattle's feeding station: Pinot's feeding station (I could use the counter space but have to keep the cat food away from the pups). Better kitchen pictures later.
  7. First of all, I am very excited to be blogging – a little nervous, but excited. I have a lot of things planned, but I am sure I won't get to all of them. Most of all, I hope to have a lot of fun blogging this week and introducing you to some of the food that is not the typical things people hear about – which is all about the Creole food from New Orleans and Cajun food from southwest Louisiana. There's more... there's good old country food that most of us grew up eating. How did I come up with the name of Honeysuckles and Huckleberries? It's the name of a cookbook I put together for our family. What the name means to me is country living and home. Growing up I remember Mama loved the sweet, sensational smell of honeysuckles. It was her favorite flower. They grew wild on the fences around our property. They were always pretty and fragrant, and I would pull the stem from them until it came out of the bottom of the flower all for one drop of juice, which tasted out of this world. One of my dreams then was to have one whole glass of honeysuckle juice! We also had a pond that had turtles, fish, snakes and everything else that intrigues children. There were also wild blackberry bushes. In the summertime, we would take our buckets and pick blackberries all afternoon. We were told not to eat the berries until they were washed, and our blackberry-stained tongues would tell Mom, “No, ma'am. We didn't eat any.” After a little lecture, and after the berries were washed, we would smash the berries in a bowl and add cream and sugar and eat them with a spoon. Then, she would make us a blackberry cobbler for dessert that night! So... blackberries aren't huckleberries, but they're close enough, and they remind me of Huckleberry Finn and little boys having adventures growing up on the Mississippi River. Brett, my brother, had his own adventures growing up in the country. He hunted, fished, skipped school to go horseback riding all day, etc. Whenever he would catch a fish, he would excitedly run into the house and say, "Cook this for me, Mama!" It was a wonderful place to grow up, and while we were a family of very modest means, we always ate well – just like most of the people around here. What I hope to do in this blog is introduce you to a little bit of Louisiana country living. There will be a few field trips to some interesting places. Food will be cooked, of course, but I am going to do my best to stay away from the standard fare that everyone hears so much about (except jambalaya – there will be jambalaya) and cook old time country favorites, and by the end of this week I would hope that you would feel like a welcome guest in our home.
  8. Hi all. Time has sprung forward, so its time for My Spring Break Blog to begin. Today, DH and I will be going down to Galveston Island, but first let me welcome you to our home and show you around a bit. Please take a seat and I'll show you my kitchen. We are fortunate to have a good sized kitchen with lots of counter space and lots of cabinets and drawers. See my new rice cooker. Love it! The double ovens come in handy. The top one has a broiler and is self-cleaning. Time to make some breakfast. I'll be back soon.
  9. *deep breath* *gulp* I'd like to thank the Academy. Oh wait....that was LAST weekend ! Yes, Heidi, Darienne and Nickrey got it. I did sort of know that the Dodger Dogs and the Polish cookbook would give it to y'all. Your guest host this week is little ol' moi. I am so thrilled to invite you into my kitchen, and very flattered that eG thought me worthy of a vaunted Foodblog. Or, if there were no other takers, I'd prefer not to know ! Let me live in my fool's paradise To address a couple of comments from the "coming attractions" thread, Prasantrin, the first Mexican angel is indeed an ornament, not jewelry. She hangs in my kitchen, as does the print of the angels baking. Robirdstx, hadn't thought about the connection to LA, but I LIKE it since Long Beach is, in fact, the largest "suburb" of LA. If we were anywhere else but 30 miles south of downtown LA, we'd be a big city on our own, but here in LaLaLand, we're but a suburb. Actually, the angels are because I collect angels, and those particular ones also were making or offering food. Which, or course, speaks to my soul. Chris Hennes, Heidi nailed it. Your "mountains" in the distance is, in fact Catalina Island....26 miles across the sea, as they say. And that's the Port of Long Beach, with downtown Long Beach in the far foreground. There's a hill in the middle of Long Beach, which is an independently incorporated city, called Signal Hill. It's where a lot of the old-time oil operations in the area was based. That picture was taken from the top of Signal Hill. You can also see downtown LA from there, but it was a bit too hazy to make it out clearly the day I was there. Anyways, back to food. Tomorrow we'll get into the throes of the week. As a last teaser, here's some of the resources we'll be using to cook our way through the next few days. And yes, there will be a few field trips, and probably (more than) a few gratutious cute, furry dog shots. Hey, THEY eat my cooking too !
