I am thrilled to live in The East Bay of Northern California, a culinary, cultural carnival. Eating, cooking and learning about the foods of different cultures opens up small windows into a deeper understanding of others and ultimately ourselves. Food embodies cultural, historical, familial and personal meaning and often sheds light on intrinsic cultural values. Naturally, all foods are “ethnic” depending on one’s point of view.
In the several years I’ve been writing about food and culture in this blog and for magazines and online venues, I’ve realized that I am especially drawn to the stories people tell about food. We are all immigrants – (my own background is Hungarian, Russian and Romanian). And the immigrant experience may be poignantly revealed through a comforting bowl of soup or a plate of symbolic food to celebrate the new year.
As a food writer, I have been privileged to share the tales of immigrants told through their foodways, discover little-known holidays and witness ancient food rituals. I’ve also challenged myself to ferret out traditional breads that span the globe, authentic ethnic grocery stores, and international breakfast spots that offer a variety of ways to start the day.
I hope this blog can be a center for exploring and sharing all of our culinary cultural heritage and contemporary food ways. I love a quest. Please feel free to drop me a note with a question or area you would like me to explore. Cheers! Skål! Kampai! A Votre Sante!
I loved your article about Lila and the Thai Feast…
I found your amazing blog by chance as I’ve been googling around for deaf chefs. The reason for this is because my younger brother is deaf and his dream is to become a chef when he grows older. He is always cooking for my family and is actually a very good cook. But because of his disability, he has found it hard to find any type of real-life experience in the real world. Although my brother is only 19 years old, he would love to volunteer his own time to intern or shadow under a deaf chef. I was wondering if you would happen to know of any deaf chefs who would be willing to take him under their wing in the Los Angeles county area? I truly respect and admire all your work on your blog. You are so inspirational !! Thank you and I look forward in talking to you! 🙂
Hi Anna, Thanks so much for the copy of Edible! It’s great to know how creative and thoughtful people are becoming about food! What a nice read — shall pass it along to neighbors who are trying to do a minifarm at their place – chickens, rabbits, goats, and veg produce.
It also reminded me of going to Colucci’s before heading out to RMBL — and trying to get some of those injera chips!
My current culinary adventures:
1. omega-3’s are becoming increasingly important to our aging demographic, and 1 oyster can supply up to 1000 mg, so I’ve invented Oyster Turtles: I drain and retain the juices of a jar of oysters, then used prepared buttermilk pancake mix(no sugar) to mix with the juice, along w an egg (omega-3 enhanced) and enough canola oil to make a moderately thick batter. I spoon out batter on a grill, gently place a drained oyster on it, then cover the oyster w a layer of batter. After a minute, I flip it. Presto! an oyster turtle. They keep up to a week this way, stacked in a container, along w pancakes made from the batter. One oyster a day becomes easy and delicious!
2. I’ve been taking advantage of the citron trees I find in our area (found 2 over in El Cerrito just off San Pablo): I use them to make Mark Bittman’s Quick Preserved Lemons, then freeze the mix to create a soft relish consistency. It really adds flavor to my Mediterranean salads and curries.
3. A fast simple way to create a pear sherbet: had some bartlett pears that were getting overripe, so I cut the good parts up in chunks and froze them, thinking I’d use them for a smoothie. Some weeks later, I found them, half defrosted them, and put them in a blender w a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg. Added a little nonfat Lactaid and gave it a whirl. Voila! Pear sherbet! Was amazed at the refreshing creamy consistency. Forget the smoothie!
See you dancing! I have one more week left before our annual summer migration to the Colorado Rockies. If u wish to reply, it’s melharte at yahoo…com…