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eG Foodblog: JennyUptown - Fun with food


JennyUptown
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Jenny, I think it's weird that nowadays, you can get a good CD player for $20 (or at least I did - I think $15 on sale at J&R), but it's really difficult to get a cheap radio anymore.

Maybe your best bet might be to get the cheapest CD player you can find and a pair of tiny speakers you can connect the headphones output to. But then again, you don't want to play hip-hop on some wimpy speakers, do you?

Oh well, back to food. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Jenny, if you ever get interested enough in fish that you decide you're ready to learn how to cook it, let me know. I'd be glad to give you a few lessons.

Wow, what an offer!!!

Do you like your crabs with or without Old Bay? What about sushi?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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My scheduled 4pm meeting has seemingly been delayed or canceled completely (not a bad thing) so I thought now would be a good time to write about food and sports.

I'm not talking about pricey concession stand food at pro games or anything like that, although I could. Instead, I am thinking about athletes and their eating habits.

For most of us egulleteers, getting a multi-million dollar influx of cash would result in some culinary-type upgrades, right? Whether that's getting that Viking stove, buying truffles weekly or doing a world tour of dining hot-spots, I think we can all agree that a sudden cash windfall would cover some kind of food-related indulgence.

Sure, a lot of athletes outfit their dream homes with fancy kitchens (as seen on Cribs and discussed here. But a lot of them are never, ever used.

The real issue is that for a lot of athletes their income increases, but their tastes remain the same. For some, there's fear about trying something new (even more so than my own fear of slimy seafood) because they come from sheltered backgrounds. For a lot, money was an issue growing up and dining out was not a common occurrence. They may learn to appreciate a good steak a la Morton's or similar (more on that later), but it's rare to hear an NBA player order the fois gras appetizer or anything involving confit. You're more like to spot famous athletes at TGIFriday's or your local Hard Rock Cafe than at Citronelle (DC) or Mix (NY).

One athlete I know really struggles with it. He loves having the opportunity to experience new cities on road trips, but in most cases, his teammates are impervious to his pleadings to try local cuisine. They eat a LOT of Taco Bell and it's not unheard of for groups of them to hit the local Olive Garden. Sometimes my acquaintance is brave and dines alone. At his height, it's not easy to blend in. :wink:

Regarding steakhouses, I eat in a LOT of them and most times, it's Morton's. They seem to have the US blanketed and in markets with a major sports team or two, Morton's is good about catering to players by keeping the kitchen open late on game nights. One time I ate in a Morton's three consecutive nights in three different cities.

I try to eat oatmeal here and there to counteract the cholesterol that I'm sure will eventually collect in my bloodstream.

Once in awhile, an athlete will hire a personal chef. In some cases, it's a full time gig and the chef will cook pretty much everything. But in other cases, the chefs provide the service of cooking ahead so that when the athlete returns late at night from a home game or road trip, there's something in the fridge for reheating. Playing the pros is a big adjustment for a college or HS athlete and the body goes through big changes - in most cases, a noticable weight loss occurs and it's a problem as they're trying to get used to playing against bigger, stronger, older competitors. It's so important to stay healthy and keep a full tank of gas, so to speak.

Edited by JennyUptown (log)
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Reason #3 I'm a creature of habit. I can (and have) eat the same dish every damn day without caring.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

this describes johnnybird to a t. when he was at syracuse he would make a big pot of spaghetti then start opening the jars of sauce. he would eat spaghetti for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week straight.

this sometimes becomes a bit of a tussle with us since i ask what he would like to eat and he says - i don't know, what's in the fridge?

keep up the wonderful writing - i especially liked the insight on the sports players.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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keep up the wonderful writing - i especially liked the insight on the sports players.

Thanks so much, Suzi!

Today's pasta lunch has kind of spoiled me for dinner. Nothing has all that much appeal so I'll probably make a sandwich of some sort. I have some good meats in the fridge - salami, prosciutto, and plain grocery store maple turkey - but nothing special in terms of bread. Just the old standby: potato rolls. Is that a Pennsylvania thing? I grew up on the stuff, as did PLM.