  10. [font="Trebuchet MS"]Hi everybody. Welcome to what we believe is the first eG foodblog from New Zealand. Due to time differences it’s a little late in the day now for me, but shall we start with some breakfast? Those are from Joanne Harris and Fran Warde’s book [amazon=0060893133]The French Market. The only change I make is to omit the egg wash – I find it gives a slightly ‘wrong’ taste; bitter, perhaps. And I have no trouble getting them brown enough (apologies for these ones – they’re slightly more brown than I’d like. That’s what happens when you put them in the oven just as you’re serving dinner, then forget …). I usually make a batch and freeze them; then they’re available at a moment’s notice when breakfast calls. I hope I can satisfy the anticipation you displayed in your reaction to the teaser photos. It’s going to be an interesting week for me, anyway. Shortly I’ll tell you about the City Market here in Wellington, where we’ll meet some very dedicated food people. Tomorrow we’re visiting a local gin distiller, and I’m taking you all to Valentine’s Day dinner (don’t read too much into that!) at my absolutely favourite Wellington restaurant - we’ll meet its chef at the market, just to get you in the mood. We have people coming to dinner on Wednesday (which is unusual, but I’ll manage it somehow), so you can sit in on that for a classic, if maybe predictable, dish (any guesses?). At some stage I’ll take you to a few of my favourite Wellington food shops, and next Saturday, weather permitting, we’re having a picnic with some of my work people – I have some very traditional New Zealand food planned for that. And there’ll be a few other bits and pieces thrown in as we go. Just as well I’m taking the next couple of days off work – I don’t think I could cope otherwise! Finished your croissants? How about some coffee before we go? Yes, Peter, I made one for you. While you’re enjoying that, let’s get some of the dry, factual stuff out of way, shall we? New Zealand is that funny-looking little group of islands way down at the bottom of the South Pacific (no, not that far down – that’s Antarctica). The two largest islands are imaginatively named the North and South Islands. Important note: if you’re ever talking about them, it’s always THE North Island or THE South Island – don’t forget the definite article. There’s also the West Island where Nick (nickrey) lives, but we won’t say too much about that. Wellington is the capital city and is at the bottom tip of the North Island, near enough to the geographical centre of the country. Greater Wellington has a population of 370,000 or so, of which Wellington City itself makes up around 180,000 (New Zealand’s total population is somewhere around 4.5 million – roughly the same as Sydney. Or Boston, apparently). The New Zealand dollar is worth around $US0.76 (or, to put it another way, $US10 buys $NZ13), and any measurements you see in the photos will be metric. Our time zone (we have an hour of daylight saving in effect at the moment) is 12 hours ahead of Europe, 18 ahead of California and 21 ahead of New York – that’s if my amateur time calculations are to be trusted. 10am here is 1pm yesterday in LA, anyway. This creates some difficulties doing a blog like this; I’ll try to make it sound like real-time, but in fact I’ll be well and truly shut down and in bed before many of you start thinking about reading it. Ethnically we’re quite a mixture. Most of us – it’s hard to say how many; the census figures are complicated by people claiming multiple origins – are of European ancestry – we have English, we have Greek, we have Irish, we have Italian – you name it, they’re here! The rest of us are of Maori, Pacific Island or Asian descent, with plenty of cultural mingling. That does make for an interesting food landscape, although I must confess up front: my palate leans very much towards Europe. I can’t help it; Asian tastes just doesn’t do it for me. Partly in recognition of this, our dinner tonight is going to be as traditionally New Zealand as it gets. I'll get that in the oven a little later and show you how it turned out - probably tomorrow (my time). A technical note, for those who are interested: the photos were taken using a Canon EOS 300D, most commonly with a 50mm f1.8 lens. I bought the lens, a fairly inexpensive one, specially for this blog and I can thoroughly recommend the joys of a fast lens for food photography. And yes, we must mention the teaser photos. I suspect there may be the odd smartypants out there who can use Google, so the quote in the second one probably wasn’t as hard as it might have been. But just so everybody knows: This one, I grant, could be anywhere. In the foreground are some nibbles I make for almost every dinner party we have. They're a very simple El Bulli recipe; peeled cherry tomatoes and balls of watermelon, separated by a basil leaf. The ones in the photo are shown not-quite-finished - there's a drizzle of basil oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to come. In the background, a loaf of the bread I make from the subject of this thread, and very good it is too. This one is part of the Wellington Writers' Walk along the waterfront. The quote is from a poem by Bill Manhire, who among other things teaches creative writing at Wellington's Victoria University. This one is over the roof of our house, looking towards Evans Bay. The airport is in the middle distance towards the right. It's often said here that you can't beat Wellington on a good day. This was one. And this one gets the obligatory Lord of the Rings reference out of the way. Remember the part in the first film where the hobbits are hiding from the Black Rider? That was filmed on Mount Victoria, in these very trees, maybe half a kilometre from home. Enough already. Let’s go to the market.
