Here we are. We survived the holidays and are taking it easy. Ordering up great food from our personal chefs. Having breakfast in bed. Lunching and shopping with friends. But then we wake up and find there are dinners to plan and the only shopping we are doing is at the local market. So let's get on with it.
The photo above is from last week's bean canning. I canned beans last year and had a huge problem with the lids failing to seal. Made some changes this year and all was good. I've now got a supply of soy, garbonzo and red beans for quick use. Hopefully there will be time for black beans and black eyed peas this week.
I'm making a Moroccan lamb stew from a blade bone. Cumin, cinnamon, bay leaves, and garlic for seasoning, tomato juice from garden tomatoes and a variety of fresh veggies. It will be served with couscous. DD slaughtered and butchered this organic lamb. The blade has very little meat; just enough to give the stew a nice flavor after browning the bones for about a half hour.
Also wanted to share a photo of the veggie strata. It was huge! I cut it in half and saved half for this past week. Great for quick lunches. The remaining half was cut again, wrapped and frozen. The last photo is a new kitchen toy...my anniversary gift Penn scales.
Yes, those are cooked from dry beans. Last year I made chili with beans and seasoned beans. This year's batch is absolutely plain because it only takes a second to season them and then their use is not predetermined. The beans are soaked, or in this case quick soaked, by bringing them to a boil and boiling for two minutes then letting them sit. They normally sit an hour if they are going to be cooked and eaten straight away but I think one of the problems I had last year was too much expansion in the jar so I let them sit an hour and a half this time. They are then pressure canned at 11 pounds pressure for ninety minutes. They do have a very different texture. More toothsome like a freshly cooked bean. They also are more fragrant. I can't say why this is. Unlike commercial beans that float in liquid these take up all or most of the liquid in the jar and what's left is almost gelatinous; like a good stock. Because they swell to fill the jar a pint of these beans yields more than a similar can of beans. Meanwhile, I horde beans when they are on sale. In recent months Publix had b-eyed peas and black beans on sale, two pounds for 99 cents.
IMO commercially canned beans have a more grainy interior and softer skin than home canned or cooked beans. My freshly cooked beans are soft inside too but they are not mushy. More like tender. I thought with the long pressure cooking time required of home canning they would be really soft but that is not so. As for the aroma, this is not just true of beans. Everything smells so wonderful when you open a home canned product. Tomatoes and beans bring you straight back to the summer garden and chicken stocks or soups smell like they do when they are simmering on the stove. Nothing like the aroma of the stuff in a can or box.
Anywho, I'll try to check back later but I'm off by sundown so if I don't get back here I hope there are some good dinners in the making.
I find the grainy interior on the canned beans is because they aren't cooked all the way. They leave way for seasoning and doctoring up at home, LOL!
I put canned Louisiana Blue Runner Red Kidney Beans in my slow cooker overnight, with my seasonings (chopped bell pepper and onion), and some seasoning meat (pickled [brined] pig tails would be IDEAL, if Texas had them...).
THEN, they're so right, you'd never know they were from a can!
I happen to love cracker barrel green beans. I almost 'fell out' when I found out they start out as canned green beans. I keep hearing Anne Burrell talk about how much better she thinks garbonzo beans are cooked from dry instead of canned, going to give those a try. Not that I know what to do with a garbonzo. I also read how good white beans are for you, going to try them as well. I wonder how good the bean is for you if you have to eat them with corn bread smoothered in butter ;-o
Kids are coming over unexpectedly for lunch and fortunately DH made a big pot of pasta e fagioli yesterday - the perfect thing for a mid-day meal on a snowy day. Last night our daughter finked out of dinner at the Greek restaurant because she was concerned about the roads, so we ended up at the local diner and had hamburgers. Nice for a change.
DH commented that we hadn't used our raclette-maker for a long time, so I promised him we'd do it this weekend. And then coincidentally 15-year-old DGD asked when we were having "that stuff that you grill in little pans on the table." I guess raclette is in the air. I'll probably just do potato chunks, raclette cheese, cornichons, prociutto and salami, and a big salad on the side tonight. I'm not sure how this will work with an almost-three-year-old, since the cooking surfaces get hot, but we'll watch her like a hawk!
Bubba, you're just trying to make us cold weather folks feel bad what with bringing up garden broccoli. It was in the low twenties on my side of Atlanta yesterday morning.
Helene, we eat a lot of beans instead of meat too. My conscience and my cholesterol fully approve.
Youngest son is coming for dinner. There will be a half breast of roasted turkey with garlic and rosemary and jerk chicken thighs. He'll have leftovers to take home. I've got left over potatoes to make croquettas de patate (potato croquettes). Also steamed broccoli with lemon juice and butter and roasted fennel. There is banana bread in the freezer.
Waiting impatiently for the canner pressure to come down from canning three pounds of black beans this morning.
Bubba: more like 3 degrees here Saturday morning..envy you the broccoli, our fall/winter garden is long gone.
We are doing jalapeno poppers and a Pizza Hut super supreme "Superbowl special", lazy evening after a church pot luck at noon. I've learned to be selective at pot luck, hate coming home not hungry and then hungry at 9 - 10 pm.
Laurel, your canned beans are sounding better and better. Our freezer has been "over-stuffed" since the end of garden season. Need to give them a try.
Can't imagine three degrees. Hopefully the house is toasty.
I had to be on the other side of the city this morning. Went to Darius's favorite Atlanta mkt, Your Dekalb Farmer's Mkt.. Got lots of veggies including kale for seventy nine cents a bundle, organic popcorn, tea and fresh shucked oysters. The oysters were on sale so I got enough for two dinners this week.
Tonight we are having an Asian inspired dinner with oysters fried in panko, gomae spinach, grilled eggplants and red peppers.
Sounds lovely, Helene. Costco is now carrying boxes with two foil packs of panko in a box. That's a lot of panko. Hope I can use it before it goes stale.
Eden's what's in your freezer? BTW, doesn't that sound like a great name for a thread? :)
The photos below are of yesterday's black bean experience and tonight's dinner, a grilled vegetable medley, gomae spinach and the oysters. Those things were enormous! There were only eight in a one pound container. They were as big as large chicken tenders. I ate two and SO ate three so more leftovers in store. Plus, there is another pound. I was thinking po' boys. You can tell I'm bored with the weather and the post holiday lull in work. I'm cooking my way through Winter.
O lord would I like to have that plate of okra. I dont know where its hot enough this time of the year to grow it, but if I could find it, I would buy it.
Your cooking your way thru winter, and Im eating mine. Looked into a gym membership today.
Made my first ever split pea soup today, it looked like a glob of green mashed potatoes. Ive put some more chicken broth in and hope it will fix itself.
We had Chicken Stew with Shallots, Cider and Butternut Squash for dinner tonight. It's a Cooking Light recipe which called for 2 pounds of mixed boneless skinless thighs and boneless skinless breasts, but all I had were split breasts and drumsticks, all with bones and skin so I used those instead. I think it was probably better that way anyway, since the bones add depth. We all really enjoyed it; excellent flavor, and even both DGDs had seconds. The sauce was delicious and I served rice with it. Yum. I will definitely be making that again!
Last night we had the last of the frozen stuffed peppers from last fall. Today is hot italian sausage and again use some of the chopped multi colored peppers. The question is really what else is lurking in that freezer, I've pledged to work on using up and not replacing atleast 30 percent of it!
I managed to lose track of you guys! I was wondering why there was no cooking going on. lol
I made a garbonzo & black bean with roasted red pepper hummus for a super bowl party. I was a bit heavy with the lemon & garlic so it was very flavorful! The hostess came over to tell me one of the teens had plopped himself in front of the bowl and was just eating it like it was his dinner. I guess it was a hit. (When I tried some hummus from a bowl in the room where the TV was, it was awful. Amazing how fresh made well is so much better. And yes - from dried beans).
I made a number of batches of a vegetable braise last summer and froze quite a few servings for later. It was like a taste of summer when I pulled one out for dinner the other day.
We are now enjoying leftover speghetti squash topped with a very thick sauce of my roasted tomato sauce with tons of sauted onion, red pepper & mushroom. Oh so good!
GG, the market has the origins of all their food but I don't recall where it came from. That okra was only half. The other half is going into a chicken, hot sausage and veggie soup today. I think we are having casual company tonight. Soup and mezze, derived from leftovers, are on the menu. There's mushroom/chicken pate, extra sharp white cheddar, baba ganoush, left over oysters with a remoulade sauce, roasted garlic and parm fennel and I'll make garlic toasted pita.
Glad your with us now, Tammy. The hummus sounds super. I've used all kinds of beans but never mixed and like you, we like it with punch. Smoked paprika is nice or a little chipotle in adobo. I add one of those or a little hot pepper from the garden. Hummus freezes so well too.
I add cumin & ground cayenne to the hummus. And I didn't think about freezing it! I didn't take it all with me so I will freeze that for later.
A tad off topic - I'm thinking of skipping the venting hood over my cooktop in the kitchen reno. Now I have a useless downdraft so haven't effectively had any venting for the last 15yrs. For many reasons, I want to skip it altogether. If you were buying a house and didn't see a vent, how big of a deal would it be to you?
edited: typo on my view of the downdraft. It is useless (not useful).
