Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

eG Foodblog: Megan Blocker - Food and the City


Megan Blocker
 Share

Recommended Posts

Starwich! And beam me out to Java Girl, please. That looks incredibly inviting.

I eat fridge-cleaning salad too, and it's one of my favorites. Although in cold weather I usually make fridge-cleaning soup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't buy anything from this section, but thought you all would get a kick out of it.  It's a whole cooler chock full of pre-prepped fresh veggies.  I mean, how lazy do you have to be not to chop up a red onion? :wacko: I've never understood this kind of convenience food, probably because I find slicing and dicing so theraputic.

gallery_28660_2588_1481.jpg

I'm with you on the sentiment, and I also understand your astonishment at running across a whole bunch o' ready-cut veggies. (For the same reason, I get annoyed at the fact that when traveling, I find it impossible to rent a car with a manual transmission.)

But may I hazard an excuse for, if not a defense of, the phenomenon by offering myself as an example?

It used to be that I had a relatively short commute: I could leave my Center City apartment at 8:30 and be at work by 9; on the return trip, I could walk through the front door of my apartment at 5:25. This left me with plenty of time to do all the preparations for a decent cooked-from-scratch meal and have it on the table by 7 or 7:30, depending on the dish.

I am no longer so lucky. My 8:30 am departure has been moved up an hour to 7:30. On the return trip, if I make my connections, I can be at home around 6:15; miss one, though, and I'm looking at 6:45 or even 7 instead. (I could give you a whole sidebar on the spatial arrangement of the modern metropolis that makes this so much more common, but I promised myself I would refrain from channeling PLANetizen to this board.) If I have a resume client or something similar to deal with upon arrival, or if I don't remember to plan some things before leaving for work, we are now talking dinner at 9. Most folks I know would rather not eat a big meal that late.

So what do you do? Figure out ways to shave the time spent cooking--or dispense with it altogether, as a number of (sometimes artificially) busy people now do. Hence the popularity of "home meal replacements" or whatever that industry term is, the explanation why Hamburger Helper is suddenly too time-consuming--and the reason that even the really good produce stands are now selling cut-up veggies in shrink-wrapped packages.

As for your poll: Starwich, of course. That conversation has whetted my appetite, and since I'm not going to be in New York any time soon, I'm going to have to experience this place vicariously through you. Sorry to burden you like this.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't buy anything from this section, but thought you all would get a kick out of it.  It's a whole cooler chock full of pre-prepped fresh veggies.  I mean, how lazy do you have to be not to chop up a red onion? :wacko: I've never understood this kind of convenience food, probably because I find slicing and dicing so theraputic.

gallery_28660_2588_1481.jpg

I'm with you on the sentiment, and I also understand your astonishment at running across a whole bunch o' ready-cut veggies.

BTW, there is a certain portion of the population who, because of disability or illness, simply don't have the strength or dexterity or sense of balance to chop their own stuff, and for them, this stuff is a god-send. For me, I too find chopping therapeutic!

Another vote for Starwich. Are you thinking off the menu or creat-your-own?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't buy anything from this section, but thought you all would get a kick out of it.  It's a whole cooler chock full of pre-prepped fresh veggies.  I mean, how lazy do you have to be not to chop up a red onion? :wacko: I've never understood this kind of convenience food, probably because I find slicing and dicing so theraputic.

gallery_28660_2588_1481.jpg

I'm with you on the sentiment, and I also understand your astonishment at running across a whole bunch o' ready-cut veggies.

BTW, there is a certain portion of the population who, because of disability or illness, simply don't have the strength or dexterity or sense of balance to chop their own stuff, and for them, this stuff is a god-send. For me, I too find chopping therapeutic!

Another vote for Starwich. Are you thinking off the menu or creat-your-own?

That's a good point, Susan, and one I hadn't thought of. I also get Sandy's point about time being a factor - but I still find pre-chopped onions odd. Even carrot and celery sticks I can get behind, pre-shredded coleslaw, okay. Pre-cut onions? It just strikes me as so odd! :laugh: At least, for people who are lucky enough to be able to chop their own onions.

Sounds like Starwich is the clear winner...not sure yet on whether I'll do make my own or not. So far I've done one of each (had the pomegranate-juniper chicken sandwich and made my own BLT)...I may have to go for one of the "Signature" items!!!

For those of you not familiar, here are some Starwich links!!!

