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therese

eG Foodblog: therese - Hey, wanna play a game?

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Welcome to my second foodblog here at eGullet. The first one was entitled So, you want to remodel your kitchen? and described the results of a recently completed (at that time) renovation of our kitchen. I also showed you some of the weirder stuff that lives in my kitchen (like basil seed and mastic) and invited you to guess its provenance and purpose.

This time I'm going to continue in that vein, and ask you questions that are food-related, but not necessarily about items in my kitchen. The first question's already been posed, in the eG Foodblogs: Coming Attractions thread.

Here it is again, just in case you didn't see it:

gallery_11280_609_1105717246.jpg

The questions accompanying this image are "What is it? And what has it got to do with food?"

The question's already been answered by azureus:

Is it a cross-section of bone marrow?

April

So, brava to azureus/April, and more about the image.

Not technically a cross section (which implies that one has taken a section, or slice, at a particular angle relative to the long axis of the critter or organ in question, and bone marrow doesn't have much of an axis of any sort) but rather a very, very thin slice of bone marrow that's been fixed (so that it won't decompose), decalcified (so that the bone is soft enough to be sliced with a microtome) and impregnated with paraffin (so that the marrow itself will be firm enough to slice in this manner). The tissue slices thus obtained are so thin and flimsy that they are generally handled by floating them on the surface of a water bath, from which they can be scooped up onto a a glass slide, where they will stick. The paraffin is then washed away with solvents, and the remaining tissue is stained with chemical dyes so that you can distinguish the different sorts of cells and their components. There are lots of different sorts of cells in bone marrow, and some of the most important are stem cells (which can't be identified using only a microscope, unfortunately), the cells that are the primitive starter cells for lots of different tissues in our body, and that's why I'm using this image as the "beginning" of this blog.

In order to see it in this much detail you have to use a microscope, of course, and so the camera has to be mounted on the scope as well. The term for this sort of picture is a photomicrograph, and I'll be showing a number photomicrographs in the course of the blog.

And what it has to do with food is that it's delicious roasted and spread on toast. :wink: What exactly makes it delicious roasted and spread on toast is pictured above: the "holes" in the photo, which aren't actually holes at all, but adipocytes, or fat cells. Each hole represents a single cell, stuffed with fat, and so bone marrow is not only fatty (so like butter) but very soft, as there's very little connective tissue (apart from bone, seen in this image as the large pink ribbon in the left of this image) to get in the way of your enjoying it.

Time for me to go get breakfast. While I'm away feel free to pose additional questions about this image.


Edited by therese (log)

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Today is Sunday of Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., so I've got a holiday tomorrow (though I really should go to work, and we'll see whether I do or not). It's considered by most to be the beginning of summer: swimming pools open (ours opened last weekend, but the official opening is this weekend), you're permitted to wear white dress shoes without reproving looks from your elders, and school is either over, or nearly over.

The school calendar in many parts of the U.S. is historically linked to our agrarian pasts, when children were expected to participate in growing and harvesting the food they'd eat the rest of the year. As a result the school year in the south starts and ends earlier so as to accomodate the earlier growing season. My children's last day of school was Friday, and they'll start back in early August.

Their summer activities are a mix of various camps, generally lasting from one to three weeks, with interspersed weeks of nothing much. So my shopping habits vary from week to week, depending on who is in town, who needs to pack a lunch, and who is likely to be entertaining half the neighborhood for lunch.

This next week both children are in town, and without camp commitments of any sort, so I've already started laying in supplies, as you'll note from my fridge shots:

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Note the presence of sliced cheeses in the tray drawer at the bottom. I rarely buy pre-sliced cheese, as I rarely make sandwiches, but they're easy for the children to use and also serve as portion control. Not only is each portion pre-measured, but because the cheese is not fantastically tasty they are unlikely to motor through too much of it at one time. They can motor through an Epoisses in less time than it takes me to upload an image to eGullet.

