"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2019


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2019

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Jan 5, 2019, 8:52 pm

I love that part of the unnamed play. One could quote the whole thing here, but that's not really what I'm cooking this year, I only pretend to.

What is bubbling in my cauldron at the moment may very well look like what the witches were stirring up. I am making a bone broth. Mostly out of chicken, turkey and goose bones. Also lots of the ends of onions, trimmings of other veggies and leek ends. I save things in bags in the freezer until there isn't any room, then boil them into broth. We love homemade ramen in winter.

I hope to be baking some bread tonight as well, but thus far it is being reluctant to rise to the occasion. The sponge was very bubbly this morning, but the dough is being sluggish.

Books which inspired the above cooking:
Everlasting Meal
Wild Fermentation

Jan 6, 2019, 1:03 am

I read something or watched something (more likely) about fermentation not too long ago (maybe 6 months). There was something about wild yeast and sourdough. Hrm. Maybe it was Cooked from Netflix -- the documentary based on the book Cooked, Pollan.

Jan 10, 2019, 9:56 am

During the week I don't "cook" a lot, but usually put things together for dinner from what is left over from the weekend. I cook a lot on the weekend for that purpose. Usually I will prepare at least two large roasty bits of various animals and lots of veggies, either cooked, or washed and chopped to be eaten quickly. Sometimes a bean, rice or noodle dish.

Right now we have almost a whole chicken left of the two I roasted last weekend, and last night I baked two large fillets of salmon. There is some washed red-leaf lettuce, radishes, carrots, celery and I roasted some rutabagas last night. Probably chicken or salmon salad for dinner tonight.

I am sending husband to the store today for spinach, cabbage, cauliflower and a couple of surprise veggies, since we are trying to up our veggie intake again. I somehow got out of the routine over the holidays.

This weekend I will figure out how to incorporate the rest of the chicken into something. Perhaps a soup and a bean or rice dish. Stir-fry rice is one of my favorite ways to use up bits of things, and I have a lot of broth in the fridge right now, plus the weather here is cold, cloudy and rain, so soup weather!

I also plan to bake a cake from scratch. Will use the recipe for yellow spongecake from Easy Basics for Good Cooking. This cookbook rarely fails me for basic recipes. I made lemon curd, which was amazing 2 weekends ago and it needs using, so into layers of cake it will go.

Will make some more lemon curd, and I want to try the same recipe but with oranges. We have a bonanza of both fruits at the moment. I will probably freeze the curd and see how that works. If I process them it says they must be kept in the refrigerator and used within four months. I don't have room to store things in my refrigerator, and why go through the trouble of processing if it doesn't keep it longer?

Jan 11, 2019, 11:04 pm

Chunky chicken and rice soup tonight was delicious. I served it over thick slices of my brick bread, and it made a filling one bowl meal.

Jan 11, 2019, 11:29 pm


Jan 12, 2019, 2:50 pm

My cake didn't fluff. Very dense, but tasty. My thoughts are that either my baking soda isn't good (it's a cheap brand I've never tried), or, lacking a mixer, I either beat the batter too long or not long enough. Any experienced bakers out there know the answer? I also didn't have cake flour, so I sifted all purpose flour 2 times, then measured, then sifted 2 more times.

Jan 12, 2019, 5:52 pm

>6 MrsLee: Next time, beat it less time. The dough gets tough when you beat it too long. Replace some of the flour with cornstarch (no more than 1/4 cup). Get new baking soda as well.

Jan 12, 2019, 7:17 pm

>8 lesmel: All of the above. Did the recipe call for cake flour? That and the soda sound like the culprits. I am not much of a baker; but I have been told it is better to hand mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. That way, you can better judge when everything has just incorporated.

Jan 12, 2019, 8:23 pm

>7 Lyndatrue: & >8 lesmel: Thank you. I think I got confused by reading the cake recipe in Julia Child's book, where you beat the egg yolks until they form ribbons, and this book, where baking soda is used.

Of course you know what this means? I will have to bake another cake! Perfection will be found. Hopefully sooner than I'm doing with my sourdough bread.

Jan 13, 2019, 10:40 am

Will be making some taco meat out of elk burger today. Also the lemon and orange curd, which reminds me, I'm going to go eat a piece of cake for breakfast.

I printed out a copy of a recipe for sourdough naan. Rather excited to try it, so I might do so. If that is the case, then perhaps instead of a Mexican/taco flavor in the elk meat, I should go for a curry flavor. Hmmmm. Yep. Now I get to go search my Curry cookbook to find the most suitable recipe. I also have some squash and cauliflower to cook, both of those will be good with a curry setting.

Jan 13, 2019, 1:22 pm

May I suggest googling a kheema curry? (kheema = mince)

Jan 13, 2019, 6:14 pm

>11 hfglen: Actually, I'm going to try boboti. That is what I have a recipe for. :) I have all the ingredients, so a big plus. The custard on top gives me pause, but I will try most anything once.