This is just me, but I took alot of houses of many list, if the stove was not vented outside. A stove that just sucks the air up but then blows it back in the kitchen, was a no go. Its like greasing down the whole kitchen. Also, being so hot in fl most of the year, fighting with the AC wasnt a option either.
Most states require venting to be in code compliance. I understand the reasons for not wanting venting, cost being a big one with something stylish and in an open situation. I have a fairly efficient down draft with an electric range. One reason we have not replaced the current range is because it would require venting across six feet of open ceiling and up through my dressing room closet. This would mean a fair amount of sheetrock work if I didn't want to go with the industrial look or a creative solution like a large false beam.
Ours would need to go 14' and out of the face of the house. I have not used any vent (downdraft never worked well enough to bother) and just checked the ceiling about the cook top. There is absolutely no sign of any grease or other residue after almost 15yrs of use by me (and another 10-15yrs from prior owners). I do see that it may be a code issue since its a natural gas cooktop.
Its gonna be expensive & very disruptive to install the venting out of the house. (I don't think I'd bother with a ventless type either). The downdraft is no longer an option due to new location. The kitchen will be on top of the original house' porch. Its a cement slab on who knows what (no access underneath). We'll snake the gas line over through a cabinet but no way to do with the larger vent plumbing.
Oh well... I keep remembering the addition we did 14 yrs ago. I got so worried about costs I cut some things I shouldn't have. I hope to avoid this mistake this time around.
And now...back to the regular topic of the thread: Dinner. I missed lunch today and am too hungry to cook much. I'll just put together left overs or perhaps an omelet.
Tam, some folks object to any cooking odor in the house even in the kitchen. Why that's one of the reasons I cook so much. It's aroma therapy! lol I hear you on the topic of budgetary restraint. There are a few regrets here as well. Really when you consider the overall cost of any one specific item vs. the value of the house as a whole it should not be a deal breaker when it comes to a project as important as a kitchen.
We are having dinner company tonight. I'm on it. SO is peeling apples for an apple cranberry topping to go over toasted pound cake.
Kitchen venting has never seemed that effective to me. I'm in to, as Laurel terms it "aroma therapy". Much of the time when I'm in the kitchen the air is filled with whatever is cooking in spite of whether or not the range hood is droning away. Tammy, you might interview a realtor or two as what they find about the issue. When I was in real estate in Colorado Springs we had a massive influx of folks from California who thought that air conditioning was mandatory. This was a time (in the 1990's) that even the most elegant homes in the pricier portions of the city were built without it. Even after you explained that it was really unnecessary 51 weeks out of the year, and a minor issue the one occasional week of "summer" they still looked unconvinced. I'm not sure the venting of a kitchen ever came up for question, but I agree it could be an issue with some.
After being MIA for a week plus, I'm starting to think about cooking again. Everything mentioned above sounds wonderful!
Last Monday night I started throwing up blood again, and called 911 for an ambulance. They took me to the local hospital where they don't really have a good endoscopy team so the ambulance took me to Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC, about a 2-1/2 hour drive. They put me on a ventilator in order to do the EGD without possibly obstructing the airway, and I NEVER want that to happen again. They repaired the Mallory-Weiss Tear and a tiny adjacent arterial bleeder in my stomach. I spent 2 days in ICU, and 4-5 in a regular room. I have enough punctures from IV's and blood draws and blood sugar finger pricks that I look like I was fighting with a porcupine. Both arms are black and blue from the armpit to my fingers. Total of 4-5 days being only allowed just a plain liquid diet.
Institutional Food, bleck! I did have a decent slice of grilled salmon with a baked potato and broccoli once I was allowed solid food. They sent me home via Greyhound, to the station downtown last night. Fortunately my neighbor had the day off and came to fetch me. We have a foot of snow on the ground, and it was 10º yesterday early in the morning, and a balmy 45º when I left Winston-Salem. I'm glad to be home, though.
They discovered I have a small aneurysm on the aortic arch, which we will watch and probably repair in 3 months unless it gets worse sooner.
I have a pack of beautiful duck gizzards in the freezer and can't decide what to do with them. They'd make a great confit but I don't have enough duck fat in the freezer from my Thanksgiving duck. I'm leaning towards an Asian style stew with fresh ginger, Sichuan pepper and star anise unless someone has a better suggestion. The fresh produce in the fridge will have to go in the compost pile tomorrow, and the milk and heavy cream was flushed today.
Yes, glad you are back home and doing better, Darius. I've never heard you mention but do you have liver disease? These are otherwise uncommon events. I think you mentioned you are diabetic but don't know if you are diet, oral meds or otherwise controlled. Keep us posted on the plans for the aneurysm repair. Do it ASAP. I think if I was in your shoes I'd be planning spirulina and chia seed shakes for dinner. Def not anything in confit. lol
Dinner party was great. I invented a new dessert. The toasted pound cake with cranberry apple topping included a healthy grating of fresh ginger, honey, and lemon zest in the cranberry apple mixture.Then realizing there was a small container of leftover grated cheddar in the fridge, I topped it like an apple pie. That was a hit! I didn't eat any but did taste the cranberry apple part before topping the pound cake slices.
Edited to add I took photos but need to go to bed. Will post tomorrow.
Oh, Darius, what an awful time you've had. At least you didn't dither around, and instead called the ambulance right away. Sounds like a real nightmare, but you got yourself to the right place to deal with it anyway. Do take care of that aneurysm as soon as possible; it doesn't seem like something that can wait indefinitely. I hope that will take care of any health problems for a long time, though!
Re duck gizzards, I was reading somewhere that it's been noted that you don't really have to use duck fat for confit; oil will do just as well. You could use what duck fat you have and then supplement it with oil to cover. I love gésiers on a bed of greens, or with lentils.
Laurel, yes I have liver disease but I'm not diabetic. The diagnosis for quite a few years was fatty liver from big time chemical exposure in the R&D we did long before we had fume hoods. I washed my hands many times a day in chemicals like MEK, toluene, benzene, acetone, etc. like they were water. That's one of the reasons I use NO chemicals in my garden anymore, nor in the house. I do keep a can of wasp spray but almost never use it either.
The diagnosis only changed when they removed my gall bladder 6-7 years ago, and did a gall bladder/liver biopsy.
I had egd's and colonoscopies at first annually, then biannually for several years; the last time was in September when they said I wouldn't need another for 3 years because it all looked so good. This current episode wasn't varices.
Leslie, I'm certainly concerned about the aneurysm, but not really worried. It's small, and they almost missed it. My doctor thinks I may have had it for some time. I will get it repaired in May, or before if it changes in size. He thinks my body needs to fully recuperate from the traumas of last week and the ongoing kidney problems I had in Oct-Nov-Dec. first.
Darius - When I was in grad school, I worked with hydrofluoric acid while wearing flip flops and washed materials with trichloroethylene occasionally with my bare hands & always with no working hood. I loaded wafers into a furnace while it was filled with HCL. We would dope the silicon with arsenic gas. All that and *so far* I have noticed no ill effects. The early days of hi-tech were very cavalier about the chemical exposures & in the university setting, probably the least protective. I'm sorry you weren't as lucky as I was!
SO ran a silk screen production shop in our early years. They washed the screens with acetone and used toxic inks. OSHA came in late in the game and told the company they needed ventilation fans. I grew up in Miami where overhead spraying for mosquitoes was a regular affair. As kids, we'd be out in the streets playing while planes crop dusted and sprayed. I participated for years in a U. of Colorado study on residual PCPs. It's with me, my children and will be there for generations. That's made me a low chemical user in the garden.
I made a gallon and a half of yogurt and kefir yesterday. Enjoyed a glass of the later with grated nutmeg, cinnamon and honey while I canned blackeyed peas. It was like eggnog without egg.
The guys watched a Netflix banjo documentary after dinner. I served them tea and the apple cranberry dessert. The apple mix was hot so the cheddar melted.
Laurel, the apple-cranberry dessert looks yummy! Do you have enough kefir grains to share some? My sister accidentally threw mine out.
I'll be making some yogurt later today since I got some fresh yesterday for a starter, but not the volume you make. I do mine in half-pint mason jars in the Excalibur dehydrator, usually a half gallon at a time. There's just me and my cat to eat it.
We lived on base in Key West (actually on Boca Chica) and the foggers came through every evening. Nasty stuff.
Tam, my health problems didn't start to show up until I was about 60. I hope you continue to be lucky!!
We are having a taco salad topped with, among other things, red bean chili to make up for frying twice this week. I fried up the second batch of oysters last night and made a remoulade for oyster 'po boys. I dream about these. Made a mayo-free slaw with cabbage, carrots, julienned snow peas, green onions and red peppers. Dressed it in jalapeno vinegar and olive oil.
Who said Po' Boy??? The only place you can get one in this northern wilderness is Popeye's. And they aren't bad at all. For a very short while they had Shrimp Po' Boys but I guess that wasn't a big seller here, for reasons beyond my imagination, I thought they were great.
We had Thanksgiving last night because I roasted an extra breast back then due to an uncertain number of guests. Flu season ya know. It was tasty, I did the whole nine yards because why not? I had divided the breast and gave half to my DD so it was a reasonable size for the two of us. There wasn't a crumb left. Nothing. Oink.
