Sunday, December 27, 2009

A is for Allium

Aioli, Alioli, Aglio e Olio, Allium; it all spells garlic to me!
This post combines two of my favorite things: words and food.
It's been quite a while since I last wrote a post in my ongoing series on interesting words as I read through the dictionary. Here was the original idea.

This post arose from a discussion about the difference between aioli and alioli and which came first. It was the wonderfully gifted cooks in our family who began the discussion, but the word- and food-lover in me brought me into the discussion.

It seems that aïoli, French for garlic and oil, from the Provence region of France, contains egg, as well as garlic and oil. So, it is pale yellow and creamy, like mayonnaise. One of many uses for it is as a dip, for sliced, raw vegetables. More info here and here.

Alioli, on the other hand, a sauce from Spain and a word that came from the Catalan language (but ultimately from Latin "allium") contains no egg. Of course, as in many things regarding cooking, that is a matter of opinion, as one can see from this recipe for patatas alioli, one of our favorite Spanish tapas.

Add to this list a favorite from our sojourn in Italy, Aglio e Olio.

The English A-word for all this garlic wonderfulness is Allium, "a large genus of Liliaceous plants, of which garlic, the onion, leek, chive, shallot, and the British wild flower Ramsons are species," according to the OED [Latin: allium, garlic, of unkn. origin].

Finally, here's a great recipe for garlic bread, done in the style of one of our favorite Tokyo eateries, Ninnikuya.

Here's a fine recipe for crackers and roasted garlic hummus.
For (at last count) 26 mouth-watering recipes involving Garlic, check out the Beans Blog, our favorite food blog.

Finally, our friends sent us this picture, and although I don't completely understand it, I kind of like it!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fantastic Fiction

How to keep on top of the latest works of your favorite authors? Especially if you have a lot of favorite authors?

Check out Fantastic Fiction.
Bibliographies for over 25,000 authors. Use the browse menu to find an author by surname, or use the search boxes to search for an author or book.
Information on over 300,000 books. Throughout the site, just click on a book to see its cover picture, description and publication details

Friday, December 25, 2009

Little House on the Prairie

We went to see "Little House on the Prairie" at the Buell tonight. Melissa Gilbert (Laura on the TV series for so many years) played Ma. It was great.

Here we are outside the theater (Jimmy's the camera man.)

Here's Hannah hamming it up for the camera after the show.

Kathy's collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the program from the event.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chag Chanukah Sameach!

Zot Hanukkah!

Pam Preparing

Candles Unlit

Servants Lit

Another View

Ocho Candelas (Cada Uno)
The celebration of the season of the Festival of Lights has ended for another year. May we carry the light through the new year and beyond to brighten all our days and the world as a whole.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas Cookie Party

For the past few years, our friend, Ingrid, has organized a Christmas Cookie Party. It's a great time for some friends to get together, share a meal, and share some Christmas goodies.

The Group

The Goodies

An Assortment of Soups on a Cold Winter's Day

Some Lively Conversation and Some Knitting

Sunday, December 06, 2009

La Tienda, the best of Spain in America

What's a blog for if not to share your favorite things with your readers?
And one of our very favorite things is the store operated by our dear friends, Don and Ruth Harris, and their family. If you're looking to taste the flavors of Spain and to learn of that country's customs and traditions, check out their online store, La Tienda. They have been operating successfully online for twelve years, and we have taken full advantage of their offerings of Spanish products during that time. Now, they are opening a retail store in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. We wish we could be there for the grand opening, but alas, Colorado is a long way from Virginia.
We were stationed with the Harrises years ago in Rota, Spain, and neither family has lost its fondness for that country and its people. The Harrises have perpetuated that love and connection with Spain and things Spanish through their wonderful store, online and now on land. We wish them the best and encourage anyone looking for Spanish goodies of any kind to check out their site.

Grand Opening of the La Tienda Retail Store

La Tienda recently announced the opening of its new retail store in Williamsburg, Virginia! After 12 years of offering the best of Spain through its web site, they are excited to provide their loyal customers a retail experience that is worth the journey.
Located on Jamestown Road, just two miles from Colonial Williamsburg, the new store is in the historic brick Whitehall building. Featuring wood floors, skylight and a wine tasting room, it is a place they can truly welcome you for a visit. And with over 2,000 feet of floor space, there is plenty of room to browse their hundreds of authentic Spanish foods, wines and ceramics.

Join the Grand Opening celebration on Thursday, December 10th, from 10 AM - 7 PM. There will be Spanish food to sample throughout the day, and they'll be tasting Spanish wines at 3 PM. They'll be sampling food and wine again on Saturday from 12 noon - 6 PM. They will be open Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday season. So if you can't make it Thursday, please visit over the weekend to sample Spain's best and see what their new store has to offer!

Grand Opening Celebration
Thursday, December 10th, 10 AM - 7 PM
Wine tasting: 3 PM
Saturday, December 12th, 12 noon - 6 PM

1325 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg VAPhone: 757-345-5623
Get Google Map and directions

Holiday Hours
Tuesday - Thursday, 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday - Saturday, 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday, closed

Check out La Tienda for wonderful gifts for the holidays.

A top selection of tapas.

Paella supplies.
A fine selection of wines, cheeses, olives.
Items like their padron peppers.

Check out La Tienda at

Other things you may want to check out:
Articles and tips about Spain and Spanish cooking
Kitchen and Table Items
Mantecados and Polvorones
Toiletries and Bath Products
and many, many more.

Congratulations to the Harrises on a wonderful store and the opening of their first brick and mortar establishment. For more on this fascinating family, find a picture and story here.