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  1. I never imagined that my first post in my first eGullet foodblog would be so difficult to begin. With so much to share over the next week, I hardly know where to start. I want to make these next several days engagingly fun, witty, and intimately personal so that anyone so inclined may easily immerse themselves into my food-obsessed world. My goal is to bring enough of my (hopefully) unique personality and perspective to make this blog as interesting as possible. And, of course, I welcome any questions, comments, feedback, or musings that you all may have. Together, I think we can make this a really fun week. With that said, let's begin. First, a little on my background for those who may be unfamiliar. As you may have surmised, my name is Bryan. I'm currently living in northern central New Jersey and am 19 years old. During the school year, I attend Duke University in Durham, NC and am actively involved in the food community both on campus and in the surrounding area. At home, I cook a lot and work a little, much to the chagrin of my bank account. I'm half-Japanese, in case you're wondering, and this identity has played a relatively significant role in my culinary philosophy. By the way, I turn 20 on the 15th of July, in the midst of this foodblog. This scares me to no end; my childhood is but over. I'm more than willing to talk further about my background, culinary or otherwise, if anyone is interested. Just ask. Now let's introduce some of this week's crew. First, the Girlfriend. Offical taste-tester and capable of eating her own body weight of, well, just about anything. You know the stereotypical jock boyfriend (usually a football player in those TV family sitcoms) who eats his girlfriend's family out of house and home, my situation is eerily similar. She also apparently picks herbs while looking mysterious and deep in thought. Next, the Mother. Pays for groceries and other toys. Provides general financial and moral support. Drinks a lot of wine, as seen here. Finally, the Sister. Takes care of the pastry stuff that I'm too lazy to do. Baking, ice creams, sorbets, all that jazz. I must confess to not being on eG much in the prior week or so. Just a couple of days ago I returned from a trip to Anguilla and French St. Martin, two Caribbean islands known for having very good food. Perhaps fittingly, in Anguilla we stayed at the Cuisinart Resort and Spa, a great luxury resort owned by the Cuisinart kitchen appliance people. I'm not sure if this is directly relevant to food per se, but I'm more than willing to reflect on the meals of my recent travels if anyone is interested. Bringing us to the here and now, this week marks the beginning of New York City's Summer Restaurant Week 2006. While Restaurant Week has it haters and admirers--I'm of the latter camp--it does offer the opportunity to eat at many of the city's top restaurants on the cheap. Today, Monday, I have two lunches and a dinner planned as part of Restaurant Week. After that, I swing downtown to see a concert at the Bowey Ballroom and perhaps stop by at Room 4 Dessert, Will Goldfarb's (akwa on eG) hypermodern dessert bar. On Wednesday I have two more lunches and another dinner. On Friday the family is off to California for a weekend trip. We're driving from LA to San Francisco up the coast with an overnight stop in Carmel. Then on Sunday I've got meals at Bouchon and Gary Danko. Then, this blog must unfortunately come to an end. Of course, I'll be cooking a good deal, too. Some of the things I'll be playing with this week include carbonated fruit, a recently purchased commerical induction burner, my new mini-water bath, and trying to figure how to make alginated butter orbs (the plight of many a molecular-inclined cook). Much more on all this in the coming days. Finally, I'm working on a long-term project of opening up an underground restaurant in my apartment/dorm next semester, similar to the late and great StudioKitchen in Philadelphia. If people are interested in this or have advice to give (or legal counsel) please post. My concept is called Z Kitchen. The site is up and running but still in beta development. My Z Kitchen e-Lab, HEAVILY influenced by the brilliant people at ideasinfood (twodogs on eG), is also in its infancy. So, yeah, a lot to do and only a week to do it in. I hope you all continue to tune in and participate and ask questions and all that fun stuff. ETA: My mother requested I add a picture of myself. So, Hi.
  2. Good Morning, All... It's me, phlawless, and I'm here in Durham NC. I haven't been much of a poster on the boards, so this blog is an exercise not only in recording my attempt to eat within 100 miles of my home (more about this in a minute), but also so I can get more comfortable with writing about and documenting my life as it pertains to food. Now, when I say that, understand that the majority of my waking hours are spent thinking, planning, purchasing, organizing, handling, preparing, and yes, finally eating, food. I have been in the 'business' for a dozen years or more and have recently taken a bit of a sabbatical from restaurant life as I have a 15 month old daughter now, and am only doing a bit of work out of my home. I thought motherhood might distract me from my food obsession, but I find myself with a bit more time and energy to read, experiment and cook than I did before M came along. Plus, the added challenge of feeding a toddler is one that is surprisingly enjoyable. As for the subject of this blog, a couple of years ago some kids from San Francisco got some press for this, and I thought I might give it a shot. If you go to the link read the details, the national challenge is supposed to happen in May. Well, I had a lot going on then, and also July here in the southeast is brimming with fantastic produce. So you all will witness the first week of feeding myself, my partner, and my daughter for the entire month eating local as possible. I still am a bit green when it comes to posting photos, so I'll get those up in a bit from this morning.
