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  1. Good morning. Those cheers you heard this morning were from me, as I put the last of the three kids on the bus. I have loved having them home all summer, but I really loved the peace and quiet when they left. I celebrated my first day of freedom with a trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Before we moved to our new home, I was only about 5 minutes away. Since it's now a 20-minute drive, I don't get there as often. I stopped by my formerly-local Kowalski's market on the way home to get some Hope Butter. I do miss the very close and easy (most often biking distance) to a wonderful local supermarket and lots of Asian markets, but I am adapting. For breakfast today, I had several cups of really strong coffee and an Old Gold. Oh, and I had 1/2 piece of toast. I'm not a big early morning eater, and have noticed that as I've aged, I do not want to eat anything sweet in the morning. In fact, my sweet tooth in general is not very strong, except for fruit. I tend to have my first real hunger of the day at about 11:00 am. My eating patterns during the day will be quite different than they were up until last week, when there were three kids who wanted breakfast and lunch, not the frequent "little" meals I gravitate toward when I am home alone. So, now, I will go and grab something to eat and attempt to fix whatever happened on the computer to my camera program when Paul installed a new operating system. Hopefully, it will be an easy process so I can post photos of the bounty I acquired this morning.
  2. my name is mongo jones and i once selected "revolution #9" three times back-to-back on a jukebox in a los angeles bar. the jukebox was shut off 3 minutes into the second playing. i'm just saying. see you all tomorrow. and if it all ends in tears, recriminations and mass-excommunications blame adoxograph.
  3. Hi everyone! tammylc tagged me for the next week and I'm starting today since my menu will be a little more interesting since it's (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. Starting tomorrow, however, you will be following me as I peruse the supermarket aisles looking for whatever's cheap, on sale, and halfway edible. I've been lurking on egullet for awhile, so I guess I should introduce myself. I'm a 4th year English major at UBC currently living in sin as I am staying with my boyfriend. Right now, we're trying to support ourselves while saving up for an apartment, and one area where we've had to drastically cut down on spending is groceries. I'm in school full-time, and work part-time as a private English tutor. I also work Saturdays at a tutoring center for peanuts. Anyway, onto Thanksgiving. I've been preparing food for tonight's dinner since Friday! It's my first time making an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself. I guess I should mention that though I'm on a shoestring budget, I do appreciate good food. I live in Vancouver, and my bf and I have dined at some of the nice restaurants like West and Lumiere. I enjoyed my food at West more. (BTW: I hope David Hawksworth reads my thread...he is my hero ) Today I woke up late and had to grab breakfast on the run. I ate 10 sourcream Timbits (from Tim Horton's, a sandwich/soup/donut chain in Canada) and a few fun-sized chocolate bars (Mars, Twix). I should mention that today's menu might shock some of you b/c of the plethora of junk food consumed, but I assure you I don't eat like this all the time. I just got caught on a bad day. Tim Horton's sourcream donuts are my favorite. The sourcream donuts are very dense, with an almost creamy interior. Not covered in a cloying sugary glaze. I brought donuts for my student...raspberry-filled, a couple of chocolate ones, some chocolate and coconut. Mmm... After our 2 hour lesson, I drove to Save-on-Foods to buy a pumpkin pie. Yesterday when I was there, I ate 8 samples from the (unmanned) sample tray. (BTW: That was basically yesterday's dinner. I told you I was poor. ) Today the sample trays held pieces of supermarket-quality Black Forest cake, birthday cake, olive and asiago ciabatta bread (which I love) and garlic toast. I had a sample of the Black Forest. Bleah. Got home, and ate a large piece of pumpkin pie. Since then, I've been picking at the rest of the pie every few minutes. I've already eaten more than a quarter of the 9" pie. No one else in my family will go near pumpkin, so I buy myself one every Thanksgiving. Also ate a handful of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I then got started on a pistachio sponge cake and the cornbread. Cornbread doesn't seem to be very popular in Canada; I've actually only eaten it twice in my life. For the cornbread, I combined ingredients from 3 recipes that I found earlier in the week--1 from Epicurious and the other 2 right here in the egullet recipe archive! (I used mamster's Yankee cornbread and Rachel Perlow's skillet cornbread). Both the cake and the cornbread look good. The turkey is in the oven and I just poured 2 bottles of beer over the big pan of veggies. This is what I'll be eating for dinner tonight: -turkey/gravy/cranberry sauce -sausage, artichoke, sourdough bread, cheese stuffing--found the recipe on Epicurious, and I followed it but doubled the amount of sausage -cornbread (thanks mamster and Rachel) -taboulleh salad -garlic bread (No veggies or roasted sweet potatoes for me when there's so much better-tasting stuff around). For dessert, I made the pistachio sponge cake and I'm serving it with whipped cream. I also made this Cappucino-Fudge cheesecake on Friday for tonight's dessert. Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=106231 I used Callebaut chocolate since you can get it in the bulk section of Superstore for 99 cents/100 grams. Unfortunately, my cheesecake doesn't have a pretty lattice top since my (cheap) pastry bag exploded when I was trying to pipe the ganache. I bought the pastry bag for 6 bucks! What a waste of money... I had to instead pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake. Decorated it with chocolate covered espresso beans.
