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  1. Greetings and welcome to another foodblog from a Pacific Northwesterner. Although I live in Seattle now, you won't be seeing any food from that region for I am on my summer holidays in not-so-sunny Sydney. I have to run off real soon so I'll leave some of the introductory stuff for a bit later. I was asking for advice from some former foodbloggers once I knew I was going to be doing one, and one of them told me that many foodblogs start off a bit slow so I'm going to start this one off with a dinner I just cooked in Melbourne for some of my friends: Melbourne and Sydney are the two largest towns in Australia (although neither are the capital). I did my High School in a small town quite close to Melbourne and so many of my High School friends are still living there. I hadn't been back since I left High School 6 years ago so this was the perfect time to return and catch up with a lot of old friends who I hadn't seen for a long time. As part of my last day in Melbourne, I was going to cook a big going away meal. The main problem I was facing was trying to find someone who could donate their kitchen and house to me hosting a party. It was a bit touch and go for a while with a few people saying they might be able to do it, and then not being able to and I was structuring my menu around being adaptable to any kitchen I would have to walk into but, fortunately, on the noon of that day, someone finally came through and things were very quickly organised. So in the end, I had 2 hours to shop and then 3.5 hours to cook 7 courses for 19 people. Here's what I managed to pull off: The Inaugural Fitzroy Garden Salad - Milkweed, Radish, Apple & Lemon Thyme with a Raspberry Vinagrette. I love using the combination of Radish and Apple and it's appeared a bunch of times in different salads. I'll tell a story of how the milkweed got into the salad in a later post. Someone at the table suggested this salad needed a name and we were dining near the Fitzroy Gardens so that's how the salad got it's name. Irish Lamb Stew with Onions, Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips, Carrots & Roasted Garlic. This was a great dish for a cold, winter's day and it was deep and hearty with all the different root vegetables. Dead easy to make as well Mushroom Risotto. At this stage of the night, I was pretty drunk so I pressganged people into stirring the risotto for me. The great thing about cooking for friends is, if you're clever, you can push them into the kitchen while you're quaffing red wine at the table and being belligerent. Roast Leg of Lamb with Minted White Bean Mash and Sauteed Silverbeet. The Lamb was rubbed with garlic, rosemary, lemon thyme, anchovies, & olive oil and roasted in a low oven until perfectly medium rare. The beans were pretty magical. I simmered them until almost tender with some trimmed off lamb fat and the silverbeet stems and then I placed the entire thing underneath the lamb when it was roasting so all the fat and drippings dripped down onto it. A bit of mint at the end really brightened it up. The silverbeet was just sauteed lightly with some garlic and chilli flakes and they were great too. Apple & Rhubarb Crumble with a Feijoa Sabayon. Anytime I'm drunk and get to play with fire is a good night in my opinion so once I found out the kitchen had a blowtorch in it, sabayon was put on the menu. Rhubarb was looking great at the market and a crumble is always a good way of doing a dessert without needing much equipment. Feijoa is an interesting and rather unusual fruit. I had never had it before that day and I bought a bunch not knowing what I could do with it. It tastes sort of a cross between sour apple and kiwifruit and, according to wikipedia, it grows in South America and now New Zealand/Australia. It went really well in this dish as it played off both the apple and the rhubarb quite well. Passionfruit Truffles. I always love ending a meal with Truffles now since they're so easy to make but give such an elegant finish to a meal. I hadn't eaten passionfruit for almost a year as they're either impossible to get or absurdly expensive in the US. So when I saw them, 7 for $2 at the market, I snagged as many as I could and just went on a binge. Anyway, I'm going to go be nerdy with my friends now at Dorkbot but I'll post something later tonight (It's 6pm here in Sydney so later tonight means in a few hours).
  2. Good Morning from Exeter, ON( Pop: 4,400). Exeter is about 30 miles N. Of London. We're also 2.5 hrs from Toronto and Detroit. When Susan( Snowangel) asked me to blog again, I thought about it for a short while. I said Yes, because this foodblog is going to be a lot different than my last two . I blogged last year with eG member Pookie and the year before by myself. ( you can find the links to my other 2 foodblogs under my signature) A lot has changed since I last blogged. I have 3 part-time jobs and they are all in the food industry. My main job is a Sous/Pastry Chef for a caterer in Grand Bend. I work the second job on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. I am the Chef for a Senior Dining program also held in Grand Bend. I work the 3rd job once a week although it didnt start out the way it has ended up. When I moved here from California, I couldnt work until I became a permanent resident. My Spouse Robin is a Director for a social service agency and through her I met Shelley. Shelley runs a program that helps young adults with a developmental disability to make a successful transition from school to a range of community participation/activities/work. She matched me up with Marley. Marley is now 19 and has Down's Syndrome. Last year Marley worked at a day care center and she did not enjoy it. I suggested we cook together and that has been very succesful. We cook dinner together at her house once a week. I wanted to start this blog today, rather than Saturday because this weekend is going to be crazy. I'm working for the caterer on Saturday and Sunday. We're catering a BBQ for 60ppl in London( the big city). My boss won't be attending the job so it will just be myself and a server. I'm really not sure what to expect yet. I believe the menu is chicken, salmon and ribs. I'm not sure what the sides are. Here is how the week will go. Today- I'm very excited. I'm going to a food show( sysco) in Goderich. Robin is joining me because before the show, we're going to West Coast Kitchens. We're going to pick out counters, cabinets, etc and then tomorrow West Coast is coming here to give us an estimate on a kitchen remodel. We're going out for dinner too ( buffet Chinese, please don't get me started). Friday- The kitchen people come!! Sat/ Sun- work Monday- Baking for a catering job on Tuesday morning, Marley in the afternoon. Tuesday- breakfast catering, prep for Wednesday Wednesday- I'm filling in at another dining program. Thurs-Sat - work for caterer. Prepare for 3 weddings!! Here is my breakfast. I went to Port Huron, MI yesterday and brought back my favorite cottage cheese. I had that with some fresh berries and a glass of non-fat milk. I'm not a coffee drinker!!
