We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1288872/ and we're rapidly counting down the few remaining days in 2012 and preparing to usher in a new year. Anyone cooking something special for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day? I traditionally make a black-eyed pea salad but I confess I don't make greens.
Happy New Year, Terry - I was planning on coming to YOUR house for NY dinner - no plans to cook anything special this year. When DH was alive, we always made black-eyed pea soup with a ham bone and diced potatoes and onions, but haven't done so in the 5 years since he passed away.
I ended up cooking Christmas dinner at my brother's house. My sister-in-law & neice had been cooking for days (they made my dad a huge amount of frozen meals). I brought the capon and made it simply - a few lemons stuffed in the cavity & roasted. Had roasted brussel sprouts & broccoli with a squeeze of lemon, and roasted sweet potatoes. Plus a pan juice gravey with mashed potatoes. It turned out perfectly.
What a mess it was getting out of Pitts yesterday! It turn us 6 hrs to drive 150mi. (I pick up my dad in State College & the two of us go together to visit my brother & family in Pittsburgh). Fortunately is was a much easier drive today to get from State College to my home in eastern Pa. Whew!
Kay you would be welcome,but with the ugly crud we are passing around as a family, you might not want to come! Hopefully we'll be past it by the time 2013 rolls in. I'm running bedding through the sanitize cycle as we speak.
My favorite New Year's Day dinner is babyback ribs with a black-eyed pea salad...and whatever other sides sound good at the moment.
I don't store the paraffin jars upside down . I cover them with an aluminum foil cap to keep the dust out .
Was hungery for collards and ate them alone for dinner . Cooked them yesterday and set aside .Hit the spot tonight .
Tonight we had beef stew, whole wheat bread and sugar cookies for dessert. Used up two more pint jars of roma tomatoes I had canned in 2011.
We didn't have enough tomatoes to can this year due to the major drought we had in the midwest. Hoping 2013 will bring an abundance of rain to fill our ponds back up and bring the ground water level up closer to where it is suppose to be.
We've been witing for some good snowfall too to bring our water tables up to where they should be. We had a miserable tomato crop too, in spite of having raised beds and watering. Bad summer. Hope springs eternal...
My double boiler consists of one heavy duty stock pot inside another - fill the bottom stock pot 3/4ths with water, put ingredients in smaller stock pot, set slightly smaller stock pot in bigger stock pot, bring water in bottom stock pot to a boil - eliminates the need for yet another appliance.
Used a bowl over a pot for the pumpkin custard but the water/steam escaping made a mess all over the stove, much worse than my old double-boiler did.
Has anyone made balsamic marinated cipollini onions, like the ones on olive bars in the stores? I'd love to make some... they're addictive, and quite expensive at the only olive bar around here. There were 6 in what I just bought, and they rang up @ $2.88, plus tax.
I don't know , but it sounds good to me . I check a lot of ingredients y'all talk about 'cuz I've never used them .
I have a cherry cobbler in the oven and in a few minutes , the pecan pies will go in .I send the leftovers home with the boy to take for lunch to work .I put a little Kahlua in this pecan pie ,might be good for extra flavor . It was a sample bottle and I drank the other ounce . Whooopie !
I have been cooking all day and throughout the week getting ready for a big family get together tomorrow around noon. We have not all been together in over 1 1/2 years...since my father passed away. There will be 41 people ranging in age from 68 to 6 months.
We are having a variety of soups of which I am making good old ham n beans, baked potato soup, and Italian wedding soup. I also made chicken salad, a new york cherry cheese cake, pizza rolls, apple pie, almond joy candies, peanut brittle, Russian tea cakes, biscotti dipped in chocolate, and caramels. Some of the other relatives will be bringing taco soup, chili, broccoli cheese soup, pumpkin pie, brownies, veggie and fruit tray, cheese ball and other assorted items.
We are so excited to see each other. After the death of our parents (mother 8 years ago, and father 1 1/2 years ago), we seemed to be lost.
Hope this is the start of a new beginning...guess we will be due for a big family picture.
Hey Deb, my dad's family has a Christmas get together and we have soups, salads and desserts. It is wonderful!
My Dad passed away 28 years ago and only one of his siblings is still alive and one ex-in-law but we still all love her. It is pretty wild that me and my cousins are the old folks.
We will be having meatloaf - son doesn't eat pork, except bacon - go figure; collards, blackeyed peas and mashed potatoes and cornbread muffins for new years. That is my Mom's tradition and I have continued it. My 28 yr old daughter had her tonsils out on the 18th but hopefully she will be up for the meal.
One of our guests brought a fresh cranberry salsa. SO is making oven baked corn chips to go with it. The smoked turkey is ready. The lamb meatballs with Italian gravy are ready. I haven't decided on a pasta but am leaning towards primavera because I've got the right veggies, etc. in the house already. There are five and a half pounds of mussels for mussels, onions and wine. I'll garlic and toast two ciabatta to go with the mussels. The peach trifle is waiting a fresh layer of whipped cream. I decided to use fresh blueberries too and soaked the cake layers in a little apricot brandy. It's been sitting for a few days.
SIL and youngest son have gone off to bond and see "The Hobbit". SO is cutting dead trees in the yard and a guest is helping haul the wood. I've been running for days and will put my feet up and quilt for a few hours before getting busy in the kitchen.
I have sorted some dried black-eyed peas to put on to soak overnight (wow, lots of bug-eaten peas in this bag of Kroger black-eyed peas). I had thought to make Hoppin'John but my sister wanted peas and rice separately. Collard greens with home-cured / smoked ham hocks are simmering. Cornbread ingredients are at the ready, along with ham steaks from the Christmas ham. Non-traditional almond shortbread cookies are in the oven. We'll eat in the early afternoon tomorrow, and I doubt I can stay awake long enough tonight to ring in the new year. Haven't done that in a few years!
Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year~
I made two double bundles of collards with home smoked ham scraps and blackeyed peas in advance for tomorrow's hop n' John. I'll make cornbread and rice tomorrow. We'll have leftover turkey with that. There will certainly be trifle left too. I'll try to remember to take a picture.
I'm full just reading those menus! lol We're eating light and splurging on treats w/drinks with friends tonight. Almonds, a few cheeses, crackers, hummus w/veggies & salsa w/ corn chips. A few deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail round it out with a nice selection of wines
We braved the crowds and ran errands this afternoon, including a grocery run for tomorrow's dinner: babyback ribs and fixins. Since I had beef stock and caramelized onions in the freezer, onion soup was on tonight's menu. I also made some bruschetta-mozarella-bacon open-faced sandwiches on the side. For a soup meal, it was heavy and rich. (Note from my stomach to my eyeballs for future reference: a small ramekin of onion soup is plenty for most appetites, and more than enough for mine.)
Some frozen ready-made cheesecake is thawed and waiting in the fridge for later, if anyone gets a hankerin' for something sweet. I think Mr. Official, Middle Son and I are in for the night, although Swimmer Girl is heading out to an overnight lock-in in a couple hours. We considered going to a late movie, but the cold and rainy weather nixed it as far as I'm concerned. Happy - and safe - New Year's to one and all!
We went over to friends' for dinner last night. I brought some of the pâté de foie gras that I purchased at the goose farm near Sarlat this fall, plus a raspberry pie from our berries. They made risotto, carrot mousse, and leg of lamb - all delicious. Tonight I have an organic chicken that I'm going to roast, but it was taking forever to thaw so I stuck it in my cooler with some brine. Should enhance the flavor, too.
We've been enjoying the kosher chickens I sometimes get instead of the turkey as a freebie from my supermarket around holidays. My kids were coming over for dinner last night and I wanted to roast a chicken, but the kosher bird in my freezer was small, so I pulled out a bigger organic chicken that I found on sale last month. I stuck it in the refrigerator to thaw it, but as of yesterday morning it was still rock hard. So I got out my cooler and filled it with water, kosher salt, and several shakes of herbes de Provence, and placed the chicken in that for about eight hours, until I was ready to drain and dry it before roasting it. I used Alice Waters' method - a 400° oven, twenty minutes up, twenty minutes flipped over on the breast, and the rest of the time up again, sprinkled with rosemary and thyme and rubbed with a little butter. I think it was the best chicken we've ever had. It would have been interesting to see what the organic chicken would have tasted like without brining it first, but I was amazed at how wonderful it was last night!
Some of the tv chefs have a running disagreement about brining, one maintains that it changes the texture of the meat and makes it mushy. Not being a chef in any nuance of the word, I beg to disagree. Since I discovered brining, it's my fallback for almost any cut of meat. Personally, I think he's just being contrary to bring a little action to the program.
I dry-brine our own chickens before I put them in the freezer, and then when I take them out to use them I put them in the cooler with water, and they wet-brine for a number of hours until they're completely thawed. Darius, you're lucky you have a source of free-range/organic birds! Our supermarket is getting more organic meats in but you can never count on it.
