Does this guy look like a budding farmer or what?

Ivan Wei with late fall crop

Here’s Ivan Wei with a late summer crop of veggies from our community garden plot. He’s holding Swiss Chard, tomatoes, basil (for rooting indoors), a few hot peppers and broccoli. Yummmmm! His Swiss Chard is off the hook, I’m going to cook it up right now with some chicken sausage and mushrooms.

Ivan Wei with late fall crop

English Muffin with butter & jam

fork split english muffinI want to make sure all my friends know that English Muffins must get split with a fork (or another tined object) but never a knife. The point is to preserve the nooks and crannies which after all, is an important aspect of every good American’s civic duty.
English Muffin with butter & jam
Then you toast the muffin. English Muffins must always be well toasted. Apply jam, butter or cream cheese and munch happily away. My sainted mother passed these traditions along to me when I was a girl, and now you know too. Enjoy! read more

Early Lessons In Justice and Economics – at Foodtown

When I was a pretty young kid growing up in Englewood, New Jersey, Foodtown supermarket was the store that my mom used one day to teach me about a few important life issues. Mom always kept a shopping list going in the kitchen. One of the times her list had gotten pretty long and we were out running other errands in town, Mom stopped by the Foodtown which was located about a mile from our home and asked me to run in and purchase a couple of items for her. “I forgot there was a grocery store so near our home, Mom. We always shop somewhere else. Why don’t you park and we can go buy all of the items on your list?” I wanted to know. read more

EPA needs to monitor pesticides better

Apparently, the US has been asleep at the helm for years when we should have been much more closely monitoring the alarming and increasing use of herbicides and pesticides in our crops, fields and yards. Atrazine, a chemical widely banned across Europe since 2004, is finally coming under the scrutiny of our own government, and it’s about time.

The Huffington Post tell us,

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. An estimated 76 million pounds of the chemical are sprayed on corn and other fields in the U.S. each year, sometimes ending up in rivers, streams, and drinking water supplies. It has been the focus of intense scientific debate over its potential to cause cancer, birth defects, and hormonal and reproductive problems. As the Huffington Post Investigative Fund reported in a series of articles last fall, the EPA failed to warn the public that the weed-killer had been found at levels above federal safety limits in drinking water in at least four states. Some water utilities are suing Syngenta to have it pay their costs of filtering the chemical. read more

Environmental vigilance pays – money

In the race to compete in a global economic recovery, the U.S. may have a secret weapon against rivals like China and even economies closer to ours, such as Canada. China may be graduating more engineers and scientists; Canada may have a better health care system; but the U.S. has an unlikely secret weapon that has put American companies and workers in a position to race ahead of the pack for years to come — the Environmental Protection Agency.

While some in Congress, and any number of business leaders, have moaned about environmental regulations, especially the EPA’s nascent efforts to curb carbon emissions, the truth is that thoughtful protection of the environment saves money and lives, which makes America more competitive. By sharp contrast, the Washington D.C. based International Fund for China’s Environment estimates that China must spend at least 2 percent of its GDP annually — over $100 billion — to clean up decades of pollution which now threaten food production, public health, and worker productivity. Without this investment, China will lose far more. read more

Kimi’s chopped liver (chicken)

Use 2 lbs chicken liver, olive oil plus 3 T schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), 2 medium onions chopped roughly and extra 1/2 onion finely minced for after, 3 boiled eggs, 3 scallions and 1/4 large bunch cilantro, plenty of sea salt and pepper and 1/2 t Chinese hot pepper sauce (the grandmother type, with oil and visible seeds) and 1/8 c. dry red wine [a splash].

I used the big pan so the liver could spread out plenty and I did not press liver down to squeeze out juice; I seared it both sides and then reduced flame to a pretty steady lowish-medium. read more

Eat and support mental health care

On October 28 present this coupon at Blue Moon Mexican Café in Englewood and 20% of your bill will be donated to Advance Housing, Inc. I’m an Advance Housing board member so I totally think you should treat all of your family members and work colleagues to a meal at Blue Moon in Englewood on the 28th!