  4. Welcome to Edmonton! I am located just off the downtown of the city, conveniently close to both of my jobs and to the city's one significant natural landmark, the North Saskatchewan river. The river was Edmonton's original raison d'etre; like most of our western capitals it began life as a Hudson Bay Company trading post. In the glory days of the fur trade, it was possible to ship furs by canoe from the modern-day Yukon territory all the way to Montreal with no portage longer than 10km (far enough, with the loads they carried!). Today the river is primarily a tourist attraction, playground, and occasionally the instigator of insurance claims for flooding. I will take you for a quick stroll through a part of the river valley within the next few days, as weather permits (the lengthy drought broke when we moved here two years ago, though I can't take credit for that...). During the appropriate season there are many berries to be gleaned there, and it's always a pleasant walk. Photos will be a bit late in coming. My digital is painfully old and low-end, and essentially only works in perfect lighting. To supplement it I've bought a simple film camera, but that of course involves processing and scanning time. I hope to start posting some pics by Thursday evening (Friday at the latest), so please bear with me. I am not nearly as active on the board as some of the recent bloggers, so I'll provide you with a bit of context. I am a career changer, 41, originally from Halifax Nova Scotia. A couple of years ago, in one of those epiphanal moments, I realized that I'd just drifted into sales when I was young and had coasted ever since. Verging on 40, I thought that...just maybe...it was time I gave some consideration to what I wanted to do when I grew up... The choice was fairly obvious. I've been a dedicated home cook and baker since I was an adolescent; and while I knew going in that the life of a professional cook is a hard one, I reasoned that at the end of the day if you're doing something you love for its own sake you're ahead of the game. So I went to school. I took my first year at the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax (honours) and my second at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (honours). I have been working, since my arrival in Edmonton, at this this respected fine-dining restaurant; upon graduation from school I added a full-time job in this popular market/lunch spot. Last summer, while still fresh out of school, I was inspired to blog a typical work week, for the benefit of the insatiably curious. It seemed that there was a lot of interest in how foodservice jobs work in practice, and I thought it might be of interest to many among the community. And that's where it would have stayed, except that a few weeks ago SobaAddict in his role of Foodblog Czar asked for those who are bakers or pastrychefs to step forward. Since I run the instore bakery at my day job, I thought that perhaps I should volunteer. So, here's Chromedome II...the return of the career changer. A few points to clear up at the beginning: for one thing, this is a serious "pot luck" blog. I have one or two special things I'm hoping to squeeze in, but I don't know yet what shifts I'll be pulling over the weekend. That means real life, folks...on the home front you may see souffles or you may see mac and cheese. I promise you I eat better than Wendy ( ), but her work photos are a LOT more interesting than mine will be. Still and all, this is what it looks like. I cook for my family, and they get what I have the time and energy to make. So...we'll be looking at some shots from one job at least, possibly both; my baking at work and at home; my garden; and to the extent that it's pertinent, a few bits and pieces of the city. My budget (wife, two kids, two student loans, the highest utilities in the country, etc) does not permit of special ingredients or excursions to the city's restaurants, and my kitchen is at the opposite end of the envy-inducement scale from Daddy-A's starship bridge and Jackal's vintage AGA. It's a come-as-you-are foodblog! From the subtitle of this blog (and the tone of the teaser Soba posted on Jackal's blog), you may be wondering just how I'm feeling about my career choice. Well...I'm still enjoying myself, but it's most assuredly not for everyone. I'll elaborate further in the course of this next week, and naturally I'm more than happy to answer anyone's questions about that or any other food-related topic. For now, though, I'm going to bed. Tomorrow morning is sneaking up on me, and it's got a cudgel in its grubby little clutches...
  5. Good Morning, All... It's me, phlawless, and I'm here in Durham NC. I haven't been much of a poster on the boards, so this blog is an exercise not only in recording my attempt to eat within 100 miles of my home (more about this in a minute), but also so I can get more comfortable with writing about and documenting my life as it pertains to food. Now, when I say that, understand that the majority of my waking hours are spent thinking, planning, purchasing, organizing, handling, preparing, and yes, finally eating, food. I have been in the 'business' for a dozen years or more and have recently taken a bit of a sabbatical from restaurant life as I have a 15 month old daughter now, and am only doing a bit of work out of my home. I thought motherhood might distract me from my food obsession, but I find myself with a bit more time and energy to read, experiment and cook than I did before M came along. Plus, the added challenge of feeding a toddler is one that is surprisingly enjoyable. As for the subject of this blog, a couple of years ago some kids from San Francisco got some press for this, and I thought I might give it a shot. If you go to the link read the details, the national challenge is supposed to happen in May. Well, I had a lot going on then, and also July here in the southeast is brimming with fantastic produce. So you all will witness the first week of feeding myself, my partner, and my daughter for the entire month eating local as possible. I still am a bit green when it comes to posting photos, so I'll get those up in a bit from this morning.
