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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Hello, fair eG folk! Sorry for the late start. (Well, late for Europe; it's lunchtime.) Tracey was right. (However did you guess?!) Welcome to Prague. My name is Erin, and I live and work here, with my husband (who is Czech), in the city of a thousand spires (which also happen to look a lot like forks, when you're hungry...or so I think). The first teaser photo is on the far south side of Prague. It's of Cukrak mountain; "cukrak," roughly translated, means "little pastry chef." (Cukrak is about an hour from this Prague vista.) The second teaser photo, below, really is in Prague; it's of a fruit and vegetable market in the Ujezd neighborhood. They have the best fruit and veg in town (at least, in my opinion). I'm at work, today and tomorrow, and I'll tell you more about that later, because I spend the business day surrounded by cookbooks... After that, I have a few days off so I'm planning to roam around Prague and show you some hidden good stuff beyond roast pork, dumplings, and cabbage. Here's my plan for the week... Ask any questions you like about what you see. Unorganized bits of the plan... I'll post a bunch of photos later, but I have to warn you that my food photography skills are nowhere near the previous bloggers'.... Kim's blog and Chris's were truly mouthwatering. The good news is that I just discovered Picasa, this morning, so I may be able to spare you my blurry breakfast photos. Breakfast: turkey sandwich and coffee. It's about all I can do to assemble this. In fact, this is advanced, for me. I'm not a morning person at all. More anon.
  6. Yes, it’s me – I’m amazed at how quickly I was ‘outed’; I’m awful at guessing! The title is a bit of a misnomer. I am not a housewife, but wish I was. I always say that I was born in the wrong decade. My ultimate dream is to stay home and cook and take care of my home and family. Circumstances haven't allowed that very much in my life, but I still love doing all that stuff! Mr. Kim promises that I can retire in 3 years (but he's been saying that for at least 5 years....hmmm). We live in Richmond, VA with our daughter, Jessica who is back home after graduating from college last spring. The first teaser picture was of our summer house. I kid, I kid - it's the state capitol. I cannot believe that I have to follow Chris. I feel especially grotty and slobby when I look at the pictures of his beautiful, bright, CLEAN kitchen. The things that normally show in my house aren't as clean and tidy as the stuff that normally doesn't in his! Please know that while I am messy and my floor might be questionable, I keep all surfaces and objects clean. I promise. I've decided that my 'angle' for this blog is going to be new stuff. I am an incorrigible recipe/cookbook collector (hence, my second teaser picture). I have them stashed all over my house. Here are some in the island that Ted Fairhead made: In the last picture is also our ‘bar’, some storage and ‘my’ drinks (more anon regarding that). I have a file drawer in the family room full of recipes that I’ve torn out from magazines and printed out from the internet: Here’s a shelf and a half in the living room: Upstairs in our bedroom, I have cookbooks under the TV: and beside the bed: Oh, crap, there’s some more: So for this week (at least for dinners) I will only cook new recipes that I have collected – some from my fellow eGulleteers. If we eat out, it will be at new restaurants I have wanted to try. In my files I have a 'Richmond restaurants to try' file stuffed full of newspaper/magazine articles and print outs of internet suggestions. I'll tell you right now that, except for the weekend, breakfast will be boring. I am not a breakfast fan, so you're going to see a banana and a Special K bar or yogurt most days. I love breakfast food anytime of the day and if I can have it an hour or so after getting up, I do. But that doesn't happen on work days. Lunch is more varied. Sometimes I have leftovers and since I work in a doctor's office, we have drug company reps that sometimes bring us lunch. This week we are supposed to have lunch brought on Monday, but that’s all so far. I only have 30 minutes, so eating out doesn't happen very often. One thing that you should know about me (some already know) is that I had a gastric bypass in 2003. I lost about 100 lbs. My before and afters: Before: After: In the before picture, I am the large flowered object on the left (amazing amounts of self delusion were going on that day), my daughter is in the middle (she also had a gastric bypass and lost even more than I did) and my momma (Ted Fairhead's wife) is on the right. Ideally, I would like to lose another 40 lbs. and I am trying to lose another 20 right now. I am told that if my insurance company would just approve the skin removal, that would be 20 lbs. right there (which just skeeves me right out to even think about - the idea of 20 lbs. of SKIN <shudder>). I would never, ever recommend the operation to anyone else - that is a completely personal decision, but I haven't ever regretted doing it for one minute. I weighed almost 270 lbs. and was getting fatter every day. I had tried every diet in the world and couldn't seem to get a handle on my food intake. I was on diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Except for cholesterol, all of that is gone now. Because I eat less now, there is a chance that I won’t get all the nutrients in my food, so I take a lot of supplements. Here is my daily dose: from left to right – flaxseed oil, multi-vitamin, calcium, vitamin E, vitamins A&D, low dose aspirin, Nexium and Lipitor. The Nexium is for acid – a common consequence of a little stomach and the Lipitor for cholesterol. My blood chemistry tests are always good now. I walk for exercise and feel good. I am 48 years old (49 in July), so I won’t ever be toned and buff, but I look good for my age and my former weight. Flab is ok - I just cover it up and Mr. Kim is a kind man! I eat so much less now that it is just unimaginable to think about the amounts of food that I used to consume. I can eat most any kind of food that I want - as long as I watch portions. There are only two things that really bother me - I can only eat a bite of steak or