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  1. Hello! And welcome to the official edition of my traveling around southern Iceland foodblog. We just got home around midnight last night, so I'm a little tired/jetlagged but hopefully this will make some sense as I work on this over the next couple of days. Iceland is otherworldly beautiful - the landscape constantly changes as you drive through it, from moss covered lava fields to hay fields (they just finished baling) to miles (kilometers?) of stark nothingness to moss covered mountains and snow covered peaks. Hopefully you'll get a good sense of this as you read along - I'm going to be adding some videos also that will help illustrate some things which pictures can't really do justice to. One thing to note is that, contrary to most of our other trips to SE Asia, Iceland is exhorbitantly expensive - from fuel to food. I don't know how much is being affected by the war in Ukraine, but I am of the understanding that no matter what, it's always expensive there. For example, fuel prices averaged 345 Krona per liter, which at the current rate of exchange of about 130 Krona/US$, works out to $10.22 per gallon! Obviously this is not the best time for a driving vacation, but this was originally scheduled for July 2020 and we all know how that worked out. Meals in a simple cafe (kaffi) are expensive - a standard burger was typically over $17! I don't think food prices are affected by Ukraine so much as it seems as though just about all the animal proteins are grown locally, most being free range/grass fed - I read that Iceland is self sustainable with meat/dairy with no imports necessary. Vegetables (at least that I saw in the summer) usually came from local farms or a restaurant's own garden. We've tried to take photos of menus to give a sense of things. One more interesting tidbit before I get on with the show is the use of English. It seemed that everyone I dealt with - from the gas station attendant to waiter to hotel staff to tour guide spoke better English than I did. As right now is super peak season, there were tons of tourists, many of them were surprisingly to me American. I don't think I've seen such a high proportion of American tourists in a foreign country I've visited, ever. So, flying over the area in preparation for landing, you can see a good example of landscape right off the bat - huge tracts of nothing - or more specifically, undisturbed moss covered lava fields: We landed around 9:30AM local time, which is 4 hours ahead of my standard Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The flight left late at night, and I worked a full day that day which means that by the time we picked up the rental car, I had been up for over 24 hours straight - the flight is so short (about 5 hours from NYC) that there's really no time to get any sleep. And since we had about an hour and a half drive to check into our first hotel, it makes this an absolute necessity: Just driving away from the airport is gorgeous: We checked into our hotel just around lunchtime and since we were exhausted and starving, we opted to have lunch there. The hotel's restaurant is really only open for breakfast (included with the room rate) and dinner but they will make you a "box lunch" upon request... Since it was beautiful out - about 55F and sunny, we decided to have it on our patio. Upon closer inspection, it looks like this: A simple ham and cheese sandwich with mayo and cucumber with a slice of some kind of tart (which we'll also see at breakfast) and some fruit. Interestingly enough, the apple was from France. After we rested a bit, we decided to do a bit of sightseeing. This hotel has good proximity for the Golden Circle sights - which are commonly seen on day trips for people staying in Reykjavik. I had allotted about a day and a half for these since one of the days will be spent doing a big hike in the interior highlands a couple hours away. The first stop - Kerid crater formed by volcanic activity and is basically filled with groundwater - the level of the water in the crater rises and falls with ground water levels but never actually drains. You can take the stairs down to the bottom: From the bottom: After viewing the crater, we went to dinner in Selfoss, which is the major town near our hotel. Outside of these types of towns, there is literally nothing except landscape. I had done a bunch of research before the trip, and found a few places in Selfoss that I had wanted to try - we'd only get to some of them though as well see later. First dinner: Krisp Overall, the food was really tasty here. We forgot to take photos of the menu, but prices were in the range of most other places we went to, which you'll see later on. Local cod tempura - I was surprised to see chillies being used all over the place in Iceland - fresh chillies, chilli jam, pickled chillies... served breakfast to dinner! Grilled local lamb (all Iceland lamb is free range) with roasted potatoes smothered in the same sauce as came with the tempura - like a citrus aioli. I don't know what cut of lamb they used - it was perfectly cooked, but you can see different muscle groups: Local wolf fish on barley with some kind of fruit compote on top - to tell the truth, I don't remember it much but I was exhausted by that point. It was really tasty though.