  6. Boker Tov Kulam! Good morning everyone! Chag Hannukah Sameach (Happy Hannukah) and Merry Christmas from the Land of Milk and Honey! Last night was the first night of Hannukah and my town lit the big Hannukiah in front of the "Welcome to Hod HaSharon" sign. I am very excited about blogging this week. This is my first blog and I hope that I can live up to the other wonderful blogs. Didn't Zucchini Mama do a great job this past week? My other half, David (a.k.a. Tapenade) or he may tell you "my better half" is going to be joining in on the blog. We have planned a lot of interesting things for you to see. Tonight you are all formally invited to an Israeli wedding. David and I are going to a colleague of mine's wedding and we will show how weddings are done here. Don't worry, I am taking a gift for all of us and you can relax in your pajamas. Anything goes here in Israel!
  7. Well today I'm going to start this blog very slowly as I had a very bad night with the youngsters of my family (read too many beers and way too many shots). I'll start with an introduction and then later today I'll post about the mayhem and madness making and devouring Easter lunch My wife is a NYer born and bred - Me, I'm Australian through and through. We met just after 9-11, when I was across here on an exchange with the fire department. AFter spending 3 weeks in NJ and NY together, then my wife (I'll call her V) visiting me for 2 weeks in Australia, we got married last April in NJ - tomorrow's the big one year anniversary. For those of you wine conniseurs, we currently live in the Clare Valley in Australia which is the home of such great wineries as Taylors, Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Barrys and MANY other smaller boutique wineries - god I could spend a day here just writing about the wineries in our area. I believe grand total it's about 120 wineries both big and small, good and bad The unfortunate part of living where we do is that restaurants and supermarkets are few and far between, and sometimes it's just basically a pain in the ass trying to get the supplies I want for a meal. Our family over here actually moved to NJ from the Bronx back in the 80's. They're Italian-American, so food is definitely a thing of importance which is great for me because good food is damn important to me too. I'm the youngest of the "kids" so I get ALOT of perks until it comes to cooking and then they basically shut the kitchen door and leave me locked in there until the food is ready They're slowly realizing that I'm a better cook than the MIL, so every time we come back for vacation I get an email from my FIL requesting various things. One day I'm going to have the nerve to tell him that grilling when it's like 32F outside is just not fun!!!!! Food wise, V and I will basically eat anything - Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek - you name it, we'll eat it. OK I'm lieing, the only offal I'll eat are kidneys and V will eat nothing of the sort. Call me a wuss if you like but that's just me, other than that everything's fair game.... those deer and groundhogs in Dad's backyard are looking pretty damn good. Anyone know what groundhog tastes like?? Anyway that's all for now, I have Easter lunch to hook into and make (read create ) and then later today I'll post about dinner last night and lunch today. Cheers Tom PS I hope everyone has a great Easter and just keep on smiling NOTE: sorry guys I'm yet to move into the 21st century so there won't be any pics just verbal descriptions of what we're eating
  8. In Northeast Minnesota, what they call the Iron Range, Where men are men and that is that, and some things never change, Where winter stays 9 months a year, there is no spring or fall and it's so cold the mercury cannot be seen at all... -- So begins Garrison Keillor's Ballad of the Finn Who Would Not Take a Sauna. It's a fine read, if you like that sort of thing (I do), and it's even better if you can hear Garrison himself recite it. It's also as good an introduction as I can think of to this corner of my world. As luck and good timing would have it, I'm blogging during that all-too-brief time that is NOT winter, and might be called summer if you were to squint. Summer here is the despair of gardeners. It started this year around July 4, as it frequently does. Tonight is August 17, and the temperature is predicted to dip to 39F. We're on the fast downhill slide from summer into fall, all right. I can't speak for everyone around here, but I'm clinging hard to the last vestiges of summer. It isn't that I don't like the fall - I do - but summer and its produce here are too ephemeral to wish them to hurry away. This blog is to be a bit of a tour for you, to show you around the area and its produce, and to celebrate summer as it starts to slide in earnest. My area of coverage is pretty broad. I live near Duluth, which is at the pointy end of Lake Superior, but I spend a lot of time working up the North Shore of Lake Superior, and somewhat less time inland on the Iron Range. (Do not let my blog title and the poem confuse you: Duluth is not the Iron Range is not the North Shore. From a distance they may look alike, but the residents will no more appreciate being mislabeled than, say, a Scot would appreciate being called English.) If you look at a map of Minnesota and imagine lopping off the northeastern quadrant, going roughly straight north from the end of Lake Superior, you can see why it's called the Arrowhead. The cultures and foods of the areas I visit are different enough that they're all worth exploring, and I'll do that to the best of my ability. I'll add a couple of words about my work and the way I imagine this blog will work, and then post this to get things going. First off: I work two jobs - one full time, one less so. Sometimes I'm near a computer during the day, but I can't count on it, so my main activity is likely to be during the evening, or first thing in the morning. The full-time job is only indirectly related to food. The part-time job is as a flight instructor, and it isn't at all related to food, although there's likely to be an airport lunch sometime this week. However - both jobs involve a lot of teaching and communication! I cannot abide posting or lecturing in a vacuum, so I hope you'll ask lots of questions or post comments. I plan to solicit opinions and suggestions for some cookery I intend to do, too. While I've been typing on this, I've been having an evening snack: Nectarine-plum ice cream based on Ruth Smith's Peach Ice Cream, the original recipe, and Folie a Deux Menage a Trois wine, an inexpensive blend of zinfandel, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Mmm. Ice cream and red wine are a nice combination, especially at this hour. Welcome to my world!