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Note the three gallons of milk in the fridge door. My son turns 16 this summer, and he only drinks milk and water. We encourage the consumption of water whenever possible, as otherwise we might just want to buy a cow.

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The early season here means that we're already seeing one of my very favorite things in the world:

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These are, in fact, Georgia peaches. I got some last weekend and even though they were hard enough to drive nails with at the time they ripened up nicely. I bought these yesterday, at one of my very favorite places in the world, Your Dekalb Farmers Market. There are a couple of threads on eG about it, here and here. The official web site for the market is under construction (and was never worth much, so maybe that's changing) and photographs are not permitted inside, so it's difficult to convey just how great it is, but you can take my word for it, it's fabulous.

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I need to go get ready for my first meal of the day, and so I'll leave you with a question.

What famous restaurant are my children running towards in this photo? That's my daughter on the left, identifiable by her bright orange fleece.

gallery_11280_2975_153125.jpg


Edited by therese (log)

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hey Therese! i'm thrilled to be reading your foodblog!

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Welcome Therese!

You've started by immediately getting me hungry for some bone marrow. Perhaps you would be able to tell us if it's "good for us" in any way. I've always imagined (rationalized) that being it's bone, it must be a good source of calcium, and that I should eat a lot of it because I have osteoporosis. :biggrin:

I also like it that you began with the always much anticipated fridge shots. I'm sure that will please a lot of the eG foodblog fans.

As for the famous restaurant, I guess we can rule out McDonalds, huh?

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I need to go get ready for my first meal of the day, and so I'll leave you with a question.

What famous restaurant are my children running towards in this photo? That's my daughter on the left, identifiable by her bright orange fleece.

gallery_11280_2975_153125.jpg

Is it in Paris?

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I, like Patti, thought that the photo was from one of the side walking lanes on the Avenue des Champs d'Elysées ... the manicured trees and the pavement look quite familiar to me as well ... and Therese is well versed in French dining ...

As to Therese and her blog: this one will, as anyone familiar with her writing knows, be brilliant! Along with her commentary and photography, one can expect surprises and pleasure at every turn! The Georgia peach, as we Atlantans know, is one of our precious local gifts ... summer is always joyous when the juice drips down one's chin ...

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I need to go get ready for my first meal of the day, and so I'll leave you with a question.

What famous restaurant are my children running towards in this photo? That's my daughter on the left, identifiable by her bright orange fleece.

Looks like the Jardin du Palais-Royal - so is it Le Grand Véfour?

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I need to go get ready for my first meal of the day, and so I'll leave you with a question.

What famous restaurant are my children running towards in this photo? That's my daughter on the left, identifiable by her bright orange fleece.

Looks like the Jardin du Palais-Royal - so is it Le Grand Véfour?

That was my guess (which I didn't post), but I must confess that I only thought it might be Paris because of the most recent episode of the Sopranos. In a dream sequence, Carmela left a restaurant and the place she was walking (and saw the late Adrianna) looks just like Therese's photo. Then I did a few searches to find out what restaurant it might be, and came up with Le Grand Véfour, which borders Palais Royal. Still don't know if we're right, though.

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Hey, therese! Isn't that the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina?

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Welcome Therese!

You've started by immediately getting me hungry for some bone marrow.  Perhaps you would be able to tell us if it's "good for us" in any way.  I've always imagined (rationalized) that being it's bone, it must be a good source of calcium, and that I should eat a lot of it because I have osteoporosis.  :biggrin:

Hmm, I don't know how much calcium you get from eating bone marrow, but presumably some. The easier the marrow is to get out of the bone the less dense the trabecular meshwork is, so the less calcium

It should be a good source of iron, assuming the animal in question is not iron-deprived, as iron is stored in the bone marrow (and used to make the hemoglobin that fills red blood cells and colors blood red).

As for the famous restaurant, I guess we can rule out McDonalds, huh?

Yes, we can definitely rule out McDonalds.

