Real Mayonnaise, Real Food? Or Just Sanctimonious Snobbery?

Real Mayonnaise, Real Food? Or Just Sanctimonious Snobbery?

Butternut squash rs
Kroger 5

Shopping for food (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

It’s not REAL mayonnaise. You know the one I mean.

Mayonnaise – made with egg yolks, an acidic liquid, a dash of mustard, salt, and oil, usually olive – feels as smooth and soft as a silk pillow, sliding like thickened cream across the tongue. There’re no startled taste buds in the presence of too much acid or too little salt. That’s the ideal, the…

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"There must be more recipes for soup than any other thing. It is a true convenience food and has been since Esau sold his birthright for plate of lentil soup." ~ Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (1988)

"There must be more recipes for soup than any other thing. It is a true convenience food and has been since Esau sold his birthright for plate of lentil soup." ~ Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (1988)

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. 
~ Anaïs Nin

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. 

~ Anaïs Nin

Cookbooks are almost as plentiful as Bibles in the South, and the more there are, the more people seem to want. Even with home cooking on the wane, people still buy cookbooks to read for entertainment, if not to guide them in the kitchen.

John Egerton, Side Orders: Small Helpings of Southern Cookery & Culture (1990), p. 179.

Lettice’s Bryan’s Forgotten Cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife, and Squirrel Soup Two Ways: A Touch of Americana

Lettice’s Bryan’s Forgotten Cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife, and Squirrel Soup Two Ways: A Touch of Americana

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Spring house

Spring House (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

It’s maddening, but true: we know very little about the authors of some of best cookbooks ever written in America.

Thanks to today’s 24/7 media cycle, Paula Deen’s foibles and Rachael Ray’s battle with her weight are no mystery. But we know next to zilch about Lettice Bryan, who wrote an amazingly detailed, 1300-recipe cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife(183…

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Eating like a Lumberjack

Eating like a Lumberjack

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Lumber Jack breakfast

A lumber jack breakfast (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

The Black Bear Camp Skillet

Served with Cherokee Sweet Corn Pone, Fresh Fruits, Cheese Grits, Hunt Camp Potatoes, Cathead Biscuit, Sausage (Sawmill) Gravy, and Thick Griddle Cake with Maple Syrup.

A Sizzling Combo of Country or Sugar Cured Ham, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Sausage & 2 Farm Fresh Eggs any style $13.95

I recently spent several days at the…

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Vestiges of European Colonialism

Vestiges of European Colonialism

Tuk tuk 2
British consul house

Near the former British Consular Building, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I harbor a certain fascination for the colonial period of world history (1492 to 1961+), because the antics of the colonizers – mostly European –  provide endless examples of how our world to this day still bears the scars of that tumultuous and turbulent time. Few…

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A Case of Culinary Illiteracy

A Case of Culinary Illiteracy

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Sandwich billboard rs

Blackboard menu, Chiang Mai, Thailand. A question of pointing and hoping for the best. (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

It wasn’t just the Thai language and its lacy script that rendered me illiterate.

So also did the sheer variety of ingredients, the creatures – crawling, swimming, splayed, and grilled – and the vast range of vegetables and fruits on display in the Warorot market in Chiang Mai,…

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Scenes from Asia

Details forthcoming soon …

Cooking sticky rice

Cooking sticky rice (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

Chickens Romping market

Chicken for sale (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

Chiang Mai street shrine

An offering (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

Street food 1

Street food – 7 a.m. (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

Monks 2

Monks seeking alms, often food (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

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Food Adventures to Come …

Food Adventures to Come …

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Fish in the market 1

Asia, Fish, and More to Come (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen, Manado, Indonesia, 2013)

I will not being posting for a few weeks. A big adventure awaits.

Lots of recipes, photos, and meandering, wandering thoughts about the aspirations we all experience while reading cookbooks or standing in front of the stove or plunking down hard-earned money in food markets.

© 2014 C. Bertelsen

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