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  1. 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.
  2. We are at the airport waiting to board our flight. As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province, I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Before Newfoundland became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony. Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada. Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English. French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else. Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France. There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon. Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington. In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon. NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline. By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles). The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's. While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated. In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids. There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice! There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds. They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears. Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
  3. The next eG Foodblog will begin Wednesday, 10 May and run through Tuesday, 16 May. This installment will be brought to us by not one, not two, but three bloggers. They are all fired up and ready to show some hot stuff. After a week without a foodblog, I’m sure some of you faithful viewers were ready to light a fire under somebody. Well, not to worry. Tune in. We are back, and we are smokin’ . . . !
  4. Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
  5. 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!!!)
  6. What do an ethnic Chinese, a foodie, and a computer geek have in common? Answer: Absolutely nothing! It just happens to be me! In mathematical terms, using the modern set theory: A = set of all Chinese B = set of all foodies C = set of all computer geeks There exists a subset D where: D = A ∩ B ∩ C And I am a member of set D. Or in Boolean logic: A = Chinese B = foodie C = computer geeks D = A AND B AND C Or expressed in SQL: SELECT Ethnic_group, Hobbie_interest, Profession FROM All_population WHERE Ethnic_group = ‘Chinese’ AND Hobbie_interest = ‘foodie’ AND Profession = ‘computer geeks’ Okay… I have lost half of the audience! That’s great! I can start with my food blog now. Greetings! My name is Wai-Kwong Leung. Or in Chinese convention, which goes in the “surname, given-name” format, my name is Leung Wai-Kwong. In Chinese: Leung (the top character in the picture) is a common surname with no particular meaning. My father named me “Wai Kwong”. Wai (the middle character in the picture) means “Great” (as in achievement) or “Hugh” (as in size). Kwong (the bottom character in the picture) means “Bright”. Leung, though it seems it may not be as common in the USA, is ranked the 11th in the most popular surnames in the Cantonese region. The order that I heard many years ago was (all pronunciations in Cantonese): 1: Chan 2: Lee (or Li) 3: Cheung 4: Wong 5: Ho 6: Au 7: Chow (or Chau) 8: Wu (or Woo) 9: Ma 10: Luk Do some of these surnames look familiar to you? My wife’s family is the Wongs. This surname is quite common in the Toysanese region in Canton. Many of them had immigrated to the USA since the railroad building days. It is quite common, though not required, that the siblings in a family have either the same first given name or second given name. For example, in my family all my brothers share the same second given name “Kwong”. My first brother is Leung Yuk-Kwong. My second brother is Leung Hung-Kwong. Father told us that it is for the sake of identification of our generation – since most people in the same village may have the same surname. When we say we are the “Kwong’s” generation, the villagers will know. They keep the genealogy and naming book in the small village temple. My father was born in a small village near Guongzhou (old name Canton). At the age of 13, he took a train to Hong Kong to look for work – and didn’t look back since - except during years of the Japanese occupation. Both my brothers and sister and I were born and grew up in Hong Kong. I came to San Diego, California for college and later settled down in the US. I like to be addressed as “Ah Leung”. And in Chinese: The word “Ah” is just a common street salutation in Canton. Therefore there are many “Ah Wong”, “Ah Lee”, “Ah Chan” walking down the streets of Hong Kong. In Mandarin, the same street salutation would be “Xiao Leung”, where the word “Xiao” literally means “little”. It is an attempt to be modest (a Chinese’s virtue) having others addressing ourselves as “little”. The food consumed in Hong Kong is primarily Cantonese style. But Hong Kong is actually a melting pot of all cuisines in the nearby vicinities. The primary reason is the influx of immigrants, legal or illegal – well, back in the 40’s and 50’s the Hong-Kong/Mainland border was quite loose. And there was a big wave of immigrants from the mainland seemingly overnight when Mao advocated his “Big Leap Forward” campaign (and later on “The Cultural Revolution”). Many new immigrants brought their home style cooking with them. In Hong Kong, you will find a mix of different cuisines from Chiu Chow, Hakka, Shanghai, Peking, Sichuan, Hunan, etc.. Because of over 150 years of British ruling, Hong Kong also iss influenced greatly by European cultures (primarily British, French and Italy, and to a degree Portuguese because of the proximity to Macau – a Portuguese colony). And in recent decades: USA, India, Japan, Taiwan, The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Hamburgers, thanks to McDonald’s, made its way to Hong Kong in the 70’s. And pizza, thanks to Pizza Hut, in the 80’s. Mexican food such as tacos, burritos and carnitas, however, did not receive enthusiastic response for whatever reason. In the late 1980’s, there was something like “Two” Mexican restaurants in the whole district of Tsimshatsui. When the eGullet blog team approached me to write a one-week food blog, I felt flattered and was very excited. The timing couldn’t have been better. The coming week is Chinese New Year. I would like to take this opportunity to mention some of the Chinese customs in celebrating this most important festivity in Chinese culture all around the globe through out this week. More to come later.