rice. Some days my tummy is fine. Other days, nothing seems to 'sit' well. Or something gets stuck in the little exit from my stomach. Bad days (which are not very frequent - once every few weeks) I live on cheese, pretzels and Tic Tacs (they settle my stomach without being overly sweet). I hate my kitchen. Square footage-wise it seems pretty good, but I have terrible cabinet and counter space. The pantry is one of those pantry/laundry room things. The top shelves are almost impossible for me to get stuff down from even with a ladder. Thank goodness Mr. Kim is 6' tall! Ted Fairhead made me the island when we moved into the house: It adds much welcome storage, counter space, an eating place, etc. He does nice work, huh? Since I have such crappy storage space, we have stuff all over the house: Living room closet, attic, even under table skirts. It's insane - I try to keep a list on the computer of what is where, but I still lose stuff. I’ll post those pictures later. Richmond has a pretty active food scene and some very good restaurants. We live out in the 'burbs - Glen Allen if anyone knows the area. My favorite area in Richmond is actually in town - the old neighborhoods known as the Fan, the Museum District and Carytown. You can read about them here. It is where VA Commonwealth University is located and where I lived while I was in college and right after we got married. It has a cool city feeling without being too raw-ly urban - very diverse as far as age, ethnicity and even economics. It was always our intent to move back there after Jessica graduated from high school, but they priced us right out of the market! So I live in suburbia and shop, eat and walk the city when I can. I'll probably get down there during the weekend and both the restaurants that we plan on going to this week are there, too. So here I am - I am so nervous and scared that I will disappoint/bore y'all! Everyone who has ever done a blog, will, I'm sure recognize those fears! If anyone has any questions, please ask! My favorite blogs are the ones that are like conversations! Mr. Kim’s two cents: So, if Mrs. Mike is nervous and scared just writing about her food this week, imagine MY trepidation as I look ahead to trying to keep up with her this week. You should just TRY being the only person in the house WITHOUT a gastric bypass when Kim starts working her kitchen magic. I mean, someone has to eat what she can’t. So I wage a constant battle not to eat myself into a fleshy imitation of a Macy’s balloon. Okay, battle may be too strong a word – I don’t resist Kim’s culinary wiles too vigorously. I am glad to be along for the ride this week, and based on the menu and Kim’s likely portion sizes, I look forward to a new wardrobe by the time she’s through blogging. Do they even MAKE grown up clothes in Size Husky?
  7. Good morning from State College, PA (and congratulations to Kerry Beal for guessing my identity!) . I only wish that the first teaser photo was current---alas, it was taken last summer, things aren't quite that green yet at this latitude. Thanks, Susan, for inviting me to do a foodblog this week. First a little background: "Hennes" rhymes with "tennis," I'm 27, and I'm working on my Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. My wife is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Accounting here, and you're catching us an an exciting/scary/stressful time in our lives: tomorrow we have to decide where my wife is going to accept a job that she will begin at the end of the summer. More on that later... In the grand tradition of foodblogs past, here is how I begin my mornings (at least, when I have time!): The eGullet mug is an unusual embellishment: I usually drink my morning coffee out of a stainless-steel thermos mug so I can nurse it for a couple hours. But the mug seemed appropriate for this blog, so here it is! Coffee is typically my only breakfast: I don't get hungry until around 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. I know, this is horrible and unhealthy, but there it is... you won't be seeing much breakfast food this week! What you will be seeing is a lot of pork, and a lot of chocolate: Sorry to disappoint those of you who are hoping to see chocolate-covered bacon, but this is as close as the two will get to each other this week . I've had bacon in a chocolate bar: it was good, but I can think of better uses for both ingredients . Other items on the menu this week include such thrilling entries as tacos, stir-fried green beans, and BLTs. Ah, the culinary adventures of a graduate student! I hope you'll drop by and say hello from time to time despite the mundane dinners! And I hope no one is too disappointed that I don't hail from anyplace exotic!
  8. Firstly, apologies for the teaser photos that led so many astray! I was very hard pushed to find a location picture that wouldn't scream CHINA (cf. my atavar) so I ended up with a picture of Grace Vineyards in Shanxi province - we've also got lots of vineyards around Beijing (just beyond the Great Wall and to the south of the city) but the Grace pictures are the ones that came out best. As for the picture: It's classic Red Cooked Pork (红烧肉) with eggs cooked with the pork that I had last week in Shanghai. Delicious!!! I feel a bit of an imposter doing a blog here because I haven't posted a lot in my eGullet time, but my excuse is that moving countries and starting up my own business in China is a heavy load! But reading and enjoying eGullet posts has often been my lifeline for relaxation and enjoyment here in the Big Beige. A Synopsis: About a year ago, my husband and I packed up our entire house in Cambridge UK, put it into storage and moved to Beijing with two suitcases and a half-formed business plan.... A year later, the house is still mainly in storage, a few more bags have been moved over and I have just received a business license for our wine consultancy/school here in Beijing after many months of red-tape! If anyone out there is interested, the website is here (I hope that's not construed as advertising!!!) Over the next few days, I would love to give you an introduction to food and drink here in China's capital as it gets thoroughly over-excited about the Olympics, eats more dumplings than can be measured and roasts a few thousand more duck!
