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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Share your food adventure

Your "Food Fantasy Lifestyle." Have you got one?

mamachef Jun 16, 2012 08:40 AM

For some of us, it would be owning a B&B that serves beautiful food to guests. Others of us would take off on a high-end, everlasting foodseeking journey with no limits. My lifestyle fantasy would be something like this:
I'd own a farm, a farm with many fruit trees and a huge vegetable garden. It would be as self -sustaining as possible: a chicken coop for eggs and poultry, a rabbit hutch for meat. I would love it if there could be a cow in there somewhere, maybe two: milk, home-raised beefsteak..........I would certainly try my hand at cheesemaking, and hopefully I'd have an endless supply of thick cream that I could doctor into Creme Freeeeeeeeeesh. Heavy cream to pour over pies, raw milk for cafe con leche, oh my. The orchard is dappled with sunlight on a warm beautiful day; apple trees for pie, grapes for wine and eating out of hand.Home-canned jams and jellies. Pears: late Summer/Fall pear crumbles and juicy orbs to munch. Chutneys of all stripes, hotted up with peppers and chilis, or sweetened with honey and treated with crunchy nuts. The veg garden is tomato heavy, for salting and eating directly, and for more chutneys, jams, sandwiches sprinkled with pepper, good bread spread with lemony mayonnaise, or treated to bacon and shredded lettuce. The abundance is dazzling. Anyone who loves fresh fruit and vegetables is invited to come take the excess in a respectful way....if you want to pay, pay; if you can't or don't want to, that's all right too because everybody needs to eat.
What's yours, Ducks?

  1. suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 09:22 AM

    I have always wanted to own a sandwich shop or a Mobil food truck( roach coach). When i was a small child we would go to this tiny sandwich shop that all the sandwiches were buy one get one free except the steak and cheese. They were always packed and lined up out the door. The sandwiches were so good. And they were so fast and i thought that was so cool. And they were only open from 10 To 2:30. Nice easy hours. Love it
    Also, in my early twenties I encountered my first roach coach. I was working near the beach and also near construction. Every afternoon two trucks came by with their distinctive horns to signify their arrival. The workers knew which ones they liked and would come running in droves when they heard it. The one I liked was usually last but most of us waited for her. The food was so much better. I actually started dreaming uo ways to make her things better. She served these lovely salads with hard boiled eggs, but wouldn't it be nice if they were deviled. Who doesn't love a deviled egg? And why not put the hamburgers on a hogie bun instead so the burger bun wouldnt becomesoggy? Tuna salad and such in cups so you don't have to buy the bun or greens if you just want the tuna or egg salad. Things like that.

    10 Replies
    1. re: suzigirl
      mamachef Jun 16, 2012 09:50 AM

      I would so come to your non-roach coach, suzigirl. I love how you'd organize everything, and especially putting the condiments on the side, well-packaged. I had a friend whose mom would do that with her school lunches, little Tupperware containers of sliced tomato and lettuce to put on the sandwiches when she ate it. I was totally jealous of that!! But really, what would be your specialty?

      1. re: mamachef
        suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 10:26 AM

        Don't be jealous but my bf gets a home cooked lunch box every day. I get the small solo cups for his condiments and such so nothing gets soggy. I remember how much I hated that growing up and forgoing lunch because the sandwich was so soggy.
        If I had a Mobil food truck I would make hot and cold items both. The usual suspects like cold cut sammies and salads. But also specials each day that could be dished up per order like sloppy Suzi-Joe's. Not sweet but savory ground beef concoction my bf goes crazy for and usually eats three. BBQ'd pulled pork sammies, sweet and sour meat balls, chicken and dumplings, and this nutty Reuben to go that looks awful but tase it and you're hooked. Corned beef diced very fine, cream cheese Swiss cheese and saurkraut heated together and served on weck rolls with thousand island dressing. So good.

        1. re: suzigirl
          mamachef Jun 16, 2012 10:31 AM

          Your special sound insanely delicious, suzigirl. The Reuben has me drooling.

          1. re: mamachef
            suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 10:34 AM

            It is a huge hit at potlucks once someone has the nerve to try the pink cheesy mess. Try it sometime. You will love it.

          2. re: suzigirl
            AnneMarieDear Jun 16, 2012 03:18 PM

            Goodness, your Reuben sounds delicious! I had to google weck roll and am glad I did. I will definitely be making this, suzigirl.

            This is a fun thread, mamachef. I'd be thrilled if someone near me ran a farm like the one you described!

            1. re: AnneMarieDear
              suzigirl Jun 16, 2012 03:29 PM

              It is sooo good. Weck rolls aren't widely available where I am so I make them. I cheat and use frozen dough as i am not good at baking. You will be hooked if you try this sandwich. Creamy salty goodness.
              As for mamachefs farm, she could employ me as a farmhand. Will work for food. :-)

              1. re: suzigirl
                mamachef Jun 16, 2012 05:03 PM

                Oh, I assumed you were coming. In addition to the farm work, we could work out a weck recipe and celebrate w/ beef on weck Yummmmmy. Do yours have caraway seeds on them?

                1. re: mamachef
                  suzigirl Jun 17, 2012 08:39 AM

                  Absolutely caraway. I like it to mimic the rye bread. Yum. Beef on weck, oh drool.

        2. re: suzigirl
          Lizard Jun 19, 2012 12:37 AM

          Sounds great. But do you mind if I ask about what a "Mobil" food truck is? Does it have anything to do with the company, and why is that important? I would have guessed you meant 'mobile' but I noticed it's repeated a few times so I became curious.