Yes, I froze it but it was a fresh breast when I roasted it so it hadn't been frozen previously. And I vac seal. It was tender and juicy. I have enough left for a couple of sandwiches...which I put in reserve before I reheated the remainder. I keep telling my DD if she wants to save any of her main course before her two teenagers hit the table she needs to put it away before they get there. One could enter one of those eating competitions and probably win. He's a bottomless pit. The other one is picky about food, not sure he's related to the rest of us.
Another po' boy connoisseur in the house, M5? I am particularly fond of oyster po' boys and can eat every version of remoulade on almost anything.
I stayed up too late last night working on the design for my next quilting project. Going to keep dinner simple. We will have what's left of our turkey breast in a one dish dinner. I'm using leftover grilled red peppers and onions along with fresh mushrooms, yellow squash and peas to make a turkey and veggie farro.
I had half a baked sweet potato and some edamame. This is the first day for this Invisalign tray, my teeth are a little ouchy. There is some game tomorrow morning at 11a, so I am apparently doing brunch. I suspect I will do an egg casserole with broccoli, cheese and potato, biscuits or corn muffins, and fruit. I will figure out some kind of meat to serve with it, I am pretty sure I have sausage in the freezer. I love being volunteered. lol
I have gone the route of the Invisalign too, Celene, and I hate it. Sorta stopped and then now I'm with the progam again. I wish I had never done it. I'm 72 and I don't know who I was going to impress. LOL
Had my spilt pea soup and it was great. Next time I will not put in all the water that they said and not puree the peas with my immersion blender. Live and learn.
I don't mind it, I just have a palate expander that I hate, and from time to time it pulls on my TMJ implant and bone grafts, then I can feel it in my nose and the corner of my eyes, which isn't painful, it's just...odd.
Actual menu, nudged by the guests at my house...egg casserole with broccoli, white potatoes and cheese, sweet potato latkes (not my idea, but everyone else thinks they go with the meal), biscuits, fruit, coffee.
There's an older Whole Foods store in Winston-Salem, and I had hoped to shop there after my first follow-up appointments yesterday at Wake Forest. Didn't happen because I was pooped, but it will. Surprisingly, they carry a lot of local grass-fed meats and organic veggies.
Meanwhile I hope to hit the Asian Market in Blacksburg next Friday morning (weather permitting), which is the day they put out fresh meats and offal pieces-parts, which go quickly. I need to make some nutrient-rich stocks; I've used up all I made last fall.
Given that I eat healthier than 95% of Americans, my profile from the hospital labs is the pits. Gotta get a handle on why my body isn't precessing and utilizing what I eat.
Happy, farro is one of several wheat grains that are known as "ancient" grains. The one we see in our stores is mostly the wheat grain Triticum diciccum, otherwise known as emmer wheat. That's what I have from Trader Joe's. I cook and use it instead of rice. It takes the proverbial coon's age to cook and what we used to call "wheatberries", or "emmer". Spelt is another farro and there is a third but I can't recall what it is.
Celene, having done the orthodonture X2, I so feel for you but it will be worthwhile. I redid mine years ago and went hardwire with outrageous colored bands. Had hoped it would be a simple fix because there was just a small twist on the lower centrals incisors but my old friend and orthodontist said he'd have to reshuffle my mouth to make things right. It was right around the same time friends were lifting lids and expanding/lifting chests. Well, my teeth look great and their lids and chests are looking fifteen years older. You've worked too hard this morning. Someone owes you a night out.
We are having chili fries with oven roasted potatoes and leftover chili. I will make a salad.
Laurel, I laughed when I figured that out. It was when I saw a recipe for farro risotto with a photo that I made the big connection, it's such a good, versatile recipe. Even my cousin's five year old tried it and sneaked some seconds. Not that we care, it just made her happy to think she got one over on us. She is adopted and overcoming some early childhood malnutrition issues, so we to encourage her to eat different, healthy foods. This is why sometimes latkes end up in heart shapes and cheese slices are cut with flower cookie cutters ;)
I've never had farro or wheat berries! Such a sheltered life I've lived.
We had omelets. The girls are really laying a lot of eggs and we are not keeping up! I gave some friends 3 dozen today. (The bantum's eggs are half the weight of a standard large so its not quite as many as 3 dozen from the grocery store). The omelets actually have more veggies than egg are are delicious. Spinach, onion, red pepper & mushrooms. Yum!
Ahhh, I'm so glad the cooking continued in my absence. Swimmer Girl informed me we are now at 90-some days until graduation. MUST she keep this countdown going? It makes me want to crawl in bed for the next 90-some days.
Sorry to be absent for so many meals, but after a volunteer project consume every spare evening and weekend moment, I think my family decided I had forgotten where the kitchen was, and how to cook in it. But last week I finally got some time to catch up, so in between cleaning out some seriously old PF reports here and tending the new Showcase, I got my hair "repaired", deep-cleaned out the fridge, reloaded it with groceries, puppysat the grandpup, vacuumed like a fiend, caught up on laundry, and cleared my closet of unworn clothes (three bags are headed to Goodwill tomorrow.)
And I cooked! We tried a few new recipes last week...a lemony tuna casserole was iffy. (I liked it, but everyone else politely ate it and said it was tad too lemony. Sniff.) But my crockpot chile colorado burrito stuffing was a hit, and easy. I ramped up the original recipe with a few chipotles in adobo sauce, which made it a sinus-clearer, but it was yummy.
I also whipped out three loaves of banana bread and I'm still hawking the last one to anyone who will eat it. Continuing the sweet vein, I'm making a king cake this week to celebrate Mardi Gras. And maybe some gumbo. .
Terry, great to see you home on the range again. Thought perhaps you were vacationing (or was it vacating?). lol
I am canning great northern beans today and making a new batch of grain mustard. We hae had cold, rainy weather and then a few days' break. We are returning to rainy weather again tonight. SO will take advantage of the dry spell and grill burgers and buns tonight. Been ages since I've had a burger. I'll probably make a salad.
Helene, making pasta has been on my to do list for the past month. I can't seem to make my way through what's already in that fridge and freezer to get on it.
Exactly, Darius. I don't care for the idea of cooking them in an aluminum pressure cooker which would expedite the process. The cost of a stainless one is dear. Canning makes for jump starting meals come gardening season, or when cooking other time consuming components to a meal, or just plain being lazy. I have to hang around the kitchen for the ninety minutes it takes to can beans to make sure the pressure stays at eleven pounds. It's a good task for kitchen chore days like making mustard or deep cleaning. Did manage to get the plastic container cabinet under control. So many storage containers because of catering. It gets wild in there! It's a good opportunity to watch Netflix. I've been watching a documentary on Mary Pickford.
I took care of the four bundles of kale from this past weeks' trip to the farmer's market. Two quarts went into the freezer and two will go into gumbo z' herbes for our Mardi Gras dinner on Tuesday.
Thank God for Freezers, huh, Tam? I live out of mine for meats. There is only 2 of us, but I don't like shopping and paying the full boat for meats when I can go to Sam's and buy. It's way cheaper. Even in FL there is a full 17sf freezer in my pantry and it's full right now. Expecting 2 groups of 2 in the next 2 weeks so it will be down for sure. Sounds like Noah's Ark!!! LOL
I batted a big fat 0 for supper tonight, which is rather unusual for DH eats about everything. I brined my chicken thighs with seasoning and then sauted witih onions and then put in a splash of white wine. I thought it was yummy. We threw out 2 thighs and it hurt me to the bone. Can't waste food!!!! But should I put in the frig and throw it out tomorrow?
I just saw a joke about Tupperware. It's what to use so you can save your leftovers today so you can throw them out tomorrow. Totally agree.
I work very hard to never throw away food. We eat left overs a lot. I'm having a vegetable braise I made last summer with garden produce and then stashed a number of servings in the freezer. Its like a taste of summer! I may bake some sweet potato fries for dessert. :-)
Why couldn't they be repurposed for soup or chili, Happy?
Our hamburger dinner is not to be. The rain started earlier than expected. It is lightening and thundering. I have a small pate with mushrooms, brie with chives and a half dozen slices of petite fillet. Will make a variety of mini-sandwiches to go with salad.
We had pasta e fagioli tonight. Heavy on the pasta (Middle Son was tasked with cooking "some" ditalini and throwing it and some shredded carrots in for the last half hour. He decided that "some" meant "all" - which was two cups uncooked. Eeek.)
It was edible, but just barely. By tomorrow, when the pasta has soaked up all the extra broth, all bets are off. I too hate to throw away food, but the leftover soup may be inedible.
Laurel, thank you for the tip on using seafood sauce in meatloaf: I tried it last week and it worked very well.
Terry, why not just throw in some more beans and other fixin's and make a larger batch, some of which you could freeze? We just use one cup of ditalini when we make it. This last time DH used a large 28 oz. can of tomatoes and it was too much, so I thinned it out with the extra beans, some leftover sausage, and some broth and it was fine.
Happy, I would have either eaten the thighs myself for lunch or used them in soup or some other dish. Those thighs sounded really good!
We had meatballs with gnocchi for dinner last night. Tonight, at my DGD's request, we're having chicken with black beans cooked in a crockpot. Very easy, calls for salsa and the beans, corn, and some cream cheese placed on top at the end, although for me sour cream seems to work better. I'll probably serve it with guacamole and chips.
I don't think anyone would want that chicken. Sick this am with the usual food poisening symptoms. Ya know what I mean!!!
