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Wilfrid

Cook at home or eat in a restaurant?

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Cabrales and Blue Heron, yes, and yes.  BH, we live in very similar communities.  Right after my hub and I moved into our house in June, 1998, we started finding bags of back yard tomatoes on the porch.  I always try to take food to people who are sick or have had a death in the family--sometimes this is hard to arrange, though.  I know one woman who buys up corning wear at yard sales for this reason--then she never has to get her dish back.  I grew up watching my family and neighbors do this.  It happens less and less as people become so busy.  My sister had major surgery a couple weeks ago and her neighbor brought over a huge casserole, salad, dessert and some iced tea.  I wonder how you have missed out on food-sharing, Cabrales?  I must send you some food right away!!

One couple routinely leaves little snacks on our porch for us--one afternoon we found a box of captain's wafers, a block of cream cheese, and a jar of homemade pepper jelly.  Recently we found a dozen eggs from their chickens and a jar of dilled cucumbers.  I do some canning and so do many of our neighbors.

Eggs:  we know lots of people who keep chickens and I can easily be reduced to begging when we run out of eggs--I don't ever want to buy eggs anymore--it's easy to get spoiled on free-range fresh eggs.

BH, while in Green Point, Brooklyn, last fall, in search of peirogies, I fantasized what it would be like to live next to a baushka who would have me into her home and show me how to make tradtitional foods.  Oh, I am green with envy.

STREET FOOD:  I just posted a note to Miss J on the Mexico page about taking care with seafood.  I think we should begin a whole new thread about how to eat adventurously BUT SENSIBLY in developing nations--I have had some interesting experiences, meself.

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I wonder how you have missed out on food-sharing, Cabrales?  ...

Eggs:  we know lots of people who keep chickens and I can easily be reduced to begging when we run out of eggs . . .

stellabella -- I have never lived in communities in which neighborly feelings abounded.  :confused:  And, yes, I feel like I have missed out on something (even though I'm happy continuing to live in large cities), just like I feel like I have missed out on something by not cooking (the latter might be even more severe).  

You mention you sometimes run out of eggs. Could that mean you keep chicken, or did you mean you run out of store-bought eggs from free-range chicken?!  :wink:

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we try to use only eggs from our friends--in the summer we get more than we can use--in the winter the supply gets short, but some of our chicken-keeping friends use lights to promote egg-laying throughout the winter.  after eating really fresh eggs, it's hard to buy even good-quality organic eggs from the store.  when i was little and my grandparents still actively farming, i got sent into a chicken house in the morning to hunt for breakfast.  i always wondered why eggs at home never tasted like eggs at my grandparents'...now i know.

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but some of our chicken-keeping friends use lights to promote egg-laying throughout the winter

stellabella -- Have you noticed whether the lights used by your friends might, by any chance, be red in color? See A Balic post of Feb. 07 2002, 07:41 in "A Balic" (p. 14).  :wink:

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In "Delights and Prejudices", Beard makes some observations on dining at home:

"I have eaten in restaurants all over the world, but when I come home to my kitchen, I realize it is there that I can best satisfy the eccentricities of my own palate . . . . One of my greatest pleasures is having *six to eight* people to dinner and serving a simple but elegant menu with carefully chosen wines and handsome table appointments. . . .  These events are relaxed and casual, for I'm afraid I am not fond of formal entertaining.

I try to establish a theme in the menu, and if I happen to be entertaining friends from abroad I feature dishes they do not have in their own countries. Last year, for example, I had two friends from England to dinner who wished to sample the best of American beef. After a first course of razor clam bisque, made from the canned clams from Oregon and heavy cream, I served some succulent, grilled beef with tiny braised new potatoes and tiny French peas, which are now sold frozen with butter in bags, and delicious they are. . . ."

I found the excerpt amusing because of the reference by Beard to canned and frozen ingredients.  ;)

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