  11. 恭喜发财! Greetings from Suzhou, and Happy New Year. I've been living here since August 2009, since moving from Japan. It's a pleasure to be bringing you the beginning of the rabbit year, as I'm 2/3 of the way through a full cycle in the Chinese zodiac, having moved to Asia in 2002 - a Horse year. Will I make it all the way through? I'm not sure yet. I'll be blogging to bring in the new year this week from Jiangsu, Suzhou as we say around here. To put that on a map for you, it's about 20 minutes on a high-speed train outside of Shanghai. Suzhou's famous for its gardens and canals - locals are fond of quoting the famous saying, "Just as there is paradise in heaven, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on Earth." I'm not sure how close Suzhou is to paradise, but I've been pretty happy living here. This week, I'm not quite sure what we'll be seeing, as I haven't stayed in China through the holidays. Last year, to bring in the Tiger, my husband and I took some time off to tour around Malaysian Borneo, but since the Rabbit year is meant to be more quiet, I've decided to hang out at home, soak in the atmosphere, and blog for you. The New Year is a time when many shops close and most people journey back to their hometown. I say "journey" because it often takes several days to negotiate the traffic and crowds to make it home. Trains and buses are often sold out completely, and planes aren't much better. That's why I'll be staying close to home - no sights of Shanghai for us, I'm afraid. I've stocked the larder, so if every restaurant shuts down, and the market is deserted, there'll still be food to see. Through the miracle of the Earth tilting on its axis, I've actually already lived Sunday, and am now recapping my first day for you. I'm going to take you on a brief tour of my high street and my daily shops, brunch at my local Cantonese place, and a "Kitchen God" inspection of my kitchen. You all, of course, being my kitchen gods - although I'm warning you now, I have not set out any cakes. Since I'm not Chinese, there's a lot that I see and experience here that I don't have much or any understanding of - I hope that everyone who does can weigh in on things. Part of the joy of living in a foreign country is learning about the cultural traditions your host country has to offer, and living in China is one of the richest and most exciting experiences I've had overseas so far.
  12. Well, it's time to get the party started since I'm already awake on this freezing Sunday morning in New York City. I know, I know; there are plenty of you who are undoubtedly in colder climes, but that doesn't mean it's not shivery here. This week you'll all get to join in with not one eGullet food blogger; not two eGullet food bloggers; but three eGullet food bloggers as johnder, slkinsey and I take you on a foodtastic tour of no less than two of New York City's five boroughs. (There might even be a trip to a third or fourth borough sometime during the week). Let me give a quick explanation of the 3 pictures of mine which were used over in the coming attractions topic: This rather small Pez collection resides on a shelf in the corner of our galley kitchen, using up room which would otherwise be taken up by more darn kitchen stuff, no doubt. But it's fun, and I've had the collection for at least 25 years, so for now, it stays. Then there was this: Indeed, Pierogi, that is Washington, D.C. My wife's (Significant Eater, btw) job is in D.C., and we have an apartment down there; that's the view of the monument from our rooftop. And finally: What could be more New York City than that universal street food, the pretzel (okay, Philadelphians, relax!)? This was taken at the Hester Street Fair, a flea market/food fair that takes place every weekend from spring to fall on a little piece of our co-op's property. So props to gfweb, lancastermike, Kent Wang and prasantrin for their outstanding guesses. As well as to all the eGullet food bloggers who have come before. Hang on to your hats - it should be a heck of a week!