  2. You’re going the wrong direction! I just got off my OKC to Chicago flight for a weekend of Mexican food. I’m not too keen on heading to Mexico City at just this moment, so Chicago it is. We have a 9pm dinner reservation, so engaged in a little pre-gaming at Tortas in O’Hare, one of the best airport restaurants there is. And O’Hare is sort of a food desert, so I’m glad this Bayless outpost is here. Just some chips and guacamole to hold us over for a few hours…
  3. It's been 5 long years since we last went to Kerala, which I wrote about here. That was to celebrate my niece's wedding. This time we're back on the occasion of the rice feeding ceremony for the couple's 5 month old son. It won't be as big a do as the wedding but it will be a more intimate gathering. So here is my first lunch in my mother's kitchen. Rice, yellow daal, pan-fried mackerel and a mackarel curry. In the background is some fried chicken and a green lentil daal. I never asked for nor touched the fork, honest!
  4. My niece has just married and we are in Kerala as part of the celebrations. I wish I could have preserved the whole event in detail for eGullet, as I’ve enjoyed the posts of others so much. In particular I’m thinking of @chefmd's Mongolia blog and @sartoric's amazing South Indian report. Forget that standard! I’m going to try a little mini-blog. Not only am I terribly disorganised and IT challenged but I am also currently suffering from a rotator cuff tear which makes photography painful and difficult. Even though this will be a very scanty record, I think I can offer something a little different to what we've seen before. Prawn fry. Chicken fry. Rice. My mother used to send us off to school with our lunch of fried prawns, rice and yoghurt. I think this rice is basmati, which is not quite correct. The yoghurt is home made daily. The prawns are from the Kerala backwaters; large and fresh caught. These are spiced mainly with chilli paste, and cooked in coconut oil to a somewhat firmer consistency than would be considered polite nowadays in the UK. This combination takes me right back to kindergarten tiffin. The nuns used to roll their eyes and tut at how red and hot the prawns looked. We don’t get it much or at all any more when we’re back in England, so this was an absolute treat. The chicken fry and chicken curry (just pictured with the rice) would normally have been stars in their own shows, but got hardly a look-in today. The thoran (again not pictured) being vegetarian, was sadly neglected. I’m sure it was very good but vegetables really have to fight for their space on my plate. Please bear with me for the misalligned pictures, varying resolution and clunky editing...
  5. Saturday, July 9th was my 63rd birthday. And since the trip out of town to Florida and SC was so satisfying, I requested another adventure. Only one day and close to home this time. We’re in the Richmond VA area and only one hour and one and a half hours respectively from the charming little towns of Charlottesville and Staunton, VA. I asked for an off-the-interstate drive, a wander around the lovely Staunton, lunch and dinner at old favorite places, a visit to Reunion bakery, and chocolates from our own @Jim D.. The only thing that didn’t happen was Reunion. Sadly, they were closed that week for their summer break. Still, it gives me a good excuse to get the family on the road again and make another visit to Jim. I didn’t eat a bite of breakfast because I wanted to be good and hungry for lunch. This was difficult to accomplish as our first stop on the way to Staunton was at the Albemarle Baking Co. in Charlottesville: Incredible place! I wish we had something comparable in Richmond. We bought a few things that fit into breakfasts and snacks over the next couple of days. A sampling: Back in 1987-1989 when Mr. Kim was in grad school at VA and we lived in Charlottesville one of our favorite places to sightsee was a store called Food of All Nations. I say sightsee rather than shop because we were, of course, broke. Our name for it was Food of High Prices. But we loved to look and did treat ourselves occasionally – my beloved English candies, HP sauce, German sausages, good bread, etc. We almost never go to Charlottesville without stopping and this time was no exception. A good wander through the aisles, a search for Tiptree Little Scarlett jam (none there), and a little stash of candies: I can’t find the treacle toffee here in Richmond anymore and haven’t had liquorice toffee since Callard & Bowser stopped making it. Then it was on to Staunton for lunch and neighborhood crawling and CHOCOLATE! (Back to Charlottesville for dinner). Lunch was at Wright’s Dairy-Rite, a classic drive in (with actual car hops). When Mr. Kim was in grad school, I worked at a private social service agency, inspecting day care homes for the USDA meal reimbursement program. One of my responsibilities was observing meals served at day care homes that were licensed through our agency. Every home had to be visited once every six months, so about half my time was traveling around central VA meeting