  9. Hi all. Time has sprung forward, so its time for My Spring Break Blog to begin. Today, DH and I will be going down to Galveston Island, but first let me welcome you to our home and show you around a bit. Please take a seat and I'll show you my kitchen. We are fortunate to have a good sized kitchen with lots of counter space and lots of cabinets and drawers. See my new rice cooker. Love it! The double ovens come in handy. The top one has a broiler and is self-cleaning. Time to make some breakfast. I'll be back soon.
  10. Good morning! Here are the two teasers hints from Friday: Good guessing, this is Atlantic Canada. Looking left from the above vantage point you see a fairly well known Canadian landmark: This is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove (its also a post office) as it appeared a few months ago. I have to say I am really pleased and excited to be doing an eGullet foodblog. It’s a new experience for me and I’m not so sure how it’s going to unfold – which is a big part of the appeal. The past blogs that I have seen are fascinating to me; to get such a candid look into somebody else’s food routine as it goes down so far away is totally compelling. I am just going to “share as I go” and hopefully reveal something interesting or authentic about my region and food traditions. It certainly seems to have worked in the past for other bloggers.
  11. OK.... here we go again!!! While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now. As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
  12. I'm not going to start my "official" blogging until tomorrow but, while I've got a few free minutes, I thought I'd at least introduce myself. My name is Jen Jensen and I live in Sacramento with my husband and 14 year-old daughter, Kathleen (AKA the Spawn). We are imports from BC (Canada) and have lived here for 5 years now. I "retired" when we moved here, as I only have a "live" visa, not a "work" visa. Before moving here, I worked as a technical writer on various IT and business process projects. My hobby is dog racing (whippets, not greyhounds) so we also live with four of the five dogs I own. Living here in CA with us are Streaka (AKA Über--as in Streaka über alles.); Tighe (AKA Goober, because it rhymes with Über and matches his personality); Dayton (Dids); and Rogie (meiner Deutscher Junge), whom I co-own with a friend back home. My fifth dog, Derby, is Tighe's daughter and lives with my friend in BC. 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. The trip to Tigh-na-Mara is why I won't be starting until tomorrow ... I want to be able to include my meals there in the blog. Until tomorrow ...
  13. Meanwhile, back in Seattle... I have to admit to feeling a bit daunted following up slkinsey's feast of a Thanksgiving as well as our own little ms foodie's romp through the Emerald City. Still, I will do my mostest. I'm gonna start this up with a bit of an intriduction and some background and will then post on today's actual food and suchlike a bit later this evening, once I finish rooting through today's pics. So, a bit about me and where this foodblog is headed. For the last year or so I've been a cheese-maker here in Seattle. THis came kinda out of the blue for me, as up to that point I'd spent the previous ten years in computer systems and netowrk administration. Maybe two years ago I started to give real thought to leaving IT for some sort of wortk in food. I attribute this desire to a mix of my love of sharing good food with people. In college my best friend and I threw dinner parties for anywhere from eight to twenty-five people very nearly every friday night for over a year. My cooking at the time was rather rudimentary but still impressive enoug to my college peeps. In any case, as I started pondering the idea of food work in that sort of distant hypothetical way (i.e. "boy, it'd be neat to be doing XYZ for a living") one of my closest fgriends , who was also considering such amove, loaned me his copy of Bourdain's delightful Kitchen Confidential. I tore through the book and found that it really humanized the wholke prospect a lot. Showed me the real workaday side of it rather than the pipe-dream what-ifs I'd been podering up till then. So, I started poking around the net for more, stumbled upon this delightful site and was immediately sucked in. About six months later I finally bagged my lousy job at the Evil Empire across the lake in Redmond and decided to search in earnest for work in foodland. I came, naturally, to eGullet for advice and got it in spades. I mentioned that I'd made cheese from a kit and dig it as I've been a cheese-o-phile for many years. I was then told by a certain ms ramsey [ed. actually it was tsquare] who shall remain anonymous that down at Pike Place Market there was a sign up that said "looking for cheesemakers." A month and a half later I was hired and here I am a little over a year later making cheese for a living. Well, cheese, butter and sometimes ice cream. Needless to say, I love it. I see Kitchen Confidential (and as such Bourdain) as the catalyst that started the ball rolling. The rest was serendipity, luck and whatever else makes the world go round. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to thank him in person when he did a signing to push his Les Halles cookbook a few weeks ago in town. It pleased me to no end that night, upon starting to read the book itself, to see him use phrases like "renegade cheesemakers." I am heartened by this sort of encouragement. This sort as well: As such, this blog, along with being a peek into my daily cooking and eating, will also present a look at the day-to-day workings of a new little cheese company. The company is Beecher's Handmade Cheese and at this point my role is assistant cheesemaker and essentially second in command with regard to the day-to-day workings of the production side of the business. I'll post again shortly with today's meal goodness as well as a bit of cheese-production goodness. The title of this blog is a bit of an accidental tribute to Evan dorkin's classic Milk and Cheese comic series. [Edited to correct an attribution]
