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eG Foodblog: torakris/snowangel - When Pocky meets pad thai....

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I was thinking next time I would add the cilantro at the end, I didn't care for the dark color it turned and actually got very little cilantro taste.

If I were doing this soup again, I would mash up some cilantro roots and add it to the soup, but not add the cilantro, as you suggested, until the end. I would take my new handy-dandy braun immersion blender and blend the soup slightly, reheat (if necessary) and then add the cilantro. It didn't say anything about chopping the cilantro, and once I added it, I fished out what I could and chopped it slightly. Some of my leaves were huge. (I ended up adding 3 generous tablespoons of nam pla, but then again, I really like it.)

It's hard to read recipes when one is doing laundry, helping with homework, etc.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Kristin, naive question here, but what is the difference between onigiri and mochi? I looked further in Wikipedia and saw that whereas onigiri is a rice ball, mochi is a rice cake, but of course there are different meanings of "rice cake" in different places. Are both made from glutinous rice?

onigiri are gently shaped balls of rice either salted or with some type of savory addition.They ar e not made with glutinous rice.

mochi are pounded rice cakes (almost smooth) can be be eaten either as a sweet dish or as a savory one. These are often made with glutinous rice.


<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>

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for those wanting to learn more

the onigiri thread

the mochi thread


<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>

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Kris, I'm handing it over to you for the night. In six short hours, I must be up (but I'll admit that Heidi and I do take a 1 hour nap every afternoon when she gets home from school).

See you tomorrow!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Fresh turmeric is good to use to make Malaysian dishes. Use that mortar and pestle to make a Malaysian rempah (spicy paste) of turmeric, shallots, belacan (shrimp paste), garlic, fresh ginger, and hot peppers. I think our Malaysian members will have some recipes for you. There are also threads in the India forum about uses for fresh turmeric.

Elaborate, please on uses for this paste (or direct me to a topic...). Would the Malaysian shrimp paste be similar to Thai shrimp paste which lists "shimp, fish and salt" as ingredients? It comes in a small hard plastic jar with a screw on lid. The paste-on nutrition label says that 1 tsp provides 72% of the DRA of sodium!

I don't believe belacan contains any fish, but it is black, very salty, and very smelly. But it's a good ingredient, in moderation. One really common Malaysian dish is [put in name of food here] Belacan -- Kangkung Belacan, for example, is water spinach fried up with belacan and bird's eye chilis.

In terms of the uses of the paste I describe above, it is an all-purpose Malaysian curry paste. Add coconut milk, water, and the item(s) you want to curry, and boil until you achieve a stew-like consistency. At least, that's how I believe I remember women making curries in Terengganu homes. Oftentimes, fresh tamarind (called asam gelugor) was added for its acidity and unique taste. I don't think I've ever tried to make a Malaysian curry myself, though, so I've started a thread about Malaysian curries. I will say this, though: If you've made Massaman Curry, you already know a lot about the process of making Malaysian curries. To my tastes, Massaman Curry is a good Thai version of a Malay curry (or of a Malay version of an Indian curry).


Edited by Pan (log)

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The first floor of the Carrefour supermarket has a food court, the kids begged to stop there for lunch. They choose KFC.

Hide had a nugget set, Julia had a drunstick set, Mia had a fish burger set and I picked the BBQ twister. The place was packed so the kids suggested eating in the car.

My lunch (with fries and an iced tea)

gallery_6134_1857_4877.jpg

You can't see it in the picture, but inside was he sandwich was a slice of bacon and a couple green beans, I am not sure why the green beans were there, it was an odd addition but the bacon was great!

The kids

gallery_6134_1857_27801.jpg


<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>

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and back at the store...

I picked up some stuff for dinner

gallery_6134_1857_21672.jpg

3 kinds of mushrooms (I am making a mushroom ragu from Mario's newest book), a loaf of olive bread and a wedge of brie and of course eggs for the pasta.


<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>

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and some miscellaneous items....

gallery_6134_1857_8560.jpg

two snack foods: Mcvities mango pudding flavored cookies and some chesnut flavored cookies

couscous, half a Chinese cabbage, chocolate mints (for a chocolate mint mouse), instant miso soup (for my husband's lunches), fresh panko bread brumbs and Chinese fermented black beans (so I can make hzrt8w's black bean and lemon grass chicken :biggrin: )


<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>

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I ran across some new products I had never seen before but since they were sort of keeping in touch with our South East Asian theme I decided to get them.

gallery_6134_1857_10416.jpg

the top three snacks are all from Frito Lay and it is a series called Gourmet Tour Vietnam, from the left:

a corn snack that is flavored like fresh spring rolls, a tortilla snack flavored like a beef and red chile stirfry, and popcorn that is flavored like pho

These were all sale priced at 88 yen (about $.75)

we are eating the beef and chile stirfry flavored tortilla chips and they aren't half bad.

