Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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TND – Ontbijt

June 19, 2014

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My father is from the Netherlands, and my mother is from the (US) South. The closest we ever lived to either place was France and the (US) Northeast respectively, although we visited relatives in both home milieus with varying degrees of frequency. This means that the majority of my understanding of both Dutch and Southern culture has been filtered through my parents and what they consciously or inadvertently passed on to me about their heritage.

The practical upshot of this is that on the one hand, I occasionally find myself delivering an impromptu lecture on the tangled history of the Netherlands and Spain to the bemusement of my coworkers. This is to say, I made an offhand remark about historical antecedents of the Dutch-Spanish rivalry in the wake of the Netherlands crushing defeat of Spain in last week’s World Cup match, then had to explain what I meant when I was met with a panoply of blank looks from the people around me.

On the other hand, I cannot bring myself to wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day (actually in Massachusetts it’s unlikely to be warm enough to tempt anyone into wearing white shoes before Memorial Day, but the principal is the same), and would never put dark meat in my chicken salad. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Easter 2014

April 17, 2014

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I fly South (culinarily speaking) for Easter.  Specifically, I (re)visit New Orleans every year for my Easter Dinner.  This link bears only a tangential relationship to logic, and has more to do with a sequence of free association that drifts from Mardi Gras to New Orleans to Lent to the joyous celebrations that accompany the end of Lenten fasting (assuming you were being abstemious during Lent, which I can’t claim I/we were) and back to New Orleans because those are folks who know how to throw a good party. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – In the Kingdom of Leftovers . . .

March 31, 2014

veggies

The Kingdom of Leftovers is always problematic.  How do you define leftovers, and having defined them what do you do with them?  In my personal Taxonomy of Cooking the Kingdom of Leftovers is divided into two Phyla, and then further categorized into more and more specific Classes and Orders*. Read the rest of this entry ?

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MND – It’s Not Me; It’s You

March 17, 2014

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Did you know that potatoes contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C? No, nor did I. When I think of great sources for Vitamin C my list generally begins and ends with citrus – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit. However, it turns out there are lots of fruits and vegetables that rank higher on the Vitamin C scale than your average orange. These include, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, dark greens (kale, spinach, etc), kiwi fruit, strawberries, and pineapple. Apparently oranges just have a really good PR campaign. Given how much of all of these foods I eat during the winter it’s a miracle a cold ever manages to penetrate my Vitamin C shield, but somehow I managed to succumb to the common cold twice in under two months. Yet another reason that I want to break up with winter (Dear Winter – It’s not me; It’s you). Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND Extra – Oscars 2014

March 11, 2014

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We had our annual Oscars extravaganza this past Sunday (err, two Sundays ago).  We’ve realized we don’t watch the Oscars because we care about the winners or losers.  For one thing if any of us have seen more than two of the nominated movies we’re doing well.  That said, the Oscars are tradition at this point.  We’ve been hosting an Oscars party since college, and any excuse to eat far too much, perhaps drink a little too much, and mock the stylistic choices of people we don’t know is worth taking, particularly in the doldrums of winter when we all need a little cheering.

In the beginning I did all the Oscar party food (well, okay in the very beginning I think Oscar party food involved calling Dominos, bags of Hershey’s kisses, and a bottle of wine – we were in college).  But, that got exhausting, so I started outsourcing some of the Oscars menu to the whims of potluck.  Gradually we settled into a tradition of theming the Oscars food on the nominated movies, and then last year I had the genius idea (well, I think it’s genius) of playing Russian Roulette with the nominated movies and the type of food you bring to the Oscars party.   Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND Extra – Oscars 2014 (recipes)

March 11, 2014

prep2

Cold Spiced Cider
1 gallon apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cinnamon sticks Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Admitting Defeat

February 26, 2014

carrot curls

I have never been as defeated and dispirited by winter as I have been this year.  We had a brief respite this past weekend when it was sunny, in the high 40s, and I daringly left the house in less than four layers of clothing.  By Monday it had dropped back to the low 30s (feels like 18!), and by Tuesday we were back to 16 (feels like 3!).  Granted this is still an improvement over 8 (feels like -5!) – at least we’re in double digits and nothing is in the negative numbers – but it’s still incredibly cold.

I’m trying to decide if the weekend’s brief lull has made me more or less depressed about another 3-4 weeks of snow and ice (at least according to Punxsutawney Phil).  I’m leaning towards more depressed.  Basically at this point I’m bribing myself through every week until the weather warms up because crying seems pointless, and seasonal alcoholism seems like a bad idea (although tempting).

Also, for the second time in six weeks our server at work has crashed hard.  Practically speaking this translates to not being able to access any files or use the printers for two days.  They keep taking the system down to test emergency preparedness.  At this point the response from my office is, ‘we know it doesn’t work in emergencies, stop testing it’.  Fun times.

In order to distract myself here’s a round of what’s making me happy this week. Read the rest of this entry ?

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MND – Winter 2: Dinner 1

February 19, 2014

boots

Warning, attempting to make this recipe will cause it to snow. Now, I’m not sure if it’s this specific recipe that causes snow – in which case you are all safe because it’s an America’s Test Kitchen test recipe and I can’t put it up online – or if it’s all chicken pot pies, in which case you might be in danger if the pictures of Dinner this week inspire in you a craving for chicken enrobed in creamy sauce topped with flaky pastry. I’ll take responsibility for three rounds of snow in Boston, but I think I won’t take on the responsibility for snow elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry ?

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MND – 1st World Problems

February 17, 2014

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Generally speaking I am not a beach type person.  When I go on vacation I want to do things and see things (and eat things) I’ve never done, seen, or eaten before.  I want to actively pursue the accumulation of new experiences, and new understandings of the history and culture of the place I’m visiting.  Generally speaking in my personal pantheon of hell, going to an all inclusive resort for a vacation is somewhere around the 4th or 5th circle.  It’s further out than being falsely jailed on drug charges in Thailand (thank you, Lifetime Movie Network) or being trapped on a giant cruise ship, but closer in than running out of reading material on a transatlantic flight*. Read the rest of this entry ?

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MND – New Year’s Food Resolutions 2014

February 17, 2014

pumpkin

Apparently I never made New Year’s (Food) Resolutions last year.  This is probably for the best, because it means I don’t now have to contemplate the scale upon which I failed to live up to my best intentions.  Nonetheless, with a sense of doom and foreboding, I shall make food resolutions for 2014. Read the rest of this entry ?

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