Speaking of PA...quite a few of my favorite snacks are PA-centric.

I have boxes and boxes of smidgens from Gertrude Hawk Chocolates which was started by the parents of my mother's friend. Peanut butter, pastels with peanut butter, crispy ones and caramel filled too. Yum. They also make fantastic white chocolate covered pretzels - I love the sweet/salty combo.

And then there are Tastycakes...amazing. Specifically I like the Tandycakes - sponge cake "enrobed" in a thin layer of peanut butter and then milk chocolate. Best after an hour or so in the fridge.

Unrelated to PA...

Finally, I have already admitted to not liking seafood so I might as well come clean about my Tang addiction. Want to make fun of me? Go for it. Everyone else has.

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Finally, I have already admitted to not liking seafood so I might as well come clean about my Tang addiction.  Want to make fun of me?  Go for it.  Everyone else has.

All this AND you're in training to be an astronaut, too?! :laugh:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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The week ahead - a few food highlights:

Tonight (Monday)

Polish off remaining apple-pear crisp

Wednesday

Restaurant Week dinner at Ceiba (tentative) with a few girlfriends

Thursday

Pizza and maybe mini-burgers w/ onion straws at Matchbox with another friend

Sunday

Best friend from NYC arrives. Dinner at Palena's bar?

Monday

Group dinner to introduce NYC friend to DC friends at Indique. She (like me) loves Baluchi's in NYC so I think she'll have fun at Indique.

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And you were worried this would be dull! I think not. You eat as I would if I had the budget. Eat on, eat on. Some of us are living vicariously through you. We are in for a treat. Jenny is hitting the good ones this week! If only there were pics!!!!!

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I'm working on the pics. Check out page 1 and you'll see that I added a shot of the chicken and a very glare-y one of the sesame oil PLM was so excited to find at a bargain price.

Regarding the budget thing, I don't know how I used to do it. Living in NYC, I ordered takeout at least once (and often twice) a week. Baluchi's (Indian), this hideous Chinese place in the West Village Buddha House, Rissoterria...oh, the food! And I ate at my local spots all the time - Po, especially. Maybe that's why I have so many bills now... :sad:

My present social life looks hermit-quality compared to the me of two-three years ago.

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One athlete I know really struggles with it. He loves having the opportunity to experience new cities on road trips, but in most cases, his teammates are impervious to his pleadings to try local cuisine. They eat a LOT of Taco Bell and it's not unheard of for groups of them to hit the local Olive Garden. Sometimes my acquaintance is brave and dines alone. At his height, it's not easy to blend in. 

One of my friends grew up with a guy who went on to the NBA. The guy grew up in an upper-middle class family, travelled a lot as a kid, and had a college diploma. He would constantly complain about his team mates and how all they wanted to do was stay in their hotel rooms reading comic books and playing video games or cards. He wanted to check out museums, historic sights, good restaurants. But they all looked at him like he had a second head growing out off his body. And being a 7 foot white guy, there's no way you can't draw attention to yourself.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Thanks for the blog, Jenny. I'm enjoying it, you are a really good writer, with an amusing way with words. Look forward to more.....

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Finally, I have already admitted to not liking seafood so I might as well come clean about my Tang addiction. Want to make fun of me? Go for it. Everyone else has.

May I suggest a Tang encrusted halibut? :blink:

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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May I suggest a Tang encrusted halibut? 

Why I oughtta...

I'm going to be writing about the food-memory connection, which is so strong for me, later. In the meantime, think about this:

* What is your first food memory?

* What is the food you can remember hating?

* What food do you associate with a particular age, say being six years old? Being in college?

* Think of your favorite person growing up - a friend, a special aunt, a teacher, etc. - and name the first food that comes to mind when thinking of that person.

I don't know...maybe these questions will seem weird to you (maybe not), but for me, food is inextricably linked to most of my memories.

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Jenny, thanks for blogging!