  13. Welcome everyone to my week of cooking. Talk about hard acts to follow: coming straight after the very successful blogs of Shelby and Chris Amirault. I hope I can provoke a fraction as much discussion and interest. For those people who tried to guess my identity, Pam asked for photos that would make it somewhat obscure. Seems I did too good a job. Let’s go through them. This first photo was not actually a sauce as some guessed. It was Crème Anglaise and it is sitting in an ice bath. The colour is not a photographic mistake. It was made using Joël Robuchon’s recipe, which uses twelve egg yolks. Along with the cream, sugar and two vanilla beans, this mixture went on to be a delicious ice cream that we enjoyed with Chistmas pudding. The second photo is the view from Balmoral Beach through Sydney's heads. Yes Erin, you got that one right. The tree that seemed to stump people is a Eucalyptus. Australia has over 700 varieties of Eucaplyptus and it is one of our most common trees. This beach is a five minute drive from my place, which in turn is only a few kilometers from the centre of Sydney. I try to go walking at Balmoral most days. The third and fourth photos are of a small part of my cooking bookshelf and my sous vide rig. Those of you who read the sous vide thread will know that I am a sometimes contributor. This brings me to the subtitle of my blog. I use many different types of cooking styles from classical to modernist. It’s really a matter of what gives the results that I want to achieve. The jazz part of the title comes from Charlie Trotter’s analogy of food with jazz and creative music in general. This concept took my fancy. Now on with the trip. As a note for those of you in North America, we are 19 hours ahead of the West Coast. That means it is 6.30pm here on Sunday and 11.30pm there on Saturday. If it seems like I’m posting at odd hours, that should explain it. Also, please bear with me if I don’t reply to your posts in what seems like a timely fashion: I may be sleeping.
  14. Happy New Year!!!! Hello from almost smack-dab in the middle of Kansas! I was so excited to be asked to blog. I didn't think anyone would be able to guess it was me, but my last picture tipped at least a couple of you off. A little bit about me: I'm 36 and have been married to a wonderful man for 11 years. We got married New Year's Eve 1999....due to all the hype about the world ending in the year 2000, he figured he wouldn't have to be married long that way. We live way out in the country on a farm. No livestock, but plenty of crops such as sunflowers, wheat, soybeans and corn. Corn will be our primary crop in 2011 followed up by wheat. Here is what the outside of my house looks like during the summer months:
  15. Five years ago, I had a foodblog. It was a terrific experience focusing on Providence food culture and on our family's daily cooking and eating during a pretty typical fall week. A lot has changed in five years. That little kitchen I used to cook in? Well, we moved into my dream kitchen. Though 1950s applicances, lighting, and so on present plenty of problems, and though the suburban commute is driving me nuts, the new kitchen is my Disneyland -- the happiest place, for me, on earth. A few more changes. Take liquids. Though I didn't know it was a bandwagon exactly, prasantrin is right: my tea selection has changed quite a bit. It's no longer quite so Tazo dominated: In addition, my drinks repertoire has expanded beyond this sort of thing: Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of Wray & Nephew neat, but several years of developing my cocktail chops, including BarSmarts Wired training and several months of work as a bartender and bar consultant, means that you'll see a broader array of libations. Much of that bartending experience has unfolded at Cook & Brown Public House, an award-winning new restaurant in Providence that we'll surely visit next week sometime. Meanwhile, these two? They grew. A lot. While they are on light KP and tasting duty regularly, it's vacation, so I'll need to pull out all of my skills of persuasion to get the two of them, now a kindergartener and teenager, to play sous chef. What else? I bought a lot of cooking equipment, spent a lot of time curing and smoking charcuterie, delved into Southeast Asian cooking, and indulged by food jones as much as I possibly can. Much more on that to follow. Finally, there's these here eG Forums. For years, I've been lucky to collaborate with a great team of volunteers to make eG Forums as vibrant and lively as possible. I've learned so much from Society members, and I hope to give some back over the course of the week. I'll also need some help: I've got some tricky stuff to negotiate, and will need you at the ready! As I said last time: At least for me, Andy Williams was right: this is the most wonderful time of the year. Starting later today, I'm off through January 2, and the vast majority of my waking time is consumed with cooking, shopping to cook, planning to cook. At the very least, I have Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner, a Night Before New Years Eve party, and New Years Day cassoulet to prepare. In addition, I have a few surprises planned, including some time with some chef friends in town and a trip with at least one other Society member exploring our Biggest Little State in the Union. I'm really thrilled to be able to spend the week with you. So let's get started!
