Welcome to Four Eyes Forum, a meeting place to exchange news and views on food, food photography, the word on food, food science, style and architecture. Join me, the blogger who wears glasses, in this world as I throw out engaging stuff that I think you'll find interesting, beautiful and delicious. As Charles Dudley Warner, American editor and writer, said,
"Lettuce, like conversation, requires a good deal
of oil, to avoid friction, and keep the company
smooth....You can put anything, and the more
things the better, into salad, as into a conver-
sation, but everything depends upon the skill of

That's my job.

(All photographs, unless otherwise cited, copyright
Kristin Halgedahl Photography 2016)

Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Chew" Review

Four Eyes mostly agrees with David Hinckley's  same day review of "The Chew" in today's NY Daily News.

However, everyone needs to give today's blathering hosts a break. They just need some time to settle down. They'll find their rhythm. They'll find their groove. They have to. Otherwise one or all of them will hyperventilate. No, won't happen. It was just (we hope) that it was day one of the show. The hype and expectation were so great. Give it a couple weeks. 

Two other things impressed. The set goes beyond pleasing --it's stunning. Very beautiful and functional, of course. Kudos to the set designers. LOVED the gigantic wall sized recipe graphics. Loved the chic table for the audience tasters. Loved the little cubbies all over the place, and the pantry! Terrific set design! It gives the feel of intimacy without crowding the Fab Five II. 

And we made sure to have the computer on during the show and the recipes were instantly there. Good online support. Very important  for this viewer. Especially today when they were talking so fast! But it looks like a really good website that supports the show's tenants of family around the table. 

Four Eyes is genuinely delighted with "The Chew" and wishes everyone involved with the show much success and a long run, like Nate Berkus, Rachel Ray and Dr. Oz.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Oh The Times They Are A Changin

We are truly witness to "Another World" when the "Days Of Our Lives" see that "The Young And The Restless" at ABC corporate,  are making daytime television history with "The Chew." It seems like the gamble to boot "All My Children" in favor of a cooking talk show 
has "One Life To Live," and that if "The Bold And The Beautiful" higher ups at ABC are wrong, "As The World Turns" they may all be doomed to be taken to a "General Hospital." 

"Huh?" you say. "Has Four Eyes been drinking?"

No, no. READ the NY Times article about the premiere on Monday. You'll find it in today's Dining and Wine section, title, "Throwing Out The Recipe For Daytime TV."
Life is a cabaret, my friend...or is it all just a SOAP?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Begins

Autumn begins today. And with it, a new atmospheric light. From the hard edge, the glare, of July and August to a softer, more saturated solar arc. The poets put it best.

God's World

O World, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with color! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, world, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all.
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,--Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,--let fall
No burning leaf; prithee let no bird call.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Four Eyes offers a pumpkin potpourri gallery as a nod to the new season and things aching, crying with color.

(all photographs copyright Kristin Halgedahl Photography 2011)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Food Film -- A MUST See

I'm relatively unfamiliar with The Documentary Channel on t.v. Not any more.  Last night I was stopped dead in my tracks by the title "Eat This New York" while channel surfing. Call Four Eyes late to the party, but better late than never. Here is a wonderful documentary, albeit made in 2002, which is a comprehensive exploration of the variables in the food business. Of course it touches on the art and humanitarianism in the world of chefs, but the main framework of the film follows two friends from Minnesota whose dream realized is to open a restaurant, Moto, in Brooklyn. Interspersed with their journey are interviews with ten or so established NY chefs, and food specialists like Ruth Reichl and Tim Zagat, talking about the reality of birthing restaurants. It's fascinating and HUMAN. Check your local listings for repeat air times, or go to The Documentary Channel to order it. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Life As A House

My brother writes to tell me that our Italian grandparents' home of forty years, in Rochester, NY, is for sale. I click on the Virtual Tour and there, again, is Grammie's kitchen. Concetta Bondi, of the Ponticello clan from Palermo, Sicily, and beloved maternal grandmother.

Grandma Bondi before Wednesday morning mass.

Her generosity and love lived in everything she did, but in the kitchen? Love supreme. Her food, and its loving preparation and presentation, bore witness to her enormous heart. I speak specifically of her spaghetti sauce, now, so named Grammie's Sauce. I watched her make it a thousand times, as though I was preordained to chronicle the process, and, although I am not a recipe writer, dear follower, you'll get the idea as we go along.

She first prepared the tomatoes by hand, straining them through a gigantic round, flat sieve, just under a gallon. This liquid went into the huge pot on the stove, along with a small can of Contadina tomato paste as a thickener. Then she sauteed bits of garlic in Berio olive oil, and in they went. She then added, one batch at a time, sauteed meatballs (combined beef and pork), eggplant, cauliflower, mushrooms, and fried hard boiled eggs. She dusted the now simmering ragu with pecorino romano grated cheese, salt and pepper, some chopped, fresh basil, and some fennel seeds. And then, with the heat on low, and me stirring every half hour or so, it simmered for three to four hours. The aroma filled the entire house and could induce fainting, so she usually gave me a meatball sandwich to tide me over until dinnertime.

But her love didn't stop there. There were twelve of us at table, and Grandpa and Uncle Tom liked two different kinds of pasta, served two different ways. This necessitated three separate pots of boiling water -- one for each of them and one for the rest of us spaghetti eaters. This woman did all that. And then some. If Grandpa had purchased eel or octopus at the public market, there would be a side dish of that for him, and she always made a side of sauteed eggplant for my father.

She did it because she loved to see people blissfully eat. Hence, she was in heaven when my brother and I brought starving college friends over for Sunday dinner. There was a viscious lottery system going in our dorms.

Over the years, other members of the family have honed a speedier process, but I've stuck to Grammie's standard operating proceedure. Without those steps, in my opinion, you weaken the layered conversation between ingredients. Grammie's way begins as a simple dialogue with the tomato and becomes a symphony of sound and taste as each element enters the mix. The conversation moves from dialogue to quartet, quintet, octet. And I wouldn't miss a word or spoonful of it.

I click on the Virtual Tour again and see twelve people sitting in that dining room, fourteen, counting rogue college students. And I'm reminded again of Dianne Jacob's dedication in her book Will Write For Food, that food is "a vehicle for memory and identity," and that at the core of my life as a house is Grammie's kitchen, once upon a time.

Grammie (in apron) moving from kitchen to table, calling everyone to sit down.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It's been forty years since Chez Panisse opened its doors. Now, Alice Waters has a new focus.

And the best of the anniversary books is this one. It's as beautiful as a garden in full organic flower. 


Saturday, September 10, 2011





Window art by Terrence Howell
Creative concept and Photography by Kristin Halgedahl
copyright 2011