  3. Hi everybody! Breakfast on this sunny Saturday morning is a small bowl of milk & granola: When I am not Chufi, I am Klary, and I live with my husband and 2 rats in Amsterdam. I work parttime and when people ask what I do on the days I don't work, my answer is: I'm always busy with food I'll be taking you on a tour around my favorite shops and foodplaces this week. Ofcourse I'll get some cooking and eating done as well! I hope my english will hold up. If you don't understand me, please say so and I'll try to explain! off to the shops now, see you later
  4. Good Morning, all. Thank you, Ronnie Suburban, for a great blog! It would be hard to deliver such an appealing display of foods! Hopefully we can provide continuing enjoyment to all, as eG food blogging travels south, especially to those of you who dream of a warmer climate, like we used to! I will start this, and acquaint you with my husband, and his own introduction will follow soon. We are pleased to be food blogging during this time of year, when many think that Florida is at its best (well, except for all the election controversies). Fall does hold some of the best weather in this sunshine state, and the weather affects our cooking and eating almost as much as anything else. We have been having days in the mid to high 80’s, and nights in the high 60’s recently, with mostly clear skies. We hope to show you that Florida is much more than strip malls, the hanging chads of 2000, hurricanes, and who knows what by the time this Election Day is over; and we hope to share some of the joys of being here and living our dream. We will both be leaving for work shortly, and so until we get home and continue posting, we welcome you to our home, our kitchen, and our eating places. Come on in: Here's an outside view of the porch: Our kitchen, as you enter from the dining area: From the other end: And, from the living room, looking across the bar: For those who know me from the eG topics I frequent, especially the Dinner thread, it is no secret that our eating place is usually our porch. What is more of a secret is that we have a TV on our porch and we often watch a lot of sports and some other programs while we eat dinner. Some of our most romantic dinners were with a baseball or soccer game, a NASCAR race, or other sports event on TV, and a beautiful place setting with candlelight and flowers on the table. It’s been a tradition for us for a long time. I often post on eG about the enjoyment my husband and I have in cooking together, or cooking for each other; but as you may have gathered, Russ reads a lot more than he posts. When he introduces himself in this blog, it will be his second post! I asked him to join me in this, since so much of our cooking involves him. (He might say that I threatened him in some way if he didn’t do it.) So after I have introduced myself to those who don’t know me, Prepcook will introduce himself. Then we will proceed to journal our eating! I work part time and he works full time, so most likely I will have more entries and most of his will probably be early morning or evenings. Unfortunately, neither of us can access eG while we are at work, but please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and we will respond as soon as we’re back home and online. I grew up in a food-loving home, and my parents were good cooks. They bought a restaurant when my brother and I were teenagers, and spent most of their waking hours there for several years. I first learned about meal planning and cooking from my mom, but she did not teach me about what she did. She was one of those people who, for reasons unknown to me, didn’t share her knowledge of home cooking and kept many of her recipes “secret.” After I was grown and on my own, my mom and I began sharing recipes, and I began developing my own tastes and my own cooking styles. I have loved cooking ever since. Up until our move to Florida, I always worked full time and more, except for the first five months of my son Michael’s life. With rare exception, Russ and/or I cooked a nice dinner from scratch every night, no matter how many practices or games or other activities were going on, and we always sat down to eat together. Some nights back in the days of Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, and all the school teams, we ate dinner at around 10 PM! We all loved it, and our home was where all our boys’ friends wanted to come for dinner, and often did. …All that was making a short story long, to say that I am a self-taught cook. After the boys grew up, and were going to college and all that, my love of cooking and food became a passion. As much as I have always enjoyed cooking, it is even more fun now to cook for just the two of us. We do love the empty nest syndrome. There were a couple of years after I retired and before moving to Florida that I did some food consulting/ recipe development/ food writing/ food and wine education -- mostly for a wine shop where Russ and I both moonlighted. I owned a small company and had a web site called Culinary Passions. However, since moving to Florida, I have only pursued these activities as play, rather than work. This morning I am having my usual black coffee, even as we speak (type). On work days, I rarely eat breakfast and usually not lunch. If I get hungry and take the time, I’ll eat just a little on the run at around brunch time. I’m not sure how today will be, but I’ll keep you posted.