day care providers and children and helping to serve breakfast, morning snack, lunch, or afternoon snack. When I would find myself in Staunton, I always ate at Wright’s. I’d sit in my car, order a cheeseburger and a shake, and eat. I could read a book, smoke a cigarette, and enjoy some quiet time! They have a pretty wide assortment of food (including a highly recommended Reuben, funnily enough) but we stuck with the classics. Jessica had a double cheeseburger and crinkle cuts: Mr. Kim had another double with jalapenos: I had the “Superburger” and onion rings. Basically, an early Big Mac, but with excellent, flavorful burgers: The burgers were just our style – thin and juicy. Let’s just take another look at those onion rings: These were among the best onion rings I’ve ever had. Maybe I had some better ones when I was a toddler, but not since I became an adult have I had any better ones. They were NOT tempura, which is what everyone seems to do nowadays. They were crumb coated, but thinly. The onions were completely cooked, but still crunchy. I cannot say enough good things about these. Two weeks later, we’re still talking about them. The day just kept getting better. Next, we got to meet @Jim D.. He was so gracious and invited us into his home for a little visit and “get to know you”. We had a lovely time and really enjoyed meeting Jim and hearing about his late arrival at chocolate making. Mr. Kim had arranged for me to receive this gorgeous assortment of chocolates: I was stunned at how lovely they were but was truly stunned at how delicious and inventive they were when I tasted them. I’ve done a more in-depth post about them here, and you should definitely go look at that. After a leisurely drive around the lovely old neighborhoods of Staunton and a little antiquing, we had a snack and a drink at Clocktower Eats & Sweets. A lovely coconut cake: And the saltiest soft pretzels and beer cheese we’d ever tasted: 😵 More neighborhood wandering, then we took the long way to Charlottesville – my favorite drive across Afton Mountain and Rockfish Gap and beside lovely old homes. Dinner in Charlottesville was at our family favorite, Al Carbon. I’ve talked about this restaurant before and shown almost identical photos. Most American cities now have the Mexican/Central American rotisserie/charcoal chicken places, and they are good. But most of them that we’ve been to are basically Mexican restaurants with rotisserie chicken. This is miles above any other place we’ve ever tried. The chicken is astonishingly good, and the sandwiches and sides are unlike anything I’ve ever had. This is a chicken tamale and the beef cemita: Don’t know why I neglected to undress the tamale before taking the picture. The cemita was loaded with breaded slices of beef, Oaxaco cheese, ham, and avocado. It’s my favorite thing there. The elote and the incomparable chicken: It’s even excellent cold the next day. Sweet potato and fried plantains: The sweet potato is cooked in a sweet, creamy sauce and is slightly caramelized and the plantains are perfectly cooked. Dessert always presents a dilemma. Al Carbon makes churros to order. BUT just outside, in the parking lot is a frozen custard stand. I had a flash of genius. Considering that it was my birthday and that you are allowed, actually ENCOURAGED, to go big that day it occurred to me to do both. We ordered churros and took them across the parking lot and created this on the spot: It was utterly divine. And we were a happy family:
  6. DAY ONE 6/10/2022 We took a little trip – the first real vacation we’ve taken since the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020. For the folks who are on FB with me, I didn't talk about the Florida aspect of it there because there is a relative that lives there that I don't care to spend time with - especially since we only had two day. So that's why on FB it only looks like we went to Charleston. We left Richmond on the morning of the 10th heading south on the way to Florida. No stops of note until our traditional stop at the out of control South of the Border just inside the South Carolina border. This tourist trap is one that I’ll stop at every time I drive by. I grew up wanting desperately to go there and being fascinated by what I could see from I-95: Not to mention those amazing billboards up and down the highway: But Ted was his most British on long drives and put his nose in the air and foot on the gas and refused to indulge me (though he indulged me in a myriad of other ways). Mr. Kim’s dad was similar. So, as adults in control of our own car with our own spending money, we stop every trip. My little fat self was always curiously craving cafeteria foods, Drive In movie snacks, gas station hot dogs, etc. I still have that curiosity, though I don’t gratify it very often. But understanding that, you’ll know how hard it is for me to turn away from this: I mean they have a giant hamburger on the ROOF! AND they serve tamales. But I managed to deny myself and just got a drink. In the bizarre time warp of Pedro’s South of the Border, they still sell candy cigarettes: One of the reasons that I was willing to leave South of the Border untasted was because we’d decided to take a slight detour off I-95 to go here in Holly Hill, SC: When you see the sign, you think that it’s hard to believe this place has only been open 45 years. It feels much older and more established. And then you read this on their website: "Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sweatman, better known as Bub and Margie Sweatman first opened a small bar-b-que place in the town of Holly Hill, SC in 1959. After closing this location, they only cooked for special gatherings with family and friends. Cooking for these occasions took place in the "old dairy" which was located just a few yards from the Sweatman's home. Their desire to open a bar-b-que restaurant came to fruition when they purchased an old farmhouse. Sweatman's Bar-B-Que opened for business in 1977. " The house where the restaurant is located: And the pit house in the back: They cook during the week and are only open Fridays and Saturday. They do whole hogs over oak, hickory, and pecan and baste them with their mustard sauce (mustard based BBQ sauce is a SC tradition). The menu: My “plate”: Gorgeous mac & cheese, some short ribs (these aren’t even mentioned, we just got them with our meal) – incredibly tender and flavorful, pulled pork and hash on rice (see Mr. Kim’s description below). On top is just a casual piece of crisp, fatty crackling. Every portion gets one until they run out. Mr. Kim’s meal: Slaw, ribs, hash on rice (some of those short ribs, too – you just can’t see them). And a little cup of banana pudding, because how can you not? I didn’t even mind the use of Nilla Wafers. Every single thing was truly delicious. Mr. Kim’s Yelp review: "Sweatman's is legendary. I am glad we diverted off of the tedium of I-95 to eat here. You have to love barbecue to go looking for this place, but it is time well spent. An old school pit to plate kind of place, you won't find anything fancy here. But Sweatman's delivers good smoked meats.... ribs are pretty much unadorned but well smoked. A good deal fattier than I prefer, but tasty. Whole hog pork is very well executed. The barbecue hash over rice is really good -- for those unfamiliar, it is like a thickened brunswick stew with bbq meat in it. If you are like me (and I pity you if you are) and are obsessed with tasting the full variety of what the world of BBQ has to offer, this is one place you have to include on your list." We got to our friends’ in time for dinner. Mr. Kim had brought, as requested, some of his BBQ which we had for dinner: We brought the slaw and meat, they supplied the buns, beans, and broccoli salad. They couldn’t believe that we’d eat BBQ for lunch and be ready for it again at dinner. We told them that one of our retirement dreams is to do a couple of months long BBQ crawl all over the south. Day one done. Went to be exhausted, full, and smelling vaguely of smoke. More to come!
  7. After a 2 year hiatus, we're finally back on the horse (plane)! This trip was originally planned for summer of 2020 but we all know what happened to those plans. Luckily, the airline (Iceland Air), all 4 hotels and the car rental company were completely understanding and were more than happy to practically indefinitely postpone our reservations considering that we had prepaid all our hotels to get the best rates. Iceland was one of the first European countries to open up to tourism with no quarantine period, and by now we don't even need a negative test or anything else - we don't even need proof of vaccination... Be prepared for some amazing, otherworldly landscapes and most probably lots of langoustine!!! Langoustine is caught locally - unfortunately we just missed their annual Lobster Festival in Hofn which was 2 days ago. Also popular there is locally caught artic char, horse and hopefully we'll get some reindeer somewhere. Our flight leaves late tonight and we get in around 9:30AM local time. As usual, I may put up some teasers here and there while we're away, but I'll put a whole writeup together once I get home.
  8. Fasten your seatbelts. It is that time of year again. We are a day late and a dollar short as they say but I was able to attend my granddaughter's graduation last night. We are on our way to Manitoulin via Sudbury. As always our vehicle is packed to the gunwales and then some. I hope we have both remembered all the essential things. As if we really needed more in a fully-stocked townhouse! Mostly we will be carting ingredients that will be hard to find up there. We are both unduly attached to our Joules so they are packed. Kerry does not leave home without the Thermomix. The Instant Pot and the Cuisinart Steam Oven are already there waiting for us along with most kitchen toys that one might need. Kira is securely strapped in her seat. Wouldn't do to forget her! I expect will stop somewhere for breakfast and one of us will remember photographs.
  9. My "first taste" of Iceland and now I want more. Watch in full screen.
  10. 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.