  9. That’s real estate talk for an eat-in kitchen in a pre-war building, and it is from this cultural locus in Brooklyn that I am reporting on my Epicurean exploits. Which are influenced by: My parents, who loved to play with food. The changing face of New York City, my beloved melting pot. The vegetable box, which comes on Thursdays. Julia Child at 3:00 a.m., and food as succour. My name is Linda, and I am an Italian-American living in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn with my partner, Lynn, and our parrot, Ernie. The building I live in has a bakery on the ground floor, which was once a bakery of some renown in our neighborhood. My landlady’s father built it in 1930, and bread and pastry were sold at the front of the house. That’s bricked over now, and the coal oven is in the back where the landlady’s nephew still bakes bread for commercial bakeries and one food store on our block that has a sign reading “We sell Caruso bread on Tuesdays.” Now you wouldn’t know there’s a bakery here unless you witness the weekly coal or flour delivery. This is us, our only formal portrait. We have been together a long time. I am on your right. Every morning I am served espresso in bed. This is made in a Bialetti Moka Express pot. The reason why I am served is that I am incapable of movement before my daily injection. At any given point in my adult life, I am in some state of addiction/withdrawal from some form of caffeinated beverage. Right now, I am in withdrawal. This tidy espresso cup, rather large by European standards, and is likely a double, is half my usual dosage. I’m doing well and can sometimes actually get out of bed to make my own espresso if the pot has been prepared the night before and I have to pee really bad. I use Illy canned coffee in this pot, and I believe that learning how to make it is what got me started on eGullet. I wanted to be able to replicate the espresso I had in Italy, I did some research, and ended up with this. This espresso does not, by any means, taste as good as the espresso in Italy, but it’s low tech and I try to live a simple life, a philosophy often expressed through food.
  10. Good morning and welcome to my foodblog! I'm Amy and I'm blogging from Tokyo, where spring is just getting underway after an unusually snowy winter (by "snowy winter" I mean it snowed a few times, even piling up as much as 10 cm in some places). I'm more of a lurker here on eGullet and mostly stay in the Japan forum-- I just checked and I have a grand total of 606 posts. I also just noticed that I joined in March 8th 2003, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate 5 years of eGullet membership than this foodblog. I actually have a regular blog, which is almost a foodblog, but I post just a few times a week so this will be a bit more intense than usual. I think it will be fun though, and I hope you enjoy it. I'll be happy to answer any questions, although among the frequent posters in the Japan forum I am probably the least knowledgeable about Japanese food. I'm also happy to take requests: if there is any particular food or dish you are interested in I'll see if I can make it. Let's get to it then. I just ate this: Fruit salad with strawberry, apple, banana and kiwi; homemade yogurt. Eaten in front of the computer, this was my pre-breakfast-- I'll have oatmeal later. I sometimes eat in stages like that because I don't have much of an appetite in the mornings. I'll post a bit more about myself later, but right now it's time for my morning coffee. See you in a bit!
  11. Hello to everyone and sorry that I made you twiddle your thumbs!! First of all teaser 1 is pita bread in a bag on the shelf of my local minimarket. Israel has tons of mini markets all over, every house or apartment has one within about 5 minutes walking distance from home. We usually buy daily products like pita, rolls, breead and dairy goods, either daily or every couple of days. So every morning the bread delivery trucks deliver to all these little mini markets early in the morning. Nobody keeps bread for longer than two days or it dries out. The basic breads are called either white or black. It is actually hard to tell the difference between them! They are the same bread that has been sold for 50 years and is considered a basic here. Further down you can see the pictures of this. Either you slice at home or at the store you can put it through a slicer. Slightly more expensive are pitas and rolls. So my first set of pictures is to document this! Then I will write a bit about Ashkelon. So hereis one of my daily stops: everyone calls it Eli's who is the owner, but the sign translates as Mini Market- everything is good (sounds better in Hebrew!!) Here are the breads-white and "black" can you see the difference? Here are the rolls and what we call "long bread" The slicer: Now the teaser 2 is called a Cereus cactus. It blooms only at night and only for a few hours and only a few times a year. It is usually ugly but when it blooms it is truly a sight! Teaser3 is a picture of some goats by the Dead Sea. We went there about 2 weeks ago hoping to see some floods. When it rains a lot this area turns into violent rivers and floods as the earth does not absorb the water, it is very amazing to see it turn from desert to river. It can be dangerous also... Be back later! Gotta put my kid to bed!!
