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Found 264 results

  1. “… and so it begins!” Welcome to “Tales from the Fragrant Harbour”! In the next couple of days I am hoping to take you to a little excursion to Hong Kong to explore the local food and food culture as well as maybe a little bit more about my personal culinary background. I hope I can give you a good impression of what life is like on this side of the globe and am looking very forward to answering questions, engaging in spirited discussions and just can share a bit of my everyday life with you. Before starting with the regular revealing shots of my fridge’s content and some more information on myself, I’d like to start this blog and a slightly different place. For today's night, I ‘d like to report back from Chiba city, close to Tokyo, Japan. It’s my last day of a three day business trip and it’s a special day here in Japan: “Doyou no ushi no hi”. The “midsummer day of the ox”, which is actually one of the earlier (successful) attempts of a clever marketing stunt. As sales of the traditional winter dish “Unagi” (grilled eel with sweet soy sauce) plummeted in summer, a clever merchant took advantage of the folk tale that food items starting with the letter “U” (like ume = sour plum and uri = gourd) dispel the summer heat, so he introduced “Unagi” as a new dish best enjoyed on this day. It was successful, and even in the supermarkets the sell Unagi-Don and related foods. Of course, I could not resist to take advantage and requested tonight dinner featuring eel. Thnaks to our kind production plant colleagues, I had what I was craving … (of course the rest of the food was not half as bad) Todays suggestion: Unagi (grilled eel) and the fitting Sake ! For starters: Seeweed (upper left), raw baby mackerel with ginger (upper right) and sea snails. I did not care for the algae, but the little fishes were very tasty. Sahimi: Sea bream, Tuna and clam ... Tempura: Shrimp, Okra, Cod and Mioga (young pickled ginger sprouts). Shioyaki Ayu: salt-grilled river fish. I like this one a lot. I particularly enjoy the fixed shape mimicking the swimming motion. The best was the tail fin Wagyu: "nuff said ... Gourd. With a kind of jellied Oden stock. Nice ! Unagi with Sansho (mountain pepper) So, so good. Rich and fat and sweet and smoky. I could eat a looooot of that ... Chawan Mushi:steamed egg custard. A bit overcooked. My Japanese hosts very surprised when I told them that I find it to be cooked at to high temperatures (causing the custard to loose it's silkiness), but they agreed. Part of the experience was of course the Sake. I enjoyed it a lot but whether this is the one to augment the taste of the Unagi I could not tell ... More Unagi (hey it's only twice per year) ... Miso soup with clams ... Tiramisu. Outside view of the restaurant. Very casual! On the way home I enjoyed a local IPA. Craft beer is a big thing in Japan at the moment (as probably anywhere else in the world), so at 29 oC in front of the train station I had this. Very fruity … When I came back to the hotel, the turn down service had made my bed and placed a little Origami crane on my pillow. You just have to love this attention to detail.
  2. 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!!!)
  3. Hi everyone, Recently, I just found this paradise for Foodie and it is my pleasure to be here. My name is Ian and I am from Salzburg. I love to eat but have to hold myself back before I could roll faster than walk. Last month, I started my own food blog (mostly about restaurant, travel and stories). Reasons I want to be here are to improve my knowledge about food/wine and to learn more how to describe ingredients around me. Thank you and have a great week =D Guten Hunger (German) Mahlzeit (Austrian) --> Enjoy your meal =D www.iandao.com
  4. 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.
  5. Buon giorno!

    Ciao! I'm Christine and I'm a born and bred New Yorker. I’m an Italian by blood (and at heart, of course) since my parents actually came from Italy. My father was from Sciacca, Sicily while my mother was from Sondrio, Lombardy. Despite coming from different regions, or because of it, love for food and cooking has been one of the mainstays in my family home life growing up. And I’ve always loved the dishes my parents prepared during special occasions, and even on regular days. And of course, I love cooking (and eating) Italian food and I have a few recipes from my mother, but I'd really love to collect some more, especially the traditional ones. And if anyone can contribute some historical background to each dish, that would be really great. Grazie mille!