- Starwich's website

- eG Spotlight Conversation with Spiro Baltas (Starwich's CEO)

- eG Starwich thread

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow great blog Megan!

I go away for a week and all sorts of exciting things happen. I am surprised you made it out of pegu with only 2 drinks!

:rolleyes:

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan - thanks for this blog! One of my very best friends lives right near you on 76th and York. You're bringing back very fond memories of visiting his studio apartment and hanging out in the city. You can't even turn around in his kitchen - you're very lucky indeed.

He always refers to 2nd ave as his restaurant heaven - do you feel the same? I've eaten with him and have to admit the choices are endless. (But Tasty Delite always wins :wink: )

Edited by gini (log)
Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow great blog Megan! 

I go away for a week and all sorts of exciting things happen.  I am surprised you made it out of pegu with only 2 drinks!

:rolleyes:

Yes, I've discovered that the trick is to go into Pegu with only an hour or two left before your dinner reservation...it's the only way to make it out alive. :laugh:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

You are the WOMAN!!  Wow, hungover and you hit the ground running.

Cheers :biggrin:

Who said she was hungover? She may have taken this. :raz:

No way, Doc - I'm telling you, Diet Coke - it's a girl's best friend. Sometimes I like it even more than diamonds.

Very rarely, but sometimes. :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went a few blocks uptown to do my laundry, and once everything was in the machines and safely on its way to the spin cycle, I took a quick walk to get some coffee.  On my way to the shop where I like to buy my coffee on laundry day, I passed this landmark of New York's literary culture, though its culinary status is not quite as revered.

It's worth noting to the many out-of-towners reading your blog that most New Yorkers do not have washer/dryers in their apartments or laundry rooms in their apartment buildings and must walk to the nearest laundromat ... just like they walk to the supermarket. Thus, shopping carts like this are a common sight along the streets of New York. Do you use one?

Edited to add: that's why you guys manage to stay so thin even though you all eat so much!

Edited by Beanie (log)

Ilene

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went a few blocks uptown to do my laundry, and once everything was in the machines and safely on its way to the spin cycle, I took a quick walk to get some coffee.  On my way to the shop where I like to buy my coffee on laundry day, I passed this landmark of New York's literary culture, though its culinary status is not quite as revered.

It's worth noting to the many out-of-towners reading your blog that most New Yorkers do not have washer/dryers in their apartments or laundry rooms in their apartment buildings and must walk to the nearest laundromat ... just like they walk to the supermarket. Thus, shopping carts like this are a common sight along the streets of New York. Do you use one?

Hey, Beanie!

Yes. I have an old-lady cart, as I call it...however, I only use it for laundry, and not for shopping. It looks like this one, though I got mine for about half that price. For shopping, if I have a big load, I prefer to have it delivered. But, for laundry, alas, it's always a big load. :laugh:

There was a time (in my first NYC apartment) when I had laundry in the basement. Sigh. I miss that time, though I love my apartment now, especially the part about not having a roommate. I've decided that roommates are just a recipe for trouble, as well as for dirty dishes in the sink that I didn't put there. :laugh:

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

You are the WOMAN!!  Wow, hungover and you hit the ground running.

Cheers :biggrin:

Who said she was hungover? She may have taken this. :raz:

No way, Doc - I'm telling you, Diet Coke - it's a girl's best friend. Sometimes I like it even more than diamonds.

Very rarely, but sometimes. :wink:

Megan,

Have you tried Diet Dr. Pepper.. I dislike soda and I like this stuff..If you are a big soda person, this is worth a try..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intriguing...I have a feeling I'm going to learn something new about my own environs... :smile:

edit: Thanks for a wonderful blog, Megan and for sharing your week off with us. As a visitor to NY, I'm often near the UES while visiting the Met so I've enjoyed getting some additional tips about the neighborhood.

Regarding a nice place for sweets, have you had a chance to visit Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallerie? It's nearly the spitting image of a real Viennese coffeehouse and serves wonderful Austrian pastries in addition to non-sweet meals.

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

once again, thanks for a great blog! looking forward to your last couple of meals. sometimes i get so stuck in the pastry and baking forum i forget that there's a whole world of eGullet out there :blink: (a real world too?!)

when you posted the photo of the coffee cart what came to mind for me is the obviously acquired taste (or an unhealful activity) for "baconeggandcheeseonaroll" from your local bodega. why they don't sell this in other states, i'll never know. it is such a treat on a lazy weekend morning...that and a tooth-aching "light and sweet" all for the bargain price of $2.50!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edited to add: that's why you guys manage to stay so thin even though you all eat so much!

