Archive for January, 2013

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TND – 2012 Food Resolution Recap (= 55% success)

January 25, 2013

sliced cabbage

Last year I made New Year’s Food Resolutions. So, how did I do? Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Nostalgia for a Childhood I Never Had

January 18, 2013

braised garlic

Is it possible to be nostalgic for something you’ve never had before? Or have a sense memory of a dish you’ve never eaten?

It will probably surprise no one to learn that I did not grow up in a Spaghetti-O’s kind of house. Ditto on microwave dinners, sugary cereal, delivery pizza, Doritos, or pop tarts. Some of these childhood staples I did sample at friend’s houses with greater or lesser degrees of enjoyment – microwave dinners never did much for me, but I always looked forward to sleeping over at the houses of friends whose mother’s stocked sugary cereals. One way or another, however, I never had Spaghetti-Os in my childhood. This lacunae in my epicurean education did not stop me from experiencing a peculiar form of constructed nostalgia for the TV version of an American childhood I never had, nor particularly ever wanted, when I came across a recipe for homemade Spaghetti-Os. As I read the recipe I could taste the tender meatballs floating in the rich tomato-y soup, and giggled in anticipation of the pleasure of slurping alphabet shaped pasta from my spoon.  I still can’t speak to the pleasures of canned Spaghetti-Os, but I can say with authority that the homemade version is exceedingly tasty. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Christmas in January

January 11, 2013

London 2

There’s a comment that Helene Hanff makes in one of her letters in 84 Charing Cross Road about visitors to England that has always stuck with me.

A newspaper man I know, who was stationed in London during the war, says tourists go to England with preconceived notions, so they always find exactly what they go looking for.  I told him I’d go looking for the England of English literature, and he said:
“Then it’s there.”
(Helene Hanff – 84 Charing Cross Road – letter April 10, 1950)

My parents lived in London for nearly seven years when they were first married, and their London is a combination of half-forgotten trivia like what color the Bakerloo Line is on the London Tube Map, memories of places they used to go when they were young and fancy-free (as opposed to now when they are more mature and fancy-free), and surprise at how much London has changed in the last forty something years.

My London is an amalgamation of landscapes read about in Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, regency romance novels, Victorian murder mysteries, and urban fantasy novels, jumbled up with images gleaned from BBC police procedurals, Doctor Who (which admittedly is mostly actually Cardiff dressed up as London), and sweeping BBC historical dramas. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Dinner Roundup

January 9, 2013

I am so far behind on Dinner reports that we’re just going to do this in summary (with links to recipes) so that I can get to the good stuff, which is all about eating (and drinking) my way through London over Christmas + the first Dinner of 2013 which excitingly features (almost) all members of Dinner seated around the table for the first time in far too long. Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Last Dinner of 2012 (recipes)

January 9, 2013

bread

Last Dinner of 2012 – Dinner, December 11th

Chicken Carbonnade
(Fancy) Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with Chestnuts, Dried Cherries & a Maple Glaze)
Bread Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – Committing Christmas (recipes)

January 9, 2013

santons

Committing Christmas – Dinner, December 4th

Mustard Baked Chicken with Pretzel Crusted Chicken (w/ a variety of mustards & mustard based sauces)
Sage Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Grilled Apples
(umm, some kind of vegetable, although I’m blanking on what exactly – green beans?) Read the rest of this entry ?

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TND – End of Birthday Season 2012 (recipes)

January 9, 2013

slice of cheesecake - food porn

End of Birthday Season 2012 – Dinner, November 27th

Pumpkin Chili
Creamed Corn Cornbread
Salad

Goat Cheesecake with Pistachio Crust Read the rest of this entry ?