  6. Hello Everyone! Happy to join eGullet in hopes to share my passion for culinary and kitchen with others. I have an Instagram account, but I don't think that is enough as I want to learn more, expand, and share my love for food with individuals who share the same passion. Here is a brief bio about myself: Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by my Filipino parents. Having no brothers and sisters, I am very independent and surprisingly social with others but also love spending time on my own and with my boyfriend Louis, who is my kitchen partner in crime (this is how we actually met, working BOH at a local Vietnamese restaurant in LA). Having attended college majoring in accounting as an undergrad and grad, I orignally wanted to become a licensed accountant for finance and real estate, but it was not fulfilling and the content honestly bored me to death! I also desired to leave the corporate business world and join the professional kitchen. So I took the leap, graduated culinary school, quit my desk job, and worked in the professional kitchen. Then my health and finances took over, and I had surgery and I needed more money to survive in a city of ridiculous rent prices. I had to leave the kitchen and go back into accounting. Fast forward to 2017, I am currently unemployed having been laid off two days before Christmas the prior year! Using this as a sign and as an opportunity for self growth and realization, I am once again on the culinary path. Not necessarily to work on the line, but to learn more, cook and bake more at home, and expose myself out there to all things food and kitchen. Not also forgetting to mention I am always surrounded by food: Louis is also still in the professional kitchen, and we WILL have that restaurant one day (dreams DO come true, I just know it!). Anyhow, I am super excited to be posting here and exchanging ideas! See you out there! Margie
  7. We are at the airport waiting to board our flight. As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province, I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Before Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony. Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada. Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English. French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else. Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France. There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon. Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington. In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon. NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline. By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles). The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's. While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated. In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids. There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice! There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds. They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears. Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
  8. My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China. Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China. DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us! We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar. There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning. Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it. I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way. The original free range meat. The family met us at the airport. We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel. Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM. We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
  9. Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet…. Welcome! I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador. As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday. A bit of background on me and where I am. I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen. I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland. I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery. Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador. It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above. We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons. Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country. But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country. Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America. I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips. This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo. It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops. The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city. Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers. The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City. My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen. Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.) Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country. Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase. Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors. And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain. I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later). Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables. To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit. The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine. Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage. ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars. I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
  10. About the eG Foodblogs The eG Foodblogs began in 2003 and are a popular feature in the eG Forums. These are discussion topics in which an eG Society member engages the rest of the membership in discussion of all the food and drink they consume, usually for a period of one week. Society members who become eG Foodbloggers write about all the food that they plan, purchase, cook and eat, accompanied by photos. They discuss their food background, family food preferences, eating habits old and new, shopping, gardens, beverages consumed, and more, responding to questions and comments from other members throughout the week. Sometimes there is a specific culinary theme to an eG Foodblog, and other times the discussion is simply about a typical week of meals for that member. Although most eG Foodbloggers do love to cook and/or bake, not all love fixing their meals. All do love to eat. A significant number of eG Foodblogs focus mostly on routine dining out, or the eats enjoyed during travel. Starting this month (October, 2010) a new season of eG Foodblogs will begin. If you are interested in becoming an eG Foodblogger (or would like to nominate someone else!) please send an e-mail to eGFoodblogs@egullet.org. Please keep in mind that all normal forum rules apply within the eG Foodblogs. Finally, the Society is searching for a volunteer to assist the forums team in coordinating the eG Foodblogs program: if you are interested in the position please contact eG Foodblog co-ordinator and host Heidi Husnak aka "heidih" (hhusnak@eGstaff.org) to discuss what the position entails.
  11. Good morning, everyone and happy Monday! It's me again....that girl from Kansas. This is VERY spur-of-the-moment. I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it? I got the ok from Smithy so away we go! This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was. But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first? Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here. Nothing much has changed around here. Same furry babies, same house, same husband . Right now we have field corn planted all around the house. In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested. Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up. I just came in from the garden. I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread. I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there. By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol. Here's a total list of what I planted this year: 7 cucumbers 8 basil 23 okra 4 rows assorted lettuce 20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana 4 rows peas 5 cilantro 1 tarragon 2 dill many many red and white onions 7 eggplant 3 rows spinach 57 tomatoes 5 cherry tomatoes 7 rows silver queen sweet corn 11 squash 4 watermelon 2 cantaloupe 6 pumpkin I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff. WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing. I just love okra flowers Found some more smut
  12. 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!
