• 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 an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dave Hatfield

eGfoodblog: Dave Hatfield

193 posts in this topic

Look at the colors in the Limogne market photo!  Are those dyes or spices in the foreground? 

Please paint a verbal photo of the market ambience, if you can.  How do people interact?  Are they leisurely or hurried?  Is there a lot of banter?  Noise?  Haggling?  Fun?  Music?  You get the idea.  Help us hear and feel what you're showing us.

The clamp looks like it's intended to seat a nozzle on a sausage grinder, or a hose on some sort of extruder.  That looks like a huge diameter, though: big enough to seat a fire hose on a rain gutter, and I'm betting that isn't the unintended use.

The food already looks gorgeous.

I'll try to describe the market ambiance as best I can.

The Limogne picture is of the herb & spice stall which is run by a very pretty young girl. You name it, she has it.

The atmosphere at a market is superficially very busy. When you first start going to them they can be almost overwhelming with the noise & bustle and the uncertainty of what to do, what to buy and how to do it. Sometimes there are street musicians, hawkers of various items who are noisy and just a lot of hubbub in general.

As you begin to get used to market and learn the ropes you begin to realize that they are as much a social gathering as a marketplace. The locals meet & greet each other, catch up on the latest local events & gossip and have a good chat in general. A cup of coffee or a glass of whatever in the cafe is pretty standard. People watching is the universal sport. One quickly learns to spot the tourists, French or otherwise, and feel slightly superior once you are a 'local'!

Shopping gets done carefully, the French are very quality conscious when it comes to food. Generally, people have favorite stalls for each type of food they buy, but for items just coming into season they may check out every stall in the market to see who has the best quality at the best price. For food items there is generally no haggling except maybe near the close of the market when left overs may be sold off cheaply.

People tend to get confused as to whether they should pick out their own produce or let the stall holder do it. The answer is that both are correct and that pointing works quite well. If I don't know the stall I tend to try to pick out my own things. If I do know it I'll let them pick knowing that they know I'm a regular customer so they won't try to pass off anything not quite right onto me.

There is a lot of relaxed banter and jokes galore (if you can understand them) Once you get known by the stall holders there is always a bit of conversation, no matter how busy they may be, before you buy. When buying from your regular stall holders it would be impolite to just come up & say what you want. At least a preliminary "savant?" is de rigeur. And a bit of general chat is appreciated. Then you place your order.

We have an advantage in the Rupert, my avatar & our standard poodle, is a great ice breaker. He very sociable and everyone loves him. Although poodles are supposedly French & you see lots of small ones, the big standards (Roop weighs about 80 pounds) are rare in France so lots of people come up to ask what kind of dog he is. (Quelle race est-il? Il est un caniche royal.)

The markets are truly wonderful. We go at least twice a week for the atmosphere and the quality of the fresh produce. We could go every day as we are surrounded by market towns. Anybody visiting France should go to as many as possible.

You were close on the intended use of the mystery object, but not quite there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I love french country cooking!!! this will be quite a treat. Did the sausage come from one of your market venders?

I think that clamp thing hold the bone end of a leg of lamb for carving purposes............

The sausage came from a good butcher in Caylus. Local pork is very good and the proper sausage is very lean. There are not many herbs or spices in it, mainly just salt & pepper. When I fry it in a pan I have to add a bit of duck fat to get the skin to brown properly.

Another good guess, still no prize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

could you tell us a bit about what ingredients you recall seeing in the States but that you don't see there - at least not commonly? And vice- versa.

What is the availability of ingredients from other regions of France. Or Italy or Spain for that matter? Just trying to get a bit of a sense how "regional" rural, regional France (or at least where you are) is. And, in the short time you've been there, have you seen any real changes in this.

Tough question. There are, of course, lots of brands you don't get over here.

The big difference seems to be in ethnic foods. The normal supermarket here tends to have a very small, if any, range of Chinese, Asian, Mexican, German foods. To get them you need to go to the specialty stores in the larger towns. In our case Montauban or Toulouse where you can get most things once you know where to look.

