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New Today was a Terri day . . .
. . but she only comes in one day a week now and stays less than 2 hours, because I just don't need that much work from her any more, as I enter semi-retirement. This is a good thing, because the Church she does publication work for keeps her overworked and underpaid.

So, after her departure, I had nothing scheduled, so I decided to head for Vietnam to get some Conger Eel. I'm starting to work on South American cuisine now, and the Chilean Conger Eel soup (Caldillo de Congrio) was a favorite of Pablo Neruda, made famous in his poetry. Only in Vietnam (San Gabriel Superstore) can I get Conger Eel.

So, while there, I picked up a Kabocha squash, pretty much identical to the rock hard squash they use in South America. Yes, Kabochas are available in all my local markets, but at more than twice the price. When Asian, African and Latin American recipes call for "pumpkin", this is what they mean, not those insipid orange things.

Many years ago, a California farm got some Kabocha seeds from Japan, for a scheme to grow them here and sell them in Japan. Then the Japanese said they would only take the biggest ones - so, the farm sold all the smaller ones locally. Each squash has seeds, so in a couple years Kabochas were being grown all over California. Then the Japanese realized the smaller ones were actually better, and asked for smaller ones. "Nope, you wanted the big ones. We've got the market for small ones covered, you have to take the big ones".

I also got clam meat for a Chilean clam soup. They use clams in the shell and shell them after cooking, but Manilla clams in the shell are horrifyingly expensive here, about $4.75 / # for mostly inedible shell. Frozen clam meats are quite affordable in the Asian markets, and the recipe shells them after opening, so what the hell?

And I knew SG Superstore also had Natural Hog Casings in the meat department, so I picked up some of those to use with the new sausage stuffing machine delivered on Monday (5 pound capacity). I got that because of the impossibility of finding good quality Colombian Chorizo (totally different from Mexican Chorizo). The Colombians seem to be mostly in Florida, and there is a maker there. I know, because I've read complaints by Colombians about the quality their product.

But, I still needed red ripe Fresno chilis - so I headed for 168 Market. There I found something I'd never seen before, Chinese Cauliflower. It looks like what European cauliflower probably looked like during the Roman Empire. Most of our familiar vegetables were developed during Medieval and Renaissance times. I bought two heads to photo, test and write up.

South Americans also use a lot of celery leaves in their cuisine. So do I, so I buy Chinese celery, which is probably much like how European celery was during the Roman Empire, very leafy with thin stems. One of my South American cookbooks even recommended Chinese celery, which is unusual, since most ethnic cookbooks don't know a lot about other cuisines. So, I got a nice bunch of Chinese Celery.

Also, South Americans use a lot of Ox Tails (cheap there, but not here - most formerly cheap meat items have been promoted by TV Chefs and are now premium priced). So, I decided this was the day to buy a whole, uncut Ox Tail for improved photos and descriptions in my Cuts of Beef page. 168 Market is the only market I know that keeps whole Ox Tails ready at the meat counter ($3.99 / #). They are about 19 inches long and weigh 3 pounds. The meat guys expected me to ask for it to be cut (no charge), so I had to argue a bit before they were finally convinced I really did want it uncut.

Fortunately, these guys do English much better than they did back in the day when I had to argue long and hard, and they had to call a supervisor to translate, to get a large Barracuda uncut. the guys just presumed I wanted it scaled, gutted, and deep fried (a free service), like all their other customers do. They caught on to the uncut thing, but tried to convince me their deep fry tank wasn't big enough for a whole one.

And, since I'd be working on my beef page, I decided to fill another serious gap on my Cuts of Beef Page, Beef "Pizzle". All the Asian markets here have it, apparently there's a good market among Asians who still believe in "sympathetic magic". They're about 30 inches long and weigh a bit over 10 ounces each. In the American South, they used to dry these things and make them into walking sticks. I'll have a full write-up in a few days. I have to research recipes and cooking methods.

Yes, I did remember to get the Fresno Chilis. Then I went by my local market for a supply of dairy products, oranges, lemons and beer.

So, today and tomorrow I'll be doing a lot of photographing and writing.
New Well, that's convenient.
I wont have to set aside my study of South American cuisines to deal with the Beef Pizzles. It turns out that they are used in place of the usual tripe in Bolivia's national hangover cure and energy soup, Caldo de Cardán (Driveshaft Soup).

It'll take me a few days to get that recipe together, but meanwhile, I do now have a Bull Pecker page.

Beef Pizzle
New I just learned something
Andrew has run out of fucks. He has none left to give.
--

Drew
New ¡Ay, caramba!
Makes me feel like going to an Argentinian restaurant in the area.
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New man, you need two goobers with a camera and mike to go grocery shopping with you
I would love to see that show!
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New Ditto.
Look at what Anthony Bourdain did with "No Reservations". There's a market for interesting "real life" but sightly out of the ordinary stuff.

Cheers,
Scott.
New As usual, goddess Eris has her fingers in the pie.
I have two supposedly authoritarian cookbooks on the cuisine of Chile that say Pablo Neruda's favorite fish soup is made with Conger Eels. This is wrong.

There are no Conger Eels harvested (or harvestable) off the coast of Chile. In Chile the word "Congrio" names the Pink Cusk-eel, which is not an eel, but a regular fish that looks sort of like a short stubby eel.     Cusk-Eels.