  14. I am pleased to welcome you to Swisskaese's second eG foodblog. Click here to view the previous blog brought to us by her and Tapenade. This very interesting foodblog was long in the planning. In fact, Swisskaese was scheduled to do this blog many weeks before the mideast crisis was taking place as close to her home as it is now. It is because of the unrest that she and I decided for me to post the opening to her blog. Under these circumstances, there might be an increased potential for viewers to post politics-related comments or questions, or post something that would lead discussion in that direction (perhaps unintentionally). I remind us all to follow the eG Society's policies and guidelines. Please pay particular attention to the Decorum and Topicality Guidelines and give much consideration to what you post, in order to maintain a focus on issues pertaining to food and drink. Please understand that the blog will be closely monitored. We will moderate as necessary to maintain the focus on our core subject of food and to assure that it remains civil. We hope you enjoy this very special eG foodblog. Swisskaese's country's terrain is made up of five vegetation zones: Euro-Siberian, with plantlife found in Europe, Russia and Siberia; Mediterranean, with conditions similar to those in other countries on the Sea; Irano-Turanian, with land similar to the steppe-lands that stretch through Iran, Turkestan and Inner Asia to Inner Mongolia; Sahara-Arabian, pure desert of the kind found in the Sahara, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of southern Iran; and Sudanese, which has tropical vegetation, confined to small enclaves and oases. This widely diverse landscape offers ideal home environments for a particularly rich assortment of plant, animal, bird and insect life.
  15. You say: “Permesso?” I say: “Certo!” In my area, it’s polite to ask if you may enter someone’s house, by asking, “Permesso?” For some reason, it’s a lovely, endearing thing to hear, and even children will ask before entering. I’m inviting you now, to join me in my house in Italy, in the region of Umbria, in the province of Perugia, in the town of Montone, on via Garibaldi. Uhhmmm, it’s a small town (about 800 people, just to give you some perspective on small), you may not find it on a map, but we do have a town website! We live in Montone about six months out of the year, and the rest of the time we spend in New York City and thereabouts. But, this week we are in Umbria. Our neck of the woods is fairly rural, the terrain is steep and hilly. The primary industry is agriculture; right now the feed corn and tobacco are being harvested. Sheep farms are abundant, which means I have access to excellent cheeses. I’m hoping to introduce you to some of the people that produce the food we eat. “Eating local” isn’t a politically correct choice here; it’s just the way it is. Why “Carpe Diem”? Yes, it does say Carpe Diem, tattooed on my son’s leg. About 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to seize the moment. We closed up our business in New York and decided we wanted to spend more time in our house in Italy. We bought the house in 2001 and I’m going to guess you have the same question that everyone else asks us, “How did you find this place?” As a family, we have traveled a lot, and in his junior year in high school, our son Curtis took one of those class trips to Italy. He had been to Italy a few times before this, but this time he came home, and said, “You’ve have got to go to Assisi. I could live there.” It was an unusually passionate response from him, which may have been influenced by the fact that he ate exceptionally good truffles while he was there. By now we knew we wanted a house in Italy, so we schedule an appointment with a realtor and we looked at everything from total ruins to finished villas with grapevines and tractors. The last place we looked at was described as a townhouse in a medieval village. We were goners before we even entered the front port of the town. Why live in the countryside where we don’t speak the language, we don’t know anyone, when we can live in town. Hey, we’ve lived in NYC for 150 years, we are city folk. It was a great move, I cannot begin to tell you how warm, inviting and welcoming the townspeople are, not to mention a tiny bit nutty. I hope you get to know some of my neighbors this week. Last spring, I attended the Ital.cook school in Jesi. It’s run by Slow Food and teaches students about regional Italian cooking. I’m in my early 50’s, and I lived for 10 weeks in a dorm with a bunch of wacky, wonderful ragazzi (young people) and had the time of my life. These days, I write a little, and teach a little and cook a lot of Italian food. My husband is involved in the “Tower Project”: Torre de Moravola. We are helping our friends restore a medieval watchtower that will eventually become a full service rentable villa or small hotel. It is a fantastic place!! We are up to the point we need to do some creative financing to finish the project, but hey, we knew there would be bumps in the road. If all goes well, I’ll be the chef at the tower.
  16. …to Louisville, KY, USA: Home to premium bourbon, beautiful horses and fast women, as they say. Every year in this city, thousands of banners like the one above begin appearing in mid-April draped over anything that’s stationary. If you work in the food industry, that’s your cue to roll up your sleeves, order tons of extra product, and break out your “F.A.B.O.D.” t-shirt to surreptitiously wear under your chef’s jacket. (In case you didn’t guess, that stands for “F*#@ A Bunch Of Derby” – lots of cooks and servers in town own similar shirts.) In typical Derby Week fashion, I’m gearing up here for several 14-to-16-hour days in a row this week. I’m also in the middle of moving house from one part of town to another. And as if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I offered - in a bourbon-induced moment of temporary insanity, to be sure – to be eGullet’s foodblogger for Derby Week. So saddle up and ride along with me, your intrepid culinary Girl Friday, as I juggle my many hats at two different jobs (more on that later) in the race to feed the throngs of locals and tourists alike during the run-up to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” - The Kentucky Derby!