  7. Good morning! Here are the two teasers hints from Friday: Good guessing, this is Atlantic Canada. Looking left from the above vantage point you see a fairly well known Canadian landmark: This is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove (its also a post office) as it appeared a few months ago. I have to say I am really pleased and excited to be doing an eGullet foodblog. It’s a new experience for me and I’m not so sure how it’s going to unfold – which is a big part of the appeal. The past blogs that I have seen are fascinating to me; to get such a candid look into somebody else’s food routine as it goes down so far away is totally compelling. I am just going to “share as I go” and hopefully reveal something interesting or authentic about my region and food traditions. It certainly seems to have worked in the past for other bloggers.
  8. Good morning! What an auspicious day to begin my eGullet foodblog: If you've checked the news or are living in the northeast, you know that the Boston area was hit this a.m. by a nor'easter. (Actually, I haven't yet checked the news this a.m. -- they were saying nor'easter last night.) The subhead of this week's blog is "Where the garden is bare, and the pantry bursts." Indeed, I'll be showing you pictures of my poor garden later this week and maybe you can imagine the glory it is come July. I’m not a power-poster on eGullet, thus why it was probably next-to-impossible to puzzle out my clues (more on those below). When I do post, it’s mostly on the New England forum. I spend huge amounts of time reading the forums, though, especially the food blogs. So last summer, I gingerly approached Snowangel about blogging. I had visions of sharing the bounty of a New England summer with you all – the bounty from my garden, the hauls from our local CSA, the flats of berries we lug back to the kitchen from local u-pick farms. Ah, but no, Susan had other ideas: how about blogging in January? January?!? Was she insane? This is my garden in January. I haven’t even received a bill for the first installment of my 2008 CSA season, never mind a tender handful of spring greens. (Those won’t come till June.) Moreover, those beautiful flats of berries were all transformed into jam, of which we have exactly one jar left. The idea grew on me, though. I keep a huge pantry. I spend a lot of time during the summer preparing food that will get us through April of the following year. Why not show my readers how all that work pays off in the winter? So I hope you'll pull up a cup of tea (or coffee; I do not discriminate) and visit my little corner of the world this week. I do have a weird, wonderful pantry to show off, as well as a special treat for restaurant foodies tomorrow, a possible trip to King Arthur's Baking Center in Vermont on Saturday, plus day trips around greater Boston, where I live. Not to mention you'll get to see how my crazy little household eats in a given week.
  9. 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!
  10. Welcome to the 2012 season of eGullet Foodblogs and welcome, too, I guess, to my corner of Melbourne. Now, it's not Sunday. Not yet. Not even here. It will be soon--it's Saturday night--but I figured I'd post my prep for Sunday's dinner now, given early on Sunday I'll be spending most of the day at the Australian Open. I must apologise in advance, too, for the quality of some of the photographs. When I'm in a store somewhere I tend to prefer using my iPhone to my hulking SLR, a decision that often results in shitty photo. Some context. I live and have always lived in Melbourne's south eastern suburbs. I've spent most of my life in suburbs with a very high population of migrants from all over the world. Australia's culinary scene is shaped by migrants. The Italians and Greeks and others from that part of the world, back in the second half of the 20th century, they brought pizza and pasta and capsicums and salami. In the later part of the 20th century, the Vietnamese, Chinese and Cambodians brought over a wide array of condiments, fruits and vegetables. Every batch of refugees and immigrants has brought their food with them--from boiled bagels to biltong, chorizo to bok choy. Entire suburbs became, and to some extent remain, 'enclaves' for various ethnic groups--Springvale, which I'll show you some time during the week, is home to a great many Vietnamese and Cambodian-Chinese. Clayton, where I am now, was once home to many Greeks and Italians--they're still here--but now has a very large population of Koreans and Indians. Dandenong, which you'll also see, has a lot of Sudanese, Sri Lankans, Indians, people from what used to be Yugoslavia and many others. The nation's collective palate has matured, too. At some point, not too long ago, supermarkets started selling frozen packages of 'stir fry' vegetables and a selection of dried pastas that went beyond spaghetti and 'macaroni'. Products I once had to look for in specialist stores--one of the many local Indian grocers, for instance--I can now find in most supermarkets. Much of this change has been in my lifetime. In my family home the menu evolved from variations on bangers and mash to include an increasing selection of heavily Australianised Asian and Italian dishes. The South East Asian influence is very obvious in the menus of our fine dining scene. I could show