  16. As usual, I am late. Why should my first (who am I kidding? -- my only) eGullet food blog differ at all from any other aspect of my life? I am late for things. For instance, dinner will be late tonight. Again. I suppose I could have skipped Dexter last night, but it was really good, and I am really obsessed. Hello, and welcome! As astounding as it may seem, the fine folks at eGullet have invited *me* to blog this week. Me!! Who the hell am I? Clearly, no one. All your eG faves must be holed away in charcuterie and pastry boot camps 'round the world, leaving only yours truly to keep the flame alive. I sort of feel like Will Smith in I Am Legend, except I am neither heroic, nor do I expect this to have as cheerful an ending. -- May I add that I, too, am disappointed that Gifted Gourmet isn’t this week's featured blogger. First things first... This was a meal I prepared for Rosh Hashanah in 2007, while still shacking up with my now-husband, Howard. Sadly, this was not our living room in Ashkelon, Israel, but our first apartment in Hackensack, New Jersey. I spent the first 30 years of my life in Brooklyn, New York – Bensonhurst, to be exact – then a few years in Astoria, Queens, then Hackensack. We’ve since migrated to Lawrenceville, New Jersey and, now, Exton, Pennsylvania. I am of (mostly) Italian American / Roman Catholic extraction, while Howard, originally from the Bronx, is Jewish. Neither of us is religious. After four years together, I still have not mastered the art of of Jewish cookery. There is brisket on the table, along with challah that was made, and served, with butter, as well as butter-laden chocolate babka. Apparently, this is a no no. I have tagged these items as “treif” in Facebook. Fortunately, no one in this household really cares. Unfortunately, we are both going to hell, whose tropical climate may be the most sensible explanation I can offer for the pineapple. I have a couple of things planned for this week, and I am off to go do them. A pastrami is the works, as well as several gluten free items. I recently discovered that gluten is an issue for me. This absolutely kills me. I love to bake bread and, as most of you know, gluten free bread is the stuff of nightmares. Howard is also diabetic, a condition he never took seriously until a few months ago. As such, I will attempt at least one sugar free dessert this week. Then there’s the now annual Christmas cookie bake-a-thon, mostly for distribution to Howard’s colleagues. I plan to make at least eight different varieties, plus some English toffee, and it all needs to be done by December 15th. Of this year! That’s about a pound and a half of cookie per person for several dozen people. You do the math. Doughmaking will have to somehow coincide with the rest of the week’s activities. Given the back pain that helped start the day, I expect to be in full traction by week’s end. More to come… Edited to include religious denomination.
  17. Weather Report: 21C (~70F), but it feels warmer. Rainy and sticky. Hello from the Antipodes! Welcome to my very first food blog – it’s an honour to be able to participate. I hope you’ll have fun and maybe help me out a bit too with some of my own cooking issues and queries. Why the title? Well, when I wait for my train in the mornings I look across the platform to the cows in the paddock on the other side, and when I get to my desk about 1.5 hours later I see the harbour out to the heads and bits of the bridge (pure bonus that it nearly works as a pseudo Star Trek reference). But more than that, it reflects the journey we make every day from the market gardens surrounding our suburb to our jobs where we both have access to some amazing food – I have had the opportunity to eat at a number of excellent restaurants in the city, and my husband has easy access to great Asian and Lebanese food near his work. A bit about me and my household... I’m a former Canadian living with my Aussie husband, Gerg, in a house on a fairly large block in the outer Northwest suburbs of Sydney. We have no kids, but share our space with a greying Kelpie named Willow, who snatches treats and oddments of meat out of the air with the most satisfied crocodile-like snap of jaws you have ever heard, and a recently arrived Tonkinese named Winston, but called Monster due to his ongoing obsession with climbing on things and knocking them down. The mess a Monster-powered flying pot of sour cream can make is rather spectacular, as I discovered only yesterday. How grateful am I to be living in a sub-tropical climate instead of the frozen North? Well, when Pam tells me Winnipeg has had 50cm of snow this past week, very! Although slightly wistful too: I miss the definite changes of the seasons, the blanketing silence of snow, the sparkle of hoar frost on the pines. On the other hand, there is nothing quite so sweet as the scent of orange blossoms wafting through the kitchen windows on a warm September morning. We are fairly adventurous eaters (excluding my unchanging dislike for shellfish), but I am not all that adventurous a cook, especially when compared to the wonders I see being created on eGullet on a daily basis! The German and French-Canadian flavours I grew up with are a definite influence, although I’m always working to expand my horizons; my husband is keen to avoid some of the more ‘traditional’ foods he ate growing up in an Anglo-Aussie household (tripe in white sauce usually comes up for a special mention). Sorry to say I don’t cook as much as I would like, and my small but growing cookbook collection tends to be treated more like a reading resource than a cooking one. In part this is because I’m interested in the social and historical aspects of food as much as the eating. Actually, if you have any particular books on social/historical aspects of food I’d love to hear from you! Always looking to overfill the bookshelves. We grow a few things in our small garden beds. The (delicious!) artichokes in the teaser picture are actually from last year – they’ve since been replaced with a few blueberry bushes, and I’m hoping that Willow does her job and keeps the birds away. The bed with lettuces is now planted out with rhubarb, which you will probably see cooked in some way later this week as they’re getting a little dense again. We had an orange tree when we moved in, but it died a few years ago – now we rely on the three in the front yard across the street to send their scent to us. There is an apricot tree, but we have found it impossible to control the fruit fly and in ten years have not had any useable fruit from it. Plans are afoot to harvest some of its branches for smoking in the Weber we got a few weeks ago. There are two mulberry trees as well, but the birds tend to beat us to them. We would like to grow more, but between our work schedules and my university study the garden always gets away from us a little too easily. I leave work early next year to finish off my degree, and maybe then I will be able to grow a few things from my hopeful basket of seeds. And also cook more. And one day, when we live on our own little property, I see a smokehouse.... I haven’t made any particular plans about what we will have this week. In fact, the shopping still needs to happen tonight, as all we have for veg is a bag of carrots and a quarter cabbage. On the radar for dinner tonight are spaghetti with tinned tuna, lemon, parsley and fresh tomatoes or maybe the fried egg, chilli and garlicky yoghurt dish from the Skye Gyngell cookbook I picked up at a sale last week. I’m really looking forward to sharing our week with you! A few more posts, plus pictures, to come as the day goes on. Snadra.
