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  1. Hello dear friends, members of eGullet! Stan asked me if I would be interested in blogging this week and I said yes – that was back in I think September. He is very cunning in his ways. I wonder if it’s going to be possible to see the rhythms as I weave through this week. So much is changing, life is taking special, lucky turns. The routine I am trying to establish is not perfect yet, I’m in the midst of a battle to get used to a new one. I am doing the best I can to prepare to catch the golden apple next time it comes ‘round, and we’ve got the holiday coming up. It’s very particular being in a holiday mood when everyone around you has no clue. Can you imagine it? Your own private secret holiday. It’s important to try and keep things cool as I deal with my vendors, they are on a completely different wavelength. They just don’t ‘get’ the idea of monumental importance that seems to be oozing from my being. They know I’m a strange one, they think it’s funny, and from there, we do Thanksgiving. At the same time I keep my daily life grinding along. The leaves are changing here in Lyon, the weather has gotten cold, we had ourselves the annual a glass of the Beaujolais Nouveau (I don’t know why they said it was supposed to be more ‘traditional’ this year, it still tasted like banana bubblegum to me.) We took this moment, as we have for the last few years, to map out what we might like to do this year for the holiday. I’ve taken out my notes and taken a chance to remember what I liked and didn’t like about last year. In any case, I have a loose plan laid out (I don’t like to write things in stone, especially when blogging!) and I heartily welcome you to accompany me through this week. I hope I can do it justice.
  2. Good Morning. It's raining. I'll get right to the photos! All Breakfasts Served this morning: As plans for (human)meals for the next few days come up, I'll let you in on them. One special highlight of the week will be Sunday: we're having a true Mexican/Michoacan goat roast in our yard with one of our goats. Don Miguel, a trained butcher/Birria cooker from Michoacan will cook for some of our food-industry friends from the SF Bay area. I promise many photos. More about me later, the restaurants are calling, I've got to call the field with the orders, I'll be back in an hour or so. cg
  3. Click here for the first Tag Team Foodblog: A Tale of Two Kitchens. This is the second of a series of recurring threads and a special feature of the eGullet Foodblog. As with the first Tag Team, two Society members will be blogging and will be coordinating menus throughout this week. Out of seven days, they will commit to a set number of matched meals, in this case five. (The number of meals 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. Snowangel previously appeared in Midwestern Thai. Torakris was previously featured in New Year's Festivities in Japan, A Week of Fun in Japan, and Pocky and the Geisha. Susan and Kristin will post later today, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights during the upcoming week: Tuesday, 4 October: based on trips to the farmer's market, or Kris's coop basket. This could be interesting....This will really be a "wing it" night, and suggestions from members will be solicited. Wednesday, 5 October: dinner on the run. Susan will be doing a soup from her husband's new cookbook, which will be featured in a separate topic. Thursday, 6 October: Recipes from RecipeGullet. Advice and feedback from members would be greatly appreciated. Some of this may be predicated by trips to the market. Friday, 7 October: Three recipes from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. As with Thursday's dinner, this will depend on what is available at the market. Saturday, 8 October: Kristin is going to a festival with her family. Susan's family will celebrate a birthday, and she will smoke brisket, in addition to baking a cake. Sunday, 9 October: BBQ. Kris and her family are going to friend's for a BBQ, and Susan's family will have a neighbor get-together. Monday, 10 October: Homemade pasta. Wish our bloggers luck! As before, we've started the thread a day early so that everyone can orient themselves and get their bearings. In addition to all of the above, they will be blogging their daily eating. Let the games begin! Soba
  4. Good morning, all! Summer is a beautiful time of year in Oswego, NY, and I'm thrilled to be able to share a week of it with you. Oswego is in central New York, on the shore of Lake Ontario. (In fact, my house is about a ten-minute walk from the lakeshore. Next time I head out that way, I'll be sure to bring the camera.) We're on a little bump of land very close to where the shoreline turns northward, so we get glorious water views both to the north and to the west. Oswego has about 18,000 residents, and SUNY-Oswego where both my husband and I teach has about 8600 students, mostly from all over New York. We have three supermarkets, an orchard store up the hill a few miles out of town, and a terrific independent bookstore called the river's end that helps me feed my cookbook addiction. Best of all, every Thursday night from June through mid-October, the city closes down a couple of blocks of West 1st Street for a farmer's market. It's actually been about a month since I last went marketing, since we just got back from a conference/vacation trip earlier this week. When we left, there wasn't much interesting at the market: lettuce, radishes, the last of the asparagus, and apples from last year. This evening we should get a much wider selection! This morning started for me with a July ritual: My usual breakfast is a bowl of cereal with milk. The cereal itself varies from day to day, depending on what was on sale that week, what else we have in the house, how much my sweet tooth is rearing its head, and the weather. This time of the year, it's always cold cereal. And this time of year, I always eat it downstairs in the family room, with the TV on to OLN's live feed of the Tour de France. Today's plan is to head onto campus to start getting things in order for the fall semester, since that starts a little more than a month from now. (Yikes! ) My husband's been there for a few hours already. I'll probably go for a swim at noon, and then go back to work for the rest of the afternoon. The market opens at 5:30 this afternoon, and we typically arrive downtown shortly after that. Later, MelissaH
