Check out the cool packaging for eggs that I got, from Vital Farms .. and to boot it has the ‘Certified Humane’ label on it. (That’s the labeling that matters here in the USA, say my friends that know. Ignore ‘natural’ and ‘cage-free’). So these eggs are from truly free-range hens. The Dutch call these chickens scharrelkip –‘chickens that scurry’.
I’m sure as soon as feierabend* had arrived on Friday in Washington DC, politicians & their staff rejoiced more than they usually do.
*Feierabend literally translates to ‘celebrate-the-evening’ (the end of the work day).
Meanwhile, the 185th Oktoberfest is in full swing in Munich, Germany. I’d still like to make it out there one year – just not sure I could handle even just one of those one-liter steins filled with potent beer! It would be really embarrassing to keel over and fall off one’s chair while the umpa band plays.
I see actor Ryan Reynolds’ gin has arrived in Seattle (Aviation Gin). It made me think of our gin of choice, for after-work cocktails, back when I worked in China: Bombay Sapphire. So I should give the Aviation Gin a try.
P.S. Alas, party-pooper researchers have published the results of a sweeping global study in the Lancet, that says that not even modest amounts of alcohol is good for one’s health. What is one to do?
Ahh .. a shipment of ProNutro cereal from South Africa landed on my porch this week, sent by my friend Jose. I have fond memories of the stuff and still like it very much.
Back in high school, it was the only breakfast that would sustain me all the way through the long mornings in class. The cereal is also famous in South Africa for feeding baby animals and birds (that one might have rescued).
I only learned of the East Coast’s cult burger chain ‘Shake Shack’ when it was reported that Special Investigator Mueller’s team had a lunch bag from Shake Shack during Paul Manafort’s trial. (The lawyers would not say what they had for lunch; they had strict orders not to talk to the press).
Anyway: Seattle is getting a Shake Shack, close to Amazon’s headquarters.
We had beers and a bite at Fadó (say f’doe*) Irish Pub tonight. It is located in the historic Colman Building on 1st Avenue. Since it is First Thursday of the month, we could also stop in and admire art at a few of the galleries nearby, afterwards.
*An Irish term meaning ‘long ago’. It is used in Ireland to start a story -the equivalent of ‘once upon a time’.
On Saturday, we trekked down to South Lake Union to check out the food – and the people – at the 6th Annual Seattle Street Food Festival.
My attachment to Café Francais goes back to the very first time I set foot in the United States in 1990. My older brother and I were visiting my younger brother in Palm Desert, California. He had some in his kitchen cabinet.
The stuff has been my favorite additive for hot milk, ever since. (Just one teaspoon).
I completely ran out of it last week, and horrors! it seemed to have disappeared, or was sold out, everywhere. But just tonight, I checked one more time here at the local Safeway (grocery store), and there it was, on the shelf.
Friday night saw almost 3 inches of rainfall in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. Still, the Cape Town City Council is said to be entertaining the possibility of towing an iceberg from Antarctica to Cape Town, to further help boost the city’s low water inventory. Say what? Can that possibly work? was my first reaction.
Well, here are the numbers*. Some 200 billion tons of ice from Antarctica slide into the sea in a typical year – the equivalent of more freshwater than the world uses in a year. Some icebergs float for 5 years in the ocean, and some make it to Gough Island. Such an iceberg could be towed from there, for the roughly 2,700 km (1,700 mi) distance to Cape Town. The iceberg will be stationed off the coast (Cape Columbine on the west coast is mentioned), and could conceivably deliver 100 megaliter of water every day for a year as it melts. (About 20% of the city of Cape Town’s needs). If such a project is can be pulled off successfully, its cost is projected to be less than half the cost of desalinating an equivalent amount of seawater.
*From an article in the Sat Jun 2 issue of ‘Die Burger’ newspaper.
The price of a hot dog at Costco — $1.50 with a giant cup of soda — has not changed since 1985. So I had to snap a photo of it in the little food court section while I stopped by there today!
