Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Foodblog: David Ross - Black Pearls of Gold


Recommended Posts

Dude, you need to eat more...for this foodblog, of course! :laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where do tupperware lids go?  If you know, let me know.  About every three months I find I have more bottoms than tops.  I take my tupperware to work.  I bring my tupperware home.  I wash it, I put it away, then I come back later and there are more lids than bottoms.  It's like one of those bad episodes from 'The Twilight Zone' when the store mannequins came alive at night only to go still during the day.  I think the tupperware comes alive at night, then it flies away and we don't ever see it again.

I think your tupperware lids are up there in tupperware heaven having a party with all the lids that have gone missing in my house over the years. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am really pleased that the huckleberries got such a positive reception. They really rank high on my favorite foods list.

I had some leftover Chinese food for breakfast this morning. It was not too good so I didn't take a photo for you-soggy fried chicken, limp broccoli and passable steamed rice. It was better on Sunday night for dinner. 3 cups of free Starbuck's to wash it down.

Some of you have been asking about 'the tart' in my refrigerator. It's a 'Cherry Clafoutis'-a traditional French tart filled with fresh cherries, then a custard is poured over the cherries and the tart is baked. I like to let the tart cool in the refigerator so the custard is cold, some may prefer to serve the tart warm. I dust it with powdered sugar just before serving and then serve it with a big scoop of Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. I like the first serving as dessert on day one, then I eat on the tart for breakfast after that.

I am lucky to live so close to one of the country's top cherry producing regions-the Wenatchee Valley. Wenatchee is home to many fruit orchards and cherries are one of the main crops. Wenatchee lies East of Seattle at the Eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. The Wenatchee River runs through the city. Given the climate-cool nights, warm days and the morning sun rising from the East, Wenatchee is perfect for growing cherry trees.

I bake with 'Bing' cherries every year when they appear fresh in our markets. Bings are normally just eaten without baking, but I like the sweet flavor and deep, ruby red color. Bing cherries are much sweeter than the tart cherries that are used in commerically baked pies. We also see 'Rainier' cherries in our markets this time of year. They are yellow with reddish spots. They are more expensive than the Bings, and I usually eat them raw.

gallery_28661_4765_4523.jpg

I have a very specific recipe I use for pastry crust. The ONLY variation I ever make to the recipe is to substitute lard for the Crisco and on occasion I will add finely ground nuts to give the crust some added texture.

The recipe consists of butter, Crisco, cake flour, regular flour, and salt and sugar. The butter gives flavor, the Crisco makes the pastry flaky, and the cake flour keeps the pastry light. I add enough ice water to make the dough come together in a ball, then I wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for about an hour before rolling the dough.

You see me using a pastry cutter to cut the Crisco and butter into the flour. I ONLY do this by hand and NEVER use my food processor to make pastry dough.

Yes, a food processor makes the job very easy. But my issue with using a food processor to make pastry dough is that the blade runs so fast it literally cuts the butter and Crisco into such tiny particles that the finished, baked, pie crust doesn't have that flaky, layered texture we covet in a pie crust. I think 'processed' pastry dough falls apart in your mouth.

Argue if you will about the 'pulse' feature on your food processor and how it will allow you to cut the butter into 'pea shapes' to give you the perfect pie crust. That doesn't work for me.

gallery_28661_4765_7064.jpg

gallery_28661_4765_26645.jpg

gallery_28661_4765_5298.jpg

You can see from the shaping of the dough that it is very forgiving and easy to work with.

gallery_28661_4765_26852.jpg

What a thing of beauty, a tart pan lined with pastry dough. Just looking at it you know it's going to be good. (I forgot to mention how humble I am).

gallery_28661_4765_6752.jpg

The cherries in the tart, almost ready for the oven.

gallery_28661_4765_35744.jpg

The custard being poured over the cherries, baking moments away.

gallery_28661_4765_7790.jpg

The beauty is baked, dusted with powdered sugar and ready for the table. We'll be talking more this week about 'Northwest' cuisine, but this is the type of dessert you might find on one of our table this time of year-fresh Washington cherries in a classical French recipe.

gallery_28661_4765_39275.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh.my.