  5. Good morning! Greetings from Cambridge UK. Here is the view from my study window, over the herb garden: The bright yellow you can just see in the distance under the rose arch is oil seed rape in the field next door. Thanks to Soba for dropping me in it - its going to be really hard to follow such a wonderful blog, actually such a wonder run of the recent blogs. I'm not sure what I can tell you or what more there is to say after my previous two blogs http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=33730&hl= and http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=51320&st=0 Nor am I sure about his advance billing of "spend a week in the countryside and get reacquainted with the glories of English cuisine amidst summer's bounty". Where we are is not really proper countryside. We are about 5 miles outside Cambridge on the edge of a village, in the soft south of the country - more suburban than real countryside. My cooking is a mixed metaphor, and rather plain rather than a glory of English or any Cuisine. As for the promise of "Strawberries and clotted cream", Strawberries will certainly feature, but its the wrong side of the country for clotted cream. That is more like Devon or Cornwall. Here we eat Strawberries plain, or with pouring or whipped cream, or as Eton Mess (strawberries, meringue and whipped cream all mushed together). Let me explain where we are in the academic year to give some context to the week. This week the undergraduates are taking exams. Traditionally the weather is hot, but its unusually rather cool today. In Cambridge your degree depends mostly on the final examinations, assuming the other requirements, such as residence have been satisfied. Very few subjects use continuous assessment. There is a nice tradition that examiners can ask any question they feel appropriate, regardless on whether it has been taught or not. It's therefore quite a tense and stressful time for the students, and towards the end of the week I will have piles of exam scripts to mark. Then all hell breaks loose, and May Week begins. May week is, of course, a fortnight in June. It used to be in May, way back when, but then the University term got longer. Many garden and other parties are held, outdoor concerts and play, much Pimms and other summer drinks are drunk, culminating, in two weeks time in the May Balls. These are lavish affairs given by the colleges (some every other year), Black tie, and champagne all night. My college's May Ball menu: http://www.emmamayball.com/menu.php Clare May Ball: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/claremayball/2005/?taste Trinity: http://www.trinityball.co.uk/menu.html Fortunately that will be after the end of this blog, and the weather will traditionally turn cold and wet to dampen their ardour. I used to supply fireworks for the Balls. I can't resist this snap. I apologise for the quality. Its a copy of one that hangs in my study The building is the Wren Library, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, at Trinity: I lit that one. I don't do fireworks for the Balls anymore, as its a young persons game, and the budgets aren't enough anymore to get me out of bed. After the Balls, term is over, and the undergraduates go on their way. Its a bitter-sweet time, as student friendships romances come to an end or are fulfilled, and the students go out into the big wide world, or at least until next academic year. Left behind are the residents, the graduate students and those of us who have to teach them - I'm teaching an MBA elective in Entrepreneurship for the next few weeks. They have brutal 3 hour classes, instead of one hour lectures. Let me mention my book that is the basis for the course "The High Tech Entrepreneurs Handbook", Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-273-65615-5. Its very good. Back to the subject of the blog. On the first Sunday of May Week (called Suicide Sunday), in the evening, Trinty College Choir takes to punts on the river and sings sweet Madrigals (and a little babershop). If it doesn't rain, which it normally doesn't, God being a Trinty man, it a beautiful and romantic occaision. If you are there (8pm) come and say "hi". I help punt the choir with some friends and wine stewards of the some of the colleges (some wine will be taken), and we arrange a serious picnic. In a way this blog is a slow build up to the Madrigal picnic. Your suggestions please for what we should eat. Finger food, cold for a dozen or so people, easily transported and eaten on the river. So far I've planned a surprise loaf filled with smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches. Others will supply Asparagus, Anne's famous Brownies (very gooey and slightly coffee flavoured), and of course, strawberries. What else should we have, especially for the protein component? Tea Eggs? Fishy balls? Chicken legs? Ideas please. Now comes the complication. To make the smoked salmon sandwiches I intend to bake the bread (naturally), and smoke the salmon (lox). I've recently discovered how to use my brick oven as a smoker. While I'm smoking I'll make bacon.More about that later. What else should I smoke? This is cold smoking - not above about 90F, so not chicken or the like which is hot smoked. Also this week I hope to potter in the garden, and with luck persuade Daniel Clifford, the chef at Midsummer House (which I started, now Michelin 2*) to share some time. That might not happen, as he is frantically busy this week, so may get tagged on the end. Fat squirrel has just come to vist to see if we have left any bird food out, and I mut prepare for my lecture, and this afternoon's discussion on how the University should treat IPR, currently a hot political topic. Are these pix too big? This will probably be an image intensive blog, and I don't know how good people's abndwidth is out there..
  6. For the next week, I invite you to join me for meals at my house...nothing quite so exotic as eating in SE Asia (not by a long shot!) but, based on some of the threads popping up lately (e.g., January Detox and New Years Resolution - Lose Weight), it might be of some interest. As a quick introduction, I am Jen Jensen and I live in Sacramento. This is my second turn at blogging; the first blog is here. I won't go into too much personal detail, since it's all there and I'd just be repeating myself. Back then, I wrote "In the coming week, I'll be eating at home, eating out, and (most exciting of all) eating at Tigh-na-Mara, a spa/resort on Vancouver Island in BC." Well, I definitely ate a lot! A few months later, I stepped on the bathroom scale and realised that, if I didn't do something, I was just going to keep putting on weight until I popped like that fellow in the Monty Python skit. And so I joined Weight Watchers. My primary goal was to relearn my better eating habits. I reckoned if I did that, then I would also lose weight. So far, it's worked quite well. As of yesterday, I've lost exactly 27 pounds. And, thanks to eGullet for inspiration (and the Weight Watchers thread in particular), I've been able to eat some pretty damn good food while losing that weight! And now...I'm off to make my breakfast!
