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  1. Howdy! I'll be your blogger this week and would like to show you my little part of the country. A few things come to mind when one thinks of Texas -- barbecue, cowboys -- but this week I want to share with you some of the lesser known aspects of Texas food and culture. I was born in Shanghai and lived there until I was six. I moved with my parents first to Baltimore and then a few years later to Galveston, an island southeast of Houston. I consider Galveston to be the home of my formative years of middle and high school. My mother is a terrific cook, having been cooking since she was thirteen. During the Cultural Revolution in China, her father was imprisoned for being an intellectual and the family fell upon hard times. Her older siblings all had to work to make ends meet, so as the youngest child she learned to cook from her grandmother. (See Food stories from the Cultural Revolution). When I moved out on my own to Austin to attend the University of Texas, my mother's only stipulation was that I learn how to cook. So, armed with three months of basic lessons and a dozen of her recipes, I moved to my own apartment in Austin. That is when I first began to develop my passion for food. I'll tell you a little more after I fix myself breakfast, but let's take a look at my teaser photo: Any ideas for a caption?
  2. Hi, my name is Jessica, and I'm very excited to be doing my first food blog. I'm also a little nervous because I don't normally post that much, so hopefully I'll be able to live up to the previous blogs. Anyway, a little background. I was born and raised in NYC near Columbia University (where my mom and sisters still live). I've been living in the East Village/LES area for the last 8 years or so. 2 years ago I got married and about 4 months after that my husband Josh and I opened a housewares/home accessories store on avenue B. The store is called Live It Up, hence my screen name. Having our own business has totally changed our lives. The store is open 7 days a week from 10am to 9pm. That means that either Josh or I have to be there during those hours because we have no employees--well, except my youngest sister who we force to work for us for free when she's home from college (like now!). So, while it's really nice Josh and I see each other a lot, we have very little free time, and even less free time together. Also, we both have other interests (I kick box 4-5 days a week, Josh is in 2 bands and plays hockey), so that puts even more of a strain on the free time we do have. So, basically that's the topic of this blog: how we find time for good food with our wacky schedules. The main way that having this schedule has changed our eating habits is in the shopping. I used to have time (and money) to go out of my way to find specific ingredients or go to the farmer's market for in season produce. Now I'm pretty much bound to my route between home/work/gym/home. Here's a map showing the boundaries: clicky Well, that's the basics. The funny thing about this "working" constantly is that most of the time I don't actually have anything to do here at work, so I spend more time on the internet than ever before. So, bombard me with questions--I'll just be here waiting to answer them.
  3. I was delighted to be asked to do this blog. It’s exciting, sort of like getting a new job or something. At my age I like some new excitement. Obviously, it’s my first blog so bear with me as I stumble through it. So you have some background; I am an American, retired, and living in rural France with my wife Linda, who is British, and our dog, Rupert, who is a 2 1/2 year old standard poodle. We’ve been here full time for nearly 5 years now and absolutely love it in France. I’ll answer the question that I expect will get asked right up front; namely: “How did a native Californian end up living in rural South West France?” As you might expect the answer ain’t that simple. Firstly, I lived and worked in Europe for over 20 years; Spain, Belgium, France, Germany & mostly England. During all of that time my work responsibilities covered all of Europe so I traveled widely. Thus, Europe is very much a second home. When Linda finally persuaded me to retire we were living in Rhode Island and planning upon retiring to our home in Carmel Valley, California. But then as the reality hit we realized that all of the family (kids from previous marriages for both of us & Linda’s extended family.) lived in the UK. Why were we going to locate 6,000 miles away? Stupid! So we sold the house & thought this retirement out. Closer to family & kids, Yes. Good weather, Yes! Good food & wine, Yes! South West France which we had visited many times qualified. Weather, good communications, food! Cheap (at the time) property was an added bonus. So, here we are. The kids & grandkids & family & friends from all over visit frequently. Between our French & expat friends we have an active social life; so life is very very good. And, of course, we’re in one of the great food & wine regions of the world. So, now that I have the time I can indulge my passion for cooking; thus my interest in eGullet and thus this blog. My focus will be upon food & cooking. The meals will be things we eat fairly regularly. In a couple of instances I am going to try to give you recipes that I’m going to do the next day. Using the time zone difference to our advantage you can, if you are so inclined, cook the same dish (s). As a result I’ve tried to pick things to cook that have ingredients that are readily available in the states. I’ve not always succeeded, but I’ve used nothing so French that you just can’t get it any where else. Because the 4th of July holiday falls in the middle of my blog I’m going to cover that in a special way by describing a local yearly event. Think you’ll enjoy it. Also, we will be going to one of my favorite restaurants. Michelin starred & one of the top 5 female chef’s in France. Since I was asked, I’m going to do a little rant about drinking & buying wine in France. I’ve been asked to comment upon wine, cheese and cooked meats (sausages) so I’ll do that in essay form to get a topic started and to impart some general information. After that its open to anybody to contribute, ask questions or whatever. We’ll also do a bit of touring around our local countryside & I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about France. I understand that on blogs there is a certain amount of ‘off topic’ latitude so here’s your chance. I only hope that you, my audience, enjoy this blog as much as I’m going to enjoy doing it. Bon appète! (No cringing, friends on the French forum!)