How do you pit the cherries? & how long does it take to pit enough for that clafoutis? (Im happy to learn what one is - I've read the word often enough but it wasnt clear in context if it were a cobbler or a tart or ....).

Can you post the recipe? I may have to try this with rhubarb, since I dont have a cherry pitter.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh.my.

How do you pit the cherries? & how long does it take to pit enough for that clafoutis? (Im happy to learn what one is - I've read the word often enough but it wasnt clear in context if it were a cobbler or a tart or ....).

Can you post the recipe? I may have to try this with rhubarb, since I dont have a cherry pitter.

I have two different cherry pitters. You can buy them at any large store with a kitchenware section like a Target or Macy's. I have one that is a small, hand-held pitter. It looks like a pair of pliers with a long metal tooth on one end. You put a cherry in, press down, and the metal tooth spits out the pit.

I have a bigger unit that attaches to the side of the counter. You put a cherry in a hopper unit, press down on a handle, then the pit is spit out into a small cup. I prefer this unit because it works faster.

I probably pitted the cherries for the Clafoutis in under 10 minutes.

Now your rhubarb idea is wonderful. I love rhubarb. We are just seeing some good, local rhubarb in our markets.

Here is a link to a story I did a few years back about my experience working in a cannery in Oregon. At the bottom of the story is a link to the Clafouti recipe.

http://www.themediadrome.com/content/artic...les/cannery.htm

Please accept my apologies for the rough writing in the piece. I was just starting to do some food writing and it was pretty rough back then. I am working on re-writing all the pieces I did for this particular website, which is now kaput. I hope the re-worked food pieces will someday get published, somewhere. Let me know how your Clafoutis turns out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in South Dakota, we make a rhubarb-custard pie, although it's baked in a regular pie plate. I've also used fresh cranberries in place of the rhubarb. I had no idea that it was so similar to a clafoutis!

I enjoyed your tale of the "proper" way to kill a crab. I can't imagine how hard a person would have to whack the poor thing to make its innards fly out!

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here in South Dakota, we make a rhubarb-custard pie, although it's baked in a regular pie plate.  I've also used fresh cranberries in place of the rhubarb.  I had no idea that it was so similar to a clafoutis!

I enjoyed your tale of the "proper" way to kill a crab.  I can't imagine how hard a person would have to whack the poor thing to make its innards fly out!

April

Part of the fun in talking to people about food and cooking is hearing these crazy tales-cooking a hunk of frozen chuck and whacking a live crab over a log.

I'm getting all sorts of ideas from everyone. I think your idea of using cranberries in the Clafoutis would work very well. I'm thinking I'd add some egg nog to the custard, along with a few shots of good Bourbon. Let's call it 'Holiday Clafoutis with Cranberries and Spiked Egg Nog!'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Part of the fun in talking to people about food and cooking is hearing these crazy tales-cooking a hunk of frozen chuck and whacking a live crab over a log. 

I'm getting all sorts of ideas from everyone.  I think your idea of using cranberries in the Clafoutis would work very well.  I'm thinking I'd add some egg nog to the custard, along with a few shots of good Bourbon.  Let's call it 'Holiday Clafoutis with Cranberries and Spiked Egg Nog!'

I'm now going to have to modify my cranberry custard recipe!

April

One cantaloupe is ripe and lush/Another's green, another's mush/I'd buy a lot more cantaloupe/ If I possessed a fluoroscope. Ogden Nash

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a link to a story I did a few years back about my experience working in a cannery in Oregon. 

Ha! I worked at a cannery when I was in high school. Peas and Corn. I remember those cutters well.

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a link to a story I did a few years back about my experience working in a cannery in Oregon. 

Ha! I worked at a cannery when I was in high school. Peas and Corn. I remember those cutters well.