  12. I am so transparent. Pierogi got it immediately! Yeppers, I'm going to be the blogger of the week, starting officially tomorrow. Some things are the same from my first foodblog in 2006: Same kids, same dog, still haven't seen a Clinton around town. Some things have changed: Firstborn is away at school (with my car, boo hoo), Secondborn has a host of new critters in his room, and they all need feeding (sigh). Of course, the kitchen is new. It doesn't look like this any more: I love my new kitchen -- I am eventually going to start teaching in it, but until that starts in March, I am cooking for everyone who'll let me. Which brings us to: Mr. Foodbabe is turning 50 this week, and as I lead you-all through my new appliances and kitchen, I'll be prepping for his party. Here's the invitation (well, it was on prettier paper): And some things are going to change dramatically, soon. Jean-luc is getting a new brother in a couple of weeks, and we need to name him: So, what would you like to see and know? Im going to try to accommodate special requests and not be too dull Oh -- we're also going out to dinner on Mr. Foodbabe's actual birth-day, Thursday, at a much-lauded new place in White Plains.
  13. Good morning! What an auspicious day to begin my eGullet foodblog: If you've checked the news or are living in the northeast, you know that the Boston area was hit this a.m. by a nor'easter. (Actually, I haven't yet checked the news this a.m. -- they were saying nor'easter last night.) The subhead of this week's blog is "Where the garden is bare, and the pantry bursts." Indeed, I'll be showing you pictures of my poor garden later this week and maybe you can imagine the glory it is come July. I’m not a power-poster on eGullet, thus why it was probably next-to-impossible to puzzle out my clues (more on those below). When I do post, it’s mostly on the New England forum. I spend huge amounts of time reading the forums, though, especially the food blogs. So last summer, I gingerly approached Snowangel about blogging. I had visions of sharing the bounty of a New England summer with you all – the bounty from my garden, the hauls from our local CSA, the flats of berries we lug back to the kitchen from local u-pick farms. Ah, but no, Susan had other ideas: how about blogging in January? January?!? Was she insane? This is my garden in January. I haven’t even received a bill for the first installment of my 2008 CSA season, never mind a tender handful of spring greens. (Those won’t come till June.) Moreover, those beautiful flats of berries were all transformed into jam, of which we have exactly one jar left. The idea grew on me, though. I keep a huge pantry. I spend a lot of time during the summer preparing food that will get us through April of the following year. Why not show my readers how all that work pays off in the winter? So I hope you'll pull up a cup of tea (or coffee; I do not discriminate) and visit my little corner of the world this week. I do have a weird, wonderful pantry to show off, as well as a special treat for restaurant foodies tomorrow, a possible trip to King Arthur's Baking Center in Vermont on Saturday, plus day trips around greater Boston, where I live. Not to mention you'll get to see how my crazy little household eats in a given week.
  14. Greetings, everyone, from quaint, charming and tranquil Yardley, Pa., where I have worked since this past December 4. I'm also posting from a low hill overlooking a semi-vast expanse known as the Two Hundred Pound Plateau. You saw the view from that hill in the teaser photos for this foodblog, and one of the things I hope to do in the course of this foodblog is climb back down off of it -- the plateau as well as the hill. Our co-blogger mizducky, who knows me from when we were both young whippersnappers at Harvard, was supposed to have started this blog in the wee small hours Pacific Standard Time from her perch on the Left Coast, but the Invision PowerBoard servers that host eGullet had other ideas. So, reckoning that she is resting to face the new day (or probably rising right about the time I post this), and with the blessing of our third participant, CaliPoutine, I'm kicking off yet another tag-team eG Foodblog. We chose this week to blog because it's the first full week of the month when roughly one in every two Americans makes a New Year's resolution to lose weight. Of those, roughly nine in ten (all figures pure conjecture) either abandon that resolution within a short period or succeed, only to put the weight they lost back on. All three of us are watching our weight: two out of medical necessity and a third out of a desire to get into better shape overall. We thought that a foodblog devoted to weight management would be an excellent way to examine the whole subject of diet, weight loss, overweight and obesity, and some of the tensions and compromises inherent in being at once a food lover and a person who must watch the food they eat. It strikes me that gourmandry and weight management are at heart at odds with each other: I notice that truly svelte people appear to be absent from the ranks of food lovers. Yet at the same time, I also note that truly obese people are not overrepresented among them either, though we may have a disporportionate share of overweight people like myself. Perhaps we will figure out why this is so in the course of this blog; perhaps not. We will take a look at the diet-industrial complex, though, an entity that (I believe) all three of us have managed to avoid getting overly entangled with. One of my unused teaser photos was designed to illustrate one of the things I try to do in balancing a love of food with a desire to get rid of a gut: And we will look at the role of exercise too. More about that from my perspective in my posts later today. BTW, Tracey: That salad was homemade. I picked up several packets of salad dressing from the Wawa just up Main Street from my office so I would never be without dressing on days when I forgot to bring in my own. With this introduction out of the way, we can now take (it) off.