  18. Welcome to my kitchen. I’m honored to have been asked to chronicle a week of my meals for an eG Foodblog; my skills and my imagination don’t come near a great number of the people who frequent this site. But I do love to cook, and experiment, and I credit eGullet with helping me expand my culinary horizons in the two years or so I’ve been following this site. Born and raised in the rural South, those influences permeate almost all my cooking. You’ll see a traditional West Tennessee Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, not appreciably different from the ones my mother and grandmother cooked 50 years ago, although I’ve added a few of my own twists. I picked this week, partly for that reason, and partly because I’ll be off work Wednesday afternoon through the rest of the week, and you won’t have to endure my frequent weeknight meals of carryout and quick-fix. But you’ll get some of the slow-cooker soups and stews and the like that stand between me and starvation (or fast food) on weeknights, as well as some of my breakfast favorites since I’ll have time over the holiday weekend to make many of them. I live in Hot Springs, Arkansas; I’m fortunate enough to live on the lake, as evidenced by the “mystery photo” of my sun deck in the “coming attractions.” I have a 21-year-old daughter who lives with me, along with a 15-year-old “son” I acquired this summer and am dutifully trying to teach to eat something other than pizza, mac and cheese, and burgers. I have two older daughters who live elsewhere, and one of them will present me with my first grandchild in February. I work as a business developer, which means I sometimes have crazy hours and often come home too late to even think about cooking; the flip side is I get to travel a good deal and enjoy wonderful food in some really good restaurants around the country and abroad. I’m looking forward to cooking for you this week. Happy Thanksgiving!
  19. Good morning everyone, and welcome to my foodblog! I'm really excited to be here sharing a week in my kitchen with you. Thanks to Prawncrackers for hosting such a great blog last week: you'll be a tough act to follow! Why don't I start by situating you a little bit in my life? As you saw in the Coming Attractions topic, I would say that two of my biggest interests - and two of the topics on which I've gotten the most help from the eGullet forums - are cocktails and "molecular gastronomy" (or avant-garde cuisine, or whatever you want to call it). I'll be trying to incorporate both of those topics into my blog this week. I think it's safe to say that both of those interests are symptomatic of a more general desire to "tinker" in the kitchen. When I first learned that there were chemicals you could buy to make spheres out of pea puree, I had to order them. Similarly, when I learned that the whisky I'd spent my whole life calling "rye" was different from an American whiskey that is also called rye, I had to buy a bottle to find out what it tasted like. "Trying it for myself" is my guiding principle when it comes to food. In the past year, I've also developed a fascination with Japanese cooking. You see, although my family name is Japanese, I'm only one-quarter ethnically Japanese. (The other three quarters are an Anglo-Celtic blend.) Growing up, I didn't eat much Japanese food, but as I've gotten older, I've become interested in exploring that facet of my heritage. So I'll be drawing on that cuisine this week, too. So thanks to eGullet for asking me to host this week. I hope you enjoy reading along!
