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  1. OK, Susan wins !! Not only did she precede this blog with a great installment of her own, but she also guessed the identity of this humble blogger, based on Soba's teaser. Good job Susan...have a beer on me Being a first time blogger, I studied the masters who blogged before me. So who am I to give tradition a cold shoulder? From what I gather, we are all supposed to Hail to the temple of caffeine.... And keeping with tradition...a little about your blogger for the week (the foodblog Czars must really be scraping the barrel if they asked me to blog)... I belong to a small (approx 100K worldwide) religion/community called Zoroastrian or Parsi, who's origins date back to 1500 BC. This community originated in Persia and settled in India around 700 AD. Throughout this time, they have maintained their unique culture and cuisine. (The only reason for me mentioning this is to share some of the hard to find recipes from this community....see list of topics below). Having spent my formative years on 3 different continents with very different culinary outlooks put my taste buds through the wringer and frazzled my poor little mind. WARNING: what you may be exposed to in this blog will be from my own twisted perception of "good eats", so proceed at your own risk !! Seriously though, while I enjoyed "good food" for as long as I can remember, my interest in cooking only peeked when I was in college, where I did not have my mom or the private chef who helped her to cook family meals. It was at this point that I decided to get an off-campus apartment and start making my own meals. I soon realized that I could not do much worse than the so-called chef in the college cafeteria, though I did come close a few initial occasions. Soon friends and friends of friends showed up for weekend dinners (that's college weekends, which start on Thursday and end on Monday), many of which we would start cooking around 3am after a few rounds of "social drinks" at the local bars. Anyway, having spent most of my life in big cities, I currently reside in a suburban area, bordered on the East by Philadelphia and Lancaster (Amish country) on the West. Over the next week, I hope to bring you a glimpse of each (city dining as well as Country/Amish dining). I would like to make this blog as interactive as possible and I plan to answer each question, but I do ask for your patience, as I have a busy work week and a sick family member. Speaking of family, there are 3 of us, my wife, myself and our cat Peanut, aka "little miss foodie" (she prefers foie gras and caviar over almost anything else). Wendy, you may have that alias on eGullet, but in this household, it is already taken You may see some posts of what I have for lunch while at work, but for legal reasons, I prefer not to go into details or identify of my employer (remember the Google and American Airline incidents?). All I can say is that it is a large multinational company, for which I get to do a little overseas travel and enjoy the local customs and cusine. This is where I need some audience participation...... I already have a few special events planned (on Wed and Sat evening) and given the limited amount of time we have, I need your help in prioritizing a list of topics you would like me to feature on the blog. Please post or PM me your top 3 choices: * Lunch at an Amish restaurant * Visit to an Amish farm * Tour of Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market * Philly Cheesesteak Kings * Breakfast Bonanza * Special "Parsi dishes" like Dhansak or Sali Gosht or Machi (Fish) nu Sauce * Typical Indian dishes like Tandoori or Goan Curry Rice * Other food topics of your choice (please specify) While it is with some trepidation that I embark on this journey, I hope you are as excited as I am about this blog. Cheers Percy
  2. Good Morning! ...What a way to start a day, and what a day to start a foodblog. Today is very meaningful here at Casa del Burgess in sunny Florida. Though the timing of this blog happened by chance, I am happy to be sharing the day and the coming week with you. It is a date I treasure, perhaps even more than any holiday or my birthday. It is the anniversary of moving to Florida. Four years ago was settlement on the purchase of our Florida home and move-in day. It was the night of our first dinner here. Today is also Russ’s birthday! I’m an avid walker-slash-runner, and even though I don’t enjoy getting up before dark to do so, on some of my days off I take my walk in the morning at the beach to watch the sun rise. When I do, I don’t even drink coffee before I go. I save that for when I come back. Today's walk was short; I was eager to get home, to continue celebrating and start foodblogging. I love the state of Florida as much as I love the world of food. Welcome to this week’s foodblog and the celebrations: a birthday, an anniversary, a wine festival, a picnic, and more...
  3. Hi, wow, been very nervous about this, but now that I'm at the jumping off point it doesnt seem so bad, lol. Welcome back to Scotland, Edinburgh again in fact, although hopefully, a different view of our city and eating. I live with my husband and mum, my sister and her little girl are here for most meals during the week, I also look after her little one after school so I'm usually on lunch duty too. My main enthusiasm is baking, I love making bread, cakes and cookies, however I do not partake as I can only eat a soft/pureed diet. I also make jam, I have an occasional stall at my niece's school market. On the agenda this week, a trip to a pick your own orchard, jams and jellies, haggis, a dry run on making a pumpkin shaped cake and international talk like a pirate day! arr. I have to scoot out but will be back shortly with (hopefully) a laptop cable that will allow me to post some pictures of today's eating!
  4. Brain. Earth to brain. Come iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin brain. Drat. I knew it fell out somewhere back there in August. Or so it must have if I actually volunteered to do an eGullet Foodblog during back-to-school week. Oh well. Chalk it up to temporary Mommy-brain insanity. Mental lapse aside, I suppose I should introduce myself and the rest of the Mouse house. *curtseys demurely* I'm Joie, a real estate marketing executive in my former life and a stay-at-home Mom in my current one. Co-habitating in marital bliss with my husband Ian who indulges my love for all things food-related. Mommy to our four-year-old son Noah whose growing passion for food is almost as big as mine. Owner of Shadow, the largest Norwegian Forest Cat in all of Christendom who adopted us two summers ago. We've been living in a beautiful heritage house in Vancouver, British Columbia for the past couple of years, housesitting for two friends of ours, and are in the throes of renovating a home of our own with plans to move in by month's end. See what I mean about madness? The start of school, home renos... what was I thinking?! Nonetheless, I hope that you'll fasten your seatbelts and join our family as we rush headlong through this first full week of September. Cooking will be far from gourmet this week as Ian, Noah and I readjust to our fall schedule. To placate Soba, I'll try to squeeze in some Filipino food over the course of this blog. And we'll close off the week with some fellow eGulleters at Aurora Bistro's A Taste of British Columbia! dinner. Fire away with any questions you might have about Vancouver, Filipino food, preschooler dining habits or life in general. For the span of this week, my house is your house and I'm more than happy to accommodate. Let's have some fun!