God I hated those 'corn cutters.' Sticky, gooey, milky corn juice in your hair, under the hair net, in your ears, your nose and any other orifice that was in shot of those damn machines. My job was to walk around with a plastic 'stick' and jam the ears of corn that were stuck in the machines. Now wasn't that a safe job for a teenager in 1977? OSHA probably wasn't around back then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dinner is currently in progress at almost 8pm Pacific Time.

I'll have the photos up tommorrow morning. I try to keep things simple during the week without falling into the Stouffer's frozen lasagna trap.

Tonight I'm grilling lamb chops and serving them over pasta. I was going to do a cucumber/yogurt 'Raita' style sauce for the lamb.

But then I thought-what about tossing the sauce into the pasta! So I've got the pasta cooking, the chops grilling, and a few slices of zucchinni grilling to add to the Raita.

I've stirred together some Greek yogurt, a bit of sour cream, chopped Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced cucumber, salt and pepper. I've tossed in some shredded Parmesano-Reggiano, and squirted in some 'Green Sauce' I made last night for Chicken.

I'll be posting the Chicken dish too-but this green sauce is oh so good. It is basically a 'Chimmichurri' style sauce of pureed cilantro, parsley, basil, olive oil and lemon juice.

So right now it's off to finish this Greek-Italian feast of Lamb Chops with Pasta 'Raita'. Or something like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really interesting and informative.  Your kitchen reminds me of mine in that I have a galley kitchen.  I think it's great for cooking.  As an airline executive, can you tell us how you became so involved in cooking on PBS, etc.?  Also, with your work schedule, do you get the opportunity to do much entertaining? 

Jean

Unfortunately, with my work schedule right now I don't do much in terms of entertaining.

Yes, Yes, we'll be visiting about my experience on MasterChef USA on PBS-and a few of my other television experiences. Probably later this week.

If you watch 'MasterChef Goes Large' on BBC America-that's the production that spawned MasterChef USA. Sadly, the series ended on PBS about 6 years ago. Stay tuned later this week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David

thanks for the great blog.  Your pictures and writing are wonderful.  BTW, do you know a guy named Jordan L. that works for your airlines?

Doesn't ring a bell right now. I hope you are surviving the hot Summer in Sacramento. My Sister lives in Carmichael and tells me it's been pretty hot down there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am currently doing something that most foodies would NOT recommend you do before falling asleep-no, I am not eating ice cream in bed. I am watching one of television's worst shows about what America eats.

The television is currently turned to 'Taste of America' with 'host' Mark deCarlo. This will more than likely cause me to have nightmares all night.

This poor guy is more 'schtick' than substance. One of the subjects is wild morels-a mushroom that we all know is coveted in our world of food and cooking.

The average, everyday Joe and Joan that appears on this show, seem to be excited to have their 'one moment in time' on television and to be able to showcase their scrumptious dishes for the camera.

Unfortunately, they are quickly shocked, stunned in horror as Mark the mucracker makes fun at them at their expense. It gives the term food and cooking on television a bad name. He should be selling Subaru's, but I digress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"...most of our really good restaurants are old-fashioned Mom and Pot joints."

Owned by former graduates of the U. of O.?

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David

thanks for the great blog.  Your pictures and writing are wonderful.  BTW, do you know a guy named Jordan L. that works for your airlines?

Doesn't ring a bell right now. I hope you are surviving the hot Summer in Sacramento. My Sister lives in Carmichael and tells me it's been pretty hot down there.

It's getting managable right now. Thanks for thinking of us! :raz:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dude! What a killer opening for a blog! Even if I wasn't in love with the Pacific Northwest I'd be hooked. As it is, I'm now experiencing wicked pangs of nostalgia for that corner of the world.

There was a period in my decade as a Seattle resident in which I did a lot of driving all around the region for internship/work purposes. What beatiful country. I have fond memories of that drive across the length of Washington. A couple of times to Spokane, once beyond to Moscow Idaho. That trip I departed the interstates early and drove state and local routes through the Palouse. Just ravishing, those rolling hills... till I realized I hadn't seen another vehicle for seemingly hours and miles and if my little rustbucket Chevette gave out I'd be in deep doughnuts. :laugh:

There are so many other things I wanted to comment on, I kind of gave up trying to keep track of them. :smile: Instead I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the show.