  11. I’m on Day Two of sunning myself on the Redneck Riviera, on the Gulf Coast of western Florida, and it occurred to me I should at least document some of the seafood. Apologies for the two meals I’ve failed to photograph so far; I will do better. Trip down Tuesday was about 2 1/2 hours longer than expected, as we acquired a 3/8 inch bolt through the sidewall of a tire. The delay impacted our lunch plans at Mary Mahoney’s Old French House in Biloxi, MS, one of my favorite destinations for Creole cuisine. We got there about 3, discovered they’d changed from the lunch to the dinner menu, so we had a late lunch/early dinner. My traveling companion is a connoisseur of gumbo, and contends MM’s is the best she’s had. We both had a cup, a rich brown, with plenteous portions of shrimp and lump crabmeat, spicy but not hot. I guess there was trinity cooked in the roux, but none survived in noticeable bits. She had fried shrimp, which looked awfully tasty with a crispy batter, almost tempura-ish but a little heavier. I had an appetizer-sized portion of shrimp and crab au gratin, the seafood in an extremely rich Mornay sauce, topped with cheese and broiled. It’ll make a liar of anyone who says one shouldn’t cook seafood with cheese. Thus fortified, we made it the final 200 miles to our destination, where we enjoyed a late glass of wine on the deck while watching the sunset over the gulf, and I took one of the few photos I’ve taken so far: Yesterday, we lounged on the beach and by the pool, and headed out for dinner to another favorite, Acme Oyster House, a western outpost of the NOLA classic. In a new building on the Intercoastal Waterway, the room is uncommonly pleasant: high ceilings, dark wood, lots of windows. I was, sadly, a little disappointed in the food. Sue had a half a fried shrimp po’boy and a cup of butter beans, sausage and Tasso, and pronounced it good. I was less impressed with my grilled marinated shrimp, which had a Godawfully sweet taste to them. They were somewhat redeemed, though, by the excellent sweet potato fries, which were twice-fried to achieve a crispy outer shell and a creamy inside. Today is more lounging on the beach and at the pool, and debating where we’ll eat tonight. High in the running are Cobalt, a newish place on Perdido Bay where we ate lunch last year; Wolf Bay Lodge, which came highly recommended; and DeSoto’s Seafood House, a classic that’s been dishing up local seafood for 50 years. Or maybe one of a half-dozen other attractive looking places. I promise food photos!
  12. 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.
  13. Well, it took a pandemic, but I’m finally in New Orleans. I’ve meant to come for many years and it just never happened: but a relatively last-minute cancellation of a scheduled trip to Amsterdam left me with a week off, and plenty of airline credits. When traveling I typically divide my trips into “food trips” and “not food trips” (for example, in 2021 I did a lot of national parks: those are very much “not food trips”). So finally, here is a trip that is most emphatically a “food trip”. My timing is a little awkward here: to map with the time off I’d already taken, but avoid New Years and football bowl season, I am here Sunday through Thursday—it’s not ideal dining days, but I’m sure I can make it work. So without further ado:
  14. Good morning! I decided to add a little more crazy to this week and do a blog. As you guys know (or some of you know), we have a friend that comes at least once a year and stays with us. He's a very good guest--along with hunting he usually helps Ronnie with some of the more major difficult chores around here. Last year he even hung storm windows on every window in the house. Not a small task. Anyway, he arrives this morning and will be here until Sunday afternoon. I'm going to send a camera along with them with strict instructions to snap photos of their adventures going after birds. It's dove and teal (duck) season now. And, there might be some river fishing thrown in, too. There will be a lot of cooking going on. So, since I'm alone in the kitchen putzing around, I figure I'll take you guys along with me . PS: Our guest will be returning the first week of December for deer season (and goose etc.) so maybe we will lock this blog until then and open it back up. I've promised for years to post pictures of cutting up deer. Maybe this will be the year I get it done lol.
  15. The first week of November are „autumn holidays“ in the area where I live. We wanted to use that time to go to Paris, but when my parents-in-law somewhat surprisingly announced they‘d be coming over from Spain for the whole of November, we scrapped that idea and looked for something more German … So … Berlin. Not the best time to travel (cold & rainy), but with a couple of museums for the little one and the slightly older ones to enjoy together, plus some food options I was looking forward it was a destination we could all agree on. The Covid19 warnings in the Berlin subway support that notion …
  16. It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population. Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice. Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer. We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
  17. In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in … OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive … After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
  18. 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!