          1. re: Lizard
            suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 08:30 AM

            The truck I speak of is the catering truck style. You have the large wing style doors that unlatch and you flip up. One side is usually hot and one side is cold. Everything is prepared and not made to order. Saves the wait. You only have to wait to pay. Zippy quick

        3. JMF Jun 16, 2012 11:59 AM

          Hopefully you would have someone to work that farm for you and be independently wealthy.. Having lived and worked on several farms with livestock and vegetables and fruits, it's a backbreaking job to have a self sustaining farm. Weeding, milking twice a day, feeding, haying, slaughtering and butchering, harvesting, preserving, collecting eggs, dealing with disease, watering, dealing with pests, drought, birthing stock, up at dawn and exhausted before dark, etc.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JMF
            mamachef Jun 16, 2012 01:24 PM

            Yes, I'm aware of the amount of labor involved. This is FANTASY, so of COURSE independent wealth (from a moral investment made by a Democratic relative) is involved, and people who love to work the ground and work with animals would be well and fairly compensated by yours truly. I would be in charge of the garden, and would have help in the orchards during harvest time, and if I need help in preparing and storing food, making delicious canned items and such, I'll hire someone who loves and respects fresh food to help me with that,too.

            1. re: mamachef
              goodhealthgourmet Jun 18, 2012 08:34 AM

              and if I need help in preparing and storing food, making delicious canned items and such, I'll hire someone who loves and respects fresh food to help me with that,too.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                mamachef Jun 18, 2012 09:22 AM

                Like you needed to weigh in. You were already hired. :)

          2. JMF Jun 16, 2012 12:03 PM

            I had that lifestyle for awhile. I had a job on a cruise ship based university and only worked, and very few hours a day at that, when at sea. Free luxury stateroom and food on ship, plus pay as I both taught food courses, and was the psychologist. Then I traveled to eat when in port. Ate my way through Asia, India, Africa, and South America.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JMF
              mamachef Jun 16, 2012 01:25 PM

              Muy fantastic. I truly envy you. Did you get many patients?

              1. re: mamachef
                JMF Jun 16, 2012 01:33 PM

                During the first two weeks of each semester there was some separation anxiety. During the last two weeks kids came to me for resume writing. In between the only problems were from reactions to the malaria med, Larium, where 25% have psychological reactions including hallucinations and other issues. With them just took them off them med and got the Doc to give them sedatives for a few days. I averaged about 1 hour of work a day with patients, max. Spent the rest of the time eating, drinking, auditing classes, prepping to teach food culture courses before each country, writing, and doing all the fun stuff you can do on a cruise ship.

                1. re: JMF
                  mamachef Jun 16, 2012 01:39 PM

                  Fascinating. I have been on many cruises, and I knew there was a ship's doctor, but I had no idea that cruise lines employed a psychologist as well. Very interesting! Thank you for sharing your experience here!

                  1. re: mamachef
                    JMF Jun 17, 2012 08:52 AM

                    It wasn't a cruise line. It was a cruise ship based university.

            2. mariacarmen Jun 16, 2012 11:03 PM

              i want to run the goat cheese making portion of your farm, mamachef - i want to raise the goats, milk them, and make the cheese. i would also like it to be in the South of France, s'il te plaît ......

              3 Replies
              1. re: mariacarmen
                mamachef Jun 16, 2012 11:30 PM

                You are hired, and I'm with you locationwise. You shall be the Fromagere, and give your beautiful cheeses all the love and respect and attention in the world! And think about what you could learn from the artisans you'd meet on weekend jaunts! Oui oui!

                1. re: mamachef
                  mariacarmen Jun 17, 2012 12:12 AM

                  merci! and don't forget, i get to frolic with GOATS!

                2. re: mariacarmen
                  EWSflash Jun 17, 2012 07:07 PM

                  I would love to be one of your cheese tasters. I'd help wherever, too.

                3. j
                  jhopp217 Jun 17, 2012 04:12 AM

                  Seems to me like everyone's fantasy involves way too much work. I would love to own a small restaurant with no menu, that serves a small number of people. Maybe 8-10. It would be a tasting menu of 10-12 dishes and as owner I would get to sample everything. I'd charge the patrons an arm an a leg, donate half the money to food banks and spend every day in culinary paradise,

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jhopp217
                    mamachef Jun 17, 2012 05:45 AM

                    That's a terriffic food fantasy, jhopp, but if you think owning even the world's smallest restaurant isn't an amazing amount of backbreaking heartwrenching work, think again. :) Love the food bank idea, for sure.

                    1. re: jhopp217
                      rabaja Jun 17, 2012 06:27 PM

                      Oh yeah, cause that's no work at all.

                    2. g
                      GG Mora Jun 17, 2012 06:15 AM

                      Mine is very similar to yours, only I'm well on my way to making it a reality. I have a large and expanding vegetable garden, and we planted our first fruit and nut trees last year. We've built a root cellar, and keep clearing parts of our 5-acre plot so that we can (soon) accommodate berry patches, grape vines, chickens, and a goat or two. We built a root cellar last year. I preserve and can a lot of our produce, make my own beer and hard cider (we hope to cultivate enough apples to press our own cider for fermenting), make butter and yogurt and sauerkraut, have cured meats. We stlll have a long way to go, and with both of our full time jobs, we're reaching the limit of our ability to maintain it all. ('We' are my husband and me – he's definitely more capable of heavy lifting, but I do a LOT of the physical work myself).

                      I've started blogging about it here: http://quietinglife.com.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: GG Mora
                        mamachef Jun 17, 2012 06:28 AM

                        Wow, GG. I'm in awe. What made you decide to bring this idea to fruition? Thank you for the link; I'll be checking it out, as I'm very interested in what this journey will teach you and how you feel about it.
                        Best of luck! And lucky you....despite the backbreaking labor.