  4. Greetings and welcome to another foodblog from a Pacific Northwesterner. Although I live in Seattle now, you won't be seeing any food from that region for I am on my summer holidays in not-so-sunny Sydney. I have to run off real soon so I'll leave some of the introductory stuff for a bit later. I was asking for advice from some former foodbloggers once I knew I was going to be doing one, and one of them told me that many foodblogs start off a bit slow so I'm going to start this one off with a dinner I just cooked in Melbourne for some of my friends: Melbourne and Sydney are the two largest towns in Australia (although neither are the capital). I did my High School in a small town quite close to Melbourne and so many of my High School friends are still living there. I hadn't been back since I left High School 6 years ago so this was the perfect time to return and catch up with a lot of old friends who I hadn't seen for a long time. As part of my last day in Melbourne, I was going to cook a big going away meal. The main problem I was facing was trying to find someone who could donate their kitchen and house to me hosting a party. It was a bit touch and go for a while with a few people saying they might be able to do it, and then not being able to and I was structuring my menu around being adaptable to any kitchen I would have to walk into but, fortunately, on the noon of that day, someone finally came through and things were very quickly organised. So in the end, I had 2 hours to shop and then 3.5 hours to cook 7 courses for 19 people. Here's what I managed to pull off: The Inaugural Fitzroy Garden Salad - Milkweed, Radish, Apple & Lemon Thyme with a Raspberry Vinagrette. I love using the combination of Radish and Apple and it's appeared a bunch of times in different salads. I'll tell a story of how the milkweed got into the salad in a later post. Someone at the table suggested this salad needed a name and we were dining near the Fitzroy Gardens so that's how the salad got it's name. Irish Lamb Stew with Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots & Roasted Garlic. This was a great dish for a cold, winter's day and it was deep and hearty with all the different root vegetables. Dead easy to make as well Mushroom Risotto. At this stage of the night, I was pretty drunk so I pressganged people into stirring the risotto for me. The great thing about cooking for friends is, if you're clever, you can push them into the kitchen while you're quaffing red wine at the table and being belligerent. Roast Leg of Lamb with Minted White Bean Mash and Sauteed Silverbeet. The Lamb was rubbed with garlic, rosemary, lemon thyme, anchovies, & olive oil and roasted in a low oven until perfectly medium rare. The beans were pretty magical. I simmered them until almost tender with some trimmed off lamb fat and the silverbeet stems and then I placed the entire thing underneath the lamb when it was roasting so all the fat and drippings dripped down onto it. A bit of mint at the end really brightened it up. The silverbeet was just sauteed lightly with some garlic and chilli flakes and they were great too. Apple & Rhubarb Crumble with a Feijoa Sabayon. Anytime I'm drunk and get to play with fire is a good night in my opinion so once I found out the kitchen had a blowtorch in it, sabayon was put on the menu. Rhubarb was looking great at the market and a crumble is always a good way of doing a dessert without needing much equipment. Feijoa is an interesting and rather unusual fruit. I had never had it before that day and I bought a bunch not knowing what I could do with it. It tastes sort of a cross between sour apple and kiwifruit and, according to wikipedia, it grows in South America and now New Zealand/Australia. It went really well in this dish as it played off both the apple and the rhubarb quite well. Passionfruit Truffles. I always love ending a meal with Truffles now since they're so easy to make but give such an elegant finish to a meal. I hadn't eaten passionfruit for almost a year as they're either impossible to get or absurdly expensive in the US. So when I saw them, 7 for $2 at the market, I snagged as many as I could and just went on a binge. Anyway, I'm going to go be nerdy with my friends now at Dorkbot but I'll post something later tonight (It's 6pm here in Sydney so later tonight means in a few hours).
  5. Hello and good Monday morning. Welcome to my Foodblog. First off, let me congratulate Little Ms. Foodie-a fellow Northwesterner and former resident of my home, Spokane, Washington. She correctly answered the location of the 'teaser' photo, and correctly answered the variety of the little berries in the second 'teaser' photo: You are looking East from Spokane through the pine forests to Mount Spokane, the little dark bump in the background. We are in the far Eastern corner of the state, about a 5 hour drive from Seattle to the West. Seattle is a one hour flight from Spokane, which I do every day. Yes, I commute to work on an airplane, every day. I live in Spokane but work in Seattle. The flying bit comes in because I am in management for an airline. That's the day job. Food and writing is really my passion. More on the work schedule later. Now on to photo #2, a personal favorite of mine: Sorry to the folks who guessed these little blue nuggets were wild Maine blueberries. No, they are wild huckleberries. I am so excited that a fellow Washingtonian, (is that a word?), correctly identified the secret ingredient photo. I am making an offer right now to Little Ms. Foodie that I will bring you a bag of wild huckleberries to Seattle later this Summer in recognition of being the first to spot the huckleberry photo. We will arrange delivery details later. Huckleberries are simply the most flavorful little beauties you will ever taste. In fact, I actually have goose bumps right now as I write to you about huckleberries-they are that precious to me. They are about half the size of a blueberry and range in color from red to purple to black. I can't really describe the flavor of a huckleberry other than to say it is sweet yet tart, much more tart than a blueberry. What sets the huckleberry apart in my opinion is it's fragrant aroma-a cross between rose, orchid and just about any other tropical flower you can name. The scent is unmistakeable, and wonderful. If you smell a huckleberry, the aroma will be forever stored away in your senses and then, even 10 or 20 years later, if you smell another huckleberry it will transport you back to that original huckleberry sensation. The subtitle to my blog-Black Pearls of Gold-is in honor of how highly I prize the huckleberry. We pick them wild just a mere 20 miles out of downtown Spokane, our main competition being black bears and grizzly bears. We'll visit more about huckleberries later this week-how my Grandmother used to buy them from an American Indian woman who sold them door to door out of a hand-woven basket, how to cook them and where to buy them. For now, welcome and I hope I've whetted your appetite for what I promise will be an insightful, fun and funny, informative and personal look into my world of food and cooking and how it really defines who I am. I hope we'll form some new friendships along the way and that I'll learn about you and the food and cooking in your life. Now back to the pesky day job for a bit and I'll be back to you soon.
  6. Good Morning from Exeter, ON( Pop: 4,400). Exeter is about 30 miles N. Of London. We're also 2.5 hrs from Toronto and Detroit. When Susan( Snowangel) asked me to blog again, I thought about it for a short while. I said Yes, because this foodblog is going to be a lot different than my last two . I blogged last year with eG member Pookie and the year before by myself. ( you can find the links to my other 2 foodblogs under my signature) A lot has changed since I last blogged. I have 3 part-time jobs and they are all in the food industry. My main job is a Sous/Pastry Chef for a caterer in Grand Bend. I work the second job on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. I am the Chef for a Senior Dining program also held in Grand Bend. I work the 3rd job once a week although it didnt start out the way it has ended up. When I moved here from California, I couldnt work until I became a permanent resident. My Spouse Robin is a Director for a social service agency and through her I met Shelley. Shelley runs a program that helps young adults with a developmental disability to make a successful transition from school to a range of community participation/activities/work. She matched me up with Marley. Marley is now 19 and has Down's Syndrome. Last year Marley worked at a day care center and she did not enjoy it. I suggested we cook together and that has been very succesful. We cook dinner together at her house once a week. I wanted to start this blog today, rather than Saturday because this weekend is going to be crazy. I'm working for the caterer on Saturday and Sunday. We're catering a BBQ for 60ppl in London( the big city). My boss won't be attending the job so it will just be myself and a server. I'm really not sure what to expect yet. I believe the menu is chicken, salmon and ribs. I'm not sure what the sides are. Here is how the week will go. Today- I'm very excited. I'm going to a food show( sysco) in Goderich. Robin is joining me because before the show, we're going to West Coast Kitchens. We're going to pick out counters, cabinets, etc and then tomorrow West Coast is coming here to give us an estimate on a kitchen remodel. We're going out for dinner too ( buffet Chinese, please don't get me started). Friday- The kitchen people come!! Sat/ Sun- work Monday- Baking for a catering job on Tuesday morning, Marley in the afternoon. Tuesday- breakfast catering, prep for Wednesday Wednesday- I'm filling in at another dining program. Thurs-Sat - work for caterer. Prepare for 3 weddings!! Here is my breakfast. I went to Port Huron, MI yesterday and brought back my favorite cottage cheese. I had that with some fresh berries and a glass of non-fat milk. I'm not a coffee drinker!!
