• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Anna N

eG Foodblog: Anna N - Thirteen Steps to Dinner

128 posts in this topic

Good morning! I think it's my turn and it's a scary thought to follow Kristen and Rachel. I know I can't compete with either of them for their generosity in sharing their experiences but I will do my best to make this as interesting as I can.

I have called my blog "Thirteen Steps to Dinner" and will reveal the meaning behind this as we go along. For now, here's The Dane's lunch for today.

gallery_6903_3_1098182052.jpg

He HATES taking lunch and would prefer to spend his 10 hours in the machine shop foodless! I worry that anyone operating dangerous machinery on empty is ripe for an accident and so he allows me to pack him half a sandwich. The other half will be my breakfast.

gallery_6903_3_1098182946.jpg

This is store-bought white bread (busy week!) with liver paste and bacon. His "goodies" are 2 home made chocolate chip cookies, one home made gingersnap and in the plastic wrap his all-time favourite, a marzipan and dried cherry square. He does not object to the goodies - just the sandwich! :laugh:


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, boy! Anna, I agree that you have some tough acts to follow, but I've always enjoyed reading your posts. I look forward to hearing more about you and reading your blog.

I've been mystified by Soba's notice that the next blog was coming from the "wilds of Canada". When I saw your name on the food blog I thought "but of course!" I hope you're going to explain more about where you are in Ontario? I suppose we'll find out that Oakville isn't very wild, after all... :wink:

Blog on!


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I would share with you a glimpse of the arena where I spend my cooking time. It is very compact but in most ways efficient. Compared to my last kitchen, it is a dream come true.

When we first moved here, I had the very silly notion that my kitchen would give away not even the slightest hint that a crumb ever touched the counters. It is part of a "great room" so looks directly into both the sitting area and the dining area and I thought I would like to keep it pristinely empty of any evidence that is was a working kitchen. The first time I tried to drag the KitchenAid mixer from storage to the counter that idea went the way of the unicorn. :raz: Now my kitchen is cluttered but workable. I rearrange things about once a week seeking the optimal but on the whole it works - for me - but drives anyone else crazy. And that suits me just fine. There's just not room here for more than one person.

gallery_6903_3_1098183156.jpg

gallery_6903_3_1098183304.jpg

This is where I do the majority of the food prep and then make sure it is cleaned up so I have somewhere to plate. It looks and is small but after reading somewhere on egullet that in a commercial kitchen each food prep area is something like 14 inches in width, I figured if they can cope then so can I. Since we rarely eat at the bar, the bar becomes another area to put dishes prior to serving and I will put the warming tray on the bar if needed.

gallery_6903_3_1098183261.jpg

And here's the answer to the "Thirteen Steps to Dinner".

Cupboard space in the kitchen is almost non-existent. The upper cupboards are only 11 inches deep and I'm vertically challenged so that only the two lower shelves in each cupboard are useful to me. The lower two-door cupboard stores my pots and pans. The drawers hold cutlery, cookie cutters, and such and the deep lowest drawer my small appliances: spice grinder, stick-blender, mini-chopper and a stack of face cloths for my two granddaughters who hate sticky fingers. Under the sink is like most under-sink cabinets - full of pipes and connections to the dishwasher. The cupboard to the right of the sink is narrow and awkward and so the only things in there are wraps and two large plastic bowls. So, if you have been following along - THERE IS NO ROOM for food! Hence, my pantry is downstairs, 13 steps down to be exact, and each time I want to make something I go down with a list and return with one or two baskets of ingredients and/or additional baking pans, appliances, etc. My freezer is also downstairs.

gallery_6903_3_1098183205.jpg

The small hi-fi cabinet at the end of the bar is an appliance "garage" where I store my breadmaker, blender, juicer, etc. We will eventually replace it with something we design ourselves but that's a long way into the future - for now it works.

Time to get cooking. I am going to make a loaf of whole-wheat bread for my daughter. I try to make two loaves a week if I have the time. I make it in the bread machine but bake it in the oven. Then, if work does not interfere, I will make some Danish red cabbage and Danish meatballs for tonight's dinner.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna, this is great! The wilds of Canada indeed.