                        1. re: mamachef
                          GG Mora Jun 17, 2012 11:30 AM

                          I made a decision thirty years ago to leave the mainstream behind, quit my job in advertising and moved to Vermont. So I'd made a decision to live 'differently' a long time ago. I met my husband 11 years ago. It's just sort of a vision we each had independently before meeting, and growing into it together has been a natural path. Also, watching the way the world 'works' these days makes us want less and less to do with it.

                          We limit our exposure to the world, don't watch TV (don't have it in the house), and try to be as environmentally responsible and mindful as we can (recycle, drive small cars, always work hard and do the best job we can, don't have any debt except for the mortgage). The description probably makes us sound dour and humorless; the reality couldn't be more different – we're fun as hell. Living the dream!

                          1. re: GG Mora
                            mamachef Jun 17, 2012 11:53 AM

                            In no way do you sound dour or humorless, GG. Conversely, you sound minful, aware, and fascinating. It seems as though you truly care about walking the walk, and I have envy and respect for your decision and the way you followed through. I think you'd be great neighbors to have!!

                            1. re: GG Mora
                              chefathome Jun 17, 2012 01:14 PM

                              How wonderful it is that you, too, are living your dream! Stories like yours get me excited. There is nothing like making the dream your new reality. It can take courage (as it did when we bought a house in a different country) but when you know you did the right thing, responsibily like you note, it is utterly satisfying.

                              1. re: chefathome
                                GG Mora Jun 17, 2012 01:51 PM

                                You're right, there is a lot of courage involved. And faith. But the rewards are great. I can't remember the last time I felt truly unhappy.

                                It's nice to know there are other people out there that 'get it'. I just wish more people had the courage to live their convictions instead of mindlessly following trends.

                                1. re: GG Mora
                                  chefathome Jun 17, 2012 01:54 PM

                                  I am with you wholeheartedly and truly do get it. You are right - it also takes a lot of faith to follow your convictions. So glad you did!

                          2. re: GG Mora
                            suzigirl Jun 17, 2012 08:49 AM

                            I admire you on so many levels. You take me back to my grandmas farm in my mind. Chickens and pigs,a garden and citrus trees. Berry bushes and canning guava jelly and carambola jelly. Homemade saurkraut and all things of wonderment for a kid.

                          3. chefathome Jun 17, 2012 08:53 AM

                            Ever since my first trip to Europe about 15 years ago, I've wanted to live there to experience the culture, history, beauty, lifestyle, climate and food. In subsequent trips my dream quickly evolved into wanting to forage for wild mushrooms, wild herbs, fruits and nuts and living off the land. Then I dreamed about all this plus going fishing in the sea which would be very close to where I would live. Owning a few olive and fig trees and cultivating a small garden factored into this dream.

                            Well, six years ago my husband and I bought a house in Croatia and we have all the above right on our doorstep. We have been asked to be culinary tour guides and take people to markets and to our friends who produce artisan cheese, wines, olive oils and prsut (air-dried ham similar to prosciutto).

                            I am presently learning Croatian which is a very difficult language but it is very important.

                            So, for those who have fantasies though they may not seem realistic, they can be. To actually realize a fantasy is surreal, magical, wonderful and gratifying. And liberating! We are incredibly blessed and appreciative every single day.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: chefathome
                              mamachef Jun 17, 2012 09:29 AM

                              This is marvelous, chefathome. You are indeed lucky, and your days sound like they are full and happy and food-oriented. I agree that speaking to the natives in their tongue is super-important and will also help your neighbors accept you. And I find it absolutely fascinating that the Turks also use prsut, and spell it the same way.

                              1. re: mamachef
                                chefathome Jun 17, 2012 09:34 AM

                                Mamachef, we are not actually living in Croatia yet but we do fly there for the months of May and October. When we are there our days truly are filled with happiness and fun - it is so satisfying to create meals from things in your own back yard! Though I knew the Turks eat prsut, I did not realize they spelled it like that. (I am missing the accent above the s but am too lazy to copy and paste this morning).

                                If we want to go elsewhere for the day, such as Venice, it is only a three-hour boat ride or drive. The freedom to see so much so close is thrilling.

                                When we are not in Croatia our hearts absolutely yearn for it. Of course living on a different continent is not always perfect, we know that, but to live the far less frenetic lifestyle is so worthwhile.

                                1. re: chefathome
                                  GG Mora Jun 17, 2012 01:49 PM

                                  Wow. That's a dream I'd trade mine for! I have a friend whose parents are from Croatia (though it was still part of Italy when they lived there). My friend and her husband have been over to visit family still living there, and it sounds very much like your setup. Lovely.

                                  1. re: GG Mora
                                    chefathome Jun 17, 2012 01:57 PM

                                    Our house is in Istria which was part of Italy. It is so lovely it is impossible to describe. It feels like home to me - it is where I feel best and at peace. My husband feels precisely the same way. Each time we leave it actually feels as though part of our hearts have been ripped out and left behind. We are so grateful that we are able to do this at a young age and really enjoy it.

                                    1. re: chefathome
                                      mamachef Jun 17, 2012 03:08 PM

                                      Really beautiful, chefathome.

                                      1. re: chefathome
                                        EWSflash Jun 17, 2012 07:17 PM

                                        What a heart-wrenching post- sounds like Heaven on earth.

