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: phlawless - La Vida Local


Recommended Posts

And another thing, I'm not sure who's cuter, your daughter or your husband.   Well, both in their own ways.  :smile:

I've heard several women comment on Chuck's looks (particularly his eyes), so you're not alone in that regard! And M is very, very cute!

I've got summer squash salting, peas/beans cooked with local onion and bay leaf (picked from a neighbor's tree). I just got some lavender from my mother-in-law's garden -- I'll try it with the crab.

Mrs. Varmint has been building a tree house today, so I've got to get the house cleaned up for the guests!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

phlawless-

i just got a chance to catch up with the blog. what beautiful food and a handsome family(has anyone mentioned that your husband looks - at least to me- like a leaner jeff gordon? *ducks since i know many nascar fans dislike him*)

bravo on the sourcing of your food. i noticed it's something showing up more and more in things i read from Jane Goodall's book to various food mags. i, too, try to do this - course it also gives me a bit of an advantage since i'm only 50 miles from nyc and that includes fish - and 90 miles from the inlaws which includes a dynamite meat purveyor.

though the two does wandering around in the neighbor's yard looked interesting, too. how many people see a deer and think - mmmmmm, venison.

can't wait to see the pig

edited to add

and was that handsome puss stealing M's snack? i though only my Yoda was a cracker/bread eater.

Edited by suzilightning (log)

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phlawless, your narrative has been beautiful (as well as pictures of your home and family- M is a cutie!)

I've been away on an internship for a few months but will be coming back to Chapel Hill (and the farmers markets) soon! You're making me more and more anxious to return!

Best continued luck with your locavore quest- your blog has been truly inspiring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heh, heh, heh . . . I love having Phlawless over for dinner. Let me tell you one thing: there's nothing better than having friends who REALLY know how to cook. I'm a pretty decent home cook, but Ph. knows how to take things to a completely different level. I just might have to be one of her financial backers should she ever go back into "da bizness" again.

Here's a photo of my ingredients I purchased today.

gallery_137_3223_62725.jpg

Extreme close up of the four different types of beans/peas that went into the succotash.

gallery_137_3223_81687.jpg

Bandregg made this awesome caponata that primarily came from his garden. Mmm, eggplant!

gallery_137_3223_73570.jpg

Appetizer of lump crabmeat and country ham saute with fried sunburst squash and trout roe. The crabmeat was sauteed with butter, garlic, onion, and lavender. It needed a splash of lemon, which really helped bring out the flavors.

gallery_137_3223_33858.jpg

Here's the dinner plate of uber-slow roasted pork shoulder (rubbed with awesome spices), summer squash gratin, the succotash, and a watermelon, tomato, cucumber and pheta salad (yes, pheta, not feta, as it's locally produced cheese).

gallery_137_3223_57715.jpg

That's me in the orange shirt -- and you can see how fast Ph. is moving!

gallery_137_3223_35271.jpg

Bandregg thinking about how good the Barolo he brought is.

gallery_137_3223_46647.jpg

Ph plating her dessert.

gallery_137_3223_24778.jpg

And now the dessert. Oh My Gawd!! This is one of the most creative desserts ever. First, she made silver queen corn ice cream. That's not something you see every day. Then, she made caramel corn to go on it -- that's cool, eh? Throwing in caramel and blueberries was a fairly logical step. But then the blondies. Yeah, one would think that blondies make sense. And peanut butter blondies at that. But BACON peanut butter blondies??? That's just fucked up. And damn, was it ever awesome! The salty, nutty flavor of the blondies, combined with the richness of the ice cream, the acidity of the blueberrys, and the sweetness of the caramel -- well, hot damn! And then, the caramel corn added a textural element that was just over the top. So, can one person out there ever say they had this dessert before? If you do, you're a damn liar!

gallery_137_3223_37539.jpg

gallery_137_3223_24765.jpg

Phlawless rocks, and dat's da truth!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

there's nothing better than having friends who REALLY know how to cook. 

