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eG foodblog: Kim Shook - Dreams of an Everyday Housewife


Kim Shook
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Just scrumptious! Every word and every picture, and especially every bite!!

Caro just shouted out an admiring WOW! for the bread pudding---I have a feeling it's on our menu, probably tomorrow.

In every picture, I find another bowl, spice, or something we have in common---I'm floral-y and apple-y and all that Home-y stuff. Just lovely and welcoming and warm---what a nice visit.

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Dinner was an all eGullet affair.  I made David Ross’ Apple, Pear and Parsnip Salad w/ Toasted Walnuts, Bleu Cheese and Apple Cider Vinaigrette.

Finished Salad:

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Kim, wonderful blog so far and thank you for honoring my humble little salad. You done it proud. Looks delicious, as does the entire dinner.

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Kim, congrats on the weight loss! I am SO glad I opened this thread...after my gastric bypass I haven't been reading as many eG food blogs and am lucky to have stumbled upon this one. I'm finally "over" letting my friends and family see how small my meals are now, and it means a lot to me to see someone else post a pic of a post-surgery meal (and the vitamin regimen). At some point I'm sure I'll get over the awkwardness of telling a server how FANTASTIC the meal was as I ask for a box for 80% of it....

Glad to know there are other WLS folks who still love to cook (and have well equipped enough homes to showcase on eG :biggrin: ).

I recently reached the 130lb mark as far as the weight loss, and have decided that if extra skin becomes an issue and insurance won't approve removal I'll go with a totally different method......more tattoos!

Looking forward to updates......

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Wow - I'm not only impressed by the weight loss, but also by the fact you have maintained a healthy interest in food. I am sure that many other people would have found it much easier to distance themselves from something you obviously take great delight in.

P.S

If you are worried about your kitchen not standing Scrutiny with Chris's then maybe I should do a foodblog - houseshare with 3 other guys and no dishwasher? That should be entertaining!

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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Yep, we have a 'powder room' directly off our kitchen.  Yet another thing that I hate about this room :angry: .

I can totally relate -- we have a powder room *very* near our kitchen. I just love it when guests are hanging out in the kitchen and one of them goes to take a leak without turning on the fan. :wacko:

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I read Anne-with-an-e once a year. Actually, I'm really fond of "Anne of the Island" where she goes off to college in 1910(!) and cooks along with her girlfriends.

Does anyone member Louisa May Alcott's "Eight Cousins" and "Rose in Bloom" -- a brilliant proto feminist duo. Rose, an heiress, was told by her uncle she had to learn how to cook. Bread first, cake later. Burn marks on her wrists.

I love all versions of Anne. Walter breaks my heart every time I read the books! Anne and Diana's feast for the visiting author is a classic. Is that the meal where both of them and Marilla all sugar the peas? I do remember those Alcotts! Also - in Little Men, did anyone else covet the mini cookstove that Amy's daughter received?

Wow!!!  To the double-OOMPH!!  What a slumgullious dinner!!  That apple julienne was just perfect, and it all LOOKED divine, not just the chicken.

And Nancy always came down to breakfast, dressed for the day, and sat down at her place, where Hannah always immediately set down "a tall glass of orange juice."  That was even more a signal of their wealth than was that maroon roadster and all those hats; our OJ was made up fresh every few days from the small Minute-Maid can.    The carafe was clear glass, sporting  bright, colorful red flowers all around; the floral motif was repeated on the teensy-pie glasses, each of which held barely three ounces.

I was pretty proud of my julienne - here's all three of them - parsnip, apple and pear:

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I remember those little cartons and they don't seem to make them anymore! I was actually looking for one this weekend for a retro congealed salad that I'm making in place of fruit salad for the weekend (jello counts for fruit below the Mason-Dixon line, right :wink: ?)

Oh.  My.  God.  The "Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking".  The *complete* set, in all its colorific glory.

I have those, too Kim.  Up in the hardly-ever-used-but-don't-you-DARE-ask-me-to-get-rid-of-them cookbook storage area (which also happens to be the doggie TREETZ cabinet.......but that's another story).