                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                          chefathome Jun 18, 2012 10:41 AM

                                          Thank you. It really and truly is. And it is even better than I describe it as there are no adjectives that are adequate. My heart yearns to be "home" every single day but I make the best of my time while here as well. I like the saying, "bloom where you are planted". I just happen to bloom better there! :-)

                              2. m
                                MrsBridges Jun 17, 2012 09:23 AM

                                I would own a small farm, perhaps in the Irish Hills area of Michigan, but since I don't like working outdoors and I'm not comfortable around animals, I would hire farmers to work with the most environmentally sound methods for generous compensation. Since this is fantasy, I will hire Almanzo and Laura Wilder, Charles and Caroline Ingalls, Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene, and Tom and Barbara Good as my farmers. They would grow all sorts of vegetables and grains, and raise chickens, cows, sheep, and goats. I would make cheese and pickles with Caroline and Laura's help, and make fabulous dinners from my harvests. Whatever I couldn't get from my farm, I'd get from the best sources elsewhere. I'd have sophisticated dinner parties in which no one brings an iceberg salad lettuce or Betty Crocker cake,and no one turns on the television to watch football. We'd have intelligent conversation about literature and art.

                                When I'm not at home cooking like MFK Fisher, I would jet set to NYC, Paris, etc to dine at the finest restaurants. I'd have at least a three course meal every night, without ever gaining a pound or getting heartburn, or any other eating-related ailment. Hey, instead of flying, I could just apparate like Harry Potter. No limits to fantasy!

                                This is a fun topic.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: MrsBridges
                                  mamachef Jun 17, 2012 09:37 AM

                                  Me oh my, MrsBridges!! This is awesome, and I love how you extended your fantasy to include whom you'd hire to farm your spread. I'm with you all the way in your choices, but I would add Barbara Kingsolver, Novella Carpenter, and Michael Perry to your list. Barbara could help w/ gardening and recipe development; Novella could raise bees and tend the piggies (forgot to mention piggies in my OP, I think..), and Michael could handle the poultry. Your fantasy dinner party to which nobody brings anything objectionable (thought I differ, and do use iceberg and cake mix from time to time) made me LOL. I do understand, having been the recipient of dishes that really didn't mix with the dinner I was serving, but were clearly meant to be served that evening.
                                  Thank you for sharing. :) Oh, and you can always just unplug the telly, and feign ignorance when some blustery fool tries to "check the score," which really means, "watch the game," or remove them to an off-limits room.

                                2. PotatoHouse Jun 17, 2012 03:28 PM

                                  My fantasy changes often. The latest and longest lasting is to open a dessert shop called "Just Desserts". Along with various creme brulees, cakes, cookies, pies, puddings, etc, I would also serve gourmet chocolate milk, hot chocolate, coffees, and italian sodas.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: PotatoHouse
                                    suzigirl Jun 17, 2012 04:20 PM

                                    If I got to open my dream eatery I would call it Eat Your Heart Out or Snack Attack.

                                    1. re: PotatoHouse
                                      mamachef Jun 17, 2012 06:07 PM

                                      What fun!! Great idea!! I managed a patisserie/chocolaterie (?) that went by much the same idea. It was a full-scale full-service bakery, and as such we sold 8" and 9" versions of our specialties, which included Tiramisu, Key Lime Pie w/ white chocolate, and a layered strawberry/mascarpone dessert (in season) along with many others....and we offered them in individual portions as well.

                                      1. re: PotatoHouse
                                        pine time Jun 18, 2012 08:25 AM

                                        I'd like to combine my 2 loves to open Barbara's Bookstore and Bakery. Great alliteration. However, with e-books, the 1st part would probably go bankrupt these days.

                                        1. re: pine time
                                          mamachef Jun 18, 2012 09:25 AM

                                          But your bakery would attract a huge, cultish following, and your success would absorb the loss, in a perfect world. I love this. Bookstores are to me what candy stores are to other people; places of joy and wonderment. And having a bakery attached to the enterprise, with little tables to sit and read my new book while I munched one of your pastries? I'd so be one of your patrons. What a great idea!!

                                          1. re: pine time
                                            kubasd Jun 18, 2012 03:40 PM

                                            I would spend most of my days there.... as long as you have good bread, good butter (mama chef?), some of mc's cheeses, and some of the jams ghg seems to be volunteering to make :P Bookstores are my disneyworld for sure!!

                                        2. chefathome Jun 17, 2012 07:15 PM

                                          Aside from my above posts, another thing I would absolutely love to do is become a spice merchant. I am absolutely enthralled by spices and their history.

                                          1. EWSflash Jun 17, 2012 07:16 PM

                                            Here's one that's not much work, since it's a fantasy- I would love to have a pipeline that instantly delivered whatever I had a craving for, be it roasted green chiles, beluga caviar, a perfect ribeye steak, a mango that's already been cut up and is in a dish, fresh butter, homemade mayonnaise, egg salad sandwich made from eggs that came from free-range hens that had access to herb gardens on artisanal bread, , fish tacos on totally fresh corn tortillas made with grilled mahi mahi, oh now I"m making myself sick with my eventual gluttony, but that's what i'd do IF I had my fantasy fulfilled. In other words, I wouldn't work for it, it would just come to me. Sorry to be so hedonistic, but hey- I can dream.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                              linguafood Jun 18, 2012 03:22 AM

                                              Back in my yout', my friends and I dreamt of a similar pipeline. But it was only delivering different pot varieties and booze.

                                              Now that I'm all grown-up >cough, cough<, that food pipeline sounds marginally more appealing :-)

                                              Thanks for reminding me of that old fantasy, EWS.

                                              1. re: EWSflash
                                                mamachef Jun 18, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                GREAT fantasy....but is it a lifestyle?

