Posts Tagged ‘fruit’


TND – Ontbijt

June 19, 2014


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 ?


TND – Put the Lime in the Coconut

August 23, 2013

carrot curls

If you’ve ever tried to cook a vintage recipe – or tried to recreate some recipe your grandmother always used to make – you’ve probably run into the problem that older recipes tend to be frustratingly short on details. For example, my grandmother’s recipe for Moravian Coffee Cake (which incidentally is (a) the best coffee cake ever, and (b) why I don’t particularly like the crumb topped coffee cakes you usually see – see below the crunchy sugary glory of a Moravian Coffee Cake)

moravian coffee cake

is a little too vague on specifics for me to attempt to make it without doing some research to nail down quantities, times, and textures. It’s got the basics (flour, sugar, yeast, mashed potato), but veers into ‘here there be dragons’ territory when it comes to exactly how much flour (enough to make a stiff, but not too stiff dough), and how much butter (enough to cover tuck into indentations all over the dough).


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TND – (Not The) Mad Hatter’s (Birthday) Tea Party

May 21, 2012

I have a very clear memory of walking down a street with my mother when I was quite young being given a crash course in Afternoon Tea etiquette as we made our way to the house of a British friend of hers. I don’t remember whether I successfully didn’t embarrass my mother (on that particular occasion, at any rate), but I was quite young (and American) so I probably got a pass from her friend (who, being that kind of English, would have been too polite to say anything anyway). Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – On a Mission

April 4, 2012

Last week (about Dinner three weeks ago) I expounded on my difficulty in finding rabbit or wild boar to make any of the tasty recipes featured in Food & Wine’s March 2012 issue.  This past weekend I ended up doing a little more rabbit hunting because I’d talked and thought about it so much that (a) I was really craving rabbit, and (b) it had become a quest. Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – Color me Unimpressed

February 9, 2012

When I was little we lived in a sequence of places that were nowhere particularly near Virginia. This is only relevant because Virginia was where my grandmother lived, and my mother and I used to spend a month visiting with her every summer. I loved the month we spent in Richmond, among other things it has left me with a lifelong appreciation for heat and humidity which pretty much nobody else I know shares. What I didn’t love was the process of getting there, which was long and tedious. I imagine it was even longer and more tedious for my mother who had to play the responsible adult in that scenario as opposed to being the bored 7 – 9 – 12 – 14 year old whose biggest responsibility was trying to sleep on the plane, picking at the food, and not being too much of a pill about traveling for 24 hours straight. Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – Post-Thanksgiving Abstemiousness

December 7, 2011

I got to the week before Thanksgiving and I had menus planned for every week from then through when I leave for Christmas (12/17) and as a consequence I kept thinking it was later in the year than it actually was and panicking about the rapid passage of time.  Eventually I realized that it was still November, not the second week of December, and two things I was planning to do fell through which was on the one hand disappointing because they were brunch and a whisky tasting, and on the other hand gave me so much breathing space. Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – Belated Birthday Dinner

October 28, 2011

My thoughts about this week’s Dinner can be summarized as follows: Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – How Dinner is like a computer game

August 3, 2011

There are some weeks when my menu planning falls into place like the perfect game of tetris.  Then there are weeks when I leave my menu plan open in the background on my computer all day long, all week and keep clicking back to it in spare moments to swap things in and out and leave blanks and email everyone I know (okay, my mother and Jes) asking them for help figuring out what’s missing.  This week was a lot more like the latter than the former.  At this point, I’ve made and eaten Dinner and I’m still not entirely happy with the juxtaposition of all the dishes.  90% of it was there, but the green beans felt off somehow, like they didn’t quite fit into the rest of the meal.   Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – The Perfect Food?

June 15, 2011

I firmly believe that sandwiches are the world’s perfect food. You can eat them for any meal of the day. They can be sweet or savory. They can be hand held or served on a plate and require a knife and fork to eat. They can embody the spirit of any culture and cuisine. Plus, by definition they contain a tasty starch. There is no bad in this equation.

The British understand the appeal of sandwiches (and bacon) on such a deep emotional level that students at Leeds University got funding to research and derive a scientific formula for making the perfect bacon buttie. How much do you wish you could have been a part of that research team? Read the rest of this entry ?


TND – Oscars 2011

March 1, 2011

Where does the time go? I swear we just did this like a minute ago, and with movies I’d actually seen.

Still, it’s that time of year again.  Time to have firm opinions about winners and losers without any sort of evidence for said opinion.  Time to mock celebrities and their lack of ability to dress themselves mercilessly.  In other words, it’s time for the Oscars.

Since The Social Network and The King’s Speech were leading the pack for nominations, this year’s pot luck food theme was:

Junk Food Fit for Royalty

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