  7. Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese. As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better. Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which. We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product. So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it. But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast? Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat. The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner. I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  8. Good morning, everyone. Let me begin by saying I am freakishly excited and quiveringly nervous. Let's begin, then? I often eat a multi-stage breakfast, as you'll see shortly. This morning I slunk out of bed at 4:40 to make it to a 5:15 Pilates class (I only do this once per week!), drinking a small coffee adulterated with General Foods International Coffee (vanilla flavor - an on again, off again addiction) on the drive over. After class, and partially awakened, I head over to work and eat a greens bar on *that* drive. Calories of any sort after being at the gym is always a good idea. Finally, at work, I have my customary cafe au lait with crappy work brew and nuked 2% milk, and a small bowl of plain yogurt with handful of granola and a little bit of leftover "breakfast" quinoa from lunch yesterday. My camera phone takes an awful picture, I know, but some visuals are better than none, I hope: Bad photo #1: Bad photo of freaky yogurt quinoa mush #2: More to come, and better pictures - I promise. Andrea http://tenacity.net [edited to change photo links]
  9. My name is Andy Lynes and I am a Site Manager for eGullet. I live in the village of Patcham, just outside of the seaside resort of Brighton and Hove on the South Coast of England. I'm 39 years old and married to Gill. We have two kids, George (11) and Alice (7) and a German Shorthaired Pointer named Lulu. My entire life revolves around food. Apart from my duties here on eGullet, I write about it for a living, I cook most days at home, I eat out a great deal and I read everything I can lay my hands on that is food, drink and restaurant related. My interest in just about anything else (apart from music and Uma Thurman) is limited, which can make me tiresome company for the non-food obsessed people in my life. However, I think we're all on the same page here, so this week I'll be documenting everything I cook and pretty much everything I eat. I won't pretend that its going to be a normal week in the Lynes household, I'll be making a special effort in order to make the blog at least readable. So I'll be visiting my local butchers, fish mongers, markets and supermarkets to give you a flavour of what its like to live and cook where I am. I'll be sharing recipes, techniques and general food-musings with you and I'll document the soundtrack to my cooking (there's always music or the radio playing when I'm preparing a meal). I'll tell you how I'm feeling in order to judge if mood can affect what I cook and how well I cook it. I'll be exploring what food means to me and who and what has influenced the way I cook. This week is a particularly interesting one as it will include a visit to Bray to chat with Heston Blumental and a gathering of UK eGullet members for a winter feast in London. I'm looking forward to it.
  10. 14 Sept 2004 8am Cambridge UK I've been tipped again to do the foodblog. Last time was Christmas and New Year. This time is Rosh Hashonah, which seems fair, so you will have to suffer my awful typos for this week. "L’Shona Tova Tikosaiv v’Saichosaim". "May you be written down for a sweet and good year in the Book of Life! " to all First of all coffee, mail and eG's overnight messages. The coffee is dark roast Java Sumatra, made in a press pot, and is breakfast unless otherwise noted. The mug is a Microsoft give-away. My desk, unusally tidy, and the view from the window in front of me. Sunny but windy. While I am not religious myself, I did have an othodox Jewish upbringing, and still like the food, so I guess some will figure this week. This week is fairly busy, and today is the calm before the storm. Main highlight is our annual apple pressing party on Sunday, weather permitting. We have open house, and expect about 100 people to come and pick apples and help press them into apple juice. We fire up the wood burning bread oven and bake pizza and things. . What we eat and talk about on the rest of the week is to some extent up to you, an I hope for a lot of interaction. If I get time I'll try and rig a webcam, as an experiment. Current fixed points: Today is fairly quite. Probably Bangers and Mash for supper Wednesday we are going to friends for supper to celebrate another friends birthday. Thursday a freind of Jill's (my partner) is coming to stay. Being Rosh Hashonah I plan a Brisket Tzimmes, with a pototo kugel. Friday start prep for the party, and start the bread doughs Saturday Fire the oven and bake breads etc Sunday Apple pressing Monday I'm hosting dinner in College The house is built in an old orchard, with about 20 of the original trees still standing. There is a newer orchard, maybe 30 years old, with 30 trees. Here are some pictures taken this morning of apples. The identification is noit certain, but were done by The Brogdale Trust. . Joan Morgan's The New Book of Apples (ISBN0-091-88398-9 is definitive. Regular eGulleteers may remember that many of apple trees were severely ringed by the rabbits last winter, and I feared for their survival. I'm happy to report that they seem to have pulled through. Some, like the NewtonWonder, are biennial bearing and are off this year with only a few apples, but most have a large crop. However since we have not pruned or reduced the fruit numbers the apples are mostly small. They are mostly cookers or eating apples, rather than cider. I've tried making cider from the juice, but it is thin and weedy stuff, but more of that anon. The apple juice is lovely, an we freeze it in plastic bottles, straight from the press. Allington Pippin (my favourite, good general purpose apple) and Newton Wonder (cooker, said to be derived from the apple tree that dropped and apple on Newton's head) Lord Derby (cooker) and Tydman's Early Worcester Orelans Reinette (russet); Queen Cox and Ellison's Orange Other apples are Charles Ross, Laxton's Fortune, Cox (poor trees), Grandier (cooking) and John Standish (late red, not yet ripe), Also pears and Quinces, again a bit early. Late purple plums (Marjorie's seedling?) and Damsons Dog rose hip and Brambles (wild blackberries) in the hedges
