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SobaAddict70

Foodblog: SobaAddict70

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Hi, I'm SobaAddict70 and this is my third eG Foodblog. This installment feels as if I've come full circle. I can't believe it's been nearly five years since A Week in the Life of Fat Guy's Household.

Unlike the last time I did a Foodblog, I have a digital camera! So sit back and enjoy the ride because there'll be lots of pix, lots of cooking and more importantly, lots of eating in the days to come.

I'm starting this installment an hour or two early because I'll be up late tonight, and also I'm setting things up for tomorrow's breakfast. First thing though are your questions from the teaser photo that Janet posted earlier:

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I just want to know what it all IS---I want it to be grapes in a port sauce, honey (lavender---do I see blossoms?), and poached quince would be nice, but it's not quite the right color.  Candied orange in syrup, maybe? 

I won't begin to try to name the cheeses.

This is a picture taken at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. A friend of mine had bought me a post-birthday lunch in early January and I thought I'd take this shot to remember the occasion by. I also take photos whenever I dine out but that's another story altogether.

Clockwise from top left: prunes in port sauce, lavender honey, quartino of white wine, bread and cheese, orange sections in honey, breadsticks (in wrapper), cheese plate (two cow, two sheep and one goat's cheese).

* * *

What's new with this Foodblog, you ask? A number of things have changed in my life since the last installment.

I was diagnosed with HIV in December 2003. The news struck me with the force of a sledgehammer. You cannot imagine what it's like living with a disease that has no cure. Although I am thankful that I have had relatively few side effects and afflictions in the past four and a half years, the psychological toll is immeasurable. It is beyond crushing.

I do try to take care of myself. I eat right, maintain my weight as best as I can and workout (although that's fallen by the wayside recently). More importantly, I try to keep a positive attitude. I try to focus on things I can control instead of the unknown.

My future is one of great uncertainty. I know that a long time down the road my immune system will cease to function. The medical cocktails I take on a daily basis are instrumental in improving my present quality of life. I can only hope that at some point in the future, perhaps one or two years from now, or more likely in the next twenty years, that a vaccine will become available to every individual afflicted with this terrible of diseases.

And thus this Foodblog. As I said, I try to focus on a positive attitude. One of the things that continues to give me immense pleasure is food -- be it cooking and eating, or being with a community of like-minded people and friends. I want this Foodblog to be special...not just to me, but to everyone in the eGullet community. I want to take this opportunity to focus on the beauty in the world around us, beauty that many people take for granted or don't really think of beyond what's for dinner.

* * *

*Side note: I realize that many of you will have questions that will stray beyond the boundaries that are permissible for an eG Foodblog. I welcome all questions, but if it's not food-related, please PM or email me or ask your questions on my blog.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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Well, I guess when they make us wait a while for a food blog it is for a good reason. Thank you for your "opening statement" to help us see your perspective. Then..on to the beauty of your food as pre-viewed by the teaser photos. Looking forward to this week. I see life connections to others most strongly through food and I think that is a common element here.

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Earlier this year, I started on an experiment that really goes to the heart of this Foodblog and to a certain extent, my present life circumstances.

I've committed to cooking seasonally and eating as locally as possible. Let me tell you that it's a challenge, particularly in the depths of winter when you're sick of potatoes and root vegetables and long for a nice ripe, juicy tomato or a green vegetable. It's definitely made me more appreciative of the effort by farmers and food producers, and the flow of goods from market to table.

The vast majority of my food shopping takes place every other week at Union Square Greenmarket. I might pick up something from a butcher or fishmonger, but close to 80% of my meals comes directly from the farmer's market. (The remaining 20% accounts for meals at work or when I dine out.)

We've been having some really crappy spring weather in the past month. I managed to get to the market at 12 noon on Saturday. I could have probably arrived earlier except that I like to sleep late on the weekends.

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Scallions and flowers (?)

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Cilantro and parsley

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Radishes

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Heirloom radishes

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Turnips or carrots I think

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Heirloom potatoes

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Shortly after I took a pic of the radishes, a thunderstorm broke. It took me about an hour getting back home by cab, and even then, I had to walk about a block. My apartment is a few doors away from the site of the latest crane accident so the cab couldn't drop me off in front of my building. :angry:


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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Here are some pix to tide you over until tomorrow...

