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Found 273 results

  1. We love Japan ! I don’t know why it hasn’t been on my travel radar until recently. The people, the places, the culture and history, and especially the FOOD. There will be no Michelin stars in this report, nor will there be names of restaurants. We ate mainly at isakaya, (local restaurants where there were often only four or five seats), markets (including supermarkets) with a few larger restaurants for balance. There is food available anywhere and anytime if you know where to look. Rather than large meals we tended to snack our way through the day. Some of the best things we ate at “standing bars” no chairs provided. Karaage chicken with salad and miso was first up. The window displays are amazing, you can walk many city blocks underground through various shopping malls, handy when it rained our first day. At a local place. Chicken teriyaki, grilled peppers, potato salad, pickles. Charcoal hibachi. Grew to love sake.
  2. About the eG Foodblogs The eG Foodblogs began in 2003 and are a popular feature in the eG Forums. These are discussion topics in which an eG Society member engages the rest of the membership in discussion of all the food and drink they consume, usually for a period of one week. Society members who become eG Foodbloggers write about all the food that they plan, purchase, cook and eat, accompanied by photos. They discuss their food background, family food preferences, eating habits old and new, shopping, gardens, beverages consumed, and more, responding to questions and comments from other members throughout the week. Sometimes there is a specific culinary theme to an eG Foodblog, and other times the discussion is simply about a typical week of meals for that member. Although most eG Foodbloggers do love to cook and/or bake, not all love fixing their meals. All do love to eat. A significant number of eG Foodblogs focus mostly on routine dining out, or the eats enjoyed during travel. Starting this month (October, 2010) a new season of eG Foodblogs will begin. If you are interested in becoming an eG Foodblogger (or would like to nominate someone else!) please send an e-mail to eGFoodblogs@egullet.org. Please keep in mind that all normal forum rules apply within the eG Foodblogs. Finally, the Society is searching for a volunteer to assist the forums team in coordinating the eG Foodblogs program: if you are interested in the position please contact eG Foodblog co-ordinator and host Heidi Husnak aka "heidih" (hhusnak@eGstaff.org) to discuss what the position entails.
  3. Hello, oh wonderful eGulleteers! I know I've been away a while, but at least I'm coming back in style. Not a whole lot has changed here in Ecuador - it's still definitely paradise, and the big Market still runs on Sundays and Mondays. I'll be off towards that shortly, to shop for the week and also to search out some of the food I want to feature in this blog - namely, the quick breads and munchies on the go that Latin America is justifiably famous for! So what am I waiting for? It's time to EAT!
  4. We’ve just returned from a fun filled 16 days on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. The food was fantastic, the people friendly, the markets chaotic, the temples serene, the mountains breathtaking, the wildlife plentiful and the weather ? Well, you can’t have everything, it was mostly hot, and at times very wet. Why Sri Lanka ? We loved time spent earlier this year in southern India, especially the food. Sri Lanka lies just off the southern tip of India and has been influenced over time by various invading Indian dynasties. Often referred to as the spice Island, it’s been an important trading post for centuries. Other countries have also played their part in shaping Sri Lankan cuisine. The Portuguese arrived in the early part of the 16th century, the Dutch gained control in the 17th century, the British had control by 1815, and independence was proclaimed in 1948. Throughout these years, Chinese traders also contributed to the evolution of Sri Lanka. So, what’s the food like ? Delicious ! Our first night was spent at a homestay in the coastal city of Negombo. All day the rain bucketed down. It was difficult to go anywhere else, so we asked our hosts to provide dinner. Good move ! The rain let up long enough for a quick quick visit to the fish market, the first of several we’d see. Our hostess made 10 different dishes including a mango curry where I watched her pluck the fruit from the tree in the front yard. There was sour fish curry, chicken curry, dal, several veggie curries, chutney, two rice and roti bread. The meal cost 900 rupees pp, or about $6. Gosh it was good. Lousy photo, some better ones to come.
  5. Prologue: Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region … But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
  6. I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine.
  7. Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
  8. OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe.... After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me! This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia. Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food. Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship. Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later. Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them. Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary. When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese! As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!? Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree. Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany. As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does. While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed. We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later. So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali... Beef noodle soup: The interior: This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender. Good bite to the thick chewy noodles. Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):
  9. Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013. At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak. Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it. In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi. That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it. I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going. So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations. Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary. Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!) When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops... Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor: On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers. I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood. I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice. This is what a lot of local food places look like:
  10. Greetings eGulleteers, I'm Smokeydoke and I'll be your tourguide for the next seven days on a culinary journey through Las Vegas. First a little about me, I'm a foodie first and foremost, but my real name is Kathy and to pay the bills, I work as an Engineer. My husband works at UNLV. In the past I've worked as a manager for a pizzeria and worked at a bakery. We live in the Southwest community of Las Vegas, more commonly referred to as Mountains Edge. Here is the obligatory shot of our kitchen. Sorry for the bad photos, I made a video but just realized I can't upload videos in eGullet, so I quickly converted them to jpegs. Here's my pantry#1, with my (in)famous shelf of twelve different types of flours. Below that are my oils, vinegars and sauces. And of course, pounds of TJ Belgium chocolates.