I SO dearly and happily remember collecting those with my Mom when I was probably....13?.....14?....at any rate, a long, long time ago however old I was.  They were premiums at a local grocery chain, and I so, SO looked forward to each new edition.  They'd come out, and we'd bring them home, and I'd read them like a novel...cover to cover and make notes about what I wanted Mom & me to make next.  We actually cooked from them a LOT back then, now, I probably haven't cracked one open in 10-15 years, but I should, if for nothing else but the memories and the channeling of my Mom.

Those Family Circle cookbooks are a hoot. I think that they are the ones that Lileks uses in the Gallery of Regrettable Food. They belonged to my MIL and I was so excited to get them!

And your savory bread pudding recipe sounds wonderful - we love fennel; I'll be using it later this week!

I'm interested in knowing more about your bread pudding, as I've never had one that has mustard and onions in it. Was it more savory than sweet?

lucylou's bread pudding was just amazing. The only sweetness was from the caramelized onions, so it was really savory. I have had them in restaurants, but none as good as this one was!

Perfect apple cuts, Kim!! WOW!! I'll bet that water in your casserole came from the spinach. If you'd blanch it first, the squeeze it, I'll bet you'd get much less. Do you always use gloves when you cook? If I put on gloves, my family would think I was ill.  :biggrin:

Thank you and Randi for the advice about the spinach - I'll put that in my notes when I type up the recipe and try that next time.

I'm sorry for what I call my 'cadaver hands'! Everyone is wondering about my gloves and I meant to tell you about it before now and just forgot. I wear gloves almost all the time when I am cooking, cleaning, etc. I am not some phobic, Michael Jackson, mask wearing wacko. I've always had extremely dry hands and when I was working at the store it got really awful - cracked, actively bleeding fingers - just agonizing, plus folks didn't like me bleeding on their food. My doctor prescribed Kerodex cream and the gloves at work. It was like magic. My hands cleared up in a few days and I started wearing them at home, too. I've really gotten used to them - I've caught myself mid-meal still wearing them :biggrin: !

Will you have a chance to show us any of the regional food specialties of your area?

I'm hoping that the restaurants that we are going to this week will cover this and I am going to try to get up early enough to get to the farmer's market, too! Since my focus this first blog is on 'new to me' recipes, I won't be cooking my old standbys which are pretty regional - fried chicken, long cooked vegetables, biscuits - but I am making a congealed salad this weekend and if that's not regional, I don't know what is :wink: !

artisan02 - I do cook alot from Simple Fare - it is a wonderful cookbook and I think I found it years ago at a discount bookstore. My go to Pot Roast recipe is from this book.

Doddie & Randi - I'm glad you like my shoe spreaders! Aren't they girlie? I love girlie stuff (as anyone could guess from my pink striped powder room)! I think they were a gift from my MIL and FIL.

Rob - I adore my ceramic knives. I have the big one, a little paring knife and a peeler. They are all awesome. Mr. Kim gave me the set for Christmas - really because they have pink handles and I am all about pink - he really didn't know anything about them. Serendipitously, they are wonderful and my favorite knives. I have hand strength issues and they are so light and easy to use. I only use my Henckels now when the job is rough or could conceivably shatter the ceramics.

And Dejah - re: the knives - I believe that they only have to be sharpened every few years - maybe someone else knows for sure?

Sony - nice to 'see' you again! Be sure to PM me if you ever find your are going to have a couple of hours in Richmond! Otis eats little packets of Pedigree wet food topped with some Pedigree crunchies. Plus whatever hits the floor! I said the other day that my next pug was going to be named Roomba! He is a passionate omnivore and would eat until he popped, if we let him. We almost never feed him people food because of his puggy tendency towards...um...rude noises. He is sweet, but not bright and sees the entire outdoors as a giant smorgasbord - grass, twigs, snow, squirrel corn, etc. - all have an irresistable draw for him!

zeemanb - I have just recently discovered your blog and am getting caught up reading it from the beginning! It's really great fun! We are definitely siblings under the skin - love of food, urban neighborhoods, politics, ethics, surgery, etc. I'm glad I found you! I know exactly what you mean about the doggy bags. I always want to explain why I didn't eat much in restaurants and am afraid the chef will be offended at my lack of appetite. Plus, I am still not exactly a small person, so when I say, "I have a small appetite.", I'm always sure they are thinking, "Yeah, sure you do"!