  11. Hi Everyone! This blog is going to be a very mixed bag! I’ll be eating out more than in a usual week (not because I’m blogging, it just worked out that way) and I also want to detail a fabulous meal/experience we had at the Napa Rose in Disneyland. First, a little about me: I’m 58 and live in San Ramon, CA (East Bay of San Francisco) with my wife, Ellen, my 21-year-old daughter Rebecca and our dog Max. In my previous marriage, my ex did all the cooking and I did all the cleaning. I always had a good palate and was good at telling you what was in a dish and/or how to fix a dish that was lacking, but never really learned anything beyond very basic kitchen skills. My kids always dreaded the days when Dad had to cook! From 1992 to 2003 I owned a beer and wine brewing shop and also a commercial microbrewery. I designed all of the recipes for the beer kits and most of the recipes for the microbrewery and they were very successful. Our IPA won Best of Show at the California State Fair, besting beers from all over the state including the big guys, and the smaller like Sierra Nevada. The next year we won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for the IPA and a Silver for our Red. In 1994 I wrote and published what is still the definitive (but now very dated) guide to using hops in craft brewing. (Bottom line: I always was good at creating recipes.) I got divorced in early 2007 and during the break-up I was working at Best Buy as the appliance manager. Along with washers and dryers I was selling ranges, microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators and counter-top appliances - helping people to outfit entire kitchens. When I bought and moved into my own (and current) place, finding one with a decent kitchen was paramount because I intended to learn how to cook! There were several motivations for that: I wanted my daughter (who was staying with me half time) to look forward to meals, not dread them. It would also allow me to better sell kitchen appliances. And it would save me a lot of money compared to eating out! I now do 99% of the cooking for the family, and my daughter lives with us full time - learning to cook had something to do with that! So I enrolled in a 12 week cooking class at the now defunct Viking Cooking School in Walnut Creek and learned my way around the kitchen. I like the cooking part, but for me the joy is in creating recipes and tweaking someone else’s to my liking and/or methods. I started to upgrade my cookware and counter-top appliances - but that will be the subject of another post! The food I cook tends to be somewhat simple, comfort food. Normal stuff a family of picky eaters will eat! My plating skills are minimal, especially compared to some of you here. Now I work as a graphic designer/marketing person/data analyst at a large financial firm. I also read palms as a sideline. My current hobbies besides cooking are playing bluegrass guitar and sewing/embroidery. Off to work - will post more this evening.
  12. Well, it’s officially Sunday and we have a whole lot to cover this week, so...hello and welcome to Missouri. I’m a troll’s troll. And as much as I’d like to pretend that I actually DO live under a bridge waiting for goats to walk by, I am looking forward to putting my OCD to work and showing you a little bit of “MY Kansas City”. To begin my blog I’ll open it with an absolutely true story…in addition to changing the way I approach food, whether it’s dining in a new city or trying a new recipe, I owe the largest part of my happy life to eGullet. For it was HERE that my lurker wife (I’m sure she’ll pop in here at some point) first spotted my gleefully grammatically challenged wordsmithing and began to stalk me…and it went like THIS- A few months after my gastric bypass surgery in 2007, I hosted a dinner party and talked about it on the Sopranos food thread: The Sopranos Dinner Thread So she saw that and was like “Oh man, this guy is going places!”, and she fell into the vortex that is my blog (which DOES contain adult themes and language…BIG time) after hopping over there to read the extended version of the dinner. My blog is kind of like a landfill and gets about ten accidental visits per day, one comment every three months…it is absolutely shill and self-promotion proof. So in the interest of including some important non-food info I’ll link to a specific post without feeling too bad about possibly boosting my traffic to twenty over the next few days. If you skip to the third comment, that is where this whole story took off after a random dinner party report. My wife-to-be happened to post to something I wrote about online dating...comments complete with John Cusack references. Anybody here have a heart?!?! Isn’t it PRECIOUS?!?!? Thoughts about dating that reeled in a wife... And so thanks to eGullet we were off and running! I was in Kansas City, she was in Richmond, Virginia...and after several months of phone calls and literally hundreds of pages of emails we arranged our first face time. Planning for a worst case scenario, she would drive to DC (which would give her a quick escape if needed), and I would fly in and have three days to eat and drink in that town…with our without her. So where was our official “first date”? Is that a rhetorical question? We were going to be in DC, and you don’t remain a bachelor until almost forty without learning a thing or two about “classy” first dates. So no brainer…minibar. BOOM. You can’t make that stuff up. And my wife mentioned how much she likes it when the eG food bloggers include a picture, so here you go- this is us on that first date, at the bar at Café Atlantico, waiting to be summoned upstairs: We had a small destination wedding in Savannah, Georgia in Whitefield Square’s gazebo. On June 25th we celebrated our second anniversary during a roadtrip to Deadwood, South Dakota (Corn Palace, Wall Drug, the works). We live in Parkville, Missouri, which is about ten minutes northwest of downtown Kansas City (Missouri…there’s another one in Kansas  ). No kids, but we do have three rescue animals...one cute but common decency-challenged cocker spaniel and two one-eyed cats. Overall, life right now is grand. And this is a FOOD blog, but I will add that what makes life so great is making it through a pretty crazy first couple of years...I mean, we did everything you’re NOT supposed to do. Long distance relationship where we both bounced back and forth between Richmond and KC, planning a wedding with the full knowledge that in a few months I would be laid off from my job, getting married and then having her leave home to move a thousand miles away...finally arriving here with no job prospects and me being out of work for what ended up being seven months. 2009 was crazy….five people in my family died that year, I got married, I quit drinking, my whole team got laid off, my bachelor pad was about to be retrofitted for estrogen-friendliness, wife looking for a job, a one-eyed cat thrown into the mix...you don’t realize how crazy it is when you’re in the middle of it. So now I am literally thankful every single day for what we’ve got; we’re both employed (I’m in IT, she’s in healthcare), we have a happy home, great family and friends...and we love our food. When the good times come you devour them, and you pass on as much good as you can to others. And life will always come back and happen to you at some point…and sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, the good times will return. And when they DO return, YOU CELEBRATE WITH A FANTASTIC MEAL! So I just wanted to give that little backdrop to set up what I’m wanting to do with this week. I could have gone a million different directions or just try to make this what I think of as “eGullet-y”. But as my wife told me, there isn’t really any NEW ground to cover on this site, so best to just personalize it and see where it goes. I’m just going to blog how I blog, food-centric and minus the wildly excessive profanity... other than that pretty unedited and full of self-amusement. You’re going to see some good food, I promise you that. I’m going to test your limits with my rambling, horrible photography, and movie references...and I AM the king of the ellipses... but it’s going to revolve around food, who we are, and what makes us love eating in KC. I’ve lived in Arizona and Minneapolis, but Kansas City Kansas is where I was born (on the 4th of July!) and most of my life has happened in the major metropolitan area. I moved to the Missouri side after my broken-hearted return from Minneapolis in 1995, because it is just better than Kansas. Sorry, it’s just true . I’ll have to leave a lot of stuff out that may tweak folks familiar with the area, but I’m always available for questions, requests, and whatever is of interest about food in my town. If it exists here, I’m probably at least aware of it, I am deeply familiar with the current scene, and we eat EVERYTHING, too bad we've only got the week. Like many eG bloggers it will be a big one-off as far as overall dining costs and calories in a seven day span. Oh, and here’s the big kicker...no BBQ. I create world class bbq, I love talking about it, and am happy to chit-chat, but that is one serious all-or-nothing topic. Plus, a Kansas City blog without bbq is just funny. I gotta be FREE! Some NEW stuff! For its size, Kansas City has an amazing food community, and I will give you just a tiny fraction….and please ignore any eye-rolling and fact checking from other KC eGulleters because MY KC is the coolest version...full of folklore and intrigue!!! Oh, and “zeemanb” is a screen name I’ve used since around 1995 when I first got online. Sadly, some from KC think it has something to do with the Z-Man sandwich at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ…but cheese belongs on bbq about as much as mango chutney or pop rocks…or bbq sauce…so not hardly. I took the name from the character Z-Man Barzell in the Russ Meyer classic “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”, written by Roger Ebert. My holy trinity of movie directors would be Stanley Kubrick, John Waters, and Jim Jarmusch...so there is a big clue into my voice and worldview- with deepest apologies. In the morning I’ll detail how we approach hard narcotics, er, I mean COFFEE in this house. We’ve got friends coming over in the afternoon for some Ad Hoc fried chicken, and I am DYING to post dinner from tonight. I know it happened a couple of hours earlier than the start of the blog, but I assure you it is not to be ignored. Gotta hit the hay, so until then here are a few random shots to tide you over: Photo of my favorite spoonrest. And by favorite, I mean my only spoonrest: We find that the best use for the extra plastic grocery baggies we steal is- cheap cat toy: Lastly, before I head to bed, here is some super cool food photography we bought while we were on our anniversary roadtrip: More rambles once I get the caffeine in my veins.....
  13. Good morning and hello from sunny South Florida! Later this morning, I'm going to pick up my weekly CSA box, and then we'll know what I'm going to be eating this week. Until then... This is a Cara Cara orange, a navel orange with red flesh. It has very low acid and is sweeter than most oranges. I bought some this morning from Whole Foods; they were grown in Winter Garden, FL. A little juice for breakfast: See you after I'm back from the farm!
