Saturday, April 27, 2019

Schindl...Feeders List!

Mine is not quite as philosophically deep as Schindler’s.. and if I behave, I might come to the end of the current “list”, although I just added on to the end..

Let’s check off a few bunnies and then tackle more food related things…

Although not to say Jelly Beans aren’t a food, but just an update and a rare find.  Got out a fresh bag the other day, and sorted them as usual

Which brought my total statistical base to 1733 beans (stats later), but in going through the beans, looked what turned up in the licorice section (pretty much full size!)

A rare Siamese bean, seldom if ever seen.  I’m sure it will be worth $$$ someday or maybe I’ll donate it to the Smithsonian (if I don’t eat it first)

Sports up to here.  It is amazing to me how some people are just consumed by the NFL.  They call up the sports talking heads and go on and on about if “my team” drafts so-and-so, “we’ll” need more support in the middle of the D line, so “we” should trade…. Blah, blah, blah don’t these people have a life?  Guess not.

And beginning the transition to real food stuff, what the hell is a “Maryland Crab Cake” that appears on menus coast to coast, Iowa, Wyoming, etc.  Is it purely where the meat comes from? Has to be Callinectes sapidus? I was looking at a box of frozen “Maryland Crab Cakes” the other day from Philips a venerable seafood house, and if you read further, you would come across the phrase “Maryland Style Crab Cakes.

First I wanted to relate a little dictionary o’diets I found in one of my mags (Cuisine at Home) I’ll just pass some along for our general edification:

Paleo (I think a contraction of “Paleolithic”) diet. (caveman, stone age, etc.)
A paleo diet is a dietary plan based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.
A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains.  Might be also dubbed “glutton” diet, although I do know a couple of devotees who swear by it, publish pictures of gluttonous hunks of beef, etc.

Keto(genic) diet, is all about one thing: fat, obtaining 70-80% of their calories from fat while eating very few carbohydrates (<50 15="" 20="" amounts="" and="" calories="" day="" grams="" moderate="" of="" percent="" protein="" span="" style="mso-spacerun: yes;" total=""> 
Explanation of benefits have to do with forcing your body into Ketosis, getting primary fuel source from ketones, and on and on. I don’t personally know of any followers.

Whole30 diet.. “markets itself as a method to reset your diet, give your digestive system a break, and help you form a new relationship with food”.  Excuse me?  You are told to cut out foods that are known to upset some tummies or are generally unhealthy. No processed or packaged foods, natural and artificial sugars, alcohol (WHAT?? Okay, on to the next diet!!) and after 30 days you slowly add food groups like beans and whole grains.  Sounds tough to follow..

Vegan and Vegetarian diet(s) Kind of our old friends. 
Vegetarians come in many flavors (ha ha) with such sub-categories as:
Lacto-ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid all animal flesh, but do consume dairy and egg products.
Lacto vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid animal flesh and eggs, but do consume dairy products.
Ovo vegetarians: Vegetarians who avoid all animal products except eggs.

Vegans: Vegetarians who avoid all animal and animal-derived products.

Those who do not eat meat or poultry but do consume fish are considered pescatarians, whereas part-time vegetarians are often referred to as flexitarians.

Vegetarians and vegans differ in their beliefs regarding the use of animals by humans. This is why some vegetarians may consume animal-derived products, whereas vegans do not.

Feeder Diet: All things in moderation.

“Fake” Meat
Okay, I have been avoiding this last topic for quite a while, because I was not sure how to address it.  It was highlighted in one of my other foodie magazines “Restaurant Hospitality” from October! And I have been meaning to pass it on. I have used a portion of the cover once or twice as a tease, but here’s the full shot.

It’s not so much the eye grabbing riff on “show me the meat”; or “where’s the beef” as it is the sub-headline: “Plant-based Proteins Capture the Mainstream”.  It would be easy for the Feeder to latch onto the “Fake” craze coming into our lexicon lately by fearless leader, meaning “anything I don’t want to believe, no matter if it is an indisputable matter of fact, is “Fake”, i.e., a lie”. So it would be easier to poke fun at “fake” meat, going off on “why bother, eat the real stuff”, using phrases like “it almost” tastes like beef” and other dismissive statements.  But, the real fact is that there are many people who for medical, or real conviction care what goes into their mouth and bodies and where it comes from, see previous paragraphs. 

