Athena's Profile

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Thanks Mom

I am so sorry for your loss. My mother died some 30 years ago, she loved Christmas and all the cooking and baking that went with it, every Christmas since that first one in 1983 I feel she is with me as I bake and cook my way through December. I remember how she would cut a slice from her cherry and walnut cake "just to make sure it was OK", and she is there with me as I pull the golden brown cassava pie from the oven on Christmas Eve. Just keep on keeping on.

Dec 11, 2014
Athena in Not About Food

First Married Christmas

Congratulations!

Julia Child's filet steaks with Madeira mushroom sauce is a pre-Christmas special dinner favourite, I have served it with little red potatoes roasted in the oven or mashed potatoes, sometimes with carrots either simply cut in sticks and steamed, or roasted, or cherry tomatoes roasted with fresh thyme and a little olive oil. I usually serve a simple little salad on the side too - a few leaves of arugula or butter lettuce with a little walnut vinaigrette.

I've also covered thick filets of firm white fish with a mix of finely chopped hazelnuts, parsley and panko crumbs, started on the stove top and finished in the oven, served with roasted, thinly sliced potatoes and peas tossed with a dollop of creme fraiche.

I'm not big on appetizers - a dish of almonds or marinated olives with a glass of bubbly or wine.

Dessert is usually just a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream with a really dark, homemade chocolate sauce - David Leibovitz has an excellent recipe.

Dec 10, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Basically asked/guilted into cancelling our New Years Party - did I react in the right way?

You did the right thing. The suggestion that you both throw a party and let people choose sounds totally bizarre - what a waste of time and money – and reeks of adolescent drama.

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

That just broke my heart pine time, so many elderly people have to choose between food and medication, so glad you were there to help and so sad they found themselves in that situation.

Nov 13, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
1

Who Makes Mac & Cheese without Bechamel/Mornay?

That's pretty much how we made it, Bada Bing, in 1950s/60s Bermuda - always elbow macaroni, evaporated milk and loads of 'rat cheese' - i.e. New Zealand cheddar.

Nov 09, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Parents of Adult Children: When should kids start picking up the check?

My son was 7 when I divorced his father, I chose to give him the best education I could which meant many lean years until he graduated from university, landed a a great job and got his own debit card - he has not allowed me to pay for a meal when we go out since then.

Nov 09, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
2

TUMS at a dinner party?

I confess, I cannot wait to hear about Roz's annual Christmas Blowout.

As for the TUMS on the table. You keep inviting her to your table for whatever reason, so you know by now to expect the unexpected, the rude, the attention seeking, the downright social cluelessness – she is an overgrown toddler and I don't see that changing any time soon - so just roll your eyes and go with it.

I had a Roz clone up until last year when she behaved so badly at a birthday lunch that it was the last straw for me. We are also work colleagues, I am polite and professional but we will never sit down to a meal ever again.

Guest Calling the Shots

I'm sorry that there is that one jackass who is taking advantage of your generosity - and I get the feeling that for you it's less about the expense than it is about the taking advantage, I don't think you're getting in a snit at all - you just didn't expect that someone would be so rude and thoughtless. It looks like everyone is going to have to pay for his bad behaviour - I agree with Hobbert - arrange for a fixed menu with choices and beer, soft drinks and wine to drink.

Dinner music - the host or the guest decides?

Yes, the Rozs are real. I have one in my life but she is no longer invited into my house .Not for a meal not even for a drink. I got to the point where I just couldn't deal with a 50-odd-year-old toddler. As entertaining as she was, the endless disruption and narcissism just wasn't worth it.

Fairmont Hotel Hamilton Bermuda

That is daily breakfast from 7-11 am - I think the OP is referring to Sunday brunch which the Hamilton Princess no longer serves.

Fairmont Hotel Hamilton Bermuda

No, they don't.

Imperial v. Metric issue

Growing up in Bermuda we had American cups but butter came in blocks from Australia and NZ - so much time spent softening butter and squooshing into those cups!

These days I have the equipment to use whatever the recipe is written in. I still find it impossible to visualise metric quantities when reading a recipe though.

Jun 15, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Caribbean babymoon - hotel/resort recommendations? Need great food!

I second The Reefs. I live in Bermuda and I go there for staycations with friends – it is the perfect place to be lazy - on the beach, around the pool, at the spa – and the food has improved a lot - it got a bit wobbly for a while there.

Easter Dinner Ideas

I too am trawling through recipes for next Sunday, all I know for sure at this point that dessert will be individual white chocolate and pistachio pavlovas and the meat will be lamb.

Anyway, the soup sounds wonderful, and as other have said it can be a small bowlful.

If you want a green sauce with the lamb lollipops I can recommend Ottolenghi's sauce that goes with his grilled lamb:
http://www.ottolenghi.co.uk/barbecued...
When I made the recipe I marinaded a butterflied lamb leg and then grilled on the barbecue - no reason why you couldn't use lollipops - the herby/almondy sauce is really delicious - if cilantro is a problem Italian parsley works just as well, and the orange blossom water will not be missed if you don't have it.

So, a green sauce, roasted tomatoes, crusty bread and a simple green salad maybe?

Apr 12, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

looking for ideas and tips... "nest' cake for Easter

Nigella Lawson uses a flourless chocolate cake recipe (it's originally Richard Sax's recipe and I have made it many, many times) it sinks in the centre as it cools so you have a nest- like bowl, and she fills it with Cadbury mini-eggs:
http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/e...

Apr 12, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Do Chowhounds Tend To Be Creative/Artistic?