  13. Here I am back again for my third food blog. I hope everybody will enjoy this one even though it going to be somewhat narcissistic. Please bear with me; I'll try not to be too boring. This blog is going to give my food/cooking history over the years. Because I'm older than dirt that makes for a lot of history. Monday will have me born & my food history up to 1980. Then a decade a day up to Friday and a close off on Saturday. As this is my personal food history elements of my life outside food will have to be included. I'll keep these to a minimum, but they will be necessary to provide context to the food history. What I'll do in answer to questions or comment is the following: (pretty standard, but I like things to be clear.) - I'll answer if I can. - If the subject is too personal or somewhat off topic I'll answer, but either deflect or steer back on topic in my answer. - If really out of line I'll just ignore the question/comment. Equally, I'll do my best to stay on topic. I really don't think that PM's are appropriate when discussing a food blog so I'd like everything to be out in the open. If you have questions that are off topic in regard to food or my food history, but pertinent to France, living or visiting here then by all means PM me. Enough about that. In this blog I'm going to not only take you on a culinary journey, but a physical one as well. The USA to Spain then Spain back to the USA then the USA to Belgium then Belgium to England then England to the USA then back to England then back to the USA and finally to France. There's Japan and Asia squeezed in somewhere as well. I've travelled a bit. At a class reunion a few years ago somebody asked me why I'd travelled so much? My answer then and now is: "I needed to keep one step ahead of the sheriff" Until tomorrow. I'm going to have fun with this. My autofoodography? My cusineography? You name it. PS: Having looked at what I've written I've decided that its too literary. Thus I'm going to post topical ( i.e. what's happening this week) inputs which will be far more pictorial. PPS: Yes, I do have a mystery object. Wait for it.
  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. Hi there, fellow eGulleteers, and welcome to my second foodblog! As Kerry says, we're on the road this time, which means I get to show you some of the best food Ecuador has to offer. Why, you ask? Well, because we're going on a road trip to the beaches of the coastal province of Manabí, which is recognized across the country as well as in South America for its seafood dishes. We'll be based out of the little fishing village of Puerto López, about two hours south of the province's capital, Manta. Fishing in this area is all done by men in small, oar-propelled boats with handlines and small cast nets - I'll try to get up super early one morning to find out what the catch of the day is (and possibly buy something for breakfast, if they've got Pargo Lunar in the catch....) The area is also known for its Langostinos and Langostos (giant estuarial crawdads and spiny blue lobsters, respectively) and those are often sold by their fishermen from buckets. What Heidi had to say about "buy something fresh from a guy walking down the beach with a bucket" is very true of most beaches in Manabí. At the tail end of the road trip, I'll be visiting the world's largest indigenous food and craft market and will be eating a tilapia caught from a glacially-fed crater lake - round trip in fish! I will be attempting to not eat anything twice in order to show you the immense variety available on the coast. (Meaning, if I have the encebollado you won't see me eat it again on this trip). First off, though, a bit about the teasers. The first one was indeed Roselle / Sorrel / Flor de Jamaica, the bracts of Hibiscus sabdariffia - something that I have only recently started drinking but of which I am completely enamored. A friend in the Amazon has a plantation and sends me fresh bracts (which is what's shown). I base most of my summertime iced teas and whatnot on Jamaica. Peter the Eater was quite right - it's two happy guys and a perciform fish, with a large body of water and some volcanic rocks. This photo was taken on the beach at Canoa in Manabí, and was a location teaser. Those two happy guys? They're casting simple baited handlines into the Pacific off the rocks, looking for their lunch. They called the fish they caught a "bonito" but I'm pretty sure they weren't referring to the type, but merely that it's big and beautiful (a Bonito down here is a type of mackerel and resembles a small tuna). The waters down here have an amazing variety of fish, and I'm willing to bet that what's on the line is actually a Bocachico (smallmouth striper). They were holding out for another, and didn't share, so I can't confirm that. For the curious, the volcanic rocks are a 500+ year old remnant of the last eruption of Volcan Cotopaxi, which is more than 250 km away in the Sierra - the lava hit the ocean here and gave Canoa its signature black sand beach. This is Encebollado de Mariscos (mixed seafood and onion soup) - and although it's a staple of Manabita cuisine, I ate this one in a restaurant in Ambato! Shown in the bowl are a small Langosto, a larger Cangrejo (crab), and some Concha (inky mangrove clams, something I have only eaten in Ecuador); for the curious, it's popcorn and lime in the background, and those are patacones floating in the bowl with the seafood. Encebollado de Mariscos has a strongly red-onion flavoured broth with hints of red curry and peanut; done well, it's spectacular. These are Limeño bananas that I grew myself, something that was thought to be impossible at my 3,000 meter altitude in the Sierra. And this is the starting veg for any respectable Lazy Bastard Beef Stroganstuff or similar stovetop casserole. I thought it would give me away, since nobody else here has cobalt blue tile countertops! I'll be back in a moment with photos of my current kitchen - I've moved since I last blogged, and I'm making quinua-herb and cheese minibagels in there today.