Linda, I wouldn't want to be without my FoodSaver, and have even considered adding a hand-vacuum tool to my stash in the event of power outages. (I can vac-seal dry goods in mason jars with a hand-held vac pump.)
I buy cheese in large blocks and use the FoodSaver to re-seal into smaller blocks and it keeps wonderfully in the fridge. Of course, I also vac-seal frozen meats, fruits, sauces and veggies. Mine really gets a workout.
Mine too, although it's not the Foodsaver, it's a Rival, and works the same. Does a great job. I vac seal even packages of other perishables like sandwich meats . Meat from the market that's already wrapped is also vac sealed after I punch a hole in their plastic wrap so that all the air can be removed. Some things I freeze before sealing, like breads and things that squash because the vac sealer will flatten them.
Darius, I have made pickled cipollini with either white vinegar or balsamic. Both ways are good. They have a small amount of sugar added making them agrodolce. Really very easy and you can add your own touches like a few whole cloves.
We had bad weather yesterday which delayed our trip to the cottage 'til today. We got here ahead of the kids, cranked up the heat and gathered fire wood. I brought up a half made Italian sausage and veggie lasagna for dinner and will make a salad. As soon as we settled I fired up the stock pot to quick soak a variety of garden beans and will make a turkey vegetable soup for anytime eating. Good thing it's cold 'cause the soup pot can go in the vestibule and not take up fridge space.
Tonight is probably eat-up-the-leftovers night. Tomorrow is a slow-simmering pot of bolognese. It's pretty nippy here...they said we were supposed to get up to 38, but I just fetched the mail and it's definitely closer to freezing than 40 degrees out there. Brrrr..
Hi, Linda! Just got home. When I dry brine I just sprinkle some salt over the chicken as I'm putting it in a freezer bag. Maybe a tablespoon - I'm not very exact! Usually I use coarse sea salt but anything works. Then with our own chickens I leave them in the refrigerator (we have an extra one in the basement that we turn on for things like this) for three or four days before freezing them; this lets the muscles relax a bit and makes for a tenderer bird. The friend who told me about dry brining adds herbs to the salt, but I'd rather add those when I'm ready to cook the chicken and I know what I'm going to be doing with it.
I just ordered a Food Saver and I'm curious to see how it works. But don't you end up using an awful lot of those plastic bags? With the Ziplocs I usually save them from year to year as long as they're intact. I store them in bundles depending on what was in them - beans, peas, basil, cucumbers all together - and just change the date on the package.
And what do you use to write on your Food Saver bags?
You can find the bags on line cheaper than in the store ,but I've found them at a local hardware store at a good price too. I reuse them. Just make a clean cut across when you open them after you've used them. Also, especially on the 6" wide smaller roll, I make sure there is enough extra at the end so that you can reuse it more than once. If you cut off less than an inch at a time, you can get several freezings out of one strip of material. I hang mine on a little line in my laundry room so they are clean and dry when I put them away. I am kinda cheap so I like to get some extra milage out of supposedly disposable plastic.
I had baked cod w/panko crust and roasted grape tomatoes with a big green salad with some roasted butternut squash. (I've never used squash in a green salad but it was very good. It was still warm from the oven so nice temperature mix as well as flavor mix).
I bought them by the roll too, from Amazon - the 11" and the 8". Good to know they can be reused. What do you use for marking them? Or don't you?
I found some cod on sale at the supermarket today and cooked it with a little butter, salt and pepper in the oven, with some of our frozen garden peas and a Trader Joe's rice mixture. We had raspberry pie with cream topping for dessert - again some of our raspberries. Yum.
I only made one New Year's resolution and I'm sticking to it so far; label the frozen food no matter what. Shortly after the incident where the chopped liver was mistaken for chocolate frosting I defrosted a gallon of what I thought was chicken stock. After the veggies were prepped for soup I went to pour out said stock only to discover it was a long forgotten pineapple punch mixture.
I have found that even if I am positive that there is no way I could mistake the contents of something or forget when I stored it, it happens all the time unless I label label label. I often use adhesive tape marked with permanent pen for that purpose, if I'm not putting something in a Ziploc bag with a label already imprinted on it.
Labeling and dating is a really good practice, although I've been hit-or-miss at it over the years. I can totally relate to mistaking pineapple punch for chicken stock, and other decidedly unfortunate mis-idents.
We minimize our use of plastic wraps and bags using rigid containers for most storage. I write directly on the container and it comes off with a little scrub. Sometimes a drop of scouring powder is necessary. I have tried masking tape labels and have found the masking tape peels off. Makes for lots of masking tape labels floating in the freezer and UFOs everywhere.
Though the freezers are generally pretty stuffed I pay careful attention to rotating the inventory. There is rarely freezer burned or stale food in there.
Just want to add that the main issue here is taking things from fridge to freezer where moisture on the lid makes labeling difficult. Then I get lazy about trying to keep swiping the lid with a paper towel to keep down the humidity while labeling.
Problem with rigid containers is that you can't express as much air; doesn't work for me if I'm freezing peas or beans or asparagus or basil leaves or that sort of thing. So I do re-use the Ziplocs, but of course if I switch to the Foodsaver that won't be possible.
I have found that medical adhesive tape does a good job for labels, and doesn't fall off. And my stuff goes from the counter to the freezer, so sweating isn't an issue.
I got a good deal a few years ago on small freezer labels from one of those catalog companies that packs 100 offers in a big envelope...got four or five rolls and I'm still using them!! And the adhesive hasn't dried up, and they don't fall off, and I'll be darned if I can remember where I got them!!!
I haven't had trouble with the masking tape falling off though I usually go from room temp to freezer. The trouble I have is leaving glue residue from the tape. I now fold back both ends so there's an easy start to peel it off. That seems to work well (though it is a bit more time consuming). Everything I put in the freezer has a label for contents & date. Following the advice gleaned from this group of cooks!
Anytime Turkey Soup fed two of us for breakfast with plenty to spare. The kids have gone off hiking Raven Cliff Falls http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Raven_Cliff_Falls_Trail There's a small tritip to grill tonight and left over turkey breast. I'll grate some cheese and make tortillas and salsa fresca with avocados for DIY burritos.
Lunch will be the remaining round of cornbread from the freezer and one of several half gallon containers of Brunswick stew. Both are from the wedding weekend; like having the top layer of the wedding cake. :) There is also an apple pie from that weekend for a rare dessert tonight.
I use a permanent fine-point Sharpie, and write on the part of the vac bag that will be cut-off when the bag is opened.
For plastic stacking freezer containers, I tear off a piece of blue painter's masking tape, mark and stick to the lids before filling the containers. Often these are liquids I need to freeze before I can dump them in a vac-seal bag for longer freezer storage.
I keep a jar of mixed garden beans for winter soup; the overgrown green beans, the cowpeas, yardlongs, and ones that I forgot to label. Those went into the turkey soup along with leftover blackeyed peas, lots of collards and smokey pot likker from New Year's day.
We are having small bites. It's a very random menu including miniature stuffed cabbage rolls from the batch made for Hanukkah. I froze some especially for the kids. I know it doesn't go at all but there is a pizza waiting to be assembled, a small lasagna with fresh pasta and a salad with Gorgonzola dressing.
I was in pie mode today and baked a sweet potato pie. No sugar and low fat evaporated milk. The potatoes are sweet enough to carry it. Lots of spices including fresh grated ginger. There was a scrap of pastry left so I pulled out a tart pan and made a tiny apple cranberry pie. For dinner we are having a veggie pot pie. I'm including a photo of the New Year's peach and blueberry trifle. It had a barely whipped cream topper.
Well you get well fast, Tam. You've got a remodeling to pay for. lol It is doubtful you have flu if you have a sore throat. Symptoms of flu are very high fever over a period of days, aching joints all over and a racking cough that lingers. Sometimes there is nausea. The high fevers cause terrible headaches. Adenoviruses often cause sore throats, fever and flu-like symptoms. As sick as you feel with adenovirus is usually not nearly as bad as flu.
Happy Birthday and hope you feel better soon, Linda. I'm reminded of our daughter who has a 27th birthday coming up. We had a big party planned on her sixth birthday. It started to sleet, then ice and then snow. I had to cancel the party. Then she said she did not feel well. She spiked a raging fever and started breaking out in a rash. She had scarlatina even though she had been tested for strep the week before. She sank to the floor by the back French door sobbing. So depressed and barely six. Terrible to be sick on your birthday.
Yep - could be its not the flu. I've had a fever since Thurs (103 Fri, 100/101 over the weekend and back to 102 today). I saw the doctor yesterday and he cultured my throat. Thankfully not strep. I am on antibiotics and just praying its bacterial so they help!
Linda - happy birthday! Sorry you were sick on your personal holiday! But glad you are feeling better! Woo Hoo!