You should really try some eel. I love it. It's always cooked. (Or nearly always? Someone else will know the answer.) It has a nice meaty taste-- not very fishy at all.

In sushi restaurants (in the U.S.A., anyway) you'll often see it paired with avocado. Yum.

smoked eel, yum.

salty and oily but not fishy.

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OK, since all of you guys are slacking (ha!) and not telling me about your favorite food memories, I'll tell you about some of mine as I slurp a cup of Poblano Corn Chowder (from High Noon, not something I made) for lunch. Yeah, I get it: my blog thus I must do most of the writing. Is that what you are trying to tell me? I see you reading it. :wink:

So many of my happy memories rely on food as a key element. Among them:

When I was eight or nine, I started having big swimming parties at the local YMCA to commemorate my birthday. While we kids splashed, played and - once I was eleven or so - flirted via the dunking of or by the crush-of-the-moment - one of my adult relatives would head next door to Pizza Hut, picking up eight or ten of their large trays for the hungry kids.

After pizza, we'd eat cake of course, but my cake was, to me, unique. Every year my mother's sister, Aunt Mar, would bring a cake with her from NJ to PA , probably from one of the Portuguese bakeries in or near Parsippany where she lived with my Uncle Frank. It was huge, covered in white fluffy frosting and it bore the usual "Happy Birthday Jennifer" message. But inside, it was special, filled with chunks of fresh strawberries and vanilla custard in between the layers of white cake.

If anyone other than Aunt Mar had recommended this cake, I'm sure I would have rejected it out of hand because growing up, I was a notoriously finicky eater (some of YOU would say I still am, I am sure! :angry:). But because the cake came via the efforts of dear, sweet, wonderful Aunt Mar, I ate it then and in my memory has taken on a mythic perfection that can never again be achieved in a cake.

I don't see to replicate this cake or find it in a local bakery. Instead, I'd rather the memory remain just that: a happy thought I turn to from time to time.

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OK, since all of you guys are slacking (ha!) and not telling me about your favorite food memories, I'll tell you about some of mine as I slurp a cup of Poblano Corn Chowder (from High Noon, not something I made) for lunch. Yeah, I get it: my blog thus I must do most of the writing. Is that what you are trying to tell me? I see you reading it. :wink:

So many of my happy memories rely on food as a key element. Among them:

When I was eight or nine, I started having big swimming parties at the local YMCA to commemorate my birthday. While we kids splashed, played and - once I was eleven or so - flirted via the dunking of or by the crush-of-the-moment - one of my adult relatives would head next door to Pizza Hut, picking up eight or ten of their large trays for the hungry kids.

After pizza, we'd eat cake of course, but my cake was, to me, unique. Every year my mother's sister, Aunt Mar, would bring a cake with her from NJ to PA , probably from one of the Portuguese bakeries in or near Parsippany where she lived with my Uncle Frank. It was huge, covered in white fluffy frosting and it bore the usual "Happy Birthday Jennifer" message. But inside, it was special, filled with chunks of fresh strawberries and vanilla custard in between the layers of white cake.

If anyone other than Aunt Mar had recommended this cake, I'm sure I would have rejected it out of hand because growing up, I was a notoriously finicky eater (some of YOU would say I still am, I am sure! :angry:). But because the cake came via the efforts of dear, sweet, wonderful Aunt Mar, I ate it then and in my memory has taken on a mythic perfection that can never again be achieved in a cake.

I don't see to replicate this cake or find it in a local bakery. Instead, I'd rather the memory remain just that: a happy thought I turn to from time to time.

Definatly food memories are cool. Sort of like the feeling of deja vu but not. :blink: Any way, about a month ago I had a cup of tea at work that one of the guys makes using cardamom pods , regular tea, honey, milk etc. and with the first sip I had I got that memory blast thing from the past. For the life of me I couldn't place where the memory came from. Only that it was from when I was small and maybe Cristmasy.