  7. Good morning! Here are the two teasers hints from Friday: Good guessing, this is Atlantic Canada. Looking left from the above vantage point you see a fairly well known Canadian landmark: This is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove (its also a post office) as it appeared a few months ago. I have to say I am really pleased and excited to be doing an eGullet foodblog. It’s a new experience for me and I’m not so sure how it’s going to unfold – which is a big part of the appeal. The past blogs that I have seen are fascinating to me; to get such a candid look into somebody else’s food routine as it goes down so far away is totally compelling. I am just going to “share as I go” and hopefully reveal something interesting or authentic about my region and food traditions. It certainly seems to have worked in the past for other bloggers.
  8. Hello and welcome to my foodblog! I am back home into the loving,cosy- sometimes suffocating- arms of Malaysia. I only had about 30 hours between actually buying the ticket and leaving The Netherlands (it was a bit of an emergency which is over now) so apologies to Kim Shook and Lindsay Ann for not sending the stroopwaffles (in exchange for Girl Scout Cookies) yet! Short update: Farmboy and I DID go for the relationship visa in the end which I received approval for shortly after (to the jealousy of other foreign spouses who have been waiting for nearly a year). He's coming at the end of June for nearly 2 weeks to meet my family and to get to know Malaysia. It should be fun This was my foodblog's teaser: No, it is NOT a potato! It's a very old-fashioned fruit. That was my first time trying it. This fruit is called buah nanam and I believe it is a relative of the guava family. It's a little sour,slightly bitter (because of the skin which you eat as well) but quite addictive. It is small (about the size of a very large strawberry) and rather flat. I guess it's time for fridge photos. I have a very messy fridge. Freezer Middle compartment Fridge Next: Pictures of breakfast (I woke up late and will have brunch soon) and Ma's Kuih Talam (Malay dessert/snack)
  9. So, amapola guessed my identity, I should have remembered that there are actually Amsterdam residents on this site. Welcome to my foodblog! When snowangel asked me, I hesitated at first. I’ve done 2 blogs and have shown you many of my favorite foods and favorite places in Amsterdam. Will I have anything new to tell and show you? I hope the ‘new adventures’ part of the title is going to provide some entertainment. I’m going to try to eat/buy/cook something competely new and unfamiliar every day, or go someplace I’ve never been. Besides that, here are a few things that are scheduled for this week: Tomorrow we’re having dinner with 4 people, 3 of them I’ve never met, the other one only once. Is that adventurous or what? Can anyone guess who they might be? Thursday is a very special day, because it’s our wedding-anniversary. I’ll be making Dennis a special dinner, with a couple of items that I don’t like, have never cooked, but that he loves. I won’t tell you what they are because he’ll be reading along and it has to be a surprise! Sunday we have some friends coming for dinner, one of my old friends from University and his girlfriend who is pregnant. I still have to find out about her food dislikes and what she will/won’t eat at the moment. Adventures aside, I am very much a creature of habit and that won't change during this blog. I’ll still take you to some places that have featured in previous blogs, and I will eat some things I love and eat often. Like rhubarb... I promised snowangel there’d be rhubarb! I made this compote yesterday and this was breakfast: yoghurt, granola, rhubarb. I adore rhubarb and eat a lot of it while it is in season. Here's what the rhubarb looked like in march, when it first came to the market: and here's what it looked like yesterday: darker, thicker, and coarser in texture and flavor. But still wonderful I love the bright tangyness first thing in the morning. Dennis had a bowl of buttermilk and granola, which is what he has had for breakfast almost every day for the past 14 years, so I won't mention that again this week I'll leave you while I go on a couple of errands. Questions, assignments and suggestions very welcome! To keep you entertained, here are the fridge-shots (I've done 2 blogs but never showed you the fridge )
  10. Good evening! My name is Hiroyuki, I'm 46 years old, and I live in a rural, snowy, rice-producing district in Niigata prefecture, Japan, 210 km to the north of Tokyo. I work at home as a freelance translator. Just an introductory post for now, before I go to bed. It's about 10 o'clock in the evening in Japan. I have a wife (45), a son (11), and a daughter (7). Unfortunately, my wife cannot join in my foodblog for the reason to be described later. I'm not a food lover, I'm just a food eater, and now that I'm in my late 40s (and besides, my children are still small), I'm more concerned about health aspects of food than other aspects. Shortly after she gave birth to her second child (daughter) in 1999, my wife developed some kind of disease, requiring me to help her a lot, especially in cooking. Early this year, her symptoms got worse, and now I am the main cook in the house. When I received a PM from Suzan (snowangel) in early March, asking if I was interested in foodblogging, I was in a very awkward situation. On April 13, my wife was finally hospitalized. Ironically, her hospitalization has made it possible for me to start foodblogging. I still feel uneasy about foodblogging, considering the situation I'm in, and I also feel somewhat guilty, but I hope I can finish my foodblog to the end. Teaser photo: The photo was not meant to be a teaser photo. It's the Komako statue, standing on the premises of Yuzawa Station. Komako is a geisha who appears in Kawabata Yasunari's masterpiece, "Snow Country". I was in need of a teaser photo, and I selected that one because I thought it was representative of the area where I live. Here is a full version of the photo: My foodblog will focus on home-style Japanese cooking because that's what I can talk about Japanese cuisine, and it will also focus on a tour of Snow Country and surrounding areas. As you can tell, English is not my native language, and I'm not very familiar with colloquial expressions because I studied it mainly from books. If you find any errors in my posts, fell free to let me know. Lastly, my sincere thanks to Susan, who did all she could so I could start blogging in time. (I notified her of my intention to start blogging only a few days ago.) My blog officially starts tomorrow. Until then, good night! P.S. Pan: How did you know it was me? Edited to add: Made a correction.
  11. I have to start cooking tomorrow. I haven't cooked dinner since the beginning of the year. I don't even know where my pots are, but somehow I have to find them. Hi, I'm Jennifer, and this is my foodblog. I have been posting about my kitchen remodel here. for the past few months. With all my heart, I wished my remodel would have been complete on Friday, but there are a few details left to handle (like dusting out my cabinets) before I can begin moving back into my kitchen. With luck, I'll be able to actually start putting things away and getting to know my new kitchen this week. I definitely have to start cooking again, as the homecooked frozen dinners I squirreled away last fall finally ran out at the end of last week. My husband and I live in San Francisco. He's a technical writer; I'm a pastry cook/production manager at a French bakery. We're both "near" 40. Join me as I try to settle in to my new kitchen, adjust to the taller counters and expansive storage, fine tune where everything goes, and adapt to having to cook again. I have a new professional-style range. I'm not entirely sure that I won't just burn everything with the intense heat it produces. Right now it's quite late for me. Typically I go to work about 5. As in a.m. Today, being Easter, I went in at 3, which meant getting up at 2:15 a.m. I did get a nap, but a good amount of wine at my brother's Easter fest and plenty of good food means that by now I'm just about wiped. I apologize in advance for the typos I know are lurking in this, but I wanted to introduce myself and get this foodblog rolling. Answers to snowangel's post of my teaser photo tomorrow. At least one of you had one ingredient right. See you tomorrow morning!