Cooking yes...posting about it, no :-) We had a big pot o'chili last night while we watched the BCS Bowl Game. We've done a lot of football viewing since Christmas. Tonight we had a big skillet of pasta with veggies (browned mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, onion), and chicken and a cream sauce. I jazzed up the original recipe with some cajun seasoning, and it was just about right on the seasoning. But next time I'll fix it when everyone is already here...the cream sauce got a little stiff after waiting a good half-hour for everyone to arrive.
I also found a good jalapeno popper hot dip recipe that is a keeper. There's another month of football left and probably a Super Bowl watch party somewhere if not here.
Sorry I missed your birthday , Linda . Been a little under the weather to pay much attention to others ills . Absolutely No Excuse for me . Hugs
You share Elvis birthday . Day before was my sons . Two days before was my mom's .
I bought some pork hocks a few days ago and have them in the oven to roast. Will be taking a second run at real bean soup. (I have never used ham hocks so wasn't sure what to buy when they had pork hocks and smoked pork hocks but no ham hocks). Am hoping this will hit the spot.
Either one will add great flavor & make good broth..Good flavors either way..Try some fresh or smoked pork neck bones, they are the best and have meat that is almost sweet tasting.. Succulent meat, and also back bone.
I prefer the pickled pig tails we used to get from our local butcher. Then, I ran across MaVie's brining recipe and realized that the big pickle barrel our butcher used to retrieve the pig tails from was a huge vat of brining liquid. Ice cold, and he'd dig down to his elbows and come up with a handful of pig tails that he'd hit with the hatchet into bite size pieces.
We used to have to boil the meat for awhile to leach out some of the salt but enough remained that the meat was seasoned "to the bone!" Nothing better in a beautiful pot of red kidney beans than some pickled pig tails and pickled meat (the pure meaty portions).
I can't stand fresh pig tails -- there's no taste in the meat!!! LOL!
Ham and pork hocks are from the same position on the leg. However ham hocks are from the rear legs (where the ham is from). Ham hocks are smoked and pork hocks are usually unsmoked. They used to be trash food but like many cuts today they are sought out by top chefs. Now they are chic. This has driven up the price and made the best meaty ones go to restaurants. We generally don't see such nice ones at the market. They're also more pricey given that the pig has only four small areas on the legs to cut hocks from.
You used to be able to get fresh smoked hocks in the butcher case any 'ol time. Each one would be like a miniature, single serve, ham. Larger processors, like Smithfield, now package hocks further from the ham and those less meaty portions are what is available in vacuum packs. What is known as the hock is the area below the shoulder in the front, or the long bone below the thigh in the rear, and above the foot (trotter).
I got one pound of wild caught headless shrimp this morning to make shrimp and cheese grits and one pound of extra large, head on shrimp to make Thai curry and coconut milk shrimp and tofu. I can steam the headless shrimp and store them for a few days.
I just got some organic fresh grits (blue corn meal and grits, and some Antebellum coarse yellow grits) from Anson Mills, plus some Laurel-aged Carolina Gold Rice, which is said to be aromatic.
I'd love to do shrimp and grits with the yellow grits; haven't decided yet what I'll do with the blue corn. I have several recipes, from Johnnycakes to scones and muffins. Right now it's all in the freezer, per Anson Mills' recommendation.
My cracklings are in the freezer , waiting my next bean cook . It was pizza tonight , store bought . Still not up to par from stomach and innard upset , so decided a few bites of pizza would be ok . Tired of yogurt.
I 've got pasties in the oven from the batch my DD and I made last summer. They freeze well, and it's easier to do an assembly line with two people working. It's a lot of beef, potatos and onion to dice. Not to mention the quantity of pastry to mix and roll. Well worth the effort though.
Tam, I am surprised you were given antibiotics for an unconfirmed bacterial infection. This is the primary reason why we have antibiotic resistant infections today. I could understan if the doc gave you four days worth while waiting for a plated strep test (vs. a quick test) to come back. You should have left off on those long ago. And yes, they tear up your digestive tract as well.
Meezers, maybe you can share the pastie recipe, including the dough, sometime. I recall you postingthese and wishing you had gone more in depth.
Sally, I missed where you posted you had been sick. Hope you are recovering. How's the smoking cessation going by the way?
Blue tortillas are fantastic! Roll in some flax seed or black sesame seeds.
I am not afraid to can anything with a safe recipe at this point but it took a lot of years. Admittedly the kitchen looks like a surgical suite when I go to town. I like to pressure can in winter after water bath canning in summer when the jars start getting low and I can do soups, beans, and stews.
Pasty Recipe?? LOL This is a fly by the seat of your pants old country type of cooking. The pasty crust is just pastry, preferably made with lard, and the filling is a combination of beef, potatos, onion ( rutabaga if you can find it in your local markets)and salt and pepper. The origin was Cornish, and the history is that miners used to carry them to work for their underground noon day meal. The meat is about 1/3 of the filling, the potato is maybe a little more than a third, and the onion to taste. I seldom find rutabaga that looks decent and I don't care much for it so I leave it out. It could replace about half the potato if you use it. Dough is rolled out into a circle, size is up to you and how heartily your family eats. Filling is piled on one half side of the dough, the other flipped over, and the edges crimped. Baking at 350* for 45 minutes to an hour. Some cooks will put a dab of butter on before sealing. Some of my DM's generation made them in a large cake pan, if they had a big family to feed but the traditional is the D shape.
If you Google pasties, you may find an Upper Michigan website with more information, as well as a raging controversey about whether they should be served with catsup or gravy. Upper Michigan had iron ore mines and there was a large population of Cornish immigrants who came to work the mines. There's an unusual ethnic mix up there ( I was born just over the border in Wisconsin), comprised of Cornish, from the UK, who came for the mines, and Swedish/ Finnish/ Norwegians who did the lumbering, and Italians who I suspect came to open the taverns!! My grandfather had two, even during prohibition.
And that brought to mind the Monty Python song "I'm a Lunberjack and I'm O.K." and I'll leave you with that running through your head, hopefully not for long.
It will probably keep me up all night. I love MP. We are members of the Shakespeare Tavern http://www.shakespearetavern.com/ You can see if you go to the menu section that they serve Cornish pasties. That's the only time, outside of England, I have eaten them.
At least they serve them with catsup and not gravy, although the thought of ground beef makes me shudder, as does the shredded potato. OK so I'm a purist. There aren't many places in the UP that don't shortcut like that now, but I don't get up there since my DS sold their home and migrated permanently to NC. When I was working, I used to take advantage of my visit to her, stop at the bakery that made good ones, and stock up the freezer at home.
Never had the opportunity to eat one in England, although I did manage to put away a fair amount of fish and chips. And dessert. And cheese, Oh my, the cheese!!! I always say I ate my way through three countries when I was over there!! My DS was living in the midlands at the time and we took a couple of side trips to France and Italy. I had five weeks of uninhibited eating and drinking and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Yes, there was a bread strike going on at the time I was there, and we had to go to the local villages to buy bread from the bakeries, and you could only get a loaf at a time! So, we went to several as she had five children to feed and they lived on the air base with no PX so all their food had to be bought from local sources. We never would have met most of those folks otherwise.
I rethought the shrimp and cheese grits plan. I make it with cream, butter and bacon so it really is a caloric nightmare. Now that the holidays are behind us I reminded myself of the need to behave (a little). There are nice ingredients for gumbo, including chorizo, but I was out of roux. This batch will probably last the year. I've got garden okra and tomatoes canned and in the pantry and garden peppers, both hot and sweet, in the freezer.
Thought it would be cool to photograph the roux making in progress since it takes almost an hour and is so tedious.
How long does it take you guys to make a roux? I cook mine low and slow and keep stirring 'til my hand cramps. Otherwise it is bitter. This one is about two cups worth and I only need a few tablespoons to a quarter cup for most recipes.
I don't see that we either love or hate grits from that link, Darius. It's just that some don't agree about the preparation. I see why some use it as a sweetened breakfast cereal but I didn't grew up eating sweet cereal for breakfast. Nora Mill http://noramill.com/ is down the road from our cottage. They have provided us with grains for over thirty years. That's where I get my grits. I do use yellow corn so the grits can be a course grind polenta or I can re-grind. I don't care at all for either instant or quick cooking grits. I have only discovered in the past few years that one cup of stone ground grits and five cups of water plus a fat pinch of salt, cooked in a crockpot on low overnight, will yield perfect grits in my crockpot. I can use the results in the following night's dinner and make extra just 'cause.
Tam, the salmon and green beans sounds good, and I love both... but I need to get back to making my own mayo since I'm having more problems with oils other than olive, coconut or palm. Somewhere I downloaded a recipe for a fermented mayo that will keep longer than fresh mayo, but it must be on my older computer. I NEED to get all those recipes moved to this laptop (only slightly newer, but works better).
I'm still working on a huge bag of real grits a friend down south sent me. I don't mind the 20 or so minutes cooking time. Can't find anything up here that isn't instant or quick cooking and I wouldn't touch either one of those. Blecccccchhhh. I also have coarse ground yellow corn meal for polenta I keep them both double sealed in the freezer.