  5. Hi Gang! Most mornings I ride my bike over to Spring Point to get a lungful of sea air and see what's going on in the channel. Spring Point juts into Casco Bay on it's western side, just outside the mouth of the Fore River where the city of Portland sits on a peninsula. Around the bend from the point is Willard Beach, a typical New England seaside neighborhood with a mix of summertime folk and year-round dwellers who make the short commute over the bridge into Portland for work. At the little town square there is a bakery called One Fifty Eight owned and operated by eGullet's KeysToVt where I like to stop in and get a peach muffin or some local cheese, but today I didn't have time. We'll catch her later this week. Welcome to Maine, everyone!
  6. In Northeast Minnesota, what they call the Iron Range, Where men are men and that is that, and some things never change, Where winter stays 9 months a year, there is no spring or fall and it's so cold the mercury cannot be seen at all... -- So begins Garrison Keillor's Ballad of the Finn Who Would Not Take a Sauna. It's a fine read, if you like that sort of thing (I do), and it's even better if you can hear Garrison himself recite it. It's also as good an introduction as I can think of to this corner of my world. As luck and good timing would have it, I'm blogging during that all-too-brief time that is NOT winter, and might be called summer if you were to squint. Summer here is the despair of gardeners. It started this year around July 4, as it frequently does. Tonight is August 17, and the temperature is predicted to dip to 39F. We're on the fast downhill slide from summer into fall, all right. I can't speak for everyone around here, but I'm clinging hard to the last vestiges of summer. It isn't that I don't like the fall - I do - but summer and its produce here are too ephemeral to wish them to hurry away. This blog is to be a bit of a tour for you, to show you around the area and its produce, and to celebrate summer as it starts to slide in earnest. My area of coverage is pretty broad. I live near Duluth, which is at the pointy end of Lake Superior, but I spend a lot of time working up the North Shore of Lake Superior, and somewhat less time inland on the Iron Range. (Do not let my blog title and the poem confuse you: Duluth is not the Iron Range is not the North Shore. From a distance they may look alike, but the residents will no more appreciate being mislabeled than, say, a Scot would appreciate being called English.) If you look at a map of Minnesota and imagine lopping off the northeastern quadrant, going roughly straight north from the end of Lake Superior, you can see why it's called the Arrowhead. The cultures and foods of the areas I visit are different enough that they're all worth exploring, and I'll do that to the best of my ability. I'll add a couple of words about my work and the way I imagine this blog will work, and then post this to get things going. First off: I work two jobs - one full time, one less so. Sometimes I'm near a computer during the day, but I can't count on it, so my main activity is likely to be during the evening, or first thing in the morning. The full-time job is only indirectly related to food. The part-time job is as a flight instructor, and it isn't at all related to food, although there's likely to be an airport lunch sometime this week. However - both jobs involve a lot of teaching and communication! I cannot abide posting or lecturing in a vacuum, so I hope you'll ask lots of questions or post comments. I plan to solicit opinions and suggestions for some cookery I intend to do, too. While I've been typing on this, I've been having an evening snack: Nectarine-plum ice cream based on Ruth Smith's Peach Ice Cream, the original recipe, and Folie a Deux Menage a Trois wine, an inexpensive blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Mmm. Ice cream and red wine are a nice combination, especially at this hour. Welcome to my world!
  7. Our next Foodblogger is akwa, otherwise known as Will Goldfarb, formerly of Cru Restaurant in New York City. Will may not be online until later tonight or possibly midday tomorrow due to internet service being spotty in the Hamptons, but I wanted to get his Foodblog started in the meantime. I'm sure many of you will have questions as to his tenure whilst he was at Cru, not to mention what does a pastry chef eat during the day. We have had pastry chefs blog before in the eGullet Foodblog series, notably Dessert, the Most Important Meal of the Day and Living the Dream, I Guess. This is the first time (and hopefully not the last) that we've had a known chef sign up for the series. You can read about Will's previous work in the following threads: Cru Restaurant NYC -- The New Chocolate Lover's Heaven? Frank Bruni, main restaurant critic at the New York Times, reviews Cru Restaurant here. Soba
  8. Well I must say that it is quite a strange and nervous making experience to be creating a foodblog. However, eventually one must take the plunge... A tiny bit of background information. I am an Australian Anglo-Croat living in Edinburgh, where I work at the University of Edinburgh as a Biologist. I have lived in here for five years and while it may not be the most exciting place on the planet, it has certainly taught me a few things about myself. As a word of warning, I find the restuarants in Edinburgh to be pretty dull, so this blog will mostly be about what I cook myself, good, bad and ugly. So sorry about the lack of tips to Scotland's Festival city. Ah, but for todays routine: Up at 6:30, cup of tea made for the wife and off to the gym. After the gym I have a healthy and nutritious breakfast designed to give me all the bouncy energy that I need to get through the long hours between breakfast and brunch. Actually, this is all lies. What I normally have is a coffee and sometimes a piece of fruit. For the simple reason that I don't have the time for breakfast and I don't feel like eating before 10:30 normally. If ever during this blog you find yourself thinging "I wonder what he had for breakfast?", during the week it will always be a crapy, bitter nasty, cup of coffee like this: It sets me up for the day of crappy, nasty, bitter work
  9. I'm packing up to hit the road for our summer family reunion. My mother, daughter, and younger son will be driving from Atlanta to Dune Allen Beach in south Walton County, Florida -- one of the string of communities between Destin and Panama City along highway C-30A that comprises some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Tomorrow, we will meet up with my older brother and sister-in-law, and a couple of days after that, my younger brother will show up with his three kids. Because I'm in a hurry at the moment (it seems that the last few hours leading up to a vacation are the most stressful), I'll cut to the chase, and we can get more into the area and the setup details later. When I take a trip like this, where I'll be doing a lot of cooking, I like to pack a few things to make prep a little easier. There's the tools: and the bar equipment: a few spices, because what you usually find in rental units is old and limited: Like I said, just a few items. The thing is, the trouble that it is to get this batterie together is repaid in convenience and currency saved at the destination. And anyway, everything but the very biggest stuff gets tucked away in this: I apologize for cutting this off quickly, and not rhapsodizing about where we're going, who we're meeting, and all the great things we're going to eat and drink when we get there, but like I said, I'm in a bit of a hurry. I need to duck out for about nine hours; I'll go on to the point of boredom on all of those subjects when we've arrived and I've gotten back on line. In the meantime, there's some background on the area in Steven Shaw's Daily Gullet piece on Sandor Zombori (whose restaurant, alas, is now closed), and you can catch me picking the brains of our cocktail peeps in the Beverages forum thread, Vacation Bar. Happy reading. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you tonight.