  12. "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." -- Hunter S. Thompson Greetings, fellow food freaks! Wow, has it only been nine months since my last food blog? Feels like I've crammed a couple of lifetime's worth of changes into that short span of time. And two of the more noteworthy ones are definitely on-topic for eGullet and this blog: --On the weight management front: when last I blogged, I was 20 weeks into my weight-loss project, with about 47 pounds lost to show for my efforts. I am now 60 weeks in, have lost a total of 114 pounds, and am still going strong. All of that progress, along with corresponding improvements in my mobility and overall general health, has been accomplished the good-old fashioned way: no fad diets, no drugs, no fasting, just basic day-in and day-out healthy cooking and dining, plus whatever physical activity my bod feels up to. I have managed to make this healthy eating thing into a way of life that is pleasant and maintainable even for a foodgeek like me; I will be showing you a little of how I work it in the course of this blog. --And regarding the quote from The Good Doctor with which I started this post: since last I blogged, I've finally done it--I have at last managed to slip over the line from crazed amateur food blogger to paid professional food writer. I am now the editor of and a contributing writer for a brand-new restaurant-recommendation website known as SanDiego.Eats.It. As you will see if you follow that link, we are still in beta test mode, so there are still little bits and pieces needing to be filled in. But already it's looking pretty darned spiffy, if I do say so myself. I've been having a helluva lotta fun with my part of this project--if nothing else, I now have a professional justification for my obsession--erm, I mean hobby, of casing every little hole-in-the-wall eatery I spot on my rambles about town. In fact, the teaser photos for my blog were both taken on restaurant rambles that resulted in write-ups: This is the so-called "Goat" salad (goat cheese, dried cranberries, and candied walnuts on mesclun) served by Influx, a lovely modern little coffeehouse in the Golden Hill neighborhood. And this is the beautiful verandah (it seems inadequate to just call it a deck) of Krakatoa, a rather funkier coffeehouse in that same neighborhood. All of which hints at how I manage to stay on a weight loss regimen even while doing my food-writer beat: I put in for the "healthy/light dining" beat. As the blog progresses, I plan to take you all along as I check out a couple of restaurants I might write up in future. Other dining extravaganzas on my schedule for the week include a dinner at The Linkery, an innovative little restaurant that makes some fabulous sausages and other "handmade cuisine," as well as a Saturday dim sum brunch. Ethnic cookery, especially Asian cuisines, remains one of my passions, so there will be visits to various ethnic markets and a cooking experiment or three. And it wouldn't be one of my blogs if I didn't work a food-and-music connection in there somewhere, now would it? For now, I will leave you with this foretaste of things to come: This was my dinner just prior to coming home and getting this post ready: a big bowl of Nagasaki style champon from Dao Son, a very good (and very spicy--"Dao Son" literally translates to "Hot Chef) Japanese/Vietnamese restaurant in San Diego's North Park neighborhood. Onward and outward ...
  13. Now how do I start this? Funny, for a writer I am suddenly tongued-tied (or should I say writer's/blogger's block?). I have never written a blog before and never had an inclination to start one. When I became a member of the eGullet community, I would spend hours reading about food blogs by Ann, Ah Leung, Mooshmouse, Alinka, Torakris, etc. I would marvel at their writing, drool over the food pics, dream about visiting their country. Then snowangel wrote to me and asked if I wanted to do one. I said "Heck, why not?" So now here is my very own blog. To introduce myself, I'm a Filipina who's married to an American, living in South Korea for the past 4 years now. My husband is an English teacher for one of the many language institutes in this country while I stay at home and reign supreme in the kitchen. We have two sons, Jai who is 12 years old and Billy, 6 years old. We live about an hour and a half away from Seoul in a tiny sleepy town of Janghowon. Janghowon has a population of about 7,000 and is mainly an agricultural town. It is famous for its peaches, rice and chili peppers. We actually have numerous statues of peaches and peppers, I'll post pictures of them later. I have always loved cooking. I grew up in a long line of family cooks. My mother is from Cavite City in the Philippines. Cavite is famous for its fiesta food, namely the seafood & Spanish dishes. As a littler girl, I would remember being handed a sharp knife and asked to cut up veggies and meat on my very own chopping board. I never complained because I would be so intrigued in the marvelous preparation of the different viands and sauces. It was in high school when I finally was given a chance to cook for the family and have never stopped since. Now I am married, with kids. Fortunately I have not only married a wonderful guy but a great cook as well. He has cooked for several restaurants and hotels and it is neat to have someone cook fluffy hotel-scrambled eggs for you for breakfast. My hubby taught me how to cook Fried Chicken (he's a Southern boy, from Henderson, Ky), burritos, Ky BBQ Ribs and a lot of mouth-watering Southern dishes. So now, our boys are growing up with vast taste for both western and asian food. It is my pleasure to show you how our typical meals would be during the week and I will also include several Korean dishes (mostly from the local restaurants here). So sit back, relax and let me share my world with you.