  3. Hi! Welcome to my life for the next week! Hopefully you'll enjoy it. I've got to keep this short, because it's 1 am and I have to work at 9 tomorrow morning. I live in Seattle, Washington, and I've lived here basically my whole life. I'm a sophomore at the University of Washington where I'm studying French and comparative literature. I also write a weekly food column for the UW's paper, which if you're interested, you can find here: www.thedaily.washington.edu (click on "Intermission). In addition to being a student full time, I also work as a cook at Mioposto, a pizza place in Seattle (where I will be at 9 tomorrow morning...) Over the week you'll get to see me in action and get a look at the restaurant, as I spend a fair amount of time there. In addition to that, I spend a good chunk of my time at home cooking as well. I've always been really interested in food. When I was a kid, my favorite shows were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Frugal Gourmet. My foodblog "preview" pictures never ended up getting posted (I don't think anyway) but they were of chopped liver which I made, and chicken's feet at dim sum. These two things are very representative of my food background: I'm Jewish, and although I think I make some pretty mean chopped liver, I don't particularly like Jewish food. The chicken feet on the other hand have nothing to do with my cultural background, but are far more representative of my food interests. Since I was about 15 or 16 I've had a great interest in Asian food, particularly in Japanese cuisine, almost to the point of obsession I don't have any special event that this blog is based around, but I'm out of school for the next three weeks and thus will have a lot of time to do a lot of cooking and eating. I'll post some pictures tomorrow so you can get a better view of my food filled world.
  4. Early morning greetings everyone! I guess my hint photos for this blog were somewhat of a giveaway, especially to Megan. Oh well. For those that don't know, the bridge picture is a shot from my walk from the subway to work -- it is the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan bridge and if you look closely, you can see the Empire State building framed within the arch of the bridge. It was an overcast day when I took the photo; I will try to get a better picture this week. For those that don't know much about me, I will give a quick background. My name is John Deragon, a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. My father’s heritage is Quebecois and my mother’s heritage is Norwegian. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a lobster fisherman in Coney Island, so I spent quite a bit of time on a boat as a child, and still love being around the water to this day. Growing up as a child in Brooklyn was a pretty awesome experience. Not only was I exposed to the great foods Brooklyn had to offer (Knishes, Bagels, Nathan's franks, etc.) we had tons of ways to entertain ourselves with various games we learned (stickball, stoopball, ball & crack, skulls…). I will get into more detail on the food and games as the week progresses. I currently live in Park Slope, which is a neighborhood in Southern Brooklyn that is framed by Prospect Park along with my wife Jeannie and our dog Dune. (Which is whom you see in my avatar photo) Prospect Park is the sister park of Central park and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux who also designed Central Park. The rumor is by designing Prospect Park after Central Park, they fixed all the mistakes they made in CP. More info about our great park can be found at the Prospect Park website. We purchased a small wood frame house about 2 years ago with the purpose of doing a lot of the renovations ourselves. The house was priced right mainly due to the dysfunctional layout of the first floor, mainly the pathetic kitchen and bathroom layout. From what we could tell, the house was built sometime between 1915 and 1920, and for the most part is pretty sound. The kitchen was built in the back of the house and was roughly 5’ by 6’ with a small window going out to our relatively (by NY comparison) backyard. To the right of the kitchen was a small bathroom with another very small window. Those two photos are as the kitchen right before we moved in, as the previous owners were packing up. We made a decision to start the construction (or more precisely the demolition) on the kitchen immediately as you can see from these photos: Needless to say we found a lot of surprises along the way. (more details on that later this week, including that chimney you see, along with some nasty termite damage) All the work was done while I was working a full time job at an interactive advertising agency, so all the work was done at nights and weekends, which lead to us living with a fridge, laundry sink and microwave for almost 10 months. Fast forward to today and our kitchen is done and is awesome, if I say so myself. During the day I am now the Chief Technology Officer for Waterfront Media which is a company that provides online versions of many popular diets, as well as a health related reference site EverydayHealth. The offices are located in Dumbo, which stands for Down Under [the] Manhattan Bridge Overpass, hence the teaser photo! Ok -- given it is getting late and I have a early meeting tomorrow morning I am going to wrap it up for now. As far as what to expect this week here is the schedule as it stands now: Monday: Dinner at home, or possibly out at a friends Birthday dinner. Still up in the air. Tuesday: Dinner at Applewood Restaurant one of our favorite local restaurants here in Park Slope. Wednesday: Dinner at Annisa, Anita Lo’s restaurant. Thursday: Pegu Club Friday: Still up in the air. Saturday: Dinner party for 8 at home. All during the week I will be preparing for the dinner party on Saturday, so there will be bits and pieces of Saturdays dinner spread throughout the week, from tracking down ingredients, to prep work, to figuring out the wine pairings. With that, I will see everyone back here in a few hours!
  5. Good morning everyone! Time flies incredibly fast: when Susan offered me to keep a blog right after we moved to Moscow in the end of May, I did not want to say no, but I did not feel ready and asked if I could do it sometime at the end of summer, like August. Before I knew it, my blog week is here! So… A week of blogging from Russia, how exciting! Let me tell you how this happened. My American husband and I met in Russia when we were students, and got married 10 years ago. So I moved to States to be with him. Last year Shawn landed a job which eventually took him to Russia. In May he was offered to stay in Moscow long-term, and very fortunately my company was also able to offer me a job in our Moscow office. These two months of adjusting to the new life have been interesting, to say the least. I was expecting what they call a “reverse cultural shock,” which people experience when they move back to their home country. But I would say, to me it almost seems like I have simply moved to a new country, the language and customs of which I happen to know. Believe me, Russia has become a new country in the 10 years I’ve been away (and I have become a different person, too). Additionally, I have never lived in Moscow and am just getting to know the city. My new job is also a lot different from what I used to do before, more demanding and with much longer hours. Just to keep things interesting, life threw in another surprise: a few days after we decided to move to another country, we found out we are going to have a baby! When I think about introducing you to Moscow in a culinary sense, I get overwhelmed: there are so many things to see and do (and eat), and there are so many misconceptions about what’s available here that I don’t know where to begin. But, as they say, one cannot embrace the boundless, so I will not attempt. I will simply invite you to spend my usual week with me, with no weddings, Passovers, visits to wineries, or other special events planned. I think even that should be plenty interesting . And, as good tourists, we will assume we will return: hopefully, in a year or so I will be able to invite you to another blogging week in Moscow which will be completely different as I will be offering the view of a seasoned Moscovite . Well… What a long introduction! And you are probably just waiting for the pictures. Then, we shall begin with… breakfast! Before we do that, a short notice: since English is not my native tongue, I am sure I will make a lot of mistakes, but we’ll just consider them my quaint Eastern European accent, won’t we? And, my name is Alina, but I used the diminutive form of my name because Alina was already taken when I was registering. Either one is fine. Oh, and please ask plenty of questions: we can make this blog whatever we want, and your questions will shape what will be talking about.