  19. At the end of our last stay on Manitoulin, Tri2cook mentioned how much he had enjoyed the latest instalment of 'Kerry and Anna's Excellent Adventures' so it seemed an appropriate title for this trip. We travelled in a car rather than a phone booth to get here. I picked up Anna a few minutes after 7 yesterday morning - we enjoyed our breakfast en route. Our "carcuterie" plate. We stopped in Owen Sound at the farmer's market and grabbed a few things - but also at a surplus store where I managed to obtain a bunch of great little bottles - the better to bottle bitters to share. We made it in time for our ferry reservation - given the very small numbers on the ferry this time if year - it wasn't really necessary to have a reservation. For lunch - because the ferry doesn't serve calamari - we both had the chicken wings. Can't beat wings with a view. It was a bit rough initially on the crossing - Anna looked a touch green for a few minutes. We had plans for a particular cocktail last night - however the booze is still packed away in the cupboard so we had to make do with the ingredients we had brought to replenish our stock - we had Dillon's white rye - which tastes like a spicy version of genever, aperol and candy cap mushroom bitters. We adapted the intro to aperol recipe using these - first sip was intensely raisiny - but it smoothed out to quite a nice little drink. We had to shake it in the first capped container we could find in the cupboard - thank god there was ice in the freezer. Which reminds me - I'd better get some more cubes going. Think we'll call it the Mother Hubbard or the Mother of Invention. Dinner was cooked on the gas BBQ (or at least started on the gas BBQ and moved to the broiler because the wind was interfering) - some lovely little asparagus spears and a rather thin rib eye. The view from my plate - Ended up with this picture because I'd accidentally switched off the noise that my phone makes when snapping a picture - by the time I figured out what I'd done I had quite a number of picture of my feet and fingers.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. I'm up working in Little Current again for the next 5 weeks. Thought I'd take the opportunity to share what I'm making with you while I'm here. I had asked them to put a couple of things in the fridge for me before I arrived as I'd have the rug rat with me and she's not very portable. I wanted to be sure I'd be able to feed her a little something after we got off the ferry. A couple of nice fresh eggs fried up with some old cheddar and a bit of kimchi (brought that along with me). She managed to hang on to a bottle while I made her dinner for her. Took Andie's advice and found a Senseo coffee maker at a thrift store for a couple of dollars. With the addition of a Coffee Duck to hold the grounds it was the perfect way to make a quick cup. I was on call the day after I got here - so needed to bake a little something to take. Discovered that I had no flour in the cupboard (5 bins of stuff in the cupboard - no all purpose), but I did have some whole wheat atta flour (semolina flour) that I had brought along - so used that. So butterscotch squares with atta flour - quite satisfactory! So Saturday I finally got a chance to head out and procure some necessities. I hit the farmer's market in town where I got rye flour, red fife flour, rolled oats and whole spelt as well as some garlic scapes. A trip out to Max Burt's farm yielded a nice little strip loin and a couple of packages of pork chops. I also grabbed some maple syrup from him. At the market the vendor who grows strawberries had run out - so I went out to their farm later in the day and picked up a basket. Some pumpkin seeds for bread and picked up the thyme that one of the nurses had brought from her garden for me to add to mine. I brought a few things like thai basil and mojito mint that I knew I'd have trouble finding here - got them all planted up. Realize that I need to get someone to bring me some parsley as well! Looks like all the herbs worth buying have been bought up already. Gotta love wild iris. Anyway - off to take a fish hook out of someones finger - when I return I'll put up the pictures of the strawberry balsamic breakfast cake from Food 52.
  23. Greetings eGulleteers, I'm Smokeydoke and I'll be your tourguide for the next seven days on a culinary journey through Las Vegas. First a little about me, I'm a foodie first and foremost, but my real name is Kathy and to pay the bills, I work as an Engineer. My husband works at UNLV. In the past I've worked as a manager for a pizzeria and worked at a bakery. We live in the Southwest community of Las Vegas, more commonly referred to as Mountains Edge. Here is the obligatory shot of our kitchen. Sorry for the bad photos, I made a video but just realized I can't upload videos in eGullet, so I quickly converted them to jpegs. Here's my pantry#1, with my (in)famous shelf of twelve different types of flours. Below that are my oils, vinegars and sauces. And of course, pounds of TJ Belgium chocolates.
  24. 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!!!)
  25. “… 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.
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