you many different parts of my city. If you visit here as a tourist, you're likely to visit Queen Victoria Market and maybe a couple of the big name restaurants in the CBD. I'll show you a little bit of that, but my focus will instead be on where I live and the surrounding suburbs. The preview pictures Canned grubs from South Korea, as avaliable at the 'Hong Kong Supermarket' just down the road. Not a mango or orange tree. It's a lemon tree in my backyard. Many Australians own lemon trees and we tend to get a bit weird about paying for lemons in the supermarket, even tho' they're typically only $3-4 per kilogram. Harry's Deli, a large Greek grocery store located at the end of my street. Reasonable selection of spices and dried goods, as well as olives, Greek cheeses and 'homemade' dips. A selection of umami boosters that, as a couple people pointed out, includes vegemite. I very much prefer savoury flavours to anything else. One of the local butcher shops. Australians might recognise these titles as coming from local chefs/authors. We also have reasonable-sized Indonesian population in Clayton. This is one of two Indonesian restaurants--very cheap and not bad, either. The food is very much like what you'd imagine getting in an Indonesian home in terms of presentation and menu options. A small part of the spice section in India at Home, one of the two larger Indian grocers (there are two big 'supermarkets' and a lot of smaller places, most of which also sell hot food items such as samosas) in Clayton. Also sells products from elsewhere in southern Asia, Fiji and South Africa. Some of the cheeses sold in one of the local Italian delis. Also sells a small selection of non-Italian products, including Spanish paprika and canned fish from Portugal. Harry's Outlet -- Greek deli I ducked into Harry's in search of juniper (not Greek, sure, but their spice selection is decent)--no luck--but ended up stocking up on some of their 'homemade' dips. Oasis Bakery -- Middle Eastern bakery, grocery store, etc My search for juniper led me to Oasis, a Middle Eastern grocer five minutes from home. It's 'Middle Eastern' in its focus but also sells a lot of interesting foodstuffs--some modernist cuisine-type additives, canned snails imported from France, a variety of canned fish eggs, a decent selection of Mexican chillies, etc. The spice selection is easily the most extensive there is so close to home. It's a nice shop. Vine leaves, obviously. A selection of dips, including all of the usual suspects--hommus, ful, tzatziki, roasted capsicum, etc. A selection of duck and goose products including fat, confit and rillettes. Salmon roe, lumpfish caviar and a few other varieties of 'fish egg' priced between these two points. Actual caviar is not sold here, of course. We're not in the right area for that. A selection of olives, ranging from hulking kalamatas marinated in a variety of ways to pricey little ones from Italy. Part of the section dedicated to oils and vinegars. Avaliable are products such as raspberry finishing vinegar, organic sesame oil and a truly baffling variety of infused extra virgin olive oils and fruity/spiced vinegars. Opposing this shelf is a shelf dedicated to sauces, including a selection of peri peris from Portugal and southern Africa and some 'gourmet' chutney. A section of the (long) wall dedicated to nuts and dried fruit, running from macadamias to slices of pear. A section dedicated to pre-packaged Turkish delight, running from cheap bulk packs to expensive organic stuff. A line of tajines they're pushing. Part of the spice, herb and powders section--you can pre-made blends, a variety of different chillies (in powder or whole form) and chilli blends, vegetable and fruit powders, natural food colourings and essences, whole and powdered spices and additives. A selection of salts, ranging from the usual--table salt, rock salt, etc--to some flavoured salts (wild garlic, etc), expensive Maldon sea salt and a few interesting ones, such as black salt and hickory smoked salt. Selection is actually superior to that of the ultra expensive gourmet shops such as Simon Johnson and Jones the Grocer. Part of the pickles section--runs, again, from industrial-sized cans of pickled onions to little jars of chillies. Freeze dried fruits and vegetables, sitting atop a freezer that holds icecreams, pastry, savoury and sweet-filled pastires, dough, ready meals such as their housemade Lebanese pizzas (avaliable hot in the restaurant), desserts of various kinds and a huge selection of frozen fruits and berries (want 3 different kinds of cherry, by any chance?) Just near here, too, is a whole wall of cheeses and a counter that sells a variety of pastries, ranging from baklava to macarons (insanely popular in Australia at the moment, thanks to Masterchef). Some honey--again, the range includes expensive local stuff (Manuka, organic, etc) and some imported ones from Greece and other places. Still cheaper than Simon Johnson, Essential Ingredient and other places aimed at wealthy inner suburbanites. If I find the time I'll show you one of those stores as a nice bit of contrast. A section dedicated to dried beans and grains, ranging from farro and organic quinoa to chickpeas and navy beans. Some dessert-type products, including Persian fairy floss, orange blossom water and rose water. Around the corner is