  16. Welcome to the new season of the ever popular eGullet Foodblogs. I will be coordinating them this season, so if you want to participate as a blogger please let me know. We will be starting off slowly and hope to jump up the pace as the calendar fills. Starting Saturday August 27th through Friday September 2nd we offer a blogger with these teaser shots:
  17. Well, here I am again. It’s been just over 5 years since I last did a food blog. I’m excited and looking forward to doing this one just as I was in 2007! First, an update in general: We’re all well; Linda, Rupert and I. I’ve had a couple of minor strokes, but the magnificent French medical system saw me through those with no permanent damage. We’re still living in France and still loving it. We have moved though; all of about 6 miles. Our farmhouse was just too big and too expensive to run so we sold it. Linda & I now dance a little jig when the energy bills come in. It makes up for the lousy exchange rates! Our ‘new’ house is modern and somewhat smaller than the farmhouse. We still have 1 ½ acres, a pool and plenty of room. We are extremely happy with the move. Our ‘new’ village is just great very friendly. It’s unusual in that it’s actually laid out on a square grid. 400 year old town planning in action. We have a good village shop/ bakery. They made a really nice whole grain loaf in addition to all the normal sizes & shapes of French loaves. We also have small restaurant. Not likely to get any Michelin stars, but one can get a nice meal. They make a wonderful bread pudding. Our newest addition is a small food boutique, only open two days a week. They sell only local produce, fruits, vegetables, sun flower oil, pates, fois gras, a bit of wine and a few herbs. Local enterprise at its most local. I make a point of going in every week. More later, but let’s talk about food. I’ll start by going to the Sunday market in Saint Antonin Noble Val. St Antonin is a very old, very beautiful town right on the Aveyron river about 15 minutes away. Their Sunday market is great, but to be avoided during the summer months due to the crowds and lack of parking. Once we get to October the crowds thin out and the locals return to shop & to gossip. Gossiping being the great French pastime as it is in most countries. I’ll post about the market visit with pictures separately.
  18. It feels a bit strange to say 'Welcome to Denmark!', since I'm not Danish, did not grow up here, and find Danish food culture (my boyfriend, who is Danish, began laughing when I told him about wanting to reconsider traditional Danish food this week) kind of elusive. However, this is where I'm blogging from, so... welcome to Denmark! I'm afraid that first teaser image threw people off track, although Kerry was right, it's a rape-seed field in bloom, the dominant note in the Danish landscape in late spring. I took the picture while sitting on the pillion; just leaned a bit to the side, so I could see around my boyfriend's helmet, and took the shot (that's his hand you see). The second image is the Roosevelt Island Tramway station on the Roosevelt Island side: I was born in New York City (making me a third generation American/New Yorker), although my parents moved to Italy when I was a baby. I grew up in Florence, and the Tempio Maggiore is one of my favourite buildings; we often walked around its garden, on the way to a nearby park. Growing up in Florence had a major effect on my food preferences, the way I shop and prepare food, and the way I feel about food (having American parents who became vegetarian and inclined to health foods affected the way I think about food). Next image: My boyfriend gave me Modernist Cuisine for my birthday! I've only had it for a month, and I'm still in the 'Oooooh, look...' phase (although the 'Holy crap, how do I afford even the smallest pieces of necessary equipment?!' phase has begun). That's essentially my entire collection of cook books, there. I also have a stack of Cook's Illustrated, and