Would have normally saved for today and had it with salad or make it into a salad. When there are couple of left overs, I make Stoop. That's a cross between a soup and a stew. Used to make it all the time at the soup kitchen. I even eat left over lettuce salad for breakfast. Yummy.
Tonight will be easy for it's Panini Monday with turkey breast.
Discovered a package of frozen riced potatoes in the freezer while I was rummaging for something else. And someone said gnocchi...so I'll thaw those and that will be dinner tonight. Freezing them can actually improve the texture as it tends to dry out the excess moisture. If I make too large (is there such a thing??) a batch, I'll put some aside unsauced and saute them with some garlic butter and freeze again. Unless we eat them all up. Sometimes they mysteriously disappear during the cooling process.
After the Thanksgiving rerun, had enough left over for two generous sandwiches, so we had soup and sammies the next night.
I need to give making gnocci a go some lazy day! I had the best ever at a little italian restaurant that recently opened near my mom in central Pa.
I've got left over pasta I froze a few months ago defrosting for dinner. It was with a broccoli rabe / pistachio pesto sauce. I recall it was a tad bitter but quite good. (I don't think DH liked it as it was quite bitter for him). I also have a couple of small delmonico steaks pulled from the freezer for dinner tomorrow. We've got both broccoli & green beans frozen from last summer so good fixin's to go with the steaks.
I save left overs. Don't eat them. As i m alone but cook for 4 our manager and his wife love my cooking and don't mind my left overs... She had spine/neck surgery last week. so friday he went home with chicken salad with lemon dressing (a tad of mayo) grated potato soup. short ribs ala hungarian style and some chicken gravy to go with pasta as she has an incision in the throat and has to eat soft. Very happy people. Some cookies frozen from xmas.
Tam, we are gearing up for gardening season when we get serious about emptying the freezers!
Terry, glad the cocktail sauce was to your liking. My mom gets the credit for that one.
Since the weather is still rotten our burger meat is turning into taco filling. We had talked about meeting friends for dinner and then going on to the monthly orchid society meeting. We shall see.
Here is yesterday's great northern canning and the whole grain mustard. This originates from the Saveur recipe available on line. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Spicy-Guinness-Mustard I have made it with mocha porter and other beers. I have let the mustard sit and have also ground the seed with a small amount of vinegar and kept going until all vinegar and beer is in there. It is initially soupy without pre-soaking but swells overnight. My substitutions include a mix of brown and yellow mustard seed (because that is what I had to get the ten ounces the first time I made it) and using white wine vinegar instead of red. It's initially bitter and hoppy because of the beer but mellows after a few days. It gets great at about two weeks old.
My chickens get anything that is simply no longer edible for human consumption.
So we get to enjoy the leftovers, through their eggs as well. I just love watching
them run over to greet me when I call to them with something special. (They love
the beef fat rendered from frying ground beef or the trimmings from beef or pork.)
Happy - we are not big meat eaters. If I make a pork chop for my DH, he will split it in 2-3 portions and eat it over a couple of meals. Same with steak. So while the 2 steaks (uncooked) total 14oz, they will probably make us 2+ meals. So different than my childhood. Mom would serve a huge portion of beef and some singular vegetable. If it wasn't corn or potatoes, it would be raw: turnip, cabbage or lettuce wedge, carrots/celery or even rutabaga. The rule of the house was that if we wanted dessert, we had to cook it ourselves. So the three of us kids were fabulous bakers. A skill I appreciated when I finally started to really learn to enjoy cooking. Mom was not a good cook though she makes a mean roast beef!
I have some duck feet simmering for an Asian-inspired stock. Dinner will be a frozen meal from the grocery store freezers, something I almost never do... no energy to cook much yet even though my own freezers are full (but with parts, not whole meals).
one of my best friends from college loves chicken feet. He buys them in NY's china town. Funny story about chicken feet: I once visited a farm that had a small store to sell their organic products. I asked them if they sold organic chicken feed. The owner said YES, obviously pleased with my request and turned to her big deep freezer and started rooting around. I was puzzled but didn't say anything. She finally produced a bag of organic chicken feet. LOL
The broccoli rabe pesto / pasta was fabulous! I think either I was really hungry for something like that or it just got better with a little time. It has a little sausage in it too. Forgot that.
this is tooo funny. I was papa's girl (my brother mothers boy). He loved strange foods, and since we had everything growing between P Grandma and us (other G was also around but had diabetes... no good.)
He'd share chicken feet with me, break open chicken head for brain (that's why I am so smart - chicken brain) Bone marrow dumplings or spread on toast (toast made on open coal burner) what else? Herring not native to Yugoslavia and smoked fish.If he ate it so would I - had to look good after all I was Papa's girl.Still love bone marrow.
Wish I had some brain and chicken feet in the frame of mind I am over selling this Apt.
I confess I am not tempted in the slightest by the last several posts...but I guess it's good that you-all are more adventuresome than me. Calf fries and mountain oysters are about as exotic as I go with the animals I eat :-)
We had a simple Monday night dinner: baked chicken, fresh green beans blanched then sauteed in a bit of butter and seasoning, and pasta with Alfredo sauce. (Simple...but not light.)
I may try to salvage the remains of the pasta e fagioli by loading it up with more broth, sauce and beans. But it's not a particularly good recipe for freezing (if I freeze it, I do it without pasta, then add fresh-cooked at the end of the reheat.)
The rest of the week hasn't fully shaped up in my mind, except for the aforementioned king cake, and probably lemon bars and/or some overdue peanut butter cookies. The Girl Scout cookies are rolling in (I am a sucker for girls selling cookies, and I tend to buy from every child I've ever taught at church. So we wind up with half a freezer shelf full of cookies. It's kinda crazy to make homemade cookies this time of year, but we'll see.) I'm thinking a pork loin with a hot-sweet chili glaze later in the week. Other than that, it may be a day-by-day decision on dinner.
Dinner at the neighbors delish. He made a stew with cabbage and then put cassava in the broth and made a very thick gravy which was put over rice. He is from Brazil and this was native cooking. Very usual but good. Plus a night out was great.
Tonight we get the sandwiches we didn't have last night!!!
Dinner is a no brainer with the gumbo z' herbes. I had kale and collards already cooked, chicken stock from the freezer and spicy homemade sausage. There's fresh spinach around but it will get lost amongst the strong collards and curly kale, I think, so I'm not using it. There's a smokey flavor coming from the collards which were cooked with home smoked pig. Remember the photos of the big roux making? It's a go to ingredient tonight. Cornbread is done. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Darius, if you go back to my roux making post with photos you will see I always make extra. It does not need to be refrigerated since it's oil and flour. We are talking about Cajun style roux not a French roux with butter. A butter roux would need refrigeration. If I'm going to go through the hassle of making roux it is in a quantity for at least two big gumbos.
Stumbled across boneless skinless chicken thighs that were pulled from the freezer several days ago. They were not in the original dinner plan but Plan B must now be put into effect. We are having chicken schnitzel (prepped this morning) and baked potatoes. I put together a killer mac 'n cheese with caramelized onions and will go ahead and bake it after the potatoes have a head start. The mac 'n' cheese will be for another night. We'll have homemade slaw with the chicken and potatoes.
Aside from a bechamel with a sizable knob of butter there's Cabot cheddar, Canadian extra sharp cheddar, parmesan and pecorino. The top is dusted in seasoned breadcrumbs and dotted with butter. It just went into the oven. This is more dastardly than my usual lower fat fare. Definitely could not bring myself to serve it with the schnitzel so a plain potato with s&p and Greek yogurt for me. SO will probably use butter in his potato.
The mac n' cheese got split in half to share with a friend coming home from the hospital tomorrow. I planned hoisin ribs, fried rice and cabbage for dinner but SO wants to go out to our local oyster bar. Romance factor you know. :) Maybe low cal oysters will make up for the half pound plus of chocolate truffles.
I'm including a picture of the gumbo z' herbes. It looks pretty scary doesn't it? Well it was wonderful.
We signed the contract on the kitchen reno today! They demo about half of the kitchen next week to figure out what's going behind the cabinets & fridge so can finalize cabinet measurements. Very exciting! I will probably lose my oven for a few months unless they figure out a way to brace it up to allow me to use it outside the wall cabinet. Sigh.
I had roasted sweet potato fries w/scrambled eggs for dinner. I think I'm gonna roast like crazy for the next few days while I still can.
I drove up to Blacksburg today (2+ hours) to meet a DG friend for lunch, which was terrific. Bless University towns for their variety of foods! We shopped at the Asian Market where I bought 3 slabs of pork belly (2# each) to make bacon, 2 duck legs and a rabbit. Also picked up a few other things, including some Green Za'atar, which I will share with Susan who wants to try it.
Then on to the Natural Foods store because I needed more of a powerful probiotic. I used up what few capsules I had left following all the antibiotics 2-3 weeks ago.
I had such a good lunch that supper will be California Rolls. I usually make them, but I opted for freshly-made in-store today for time and convenience. My energy level is still very low, and starts to flag badly around mid-afternoon. I'm hoping my hemoglobin and red cell count get back up to normal soon!
Got home from a trip tonight, supper was bow tie pasta, Italian Sausage with a marinara sauce and a simple salad. Forgot I didn't have any "crusty" bread on hand, will contemplate whether to bake frozen shortbread cookies later. Mostly ready to crash.
