Friday, May 19, 2006

The Day after the Day after “This Day is Without Food Blogs”

We are a little behind, but what else is new. On May 16 foodbloggers who support internet democracy posted statements, links to further information and petitions in support of internet democracy. We support web neutrality and encourage anyone interested to read more about this issue at save the internet. I was made aware of the issue while browsing Chez Pim.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Second Helping House Guests

Our friends and neighbors Ray and Terrie are on a lifetime adventure. They along with the “girls” Sophia and Hannah (nice dogs) drove from Florida to Oregon pulling their 1965 vintage air stream trailer where they are living as campground hosts in Oregon for the summer. We were curious about what they were eating and asked them to send us a guest entry for the blog on campfire cooking. When I saw what they were making I thought back to my days camping as a girl scout and making campfire stew out of cans of campbell vegetable soup and hamburger a far cry from planked Alaskan wild cod fillet.

Morning from Oregon,
Here are some photos and text for you...see if you are interested for your blog...we decided not to start with the dungeness crab Ray had at Lighthouse because that was a crab patty...even though a fresh made one...we will comment when we have some unadulterated crabmeat...hope all is well with you guys...was 39 degrees when I got up this morning...I see it is going to be 88 today for you guys...we are enjoying the very different we are going to a festival at the Thyme Garden Herb Company up the and May wine and herb dishes...hopefully, there will be interesting photos and food/drink news to pass on to you...I don't know how to do attachments to I am copying these photos to this e-mail...let me know how they come out...We are surrounded by Alder trees here at our Oregon camp.....Ray split a piece of the Alder wood to make a plank for grilling...this is Alaskan Wild Cod fillet sprinkled with lemon pepper and topped with fresh lemon slices and red pepper...spring onions on the side...and on the right is a boneless pork chop about 2 inches was marinated in raspberry and roasted chipotle sauce and pressed garlic...both cooked close to an hour...slowly over a campfire...both were excellent...

We threw washed and wrapped in foil yams on the fire and cooked them until soft...add butter when cooked and served...The wine is a cabernet...the steamed green cabbage and sweet onion is a left over half a head of cabbage steamed on my electric hotplate topped with butter or sweet chile sauce when serving...the left side dish is a...

fantastic stewed white corn
these ears of corn here...I don't know where they were grown but they were the largest ears of white corn I have ever seen...
4 ears for a dinner for 2
  • shuck, wash and grate the corn into your skillet
  • add over low heat 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 TBS of butter...
  • salt and pepper to taste...
    cook slowly for about 20 to 30 minutes...frequently stirring...this is a wonderful way to use fresh corn...there is nothing to compare with cooking outside here in Oregon in the crisp air over a fragrant open fire of wood spilt by your husband...with the dog children running and playing around while you was good...Love from, Your Oregon Campground Hosts, Terrie and Ray

    If you want to read more about the idyllic life of camp hosting in a breathtaking landscape check out Ray and Terrie's blog at land yacht safari.
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  • Thursday, May 11, 2006

    What Rhymes with Food?

    Here at the second helping house we don't fight over pie.

    My wife and I have been searching for an illustration of the “dish running away with the spoon”, depicted in the Mother Goose rhyme “The cat and the fiddle”. We have an anthropomorphic gallery as part of this blog, and would like to include this image. My search lead to my mothers collection of children's books, many saved from my childhood, she uses them as a soure of inspiration for her own art work. Still sharp at 83 she pulled her favourite “Mother Goose” from the book case. It was the one I remembered but not with the illustration that I imagined. Paging my way through the volume I was struck by the number of rhymes that made mention of food. The illustrations flooded my mind as I remembered them from long ago. This moment of impact –the collision of childhood memory and my current re-examination of this book led me to an immediate conclusion. It would be a great shame not share and enlighten everyone to this forgotten illustrator. His name is “Tenggren” and the illustrations are from “The Tenggren Mother Goose”. This book is out of print but he also illustrated many of the children's “Little Golden Book” series. A search at abebooks will turn up many of Tenggren illustrated works. In my research I discovered May the first is mother goose day, a day to read and remember our mother of rhyme.

    If you grew up as lucky as I did with a mom who bought books for you and read them outloud as you studied the pictures you may have a spot in your heart for “Mother Goose.”

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    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    The “Corn Phoenix” Rises

    Long before food blogging I was in the habit of trimming recipes from the news paper. This interest in recipe collection started when I car pooled to work with a guy who had little to say, so I read the paper. I saved the recipes thinking they would expand my limited culinary repertoire. Little did I know that collecting the little squares of paper would become a passion, I still have them archived neatly arranged in black binders. At the time I lived a bohemian life style with minimal needs in sunny Florida right across the street from the beach. Bradenton Beach was my Shangri-La. One hot summer night the sirens woke me and I stepped out to see a house on fire two doors down on the Gulf of Mexico side of the street, beach front property. I grabbed my camera and headed for the blaze hoping for a prize winning shot. No winning photo but a week or so after the fire I went out to the street to get my mail from the box and this recipe was at my feet. As I examined my find I thought this is surely an object of beauty. Images of Nazi Germany filled my head, news reel footage of the flames of war, the hysteria of public book burnings. Again as a beautiful fragment, only this time a Byzantine manuscript salvaged when Caesar burned the Royal Library of Alexandria. This book page born aloft by the fingers of flame has been with me now for eleven years, a reminder of balmy summer nights by the sea. And so with the assistance of the internet I share with you the Phoenix, this delicious dish returns from the ashes with the addition of some fresh nutmeg grated over it. By the way the book can still be purchased. It is called “Great Food Without Fuss” by Frances McCullough and Barbara Witt.

    Early Summer Fresh Corn Pudding
  • 6 ears tender fresh corn
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the corn from the cob and scrape the cob well to extract the milk. You should have 2 cups of corn.

    In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cream, and milk. Add the salt, sugar, and corn.

    Pour the mixture into a buttered shallow casserole or heatproof glass dish. Place in a shallow pan of warm water and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about one hour.

    Cooks note: For me the story of the burnt page is more important then the corn pudding recipe on it Although this is a good recipe it is quite common with many variations. For example this recipe can be made into a main course with the additions of either chicken, or oysters. A variety of herbs and spices can be added, basil and nutmeg being my favorites, not necessarily together. Other welcome additions are onions, scallions, red or green bell pepper or turn up the heat with any number of hot chillies. This is a dish that will make you famous at any pot luck affair.
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