a selection of chocolates, mostly imported or good quality local ones. Some beverages. There is also a large selection of teas and coffees for sale at Oasis. Oasis also has a restaurant, which sells--both for takeaway and sit-in customers--Middle Eastern dishes such as Lebanese pizza, doner kebabs, salads, desserts and a wide selection of stuffed bread/pastry-type products. The food is reasonably priced and, in my experience, very good. I don't eat there often--my shopping tends not to coincide with lunchtime, as Oasis is insanely popular and it's difficult to get in/out of the carpark, as it's on a busy main road--but I've never struck a dud dish. The haul. I went in looking for juniper--I need it for Sunday night's dinner--and came out with smoked sea salt (I'd been on the look out for this stuff since buying the Hawksmoor at Home book, so it was hardly an impulse purchase), goose rillettes and some wild Australian olives. The olives, which I ate with some of the imported brie I bought the other day. Very nice olives. Dan Murphy's I'm cooking kangaroo on Sunday night so I figured I'd want some beer to go with it. Luckily, Dan Murphy's is just down the road from Oasis. Dan's is a chain of booze outlets owned by one of the two big supermarket chains. It has very good prices and a very good selection of some of the finer things in life--craft beer from Australia, wine from Australia and elsewhere, spirits and, of course, single malt whiskies. I have enough wine, whisky and spirits at home, so I was only in search of beer. Part of the liqueur/spirit section. Looking out over the wine section. This store, by the way, seems smaller than the other near near my house. Cider has become popular in Australia in the past couple of years. In addition to the shitty overly sweet 'apple, strawberry and bullshit'-type stuff, there's also some good quality imported French and British (as well as a few local) ciders. At some point this week I'll try and track down some of the better Australian ones--they're not sold at Dan Murphy's yet. Part of the beer section. The selection runs from the mass produced locals and imports (VB, Carlton, etc, as well as Stella, Corona, etc) to locally made craft beers, a few that straddle the line between mass produced and crafty (James Squire, the Matilda Bay range) and some nice imports (Duvel, Chimay, Leffe, Sapporo) from Belgium, mostly, but also France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, South Africa and other places. A wider selection of, say, Indian beers (Kingfisher, Haywards 5000, etc) can be had at some of the smaller bottle-os in Clayton, which service a large Indian clientelle. The haul. Note the Sierra Nevadas--I've heard very good things. All of the others (aside from the minis) are local beers. Spiced and smoked kangroo -- prep Why did I head out in search of juniper and ale? On Sunday night I'm cooking kangaroo, working from a recipe in 32 Inspiration Chefs -- South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia [and some other places] for springbok. In the original recipe, some springbok loin is marinated in a spice mix, tea-smoked and then seared in a pan. It's accompanied by, among other things, a verjuice reduction, an apple chutney, parsnip puree and braised radicchio. It's a little more involved than what I'd normally make for dinner, but it's the weekend, school holidays (I'm a teacher) and the moment I saw some of the springbok/kudu/etc recipes in that book I was really keen to try all of them with 'roo fillets. Kangaroo, incidentally, is the most widely avaliable game in Australia--most supermarkets will sell the 'Macro Meats' brand fillets, steaks, 'kanga bangers', hamburgers, mince, mini-roasts and a variety of pre-marinted products, including sis kebabs and spiced steaks. Through a decent butcher, you can also order in--or sometimes even find, if you're lucky--kangaroo meat from other companies and in other cuts, including tail. In Queen ViC Market you'll maybe find 'roo biltong or salami. It's very lean and a bit like venison in terms of flavour--a bit sweet, a bit of iron, a meat for people who like meat. It's disgusting if over- or under-cooked, too. A lot of people don't like it because their one experience was negative--it's so easy to ruin. An increasing number of fine dining restaurants, including Vue de Monde, The Point and Jacques Reymond, are starting to include 'roo on their menus. The 'roo fillets, sitting in a marinade comprised of cumin, coriander seeds, chilli, mustard seeds, juniper, salt (I used some of the smoked salt), black pepper, soy sauce, treacle, olive oil and Worcester sauce. Verjuice reduction (water, sugar, verjuice). The apple chutney (Granny Smiths, red onion, sultanas, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, celery, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay, cardmom and cloves). When I return home from the Open I'll set to work on the last minute elements of the dish--the parsnip puree, the radicchio and some polenta (corn meal seemed like a nod to the African origins of the dish, while ticking off the starch requirements nicely). Instead of smoking the fillets in the oven with rooibos tea, orange zest, star anise and cinnamon as in the original springbok recipe, I'll load up my smoker with some hickory chips. The dish shall be served with much beer.
