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Sweet fortune

March 21, 2011 | Family,Food,Stuff

We went to a Chinese restaurant with friends we visited over spring break. The kids loved the food, and they really looked forward to getting fortune cookies. They had lots of questions about where the fortunes come from, who writes them, how do they think of them and how do they know who will get them. We conjured up a table with a bunch of wise, old folks sitting around it and writing fortunes for others they’ll never meet. (Yeah, we’re a bunch of romantics.)

They wondered if the fortunes in cookies were true and meaningful. I said, well, they can be, and I told them about the fortune I’ve carried for almost 10 years.

I’d just had lunch with my youngest brother. I was up visiting from Florida, just a couple of months after moving back to the States from Norway, hoping his second daughter would be born before I returned home. He looked at my fortune and said, of course, we know what that’s about, right? His baby. I said, aw, hell no. We know that one’s coming. This one’s about my baby.

A year later, almost to the day, my son was born. My dear, sweet boy … the child I wanted for so long.

I tend to crank up the superstition when things seem hopeless. So, yeah. That last one up there about hard work paying off? I’m hoping that has significant meaning soon. I think I’ll hold on to that one. We’ll see what happens.

Posted by Becky @ 1:19 pm | 5 Comments  

Educated Palate: Panettone

February 15, 2011 | Blogging,Blogland games,Educated Palate: Guiliano & Lael Hazan's blog,Florida,Food,Italy

I entered a giveaway contest in December on my favorite Italian food site, Educated Palate: Giuliano & Lael Hazan’s blog. What makes it a favorite? Beautiful photos. Heartbreakingly delicious food. (And wonderful cookbooks!) They talk about two places I love, Italy and Florida, and two of the things that make life worth living, family and food.

Guess what? I won! I won this beautiful, delicious panettone and a book all about it. Thank you so much, Lael and Giuliano! It was wonderful!

Posted by Becky @ 8:59 am | 1 Comment  

Food: Apple preserves

October 10, 2010 | Apples,Food

This is for @mommadona.

Prairie Rose Acres Apple Preserves
12 cups apples, peeled, cored & sliced
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice (we used lime juice because we didn’t have lemon juice in the house)
2 packages powdered pectin
8 cups sugar
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Combine apples, water and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer up to 30 minutes. Run the apples through the blender and return them to the pot. Stir in pectin and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring often. Add sugar. Return to a full rolling boil, then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from heat. Add nutmeg. Immediately pour hot mixture into sterile jars. Put on lids. Boil in a water canner for 40 minutes. (You can halve this recipe. It’s our version of a couple of recipes, and we doubled the amounts.)

Posted by Becky @ 3:30 pm | Comments  

Books: Food, Inc.

March 31, 2010 | Advertising,Books,Economics,Education,Ethics,Family,Food,Health,Journalism,MSM,Politics,PR,Research,Safety,School,U.S. government

I just finished reading Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food is Making us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer — And What You Can Do About it, edited by Karl Weber and compiled as a companion piece to the movie, which I also just watched. I actually watched the movie (by Robert Kenner) first, not realizing that was the correct order of things.

I’ve read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, watched King Corn: You Are What You Eat, a documentary by Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, and read quite a bit on food, the food industry in the United States and food safety (or lack of it). Food, Inc., gathers much of the information out there and puts it all in one place.

In any case, if you eat, you might be interested in this book and film. The film was done first. The book contains information from people who weren’t in the film. Schlosser says the film and the book are not just about food. They’re also about threats to the First Amendment and the corrupting influence of centralized power.

Contributors include (listed in order they appear in the book)

I think the information provided by this book and film is very important, though not half as fun as reading Barbara Kingsolver’s take on food issues in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I’m reading now. In fact, her book was written before Food, Inc., and I wondered, hey, did they read Kingsolver? Because if they didn’t, they should. But sure enough. She was listed in the “to learn more” section at the end of the book.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 3 Comments  

Kringla

March 7, 2010 | Food,Iowa

Know what’s really good?

This.

Know what makes it taste even better?

This.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 1 Comment  

Books: Food Lover’s Companion

January 16, 2010 | Books,Death,Food

When I was putting together my mother-in-law’s recipe for fish soup, I discovered that the author of one of the most-used books in my kitchen had died. Three years ago this month. Sharon Tyler Herbst, who wrote the Food Lover’s Companion (among many other food books), died in January 2007 after fighting ovarian cancer.