Your kitchen looks really cozy, I bet it would be fun to sit at the bar and chat and watch you cook.

Do you cook mostly Danish food? What specific flavors are common in Danish food?


Rachel Sincere

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anna, this is great!  The wilds of Canada indeed. 

Your kitchen looks really cozy, I bet it would be fun to sit at the bar and chat and watch you cook.

Do you cook mostly Danish food?  What specific flavors are common in Danish food?

Thanks, Rachel. No, Danish food is a special occasion affair although we think up almost any excuse for a special occasion. I don't think of specific flavours in Danish cooking but rather a combination of ingredients that say Danish to me. Pork (with crackling!), apples, onion, herring, red cabbage, almond rice pudding, pickled beets, pickled cucumber and, of course, AKVAVIT! I think variety and open-face sandwiches and making do - making something interesting out of leftovers and inexpensive ingredients. I was not brought up Danish so I have no long tradition of Danish cooking behind me. I married a Dane and have tried to keep a few of the dishes that are especially important to him (and I love them too!). Even his mother was not Danish but Scottish. She, too, married a Dane so she mixed up British and Danish dishes pretty much as she pleased.

So the bread is in the bread machine and I took the opportunity to show you the bread machine (I know, so what!) but really I wanted to show you its home when I am using it - under the nerve centre of the house three long steps from my kitchen. This is my office. The Dane built my desk which folds down against the wall when we have company. My TV swivels so I can watch from the kitchen and I am often alone for 14 hours a day so it becomes my company - most of the time it's tuned to CNN because I am too lazy to change channels and what would I change to? FoodTV.ca? - not any more - it's pretty pathetic these days.

gallery_6903_3_1098193005.jpg

And the cabbage is on the stove slowly braising:

gallery_6903_3_1098193055.jpg

gallery_6903_3_1098193096.jpg

And the meatballs are resting:

gallery_6903_3_1098193141.jpg


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That cabbage looks interesting. From the pictures, you also threw in a chopped up apple, right? Is it braising in the vinegar that we see in that prep picture?

Ah, and great pictures so far. It's nice to get a feel for your work area -- my kitchen(ette) setup very much influences what and how I cook.

-------

Alex Parker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna, it's great to see you doing this.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That cabbage looks interesting. From the pictures, you also threw in a chopped up apple, right? Is it braising in the vinegar that we see in that prep picture?

Ah, and great pictures so far. It's nice to get a feel for your work area -- my kitchen(ette) setup very much influences what and how I cook.

-------

Alex Parker

Yes, that is chopped up apple and it is braising in vinegar, some butter and the red currant jelly. The apple will pretty much disappear with the long braise and I don't always add it. I keep a bit of the red currant jelly and some vinegar handy until it's almost ready and then adjust for the right combination of sweet and sour.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horray, I'm so glad to see you are blogging! I too have always enjoyed your posts, and since we have an "adopted" Danish son, this will be of even more special interest to me. (Finally, we're going to Denmark at Christmas this year.) His Danish parents have visited us a few times, and we have always enjoyed the food that his mom, Lise, has cooked for us.

I was surprised in your first photo to see a "closed" sandwich for the Dane :biggrin: but I guess that is more convenient for packing... or is it his preference?

Your kitchen is much like ours in layout and in size.

I'm looking forward to this. Thanks, in advance!


Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am keeping my fingers crossed that no work comes in today! I haven't had this much fun in my kitchen in ages.

I found most of a cuke in the fridge so have some Danish cucumber salad on the go. This will work great with the sliced cold meatballs later in the week.

It's a strange day, Tuesday, as most of the time I go to my daughter's house in the evening to look after my granddaughter while her Mom and Dad take the dog to obedience school. But with all this food on the go I have just asked them over here for dinner and then I will still have time to go there and babysit.

The bread is finished in the machine and is now resting on the counter prior to being shaped and put in the pan - why is all my food resting? |I am the one doing all of the work. :unsure:

What to have for lunch? Jinmyo has inspired me - I will toss together whatever I can and serve it over pasta! I love pasta but The Dane doesn't think much of it. Except spaghetti and meatballs and he insists that spaghetti is NOT pasta. But since being an egulleteer, I have learned that you can always make a tasty dish from some pasta, garlic, anchovies, hot pepper flakes and some olive oil - even when the budget is totally blown.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horray, I'm so glad to see you are blogging!  I too have always enjoyed your posts, and since we have an "adopted" Danish son, this will be of even more special interest to me.  (Finally, we're going to Denmark at Christmas this year.)  His Danish parents have visited us a few times, and we have always enjoyed the food that his mom, Lise, has cooked for us.