some small books on Tuscan and Florentine cooking, but that's pretty much it. I have a really strong aversion to things that just take up space, so I don't get a cook book unless I'm quite certain I'll really use it. The globule on the plate is one of the more successful 'spheres' from my first effort at spherification. Mostly I got a lot of weird looking slime, but it was fun, anyway, and I learned a something. I'm thinking of giving this another go, this week. The last image is from Grenen, up in Skagen, which it is the northernmost point of Denmark. Virtually every one of the people standing in the water got someone to photograph them standing approximately where the guy nearest the horizon is, then went home to show their friends and family, and explain that they were standing in two bodies of water at the same time: the Skagerrak to the north, and the Kattegat to the south (the turbulent area is where the two bodies of water meet). The two seasons in Skagen are 'inhospitable', and 'packed to the rafters with tourists'. Where I am is a good way south of here, on the east coast. My cooking tends to have Tuscan roots (simple, lean) overlaid by a thick slab of experimental geekery (currently curtailed because the kitchen I'm using is not my own), and adapted to accommodate local ingredients/conditions, sudden whims, and a complex array of food sensitivities and preferences (mine and my boyfriend's). So that's the background. To fill in a bit more about where I am, Denmark runs to cool, wet summers, which means that things like home grown tomatoes are still off in the future. Our plants haven't even set flowers, yet (we did start them a bit late): We also have a couple of chili plants. One seems to be going all out with blossoms and is setting fruit, the other has not a one, which may be entirely normal. The kitchen situation here is a little unusual. We're temporarily staying with my boyfriend's parents, since we sold our flat, but are still hunting for a suitable replacement. Here's their kitchen: I try not to take over the kitchen, so I plan around what and when my boyfriend's parents use it. Also, I mostly use my boyfriend's parents pots, pans, and utensils, since our own kitchen is mostly in boxes, apart from the little bit I've unpacked (there just isn't room to unpack much, and packing and repacking gets old really fast). I tried to take some shots of the inside of the cabinets where I store the things I did unpack, then realized that I wasn't able to get more than about a half metre back from them, and couldn't get a clear shot (there's the also thing with needing a flashlight to see things in there). This setup presents a few challenges, so most of what I cook these days is not particularly ambitious. To be honest, I've let myself fall into a rut, which I'm planning on hauling myself out of, this week. You can probably count on at least one spectacular culinary disaster (if that doesn't happen, I will happily share my images of the apple pie fiasco of this past New Year's Eve <<<shudder>>>). If you have questions or suggestions, fire away!
  19. Morning all - it's a lovely temperate morning here in Little Current on lovely Manitoulin Island. Anna's in the kitchen making something - I'm sitting enjoying my first very large mug of tea of the day. This is my brown betty in it's dutch tea cosy - the better to keep my tea nice and warm for a number of hours. My tea - in the largest mug I could find at the Value Village in Sudbury a couple of years ago. I love my tea, but I'm lazy and don't like to go back and forth to the kitchen several times to get enough - so this is a ceramic beer mug and holds the equivalent of several cups. I can get about 2 1/2 of them out of my 6 cup brown betty. And don't let the 'fabulous father's hall of fame' fool you - I'm female. (I find on eG it's sometimes hard to figure out who's male and who's female based on their names and mine's a boy's name anyway) My view off the balcony while I post.