Posted by Becky @ 4:03 pm | Comments  

Food: Fish soup

January 13, 2010 | Food,Norway

Growing up, I never knew much about eating fish, except that fish usually came in breaded sticks from the freezer. When I married a Norwegian (who ate fish almost every day when he was growing up), I couldn’t help but learn more about eating fish. These days, whenever we visit Norway, we eat a lot more fish than we usually do. My absolute favorite fish dish is my mother-in-law’s fish soup. I tell my son that he liked his bestemor’s fish soup before he was even born. We were visiting Norway during the summer I was pregnant with him. When I ate Bestemor’s fish soup, he kicked like crazy. If you ever want to try the best fish soup ever, here it is.

Fiskesuppe
aka
My Mother-in-law Makes the Best Fish Soup in the World


Ingredients
2 pounds (about 4 cups) fish (I use cod and salmon)
1 teaspoon salt
bottle of wine
2 tablespoon butter
2 cups carrots, finely sliced
2 cups leeks, finely sliced
2 tablespoon flour
4 1/2 cups broth from fish
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche (see recipe below)
2 cup shrimp
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
Salt
Pepper

Put fish in water and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat just
until boiling and remove from heat.

With a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the
water and cut into small pieces. (Check for
bones.)

Open a bottle of wine and pour
yourself a glass. (Mine was
strawberry wine from Florida.)

Remove fish residue from water with a small
strainer or spoon.

Melt 2 tablespoon butter in bottom of a pot.

Add carrots and leeks and warm through.

Sprinkle flour over vegetables, then add fish
broth. Heat to boiling.

Stir in crème fraîche.

Place fish in soup with slotted spoon. Heat to
boiling, then add shrimp and dill. Salt and
pepper to taste.

Vær så god! ~ Bon appétit! ~ Dig in!

………………………………………………………………………………………


Crème fraîche
I made my own crème fraîche, thanks to Sharon Tyler Herbst’s Food Lover’s Companion. I changed the amounts to 1 1/2 cups whipping cream and 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Here’s what she said: “This matured, thickened cream has a slightly tangy, nutty flavor and velvety rich texture. The thickness of crème fraîche can range from that of commercial sour cream to almost as solid as room-temperature margarine. In France, where crème fraîche is a specialty, the cream is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally. In America, where all commercial cream is pasteurized, the fermenting agents necessary fo crème fraîche can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour cream. A very expensive American facsimile of crème fraîche is sold in some gourmet markets. The expense seems frivolous, however, when it’s so easy to make an equally delicious version at home. To do so, combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.Crème fraîche is the ideal addition for sauces or soups because it can be boiled without curdling. It’s delicious spooned over fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or puddings.”

………………………………………………………………………………………

Without pictures

Fiskesuppe
aka
My Mother-in-law Makes the Best Fish Soup in the World

Ingredients
2 pounds (about 4 cups) fish (I use cod and salmon)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon butter
2 cups carrots, finely sliced
2 cups leeks, finely sliced
2 tablespoon flour
4 1/2 cups broth from fish
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
2 cup shrimp
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
Salt
Pepper

Put fish in water and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat just until boiling and remove from heat. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon from the water and cut into small pieces. (Check for bones.) Remove fish residue from water with a small strainer or spoon. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in bottom of a pot. Add carrots and leeks and warm through. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, then add fish broth. Heat to boiling. Stir in crème fraîche. Place fish in soup with slotted spoon. Heat to boiling, then add shrimp and dill. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Crème fraîche
Combine 1 1/2 cups whipping cream and 3 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from eight to 24 hours or until very thick. Stir well before covering, and refrigerate up to 10 days. (Source: Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst, 1995.)

Posted by Becky @ 2:56 pm | 6 Comments  

Someone’s in the kitchen with summer squash

August 24, 2009 | Food,Garden,Iowa,Simply Recipes

We tried a wonderful summer squash recipe by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes with green peppers, onions and tomatoes from our garden. It was delicious! Elise recently gave me permission to use two of her recipes in an article (which hasn’t been published yet). She has the best recipes.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments  

Apple and sausage pie?

October 22, 2008 | Apples,Food,Stuff

Yummy.

“Apples? Well, that’s weird.”

[Bite]

“But, mmm, that’s good.”

Thanks, Simply Recipes!

Next up: Norsk eplekake, by special request.

Posted by Becky @ 10:16 pm | Comments  


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