Buying (and cooking) Local Food

The Sheffield Cookbook I love cookbooks and have a fairly deep collection.  Some I have cooked with extensively, some I have yet to cook from.  I have read every one–cover to cover.  Reading cookbooks is a sensory experience for me.  I enjoy the feeling of the pages and the anticipation of what will appear next as one moves through the volume.  I love to imagine the tastes within the recipe, to anticipate combining new foods and to consider the mouthfeel–whether soft and creamy or crunchy–of the first bite or to imagine the smell that will fill the house as the food cooks.  It is a happy place for me.  I bought a new cookbook today that promises to provide these sensory experiences, but also a bit more, a bit extra.  Continue reading

A time of Lychee

Just about this time of the year, in Hong Kong one begins to anticipate the new crop of Lychee. The sweet, almost rose scented flavour of fresh lychee, for me, is a harbinger of summer–a time for slowing down a bit, for refreshing oneself in the sea, for drinking cocktails on the veranda of some gentrified colonial building or in a modern rooftop garden. Lychees can be made into drinks, eaten just as they are, or, as I liked to eat them, tossed into this salmon salad. Continue reading

Learning to cook and sensory food capacities

Learning to cook and haptic food capacities

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in about 35 years. I took a cooking class. The last time I had formal cooking lessons was when I was in junior high school. In exchange for being allowed to use one of my class periods to work the the school office (for free and where I learned to file), I agreed that I would also take home economics (what is now understood as domestic science). In my school home economics involved learning to sew from a pattern, and some very basic cooking skills. We learned, for example, how to overcook minced beef and the proper doneness of green beans. Yesterday’s lesson was somewhat more inspiring. Continue reading

After work family eating

Chicken home grown

I was talking with a couple of my work colleagues this week about family eating. Putting aside that a number of us do research on food related topics, even those who do not do this kind of work are pretty food aware. There is a member of staff who works on ice fields, but also raises sheep for wool and food (see the post about his lamb here), another member of staff is involved in bee keeping with his local church (he also sells the honey in the department), many of us have small vegetable plots.  I have raised chickens.  An even larger number cook. This provides great opportunities for recipe sharing. Continue reading

Spicy Eggplant and some questions of lack.

Hong Kong claims a cosmopolitan food culture. Indeed, many Hong Konger‘s claim that not only can you try a new food culture in Hong Kong, but you can get a better version. It is a point of pride. What is surprising to me, then, is the fact that while you can easily access other cuisines and often in artfully decorated jars or in ready made portions in the refrigerated section of the upmarket stores, it is difficult to find Chinese food that is similarly packaged. This is not because food gifting is not a big deal here, giving food baskets is huge at certain times of the year. Maybe this lack has something to do with Continue reading