  10. Good morning, all! Summer is a beautiful time of year in Oswego, NY, and I'm thrilled to be able to share a week of it with you. Oswego is in central New York, on the shore of Lake Ontario. (In fact, my house is about a ten-minute walk from the lakeshore. Next time I head out that way, I'll be sure to bring the camera.) We're on a little bump of land very close to where the shoreline turns northward, so we get glorious water views both to the north and to the west. Oswego has about 18,000 residents, and SUNY-Oswego where both my husband and I teach has about 8600 students, mostly from all over New York. We have three supermarkets, an orchard store up the hill a few miles out of town, and a terrific independent bookstore called the river's end that helps me feed my cookbook addiction. Best of all, every Thursday night from June through mid-October, the city closes down a couple of blocks of West 1st Street for a farmer's market. It's actually been about a month since I last went marketing, since we just got back from a conference/vacation trip earlier this week. When we left, there wasn't much interesting at the market: lettuce, radishes, the last of the asparagus, and apples from last year. This evening we should get a much wider selection! This morning started for me with a July ritual: My usual breakfast is a bowl of cereal with milk. The cereal itself varies from day to day, depending on what was on sale that week, what else we have in the house, how much my sweet tooth is rearing its head, and the weather. This time of the year, it's always cold cereal. And this time of year, I always eat it downstairs in the family room, with the TV on to OLN's live feed of the Tour de France. Today's plan is to head onto campus to start getting things in order for the fall semester, since that starts a little more than a month from now. (Yikes! ) My husband's been there for a few hours already. I'll probably go for a swim at noon, and then go back to work for the rest of the afternoon. The market opens at 5:30 this afternoon, and we typically arrive downtown shortly after that. Later, MelissaH
  11. Hello, everyone! By popular demand, I am the blogger this week. Some of you know that I have previously been full of excuses for why I shouldn't blog -- mostly, that I almost never cook anymore. This in spite of the fact that some people who know me well enough to have experienced my cooking would tell you that I have good skills (some would say very good, but I wouldn't want to push it among this extraordinary assemblage of home cooks). If I knew an easy way to find it, I'd link to the place in the Dinner thread where I posted on my improvised Nasi Goreng (Malaysian-style fried rice) that caused my parents to say I hadn't lost any of my cooking skills at all (no pictures to document that, though). I think I'd be rustier if I tried to cook other things. But having established that there will be no cooking in this blog, why should you read it? Well, no-one's forcing you! But seriously, because I will show you why and how it is that I enjoy food every day on a fairly frugal budget without cooking. Part of the reason I don't cook is that I'm a bachelor living by myself and prefer the stimulation of an appreciative audience, but that didn't stop me from cooking my own food almost all the time while I was in undergraduate school at SUNY at Purchase or in graduate school at SUNY at Stony Brook. You see, there were no good alternatives to cooking in those cases. Food on and walking-distance from campus ranged from inedibly horrible to barely acceptable, except for one upscale Italian restaurant across the train tracks in Stony Brook that would have bankrupted me if I had eaten there often. So when I wanted bistecca alla pizzaiolo, I damn well got the steak, the tomatoes, the onions, the garlic, the herbs, and the red wine and cooked it myself. When I wanted breakfast, I fried eggs in extra virgin olive oil, added a bit of sherry, and ate them over toast, or if I had more time, I made eggs scrambled with fried onions, garlic, tomatoes, green herbs, cheese, and pepper in wine sauce. Etc. But now? Since 1996, I've lived in the East Village, smack dab in the middle of the greatest collection of diverse affordable restaurants in the city; most of them deliver, and some of the rest do takeout. Chinatown is about a 20-25-minute walk from here, as well. In store for you all this week if things go according to my typically loose plans (as a musician who likes to play things by ear) are trips to several of my favorite East Village eateries, Chinatown, a visit to my folks' place on the Upper West Side (probably bearing takeout food from the local Grand Sichuan branch) and one day in Flushing, a distant neighborhood in Queens that I've spent a lot of time in. I'm an adjunct professor of music, and one of the places that's taken me is Queensborough Community College, a long freakin' commute from here (1 1/2-2 hours via two trains and a bus -- that's right: like many New Yorkers, I don't drive) through Flushing. I've made virtue of necessity by picking up breakfast/lunch in Flushing to eat on the bus and then having a sit-down dinner there after each long QCC teaching day. Now that I'm on summer vacation and might not be back at QCC in the fall, I welcome the prospect of an ~1-hour trip to Flushing just for fun. In between times, I'll post a few photos of the neighborhood, to give some of you who haven't been here a little bit of the feel of this historic district, home of some wonderful architecture and some strange-looking people. But first, I need to free up some more space on my hard drive and take care of some errands. One word of warning: I am not a morning person, especially since I'm on intersession now. So no "good morning" pictures out the window a la Lucy, but not just for that reason: All you'd see is the building next door. I face away from the street, which gives me more quiet but a boring view out the window. Not that I'm complaining, mind you: The least interesting view from the least interesting building on this block is still in the East Village. Ciao for now.
  12. I know that most bloggers feel a slight sense of apprehension when embarking on a foodblog, that apprehension stemming from comparing one's self to those who've gone before, and I'm certainly no different, especially on the heels of Varmint's fabulous Southern food and his adorable children. Of course, I have to do everyone one better, in that I'd been meaning to title my installment, "My Acquaintance With the Man Behind the Curtain," and yet I didn't even think to check as to whether there were too many characters in that sentence to fit in the allotted spot. But that's just one of the things I love about being me: I never seem to tire of proving to myself, over and over again, that I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. By way of introduction, I suppose I can clarify that I am not, in fact, a man, and the man referred to is figurative, and not literal. Restaurant work is my career of choice, and over the years, I've come to know my way around a kitchen and every other position that can possibly be worked in a dining establishment, so I'd like to think that I know a few things about adding value to food and beverage, and making every bit of the guest's experience worthy of a relatively high price tag. Currently, I work in two restaurants, both of which put a great deal of effort into packaging an experience that will make the guest feel that he or she not only was fed, and fed well, but that everything about that meal from beginning to end was part of a seamless performance. Restaurants as theatre, food as entertainment. And then I have this other little job: That of running my small business, wherein I step off the stage and teach people how to make that restaurant magic happen in their own homes. I'll be preparing for a FoodTutor event this week, and showing some of the shopping and prep necessary for planning the menu, as well as documenting the things that I actually manage to eat. As a restaurant worker, I must admit to having an irregular eating schedule, similar to some of the previous industry bloggers, but I'll be making an effort to have slightly more normal meals this week. You know, the kind that civilized people have, where they put food on actual plates and sit down to eat it, as opposed to just shoving things into one's mouth while standing at the refrigerator. So I'll start with this meal: Sweetbreads and eggs. The sweetbreads were braised late last week while we were toying around with ideas for a tasting menu, so I simply had to dredge them and fry them up to go with a nice soft scramble, and the biscuit is actually just reheated from a small batch I made a few days ago. Ideally, I'd have gotten up hours ago and made a fresh batch of warm, fluffy biscuits like Varmint's, but heck, I worked a double shift yesterday for the July 4th holiday, so this will have to do. Besides, the biscuits were really more of a vehicle for shovelling strawberry jam (also made by me a few days ago) into myself, and these worked nicely. Throughout this blog, I'd like to answer questions about any aspect of restaurant work that piques anyone's curiosity, and I'll be including some pictures from both of the places where I work, hopefully. I can't share certain specific restaurant recipes in some cases, though some will be very easy to duplicate, but I would like to go into exactly as much detail as everyone would like to see. Really. Ask me anything, and I promise I won't bite. Questions like: Why do you work in two restaurants? Isn't that inconvenient? What are sweetbreads? (No doubt another eGulleteer could answer that faster than I could.) Who is Farrow Beacham? (More on him later.) What, exactly, do you teach TheFood to do? Now it's probably time for a little nap. That double shift really whooped me, and I've got a big week ahead of me.