Jan 14, 2019, 4:43 am

Brilliant! In Bo-Kaap (its spiritual home) it would come with yellow rice (turmeric and cinnamon sticks), but Leipoldt insists than only plain white steamed rice should ever be considered. Pity I'm probably too late, or I'd send you off to your nearest South African shop / online dealer in search of a bottle of Mrs Ball's chutney. Nothing else is quite like it, and some Anglo-Indian chutneys are very different.

Editado: Set 19, 2019, 10:10 am

>13 hfglen: Here is my effort. The recipe called for bread soaked in milk. It also called for Mrs. Ball's chutney in the bobotie, but not having a source nearby, I used some of the pear/mango chutney I made this summer. Fantastic! All reservations about the custard on top are gone. This was so good! Real comfort food.

I took a swerve from tradition and served the sourdough naan I made earlier. Brushed it with butter, sprinkled with sesame seeds and salt. Yum! I think as I get a feel for the naan I will do better. There were several steps that needed experience, but I only had intuition. Now I have a little experience too. It came out flatter than naan I am used to, but tasted wonderful. Best immediately out of the broiler, we tried it then, but it stiffened up a bit waiting for the bobotie to finish cooking. That took about 20 more minutes than the recipe said.

Oh! I learned that I can cook with lemon leaves! Somehow, even though I use kefir lime leaves, that fact never entered my head. They impart a delicate lemon flavor into to custard, although, husband discovered that you don't eat them when he was sucking the custard out of them. They are bitter.

One thing about living in California, I can grow some of the unicorn ingredients for recipes. I have lemon grass, a lime tree, I got a banana plant for Christmas so I can use the leaves to wrap things and steam or grill or bake them. There is a lot more in my yard that is edible.

Editado: Jan 14, 2019, 10:19 am

That looks like a bobotie should! Maybe a few seconds under the grill to tan the custard a bit, and you've got it nailed. Now the other thing you need, unless you're strictly following Bo-Kaap tradition (where the vast majority are Muslims and keep a halaal table) would be a nice, well aged Pinotage to go with it (you can always claim to be following Leipoldt and making a Boere-bobotie) -- Platter lists scores of examples, from 5* downwards.

ETA: You can use bay leaves if your lemon tree looks as sad as ours -- we usually do.

Jan 14, 2019, 10:52 am

>15 hfglen: I have a bay tree too, the recipe listed it as an alternative, but I wanted to try the lemon as I hadn't before. My poor lemon tree is so sad I wasn't sure I could get six leaves off of it! It froze hard the year after I planted it, and what is there now is from the root stock, not the graft, so I never get lemons. Now that I know I can use the leaves, I won't resent it so. :)

For imbibing, I chose a dirty martini, three olives. It seemed to like it fine.

I wondered about the custard look. Took forever to get the brown I did. Next time the broiler will be used. There will be a next time.

Jan 16, 2019, 9:45 am

Last night was vegetable night. I cleaned and prepared cucumbers, jicama and radishes for easy snacks. Storing them in glass containers in the fridge.

Also made my grandmother's baked parsnip dish. I don't make it often, as you will see from the recipe, it is not for those trying to lower their weight! Usually I roast parsnips with like root veggies and a little oil, salt and pepper. Delicious.

Grandmother Nora's Parsnips
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced very thin (I used a mandolin)
2-4 T. butter
1-3 T. brown sugar
salt, pepper

Layer the parsnips in a buttered baking dish with butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper (more or less to your taste, I put pea-size dollops of butter and a very thin sprinkle of brown sugar on at least 2 layers, and again on the top. Pour enough milk and cream to come almost to the top of the parsnips. Bake at 350° for about an hour, until parsnips are soft, milk/cream mixture has thickened and browned a bit on top. It is good to press parsnips down into milk about every 20 min.

A perfect dish for a wild winter night.

Jan 16, 2019, 12:29 pm

Oh, now you've done it. Here's a recipe for something that uses Parsnips that has (I swear) practically zero calories.

English Parsnip Pie

2 lb. parsnips
2 tsp. salt
4-6 tbs. honey
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 tbs. lemon juice
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

double crust pie shell

Boil unpeeled parsnips until very tender; drain and peel; while still hot blend them. Add rest of ingredients. Partially bake pie shell; turn mixture into cooled shell and top with latticework of pastry strips. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, or until pastry is browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Oven temperature is critical; if oven heats high, use a 400-425 degree setting.

It's been a long time since I made this, but I promise that it's delicious, and very low in calories. Maybe. :-}

Jan 16, 2019, 3:04 pm

>18 Lyndatrue: Sounds lovely except for the peeling parsnips while keeping them hot. Gloves?

Jan 16, 2019, 5:13 pm

>19 PhaedraB: I admit to mostly ignoring that admonition. I don't mind them unpeeled; that's a very thin skin, and no different really than a carrot's. I seldom peel anything unless it would honestly make a huge difference (oranges, for example, should probably be peeled). I used to make mashed potatoes with unpeeled potatoes, and I recommend it. They taste better (in my opinion), and they're only a vehicle for using butter anyway (I loathe gravy, on almost anything).