I did the showing everyone how small my meals were, too. That will pass. What hasn't passed yet is when I'm folding laundry and see how small my underwear is!

For everyone who wants the recipes for the things I'm making, I'll be posting them (properly credited, of course) on my webpage (link is below my name) as soon

as I have the time.

How about the promised explanation of my drinks and a house tour?

In one of the shots of my island there were a row of 2 lt. drinks on the floor. These are "my drinks". When you have a gastric bypass, you are not supposed to drink sugary, carbonated drinks. Most diet drinks are still fizzy. And, believe me, when you drink one, you know it. That foam just crawls right up your esophogus and is nasty. I know some bypass patients who have worked at getting back on carbonated drinks, but I figure, why bother going through the surgery if I'm going to find ways to break the rules. My stomach capasity will increase naturally anyway, why add any other ways for weight to creep up on me? So after I had the surgery, I was drinking just water or tea. That got tired really fast. I am not a coffee drinker at all, so I used to get my caffeine from diet coke. Someone suggested drinking flat diet soda. None of the dark ones appealed to me, but Mt. Dew and the lighter drinks are less carbonated anyway. I tried different things and found that Kroger's house brand version of diet Mt. Dew was something that I liked. I used to just let it go flat, but that takes forever, so I started just bringing it to a boil, cooling it and putting it back in the bottle. I love this stuff and always have it on hand.

Let's take a food related tour around my house. Here's the kitchen.

Pantry/laundry area:

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Inside the belly of the pantry beast:

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Moving around the room:

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Counter Shots. Keep in mind that other than the island, this is all of my counter space.

My newest toy - it's a very large toaster/convection oven. I love it dearly, but it takes up a lot of space - that's about a foot of usable space in front of it:

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The corner - cracker jar, Otis' NomNomNom (does anyone get this reference?) tin, the coffee bean suck machine (as opposed to the plastic bag suck machine which lives in the island and which I haven't used in months), the coffee maker/grinder and the beginning of the utensil forest (in one of the Oz books there actually is a village named Utensia in the middle of a forest and the inhabitants are kitchen untensils - lots of good food in Oz books, too - eeeek, another one of my mad, passionate collections I am confessing to):

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The Utensil Forest:

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The narrow little place between the stove and the fridge where lives the olive oil, garlic, sugar bowl, S&P, etc. - the stuff I need right at my elbow:

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Notice the instant coffee - does anyone else at eG admit to having any of this stuff around? Mr. Kim and Jessica use this when they are in a rush and only need one cup - I don't drink coffee so it doesn't reflect on me! Also - notice my bacon salt - percyn recommended this stuff and I keep it by the stove so I'll remember to use it since it's new.

Here's the fridge - as you can see, we stick everything in the house on it. I really like a cleaned off refrigerator, but it just doesn't happen!

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That shot is an outside manifestation of the chaos within. The fridge:

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The freezer:

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This is what happens when you open the freezer:

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This is my freezer list - it is supposed to be an up to date list of everything in the freezer. It is usually current for about 3 days after I completely rehaul it:

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We call this Banshee's cabinet. Called that because it's where our late lamented kitty used to eat her meals so that Otis couldn't get it. It was an old cruddy thing that Momma and Ted found in the garage when they moved. I painted it and it holds all my food storage stuff. A good shot of the world's ugliest floor is also included for your viewing pleasure:

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Food Storage cabinets:

The pasta/rice storage cabinet and the oh-so-up-to-date list of contents:

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Other stuff:

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(see the Penzey's bottles at the bottom? We just got a Penzey's - will try to fit a visit in on the weekend!)