  13. Let me cut to the chase: God is not perfect, as he made me a Yankee. Although my birthstate is New York and I spent the first 17 years raised in Pennsylvania, I have lived all of my adult life in the South. I am a Southerner, and if anyone wants to fight me over that, bring it on. This week, I have decided to take that most adventurous of vacations: I am staying at home with my wife, the lovely, talented, and extremely brilliant Mrs. Dr. Varmint and the four L'il Varmints. I can't promise you that I'll introduce you to any new herb species or a great new pastry technique, but I'll show you what my family is all about, primarily through what we eat. Much of what I'll be cooking will involve my 4 children in the preparation. Hell, I am on vacation, so I might as well avail myself of the free labor. Today was not the greatest day to start a foodblog, as my 9 year old daughter is playing in a soccer tournament. We also had a birthday party today, but as I look back, I'm pleasantly surprised over the amount of food-related information I can convey. Details to follow.
  14. Welcome to Edmonton! I am located just off the downtown of the city, conveniently close to both of my jobs and to the city's one significant natural landmark, the North Saskatchewan river. The river was Edmonton's original raison d'etre; like most of our western capitals it began life as a Hudson Bay Company trading post. In the glory days of the fur trade, it was possible to ship furs by canoe from the modern-day Yukon territory all the way to Montreal with no portage longer than 10km (far enough, with the loads they carried!). Today the river is primarily a tourist attraction, playground, and occasionally the instigator of insurance claims for flooding. I will take you for a quick stroll through a part of the river valley within the next few days, as weather permits (the lengthy drought broke when we moved here two years ago, though I can't take credit for that...). During the appropriate season there are many berries to be gleaned there, and it's always a pleasant walk. Photos will be a bit late in coming. My digital is painfully old and low-end, and essentially only works in perfect lighting. To supplement it I've bought a simple film camera, but that of course involves processing and scanning time. I hope to start posting some pics by Thursday evening (Friday at the latest), so please bear with me. I am not nearly as active on the board as some of the recent bloggers, so I'll provide you with a bit of context. I am a career changer, 41, originally from Halifax Nova Scotia. A couple of years ago, in one of those epiphanal moments, I realized that I'd just drifted into sales when I was young and had coasted ever since. Verging on 40, I thought that...just maybe...it was time I gave some consideration to what I wanted to do when I grew up... The choice was fairly obvious. I've been a dedicated home cook and baker since I was an adolescent; and while I knew going in that the life of a professional cook is a hard one, I reasoned that at the end of the day if you're doing something you love for its own sake you're ahead of the game. So I went to school. I took my first year at the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax (honours) and my second at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (honours). I have been working, since my arrival in Edmonton, at this this respected fine-dining restaurant; upon graduation from school I added a full-time job in this popular market/lunch spot. Last summer, while still fresh out of school, I was inspired to blog a typical work week, for the benefit of the insatiably curious. It seemed that there was a lot of interest in how foodservice jobs work in practice, and I thought it might be of interest to many among the community. And that's where it would have stayed, except that a few weeks ago SobaAddict in his role of Foodblog Czar asked for those who are bakers or pastrychefs to step forward. Since I run the instore bakery at my day job, I thought that perhaps I should volunteer. So, here's Chromedome II...the return of the career changer. A few points to clear up at the beginning: for one thing, this is a serious "pot luck" blog. I have one or two special things I'm hoping to squeeze in, but I don't know yet what shifts I'll be pulling over the weekend. That means real life, folks...on the home front you may see souffles or you may see mac and cheese. I promise you I eat better than Wendy ( ), but her work photos are a LOT more interesting than mine will be. Still and all, this is what it looks like. I cook for my family, and they get what I have the time and energy to make. So...we'll be looking at some shots from one job at least, possibly both; my baking at work and at home; my garden; and to the extent that it's pertinent, a few bits and pieces of the city. My budget (wife, two kids, two student loans, the highest utilities in the country, etc) does not permit of special ingredients or excursions to the city's restaurants, and my kitchen is at the opposite end of the envy-inducement scale from Daddy-A's starship bridge and Jackal's vintage AGA. It's a come-as-you-are foodblog! From the subtitle of this blog (and the tone of the teaser Soba posted on Jackal's blog), you may be wondering just how I'm feeling about my career choice. Well...I'm still enjoying myself, but it's most assuredly not for everyone. I'll elaborate further in the course of this next week, and naturally I'm more than happy to answer anyone's questions about that or any other food-related topic. For now, though, I'm going to bed. Tomorrow morning is sneaking up on me, and it's got a cudgel in its grubby little clutches...