Valid only in the Englewood location
Good for any food and drink
Anytime from 11:30am-11:00pm on October 29, 2009
Blue Moon Mexican Café
21 E. Palisades Avenue, Englewood, NJ 07631
201 541-0600 read more

1-9 Restaurant Closed July ’09

On the way to visit our friend Yin Hoong at the crafts show in Point Pleasant Beach where she was exhibiting yesterday, my family drove past the 1-9 Restaurant in Avenel (in the Edison area). Noticing that the parking lot was empty, we pulled in to see why and found a court order notice posted on the door calling for the place to be turned over to its landlord immediately. The door was locked and the restaurant vacant.

This dimsum spot (lately known as A-K Restaurant) has served my family excellent dishes – and a good sampling of it – on the several occasions we’ve visited and we feel sorry to see it go. read more

Shanghai Park (now Hong Fu) review

The kids and I were near Highland Park tonight at dinner time so we headed over to Hong Fu (formerly Shanghai Park) to find out if their food is as good as people say. We were between ping pong sessions and only had time for a quick bite so we ordered two dishes and some rice, which turned out to be the exact right quantity of food to fill us up but not slow us down. Kind of amazing considering these boys are in their late teens and can eat like soldiers on campaign.

This is the second meal I’ve had out recently that I would have liked to capture some fotos of. Aside from being tasty the dishes were pretty too. I should get used to packing my camera more often. read more

Sinbad Restaurant, Secaucus – good plus

My boys are performing right now as part of the Nets’ pregame entertainment with their Chinese Lion Dance troupe, but they don’t like to stay on for the game itself. Aside from the fact that last year when the troupe performed the Nets players treated the troupe very shabbily, clasping their hands securely behind their backs as they jogged past the all-kids troupe members so the kids couldn’t make an attempt to high-five the players or grasp their hands, my sons and I were completely united in our distaste for the game itself. The kids don’t care to sit through another game and I personally, would have to be offered quite a pretty penny to ever consider watching even part of a game again [last time they performed I sat through half the game]. read more

Bla bla. So?

How about the name of this food truck?

Bla Bla So Truck

Amersterdam Avenue, New York City 080229 around 11:00 pm.

Adobo [dry seasoning/rub] for meat

Adobo – rub over meat and let it sit for a while or overnight before cooking.

Adobo Paste
2 t olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 t oregano
juice of 1/2 lime
2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

From Daisy Martinez

Adobo Seco [Dry Adobo]
Makes 1 cup
6 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons onion powder
3 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons ground oregano

Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well and store for up to 2 months in a cool dry place.
You can add 1 teaspoon of any or all of the following to customize your dry adobo: Ground cumin Dried citrus zest (orange, lemon, or lime) Saffron Achiote powder. read more

Spice Market, NY. An eating adventure.

The tradition in my family is that Dad takes me and the grandkids out for Father’s Day. We’ve tried to flip this tradition around so we are the ones taking Dad out, but this upset my father so the tradition holds.

Tonight Dad took us to a wonderful restaurant on the corner of 9th Ave and 13th Street, Spice Market. Evocative of leisure service establishments in Asia several decades ago, when space conservation was not a consideration and buildings were envisioned with ease as their foremost design element. read more

No-knead bread!

New York Times food critic & chef Mark Bittman [his book] on 08 Oct 2006

“I asked Harold McGee, who is an amateur breadmaker and best known as the author of "On Food and Cooking" (Scribner, 2004), what he thought of this method. His response:

It makes sense. The long, slow rise does over hours what intensive kneading does in minutes: it brings the gluten molecules into side-by-side alignment to maximize their opportunity to bind to each other and produce a strong, elastic network. The wetness of the dough is an important piece of this because the gluten molecules are more mobile in a high proportion of water, and so can move into alignment easier and faster than if the dough were stiff. read more

Fried Bananas

I've been trying to remember the taste and texture of a fried bananas dish I once had as a child. They had a hard exterior, I think, which because it was solid had the effect of continuing to cook the bananas, so by the time one bit into one, they were literally melting. Here's the recipe . . .