On the bottom wrapped in 3 protective layers is a chunk of durian, had durian at a Thai festival here in Tokyo 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. Carrefour has often sold a whole durian but this was the first time I saw a cut one so I decided to get it. :biggrin:

Has anyone else ever eaten a durian in one of the food blogs before? :raz:


<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>

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For Susan and anyone else interested in what to do with fresh turmeric, I've done some more searching.

Here's a thread you may find useful:

Fresh Turmeric, help!!! :biggrin:

Some more threads:

Turmeric Talk

Fresh Turmeric/Mango Turmeric, Recipes and sources

Also, I should correct something: I do not believe Malaysian curries always or even usually include belacan, though many other types of dishes do. You might get some little dried shrimps in a curry, though.


Edited by Pan (log)

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(Kristin takes a beep breathe....)

It is time to get started on the pasta,

wish me luck. :biggrin:


<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>

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For anyone who missed my first attempt at fresh pasta, he is what I wrote about it:

Things honestly clould not have been worse in my kitchen yesterday.

It started off with two, not one, but two trips to the grocery store to buy eggs and flour. I actually wrote a note with just eggs and flour on it and took it with me. Then I came home with eggs and a of other things. So back to the store for flour.

I then started off by sauteeing the zucchini mixture, which went well. Then on to the cheese. I was making a very simple ricotta (from scratch) but I could not get the curds and whey to separate, I tried adding double the amount of citric acid, then I said what the heck and decided to squeeze lemon juice into it. The lemon half popped out of my hand and landed in the pot of very hot milk splashing all over me, and it still didn't curdle! Then I pulled out my rice vinegar and added a splash of that and I still never got what I was hoping for but I did get a cheese like product that was not bad but quite acidic.

Time to turn to the pasta, I have never made pasta by hand before.

I created a large pile of flour made a well and added the eggs, it was beautiful at this point. I took a fork and gently stirred the eggs and started to slowly incorporate the flour. All good so far, then the dam broke! the eggs escaped out a hole they dug in the back of the pile and took off. If it wasn't for the warped cutting board I was using I would have lost them all over the counter. (I warped my nice wooden cutting board a couple months ago when I decided to use it as a lid on a pan I was simmering. )

I finally got the dough together and kneaded it for the full 10 minutes, I then set it aside (wrapped) to rest. In the meantime I pulled out the pasta machine to read the directions since I have never used it before. It is a handcranked Imperia brand that I bought through Amazon last year. To start with there were no directions on how to set it up, go ahead and laugh but it actually took 30 minutes to figure out how to do it... It can't clamp on to either my kitchen counter nor my dining room table because of their sizes. So I tried clamping it on to my sons chair but that was an awkward position to work in and the pasta had no where to go but the floor. I did finally manage to get it clamped onto my table but not really securely...

When I unwrapped the dough, it was quite sticky. Mario says to go very easy on the flour so that is what I did, but it stuck to everything, the cutting board, the table, the machine, my hands, itself, etc. I tried using more flour but it still stuck and then the book said that when the dough comes out (on the largest settings) to fold it in half and feed it through again but for some reason the piece would end up being wider than the machine.

Suddenly I noticed little silver specks inside my dough, upon closing inspection it turns out my machine is peeling! and it was flaking into my dough!! I trudge on and it seems to be be coming together for two feeds or so then it gets messed up. Now I am noticing little red smears on my dough, it took a couple minutes of inspecting the table and everything in the vicinity before I realize at some point I sliced my thumb and was actually bleeding quite a bit.... oh, well it will just be colorful pasta.