  15. The word “Christmas” in New Mexico can mean two entirely different things, one of which can be enjoyed every day of the year: Chile. Red and green. Side by side, just like it ought to be. Isn’t it gorgeous here? For those of you that don’t know: Santa Fe is cold! We’ve had lots of snow over the last week and the skiing is fantastic. Check out this 5 ft long icicle on my canale: And my pear tree: About me: -I grew up in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the U.A.E. (home of Dubai, which most people are familiar with), and am half-Emirati and half-Lebanese. I will gladly post photos of the Emirates if anyone is interested, since I still consider myself a part-time resident. -I am 26 but don't always act my age. -Like a lot of people on eG, I’ve been obsessed with food for as long as I can remember. -At the metabolically enviable age of 15, I began to cook family meals and fully embrace the insatiable appetite that has remained with me through good times and bad; I can always eat. That same year, I left the Emirates for Yale, where I experienced my first skinless boneless chicken breast, promptly swore off dining hall meats, and was elated to discover the godsend that is New Haven pizza. After graduating in 2001, I moved to Santa Fe to pursue blue skies, crisp air, and a M.S. in Oriental Medicine. -Until recently, my work (complementary medicine legislation and public health policy reform) allowed me to travel back and forth between the Emirates and Santa Fe, which was great, because I am very close to my family. Most importantly, my 6 year-old “son”, Emile, whom I brought with me when I moved back to the Emirates, is still there, and he’s my ultimate dreamboat: -A few weeks ago, I stashed my heels at the back of the closet, started practicing Chinese medicine clinically, and got myself a part-time job cooking for a wonderful couple a few evenings a week. -Finally: This is a years of firsts for me: I bought my first house here in Santa Fe, hosted my first Thanksgiving meal, and about to experience my first Christmas and my first blog. I'm an unapologetic glutton, and this is going to be an exciting week for me, so I'm thrilled to be blogging it out... Tonight: -Canyon Road Walk (with eG member wrenwillow) to chug hot cider and see the farolitos -Dinner at a friend's off-the-grid homestead about twenty miles north of town Tomorrow: -My dashing and heroic R and I are hosting a private dinner for ten at the Rio Chama, which he manages. It's the one day of the year that the restaurant is closed, and we'll have full reign of the kitchen. It'll be my first experience cooking in a restaurant kitchen...! Now I have to get to Whole Foods the moment it opens so that I don't get trampled! See you later, when I post breakfast.
  16. eGulleters meet in the strangest of places. So how did it happen that Chufi from Amsterdam and Abra from Seattle find themselves in a charming little winebar in a charming little town in the South West of France, where the bill is scrawled in marker on the zinc counter top? Because, well, can you think of any better place to meet? Chufi to Abra: "So, here we are together in a wine bar in France, just you and me and a Spanish ham. " Abra to Chufi: "Hey, what about my husband? Are you calling him a ham? Ok, yeah, he is a ham, but he's an American ham." Chufi: "Well, I'm kind of nervous that just being in France and cooking with you and going to cool French towns and tasting all the wine in sight will be kind of, well, you know, boring." Abra: "Hey, I know, maybe we should do an eG food blog about your visit." Chufi: "But we've both already done lots of food blogs, would anyone even want to read another one?" Abra: "Hmmm, you might be right. Just to liven things up we could invite bleudauvergne down to cook with us, and by the way that would be a great excuse to make her bring us some of that gorgeous cheese she's always posting pictures of." Chufi: "Maybe we could cook something totally weird that I'd never make at home, like how about some......" Abra: "There's this recipe for a stew of pigs feet and tripe that I've been dying to make." Chufi: "Uh....." Abra "Come on, we'll stay up late drinking tons of wine and then have tripe and pigs feet at 2:00 a.m." Chufi:"Can we drink a lot of wine BEFORE we have to eat the pigs feet?" Abra:"Come on, you'll love it, it's gelatinous." Chufi: "My husband will never believe this!!" Abra: "And there's no way my husband will even eat a bite of it, we'll have to cook a whole separate meal for him. I have a freshly killed chicken in the fridge with its head still on, we could cook him that." Chufi:"Let's be nice to him. What would he really like?" Abra:"Cheese enchiladas and something chocolate!" So that's what we had tonight. For your first meal in France with us, we bring you, ta da, cheese enchiladas, which is actually quite an exotic dish, in France. And mini buchettes de Nöel, just to prove that we really are in France. And to further prove that we're in France, we're going to bed right now, even though most of you are barely waking up. Rest assured that as soon as we get up in the morning we're going to rub those pigs feet. At least one of us is. We'll let you guess which one will be doing the rubbing and which one will be hiding behind her camera. And a trip to a gigantic French supermarket will be necessary, and if they don't throw us out for taking pictures, we'll show you how many different kinds of yogurt will tempt Chufi into buying them. There's a LOT of yogurt in France.