  14. What do an ethnic Chinese, a foodie, and a computer geek have in common? Answer: Absolutely nothing! It just happens to be me! In mathematical terms, using the modern set theory: A = set of all Chinese B = set of all foodies C = set of all computer geeks There exists a subset D where: D = A ∩ B ∩ C And I am a member of set D. Or in Boolean logic: A = Chinese B = foodie C = computer geeks D = A AND B AND C Or expressed in SQL: SELECT Ethnic_group, Hobbie_interest, Profession FROM All_population WHERE Ethnic_group = ‘Chinese’ AND Hobbie_interest = ‘foodie’ AND Profession = ‘computer geeks’ Okay… I have lost half of the audience! That’s great! I can start with my food blog now. Greetings! My name is Wai-Kwong Leung. Or in Chinese convention, which goes in the “surname, given-name” format, my name is Leung Wai-Kwong. In Chinese: Leung (the top character in the picture) is a common surname with no particular meaning. My father named me “Wai Kwong”. Wai (the middle character in the picture) means “Great” (as in achievement) or “Hugh” (as in size). Kwong (the bottom character in the picture) means “Bright”. Leung, though it seems it may not be as common in the USA, is ranked the 11th in the most popular surnames in the Cantonese region. The order that I heard many years ago was (all pronunciations in Cantonese): 1: Chan 2: Lee (or Li) 3: Cheung 4: Wong 5: Ho 6: Au 7: Chow (or Chau) 8: Wu (or Woo) 9: Ma 10: Luk Do some of these surnames look familiar to you? My wife’s family is the Wongs. This surname is quite common in the Toysanese region in Canton. Many of them had immigrated to the USA since the railroad building days. It is quite common, though not required, that the siblings in a family have either the same first given name or second given name. For example, in my family all my brothers share the same second given name “Kwong”. My first brother is Leung Yuk-Kwong. My second brother is Leung Hung-Kwong. Father told us that it is for the sake of identification of our generation – since most people in the same village may have the same surname. When we say we are the “Kwong’s” generation, the villagers will know. They keep the genealogy and naming book in the small village temple. My father was born in a small village near Guongzhou (old name Canton). At the age of 13, he took a train to Hong Kong to look for work – and didn’t look back since - except during years of the Japanese occupation. Both my brothers and sister and I were born and grew up in Hong Kong. I came to San Diego, California for college and later settled down in the US. I like to be addressed as “Ah Leung”. And in Chinese: The word “Ah” is just a common street salutation in Canton. Therefore there are many “Ah Wong”, “Ah Lee”, “Ah Chan” walking down the streets of Hong Kong. In Mandarin, the same street salutation would be “Xiao Leung”, where the word “Xiao” literally means “little”. It is an attempt to be modest (a Chinese’s virtue) having others addressing ourselves as “little”. The food consumed in Hong Kong is primarily Cantonese style. But Hong Kong is actually a melting pot of all cuisines in the nearby vicinities. The primary reason is the influx of immigrants, legal or illegal – well, back in the 40’s and 50’s the Hong-Kong/Mainland border was quite loose. And there was a big wave of immigrants from the mainland seemingly overnight when Mao advocated his “Big Leap Forward” campaign (and later on “The Cultural Revolution”). Many new immigrants brought their home style cooking with them. In Hong Kong, you will find a mix of different cuisines from Chiu Chow, Hakka, Shanghai, Peking, Sichuan, Hunan, etc.. Because of over 150 years of British ruling, Hong Kong also iss influenced greatly by European cultures (primarily British, French and Italy, and to a degree Portuguese because of the proximity to Macau – a Portuguese colony). And in recent decades: USA, India, Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Hamburgers, thanks to McDonald’s, made its way to Hong Kong in the 70’s. And pizza, thanks to Pizza Hut, in the 80’s. Mexican food such as tacos, burritos and carnitas, however, did not receive enthusiastic response for whatever reason. In the late 1980’s, there was something like “Two” Mexican restaurants in the whole district of Tsimshatsui. When the eGullet blog team approached me to write a one-week food blog, I felt flattered and was very excited. The timing couldn’t have been better. The coming week is Chinese New Year. I would like to take this opportunity to mention some of the Chinese customs in celebrating this most important festivity in Chinese culture all around the globe through out this week. More to come later.
  15. Good morning! So, since Irishgirl is such a good food detective (and in possession of a ridiculous memory!), I suppose this post won't come as much of a surprise to all of you. I'm very excited to start my second eG foodblog, and I think we have some fun things in store for the week! For those of you who don't know too much about me, a quick intro. I've lived in Manhattan since graduating from college almost six years ago, and have become more and more obsessed with food over that time. I'm a fairly competent cook (nothing to some of the folks here on eG, let alone the pros), and an avid eater and drinker. I'm also a huge caffeine addict, so you'll be privy to my coffee and Diet Coke consumption (I swear, I could be their spokesperson). Last time I blogged, I was, blessedly, off of work for most of the week. This time around, the situation is reversed - I'm working for most of the blog, but will be off of work next Friday. So you'll get to see a lot of my more mundane culinary world...the coffee machine in the 8th Floor kitchen, the lunch places near my office, the grocery store... However! I also have lots of far more interesting things planned (requests and suggestions are VERY welcome)...here's a tentative agenda: Friday: Dinner at Cafe d'Alsace Saturday: Union Square Greenmarket, Schaller and Weber, dinner at home! Sunday: Laundry, a movie...Dylan's Candy Bar! Monday: Rockefeller Center, not sure about dinner yet... Tuesday: Lunch at The Modern Wednesday: Valentine's Day Thursday: Way up in the air! Friday: Breakfast at Cafe Sabarsky, Dinner at Degustation...lunch in Chinatown? Saturday: Totally open! It's pretty cold here in the city, so I've traded in my typical culinary adventure footwear (Pumas!) for some warmer trappings (Uggs!), the better to maintain my stamina and actually get to all the places promised...so, bundle up and come along for the ride! Off to get some coffee...of course.
  16. There is nothing as comforting on a cold winter night as a big bowl of soup; walking into a home with the aromas wafting through the air and heat radiating from the stove top is most inviting. This is heart and body warming stuff. It helps thaw out your toes and restore your spirit. Now, of course, there are some places in this world where a pot of simmering soup in early February is more welcome than others. Were we sitting on a beach on the coast of a Caribbean Island, we might prefer a frozen beverage more than a bowl of chicken noodle soup. But from the shores of Lake Michigan to the upper reaches of the Mighty Miss to the wind-swept Canadian Prairie - where the snow reaches your waist or higher - there's nothing better. We bloggers are proud Northerners. We are diverse and yet the same. We are cold, but know how to overcome that. Pull out your soup pots and get your bones simmering. Share a week of warm and hearty meals! We're cooking soup this week - and looking forward to cooking with you.
  17. Greetings from Frederick, Maryland, USA! Frederick is a historic town of 50,000 nestled close by the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains (hills, to those of y’all that have “real” mountains). Located about an hour (depending on traffic) from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Frederick features an uneasy mix of historic buildings and high technology, corn fields and shopping malls, housing developments and dairy cows. Yes, we still have cows within city limits. But the housing developments are winning.