  11. Hi everyone! tammylc tagged me for the next week and I'm starting today since my menu will be a little more interesting since it's (Canadian) Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' house. Starting tomorrow, however, you will be following me as I peruse the supermarket aisles looking for whatever's cheap, on sale, and halfway edible. I've been lurking on egullet for awhile, so I guess I should introduce myself. I'm a 4th year English major at UBC currently living in sin as I am staying with my boyfriend. Right now, we're trying to support ourselves while saving up for an apartment, and one area where we've had to drastically cut down on spending is groceries. I'm in school full-time, and work part-time as a private English tutor. I also work Saturdays at a tutoring center for peanuts. Anyway, onto Thanksgiving. I've been preparing food for tonight's dinner since Friday! It's my first time making an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself. I guess I should mention that though I'm on a shoestring budget, I do appreciate good food. I live in Vancouver, and my bf and I have dined at some of the nice restaurants like West and Lumiere. I enjoyed my food at West more. (BTW: I hope David Hawksworth reads my thread...he is my hero ) Today I woke up late and had to grab breakfast on the run. I ate 10 sourcream Timbits (from Tim Horton's, a sandwich/soup/donut chain in Canada) and a few fun-sized chocolate bars (Mars, Twix). I should mention that today's menu might shock some of you b/c of the plethora of junk food consumed, but I assure you I don't eat like this all the time. I just got caught on a bad day. Tim Horton's sourcream donuts are my favorite. The sourcream donuts are very dense, with an almost creamy interior. Not covered in a cloying sugary glaze. I brought donuts for my student...raspberry-filled, a couple of chocolate ones, some chocolate and coconut. Mmm... After our 2 hour lesson, I drove to Save-on-Foods to buy a pumpkin pie. Yesterday when I was there, I ate 8 samples from the (unmanned) sample tray. (BTW: That was basically yesterday's dinner. I told you I was poor. ) Today the sample trays held pieces of supermarket-quality Black Forest cake, birthday cake, olive and asiago ciabatta bread (which I love) and garlic toast. I had a sample of the Black Forest. Bleah. Got home, and ate a large piece of pumpkin pie. Since then, I've been picking at the rest of the pie every few minutes. I've already eaten more than a quarter of the 9" pie. No one else in my family will go near pumpkin, so I buy myself one every Thanksgiving. Also ate a handful of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. I then got started on a pistachio sponge cake and the cornbread. Cornbread doesn't seem to be very popular in Canada; I've actually only eaten it twice in my life. For the cornbread, I combined ingredients from 3 recipes that I found earlier in the week--1 from Epicurious and the other 2 right here in the egullet recipe archive! (I used mamster's Yankee cornbread and Rachel Perlow's skillet cornbread). Both the cake and the cornbread look good. The turkey is in the oven and I just poured 2 bottles of beer over the big pan of veggies. This is what I'll be eating for dinner tonight: -turkey/gravy/cranberry sauce -sausage, artichoke, sourdough bread, cheese stuffing--found the recipe on Epicurious, and I followed it but doubled the amount of sausage -cornbread (thanks mamster and Rachel) -taboulleh salad -garlic bread (No veggies or roasted sweet potatoes for me when there's so much better-tasting stuff around). For dessert, I made the pistachio sponge cake and I'm serving it with whipped cream. I also made this Cappucino-Fudge cheesecake on Friday for tonight's dessert. Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=106231 I used Callebaut chocolate since you can get it in the bulk section of Superstore for 99 cents/100 grams. Unfortunately, my cheesecake doesn't have a pretty lattice top since my (cheap) pastry bag exploded when I was trying to pipe the ganache. I bought the pastry bag for 6 bucks! What a waste of money... I had to instead pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake. Decorated it with chocolate covered espresso beans.
  12. Is it bad form to start Foodblog admitting to be lightly intimidated? I mean, seriously, having to follow Kew & Tepee's blog is like a comic having to follow Robin Williams! I hope I am worthy. My name is Arne Salvesen, I'm 39 (40 in August - egads!) and live in Burnaby, BC, Canada which is the next municipality east of Vancouver - home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Bottom line, I'm no more than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. My family consists of my two sons (who gave me the Daddy-A handle) who live with their mother in Pitt Meadows (we'll be making a trip there this week), my wife "J", and our two Jack Russel Terriers, Ringo & Gromit, who graciously allow us to share our home with them. I'll be posting dog pictures later, but in the meantime my avatar will have to suffice. My connection to the "food" scene is completely amateur in nature. Never worked in a restaurant and have only really thought about it as a "hobby" over the last couple years. Professionaly some of you already know I am a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), so that is probably my closet "professional" connection. My web site is in my sig line, or you can PM if you'd like more information. Still, one of the greatest joys I have in life is cooking for my family & friends, or enjoying a meal out in one of the most vibrant food scenes anywhere. That is what I hope to share with you this week: a small sampling on how Daddy-A cooks & eats his way through a week in Vancouver. We'll visit some of the better known places, but I hope to also introduce you to something new. Along the way we'll also meet a few of the local eGulleters, and see what I can do with my brand new Weber Smokey Mountain! Heaven help my waistline! A.