  17. Good Morning Egullet! I am so excited to have been asked to do a foodblog this week. I too, was sad to see Nina have to cut her's short, but am very excited to see it when it continues. So in the meantime, grab your cup of coffee or beverage of choice, sit down, relax and let me start the show. First, I will introduce myself, since most of you don't know me. My name is Stephanie and I live with my boyfriend Mark and our two dogs and two cats in Sacramento, CA. The city of Sacramento is divided up into different areas or neighborhoods. My neighborhood can either be considered East Sacramento or Midtown. Here's our house. This neighborhood is great! All of the houses are from the 20's and probably even older than that. My house was built in 1922 and I guess they call these highwater bungalows. Here is the view from my porch, which was one of the teaser photos: To keep this food related, the water tower there is called the Alhambra Reservoir and it apparently holds 3 million gallons of water that supplies the neighborhood with drinking water. There are several of these in the greater Sacramento area. Here's a sort of recent article about the Reservoir, since you can see from this picture the edge of the "artwork" that was applied to the front of it, that is viewable from the freeway, not too far away. The article has a fuzzy picture of the art, so I will see if I can get a better one for you before the end of the week. I am also going to try to get a picture of the camouflage the article mentions, since it is sort of historical. Also in this picture, to the left behind the trees, you'll see a brick building. When I bought this house a little over 3 years ago, that building was in the process of construction. Housed in it is an imaging/xray center. Come to find out from the previous owner of this house, that was slated to be a Trader Joes, and he was head of the neighborhood committee to fight against it, then he moves. I guess he was concerned about traffic, which is still a problem regardless. The best thing about this neighborhood though is that we are in walking distance to a Safeway, which is right behind that imaging center, several restaurants and several bars, which will be visited during this blog. How I got into cooking? Well, I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. When I was 10, my mom came down with ALS..to make a long story short, as it progressed, she was unable to cook for my younger brother and myself. My dad had to travel alot for business, and so it was up to me to learn how to cook to feed the family. I also learned at a younger age than most people, to grocery shop, which next to going to Williams Sonoma or Target is my favorite type of shopping. So mom taught me several easy type of recipes; tacos, spaghetti, chicken and mushrooms, basic stuff. In college, I tried to enhance my skills, on a college budget and then things just grew from there. Over the years, I have gone to different cooking classes or demonstrations, watched many hours of Food Network and just experimented on my own. Almost four years ago, I met Mark who loves to cook as well as being a hopeful chef one day. So we started cooking together a lot. Which leads us to why we are doing Atkins, which Insomniac, I think, guessed from the teaser photo: We generally cook more at home than go out to eat. Well, the pounds starting packing on and his sister suggested we try Atkins. I know in my life, I have tried every crazy diet, except Atkins, in fact, a few years ago, I thought Atkins sounded crazy. We even tried the cabbage soup diet last year to no avail. So we said, what the hell, lets give it a try. We started Atkins on July 2 of this year. To date, he has lost 40 pounds (damn men!) I have lost about 25. I will disclose this up front, we by no means are Atkins fanatics, because there are a lot of them out there. We also fudge a little here and there. I suppose if we followed the program to a T, I'd have lost more by this point. But overall, I am happy with the diet, I don't go hungry, I am seeing progress which is the most important part and I get to eat steak whenever I want! So what's in store for this week? Well luckily, I am only working today and tomorrow. I am in pharmaceutical sales, so my day consists of traveling around and discussing drugs with doctors. So basically my blogging for the next two days will be in the mornings and evenings. Since we are trying to be really good on this diet and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, we'll be eating strict today, tomorrow and Wednesday. We do plan on some "cheats" although Mark calls them "treats" on Thursday, since it is Thanksgiving. Friday, we are going to go out with some foodie friends to a lunch at a new upscale restaurant and we'll also be going to visit some local wineries in the foothills. We'll have lots of cooking in all of this, lots of pet pictures and of course, after the fridge is cleaned up a little, the mandatory fridge shots. I hope that you'll enjoy my blog, feel free to ask any questions about Low Carb food, food in general or anything else on your mind.
  18. Good morning! I'm so excited to be your next food blogger, as I have long been an avid – though often lurking – reader. I'm Nina Callaway, a freelance writer who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Now, I know what you're thinking: We've had a lot of New York City food blogs. But, most of them have been very Manhattan focused, and while I like Manhattan, I'm in love with Brooklyn. This amazing borough is at once big city cool and small town heart. While most of the world's eyes are pointed at Manhattan, Brooklyn isn't some groveling parasite – it's the largest of all of the five boroughs. At approx. 2.5 million residents, if Brooklyn were an independent city it would be the 4th largest city in the US. It boasts the 3rd largest business district in the city (first 2 are midtown and lower Manhattan), a vibrant independent arts scene, awesome restaurants and, most importantly, some of the friendliest and most interesting people in the city. (A quick vocabulary/geography lesson: New York City is divided into 5 boroughs – similar to counties. Brooklyn was its own city until 1898, when its residents voted to become part of the new New York City, along with Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx.) I'm just finishing up an assignment for Fodor's, writing the chapters of "Brooklyn" and "The Bronx/Queens/Staten Island" for the general New York City guidebook. With limited space, it necessarily covers the neighborhoods closest to Manhattan, for easy jaunts, as well as Prospect Park and Coney Island – essentially places that readers have already heard of, and want to know more about. As it's organized into neighborhoods, its hard to include some of the really interesting sites farther afield. But the process of writing this chapter made me think about what I'd write if I were only writing for myself. And so the title of this food blog: Around the World in Just One Borough. My plan for the week is to visit just a few of Brooklyn's neighborhoods. I'm hoping to show you my nabe of Clinton Hill, as well as Polish Greenpoint, Middle Eastern Atlantic Avenue, Latin American and Chinese Sunset Park, and Russian/Asian Brighton Beach. (Hey I'm a freelance writer. It's all research!) But that's not all that's going on. I'm working on my Pieathon! – a fundraising project that had its start here on eG. And on Sunday, many of my friends are coming over for brunch. Today is going to be a baking day, rather than a show-you-around Brooklyn day. But, I've just returned from a short vacation through Massachusetts and Vermont, where we spent a day visiting small cheese farmers. So I thought I'd recap some of that for you to hold you over. (A little city mouse, country mouse action.) I'm off to the gym now. When I get back, breakfast.