  5. I'm it this week. And who am I, anyway? You could check out my bio, if you really want to, but really all you need to know is that I'm not professionally involved with food, although more and more I wish I were. I have amassed nearly 1000 posts here in (I think?) pretty quiet fashion. I mostly take from eGullet-- I learn new things every day, and I'm very grateful. I live in Brooklyn, with my wife Robin and our two children, Leah (2 years old) and Nate (almost 7 months). I am a lawyer, but for the past four months I've been on a leave of absence taking care of the kids. This leave of absence ends June 1. That's right, we are at the beginning of my last week of freedom. (Incidentally, I did a sort of half-blog for a while about new stuff I was learning to make while on leave. You can find it here.) When my leave began, I wanted to tackle a bunch of disparate projects, but eventually I became primarily obsessed with baking bread. I began baking every day, and I eventually got my own sourdough starter (whom I call Ringo) up and running. This daily bread-making has become part of my identity now, and it's going to be tough to part with it. Once I return to work, my daily baking is going to have to end, so I've recently been baking more than ever, trying to cram in what I can before I go back. So this week you can expect some bread from me. And I'll try to show you a few things about how we live here in Brooklyn, U.S.A. We will be traveling later this week. We'll be leaving Wednesday night to go to my mother's home in Maryland. My mother knows not of this eGullet business (at least, so far as I know ), and it might be best if this remains the case. So you may not get much in the way of food photos while we're in Maryland, but I'll give you some reports that you might find amusing. So, on with the blog already! Oh, by the way, I've been instructed to tell you that if you reply to the blog, you're fair game to be tagged as the next blogger. And that you have a moral obligation not to say no! I was apparently the very last choice to be tagged for this week. (They said it was because I live in NYC, where so many of the bloggers have lived, but really...) I've always been picked last since I was a child, so I'm okay with it. But don't put some other loser in my position! Say "yes" when you're tagged! Take it for the team! (Now will anyone dare reply? ) Okay, so dinner this evening was (drum roll, please)....... tuna salad. Behold, mortals! See, I made this poached chicken with aioli on Friday, and there's just a ton of aioli left over, which I love, but I'm having a hard time getting rid of it. Yesterday I assembled a bunch of cooked and raw vegetables for a sort of veggie "Grand Aioli," and tonight I briefly entertained thoughts of a Bourride, but it was so hot out, and like a jackass I had the oven at 500 degrees already for some French bread. The thought of turning on a burner was just too much, at least until we put in our stupid air conditioners. (See Note 1, below.) So it's just a tuna salad sandwich, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's also got a little extra: it's made with homemade aioli on homemade bread. It tasted pretty good. I also put together some Biga (a firm batter of flour, water and a little yeast that will bubble all night, creating flavor for future breads), which I'll use Monday and Tuesday. I got my hands on some actual Italian "00" flour (their white flour), so I thought I'd make a Pugliese and maybe some durum wheat bread with my "00" Biga: For tomorrow: I dunno. I can never plan ahead. My wonderful wife got me this great gift for our anniversary: It's the seven quart Le Creuset (we have an oval five already, I think). Give me some ideas. What should I make in this pot? If I like your idea I'll use it on Monday or Tuesday! Also: I got these beautiful radishes at the greenmarket on Saturday: I dipped some slices in aioli yesterday. What else should I do with them? Put them in a salad? I haven't the faintest idea. Help me out. See you tomorrow (or later this morning, really). It's late. Note 1: This is what most of us New Yorkers do, by the way. We take down our air conditioners in the winter because otherwise we'd freeze, and we store them in closets, or in the corner, or wherever we can, and then when it's hot again we risk our backs picking them up and we install them in our windows, blocking our pathetic views of alleys and neighbors in their underwear. Glamorous, huh?
  6. So here we are in an internet cafe in Siem Reap Cambodia, sharing a dial-up connection with a handful of locals. We've been traveling for two weeks, we're blogging the last week of our vacation here. In the past two weeks we've been wandering around Thailand, we were fortunate in our inability to extend our diving trip in Phuket last week so we were safely up north in Chiang Rai for the earthquake and Tsunami that trashed the beach we were staying on a few days earlier. We spent the past two days in Phnom Penh which was surprisingly enjoyable. Good food, nice people, and traffic that makes my driving look calm by comparison. This morning our first meal was on a converted cargo plane flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. We'll add pictures once we find reasonable speed net access. On a 45 minute flight on President Airlines we were fed a bag of peanuts and what looked like a croissant but was egg bread with some sort of coconut jam inside. When we checked into our hotel this morning we had a proper breakfast (for the country we just left) of rice porridge with chicken, scallions, and celery tops - the usual condiment tray of chili powder, sliced chilis in vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar was provided. Some pineapple, papaya, orange juice that tasted more like flat orange soda, lipton tea, and a doxycycline pill rounded out the meal. We're off to Angkor Wat for the day, we'll check in again tonight - hopefully with pictures. MsMelkor & Melkor
  7. Well today I'm going to start this blog very slowly as I had a very bad night with the youngsters of my family (read too many beers and way too many shots). I'll start with an introduction and then later today I'll post about the mayhem and madness making and devouring Easter lunch My wife is a NYer born and bred - Me, I'm Australian through and through. We met just after 9-11, when I was across here on an exchange with the fire department. AFter spending 3 weeks in NJ and NY together, then my wife (I'll call her V) visiting me for 2 weeks in Australia, we got married last April in NJ - tomorrow's the big one year anniversary. For those of you wine conniseurs, we currently live in the Clare Valley in Australia which is the home of such great wineries as Taylors, Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Barrys and MANY other smaller boutique wineries - god I could spend a day here just writing about the wineries in our area. I believe grand total it's about 120 wineries both big and small, good and bad The unfortunate part of living where we do is that restaurants and supermarkets are few and far between, and sometimes it's just basically a pain in the ass trying to get the supplies I want for a meal. Our family over here actually moved to NJ from the Bronx back in the 80's. They're Italian-American, so food is definitely a thing of importance which is great for me because good food is damn important to me too. I'm the youngest of the "kids" so I get ALOT of perks until it comes to cooking and then they basically shut the kitchen door and leave me locked in there until the food is ready They're slowly realizing that I'm a better cook than the MIL, so every time we come back for vacation I get an email from my FIL requesting various things. One day I'm going to have the nerve to tell him that grilling when it's like 32F outside is just not fun!!!!! Food wise, V and I will basically eat anything - Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek - you name it, we'll eat it. OK I'm lieing, the only offal I'll eat are kidneys and V will eat nothing of the sort. Call me a wuss if you like but that's just me, other than that everything's fair game.... those deer and groundhogs in Dad's backyard are looking pretty damn good. Anyone know what groundhog tastes like?? Anyway that's all for now, I have Easter lunch to hook into and make (read create ) and then later today I'll post about dinner last night and lunch today. Cheers Tom PS I hope everyone has a great Easter and just keep on smiling NOTE: sorry guys I'm yet to move into the 21st century so there won't be any pics just verbal descriptions of what we're eating
  8. My fellow eGulleters... Hello there, my real name is Mike, I live just outside of Washington DC, and Uptown tagged me. We'll see how this makes my week a lot different food-wise. I have some bad dining habits mixed in with my own pretty-good-for-an-amateur cooking along with some meals from some excellent, or at least reliable, restaurants in the DC area. Can I start with last night? It's been so cooooold. And for whatever reason, braising seems to be the way to go when it's chilly. So, I went to visit my best friend, his wife, and my twin Godsons, armed with a bunch of short ribs, carrots, onions, celery, beef broth, red wine (lots of it), garlic, parsley, tomato paste, anchovy paste, and a can of fire roasted tomatoes. A delicious meal ensued. More details later as this PC at my friend's place is misbehaving, and the Indian carryout just arrived.