  6. Ciao! I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days. And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great. Grazie mille!
  7. It’s not even 6am yet and I was so excited about starting my food blog today, I couldn’t fall back asleep. I had quite the late night last night, yet my body seems to be telling me that 4 hours of sleep is enough when there is food to write about! First, a bit about myself. My name is Henry H Lo. I am in no way connected to the “industry” but have found that I have a passion for good food and cooking my whole life. I am 33 years old and an architect in Seattle. The relationship between cooking and architecture is generally discussed among the architecture world. Both are art forms which are not always recognized as art by the general public. Just as food must provide nourishment for life, architecture must provide shelter. Once these basic requirements are established, only the educated few can see the artistic qualities which some architects/chefs elevate their work to. A few exceptions exist which are too obvious as to not be recognized as art. The buildings of Rem Koolhaus, and Ferran Adria’s work come to mind. I find that my architecture is greatly influenced by lessons I've learned from the cooking world. After all, in both endevours, we are creating "functional art." Another nice thing about being an architect was the fact that I was able to design and build my own kitchen. More on my kitchen to come. When I found out I would be food blogging, I set up a number of events in Seattle for myself and my friends to take part in. Here’s a short list of the things I have planned for this week: Friday March 17th Trail the chef at Veil Veil I did this last night and had a great time. More on this to come. Here's a teaser photo though: Friday March 17th Dinner at Crush Crush Had a great time! Stay tuned for more information. Saturday March 18th Dinner at Veil Sunday March 19th Brunch at Monsoon Monsoon (That's me on the webpage behind the potted cypress. The owner is sitting to my left) Sunday March 20th “Sopranos” Pot Luck Monday March 21st Dinner at The Barking Frog Barking Frog Tuesday March 22nd Dinner Party at home Wednesday March 23rd Special lunch at Salumi Salumi Thursday March 24th Dinner at Mistral for 20 Mistral Friday March 25th Trail the chef at Mistral Saturday March 26th Dinner at Marjorie Marjorie I also plan on taking you all on a sandwich tour of Seattle. After all, the sandwich is the perfect food! I am really looking forward to sharing my great food town with the rest of you. Please feel free to let me know if there are any specific places or things in Seattle you would like me to explore. Talk to you all soon!
  8. My name is Gerhard and I live in Wilderness in Eden. Two years ago I decided to retire and do nothing for a while. The problem with doing nothing is that it is difficult to know when you are done. That is probably the main reason why I decided to buy a guest house. The Artist's prodding did play a role. Her version was that I interfered with the creative process and was a nuisance around the house. Mine was that I was merely offering support by way of constructive criticism. Be that as it may, I woke up one morning with the thought that we should up stakes in Johannesburg and move to the coast. If we could find a large house, we could convert it into a guest house. I could keep myself busy looking after guests and cooking. The artist always had a yen to live at the seaside and I got enthusiastic support for the idea. She would paint and I would be the innkeeper. Two weeks later we bought Mes Amis in Wilderness, an existing, somewhat dilapidated guest house. 9 guest bedrooms and a large 2 bedroom apartment for us. The location is terrific: right on the beach with a splendid view of the Indian Ocean. Wilderness is an area of rivers, lakes, wetlands, mountains, forests and the Indian Ocean. Perhaps slightly overdeveloped, but still a quiet, bucolic village where the main economic activity is tourism and life proceeds at a gentle pace. We have a temperate climate, with an average min/max of 17/25 in summer (Oct-April) and 8/18 in winter. In May 2004, we relocated. The artist, sissy tutu and I. I made the mistake of visiting our local animal shelter shortly after arriving, and the result was two new additions to the menagerie, Bibi and Becky. This will be mainly a breakfast blog. That is where most of my culinary creative energy is spent these days and it may just be mildly interesting for you to follow me through a few days of cooking for the guests. (And, of course, for the artist and myself). Breakfast is served a la carte in our breakfast room: It is now just after 11am and breakfast service is done. We had 13 in, a table for 8, two for two and one single. As always seem to happen when we have a large table, the whole lot sat down at the same time. Here is today's menu: The front and back and the inside Between helping Miki with table service, giving Veronica a hand with cooking and smooching the guests, I did not have time to take pics, other than the fresh fruit: I'll do better tomorrow morning. The 8 Italian guests checked out and service should be easier. Voluble bunch, the table for 8. The shy young Swiss couple in the corner were somewhat bemused. Every time I headed for their table to discuss their plans for the day, and advise where I can, I was waylaid by the Italians. Time to take it easy. I intended watching the cricket test, but we are (again) getting soundly beaten by the Aussies. I have a large pot of duck legs on the stove and may as well start preparing the jars for the confit. The rest of the day will proceed placidly. Patricia will draw up the list of stuff that we need to order – groceries, fruit, veggies, meat, toiletries, cleaning materials and so on and place the orders for delivery tomorrow after I've checked the list and added my two bits. Time then to take the dogs for a walk on the beach, have a short siesta and then get ready to receive guests. That involves checking the reservations book and memorizing new guest names. It is often very easy to guess names correctly when the guests arrive. Tonight we have a German couple, two ladies from the UK, a businessman from Johannesburg and a repeat couple from Cape Town checking in, so I should be able to greet them all by name. I will, if you will allow me, tell more about my innkeeping day tomorrow.
  9. I thought about calling this "Meet Me at the Bar" because, well, I do have a bar in my living room, but I don't want people to get the wrong idea, and besides, my Mom might be reading this. (Actually, my parents know I have a bar in my living room. I've had it for years.) Then I thought about calling it "A Girl and her Cookware" because, having worked at a cookware store for more years than I can believe, I have collected a frightening amount. So why "Park and Shop"? People of a certain age (women, probably) might remember the old board game by that name. Or maybe not -- maybe my sister and our friends were the only ones who played that strange game. In brief, here's an overview. You had two markers: one car and one pedestrian. You drew cards that told you which shops you had to visit. You started out with your car, and "drove" to one of several parking lots, depending on where your shops were located. Then you used your pedestrian to visit all the shops. (I know, we're not talking the excitement of buying property on Boardwalk, but hey, we liked it.) Of course there were squares you could land on that sent you to jail (I don't remember why -- jaywalking?) or otherwise set you back. But mostly, the strategy involved trying to find the shortest, most economic way of visiting all the shops on your list, and that's why I always remember it, because in many ways, that's my shopping life today. Back when I worked in an office and had a civilized hour for lunch, I often used that time to run as many errands as possible, and that's when it first came to me that I was living the "Park and Shop" game (without the parking, but close enough.) Now, since I am without a car, much of my food planning revolves around trying to figure out exactly that same thing -- how to get to all the shops I need to without making unnecessary side trips, taking impossibly long bus routes, or ending up with so much stuff I can't carry it. But "Public Transportation and Shop" doesn't quite have the same ring, does it? So "Park and Shop" it is. I'll talk more in a while about the shops I visit, how this whole process plays out day to day and how it influences my cooking style. But first, here's the way I start all my mornings, feeding the boys. Damien, Mookie, and Felix having breakfast. Max generally prefers private dining. Once they've eaten and I've let them out, I can concentrate on caffeine. I have a 10-cup programmable Krups machine, but I've found that my little one-cup Melita, which started life as a travel coffee maker, is more manageable for just me. I drag out the big black machine only when I have company. So, if you'll let me drink my coffee, I'll be back with more about the week ahead (kitchen pictures, too).