Darius - I just saw mayo on a list of fermented foods and was puzzled by it. I've not been happy with the taste of any of my attempts at homemade mayo. Of course you can buy it made with olive oil (and lots of additives I'm sure). I need to learn to do more fermenting.
PS: As a northern girl, I've had grits and polenta maybe once for each. I didn't like 'em much and never tried again. Could very well be that they were not cooked properly.
I agree with Meezers, I love food. I've always thought that travel was a great excuse to try new or local foods. Nothing more wasteful than traveling and eating at "chain" restaurants.
Laurel, your roux looks yummy, I've been thinking gumbo for the past several days, although I don't have home grown okra, I have all the other ingredients, okra is readily available frozen and it's the ideal time for warm, stew/soup meals.
Tonight is pork cutlets, gravy, mashed potatoes and a veggie, not very weight conscience, but warm, soul food. Have the makings for a pear/avocado/pecan salad but it has been rainy and damp all day, nothing cold sounds good.
Darius, we agree in our household that grits and polenta are staples, perhaps the weight struggle would be easier if they weren't.
"we agree in our household that grits and polenta are staples, perhaps the weight struggle would be easier if they weren't."
I'm more inclined to believe that wheat is the culprit in the weight battle... You might read up on Dr. William Davis, and his book "Wheat Belly". Modern wheat (NOT GMO, but hybridized semi-dwarf wheat grown since the 1960's) has been a boon for growers, but now looks to now be problematic for human consumption in terms of what the consumption does in our bodies.
I make enough roux for a good long time because it is such a time suck. I use good olive oil so it stores indefinitely. It really doesn't need to be refrigerated but I do. I keep enough for a few meals at the cottage and then the rest here in Atlanta. It's not just for gumbos but also for a thickener with some gravies and stews.
Edens, glad to see you're back in the kitchen saddle again. :)
We eat tons of grains, rice and beans of all types. Just not processed. We are not exactly sylphan but I wouldn't say we are overweight. You can see photos of us on the RU threads on the GA forum. We are both healthy. After over forty years here I have gone to the doctor only twice for illness. Once for food poisoning from eating in a restaurant and once for strep. I often repeat that we live to eat and don't eat to live. Most of our friends obsess over everything that goes in their mouth. Either they hate it, are convinced it is unhealthy or think they might gain an ounce. My sister and her husband are vegan. He became diabetic years after they assumed that diet. She has lost four pregnancies and has a plethora of health problems. They eat a lot of processed, albeit vegan food. I don't fault the vegan diet but rather the way they interpret it.
I grew up in New Orleans, eating capital of the world. I have watched Emeril Lagasse, Paul Prudhomme, and Justin Wilson make a roux in less than 20 minutes.
And we're talking enough roux to make a pot of gumbo for an entire studio audience. I never saw my mother stand over a skillet more than 15-20 minutes to make a roux. if it took that long, we would have starved to death!
I LOVE grits. I want a plate of smothered liver and onions over a bed of hot buttered grits to be placed in my coffin when I die...I hate hard, stiff, coarse, grainy grits. Everyone in my ENTIRE family (every relative I ever had) would refuse to eat those kind of grits.
Smooth. Creamy. Fluffy. Hot. Buttery . Salty ..
We cook 3-Minute Brand Grits. Takes about 20 minutes to get it right.
My DH followed the instructions on the box once, and could've set tile with that glop. I advised him to NEVER cook a pot of grits by the instructions on the box...EVER...
Oh, Justin Wilson, what a hoot. My DGS's favorite video was the one I taped of him making squirrel head soup!! They just loved it...they were at the age where the word "poop" would send them into fits of giggles. He was a down home cook, for sure. I think I have his cookbook somewhere in my collection.
I never spent an hour making roux either, and I'm not sure what the benefit of that slow cooking would would be. Maybe I'm missing something.
On grits, I'm not sure why anyone would microwave them either. I had one of the first ones, about the size of a smart car...LOL...and soon discovered it was an expensive way to warm up coffee. I still have one ...for coffee and leftovers because they are worthless for "cooking".
There is a frequent misunderstanding regarding grits even among those of us who live in the "grits belt" and grew up eating them every day. Grits fall into several categories. Most regular store grits today are hominy grits which means the corn has been soaked in a lye solution, de-hulled and at least partially de-germed. If they are enriched then they have been very processed. Then they are ground.
Instant grits are finely ground hominy. They taste like wallpaper paste. End of discussion.
Quick (also called quik) grits are medium grind hominy. They are mechanically processed. Old fashion grits are really a type of quick grits. The "old fashion" moniker comes from the use of hominy corn, a process developed by Native Americans (who add the old fashion element to the thing). It's a marketing thing.
The grits that I am referring to are stone ground. They are also known as whole grits. They are course ground and include the hull and germ. That's they they take so long to cook. They are higher in fiber and oil than those above and must be stored in the fridge or used quickly. Otherwise, like whole wheat, they go rancid. These grits need to be rinsed to float any remaining chaff. They take a very long time to cook...at least an hour...but they taste like what they are, ground corn. They also have a lovely fragrance. They are pricey compared to other types. What makes this topic further confusing is a lot of grist mills refer to their grits as old fashion because they are stone grinding them. So what Quaker means by "old fashion" and what the artisinal grist mills mean by "old fashion" are two different things entirely.
I like quick grits or old fashion grits but a comparison to stone ground is like comparing a loaf of white bread to an artisinal whole grain one. Though stone ground grits take a long time to cook they reheat well so, like the roux, I make a big batch and use the leftovers for at least one other dish.
Why don't you just write a book , Laurel , that way you can just tell it once and then refer to the book instead of typing so much . LOL . Really , a book would be very intresting .
You could title it "Reflections on What I've Learned About Food " ( And passed On ) Hugs , You and the others on this thread have taught me loads .
Laurel, your discourse on roux was enlightening, and I thank you. I mostly make a white roux, where cooking time is scant, and never thought about a longer-cooked roux for different dishes.
However, we disagree on something... GRITS!
Grits sold today, whether it's crappy grits from the grocer, or authentic millstone ground grits, are NEVER made from real hominy anymore. Stone-ground grits, like those from Geechie Boy, Anson Mills, or the few remaining water-powered grist mills like Dellinger Grist Mill in NC, or Falls Mill outside Chattanooga, all grind whole dried corn, not nixtamalized corn... which is somewhat of a shame nutritionally-speaking. Over many years, the word "hominy" has become interchangeable with whole corn kernels, which is now confusing us.
"Hominy" has come to mean dried corn in general, and not true hominy.
Real hominy uses nixtamalization (soaking the corn in lye) to kill the seed's germ, which keeps it from sprouting while in storage. In addition to preserving the corn kernels for foodstuff, this process also affords several significant nutritional advantages over untreated maize (corn) products. It converts some of the niacin (and possibly other B vitamins) into a form more absorbable by the body, improves the availability of the amino acids, and (at least in the lime-treated variant) supplements the calcium content, balancing maize's comparative excess of phosphorus.
IF you can show me a mill that grinds real hominy into grits, I'd be impressed.
I actually LIKE hominy (which I usually fry), but what is available in the grocery stores (canned) doesn't suit me, so I just bought some Henry Moore Yellow Hominy Corn, which is an authentic South Carolina-grown "hominy" corn bred over 150 years ago (classic "hominy" corns have big, round kernels, not like the kernels of most of the newer corn varieties), and some culinary lime to make my own hominy. I hope it's worth the effort!
(And, I store ALL my stone-ground grits in the freezer.)
Laurel, while I defer to you on almost all food comments, it's not this one.
I DO understand the published comments (and agreements) on nixtamilized corn, BUT I have yet to find a source of grits (whether stone-ground or mass-manufactured) that actually states their corn is first nixtamilized (and then dried again) before grinding. If you can prove otherwise, I'd be a happy camper.
Masa harina and fresh masa may be an exception, but those aren't grits anyway.
I am a neophyte on grits (love 'em when they're good, but I have zero expertise.)
However, I stand with Laurel on the length of time to make a good dark roux. I sat through a cooking demonstration by a House of Blues chef in NOLA the last time I was there, and he patiently explained the reasoning behind the long cooking time needed to bring out the nuttiness without scorching the flour. He also tossed out the idea of placing your roux in a cast iron skillet in a low-heat oven overnight for those who don't want their arm to fall off stirring. I've used that technique successfully and the result was a half-pint jar of dark roux to use out of it for several weeks during the coldest months of winter, when gumbo seems the perfect food.
Aside from all the great food and interesting people on this thread it's a wonderful thing to be able to throw out ideas and information. Sometimes there are differences of opinion but they never get in the way of a good meal.
I took one last roux photo an hour after posting the ones above. When I make roux I turn off the stove a little before it is exactly the way I want it because the carry over heat in the oil will continue to cook it. At this point I can stir every thirty seconds and then, after a few minutes, every five minutes and then let it cool. this is the result. You can see it darkened up considerably compared to the last photo posted above.