Costco is a no-frills warehouse store chain (488 locations in the US) that was founded in Seattle in 1983. Shoppers pay an annual membership fee ($60) to be able to buy anything from food and household items (usually in bulk quantities), to watches to TVs, at low prices. The store has 75 million members nationwide. Ardent fans love the ‘treasures’ they find at stores: electronics, appliances or other less frequent purchases offered at extremely good prices.
My fridge was empty, and I set out to refill it today with eggs, milk, yogurt and beer. The store where I usually get my German beer, and my McCann’s Irish oatmeal, was out of both.
Well darn it, I thought. And: You’re too persnickety with your tastes. The Amazon-owned grocery store called Whole Foods Market came to the rescue, though.
I try not to clutter up my kitchen with too many devices and pots and pans, but finally got a little non-stick single-egg frying pan.
Of the myriad ways to prepare an egg – soft boiled, hard boiled, soft scrambled, hard scrambled, sunny side up, over easy, over medium, over hard, omelet, poached or baked – the ‘over medium’ style is one of my favorites.
My new favorite snack cereal is Post’s Grape-Nuts. I see it has been around a long, long time. It is made from wheat and barley, so no grapes and no nuts! It does have a nutty taste, and was originally thought to contain grape sugar.
We went to a pub called ‘Standard Brewing’ tonight, in Seattle’s Central District. It’s been there a few years, but it was my first visit.
The beers on offer are brewed on site, and I had a Helmut: a Munich ‘Helles’, a medium- bodied lager with a full malt presence and a clean finish.
We ducked into the cool inside of a restaurant called ‘Smiths’ here on 15th Avenue tonight, for our regular Wednesday-night-beer-and-bite.
My favorite beer is a pilsener, and so I had a König Pilsener – brewed in Duisburg, Germany.
I thought the beer’s name might mean ‘the king’s beer’, but no, it’s named after brewmaster Theodor König who started brewing the beer in 1858.
Today the brewery belongs to Bitburger Braugruppe GmbH.
Their tagline is ‘Bitte ein Bit’.
I have coconut oil in my kitchen (that I cook with sometimes), but I see that I should not use it for cooking. It contains 80% saturated fat ! – not good for the heart.
I do cook with olive oil, but I see there is an even better option : polyunsaturated oils such as corn oil, soybean oil or peanut oil. Check out these stills from CBS’s Friday morning show.
King salmon is the most expensive of the salmon for sale here in Seattle (and the best), and Copper River King Salmon is even more pricey. Shipments from this year’s limited catch have arrived on Alaska Air, and salmon fillets were available at Pike Place market this weekend – for $75 per pound. Yikes.
Just for fun, I compiled a list of other expensive foods – much more expensive, in fact. [Source: much of the information gleaned from a list published on The Awesome Daily.]
|Food||Country of Origin||Price, USD, 1 lb|
|Copper River Salmon||Alaska, USA||$75|
|Moose Milk Cheese||Sweden||$500|
|Kopi Luwak Coffee||The Philippines||$100-$600|
|Kobe Beef||Japan||Up to $500|
|La Bonnotte Potatoes||France||Up to $1,500|
|Blue Fin Tuna Sushi||Japan||Up to $1,200|
|Matsutake Mushroom||Japan||Up to $1,000|
|European White Truffle||Italy||Up to $1,000|
|Densuke Black Watermelon||Hokkaido, Japan||Up to $1,200|
|Tieguanyin Tea||China, Japan||Up to $7,000|
I picked up a new guilty pleasure while in Germany & Switzerland recently: putting Nutella* on my bread or toast. The convenience stores in the train stations there sell single-serve Nutella packets, and once I had a few slices of bread with the stuff on, I was hooked.
Nutella is widely available here in the United States, and comes from a factory in Brantford, Ontario, in Canada.
*Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread and has been around since 1964, when it was first produced in Alba, Italy – an area known for the production of hazelnuts. [From Wikipedia].
Melktert, Afrikaans for ‘milk tart, is a South African dessert consisting of a sweet pastry crust containing a creamy filling made from milk, flour, sugar and eggs. Monday marked the fourth ‘National Milk Tart* Day in South Africa.
*I’m not so sure ‘milk tart’ is in wide use and a proper translation. I think even English-speaking South Africans say melktert.