Category Archives: It smells

Everything on a stick

Looking at my photos, I can already see that the title of the post is a misnomer.  I apologize for that, but the fact remains that I still think of the food at the Minnesota State Fair as being a case of everything-served-on-a-stick-even-if-it-usually-isn’t.  Corn dogs are of course served on sticks.  Fried alligator on sticks.  Ice cream on sticks.  Deep fried twinkies on sticks.  Even the fairground maps are on (popsicle) sticks.

But they also have cheese curds!

and giant deep fried onions!

and my personal favorite stickless-food: mini donuts!  Here seen in production. (Not shown: next picture in series, me watching with mouth agape)

So much food imagery at the state fair– sister L even got herself wedged into a kiddie ride shaped like an apple. (not shown).


Korean BBQ (II)

Our three-person book club met this afternoon over tea (black with rose) and cake (pound with lemon and basil)… Incidentally, the pound cake recipe is one of the worst written ones I’ve seen in a while (note to self: remember to never actually use the recipes from the Improper Bostonian) I have a culinary degree and it was not easy to follow. Not to say it was impossible, but if a recipe is written well you should just be able to follow the ingredients and the steps, in order. That was not the case here. It was way too vague and meandering. To show you what I mean and post it here would be a disservice, just in case anyone actually tried to use it! So, we’ll move on to the book we read, The White Darkness— about a trip to Antarctica, so interesting, but Y(oung)A(dult) genre, so, not exactly my style. Sorry, R and C, I know you like this stuff better than I do. Thanks for putting up with me…

Anyway, onto the important part! We decided to have Korean BBQ for dinner since R has been hankering for it ever since she heard of our California hijinks last week. So we all (with Mr. Food and Misters R and C in tow) went to New Jang Su BBQ and had some amazing food. I don’t remember what we ate but it hardly mattered. I had my camera but was too busy eating to even take photos until it was all gone…


You’ll have to ask R if you want to know what we ate. She’ll remember. She goes there so often they know her. All I know is that it was good. And that I probably won’t even need a snack before bed– except for this lime sherbet drink I’ve got here… that doesn’t count, does it?

Didn’t think so.

California eatin’

Last weekend we spent two days in the Los Angeles-area (and a day getting there and back!) to see our friends J and R get married– and it’s about time!! So, congratulations to the lovely couple and what follows is the chronicle of what we ate when we were there. Apparently R is one of the few people who actually read this blog and he wants to see himself here! And he’s the groom, so he gets what he wants, at least this week.


For the rehearsal dinner we went to a Korean BBQ place in LA somewhere, we ate outside under an airy canopy and had our fill (and then some) of grilled meats. Kudos to the server who handled those tongs like a pro and flipped a griddle-full of shrimp (or beef, chicken…) before we could even grab the chopsticks. Nice work.


Then on to the groom’s cake… but in this case it was a groom’s pie! R much prefers pies to cakes (I mean, who doesn’t? Unless it’s an ice cream cake…) so J went and bought a pecan, a banana cream, and a boysenberry (pictured here, though after the fact). I did my best, with the groom’s help, to slice and plate them but they were all different sizes and many fruit pieces escaped the crust. Whoops.


The next morning, the day of the wedding, Mr. Food and I took a walk to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica where we were staying. We had almost forgotten how nice the ocean smells! (At least, I thought so) On the way we had breakfast at Jack n’ Jill’s which is apparently famous because of some television show we don’t watch. But regardless, the servers were all very friendly (maybe that’s a West Coast thing we are not used to in Boston!) and the breakfast we got was tasty. The tea came in individual pots which is always a nice touch. Unfortunately, the cupcake– a coconut one– was kinda dry and too sweet even for me to finish it. Ah, well…


And then the wedding, under a canopy of trees in the hills of Malibu. Wow. Gorgeous. And here’s the cake, with a little likeness of the bride and groom on top. Lovely!

Note to brother J and about-to-be-sister-in-law H: You’ve got a lot to live up to when you get married next week! See you then.

Tea theme a-brewing…


I know I have been writing a lot about tea recently, but just one last one, all right?

This is the best find from my trip to Whittard’s last week with N… a Teaposy bundle of tea that blooms into a flower when given the chance. Glass teapot necessary. Glad we had a couple on hand. This one was called, I believe, the Lady Fairy and was scented with lily (a new tea fragrance for me) and jasmine. So it was not only fun to watch but tasty to drink too. But at this price, when will we get another?

Funky cuppa tea

I went to my favorite tea store last week to stock up. One of my favorites is #211 (Creme de la Earl Grey, they call it) and another I like is a black tea they have tossed with rose petals. I bought some of each and brewed a cup of rose tea the next day. But, it smelled funny and tasted the same. I drank it just in case my nose was wrong… but it was not and the honey in the cup did not help much. I smelled the bag it came in and noticed the rose was overwhelmed by something smokey, something lapsang souchong-y. The usual tea seemed to be mixed with something more of an oolongish shape and color. So, what was it? I never found out. Took it back yesterday and (without the original bag or a receipt) got a replacement bag. Of 211. Back to the usual, I guess. Cheers!

Why I won’t eat canned tuna

In short, it smells funny. Also, it reminds me of high school lunches.

But before that, when I was too small to be entrusted to make my own lunch, Grandma “Monkey” would make me and my brother the best tunafish sandwiches (I think I actually called them that). My elegantly tall and thin grandmother hated to cook — she actually owned the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken — would mix a can of tuna with delicately chopped celery and a bit of lemon juice. I was by all accounts a picky eater but would eat these without complaint. Glass of milk on the side, please.

I continued to eat tuna sandwiches and even to enjoy them much of the way through high school. But then there was the summer I think of as the time of too much tuna. Though I must have had some retail job or another, I ate at home quite a bit. My stepmother loved these stinky sandwiches (and still does, somehow) and made them every day for lunch. I can still see the can opening, fish crumbling into the big wooden bowl, adding some mayo and celery and smooshing some between slices of wheat bread. I ate them day after day those few months and have never done since. I should have eventually picked up a knife and some peanut butter and made my own lunch, but for some reason I never did. Half a lifetime later, I still can’t be in the same room with a can of tuna.

Late last year L brought out a fancy can of tuna and offered up a taste. A squinched nose gave me away– could it be she had never realized what effect that summer had on my taste for tuna? I paraphrased but agreed to try it despite our history together (me and the tuna, that is). Well, we won’t be seeing that happen again anytime soon! I still leave the room when Mr. Food pulls out his can for an occasional lunch. My day-job boss also eats the stinky stuff once in a while. Too bad I can smell it in my office too. At least the rest of the time I can avoid canned tuna, and I hope that someday (in line with peanut butter bans perhaps!) my little hypothetical kids won’t have to put up with it at school. Unless, of course, they take after their father.