  9. 8am... Why did I volunteeer for this? I'm sure I will lose any reputation that I might have as a serious foodie...need more coffee. This is not going to be about elelegant restaurant food, but bourgeoise domestic cooking. For those that don't already know Jill and I live about 5 miles west of Cambridge, UK where it is currently dank and raining, but not too cold. Some forecasters predict the weather will turn cold and snow, but a white Christmas is unlikely. Our main meals tend to be in the evening, except for holidays and the odd Sunday. Unless otherwise noted, breakfast for me is a mug of coffee (mix of 1/3rd Old Brown Java, 1/3rd Kenya Pea Berry, 1/3rd Mocha Mysore, all medium roast and made in a press pot) with semi-skimmed milk. Probably made stronger than coffeee in the US, and when I'm in the US I find there is something strange about the milk usually served with US coffee. Powdered milk, or NDC is not acceptable at any time. I usually skip lunch, or graze. For the holidays this year we are expecting this year Jill's grown up sons plus their partners, one of whom is vegetarian, and various waifs and strays. We are not religious, so this is a secular celebration, encompassing as many traditions as possible, but rooted in English customs with a fair bit of Provence influence. Currently I plan. eG folk, please comment and advise. Circumstances may change, and it may not all happen. Today Saturday 20 Dec. First day of Chanukah Supermarket shopping at Tesco's, 100,000 sq ft of supermarket for most of the basics. Start making Pannetone. Has to be Latkes, and I guess Brisket for supper. Maybe kale or cabbage or sourkraut to go with. Sunday 21 Dec Winter Solstice, Yule Get in Yule log, holly, Mistletoe, Xmas tree, (which my brother, being frum, calls a Hannukah bush) Finish Pannetone Baked Ham, parsley sauce Monday 22 Dec Dunno. Leftovers or take-out Tuesday 23rd Dec Company (www.artimi.com) Xmas dinner at the University Arms Hotel. Rubber turkey I expect Wednesday 24th Dec Xmas Eve Bread baking: Pome a l'huile Making mince pies to the sound of King's College Carols Provence style Gros Souper, meat free maybe: l'aigo boulido, a garlic and herb soup, cauliflower (gratin), Salt cod balls or en raito, celery with anchoïade. Cheese. Trifl; the "trieze deserts". As we don't go to Midnight Mass, we wont follow with the Souper Gras Thursday 25th Dec Xmas, and Sir Isaac Newton's Birthday. Late Xmas lunch Amuse: Truffled Brandade and Tapenade crostini Caviars, blinis etc Truffled consomme dore (shot glasses) -o0o- Turkey, with all the trimmings - Fois gras truffe - Sausage meat and a vegetarian chestnut stuffing (for the veggie) - chipolatas, bacon rolls - cranberry and bread sauces, Jus - roast potatoes, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) - Sprouts, carrots Christmas pudding, hard sauce Cheese Mince pies, tangerines, walnuts etc Friday 26th Dec Boxing Day Brunch Invited to supper by our neighbors Saturday 27th Leftovers: Soup, maybe devilled turkey wings, a pie, or Risotto... Sunday 28th Standing rib roast Monday 29th Leftovers: Tuesday 30th: Stew? Wednesday 31st New Years Eve Cock-a-leekie Haggis Syllabub and shortbread Cheese
  10. Hi all. Time has sprung forward, so its time for My Spring Break Blog to begin. Today, DH and I will be going down to Galveston Island, but first let me welcome you to our home and show you around a bit. Please take a seat and I'll show you my kitchen. We are fortunate to have a good sized kitchen with lots of counter space and lots of cabinets and drawers. See my new rice cooker. Love it! The double ovens come in handy. The top one has a broiler and is self-cleaning. Time to make some breakfast. I'll be back soon.
