How Novel

Books feed our hunger for intellectual sustenance, quite often with a savory flourish, but what of real, stomach-growling cravings?  They do, perhaps, when the book is James Patterson’s thriller about a cook on the lam, titled, unexpectedly, The Chef.   A friend read the tome, noticed a small collection of recipes in an appendix, and immediately… Continue reading How Novel

Party Tonight in Quezon City

Must be quite the occasion, as today introduces not just one, but two types of lumpia,  a Filipino egg roll of sorts typically served at parties and at other celebrations.  There’s the classic pork, carrot and water chestnut variety, pictured above on the right, and a newer crab, pineapple and ginger version from Hawaii, which… Continue reading Party Tonight in Quezon City

Just Across the Bay

The best crabs around these parts (the US mid-Atlantic region) reside in the Chesapeake estuary, and Baltimore celebrates them better than do most other places.  Among the bounty of shellfish preparations the city offers, none matches Crab Cakes.  Particularly not when the leading ingredient is crab.  Astoundingly huge nuggets of sweet, flaky crab. It’s a… Continue reading Just Across the Bay

Along Italy’s Pacific Coast

Wait, what?  There’s the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, but when did this whole Pacific thing happen?  About 150 years ago, actually, when Italian immigrants to the U.S. made their way westward and those of a more nautical disposition found work is San Francisco’s fishing industry.  While many in the Bay Area discovered wealth inland extracting… Continue reading Along Italy’s Pacific Coast

Timing Has to Be Perfect

Otherwise, Tomato and Crab Soup wouldn’t deliver the garden’s glorious flavors with quite such style.  Certainly, the soup would be memorable any time of year, but in early August, when high summer vaults garden vegetables past each other in pursuing perfection, the results approach the divine.  Ambrosia. Soup now, though?  While the humidity gives vegetables… Continue reading Timing Has to Be Perfect

Colder than a Virginia Summer

Most things are, actually, as the mercury vaults beyond comprehension by late June and heat makes the roads bubble.  Add the dripping humidity especially prevalent in southern Virginia and everything becomes a sauna; it’s inescapable.  Before air conditioning, the British Foreign Service considered Washington to be a tropical posting and compensated its diplomats accordingly.  This… Continue reading Colder than a Virginia Summer

Look What Was Under the Tree!

Today’s entry started its way to us Christmas morning, when gift cards were among the presents.  Over the couple months that followed, those cards produced mail-order merchandise, including King Crab legs and tamarind paste.  Their selection had a purpose, as they’re the headliners in Kdam Char Umpey, or Cambodian Tamarind Crab. As with so many… Continue reading Look What Was Under the Tree!