Yup.... people in cities are generally in better health than those in the 'burbs, despite the pollution.... because we walk briskly everywhere instead of taking the minivan.

Megan, thanks so much for a wonderful blog and a terrific glimpse of New York. I've thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I really wish it wasn't over tomorrow. :smile:

A trip to NYC would definitely be in order, if I wasn't trying to save a loft downpayment. :hmmm: Maybe next year after that's all done.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intriguing...I have a feeling I'm going to learn something new about my own environs... :smile:

edit: Thanks for a wonderful blog, Megan and for sharing your week off with us.  As a visitor to NY, I'm often near the UES while visiting the Met so I've enjoyed getting some additional tips about the neighborhood. 

Regarding a nice place for sweets, have you had a chance to visit Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Gallerie?  It's nearly the spitting image of a real Viennese coffeehouse and serves wonderful Austrian pastries in addition to non-sweet meals.

Thanks, ludja!

Yes, Cafe Sabarsky is wonderful...I actually thought about meeting my mom there for lunch on the first morning of the blog, but I felt so icky that I just wanted to go somewhere basic. Plus, it's a waste to go there when you can't have coffee! :laugh:

once again, thanks for a great blog! looking forward to your last couple of meals. sometimes i get so stuck in the pastry and baking forum i forget that there's a whole world of eGullet out there  (a real world too?!)

:laugh: Yes, we can all get cocooned into our little eG cliques and worlds...just like the tables in the high school cafeteria!

I did bring my camera to work to take pictures of my day-to-day adventures (mundanity, more like :wink:), but I can't edit them till I get home tonight, so I'll be delivering a full report then.

I really do hope that the blog as it is so far will convince people to make a trip to NYC...it doesn't have to be a ridiculously expensive venture, and there's so much more to our city than the traditionally touristy stuff.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

once again, thanks for a great blog!  looking forward to your last couple of meals.  sometimes i get so stuck in the pastry and baking forum i forget that there's a whole world of eGullet out there  :blink:  (a real world too?!)

when you posted the photo of the coffee cart what came to mind for me is the obviously acquired taste (or an unhealful activity) for "baconeggandcheeseonaroll" from your local bodega.  why they don't sell this in other states, i'll never know.  it is such a treat on a lazy weekend morning...that and a tooth-aching "light and sweet"  all for the bargain price of $2.50!

ooohhhhh - bacon, egg and cheese on a roll. one of my all time favorite things to eat. it's also great with salami instead of bacon.

megan - want an unhealthy breakfast tomorrow???

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

once again, thanks for a great blog!  looking forward to your last couple of meals.  sometimes i get so stuck in the pastry and baking forum i forget that there's a whole world of eGullet out there  :blink:  (a real world too?!)

when you posted the photo of the coffee cart what came to mind for me is the obviously acquired taste (or an unhealful activity) for "baconeggandcheeseonaroll" from your local bodega.  why they don't sell this in other states, i'll never know.  it is such a treat on a lazy weekend morning...that and a tooth-aching "light and sweet"  all for the bargain price of $2.50!

ooohhhhh - bacon, egg and cheese on a roll. one of my all time favorite things to eat. it's also great with salami instead of bacon.

megan - want an unhealthy breakfast tomorrow???

You people are EVIL!!!! :laugh:

If I have to take one for the team...:wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there always a ridiculous line outside of Cafe Sabarsky/the Neue Gallerie, or are there times when you can just walk in? mascarpone and I thought of going there at around 4:30 on President's Day after a trip to the Met, and the line was around the block, so we walked over to Two Little Red Hens instead. Great sweets, but not the type of coffee he wanted.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there always a ridiculous line outside of Cafe Sabarsky/the Neue Gallerie, or are there times when you can just walk in? mascarpone and I thought of going there at around 4:30 on President's Day after a trip to the Met, and the line was around the block, so we walked over to Two Little Red Hens instead. Great sweets, but not the type of coffee he wanted.

That's stinky, Pan! :angry:

Since it's so close to the museum, late afternoons are awful, especially on weekends and holidays.

The best time, I think, is breakfast. Weekday afternoons are probably ok, too, though I've never had the chance to try!