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Looks like the Jardin du Palais-Royal - so is it Le Grand Véfour?

Yes, it is Le Grand Vefour, and that is the Jardin du Palais Royal. We stayed in an apartment directly on the garden on a visit to Paris in February. Absolutely great having a park right outside ones window, as the kids could go outside and run off extra energy while I sat inside and sipped tea.

We did not dine at Le Grand Vefour this visit. :wink:

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That was my guess (which I didn't post), but I must confess that I only thought it might be Paris because of the most recent episode of the Sopranos. In a dream sequence, Carmela left a restaurant and the place she was walking (and saw the late Adrianna) looks just like Therese's photo. Then I did a few searches to find out what restaurant it might be, and came up with Le Grand Véfour, which borders Palais Royal. Still don't know if we're right, though.

Yes, you were right, and congrats all around. I figured that somebody would make the Sopranos connection, particularly as there's a thread about it here on eGullet.

So, part two of this question: what vegetable mentioned during that meal is also named earlier in the same episode of the Sopranos?


Edited by therese (log)

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While I'm waiting for some images to load I'll list some of the other things that you can see in my fridge shot.

Top shelf, from left:

sesame & miso salad dressing

damsom plum preserves

kashmiri masala paste

tarama

sesame dipping sauce for shabu shabu

blackberry preserves

strawberry & rhubarb preserves

ginger salad dressing

Total yogurt, 0% fat

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Lunch today was at:

gallery_11280_2975_372165.jpg

Despite the name, it's actually a popular place for dim sum. It was closed for a while for renovations, and recently re-opened. We got there soon after it opened, at 11:00, and were seated immediately. By the time we left there was a crowd of people waiting at the door.

I like the change to the interior, as it was previously, um, pink. Pink and gilt. It felt like you were eating in a boudoir. The new version feels more like a place where a person should be eating something other than bonbons.

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There's also a cool display case of dried this and that:

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It was closed for a while for renovations, and recently re-opened.
This has been a revelation, Therese, that Oriental Pearl has reopened here in Chamblee, Georgia .. this had been my favorite dim sum place for ages and I thought I had read about it being closed permanently (much to my dismay).

Is this true as of today?

Today upon our visit, we were surprised at the change in service. The Oriental Pearl is now a Chinese buffet carrying Chinese dishes, sushi, and dim sum on the bars. Food is plentiful and the cost is $9.95 per person, but the charm of rolling dim sum is gone, and the quality and choice doesn't seem quite as high. We visited at 12:00 on Sunday and usually, the place would have been packed. Today, the restaurant was half full. There was an abundance of food and staff, but the unique atmosphere was gone.
source for this info

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Hi, Therese.

Funny, I just came back from a supermarket where my eighth (sixth? top 10 at any rate) favorite thing to eat was on sale, though here, the Georgia peaches are not only hard, but teeny with a lovely green encircling the stem. I am holding out for the wonderful ones that come to us before our local peaches are ripe, though I imagine the shipped fruit cannot compare to the stuff that does not cross state lines. (How many other states place produce in between numbers and digits on their license plates? Iowa? Idaho, maybe?)

I would like to take advantage of your blog to ask a rather indelicate question.

I assume your signature line refers to something one of your children once said, and given their current ages, the related anecdote is probably a source of embarrassment.

However, would you feel comfortable putting that question in context and telling us what it all means?

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(How many other states place produce in between numbers and digits on their license plates? Iowa? Idaho, maybe?)

That's a cool food trivia question, too. Florida has zillions of styles of license plates and one of the less fancy ones has an orange on it.

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(How many other states place produce in between numbers and digits on their license plates? Iowa? Idaho, maybe?)

That's a cool food trivia question, too. Florida has zillions of styles of license plates and one of the less fancy ones has an orange on it.

Crabs on special Chesapeake Bay Trust Maryland tags.

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Those peaches look wonderful. I miss having peach trees... there's nothing like lying under one with peach juice dripping down your chin... The picture of bone marrow was also gorgeous.