I was surprised in your first photo to see a "closed" sandwich for the Dane  :biggrin:  but I guess that is more convenient for packing...  or is it his preference?

Your kitchen is much like ours in layout and in size.

I'm looking forward to this.  Thanks, in advance!

Susan - the closed sandwich is a man thing - he used to work in the white-collar world and took |"proper" open-faced sandwiches for lunch but in a machine shop it seems men have to be "mannish"? An open-faced sandwich might just signal something??? Who knows what. Anyway, it's closed sandwiches at work and open ones at home. And at home, rarely white bread.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The upper cupboards are only 11 inches deep and I'm vertically challenged so that only the two lower shelves in each cupboard are useful to me.

Is there any place where you can keep a step ladder so the top shelves don't go to total waste? Step ladders are a short person's best friend (I have 4 of them :laugh: )

BTW, where in Ontario is Oakville?


"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna I am so happy to see you blogging. I think if I were invited to your house and had a look at the kitchen I would become very optimistic, it is laid out in such an efficient "excellent home cook" way.

Funny about the open-faced sandwiches... My husband is from the northernmost tip of Germany (near Flensburg), within walking distance of the border. We used to drive to Romo to go swimming :smile: Anyway, his mother and aunt spoke Danish at home, and still, whenever we visit his aunt around dinnertime, she lays out a tray of those things. :wub: And then we proceed to work through an entire bottle of Hansa rum Grogg... :blink:

But A. refuses to touch cabbage...

Susan, Christmas celebrations are wonderful in that part of the world -- I can hardly wait for my first cup of mulled wine at the Weinachtsmarkt. Let us know how you enjoy it!


Edited by Behemoth (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is there any place where you can keep a step ladder so the top shelves don't go to total waste?  Step ladders are a short person's best friend (I have 4 of them  :laugh: )

BTW, where in Ontario is Oakville?

I have a small stool (seen under the garbage can) which my granddaughters use to reach the sink in the bathroom and which gives me a leg up in the kitchen. I also have a two-step stool which is kept in the front closet but I am not steady on my feet - never have been - so that's not a good solution for me most of the time. I even have one of those "reachy" things that extend the length of your arm but I just know that one of these days I will pull something heavy on my head with that!

The top shelves don't go to total waste. I keep the medicine cabinet up there away from the girls and some stuff that I use only occasionally - but with so little space it's a shame that half of it can't be used by me on a daily basis!

Oakville is about 40 mins from Toronto - if you drive there at 3 AM on Christmas morning. :raz: It is west of Toronto and east of Hamilton, right on Lake Ontario.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Anna, I'm excited about your blog, great title!! and just think of the work out you get when you cook, makes me want to move my pantry to the basement!

I also married a Dayne, but that is actually his name...he's mostly Finnish! haha! :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lunch was fast and delicious - pasta with garlic, anchovies, evoo, slow-roasted tomatoes (which I made and froze a week or so ago) and a dusting of parmigiano reggiano.

gallery_6903_3_1098202552.jpg

The bread is in the oven.

The cucumbers are about ready to "pickle".

gallery_6903_3_1098202583.jpg

The cucumbers will be lightly salted, put between two plates, the brass pieces put on top to weight them down, and they will be left for an hour or two. Then I will literally wring them out in a clean towel, put then in a container and pour a hot sugar/vinegar combo over them. They keep a few days in the 'fridge.

The meat for the meatballs (Frikadeller) has rested for more than an hour and I will now take it out of the fridge add the rest of the ingredients, beat it until my arm aches (or I may break down and use the KitchenAid :shock:) and then it must rest again for another while. I do not know the science (if any) behind these long rest periods but making these is almost a religious ritual and we all know what happens if you mess with ritual.:huh:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Anna, I'm excited about your blog, great title!! and just think of the work out you get when you cook, makes me want to move my pantry to the basement!