  11. If you missed it, we recently relaunched the eG Foodblogs with our own Fat Guy kicking things off here. After a short break, another great eG Foodblog is under way. FoodMuse is sharing a week with us -- click here to read along and participate. And don't worry, there won't be a long break before the next one. On deck for next week, we have a blogger who has shared this picture with us:
  12. I'm packing up to hit the road for our summer family reunion. My mother, daughter, and younger son will be driving from Atlanta to Dune Allen Beach in south Walton County, Florida -- one of the string of communities between Destin and Panama City along highway C-30A that comprises some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Tomorrow, we will meet up with my older brother and sister-in-law, and a couple of days after that, my younger brother will show up with his three kids. Because I'm in a hurry at the moment (it seems that the last few hours leading up to a vacation are the most stressful), I'll cut to the chase, and we can get more into the area and the setup details later. When I take a trip like this, where I'll be doing a lot of cooking, I like to pack a few things to make prep a little easier. There's the tools: and the bar equipment: a few spices, because what you usually find in rental units is old and limited: Like I said, just a few items. The thing is, the trouble that it is to get this batterie together is repaid in convenience and currency saved at the destination. And anyway, everything but the very biggest stuff gets tucked away in this: I apologize for cutting this off quickly, and not rhapsodizing about where we're going, who we're meeting, and all the great things we're going to eat and drink when we get there, but like I said, I'm in a bit of a hurry. I need to duck out for about nine hours; I'll go on to the point of boredom on all of those subjects when we've arrived and I've gotten back on line. In the meantime, there's some background on the area in Steven Shaw's Daily Gullet piece on Sandor Zombori (whose restaurant, alas, is now closed), and you can catch me picking the brains of our cocktail peeps in the Beverages forum thread, Vacation Bar. Happy reading. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you tonight.
  13. Good morning. Those cheers you heard this morning were from me, as I put the last of the three kids on the bus. I have loved having them home all summer, but I really loved the peace and quiet when they left. I celebrated my first day of freedom with a trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Before we moved to our new home, I was only about 5 minutes away. Since it's now a 20-minute drive, I don't get there as often. I stopped by my formerly-local Kowalski's market on the way home to get some Hope Butter. I do miss the very close and easy (most often biking distance) to a wonderful local supermarket and lots of Asian markets, but I am adapting. For breakfast today, I had several cups of really strong coffee and an Old Gold. Oh, and I had 1/2 piece of toast. I'm not a big early morning eater, and have noticed that as I've aged, I do not want to eat anything sweet in the morning. In fact, my sweet tooth in general is not very strong, except for fruit. I tend to have my first real hunger of the day at about 11:00 am. My eating patterns during the day will be quite different than they were up until last week, when there were three kids who wanted breakfast and lunch, not the frequent "little" meals I gravitate toward when I am home alone. So, now, I will go and grab something to eat and attempt to fix whatever happened on the computer to my camera program when Paul installed a new operating system. Hopefully, it will be an easy process so I can post photos of the bounty I acquired this morning.
  14. 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
  15. Firstly, apologies for the teaser photos that led so many astray! I was very hard pushed to find a location picture that wouldn't scream CHINA (cf. my atavar) so I ended up with a picture of Grace Vineyards in Shanxi province - we've also got lots of vineyards around Beijing (just beyond the Great Wall and to the south of the city) but the Grace pictures are the ones that came out best. As for the picture: It's classic Red Cooked Pork (红烧肉) with eggs cooked with the pork that I had last week in Shanghai. Delicious!!! I feel a bit of an imposter doing a blog here because I haven't posted a lot in my eGullet time, but my excuse is that moving countries and starting up my own business in China is a heavy load! But reading and enjoying eGullet posts has often been my lifeline for relaxation and enjoyment here in the Big Beige. A Synopsis: About a year ago, my husband and I packed up our entire house in Cambridge UK, put it into storage and moved to Beijing with two suitcases and a half-formed business plan.... A year later, the house is still mainly in storage, a few more bags have been moved over and I have just received a business license for our wine consultancy/school here in Beijing after many months of red-tape! If anyone out there is interested, the website is here (I hope that's not construed as advertising!!!) Over the next few days, I would love to give you an introduction to food and drink here in China's capital as it gets thoroughly over-excited about the Olympics, eats more dumplings than can be measured and roasts a few thousand more duck!
  16. !חג פסח שמח or Happy Passover! This is not the first time I've done an eG Foodblog during Passover. It's hard to believe that the first one was in 2005 and the second one, just one year later in 2006. Since it's been 5 years since I last blogged, I thought it was time to do it again. For those of you who don't know me, I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. If you take a look at this map of North America you'll find Winnipeg right in the center - about 100 km north of the US border (we border North Dakota and Minnesota) and dead centre between the east and west coasts of Canada. I work in the family business - we call it Desserts Plus, but the emphasis is more on the Plus and less on the Desserts. We're kosher caterers and have a kosher food store in Winnipeg. Tomorrow (Monday, April 18th) marks the end of the 3 busiest weeks of the year for us -- we expect over 150 catering orders to go out over a 4 hour period, plus customers coming in for last-minute items before Passover starts tomorrow evening. You probably won't hear much from me tomorrow -- unless there are some lulls during the day. But if you have any questions, please ask them! I'll get to them as soon as possible. The plan for the week is a small seder dinner on Tuesday night and a lot of home-cooking over the holiday. It's 11 PM and I have to go finish packaging the chopped liver -- I've been here since 8 AM and have to be back by 8 AM tomorrow - and there's still stuff to do before I go. (This is about 1/3 of the 90 lbs. we made this year)
  17. I'm not going to start my "official" blogging until tomorrow but, while I've got a few free minutes, I thought I'd at least introduce myself. My name is Jen Jensen and I live in Sacramento with my husband and 14 year-old daughter, Kathleen (AKA the Spawn). We are imports from BC (Canada) and have lived here for 5 years now. I "retired" when we moved here, as I only have a "live" visa, not a "work" visa. Before moving here, I worked as a technical writer on various IT and business process projects. My hobby is dog racing (whippets, not greyhounds) so we also live with four of the five dogs I own. Living here in CA with us are Streaka (AKA Über--as in Streaka über alles.); Tighe (AKA Goober, because it rhymes with Über and matches his personality); Dayton (Dids); and Rogie (meiner Deutscher Junge), whom I co-own with a friend back home. My fifth dog, Derby, is Tighe's daughter and lives with my friend in BC. In the coming week, I'll be eating at home, eating out, and (most exciting of all) eating at Tigh-na-Mara, a spa/resort on Vancouver Island in BC. The trip to Tigh-na-Mara is why I won't be starting until tomorrow ... I want to be able to include my meals there in the blog. Until tomorrow ...