  15. Good morning! Greetings from Cambridge UK. Here is the view from my study window, over the herb garden: The bright yellow you can just see in the distance under the rose arch is oil seed rape in the field next door. Thanks to Soba for dropping me in it - its going to be really hard to follow such a wonderful blog, actually such a wonder run of the recent blogs. I'm not sure what I can tell you or what more there is to say after my previous two blogs http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=33730&hl= and http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=51320&st=0 Nor am I sure about his advance billing of "spend a week in the countryside and get reacquainted with the glories of English cuisine amidst summer's bounty". Where we are is not really proper countryside. We are about 5 miles outside Cambridge on the edge of a village, in the soft south of the country - more suburban than real countryside. My cooking is a mixed metaphor, and rather plain rather than a glory of English or any Cuisine. As for the promise of "Strawberries and clotted cream", Strawberries will certainly feature, but its the wrong side of the country for clotted cream. That is more like Devon or Cornwall. Here we eat Strawberries plain, or with pouring or whipped cream, or as Eton Mess (strawberries, meringue and whipped cream all mushed together). Let me explain where we are in the academic year to give some context to the week. This week the undergraduates are taking exams. Traditionally the weather is hot, but its unusually rather cool today. In Cambridge your degree depends mostly on the final examinations, assuming the other requirements, such as residence have been satisfied. Very few subjects use continuous assessment. There is a nice tradition that examiners can ask any question they feel appropriate, regardless on whether it has been taught or not. It's therefore quite a tense and stressful time for the students, and towards the end of the week I will have piles of exam scripts to mark. Then all hell breaks loose, and May Week begins. May week is, of course, a fortnight in June. It used to be in May, way back when, but then the University term got longer. Many garden and other parties are held, outdoor concerts and play, much Pimms and other summer drinks are drunk, culminating, in two weeks time in the May Balls. These are lavish affairs given by the colleges (some every other year), Black tie, and champagne all night. My college's May Ball menu: http://www.emmamayball.com/menu.php Clare May Ball: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/claremayball/2005/?taste Trinity: http://www.trinityball.co.uk/menu.html Fortunately that will be after the end of this blog, and the weather will traditionally turn cold and wet to dampen their ardour. I used to supply fireworks for the Balls. I can't resist this snap. I apologise for the quality. Its a copy of one that hangs in my study The building is the Wren Library, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, at Trinity: I lit that one. I don't do fireworks for the Balls anymore, as its a young persons game, and the budgets aren't enough anymore to get me out of bed. After the Balls, term is over, and the undergraduates go on their way. Its a bitter-sweet time, as student friendships romances come to an end or are fulfilled, and the students go out into the big wide world, or at least until next academic year. Left behind are the residents, the graduate students and those of us who have to teach them - I'm teaching an MBA elective in Entrepreneurship for the next few weeks. They have brutal 3 hour classes, instead of one hour lectures. Let me mention my book that is the basis for the course "The High Tech Entrepreneurs Handbook", Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-273-65615-5. Its very good. Back to the subject of the blog. On the first Sunday of May Week (called Suicide Sunday), in the evening, Trinty College Choir takes to punts on the river and sings sweet Madrigals (and a little babershop). If it doesn't rain, which it normally doesn't, God being a Trinty man, it a beautiful and romantic occaision. If you are there (8pm) come and say "hi". I help punt the choir with some friends and wine stewards of the some of the colleges (some wine will be taken), and we arrange a serious picnic. In a way this blog is a slow build up to the Madrigal picnic. Your suggestions please for what we should eat. Finger food, cold for a dozen or so people, easily transported and eaten on the river. So far I've planned a surprise loaf filled with smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. Others will supply Asparagus, Anne's famous Brownies (very gooey and slightly coffee flavoured), and of course, strawberries. What else should we have, especially for the protein component? Tea Eggs? Fishy balls? Chicken legs? Ideas please. Now comes the complication. To make the smoked salmon sandwiches I intend to bake the bread (naturally), and smoke the salmon (lox). I've recently discovered how to use my brick oven as a smoker. While I'm smoking I'll make bacon.More about that later. What else should I smoke? This is cold smoking - not above about 90F, so not chicken or the like which is hot smoked. Also this week I hope to potter in the garden, and with luck persuade Daniel Clifford, the chef at Midsummer House (which I started, now Michelin 2*) to share some time. That might not happen, as he is frantically busy this week, so may get tagged on the end. Fat squirrel has just come to vist to see if we have left any bird food out, and I mut prepare for my lecture, and this afternoon's discussion on how the University should treat IPR, currently a hot political topic. Are these pix too big? This will probably be an image intensive blog, and I don't know how good people's abndwidth is out there..
  16. Welcome to the first eGullet Foodblog Tag Team. This is the first of what we hope will be semi-regular recurring threads and a special feature of the eGullet Foodblog. Two Society members will be blogging and will be coordinating menus throughout this week. Out of nine days, they will commit to a set number of matched meals, in this case three. (This number may change in future installments, depending on the participants, their schedules and other factors.) The execution doesn't have to be the same, or even the recipe, but the overall meals have to be essentially similar. Previous installments featuring slkinsey include Of Opera Singers, Food and Ferrets and Thanksgiving Haute Cuisine. He appears in Still Life With Tenor And Ferrets in a supporting role. Marlene, on the other hand, was seen in Driving The Food Bus and most recently in Mrs. Claus And The Canadian Food Sleigh. Marlene and Sam will post later today, but in the meantime, here are a few things to look forward to: Saturday, 28 May: Braised something. Sunday, 29 May: Dinner party along the lines of cocktails followed by a big steak dinner with various accoutrements and bread pudding for dessert. Any cut of steak, but not a roast (although the steak can be roasted). Monday, 30 May: Hot soup featuring garlic. Tuesday, 31 May: Chicken with spring vegetables. This can be, but doesn't have to be, roast chicken -- could be poached, etc. Wednesday, 1 June: Something creative with leftovers or free. There will be steak leftovers, braised leftovers, broth, etc. Thursday, 2 June: Italian restaurant outing. Friday, 3 June: Pasta with meatballs, or variations thereof. Saturday, 4 June: Catered dinner/restaurant outing. Sunday, 5 June: Mystery ingredient dinner (basically a mystery basket tbd by you, the audience. ). Since this is kind of a first for this type of thing, we've started the thread a day early so that everyone can orient themselves and get their bearings. I hope it'll be as fun for you as it will be for our two co-stars. In addition to all of the above, they will also be blogging about their daily eating. Ok, enough from me. Let the cooking and discussion commence! Soba
