Sunday, August 10, 2008

Why Can't it Look Like the Picture?

There is a reason this blog is called The Experimental Gourmand. I am not professionally trained, and I make mistakes, from which I try to learn. This week's recipe attempt definitely proved that again.

I tried the Fig and Almond Tart from July's issue of BBC's Olive magazine. Figs are now in season, so I could get the fresh produce that I needed, and the recipe looked simple enough to make. It would also give me a chance to test drive my new mini food processor. [I burned the motor out of the highest setting on my previous one and managed to crack the bowl as well.] Here is a photo of what it should have looked like.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Crabfest 2008

More than Christmas, more than Thanksgiving, heck, probably even more than my own birthday (unless you could find a way to make a giant cake of its meat for me), there is no occasion to which I anticipate more each year than our annual family Crabfest. I've been offline the past week or so, because I was away stuffing my face at a variety of family gatherings. It was wonderful, as usual, to see everyone and to have a chance to eat some things that are not normally a part of my daily diet.

That's the thing about getting together each year to pick crabs and to indulge in lovely hunks of white tender-sweet meat. It's not just about the eating (although that is important). It is also about the following of a family tradition and about adhering to the pattern of the season. There's certain rules: the 'right' potato salad to have at this time of year, making family-favorite sweet treats, and, of course, discussion about everyone's own preferred methodology for extract crab from its shell.

This year, we had some new inductees into the annual family event with a few nieces who had not participated previously. One of them embraced the eating (fun) part of the crabfest, but not the cleaning (work) part. At her age, we had my youngest sister at the table cleaning out our claws for the meat, something she still thinks of as highly unfair, even to this day. Her new beau, however, who was another addition this year, confidently held his own and will surely have a place at the table again next year. He's an 'accumulator' rather than an 'eat as you go' type, which might upset the balance in the group.

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