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eG Foodblog: abooja (2010) - Rockin' the Suburbs


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Another vote for Marcella's tomato/butter sauce.

And more applause for your blog-- the cooking you've done this week is riveting, and your humor and writing skills are just plain fab. Thanks!

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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lisa- though i am late to the party(unususal for me not for the johnnybird) it has been so much fun and you may have just filled in a missing piece in john's inablility to gain weight with the info on NCGS. will research it and ask his gastroenterologist when we see him next month. we do eat a lot of rice pastas but add into the mix john's lactose intolerance (don't marry a dane/german/english mix) and cooking is uh..... an interesting challenge.

hey, eG gave me my own foodblog:

the neat thing is seeing not only the superstars(fatguy, lorna yee, chufi, pam reiss, etc) but the everyday folks of us who are passionate about cooking and eating, who may have money or are monetarily challenged (at least at the moment), who have jobs or are unemployed but for whom cooking and eating and somehow feeding or saucing(?) with cocktails is very important.

suzi from nwnj

ps - ack- a - me is a south jersey/western ny thing...kinda like soda or pop. blog on sister-girl

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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The blog's been great! I have never tried the Marcella Hazan sauce; I expect that will change in the next few days! Also fascinated by the gnocchi -- something I've always wanted to make and been intimidated by.

Thank you!

I've never made gnocchi before this, and was similarly intimidated, but you shouldn't be. Cooking them properly is much more difficult, in my opinion. Give it a try!

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lisa- though i am late to the party(unususal for me not for the johnnybird) it has been so much fun and you may have just filled in a missing piece in john's inablility to gain weight with the info on NCGS. will research it and ask his gastroenterologist when we see him next month. we do eat a lot of rice pastas but add into the mix john's lactose intolerance (don't marry a dane/german/english mix) and cooking is uh..... an interesting challenge.

Thank you! And I hope you guys get some resolution with this. We've had our own cooking challenges in this household. Howard was allergic to nuts, seeds, beans, and corn for 20+ years. He is no longer so, blessedly, but he is still diabetic. This week wreaked havoc on his blood glucose levels. :sad:

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We chose our last two apartments based, in large part, on the proximity of a Wegmans. We didn't know Lawrenceville, New Jersey from a hole in the wall, so Howard got the brilliant idea to visit the nearest supermarket and check out the clientele. We walked by a bonsai tree just to get in the front door, where a couple in horseback riding boots and breeches stood talking. That sold us on the neighborhood. When we moved to Pennsylvania, I looked up all the local Wegmans online, and focused our apartment search in those areas. One hundred percent fact.

Here are some photos of our current Wegmans, taken a short while ago with my Droid. They should be at least clear enough to convey what it is that I love so much about this store.

It's the happiest place on earth, even in the rain.

wegmans.jpg

Brussels sprouts, on the branch, are a new offering.

brussels sprouts branches.jpg

As is this mushroom growing display.

growing mushrooms.jpg

Actual truffles for sale. I've yet to buy these. Howard's accountant thanks me.

mushroom shelf.jpg

A blurry partial shot of the pastry display case. I *believe* they also carry Pierre Herme chocolates.

pastry display.jpg

And another of a section of the cheese shop, including a caviar case.

cheese and caviar.jpg

An insane amount of olives.

olive bar.jpg

Finally, a wine kiosk. Pennsylvania has some funky laws about alcohol. :hmmm:

wine kiosk.jpg

To compare, I used to do most of my food shopping at this place in Queens.

icycles on trade fair.jpg

Their displays looked more like this.

hookahs and bud float at trade fair.jpg

To complete the series, dinner will be late again tonight. I will blog about it much later, after Dexter. Why ruin a good streak?

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Tonight's dinner was crab chowder. More specifically, it was "San Francisco Crab 'Meatball' Chowder" from Jasper White's 50 Chowders, a dish I have prepared once or twice before and really enjoyed. This time, of course, it would be gluten free.

As preparing this chowder was a last minute decision, I had to run out and buy some ingredients, like crab legs, crab meat, butter (Yukon Gold) potatoes, bacon, and gluten free crackers. The recipe calls for crushed oyster or Pilot crackers. Glutino crackers have about the same texture. These were vegetable flavored. Wegmans was, once again, out of the originals, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice the box I usually reserve for cheddar with crackers and pear. -- Yes, that's low fat, lactose free milk. :rolleyes:

crab chowder prep.jpg

There also wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to make crab stock this particular evening, so I used canned, low sodium chicken broth. After nixing the idea of pancetta, normal sliced bacon took the place of slab.