  18. Happy New Year, and welcome to my blog! Since I’m blogging at South East Asia Standard Time, or GMT +07:00, I’ll be writing on a bit of a time-delay for those following me in North America and Europe. I’ll try to hang around at odd hours to answer any questions, but please bear with me. Although the Year of the Pig doesn’t technically start until Tet in February, the Pig decorations all over town have been quietly urging me to dedicate this New Year’s blog to pork. So though it’s still the Year of the Dog (and this being Hanoi, I could do a full week featuring food based on our canine friends), I will try to feature as many iterations of piggy goodness as possible. That being said, I couldn’t do a blog from Hanoi without featuring pho, so I shall allow incursions by other meats as well. First, a bit about myself. As you may have guessed by this intro, I’m an unapologetic meat-eater, a full-time ESL teacher, and a food porn voyeur. If you doubt this last bit, the next time you’re lurking in the “Dinner: What Did We Make?” check the bottom for “Users browsing this thread” for my tag. I rarely post, though, since these days I rarely cook. I moved to Vietnam in April of this year. Before that, I lived for almost four years in Incheon, South Korea. I’m originally from Halifax, Canada. I’m planning a slow circumnavigation of the Earth. After Sazji’s blog, Istanbul is on my radar. This week, I hope to show lots of kinds of food – lots of Vietnamese, some French, and I plan to cook Korean at least once. I mostly eat in restaurants or order in these days, as I’ve been working 12 hour days, six days a week since April. As well, you can eat tasty and well-prepared food on the street for often less than a dollar – so I limit my cooking at home to when I want traditional Western food, or one of my Korean favourites. My husband and I decided to move to Vietnam when we visited here on vacation in 2003. It’s hard to say why – I mean, what can I say that Anthony Bourdain or Graham Greene haven’t said better? We decided to come on vacation after a conversation with friends in Seoul that went like this: Nakji: So where did you guys go on vacation last year? Shannon: We went to Cambodia and Vietnam. Cambodia was wonderful. Vietnam was horrible. Everybody there is out to rip you off. You’ll get your bag stolen on the first day. Nakji: How was the food? Shannon: It was better in Vietnam. Decision made. Our first day in Hanoi, we got up at 7 am (being used to working at 6 am in Korea, this was considered a lie-in), went out on the street, and sat down and almost cried. All around us, ladies with baskets full of fresh fruit and freshly baked bread swirled around us, while pork buns wheeled by in glass cases. We resolved then and there to move as soon as we crawled out of student loan debt. Fast Forward three years, and we’re here, and all the sudden, everyone has cell phones. No matter, because the food hasn’t changed. I started off my day with a great cup of coffee made with a Christmas present from a friend: Bodum! Note the Year of the Pig decoration. I must admit, in the morning I haven’t got the patience to use a traditional Vietnamese drip, nor does it yield nearly the volume of coffee I need in the morning. I do use local coffee, however, my favourite being from a local roaster – Paris Mai blend from Café Mai, which I hope to visit later this week. It looks like dark chocolate, and tastes like it, too. After coffee and rallying my husband, we went to one of our favourite cafes for brunch. This place is (curiously, considering it’s Vietnamese-run) New Zealand themed, and serves excellent and cheap food. Like many places in Vietnam, modern restaurant practices like using ready-made mayonnaise or hollandaise are eschewed. Everything is made fresh in the kitchen. We had fresh juice, something as a reformed Canadian, I cannot get over the luxury of having. Fresh-squeezed OJ for me, and mixed fruit for Peter. To eat, Eggs Benedict for him, and a sort of club sandwich for me. Finished with carrot cake, which had a degree of moistness which is hard to find in café cake in Asia. We especially like the atmosphere in the place, and since they have wi-fi, it’s a great place to while away a few hours e-mailing and taking care of sundry internet chores. We ran into a co-worker and his wife there, who related a hilarious tale concerning dog-foot congee. His wife had recently given birth, so her mother sent over some rice porridge with dog feet in it, for strength. My British co-worker was appalled – “What will the dog think?” he told his wife. She didn’t think the family pet had much of a say in the matter, but he declared he sent it back with a stern note to his mother-in-law. When he got up to use the bathroom, I leaned over to her and asked, “So did you eat it later?” “Of course.” she laughed. Right, on that note, I must crawl off to bed. I've been up for almost 24 hours now...when I come back, I'll show you our New Year's Eve feast. Happy New Year to all!
  19. Aloha and e komo mai! Hello, and welcome to a tropical Christmas from suburban Hawaii! I'm delighted to be doing my first "official" eGullet blog this week. To give you some background, I'm originally from NYC but moved to Hawaii 16 years ago. I live in a secluded valley in central Oahu with my husband Michael, our 10-year-old daughter Wendy, my grown stepson Daniel, and our 3-year-old Japanese spitz dog Tuffy. The area where we live is dense with pine and eucalyptus forests and cooler than most of the island. With its clusters of peaked-roof, delicately gray houses, it recalls an alpine village -- and I love it! My blog will record a combination of local traditions and personal eccentricities. We don't practice any religion, but Christmas preparations (and decorations) are pervasive in Hawaii, as are those for Japanese New Year's, and we celebrate both holidays in our own unique way. My daughter is off from school this week. So all bets are off as far as "normal routine" is concerned. We may have a houseful of her friends over -- or not, if everyone else is away. (You ain't seen nothin' till you've survived a sleepover with six giggling 10 year olds! ) The mad rush of cookie-baking and holiday shopping is almost over. Later today we're planning to decorate the gingerbread house (which we didn't get around to doing last week) and tonight we'll have a family dinner, just the four of us (plus the dog, of course). Tomorrow we're hosting Christmas dinner for nine, ranging in age from 10 to 70+. To keep things interesting, we don't have a dining room table! When it's just us, we normally (or maybe that should be abnormally!) eat at our computer desks or sitting in bed. This get-together will be buffet style, served on paper plates, and we'll scrounge up seating as we clean the house. During the week, we're planning to gawk at the Christmas displays downtown; tour the North Shore, where life is even more laid-back and we can sample some local treats; and shop for New Year's foods at a Japanese supermarket. Midweek, we're invited to a friend's home for more holiday festivities. And to cap off the week, in honor of eGullet, on Saturday we'll be throwing a backyard BBQ/luau/pool party. And now for some audience participation: I'd love to hear about your holiday traditions. It's 2 a.m. here now, so I'm going to catch some sleep. Meanwhile, nou ka hale. ("My home is your home" -- and please take your shoes off in the Hawaiian custom before you come inside.) Note: Throughout this blog, I'll mostly be using anglicized spelling, without the accent marks used in politically correct Hawaiian spelling. (Example: Hawaii vs. Hawai`i.) See you in the morning! Suzy
  20. Hi! Welcome to my life for the next week! Hopefully you'll enjoy it. I've got to keep this short, because it's 1 am and I have to work at 9 tomorrow morning. I live in Seattle, Washington, and I've lived here basically my whole life. I'm a sophomore at the University of Washington where I'm studying French and comparative literature. I also write a weekly food column for the UW's paper, which if you're interested, you can find here: www.thedaily.washington.edu (click on "Intermission). In addition to being a student full time, I also work as a cook at Mioposto, a pizza place in Seattle (where I will be at 9 tomorrow morning...) Over the week you'll get to see me in action and get a look at the restaurant, as I spend a fair amount of time there. In addition to that, I spend a good chunk of my time at home cooking as well. I've always been really interested in food. When I was a kid, my favorite shows were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Frugal Gourmet. My foodblog "preview" pictures never ended up getting posted (I don't think anyway) but they were of chopped liver which I made, and chicken's feet at dim sum. These two things are very representative of my food background: I'm Jewish, and although I think I make some pretty mean chopped liver, I don't particularly like Jewish food. The chicken feet on the other hand have nothing to do with my cultural background, but are far more representative of my food interests. Since I was about 15 or 16 I've had a great interest in Asian food, particularly in Japanese cuisine, almost to the point of obsession I don't have any special event that this blog is based around, but I'm out of school for the next three weeks and thus will have a lot of time to do a lot of cooking and eating. I'll post some pictures tomorrow so you can get a better view of my food filled world.