  14. Now that the cat's out of the bag, you might say I've been looking forward to this Foodblog for a long time. The focus of this Foodblog is a little different from all the other ones. Back in 2012, I decided that I wanted to change the way I ate, cooked and shopped, from buying specific things for a specific recipe, to buying what looked good at the market, then making something using what I came home with. In doing so, I wanted to see if I could cook, shop and eat seasonally for an entire year. My cooking had become stale; I was limited to the same handful of concepts. I sought to break out of the box I had become entrapped within. By limiting myself to a specific set of ingredients for days or weeks at a time, I was forced to experiment and broaden my horizons. That experiment, which I called The Year of Cooking Seasonally, was so successful that I've decided that's what I'll be doing for the rest of my life. When you are faced with weeks of POTATOES or CARROTS or ZUCCHINI or CORN, cooking in this way makes me want to dig deep within myself and really get into what it means to make something that's mundane seem interesting, exciting, delicious and enticing. It's not for everyone, but it works for me. This Foodblog is also different from the others I've had the honor of participating in, because I wanted readers to be able to partly influence the ingredients for this week's menu and in the process challenge myself. I'm always looking to improve, to learn, to discover, to explore, to teach and be taught, and to share with others. In addition, most recipes will be sized for one or two people, and are mostly meatless. These days, I consider myself a 'flexitarian' -- that is, someone who eats less meat than he used to. I would say I am 60% lacto-ovo vegetarian/20% vegan/20% meat. My hobby is cooking. My life revolves around food. Amongst my friends, I am known for cooking multi-course meals from scratch when I come home from work, at least three or four days a week. Perhaps this is a luxury to some, but THIS is how I relax. When Im in the kitchen, I am able to indulge my creativity in ways that prove to be nearly as satisfying as sex. This Foodblog is dedicated to anyone who's marveled at the beauty of life, as reflected in the passage of time and in the procession of the seasons, and in the love we share with each other in community and at the table.
  15. Good morning and thank you Ms. Victoria, I hope I can do justice to the blog tradition! But first, a shout out to all of us Mothers, mommies, moms, mas, mammys, and mahs: Happy Mother’s Day!! I’m a "here and there" home chef. Right now, here is NY, and there is Italy. My husband and I have spent a quiet weekend at our house in Northern Westchester, we’ve been getting the house ready for spring and summer, planting flowers, cleaning up the outdoor plants…and we’ve been eating rather well. A quick bio: married, 1 son, 2 cats. We’ve been married a long time…20 years…and lived together for a few years before that. Our son is just finishing his first year in college, he can’t make it home for Mother’s Day because he’s working away finishing his last project of the semester. We are going to Philadelphia on Tues to bring him (and his mountain of stuff) home, I’ll still be his mother on Tues, so we’ll celebrate then. Most of the week we live in a loft in Soho, which is in downtown NYC; weekends we try to head up here to Westchester. I’ve had some formal training with cooking, I graduated from an accelerated program at the NY Restaurant school (the school has since merged with some other school, I’m not sure of the name anymore). I thought I wanted to become a caterer, but as this was an early mid-life career change, I found I could make more money working in the garment center, and have weekends off; so now I just cook for family and friends. Some of the high points in my life have been very literally high points: I’ve climbed and stood on some of the world’s highest peaks with my husband and son. We climbed Kilimanjaro, Mt. Elbrus and some peaks in Bolivia to mention the really high points. We are avid downhill skiers. Anyone want to talk about the trials of cooking at altitude?? Now that’s a real pain. I commute to work in the city by bike, which is an adventure in its own right. Hold on: we just got some great news!! Our friend who is an avid hunter, just called to say he finally got a wild turkey!!! Its been a long, dry spell since he’s been successful. Our deal is, he hunts, I cook. He just called from upstate on a scratchy cellphone connection to let us know the good news. Oh boy!! Enough bio. Onto the food. We left work a little early on Friday, so we were able to eat to come up here to the house, and have dinner at home, which is a rarity on Fridays, as we usually have to leave the city late, after the traffic has abated. Friday night was grilled artic char and shrimp, served on a nest of cappelini with a parsley brown butter sauce, and some grilled baby fennel. Need to work on the baby fennel part, it would be great if you had very sharp teeth and were in need of fiber…maybe this is one vegetable that needs to come to maturity before eating. We opened a 98 bottle of Haynes vineyard Turley that was magnificent. A bit overboard for the fish, but it was delicious. And it was Friday night, after all! Saturday lunch was a warm white bean and shrimp salad. Is there any more symbiotic relationship than parsley and garlic? This was served with a Tavel rose that worked perfectly with the bright flavors of the salad. I’ll post photos later, right now, I’m working off a really s l o w dialup connection, but I can post when we get back to the city. Saturday dinner was a TV dinner. That means the temperature dropped, it started to rain, so we had to eat inside. So dinner was served while we watched Sling Blade. Remember, that old Billy Bob Thorton film? It had some serious story flaws, but overall it has held up and is still interesting to watch. We had grilled quail for dinner. The quail had spent the afternoon relaxing in a ginger, garlic, and lemongrass bath. So they were simply grilled and served on a bed of rice, along with some white asparagus, and a terrific watercress salad. The watercress was a type I had never seen before: very thin stalks with oversized leaves. It was firm, crunchy and very peppery. I tossed it with some sliced red onions, micro-planed some orange zest on top, and made a simple vinegarette with EVOO and orange juice. The oranges are very, very, very tart. Sunday morning I made my favorite Sunday brunch breakfast. It has a number of names: salade du pays, survival salad, but it’s a frisee and lardon salad. I’m able to get some nitrate free, applewood smoked bacon in a slab. That gets sliced up into cubes and cooked, frisee salad gets a very light simple vinegarette. This all gets tossed, 2 poached eggs on top, a little toast and you have the perfect meal. We had some fresh squeezed orange juice (need to find some sweeter oranges to mix in with these babies!), and grapefruit juice. Coffee is illy brand coffee, made in the mokka with the foam coming from the chuga-chuga. I honestly don’t know what its real name is, we bought it in Italy, and I just made the motion and chuga-chuga sound to the man at the store, and he instantly produced exactly what I wanted. Anyway, the chuga-chuga is a metal cylinder, heavy bottomed container that you heat the milk up with, the top has a plunger with a mesh screen attached. When the milk is warm, you pump the plunger a few times, and voila! You have perfect foam for the cappuccino. Low tech perfection. Here you can see my dear old Caloric stove. The clock has worked in years, but the burner space is large, the oven is large, its truly an old reliable friend. We have a bunch of people coming for dinner, its Sunday Soprano Supper. Something that has become sort of a tradition, we eat dinner and watch the Sopranos. Of course, we start with the Simpsons, because you just have to love the Simpsons. And for the Sopranos, you need a bunch of people around to keep you up to date on the plot. I need to go and get some groceries, so we’ll be back…!