I say creativity lies within your process of tweaking! Art and design is frequently derivative.

Mar 23, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
1

Do Chowhounds Tend To Be Creative/Artistic?

I don't believe that creativity is limited to 'the arts', I have a BFA, but I see creativity in all kinds of professions and disciplines. Is not being an engineer akin to the problem solving required in graphic design? There is theatre in the courtroom, accountants can be very, very creative as can risk modellers and underwriters - and they can all be excellent Chowhounds.

Mar 22, 2014
Athena in Not About Food

Follow-up to the thread on catering to in-laws' Midwestern tastes (boy, did I open a can of worms!!!)

Right now, focus on your son and your parents' celebration - do not let the in-laws take your joy.

From what you have written I don't know that telling them how you feel will get through to them - I mean, that whole thing with dismissing your daughter's celiac disease? That's just wrong.

I just really feel for you.

Mar 04, 2014
Athena in Not About Food
1

Catering to relatives who don't want "exotic" food

What the OP's child is or is not taught is entirely her business.

laurlejgs - can you engage your son in participating in the decision of where to eat? Maybe just be straight with him - as in "here's the situation, can we find a restaurant to eat at that you and your grandparents will enjoy?"

Do you cook or bake for your coworkers?

We're a small group of eight and sometimes I or others will bring something in for a birthday or just because - it's no big deal.

Speaking as a boss, however, I would find it totally weird to have someone bring things in just for me once, let alone regularly – we'd be having a conversation about that.

Feb 25, 2014
Athena in General Topics

Is Anyone else on Pinterest? Let's follow each other!

Oh, I've seen some pretty close to porn stuff. I have also seen people get up in arms about classic black and white images of nudes by famous photographers.

Feb 23, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Is Anyone else on Pinterest? Let's follow each other!

If you are on Facebook you can log into Pinterest from through that.

I've always found the help desk to be helpful.

Feb 23, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Is Anyone else on Pinterest? Let's follow each other!

Am working my way through everyone's boards!

Here's mine:http://www.pinterest.com/calabash/

Thanks to this I've started a 'tried and like' board so I don't have to go searching…

Feb 20, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking
1

Is Anyone else on Pinterest? Let's follow each other!

helen_m - yum!

Feb 20, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Celestial Dinner.

I've never heard of that, but I like it!

I'm assuming we can pick dishes we had at a particular place and it would be perfectly replicated?

If so, I would start with the best fried calamari I ever had at a place on the waterfront in Fell's Point, Baltimore - they were perfectly crisp and crunchy and not all all greasy.

Followed by osso bucco with risotto - no restaurant version, just how I would make it.

A crisp salad of endive and radicchio with hazlenuts sprinkled with pomegranate seeds with a sherry vinegar blood orange olive oil dressing

Dessert - that white chocolate and pistachio pavlova with fresh raspberries and whipped cream recipe I found on the Guardian website.

Guests - Pepys would be interesting - I've listened to his diary excerpts on BBC 4. I'm assuming they have to be within the pearly gates? For me: John Lennon, Boadicea, Sir George Somers (I want to know what it was really like when his ship was wrecked at Bermuda in 1609), Ann Boleyn (dish the dirt sister!) and Hunter S. Thompson.

Is that Group Captain Leonard Cheshire? I would think he'd enjoy Pepys and Niven - and anyway - it's your party!

Jan 30, 2014
Athena in General Topics

Victorian wedding picnic

The venue sounds lovely, as does the picnic (remind your mother/sisters/friends that the ladies of Downton Abbey were forever lolling around eating in the garden).

The heat, however, makes me think more of the wedding in Fried Green Tomatoes than an English summer spread.

That said, I can understand your feeling a little droopy about ham and turkey - and maybe moreso with the turkey - a really great ham is a thing of beauty. Jamie Oliver did a show many years ago about a wedding lunch - it included whole salmon - and little potatoes tossed in a dressing. I love the idea of cucumber sandwiches or a cucumber and dill salad. Also go old school and check out Coronation Chicken.

Personally, I would not want to deal with anything that involved noodles, dark sauces, or anything gloopy because I know I would end up with it on my clothes...

Jan 17, 2014
Athena in General Topics

Santa brought me a new Kitchen Aid Pro Mixer...what to make with it?

Oh yes! Meringue for pavlova - either one big one or individual ones or two rounds for layering- Google for Jamie Oliver's basic recipe then use whatever is seasonal - pomegranate/cranberry, white chocolate/pistachio/raspberries; blueberries/lemon curd - YUM!

Jan 02, 2014
Athena in Home Cooking

Bermuda Reunion

That's great news! My father worked at the Kindley Base, and our neighbour was a USAF commander - great memories that included hush puppies and all!

I believe the Swizzle does a BBQ night these days and I'm sure there's enough people here that will remember those days and have suggestions - go to the Facebook page Old Bermuda - https://www.facebook.com/groups/OldBe... and let people know your plans!

BERMUDA in December

Awww, you just made my Christmas Eve! I've been wondering how your stay was - glad you had such a wonderful time - and I love Ascot's too.

I finally got to Mad Hatters - for lunch - OMG it was good! Delicious risotto and a salad. Really wish it was open on Saturdays for lunch, ditto Ascot's.

Have a lovely holiday!

Anybody serve Turkey for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas?

@melpy - water or mountain dew - you have my deepest sympathies.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, but many of my fellow Bermudians see it as a practice run for Christmas dinner. I used to make it for my American friends, but two turkey dinners - even though they are very different aside from the turkey – so close together - no.

Dec 12, 2013
Athena in Home Cooking