  13. If I wasn't a chef I'd definitely be into cooking. Well I used to be into cooking......and I'm actually not a bad cook but it just doesn't fit into my life style anymore. I suppose that sounds weird so I better explain myself. I spend all day everyday preparing food for other people that when it comes to thinking about what I'm going to eat and preparing my meals, I'm totally spent. So I've fallen into the habit of eating whatever requires the least effort to aquire. So I'm guessing most of you would think, "o.k. so she eats alot of easy meals, like sliced fruits and vegetables, quality cheeses and breads, simple pasta dishes etc...." but you would be wrong! That type of eating requires effort, typically more effort then I attempt on working days. I'm a Pastry Chef and well what's effortless around me to eat, is: pastries. I feel like I need to post this. Warning: I apologize to all of you in advance, because this blog will probably scare you. The following eating has been done by a professional and shouldn't be attempted by non-professionals. I'm not writing that as a cute ploy (cause it's not cute, it seems pretty stupid right now) but it's true. I have a feeling I might been seen as the poster person for horrible eating habits. My eating habits are extreme and so I'm highly embarrassed to expose this to you all. But my love for all things pastry and desire to share override my embarrassment. My days off of work are Sunday and Monday. That's when I do eat more normal/healthy meals. Although, I've been panicking and thinking I better actually prepare "meals" during this week......so I won't be embarrassed.........well, we'll see.... that depends upon what's happening at work and how much time I have after work. I do sort of start my day off like everyone else, so I'll start my blog off like others too. Bear witness to this, my daily breakfast: Technically the container it comes from says it's "Gourmet Cappuccino, French Vanilla".........but I don't know of any real cappuccino drinkers that would let this mixture pass thru their lips. O.k. soooooo it's sort of like a hot chocolate/coffee mix and nothing like a real cappuccino. I used to drink real coffee, but my system can't take it anymore and it definitely can not be consumed by me when my stomach is empty. I tried to very hard to switch to becoming a tea drinker, but it just didn't take. I never prepare breakfast at home. If I'm starving I might grab a couple cookies or whatever is fully prepared laying around and instantly ready to eat. When my husband is home we do always eat breakfast, he can't live with-out it (that means he gets really cranky with-out it). But then it's rarely prepared in our kitchen but sometimes he likes to cook. We normally go out for breakfast every weekend. This weekend we were busy gardening so we ate what was available 'instantly' at home.......because I actually had something at home to eat. Here's what our breakfast this past Sunday consisted of: (I hope it's o.k. to talk about past meals too?) I took the photo of the rolls that were left and then I proceeded to finish them off while typing. I had made too many of these at work for a brunch party we had. They didn't all fit on the serving platter so I snook the extras home for my hubby. He really likes these! As we ate, he talked about how we should open a store selling only pecan sticky buns, blah, blah, blah. Of course he's thought up the easy to imagine name of the company and what our sales literature would look like. "Let's call it, Sticky Bunns and have a photo of two buns looking like a "back" shot." That's cleaver..........I teased him. Knowing full well we'd never actually start another business.....but we had a little chuckle over the whole concept. I have to leave for work and I'm not certain when I will return online. So I'm going to pack in as much info. as possible so you can barely get thru these opening posts before I return. This is me, exactly like how I work, when I'm at work (I'm preparing these posts in advance, on Monday and I've got my photos all loaded and ready to go in advance). I hate getting caught short so I ALWAYS work as much in advance as humanly possible..........and I always seem to go over board!! I'm shaking my legs as I type unconsciously (until now)......that's me too, always got to be in motion, ready, ready, ready. Wait, I suppose I should get this out of the way. I wouldn't want to break tradition and not post a animal member of my family right off the bat (I think thats the 'hook' to these blogs. We're are more then mear foodies, we are also a bunch of animal lovers.). It's very rare that I sit at the computer by myself. Just like everyone else I too have a cat that is certain he must accompany me at all times when I'm on the computer. That's his job and he does it to excess just like me...well he is just like me, too much. He's certain I'm his sole mate (cause he treats me like another cat not a human) and he's always at my side when I'm home. When I sleep he checks me all night to make sure I'm still alive (he drives me crazy! and sometimes he bites me). This is Hawkeye: He isn't a cute cat, his legs are far too short for his long body with his front two legs being shorter then his back two. Nor is he sweet, we often refer to him as "the devil cat" and our other cats definitely agree. He was the last kitten of his litter sold at the animal shelter....well the last kitten from all of their adoptive cat litters. We're certain there was a reason for that (but, I love him dearly anyway). I believe what our whole family eats is fair game for blogs so I thought I'd mention Hawkie only eats to survive. Sometimes when he's laying in front of me at my computer I hear his stomach growling. He forgets there is always food out to eat or he just hasn't linked the feeling of an empty stomach can be solved by eating. I have two other cats who live to eat and if I can't think of anything else to write about I'll drag them into this blog too. Hum.........what else. Oh I remember, I was going to show you where I work, the kitchen, my ingredients etc... in my intro. to welcome you into my work life. I took photos already (just to be prepared) so I'll post a whole bunch of them so you can get the lay out. If things go slow at work I'd be happy to make anything pastry wise anyone wants to watch me eat. Most of my eating takes place at work, heck I eat all day long at work so I believe that makes most of my work fair topic to post about according to the blogging rules. I was sort of hoping to focus on my work as a pastry chef throughout this blog. I'm open for requests. Any requests, like: do you want to see my actual work/pastries (which I do eat, all day everyday) and what items: petite fours, breakfast pastries, cookies, cakes, wedding cakes, novelty cakes sweet tables, candys, anything about the savory side at my work (I eat their food too), photos of what I've made previously (I certainly tasted all of that), photos of what my day consists of as a pc (I eat constantly thru that), requests for recipes or techniques I can show (before I eat it)????? ...............Oh, maybe I should mention that I live about 1 1/2 hours drive from Chicago in the Northwest suburbs. I could take you on a tour eating my way across Chicago-land bakeries on my day off, if that interests anyone (besides me)? Wait, while I was typing the other two cats desided they needed to be included. I promise no more photos of pets........maybe a cutie kid photo thrown in later....... if you all begin to fall asleep.