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Spices:

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That's it for the kitchen; now let's visit the rest of the house. In the dining room I have dishes stored in the china cabinet, like normal people:

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But if you look closely, I also have a shelf that runs around 3 walls of my dining room that holds more dishes and serving pieces and pitchers (my wonderful FIL made this for me for my birthday one year). There is also more stuff in the sideboard.

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This is my coat closet. We took the coats out so you can see it's real purpose:

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Ok, now I feel really trashy.

Also in the living room is a small sideboard:

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It's also full. Notice the teeny tiny little cake stand on top! Isn't it girlie :raz: ??

And just to show the full extent of my shame, if you lift the skirts of my side tables like Can-Can dancers:

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Actually, that wasn't the full extent of my shame, because in the attic there are big, giant things (juicer, canning equipment, bread maker, etc.), but you're not seeing that - we have to go in there with a flashlight and the camera wouldn't work!

Whew! Well, no cooking for me tonight. We are going out to dinner - I'll be back later with a report!

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Wow, lists of what's in the freezer! Brilliant! I hope you don't mind if I steal that from you...  :cool:

hey kim-

thanks for the kitchen tour. i love the turntables in the cupboards, the baskets holding bottles and the side tables with skirts hiding stuff. like chris, i plan to incorporate your ideas into my kitchen. i, also, have to do the freezer list to stay on top of both freezers.

did your pig Chef come in pink? that is just too darn cute. i've never seen them in pink.

thanks for posting your recipes on your site. really looking forward to using them.

-leslie

Leslie Crowell

it will all be fine in the end. if it isn't fine, it isn't the end.

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It is so refreshing to see a "normal house"! I am lucky to have more storage and counter space than you BUT I am far from being as organized as you, so have many piles of recipes I hope someday to file, piles of papers and mail that I have yet to sort, piles of clothes that I have yet to put away (my so called game room is now an extra large closet!!!!!). You are far from being "trashy" but, in fact, clearly making the best of all you have. Great place!

My neighbor, slightly to the south, I am so impressed that, in the middle of your blogging, you still find time to comment on other threads (i.e. Dinner). You must be getting no sleep at this time!!!!!!!!

I'm with you and enjoying every post!

Donna

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Alright, I give. Even though I own a gourmet store, I have no idea what the gadget is that is sitting in the lavender/purple vase with the orange flower, resting on the meat tenderizer. It looks like what would come out if a robot had sex with a lobster. What is it?

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The corner - cracker jar, Otis' NomNomNom (does anyone get this reference?)

LOLcats/icanhascheezburger (links to my favorite of the "nom" LOLcats) ?

I love your kitchen! It looks like a kitchen that's in use and being lived in....hey, that's my reasoning for why my kitchen looks the way it does :biggrin: !

I'm enjoying the blog!

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Hi, I'm really enjoying reading your blog this week.

You mentioned that you could not eat any kind of rice at all after your operation. Is there a reason why it is prohibited from your diet? I don't see why it could differ from other sources of carbohydrate.

Personally, a meal without rice would be unthinkable for me!

Edited by thdad (log)
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I don't wish you were here. I wisht I wuz there. I could just LIVE in that house, with all the pink and girlie stuff and dish stashes and endless vases of utensils and the upbeat little Susie Cooper shoes and Otis' pig butler, standing there like Jeeves at Windsor as he partakes.

I'm dying to see what's all around the rail; I can see enticing colors, which could be anything.

This is more than fun. It is HOME, in the most endearing, warm sense, with all sorts of cookbooks and things to cook with and on and reasons to. I've never been so comfortable in a screen-house before. I just look at the pages and step into the WARM.

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Wow, lists of what's in the freezer! Brilliant! I hope you don't mind if I steal that from you...  :cool:

Not at all. I would be honored that an engineer would steal an organizational idea from me!!

did your pig Chef come in pink?  that is just too darn cute.  i've never seen them in pink.

-leslie

My pig was white, I think – or beige. He got icky down near all the spills and dog food dishes and such and I painted him pink.

Alright, I give.  Even though I own a gourmet store, I have no idea what the gadget is that is sitting in the lavender/purple vase with the orange flower, resting on the meat tenderizer.  It looks like what would come out if a robot had sex with a lobster.  What is it?