                                              2. Caroline1 Jun 18, 2012 03:17 AM

                                                Well, you DID say "fantasy," right? Okay.

                                                I would pretty much live in the house I live in now, with all of the culinary toys I have now (well, maybe just a few dozen more), but it would be on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in southern Turkey, or on the Aegean coast of Greece, but in a village, not a city. and the village would have an olive oil press where I could get my own olives pressed. The "yard" would be an acre or two or seven with not just olive trees, but also several citrus and avocado, and chickens for fresh eggs (even though you can get wonderful fresh eggs in either country, with those bright orange yolks that stand up like a ping pong ball when you fry the eggs). And I'd have a gardener/handyman to take care of things, because even before arthritis attacked my hands I had two very brown thumbs, and plants would shrink away from me.

                                                To get back and forth to grocery (and all other shopping), I would have a Dr. Who phone booth (except I think I'd like mine the traditional UK red) so I could time travel to get the great foods -- fresh and restaurant fare too -- I have adored in my lifetime. The apricots fresh from the tree of my childhood, the Black Sea beluga caviar by the kilo of my twenties, those most incredible ever-in-my-lifetime green apples from a guy at the side of the road in Greece when I lived there, the incredible local almonds I got on Mount Pelio, the dry-aged grass-fed beef of my childhood and young adulthood (because that's all there was back then), the great "authentic, ethnic, for real" dishes of any time past before the galloping fusion/diffusion of today's world started putting the whole world in one pot and homogenizing it. I would have super premium no-longer-with-us tuna that would make Jiro San turn neon green with envy. Ooooh, the abalone! And really true bona fide mutton...! Oh my goodness, the goodness I could gather with my magic phone booth! But wait a minute! Maybe we better make that a magic box car so I can get everything back home if I decide not to eat it there.

                                                Anybody know where I can pick up a magic box car for cheap? '-)

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                  mamachef Jun 18, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                  Oh....I love this!! I can see it!!
                                                  Magic Box Cars are sold cheaply by a troll who lives in a cave in the Saugus mountain range. He's only available during the waning moon, and requires the bribe of one golden egg, 5 magic beans, a Magic Eight Ball, and a roll of wild cherry Lifesavers. IF you can find him, and IF he likes you, and if none of the packaging on your bribes is damaged, he may just help you out. His name is Skreebo, and he does require a password, which is "fleegle."

                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                    Caroline1 Jun 18, 2012 07:45 AM

                                                    I'm heading for the Saugus Mountains as I type!

                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                      mamachef Jun 18, 2012 08:07 AM

                                                      Watch the road. The fairy-pueblos are a bitch to traverse.

                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                        Caroline1 Jun 18, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                        Now you tell me! I think I just stepped on one.... <blech> Fairy guts all over my shoes!

                                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                                          mamachef Jun 18, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                          Right? They squash like nothing else, but at least the guts are sparkly and pretty, like all things fairy.

                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                            Caroline1 Jun 18, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                            Sparkly, yes, but soooooo sticky! And the smell is sickeningly sweet. Thank goodness I wasn't barefoot!!!

                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                              mamachef Jun 18, 2012 04:46 PM

                                                              You're in a good mood. You must've gotten the you-know-what from Skeebo.

                                                  2. re: Caroline1
                                                    LA Buckeye Fan Jun 18, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                    That sounds lovely Caroline. I had a car that disappeared, but sadly, I wasn't in it. ;)

                                                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                      Caroline1 Jun 18, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                      It sounds like a good thing you weren't in it! Otherwise you wouldn't be here. That's good!

                                                    2. re: Caroline1
                                                      Caroline1 Dec 14, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                      Okay. Can I change my mind? what I wanted a year ago is all very well and good, and there's no way I would turn it down, but having thought it through, my wishes are now muuuuch simpler! I just want one magic cupboard! Whatever I want, when I open the cupboard and reach in, it's there! Goat cheese to pineapples, caviar to cottage cheese. Two pounds of baklava? It's there! Everything will be there just by opening the cupboard and reaching in... BUT.... I'd better be damn careful how I reach in when I wish for fresh live lobsters and crabs! But somehow, I'll manage. '-)

                                                    3. jadec Jun 18, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                      Mine is a little different from everyone else's. I'd like to live in a city or region, giving street food and market tours coupled with some travel and food photography and writing. I'd relocate to a completely different part of the world every 2-3 years.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: jadec
                                                        mamachef Jun 18, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                        jadec, that's a terriffic lifestyle! I can totally see moving somewhere, getting acquainted w/ the local food scene and artisans, and then turning other people onto it. I'm super-lucky to live in an area where such things occur daily, and I bet you could do it someday if you wanted to. Check out Ed Levine....it's what he does, and he blogs about it.

                                                        1. re: jadec
                                                          JMF Jun 19, 2012 09:20 AM

                                                          I have a friend who does exactly that!

                                                        2. LA Buckeye Fan Jun 18, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                          I would move to Ireland and drive around the Kerry and the Connemara Coast in a little food truck. I would hire a driver, because those roads are scary, and I think left is not right. But I digress...I would give out sandwichs and salads and soups to the workers in the villages. I wouldn't need to charge for them because I had inherited Steve Jobs estate. I would travel to Spain, France, and Italy to eat...and I wouldn't gain a pound, in fact I'd lose them and would be smokin hot. I would live here: but I have no intention of being a nun. That's my lifestyle choice.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                            mariacarmen Jun 18, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                            ohhhh, i LIKE the way you think! from here: "....I had inherited Steve Jobs estate. I would travel to Spain, France, and Italy to eat...and I wouldn't gain a pound, in fact I'd lose them and would be smokin hot. I would live here: but I have no intention of being a nun. That's my lifestyle choice."