  20. Welcome everybody to the Principality of Monaco! Monaco is a very small Country located halfway between Nice in France and the Italian border (they are about 15-16 km from here or 10 miles if you prefer). It feels like France but the Italian influence is very strong due to the proximity to the border and the large number of Italians residing in the Principality. In fact, although I’ve been living here for almost 3 years, speaking both Italian and English, I have not managed to learn French yet. My name is Francesca but my husband and my family often call me Franci. I was born and grew up in the South of Italy, which I left for studying at age 19. Since then I lived in Milan, then moved to the States (San Francisco, Hanover NH, NYC), then back to Europe in London and for almost 3 years on the French Riviera. As some of you might have read on the dinner thread, we are an American/Chinese/Italian family. My husband was born in Shanghai and moved to the States with his family at age 10. Our origins and our travelling greatly influenced my cooking over the years. I studied business in school but I’ve always enjoyed cooking a lot. While living in NY, I enrolled in the French Culinary Institute, going to school at night and working in banking at the same time. That has been one of the best years of my life and I truly enjoyed the experience. After that I went for an internship in a good restaurant in NYC and shortly after I moved to London where I completely gave up working in banking and became a commis in a luxury hotel. The experience was short lasted and because of relatives health issues and later on my pregnancy I gave up the idea of cooking professionally, at least in a restaurant kitchen. Now I have two small children, a boy almost 5 years old and a girl, the little one you have seen in the picture, who is almost 15 months old. This equals that I had to reconsider a lot of my cooking, keep it really simple both in the preparation and in the presentation.
  21. Good morning! My name is Christa, and I'll be your blogger this week. I'll be back in a little while with further introduction and information, but for now I have to finish off this:
  22. Hi everyone! Or, to play into an often frustrating - but almost always endearing - stereotype: Howdy, y’all!* My name is Rich, aka Rico, and I’ll be taking you through a bit of my culinary life in Dallas this week. Incidentally, my eGullet handle refers to the name by which I went in my high school Spanish classes many years ago - and I’m still awful at Spanish. Anyway, on to the teaser photos: Only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes (hat tip to Lyle Lovett). We didn’t really have much of a winter this year, so I was brave and planted my tomato seeds at the beginning of February. So far, I’ve had some pretty good luck. Trying out five different varieties this year; we’ll see how that goes. I’ve also got a few different kinds of cucumbers, beans, peppers and herbs going. Unfortunately, this blog will likely be finished before any of them come to fruition - or should I say vegetableition? And Zeemanb, I noted your comment about being six weeks ahead in being able to get a garden going, and I'll just say this - come mid July, when you're harvesting buckets of tomatoes off of your plants, I'm going to be spending my days doing rain dances just so my plants will stay alive in the 110-degree Dallas heat. Take solace in that, at least! My box smoker (wet smoker). This is not the typical sort of smoker I am accustomed to seeing down here. Most of my friends and people I know tend to use the oil drum-style smoker with a side box for the fuel. I do not begrudge that style in the least, but have gotten to know the operation of this smoker so well that I’m not going to change anytime soon. But we will most certainly get into that later this week. A few cookbooks and such. The Neil Sperry Texas Gardening book – the green binding – is ubiquitous in this state but I’m not sure it came through very well. Anyway, those are some of my books. The Wodehouse collections were not left in there intentionally; however, my affinity for the Jeeves and Wooster stories is undeniable. To address the MC volumes briefly – unlike one of the more recent food bloggers, Chris Hennes, my knowledge of Modernist Cuisine is laughably limited. That doesn’t prevent me from trying all sorts of things from it, but I’m probably not going to do anything from it this week; to try my inexperienced hand at it in a public forum might be a major step back in the development of the movement as a whole (kidding (kind of)). All right, then. A few other tidbits, I suppose: Having been born and raised here, I call myself a Dallasite, but for the past three years I have lived in the suburb of Richardson, about 200 yards from the Dallas line. I am fortunate to be in a fine location for a lover of things culinary, as I find myself within a few miles of a Central Market, Whole Foods, Saigon Market, Hong Kong Market, Fiesta, and few standard grocery stores. We can get into what all those are as the time comes, though I would suppose that a most are pretty self-explanatory. My wife will tell you that my approach to food is like a six-year-old with ADD who just had too many Coco Puffs**. I prefer to call it inspiration-driven. Meaning, I’ll tell her that I’m making dinner, and then I’ll happen to see a technique I want to try, spend a while at it, and then she’ll ask me what’s for dinner. “Ummm. Well, in about four hours, we’ll have some really nice dehydrated lime curd! That’s a good dinner, right?” (Note: dehydrated lime curd is never a good dinner). She is of infinite patience. As it is, I’ve got a several places that I can’t wait to show you, and a pretty good outline of what I’ve got lined up for the week . I’m looking forward to it all (and to getting to know some of you better) and hope you all enjoy reading it half as much as I am sure I will enjoy documenting it! *I feel I should explain my understanding of y’all. In Texas, we use it only in the plural sense – as a conjunction of you all – so that in its written form, we substitute the apostrophe for the o and the u in you. It is clear and its use saves a valuable syllable. However, in some southern states I have heard that its homonym can be used to refer to a singular person. It is my understanding that in this sense, it would be spelled ya’ll. I do not understand the reasoning behind this punctuation, and frankly, I do not understand the reason for the word’s use in the singular. All that to say, in this week’s blog you will likely see y’all spelled and used only in the plural sense, if indeed you see it at all. **This also applies to my writing style. My lack of focus and/or patience means I cannot proofread my own writing. I just can't do it; my eyes glaze over and ... well, all I can ask is that you bear with any typos, run-ons, tense disagreements and things of that nature.