Tammy, keep us posted on the kitchen remodel. Having been through several, I can recall how frustrating it can be, but how rewarding when it is completed. (One remodel years ago, we cooked out of our camper for the summer, then the window and the kitchen sink were back ordered into the fall months, at least it kept house guests somewhat at bay that summer!)
I'm working my way through the cabinets to clear them out for demo next week. Six boxes packed, a huge pile to give away and 1 trash bag getting pretty full. Starting with good china & fancy serving pieces first and cleared out the buffet cabinet to use for food & essentials. I sure did fit a lot into those little cabinets!
Last night was simple pasta with bread...quick and enough to feed five - yep, all six of my children's knees were under my table for a quick weeknight supper. It's always great to have my children under my roof, although I do hope one day they each have someone special (besides their sibs and parents) to share V-day with. Tonight was a "let's skip the Valentine's day crowd" dinner out at Mere Bulles over in the next county. Scallops were just cooked and very sweet and plump. Mr. Official's steak was large and tender..and the dog enjoyed the bone. Tomorrow is a trip to Knoxville to watch the Vols play Kentucky. Wish us luck...
Good luck on the kitchen reno. Did mine a few years ago and it took ONE YEAR. That means I had my double oven and dishwaher in my bedroom, The double door ref in the front hall, all the new cabinets and new stove in my livingroom and many boxes of the kitchen stuff all over. What a nightmare.
I grow it in the flower beds, the ferny leaves are good "filler" with zinnias and that sort of thing. They're also good food plants for caterpillars, I often see them on my perennial bronze fennel, too.
Our garden fennel gets four or five feet tall and then flops over unless it is seriously staked. To cook fennel, I trim the fronds down to the bulb and then lightly trim the base of the bulb. Stand the bulb up and slice it in half the long way. Then gently cut four or so wedges from each half. I say gently because it will want to come apart so hold on to it while cutting. Lay the fennel on a pan or baking dish and spoon a combination of minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil over the wedges. It is better to use fresh garlic and not the jarred product. Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan over the top of each wedge. I use a microplane but if you are using pre-grated put a few tablespoons at a time in a seive to make sure you have the cheese evenly distributed. A pinch of sea salt or kosher salt and pepper are optional. I don't use either because parm is salty and pepper interferes with the flavor in my opinion. Roast at 375 for 45-50 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden. Fennel prepared this way is good at room temperature or as a chilled leftover. I serve it, accompanied with cheeses, at parties for hors d' ouevres or use it as one of my many salad toppers. If you pickle it try cooking some shrimp and adding that to the pickle along with raw red sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli florets, and cucumbers. Whole peppercorns and bay leaves add a lot to this pickle.
Sorry to be the idiot vegetarian here, but you pickle shrimp right with the veg? I use garlic, bay leaf, pickling spice, a whole clove or two, whole peppercorns, Szechuan peppercorns, mustard seed, cracked red pepper, maybe rosemary, salt and sugar in my brine.
Tonight--NY strip steak--I sprinkled with a little worcestershire, kosher salt and fresh black pepper--will bring to room temp, sear in a hot pan on both sides and finish in the oven for a bit. Sides of brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. I don't usually make steak often so it's a bit of a splurge. I don't usually use any steak sauce but lea & perrins has one (new to me anyway) and I had to open it and it is much better than A1.
Yes, so I guess that wouldn't work for you, Celene. I forgot to add I use lots of thinly sliced lemon for many of my pickles. There are recipes on line for pickled shrimp. It is a southern favorite. I did batches for DD's wedding party weekend and served the pickle with wooden tongs from gallon mason jars. It disappeared pronto. The lemon slices pickle and are delicious.
I add lemon slices when I want a Mediterranean flavor, which is often. It simply elevates a pickle to a whole other level and as I said earlier, the lemon slices pickle. You end up with that very bright, lemony flavor going on in the pickle and then the lemon slices pick up the salt and spices. It's really wowzers! The slices need to be very thin and seeds removed. The rinds and pith become totally edible.
Tonight we had roasted chicken with fennel and clementines. It called for arak, an anise-flavored liquor, which I didn't have, so I used pastis instead, which is also anise-flavored. It was really good; you marinated the chicken, fennel and clementines for several hours or overnight first, and then roasted it in the oven in a pan with low sides. The recipe indicated an oven temperature of 475 which I think was too hot; the fennel and chicken skin almost charred at the top. Next time I'll use 375 instead. I served it with mixed grains, and the sauce from the marinade added a lot of flavor to that.
Although the recipe called for clementines sliced skin and all, I used oranges because they were organic and the clementines weren't, so I was concerned about fungicides on the clementine peel.
I've got a stay at home day today and plan to make pasta. More specifically, butternut squash and sage filled ravioli in brown butter. Butternuts from the garden are roasting in the oven now. I've cleaned and oiled two broom sticks to hang the pasta. :) Need to dig out and clamp down the pasta roller. A few days ago, I made an Italian inspired soup with hot sausage and meatballs and a variety of vegetables and beans. We will have a little soup tonight and a simple salad as courses following the pasta. I'm hoping to have enough left over pasta (or get sick of making ravioli) so that there is pasta left for a lasagna Bolognese.
My dad always made homemade ravioli and noodles, although he bought spaghetti in very long blue box,. It looked as though it had dried on broom handles, too. It was imported from Italy. I learned to "twirl" at a very young age. Oh, back to ravioli: As he got older he lost patience with making tidy little individual ravioli. He started increasing the size until near the end of his life, he was using a saucer for his template for cutting them out! Three of those was a meal!!
The squash is cooked and the pasta dough is resting. I love these ravioli but they are such a pain to make. SO picked fresh sage from the garden and it needs to be used or dried, thus the ravioli came to mind. Been doing a lot of hand quilting lately. Kneading for ten or fifteen minutes might have made me sore and then I remembered my KitchenAid stand mixer. I always need by hand and have only used the kneading attachment once but it seemed like the perfect time to drag it out. The dough seemed too moist and I had to keep adding flour to get it to the same texture as when I do it by hand. Fingers crossed.
I just saw America's test kitchen do a segment on homemade pasta. They used 2 eggs + 6 yolks as well as olive oil to give it the texture the italians get with their flour. Was very interesting.
Laurel - I tried to make brown butter sage sauce for squash ravioli last year and it didn't turn out well. It was OK but not as good as I'd hoped it would be. Could you go over the outline of how you make it? (I know how to make the pasta.)
I really need to make a batch of raviolis before winter bids adieu. (I don't know why--I could make them in the warmer months, but they just always seem to be a cold-weather project. Tonight is probably the aforementioned loin (which we didn't get to last week), although Swimmer Girl seems to think we should use Prez Day to shop for a prom gown. I think it's safe to say spontaneity is not her strong suit, considering prom isn't for another 8 weeks :-)
That episode of ATK was for pasta that was to be handmade and rolled, and the extra egg yolks made it more tender and malleable. Somethilng to do with the protein and water in the yolks breaking the gluten chains. I've kneaded in my bread machine and not been happy with the results, but then I've never had a problem with handling dough that I've done with just hand mixing and rolling.
Laurel - no rush at all. This morning the contractor will remove a good chunk of our kitchen cabinets to all careful measurements and assessment of what's behind them. Its the original exterior wall of this 1806 house. I'm hoping we find that we'll be able to recess a larger refrigerator into it. As much of a pain it is to lose all that function, I'm actually curious & excited to see what's there!
Fingers crossed they can figure out a way to keep the oven functional!
Tammy, I tried to find the photo for you, of what was behind my cabinets. I have a 1901 house, so much "younger" but the stuff that came out when we pulled off the original cabinets...omg! A huge steel pipe, originally used for some kind of ventilation. Took four strong men to pull it out and take it for recycling. Old dolls. Seven different wall finishes, including some monkey-ugly 1970's greeny buffy brown textured wallpaper, pepto-pink 1950's paint, old hair barrettes, it was amazing.
We had a similar late 1800s farmhouse. It was fun trying to suss out how they reconfigured the downstairs to put in a small bathroom and how they used the kitchen cabinets to fit a pantry. They took out the original entrance because we could see where the kitchen floor had missing hardwood, and where the stovepipe for the kitchen stove had been. Interesting house, basement was field stone, and the furnace was up on bricks to keep it off the floor. When we sold it, the young couple's realtor brought them through and the husband asked me if the basement leaked. I could see the realtor's face as she was standing behind them, and when I responded, "Like a sieve" she went white. LOL Guy told me later if I had said no, they would have walked away. There were small grooves chiseled into the basement floor to encourage the water to run towards a drain that led to...we didn't know where...thought maybe a dry well. Found out when they redid the road on our corner lot that it ran out to the street!!!
Thanks Laural, I was afraid of that. Can't hurt to try and save some pennies!
Tam, 1806, that's more than ancient. Hope that all goes well with the ref. Kitchen demo is such a pain.
Celene, that's a riot what you found in the walls. How did the junk get there? Must have been holes somewhere. It is amazing how decorating changes thoughout the years. Wonder what people will say about what we have done.
Off to the eye dr this afternoon and just playing around til then.