I found that I'd already done a recipe for Caldillo de Congrio way back in 2013, backed by extensive research. I just didn't know the Pablo Neruda connection back then. So, though I rarely mark books, I wrote corrections into both those cookbooks.

Now, as for the "Conger Eel" I bought in Vietnam, I had forgotten that what they were selling was "Pike Conger" a pretty much inedible eel, since it's thoroughly shot through with thread-like bones.

That is, it's considered inedible except in Kyoto Japan, where it is laboriously prepared by highly trained chefs and sold at an astronomical price. This is fine, because, to the Japanese, a super high price is the greatest flavor enhancement there can be (Pike Conger is actually really bland). Heck, they pay a fortune for Chilean Sea Bass (officially Patagonian Toothfish, but who can sell a fish with a name like that?), and it's about as bland as fish gets - it's just very expensive. It's flown to Japan after purchase from pirate fishing boats that race coast guard cutters to the safe harbors of the African coast.

This Pike Conger thing is tradition. Long ago the Daggertooth Pike Conger was the only fish so tough it could survive the multi-day trip from the sea to Kyoto. Today the chefs always start with a live Pike Conger.

So, I needed to get this fish out of my freezer compartment, which was rather crowded with that whole Ox Tail in there. Well, there's one thing you can do with this sort of problem fish - I scraped all the flesh from the skin and bones and made Thai Fried Fish Patties, eaten with Thai Cucumber Sauce. A little more difficult than the equally inedible Featherfish, and not quite as good, but pleasant enough.

About 350,000 tonnes of Pike Conger is harvested each year, most of which goes into making imitation crab meat.

the weird Chinese Cauliflower wasn't a problem. It's already a gourmet item in the farmer's markets of the San Francisco Bay area - natural, since Cauliflower is a cold weather vegetable not much grown in Southern California.

I don't expect problems with the Ox Tail either - but Eris is always hanging around.

Oooooo! - total power failure - save and shut down!

------------ Sunday AM -------------------

Dang that Eris, you just mention her name and she lets you know she's on the job - while her sister Harmonia just sits around doing her nails.

Power came back on at 4:30 am. The clanking of my Xerox ColorCube printer woke me up. Reason for failure or method of restoring power unknown.

Places all around me had lights, but power distribution here is really weird so that doesn't mean much. I did make a call to Edison, and the nice lady said she'd have a crew out as soon as possible.
New So, the authoritative cookbooks are full of shit?
I hate it when that happens.
Alex

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

-- Isaac Asimov
New I hope you consider writing a book or two.
:-)

When he power goes out here, and comes back on, we always know because the family room ceiling fan and its light come on at max intensity and max speed. That's the only one it happens to, though.

Weird.

Cheers,
Scott.
New He already has. It's just...
...that it needs to be transformed from the Web into book format.

Calling renowned food blogger and cook book author Drew Kime; Drew Kime to the white courtesy phone please.
--
Christian R. Conrad
Same old username (as above), but now on iki.fi

(Yeah, yeah, it redirects to the same old GMail... But just in case I ever want to change.)
New Hmm ...
That's not a bad idea.

Scott, would it be possible to get a custom query? Something like all the posts in this forum by Andrew longer than X words, grouped by thread?

With a list of URLs we could identify a book's worth of writing in about a day.
--

Drew
New I was thinking Clove Garden, not here.
New He tells the longer shopping stories here
--

Drew
New True, but most of the content is there. Both, then.
New Actually, the long stories here . . .
. . along with some in communications with several women, and others stuff, I intend to extract and attach to the autobiographic obituary I've started on Clovegarden.

I'm writing my own obit, because I know no-one else will do it. I can't even get anyone to write up people who were actually important to them. An era and an extended community are near closing, and none of the surviving participants can be bothered with recording any of it.

It's become like an archaeological dig - like what the archaeologists are doing in the Pacific War Zone, digging up what remains to find out what actually happened, because nobody bothered to record it at the time.
New That's both cool and kind of sad (and perhaps also slightly creepy).
Expand Edited by CRConrad July 31, 2017, 06:34:23 PM EDT
     Today was a Terri day . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (15)
         Well, that's convenient. - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
             I just learned something - (drook)
         ¡Ay, caramba! - (a6l6e6x)
         man, you need two goobers with a camera and mike to go grocery shopping with you - (boxley) - (1)
             Ditto. - (Another Scott)
         As usual, goddess Eris has her fingers in the pie. - (Andrew Grygus) - (9)
             So, the authoritative cookbooks are full of shit? - (a6l6e6x)
             I hope you consider writing a book or two. - (Another Scott) - (7)
                 He already has. It's just... - (CRConrad) - (6)
                     Hmm ... - (drook) - (5)
                         I was thinking Clove Garden, not here. -NT - (CRConrad) - (4)
                             He tells the longer shopping stories here -NT - (drook) - (3)
                                 True, but most of the content is there. Both, then. -NT - (CRConrad)
                                 Actually, the long stories here . . . - (Andrew Grygus) - (1)
                                     That's both cool and kind of sad (and perhaps also slightly creepy). -NT - (CRConrad)

Credit grudgingly slathered, for consistency.
112 ms