  23. Hi, keefkun, ça va? Or, for the more hip: Bonjour habibi, how's it going? Yes, with such phrasing, it can only be Lebanon! First off, let me give you some background to the trip and myself. I go by Chris and Hassaan - whence Hassouni, the Arabic diminutive of Hassaan (note, not Hasan/Hassan, this is a different name. For those that can read Arabic, it's: حسّان). Arabs/Persians/Turks generally call me Hassaan, others generally call me Chris. Hassouni is fine by me too I am, despite the bilingual name, NOT Lebanese. My father is American of mostly German extraction, and my mother is 100% Iraqi. Her family is Iraqi through and though (except for her one Turkish great-grandmother, as well as other genetic traces of the myriad peoples who have crossed Iraq since history began 5000 years ago there). They had done quite well under the Mandate period and later the Monarchy, but as soon as the republican revolutions happened (and there were several in the late 50s and 60s), my mom and her immediate family fled to Beirut, which was THE cosmopolitan city of the region in those years. They stayed there until 1975 when the civil war broke out, and really Beirut is and was much more of a home, to my mother and her brothers at least, than Baghdad was. To this day, she can switch between Iraqi and Lebanese Arabic mid sentence, which I always find hilarious (they're about as different in vocabulary and accent as, say, Cajun English and Australian English) In the mid 1990s, after the war, her parents, living in the DC area and London, moved back to Beirut, and since then it's become their permanent home, with my mother spending more and more time there as well. This is my 9th trip there, and the 6th since Summer 2009, so Beirut is quickly tying London as my own second home. In any case, I love it to bits, despite all the aggravation of being there (like the most horrific traffic and insane drivers anywhere), and my own skills in the Lebanese dialect are growing. I guess they're getting pretty good, as a few of my Lebanese friends have dubbed me "honorary Lebanese." I arrived here yesterday and will return to DC March 7. Secondly, let me explain the teaser pics The first, of course, is an Iraqi/Turkish style tea setup, as I mentioned on my very first post here. Mimicking the the effects of a samovar without the expense. My favorite style of tea, though somewhat of a hassle to prepare. This was basically just to identify me, and sadly there probably won't be much of that, as Beirut is not a good city for tea drinkers A Beirut taxi and a symbol of the city as much as Black Cabs are of London. 10 years or so ago they were all ancient Mercedes that had survived the 15-year civil war. Now there are a lot of other cars, some new Mercedes, most small, crummy, micro-compacts, which makes very little sense for a taxi. The old, stick shift, diesel powered Mercs are where it's at for me, and I'll wait longer to snag one. Next is the beautiful Turkish coffee presentation at Café Hamra, in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. I think Nikkib made a passing reference to it once - I really like the place. Decent if not fantastic food, really good deserts, great coffee, and good argile (hookah/shisha). Hopefully will spend some time there this trip When Kerry Beal said lahmacun, she was basically right. This is the Arabic version, lahme b'ajin, from which the name lahmacun derives. This is a late night shot from the legendary Barbar in Hamra, a 24/7 bastion of Lebanese street food that spans a whole block - shawarma, kababs, falafel, mana'ish, lahme b'ajin, fresh juices plus western snack bar type food, and pretty good gelato. After a night out in Beirut, this is unequivocally the place to go. Finally, Raouché, the Pigeon Rocks, or as my Mom swears they were called in the "Lebanese Good Old Days," Suicide Rocks. One of two sea stacks just off the cliffs along the Beirut Corniche. If there is one symbol of Beirut, this is it. As for this blog, I have no agenda. Although I'll be spending plenty of time there, I'm not staying in my family's place, because its jam-packed with people, so I'll be sleeping in a hotel nearby. This means I won't be cooking anything, but even if I was staying at home that would be the case, what with my aunt and the housekeeper running the kitchen on lockdown. However, I will definitely be showing plenty of home-cooked Lebano-Iraqi dishes. Furthermore, Beirut is Cafe City and one of the best places to eat out, so expect plenty of delicious coffees, teas, and meals out, as well as shots of street food like Barbar and my favorite, manaa'ish 'al saaj. I have a hunch that I'll be going north up the coast as well as into the mountains at some point, so I'll be sure to document any tasty treats from there. If you have any requests, I'll do my best to fulfill them!
