The Revealing, Secret Diaries of a Not-So-Secret Foodie

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Cookbooks on my Shelf

In Essay, Food, Garden on January 20, 2016 at 2:58 pm

cookbooks

Marcella's Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazen

The paperback edition of Marcella’s Italian Kitchen was gifted to me over twenty years ago. It was a thank you from a student who was doing a rotation through the research lab where I was working at the time.

I remember a day when I met her ten year old son.  Sick and unable to attend school he accompanied his mom to the hospital.  I offered to look after him while she attended a biochemistry lecture.  One she couldn’t miss. Unexpectedly, I had an assistant.

For an hour or so we had fun viewing slides under the microscope. While his mom scribbled notes on the chemical processes of life, with a little light and a lot of magnification, he and I looked at cells where it was all taking place.

She returned grateful.  I was in my twenties at the time.  Not yet a wife, nor mother.   She was both.  And a first year medical student in her early forties attending a most prestigious school. She had been an artist.  Later I learned a close friend’s sickness and death had inspired her to enter a new career late in life. Read More

Tomatoes

In Faith, Family, Food, Garden, Photography, Writing on January 6, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Garden Harvest of San Marzanos

Spring’s ground holds such promise.  Black earth rested.  Ready for new life. Working the soil, strong hands turn heavy dirt. Broken free from winter’s hold, it tumbles loose through pitchfork tines.  Falling first, but landing soft and crumbling fine.  Good earth; the sower’s open canvas. Painted in strokes of hope, patience and endurance. Loved into yields of multiplying abundance.

tomatoe closeup
I’ve always been an organized gardening type. Drawn to admire the formal gardens of centuries old.  Clipped and hedged to absolute perfection.  Box woods in neat rows outlining secret mazes.   Or a prized, but hidden rose garden. Perhaps those imagined or more likely inspired into my consciousness.  Sprung to life off the worn pages of a beloved English novel or two. Read More

Dates

In Faith, Family, Food, Photography, Writing on January 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm
Irish Date Cake with Whipping Cream

Traditional Irish Date Cake with Whipping Cream.

Sticky cake clings to the edge of the plate. Clinging tight, refusing to let go.

“You missed a spot,” the youngest sister notices. French porcelain thin, hangs fragile in her hands. The rose-covered plate moves back towards the dish-filled sink.

“It’s a poor dish dryer that can’t help the dish washer,” the older sister reminds, elbows deep in bubbles.
Inherited bone china, held quiet, between them now.

Side-by-side sisters, sleeves rolled and cuffed clearing the mess left behind. Together in the mess; this time cups and saucers, stacked and balancing high on the counter. Beside the dessert forks and plates, cleared and bouncing in the soap. Read More

Believe

In Faith, Family, Food, Photography, Writing on December 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Some of My Favorite Things.

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1.  Bright Red Wreath on White Front Door.  

This summer my husband spent many a day refurbishing things around our home.   Read the rest of this entry »

Baby Bella

In Family, Food, Photography, Writing on October 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm
Hungarian Mushroom Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Sprig of Dill.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Sprig of Dill.

My family begins to gather around the table for dinner. The way we do most nights. One by one, each boy wanders into the kitchen. Waiting on his brothers, both younger and older, my middle son softly taps out a tune against the worn farmhouse table. The tines of his fork leave behind an interesting pattern of divots in the soft wood.

Early in my mothering, the patina of raising young boys was under appreciated. Not always welcomed on furniture or otherwise. Somehow back then, the shiny and unblemished gleam of the new and unchanged appealed to me. But children bring perspective. They also bring laughter and so many Legos. And then there are the lines. The worry ones worn on my brow and on some days, the dry-erase but permanent ones discovered on freshly hung Thibaut wallpaper. Sweat and tears; they bring it all.

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Béchamel

In Family, Food, Photography, Writing on September 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

My Dad introduced me to my first Béchamel.  Growing up it was his signature lunch special, one that he’d prepare for us on weekends. His technique was not precise and often prepared in a too small a saucepan. But it always worked and made our house smell warm with garlic.  More times than not and when I wasn’t looking, he’d toss in some minced clams.  It wasn’t until many meals later that I learned the little lumps in his white sauce weren’t a technical error.  Rather a culinary decision.  The man liked his linguine and white sauce WITH clams.

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Apples

In Faith, Family, Food on November 19, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Rustic Salad of MacIntosh Apples, Cashews, Shredded Swiss Cheese tossed in Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing.

Apple. A word my children most frequently associate with that logo on the back of their favorite electronic devices. I also adore my iPhone, iPad and iTunes. If being completely honest, maybe a little too much. Being plugged in; it’s a national past time. -Read more>

Basil

In Food, food photography, Garden, Photos, Recipe, Writing on August 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm
Mini Thai Basil Turkey Lettuce Cups with Garnishes of Jasmine Rice, Poblano Pepper, Oyster Sauce & Chiffanade of Basil.

Mini Thai Basil Turkey Lettuce Cups with Garnishes of Jasmine Rice, Poblano Pepper, Oyster Sauce & Chiffanade of Basil.

Fifty-one cents. A small price to pay for an unexpected culinary challenge. Always the frugal gourmet, this foodie could not leave that lonely bottle of oyster sauce behind. Its red label marked clearance grabbed my attention. Reduced:51 cents. Never one to pass up a good deal, into the cart it went. Right next to the Cheerios, juice boxes and cage-free eggs.

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Beets

In Essay, Food, food photography, Gab, Garden, Photos, Recipe on June 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm

beetsThe clothesline is empty and so is the blooming clover that fills the yard. Yesterday’s bumblebees have not yet reoccupied their spiky white posts. The stillness of the early hour is broken only with the unintended music from the clicks of our flip flops in rhythm with the whiney creak from the handle of a pail. It swings back and forth empty and wrapped around my arm. I pause for a moment at the putting hole to pocket a forgotten golf ball and look back towards the house. Our steps have left an interesting trail in the cool dew. Grandma calls my name. She’s ahead of me now and has stopped, waiting for me to catch up.

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Oreos

In Essay, Faith, Food, food photography, Gab, Photos, Recipe, Spiritual on January 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

Milk and White Chocolate-dipped Oreo Bon Bons.

Nearly a year has passed since debuting my little idea of suebthefoodie.com. It is most certainly with a gigantic smile that I recall the electrifying sense of excitement when I hit publish on my first post that February afternoon. How vividly I can remember the sheer terror that immediately followed. Why terror? Well, instead of like so many other times in my life, I did not stand at the edge hesitating, wondering if I could succeed. Or worse, fearing that I would fail. My big toe did not go first to test the waters. Instead, I just did it. I dove right in with a pounding, passionate heart and a “cannonball” mindset. For me, doing something new is terrifying. Silly. I know. But so true. So deeply apart of me. -Read More>