You do get a good range of regional French foods, but not the really local items except for cheeses and wines. Although you don't find a lot of Italian or Spanish items specifically you can get almost all of the ingredients easily. Pasta from Italy for instance is widely stocked as is ham from Spain.

Its hard to find any cheese that isn't French. (We had a big discussion about getting cheddar in France a while ago on the France forum.)

Equally, you don't see a lot of "foreign" wine on the shelves either, but that's hardly surprising.

Our area is very rural and very localized. Most locals don't travel far. They like where they are & don't see a reason to go elsewhere. Yet, they are very curious and knowledgeable about the rest of the world. Also, they are very welcoming to strangers at least on a superficial level. It takes a lot of time, if one ever can, to become truly local. No matter how long I live here I will always be "the American", not in a pejorative sense, because I'm 'different'. The French will say: "he's a bit of a nut. But, he's a nice nut!"

Changes come fairly slowly. A big one in the village is that the bread in one of our two shops is no longer made in the village. When we first came it was nice to wake up, jet lagged, and see the smoke coming from Jacques Viguie's bread oven. His bread is a proper country French sour dough. No longer; Monique, Jacque's daughter, decided to go into the family business but moved it to Villefranche as its a much bigger town with more scope. (she now has 3 shops!) So now Jacques drives over every morning to pick up the bread for the village shop. Change. Will they keep the shop open when they decide to retire?

We've had a bit of a building boom. The government changed the planning laws a couple of years ago to encourage building new homes around the edges of the villages. This was to try to get young families to stay in the villages. (Mostly they couldn't afford to renovate the older houses & wanted modern conveniences) This has worked as we now have 5 new homes around the village. Again, slow change. We will see what happens with the new government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is the shopping list for anyone who wants to follow along with the dinner recipes:

11) Apricots (for a tart)

12) flour

13) butter

14) sugar

15) ground walnuts

Country Apricot tart.

I'm really looking forward to your Country Apricot Tart recipe - there are some great French apricots available at the market here in Tallinn at the moment, and I'm keen to try a nice French tart with them.

And I'm not envious at all that you get to eat all those cep mushrooms. I've been eating lots of fresh yellow chantarelle mushrooms during the last few days, and the wild mushroom season lasts until late autumn, so I'm all fine :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This should be a fun blog. We spent a very few days in Paris recently, which had me really wanting to see the rest of France.

As for your mystery item, it looks like some sort of clamp, but food wise, the first two things that come to mind is either an egg ring, or an english muffin ring. I'd use it to make meat pies. :biggrin:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really looking forward to your Country Apricot Tart recipe - there are some great French apricots available at the market here in Tallinn at the moment, and I'm keen to try a nice French tart with them.

And I'm not envious at all that you get to eat all those cep mushrooms. I've been eating lots of fresh yellow chantarelle mushrooms during the last few days, and the wild mushroom season lasts until late autumn, so I'm all fine :rolleyes:

Hope you like the recipe. I can tell you that I got it many years ago from an article by Jacques Pepin. It works equally well with purple plums, peaches or nectarines.

We too are getting chanterelles, yummy. The cepes were a surprise as they were so early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This should be a fun blog.  We spent a very few days in Paris recently, which had me really wanting to see the rest of France. 

As for your mystery item, it looks like some sort of clamp, but food wise, the first two things that come to mind is either an egg ring, or an english muffin ring.  I'd use it to make meat pies. :biggrin:

Its hard to go wrong anywhere in France even though we favor our little corner.

You are right about the intended use being to clamp something. I like your food ideas, but they're not the use I have in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

intended use: drainpipe holder

unintended use hanger for sausages? sorry im one track minded on this. if anyone saw my post in the kitchen consumer forum im trying to create the right chamber for drying sausages... ill be seeing them in my sleep next.

Mather! You got it! The intended use is indeed as a drainpipe holder.

gallery_28661_4804_78153.jpg

Here's one on our house.

