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Pea on this, Pea on that

Peas have a reputation.  And it ain't good - starchy and a weird color, very often the color of something a babe has recycled. But in fact, they can be delicious and there's a reason we feed them whooshed to infants, they're nutritious. If you hate peas, my theory is, you've probably never had a good pea.  
Where to find a good pea?  In my opinion, there are only two options.  1.  You're in a field of peas, and you're picking them at the perfect stage of readiness - not too fat, not too skinny.  From there, you immediately walk to a kitchen, have everyone in the house help you shell, then directly into salted boiling water.  30 seconds later, you have perfectly delicious peas.  Sound like a lot of work and effort?  Yep, sure is.  I eat my peas in the garden, and very generously share one or two with the cockers, who adore them.  They'll pick their own peas given a chance, and have ruined many a vine to get at them.  Turns out, pea shoots are just as delectab…
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Adding SPICE to your Valentine's Day

My Valentine to You --- hope you have a super spicy day  XoXoX, Cyn
With great humility and a healthy hit of confidence I report to you that I seem to be viewed as an above average Whipper Upper in the kitchen.  It started early, with a family that encouraged my presence in and around the kitchen, and ate my ‘special’ sauces and praised me for their deliciousness.  (Mix ketchup, A-1 steak sauce and oregano.  It really is pretty delicious, as any 4 year old dipper will tell you.)  Their support and willingness to try anything I produced gave me the confidence to cook.  I caught the bug, and am happiest in a kitchen full of hungry people. 
So what’s my secret?  Seasoning.  Yup, that’s it.  SO simple, yet so rarely executed well.  And when I say seasoning, I just don’t mean the basic salt and pepper, I mean all the herbs and spices that can enhance a dish.  Al and I were once invited (key word here:  once) to a couples’ house for dinner - we had a lot in common with these two on paper:  lo…

Romancing the Egg - Part 2

So, I was wrong. In my last post, cleverly titled Romancing the Egg - Part 1, I predicted that my next step in the path to Eggdom would likely involve breakfast. Seemed logical, didn't it? Breakfast is all about eggs, or so it has seemed to a non-egg eater for the past half century. Omelets, breakfast sandwiches, fried, scrambled, over easy, sunny side up, poached, breakfast burritos...... ....eggs, it's what's for breakfast (with apologies to the The Beef Industry Council)

I'm not really sure what this has to do with eggs - when I went looking for an appropriate picture to use here I stumbled onto this and it made me laugh.
 Every few weeks I play poker with a bunch of semi-degenerates. We have a rule that each player needs to bring a snack to share. Most of the time it's what you would expect from a group of guys - chips and salsa, a box of tacos from the local Mexican restaurant, sushi from the local supermarket, and chicken wings. Cynthia asked me if I had dec…

Romancing the Egg - Part One

Last week I wrote this post exposing my irrational fear of eggs, the basis for it and my plan to begin to deal with it. Knowing that it would be very easy to put off this journey into eggdom, I decided that I better get started. Well, more accurately, Cynthia decided I should get started.

When I arrived home from work, I found her where I often do, in the kitchen up to her elbows in pots, pans, dishes, whisks, knivstainless steel mixing bowls, with one or more of her large collection of cookbooks open. This time, it was one of Julia Child's, specifically The Way To Cook.

I instantly had my normal reaction when I see this - here comes something yummy. However, as they say in the NFL, upon further review, I spied the eggs. Pretending to be nonplussed, I asked what she was making (all the time knowing this was to be my first real close encounter with eggs in more than a half a century). The answer: a classic cheese souffle!

Cyn explained that serving something with "cheesy good…

The Incredible Edible Egg - A Journey of Enlightenment (I hope)

We all have fears. Many times they are irrational. The problem with irrational fears is that they are, well, irrational.The dictionary definition of this tidy little word is as follows:

1. withoutthefacultyofreason;deprivedofreason.
2. withoutordeprivedofnormalmentalclarityorsoundjudgment. 3.notinaccordancewithreason;utterlyillogical

This pretty much describes my relationship with eggs during the past 57 years. There, I've said it. To better understand this, I need to provide a little more context, right?Here goes......
When I was four years old (so I've been told), I had a full on convulsion after eating eggs for breakfast. Apparently I survived, but this event lead to a battery of tests that subsequently determined that I was allergic to a long list of pretty common foods, eggs being right at the top of said list. In the spirit of full disclosure, the list also included tomatoes, peanut butter, cantaloupe, and green vegetables. Alright, that last one isn't true but I distin…

The Spiceman Cometh

I’m staging a coup.  It’s been over a year since The Reluctant Foodie sat down and wrote a post, despite the numerous pokings and proddings of his not-so-reluctant wife.  Do you think he’ll notice the hostile takeover of his blog?  Let’s write this puppy and find out!
Happy New Year!  When you hear this phrase, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Champagne and parties?  Resolutions?  OMG another year and I haven’t cleaned out that front hall closet?  How about your spice hangar?  You know, the drawer, little corner of the pantry, or box in the bottom of the cabinet where you keep your spices?  Do you ever clean that out?
McCormick, Durkee, Penzey’s, The Spice Hunter, Frontier - wherever and from whomever you buy your herbs and spices, are going to tell you that’s it’s best of you throw out your spices every six months and buy a whole new set.  And I would too, if I were trying to sell you herbs and spices.  The simple fact of the matter is:  they’re not spoiling, they’re just le…

Cyn's Birthday Meal - In Pictures

Just the other day, Cynthia posted this blog about the meal she was planning to make for her birthday. Well, I thought it was worth posting the pictures. Before you read further, go get a napkin just in case you can't help drooling a little.