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It was closed for a while for renovations, and recently re-opened.
This has been a revelation, Therese, that Oriental Pearl has reopened here in Chamblee, Georgia .. this had been my favorite dim sum place for ages and I thought I had read about it being closed permanently (much to my dismay).

Is this true as of today?

Today upon our visit, we were surprised at the change in service. The Oriental Pearl is now a Chinese buffet carrying Chinese dishes, sushi, and dim sum on the bars. Food is plentiful and the cost is $9.95 per person, but the charm of rolling dim sum is gone, and the quality and choice doesn't seem quite as high. We visited at 12:00 on Sunday and usually, the place would have been packed. Today, the restaurant was half full. There was an abundance of food and staff, but the unique atmosphere was gone.
source for this info

Most definitely not. The dim sum was on carts (lots of them, more detail on that later) and the restaurant was packed to the rafters with a line out the door.

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I would like to take advantage of your blog to ask a rather indelicate question.

I assume your signature line refers to something one of your children once said, and given their current ages, the related anecdote is probably a source of embarrassment. 

However, would you feel comfortable putting that question in context and telling us what it all means?

Heh heh. Nope, nothing to do with either of my children.

But of course there is a story there...

I like to travel, both in the U.S. and abroad, and get to do so on somebody else's nickel with some frequency. It's work, but it's still fun, and when possible I try to tack on a few extra days for fun at either the beginning or the end of the trip. Because our kids are still at home, and typically still in school, my husband can't usually join me on these trips. I don't mind traveling alone, but also don't mind company, and so last year invited along a woman I'd known for several years to join me in Italy (after a week of work in Greece). She's single, and had traveled a fair amount in the past, and seemed like she'd be fine to have along. We discussed potential problems like different touring styles and ideas about food and so forth, and I thought had pretty much ironed things out. Because she's on a tighter budget than me I agreed to share a room with her, and found (with her approval) nice but inexpensive lodging in both Venice and Florence.

Turns out that we hadn't quite dealt with all the possible variables, and one that turned out to be really crucial was her inability to use, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, a toilet that was not standard U.S. height and shape, with a seat. To say that this puts a crimp in ones day in Italy is putting it mildly, particularly if ones day in Italy starts with five or six caffe latte (including a couple with lunch). It wasn't a question of her being picky, she just really couldn't go, and she gave the example of not being able to pee in the ocean as an example of just how insurmountable the barrier was.

So I decided that before I ever again considered traveling with somebody again I'd have to ask that question: Can you pee in the ocean?

She was, by the way, very picky about all sorts of other things (including food and wine---she managed to go an entire week without finding a single Italian wine that suited her), and generally a lot less fun than I'd hoped. I still enjoyed my trip, and didn't abandon her (though I was sorely tempted), but now carefully screen prospective travel buddies. Fortunately I've had good luck since that experience.

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That was my guess (which I didn't post), but I must confess that I only thought it might be Paris because of the most recent episode of the Sopranos. In a dream sequence, Carmela left a restaurant and the place she was walking (and saw the late Adrianna) looks just like Therese's photo. Then I did a few searches to find out what restaurant it might be, and came up with Le Grand Véfour, which borders Palais Royal. Still don't know if we're right, though.

Yes, you were right, and congrats all around. I figured that somebody would make the Sopranos connection, particularly as there's a thread about it here on eGullet.

So, part two of this question: what vegetable mentioned during that meal is also named earlier in the same episode of the Sopranos?

Just a note to point out that this question hasn't been answered yet. I'll be putting the questions in bold face so that they stand out from the background text.

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Details of our dim sum meal, in the form of pictures. I managed to photograph all but one dish (and was sure I'd taken it as well, but apparently didn't), but the lighting was not optimal and the restaurant too dim and tables too close to make the flash practical.

Most of these items are pretty standard, but I'll answer questions about any you don't recognize (assuming I knew what they were myself). I liked them all.

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