  18. I have to start cooking tomorrow. I haven't cooked dinner since the beginning of the year. I don't even know where my pots are, but somehow I have to find them. Hi, I'm Jennifer, and this is my foodblog. I have been posting about my kitchen remodel here. for the past few months. With all my heart, I wished my remodel would have been complete on Friday, but there are a few details left to handle (like dusting out my cabinets) before I can begin moving back into my kitchen. With luck, I'll be able to actually start putting things away and getting to know my new kitchen this week. I definitely have to start cooking again, as the homecooked frozen dinners I squirreled away last fall finally ran out at the end of last week. My husband and I live in San Francisco. He's a technical writer; I'm a pastry cook/production manager at a French bakery. We're both "near" 40. Join me as I try to settle in to my new kitchen, adjust to the taller counters and expansive storage, fine tune where everything goes, and adapt to having to cook again. I have a new professional-style range. I'm not entirely sure that I won't just burn everything with the intense heat it produces. Right now it's quite late for me. Typically I go to work about 5. As in a.m. Today, being Easter, I went in at 3, which meant getting up at 2:15 a.m. I did get a nap, but a good amount of wine at my brother's Easter fest and plenty of good food means that by now I'm just about wiped. I apologize in advance for the typos I know are lurking in this, but I wanted to introduce myself and get this foodblog rolling. Answers to snowangel's post of my teaser photo tomorrow. At least one of you had one ingredient right. See you tomorrow morning!
  19. Much like cookbooks, what the world needs now is many fewer restaurant critics. Over the next week, it’s my goal to ensure that you talk me out of my job, while I, meanwhile, try to talk you into it. So to speak. In other words, I want you to ask me lots of questions. My life doesn’t hang in the balance of my next review, something that I’ve been doing professionally for the past 15 years. But from writing about restaurants I’ve also come to know the food service business quite well, I suppose. And behind the swinging doors lie much bigger stories, especially of the collaboration of chef, farmer and fisherman; distribution; cross-cultural influences (Vancouver, where the culinary DNA is still knitting itself together, is a fine laboratory to observe that in); the collusion of wine with food; and more recently, the necessity of sustainability, especially as it relates to the global fishery. This week I’m going to eat my last Russian caviar. Ever. No, restaurant reviewing would be much less interesting if I couldn’t write about these bigger stories. So I hope that I can transmit to you how the research works, how the writing gets done, and ultimately, lend a sense as to how culinary cultures--born from diversity--emerge with a sense of their new locality. We’ll be covering a considerable amount of real estate across this big, raw-boned place: • We’ll begin today In British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley Wine Country and for the next two days and nights look in on some agricultural history (in an attempt to track the area's culinary evolution) and wineries, cook with chef Michael Allemeier of the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery (braised boar cheeks will be featured at a Friday night dinner party with some wine folks) and a revisit to a restaurant to demonstrate our review process and methodology. • On Saturday I’ll return to our home in Vancouver—where we have some friends joining us for a little seasonal cheer, ‘Seven Hour Sacrificial Lamb’ and ‘Cheesier-Than-Mariah Carey Scalloped Potatoes.’ • On Sunday morning we’ll be flying to the wild outside coast of Vancouver Island to the ecotourism town of Tofino, which is about an hour’s flight in a twin engine aircraft. Once there we’ll be looking in at coastal cuisine from the pans of chef Andrew Springett at The Wickaninnish Inn and, in a more casual vein, at the construction of excellent fish tacos at Sobo. • On Monday we’ll be returning to Vancouver to go behind the scenes at pastry chef Thomas Haas’s (he was the opening executive pastry chef at Daniel in Manhattan) lovely production facility, and observe John van der Liek at the Oyama Sausage Factory, which carefully produces more than 150 products. We'll aslo track the history of a new restaurant, from development menu to opening night and review. • Through the balance of the week we’ll look inside many more professional kitchens and markets, hopes and dreams. I’m sure we’ll find a few other things to do too. Once again, I very much encourage your questions. Last night, the Ice Wine harvest was supposed to start. In order to trigger that, Vintners' Quality Alliance reguations demand the temperature must stay at or below -8 degrees Centigrade through the entire pick, which can take a while. Anything else is just Late Harvest fruit. Alas, there was a slight inversion off the lake yesterday afternoon and it was called off. So we stoked the fire and rolled back into bed. But now I’m off to pick up some croissants down the hill at La Boulangerie. We baked some Irish soda bread yesterday as well. I’ll make some strong coffee when I’m back, and begin to tell you a little more about this disturbingly beautiful place . . . Welcome, Jamie Image: On the Beach - Okanagan Lake last afternoon, 1530 hours.
  20. 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!!!)