Edited by mizducky (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dude! What a killer opening for a blog! Even if I wasn't in love with the Pacific Northwest I'd be hooked. As it is, I'm now experiencing wicked pangs of nostalgia for that corner of the world.

There was a period in my decade as a Seattle resident in which I did a lot of driving all around the region for internship/work purposes. What beatiful country. I have fond memories of that drive across the length of Washington. A couple of times to Spokane, once beyond to Moscow Idaho. That trip I departed the interstates early and drove state and local routes through the Palouse. Just ravishing, those rolling hills... till I realized I hadn't seen another vehicle for seemingly hours and miles and if my little rustbucket Chevette gave out I'd be in deep doughnuts. :laugh:

There are so many other things I wanted to comment on, I kind of gave up trying to keep track of them.  :smile: Instead I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the show.

I'm glad you are liking the blog.

This morning it is absolutely beautiful with clear skies all the way from Spokane West to Seattle.

Nature's alarm clock went off in Spokane at 315 this morning. As we get closer to the longest day of the year, the chirping should start about 5 minutes earlier by the end of the week. Wonderful.

It's actually a gift to wake up in the Northwest as the sun is coming up in June. In Eastern Washington the sun is an intense blue in the morning. The air is incredily clean smelling and fresh. Think of Spokane as a medium size city in the middle of a pine forest.

I love your story about driving through the state. I always caution people that if they take the 'country roads' to have plenty of water, food and a blanket. Really. As you said, you can literally drive through farmland for hours without seeing any other cars. You may get passed by a big old Dodge truck but that's about it. The scenery is well worth being alone on the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning breakfast is 'Cherries ala Tupperware.'

Yes, last night I found a beautiful matching set of tupperware. This is one lid that didn't get away. More of the sweet Bing cherries.

gallery_28661_4765_11473.jpg

I also had two pieces of soggy, limp toast wrapped in foil. So awful that it wasn't photo worthy-merely some stomach filler for the cherries and cups of coffee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some photos from one of my oldest cookbooks-the 1907 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer.

gallery_28661_4765_11529.jpg

gallery_28661_4765_22115.jpg

I can't remember which long-gone relative left this book to me, but it is a treasure. It is quite interesting to read through the recipes today, nearly 100 years after the date this cookbook was published. I counted 10 different recipes for chicken livers. You would be hard pressed to find one chicken liver recipe in today's edition of the Good Housekeeping cookbook.

gallery_28661_4765_7462.jpg

Most of the recipes in the book that require cooking in an oven simply state "Start a fire. When the fire is hot, roast the meat."

gallery_28661_4765_2592.jpg

The photos look crude and the meat is primal. But don't you get a sense of the American farm tradition when you look at that black and white photograph of a whole joint of beef?

I have plenty of cookbooks with colored photos of a perfectly trimmed beef filet 'stacked' on top of pureed potatoes with truffles. The beef is glistening with juices that seem to drip off the high-gloss pages of the cookbook. That look is pretty, but there is something intriguing about a 94 year-old photograph of the leg of a steer butchered in the barn out back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful blog. I've never been to the Pacific NW but really want to visit, and this just provides encouragement.

I just did a rhubarb custard pie on Sunday, like some others mentioned - just like a clafoutis in a pie dish. I may have missed it, but do you macerate the cherries before placing them in the shell? I always do pie crust by hand (not with a cutter) and with straight butter. I've convinced myself that pressing the butter into small sheet-like pieces coated in flour results in wonderful flakiness, and I have been pleased by the tenderness. I haven't actually ever tried Crisco in a crust but perhaps I will soon. I do almost a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour (by weight), with a little pinch of salt and enough ice cold water to hold it.

Here where I live in Michigan I haven't seen any local cherries yet, but they should be in soon. All the cherries in the store are from California.

Jennie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonderful blog.  I've never been to the Pacific NW but really want to visit, and this just provides encouragement.