There is always disagreement on food . that's why there are so many recipes for the same dish . An interesting book would reflect the difference of opinions and give people like me , no , people that are serious cooks , an insight to those differences .
Wouldn't hurt for you to consider a book also Darius .
I'd buy both if they were signed .
We had leftovers for dinner tonight; DH had veal with pasta and I had fusilli with white beans and spinach in a garlicky sauce from a restaurant we went to last night. We spent most of the day cutting up a deer with friends who had gotten a very large doe from their son. We split it down the middle. I was going to try my food saver out, but it seemed too complicated to do that in their barn with two sets of people cutting up and bagging parts. I'll have to give it a whirl some other time when there's not so much going on.
I have some deer stew meat cooking in the crockpot for dinner tomorrow night. The recipe looked good - along with the meat (beef, but I use deer meat interchangeably) it called for some fennel bulb, onion, celery, toasted fennel seed, a few minced anchovies, garlic, tomato chunks and sliced olives. We shall see.
Leslie, this is the first year some neighbor hasn't offered me fresh venison. Signs of the economy I guess.
I met a DG friend today up in Blacksburg, VA (home of Va Tech, and about 100 miles north of here). We spent 2 hours just in the Asian Market! I found some duck feet for stock, sliced duck gizzards that might become cat food if I don't like them for the soup stock, and a bunch of other strange bits including some New Zealand green mussels. I also got about 2 pounds of fresh ginger so I can make some candied ginger soon.
I'm missing one bag that included tamarind-date chutney, tahini, and sardines. I'm hoping it's in the back of the truck and I just overlooked it amongst all the trash bags.
I didn't get much at the natural foods store... just a slice of Humbolt Fog (cheese) and some bulk kalamata olives. I've looked in every grocery store within 100 miles and haven't yet found dry cipollini onions. Guess I'll just have to grow some... I sure don't like paying $9.99/lb for them in balsamic vinegar on the olive bars.
Dinner tonight was movie-theater popcorn (Swimmer Girl and I went to see Les Miserables). But I did make some cornmeal and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. The recipe needs some tweaking, but it has potential.
Tomorrow is supposed to turn colder, so I'm thinking a pot of potato soup might hit the spot.
Darius, cook those duck gizzards slowly in the oven in fat or olive oil and then find some recipes for gésiers. I love them on a bed of mixed salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but there are other ways to serve them, too. I had bought some when we were in France and didn't get to use up the second of the two sealed packages in the box so I gave them to our friends, and then I was kicking myself because I could have taken them home in checked luggage and had them one more time. I've tried confit-ing them myself, and they're so good!
The catch to that recipe is the need for lots of duck fat, but I have read that you can accomplish the same result by using oil instead. You could still add some duck fat before you go to store the resulting confit, just for flavor, but you'd need a lot less. We've had gésiers à la Périgord rather than the way they do it in Lille, but I'm sure they'd be good no matter how you served them.
I bought some duck fat at Sur la Table; since I was there I didn't have to deal with shipping costs. Haven't opened it yet. I have found that saved duck fat, contrary to rumor, does go rancid eventually and/or develop mold, so I try to use it fairly soon. I have some in the refrigerator now. I was going to serve my French deer stew tonight but the kids are coming over tomorrow instead, so I'm going to save it for them and make duck confit with Pommes Sarladaises for us instead. I still have three or four more packages of two duck legs each in the freezer; what riches!
This was a busy work weekend and a work week coming up. I managed to squeeze in the shrimp and sausage gumbo (it was fantastic) one night and make a pot of black beans and chorizo to accompany cast iron skillet roasted chicken another. I love the flavor and moistness of chicken roasted this way but it makes a mess in the oven.
I too freeze all kinds of rendered fats. They are the one food I will partially thaw and refreeze. If you know your storage container size you can leave the fat out briefly and cut away the portion you need or cut away pieces to weigh. A way to manage small portions is to put them in saved Solo cup containers and then put numerous containers in a freezer bag. Labeled of course. :) A standard size Solo cup holds two tablespoons. That's the way I store bacon fat and schmaltz.
I make pesto and store it in Solo cups, omitting the grated Parm, and then grate fresh cheese over the dish when adding the pesto to a recipe. You would be surprised how little pesto base (olive oil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, salt and basil) is required. One two Tbs. Solo cup will be enough for a half pound of dry pasta. There is always a freezer bag with ready to grab pesto handy. The basil was harvested at peak from the summer garden.
So when you say Solo cup, you're not talking about the red Solo cups, which hold a lot more than 2 tablespoons...just ask Toby Keith.
I'm starting a pot of potato soup that is several days overdue. It's sleeting here now...which ordinarily wouldn't faze me, but Swimmer Girl has no experience driivng on icy roads, and swim practice is atop a fairly steep hill. Fingers crossed she traverses it safely to and fro.
Oh, right. I mean the cups used for condiments at restaurants like Five Guys. I have a fancier version for catering work; little black oval ones that hold the same amount. The larger ones that hold slaw or potato salad are a real bonus! I use those for molds. If you are inclined to make up your own spice mixes or tea blends and tissanes they are useful for gift packs. Great for holidays or hostess gifts too. I use them for fermenting tomato seed because they don't take up a lot of space and I can easily write on the lids. The writing comes off with a damp paper towel and a bit of cleanser so I can use them for several years.
However, I just looked at that site again, and although the containers are cheap, lids are extra (and I didn't see a link for the right lids) AND Shipping Rates, Ground, (4-10 Business days) are $14.30.
Cool link Gymgirl, thank you! I've got a sister in the food industry (she's in charge of the kitchen at a large "special needs" school in PA); I'm not sure where she gets her supplies from, but I shared that link with her just in case... looks like maybe it could come in handy for her. =)
Ace isn't the only restaurant supply company - bet most cities have a local supply - ask at your favorite restaurant where they buy supplies - and be specific about what you are looking for. For paper and plastic supplies there are other vendors that may be even closer and cheaper.
When I was little, I asked my mother how gumbo came to be, and she explained that, back in the day, homemakers used to hold back a small portion of their meat order, and package it for the freezer. One or two chicken legs that wouldn't be missed from the night's dinner, a pork chop here and there, a couple pieces of beef stew, some cubed up seasoning ham, a handful of shrimp, etc.
Finally, when the homemaker had enough "fixins" put aside, it was time to bring it all out and make a Louisiana GUMBO!
Don't feel too bad. I grew over 25 cabbages, about 17 broccolis, and 18 cauliflowers last season. I didn't have enough freezer space, and only managed to put up the broccoli. I ate exactly ONE cabbage, and gave the rest away of everything else I grew away.
I bought a new STAND ALONE freezer last month. And, last weekend, I harvested the broccoli and some of the cauliflower. So nice and neat on their respective shelves!
Linda, you need to look into lacto-fermented veggies, the old-fashioned kind of fermenting like our grandmother's did.
I could probably SELL my slightly garlicky fermented cauliflower... my neighbors all ask for it (along with the asparagus and carrots). Most people like home-fermented sauerkraut, but the other veggies I ferment are a BIG hit.
PLUS... lacto-fermenting actually increases the nutritional value of the veggies, so it's a win-win-win situation and only needs cool shelf space for storage, not freezer space. You just need mason jars, salt, water... and veggies (but NOT green beans).
I see Amazon has the 2oz solo cups w/lids. If you bundle with other purchases, you can get shipping free. (I have no affiliation with amazon. Just checked when I was on looking for something else tonight).
We had rolled-up chicken lasagna with an alfredo sauce, and some garlicky biscuits in lieu of garlic bread, plus a salad. Tonight I'm aiming for marinating a flat-iron steak in an Asian-hued marinade, sides are still up in the air. Depends on how the day goes and if I can slip away to for a quick store run before time to start dinner.
I was up researching lacto-fermenting veggies at 1:21 a.m., and I am fascinated with the EZ process I found on this website. Check it out, and lmk if this is a method you would recommend. I could do this tonight with some of the broccoli I have to harvest!
The salad is not dressed and I almost always make enormous salads on large platters. Layered affairs, not tossed. The feta is in hunks around the edges so we can use as much as we want. I like the feta chunky and he likes it crumbled. I usually put out several vinegars and oils. We dress our salads individually and simply. A leftover salad here is a bit of a joke because I usually finish them the next day for breakfast if I don't have soup. lol I go through approximately six heads of Romaine every week to ten days.
I sauteed onions and a package of mushrooms, garlic, etc., sliced and partially precooked a strip steak and put it all in the crockpot for a stroganoff. Will dig a pkg. of homemade noodles out of the freezer and make a lettuce/pear/avocado and blue cheese salad.
