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Sunday, May 30, 2010


Why is it that every time I go to purchase cilantro, it seems to be labeled coriander?  This has bothered me for some time.  Why do I even call it cilantro if it is so ubiquitously labeled otherwise?  Ah, the questions of life.


As I usually do when I have such a profound conundrum, I googled it.  And what I found surprised me.  Well, the answer to my initial question didn't surprise me - that was actually what I had suspected all along.  The whole plant itself is called coriander, the leaves of the plant are cilantro, and the seeds of the plant are called coriander as well (coriander seed to be correct).  It's both a herb and a spice.  Loves it.

[found here]

So now onto the surprise.  Apparently there are only two kinds of people in this world:  those who like cilantro and those who detest it to the very core of its herb-and-spice being.  This dichotomy is big news - it has made it to the NY Times, NPR and the Wall Street Journal.

Now the detesters don't seem to be merely 'picky eaters'.  The detesters apparently count among themselves such culinary icons as Julia Child (evidence here, about 2/3 of the way down) and maybe-not-so-iconic-but-reality-TV-famous-chef Fabio Viviani (evidence here).

Word on the street is that some people just cannot taste the fabulousness that is cilantro - instead they taste soap!  Urggh.  Or some other unpleasant flavour.  Might have something to do with those people's ancestry, genetics, tastebuds or sniffer.  I'm not citing any research here - this is just a synopsis of what I've read on the web.  My heart aches for you, cilantro-haters.  At least you don't know what you're missing. 

I am 100% on the LOVE side of the fence.  The more, the better.  If you put cilantro in an omelette, I might just eat it.  See a few of my favorite cilantro-containing recipes here and here and here

Other interesting pages I found on my surf:

Cilantro Martini!!  Definitely going to try this. - a whole online community of detesters!
Cilantro Pesto recipes galore - this one looks delicious
Handy tips on how to freeze your leftover cilantro

Now, quick unscientific poll:  tell me in the comments which side of the fence you sit on. 


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Return to the kitchen

That's right, I'm back.  It's been a long hiatus.  But I'm back just in time for the Summer eating season (who am I kidding, I eat an equally excessive amount in all the seasons).

This recipe from the New York Times nutrition section got bookmarked awhile ago.  (Did someone send me the link?  If so, thanks!) I like a bit o' quinoa** now and then, and I'm always looking for a way to do it differently.  And of course, I can't get enough of Asian-flavoured dishes.

So here it is:   

Quinoa with shrimp

A few modifications:  less onion; sesame seeds instead of sesame oil; panfried a bag of small shrimp instead of throwing some large shrimp on the barbie.      

**I just now realized I didn't blog about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa... well, at least that's how I pronounce it) before... I have two or three recipes now.  It's a very nutritious ancient grain.  Tons of protein.  Nice and juicy.  It's kind of like a more hydrated cous-cous but not as heavy.  You should read up on it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summertime dreaming

It's a Spring tradition for me:  studying, and daydreaming of Summer vacation.

Summers long ago:

summertime of olde

And not so long ago:

feet in the sand

Summer day-trips:

Peggy's Cove, NS

Summer tunes:

Campfire tunes

Summer food:


Summer bevvies:


Summer randomness:


This Summer I am lucky enough to be traveling out West, driving through the Rockies, participating in what will be an amazing wedding, and seeing lots of family and friends I don't get to see often enough!  (Can you see why I'm daydreaming?)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Remember when you were a little kid, and the first dandelions came out in your yard?  You were so excited, and ran around plucking them from the grass.  You clutched them in your dirty, little-kid hands and fashioned them into a 'bouquet' of sorts, then ran inside into the kitchen, and proudly presented them to - who else - your mom.  Because you knew she would just love them.  Because they'd make her smile and make her happy!

first dandelions of spring

In retrospect, I can see this Spring ritual now from my mom's point of view.  Seeing the children running in the house and tracking red mud everywhere.  Accepting the 'bouquet' despite those little sliver-y black bugs she knew were infesting the blooms.  Despite the sticky white glue that seeped from the bottom of the freshly-picked stems and onto her daughter's new shirt.

But did my mom ever mention any of these things?  No, never.  She smiled and hugged me, and found a vase for her beautiful bouquet.  She placed it in the centre of the table and made out it was the greatest gift in the world.


Mom, I hope you know you are just the perfect mother.  Being a mother is your special skill.  I'm so grateful I came into the world as your child.  I could never be who I am today without you.  Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring Flowers

Time for a floral post!  I'm in good company with this - see some new Spring flower posts at tidyowl and the Nerdy Wanderer

The beauty of St. John's in May is that you can have snow on a Saturday (I did NOT take a picture of that!) and tulips on a Sunday!  A lovely sight to come home to after a long overnighter at work.

Tough tulips

The Lone Orange One

Hope you can stop to smell the flowers, wherever you are!