  16. Ok, so it’s on me to try and log my daily food habits. I am not sure how interesting how they will be. The problem is I really hardly ever plan my weekly meals, I more or less have a general idea of what we might have. Something along the lines of “hmm…I have not had any Indian at home in a while AND I have some yogurt, I need to do something with that” or “that basil is getting out of hand, I think some pesto might be in order” and so on. I honestly always envied the planners, you know those who have a set menu for everyday of the week. I tried that a couple of times, never works for us. The main hurdle is that I am pretty much the only cook in the house and both my wife and I work. We also have a one year old who needs to be dropped off and picked up from daycare. So by the time I get home which could be as late as 8PM dinner plans might have to be seriously re-vamped. This week, here’s what I am “planning” on: -I want to enter a recipe into the Food and Wine burger contest and I have a vision of a chicken burger with some type of Lebanese twist on it. Thought it might be fun. -I DO have a tree of basil so pesto might make an appearance in some form or shape. -I’ve been meaning to test a braised short ribs recipe with mushrooms. Hopefully it will happen this week. -A homebaked bread is a weekly must have. I also plan on having some pictures posted, mainly of dinner items. Since lunch is usually at my desk in the office and breakfast is usually nothing more than a cup of coffee except on some weekends. So, hopefully my log is half as enjoyable as the other ones have been so far and I look forward to some interesting discussions. Elie
  17. It's been unseasonably warm here in Southern Ontario - until Thursday morning when we woke to a significant chill in the air. Yesterday was downright cold! So that means it's time to head north again for my usual couple of weeks of work in Little Current. The car is packed (actually overpacked) - though I'm sure I will forget a thing or two - there is a cooler full of odds and ends, a nice chunk of brisket I picked up at Wegmans on Monday, a honking big duck breast, the colcannon I made yesterday that I'm sure hubby won't eat while I'm away, lots of cheese (some smoked), some tomato chutney, red pepper jelly... Cocktail books include my handwritten favourites and a copy of Death and Company that everyone seems to be making recipes from lately. I'm taking a couple of new bottles I picked up - some mescal, a bottle of Carpano Classico and some Suze for one the cocktails mentioned from Death and Co that I want to try. I don't think I've packed any regular cookbooks now that I think about it - I may regret that when I arrive. I may be asking for recipes from people as I go along. I'm taking along the rice wine under construction - inside of the house here is going to smell better, the condo perhaps not so - and a few odds and ends I've been fermenting lately. There's some grape juice fermenting downstairs - but that will be left behind - perhaps it will have finished itself by the time I return. The fridge and freezer are filled with meals for hubby and rug rat - I'm sure they won't starve while I'm gone. Not sure if I'll be able to post from the phone as I drive up today - but I shall try. I'll certainly catch you up when I arrive on the island and get settled in.
  18. Okay, it starts with a 9AM coffee from WaWa and a 10AM medium sized muffin me papa bought that was lying around the house.
  19. Give us some clues, ok? Inquiring minds want to know. Soba
  20. It looks like I've been tapped by Soba to do the next foodblog in this thread, so here goes... Lunch was wonton and roast pork soup with udon noodles and truly first rate cold sesame noodles at "Spade's Noodles, Rice, & More" on 37th and 3rd. A very cheap, surprisingly good Chinese restaurant for a quick lunch in Midtown East. Dinner was my version of pasta puttanesca: tomato, lots of oil-packed anchovies (there were no salt-packed in the house), lots of capers, gaeta olives and Sicilian colossal olives (pitted by me using the "whack with the flat of a knife" method), onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and plenty of fresh minced parsley. As I sat down at the table, I realized that I didn't have any pecorino -- my grating cheese of choice for this sauce -- and so I grabbed a chunk of bottarga di muggine... That sent it right over the top and into another category of deliciousness entirely. I probably would have made a salad, but was busy playing with the ferrets and didn't have time. Dessert was Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch -- my favorite. Tonight the ferrets are having a little bit of a whole chicken (including bones, skin, fat, giblets, etc.) that I ran through a grinder and lightly cooked. Perhaps I'll give them a whole gizzard or two as well so they can tear something apart.