Old houses used to be built with balloon framing that went from bottom to top in 2 story houses, without any firestops in the wall cavities. Easy enough for collections to fall down inside the walls where there were cut-outs for windows, esp. in the upper story. I once renovated a house that had NO studs in the walls at all, just 2 layers of wide, long planks that ran from the foundation to the roof. One poplar plank was over 34" wide, and 20 feet tall.
Does frying a rabbit sound like the best way to cook one so I can tell if we like the taste?
Okay Tam, everything you ever needed to know about brown butter and maybe then some but first I'll presuppose the problem was it either burned or was not browned. The most common problem is burning. Here goes...
Butter is comprised of three things the first being fat. Butter must be 80% minimum fat to meet labeling standards. The remainder is water and milk solids. When butter is heated to make brown butter you are not browning the fat you are browning the solids and eliminating the water. It's the solids that give brown butter its flavor so it's critical you do not burn them. If you under cook the butter it will taste like...butter.
The bubbles that occur when butter is heated are the water and the white foam is the solids. So firstly you should not use high heat because you will burn the solids before you get rid of the water. Secondly, you must keep the contents of the pan moving because the solids will begin to drop to the bottom of the pan as the water leaves the solids. This is where you can run into problems with burning. I move both the pan and the contents of the pan almost continuously while browning. Lastly, after a seemingly long time the solids will suddenly turn golden. The cooking needs to be stopped immediately! This can be done several ways. Since most cooks use brown butter as a component of a sauce they stop the cooking by using wine or lemon juice or some other acid. Some people put in a few splashes of water but this can cause some serious splatters. I stop mine by setting it in the bottom of a wet sink and running water under the pan. Be careful not to use cold water or you can warp your pan. Otherwise use a pan that doesn't matter.
Just as a side note, some professional chefs add milk solids in the form of evaporated milk to jack up the brown butter flavor. I've never tried this but theoretically you could use non fat milk since you are already dealing with fat. As for the sage, I put mine in as whole leaves and at the beginning of the process. If you look closely at the last photo and the edges of the plate without cheese you will see the proper color of brown butter solids. Hope this answered your questions.
Darius, I prefer roasting rabbit seasoned any way you would like a chicken. Especially over an open fire.
Cool! This wall was last worked on in the 1980's when the kitchen was put in. Its a log house with many layers of exterior. (Part of the house is stone, added on in 1828). One of the items we are addressing is the mismatch in floor levels between the 1806 & 1828 sections. We're raising the floor in the bathroom and closing it off
When we did the addition in 1999, the contractor said it was: logs, german shiplath siding, brickface stucco and dryvit (with foam insulation).
Sorry - I just hit send several hours after composing so its a little out of order.
Thank you Laurel! That is quite clear.
M5 - we've got the same drainage system in our basement. They are about 4-5" deep and
wide and circle the exterior edges of the basement with one cut across the center as well.
THey feed into a gravity system to outside. And we need them - most every time it rains.
Well - halfway through the demo. Soon we'll see what's behind there!
Darius , that type house was called a Box House . My parents had one right after I was born . Daddy had a grocery store with living apartment in the back for us . He took credit and a customer came to him one day telling him he couldn't pay his bill but wanted to move to California . He offered his house , a block away ,for payment , so Daddy took it instead of money . We moved into the house when I was three months old . 74 years ago . The window and door casings stuck out into the room , but the houses were structurally strong ,and warm/cool , no air conditioner for summer ,and without the extra use of more lumber . The house was torn down about fifteen years ago to make room for a new civic center .
I didn't feel good last night , so had tuna salad for dinner . Just had sandwiches for breakfast with leftovers . Fish sandwiches for breakfast ? Proves I'll eat anything . LOL . Food is food , it doesn't have a clock attached .
Today is sunny but that wind is bitey. After a dash to the grocery store, I've got a couple plump fryers simmering away in a stockpot and it's looking like a chicken-noodle kind of night. At the risk of repeating myself, I t may put some of the remaining chicken into homemade chicken noodle soup on Friday. For the days in between, who knows? I brought home some good looking red bells from the grocery store, and I'm debating with myself on what to make with them.
Linda , gonna deep fry redfish and trout for dinner . Might cut one of your cabbages off for cole slaw . The other one finally headed up , goodie . Found a heck of a recipe for hushpuppies . Might like it better than mine .I'll eat the fish for a middle of the night snack as I actually sleep in a split shift . Any more will be breakfast tomorrow , cold and plain .
I had a lot of ravioli filling left after making enough ravioli for several meals. Been pondering what to do with the leftovers. A lasagna with butternut squash filling? Butternut risotto? It has a small amount of egg in it so I considered adding a few more eggs and making a squash pie. While out today I put evaporated milk on my list and was about to stop off when it occurred to me there is an ancient can of Coco Lopez coconut cream in the pantry. You know the stuff you use to makw pina coladas? Very rich and sweetened, SO picked it up by mistake several years ago when I asked him to get coconut milk for a Thai recipe. I'm going to experiment with using the coconut cream instead of evaporated milk to make a coconut squash pie. It will have to wait 'til tomorrow though. Be back to report on the result later.
We are having a mushroom quiche and mixed green salad topped with kalamata olives, newly grilled eggplant and red onions and tabouli. They had pretty spring greens at the market this morning for our salad. If I had planned ahead I'd have made an additional crust for the coconut squash pie. Oh well.
We have picked up and delivered over seven hundred pounds of food in the last twenty four hours and have a pick up tomorrow. That will complete our regular volunteer commitment for the month. We substituted for someone last week and picked up an additional three hundred eighty pounds that day. Over a thousand pounds of food from Costco, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill.
From being the chef in the soup kitchen, I was constantly begging for food for when I was first there, we relied on donations heavily. There has been a law passed, the Good Samaritan Law that obsolves anyone giving in good faith that it is not contaminated or spoiled, from any repercussions from the donee. Out dated items still have quite a good shelf life except for meat or fish. But if it's frozen by the sell by date it should be good for months.
Do you go pick up the items, Laurel? Do you have a truck? Where else do you get things from?
Hap, I used to cook regularly for several agencies until we became involved with Second Helpings a number of years ago. It started with a synagogue member who founded Second Helpings Savannah when he lived there. He moved to Atlanta and approached our synagogue board, was enthusiastically approved and got a core group of volunteers. We had a lot of resistance from potential donors at first but an introductory protocol was developed. It included legal information about non-liability under the Good Samaritan Act. Donors have no obligation except to provide the food. We are responsible for packing and loading. We weigh our donations and report to a volunteer coordinator when we complete our run. The food comes from chain grocery stores and markets, university cafeterias, corporate commissaries, restaurants, bakeries...you name it. Some store policies allow for baked goods only and others give anything and everything. We find over time they are broadening what they donate so we also get diapers, razors, pet foods, etc. as well as more perishable food. We now have more than two hundred volunteers from all over the community and have become a non-profit agency to detach ourselves from synagogue affiliation since that is a different type of non-profit.
I have an old van that we use for pick ups. We provide our own bags, boxes and coolers. Cold bags have been donated. We pick up those three agencies once a month but, take Whole Foods for example, they are all over the city and they donate every day. We work in teams, with a team leader, and if someone can't make their pick up an email blast will go to the team first and then the general group. I recently heard only two pick ups were left for lack of a volunteer last year. Two years ago a family donated a refrigerator truck. There are several guys who volunteer to drive it. Funny because one is otherwise an accountant, one a corporate senior executive, another a physician and another a founder of a very successful restaurant chain. The truck goes to really big pick ups like WalMart or Target where there will be large frozen food donations. Right now Costco only gives baked goods.
The first seven years we collected 2.3 million pounds but we are becoming so recognized and written about that last year we collected over 530,000 pounds. We have people from the stores donating food ask how they can volunteer to pick up and deliver. We volunteer at our three locations because the stores and delivery destinations are convenient as are the times. Our pick ups are early so it doesn't interfere if I have catering work but some places want to be picked up after five and that's good for folks who want to volunteer after work. The stores are very specific about the days and times we can pick up food.
We have a volunteer appreciation dinner each year. The number of people who were homeless and surviving on our food but and are now working and volunteering grows each year. We deliver to a community pantry, a school for under-served children (the children get bread put in their packs), St. Vincent De Paul, and the Atlanta Union Mission. If the community pantry is full we bring it to the county agency, a women's shelter or to the Atlanta Union Mission because they always need food. Others drive to other locations around the city. We have always done a lot of volunteer work and sat on non-prof boards but nothing has been more rewarding than this.
I am sitingher and cheering for the entire organization!!! I know my employer.hjich has a dining room for the execs, and a cafeteria free of charge for employees, donates to several place, one being the Rescue Mission which is located downtown and nearby. I hate food waste.
Laurel, does your Panera Breads or Atlanta Breads participate? That would be a good source for fresh-baked goods. Our two local Paneras will donate to charities like our food pantry (and I would guess to Second Helpings...which I'm still trying to figure out if we have here in the Nashville area.) Our church's food pantry gets from Feed America First and Second Harvest, occasionally from a nearby Kroger, and now ( think) Panera, from recent conversations with our coordinator. I'm glad there are so many good souls willing to donate time and effort to connect perfectly good food to people in need.
From the bottom of my heart I thank you for the homeless, and needy that get your food. In the past few years the Cooperative Feeding Program, where I was chef, has been swamped with requests for family food baskets. Some times they have enough and then other times it's slim pickens. (Remember him! ROTF)
We;re having a fund-raiser this Sunday that will bring in a lot of money. Looking forward to that!
