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Susan in FL

eG Foodblog: CaliPoutine and Pookie - The City Mouse, The Country Mou

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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Tag Team Foodblogging from Ontario, Canada.

We will be seeing comparisons between CaliPoutine's food life in the country and Pookie's food life in the city. An added bonus at the end of this blog will be CaliPoutine's trip from Exeter to the Heartland, for the eG gathering. Pookie will be staying home in London, and during that time will be playing a more active role in holding down the blogging fort. The blog will run from today through Saturday, 5 August, with a one day extension for additional photos to be added, including pictures from the Heartland gathering.

A special welcome is extended to Pookie, first time eG blogger. She and CaliPoutine virtually met during CaliPoutine's first blog, Diversity and Deviled Eggs, later met in "real time," and have remained friends since. The plans for this week include a get-together for dinner. More about the country mouse and the city mouse to come . . .

Take it away, Calipoutine and Pookie, and thank you for sharing what promises to be an exciting week.

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Hello from Exeter, Ontario.

My name is Randi and this is my second eGullet foodblog. My first one was in May 2005 and can be found here. clicky.Before we get to the food, a little background on me.

In her teaser, Susan said that one of us was from the country and one of us is from the city. I'm the one that lives in the Country. Exeter's( pop.4400) is a farming community in Southwestern Ontario. I moved to Exeter in December 2002 from Long Beach, CA. I lived in California for 15years and prior to moving there, I grew up in Plantation, FL( suburb of Ft. Lauderdale).

I moved to small town Ontario because I wanted to live with my same-sex partner. Because same-sex immigration isnt legal in the US( and probably never will be) I moved here. Much to our delight, 6 months after I moved here, same-sex marriage was legalized. Robin and I married in June 2003. The downside to all this was my law degree is basically useless here. However, before attending law school, I went to culinary school in the early 90's. Good thing, because I've been able to make some money doing what I love.

When I joined egullet, I started to read all the foodblogs and I came across Abra's. I thought to myself “ I can do that” and I started a personal chef business. I also work for a caterer in London , I coordinate a community kitchen that is run out of the basement of the hospital. And, if that wasn't enough, I have another non-food related part-time job.

I'm really happy to be blogging this week with Christine. I met Christine from my first foodblog. She had left some comments, we started Pming, then emailing, then she came over for lunch and shortly after that we started to cook together. We get together at least 2x a month for cooking, pedicures, dining out or making a trip to MI.

Now on the the obligatory pet pictures. I have two dachshunds. A black and tan smooth, Oliver gallery_28660_3340_195832.jpgand a wirehair, Harley.

gallery_28660_3340_228377.jpgand here is my spouse and dishwasher Robin. ( She is so wonderful, she does all my dishes everyday!!)

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and finally me.

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Btw, I stayed up late making Rose Levy Birnbaum's banana cake with chocolate ganache( I just made the cake part tonight) for dinner tomorrow night. ( more on that later).

gallery_28660_3340_174865.jpg

Now I'm going to bed. Nighty night.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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I met Christine from my first foodblog.  She had left some comments, we started Pming, thene get together at least 2x a month for cooking, pedicures, dining out or making a trip to MI.

I understand the getting together for cooking and pedicures, but please explain the trips to MI!

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I met Christine from my first foodblog.  She had left some comments, we started Pming, thene get together at least 2x a month for cooking, pedicures, dining out or making a trip to MI.

I understand the getting together for cooking and pedicures, but please explain the trips to MI!

I need my fix of Target!! Seriously though, I only live 62 miles from Port Huron, MI and I have a mail box there where I can have parcels delivered. So, if I get a hankering for some penzey's spices or something from Amazon, I have it sent there and I bring it back. I also do a lot of grocery shopping there. There are many items( ie: cheese, chicken , milk, cream cheese) that are a lot cheaper. And, finally, Robin and I sell vintage kitchen things( and other collectibles) on Ebay as a hobby and I ship out of the US because its cheaper. Christine comes along and we go to dinner, Barnes and Noble, shopping, etc. Its fun stuff!!

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Randi, it's good to see you blogging again.

Christine, enjoy your experience. It's intense, but we'll be here following along and cheering you on.

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Hi Randi and Christine!

Looking forward to hearing more about your personal chef business, Randi. I remember you starting out baking for a coffee house or something in London?

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Hello all! Thanks for the warm welcome. I have been reading here for a few years now, but have never been an extremely active poster. Like Randi said she and I met because of her last blog. It was reading about her life and experiences in Exeter that prompted me to join eGullet in the first place. (my mother was from Exeter, so we spent a lot of time there when I was young)

So a little about me. I am the city portion of this blog. I live in London, Ontario. (pop. 350 000) London is located about halfway between Toronto and Windsor/Detroit. It is one of the larger cities in Ontario. I was born in Toronto and spent about 5 years in Oklahoma and Alabama with my parents. (where I aquired quite the accent and a taste for grits!) Then we moved here to London. The accent faded but the the love of grits remained.