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                              LA Buckeye Fan Jun 18, 2012 04:14 PM

                                                              Thank you Maria. You are more than welcome to stay in one of my spare estates. Now I have to go evict some nuns.

                                                              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                mariacarmen Jun 18, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                i can help. i can bring my goats to drive them out....

                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                  mamachef Jun 18, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                  The smell alone...but oh, that cheese, mc2.

                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                    DuchessNukem Jun 20, 2012 11:54 PM

                                                                    That's just a rumor, nuns don't smell. They're a very clean people.


                                                                    1. re: DuchessNukem
                                                                      LA Buckeye Fan Jun 26, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                      That cracked me up Duchess Nukem. But there are not enough yankee candles to mask the smell of wet wool and mothballs.

                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                    LA Buckeye Fan Jun 18, 2012 05:29 PM

                                                                    lol...Sure. Just not any old goats. Remember, I'm hot now. :)

                                                                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                      mariacarmen Jun 18, 2012 10:47 PM

                                                                      young bucks only!

                                                              2. re: LA Buckeye Fan
                                                                mamachef Jun 18, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                Oh, this is truly fantastic!! I love the way you took the idea and ran with it!! And what I love love love even more is you giving away your food free of charge. And the rest of it? I want that too, and I want it NOW.

                                                              3. linengirl Jun 18, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                That's easy. Enough money to introduce BF to all the delicious foods he doesn't know he'll love. As in... "you think you don't like sushi? Let's go to Japan for a month. We'll start with a trip to a good izakaya, work our way up from Okonomiyaki to truly great tempura, and then ease into raw fish by way of genuinely excellent Buddhist vegetarian and kaiseki ryori...". Then on to Chinese in China: from great Beijing noodles to Szechuan. Then Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian (a few weeks in Penang: not much of a penance, hm?)...

                                                                1. RealMenJulienne Jun 19, 2012 01:16 AM

                                                                  Understand that this fantasy comes from three years of living in the most crowded, most polluted place on earth. I want to own and learn how to manage a 1000 acre forested property all to myself. How to build up fish and game populations, and how to encourage the growth of wild food-bearing plants. For some reason aquaculture fascinates me so I'd also like to intensively raise catfish, tilapia, and crawfish. After hunting, fishing, and trapping I want to learn how to preserve my catch with some of the really old-school ways of food preservation like smoking, pickling, salting, and charcuterie. I'd Invite friends and family over for wild game dinners but everyone else better stay the hell out.

                                                                  The reason this is a fantasy is because I know absolutely nothing about hunting, fishing, trapping, game management, or aquaculture.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                    mamachef Jun 19, 2012 02:57 AM

                                                                    Wow. That's a fascinating and concientious choice, RMJ. Would that the government was as interested in our natural habitat and the preservation of what it yields. What a great fantasy.

                                                                  2. JMF Jun 19, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                                    I'd like to be able to change jobs every few years to different sectors of the food and beverage business. Travel or live all over and learn about new food and drink, then teach others about it, and write about it. Also try my hand at different trades like brewing beer, wine making, distilling artisanal spirits, farming, raising livestock, making artisanal cheese, and brick oven breads, and travel around and letting people taste everything I made.

                                                                    Also go out to food and drink events every day and be able to eat and drink great stuff, then stay home weekends to rest up for the next week. I'd meet up with friends to try new spirits, wines, cocktails, and have limos appear and take me from one bar or event to another. I'd travel around the world to study at different culinary schools and do stages in the worlds best bars. I'd go to week long conventions that were all about spirits and cocktails, or food and wine, attend seminars about the newest discovery, or the history of food and drink. I'd hang out with fun folks from all over, talking about food and drink. I'd go to huge parties with hundreds of people, in fantastic places, with dozens of the worlds best bartenders serving the drinks.

                                                                    I'd spend my free time seeking out new, little known, ethnic restaurants, trying the weirdest and best foods. Then go home and try to replicate the dish.

                                                                    I'd go out into the woods and forage for edible and medicinal plants, then use them in a meal or drink. I'd take survival courses and spend time out in the wilderness for weeks on end, mountain climbing, backpacking, or canoeing to build up an appetite, then cooking over an open fire, creating tasty food with what was on hand.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: JMF
                                                                      mamachef Jun 19, 2012 09:44 AM

                                                                      Love this. But wouldn't you have any food-related hobbies? BAAAAhahahahaha!

                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                        JMF Jun 19, 2012 09:57 AM

                                                                        ummm... what I described is my life the past 22 years. 22 years ago exactly I was in ICU with six fractured cervical vertebrae, in other words a broken neck, wondering if I was going to be paralyzed the rest of my life. The last paragraph above was my life from when I recovered until about 8-10 years later. The rest is the past nine years. The second paragraph is my daily life the past three years. The 4 years in between I was a psychologist and educator, and except the last bit when I was working for the university on a cruise ship, it was pretty boring.

                                                                        1. re: JMF
                                                                          mamachef Jun 19, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                          Oh, I meant no offense. I was joking and I'm glad you recovered from what sounds like a horrible injury.

                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                            JMF Jun 19, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                            No offense taken, knew you were joking around.

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      Sharuf Jun 19, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                                      I grew up on a dairy farm that pretty well fit your fantasy. So, of course I do not fantasize about all that self-sufficiency stuff -- I've been there. Cows, chickens, pigs, veggies, fruit are WORK! Canning, smoking, cheese and sausage making keep you busy, Chopping heads off chickens and and then plucking and cleaning them is something you would find as unpleasant as my mother did.