Laurel, I understand left over salad in theory, but I tend to clean a head of lettuce, wash it and bag it separately, then chop peppers, onions, etc. in separate baggies, adding the "soft" veggies at serving time. we can pick and choose what we want, never thought of layering it. During the winter months we do different combos depending on what's available. I find if I have most of the veggies prepped ahead I'm more often to add a salad to the meal.
Terry, your rolled up chicken lasagna sounds good.
I layer salads because the ones made here are rarely just raw produce. We include various combinations of olives and pickled items, slaws, pastas, meats, cheeses, eggs or omelet strips, grilled veggies such as peppers, eggplants and onions, and smoked or poached fish. I put some of the goodies on the sides of the platter and some on the top. I build a salad using large platters rather than bowls. Salads here are composed with lots of planning; really a separate meal. When I finish creating a salad I store it covered with damp paper towels and no plastic wrap. As often as not they are the dinner and what would be a main course elsewhere is something we eat as a starter or small bite. I eat dinner salad as a last course. SO eats his with his other courses.
My approach to salad is with reverence. It is my very favorite food. Friends say they design their menus around dessert. I design mine around the salad. The only food you will almost never see in my salad is fruit.
I have come to really love seasonal fruit (apples and pears and citrus in winter, peaches and berries and melons in summer) in most of my salads. I didn't always, but I love them now. But salads - for the most part - are still an accompaniment to the main dish.
The rough part of my week is over until this weekend. On top of all else, we had three early morning food pick up and deliveries this week in the rain. It was really pouring, and cold to boot, during this morning's pick up. Of course that would be the biggest donation of the week.
My friend returned from his Flying Doctor stint in Guatemala and brought me, among other things, Guatemalan chocolate. They are famous for their chocolate. It's very low in butterfat and often used to make a Mayan era chocolate beverage. So after a cold wet start to the day (and getting much colder) I am looking on line for Guatemalan chocolate drink recipes. Besides doing some cooking I'm gonna be a slouch today. I was thinking of making paneer or yogurt and doing a little quilting.
Actually Eden's gets the stroganoff credit, Speedie. I did mean to tell you in re: your earlier post about weird things in the freezer that the gumbo started with stock made from two pounds of shrimp shells and heads from the freezer.
We will be eating leftovers tonight. There are a lot of options in there.
Tonight is Swimmer Girl's last home swim meet. She won't be swimming due to a shoulder injury (she's in PT for a few more weeks and goes back to the orthoped at the end of the month for a re-evaluation.) It's an anti-climactic finish to her swimming career, but we'll be there to cheer on her team. We may tote dinner in with us, or do a late-night meal after the meet.
Ohh, tell her I am so sorry to hear. This is exactly what happened to our Swimmer Girl. She did PT for a number of months, then a steroid injection, then more PT. At last it was decided she needed a repair. By this point her shoulder kept spontaneously partially separating. She had tears of joy from the pain relief as soon as she came out of surgery. Hopefully rest and PT will do the trick. Athletics can be hard on girls this age because hormones make their joints and ligaments very loose.
I need to put on my foul weather gear and go get my Fido jars out of the root cellar so I can start some new lacto-ferments.
The Belgian endive I have growing in the root cellar should be ready for me to harvest some of it, and I have a steelhead fillet thawing. I picked up a slice of Humboldt Fog (http://www.cypressgrovechevre.com/cheeses/ripened-cheeses/humboldt-fog.html) 3-4 days ago and I think that might be interesting on the endive. Sure wish I had a few cherry tomatoes to add but I'm not driving out in this weather just to get some.
I seldom buy any kind of meat in the grocery stores, but my local Ingles had ONE free-range organic hen, and it was marked down! I roasted it, and now the giblets, bones and skin (with added herbs and leeks) are simmering on the "coffee" hot plate just behind me in my office... the aroma is awesome!
I know I've said this before. I honestly don't care for sweet flavors very often. Not candy, not cake, not cookies or fruit. This goes for salad dressings and BBQ sauces. Just a preference. Every once in a very blue moon I get a wild hair and eat a sweet or a little ice cream or an apple with cheese but, for the most part, even the sweet smell of the bakery dept. at Costco makes me queasy. I recently made applesauce with a tad of honey and after a few tastes gave it to SO. It was okay but the sweet flavor doesn't do it for me. My favorite fruits are tomatoes and eggplants. Sweets will sit in the fridge 'til they mold. I bring them to meetings and parties and make sure nothing returns home. I burn incense in the kitchen after baking for catering jobs to get rid of the smell.
My condolences on your loss of a sweet tooth. I think I balance you out and make sure the national average sugar consumption is maintained :-) I adore sweets, always have. I like many other foods, too - but I have a soft spot for sweets. (It's probably located on my backside!)
It goes against everything natural to not like sweets. Milk sugar drives baby mammals to nurse. I must have had one or more bad experiences but don't recall. My dad manufactured non-carbonated sweet beverages, jam, jelly and marmalade. His company made the chocolate covered coconut patties, pecan rolls and divinity for Stuckey's. They also packaged honey. Maybe I OD'd on the stuff. I recall being neutral on sweets as a kid. There was always a lot of it around because of his business. I much preferred the produce side of his company and food from Mom's restaurants.
Yesterday we finally ground the deer scraps from Saturday's meat processing. I had bought four pounds of fatty pork to mix in with it for sausage, but I decided that I'm really not that crazy about Italian deer sausage; it's so lean that I end up preferring the all-pork kind. So instead of doing that we just made ground deer out of those scraps and froze it in one-pound packages. And then I had the pork to deal with, so I decided to try to make Toulouse sausage for my cassoulets. Since I hadn't bothered to get casings because I hadn't planned to make deer sausage I just shaped the pork into small elongated rolls, froze them, and then popped them into pint freezer bags and put them into the freezer for future use. Last night our plans changed so I pulled out a bag and cooked them up and we had them with the leftover Pommes Sarladaises and some of our Fortex pole beans. Good little dinner. I don't know how authentic the Toulouse sausages were because I've never eaten them in France, but they were tasty.
Sally, you know that's plain not true. The lack of sweet tooth is more than made up for by my starch head status. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and beans, oh my!
I've had a blast in the kitchen the last few days. Aside from standard fare I made a spinach, artichoke and feta spread, baba ganoush from eggplants SO grilled, fresh mozzarella (instead of paneer) and several quiches. I'm saving the whey for other projects. Also cooked up one and a half pounds of dried red beans and used two of the three quarts to make a tritip chili with beans. There's one quart of beans and one quart of chili for the freezer. Promise, I labeled it. We ate a quart of chili last night.
SO grilled the thicker part of the tritip not used in the chili and I sliced it super thin to store. I'm making a take on Philly cheese steak sandwiches with some of the tritip on tortas tonight. We will have a salad of course.
Here are photos of the past week's food in progress. The head on and headless wild shrimp were so beautiful. The fourth pic is the cast iron skillet, oven roasted chicken with black beans and rice. I ate from my plate for a few days. The last photo is a gift from SO. He often brings me flowers for the table and our Sabbath dinners. This was a special bouquet because he also brings me flowers to celebrate the birthday of each of our children. Very mushy, I know, but he claims each of the kids' birthdays are actually mine. Who am I to argue? DD's birthday is today. She got her first big kick from grandbaby and her SO got to share. Dad sent her a very nice Gap gift with a note to get something special after she is pregnant. Such a wonderful Dad.
Okay, tomorrow I work but then will have some days to regroup. Looking forward to more kitchen fun and working in the greenhouse.
Those shrimp look lovely, Laurel, and your SO is definitely a keeper. Nice to see the pictures!
I had bought an acorn squash the other day and there was finally time to do something with it tonight, so I cut it in half, roasted it in the oven for a while, and then stuffed it with ground lamb, pine nuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic and some curry powder. Put the halves back in the oven and roasted them until the lamb was done and served them with sliced simmered zucchini. A good dinner, and something different for a change. I used to use a similar concoction for the large zucchini that sometimes got away from me in the summer, but squash bugs have put an end to that!
Tam, I have the biggest SubZero side by side. It was at that price point. It holds a lot but the shelves are shallow. A second refrigerator is required because the door won't close with even a standard catering platter or extra large pizza. Also, it makes hardly any ice. I have separate ice makers and don't use that feature but it is annoying to pay that much and not have it cranking out ice. I got a 25 c.f. KitchenAid French door fridge last summer for the cottage. Our electric bill immediately dropped by half after replacing the twenty year old White Westinghouse fridge. Honest. I have the top of the line KitchenAid Superba dishwasher in the Atlanta house and the mid-line one in the cottage. The newer, lower priced dishwasher at the cottage is as quiet (maybe more so) as the expensive older one. On the other hand, my ovens are from the seventies and both houses have aged JennAir ranges. The Atlanta house also has a four burner ceramic cooktop in a separate cooking area which I use for overflow. I would def replace my ranges with four burner Wolf and have half gas and half induction. I'd avoid combination oven range units if space allowed. With all the cooking I do I rarely have a need for more than four burners.