I just did a rhubarb custard pie on Sunday, like some others mentioned - just like a clafoutis in a pie dish.  I may have missed it, but do you macerate the cherries before placing them in the shell?  I always do pie crust by hand (not with a cutter) and with straight butter.  I've convinced myself that pressing the butter into small sheet-like pieces coated in flour results in wonderful flakiness, and I have been pleased by the tenderness.  I haven't actually ever tried Crisco in a crust but perhaps I will soon.  I do almost a 1:1 ratio of butter to flour (by weight), with a little pinch of salt and enough ice cold water to hold it.

Here where I live in Michigan I haven't seen any local cherries yet, but they should be in soon.  All the cherries in the store are from California.

Hello Michigan. I hear your local cherries are wonderful.

I macerate the pitted cherries in Kirsch overnight so they can soak up that good cherry brandy flavor.

Thanks for the tips on pastry crust. I have always been apprehensive about using my hot little fingers to mix pastry crust because I was afraid the shards of butter would melt. I'll try your tip though, next time I make pastry crust. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David, I have flown Horizon a pleasant few times between Missoula MT and Seattle, when we weren't driving that beautiful route.

Are there ingredients or supplies you have to shop for on the Seattle end of your commute, or can you get everything you need in Spokane? And what can you get in Spokane that you can't in Seattle?

Blog on!

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David, I have flown Horizon a pleasant few times between Missoula MT and Seattle, when we weren't driving that beautiful route.

Are there ingredients or supplies you have to shop for on the Seattle end of your commute, or can you get everything you need in Spokane?  And what can you get in Spokane that you can't in Seattle?

Blog on!

I can get almost anything in Spokane-but there are some things I miss not having in Spokane that I could get in Seattle.

I do a lot of Asian cooking and we only have one decent Asian market in Spokane, but their fresh produce is limited and the seafood is frozen. They do have fresh pork belly which I regularly buy.

Unfortunately, we don't have the type of wonderful Asian markets in Spokane like Seattle does. Seattle has this Asian Supermarket-Uwajimaya-that sells things like live seafood and BBQ duck. I miss not having a market like that.

You would think being only a few hundreds miles inland we would have wonderfully fresh seafood in Spokane. We don't have much. Most of the seafood is found only at Supermarket counters. The stinky stuff they haul out in trays every morning, haul back into the cooler at night, haul back out on day 27.

We have only one old-fashioned seafood shop-Williams Seafood-and it is excellent. I buy frozen frog's legs there and they are not afraid to sell me fresh Chilean Sea Bass. You've probably heard that many restaurants stopped serving real Chilean Sea Bass because it apparently has become endangered. I am one man contributing to the demise of the Sea Bass fishery in Chile.

But really, I get by very well in Spokane, but my cooking would be better if I lived over in Seattle.

On the reverse side, while Seattle will sell some fresh Morels and fresh huckleberries, they probably come from our side of the state. Sometimes in the Spring our small Farmer's market has a stand with literally buckets of Morels that have been picked in the forests just a few miles North of Spokane. And of course, the huckleberries.

If I need things like chestnuts, foie gras or game, I just order that online and it is delivered to Spokane the next day. Thank God for the internet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Duvel
      The first week of November are „autumn holidays“ in the area where I live. We wanted to use that time to go to Paris, but when my parents-in-law somewhat surprisingly announced they‘d be coming over from Spain for the whole of November, we scrapped that idea and looked for something more German …
       
      So … Berlin. Not the best time to travel (cold & rainy), but with a couple of museums for the little one and the slightly older ones to enjoy together, plus some food options I was looking forward it was a destination we could all agree on. The Covid19 warnings in the Berlin subway support that notion …
       

       
    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and led us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By FoodMuse
      Hello everyone,
      eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys.
      About me:
      I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world.
      I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related.
      I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food.
      Foods I cook:
      Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good.
      I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup.
      I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat.
      In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side.
      Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can.
      Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
      -Grace
    • By Duvel
      In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …
       
      OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …
       
      After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 
       

       


      I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
       

    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...