                                                                      Dream on!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Sharuf
                                                                        mamachef Jun 19, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                        I've worked on a farm that included dairy cows, chickens, veg and fruit trees, and I'm well aware that the labor required is huge and that not all parts of meat-and-poultry raising is pleasant....so I actually know from whereof I speak. I can take a chicken from clucking to "dead silent" in 30 seconds, and have it on a plate less than an hour later, though I prefer to let the poultry rest more than that. It's something I like.
                                                                        So I hear that it's not your particular fantasty, due to your burnout....but do you have one? Or did you just want to let me know how ridiculous my own fantasy is?

                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                          Sharuf Jun 19, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                          Your original post carried no hint of your actually having done work on a farm, so I assumed you were giving us a city girl fantasy.

                                                                          1. re: Sharuf
                                                                            ronaldpedwards Jun 19, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                            What an interesting question. Well, I think that for the true fantasy portion, I would need to be able to eat anything I want, in whatever portions I want, without ever gaining weight or having to worry about things like cholesterol.
                                                                            For the how would I live if I had inherited the Steve Jobs estate: I think I would buy a residence on “The World” cruise ship. If you have never heard of this, try googling “the world cruise ship” and take a look. This is a ship which travels the world endlessly with 165 luxury residences aboard. Constantly travelling to new cities with new restaurants and food choices.
                                                                            Each day you would have the choice of choosing one of the local restaurants in the city you are visiting, eating at one of the (I assume awesome) restaurants on board the ship just a walk down the hall from your home, or buying fresh local groceries and bringing them back on board to cook in your own kitchen. Imagine stocking your shelves with ingredients fresh from farmers markets in the cities you are visiting. A truly never ending culinary retirement. And perhaps just as importantly you have the opportunity to meet and dine with people from all over the world and learn about their foods and cultures.

                                                                            1. re: ronaldpedwards
                                                                              mamachef Jun 19, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                              Oh, man....I saw a Travel Channel special on "The World." Yep, that's a nice one. Maybe that's my fantasy, too, for the one month of the year I take off from my farm fantasy.

                                                                            2. re: Sharuf
                                                                              mariacarmen Jun 20, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                              yet no one else chose to flame her about it.
                                                                              and she also asked you if you have a fantasy?

                                                                        2. c
                                                                          carbondiamond Jun 19, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                          My dream? A house lot close enough to a major city that I could walk to mass transit but yet on a quiet street. Big enough lot to allow for careful gardening using raised beds and a small green house. Renovate an old building for modern living (solar! zero-net living?!!). Don't forget the brick pizza oven in the private backyard. Imagine-the best of city living and yet have a sense of the country in your backyard. I do well in my suburban house, did almost as well in a much smaller yard in an historic downtown but I want the fantasy of " the perfect dream home and garden". Imagine it, telling a friend in an off-hand way, "Oh, yes. It was just a quick meal. I only had time to pick fresh greens out of the garden and wash them by the time my roast chicken was ready to serve. Dessert was fresh berries out of side yard-just whatever was ripe today." Just a fantasy...but a possible one.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: carbondiamond
                                                                            mamachef Jun 19, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                                            I use raised beds for my very urban home, and it works beautifully - well enough to supply me, several neighbors and some community foragers all spring and summer long - but the dream home and garden is a lovely holy grail, carbondiamond.

                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                              carbondiamond Jun 19, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                              Don't you know it. I slip off to sleep some nights thinking about all the things I could do in the future-another raised bed, scavenge a few more window frames to make another coldframe or even how to make my own solar room heaters for the cold months. Ah, what fun.

                                                                          2. chefathome Jun 19, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                                            My husband built me amazing raised beds with seating all the way around them. They are about two feet tall. I also live in the suburbs and grow intensively. So many benefits - they warm up earlier in the spring, they drain well, they cut down on the amount of weeding you need to do, you can plant far closer together. Love them.

                                                                            We do have an outdoor wood-burning oven in our Croatia house (not here) and absolutely adore it. We use it for everything.

                                                                            Oops - meant to post this as a response to carbondiamond.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: chefathome
                                                                              carbondiamond Jun 19, 2012 01:09 PM

                                                                              Oh, I am jealous. I want a wood burning oven but unless I figure out how to build it myself...not going to happen. Good for you!
                                                                              I agree on the raised beds-aren't they the best? I have 4 but want more. My fantasy life has attractive planting beds rather than the utilitarian raised beds that I have now. Someone nearby has goats and chickens on a much smaller lot-I am tempted to try raising animals. For now, I just chase the wild rabbits out of the yard and threaten them with the stew pot.

                                                                              1. re: carbondiamond
                                                                                mamachef Jun 19, 2012 02:12 PM

                                                                                Read, "Garden City" by Novella Carpenter ASAP, and google City Slicker Farms.

                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                  rabaja Jun 20, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                  great book, although she had a hell of a battle with the city of Oakland.

                                                                                  Perfect summertime reading though, I just may go read it again right now!

                                                                                  1. re: rabaja
                                                                                    mamachef Jun 20, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                                                    You do that too, eh? I just finished the re-read, apropos what Oaktown officials dumped on her. I loved that she was able to appeal to supporters who raised the money for the licensing and lawyers' fees suddenly at issue. Gah.

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                      rabaja Jun 21, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                                      Yes, she is from sturdy ilk. I got to chat with her at a book signing a couple of years ago, and was involved in an Oakland pop-up she was also selling at. She is very real and nice, and I think she even has a kid now. Good for her for persevering .