  21. Welcome to the first eGullet Foodblog Tag Team. This is the first of what we hope will be semi-regular recurring threads and a special feature of the eGullet Foodblog. Two Society members will be blogging and will be coordinating menus throughout this week. Out of nine days, they will commit to a set number of matched meals, in this case three. (This number may change in future installments, depending on the participants, their schedules and other factors.) The execution doesn't have to be the same, or even the recipe, but the overall meals have to be essentially similar. Previous installments featuring slkinsey include Of Opera Singers, Food and Ferrets and Thanksgiving Haute Cuisine. He appears in Still Life With Tenor And Ferrets in a supporting role. Marlene, on the other hand, was seen in Driving The Food Bus and most recently in Mrs. Claus And The Canadian Food Sleigh. Marlene and Sam will post later today, but in the meantime, here are a few things to look forward to: Saturday, 28 May: Braised something. Sunday, 29 May: Dinner party along the lines of cocktails followed by a big steak dinner with various accoutrements and bread pudding for dessert. Any cut of steak, but not a roast (although the steak can be roasted). Monday, 30 May: Hot soup featuring garlic. Tuesday, 31 May: Chicken with spring vegetables. This can be, but doesn't have to be, roast chicken -- could be poached, etc. Wednesday, 1 June: Something creative with leftovers or free. There will be steak leftovers, braised leftovers, broth, etc. Thursday, 2 June: Italian restaurant outing. Friday, 3 June: Pasta with meatballs, or variations thereof. Saturday, 4 June: Catered dinner/restaurant outing. Sunday, 5 June: Mystery ingredient dinner (basically a mystery basket tbd by you, the audience. ). Since this is kind of a first for this type of thing, we've started the thread a day early so that everyone can orient themselves and get their bearings. I hope it'll be as fun for you as it will be for our two co-stars. In addition to all of the above, they will also be blogging about their daily eating. Ok, enough from me. Let the cooking and discussion commence! Soba
  22. Weather Report: 21C (~70F), but it feels warmer. Rainy and sticky. Hello from the Antipodes! Welcome to my very first food blog – it’s an honour to be able to participate. I hope you’ll have fun and maybe help me out a bit too with some of my own cooking issues and queries. Why the title? Well, when I wait for my train in the mornings I look across the platform to the cows in the paddock on the other side, and when I get to my desk about 1.5 hours later I see the harbour out to the heads and bits of the bridge (pure bonus that it nearly works as a pseudo Star Trek reference). But more than that, it reflects the journey we make every day from the market gardens surrounding our suburb to our jobs where we both have access to some amazing food – I have had the opportunity to eat at a number of excellent restaurants in the city, and my husband has easy access to great Asian and Lebanese food near his work. A bit about me and my household... I’m a former Canadian living with my Aussie husband, Gerg, in a house on a fairly large block in the outer Northwest suburbs of Sydney. We have no kids, but share our space with a greying Kelpie named Willow, who snatches treats and oddments of meat out of the air with the most satisfied crocodile-like snap of jaws you have ever heard, and a recently arrived Tonkinese named Winston, but called Monster due to his ongoing obsession with climbing on things and knocking them down. The mess a Monster-powered flying pot of sour cream can make is rather spectacular, as I discovered only yesterday. How grateful am I to be living in a sub-tropical climate instead of the frozen North? Well, when Pam tells me Winnipeg has had 50cm of snow this past week, very! Although slightly wistful too: I miss the definite changes of the seasons, the blanketing silence of snow, the sparkle of hoar frost on the pines. On the other hand, there is nothing quite so sweet as the scent of orange blossoms wafting through the kitchen windows on a warm September morning. We are fairly adventurous eaters (excluding my unchanging dislike for shellfish), but I am not all that adventurous a cook, especially when compared to the wonders I see being created on eGullet on a daily basis! The German and French-Canadian flavours I grew up with are a definite influence, although I’m always working to expand my horizons; my husband is keen to avoid some of the more ‘traditional’ foods he ate growing up in an Anglo-Aussie household (tripe in white sauce usually comes up for a special mention). Sorry to say I don’t cook as much as I would like, and my small but growing cookbook collection tends to be treated more like a reading resource than a cooking one. In part this is because I’m interested in the social and historical aspects of food as much as the eating. Actually, if you have any particular books on social/historical aspects of food I’d love to hear from you! Always looking to overfill the bookshelves. We grow a few things in our small garden beds. The (delicious!) artichokes in the teaser picture are actually from last year – they’ve since been replaced with a few blueberry bushes, and I’m hoping that Willow does her job and keeps the birds away. The bed with lettuces is now planted out with rhubarb, which you will probably see cooked in some way later this week as they’re getting a little dense again. We had an orange tree when we moved in, but it died a few years ago – now we rely on the three in the front yard across the street to send their scent to us. There is an apricot tree, but we have found it impossible to control the fruit fly and in ten years have not had any useable fruit from it. Plans are afoot to harvest some of its branches for smoking in the Weber we got a few weeks ago. There are two mulberry trees as well, but the birds tend to beat us to them. We would like to grow more, but between our work schedules and my university study the garden always gets away from us a little too easily. I leave work early next year to finish off my degree, and maybe then I will be able to grow a few things from my hopeful basket of seeds. And also cook more. And one day, when we live on our own little property, I see a smokehouse.... I haven’t made any particular plans about what we will have this week. In fact, the shopping still needs to happen tonight, as all we have for veg is a bag of carrots and a quarter cabbage. On the radar for dinner tonight are spaghetti with tinned tuna, lemon, parsley and fresh tomatoes or maybe the fried egg, chilli and garlicky yoghurt dish from the Skye Gyngell cookbook I picked up at a sale last week. I’m really looking forward to sharing our week with you! A few more posts, plus pictures, to come as the day goes on. Snadra.