  20. Was it a bit too obvious? I mean a panda in a wok could practically have been anyone really! But it is me and it's now my turn to contribute to the much loved eG Foodblogs. I was asked a couple of years ago by Pam R to do one but could never find the time because of work and study commitments. If anyone knows about the UK Actuarial exams then you will know how involved they are, if not, trust me they are - very much. Well, i'm still studying for my qualification but Pam's timing has been good and having just sat a couple of exams I feel I can make a good stab at food blogging this week. Thanks also to Grace, Foodmuse, for contributing last week. Hope I haven't overlapped too much, it is Monday here in the UK. A little about me first, I was born and bred in Brum (that's what we Brummies call our hometown) to Hong Kong Chinese immigrants in the 70s. I'm in my mid-30s now as is my wife who shares a similar upbringing to me. We both love to eat but it's me in particular that loves to cook too. Seeing my mum cook fresh food everyday when I was growing has given me a lifelong appreciation of home-cooking. So this week, I hope to pay some of that forward and do week of Cooking with Panda! If you've ever read my posts on Cooking forum then you'll know that will pretty much try my hand at cooking anything and of course take a photo of it before it's devoured. Please have a look at the Food Gallery cum diary by clicking on my tagline sometime for the kind of stuff I like to cook and eat. This week should be no different, I'll cook some favourites and maybe try out some with new ideas. I think it's so much more personal and of course unique to do a cooking week so I'll try to fit as much as I can in and resist the temptation to visit the many fine restaurants we have in the city (maybe next time!) I have only a loose plan for the week, today and tomorrow I'm in work so the evening meals will be very simple. Wednesday and Thursday I've taken off so we'll see what's good at the market and build some meals around that. Friends have been invited round so these two days will see me stretch my culinary muscles a little. Friday, back in work so I may have a break that evening. Saturday and Sunday, who knows? I'm open to suggestions... It's 8am now and so I have to dash to work. I never have breakfast before going out, so it's going to be a very low key start to my food week. So please in the meantime ask me all the food related questions you have of me and we'll get the ball rolling. Looking forward to this week and to all your responses.
  21. If you missed it, we recently relaunched the eG Foodblogs with our own Fat Guy kicking things off here. After a short break, another great eG Foodblog is under way. FoodMuse is sharing a week with us -- click here to read along and participate. And don't worry, there won't be a long break before the next one. On deck for next week, we have a blogger who has shared this picture with us:
  22. Hello everyone, eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys. About me: I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world. I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related. I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food. Foods I cook: Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good. I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup. I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat. In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side. Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can. Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you. -Grace
  23. When I go on book tour, my appearances are attended by a handful of people most of whom were just wandering around the bookstore when the announcement came over the public address system. They ask questions like, "What's your book about?" When Ferran Adria (aka the world's greatest chef, the leader of the culinary avant garde) goes on book tour, everyone shows up. The most significant food-world players for 500 miles around come to pay homage. They have prepared their questions for the master. Ferran Adria's biography, written by Colman Andrews, has just hit the bookstores and Adria and Andrews are making the rounds. This evening they appeared at the International Culinary Center (the umbrella institution that includes the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy) in New York City. I got invited, perhaps because I teach a class there, perhaps by mistake, perhaps out of pity. I was certainly the least important person in the room -- a marginal inclusion on the guest list that included Mario Batali, Tim Zagat, Jose Andres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Torres, Drew Nieporent, Alain Sailhac, Jonathan Waxman and a whole bunch of others. I'll give a brief description of the event, with some photo support, in a moment. But first, welcome to my eG Foodblog, the first of this new season of eG Foodblogs. For the next week, I'll be posting ad nauseam about my food life. The centerpiece of the week is a trip I'm taking down to Mobile, Alabama, to look in on the seafood industry post-BP-spill. Before and after that trip, I'll share the various things I'll be doing in the course of this week. Returning to the matter of Ferran Adria and Colman Andrews, the book is called Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food. (Should you choose to buy a copy, that's an eG-friendly link, which means the Society will get a small commission from Amazon if you use that link for purchase.) There's DC-based Spanish (and then some) chef Jose Andres talking to Dorothy Hamilton, president of the ICC. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro I'm only going to apologize once this week for my terrible photography. Sorry. Now deal with it. That's Colman Andrews, who wrote the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The snacks were not at all avant-garde. They were mostly Spanish-style and pretty good. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The restaurateur Drew Nieporent (Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Corton, etc. -- he keeps opening new places so it's hard to keep track of him). Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro My signed copy of the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro Ellen also made a short video of Ferran Adria speaking to the question "What's the biggest misconception about you?" That will not be postable until morning, though, because of the time it takes to compress and upload the video. I found Adria to be engaging despite speaking through a translator. This was the first time I'd ever seen him up close, and I had wondered whether I'd find him as brilliant as everybody says he is. I did. It was also good to hear him speak directly on the issue of El Bulli's closing. There has been a lot of press on this -- world's most difficult-to-reserve restaurant suddenly closing -- and Adria assured us that it's a temporary closing. El Bulli is expected to reopen in 2014, at which point the company will be reorganized as a nonprofit foundation. Although I was intrigued by the Q&A session, my actual mission was to try to get Colman Andrews and Ferran Adria to join us here for online Q&A. When I spoke to them and their publicist, however, it turned out that they had already agreed to do it -- Dave Scantland ("Dave the Cook") already had a whole dialog running. So we are looking forward to welcoming them soon. There is an excerpt from the book on the New York Times website, if you're interested. I'm off to catch a little shuteye before an early rise for a visit to Sarabeth's bakery. More on that tomorrow morning.