                                                                                2. re: carbondiamond
                                                                                  chefathome Jun 19, 2012 02:25 PM

                                                                                  A wood burning oven is really a delight. Thankfully it was already built when we bought the house (it is a very old restored stone house with large outdoor kitchen).

                                                                                  Raised beds ARE the best. Whenever one tiny section of something has been eaten I just plant another few beans or carrots or whatever. They are so easy to manage and to water and maintain. One of my beds is just for herbs. I garden in a zone 1b so nothing really overwinters here.

                                                                                  Man, it would be a dream of mine to have a few animals as well but our bylaws prohibit that here. I like your sense of humour regarding the rabbits! :-)

                                                                              2. Samalicious Jun 19, 2012 01:28 PM

                                                                                I want an Automat in my house, just like the first 1902 Horn & Hardart. If I don't know what to eat for dinner, I can just look behind all the little windows until I find what looks good and drop a nickel into the slot. The first night it was installed, I would be just like the woman in the John Cheever story : "Tomorrow I'm going to have the baked beans, and the chicken pie the day after that and the fish cakes after that."
                                                                                My friends and neighbors could eat there too ... but they would have to bring their own nickels.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                  mamachef Jun 19, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                  Oh, man, Samalicious. I ate at an automat once in my life, and it was the most amazing place I'd ever seen.

                                                                                  1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                    Caroline1 Jun 19, 2012 10:47 PM

                                                                                    My god! What AMAZING self control! I'd be right there with a gunny sack of nickels tasting EVERYTHING! Wait a minute? Does your fantasy kitchen have busboys?

                                                                                    1. re: Samalicious
                                                                                      Kholvaitar Dec 14, 2013 06:24 AM


                                                                                      "Joseph Horn, a Philadelphian with no restaurant experience, and Frank Hardart, a cook from New Orleans, opened their first restaurant in Philadelphia on December 22, 1888. Their tiny 11 x 17 lunchroom at 39 South 13th St. wasn’t fancy—simply a counter with 15 stools. But Horn & Hardart soon had a steady stream of customers drawn by its novel New Orleans-style French-drip coffee.

                                                                                      "A trip Hardart took to Berlin in 1900 inspired a unique twist to H&H’s restaurant business. While there, Hardart came
                                                                                      across an Automat...."


                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                      thinks too much Jun 21, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                      I want a magic house, where I always have enough time and funds to cook the menus for people who come for dinner. The wealth of friends that I have live close enough to come over for casual impromptu dinner parties, where the food all matches and the wines pair up.

                                                                                      All my friends who have the same dietary issues all like each other, so each subset come over one at a time. This is the vegetarian night, tomorrow is the gluten free, and next thursday will be the lactose-intolerants. That way I no longer have to design menus that cater to every possible need at each party.

                                                                                      My garden is three times the size that it currently is, and I have hired someone to come in and weed for an hour every day, so that I only have to do it for 10-15 minutes a day. I remembered to plant fruit trees and rasberry canes a few years back, because I knew that I would be staying in the same place, so they are now bearing fruit nicely.

                                                                                      My kitchen would also be twice it's current size, plus a butlers pantry so that I could store the cooking toys that accumulate. And the bar would be organized, so that I would whip up cocktails to match the season, rather than just sticking to beer, wine and single-malts.

                                                                                      In town, which would remain in walking distance, I would add a great dim sum place, Mexican and Lebanese place. And I'd be able to afford to go out to all the restaurants in town, and not just wait for Restaurant Week!

                                                                                      Finally, my local airport would fly conveniently to all my travel destinations with no more than 1 layover. Furthermore, they would always (or at least most of the time) depart and arrive on time, so that I could make reservations that I could count on.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: thinks too much
                                                                                        mamachef Jun 21, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                        I don't think you think too much. I think I like the way you think.

                                                                                      2. Kris in Beijing Jun 28, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                        I'd BE Anton Ego.

                                                                                        I'll write a longer post later, but this'll suffice for now.

                                                                                        1. tim irvine Dec 14, 2013 09:01 AM

                                                                                          Actually my good fantasy goes way beyond food. I have a young adult son who is autistic. People with a household member with special needs have a heck of a time decompressing. Who needs the hairy eyeball because a member of your group is making funny noises. Also, traditional residential settings are often a less than ideal fit for persons with autism. So my fantasy is to get some land near a good sized town in an area where folks might like to vacation. I am partial to the Willamette Valley, close to mountains, wine, and coast. On this land I'd have cottages for folks with special needs and caregivers, cottages for me and others who might choose to live there. Residents could work growing great produce and maybe keeping goats if a cheese maker wants to join us. It would also provide a barter arrangement of room and board for sharing care responsibilities with nearby grad students. Central would be a community center with a restaurant. Updated interpretation of greasy spoon breakfast and lunch, prix fixe dinner. There'd also be cabins to rent for vacationers. If they wanted to go ski or fish or taste wine and one or more of their party didn't like such things, they could stay at the place and have care. The vacationers could dine comfortably in the restaurant. There'd always be nuggets, fries, and the beige food my son loves and also a nice "who knows what." Tonight it would be shrimp grits with a fresh baked sourdough baguette, mixed greens and avocado in a white wine vinaigrette, and an apple Charlotte. If it were in Oregon Tillamook ice cream would be there, too. Right now, however, we are in Austin; so it will be Blue Bell or Amy's.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: tim irvine
                                                                                            Caroline1 Dec 14, 2013 02:23 PM

                                                                                            May your dreams jump up and grab you and toss you into that reality. Here's to your dream coming true!

                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                              tim irvine Dec 14, 2013 06:19 PM


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