  23. 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.
  24. FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD! The word "BLOG" is a familiar one in our house. My hubby Bill, is a prof. in the Faculty of Education, and "blogging" is one of the requirements for his Communications and Computer technology courses. But, I have never been involved in blogs until this invitation...and this sounds much tastier! Thanks for the opportunity. Life is much more relaxed now that we have retired from the restaurant biz. http://home.westman.wave.ca/~hillmans/soosera.html Since 2002, I have been teaching half time at our university in the EAP program with international students. This leaves me the rest of the day to cook . . . what else? Brandon is a rural city of 44,000. Dining out does not include gourmet meals, tasting menus, etc. Until I found Egullet, a tasting menu was a 9 or 11 course Chinese banquet, complete with a 26 oz. bottle of Crown Royal ;-) My cooking these days involve learning traditional family recipes from my 95-year-old mother, pulling out old recipes from pre-Soo's Restaurant days, and trying out ideas from Egullet and my overflowing collection of cookbooks. This week will be a hectic one for blogging. My sister and family are visiting from Burnaby, B.C. so lots of food will be involved. On top of that, hubby, our kids and myself are performing Saturday and Sunday at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Brandon Folk Music & Crafts Festival. We will have out of town musical guests . . . so more food! Good thing I am on summer vacation this month. DAY ONE I love my mornings. When university is in session, I am up at 5 a.m. so I could do my prep. while the house is quiet. These days, I can sleep in until 6 a.m. I take our daughter to work at her summer job at the hospital, then I get to relax with my breakfast and 2nd cup of coffee. Today, I sat out on the deck with a cup of Tim Horton's brew-at-home with Coffee Rich creamer, 2 slices of toast with my home made peach/apricot/pineapple conserve. I love this stuff on toast, ice cream or just by itself as a snack. The recipe is one handed down by hubby's Nana Campbell. She even used bits of apricot pits in her recipe! It added a touch of crunchy bitterness to the sweet and tang of the fruit, but not enough arsenic to topple us. For lunch, my daughter packed a roll-up made with whole wheat tortillia, poached chicken breast, a handful of spring greens with raspberry vinegrette, shredded carrot and juilenne cukes. At home, we had wonton soup with shrimp egg noodles, Shanghai bok choy, shrimp and lap cheung.
  25. You say: “Permesso?” I say: “Certo!” In my area, it’s polite to ask if you may enter someone’s house, by asking, “Permesso?” For some reason, it’s a lovely, endearing thing to hear, and even children will ask before entering. I’m inviting you now, to join me in my house in Italy, in the region of Umbria, in the province of Perugia, in the town of Montone, on via Garibaldi. Uhhmmm, it’s a small town (about 800 people, just to give you some perspective on small), you may not find it on a map, but we do have a town website! We live in Montone about six months out of the year, and the rest of the time we spend in New York City and thereabouts. But, this week we are in Umbria. Our neck of the woods is fairly rural, the terrain is steep and hilly. The primary industry is agriculture; right now the feed corn and tobacco are being harvested. Sheep farms are abundant, which means I have access to excellent cheeses. I’m hoping to introduce you to some of the people that produce the food we eat. “Eating local” isn’t a politically correct choice here; it’s just the way it is. Why “Carpe Diem”? Yes, it does say Carpe Diem, tattooed on my son’s leg. About 3 years ago, my husband and I decided to seize the moment. We closed up our business in New York and decided we wanted to spend more time in our house in Italy. We bought the house in 2001 and I’m going to guess you have the same question that everyone else asks us, “How did you find this place?” As a family, we have traveled a lot, and in his junior year in high school, our son Curtis took one of those class trips to Italy. He had been to Italy a few times before this, but this time he came home, and said, “You’ve have got to go to Assisi. I could live there.” It was an unusually passionate response from him, which may have been influenced by the fact that he ate exceptionally good truffles while he was there. By now we knew we wanted a house in Italy, so we schedule an appointment with a realtor and we looked at everything from total ruins to finished villas with grapevines and tractors. The last place we looked at was described as a townhouse in a medieval village. We were goners before we even entered the front port of the town. Why live in the countryside where we don’t speak the language, we don’t know anyone, when we can live in town. Hey, we’ve lived in NYC for 150 years, we are city folk. It was a great move, I cannot begin to tell you how warm, inviting and welcoming the townspeople are, not to mention a tiny bit nutty. I hope you get to know some of my neighbors this week. Last spring, I attended the Ital.cook school in Jesi. It’s run by Slow Food and teaches students about regional Italian cooking. I’m in my early 50’s, and I lived for 10 weeks in a dorm with a bunch of wacky, wonderful ragazzi (young people) and had the time of my life. These days, I write a little, and teach a little and cook a lot of Italian food. My husband is involved in the “Tower Project”: Torre de Moravola. We are helping our friends restore a medieval watchtower that will eventually become a full service rentable villa or small hotel. It is a fantastic place!! We are up to the point we need to do some creative financing to finish the project, but hey, we knew there would be bumps in the road. If all goes well, I’ll be the chef at the tower.
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