The article in Hospitality begins with: “It began with Vegans, but now meatless burgers have been embraced by meat eaters looking to reduce their intake of animal flesh both for health reasons and to mitigate global warming” a restaurateur in San Francisco founder of “Monty’s Good Burger” who developed the meatless “Impossible Burger” made from ingredients such as wheat protein, coconut oil and heme (a protein in hemoglobin) that makes the product appear to bleed! .  The meatless concept has taken hold, as evidenced by none other than that paragon of “greasy burger joints” White Castle which introduced an Impossible Burger slider into all of its 377 “restaurants” in 13 states; topping the original slider’s price of 73 cents to a whopping (no pun intended) $1.99 apiece!  Other venues and “joints” are following suit, such as Next Level Burger in Bend, Oregon, Carl’s Junior, and reports are that the Golden Arches is in development

Ending with further proof that meatless proteins are “capturing the mainstream” is an article in the WAPO from mid-April by Tim Carman, Tom Sietsema’s understudy and probably heir, entitled “Burger King’s Impossible Whopper tastes even better than the real thing”

My old home town St. Louis has been selected as the test market for the Impossible Whopper (not Burger), and if interested you should read the whole piece

His bottom line is not so glowing, but maybe realistic
“After eating more than a dozen Impossible-branded burgers in St. Louis — including Red Robin’s thick-cut version, which had none of the chin-dribbling juices you desire from a big, sloppy grilled hamburger — I’ve come to the conclusion that the producer of this meat alternative is a master illusionist. After one bite, you swear the Impossible patty tastes just like beef. After a second bite, you begin to sense the illusion behind the science. After a third, you’re ready to invest in the whole enterprise. With time, the illusion becomes its own alternative reality: The product is close enough to beef that your brain is willing to fill in the rest of the flavors, even if somewhere in the dark recesses of your cerebral cortex, you know it’s all a lie.”

Stand by America!!

That’s a wrap!
Well, that’s about the end of my list.  Somewhat caught up.  Hope you weren’t bored.  In the future, I have been promised some of the Gold stuff to use in cooking, a couple of reviews of “Slice” in Leonardtown, and I’m sure they’ll just keep coming.

So keep reading and

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

marching down the topic list!!

Well, in order to forestall increasing “rats! I was going to blog about that” second thoughts after hitting “publish”, I have taken to jot down topics as they come to me.  So, since my last posting the list is up to six, and includes but not limited to:  Fake meat; Tiger Quote; Diets demystified; a stringer report from NYC, the walrus speaks again, and the “what the heck is a Maryland Crab Cake?”; something for all tastes! a normal writer might hit them all, but I’m far from normal and as we all know tend to take a little mole hill and render it into a mountain, so we will have to have some in the hopper..

Tiger Tidbits
My feelings are pretty well known now about tiger who has now been anointed as a Saint.  Never mind the philandering, wife cheating past, he now “Deserves” to win another Major.  Oh, and I think even less of him now that he is going to accept the national award by his White House golfing buddy.  Somebody sent me a link to a column by the iconoclastic sports writer Phil Mushnick who toils for the New York Post.  He recently published an article entitled “Masters broadcast went over the top with Tiger Woods worship” and led off with the line: “Notre Dame Cathedral Burns! Tiger Woods Unharmed!”, which I thought pretty well characterized the current hysteria.     Okay cross off one!

Walrus Wanderings

In doing (what passes for) research for the “Cabbages and Kings” reference in last posting, I came across the full text of the Lewis Carroll poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”.  In the sixth of 18 verses, Oysters rear their lovely head (if they had one) with:
O Oysters, come and walk with us!'
The Walrus did beseech.
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.'

Then it goes on about their fanciful walk, and in a spoiler, the 18th verse concludes with:
O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one."

Interesting stuff!

Stringer Submissions

One of the fun things I get are reports on ramblings, restaurants, comings and goings, from trusted palates around the region

I got a couple that are worth passing on, plus just an fyi.