:laugh::laugh: It’s just the angle that flummoxed you. Here it is:

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It’s a serrated edge pie cutter/server with a blade shield.

LOLcats/icanhascheezburger (links to my favorite of the "nom" LOLcats) ?

Marcia.

Ding Ding Ding!!! We have a winner. :laugh: My favorite new online obsession and Noms are even on topic! Thanks for the link – I hadn’t seen that one yet!

You mentioned that you could not eat any kind of rice at all after your operation.  Is there a reason why it is prohibited from your diet?  I don't see why it could differ from other sources of carbohydrate.

Personally, a meal without rice would be unthinkable for me!

It isn't prohibited, exactly...except by my stomach which, um, rebels and forceably....ah....rejects it. :blink::wink:

Fascinating how each blog reflects the personality of the blogger – yours is warm, welcoming, and full of fun and enthusiasm. “Utensil forest” is my new favorite phrase, and Mrs. C requests as many pug action photos as possible.

Thanks, Bruce! Tell Mrs. C that more pug shots are coming - tomorrow will be a cooking night and he'll be around :laugh: !

I don't wish you were here.  I wisht I wuz there.  I could just LIVE in that house, with all the pink and girlie stuff and dish stashes and endless vases of utensils and the upbeat little Susie Cooper shoes and Otis' pig butler, standing there like Jeeves at Windsor as he partakes.

I'm dying to see what's all around the rail; I can see enticing colors, which could be anything. 

This is more than fun.  It is HOME, in the most endearing, warm sense, with all sorts of cookbooks and things to cook with and on and reasons to.  I've never been so comfortable in a screen-house before.  I just look at the pages and step into the WARM.

Oh, Miss Rachel! I wish you wuz here, too :wub: ! I wish we wuz all here. I'll PM you some shots of the stuff on the rail - I'll send Mr. Kim up the ladder with the camera next week! It's mostly depression glass and stuff left to me by Bomo (my maternal grandmother). I actually use it a lot to serve on.

Breakfast today was a low fat piece of string cheese and some apple (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz):

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Lunch was leftover from yesterday – some Greek salad and a 1/4 of a club sandwich and more apple:

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Dinner was at a restaurant called Six Burner:

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This place has gotten mixed reviews in the past, but the latest reviews have improved a lot. We started with a bottle Chateau de Lascaux 2005 Coteaux du Languedoc - no idea what any of that means, but it tasted good and went well with everything that we had:

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Mr. Kim started with Sea Urchin Custard, pepper broth and anchoy toast(are ‘anchoy’ and ‘anchovy’ interchangeable? I hadn’t ever seen ‘anchoy’ before, but I just googled it and found lots of references for both including one from Daniel Rogov):

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This was really interesting – very subtle and almost sweet tasting.

I started with the foie gras torchon, rhubarb strawberry compote and grilled bread:

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The foie gras was wonderful – very silky and smooth and the compote and sauce was perfect with it. The dish would have been ruined by the bread if I had eaten it, though. It was way beyond grilled to burned.

Mr. Kim’s entrée was rockfish, mascarpone polenta, braised endive, pickled apple, and truffle oil:

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We love rockfish and this was very well cooked! I didn’t care for the truffle oil, but the polenta was lovely.

My entrée was crabcakes, grits, spicy cabbage slaw and a mustard vinaigrette:

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This was a mixed success. The crabcakes were great. In my opinion crabcakes are great or bad. They either have sweet, rich crabmeat or skunky, stringy crabmeat. They either have an imperceptible amount of filler or more filling than crab. They either have almost nothing but crab in them or they are crapped up with peppers. So there’s no middle ground. (I am very feisty when it comes to crabcakes :raz: ). These were great. The grits were very good, as was the slaw. But we felt like the flavor and the balance of the meal was sacrificed to the plating. The grits would have looked boring without the slaw, but the slaw made them cold. The grits and crab paired well. The slaw and crab paired well, but the slaw and grits didn’t go together at all.