  21. INTRODUCTION-BACKGROUND So I’ve been thinking for weeks now about what kind of things to put in this blog, images of food porn dancing in my head, fantasizing about the nice restaurants this will give me a good excuse to go to, and predicting the looks I’ll get when the waiters watch me photographing everything brought to our table. But I didn’t really think much about the introduction. Now it’s a day before I’m to start and suddenly I have to think about this! My real name is Bob Beer, I’m nominally a Seattleite (14 years) and I’ve been living in Istanbul, Turkey for around 6 years now. The original reason I came here was to study Turkish folk music, as well as learn Turkish well (I work as a translator). And of course, eat and learn to make at least my favorite dishes. I am not nor have I ever been a food professional; I’m just a person who likes good food, and is drawn to what is different. I remember as a kid begging my mother to buy a persimmon in the grocery store — they were terribly expensive — because the idea of a fruit I had never tasted was so alluring. Years later I spent 10 dollars I didn’t have to try durian for the first time. (Fortunately I loved it.) A random note that doesn't fit into the flow - the pictures in the teaser are 1) a view from my garden to the mosque next door, 2) a boy in our local weekly neighborhood market selling snake gourds, and 3) a cup of strong Turkish tea in the typical glass. My mother is a southerner and the daughter of a Greek restaurateur (he was Greek, the restaurant wasn’t but he was a damn good cook in any case) from Marmara Island, about 2 hours west of here by fast ferry. You might imagine that I grew up eating lots of Greek food, but mom was married to a meat-and-potatoes man whose mother was, by all accounts, a horrible cook. Chicken was boiled. Steaks were fried-till-dead, then incarcerated in milk gravy and boiled further. My dad was thus very finicky about food and many a meal was begun with a tentative sniff, and a “....what’s this?” (The groaning buffet table to which we were invited at a Chinese friend’s house was a wonderland for me; to him I think it was more like a chamber of horrors, the little whole octopuses and thousand-year-old egg topping the list of terrifying surprises...) Greek food? “Hrumph! Why do they keep putting cinnamon in the beef?” Lamb? Mom tried feeding it to him once, convinced that he wouldn’t even recognize it. He did. I was a kid who ate pretty much everything except fresh tomatoes; the rule for my brother and I was that we had to try everything. My brother took on more after my dad, I took after my mom. So aside from some really good sweets around Christmas, Greek food happened mostly on those weekends when my dad was out of town, much to my brother’s dismay. To be fair, my first taste of feta cheese made me want to hurl... And we both did like yogurt, which we always had around, because my mom made her own, not a common thing in Iowa in the 60s. We called it "yiaourti," I didn’t even know it had any other name. I remember one of my playmates almost gagging when we fed him some. When I was growing up, my dad was a grad student and mom a housewife, so we ate cheaply and mostly out of cans; more Spam than I care to think about. Mom was a pretty good cook actually but I think tended to see it mostly as a job and not something to get really creative with unless there was company. I don’t think I ever had fresh beans or peas till I was in around 6th grade and my mom planted a big garden. That was a revelation. Various things spurred me to really get interested in food. I had a good friend in 7th grade from Taiwan, and I ate at their house a lot. Living for a summer and then a year in Greece (where I discovered that tomatoes could be edible and nearly everything was made from scratch) was definitely another one. The first cookbook I ever bought was on that trip. For a while there I made bread every week. I grew up in Iowa City, Iowa. When I moved out of the house, I went to Champaign, Ill., and was exposed to a wok for the first time. There was a big Asian food store there, and all these mysterious ingredients! I still can’t cook Chinese worth a damn though. My first trip to Turkey was in 1982, for 2 weeks, and I instantly fell in love with the country, its people and its food. I was living in Greece at the time so it was fascinating to see the different takes on things that were very familiar, as well as things completely new to me. I also was dismayed to find that recipes I found for some of these foods in cookbooks in the west came out tasting very different from the way they tasted in Turkey. Milk is not milk, yogurt is definitely not yogurt, and pepper paste is...more or less nonexistent. Yeah, it's all in the pepper paste! Most of the time, I eat fairly simply. My own cooking habits are strongly influenced by my time in Greece. I suppose if I were writing this blog from Greece, I’d say my cooking habits are heavily influenced by my time in Turkey. It’s a relatively new border, with Greeks and Turks on both sides of it, what the heck! I’m not vegetarian but I don’t eat lots of meat. I cook for myself a lot but don’t usually go all-out unless I have guests. So this blog should offer a good opportunity to make some good food, go to some of my favorite (if not necessarily upscale) restaurants, and take you on a virtual tour of some of the wonderful food markets here. Of course I’ll take suggestions as well: If there’s something you’d like to see (excluding the cuisine served in a Turkish jail), just ask. TURKISH PRONUNCIATION I’ll be using lots of Turkish words, so here is a quick guide to pronunciation for those who are curious. That way I can write a word like “İmam Bayıldı” without constantly having to include hideous transliterations like “ee-MAHM bah-yuhl-DUH” in parentheses. Or you can go to the online Turkish/English dictionary http://www.seslisozluk.com and hear the words pronounced. You have to become a member for that function, but it’s free. You may have to change your encoding for these to display properly. If you are seeing letters like “þ” or “ý,” then you need to choose View > Encoding > Turkish on your browser. Turkish is 99% phonetically written. Maybe 98%. The vowels are: a - father e - bet (Or, if you are the Turkish equivalent of a valley girl, a drawn out, nasal a as in “bad...” If you want to hear a masterful imitation of Turkish valley girl, I can direct you. ) ı - somewhere between butter and wood. Capital: I i - about halfway between bit and beet. Capital: İ o - roll ö - close to the German ö u - tool ü - close to the German ü The consonants are pretty much as you might expect with the exception of: c - jet ç - cheese ğ - lengthens the preceding vowel j - Zsa Zsa ş - shoot
  22. Good morning folks! The teaser photos were of my freezer full of big ice in preparation for shaking cocktails and the door to my building which seems to become more sketchy with graffiti every week. The door belies the spacious top floor, which is perfect for entertaining. Since I don't post as often as many of the previous blogers you probably don't know as much about me. I'm second generation Korean from originally from Los Angeles but I've been residing in New York for past 8 years now. I never considered myself a foodie or even into food while I lived in Los Angeles because almost all the food I ate growing up were traditional Korean meals. Between my parents they both managed to juggle their careers while raising 2 boys and cooking practically everything from scratch. Even the simplest meal of left overs consisted of at least 3 ban-chan (sides), a soup and a protein. Moving to the east coast I was hit with the double blow of moving away from the fresh local produce of Southern California and the horror of institutional dorm food. For the first time I really began to think about not only the quality of what I was eating but also the economics behind it. How could my school charge between $9-$14 for each meal yet provide such sub-standard food when I can get Chinese delivered to my door for under $5? What can I salvage from the salad bar to bring back to the communal kitchen to cook? (cartoon food pyramid my dormmates and I made our freshman year, John Jay was the dining hall) Now I live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan with two roommates. My day job is computer systems administration for a financial services company, which is sometimes too reminiscent of Office Space and Dilbert (hence don-bert). In my spare time I do a lot of cooking and eating out, but for the last year I have been most deeply into the "fine art of mixing drinks". I discovered cocktails through the bars Pegu Club and Milk and Honey. I was instantly hooked. I needed to know why I never had a drink that good before and how I could make them myself. After drinking too many Manhattan variations with eGullet lurker TheManInWhite we decided that to truly learn all the classics and experiment new recipes we needed to spread out the liver damage and invite some victims... I mean friends... over to try some real cocktails. What started out as 3 whiskeys, 2 vermouths, and 3 kinds of bitters has snowballed to over 200 bottles of alcohol and a bi-weekly underground cocktail party at my place. (old photo, the alcohol has since outgrown the cabinet) This week I have a few interesting things happening for your viewing pleasure without straying from my average life: Tuesday: Repeal Day! Going to celebrate the repeal of prohibition in style at Pegu. Wednesday: A trip to NJ in search of the perfect ice cube tray. Friday: Cocktails at my place. Saturday: Bootlegging alcohol up to Boston to throw a cocktail party at a friend's place.