But BACON peanut butter blondies???  That's just fucked up.  And damn, was it ever awesome!  The salty, nutty flavor of the blondies, combined with the richness of the ice cream, the acidity of the blueberrys, and the sweetness of the caramel --well, hot damn! 

gallery_137_3223_37539.jpg

I have rarely heard Dean so enthusiastically excited over food preparation but phlawless really seems to have hit his primary food nerve! The photography is simply wonderful .. one can almost taste the flavors from the screen ... and, in Dean's well-equipped kitchen, a talent like phlawless can find everything at her fingertips ... bravo on this exquisite meal!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.........But BACON peanut butter blondies???  That's just fucked up.  And damn, was it ever awesome!  The salty, nutty flavor of the blondies, combined with the richness of the ice cream, the acidity of the blueberrys, and the sweetness of the caramel --well, hot damn! 

gallery_137_3223_37539.jpg

What a way to start a day, seeing this. Sensational! The entire dinner menu was fabulous.

I'm looking forward to the progression of this final day of the blog, but sorry it has to end. It will be kept open for comments into tomorrow, as usual, and I'm sure there will be many high regards expressed.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning!

I can tell you that even though I didn't do it up as I have in evenings past spent with the Varmints, I still had a bit of trouble rolling out of bed this morning...it must have been those last few glasses of bandregg's fantastic Barolo.

The meal turned out really well, and thank you V for hosting all of us and accomodating M. Even though I only had a couple of bites, bandregg's caponata was deelish! The appetizer and sides were all fantastic, my favorite being the tomato/watermelon salad with the local pheta. And thank you also for all the praise on the dessert, it was fun to make and I'm glad everyone enjoyed it. If I can nitpick: the ice cream was a little icey, and I would have liked to have used sorghum instead of the caramel sauce as I originally intended. The bacon also didn't have the presence I would have liked. Other than that, it was pretty yummy. Next time we do one of these, I promise to host and give the V's a break!

For the last day of the blog, I'm going to take it easy cooking wise. A friend is coming over in a bit and we'll be heading to a bakery/cafe for brunch. I seriously doubt much of their stuff is local, but some of their breads are good and they have a fantastic charcuterie plate that I've got a hankering for.

My enthusiasm for this challenge is waning, and I need to get re-invigorated...maybe a mexi dinner will do the trick.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gallery_8173_3226_142976.jpg

I am so glad that the cardoon decided to bloom today so you all could see it! I haven't eaten any of this one, it's merely decorative in my herb garden.

We are going mexican tonight...more later.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gallery_8173_3226_142976.jpg

I am so glad that the cardoon decided to bloom today so you all could see it! I haven't eaten any of this one, it's merely decorative in my herb garden.

Oooooh! Purty! I really like cardoons--haven't had any, or even seen any in markets, in forever. Do you grow any for food as well as for looks?

If I don't get a chance to get back in here before this blog closes, let me take the time now to say thanks for a most enjoyable blog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to confess...our meal tonight was not entirely local. I wanted to do mexican, and I got a bit lazy this afternoon, so a few of the ingredients came from a tienda in my neighborhood.

gallery_8173_3226_59078.jpg

Next door is a fantastic taco stand that makes tortillas by the pound to order:

gallery_8173_3226_33492.jpg

gallery_8173_3226_108622.jpg

Funny enough, they weren't the one's who put the cow on the roof, it used to be a country store a few years back.

The menu today:

gallery_8173_3226_79223.jpg

We started off with a couple of watermelon margaritas and chorizo/potato quesadillas with lime crema for munchies:

gallery_8173_3226_40658.jpg

After M went to bed, I used the rest of the tortillas for tacos, which we have at least once a week in the summer:

gallery_8173_3226_134231.jpg

gallery_8173_3226_106462.jpg

Only the tomatillos, onions, and garlic in the salsa are truly local. Funny thing is, I feel guilty. I've let myself down...I couldn't even make it through one week and I've got three to go!

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phlawless, there's no way you can end this blog without giving us the recipe for that dessert!  That is right up there with the most unusual combinations I have ever heard of.

Which one? All?

Oh, my heavens! Your dessert looks fabulous! 

and completely off topic, so do your SHOES!

Oh fou...thankyouthankyou...I love these shoes! I got them specifically for a wedding back in the spring and I find myself wearing them at every opportunity, which with my little girl isn't many!