  14. Here we go. Fasten your seat belts and try to remain awake. Emma woke at 1am after having a bad dream, then it was Ian's turn at 2am, just as we had fallen asleep again. Woke this morning at 6:30 feeling less than refreshed. Breakfast: 2 cups of hot coffee, more or less. I can never keep track because as soon as what's in my cup cools off, it gets poured out and replaced by fresh. I large chocolate chip cookie - snagged before Scott whisked the rest off to the office with him. Fixed pancakes, orange juice and sliced banana for the kids. One slice of cheddar and half an apple as a midmorning snack. Eaten because vitamins + coffee + empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. We put off grocery shopping yesterday, so it will have to be done today with both kids along. Ack!
  15. 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!
  16. Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)! I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case): This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week. It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located: Head ööd! [Good night!] I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
  17. Good morning and welcome to my foodblog! I'm Amy and I'm blogging from Tokyo, where spring is just getting underway after an unusually snowy winter (by "snowy winter" I mean it snowed a few times, even piling up as much as 10 cm in some places). I'm more of a lurker here on eGullet and mostly stay in the Japan forum-- I just checked and I have a grand total of 606 posts. I also just noticed that I joined in March 8th 2003, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate 5 years of eGullet membership than this foodblog. I actually have a regular blog, which is almost a foodblog, but I post just a few times a week so this will be a bit more intense than usual. I think it will be fun though, and I hope you enjoy it. I'll be happy to answer any questions, although among the frequent posters in the Japan forum I am probably the least knowledgeable about Japanese food. I'm also happy to take requests: if there is any particular food or dish you are interested in I'll see if I can make it. Let's get to it then. I just ate this: Fruit salad with strawberry, apple, banana and kiwi; homemade yogurt. Eaten in front of the computer, this was my pre-breakfast-- I'll have oatmeal later. I sometimes eat in stages like that because I don't have much of an appetite in the mornings. I'll post a bit more about myself later, but right now it's time for my morning coffee. See you in a bit!
  18. 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.
  19. Five years ago, I had a foodblog. It was a terrific experience focusing on Providence food culture and on our family's daily cooking and eating during a pretty typical fall week. A lot has changed in five years. That little kitchen I used to cook in? Well, we moved into my dream kitchen. Though 1950s applicances, lighting, and so on present plenty of problems, and though the suburban commute is driving me nuts, the new kitchen is my Disneyland -- the happiest place, for me, on earth. A few more changes. Take liquids. Though I didn't know it was a bandwagon exactly, prasantrin is right: my tea selection has changed quite a bit. It's no longer quite so Tazo dominated: In addition, my drinks repertoire has expanded beyond this sort of thing: Not that there's anything wrong with a bit of Wray & Nephew neat, but several years of developing my cocktail chops, including BarSmarts Wired training and several months of work as a bartender and bar consultant, means that you'll see a broader array of libations. Much of that bartending experience has unfolded at Cook & Brown Public House, an award-winning new restaurant in Providence that we'll surely visit next week sometime. Meanwhile, these two? They grew. A lot. While they are on light KP and tasting duty regularly, it's vacation, so I'll need to pull out all of my skills of persuasion to get the two of them, now a kindergartener and teenager, to play sous chef. What else? I bought a lot of cooking equipment, spent a lot of time curing and smoking charcuterie, delved into Southeast Asian cooking, and indulged by food jones as much as I possibly can. Much more on that to follow. Finally, there's these here eG Forums. For years, I've been lucky to collaborate with a great team of volunteers to make eG Forums as vibrant and lively as possible. I've learned so much from Society members, and I hope to give some back over the course of the week. I'll also need some help: I've got some tricky stuff to negotiate, and will need you at the ready! As I said last time: At least for me, Andy Williams was right: this is the most wonderful time of the year. Starting later today, I'm off through January 2, and the vast majority of my waking time is consumed with cooking, shopping to cook, planning to cook. At the very least, I have Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner, a Night Before New Years Eve party, and New Years Day cassoulet to prepare. In addition, I have a few surprises planned, including some time with some chef friends in town and a trip with at least one other Society member exploring our Biggest Little State in the Union. I'm really thrilled to be able to spend the week with you. So let's get started!
  20. 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.
  21. Good morning, everyone! Today is Sunday, October 22, the 295th day of 2006. There are 70 days left in the year. Today's Philadelphia forecast: Cloudy with a 30% chance of showers. High 61F. On this day: In 1721, Czar Peter the Great was named Emperor of All the Russias. In 1746, the College of New Jersey--now known as Princeton University--received its charter. In 1878, Thomas A. Edison produced the first working electric light bulb. In 1938, Chester Floyd Carlson made the first xerographic copy in Astoria, Queens, New York. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy ordered an air and naval blockade of Cuba after Soviet missile bases were discovered on the island. In 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre won--and declined--the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1975, Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich of the U.S. Air Force, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, is given a general discharge after he publicly announced his homosexuality. After successfully suing the Air Force, his discharge was upgraded to honorable in 1979. In 1978, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow, became Pope John Paul II. Notable people born on this day include: Franz Lizst, Romantic composer, in 1811 in Raiding, Hungary. Newell Convers Wyeth, American painter, in 1882 in Needham, Massachusetts. John Reed (Harvard 1910), American journalist, Communist activist and author of Ten Days That Shook the World, in 1887 in Portland, Oregon. Robert Rauschenberg, American painter and Pop Art pioneer, in 1925 in Port Arthur, Texas. Not-so-notable people born on this day include: Sandy F. Smith Jr. (Harvard 1980), sometime essayist, reporter, public relations officer and food lover, in 1958 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Edited once more to fix the Pope's archdiocese.)