I used to pick up from Publix. Chicken, baked goods, etc. Anything with the publix name or that publix cooked, nothing named brand, as publix sends that back if bad.. One day, out of the blue, something happened and they stopped donating. I wonder if that is before that law was passed. Now we pick up from Panera, dominos, donut connection, trader joes, red lobster, and other local eateries. This is all given out thru a church organization. Its been harder to get fresh produce.
A chef in a soup kitchen, now there is the real hero. It humbles me when I drop stuff off and someone actually makes and serves meals from what they are given.
Thanks, gardeng, not really a hero, just something I had to do. The most we ever fed in one morning, 9-11, was 451 and our little diningroom only sat 36. Boy, they had to eat and run that day! It's a good thing my potwasher, David, took care of the heavy lifting. Sometimes there were volunteers helping me, otherwise I was alone with David to do the cooking.
I can sure appreciate all of you , because one time for about eight months , I had no income and was selling everything I owned for food money and trying to keep up with a bank note on my property . Lived in a little town and couldn't get emergency food stamps because I owned property and two cars . Never mind I was behind on payments on land and both cars were broke down and wouldn't run . Let me tell you , I know what hungry is because I've been there . I looked pretty good after I lost that forty pounds in eight months . That winter was brutal and no heat except a wood stove , no ax to even cut wood . I had what I could scrounge from the woods and carry in my arms .
Oh yes , I think what you're doing is so wonderful.
Will let D H grill the last pkg of baby backs tonight , backed sweet potato , salad .
You know what I like most about Dave's Garden? The people here who are brave enough to share their real lives, as well as their gardening knowledge...'cause we all know everyone's story isn't always about pretty roses without thorns...
I was married to a man with a hoidy, toidy grown daughter. We were in a conversation once about government "entitlements," and she commented that the food stamp system was highly abused, and should be done away with, because people on welfare only want a handout.
At which point, I looked her squarely in the eyes, and told her how, when my single mother raising four stair-step little girls lost her job, she cried when she had to go to the food stamp office. She received food stamps for 8 months. Somewhere during the end of the 8 months, she did get employed, but had an overlap on the food stamp assistance. The next year, the government came after her to repay what she had collected in food stamp assistance, during that overlap.
She paid every penny back...not everyone abuses the government systems.
Thanks, again, to all of you who volunteer the way you do!
Linda, who couldn't be more proud of how our mother raised us, and hopes to be more and more like her every day!
Back when I was pregnant with my second chlld, my DH was unemployed and had NO unemployment benefits. We ended up on welfare and got government surplus food and were grateful to get the cans of cooked pork , huge chunks of cheese, and other basics that kept us from starving. I don't begrudge anyone food stamps, I don't care if they buy Hershey bars with it, our government wastes so much money on other foolish things, that's the least they can do for the poor.
My DD who is crippled and in a wheel chair is getting $300 a month in food stamps to feed herself and two teenage boys. And they can only be used for food, not toilet paper, not dish soap, not laundry soap. She has no access to a food pantry because of the accessibility,
Those stories of food pantries and soup kitchens give me hope for humankind.
When I first moved to Asheville in the mid-1990's, there was a Soup Kitchen in a blue bus. The bus owner had been driving through, and the old school bus broke down, so he stayed. He and a couple of volunteers scrounged produce for salads and soups, and day-old European breads, serving lunch out of the bus in downtown Asheville. He must have needed to meet some health regs because he had a 3-pot washing system for bowls and utensils.
The bus disappeared after a couple of years. I never knew what happened to it but I was saddened.
My county is just about the poorest in the state, and a disproportionately large number of folks are unemployed and get food stamps. Despite the abundance of gardening spaces even in public housing, and the fact that food stamps can buy vegetable seeds, I see grocery carts piled high with corn chips, sweet stuff and other junk foods all the time. I've never seen one with veggie seeds in it. That's also sad.
I've thought about volunteering to start some community garden areas, but with my health (and age), I can barely manage my own.
That's me , now , Darius . I can't stand more than ten minutes without leaning on something . Cooking is very hard for me . Counters are a must to lean on .Moving around is easier .
Linda , the step daughter will have to live a long time to get to the classy lady that you are . Denim and lace . You can go anywhere .
Haven't heard from Wanda for awhile , afraid to call her , she is always tied up in her second job , don't want to interrupt .
Made a coleslaw from home grown cabbage, Linda gave me the plant . Very good and will have leftovers tonight instead of green salad .
Hi, I'm back from the last pick up at Trader Joe's. That was three hundred eighty six pounds making our total over a thousand pounds this past week. This delivery goes to the Community Assistance Center where it is distributed directly to people. I love TJ's donations because there is usually fresh dairy and meats as well as veggies. The out dates on the milk today were for March 7th but the plastic cartons had been squeezed until they leaked a little at the caps. They don't clean them...just get rid of it. We also got several dozen slightly dented cans of black beans, garbonzos, and lentil soup. Whole Foods gives us their in-store prepared and packaged salads, family meals, soups, sandwiches and baked goods. As of last week we have been approved to transport food from their hot bar which they pack and chill first. Bar foods include BBQ meats, fried chicken, a variety of bean dishes and various grilled veggie concoctions. Transporting some of the WF fancy pastries can be tricky. Cleaning banana cream pie and curry off the car seats has resulted in a bread and canned goods only rule allowed in the seats.
Terry, Second Helpings does pick up from Panera and Atlanta Bread Co.. We don't do the small places because we have a van but people with small cars can fit those baked goods in their vehicles. We picked up at Publix for years. They have a baked goods only policy and half the stuff is sweets. When the opportunity opened for a driver at our neighborhood Whole Foods we switched. I figure since it's my car and my gas I'd rather be schlepping healthier foods.
The Atlanta Union Mission feeds somewhere between a thousand and fifteen hundred people a day. Most of their food comes through the Atlanta Food Bank where smaller groups than ours deliver donations. They are also funded to buy food. We operate off of donated food from community businesses and are direct conduits to the community.
Since one thing invariably leads to another, I was contacted by a representative arm of the Atlanta Union Mission called the Genesis Shelter http://www.genesisanewlife.org/ and asked if I could come and teach family nutrition. I don't know if it would be a one shot deal or a series of classes/workshops. Being that I'm a maternal child specialist, this is right up my alley. I want to do it just to do it but am also hoping the GA board will count this teaching opportunity toward my required license hours.
We are having roasted mustard & honey glazed salmon with the scrappy noodles left from the ravioli making. I'm going to toss the noodles in leftover brown butter and fresh basil. There's a ton of slaw in the fridge for a veggie.
Ft. Lauderdale is so backwards regarding the homeless. They figure if they ignore them they were go away. We have a 'Homeless Shelter" with so many restrictions, that the real homeless never can go there. It has it's place to help people who are about to go on the streets, to give them a hand so that don't. But it's not a true shelter as I know there are. They harrassed me time and time again and tried to shut us down. But we kept winning.
Laurel, that would be so good if you could give those lessons to the people there. They would take our food baskets and some wouldn't know the first thing about boiling water. Don't think our people are any different from yours. It would be such a good help.
Tonight is split-pea soup with hot dogs. Yummy. I bought a bone from the Honey Baked Ham store and tossed it together. This is some I froze.
Gymgirl, you are right on the mark. That was some splendid cheese! And the pork wasn't bad either,although it needed some seasoning. It's too bad the food pantries don't distribute easy to fix recipes for people trying to make meals out of miscellaneous goods. I thought, even back in our bad poor days, that many people didn't know how to cook basic foods. I've been going ove some basics with my DD hoping she will accept some advice without getting a chip on her shoulder about it. When I see junk food it just raises my hackles. Empty calories.
I hang out on this thread to learn about cooking things I never have before... I have been amazed at the differences in the types of foods posted here, and the ones I grew up eating at home, in New Orleans...
My mother was not a great cook! But, she was a top-knotch seamstress, and, the original Martha Stewart of home decorating, minor plumbing, electrical, and auto repair!
I was going to the theatre once, for a premier and the champagne after party, and didn't want to spend $$$ on a gown for one night. I was actually taking my best friend to this premier for her 50th B'day. Front row, center seats. Could smell the chewing gum from the stage.
Anyways, I was lamenting about a gown I had tried on at Dillard's. She told me to send her a picture of it, and to take a couple of my measurements. Well, I went back to Dillard's, took the dress into the fitting room, hung it up, and sketched it front, back, and side. Sent her the sketches & the measurements...
About 3 weeks later, this HUGE box arrived. It was all taped up, and, it looked like the delivery truck had run over it a couple times. When I opened it, there was the very gown I had tried on -- only better than the store version, 'cause it fit like a glove!
Yep, a top-knotch seamstress! But, not a great cook, LOL!
I wish there were recipes here, but ya'll give me enough clues, and I have a vivid imagination, LOL...
Does anyone get Bon Appetit? This month's issue has a page of garbanzo recipes. At the beginning of the month I gave my opinion regarding the flavor difference between commercially canned beans and mine. The difference must be in glass vs. a metal can because they specify beans from glass jars. If you've never seen them in glass it's because glass jarred garbanzos are available in specialty stores or in some markets on the international aisle. They are pricey. Here's a similar story about beer...