Then one day not long ago I was having a craving for a smoke and since I'm trying not to, I reached for a leftover, dusty, sticky hard candy from Cristmas and Voila! Cardamom to the max! Funny, I thought it would have been some wonderful old family traditional type thing, and here it was just plain old Cristmas candy.

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Ok, then, I'll try to add my 2 cents:

Happy Food thoughts:

Cereal. I have always loved it and we used to have tons of boxes in our cabinet. I would eat 2 bowls each morning, usually with my nose in a book (there were often books draped over the back of chairs, used as placeholders). My dad (who did the shopping and cooking when I was a kid) had to keep the cereal supply stocked. Some of my favorites - as a younger kid, obviously some of the sugary crap like Lucky Charms, Cookie Crunch (who thought that would be a good breakfast for kids?), Count Chockula, and Captain Crunch. As i got older, my tastes got a little less sweet - some rice-wheat flake cereal called Team that I don't think they make anymore, and Almond Delight, also they do not make that anymore. My dad also kept some of the lame-o adult cereals in the cupboard that I would only eat as a last resort: Special K (like eating air, it had and still has, NO TASTE), Wheaties, and Cheerios. To this day, I avoid those like a plague. Another favorite cereal was Life, Cinnamon and Regular. Oh, and flavored Quaker Oatmeal. Where does this love of breakfast stem from? Not sure, but both my older brother and my mom both worked nights, so I would usually see them first thing in the morning? I associate cereal with seeing my family? I don't know, that could be a reach.

Wow, I think I could write a thesis of the psychology of cereal. Who's blog is this anyway?

Other foods I loved as a kid:

Kraft Mac and Cheese. Oh, this was great. Still love it on occasion, but my taste buds have matured to Annie's. :laugh: I could eat a whole box. Sometimes I would put hot dog in it. My brother liked his with spam. :shock:

Steak and Cheese subs. There was a deli not far from where we lived that made fantastic ones. With an orange soda, I was all set.

Also, my dad used to make this 1950s concoction that I think most of you would shudder at, but I loved it. Beefaroni consisted of Mueller's elbow macaroni with Campbell's tomato soup and sauteed ground beef. A generous shake of Kraft parmesan cheese from the can, et voila! a meal. Gosh, this sounds like a recipe from Semi Homemade Cooking. Get me on the phone with Sandra Lee! :laugh:

Also, my grandfather was quite a baker and made the most fantastic chocolate chip cookies, chunky, rich, and chewy and the densest richest chocolate cakes. he also made mean iced tea that used Schweppes ginger ale in the mix. Those are my fondest memories with him. He was the kindest man, and very quiet. I enjoyed sitting with him, and he would listen to the radio and just smoke his pipe, and I could read my books for hours. He also kept a green bowl of M&Ms on his bookshelf. It was ALWAYS filled with M&Ms, and sometimes they took on a little bit of the flavor of his pipe tobacco. When he died, I took the bowl and it sits on my mantle above the fireplace. I fill it with M&Ms occasionally, but not too often. For the longest time after he passed, it smelled like the sweet pipe tobacco and chocolate. :smile:

Ok- sorry I'll stop now!

Edited by pattimw (log)
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Also, my dad used to make this 1950s concoction that I think most of you would shudder at, but I loved it. Beefaroni consisted of Mueller's elbow macaroni with Campbell's tomato soup and sauteed ground beef. A generous shake of Kraft parmesan cheese from the can, et voila! a meal. Gosh, this sounds like a recipe from Semi Homemade Cooking. Get me on the phone with Sandra Lee! 

Want to join my family? :wink: I described what sounds like that exact dish in another forum.

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Other than the daily tablespoon of cod liver oil :sad: I had to take when I was young, I remember at around eight or nine going with my parents to a really neat small restaurant somewhere not far from where we lived in NH. Dining was in small private rooms and there was a small, rushing mountain stream that was next to the restaurant and could be seen from the windows in our room. My parents ordered the roast duck with orange sauce. Even though it is now fifty plus years later I remember how good it was.