I get two semi decent sheets out of the fist batch and the door bell rings. It is some woman selling wind chimes!! She goes on into a 10 minute speech about the significance of each of the animals on them and the special materials they are made of, then the next 5 minutes in commenting on how cute the kids are and asking various questions about life in Japan. I finally said no thank you and she left..

back to the pasta my two strips are slightly dried out now but I decided to run them through one last time.Tthen I cried for the first time:

I went back to the books and started reading to see what was going on. It was then that I noticed in the recipe he has for the pansotti is a little different then the general fresh pasta rolling and cutting explanation he has. It says to just put it through the second to last setting once and then cut it into 3 inch circles. Well this sounds much easier! It is much harder to crank now and the hand crank piece is now falling out of the machine every three cranks instead of every five... but I get a nice long piece that I probably floured more than I should have and set about cutting circles. I think the pasta was too thin though because as I would pick up the shape it would stretch into a long oval and if any part touched another part they would be instantly stuck together. After 5 tries I said screw it and decided to just turn it into tagliatelle with the attachment. It would take another 10 paragraphs to describe that disaster so I am going to stop now.

Thank god for instant pasta!!

I took the zucchini filling and the oil and walnut sauce and combined it all togther.

the whole process took over three hours and it left a good sized chip in my dining room table....


<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>

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Wishing you much luck, Kristin. Hopefully things will go much better this time, with no blodletting required. :wacko:


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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I do have a crazy question for you. Larb sounds so good to me, and per Kristin's link, I did a bit of browsing through the famous 20 page thread. However, horror of horrors, I am allergic to fish sauce! Actually I'm allergic to all fish, except shellfish. I love the flavor combinations of both Thai and Vietnamese food, but there's almost nothing I can eat in its pure form. In fact, I worry that I'll never be able to travel to Thailand or Vietnam for fear of going into anaphylactic shock. Any suggestions on a substitution? Everything I've read says that there is no way to substitute for fish sauce, but since you are an expert, I thought I'd ask!

(If this is too off topic, feel free to respond via PM, but only when you have time!)

Not sure if this got answered by PM, or if it got lost along the way. Just in case, here goes:

A while back there was a discussion about kosher substitutes for fish sauce which gave a few suggestions without fish.

In addition, a very dear friend of mine is Chinese-Vietnamese and is a devout Buddhist who will not eat anything which necessitated the taking of life. She regularly goes back to Vietnam to visit relatives.

According to her, there is a strong vegetarian Buddhist tradition in Vietnam where fish sauce is NOT used. Some people eat vegetarian food on the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month, others eat vegetarian food at all times. She says that a type of fish sauce substitute is used in Vietnam that, she thinks, is based on fermented pineapple. Even though I quizzed her about the details, she didn't know more than that (she's not a foodie like me). Even the use of pineapple might be inaccurate here. It could well be something else.

At home, she simply uses soy sauce where fish sauce would otherwise be used.

So if you are making Vietnamese food at home without fish sauce, it is not necessarily as inauthentic as you might think.

Theoretically, also, this means that if you were armed with the right vocabulary, eating in Vietnam would not be totally out of the question. However, it's still not something I would stake my life on.

Changing the subject entirely to what Snowangel can do with the pumpkin:

cut into very thin slices and pan fried in butter with sage leaves and a little salt and pepper is absolutely delicious.

I learnt this one years back from Italian neighbours.

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so far so good with the pasta :biggrin:

I went with Edsel's advise in the pasta thread and made it in a bowl

gallery_6134_1857_37659.jpg

Hide helped

gallery_6134_1857_14464.jpg

gallery_6134_1857_26431.jpg

the girls were busy painting their toe nails... :hmmm:

it is now resting (wrapped in saran wrap)

gallery_6134_1857_17455.jpg


<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>

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The mushroom ragu calls for a basic tomato sauce (with onions, garlic, carrots and thyme), I have simmered this and it tastes great, all I have to do is sautee eh mushrooms and another onion while the water comes to a boil. After I make the pasta...

When I went out to get some thyme I thought I would take a picture of my garden. I didn't do anything this summer since I spent 6 weeks in the US but winters here are quite mild so I am trying vegetables that are pretty hardy.

(blurry) picture of broccoli rabe (left) and turnip greens (right) seedlings,these need to be thinned once it stops raining

gallery_6134_1857_51294.jpg

(another blurry) picture in the brown container on the left is Italian parsley, the big bushlike thing in the middle is raspberries and the brown container on the right is a fig tree--this was ignored all summer I am surprised it is still alive, I should bring it inside soon

gallery_6134_1857_53567.jpg

my table where I like to enjoy food when it isn't raining...

gallery_6134_1857_54251.jpg

a sudachi (Japanese citrus) tree with 4 heads of purple cabbage and two plants of stick broccoli

gallery_6134_1857_8545.jpg

I discovered a friend living in my sudachi tree :hmmm:

gallery_6134_1857_10358.jpg

Int he back is my bay leaf tree, in the (hard to see) brown container in the front is rosemary and thyme, the tree in the right of the picture is a kumquat tree

gallery_6134_1857_51416.jpg


<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>

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(Kristin takes a beep breathe....)