  23. Good Morning!!! And a happy holiday week to ALL!! Sunny bread from Daughter's bakery should start everybody's day. When Susan asked me to do a blog, she suggested Thanksgiving week, and I’m just so flattered and appreciative of the honor. I’ve read each and every one since the first, and some, I’ve returned to time after time, for the sheer beauty of the words, the imagery, the exciting life and dining and cooking of the writers. Some are jeweled with beautiful pictures, of food and travel and markets and dining. Others have a wonderful homey feel, of a family kitchen and the communal dining table, a togetherness that warms as it is shared on the page. We’re mostly home-folks, as well, and the recipes and meals are still South-centric, with pots of greens and beans set to simmer early in the day; pork chops and fried chicken are as often on our table as are pastas and steaks. Cornbread comes crusty from the oven in time to sit beside a big tureen of low-cooked snap beans with a hunk of falling-apart ham and some one-curl-peeled baby pink potatoes, and the favored accompaniment is a cool dish of just-from-the-garden tomatoes, with a few crisp slices of cold sweet onion. Desserts are rich and come from yellowed, hand-scripted recipes, written by my Mammaw, my Mother, an aunt with a “sure hand” for piecrust. And always, we did the dainty things, the canapes and the pate and the terrines. We cooked game as often as market-meat, and in a greater variety of ways. Our family enjoyed all the frills and furbelows of baby vegetables, five minutes from the garden; Cuisinart-whirled pestos and salsas, mixer-whipped mousses and meringues, gently-stirred ganache and skillet-simmered caramel for the flan dish. Perhaps the names were a bit different; salsas were called chili sauce and green tomato relish, chow chow and pepper relish, all with different flavorings and spices in the mix. We did hundreds of wedding receptions, parties, lawn teas, luncheons and dinners over the years, as apt to cater a fishfry as to make three gallons of chicken salad by the Secret Family Recipe and serve it on Mrs. Covington's Limoge. Food has just always been a great part of our life and livelihood, and it just comes naturally to me to actually prepare two gallons of something as easily as two cups. This was prettier after we got the velvety golden apricots ranged all around. They sort of glowed like little round peachy lanterns. And now, we’ve been transplanted for some fifteen years to this Northernmost of Southern states. We love the climate, so different from the one of our raising; we love the city and all the delights it offers in the way of music and bookstores and libraries and entertainment. This week will hold a little bit of travel, a few local landmarks, some markets and bakeries we enjoy, a visit to Daughter’s bakery (with photos taken by her late at night). While we were sleeping: Cakes---carrot and strawberry and chocolate. The Tuxedo one is my favorite, like a Gucci version of Boston Cream Pie. Supporting cast: eclairs, cream puffs, lots of other goodies, including individual slices-for-sale of the cakes. Closer look, if you can stand it: Apple fritters after the flip: Donuts frying: Glazing: Glazed: As much of a sweet tooth as I must confess, the deep-crusted, heavy-grained breads are my favorites. These peasanty, crusty boules are wonderful---I love the look of no-two-alike and their rugged countenances. I also love the slicing, with the lusty crackle of parting crust as the slices fall beneath the knife, and the little sawdusty sprinkle of crumbs left behind. The softer side---croissant-shaped yeast rolls curled into little rosettes, which for some silly reason always remind me of a baby sucking its thumb: Challah: And so goes the life of a baker, as we reap the sweet rewards. We'll have people over to dinner other nights, friends who have their own family plans for this holiday; a get-out-the-propane-tank-and-black-pot fishfry on the patio, courtesy of Son#2, a salute to Daughter's Kitchen Idol as she prepares his Ma Po Tofu and fried rice. Thursday will be our day of celebration and thanks, with the table laden with the exact dishes which have graced our family holidays for at least three generations. Mammaw's coconut cake, Aunt Glynda's cornbread dressing, Maw's canned green beans, with their little fillip of vinegar and sugar in the brine. All the dishes are named for whoever used to serve that particular recipe, and some families still serve Grandma Wilson's Rice Pudding, or Mammaw Thornton's Lemon Icebox Pie, even though those estimable ladies have been gone lo, these many years. It's just a way of keeping our dear ones close for as long as we can, and in the kitchen, precious recipes are saved and kept as closely. The methods and motions of whoever taught you are replicated and repeated, as habit and homage, by a succession of cooks. We'll be cutting oranges for ambrosia, in that knife-peel, down-and-under motion only lately revealed to be a chef's method. Little sharp paring knives have been doing that for at least a century, when there were oranges to be had. And Friday---lovely Friday. We've been invited to spend the day about two hours South of here, where our Georgia Granddaughters will be visiting their other grandparents for the holiday weekend. We'll be taking several dishes for that lunch, and will be passing a lovely winery; if it's not past closing time when we return, we'll stop in and report. Susan said I could post one minute after midnight, and I think I may. I'm still learning all the ins and outs of albums and images and other parts of this posting thing, but I'm trying hard. And a good night, or morning, or whichever time it is wherever all of you are. Sweet sleep or Happy Monday or whatever applies. Moire non, rachel
  24. Good afternoon. I'm Erik Ellestad. I apologize for the late start to this blog. You may know me as the guy who posts a whole lot in "Fine Spirits and Cocktails" and occasionally elsewhere. I'm also one of the Specialists who digests the San Francisco Chronicle Wine section. I've recently started acting as a host in the "Fine Spirits..." and "Food Media and News" forums here at eGullet; but, am relatively new to those duties. My wife and I live in San Francisco, CA in a neighborhood called Bernal Heights. You'll see more of that shortly. The short version of my bio, is, I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. Went to school at UW-Madison. While at school, I started working in restaurants. My first job was at a place called Brat und Brau, where they initially decided to put me on the Cash register. Unfortunately, I did not handle the simultaneous pressure of social interaction and money handling well, (plus I'm fairly certain the manager was using my incompetence to steal from the till,) and they moved me to the early morning setup. Filling salt and pepper shakers, setting up the salad bar, that sort of thing. Doing dishes later in the afternoon after the customers started coming in. After that job, I made the transition to a catering company, where I first started actually cooking and doing prep work. Nothing like doing prep for really large functions to force you to learn how to use a knife. Eventually, I graduated from college, and not being particularly keen on pursuing further studies in my major (BA-English), I continued working full time in restaurants.
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