  17. Good Morning! And welcome to a reprisal of "She who only cooks." Well, not exactly a reprisal. When asked to blog again (boy, was I flattered) I thought it might be fun to take the cooking and eating in a bit of a new direction. Some history: First a little background in addition to what is already here, let me fill in on my foraging history. I suppose I have been foraging since I was a kid. Most of what I remember from childhood involved seafood. My grandfather had a family compound at Oyster Creek where we went on weekends. The kids always had crab lines hanging off the pier. The way we crabbed was to tie a chicken neck or gizzard onto a string, weight it with a big nut, toss it into the water and wait. Pretty soon a crab would come along and try to exit stage left with the bait. The string goes tight and the fun begins. Now, you must carefully pull in the crab so he doesn't smell a rat (or crabber) and drop off. One deft swoop of the dip net and another crab is in the washtub. Ooops, first you have to check that the crab is big enough (from point to point on the shell, at least the length of your spread hand from thumb tip to little finger tip) and that it was a male (from looking at its underside and checking the shape of its flap). Information on our common blue crab is here. The rules were our own on the conservation of the crab. There were no legal requirements or limits at the time but we thought it was the right thing to do. I still think that crab traps are a lousy way to get crabs. Not only are traps boring but they just don't seem right to me. The story of me and the crab is an example of how we related to the bounty of the waters around us. We learned about the critter; its habits and habitats, seasonal comings and goings, and of course how to eat it. My mother, grandmother and great aunt were terrific cooks and knew their way around our seafood. Grandpa had a "big boat" and the guys would use it to go after shrimp and oysters in our bays. They would also have seining parties on the beach front. Grandma and Aunt Minnie were legendary chasers of the redfish or Red Drum. They were even written up in the Houston paper sometime back in the early fifties. I still remember the picture of them in Grandma's skiff, their bonnets in place, Grandma at the helm, headed up the creek to look for the tide line. When I was in junior high and high school, my sister was married to a hunter. He got my dad re-interested in hunting, so we added white tail deer and dove to our diet. Then, my sister got interested in foraging. She had just read her first Euell Gibbons book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, and she has been hooked ever since and hooked me as well. That worked out because, in addition to places to go on the water, someone had a country place inland and we liked to camp and hike in the East Texas woods. We have found some things that were delicious to eat. We have found some things that we decided weren't worth the trouble but we could at least eat it if we were stranded in a survival situation. (Yeah . . . Right!) But the most fun part of our various foraging adventures is learning about the world around us as we go. We consider good eats a bonus. Alas, my kids (in their 30s) are city folk and don't necessarily participate with the same passion that we do. However, my nephew is a passionate hunter and fisherman. He has also decided that the plant kingdom is worthy of consideration so the tradition continues.
  18. Good morning. I'm Randi. I live in Exeter, Ontario, Canada( pop: 4,400). You might be wondering where in the heck Exeter is. I wondered that too when I met my spouse and she told me this is where she lived. Exeter is about 25 miles north of London, Ontario. We're also about 2 ½ hours from Toronto. I moved here in December 2002 right after I graduated from law school. I left Long Beach, CA to live here because I married my female partner, Robin. If you're not aware, Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada and we were the first same-sex couple in this county to tie the knot. Here we are, I'm on the left. To say that I've experienced culture shock would be quite an understatement. I'm very much a big city girl, having grown up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and then Southern California. I took for granted the ability to eat out at 9pm, to run up and meet friends for coffee at one of the plethora of coffee shops in Long Beach , or to find any ingredients I needed without any trouble. My life has changed dramatically, and this week I'll introduce you to rural country life. Robin( username: Bennett) will be making frequent guest appearances here as well. When I moved here, I brought my two “ boys” with me. Oliver is 6 and Harley is 5. Oliver is a black and tan smooth standard dachshund and Harley is a wirehair dachshund. They would eat themselves to death if given the opportunity. Like a lot of semi-obsessed pet mothers, I often cook for them. They wont touch their bowls of kibble until I put a little bit of people food on top. Often its some of what we had the night before, but other times I'll boil them some chicken or vegetables. and here are the boys, Harley and Oliver. Now, a little culinary background: I graduated from college when I was 32, I took 2 years off and then went to law school. Due to a bunch of weird regulations here, I doubt I'll ever practice law in Canada. My next option would be a cross-border commute, but that would entail us moving closer to the border( we're 62miles away now) and Robin finding another job. That might happen one day, but for now I'm looking into finding some type of work in the food business. I attended the culinary program at UCLA Extension in my early 20's. I enjoyed it immensely, however I didn't complete the program because I couldn't afford the tuition. I put myself thru college working as a private chef for families. Luckily, I never had a problem finding a job. I did the grocery shopping, planned the menu for the week and cooked each night. It was the perfect job for me at the time. However, all that changed for me when I started law school, I basically stopped cooking. I had no time and a teeny little kitchen so I lived on El Pollo Loco and sandwiches. When I moved here, necessity forced me to become a much better cook that I ever was before. I had plenty of time to read cookbooks and source out ingredients and experiment. We occasionally eat out in London, but honestly, when we do, its not because I think I'll find some extraordinary place to eat, rather its that I just don't feel like cooking. So on to the week: We were in Ft. Lauderdale last week and we ate out a lot. Robin and I are both really sick of restaurant food. We ate out some great meals last week, but I think my favorite meal was one that I cooked with Robin and my best friend. I'll talk about that meal and post some pictures. I'll be cooking dinner at home this week. I also plan on baking some dog biscuits. I brought back a jar of something that you'll see soon. I have no idea what to do with it, so hopefully, someone can help. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you want. You can also PM me regarding anything that doesn't pertain to food. I'm an open book. And now, I'm off to the gym. I dont eat breakfast before I work out. Be back later.
  19. …to Louisville, KY, USA: Home to premium bourbon, beautiful horses and fast women, as they say. Every year in this city, thousands of banners like the one above begin appearing in mid-April draped over anything that’s stationary. If you work in the food industry, that’s your cue to roll up your sleeves, order tons of extra product, and break out your “F.A.B.O.D.” t-shirt to surreptitiously wear under your chef’s jacket. (In case you didn’t guess, that stands for “F*#@ A Bunch Of Derby” – lots of cooks and servers in town own similar shirts.) In typical Derby Week fashion, I’m gearing up here for several 14-to-16-hour days in a row this week. I’m also in the middle of moving house from one part of town to another. And as if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I offered - in a bourbon-induced moment of temporary insanity, to be sure – to be eGullet’s foodblogger for Derby Week. So saddle up and ride along with me, your intrepid culinary Girl Friday, as I juggle my many hats at two different jobs (more on that later) in the race to feed the throngs of locals and tourists alike during the run-up to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” - The Kentucky Derby!
  20. Hi all - After many months of procastinating, I am your humble blogger this week. I signed on to eGullet about 2 years ago and remember being terrified to post -- everyone knew so much about food and I wondered what I could contribute. That feeling is even stronger today -- the food blogs so far have been outstanding. I feel like the kid who goes on after Sammy Sosa! I was very inspired by Lucy's blog and finally decided to do it. So here I am today -- the week will be quiet for the most and thankfully so. I will be making shrimp, chicken and much more. I am sure all the recipes and creations will not be Indian so this is NOT the "Real Indian" blog that Soba kept referring to in the last blog! So good morning, welcome on board and in a few minutes I will show you where I live and what I see when I wake up each morning!