  10. Welcome to my second foodblog here at eGullet. The first one was entitled So, you want to remodel your kitchen? and described the results of a recently completed (at that time) renovation of our kitchen. I also showed you some of the weirder stuff that lives in my kitchen (like basil seed and mastic) and invited you to guess its provenance and purpose. This time I'm going to continue in that vein, and ask you questions that are food-related, but not necessarily about items in my kitchen. The first question's already been posed, in the eG Foodblogs: Coming Attractions thread. Here it is again, just in case you didn't see it: The questions accompanying this image are "What is it? And what has it got to do with food?" The question's already been answered by azureus: So, brava to azureus/April, and more about the image. Not technically a cross section (which implies that one has taken a section, or slice, at a particular angle relative to the long axis of the critter or organ in question, and bone marrow doesn't have much of an axis of any sort) but rather a very, very thin slice of bone marrow that's been fixed (so that it won't decompose), decalcified (so that the bone is soft enough to be sliced with a microtome) and impregnated with paraffin (so that the marrow itself will be firm enough to slice in this manner). The tissue slices thus obtained are so thin and flimsy that they are generally handled by floating them on the surface of a water bath, from which they can be scooped up onto a a glass slide, where they will stick. The paraffin is then washed away with solvents, and the remaining tissue is stained with chemical dyes so that you can distinguish the different sorts of cells and their components. There are lots of different sorts of cells in bone marrow, and some of the most important are stem cells (which can't be identified using only a microscope, unfortunately), the cells that are the primitive starter cells for lots of different tissues in our body, and that's why I'm using this image as the "beginning" of this blog. In order to see it in this much detail you have to use a microscope, of course, and so the camera has to be mounted on the scope as well. The term for this sort of picture is a photomicrograph, and I'll be showing a number photomicrographs in the course of the blog. And what it has to do with food is that it's delicious roasted and spread on toast. What exactly makes it delicious roasted and spread on toast is pictured above: the "holes" in the photo, which aren't actually holes at all, but adipocytes, or fat cells. Each hole represents a single cell, stuffed with fat, and so bone marrow is not only fatty (so like butter) but very soft, as there's very little connective tissue (apart from bone, seen in this image as the large pink ribbon in the left of this image) to get in the way of your enjoying it. Time for me to go get breakfast. While I'm away feel free to pose additional questions about this image.
  11. Good morning everyone, and welcome to my foodblog! I'm really excited to be here sharing a week in my kitchen with you. Thanks to Prawncrackers for hosting such a great blog last week: you'll be a tough act to follow! Why don't I start by situating you a little bit in my life? As you saw in the Coming Attractions topic, I would say that two of my biggest interests - and two of the topics on which I've gotten the most help from the eGullet forums - are cocktails and "molecular gastronomy" (or avant-garde cuisine, or whatever you want to call it). I'll be trying to incorporate both of those topics into my blog this week. I think it's safe to say that both of those interests are symptomatic of a more general desire to "tinker" in the kitchen. When I first learned that there were chemicals you could buy to make spheres out of pea puree, I had to order them. Similarly, when I learned that the whisky I'd spent my whole life calling "rye" was different from an American whiskey that is also called rye, I had to buy a bottle to find out what it tasted like. "Trying it for myself" is my guiding principle when it comes to food. In the past year, I've also developed a fascination with Japanese cooking. You see, although my family name is Japanese, I'm only one-quarter ethnically Japanese. (The other three quarters are an Anglo-Celtic blend.) Growing up, I didn't eat much Japanese food, but as I've gotten older, I've become interested in exploring that facet of my heritage. So I'll be drawing on that cuisine this week, too. So thanks to eGullet for asking me to host this week. I hope you enjoy reading along!
  12. Click here for The Tale of the Corporate Cafeteria. WARNING: This is a Foodblog unlike any other. There won't be very many pictures. Not only do I not own a digital camera, I'm not quite a techie. For instance, it really does take me more than two minutes to figure out how to use a cell phone. Yes, I'm hopeless. My eating habits have changed drastically since late 2003. In December 2003, I weighed something like 138 lbs. soaking wet. Fast forward twenty-two months and countless trips to the gym, and I'm now 187; furthermore, I'm contemplating going on a diet for the first time in my life. It's been quite a ride. This week promises to be fairly interesting. You'll get to see how a professional hobbit deals with having seven to nine meals a day, in ways that make Frodo Baggins look like an amateur. In some ways, meals are an adventure every day. At other times, eating tends to be a chore. Lest you think that my food life consists of endless bowls of cottage cheese topped with tuna and Mrs. Dash, I do plan to actually cook a dinner or two that's worthy of the Dinner! thread and not the infamous Dinner II thread. What these will consist of shall remain a secret for now. I'll give you a hint though -- one of them involves a dish only an eGulleteer could love. Sunday evening I'll probably want to have dinner someplace in the city. This is where you, Gentle Reader, come in. Take a look through our New York forum and pick two or three restaurants that you think I might have a reasonable chance of securing a reservation on short notice. It doesn't matter if you don't have any familiarity with restaurants in New York. I have a feeling that if enough readers weigh in on this Foodblog, I'll run a relatively good chance of going to some place good. I don't have any food dislikes apart from stinky cheese (so things like epoisses are out), jellied eels and extraordinarily weird food such as although it's worth noting that something like doesn't phase me. Weird, huh? So without further adieu, welcome to my world. I promise it won't be too bad...
  13. 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...