  24. Good morning from Norman, Oklahoma, home of the University of Oklahoma and suburb of Oklahoma City. For reference, Oklahoma is the state just north of Texas (no, it is not a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein… that's Oklahoma! with an exclamation point. No one puts an exclamation point when they are talking about the state). Hopefully you've all heard of Texas, anyway, even if Oklahoma and Idaho and Iowa are all a blur. It is, alas, somewhat less idyllic than what Sheepish treated us to last week. Nevertheless, I eat well here. Not a whole lot of lamb, though! It's been a few years since my last foodblog, and life has changed more than a little. Some things, however, have not changed: OK, so that's a tiny change. Same mug, but now I brew pour-over rather than French press. Different coffee brand as well: Storyville Coffee sends me bi-weekly shipments of fresh-roasted beans. In my opinion, using fresh-roasted beans trumps any other factor when it comes to coffee quality. About some of the teaser photos Heidi posted: as someone who posts a ton of photos here at the eG forums, I had to work hard to find things to post that weren't dead giveaways! It's probably not well known that I love yogurt. The Fage is for eating plain, the Yoplait is for smoothies. Yes, the crocus was just meant to be a sign that it's spring here (I have dozens in various colors in my backyard blooming now, and the daffodils are just beginning to bloom as well). So, no saffron from them. Not that I don't love saffron. I just don't grow it. I think it's also not well-known that about a year ago I decided to try to learn to appreciate white wine, having been a red-drinker my whole life. So, a wine fridge. What you can't see in the photo is the identical wine fridge next to it that I use for curing salume. The wok? Well, I have a Big Kahuna wok burner, which you'll see a bit of this week. And the cookbooks are mostly what I'm cooking this week. I seldom actually plan out a week's meals when I'm not doing a "cooking through X" project, but just for you guys, this week, I have a plan. Let's see if I stick to it now…
  25. I thought I'd use blog-eve as chance for a brief introduction. I'm Rob. I live just outside a village, around 35 miles North West of Cardiff, in Wales. For those of your not familiar with the principality, it’s the blob of land attached to the left of England. Mostly hills and mountains that tends to flatten out towards the coast. I have an 80 acre farm on which I keep an ever growing flock of Welsh-Mountain sheep, plus occasional Tamworth pigs and Welsh Black cattle. I'm not a farmer though, as any of my farming neighbours will attest to. I pay the bills “doing computer stuff” for a big telecommunications company, although mostly I can work from home which is great for me. I grew up in London, England, but have been living in Wales for nearly 20 years. I share the house with my wife and two small children. Food wise, I’ll eat and drink pretty much anything. I particularly like to investigate offal, although Mrs Sheepish isn’t so keen. So this week I’m going to try and show you the sort of things we usually eat, with a bit of bias to Welsh ingredients and recipes where possible. I’m very keen on Sichuan food too though, so there’ll be some of that. Plus Mrs Sheepish has a birthday next Saturday and as has become traditional I shall be attempting to knock up a relatively fancy meal for 2, so there’ll be a fair bit of prep for that. Oh, and Mrs Sheepish is Irish so there’ll be a bit of influence from even further to the left. Here's a couple of library pictures to give you an idea of where we are. Track from the farm towards the village Looking down from fields to the village Last year's Tamworths I’ll leave it at that for now. Tomorrow, food! And hope you don’t get bored until at least Tuesday.
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