  21. Good Morning everybody. It's just before 6 am here and I thought I'd start this off before I get ready for work. As I’m still relatively new around here, let me start off with a little intro. My name is Pam and I’m single and living in Winnipeg, Canada. When I was young my parents started a catering company called Desserts Plus. I grew up in the business – as most children of small business owners do. Our building was close to my school – so I would often walk over after classes and peel potatoes or wash dishes or do whatever else needed doing. I went off to university in the big-ole US of A. Got my degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management and returned home. After a BRIEF stint with a large-chain restaurant, I thought “this sucks” and quit to go back to the family business. Over the years the business has been different things. It started with the baking of high-end tortes … then it became a full-line kosher catering company… occasionally we’ve had a restaurant and run the food services in other locations (one summer at a golf course, one year at the Asper Jewish Community Campus and one school year at St. Boniface Collage – a French language University in Winnipeg). The largest part of our company now is actually retail sales. We bring in kosher products from other cities and wholesale/retail them. Somewhere along the way, I discovered the thing I enjoyed the most was creating new recipes. After a good time procrastinating, I put knife to cutting board and pen to paper and wrote my first cookbook. Since it was published, I’ve started writing a bi-weekly food/recipe column for the local Jewish newspaper (Jewish Post and News) and have been working on getting things into other publications (which finally happened last week/this week with some of my stuff appearing in a paper in LA, Vancouver and the Jerusalem Post). Yay! A typical week for me usually has me testing recipes. I luck out and often only have to try something a couple of times. There have been other occasions when I’ve had to try something at least 15 times before it worked the way I wanted it to. This is not a typical week. This week my mother, father, one other staff person and I will be preparing food for about 150 families. We’ll be feeding more than 1000 people over two days. The kicker is that EVERYTHING has to be prepared for pickup this Friday afternoon. So, I’m going to show you what I eat this week (don’t be expecting too much) and I’m going to show you what it’s like to prepare this food. I’ll go into what “kosher” is – and I will explain what I can along the way. I’m not sure how detailed this should be. I don’t want to bore you! If I’m going on too much, somebody nudge me and let me know. If I’m not explaining enough for you, PLEASE PLEASE ask. I’m happy to answer what I can. I know that there are some very knowledgeable people on eGullet who I would be happy to have helping out answering any questions. This blog is starting in one of the busiest weeks of the year for us… so I will try to post whenever I force myself to take a break. Towards the end of my week I’ll actually be enjoying a couple of days off – so if I miss anything I promise to try to catch up then. **Disclaimer #1 - I am not at all orthodox (religious). I’m hoping to get some photos at my family Seders this week and will be posting on the Sabbath. ** Whew! Let’s get started.
  22. If I wasn't a chef I'd definitely be into cooking. Well I used to be into cooking......and I'm actually not a bad cook but it just doesn't fit into my life style anymore. I suppose that sounds weird so I better explain myself. I spend all day everyday preparing food for other people that when it comes to thinking about what I'm going to eat and preparing my meals, I'm totally spent. So I've fallen into the habit of eating whatever requires the least effort to aquire. So I'm guessing most of you would think, "o.k. so she eats alot of easy meals, like sliced fruits and vegetables, quality cheeses and breads, simple pasta dishes etc...." but you would be wrong! That type of eating requires effort, typically more effort then I attempt on working days. I'm a Pastry Chef and well what's effortless around me to eat, is: pastries. I feel like I need to post this. Warning: I apologize to all of you in advance, because this blog will probably scare you. The following eating has been done by a professional and shouldn't be attempted by non-professionals. I'm not writing that as a cute ploy (cause it's not cute, it seems pretty stupid right now) but it's true. I have a feeling I might been seen as the poster person for horrible eating habits. My eating habits are extreme and so I'm highly embarrassed to expose this to you all. But my love for all things pastry and desire to share override my embarrassment. My days off of work are Sunday and Monday. That's when I do eat more normal/healthy meals. Although, I've been panicking and thinking I better actually prepare "meals" during this week......so I won't be embarrassed.........well, we'll see.... that depends upon what's happening at work and how much time I have after work. I do sort of start my day off like everyone else, so I'll start my blog off like others too. Bear witness to this, my daily breakfast: Technically the container it comes from says it's "Gourmet Cappuccino, French Vanilla".........but I don't know of any real cappuccino drinkers that would let this mixture pass thru their lips. O.k. soooooo it's sort of like a hot chocolate/coffee mix and nothing like a real cappuccino. I used to drink real coffee, but my system can't take it anymore and it definitely can not be consumed by me when my stomach is empty. I tried to very hard to switch to becoming a tea drinker, but it just didn't take. I never prepare breakfast at home. If I'm starving I might grab a couple cookies or whatever is fully prepared laying around and instantly ready to eat. When my husband is home we do always eat breakfast, he can't live with-out it (that means he gets really cranky with-out it). But then it's rarely prepared in our kitchen but sometimes he likes to cook. We normally go out for breakfast every weekend. This weekend we were busy gardening so we ate what was available 'instantly' at home.......because I actually had something at home to eat. Here's what our breakfast this past Sunday consisted of: (I hope it's o.k. to talk about past meals too?) I took the photo of the rolls that were left and then I proceeded to finish them off while typing. I had made too many of these at work for a brunch party we had. They didn't all fit on the serving platter so I snook the extras home for my hubby. He really likes these! As we ate, he talked about how we should open a store selling only pecan sticky buns, blah, blah, blah. Of course he's thought up the easy to imagine name of the company and what our sales literature would look like. "Let's call it, Sticky Bunns and have a photo of two buns looking like a "back" shot." That's cleaver..........I teased him. Knowing full well we'd never actually start another business.....but we had a little chuckle over the whole concept. I have to leave for work and I'm not certain when I will return online. So I'm going to pack in as much info. as possible so you can barely get thru these opening posts before I return. This is me, exactly like how I work, when I'm at work (I'm preparing these posts in advance, on Monday and I've got my photos all loaded and ready to go in advance). I hate getting caught short so I ALWAYS work as much in advance as humanly possible..........and I always seem to go over board!! I'm shaking my legs as I type unconsciously (until now)......that's me too, always got to be in motion, ready, ready, ready. Wait, I suppose I should get this out of the way. I wouldn't want to break tradition and not post a animal member of my family right off the bat (I think thats the 'hook' to these blogs. We're are more then mear foodies, we are also a bunch of animal lovers.). It's very rare that I sit at the computer by