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gallery_8173_3226_142976.jpg

I am so glad that the cardoon decided to bloom today so you all could see it! I haven't eaten any of this one, it's merely decorative in my herb garden.

Oooooh! Purty! I really like cardoons--haven't had any, or even seen any in markets, in forever. Do you grow any for food as well as for looks?

If I don't get a chance to get back in here before this blog closes, let me take the time now to say thanks for a most enjoyable blog.

At the last house we lived I had a few that I occasionally ate from. It took me a while to figure out when to 'harvest' the stalks. They were never tender enough to use for bagna cauda, which was the original reason I grew them, so I made gratins with them instead.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phawless Lady:

Your Mexican dinner, all your meals and your week as a locovore has been inspriring. It also points up how some parts of the country (yours), and, say , California, are blessed with the possibility of eating within the hundred mile radius. If I tried to take it on, I'd be eating a lot of corn , soybeans, and tainted Great Lakes fish.

I want to be a locovore, but unless I buy a farm it ain't happening. I know the sourcing has been a drag for you this week, but you are luckier than most of us. And I'm luckier than people who live in the Badlands, the Yukon, Alaska or Oklahoma. A hundred-odd years ago most people were locovores, ate a limited diet and probably would have yearned for a Trader Joe's.

Thank you for doing this for all of us.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to admit, I was thinking this wasn't going to be all that hard. I figured with the diversity of things available to me locally, my professional background, and just my sure will to win would guarentee my success. HA! I don't know if I can continue the same level of commitment that I have this week for the entire month. Actually I know I can't. Next week my fourteen year old nephew is coming to visit for five days...I am not prepared to fill my house with enough food for a teenager using only local ingredients! I don't think he will find snacking on speckled lima beans all that enticing...

What I have learned this week:

1. I will no longer take the small farmer, or the mega supermarket, for granted.

2. Eating food made/grown from sustainable methods is expensive.

3. I really love my sourdough starter.

4. The area that I live is a much better food community than I've given it credit for.

5. My partner Chuck is such a great sport, and my daughter M will thankfully eat almost anything.

Thanks for giving me a space to rant and complain...I've had a lot of fun, but will not miss the excessive documentation of my eating and cooking habits.

Edited by phlawless (log)

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I'd love to have the whole series of recipes that went into the Varmint dinner, but with the peanut butter bacon blondie recipe and the corn ice cream recipe I could probably fake the rest, since I'm sure that typing them all up would be a major hassle.

You've really been taking one for the team on the locavore theme. I've been a devoted CSA member for many years, but there's no way I come close to eating as locally as you have this week. My hat's way off to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your time and work---it's been a fabulous week, especially our trips with you and your little M. She finds SUCH good groceries!!!

And all the food prep and the finding---what a revelation about what CAN be done.

Not to mention that caramel corn and ice cream!!!

I envy you your bright little helper---I used to have one her age living here. She has always loved to help me cook; still does, but she visited last week and didn't need the little stepstool any more :sad:

This was over too soon. Just amazing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one thing i love about the food blogs, and phlawless' bog was exemplary of this, is how it makes me want to move to wherever the blogger lives! it is such a great introduction to another area in our extremely diverse country.

what a pleasure to see how you live, phlawless. i was constantly amazed at how much you accomplished each day, especially with the eating local challenge and your little peanut M.

congratulations on surviving your first foodblog!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]I've had a lot of fun, but will not miss the excessive documentation of my eating and cooking habits.

You deserve to take a rest after such a magnificent blog! I not only had fun; I learned interesting things from this blog. Thanks.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

phlawless, thank you so much for this blog. It was a real inspiration to me. I have been researching the 100-mile diet thanks to you, and plan to try it for a limited time in the near future, and write an article about it. In preparation, I already started to find out where I can get local flour, grains, vegetables, meat etc.

It won't be easy but it will be interesting!

thanks for sharing it all with us!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A fun and inspiring blog, Phlawless.

And it looks like we might need to add "picture of really cool shoes worn during food prep" to the obligatory foodblog list of fridge and pet shots.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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...