We shared dessert. It was caramelized banana and tapioca pudding, banana cake and pecan brittle:

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I thought that the luciousness of bananas and brittle sounded wonderful together. And I haven’t had tapioca in many, many years and perhaps it wasn’t as skeevy as I remembered. Bananas and brittle are wonderful together. The brittle was dark and amazing and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. However….tapioca is still as skeevy as ever. Little bouncy balls of nothing. What is the point of that except to make something that should be smooth and creamy, anything but??? <shudder> :raz:

Bottom line, it was a good, but not great meal. In the middle of the meal I started wondering what our favorite restaurant in the Outer Banks would do with the same menu - not a good sign, I'm thinking. :hmmm:

Off to bed now. I had almost 2 glasses of wine and am very sllleeeeepyy……………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Nope not the pie wedge, the thing just to the left...Its kind of pewter looking. (geez, its like having some rifling through your drawers...creepy ain't it!)

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Alright, I give. Even though I own a gourmet store, I have no idea what the gadget is that is sitting in the lavender/purple vase with the orange flower, resting on the meat tenderizer. It looks like what would come out if a robot had sex with a lobster. What is it?

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Nope not the pie wedge, the thing just to the left...Its kind of pewter looking.  (geez, its like having some rifling through your drawers...creepy ain't it!)
gallery_28661_5901_167922.jpg

Alright, I give. Even though I own a gourmet store, I have no idea what the gadget is that is sitting in the lavender/purple vase with the orange flower, resting on the meat tenderizer. It looks like what would come out if a robot had sex with a lobster. What is it?

Rob, I am falling off my chair! :laugh::laugh:

It's an ice cream scoop! You squeeze the handles together to scoop and release to release. I'll take a picture of it tomorrow. Goodnight!

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Rob, I am falling off my chair!  :laugh:  :laugh:

It's an ice cream scoop!  You squeeze the handles together to scoop and release to release.  I'll take a picture of it tomorrow.  Goodnight!

That long pointy thing is an ice cream scoop? I'd have thought cucumber seeder, should you even need an intact cucumber without seeds... :biggrin:

OK, I found which one Rob was referring to, but what's the long pointy thing for? Juicer for the finger of a buddha hand citrus (those things don't even have juice, do they?)

Edited by prasantrin (log)
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Kim - Thanks so much for inviting all of us into your home, your life and your habits. This blog is so much fun already! I completely agree about the "warmth factor". I love all of your gadgets, the utensil forest, your lovely china cabinet and its contents, the incredibly organized freezer and the rest. It's just so interesting to see how other folks live. You eat well and clearly relish every (small) portion.

More Otis shots please. He's just so damned cute! :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Wow. Your home is eye candy. Thanks for welcoming us so fully into your nooks and crannies- I'm really enjoying seeing such a girly, frilly, sparkly yet warm(and full to the rafters with accoutrements!) house. I don't find that good yogurt in NJ in a fat free version... and I find the full fat version too rich to eat on it's own. How is the fat free stuff?

More Than Salt

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My entrée was crabcakes, grits, spicy cabbage slaw and a mustard vinaigrette

good morning kim-

the entree looks lovely. i'm also not a fan of mixed temperatures... i like my hot food to be HOT and my cold food to be COLD.

too bad about the toast. quite a juxtaposition: torched bread alongside the elegant foie gras.

i'm with you on the tapioca subject, however, the other elements of the dessert sound really nice.

i really like how you still gave the good points of the meal their due, without calling the whole thing poor, based on a couple missteps.

looking forward to the next installment- great blog!

Edited by rooy1960 (log)

Leslie Crowell

it will all be fine in the end. if it isn't fine, it isn't the end.

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Rob, I am falling off my chair!  :laugh:  :laugh:

It's an ice cream scoop!  You squeeze the handles together to scoop and release to release.  I'll take a picture of it tomorrow.  Goodnight!

(in mystical voice) Ooooh. What strange foreign tools you use. (mystical voice ends)

I have never seen one like that. It makes total sense. I really thought it was going to be a lobster cracker or some type of crusher.

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