There was crab in both the chowder and the "meatballs" that accompanied it. The chowder part began its life as a bacon-y mirepoix. (Can you have one of those without carrots?)

chowder beginnings.jpg

This was a helluva sight cuter than the crab meatball mixture, which was lent a sickly, Velveeta hue from the gluten free crackers. This photo makes it look more like tuna salad.

crab ball mixture.jpg

Dinner was served at around 9:15 p.m.

crab chowder.jpg

I'm happy to report that it turned out great. If it had not, I would have lied to you just now and told you that it absolutely turned out great. It's not like you'd ever be able to prove otherwise. :raz:

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It's 2:15 a.m. Howard has been asleep for two hours. You think it's about time I wrap this thing up? :rolleyes:

Many thanks to Pam R. and the rest of the eGullet crew for allowing me such a great opportunity. I'm sorry that I couldn't get to many things that I foolishly thought I would get to, including the sugar free brownie sundae (bought the liquid lecithin and everything), and the Christmas cookies for Howard's colleagues. We're actually putting that off until January. I need some time to recover. It may have been the five-day, $50 pastrami jerky debacle that pushed me over the edge.

Thanks, also, to Howard for washing dishes all week, and for putting up with the late dinners and general nonsense. He is a sweetheart. -- Now I feel guilty for throwing him under the bus about the whole ashy pastrami issue.

I look forward to reading the next blog. :cool:

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Thanks, this was great. I admire your going for the 7 layer cake (I grew up with one from a suburban Detroit Jewish bakery, found one in Chicago, but you know, it's not the same) and the macarons (feet!). Inspiring!

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From the birthplace of Wegmans, thanks for spreading the word about our local favorite. Our 2 nearby Wegmans are the smaller, somewhat more basic ones, not the huge upscale new ones. No mushrooms growing in ours, but still wonderful. I love your home finding plan.

Thanks for the interesting week.

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From the birthplace of Wegmans, thanks for spreading the word about our local favorite. Our 2 nearby Wegmans are the smaller, somewhat more basic ones, not the huge upscale new ones. No mushrooms growing in ours, but still wonderful. I love your home finding plan.

Thanks for the interesting week.

Thanks! I know that Wegmans is a quality organization because they wouldn't hire me. Good for them.

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I have my copy of Jasper White's 50 Chowders open to the Crab "Meatball" Chowder recipe. It had not caught my eye before, but your beautiful photo has me seriously hungry. It looks perfect for a winter dinner with friends. New England is not crab territory, but I'll find some.


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Thanks, this was great. I admire your going for the 7 layer cake (I grew up with one from a suburban Detroit Jewish bakery, found one in Chicago, but you know, it's not the same) and the macarons (feet!). Inspiring!

Oops, I called them "legs" at least once. You get the idea. :biggrin:

And thank you! As evidenced by four(!!)-megapixel digital photography, my quest for perfection is far from complete, for either the 7-layer cake or the macarons. We've just got to give our arteries (and blood glucose levels) a break from time to time. Two pounds of butter and a dozen eggs...

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I have my copy of Jasper White's 50 Chowders open to the Crab "Meatball" Chowder recipe. It had not caught my eye before, but your beautiful photo has me seriously hungry. It looks perfect for a winter dinner with friends. New England is not crab territory, but I'll find some.

Thank you! I'm glad I could help reacquaint you with your cookbook. I rarely cook from it myself. Can you recommend any other recipes from that book?

I would have bet at least a dollar that New England was, in fact, crab territory. But I'm from Brooklyn. :huh: I'm definitely not from Pennsylvania, another stretch of land not known for crabs, but Wegmans somehow got 'em. I have no idea where those king crab legs came from. Somewhere big, I'm guessing.

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We're clam country up here. And having lived in the DC/Baltimore area for years, I know to show respect and deference to true crab culture. Still, you can find crab meat--not the fresh crabs--here if you're willing to pay.

As for the cookbook, the sections on making clam/shellfish/fish stocks and broths have been really helpful. I grew up around here, so it would never occur to me to use a recipe for clam chowder. But I have enjoyed the Double Haddock Chowder and Parsnip Chowder recipes. Do not overlook the side recipes in the book, the corn and clam fritters especially. When I think about them, I dream of a proper deep fryer.


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We're clam country up here. And having lived in the DC/Baltimore area for years, I know to show respect and deference to true crab culture. Still, you can find crab meat--not the fresh crabs--here if you're willing to pay.

As for the cookbook, the sections on making clam/shellfish/fish stocks and broths have been really helpful. I grew up around here, so it would never occur to me to use a recipe for clam chowder. But I have enjoyed the Double Haddock Chowder and Parsnip Chowder recipes. Do not overlook the side recipes in the book, the corn and clam fritters especially. When I think about them, I dream of a proper deep fryer.

Ah, clams! I hadn't figured on there being a distinct clam country. Interesting.

I had a Fry Daddy for many years, until I read that I was better off with a cast iron pot and a reliable thermometer. I fry all sort of things this way -- fries, donuts, fish. Different oils, of course.

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