A few years later we were at the summer place of a friend on Grindstone Island, in the middle of the St. Lawrence (Thousand Islands.) Creighton was a superb cook and one night roasted several pheasants. I can't remember the taste from that young age - all I can remember is that I've never had birds done so well.

I guess from this one could gather that I gained an appreciation for roasted poultry early on.

:biggrin:

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Also, my dad used to make this 1950s concoction that I think most of you would shudder at, but I loved it. Beefaroni consisted of Mueller's elbow macaroni with Campbell's tomato soup and sauteed ground beef. A generous shake of Kraft parmesan cheese from the can, et voila! a meal. Gosh, this sounds like a recipe from Semi Homemade Cooking. Get me on the phone with Sandra Lee! 

Want to join my family? :wink: I described what sounds like that exact dish in another forum.

Beefaroni, goulash, and isn't this dish also called American Chop Suey? Who EVEN knew where THAT name came from.

Liked it then. Like it now. Not ashamed to admit it! :rolleyes:

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The end of my workday is rapidly approaching and I'm panic-stricken. What will I eat tonight?

PLM is working a LOT this week so I've written him off where meals are concerned until the weekend. I'm on my own tonight so I'm digging around the usual recipe sites for something that strikes my fancy. I'll also have a look at one of my two (yes, two. Total.) cookbooks. Because I failed to defrost anything from my freezer* I will either make some pasta variation, stop at the grocery store near my home (it's not a good one) or...order takeout. I'm trying to avoid the latter for budgetary reasons, as well as to try and keep this blog interesting.

I hate defrosting any kind of meat in the microwave (chicken with white edges makes me sad) and in my haste to get to work on time, I "forgot" to plan my dinner ahead. Again.

Anyone want to come over and cook for me spur of the moment? I'll put you in the blog... :raz:

Yeah, I thought not.

*My freezer

The content of my freezer include:

* Many bags of frozen edamame, one of my favorite foods

* Many bags of frozen peas plus one each of corn and carrots (which shall never be used - I should chuck 'em)

* Several pints of ice cream - Chocolate Fudge Brownie (for PLM), One Sweet Whirled (for me), lemon sorbet (eons old, seemed like a good idea in the store)

* Frozen chicken breasts

* Frozen ground beef (bought specifically to recreate the aforementioned goulash!)

* Frozen pork chops that might be freezer burned

* Frozen spaghetti sauce from Mom (to make lasagna or the disgusting pasta & peas dish)

* Extra butter

* Some weird Indian frozen prepared dish (samosas?) that, again, seemed like a good idea

I didn't eat as much as usual today and what I ate was bad with a capital B so I'm hoping to salvage the day with a nice supper.

Breakfast was a low-fat blueberry coffee cake from Starbucks and a iced grande skim latte. The coffee cake was chosen out of necessity between off-site appointments, not desire, and certainly not a desire for a "low fat" product as anyone who knows me will attest to. It was simply the best looking of a bad bunch. My other options were a Krispy Kreme doughnut (delicious, but I'd need three or four to feel full and the feeling would last maybe thirty minutes) and some scary fat free muffins. The coffee cake was super-sugary, probably to make up for the reduced fat.

Lunch was lemonade (a favorite) and the corn chowder I mentioned previously. I've been drinking water throughout - probably 64 oz while at work alone - and I had a peanut butter Gertrude Hawk smidgen or two.

Back to food memories in a minute...

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You're covering a lot of varied and interesting topics!

Who can argue with tastes in food? I have a son who dislikes prawns (usually a big FAVE with Japanese kids). Allergy or not, it was pretty clear that there was a certain taste he strongly disliked (he wasn't that adventurous anyway, but he really had a "No compromise. Ever" attitude about certain fish sausages, scallops, squid...or shiitake mushrooms). He's whittled the list down to prawns now, and never had a problem with other fish, so I have no plans for training sessions in prawn tolerance!

As for unadventurous sportsmen...when I worked as an interpreter, I was always interested to see who wanted to eat at the hotel, and who wanted to get as far away from hotel food as possible. A new theory of personality, maybe?

Enjoying the blog!

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