  14. Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my fourth eG Foodblog. Here are Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Memo to self: must try harder the next time I do a Foodblog since Kerry got it right, with a little help from Mitch. This Foodblog will be a little different from all the others. There'll be lots of the usual cooking, eating and picture-taking; however, I'm borrowing a page from Iron Chef, sort of. This week, you get to decide what Soba cooks for lunch and dinner. But I'm getting ahead of myself slightly. Back in 2008, I decided to embark on a year-long experiment -- to cook seasonally and within reason, locally. I shop almost exclusively at Union Square Greenmarket, as well as neighborhood food shops in the Upper East Side. Sometimes I'll pick something up at Citarella, especially if it's fish. Lately I've been -- against my better judgment -- becoming fond of Eataly. I usually don't use much canned or overly-processed food. I suppose that might be a little limiting but I view it as a challenge. It keeps me constantly thinking about food, what to cook, what to prepare for the next meal. And it helps sharpen my curiosity and appreciation for the beauty of food. And that's what this Foodblog is really about: that the beauty of the world around us is reflected in the food that we eat.
  15. Hello from Dallas! – and congratulations to Kerry on her impressive detective work. I figured I was too infrequent a poster to have any shot on getting guessed. I’ll start with a little background on myself and some overview on the general plan for the blog. There are three of us here in Dallas – myself, my wife Nicole, and our 8 month old (tomorrow) son Charles (who’s just getting started on solid foods – happy to include if anyone is interested). We’ve also got two pups, Delilah (the pug who snuck into the teaser pic) and Isabelle (an insane American Staffordshire Terrier). For 10 years I’ve been in various stages of coming to grips with the fact that for whatever cursed combination of genetics and willpower I’ve been dealt, it’s basically impossible for me to manage my weight whatsoever if I’m eating carbs. Moderation and carbs just do not go together for me. For someone as food focused as myself this is an especially difficult fact; it’s hard to read eGullet everyday while thinking in the back of your mind that you can never eat 80% of the great food that everyone is posting. After going through different phases on this (trying to be absolutely strict and ending up failing, trying to do it halfway and ending up failing, giving up altogether and really failing), over the past 2-3 years I’ve settled into a routine that works for me. Basically, I divide the year up into 2-3 month cycles; each cycle starts with 3-7 days of me eating whatever I want (usually tied into a special occasion or a vacation), then 2-3 weeks of strict low-carb induction (no booze, no dairy!) , then a month or two of manageable low carb (and then the process starts again). It’s definitely not the fastest way to weight loss, but it has been a much more manageable and long-term sustainable approach for me (now I can read eG and look forward to eating all those delicious things in a few weeks), and I’ve lost over 100 pounds so far essentially on this approach. All of that is kind of a long-winded way of saying that this blog will not be a typical week in the Daniel household – nope, this is a cheat week, starting by going for all the things I crave in Dallas and then going to Chicago for some serious eating starting on Thursday. A typical meal for us while I’m eating low-carb is something like this (apologies for the ugly picture – I’m working on it!): SV wagyu ribeye with mushroom cognac cream sauce, steamed broccoli with sriracha hollandaise, and a blue cheese salad – not bad for diet food! For the blog, however, I’m going to be branching out into carby cooking (a bit out of my comfort zone) while we are in Dallas (with hopefully interesting lunches and a couple of dinners out thrown in). I will definitely need help here! Chicago will be a good example of the type of trip I try to take advantage of for my “cheat weeks”, with mostly destination-type dining. Hopefully it will be interesting! One last thing I forgot to mention – one of the toughest casualties of the low carb lifestyle is my affection for well made classic cocktails (pretty much wine and spirits only during low-carb time), and so I will be taking advantage of this week in that respect as well; for sure there will be a punch, some tiki cocktails, and hopefully an interesting Dallas bar visit - we’ll see what else I can cram in. Apologies for the long-winded first post – I’ll get to the action now!
  16. Hello eGulleteers, and welcome to my first ever food blog. First, a little bit about me and where my eating & cooking are inspired from: I grew up in the Southwest (AZ), and after marriage spent a few years in Vegas, then off to Bangalore, India for a couple years, and now live in the far southeast part of New Mexico, right on the Texas border. Here's a picture from about five minutes down the road: Now, growing up the way I did (with a Jewish/Italian father) in the land of great Mexican food (imagine those meal combos!), and living in Vegas and India, my family and I have developed a taste (addiction?) for flavors that reach out and grab you. I have a naturally small appetite, so I really don't want to put anything in my mouth that doesn't taste amazing. When we lived in India, I really began to enjoy cooking. Partly it was the amazingly cheap and incredibly fresh ingredients available, and partly it was the desire to be able to replicate the amazing food of Bangalore when we finally moved back home. That's also when I discovered eGullet. So - all that to say this: I'm depressed. Seriously. I live in a town that has more than a hundred 'Mexican' restaurants, but in which black pepper is considered spicy. I live in New Mexico, yet in a mysterious vortex that doesn't have a strong green chilly culture. Oi Vey! I live in the south (land of sweet tea) but in a city with not one single barbecue joint. Am I being punished? This is the part of the country in which if you order a 'latte' people look at you funny and assume you're a 'foreigner' or of dubious morality. Don't get me wrong, there's some good food here, but very little of it is at a restaurant. We've got some friends that are amazing cooks, and I've been learning some new techniques & tools, but other than that, it's a food desert here. See the picture of the farm above? We're surrounded by them, but there's not a single farmers market here. So - this week you're going to follow me around as I try (desperately) to tickle my palate with the limited supplies available, and as I search high and low for something new and interesting. Full Disclosure: Some of these meals (and shopping) are a week old, because we were traveling and my schedule is a bit hectic, so if you see me post two dinners in one day, it's not because I'm time-zone hopping, but compressing two weeks of eating into one. Hope you enjoy the ride!
  17. Good morning! I'm pleased and a bit surprised that nobody identified me as the next Foodblogger. The teaser photos are of Highland cattle and a plate of seafood with lupins. The cattle are in the back field here on the farm in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. The chowder and flowers are from my home outside Halifax. It's been more than four years since I put together my 1st eG Foodblog. This time I'm on the road and away from my own kitchen. We've just finished catering a wedding here so there will tons of photos in the very near future. Tonight I'm going to Cavendish, Prince Edward Island for the week. The Foodblogs of late have been quite excellent and I've got some hard acts to follow. This week I can promise you a lot of seafood, extreme cheese, fine port and good whisky. The topic description reads "More Maritimes" which refers to the three eastern provinces New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI. If you throw in Newfoundland & Labrador, you get "Atlantic Canada". Time to pack!