  17. I'm packing up to hit the road for our summer family reunion. My mother, daughter, and younger son will be driving from Atlanta to Dune Allen Beach in south Walton County, Florida -- one of the string of communities between Destin and Panama City along highway C-30A that comprises some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Tomorrow, we will meet up with my older brother and sister-in-law, and a couple of days after that, my younger brother will show up with his three kids. Because I'm in a hurry at the moment (it seems that the last few hours leading up to a vacation are the most stressful), I'll cut to the chase, and we can get more into the area and the setup details later. When I take a trip like this, where I'll be doing a lot of cooking, I like to pack a few things to make prep a little easier. There's the tools: and the bar equipment: a few spices, because what you usually find in rental units is old and limited: Like I said, just a few items. The thing is, the trouble that it is to get this batterie together is repaid in convenience and currency saved at the destination. And anyway, everything but the very biggest stuff gets tucked away in this: I apologize for cutting this off quickly, and not rhapsodizing about where we're going, who we're meeting, and all the great things we're going to eat and drink when we get there, but like I said, I'm in a bit of a hurry. I need to duck out for about nine hours; I'll go on to the point of boredom on all of those subjects when we've arrived and I've gotten back on line. In the meantime, there's some background on the area in Steven Shaw's Daily Gullet piece on Sandor Zombori (whose restaurant, alas, is now closed), and you can catch me picking the brains of our cocktail peeps in the Beverages forum thread, Vacation Bar. Happy reading. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you tonight.
  18. We're 50 something Aussies who enjoy travelling, eating, cooking, markets, kitchen shops, cooking utensils, animals & plants (often food related), architecture & photography (both kitchens and food) and exploring different cultures (of which food is a big part). The trip was January 14 - February 6, it was just marvellous. My favourite meal is now masala dosa with sambar, I had many. Here's some highlights of the food. A late afternoon snack of Sichuan pepper squid was washed down with a beer at the Ajantha Seaview Hotel on the promenade in Pondicherry. It's a colonial building with a first floor terrace overlooking the colourful display of women in their finest, and the Bay of Bengal. We're here on a Monday public holiday for the Pongal festival, a four day celebration of the harvest, with many different ceremonies and traditions. A visual bonus, cows (and sometimes goats) get their horns painted and wear flower garlands or other decorations.
  19. About a year ago I blindly hurled myself through a week of food blog for the first time. It was a pretty intense experience, opening home and heart to my eGullet friends about one of the most important subjects of my life. But once the week got going, I fell into the rhythm and things generally took care of themselves. It was a little bit like having a guest. At any given point in your life, depending on where you are and what you do, you have special friends who come often. These are friends who know a whole lot about you and accept you even if you’re far from perfect. They know where the sheets are and have their favorite pillow case which you always save just for them. These are the friends I sometimes pamper but sometimes can’t. They bring their own tisane of the hour, they have their own teapot in the cupboard, they fall into the rhythm of the household seamlessly and without fanfare. Sometimes this kind guest alerts me of arrival a day in advance, sometimes a week. There’s no worry that this guest will have a good time. I don’t have to shop and menu plan because I know they’ll have their ideas about what they want to do and eat, and they’ll probably even shop for food or even bring the contents of their own fridges and jugs of things and samples of this and that to add to my larder. They've had my best and also been subject to a few failed experiments, and they're generally ok with whatever's coming out of the kitchen, even if it's plain and simple food. We’ll share stories and wine and food as we while away the evenings talking and cooking. Thank you so much for coming to see me! I'm so glad you're here!
  20. FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD! The word "BLOG" is a familiar one in our house. My hubby Bill, is a prof. in the Faculty of Education, and "blogging" is one of the requirements for his Communications and Computer technology courses. But, I have never been involved in blogs until this invitation...and this sounds much tastier! Thanks for the opportunity. Life is much more relaxed now that we have retired from the restaurant biz. http://home.westman.wave.ca/~hillmans/soosera.html Since 2002, I have been teaching half time at our university in the EAP program with international students. This leaves me the rest of the day to cook . . . what else? Brandon is a rural city of 44,000. Dining out does not include gourmet meals, tasting menus, etc. Until I found Egullet, a tasting menu was a 9 or 11 course Chinese banquet, complete with a 26 oz. bottle of Crown Royal ;-) My cooking these days involve learning traditional family recipes from my 95-year-old mother, pulling out old recipes from pre-Soo's Restaurant days, and trying out ideas from Egullet and my overflowing collection of cookbooks. This week will be a hectic one for blogging. My sister and family are visiting from Burnaby, B.C. so lots of food will be involved. On top of that, hubby, our kids and myself are performing Saturday and Sunday at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Brandon Folk Music & Crafts Festival. We will have out of town musical guests . . . so more food! Good thing I am on summer vacation this month. DAY ONE I love my mornings. When university is in session, I am up at 5 a.m. so I could do my prep. while the house is quiet. These days, I can sleep in until 6 a.m. I take our daughter to work at her summer job at the hospital, then I get to relax with my breakfast and 2nd cup of coffee. Today, I sat out on the deck with a cup of Tim Horton's brew-at-home with Coffee Rich creamer, 2 slices of toast with my home made peach/apricot/pineapple conserve. I love this stuff on toast, ice cream or just by itself as a snack. The recipe is one handed down by hubby's Nana Campbell. She even used bits of apricot pits in her recipe! It added a touch of crunchy bitterness to the sweet and tang of the fruit, but not enough arsenic to topple us. For lunch, my daughter packed a roll-up made with whole wheat tortillia, poached chicken breast, a handful of spring greens with raspberry vinegrette, shredded carrot and juilenne cukes. At home, we had wonton soup with shrimp egg noodles, Shanghai bok choy, shrimp and lap cheung.