From a friend visiting NYC.. “breakfast this morning at my favorite Brooklyn restaurant, The River Café .  As alert readers know, I am a fan of classical restaurants.   This certainly qualifies:

Gorgeous! Everything just so, notice the silver knife rest

The Breakfast Menu
NYC pricing!  this ain't no IHOP!!

Our adventurous friend chose the “golden pancakes” (top right)
No report on the Golden Strip.. life can be good

The second report is from nobody other than FOJTE who celebrated his wife’s birthday by celebrating dinner at Tony’s in downtown St. Louis, now a posthumous monument to Vince Bommarito.  They went to honor his memory and renew acquaintanceship with the food.   He reports that they haven’t skipped a beat, the food and service was still worth the many stars that have accrued. 

The only observation was that in the years(?) since their last visit a couple of things have changed:  FOJTE was the ONLY guest (that he observed) with a tie, and there was even “golf shirts” in evidence.  It also appeared that the cozy little reception bar to the right of the entrance is no longer in use.  Sigh, you can’t exactly go home again.  Thank god the food and service remained a constant.   More details to follow.

The “FYI”:   the original Kevin’s (seafood) in Leonardtown

Is now yet another outlet for Pizza, called

which means they only serve it by……
Early report was that it was good..

Well, we just crested three pages of content, which is kind of my estimate of enough for us both.  Maybe just leave you with a couple of shots of Easter Flowers in the Digs

FOJTE has proper upbringing (thanks dad!) so that when he went to Tony’s, he was appropriately
And I won’t sully that thought with mention of MJ’s

Still a few topics left over for next time

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Many things ( NOT shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax— Of cabbages—and kings)

Being a long time docent at St. Mary’s City, “specializing” in the reconstructed brick chapel of 1667, I often talk about the  the long history of the Chapel.  Well, when the colonists constructed it, in the (late) 17th century, Notre Dame had stood tall for almost 500 years.  Fortunately, we were able to visit it a couple of times and what a calamity for not just Christians, but mankind in general.  Reports of what was lost continue to roll in, hopefully some of the irreplaceable items may have survived. 

So, despite an undertone of insignificance, we’ll plunge into mundane Feeder topics..

Eggs live on

People have been asking about expanding my egg repertoire beyond Turkeys and Exotic Chickens.  Particularly eggs from Ducks.  Okay, well another educational experience for the feeder ensued.  I had thought I would have to find a cute little boutique farm with a gentleman farmer harboring his loving brood (mixed metaphor there) of ducks producing delicate, perfectly formed restaurant quality eggs.  Well, in response to some inquiries, I got several “well, you ninny, they are sold at the farmer’s market at Hermanville Road and 235!” (so much for bucolic searching) and a friend volunteered to get me some. 

Duck lesson one: Duck Eggs are not hard to come by.
Lesson two came when I received a half dozen of them.  My city boy perception of duck eggs were that they would be smaller than the chicken variety.  Well, here’s a side by each:

Which is Daisy’s and which is the hen’s product?

Duck Lesson two:  (These) duck eggs are at least the size of Chicken eggs; go figure.

Lesson three: the crucial taste test…. Another throwdown!

Again ducky on the lefty
Fried up in Mr All Clad

Followed by brother chicken

And plated both

Neither MFO nor I could notice any marked difference in mouthfeel (love to use that word), color, or taste.  Both pretty good.  I was preconditioned to give the duck a “Ptooie” after another good palate reported she had to pitch hers into the woods as being inedible.   Hope hers was not “just bad”.

Duck Lesson three: there is no significant culinary difference in Duck and Chicken (Or turkey for that matter!)

So I’m afraid that I have to pretty much give an across the board “okay” to Chicken, Turkey, and now Duck eggs.  Take what is easy.  Comments welcomed.

The Aliens have landed! flesh eating growths on the loose!

Nope. here’s the status of the Moody Mushroom Farm:

Day 10

Oh, Beans!
a close out for the long, long, time readers with a good memory (and sports junkies):

Remember what this signifies?