  18. Welcome to my Singapore food blog for e gullet! The blogs are one of my favourite things about egullet and the standard of writing/photography not to mention eating and drinking has been incredibly high so i hope i don’t let the side down! I suppose I should start with a bit about me really, My name is, as you had probably guessed Nikki and after spending the first 10 years of my working life in London managing restaurants i realised somewhat belatedly that the hospitality industry is the same the world over and if i was going to continue working anything up to 16 hours a day i might as well do it somewhere interesting. My first port of call was Lebanon, and i fell head over heels in love with the country, its food, its wine (and arak) and of course its people (especially my boyfriend who i am enjoying early morning skyping with as we try to settle into this long distance/6 hour time difference phase of our relationship) I wish I’d got round to blogging more when I was there – i am kicking myself for not doing a food blog then. To sum up, if you haven’t been, add it to your list – it truly is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been, am hopefully heading back to see the boy in January so maybe i’ll do another one then if i’m allowed.... Kuwait followed (very briefly for many many reasons i won’t go into here lets just say i HATED every second of it and flew back to Beirut almost every other weekend so i didn’t lose my mind) and now i find myself on the other side of the world in Singapore. I live in an area called Little India so a lot of what i typically consume is Indian – I’ll try to mix it up this week though- besides, Percyn covered India beautifully and i am hoping we will see Jenni blogging sooner rather than later as well.....I love living in this area, Singapore can feel very sanitized & organised but there is a “realness” about Little India that i warmed to immediately. The smells of Jothi flowers for prayer offerings mix beautifully with incense and spices not to mention all the street food and there is a great sense of energy surrounding the place. I also love hanging out in Arab Street where i can go to smoke arguileh/drink coffee at any time of day or night – I’m struggling to find good Arabic food so far but i am having so much fun with everything else it doesn’t really matter. Apart from the strong Indian influences here in Singapore, there are also Malay, Chinese, Indonesian and Peranaken ( descended from the early Chinese settlers in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore who intermarried with Malays and thus created a whole new culture and foods with it) not to mention Thailand, the Middle East, The Philippines and Sri Lanka. You also see “Chindian” food too where local chefs will take Indian ingredients and use them in their recipes as well which is interesting. Having seen a shot of my fridge in my teaser photos, you will not be at all surprised to learn that this week my intention is to show you what Singapore is possibly most famous for – Hawker Centres and its rich multi cultural culinary influences from the myriad of different nationalities who now call Singapore home. PLease feek free to ask any questions, request any food and enjoy the ride!!
  19. First of all, I am very excited to be blogging – a little nervous, but excited. I have a lot of things planned, but I am sure I won't get to all of them. Most of all, I hope to have a lot of fun blogging this week and introducing you to some of the food that is not the typical things people hear about – which is all about the Creole food from New Orleans and Cajun food from southwest Louisiana. There's more... there's good old country food that most of us grew up eating. How did I come up with the name of Honeysuckles and Huckleberries? It's the name of a cookbook I put together for our family. What the name means to me is country living and home. Growing up I remember Mama loved the sweet, sensational smell of honeysuckles. It was her favorite flower. They grew wild on the fences around our property. They were always pretty and fragrant, and I would pull the stem from them until it came out of the bottom of the flower all for one drop of juice, which tasted out of this world. One of my dreams then was to have one whole glass of honeysuckle juice! We also had a pond that had turtles, fish, snakes and everything else that intrigues children. There were also wild blackberry bushes. In the summertime, we would take our buckets and pick blackberries all afternoon. We were told not to eat the berries until they were washed, and our blackberry-stained tongues would tell Mom, “No, ma'am. We didn't eat any.” After a little lecture, and after the berries were washed, we would smash the berries in a bowl and add cream and sugar and eat them with a spoon. Then, she would make us a blackberry cobbler for dessert that night! So... blackberries aren't huckleberries, but they're close enough, and they remind me of Huckleberry Finn and little boys having adventures growing up on the Mississippi River. Brett, my brother, had his own adventures growing up in the country. He hunted, fished, skipped school to go horseback riding all day, etc. Whenever he would catch a fish, he would excitedly run into the house and say, "Cook this for me, Mama!" It was a wonderful place to grow up, and while we were a family of very modest means, we always ate well – just like most of the people around here. What I hope to do in this blog is introduce you to a little bit of Louisiana country living. There will be a few field trips to some interesting places. Food will be cooked, of course, but I am going to do my best to stay away from the standard fare that everyone hears so much about (except jambalaya – there will be jambalaya) and cook old time country favorites, and by the end of this week I would hope that you would feel like a welcome guest in our home.
  20. When I go on book tour, my appearances are attended by a handful of people most of whom were just wandering around the bookstore when the announcement came over the public address system. They ask questions like, "What's your book about?" When Ferran Adria (aka the world's greatest chef, the leader of the culinary avant garde) goes on book tour, everyone shows up. The most significant food-world players for 500 miles around come to pay homage. They have prepared their questions for the master. Ferran Adria's biography, written by Colman Andrews, has just hit the bookstores and Adria and Andrews are making the rounds. This evening they appeared at the International Culinary Center (the umbrella institution that includes the French Culinary Institute and the Italian Culinary Academy) in New York City. I got invited, perhaps because I teach a class there, perhaps by mistake, perhaps out of pity. I was certainly the least important person in the room -- a marginal inclusion on the guest list that included Mario Batali, Tim Zagat, Jose Andres, Andre Soltner, Jacques Torres, Drew Nieporent, Alain Sailhac, Jonathan Waxman and a whole bunch of others. I'll give a brief description of the event, with some photo support, in a moment. But first, welcome to my eG Foodblog, the first of this new season of eG Foodblogs. For the next week, I'll be posting ad nauseam about my food life. The centerpiece of the week is a trip I'm taking down to Mobile, Alabama, to look in on the seafood industry post-BP-spill. Before and after that trip, I'll share the various things I'll be doing in the course of this week. Returning to the matter of Ferran Adria and Colman Andrews, the book is called Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food. (Should you choose to buy a copy, that's an eG-friendly link, which means the Society will get a small commission from Amazon if you use that link for purchase.) There's DC-based Spanish (and then some) chef Jose Andres talking to Dorothy Hamilton, president of the ICC. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro I'm only going to apologize once this week for my terrible photography. Sorry. Now deal with it. That's Colman Andrews, who wrote the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The snacks were not at all avant-garde. They were mostly Spanish-style and pretty good. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro The restaurateur Drew Nieporent (Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Corton, etc. -- he keeps opening new places so it's hard to keep track of him). Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro My signed copy of the book. Photo: Ellen R. Shapiro Ellen also made a short video of Ferran Adria speaking to the question "What's the biggest misconception about you?" That will not be postable until morning, though, because of the time it takes to compress and upload the video. I found Adria to be engaging despite speaking through a translator. This was the first time I'd ever seen him up close, and I had wondered whether I'd find him as brilliant as everybody says he is. I did. It was also good to hear him speak directly on the issue of El Bulli's closing. There has been a lot of press on this -- world's most difficult-to-reserve restaurant suddenly closing -- and Adria assured us that it's a temporary closing. El Bulli is expected to reopen in 2014, at which point the company will be reorganized as a nonprofit foundation. Although I was intrigued by the Q&A session, my actual mission was to try to get Colman Andrews and Ferran Adria to join us here for online Q&A. When I spoke to them and their publicist, however, it turned out that they had already agreed to do it -- Dave Scantland ("Dave the Cook") already had a whole dialog running. So we are looking forward to welcoming them soon. There is an excerpt from the book on the New York Times website, if you're interested. I'm off to catch a little shuteye before an early rise for a visit to Sarabeth's bakery. More on that tomorrow morning.