At 18 I moved back to Toronto to attend George Brown Cooking school. I got a 2 year diploma and My Husband, Darryl. We met our first day of School and have been together ever since. That was 10 years ago. We got married 3 years ago.

I worked in Restaurants and catering and a cooking school as a teachers assistant for a few years before realizing that it wasnt for me. I went back to school and took the Food Service Supervisors graduate program. This enables me to work in Healthcare the the Dietary Dept. I have worked in Hospitals and Long Term Care ever since. I love my job.

Unfortunatly my current job did not want me to post pictures of the kitchens or food. So I can't reveal any details. But I can tell you that I work in a nursing home here in London. It's a big one about 250 beds. I do all of the ordering and menu development as well as supervising our cooks and deitary aides. It challenging and fun, even though it means I start work at 6:00am.

I take my breakfast and lunch to work every day with me, in am effort to save money. I will show those everyday, as well as my dinners with the Husband. I am also planning on checking out 6 different ice cream parlors and hitting the London Rib Festival on Friday.

And the obligatory pets?

gallery_27656_2498_508333.jpg

That's Pookie on the left, and the Fang on the right. Pooks will eat anything you are, except for oranges and banana. Fang has no desire at all for Human food.


Edited by Pookie (log)

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Beautiful cats! Have you found that Fang has a preference for a particular brand or type of cat food?


Edited by Pan (log)

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Hi, Randi (and Christine). I'm looking forward to seeing you in Ann Arbor later this week. (Don't forget to bring back some of those expensive but really good grits from Zingerman's for Christine. :wink: )

Was the picture of Robin taken at The Common Grill?

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Hello Bloggers!

Randi, I enjoyed your first blog and am looking forward to this one.. You mentioned your story about moving to Canada before, and I always thought it was very romantic :smile: How wonderful that you have managed to find work in the world of food!

Pookie, welcome to blog-land.. you'll love it. The picture of your cats is gorgeous, how did you get them to pose like that?

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Hi, Randi (and Christine). I'm looking forward to seeing you in Ann Arbor later this week. (Don't forget to bring back some of those expensive but really good grits from Zingerman's for Christine.  :wink: )

Was the picture of Robin taken at The Common Grill?

Yes, those grits are amazing. I had them once at Zingerman's and when I came home, I ordered some stone ground grits from another grist mill( way better price). Wonderful.

And yes, that picture was taken at the Common Grill. We were there in June for our 3rd wedding anniversary. I posted all the pics from that meal and another meal here.

That was an amazing meal.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

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Pookie, welcome to blog-land.. you'll love it. The picture of your cats is gorgeous, how did you get them to pose like that?

Thanks! That chair is one of their favourite places to hang out. It helps that they are both pretty lazy.

As for Cat food Prefrence, Fang will eat what ever you put in front of him. We had a hard time when we first got him because we were trying to feed him Kitten food, while Pooks was on diet food. Fang would only eat what Pooks was eating. Now the both get Natural Choice - Conplete Care from Nutro. They seem to be doing well on it.

Now for Breakfast - The Husband had to leave for work so I made us some quick Egg Sandwiches. It's way too hot to really cook and we only have A/C in the bedroom. It's ice cream and salads for the rest of the day.

gallery_27656_2498_186954.jpg

I made these with whole wheat muffins and a bit of "egg creations" - cheese and chive flavour. I don't usually use things like that, but I got a coupon for a free carton. (I often get free samples like that at work - I order a lot of food each month - approx 30,000$ Cdn a month of supplies) It was alright I guess, but real eggs are better.

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Pookie,

I am looking forward to your first blog!

and Randi,

I will be seeing you again very soon!! I am really looking forward to next weekend in Ann Arbor.

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Good morning!!

The way I eat has changed dramatically since I lasted blogged . I'm a type 2 diabetic and a little over a month ago I started a new medication called Byetta. Unfortunatly, this medication isnt availble in Canada yet, so I get it in MI. Byetta prolongs gastric emptying so I stay full a lot longer and I eat a lot less food. One of the main side effects is nausea and weight loss. I can do without the former, but I'll happily take the latter. I give myself an injection before I eat breakfast and dinner. I must eat within 1hr of taking the injection.

I have some buttermilk in the fridge, so I thought I'd bake some bisquits. This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated and Its my favorite. I sub out half a cup of whole wheat flour for some of the AP flour.

As with most CI recipes, the technique is fussy, but it works well.

gallery_28660_3340_283054.jpg

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I then made a bacon, egg white and cheese biscuit. Robin had another bisquit with some homeade raspberry plum jam. Our niece Chelsea is here for the weekend as well. She had the same thing we did. We all drank non-fat milk. I dont drink coffee except for the occasional iced coffee or frappacino when I'm in London. Needless to say, our town doesnt have a Starbucks. We do have a Tim Horton's though.