However, you're nowhere close on the food use. I sympathize with your sausage drying problem, but I don't think this is the answer. Sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ready for breakfast? Anyone who has spent much time in France will recognize what follows.

As I mentioned last night we fogies get together on Tuesday mornings for breakfast and to shoot the breeze. The was a lot of discussion this morning about why French wedding dinners take so long. (One of the guys had just been to one where aperitifs started at 6:00PM, they sat down at 9:30PM and he & his wife left at 1:15 AM after the main course, but before cheese, dessert or coffee.) We also had a long discussion about where to go this year to watch the Tour de France. The easy part was settling upon Mazamet. The hard part is choosing the restaurant for lunch afterwards. I got the restaurant assignment.

Not much more to say so here are some pictures just to make you drool a little bit.

gallery_28661_4828_21704.jpg

Here's the table.

gallery_28661_4828_1603.jpg

Croissants, pain au raison & torsacle. Note 2 different types of croissant; nature & beurre. Buy the beurre they're much richer!

gallery_28661_4828_11352.jpg

The bread from the local shop.

gallery_28661_4828_2092.jpg

Coffee.

gallery_28661_4828_18454.jpg

Jams. All home made by friends.

gallery_28661_4828_6343.jpg

Close up of pain au raison and Torsacle.

Alan's turn next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_28661_4818_5414.jpg

We're visiting Najac.

Najac is about 10 miles from where we live and as you see is an exceptionally pretty village. The drive over to Najac is equally nice as you pass through some very nice farmland sprinkled with cows, pass a duck farm with all of the foie gras on the hoof so to speak and go along a ridge with beautiful views to either side. You can make out the Averyron Gorge all the way from Villefranche to St Antonin. There are some favorite hiking paths around here.

You come down off the ridge passing a small well proportioned château until you reach & cross the river Averyron. Before you cross there is a nice Hotel Restaurant down a small lane (although John Whiting of French forum fame tells me that the restaurant has gone off!) Now you go up & up the hill to the village, the church and the château. 3/4 of the way up is our favorite pizzeria which does both Italian & French food. Cheap & cheerful!

At the top is the village.

gallery_28661_4818_22607.jpg

The village has a hotel/ restaurant (Bib Gourmand) and three cafes that serve food. There is an excellent pâtisserie as well as a general store. A favorite pass time for visitors is to look at the houses for sale in the windows of the Notaire and the Real Estate Agent. We can all dream can't we.

gallery_28661_4818_12763.jpg

The view down the hill.

Nothing fancy here, not very touristy but a very nice place to visit.

If you have the legs for it you can walk up to & around the château.

gallery_28661_4818_2037.jpg

The views are worth it!

gallery_28661_4818_13825.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh that breakfast! It brings back excellent and hungry-making memories.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I forget here's the fridge photo.

gallery_28661_4804_1015.jpg

Nothing too dramatic. You can just see the magrets that I'm cooking for dinner near the bottom.

gallery_28661_4804_3254.jpg

Lurking at the back are my two jars of duck fat. Couldn't cook properly here without them. Fortunately duck fat seems to keep for a long time in the fridge.

I'm going to post the Apricot tart recipe next as I've now finished making it>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the Apricot Tart recipe with some pictures.

These rustic fruit tarts are easy to make and are especially good as we move through the summer and fully tree ripened fruits are progressively available. I’ve started with an Apricot tart because they are what is at their peak right now. In a few weeks it will be peaches, then plums and onto fall with pears. The technique of making the tart is the same no matter which fruit you choose to use.

Here goes: (pre-heat you oven to 190 degrees C.)

This pie is made on a cookie sheet or in my case a big round pizza sheet. Use whatever you have that suits and is large enough to contain the size of pie you want to make. For example my pizza sheet is about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.