  21. Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my third eG Foodblog. This installment feels as if I've come full circle. I can't believe it's been nearly five years since A Week in the Life of Fat Guy's Household. Unlike the last time I did a Foodblog, I have a digital camera! So sit back and enjoy the ride because there'll be lots of pix, lots of cooking and more importantly, lots of eating in the days to come. I'm starting this installment an hour or two early because I'll be up late tonight, and also I'm setting things up for tomorrow's breakfast. First thing though are your questions from the teaser photo that Janet posted earlier: This is a picture taken at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. A friend of mine had bought me a post-birthday lunch in early January and I thought I'd take this shot to remember the occasion by. I also take photos whenever I dine out but that's another story altogether. Clockwise from top left: prunes in port sauce, lavender honey, quartino of white wine, bread and cheese, orange sections in honey, breadsticks (in wrapper), cheese plate (two cow, two sheep and one goat's cheese). * * * What's new with this Foodblog, you ask? A number of things have changed in my life since the last installment. I was diagnosed with HIV in December 2003. The news struck me with the force of a sledgehammer. You cannot imagine what it's like living with a disease that has no cure. Although I am thankful that I have had relatively few side effects and afflictions in the past four and a half years, the psychological toll is immeasurable. It is beyond crushing. I do try to take care of myself. I eat right, maintain my weight as best as I can and workout (although that's fallen by the wayside recently). More importantly, I try to keep a positive attitude. I try to focus on things I can control instead of the unknown. My future is one of great uncertainty. I know that a long time down the road my immune system will cease to function. The medical cocktails I take on a daily basis are instrumental in improving my present quality of life. I can only hope that at some point in the future, perhaps one or two years from now, or more likely in the next twenty years, that a vaccine will become available to every individual afflicted with this terrible of diseases. And thus this Foodblog. As I said, I try to focus on a positive attitude. One of the things that continues to give me immense pleasure is food -- be it cooking and eating, or being with a community of like-minded people and friends. I want this Foodblog to be special...not just to me, but to everyone in the eGullet community. I want to take this opportunity to focus on the beauty in the world around us, beauty that many people take for granted or don't really think of beyond what's for dinner. * * * *Side note: I realize that many of you will have questions that will stray beyond the boundaries that are permissible for an eG Foodblog. I welcome all questions, but if it's not food-related, please PM or email me or ask your questions on my blog.
  22. Hello, fair eG folk! Sorry for the late start. (Well, late for Europe; it's lunchtime.) Tracey was right. (However did you guess?!) Welcome to Prague. My name is Erin, and I live and work here, with my husband (who is Czech), in the city of a thousand spires (which also happen to look a lot like forks, when you're hungry...or so I think). The first teaser photo is on the far south side of Prague. It's of Cukrak mountain; "cukrak," roughly translated, means "little pastry chef." (Cukrak is about an hour from this Prague vista.) The second teaser photo, below, really is in Prague; it's of a fruit and vegetable market in the Ujezd neighborhood. They have the best fruit and veg in town (at least, in my opinion). I'm at work, today and tomorrow, and I'll tell you more about that later, because I spend the business day surrounded by cookbooks... After that, I have a few days off so I'm planning to roam around Prague and show you some hidden good stuff beyond roast pork, dumplings, and cabbage. Here's my plan for the week... Ask any questions you like about what you see. Unorganized bits of the plan... I'll post a bunch of photos later, but I have to warn you that my food photography skills are nowhere near the previous bloggers'.... Kim's blog and Chris's were truly mouthwatering. The good news is that I just discovered Picasa, this morning, so I may be able to spare you my blurry breakfast photos. Breakfast: turkey sandwich and coffee. It's about all I can do to assemble this. In fact, this is advanced, for me. I'm not a morning person at all. More anon.