I also married a Dayne, but that is actually his name...he's mostly Finnish! haha!  :wub:

Don't even think of it! By the end of the day my floor looks like a version of Costco with all the stuff that has to be trucked back down there!

I think that's great to be married to a Dayne who is really a Finn! Shouldn't you volunteer to do a Finnish Blog? Hint hint. :biggrin:

Here's the bread - it stuck to the pan on the one side, as you see, but otherwise it came out pretty good. I tossed my non-stick pans as they had become rusty where the non-stick coating had worn through and bought a couple of cheap pans. These will have to last until I can afford a couple of commercial grade ones.

gallery_6903_3_1098212334.jpg

The cucumber salad is done. I will refrigerate it until we are ready to have cold Frikadeller sandwiches.

gallery_6903_3_1098212273.jpg

The red cabbage is cooked and I will just re-heat a small portion for tonight and post a photo later.

I have also steamed some tiny Yukon golds and will peel them and just before dinner glaze them in some butter and sugar. So, dinner will be Frikadeller, red cabbage and glazed potatoes. No dessert tonight as daughter and son-in-law will have to leave quickly to get the dog to school and I will have to walk over to their home to babysit before 7:30 - the youngster is having dinner with a friend and will be taken home around that time.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I

Oakville is about 40 mins from Toronto - if you drive there at 3 AM on Christmas morning. :raz: It is west of Toronto and east of Hamilton, right on Lake Ontario.

Unless of course you are driving past the Ford plant, in which case it doesn't really matter what time of day it is, it's a 20 minute drive to get through there :raz:

This is wonderful Anna. I'm really looking forward to this! :smile:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Unless of course you are driving past the Ford plant, in which case it doesn't really matter what time of day it is, it's a 20 minute drive to get through there :raz:

This is wonderful Anna.  I'm really looking forward to this! :smile:

Thank you, Marlene. Ah yes, the Ford Plant - since I no longer have a car, I no longer have that problem! :biggrin: But on the other hand.......................


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anna is blogging!! yeah!!

Don't worry about your kitchen size, you still have three times the counter space I do.... :blink:


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Susan - the closed sandwich is a man thing - he used to work in the white-collar world and took |"proper" open-faced sandwiches for lunch but in a machine shop it seems men have to be "mannish"?  An open-faced sandwich might just signal something??? Who knows what.  Anyway, it's closed sandwiches at work and open ones at home.

I guess I should have thought of that. :smile:

And at home, rarely white bread.
The bread, now there's something... I don't quite understand the appeal of some of the dark, dense, dry bread that Morten likes. But he will eat any bread, and loves bread with dinner. Before he came to live with us, we hardly ever ate bread with dinner, and then we developed the habit.
Susan, Christmas celebrations are wonderful in that part of the world -- I can hardly wait for my first cup of mulled wine at the Weinachtsmarkt. Let us know how you enjoy it!
I certainly will. We have heard so much about their Christmas and New Year celebrations and they are so rich with with tradition. Actually, that is why we picked this time time of year to go. (I'm trying to stop worrying about freezing to death.)
Edited by Susan in FL (log)

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm enjoying your blog, Anna! I think I'm craving a Frikadeller sandwich.

Anna, pics are beautiful. It's so good to see I'm not the only eG'er with a kitchen comfortably packed. :laugh:

Fettucini with EVOO, anchovies, garlic, red pepper, and Parmigiano was the first meal my now-husband ever cooked for me. He still does that one by request when I want a night off. :wink:

And please, what is your special recipe for the Danish meatballs -- including ritual of course.


Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anna is blogging!! yeah!!

Don't worry about your kitchen size, you still have three times the counter space I do.... :blink:

I do know - having following you on egullet for so long. And it's not just the space you don't have but the access to ingredients that we in North America take so much for granted. I guess I must sound as if I am complaining about my kitchen but I am not really - it's a dream compared to what I had to deal with for the past 20 years. Sometimes I really do have to pinch myself to make sure I am awake and that it is all real.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
    • By Gunnsr42
      Hello foodies. Tell us what work of art you're cooking for your meals these days. 
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.