The Latest

Sep 30, 2014

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…

View On WordPress

Sep 25, 2014 / 1 note

A Case of Culinary Illiteracy

A Case of Culinary Illiteracy

Spices rs
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,…

View On WordPress

Sep 17, 2014

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)

View On WordPress

Sep 10, 2014

Food Adventures to Come …

Food Adventures to Come …

Cow temple 1 rs
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

View On WordPress

Sep 7, 2014 / 1 note

Why I Love Cookbooks

Why I Love Cookbooks

Peppers 1 rs

“Once you have mastered a technique, you barely have to look at a recipe again”
― Julia Child, Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking

 Everybody says it happens, yes. Love at first sight. Real or not?

I must concur – it is true, at least for me, when it comes to cookbooks.

The summer I turned fourteen, I fell hopelessly in love with the magic of…

View On WordPress

Sep 2, 2014

High Society Dinners: Dining in Tsarist Russia, a Model of Culinary History Methodology and Translation

High Society Dinners: Dining in Tsarist Russia, a Model of Culinary History Methodology and Translation

Bread Farmers Market

High Society Dinners

Many writers and researchers around the world now write prodigiously on the topic that engages all of us several times a day: food. And its history.

It used to be that those of us interested in the history of food found the pickings pretty slim. Of course, there was Reay Tannahill’s Food in History(1973) and that book, in my mind, started the avalanche of today’s increasing bibliography of food-…

View On WordPress

Sep 1, 2014

Cookbooks Tell Many Tales

Cookbooks Tell Many Tales

The doorbell rang with that eerie little tinkle, the one you hear when you’re watching a movie and a phone rings somewhere off camera, unseen and slightly unnerving. I jumped up and ran to the door and yanked it open. Tires churning, the UPS truck took off, throwing gravel at a speed that would be criminal, provided a policeman lurked in the bushes, as they are wont to do around here.

Photo…

View On WordPress

Fried Green Tomatoes, an elixir for hot summer nights. Sliced thin - 1/4 of an inch, dipped in 2 eggs beaten with 1 cup whole buttermilk, then dredged in 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1/4 cup flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, fried in plenty of oil, drained on paper towels, served with mayonnaise seasoned with smokey chipotle powder and a couple of serious dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce. A feast worthy of the gods.
Sep 1, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes, an elixir for hot summer nights. Sliced thin - 1/4 of an inch, dipped in 2 eggs beaten with 1 cup whole buttermilk, then dredged in 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1/4 cup flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, fried in plenty of oil, drained on paper towels, served with mayonnaise seasoned with smokey chipotle powder and a couple of serious dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce. A feast worthy of the gods.

The Culinary Imagination

Right now, Life is clawing away, making exorbitant demands on my time. Think 24/7 with no let-up in sight.
Aug 29, 2014

The Culinary Imagination

Right now, Life is clawing away, making exorbitant demands on my time. Think 24/7 with no let-up in sight.

Aug 21, 2014

Cutting Boards and French Comfort Food

Cutting Boards and French Comfort Food

Cutting board sausage rs 2

Worn and well-used cutting boards like mine, made from one piece of blonde oak, tell stories of past meals.

This gouge here, that’s from the day I sliced the boule with the extra thick crust, for the open-faced cheese-and-tomato sandwiches. And that dent there, well, I pressed a little too hard on the chef’s knife while mincing a bunch of parsley.

My father made this particular cutting board for…

View On WordPress