  22. I know that most bloggers feel a slight sense of apprehension when embarking on a foodblog, that apprehension stemming from comparing one's self to those who've gone before, and I'm certainly no different, especially on the heels of Varmint's fabulous Southern food and his adorable children. Of course, I have to do everyone one better, in that I'd been meaning to title my installment, "My Acquaintance With the Man Behind the Curtain," and yet I didn't even think to check as to whether there were too many characters in that sentence to fit in the allotted spot. But that's just one of the things I love about being me: I never seem to tire of proving to myself, over and over again, that I'm not nearly as smart as I think I am. By way of introduction, I suppose I can clarify that I am not, in fact, a man, and the man referred to is figurative, and not literal. Restaurant work is my career of choice, and over the years, I've come to know my way around a kitchen and every other position that can possibly be worked in a dining establishment, so I'd like to think that I know a few things about adding value to food and beverage, and making every bit of the guest's experience worthy of a relatively high price tag. Currently, I work in two restaurants, both of which put a great deal of effort into packaging an experience that will make the guest feel that he or she not only was fed, and fed well, but that everything about that meal from beginning to end was part of a seamless performance. Restaurants as theatre, food as entertainment. And then I have this other little job: That of running my small business, wherein I step off the stage and teach people how to make that restaurant magic happen in their own homes. I'll be preparing for a FoodTutor event this week, and showing some of the shopping and prep necessary for planning the menu, as well as documenting the things that I actually manage to eat. As a restaurant worker, I must admit to having an irregular eating schedule, similar to some of the previous industry bloggers, but I'll be making an effort to have slightly more normal meals this week. You know, the kind that civilized people have, where they put food on actual plates and sit down to eat it, as opposed to just shoving things into one's mouth while standing at the refrigerator. So I'll start with this meal: Sweetbreads and eggs. The sweetbreads were braised late last week while we were toying around with ideas for a tasting menu, so I simply had to dredge them and fry them up to go with a nice soft scramble, and the biscuit is actually just reheated from a small batch I made a few days ago. Ideally, I'd have gotten up hours ago and made a fresh batch of warm, fluffy biscuits like Varmint's, but heck, I worked a double shift yesterday for the July 4th holiday, so this will have to do. Besides, the biscuits were really more of a vehicle for shovelling strawberry jam (also made by me a few days ago) into myself, and these worked nicely. Throughout this blog, I'd like to answer questions about any aspect of restaurant work that piques anyone's curiosity, and I'll be including some pictures from both of the places where I work, hopefully. I can't share certain specific restaurant recipes in some cases, though some will be very easy to duplicate, but I would like to go into exactly as much detail as everyone would like to see. Really. Ask me anything, and I promise I won't bite. Questions like: Why do you work in two restaurants? Isn't that inconvenient? What are sweetbreads? (No doubt another eGulleteer could answer that faster than I could.) Who is Farrow Beacham? (More on him later.) What, exactly, do you teach TheFood to do? Now it's probably time for a little nap. That double shift really whooped me, and I've got a big week ahead of me.
  23. This Foodblog is a Foodblog unlike any other. It's the first time we've ever done a Foodblog with more than two participants. Second, three Society members will each embark on a very special journey over the next twelve days...and hopefully remain on course once this installment is over. Each of them has decided to quit smoking. This Foodblog will explore certain food-related issues that will arise from their decision: associated weight gain, healthier diet, better sense of taste, and an all-around sense of well-being and wholesomeness. Whilst there is no formal program unlike two of our previous Tag Teams -- A Tale of Two Kitchens and When Pocky Meets Pad Thai -- here is a general overview of things to come: Thursday, 2 February: Asian cooking using dishes from the various pictorials in the China forum Saturday, 4 February: Roasting meats Monday, 6 February to Wednesday, 8 February: Cuban cuisine Saturday, 11 February: Smoking pork butt Also planned are big breakfasts on the weekends and at least one meal at an "institution" school cafeteria, convention hall etc. Finally, I would like to take this moment to dedicate this Tag Team to the memory of my grandfather and my stepfather. You see, my grandfather died of lung cancer when I was ten years old. It was a devastating blow to my grandmother. Michael, my stepfather, died a few years ago of a heart attack caused in part by his diabetes -- which might have been exacerbated due to his smoking. Although he went cold turkey in the early 1990s, I firmly believe that had he quit even earlier than that, that he would still be alive today. As you can see, this Tag Team is very special to me. I hope that it's a special one for you too. Soba
  24. 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:
  25. 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
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