I helped DD design and build her kitchen and advised her to put in the Maytag Gemini at her price point http://www.maytag.com/-[MGT8885XW]-1101111/MGT8885XW/ She has loved this stove. The small upper oven is great for two people, energy efficient and gets the most unit. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner on her stove and found it very reliable and easy to use.
Sally, you're just a little fluffy and we all have some fluff somewhere. The very best people have the best fluff.
Yummy photos,Laurel. I've always maintained that children's birthdays should celebrate mom...after all, she was the ones who remembers that day best :-)
We spent the afternoon watching UT basketball with my MIL. Then before we headed home, we ate dinner at Mr. Official's choice of eateries - a throwback to the 60s called Sunset. He had catfish, I had roast beef and mashed potatoes.
Oh, and I picked out a new light for the kitchen. I think it will go over the bar but it may wind up over the table, or back at Lowe's. Well see. It uses Edison lightbulbs and I can use real canning jars or the heavy glass jars that comes with it. And it looks like this: http://pinterest.com/pin/268808671480644046/ A few years ago, I would have shied away from it as too Pottery Barn-esque and therefore trendy. Now that that trend is almost a decade old, I can choose to like it simply because I like it.
Laurel - great tips! I saw that double oven and thought it looked really useful. Sales guy said they were unusable. I've been thinking of a wall oven & microwave/convection oven combo. But would prefer tthe double oven like the one you shared in that link. And I also came to the conclusion the 36" French door style fridge would be the best option for us - there are a couple that are 31+ cu ft! That's 20+ cu for for fridge. (we have the big freezer so don't need a lot of extra freezer space - just for often used items)
You'all are so sweet but I do have a mirror .
I had a spinach and mixed lettuce salad for dinner . We painted all day on the outside of our trailer , so was too tired to cook . DH said heat up the pintos and a pan of cornbread was all he wanted . He passed up a thick t-bone . Laurel , see how we eat ? I'm not that much into bread except home baked or for sandwiches and eat mostly baked sweet potatoes . (With lots of butter and sugar ) . I get my carbs from pastries . How sinful . I always gain when I'm here for the winter . I cook for my boy and try to give him his favorites from his days at home , before marriage . He tries to eat healthy except when he comes to Mama's. I have to send him the left over pie , cakes , etc when he goes home because I'll eat them . (I got a rum cake recipe from a friend that was sweet to share, with my coffee one morning . I have all the fixings for it but won't bake it cuz I'll pick at it till it's gone .
Laurel, that's a nice stove, but what's the black rectangular-ish thing on the stovetop? We have our original gas stovetop with four burners and a griddle, which was a prerequisite for me, and a new-ish GE Profile double oven next to it. I rarely use the second oven but it's nice to have when it's needed.
Terry, love the lamp fixture! We have a Tiffany-lookalike over our dining room table, with flowers and fruits, which we like.
Tam, the lentils and squash sound good too! Vegetarian?
We would love to get a new refrigerator. Our ice maker quit on us, which is a real pain, and there's also never enough room in ours and things get lost. When we have a backlog of eggs from our chickens it's hard to fit everything in. We do have an extra refrigerator downstairs that we turn on when we need the extra space, but it's old so it probably uses lots more energy than it should. The problem is that we don't have much space for the refrigerator, which sits between the wall and the kitchen sink...So we're limited as to options.
Yep - vegetarian squash & lentils. I need to put it together this morning as its a slow cooker recipe.
That black thingie on the stove is a griddle option. (Just looked at these yesterday).
You can get a 36" wide standard depth fridge with over 20cu ft of refrigerator space & 10cu ft of freezer space. I'm hoping to figure a way to fit this into the new plan. That would allow us to eliminate our second small fridge. Its so exciting to plan but I'm wondering how much of the grand plans will be doable without an insane budget. :-)
the squash lentil stew was fabulous! It always amazes me how good it is.
Four ingredients - butternut squash, lentils, celery, onion. I use veggie broth
(sometimes chicken) but water works too. Put it in a crock pot in the morning
and you have a healthy & delicious dinner in the evening!
Leslie, that is indeed a griddle. There is a fifth burner in the middle but it is functionally mostly as a sauce warmer or something for a small pot. DD and her SO love to entertain. They have DIY pizza parties and all sorts of dinners with friends bringing dishes. She says the two ovens are so compact and yet they accommodate such a variety of baking needs. I liked that the gas stove has an override in case of an outage. Some really expensive ones don't allow you to bypass the auto ignition and won't stay lit.
I have a GE Architect five burner electric glass top in the Miami house. One of the burners is halogen; the others are regular. It's okay for lightweight cooking but it takes forever to bring a stock pot to boil and then if you add things it is slow to come back. Definitely not enough power going on there. Looks nice though as a selling point.
Edited to add about the French door fridge. There are pros and cons. One negative is you are always behind the door when trying to stock it regardless of model. I do like the freezer below. DD bought a GE and I have KitchenAid. She and I both like mine better though at first glance they seem almost identical. Mine is easier to organize and has more versatile shelving. My ice is much better and faster than hers. My deli drawer holds more than hers. We both don't like the curved sheves on the doors of either brand because it cuts off the potential storage space. I got a call from KitchenAid last week requesting comments for improvements. Thought that was interesting.
I've been lurking around and thought I would comment on the little plastic cups with lids. I get Diamond brand - 50 2 ounce cups with lids at Walmart. They are with the plastic cups and plates. I have found them very useful bringing dressings and condiments to work. They are handy for a lot of things.
I'm not sure what the override does on the gas stove. Mine has a pilot light which stays lit. It's gotten us through many many outages over the years, especially when the kids were young and we had no generator.
Last night we had some of the organic pork sausage I got with my 1/4 pig, in red gravy with gnocchis and a salad. Not gourmet but tasty.
Tam, is that stew a complete protein? It does sound good!
Leslie - don't know if its a complete protein. From what I've read about vegan diet, its not a critical as they used to tell us to get all the amino acids in one meal. Spread out over several meals is fine. I haven't worried much about it. I eat a few nuts during the day and have dairy-kefir for lunch so figure I get enough protein.
Laurel - not sure what you mean about always being behind a door when stocking with the french door. Do you mean one is closed while you have the other open to stock? I have a side by side now & grew up with the freezer above fridge type.
Thinking maybe omelets for dinner tonight. Lots of time to work that out.
Elsie, thanks for that information. Do they carry other sizes? They are handy indeed. Why are you lurking? What's for dinner at your place? I'm planning a dinner party for tomorrow and realized I forgot to think about tonight. lol
Leslie, some gas stoves with electric starters will not start if the starter does not initiate the flame. If the ignition is not functioning, maybe because of a power outage or a mechanical problem, the gas will not come out into the jets to ignite with a match. This is also true of some gas water heaters.
Tam, what I mean about the French door is that because of the width of each door you almost always have to open both doors to stock the fridge or check out what's in there. The deli tray in all brands is so large you will be using it to store all kinds of things, like leftovers. It took me a while to figure this out. I was thinking the fridge didn't really hold that much. Then I realized that deli drawer is like the black hole. You have to open both doors to open the deli tray. I chose to not have ice and water on the door. The systems for that take up a huge amount of freezer space and don't hold much ice. Instead we have an ice bin and a filtered water dispenser on the inside of the fridge wall which is standard if you don't get the ice, etc. on the door.
Several months ago I bought an old (used and abused) apartment-sized gas stove and had it converted to propane. It's still sitting out in the yard (thankfully I covered it). I only bought it as a back-up in case of an extended power outage where I might have to contend with quickly canning the contents of my freezers.
I came very close to needing to use it this past week, as we were without power for several days thanks to a foot of heavy wet snow. Thankfully the temps were low enough that I didn't worry about losing anything in the freezers before the power came back on. My freezers are basically "outside" in the back porch room with no heat ducts, so I just left the door to the room open.
The food in my house fridge didn't fare as well, and I need a trip to town to re-stock perishables. Funny how attractive a salad becomes when you've only had food cooked on a wood stove...
What a shame that you lost your refrigerator food! Last night at about 2:30 I heard the generator kick in, but it was off again a couple of hours later. All we had was a dusting of snow so I don't know what the problem was, but at least they took care of it.
I'm making a pork roast for dinner. Easy and good.
My back hurt so bad last night from standing , painting the outside of mobile home , filling D H paint roller, handed it up to him on the ladder. Dinner was going to be hot turkey sandwiches with left over breasts from the freezer and salad .Thank goodness for me that D H was almost to tired to eat and suggested I make chili dogs . So was beef weiners , heated in a can of chili , diced onion on top with brown mustard . Gonna take a break today from painting , will finish it up tomorrow . Tonight , Hot sandwiches . Life is good ! .
Are we no longer having dinners? I made a garbure last night, with cabbage, white beans, winter veggies, onions, garlic, pork and duck confit. Perfect thing to make and eat while it was snowing outside!
We should probably start a new thread, though!