  21. Much like cookbooks, what the world needs now is many fewer restaurant critics. Over the next week, it’s my goal to ensure that you talk me out of my job, while I, meanwhile, try to talk you into it. So to speak. In other words, I want you to ask me lots of questions. My life doesn’t hang in the balance of my next review, something that I’ve been doing professionally for the past 15 years. But from writing about restaurants I’ve also come to know the food service business quite well, I suppose. And behind the swinging doors lie much bigger stories, especially of the collaboration of chef, farmer and fisherman; distribution; cross-cultural influences (Vancouver, where the culinary DNA is still knitting itself together, is a fine laboratory to observe that in); the collusion of wine with food; and more recently, the necessity of sustainability, especially as it relates to the global fishery. This week I’m going to eat my last Russian caviar. Ever. No, restaurant reviewing would be much less interesting if I couldn’t write about these bigger stories. So I hope that I can transmit to you how the research works, how the writing gets done, and ultimately, lend a sense as to how culinary cultures--born from diversity--emerge with a sense of their new locality. We’ll be covering a considerable amount of real estate across this big, raw-boned place: • We’ll begin today In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley Wine Country and for the next two days and nights look in on some agricultural history (in an attempt to track the area's culinary evolution) and wineries, cook with chef Michael Allemeier of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (braised boar cheeks will be featured at a Friday night dinner party with some wine folks) and a revisit to a restaurant to demonstrate our review process and methodology. • On Saturday I’ll return to our home in Vancouver—where we have some friends joining us for a little seasonal cheer, ‘Seven Hour Sacrificial Lamb’ and ‘Cheesier-Than-Mariah Carey Scalloped Potatoes.’ • On Sunday morning we’ll be flying to the wild outside coast of Vancouver Island to the ecotourism town of Tofino, which is about an hour’s flight in a twin engine aircraft. Once there we’ll be looking in at coastal cuisine from the pans of chef Andrew Springett at The Wickaninnish Inn and, in a more casual vein, at the construction of excellent fish tacos at Sobo. • On Monday we’ll be returning to Vancouver to go behind the scenes at pastry chef Thomas Haas’s (he was the opening executive pastry chef at Daniel in Manhattan) lovely production facility, and observe John van der Liek at the Oyama Sausage Factory, which carefully produces more than 150 products. We'll aslo track the history of a new restaurant, from development menu to opening night and review. • Through the balance of the week we’ll look inside many more professional kitchens and markets, hopes and dreams. I’m sure we’ll find a few other things to do too. Once again, I very much encourage your questions. Last night, the Ice Wine harvest was supposed to start. In order to trigger that, Vintners' Quality Alliance reguations demand the temperature must stay at or below -8 degrees Centigrade through the entire pick, which can take a while. Anything else is just Late Harvest fruit. Alas, there was a slight inversion off the lake yesterday afternoon and it was called off. So we stoked the fire and rolled back into bed. But now I’m off to pick up some croissants down the hill at La Boulangerie. We baked some Irish soda bread yesterday as well. I’ll make some strong coffee when I’m back, and begin to tell you a little more about this disturbingly beautiful place . . . Welcome, Jamie Image: On the Beach - Okanagan Lake last afternoon, 1530 hours.
  22. Hello Everyone! I am starting this off a bit early since I am on the West Coast and by the time I finish running around tomorrow it may be a bit late for some. I live in the South Bay of Los Angeles, on the city versus the ocean side. This is a view from the peninsula looking out to the ocean. Catalina Island is 26 miles out there but obscured by haze. To the right is the newish Terranea Resort on the grounds of what long ago was Marineland - the original home I think of Shamu the killer whale. To the left is the Trump golf course. I, however, live on the city side in an old small formerly rural town called Lomita. This is a shot I took in January of the hay truck offloading at the old feed store. As an example of the diversity of the Los Angeles that I love, the Christmas decorations are still up on the light poles, and the building in the background is the Chabad Center. I used the book "An Embarrassment of Mangoes" in my teaser photo. Really Los Angeles is an embarrassment of food diversity and my little property is a citrus heaven. I hope to introduce you to a few of my local markets and restaurants and also give you a look at my cooking.