It is time to get started on the pasta,

wish me luck. :biggrin:

good luck kristin!!

great blog ladies :biggrin:

i really want to know how the pho flavoured popcorn is :unsure:


"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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kristin,

wow! oh how i envy and love your yard! you have grass and trees - wonderful! i was wondering what month you planted the italian parsley...have you done broccoli rabe before and when will it be ready to eat? your kids keep getting cuter too.


"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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well dinner is over...

It didn't get off to a very good start, the dough was stuck to the wrap and took a bit of struggling to free

gallery_6134_1857_18566.jpg

Hide was helping me and I was keeping it well floured but it really wasn't going very well, it didn't help that Hide kept cranking it backwards. My husband came home just as I startingt he second batch and it starting to go a little smoother.

on the left is the batch with Hide, on the right is the one with my husband

gallery_6134_1857_1673.jpg

Then I made my second mistake, I was worried about the pasta drying out so I covered it with a slightly damp towel. :hmmm: It wasn't until my 4th batch that I realized that this was why it was sticking together and that I actually wanted it to dry a bit....oops :sad:

By the time we finished (I was using the kid's craft table) there was flour everywhere

gallery_6134_1857_35282.jpg

including myself

gallery_6134_1857_10933.jpg

The mushroom ragu from Mario's latest book was wonderful! The finished dish

gallery_6134_1857_7936.jpg

It was good but the pasta was too thin for my liking, I guess I like my pasta with more of a bite. Is it supposed to be this thin?

It was served with the olive bread and brie

gallery_6134_1857_4046.jpg


<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>

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Hide was helping me and I was keeping it well floured but it really wasn't going very well, it didn't help that Hide kept cranking it backwards.

:biggrin::biggrin: now that would be a problem for even the most experienced pasta-maker I'm sure!

By the time we finished (I was using the kid's craft table) there was flour everywhere

including myself

Yes, that's what pasta making does to you. I usually have the vacuumcleaner stand-by

It was good but the pasta was too thin for my liking, I guess I like my pasta with more of a bite. Is it supposed to be this thin?

it looks very good! as for the thin-ness.. did you roll it out to the thinnest setting.. you could always leave it thicker..

I'm so glad this turned out to be a more succesful project than last time (without blood and tears)

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I always use part coarse ground semolina flour when making pasta.

It continues to absorb moisture while the dough rests, so it's a better texture for running through the machine. It also gives the finished product a nice "bite".

Semolina is the milled endosperm of Duram wheat. It's very high in protein (gluten) and makes a great thickener. It can even be prepared as a hot cereal or cooked like polenta.

SB :wink:

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Good morning to some of you, good evening to others of you.

The sun is just now coming up here in Minnesota, and I'm already on my second cup of coffee. Diana is at school, Heidi leaves in a few minutes and Peter in about 45 minutes.

Kris, impressive job with the pasta! Looks wonderful. How long did this take you? How long should I allow from start to finish.

And, I will wear shorts so I can just dust off my legs! Good plan to go barefoot, too.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Last time I made pasta at home I hung it over the back of a chair...and turned round to find that the cat had batted it off onto the floor where he was "hunting" it. :angry: .

The finished dish looks good! I can practically smell all those mushrooms.

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You're both doing such a great job!

I was thinking next time I would add the cilantro at the end, I didn't care for the dark color it turned and actually got very little cilantro taste.

If I were doing this soup again, I would mash up some cilantro roots and add it to the soup, but not add the cilantro, as you suggested, until the end.

Yep -- this is a dish where those cilantro roots come in very handy.

The kids

gallery_6134_1857_27801.jpg

This picture reminds me of the (possibly apocryphal) story about Toyota receiving lots of complaints from US owners in the late 1970s concerning their seat position controls. Apparently the engineers in Japan spent months trying to figure out what the problem was, and finally sent a team to the US to do field research. Turns out that the slobby Americans were dropping french fries into the gears, which then ground them into paste, gumming up the works. The engineers put a guard over the gears: problem solved!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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      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).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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