Archives For food porn

Nashville like many middle-sized cities in the wake of the Borders implosion was left without a proper new book store in town proper. Used book stores, yes. And mighty fine ones, too. But not a bookstore with a newsstand filled with foreign food porn magazines. Currently, said girl has to drive to Cool Springs or Hendersonville (burbs) to get to a Barnes & Noble. There is a Books-a-Million on the opposite side of town but their newsstand is super skinny on the foreign mag side.

The husband indulged me tonight by carting me to one of the dreaded burbs to acquire my fix. On the way home, we cruised by the future B&N home in the old Borders’ husk on West End. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it will contain a richly supplied newsstand. I’ve learned not to hold my breathe on an independent newsstand.

Yes, I do know you can subscribe to foreign mags but the overseas rates are more than you pay on the newsstand, even if they are a month off. I may have to succumb to the subscription yet.

For now, I’m going to flip through my fix while I have a piece of toast.

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I just wanted to report a sighting of new Culinaria books. The Borders in Nashville on West End had Culinaria Germany, France and the one volume European Specialties. I was in a hurry and scanned to see if they had one I didn’t have, so I can’t say what the price was but I can say that they were in the bargain section as you walk in the door. Happy hunting.

Happy Valentine’s Day

victoria  —  February 14, 2007 — Leave a comment

Ah, a day for lovers and friends, or something mushy like that. I am a romantic at heart, anyone who knows me knows I can be a little silly about love though Valentine’s Day still tends to rub me the wrong way. It’s the greeting-card hype of it, the diamonds are the only way to really say I love you of it, the single rose at the gas station check out of it. Granted, all the major holidays in our consumer culture have been eaten alive by the spending-money-is-the-only-way-to-say-you-care beast. Whatever. I love the sweetness of a hand made card and a home cooked meal (don’t make the mistake of trying to eat out on Valentine’s Day). I also think that books (though, yes, they are purchased for the most part) are always appropriate. Buying a book for someone is a very intimate endeavor, or should be. I’m not suggesting you run to your local book megamart and purchase the most interestingly clad read on the New Arrivals table. When you give someone a book you are saying a great deal about yourself, what you think of that person and what your relationship means to you. If you give the love of your life Sex for Dummies for Valentine’s Day, I can guarantee a statement is being made loudly and clearly.

All this talk of books and love brings me to my real topic at hand today. Ten years ago I bought Intercourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook at my favorite bookstore haunt in Knoxville. I was 25, a grad student and, perhaps most importantly, a single mother with a toddler. I am probably still paying for it, considering I am certain to have paid for it with student loan money. I didn’t have anyone to make sexy food for. I was a fairly accomplished cook though with a much smaller repetoire than I have now. I bought it for the photographs and the stories of the recipe testers enjoying the food and each other. Let’s just be honest here and say when you are a 25-year-old single mom, no one, but no one, is interested in getting frisky with you. I recall more polite “ohs” about the kid factor than actual running away screaming moments, but… still. I poured over this lovely book and dreamed of having someone with whom to share all these delectable goodies and my charms.

Flash forward 9 1/2 years. The daily output of 27 Niagara Falls has passed under my particular bridge and I am a happily married woman with a tween son and culinary school project due. During his daily internet wanderings, Keifel stumbled over a blurb on a website asking for volunteers to test recipes for a new, tenth anniversary edition of Intercourses. I, of course, dashed off an email to the author and crossed my fingers. The reply to my email came quickly and Keifel and I received three recipes to test: black bean empanadas with mango salsa, fish tacos and coffee meringues. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, though the meringues wouldn’t set in our then sticky clime.

We dashed off our testing and tasting notes and waited. Last week a box arrived with copies of the new book, our gifts for having tested and tasted. And there we were in black and white above the recipes for the empanadas and the tacos. In some small way, it was completing a circle for that lonely 25-year-old. There is also the joy of having shared something fun and meaningful with someone who understands you and what makes you tic in the deepest possible way. Now that we have the new edition, I am certain there will be more cooking from it. It isn’t just a novelty idea, the recipes are for some amazingly sophisticated food and for some especially simple carbohydrate-filled snacks to replenish a tired, but still willing, body.

If you’d like to purchase The New Intercourses: an aphrodisiac cookbook for your very own library click on through and give foodieporn 2 cents in the process. I can guarantee you will enjoy the photography, the recipes and, very probably, yourself.

Okay, that was a lousy Oliver Twist, but I did want to show off the new additions to my cooking library. I hear from my sister that I am a hard person to buy for in the kitchen department, though she did manage to find an adorable little sushi set for my birthday that I love. But cookbooks? Ah, I do have definite favorites as far as authors and subjects. But I am also a sucker for deeply researched or gorgeously photographed books by authors unknown and cuisines uncooked.

I’ve been collecting the Könemann Culinaria books for a few years and I was having trouble finding three or four of them. I had even written to the publisher in Germany to find out about the status of the books. The public relations person sent me a lovely email and told me about Daedalus Books. They have a wealth of titles in all fields and they are apparently the main buyer of the Culinaria series in the U.S. Anyway, I mentioned it to Keifel and told him which ones I didn’t have and lo and behold (despite the fact that he told me they were out of stock on those particular books and he had gotten other titles) the last three I wanted were under the tree. Plus, he had found the Könemann book on wine on the remainders table at Davis Kidd and bought that as a true surprise (as I didn’t even know it existed).

My other big gift was a Ken Onion Shun chef’s knife. I drooled over it at work at the Pannery. It is a thing of beauty and sharp, sharp, sharp. It has the perfect curve and I love the way it rocks on the board. It’s one of those knives that is so beautiful it makes you think maybe you should paint the cabinets.


Yum!

I love the books from Keifel and my mom and the three I purchased for myself (The Cinnamon Club, The Illustrated History of French Cuisine, Eggs) and I am over the moon about my knife, but the gift that made me cry was the mug the boychick painted for me to replace the one I dropped and broke.


I tried to get it at the right angle but inside it says, “The Best Chef and Mom”

That makes a girl feel truly special.

Excitement!

victoria  —  June 3, 2006 — Leave a comment

In perusing the other food oriented sites that abound on this here interweb, I gleaned a lovely piece of information. Nigella Lawson, one of the pantheon of culinary deities I honor, is slated to do a show for the Food Network premiering in September. They began filming/taping last month.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the working conditions in restaurants, how frequently people hook up, the whole mentor thing, my wild past and the concept of the “chef crush.”

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Trini Food in D.C.

victoria  —  March 31, 2005 — Leave a comment

The very first thing we did was head to the Islander on U Street for roti. They apparently don’t have roti on Sunday night. The boychick and I had stew chicken and Keifel and E.B. had oxtail and goat respectively. The pelau was quite good, but I have to confess that I think Keifel’s stew chicken is better.

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I know that artisans and bread purists will be distressed by the whole bread machine thing. I do make bread by hand fairly often.

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The joys of fall

victoria  —  October 14, 2004 — Leave a comment

I’ve decided to do some experimenting this week. I have two appliances in my kitchen that I have never used: a pizelle maker and a pasta maker (an extruder type not the rolling kind).

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Keifel and I were discussing the feasibility of deep-fried marshmallows. I don’t think it’s possible as the marshmallows would expand making the coating crack and then all the marshmallow goo would leak out into the oil making a spectacular mess.

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