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Turnip greens, Japanese turnips and dandelion greens

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Stewed turnip greens, bacon and gold cippolini onions served over heirloom beans with a poached egg

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Linguine with spring greens, pancetta and toasted breadcrumbs (dinner from last night and lunch this afternoon)

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I am looking very forward to your blog! I can certainly understand all related to your HIV. My brother had it in the mid nineties. I flew in to Texas, where he lived, to give my mom a break, and spent 3 weeks helping out. Anyway, on a lighter note, the vegetables look wonderful! The photography is fantastic. I want to reach out and grab that asparagus!

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Last set of pix before Soba turns into a pumpkin.... :raz:

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This is about 1/2 cup of dried midnight black beans from Rancho Gordo.

I've never been a fan of soaking overnight. On the other hand, the following method is foolproof:

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Place beans in a pot with cold water to cover by 3″. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for about an hour. Drain and rinse.

Place beans in a pot with cold water to cover by 3″. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about an hour. Drain and set aside.

gallery_28660_6023_208657.jpg

Voila. See y'all in a few.

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What a pleasant surprise to see you blogging again! I'm even more pleased that you have a camera this time around! :smile:

I've loved the feeling of spring your recent dinner pics have evoked. I can almost taste those fresh greens that you've been eating. I hope you'll demonstrate your egg poaching technique. No matter the method, my poached eggs always end up in disaster (which makes me thankful for readily available onsen tamago, but it's not the same!).

In the last foodblog I remember you doing, you were seriously weight-training, but you mention that has fallen to the wayside recently. Have your eating habits changed, too? Or are you still eating hobbit-like?

And was that particular focus on weight and muscle-mass gain spurred by your diagnosis? (I'm not sure why I would think it were, but no harm in asking!)

Like mooshmouse did last time, I'm going to ask if you're going to show us any Filipino food. I can imagine some of those greens being used Filipino-style (and I don't just mean boiled to death!).


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Ooh, an eclectic and filled with FRESHNESS blog, I can't wait!

Soba, you are very fortunate to be able to afford such great produce, I envy you and I am so very excited to follow you this week. Thanks for blogging for us during this wet and unpredictable late spring!

Will we get refrigerator shots this time? :raz:

PS: I know how you're feeling. Be well.


Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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Hiya, SobaAddict --

I salute your resolve to live life to the fullest despite your diagnosis (I too have had many persons in my life who have found themselves dealing with HIV). I also salute your resolve to take full advantage of the pleasures as well as the health-giving properties of quality food. I have a crazy schedule this week so I don't know how often I'll get to post, but I'll definitely be reading along. Onward and outward! :biggrin:

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Soba, I'm so glad to see you back! i've always felt happy to see your name, cause of the good vibes attached to your postings!

union square greenmarket is my home turf (well, daughter lives there, i live in uk). (but i cook there whenever i visit, and that dog park.....if you see a fluffy leaping poodle, thats mah "Kitty"! my daughters, that is).

if you like sauerkraut take a visit to hawthorne farm stand at the greenmarket and ask for a sauerkraut tasting. i am partial to the curry sauerkraut while the caraway is a thing of classic beauty.

i join everyone else in saying that i'm so sorry you're dealing with hiv. so very sorry. but inspired by your good energy, and know that such good energy and good food and good zest for life is good: good for your health and good for everyone around you!

okay, i can hardly wait to see what you're eating next.

xoxo marlena


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Oh goody!

That produce was amazing! Just beautiful! This is going to be a great week!


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Yay!!!!! I haven't read a word yet and I'm already doing the happy dance!!! I was thrilled when I saw that it was NYC (my spiritual home :wink: ), but I was beyond thrilled when I was it was you ! Have a wonderful week and take care of yourself so your cold doesn't bounce back on you! I'm going back to dive in now!!

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soba-

lordy, lordy, thank goodness the eblog is back! and, from my favorite food palce ever! i've enjoyed your posts in the past and i'm surper excited for this week with you!

ps- i'm also curious about those numbers in the window. :wink:


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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Looking forward to a great return after our short blog hiatus! I'm always in wonder of what farmers are able to pull out of the ground this early in the year. Thanks for the pics which give me hope that soon something will inch out of our desert sands.