  19. Good morning, Fortunately for those of us on this side of the Atlantic there is the benefit of time: a failed attempt at an early morning first post to my first blog, will nevertheless arrive in time for breakfast for those farther west. Before the necessary introduction let's get breakfast out of the way. It is a tradition of mine since i started my professional lfe - i wake up, shower and run out of the house as quickly as i can, thus breakfast always takes place at my desk. In our rudimentary office we have one luxury, our nespresso machine...free as long as you buy sufficient coffee each month. Not a problem in a company with many Italians and Portuguese. This is my desk, with coffee and today Bizcocho Dulce Don Satur, an Argentine classic. A week ago an importer of Argentine food which I know moved in to the warehouse next to us; that's how the biscuits from my home country made it for breakfast. The Bloomberg mug dates back to my days in NYC. The place is London, where i've lived for the past six years. The office is just south of Battersea power station (that amazing building on the cover of Pink Floyd's Animals album) where some of my blog will inveitably take place. I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved around a lot as my stepfather was a diplomat. Ten years of my life were in the US, Philly for undergrad and New York for work. A few years ago I finally managed to leave the banking world behind, now I run the UK business of an online shopping service - we're like a supermaket with far better quality of product; and needless to say a far different view on the role of food in society. A little cheating will take place as I will include a trip I took last week to Italy to source some new products; aside from that everything will be chronologically in line...you'll be taken to the London fruit and vegetbale market as well as Rungis, the monster of a market with its own postcodes, hotels and banks outside of Paris. I'll leave you with the start of the trip, taking the express train as we head south through the city to Gatwick airport with a magnificent view of one of London's icons. Back to work now... Franco
  20. Hello everyone and welcome to Montreal. It's a beautiful day here, looks to be a beautiful week, and I couldn't be happier to have this oppurtunity to share some of my life with all the lovely people on eGullet. I am a student here in montreal, but as you will come to see my life revolves more around my obession with food than my studies, although they are beginning to leak into each other (we'll get into that). My apologies for the late start. I had forgotten I had lost my compression software in a recent crash, and it took a while to get that up and running. Firstly, I should explain my somewhat enigmatic title and teaser photos. I have something of a unique philosophy/approach to learning about the different foods that I am interested in. My interests are pretty much all over the board, so what I do to manage this is select a particular style of cooking, and concentrate on that for an extended period of time. I begin by gathering my resources for a specific style of cooking. This means getting atleast one super solid cookbook, bookmarking blogs, recipes, and other websites of interest pertaining to the topic. Reading a little bit about the evolution and history of the cooking of interest, learning the regions; I think you get the picture. This might make some sense to those of you who follow the Thai thread, as I have posted a number of pictures of my Thai food in there. Thai cuisine was my last focus; I did it for 8 months, and loved every minute of it. But the time for a change had come, and although I hadn't initially planned to do Sichuan or Japanese cooking, it just sort of turned out that way. I purchased a few cookbooks recently, and among them were these two: Both of which I found out about through egullet. Browsing through both of them after they arrived I was taken aback at how different Sichuanese and Japanese cooking were from the foods I had cooked before. For a while I struggled with deciding on which one to do first, until I realized why not do both? I already had many of the staple sichuanese seasonings, and the overlap in terms of grocery shopping was enough to make it feasible. So that what's I decided to do. That's where the teaser photos come in. The first was intended to be a contrast between the two styles of cooking, with 3 staple of seasonings of each cuisine on the top/bottom. For Japanese it was shoyu (soy sauce), bonito flakes (for dashi), and mirin (I didn't haven't any sake at the time). For sichuan: sichuan peppercorns, "facing heaven" chiles, and sichuan chili bean paste. The second photo is of all the ingredients I picked up a few days ago at one of montreal's better asian grocers. I carried that all in a giant backpack about 10km on my bike, as that particular grocer is pretty far from home. I've had heavier trips before, but none quite so long. The bagels are seperate of course, from the infamous St-Viateur bagel shop. I was hoping they might be identifiable enough for someone to guess montreal, but I guess that wasn't very fair of me. Welcome to the madness.
