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Rediscovering Common Foods


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"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Radishes. Sweet butter, good salt.

Interesting how most of these are vegetable/fruit. Surprising to me as carnivorous as eGulleteers tend to be.......

We crave what we can not have, here, in the North East Kingdom, nothing is further away then strawberries, and real tomatoes, I would rassle King Kong, right now, for a tomato that tastes like a tomato, with maybe a pinch of salt!

"It's like Betty Crocker and Charles Manson had a love child" - Anthony Bourdain
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A tomato....out in the garden.....warm from the sun, picked right off the vine, rubbed on my shirt to clean, eaten like an apple, with a sprinkling of salt from the shaker tucked in my pocket.

Crusty bread with butter and jam.

Big, fat, tender, medjool dates.

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Any of the summer stone fruits (apricots, peaches, nectarines......) that have been actually ripened on a tree. Juicy, sweet, tangy, drippin' down your chin and arms. Ohhhh yeah, baby.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Cooking fancy food all the time, I crave and love the simple things the most. In the summer it's easy, yah, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, corn, whatever - on their own they are beautiful, a revelation every year. Tomatoes with sea salt and olive oil, wilted greens with garlic, a carrot pulled out of the earth, corn on the cob, these are incontestible good tastes. A crinkleroot sandwich! A sauté of wild mushrooms! Wild greens in a meslcun with some berries, herbs and olive oil! All simple foods but alas, only in season. In the dead of winter, we have less to get excited about; there are always mashed potatoes, and like others mentioned, there's always bread and butter, buttered noodles and eggs. My favourite is boiled basmati rice with garnishes from my fridge (a little sausage, some scallions, an egg, some greens..). But the best of all common foods is the GRILLEDED CHEESE SANDWICH made with a good cheese and a good bread, with a some good mustard.

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Boiled fresh summer potatoes, the small kind with extremely thin peel. Chopped chives and gräddfil ( no idea what this is in english, it is a bit like thick yoghurt but fattier and less sour ). Add a simple omelet with that or other freshly boiled veggies, maybe with some butter and salt.

This is such tasty food and very inexpensive.

For the winter some Borstj with gräddfil and knäckebröd butter and Västerbottenost ( a strong hardcheese ) is fantastic. It is good in the summer as well.

For desserts a fruit salad from oranges, apples, pears, and grapes is great, throw in some banana that has been freshly chopped, and if noone is allergic, some chopped nuts.

Fish put in the oven at low temp (100 C) and served with cold green peas is another favourite for a simple dish, add some lemon perhaps.

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Soft boiled egg on buttered toast with salt and pepper.

I just had this today, sans the buttered toast (but I love having it on buttered toast also, trust me on that!).

Basically, a bowl of soft boiled eggs, yolks completely runny ozzey gooey yumminess....add a little melted butter (no, they don't NEED the butter, but its even better with it....but only a little, trust me a little is all you want - too much and it will overpower the taste....salt, liberal shake of pepper, and OMG it's good...it's ohhhhh soooo goooodddd

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Cooking fancy food all the time, I crave and love the simple things the most.  [...] But the best of all common foods is the GRILLEDED CHEESE SANDWICH made with a good cheese and a good bread, with a some good mustard.

True. But I can think of many ways to turn a grilled cheese sandwich into something not that common.

Port Salut, IMO, makes a yummy grilled cheese sandwich. But who outside France grew up eating Port Salut?

And I didn't learn about the yumminess of whole grain bread until my early teens, when I had my first slice of Roman Meal.

For me, a "common" grilled cheese sandwich is childhood on a plate. That would be two slices of white bread, buttered on the outside, with a slice of cheese -- American's the classic; here I substitute Cheddar.

And I get the feeling that there are some out there for whom this version of the grilled cheese sandwich might be a bit too common.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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On the landscape that is my diet, I tend to focus on the monuments which rise up against the fabric of everyday food. I dream about the next perfectly poached lobster tail or blue beef tenderloin, how I'll eventually splurge again on something rare or expensive. But what about all the good stuff in between those fancy meals?

The other day I steamed some young carrots and sprinkled them with freshly cracked black peppercorns. It was truly delicious. A far cry from those ubiquitous bags of pre-peeled and pre-shaped "baby carrots" and an even farther cry from the gray pepper dust that comes out of small paper packets.

I think carrots deserve their prime spot in the crisper. Everybody eats them but I don't think people always remember how great they can be when done right. And sometimes I get a perfectly pungent hit of the master spice and think WOW it really does belong beside salt on the table.

Do you ever have those moments where something really common is really, really good?

I'd like to go back to the very first post & the subject of carrots. Not young ones, but the mature ones that show up in early to mid-fall - late September / early October, at least in these parts.

There's a certain stand at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC that has marvelous carrots at that time of year. They're big, they seem almost to glow from the inside, and they're as fragrant as they are flavorful when you cut or bite into them.

Those carrots are one of the things that make up for the dying of the light in autumn. I eat one every day, and when their growing season too starts to dwindle, I get several bunches & pack the crisper with them to extend their eating season another month.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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