  11. “… and so it begins!” Welcome to “Tales from the Fragrant Harbour”! In the next couple of days I am hoping to take you to a little excursion to Hong Kong to explore the local food and food culture as well as maybe a little bit more about my personal culinary background. I hope I can give you a good impression of what life is like on this side of the globe and am looking very forward to answering questions, engaging in spirited discussions and just can share a bit of my everyday life with you. Before starting with the regular revealing shots of my fridge’s content and some more information on myself, I’d like to start this blog and a slightly different place. For today's night, I ‘d like to report back from Chiba city, close to Tokyo, Japan. It’s my last day of a three day business trip and it’s a special day here in Japan: “Doyou no ushi no hi”. The “midsummer day of the ox”, which is actually one of the earlier (successful) attempts of a clever marketing stunt. As sales of the traditional winter dish “Unagi” (grilled eel with sweet soy sauce) plummeted in summer, a clever merchant took advantage of the folk tale that food items starting with the letter “U” (like ume = sour plum and uri = gourd) dispel the summer heat, so he introduced “Unagi” as a new dish best enjoyed on this day. It was successful, and even in the supermarkets the sell Unagi-Don and related foods. Of course, I could not resist to take advantage and requested tonight dinner featuring eel. Thnaks to our kind production plant colleagues, I had what I was craving … (of course the rest of the food was not half as bad) Todays suggestion: Unagi (grilled eel) and the fitting Sake ! For starters: Seeweed (upper left), raw baby mackerel with ginger (upper right) and sea snails. I did not care for the algae, but the little fishes were very tasty. Sahimi: Sea bream, Tuna and clam ... Tempura: Shrimp, Okra, Cod and Mioga (young pickled ginger sprouts). Shioyaki Ayu: salt-grilled river fish. I like this one a lot. I particularly enjoy the fixed shape mimicking the swimming motion. The best was the tail fin Wagyu: "nuff said ... Gourd. With a kind of jellied Oden stock. Nice ! Unagi with Sansho (mountain pepper) So, so good. Rich and fat and sweet and smoky. I could eat a looooot of that ... Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed. Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ... More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ... Miso soup with clams ... Tiramisu. Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual! On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity … When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.
  12. OK.... here we go again!!! While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now. As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
  13. 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!
  14. Much like cookbooks, what the world needs now is many fewer restaurant critics. Over the next week, it’s my goal to ensure that you talk me out of my job, while I, meanwhile, try to talk you into it. So to speak. In other words, I want you to ask me lots of questions. My life doesn’t hang in the balance of my next review, something that I’ve been doing professionally for the past 15 years. But from writing about restaurants I’ve also come to know the food service business quite well, I suppose. And behind the swinging doors lie much bigger stories, especially of the collaboration of chef, farmer and fisherman; distribution; cross-cultural influences (Vancouver, where the culinary DNA is still knitting itself together, is a fine laboratory to observe that in); the collusion of wine with food; and more recently, the necessity of sustainability, especially as it relates to the global fishery. This week I’m going to eat my last Russian caviar. Ever. No, restaurant reviewing would be much less interesting if I couldn’t write about these bigger stories. So I hope that I can transmit to you how the research works, how the writing gets done, and ultimately, lend a sense as to how culinary cultures--born from diversity--emerge with a sense of their new locality. We’ll be covering a considerable amount of real estate across this big, raw-boned place: • We’ll begin today In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley Wine Country and for the next two days and nights look in on some agricultural history (in an attempt to track the area's culinary evolution) and wineries, cook with chef Michael Allemeier of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (braised boar cheeks will be featured at a Friday night dinner party with some wine folks) and a revisit to a restaurant to demonstrate our review process and methodology. • On Saturday I’ll return to our home in Vancouver—where we have some friends joining us for a little seasonal cheer, ‘Seven Hour Sacrificial Lamb’ and ‘Cheesier-Than-Mariah Carey Scalloped Potatoes.’ • On Sunday morning we’ll be flying to the wild outside coast of Vancouver Island to the ecotourism town of Tofino, which is about an hour’s flight in a twin engine aircraft. Once there we’ll be looking in at coastal cuisine from the pans of chef Andrew Springett at The Wickaninnish Inn and, in a more casual vein, at the construction of excellent fish tacos at Sobo. • On Monday we’ll be returning to Vancouver to go behind the scenes at pastry chef Thomas Haas’s (he was the opening executive pastry chef at Daniel in Manhattan) lovely production facility, and observe John van der Liek at the Oyama Sausage Factory, which carefully produces more than 150 products. We'll aslo track the history of a new restaurant, from development menu to opening night and review. • Through the balance of the week we’ll look inside many more professional kitchens and markets, hopes and dreams. I’m sure we’ll find a few other things to do too. Once again, I very much encourage your questions. Last night, the Ice Wine harvest was supposed to start. In order to trigger that, Vintners' Quality Alliance reguations demand the temperature must stay at or below -8 degrees Centigrade through the entire pick, which can take a while. Anything else is just Late Harvest fruit. Alas, there was a slight inversion off the lake yesterday afternoon and it was called off. So we stoked the fire and rolled back into bed. But now I’m off to pick up some croissants down the hill at La Boulangerie. We baked some Irish soda bread yesterday as well. I’ll make some strong coffee when I’m back, and begin to tell you a little more about this disturbingly beautiful place . . . Welcome, Jamie Image: On the Beach - Okanagan Lake last afternoon, 1530 hours.