  21. Trading Places – A Tale of Two Cities…….would you believe one city and a village….would you believe one city and a kitchen?....... Welcome to my week. For some reason I’ve volunteered to do this. I’m sure it sounded like a good idea at the time. I’m starting this sitting in Suvarnabhumi Airport, wating for our 3:45 flight to start boarding. I’ve wrapped up in the lounge, having checked mail, had a Chilean Cono Sur ("connoisseur", Yoonhi points out to me) Chardonnay, and indulged in a ham sandwich smothered in butter. Is the modern Chardonnay the standard bearer of quality? If we consider quality to be defined as repeatability and standardization? This goes back to Signor Bellini’s discussion of Chardonnays back at the WGF (was that a week ago?). And how does that relate to food? Do we want everything standardized and repeatable? Ist that just an invitation to have all the joy taken out of our dining. Myself, I rebel against such strictures. Of course, that may have more to do with my inability to follow instructions the same way twice…… I’m getting ahead of myself. Or at least my stomach and nose are. This will be a somewhat schizophrenic blog. I’ll provide material on what we’re up to in the kitchen, especially as we’re just back from the Gourmet Fest in Bangkok. However, I get a distinct feeling that there’s more interest in the last week of eating in Bangkok with my spouse – Yoonhi - in tow. As I’m still in that state of bliss that Krungthep induces upon me, We’ll do both. By way of introduction (you expected structure from me?), I’m a 1960’s product of the Canadian government; the results of our country’s aid to St. Lucia, a small Caribbean island. My parents were there doing a project for Canada Agriculture, and I’m what the St. Lucians got out of it. They still won’t give me a passport. Anyways, don’t ask me anything about St. Lucia. I left when I was a few months old. All I know is that the banana boat called every few weeks, and children were killed by falling coconuts (I must’ve lived through that). If I was to call anyplace home, it would probably be Kitsilano, a neighborhood in Vancouver. I grew up a few blocks from where Lumiere is located now. I might have more memories about the soft ice cream cones dipped in chocolate at the Dairy Queen, though, than Lumiere and Feenies……(Modern Burger is pretty close, too). I left Canada over 22 years ago, and haven’t been back much. Houston, then Egypt, a very brief stint in Calgary that made me understand why I wasn’t staying in Canada (Yoonhi’s eyelashes froze shut on her), and then the Middle East for the last 22 years or so. We’re going to concentrate this week on the food of my great love, Indochina, and Thailand in particular. At first I had no interest in Thailand. Garish orange roofs, it all struck me as too much like a big Denny’s concession. But all the other expats in Egypt (our posting then) were going to Thailand and coming back to bend my wife’s ear. “Couldn’t we go to Korea or Japan or China or Italy or….” I’d protested. But Yoonhi has that steely perseverance that can get downright scary at times. Finally I gave in, and we were off for one month in The Land of Smiles. My attitude lasted only up to the point of my first bite of real Thai cuisine. I was head over heals in love. Let’s drop back into the normal time stream (or what passes for such around here). I’m tidily packaged into my economy class seat. I’m still cheap about flights if I have to pay for them myself. We’ve just had our in-flight Gulf Air meal, and, much as it pains me to say it, it wasn’t bad. Both of us started with the mild spiced noodle salad with cucumber and tomato, then I had the red curry beef with traditional biryani rice and vergetable casserole, and Yoonhi had the penne past with steamed carrots, pumpkin in cheese veloute, served with pan seared chicken and tomato sauce. Top that off with “white bread slices” which are straight from a Thai bakery. Only dessert was inediblem with a rather dismal pineapple crumble cake (it should crumble, not wallow in juice). I had tried the Blanc de Blanc earlier, but it was horrible, especially warm, so I’ve switched over to Carlsberg. It’s not cold either, but it’s bearable. I wonder who does their catering on the Thai side? Once landed, cleared through customs, and in the taxi, the rest was a piece of cake. We arrived home hungry again, and found Serena’s babysitter had steamed up some brocolli, breaded and fried some chicken breast and had some Filipina lumpia on the go. At that point we went to sleep. And now it’s not quite 6 a.m. here. It’s Ramadan, so there’ll be no coffee in the office later, so I’ve got a pot of Pakxong beans perking me up right now (I still think I’ve got a couple of kg of those Lao beans squirreled away somewhere). I’ll get this up, and then see if there’s still time for more before work (we start at 7:00 a.m.!) Next: more
  22. Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)! I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case): This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week. It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located: Head ööd! [Good night!] I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
  23. Just a 20 mile ride from miss Suzy and were here, still in the far northern reaches of NJ. Ok the fire is started and I am only running 2 hours late Yes we are smokin' today, let me go get the piggy on the grill. Tracey
  24. Good morning, all! Welcome back to New Jersey. The 34B in the description is not my bra size but the exit off of Rt. 80 where I live in the northern part of the state. Now for a very sad,sad sight empty toast dope containers
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