Here's a link to their website, for those who are interested.

Edited by Megan Blocker (log)

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Megan,

Missed you this weekend. We were up in NY this weekend, and I kept thinking, "I wonder what Megan is doing now?"

Thanks for going to Kitchen Arts & Letters. Your pics now proved what I always knew...that it's a very dangerous place for me to go. If I can't go through a B&N or amazon.com without buying a cookbook, there's no way I'll make it out of there alive.

The hardest part about New York is looking around at the people who have enough money not to worry about anything, who can take cabs everywhere, eat wherever they like at any time, etc.  I cure my jealousy by making my home as inviting as possible, so that I don't mind spending time there :wink:, and by reminding myself that I'm only 26 - I'm not supposed to be spending money like a 40-year-old, because there's no reason I should be making the same kind of money.

I find that you’re being very sensible. There’s no need to be jealous about the people who seem like they don’t worry about money. They’re the ones who are probably overextended on their credit cards. My dad used to say that he had money because he was cheap. And remember--Mayor Bloomberg takes the subway to work every morning, and he certainly doesn’t have to worry about money.

That dinner at Babbo looked so amazing, as does the dinner at Chez Megan.

Cute feet are one of the few good things about being 5'3". :laugh:   That and not having to duck under low-hanging branches.

Ok. Although GF's DL says she's 5'3", but I think 5'0.75" is probably more like it? :unsure:

SB (knows from personal experience that another presumed advantage of petite women, that they don't eat as much, is patently false, especially when it comes to chocolate!) :wink:

I’m 5’0” and I constantly delude myself into thinking that I’m taller by ducking under low-hanging branches. :laugh: Srhcb, whoever said petite women don’t eat as much has never met the likes of me.

Ooh, and for the petless New Yorker, you can always visit a dog park. I used to spend part of my lunch hour oohing the puppies at the nearby dog park.

I love Chelsea Market too, but you missed my favorite spot there - The Lobster Place has excellent seafood and is super for getting fresh-shucked clams and oysters to snack on while shopping.

They have great lobster rolls at The Lobster Place. There’s also a wonderful gelato stand right behind Bowery Kitchenware. IMHO, their pompelmo rosso (pink grapefruit) gelato is the best I’ve had since Rome.

I grabbed a cup of coffee at Martha Frances Mississippi Cheesecake, which is just a few storefronts north of Elaine's.  When I lived in this block, I used to come here some weeknights to read a book over a cup of decaf and a slice of cheesecake...these days, I visit only on laundry days.

I didn’t realize Martha Frances Mississippi Cheesecake had a storefront there. Her stand is one of the very few that make the ubiquitous street fairs worthwhile.

But this is a great blog. Thanks for sharing your New York. I don’t usually frequent the UES unless I’m going to one of the museums, so you’re giving me a reason to visit that neck of the woods more often.

Another vote for Starwich. Or even a lunch cart.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning I woke up a bit later than intended...not till about 8:45 or so. I then leapt out of bed and turned on my work laptop (blech) and did some emailing and damage control on that end. Then I realized that today is the day I get to have COFFEE!!!! I threw on my overcoat, raced down the stairs, and sprinted to DTUT, a coffee bar on 2nd Avenue between 84th and 85th Streets. DTUT serves coffee all day and late into the night, and also serves wine and beer after five...a very popular spot for first dates, since you can get a coffee OR an alcoholic beverage. It's full of broken-in couches and armchairs...it has a sort of Central Perk-ish vibe.

Here's the outside, a view of the counter (blocked by a plant, sorry) from just inside the front door, and quick look at one of the seating areas.

gallery_28660_2588_29955.jpg

gallery_28660_2588_4292.jpg

gallery_28660_2588_17133.jpg

Hi Megan,

I've been reading your blog all week and I wanted to tell you how much I've enjoyed it before it ends! Thanks so much for showing us all a slice of New York--I can't think of a better way to experience the city than through the eyes of a foodie. :biggrin:

Apropos the above photos, DTUT looks very much like the coffee shop in "You've Got Mail," a movie I love only because of the beautiful shots of New York. Would you happen to know if this is indeed the coffee shop from the movie?

Again, thanks so much for sharing your food experiences.

Eilen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Duvel
      In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …
       
      OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …
       
      After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 
       

       


      I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
       

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
       
       
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
       
       
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
       
       
       
       
    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...