Also, in thinking about your comment about eating seasonally and locally, I wonder what that means nowadays in the age of hydroponics (and other technology) that allows us to grow unseasonally but locally. Do you see much of those produce, and do you indulge?

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Morning!

Thanks folks, for the kind words and comments. I'll get to your questions in a bit (after breakfast) but for now I want to sort of put things in perspective especially as it applies to my apartment.

I live in a studio in the Upper East Side and my kitchen is the size of a shoebox. I don't think I've ever been in an apartment in NYC where there was adequate counter space. Jokes about being eG's resident hobbit aside, sometimes I have to use my ironing board for a purpose that wasn't intended.

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My kitchen, looking in from the hallway.

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There's barely enough room to move...

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It really is a hobbit-sized kitchen, isn't it?

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My small cookbook collection. I rarely cook from recipes [and then only if I haven't made something before]. I use these volumes mostly for inspiration. DM's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is my newest toy.

ETA: There's a cookbook I have that isn't in the pic. It's Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby's "How to Cook Meat". I knew something was wrong last night when I took those photos. No, Spamwise isn't a vegetarian although you might think that from looking at those books. :raz:


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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So if my counting skills are up to snuff, your kitchen is about 36 square tiles big, right? :biggrin:

(Not counting the ones under the stove and fridge.)

Looking forward to following along...


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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What a pleasant surprise to see you blogging again!  I'm even more pleased that you have a camera this time around!  :smile:

I've loved the feeling of spring your recent dinner pics have evoked.  I can almost taste those fresh greens that you've been eating.  I hope you'll demonstrate your egg poaching technique.  No matter the method, my poached eggs always end up in disaster (which makes me thankful for readily available onsen tamago, but it's not the same!).

In the last foodblog I remember you doing, you were seriously weight-training, but you mention that has fallen to the wayside recently.  Have your eating habits changed, too?  Or are you still eating hobbit-like?

And was that particular focus on weight and muscle-mass gain spurred by your diagnosis?  (I'm not sure why I would think it were, but no harm in asking!) 

Like mooshmouse did last time, I'm going to ask if you're going to show us any Filipino food.  I can imagine some of those greens being used Filipino-style (and I don't just mean boiled to death!).

Oh, eggs will definitely be a feature this week. I picked up some lovely fresh chicken eggs from Quattro on Saturday. I look forward to using them. :wink:

When I was diagnosed, I weighed about 138 on a 6'2" frame. At my heaviest, I was 186. Then I went on a PSMF style diet (short for Protein Sparing Modified Fast) and cut down to 169. Since then, my weight has fluctuated between 160 and 170. That was a couple years ago.

I haven't been to the gym in a little over a year. I expect I won't be able to resume lifting for another six months or so while my finances stabilize. My living circumstances changed drastically in 2006 when in a fit of pique, my then-roommate kicked me out of our apartment in LIC. I was tired of moving and living in a roommate situation so I raided my 401(k) -- probably not a very wise decision -- and found a studio in the Upper East Side where I now live. The following year, the IRS sent me a huge tax bill. I'm still recovering. I expect that in about six months I'll be able to better judge my finances and then hopefully I can look into rejoining a gym.

Working out has no beneficial effect if it isn't accompanied by eating. And since I'm eating for two -- myself and the virus -- high food prices will need to be taken into consideration when (not if) I start working out again. I need to keep my caloric intake up as well as get sufficient protein in order to maintain muscle mass.

I'm not sure that Filipino food will be a feature this time around. Most of my focus is on Italian and New American these days.


Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)

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Will we get refrigerator shots this time? :raz:

PS: I know how you're feeling. Be well.

You betcha.

Thanks, luv.

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if you like sauerkraut take a visit to hawthorne farm stand at the greenmarket and ask for a sauerkraut tasting. i am partial to the curry sauerkraut while the caraway is a thing of classic beauty.

I adore their curry sauerkraut. I have a jar in the fridge actually. I think their organic kimchi rocks.

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