Celene, great minds think alike. You were posting at the same time I was. Spinach quesadillas sound great.
Don't know if Terry is proprietary about starting new threads. When they get long I hold back on photos.
Celene, I've missed your posts.
Leslie, I had to look up garbure. Sounds wonderful. Just curious, and perhaps you have answered the question before, why are you so fond of all things French in the food department? I understand dedicating your kitchen to exploring a certain type of cookery and don't think you owe me an explanation. Just curious here. I was wondering if you have traveled to any of the former French colonies and eaten or cooked French colonial cuisines like Moroccan, French Polynesia, Vietnamese, Canadian or down home Acadian?
We are indeed having dinners but this has been a celebratory week for us. We have traveled a bit, dined and partied here and about with friends and celebrated our forty second anniversary. SO has made a tradition of a kitchen gift and a personal gift for the occasion. I have wanted a set of Penn heirloom Benchmark scales for years. I finally got them.
After speaking to DD today, and learning she was putting up beans, I decided to do the same. I've been canning soy, red and garbanzo beans since early afternoon. Waiting for the last load out of the canner. SO is going to grill ribeyes and I am making smashed red potatoes, and griddled zucchini hash. We will go to Maypop tomorrow after being away since New Year's.
I've been busy looking at kitchen stuff - countertops, cabinets & sinks today.
Laurel - could you have your daughter measure the height of her larger oven? The wall oven I am looking at has one 2.2cu ft & one 2.8 cu ft. The latter has a height of 12.5" but I'm wondering how tall you could actually use. Maybe 1-2" less after cooking elements are taken out?
Laurel, I'm a Francophile and we love traveling there and eating the food. They have such a great way of preparing things - not the fussy haute cuisine but the bistro/brasserie and farmhouse cooking. One of the aspects that drew me to it, though, is that we raise animals too - not sheep and goats anymore, but we do have chickens and geese. And we sometimes buy a whole lamb for the freezer when we can get one. French farmhouse cookery makes use of some of those odd bits and pieces that you end up with if you raise your own instead of buying it at a supermarket. Maybe other cookeries would too, but I just happen to like French. We actually considered buying a place and moving there but decided that there were too many reasons not to. So we just try to visit when we can.
I made whole wheat and flaxseed waffles this morning, and extras to freeze. I am a mean wife, I won't let my husband eat the frozen kind. They just don't have very good ingredients.
Tonight, I have a sirloin tip roast, and I am deciding what to serve with it. Sauteed shiitake mushrooms, because they're tasty and cheaper than plain white mushrooms at the local Asian store. Salad with grapefruit, red onion and poppyseed dressing, sauteed spinach, and I have a couple of sweet potatoes to use up, maybe those. Not sure how well they'd go with beef. If I'm ambitious, I may make rolls or bread.
Oh I wouldn't call it mean to make homemade & very healthy pancakes!
Thanks Laurel! I am really excited about the idea of two smaller sized ovens for all the flexibility that would bring. The photo's & reviewers show that the larger one fits a 20lb turkey. I currently have about 10 3/4" from the lowest point on the rack set at the lowest location to the top of the cooking element. I've never had trouble fitting anything height wise.
Tam, her oven consists of one standard size and one small. The smaller one is the size of the old storage drawer at the bottom of a slide in gas oven. One mfg. has the drawer, now an oven, on the bottom. Very inconvenient since you practically have to get on the floor to see what's going on. Hers has the small oven on top. I know you are looking to do a wall version. Still waiting to hear back about sizes.
Personally, I would not want a microwave/oven combo. Everyone I know who's had them has eventually had a problem with the microwave and then been told the entire unit needs to be replaced. This includes when there is a separate lower oven. Bah!
We are toasting up at Maypop. Quite cold when we first come in even with the heat on freeze protect. I've got geraniums blooming in the dining room windows. Not sure about dinner. I brought up a veggie strata and was thinking maybe salmon croquettas and salad.
I found a GE range that had a combo. Top oven is same size as the wall oven
(double in single oven space). Its 8.5" tall and you can fit about 5 to 5.5" in it.
So I'm guessing the second lower oven (12.5") could fit 9 to 9.5" tall items.
I have DM'ed the info, Tam. The oven you are looking at sounds great for you. My reference to a combo was that some units have a microwave that also functions as an oven and vice versa. Those seem to be fraught with problems.
What with meals being a moving target, tonight's menu has been altered. Maybe tonight tomorrow? We needed to use up odds and ends going cliff side. The fridge was empty when we arrived (unlike when I leave things here in warmer weather). Leftovers for breakfasts and lunches were in order since we are busy working outdoors during the day. All that in mind, I have three Belgian endive split and smothered with this week's soup broth, olive oil and garlic to oven braise. I'll pull the top and sprinkle Pecorino midway. There was spinach needing attending. It ended up in a four egg omelet. There are four pitas, slightly dry, that will get topped with the spinach omelet and some leftover speck, then top with cheese and sent on to the oven to get melty. I have a leftover sliver of brie and herbs and a tiny bit of double Gloucester and blue Stilton to serve with baked tortillas. There were two zucchinis hanging out. One needed a serious trim. Too many green onions that are two weeks old. I am making zucchini and green onion fritters. So it will be a little this and that and hopefully there will be lots of leftovers.
Later I found 2 leeks I had overlooked in the crisper. I tossed them in some coconut oil and butter to sauté, added a pound of grass-fed ground beef with some garlic and herbs, and now I need to search the pantry room for what else to throw in. I'm pretty sure I still have some Cento San Marzano tomatoes (no home-canned tomatoes for 2 years now due to poor crops), some home dried shiitake and baby bella mushrooms... but who knows what else I'll find in that cave. Might end up being a sort of chili, but maybe not.
At any rate, it should be at least an okay cold-weather dish.
One of my DG friends ordered 180 cipollini onion plants, and we will share the cost. Our last frost date is typically May 15, and they should be delivered before then, which is okay. I also intend to plant about 100 leeks if I get my fanny in gear and get them ordered before everyone is sold out.
I used to be able to buy Musselman leek plants, which can overwinter in the ground in my zone, but now all of the plant suppliers I've found only sell Lancelot leeks. Lancelots do not store well at all, nor do they do well in the ground after first frost. When I grew Musselman's, it was lovely to go outside in February, dig under several inches of snow, and harvest some leeks for a meal.
Yes, I could probably find Musselman seeds to start them myself. I haven't looked into it (much) because I really have no place to start seeds early enough. I can't start seeds inside even though I have one window that gets some sun... my cat is very territorial about that bit of sunshine.
I keep thinking I will get around to building a good cold frame... or better yet, a small greenhouse. sigh.
I have a seed-starting arrangement with lights which I drag out and set up every spring. They're not expensive, and you can use fluorescent bulbs from places like Home Depot and Lowes to provide light. I start all my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and some flowers that way.
Aha, yes, cats! I often wonder how people deal with their catboxes. Our cat is only allowed on the enclosed porch, not in the house, and in the winter when she spends more time there the catbox is just awful!
I found some Spanish olives, capers and raisins in the pantry so my ground beef from last evening is becoming Picadillo. I have black beans soaking, and rice waiting in the wings. Maybe if I'm lucky I can find a couple of ripe plantaños at the store today.
I used to collect seeds to donate to various plant societies. One year my cat decided it was great fun to roll on all the leaves, twigs & seed pods spread out on newspaper on my dining room table. Seeds & cats are a struggle.
Darius - I figured I had that wrong. If I can locate them, perhaps I could start them for you and mail them. No promises.
We're in for leftovers tonight. Coq au vin. I might pull some greenbeans out and add them. And cook up some wild rice. Mix it up a bit. lol
The chicken noodle soup is frozen & ready for delivery to my dad. I've got 6 qts of bean soups & 4qts of chicken noodle for him.
I found Musselburg(h) leeks on sale from eBay - $2.99 for fifty seeds, free shipping. I thought that was pretty good. I'm sure they're not organic, but I couldn't find them that way anywhere else, either.
We had stuffed kosher chicken last night but for some reason it took forever for it to cook. It was very good though, once it was done. Tonight I'm making hachis parmentier, or shepherd's pie. It was snowing earlier today.
Thanks to you guys, I now know that those little pomegranate seeds are called "arils", and, that they are high in antioxidants, aid in lowering cholesterol levels and fighting cell damage and, clinical trials have found they may play an effective role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer.
They also taste wonderful tossed into my baby leaf spinach salad made with edamame, roasted corn kernels, diced red peppers, dried cranberries, and topped with a splash of raspberry pecan dressing!
They also taste wonderful tossed into my bowl of Cheerios! Love the tart crunch!
Hang around here long enough, and you do learn something...I've been learning a LOT!
They are also a very symbolic biblical fruit. We used to give our children pomegranates for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I'm a long time member of the Pomegranate Guild. I was wanting to hand quilt a receiving blanket for our upcoming grandbaby's naming with pomegranate motifs. Don't know if time allows.