myself. Just like everyone else I too have a cat that is certain he must accompany me at all times when I'm on the computer. That's his job and he does it to excess just like me...well he is just like me, too much. He's certain I'm his sole mate (cause he treats me like another cat not a human) and he's always at my side when I'm home. When I sleep he checks me all night to make sure I'm still alive (he drives me crazy! and sometimes he bites me). This is Hawkeye: He isn't a cute cat, his legs are far too short for his long body with his front two legs being shorter then his back two. Nor is he sweet, we often refer to him as "the devil cat" and our other cats definitely agree. He was the last kitten of his litter sold at the animal shelter....well the last kitten from all of their adoptive cat litters. We're certain there was a reason for that (but, I love him dearly anyway). I believe what our whole family eats is fair game for blogs so I thought I'd mention Hawkie only eats to survive. Sometimes when he's laying in front of me at my computer I hear his stomach growling. He forgets there is always food out to eat or he just hasn't linked the feeling of an empty stomach can be solved by eating. I have two other cats who live to eat and if I can't think of anything else to write about I'll drag them into this blog too. Hum.........what else. Oh I remember, I was going to show you where I work, the kitchen, my ingredients etc... in my intro. to welcome you into my work life. I took photos already (just to be prepared) so I'll post a whole bunch of them so you can get the lay out. If things go slow at work I'd be happy to make anything pastry wise anyone wants to watch me eat. Most of my eating takes place at work, heck I eat all day long at work so I believe that makes most of my work fair topic to post about according to the blogging rules. I was sort of hoping to focus on my work as a pastry chef throughout this blog. I'm open for requests. Any requests, like: do you want to see my actual work/pastries (which I do eat, all day everyday) and what items: petite fours, breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes, wedding cakes, novelty cakes sweet tables, candys, anything about the savory side at my work (I eat their food too), photos of what I've made previously (I certainly tasted all of that), photos of what my day consists of as a pc (I eat constantly thru that), requests for recipes or techniques I can show (before I eat it)????? ...............Oh, maybe I should mention that I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from Chicago in the Northwest suburbs. I could take you on a tour eating my way across Chicago-land bakeries on my day off, if that interests anyone (besides me)? Wait, while I was typing the other two cats desided they needed to be included. I promise no more photos of pets........maybe a cutie kid photo thrown in later....... if you all begin to fall asleep.
  23. Now you are probably wondering about the title.... My past two blogs covered big events here in Japan New Year's blog Undokai (sports day festivities) blog Currently there is no major event going on in Japan so I have decided to focus this blog on modern and traditional Japan and how they are combined in daily life. There are a couple things going on this week. Today (April 5) is the first day of school, the Japanese school year runs April- March) so in about 15 minutes I will go outside with my daughters to send them off to school. (yeah ) Mia is going into the 4th grade and Julia the 2nd. My son Hide will go back to preschool on Thursday. This time of year is one of the most beautiful in Japan, it is cherry blossom (sakura) season and the trees will all be in bloom by the time my blog is over. I will take tons of pictures of these trees as the area I live in has them lining all of the streets. it is just gorgeous. oh yeah and we will talk about food too!
  24. I'm Tammy. This is Liam: Some of you may remember my foodblog from October of 2003, when I was pregnant with Liam and eating every 2 hours to stave off morning sickness. Well, the little guy's not only been born (April 26, 2004), but is eating food of his own now, so it seemed like it would be a good time to blog again. I know my teaser said "babyfood blog" but that will just be a small part of the week's activity. I will be blogging his meals as well as my own, but I'm taking advantage of my week of foodblogging to do some other fun stuff too. I don't do much cooking these days because I live in a cohousing community where we eat meals with our neighbors several nights a week. (I'll be posting more about that in just a little bit.) But I do make most of Liam's baby food myself, since it's cheaper and better tasting than the jarred stuff and I try to cook organic for him as much as possible. I'll share a recipe for baby food that - mixed with a little salt and lots of lemon juice - would make a lovely dip for pita chips. :-) Later in the week I'll be attending a cheese tasting at Zingerman's, a pretty famous deli/specialty foods store here in Ann Arbor, MI. And we'll seek answers to my weekly challenge of finding a restaurant that can accomodate 8 to 10 adults and an equal number of babies, most of whom need high chairs. Liam started his day off with his favorite beverage - mama's milk, straight from the tap. I work 3 days a week and on those days (Monday-Wednesday) it can be a challenge to get out the door and to daycare and work on time. So Liam goes in his high chair and I give him some finger foods to snack on while I get his bottles and lunch food ready. We're pretty much creatures of habit at breakfast time, so today's breakfast was mostly the same as yesterday's - half a banana, half a piece of wheat toast, and 2 ounces of plain organic whole milk yogurt. He starts with the banana and toast, and then when I sit down to eat my breakfast I feed him the yogurt - he's not so good with spoons yet! But he ate really quickly today and I needed time to finish this post, so added a special bonus to his breakfast - Cheerios! (Well, Purely O's, the organic equivalent). Breakfast for me today is a bowl of frosted mini wheats with skim milk, which I'm eating while I'm posting this. Now it's off to work - I'll be back in a little while, looking for your advice on what I should cook for 30 or 40 of my neighbors on Sunday night.
  25. About a year ago I blindly hurled myself through a week of food blog for the first time. It was a pretty intense experience, opening home and heart to my eGullet friends about one of the most important subjects of my life. But once the week got going, I fell into the rhythm and things generally took care of themselves. It was a little bit like having a guest. At any given point in your life, depending on where you are and what you do, you have special friends who come often. These are friends who know a whole lot about you and accept you even if you’re far from perfect. They know where the sheets are and have their favorite pillow case which you always save just for them. These are the friends I sometimes pamper but sometimes can’t. They bring their own tisane of the hour, they have their own teapot in the cupboard, they fall into the rhythm of the household seamlessly and without fanfare. Sometimes this kind guest alerts me of arrival a day in advance, sometimes a week. There’s no worry that this guest will have a good time. I don’t have to shop and menu plan because I know they’ll have their ideas about what they want to do and eat, and they’ll probably even shop for food or even bring the contents of their own fridges and jugs of things and samples of this and that to add to my larder. They've had my best and also been subject to a few failed experiments, and they're generally ok with whatever's coming out of the kitchen, even if it's plain and simple food. We’ll share stories and wine and food as we while away the evenings talking and cooking. Thank you so much for coming to see me! I'm so glad you're here!
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