Yep, it is my traditional “Final Round of the Masters” snack.   Salted (yes menu breaker) and jelly beans.  The beans are authentic Brach’s, but the peanuts are NOT the Planter’s Cocktail Nuts from the blue can, rather Whitley’s Virginia peanuts.  Still a great pairing (ha ha)

(please skip freely)

Well, while the snacks were semi-traditional, the golf tournament was anything but.  Alert (Sports oriented) readers will know that after N years, it is believed all is forgiven for Tiger and he’s now larger than life in his quest to “Return to Glory”.  A snip from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Everyone, even the president, needs a pal. President Trump is so pleased for his golf buddy Tiger Woods that he wants to give the comeback winner of the Masters the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the land.

Ugh, for several reasons. Save it for true cultural and social leaders. Give it to those who are morally inspiring as well as accomplished, meaning not Tiger. Hand out fewer to heighten the power of the award. Skip your friends and think of the nation”

The feeder has to make a (rare) politically oriented observation (although alert readers may sense my leanings): Everything our President does these days is with the sole purpose of building a voter base for 2020, you think honoring T has ulterior motives? 

I have never been a “Tiger Fan”.   I do make a distinction between his ability with a golf club and the man.  He is a phenomenal golfer with skills never seen before, and deserves all the credit for his play (GOAT??), but not (IMHO) his personality.  Many people seem to believe he is entitled to win a major for what he’s overcome medically. Show me the score, man; go earn it!

Anyway, the heads will change their tune from “will Tiger ever win (a major) again?” to “will Tiger now “Catch” Jack?” 

Okay enough for today

Despite the last entry hope everyone has a joyful Easter season

DFD, and don’t forget NMMJ!

Addendum and in the hopper:
what in the Hell is a Maryland Crab Cake?
what's different about these "burgers"?


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Bring it on!

Hey Bobby! You got nothing on the Feeder!  I’m doing my own Throwdown!   Could be called an egg-off but not quite the glam power.  Many of you (thank you!) have asked about the comparison between the turkey and chicken egg.  So I decided to settle it once and for all.   Okay team Turkey in spotted uniforms on the left and blue and brown uniformed players from the chicken side on the right.

Ready team Turkey? set, cook!  Listen to those cheers!
after cracking a tougher than "normal" shell, it reveals anice color, firm and big!!

After a brisk whisking (with a bit of heavy cream added) onto the heat

Getting it together
Big soft curds onto the plate for the judges

Okay Team Chicken, you're up!

Note the variation in color of the two player's yolks

Same treatment (in a clean pan so no cross contamination)

Plated and all And lined up for the illustrious judges (MFO and the Feeder)
So, what’s the verdict??
Well, the judges thought that team turkey's entry was a little more “creamier” than the competitors, but couldn’t compete on the color comparison, plus the flavor was a bit more forward.  So, the chickens carried the day!  Just as well, harder to come by the gobbler variety.  Wish I could get some Duck Eggs!

Beauty in the ‘Hood
Gathered ourselves together and took a little ride around “the Farms” to enjoy the spring’s offering of the trees..still a bit early for redbuds and dogwoods so mostly Pears with maybe the odd Cherry
There’s just something classic about lanes and gates, especially closed… what’s back there?  where does it lead?

And it’s always a pleasure to see trees that have the room to express themselves

Even up close, they’re pretty

For some reason it’s a banner year for Forsythia

Other people were out for a stroll

Sometimes you have to look close to see more beauty

Even after they treat us on the tree, they can make a nice monochromatic mosaic on the ground

Well, this may close out the egg-a-thon, time to move on to other culinary mysteries like:
“Where’s the Beef?”

Almost time to

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Time marches on, Chickens lay eggs, and Recipes punish you

Before we do more (than you want to know??) about eggs and chickens, a story which definitely belongs in a Food Blog, especially mine:

Soon after we moved to St. Louis in 1965 to work for Boe….McDonnell Dougla… McDonnell Aircraft Company(!), I began my journey with good food, cooking, and wine. We wanted to have a celebratory dinner at a great restaurant, I don’t remember the occasion, but I know it was special because we chose Tony’s considered one of, if not the finest restaurant in St. Louis.  At that time, it was located on N. Broadway, on the north side of town in an old brick building (still) common in St. Louis.  So I was (what is now called DFD) in my finest sport coat and tie.   We entered the restaurant somewhat nervously, and were greeting by a person in a tuxedo:  “Good evening Mr. Moody, welcome to Tony’s, please follow me to your table” and we headed for a carpeted stair way to the “upstairs”.  I was astonished to see him facing us, walking backward up the many stairs, holding on to…….. nothing.  Wow.  Quite special.