Here's the mise en place:

gallery_28661_4828_10762.jpg

1) First make your pate brisée in the normal way. Make enough to cover the bottom of your container PLUS about 2 inches all around when rolled out thinly.

gallery_28661_4828_16961.jpg

2) Cut the apricots in half & take out the seeds.

gallery_28661_4828_18618.jpg

3) Mix some flour, sugar & the ground almonds in equal quantities. Make about 11/2 cup; more if your apricots are very ripe & will give off lots of juice. ( NOTE: I like my fruit tarts to be tart. If you like more sweetness then add more sugar to the mixture or you can sprinkle on sugar after you have assembled the tart.)

4) Roll out the pate brisée into a round or rectangle (depending upon the container you are using) the size of your pie PLUS about 2 inches all around.

gallery_28661_4828_6652.jpg

5) Coat the entire pie surface fairly evenly with the flour/sugar/almond mixture.

6) Lay a ring of apricots, cut side down, around the pie surface. Add a second ring inside that & so on until you’ve covered the surface. Now start a second layer beginning with a layer inside the bottom outside layer. Continue until you have used all of the apricots. (its Ok to go to 3 layer near the middle if you want to)

gallery_28661_4828_971.jpg

7) Turn up the edge of the crust until it comes over the outer layer of apricots. It will naturally fold. Pinch the fold then move to the next segment. Keep going until you have folded the crust up all around the pie & have securely pinched it together.

8) Brush the folded edges with an egg wash (or a bit of water) and sprinkle on some sugar.

gallery_28661_4828_20211.jpg

9) Cook in the oven until the crust is nice & brown & the apricots are soft. Near the end you may want to turn on your broiler & brown the tops of the apricots & crust. Be careful though!

10) Cool on a rack & serve with ice cream.

gallery_28661_4828_2828.jpg

The finished product.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mather! You got it! The intended use is indeed as a drainpipe holder.

gallery_28661_4804_78153.jpg

Here's one on our house.

Oh!! I WAS close!!

Is the food use to clamp a filter (cheesecloth, muslin, whatever) to the mouth of a jar so you can pour two-handed and not have the fabric slide into the jar?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh!! I WAS close!!

Is the food use to clamp a filter (cheesecloth, muslin, whatever) to the mouth of a jar so you can pour two-handed and not have the fabric slide into the jar?

A very good thought, but still not it.

Think simple. I'm going to use mine tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That tart is beautiful. If those apricots taste as good as they look, you've got a great source. Are they grown locally? Sorry if I missed that earlier, but going back through the topic I still haven't spotted where you got them, much less how far they had to travel.

To what extent, if at all, is French produce becoming cultivated with an eye to ease of shipping and longer shelf life? California apricots seem to be a casualty of the market pressures, and the things we get out here in Minnesota are pale memories of what we used to be able to get.

Edited to add: if I had a clamp like that and was planning to barbecue, I'd use that ring as a cup-holder outside. Maybe the cup would hold basting fluid, or tools. Maybe it would hold my beverage. I think I'm going to have to get some of those.


Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's the Apricot Tart recipe with some pictures.

gallery_28661_4828_2828.jpg

The finished product.

Thank you, Dave - it looks fab (and suitably rustic :wink: )! It's quite interesting to have a layer of ground almonds, sugar & flour under the apricots - I wouldn't have thought of that, but I can see it gives a nice extra layer to the cake.

I hope to make it this weekend - and I like tart tarts too :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The breakfast basket full of beautiful breads - a sight to behold! And your apricot tart looks wonderful.

OK...you are going to use yours tonite...how about a trivet for hot pans on the table?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your breakfast table is mighty inviting, to say nothing of that beautiful apricot tart. Am loving your descriptions of everything. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we go on dinner.

Of course the best laid plans go awry. Linda who had been shopping all day with her friend Jean in Montauban called at about 5:30 to say they were on their way home, but that she wouldn't want any dinner as they had had a big lunch of pintade. Here I am cooking for two on the blog!

Inspiration; I called Rob, Jean's husband, and invited him up for dinner since If Linda didn't want anything neither would Jean. This worked like a charm.

So, here's how you do Anaheim peppers with Brie on the BBQ.

1) Cut the peppers in half length ways. Then cut out the white ribs & scrape out the seeds.