  23. I have to start cooking tomorrow. I haven't cooked dinner since the beginning of the year. I don't even know where my pots are, but somehow I have to find them. Hi, I'm Jennifer, and this is my foodblog. I have been posting about my kitchen remodel here. for the past few months. With all my heart, I wished my remodel would have been complete on Friday, but there are a few details left to handle (like dusting out my cabinets) before I can begin moving back into my kitchen. With luck, I'll be able to actually start putting things away and getting to know my new kitchen this week. I definitely have to start cooking again, as the homecooked frozen dinners I squirreled away last fall finally ran out at the end of last week. My husband and I live in San Francisco. He's a technical writer; I'm a pastry cook/production manager at a French bakery. We're both "near" 40. Join me as I try to settle in to my new kitchen, adjust to the taller counters and expansive storage, fine tune where everything goes, and adapt to having to cook again. I have a new professional-style range. I'm not entirely sure that I won't just burn everything with the intense heat it produces. Right now it's quite late for me. Typically I go to work about 5. As in a.m. Today, being Easter, I went in at 3, which meant getting up at 2:15 a.m. I did get a nap, but a good amount of wine at my brother's Easter fest and plenty of good food means that by now I'm just about wiped. I apologize in advance for the typos I know are lurking in this, but I wanted to introduce myself and get this foodblog rolling. Answers to snowangel's post of my teaser photo tomorrow. At least one of you had one ingredient right. See you tomorrow morning!
  24. The next eG Foodblog will begin Wednesday, 10 May and run through Tuesday, 16 May. This installment will be brought to us by not one, not two, but three bloggers. They are all fired up and ready to show some hot stuff. After a week without a foodblog, I’m sure some of you faithful viewers were ready to light a fire under somebody. Well, not to worry. Tune in. We are back, and we are smokin’ . . . !
  25. Jensen contacted me earlier in the week and asked if I would take over the Foodblog for the coming week. I agreed with the caveat that I would not start until Sunday night. I am still standing by that, but I thought I would go ahead and do some kind of intro as I am at work and have nothing better to do . This blog is going to begin and end with crawfish boils (kind of a compare and contrast thing). It is that time of year down here and everyone with a hundred bucks and an 80 qt pot is having a crawfish party sometime in the next two weeks. They are really fun social events and take absolutely no prep other than getting out all of the cooking gear, cleaning up the yard and the patio/deck/barn/dock, going to the seafood market, and going to the grocery store. All of the action (cooking and eating) occurs outside so you don't even have to spend a day shoving all of your junk into closets and under beds in order to fool your friends (who know better anyway) that you live a "Martha Life". Tommorrow's boil will take place in the backyard of my old next door neighbor (she moved, I stayed) and friend Robin. She has a beautiful house by Lake Pontchatrain in Mandeville and her swell new husband is a great cook (as are many men in Louisiana-it is very common here for men to be the primary food preparers in a household-always has been). This will be a small operation (150 lbs. of bugs or so) and about thirty people. Lots of beer, soft drinks, and laughter. Simple and easy and everyone will help with the set up and the cleanup so the hosts don't have to kill themselves and besides, that's half the fun of this type of entertaining. Next Sunday's boil (end of blog) will be a giant deal. It is my company party and there will be a huge trailer set up to boil TONS of crawfish. There will be a couple of hundred people there along with a band, tents, kid games, and the rest of the trappings of company parties. An entirely different vibe than a party in someone's back yard. Still prety fun, though. In between I will keep you up to date on the daily food doings in the Mayhaw Household. I will be roasting a turkey in a very unusual manner early in the week (so that we can eat it for the rest of the week in various disguises) and then I will take the carcass and make a little gumbo out of it. I will also be making some shrimp ettouffee one night, chicken creole another, and at some point I will be doing a little bbq'd redfish (it depends on when I get the fish). If I take a day off during the week and have the time I will probably do some kind of real BBQ on my open brick pit (that thing is da bomb ) over pecan wood. Probably brisket. I will also throw in some baked goods (I bake alot, much to my wife's and my waistline's dismay) and this week, for the sake of the blog, I think that I will just do the Southern thing-chess pie, pecan pie, peach pound cake, and probably some yeast rolls one night. I would imagine that you will see a fair amount of vegetable sides as the market down the street (awesome veg. stand 2 blocks from my house) is starting to fill up with spring veggies. Fear not- we will have some okra. You won't be seeing much about breakfast food or lunch except on the weekend, as I am not home when the boys eat it (I leave for work at 6 a.m.) and none of us are there for lunch (which is usually, for both my wife and I, a brown bag affair consisting of leftovers) and both of the boys take their lunch to school as well (even though they are both in private schools, the food is uniformly uninteresting and generally awful and they won't touch it). Incidentally-I have been married to my wife Mrs. Mayhaw (Robin) for 20 years and have two boys, Miles (14) and Graham (11). My children are unusual in that they will eat damn near anything (except blue cheese and one of them, inexpicably, does not like okra in any form-and they don't eat escargot-it's a long story) so they are very easy to feed. Frankly, I am not sure that he is mine and have been considering a DNA test to prove paternity ). I will do my best to provide regular photographs but I am not promising anything-even though I make my living using all of the new technology, photo gullet is still something of a mystery to me and I may be pm'ing some expert or another for a little help. Anyway, I am looking forward to the week and I hope that you enjoy it.
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