To be truthful, I don’t remember the table nor setting but was most likely elegant, and settled in.  Nor, do I remember what we drank if we did, but I DO remember that I ended up ordering “double veal loin chops”.  You know the cut, like a rack of lamb, but served in chops with two rib bones.  Trying to be elegant, I used my knife to get the meat from the “eye” or lollypop, which was excellent.  I left the rib bones on the plate of course.   I was about finished when a gentleman appeared over my shoulder, exclaiming “you’re leaving the best part!”, whereupon he reached over my shoulder, grabbed a chop and proceeded to separate it with bare hand sit into two ribs with meat attached neatly replacing them on the plate.  “That’s how you enjoy double chops!”; that was my introduction to Vince Bommarito and Tony’s.  I will never forget that evening. 

So it was bittersweet when heard of his passing a week or so ago at the age of 88.  An era was closed with him.  He set the standard for classic fine dining in St. Louis for years. We ate several times in the new location on market street. A model of a traditional fine dining restaurant, front waiters, back waiters, food served simultaneously under plates with silver domes, all to be revealed with a “Voila” in unison.  Vince would move from table to table, eyeing the food, adjusting the position of a fork here and there, chatting if seemed appropriate.
Times have moved on, and I suppose there are restaurants that rise to Tony’s level, but there will always be a special place in my heart for Vince Bommarito.

I am not sure it’s appropriate to move on to chickens and eggs, but my love of food furthered by Tony’s restaurant makes it okay.  I think I told you my Home Visit Nurse brings me eggs from her farm, and the other day brought a new carton

Hey! Is that thing a dinosaur egg?  Nope, they also have a couple of turkeys and it’s a turkey egg, quite understandably larger than a mere chicken’s. Speaking of which, they have three varieties (breeds?) producing eggs in a coat of many colors. 
There is a Silver Phoenix

A beautiful bird that is quite small and friendly and lays the smallest egg of the bunch (next to the Gobbler’s).  they are amenable to people and enjoy being held and petted. Their eggs are creamy white.
Of a different size is the Black Copper Maran

Which is responsible for the dark brown/coffee colored eggs.  They are not quite as friendly apparently.
Then without an exotic name is the “Easter Egger” who gives us the multicolored blues, greens and light browns

Here’s a selection of their eggs

I took a few images of the same eggs with different backgrounds (sort of a photographic experiment)
to see how it changes how the colors appear..

And a size comparison of turkey, Silver Phoenix and the Black Copper Maran.

As with any “hobby” one can become obsessed and become immersed in a different world,  I think Mr. Turkey egg will serve as breakfast tomorrow morning.

Speaking of obsessions, the egg lady’s husband has now taken to growing Mushrooms in his basement.  He was kind enough to send a kit along, trying to get me sucked in!

Just add water and watch

And lastly, a small rant to close this edition.

I often look at online recipes to get some ideas of dishes, preparations etc.  Googling (for instance) “Sautéed Scallops” gets you a sting of recipes from various sources, a lot of them from places like “All Recipes” or “So and So eats”.   Okay fine, so you select one and click on it.  The first thing that hits you is a series of ads for whatever you may have looked at lately, or wants you to download something first, or a start of the recipe broken up by any number of ads.  Not only that, at least on my machine, a little window opens informing you that “waiting for cache”; “establishing connection with a secure website”, "request sent" waiting for this and that.  Gets so frustrating I usually bail out without seeing the actual recipe.   Sigh.

On the horizon: another visit to The Cow and The Fish (which remains an enigma); following the mushroom saga, and who knows what.

Go SPARTANS, while I

RIP Vince Bommarito, you did it right