  15. Boker Tov Kulam! Good morning everyone! Chag Hannukah Sameach (Happy Hannukah) and Merry Christmas from the Land of Milk and Honey! Last night was the first night of Hannukah and my town lit the big Hannukiah in front of the "Welcome to Hod HaSharon" sign. I am very excited about blogging this week. This is my first blog and I hope that I can live up to the other wonderful blogs. Didn't Zucchini Mama do a great job this past week? My other half, David (a.k.a. Tapenade) or he may tell you "my better half" is going to be joining in on the blog. We have planned a lot of interesting things for you to see. Tonight you are all formally invited to an Israeli wedding. David and I are going to a colleague of mine's wedding and we will show how weddings are done here. Don't worry, I am taking a gift for all of us and you can relax in your pajamas. Anything goes here in Israel!
  16. This Foodblog is a Foodblog unlike any other. It's the first time we've ever done a Foodblog with more than two participants. Second, three Society members will each embark on a very special journey over the next twelve days...and hopefully remain on course once this installment is over. Each of them has decided to quit smoking. This Foodblog will explore certain food-related issues that will arise from their decision: associated weight gain, healthier diet, better sense of taste, and an all-around sense of well-being and wholesomeness. Whilst there is no formal program unlike two of our previous Tag Teams -- A Tale of Two Kitchens and When Pocky Meets Pad Thai -- here is a general overview of things to come: Thursday, 2 February: Asian cooking using dishes from the various pictorials in the China forum Saturday, 4 February: Roasting meats Monday, 6 February to Wednesday, 8 February: Cuban cuisine Saturday, 11 February: Smoking pork butt Also planned are big breakfasts on the weekends and at least one meal at an "institution" school cafeteria, convention hall etc. Finally, I would like to take this moment to dedicate this Tag Team to the memory of my grandfather and my stepfather. You see, my grandfather died of lung cancer when I was ten years old. It was a devastating blow to my grandmother. Michael, my stepfather, died a few years ago of a heart attack caused in part by his diabetes -- which might have been exacerbated due to his smoking. Although he went cold turkey in the early 1990s, I firmly believe that had he quit even earlier than that, that he would still be alive today. As you can see, this Tag Team is very special to me. I hope that it's a special one for you too. Soba
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. …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!
  21. 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...
  22. 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
  23. 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!
  24. Is it bad form to start Foodblog admitting to be lightly intimidated? I mean, seriously, having to follow Kew & Tepee's blog is like a comic having to follow Robin Williams! I hope I am worthy. My name is Arne Salvesen, I'm 39 (40 in August - egads!) and live in Burnaby, BC, Canada which is the next municipality east of Vancouver - home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Bottom line, I'm no more than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. My family consists of my two sons (who gave me the Daddy-A handle) who live with their mother in Pitt Meadows (we'll be making a trip there this week), my wife "J", and our two Jack Russel Terriers, Ringo & Gromit, who graciously allow us to share our home with them. I'll be posting dog pictures later, but in the meantime my avatar will have to suffice. My connection to the "food" scene is completely amateur in nature. Never worked in a restaurant and have only really thought about it as a "hobby" over the last couple years. Professionaly some of you already know I am a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), so that is probably my closet "professional" connection. My web site is in my sig line, or you can PM if you'd like more information. Still, one of the greatest joys I have in life is cooking for my family & friends, or enjoying a meal out in one of the most vibrant food scenes anywhere. That is what I hope to share with you this week: a small sampling on how Daddy-A cooks & eats his way through a week in Vancouver. We'll visit some of the better known places, but I hope to also introduce you to something new. Along the way we'll also meet a few of the local eGulleters, and see what I can do with my brand new Weber Smokey Mountain! Heaven help my waistline! A.
  25. We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food. A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions. A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.
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