Menudo...In Athens?

Vaughn and I were picking up some essentials for our Mexican dinner tonight. We love the "International" aisle of Kroger. It has so many great products and hard to find items, including this odd find.

I caught sight of the can out of the corner of my eye. It was tucked away behind a cardboard display for Ortega taco kits or something like that. I didn't know canned Menudo was available in cans. Not that I had been in a great search to find it. I'll probably never touch the stuff. I was more astounded that the Athens Kroger carries this product.

A traditional Mexican soup, in a can, in Athens where the Hispanic population (as of the 2000 cencus) was 1.41%. Not sure if that figure includes the student body. Sure there are probably a lot of non-Hispanic people who love tripe, but I highly doubt that there are many in Athens.

Maybe I'll ask Dave Shull, the general store manager, about it the next time I see him...


Garden Update

Left to Right, Row 1-5

Broccoli, Basil, Cauliflower, ?
Cucumbers, Chamomile, Spinach & Lettuce, Hot Peppers
Fennel, Nasturtium, Pole Beans, Tomatoes
Zucchini, Kale, Swiss Chard, Beets
Cucumbers, Bush Beans, Potatoes

I Think I Found Heaven...


While searching for books on food preservation at Alden Library, I stumbled upon a wealth of books about food, food, and more food.

That's it...I'm going to culinary school!

Currently, I'm sitting on the floor of the aisle staring at all the glorious books with James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking in my hand.

I also found The Professional Chef, the 8th edition Culinary Institute of America textbook. It's so dense! Starts with the basics (tools and ingredients), then goes into full detail about stocks/sauces/soups, meats and fish, veggies, staple starches, and pastas, breakfast and garde mange, and ends with baking and pastry.

My goal is to teach myself EVERYTHING in this book. Start to finish. I know it will take me a while, so I made sure the book is available at the Northbrook Public Library (where I'll be living next). They have it, so I'm set.

So excited!


Bamboo Shoots!

The bamboo that surrounds the garden is sending up new shoots -
time to make a stir fry!

When I was finished working in the garden I wandered around and pulled up a fist full of shoots. They're not like the store bought canned bamboo, and are not as big as the usual fresh bamboo that I've seen pictures of. But Art insists that this is an edible variety, even pulled one up and munched on it during class. He says the shoots are the most tender when under 6 inches tall.

To cook them I removed the leafy layers, trimmed their bottoms, and gave them a good rinse. Bamboo shoots taste a little bitter when raw, so I boiled them in water for 20 minutes to remove the bitterness. When finished, I sliced them in half lengthwise, sliced up carrots, green pepper and mushroom and stir fried it all with cubed tofu and an impromptu sauce. Served over a big bowl full of rice.


My only gripe is that the bamboo shoots were a liiiiittle fibrous. But hey, it was an experiment!