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This week should be interesting. My MIL just came back from 3 weeks in Ireland, so we're going to her house in Goderich. Goderich is a slightly bigger town than Exeter. Goderich was voted( don't ask me by whom) prettiest town in Canada. I wouldnt go that far, but its a really nice town right on Lake Huron. I'll be cooking for 8 people tonight.

On Monday, I'm meeting Christine in London. We're going out to dinner and to Costco. Tuesday we're having some work associates of Robin's over for dinner. Wednesday is up in the air and on Thursday I'm leaving for the eGullet Heartland Gathering.

DanielleWiley is bringing her laptop so I can possibly up load some pics and post while in Ann Arbor. I'm taking a friend with me and we're going a day early so we can do some shopping.

We'll be coming back early on Sunday morning. Robin's mom's side of the family has an annual Civic Day BBQ on the Sunday before the holiday. I need to figure out a side dish that I can make ahead of time and that will last for 5 days in the fridge. Or, something that Robin can assemble before she leaves for the BBQ. I'm also planning on making a dessert, possibly a carrot cake that I can freeze beforehand.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a side dish?

Now I'm off to assemble a rustic nectarine blueberry tart for tonights dinner.

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans. I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe. All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak. I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak. What would be a good substitution?

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans.  I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe.  All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak.  I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak.  What would be a good substitution?

You could also use entrecote. Do you have that cut in Canada?

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans.  I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe.  All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak.  I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak.  What would be a good substitution?

You could also use entrecote. Do you have that cut in Canada?

Not that I've ever seen, unless its called something else.

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans.  I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe.  All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak.  I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak.  What would be a good substitution?

You could also use entrecote. Do you have that cut in Canada?

Not that I've ever seen, unless its called something else.

Sorry, Kosher meat cuts are a different from regular cuts.

Entrecote is sirloin steak.

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans.  I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe.  All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak.  I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak.  What would be a good substitution?

I've used London Broil in a pinch. It won't produce nearly as good results as skirt/flap meat, but kind of resembles flank.

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Before we left for Goderich, I wanted to make this rustic tart. The crust recipe came from the latest issue of Everyday Food magazine. The original recipe called for plums, but I thought the nectarines looked better. Big mistake!! It's only the first day of the blog and I've already had a culinary mishap.

My niece asked if she could roll out the dough.

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gallery_28660_3340_181221.jpg

I thought blueberries would be a good addition. All that juice should have been a clue of things to come.

gallery_28660_3340_266228.jpg

Hopefully, it will still be edible. If not, at least I have the banana cake.

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I am so glad to be reading this blog! You both have great taste in food and pets! That fruit tart looks beautiful. I'd love to eat it with some fresh whipped cream, I tihnk that rustic and very juicy sounds delicious! BTW, the niece? What a cute little curly top!

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Your rustic tart looks just like the galett from "Baking With Julia" (Child)!

They are prone to leakage, (I see you were wise enough to use parchment paper :wink: ), because the dough tends to crack where it's folded over. Use of a soft dough, and brushing the edges with water after folding helps, but I feel that without leaks the finished product loses some of its rustic charm?

SB (then again, I am crust-rolling challenged) :rolleyes:

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So far this blog has been very good for me. It prompted me to organize the cooks books so they are all on one shelf instead of scattered through the whole house.

Here is the book case that all of the cook books are in, now.

gallery_27656_2498_1620266.jpg

All fo this case except for half of the very top shelf is cookbooks and food writing books.

I am a collector of vintage cookbooks as well as the old recipe phamplets that companies circulate with their food products. Here are a few of my favourites.

gallery_27656_2498_1166186.jpg

This is the Boston Cooking School magazine - 1905 edition. There is all sorts of information in these magazines. How to hire appropriate maids, what to have them wear, how to instruct your butler and so on. I find them fascinating.

gallery_27656_2498_1359272.jpg

My Mother found these for me. The 7Up one has suggestions for using it as a marinade as well as an ingredient in baking.

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I need Help!!

I'm making chicken and steak fajita's for dinner tonight along with rice and beans.  I have a great chicken fajita recipe, but I've been searching for a steak recipe.  All the recipe's I've found use either skirt or flank steak.  I know I can't get skirt steak here and I've never seen flank steak.  What would be a good substitution?

As Muffinzz said, you can use a cut that's labeled for London Broil. A sirloin or round steak might also work, if sliced fairly thin across the grain.

BTW, I'll also be bringing my laptop to Ann Arbor, and Tammy has hers, so I suspect there'll be lots of posting and picture uploading.

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Happy blogging, folks! Looking forward to it!

And the obligatory pets?

gallery_27656_2498_508333.jpg

That's Pookie on the left, and the Fang on the right. Pooks will eat anything you are, except for oranges and banana. Fang has no desire at all for Human food.

Cute kitties! Would their names possibly be inspired by Soupy Sales' rambunctious pets? :biggrin:

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