  24. About the eG Foodblogs The eG Foodblogs began in 2003 and are a popular feature in the eG Forums. These are discussion topics in which an eG Society member engages the rest of the membership in discussion of all the food and drink they consume, usually for a period of one week. Society members who become eG Foodbloggers write about all the food that they plan, purchase, cook and eat, accompanied by photos. They discuss their food background, family food preferences, eating habits old and new, shopping, gardens, beverages consumed, and more, responding to questions and comments from other members throughout the week. Sometimes there is a specific culinary theme to an eG Foodblog, and other times the discussion is simply about a typical week of meals for that member. Although most eG Foodbloggers do love to cook and/or bake, not all love fixing their meals. All do love to eat. A significant number of eG Foodblogs focus mostly on routine dining out, or the eats enjoyed during travel. Starting this month (October, 2010) a new season of eG Foodblogs will begin. If you are interested in becoming an eG Foodblogger (or would like to nominate someone else!) please send an e-mail to eGFoodblogs@egullet.org. Please keep in mind that all normal forum rules apply within the eG Foodblogs. Finally, the Society is searching for a volunteer to assist the forums team in coordinating the eG Foodblogs program: if you are interested in the position please contact eG Foodblog co-ordinator and host Heidi Husnak aka "heidih" (hhusnak@eGstaff.org) to discuss what the position entails.
  25. Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my third eG Foodblog. This installment feels as if I've come full circle. I can't believe it's been nearly five years since A Week in the Life of Fat Guy's Household. Unlike the last time I did a Foodblog, I have a digital camera! So sit back and enjoy the ride because there'll be lots of pix, lots of cooking and more importantly, lots of eating in the days to come. I'm starting this installment an hour or two early because I'll be up late tonight, and also I'm setting things up for tomorrow's breakfast. First thing though are your questions from the teaser photo that Janet posted earlier: This is a picture taken at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. A friend of mine had bought me a post-birthday lunch in early January and I thought I'd take this shot to remember the occasion by. I also take photos whenever I dine out but that's another story altogether. Clockwise from top left: prunes in port sauce, lavender honey, quartino of white wine, bread and cheese, orange sections in honey, breadsticks (in wrapper), cheese plate (two cow, two sheep and one goat's cheese). * * * What's new with this Foodblog, you ask? A number of things have changed in my life since the last installment. I was diagnosed with HIV in December 2003. The news struck me with the force of a sledgehammer. You cannot imagine what it's like living with a disease that has no cure. Although I am thankful that I have had relatively few side effects and afflictions in the past four and a half years, the psychological toll is immeasurable. It is beyond crushing. I do try to take care of myself. I eat right, maintain my weight as best as I can and workout (although that's fallen by the wayside recently). More importantly, I try to keep a positive attitude. I try to focus on things I can control instead of the unknown. My future is one of great uncertainty. I know that a long time down the road my immune system will cease to function. The medical cocktails I take on a daily basis are instrumental in improving my present quality of life. I can only hope that at some point in the future, perhaps one or two years from now, or more likely in the next twenty years, that a vaccine will become available to every individual afflicted with this terrible of diseases. And thus this Foodblog. As I said, I try to focus on a positive attitude. One of the things that continues to give me immense pleasure is food -- be it cooking and eating, or being with a community of like-minded people and friends. I want this Foodblog to be special...not just to me, but to everyone in the eGullet community. I want to take this opportunity to focus on the beauty in the world around us, beauty that many people take for granted or don't really think of beyond what's for dinner. * * * *Side note: I realize that many of you will have questions that will stray beyond the boundaries that are permissible for an eG Foodblog. I welcome all questions, but if it's not food-related, please PM or email me or ask your questions on my blog.
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