Years ago we were in a restaurant and I ordered a Guinness stout. The server served the beverage and left. I assumed it was from the tap since I didn't have the bottle. Otherwise I insist on pouring my own. I tasted the beer and called the server over. It was stout but not Guinness. She apologized and brought another. I called her back and said this was not Guinness either. She then returned a third time with a tray, a can of Guinness stout and a glass. I had never had Guinness from a can. Only glass or tap. I apologized but didn't enjoy the beer.
We'll be locked in tomorrow, it's coming this way. I did sirloin tips with carmelized onions, ravioli with garlic butter, and fresh green beans, preceded by a spinach salad so I could use up the bacon dressing I made earlier this week.
I donate little packages with a soap, lotion, lip balm, toothbrush and mini toothbrush to a teen shelter here, and soaps and stuff to the shelter here. For some reason here, they kinda only accept pre-wrapped processed food. Nothing fresh, etc.
Ice cold beer-in-a-can tastes pretty good when the temperature is 100 and the lake is cool and the innertube is just waiting for someone to take a spin. Other than that, I'm more of a bottle girl. When I was first initiated into the world of beer-butt chicken, I batted my eyes and asked if I could sub a glass bottle on the grill, or if it would break. I'm pretty sure the guys were convinced I was way dumber than I looked. It was a joke, people.
Tonight was just Swimmer Girl, Mr. Official and me. The girl and I had plates of nachos (tortilla chips smeared with good and spicy refried beans, cheese, heated, then dressed with sour cream and salsa.) Mr. Official chose leftover chicken and noodles and potatoes. It was one of those nights.
In re: food pantries. We help a steady stream of families each week, many of whom are on assistance, or barely keeping their head above water and don't qualify or won't apply. As far as I know, our assistance does not disqualify anyone from any assistance they get. We try to keep a stock of diapers, personal hygiene items, and other things that food stamps won't cover. I don't want to debate it, but there arguably is some abuse of the government system, and I personally don't think people should be able to swipe their EBTs at strip joints and liquor stores and get cash...and yet they can. So I pretty much ignore what Uncle Sam takes from me and gives away at his discretion, and instead I focus my personal giving on areas where I think I can make a positive impact on someone's life, and let my tax dollars go where they will, because I can't change the system by gnashing my teeth over the flaws in it. And that's all I'll say about that without getting overly political :-)
I think the rest of my pork loin is destined to become chile verde this weekend.
I made four mini pies and eight custards with the Coco Lopez/butternut squash mixture. Horrid! The Coco Lopez makes the custard taste like eating '60's suntain oil. Maybe because it was on the shelf too long? It was not out of date. Que lastima. In better news, there are five quarts and a pint of chicken stock in the canner right now and four quarts of boned chicken packed for the freezer.
I'm taking my GF out for a birthday luncheon at my favorite raw bar. They have great fish stew and mussels which will allow for a light lunch for me. Saving myself for chicken and bean burritos tonight. SO will make a salsa.
I have a pot of soup starting to simmer... white beans and kale. My sis is off work today so I'm finally going to cook that rabbit for supper tonight, with baked sweet potatoes and something green as sides.
My DH went to Sams and bought, which he said he'd never do again, some crappy looking pizza for supper. It's frozen in a box, what does that tell you. The last one he brought in I nearly creamed him with it. Just didn't make myself clear enough. Will let you know the time of the funeral.
that sounds like a fine dinner Darius! Actually - I'm not sure I've ever had rabbit.
I have some salmon defrosted for tonight. I'll be pan fried 'cause the oven is now
out in the barn along with half of my kitchen cabinets. It was quite interesting - the
previous remodel really left a good amount of space! We are able to ease the tightest
walk way from 28.5" to 32.5" and fully recess the giant 31cu ft "standard depth"
fridge to a full 36" (34" for fridge + 2" for ventilation) and still keep a flat front with the
cabinet next to it. The freezer fits in perfectly too.
I'll post a picture later if anyone is curious. Someone took the original logs out to
add on the porch. You can see them at the corner - maybe 2' of them left. The logs were
replaced by a concrete block wall. There is still a concrete window frame & sill obviously
put in at this time.
Then in the 1980s, a huge steel I-beam was inserted to carry the load of the house
for about 2/3 of the front of the house. They enclosed the porch to add square footage.
We extended the house another 14' in 1999 beyond the small porch. This is certainly
a case of a farmhouse with a lot of reworks over the years.
Supper tonight will be shrimp tacos and a salad, I'm ready for something that isn't soup-stew, & cold weather food. Made a large pan of cinnamon rolls this afternoon for the neighbor and his family who came to clean out our driveway. Need to hide the rest of them in the freezer if the boys don't remember to come back for remainder.
Tammy, would love to see you post photos along the way of the remodel. Darius, my aunt used to buy rabbit and fry it when I was a child. Don't remember much about it, except it was a "special" Sunday meal from time to time.
Laurel, I guess I know what not to do with the remainder of the butternut squash! LOL.
Dinner sounds super, Darius. As for the rabbit, the legs and thighs disjoint like a chicken and the body is like an elongated chicken. You can split it down the middle and flatten it.
Tam, please post photos. It sounds so interesting.
Eden's I make squash pies but will stick to evaporated milk in the future. Lesson learned.
We are having a chicken taco salad. SO took time from work to make baked corn chips while I was out lunching. I'm posting the stock canning. Seems I started early this morning and am looking forward to a kick back evening.
Yup, just like a chicken. My DD used to raise New Zealand Whites, huge rabbits (at least to me, the designated grocery store discarded greens picker upper on my way home from school) Not the cute little bunnies you see at Easter, the bucks were aggressive and the does were protective of their babies. They were similar to chicken or veal as I recall. Haven't had it in years.
We're going out for a fish fry, a midwest (or Milwaukee?) tradition. The cook spent the day stitching up new pillow covers for the throw pillows.
The shot kinda shows before and after the cabinets were removed.
The second show the little window behind the fridge, in the concrete
wall. The third one shows the original logs. And the last you can
see the concrete wall, cut so that a steel I-beam could be added to
carry the weight of the house from there over to the other side of
Darius, we used to raise rabbit, and found that there's not much meat anywhere except in the legs. The body has a little, and I don't think we used to bother with the forelegs. Let us know how you like it. We started with rabbits when our son was allergic to chicken and turkey, but when he outgrew that we went out of the rabbit business.
Tammy, I am green eyed with envy, I wanted that flat front for the frig when we built and had it planned and somehow in the shuffle of making changes the builder lost track of it. I noticed it when they got the studs up, but it was already too late. Grrrrr. Yours is going to look great.
I confess to never getting around to cooking the rabbit last evening. Midway through making a beef terrine and finishing the soup, I became quite ill (stomach) and left the kitchen. I think it was because I simply didn't eat any lunch with my meds, just ate a much-too-small snack.
I think I'll follow Laurel's lead and can most of the bean/kale soup. I've used up all the vegetable-bean soup I canned last year, which I put up in pint jars. A pint is just enough for one person.
WOW, those wide boards are something, Tam. They must be at least 20". They don't even make trees that big anymore.
Sorry you got ill, Darius, but no food and meds are not a pretty thing. Why do we keep repeating our mistakes? Blame it on senility.
My DH funeral that was scheduled at 11 this am has been postponed. Gave him another chance to not buy CRAP in the freezer section. He promised, promised, promised never to do it again. We now are proud owners of a large box of mini pizzas that I wouldn't feed to my garbage disposal!
Hear the roof men coming. Don't know how they do it bent over all day. After 10 minutes someone would have to call the EMTs for me. I'd be looking at my shoes for the rest of my life!
My "Pool Boy" is coming today. Must get the yard all spiffy for my DD who comes on Monday. Plus I also may have my DGD and a couple of friends here for lunch. I'm not buying anything until I know she's coming, because I have learned never to plan on kids. Things change at a moment's notice. And she is not known for her reliability.
Hap, I think Gardenglory was referencing the grands. Also, I thought your DH had passed and didn't see the post. I felt awful. Lucky him. South FL is not a nice place to have a roofing career. BTW, I am just below you in North Miami Beach, south of Hollywood.
We are having meatball, caramelized onion and burrata sandwiches on garlic brioche with panko crusted zucchini fries. That should cover most food groups in two courses.
Let me know if things are sluggish and we need a part two. Otherwise we are close to the end of the month.
I've spent the day giving the orchids their beauty treatment. Day at the spa if you will. The annual Atlanta Orchid Society show is in a few weeks and coincides with Orchid Daze, a huge event, at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I will be working the show and have a number of orchids up for judging.
Easy dinner tonight. Already made black beans and rice, caprese salad using the second burrata and sauteed plantains. And, BTW, you may have heard beans used for blind baking can't be cooked afterward. I challenged that notion with these black beans. Malarkey! They are delicious.
We're loading up a cargo van and our pickup for the first day of setup for the Phila Flower Show. I roped DH into making a british telephone booth and an alpine house for it. I guess spring really is on the way!
I threw away the beans I used when I bought my pie weights, too. So much for that theory.
Done with continuing ed, having a real meal at home tonight. Whole wheat fettucine with diced tomato, kalamata olive, basil, parsley, garlic, feta and white wine. Side of baguette (storebought, so lazy) and steamed broccoli.