  21. Traveling is always tough. I had my first bite to eat on Northworst en route to Minneapolis, aka "the Kremlin" to the oldtimer Nortwest employee. It was a Quaker oat and raisin Chewy with a cup of luke warm black coffee. Turbulant flight over the Dakotas. The next segment of the trip I opted for the turkey sangie. It came with that Hellman's Dijon Mayo, small bag of Fritos, a tiny sealed cup of Spring Water and an apple. It was dinner roll sized, but not all bad. The apple was sour. Alaska Air was dismal. "Juice" service with salty Beer Nut brand peanuts. The juice was in these little 3 ounce sized portions. I felt like five years old again while taking a sip from these. I opted for the apple juice. I sat a bit in Seattle and people watched. One of my old regulars from Sitka's Pioneer Bar was on board the same flight! I got to Sitka and had the worst watered down Belvedere Martini, up, I've ever encountered. Back up plan -- my favourite Alaskan Amber, but somehow it wasn't the same beer I adored a couple years back when I lived here. Maybe it was the pint glasses and excess soap (from washing and not a thorough rinse) killing my enjoyment. But before the martini flop, my aunt and I took a brisk walk through town. New food happenings here. A new sushi place appears days away from a Grand Opening! My friend's Mojo moved (a small cafe that used to have odd operating hours). It still looked quite styling in its new location and remained as ecclectic as its artistic owner. In the old Mojos was a new place called Luigi's. It looked postively charming. Must stroll by when I'm not power walking and huffing and puffing to catch up with my very cardio in shape aunt! What a gloriously sunny day. I thought it looked odd that many of the pituresque mountains didn't have any snow on their caps. Nor the volcano. *yawn* It's late. Good night y'all.
  22. Well - Fifi has tagged me so I guess I'm it. I hope my bizarre eating habits aren't too dull, or too revealing of my other *ahem* idiosynchracies. Started today as I always do. Big cappuccino from the dining room. One of the advantages to working for a restaurant is having the cappuccino machine downstairs at all times! Makes the long hours pass with a much higher level of alertness. Otherwise getting my synapses to fire in the absence of caffeine is like trying to spark a campfire with wet wood I've had a couple of North Star Farms peaches so far. Late summer peaches are SO good! Not terribly hungry today as lunar cycle issues are making me feel a bit queasy. Also like I'm birthing a small litter of porcupines, but this too shall pass when the painkillers kick in. Then I assume I'll be back to my usual hoovering self. Am I the only woman that feels like any foodstuff that isn't nailed to the floor isn't safe in my presence at "those" times? Particularly anything chocolate, fried or carbohydrate loaded. I'm having visions of a big plate of mashed potatoes... More later...
  23. Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture. First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new. So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with. This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions. Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look. Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look: As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover. The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional. The children don't get spared either This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General. After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures. Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine. The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door. Then you have the ritual hand washing part. Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil. On a nearby table is this Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls. with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok. This is 油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it. L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos. Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use. Let the eating, finally, begin. In no particular order: Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato Bamboo Shoots Duck Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed. Egg pancake with unidentified greenery Stir fried pork and beans Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum) Pig Ears This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it. Stir fried Greens Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice). Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious. Roll on dinner time. On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
  24. 恭喜发财! Greetings from Suzhou, and Happy New Year. I've been living here since August 2009, since moving from Japan. It's a pleasure to be bringing you the beginning of the rabbit year, as I'm 2/3 of the way through a full cycle in the Chinese zodiac, having moved to Asia in 2002 - a Horse year. Will I make it all the way through? I'm not sure yet. I'll be blogging to bring in the new year this week from Jiangsu, Suzhou as we say around here. To put that on a map for you, it's about 20 minutes on a high-speed train outside of Shanghai. Suzhou's famous for its gardens and canals - locals are fond of quoting the famous saying, "Just as there is paradise in heaven, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou on Earth." I'm not sure how close Suzhou is to paradise, but I've been pretty happy living here. This week, I'm not quite sure what we'll be seeing, as I haven't stayed in China through the holidays. Last year, to bring in the Tiger, my husband and I took some time off to tour around Malaysian Borneo, but since the Rabbit year is meant to be more quiet, I've decided to hang out at home, soak in the atmosphere, and blog for you. The New Year is a time when many shops close and most people journey back to their hometown. I say "journey" because it often takes several days to negotiate the traffic and crowds to make it home. Trains and buses are often sold out completely, and planes aren't much better. That's why I'll be staying close to home - no sights of Shanghai for us, I'm afraid. I've stocked the larder, so if every restaurant shuts down, and the market is deserted, there'll still be food to see. Through the miracle of the Earth tilting on its axis, I've actually already lived Sunday, and am now recapping my first day for you. I'm going to take you on a brief tour of my high street and my daily shops, brunch at my local Cantonese place, and a "Kitchen God" inspection of my kitchen. You all, of course, being my kitchen gods - although I'm warning you now, I have not set out any cakes. Since I'm not Chinese, there's a lot that I see and experience here that I don't have much or any understanding of - I hope that everyone who does can weigh in on things. Part of the joy of living in a foreign country is learning about the cultural traditions your host country has to offer, and living in China is one of the richest and most exciting experiences I've had overseas so far.
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