2) Cut a nice piece of Brie into narrow strips.

3) Take both to a nice hot BBQ. Place the cut pepper, cut side down on the grill.

gallery_28661_4829_11696.jpg

4) when the peppers start to brown turn them over & put a piece of Brie into the cavity.

gallery_28661_4829_4104.jpg

5) let this cook until the Brie has melted and the peppers are soft. (on a hot grill this will only take 3-5 minutes)

gallery_28661_4829_447.jpg

6) serve immediately.

For the zucchini first cut them into quarters length ways. Then coat them lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle herbs de Provence & garlic granules over them.

Place on your hot BBQ skin side down.

gallery_28661_4829_8472.jpg

Leave for 3-4 minutes then turn to one side and cook until browned.

gallery_28661_4829_9019.jpg

Do the same for the other side then serve hot.

For the Magret (duck breasts) first cut a cross hatch pattern on the fatty side trying to avoid cutting into the meat. Then rub a good coating of sea salt into the fat side.

Next gently sauté the magret, fat side down, in a frying pan on the stove. You will need to pour off & save the rendered duck fat at least twice. This process should take about 15 minutes.

Take the magret(s) to your BBQ and place Skin (fatty) side down on a medium hot grill. Put salt, pepper & fresh thyme leaves on the top.Cook until the fat is crisp & brown.

gallery_28661_4829_4128.jpg

Turn the heat up or move to a hot part of the grill and cook the other side. The timing depends upon how well cooked you like your meat. Traditionally, magret is cooked rare, quite pink.

When done take off the grill.

gallery_28661_4829_18718.jpg

Note that I was cooking the magret & the zucchini at the same time. Its just practice to get the timings right.

Next cut the magret into thin slices & arrange with the zucchini to serve. As you can see I've added a little pot of ailiade de Toulouse. (I'll give the recipe for this if anybody asks)

gallery_28661_4829_819.jpg

Delicious. Rob & I enjoyed ourselves and Linda & Jean had a bit despite not being hungry.

The good news was that Linda & Jean had bought something we could have for dessert.

gallery_28661_4829_9557.jpg

Lovely little white grapes marinated in cassis and covered with 70% chocolate.

gallery_28661_4829_791.jpg

Its so easy to eat well!

As for wine we had some more of Sarah's rose and some Burgundian chardonnay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
l.

To what extent, if at all, is French produce becoming cultivated with an eye to ease of shipping and longer shelf life?  California apricots seem to be a casualty of the market pressures, and the things we get out here in Minnesota are pale memories of what we used to be able to get.

Edited to add: if I had a clamp like that and was planning to barbecue, I'd use that ring as a cup-holder outside.  Maybe the cup would hold basting fluid, or tools.  Maybe it would hold my beverage.  I think I'm going to have to get some of those.

There does seem to be some trend that way, but if you buy your fruits in season on the local markets they will be the real thing. Obviously if you are buying out of season or buying something that isn't grown in France you will tend to get 'factory' farmed produce. Still, I think that in general in France the market doesn't put up with the worst excesses of terrible so called food.

I love your suggestions for uses for the mystery item even though they're wrong. I might just have to add a holder to my BBQ.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The breakfast basket full of beautiful breads - a sight to behold!  And your apricot tart looks wonderful.

OK...you are going to use yours tonite...how about a trivet for hot pans on the table?

Yet another good idea. This item is getting steadily more useful even though nobody has come up with the use I have in mind and have seen demonstrated.

Keep trying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mystery object....I'm thinking it will hold either a bottle of wine or a baguette...I would vote for the wine! I'm just not sure why or how :)


Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM

A recent write-up in Dorado magazine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recipe for ailiade de Toulouse: yes, I'm asking. Please!

The dinner looks terrific. I didn't see anything that had looked molded or clamped. I didn't see any free-standing terrines or cheesecakes that looked like they'd been molded in a collar of parchment paper held in shape by that clamp. I'm still thinking.

This might be one of the best ways even to develop new uses for old stuff, eh? :laugh:


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      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!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.