  23. Yes, it’s me – I’m amazed at how quickly I was ‘outed’; I’m awful at guessing! The title is a bit of a misnomer. I am not a housewife, but wish I was. I always say that I was born in the wrong decade. My ultimate dream is to stay home and cook and take care of my home and family. Circumstances haven't allowed that very much in my life, but I still love doing all that stuff! Mr. Kim promises that I can retire in 3 years (but he's been saying that for at least 5 years....hmmm). We live in Richmond, VA with our daughter, Jessica who is back home after graduating from college last spring. The first teaser picture was of our summer house. I kid, I kid - it's the state capitol. I cannot believe that I have to follow Chris. I feel especially grotty and slobby when I look at the pictures of his beautiful, bright, CLEAN kitchen. The things that normally show in my house aren't as clean and tidy as the stuff that normally doesn't in his! Please know that while I am messy and my floor might be questionable, I keep all surfaces and objects clean. I promise. I've decided that my 'angle' for this blog is going to be new stuff. I am an incorrigible recipe/cookbook collector (hence, my second teaser picture). I have them stashed all over my house. Here are some in the island that Ted Fairhead made: In the last picture is also our ‘bar’, some storage and ‘my’ drinks (more anon regarding that). I have a file drawer in the family room full of recipes that I’ve torn out from magazines and printed out from the internet: Here’s a shelf and a half in the living room: Upstairs in our bedroom, I have cookbooks under the TV: and beside the bed: Oh, crap, there’s some more: So for this week (at least for dinners) I will only cook new recipes that I have collected – some from my fellow eGulleteers. If we eat out, it will be at new restaurants I have wanted to try. In my files I have a 'Richmond restaurants to try' file stuffed full of newspaper/magazine articles and print outs of internet suggestions. I'll tell you right now that, except for the weekend, breakfast will be boring. I am not a breakfast fan, so you're going to see a banana and a Special K bar or yogurt most days. I love breakfast food anytime of the day and if I can have it an hour or so after getting up, I do. But that doesn't happen on work days. Lunch is more varied. Sometimes I have leftovers and since I work in a doctor's office, we have drug company reps that sometimes bring us lunch. This week we are supposed to have lunch brought on Monday, but that’s all so far. I only have 30 minutes, so eating out doesn't happen very often. One thing that you should know about me (some already know) is that I had a gastric bypass in 2003. I lost about 100 lbs. My before and afters: Before: After: In the before picture, I am the large flowered object on the left (amazing amounts of self delusion were going on that day), my daughter is in the middle (she also had a gastric bypass and lost even more than I did) and my momma (Ted Fairhead's wife) is on the right. Ideally, I would like to lose another 40 lbs. and I am trying to lose another 20 right now. I am told that if my insurance company would just approve the skin removal, that would be 20 lbs. right there (which just skeeves me right out to even think about - the idea of 20 lbs. of SKIN <shudder>). I would never, ever recommend the operation to anyone else - that is a completely personal decision, but I haven't ever regretted doing it for one minute. I weighed almost 270 lbs. and was getting fatter every day. I had tried every diet in the world and couldn't seem to get a handle on my food intake. I was on diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Except for cholesterol, all of that is gone now. Because I eat less now, there is a chance that I won’t get all the nutrients in my food, so I take a lot of supplements. Here is my daily dose: from left to right – flaxseed oil, multi-vitamin, calcium, vitamin E, vitamins A&D, low dose aspirin, Nexium and Lipitor. The Nexium is for acid – a common consequence of a little stomach and the Lipitor for cholesterol. My blood chemistry tests are always good now. I walk for exercise and feel good. I am 48 years old (49 in July), so I won’t ever be toned and buff, but I look good for my age and my former weight. Flab is ok - I just cover it up and Mr. Kim is a kind man! I eat so much less now that it is just unimaginable to think about the amounts of food that I used to consume. I can eat most any kind of food that I want - as long as I watch portions. There are only two things that really bother me - I can only eat a bite of steak or rice. Some days my tummy is fine. Other days, nothing seems to 'sit' well. Or something gets stuck in the little exit from my stomach. Bad days (which are not very frequent - once every few weeks) I live on cheese, pretzels and Tic Tacs (they settle my stomach without being overly sweet). I hate my kitchen. Square footage-wise it seems pretty good, but I have terrible cabinet and counter space. The pantry is one of those pantry/laundry room things. The top shelves are almost impossible for me to get stuff down from even with a ladder. Thank goodness Mr. Kim is 6' tall! Ted Fairhead made me the island when we moved into the house: It adds much welcome storage, counter space, an eating place, etc. He does nice work, huh? Since I have such crappy storage space, we have stuff all over the house: Living room closet, attic, even under table skirts. It's insane - I try to keep a list on the computer of what is where, but I still lose stuff. I’ll post those pictures later. Richmond has a pretty active food scene and some very good restaurants. We live out in the 'burbs - Glen Allen if anyone knows the area. My favorite area in Richmond is actually in town - the old neighborhoods known as the Fan, the Museum District and Carytown. You can read about them here. It is where VA Commonwealth University is located and where I lived while I was in college and right after we got married. It has a cool city feeling without being too raw-ly urban - very diverse as far as age, ethnicity and even economics. It was always our intent to move back there after Jessica graduated from high school, but they priced us right out of the market! So I live in suburbia and shop, eat and walk the city when I can. I'll probably get down there during the weekend and both the restaurants that we plan on going to this week are there, too. So here I am - I am so nervous and scared that I will disappoint/bore y'all! Everyone who has ever done a blog, will, I'm sure recognize those fears! If anyone has any questions, please ask! My favorite blogs are the ones that are like conversations! Mr. Kim’s two cents: So, if Mrs. Mike is nervous and scared just writing about her food this week, imagine MY trepidation as I look ahead to trying to keep up with her this week. You should just TRY being the only person in the house WITHOUT a gastric bypass when Kim starts working her kitchen magic. I mean, someone has to eat what she can’t. So I wage a constant battle not to eat myself into a fleshy imitation of a Macy’s balloon. Okay, battle may be too strong a word – I don’t resist Kim’s culinary wiles too vigorously. I am glad to be along for the ride this week, and based on the menu and Kim’s likely portion sizes, I look forward to a new wardrobe by the time she’s through blogging. Do they even MAKE grown up clothes in Size Husky?
  24. So, it’s the morning of the 19th, and it’s my turn on stage. Oh, no! I think I’ve forgotten my lines, even worse, it appears there isn’t a script! How do I keep up the high standards therese set in her blog? Help! Deep breath, I’m sure I’m not the only one that gets food blog stage fright… Ok, OK…Start with the basics… Well, I grew up in Montana USA, moved to Alaska USA after uni/with husband (husband is from Alaska). After 4 years in Anchorage we moved to Melbourne Australia. We had a 2 year temporary visa but ended up staying 11 years. (Don't worry, we did actually renew our visas! ) Then just a few months ago we decided to take an opportunity that has brought us to Dubai UAE. And that’s a looooong way from Montana in more than just distance! To prepare for this week I did what I usually do to plan food. I grabbed some of my food mags and some of my cookbooks and paged through to find somthing I felt like cookin'. There's often not a rhyme or reason to what I pick, it just sounds fun to make! The thing I’ve done the most this past year is make bread and I’m very proud of some of my efforts. This week I want to give Ciabatta a try and I, of course am open to hints in making it! Of course I'll just HAVE to go out for a meal or two this week. Sometimes that's hard to fit in with all the stuff I organise to cook but I'll just have to make the time, now won't I? therese asked loads of questions of us last week and I’ll be asking some too. Difference is I don’t know the answers! I’m still trying to identify things at the supermarkets! Before I forget, I need to say thanks to my friend Amanda who sent me the quote in my signature just in time for my blog and without even knowing I was gonna be doing this! (doing dance of joy now since I made it over the initial posting!)
  25. 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.
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