Still, if you're going to peel parsnips, the skin slides off quickly when they're still hot, if you do insist. Now I want parsnips. I'd better go put them on the grocery list for tomorrow. :-}

Jan 16, 2019, 7:03 pm

>20 Lyndatrue: ...oranges, for example, should probably be peeled... except when it is boiled oranges cake -- then you blitz the heck out of the whole fruit after a long (1 hr) boil. It's fantabulous!

Jan 16, 2019, 8:00 pm

>21 lesmel: You don't get to say that without providing a recipe. Boiled Oranges Cake is now required, please. Does it require specific types? Currently, I'm favoring the Clementines, which are in season, and very tasty. :-}

Jan 16, 2019, 8:25 pm

>22 Lyndatrue: This is the recipe I've used (from a site now defunct):

2 oranges
2 cups ground almonds
4 heaped tbsp good quality cocoa
5 heaped tbsp honey
5 free range eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

Place whole oranges in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and boil for 1 hour. Drain and then allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 320F and grease a cake tin with butter or coconut oil. Cut oranges in half and place in to a food processor (skin pith, flesh and all). Blitz until smooth. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blitz again until smooth.

Pour in to the prepared cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before removing from tin or it may break.

Once the cake has cooled down completely, dust with cocoa if desired.

It doesn't specify a variety. Nigella Lawson calls for "a thin-skinned orange." Another recipe calls for Valencia.

Jan 16, 2019, 8:51 pm

Valencia probably makes the most sense in this. I'm not sure I'd call it a cake, since it doesn't use flour, but the almonds probably take the place. I'm awfully tempted to try this, even though finding enough almonds to make two cups of ground almonds will probably put a pause on it. It sounds interesting though. What an interesting recipe; I'm glad I asked for it. :-}

Jan 16, 2019, 9:23 pm

>24 Lyndatrue: I just use the almond flour from the bulk bins at my local grocery.

Jan 16, 2019, 11:15 pm

>18 Lyndatrue: & >23 lesmel: Thanks for the intriguing and delicious sounding recipes! I may try that orange cake this weekend.

I've been trying to think how to use decidedly tart mandarin oranges. We have an abundance at work. A windfall crop brought in by a customer. I see people fermenting all sorts of fruit in honey, and this could work, but to what end?

Jan 18, 2019, 9:39 am

Here is the plan for the weekend.

Tonight, homemade ramen soup (I don't make the noodles, just the broth).

Tomorrow, I am going to process (can) Mandarin orange slices, also will start a ferment of orange peels, lemon peels, ginger and some spices in honey (I've been told that if I dehydrate the honey after fermentation so that it thickens again, I will have something special for cooking, I think. I'm also going to try fermenting some lemons. Depending on how many I have, I may make more lemon curd, and possibly some orange curd. After that, I plan to juice/process in my Vitamix (with some of the peel) and make some sorbet.

Sunday we will go spend the night with my son and his wife in their new apartment in the Bay Area.

Monday we will attend the Napa Truffle Festival! It will be a day of tasting heavenly treats (I am very much looking forward to some grilled oysters with truffle), and shopping in the Oxbow Market for Unicorn ingredients! lol This is in celebration of my birthday, and I will be purchasing some (possibly only 2!) truffles to bring home. Monday night I will make the best dish I've ever made with truffles (this is only the second year I've tasted them), a creamy pasta, smothered in fresh truffles. I plan to infuse some eggs with the truffle smell, then grate up the rest of the truffle and put it in a Brie which I bring home from the market to consume in a few days. Ah the glory and the briefness of the joy.

Last year I made truffle butter and froze it, but did not feel that shone enough when I used it later in the year, so this year I won't worry about preserving them, only enjoying their moment.

Jan 19, 2019, 8:45 pm

>23 lesmel: I followed your recipe to the letter and love this cake! It has more of a pudding feel than a cake feel, but the orange and cocoa are ambrosia! (my mom's description.

Will share a photo when I'm on my desktop instead of the tablet. Why are these things not compatible?

Today I dealt with all the mandarin oranges.
4 jars canned segments (would have been 5, but one jar broke)
4 jars plus extra mandarin orange curd
4 jars plus extra lemon curd
1 delicious cake
1 jar honey ferment of mandarin orange and lemon rind, with spices. Hopefully this will have a fives spices vibe to be used in dressing, marinade, etc.
1 tray of drying mandarin peels to be used in cooking
1 jar of mandarin and lemon rind soaking in vinegar (to be mixed with water after 2 weeks and used as a cleaning spray.
3 quarts mandarin orange sections to be frozen and used to make sherbet in the summer.

Jan 19, 2019, 11:42 pm

>28 MrsLee: I'm so glad you liked it! It's been some time since I made it. I should make it soon.

Editado: Set 19, 2019, 10:13 am

Of course, now that I've made all that curd, I need to make some scones.

Jan 20, 2019, 6:20 pm

That is a lot of mandarin orange product!

Editado: Jan 23, 2019, 9:27 am

Went to the truffle festival, came home with a truffle! A black diamond from the Perigord they said, only they said it came from Italy. Mark me slightly confused, but happy to have a marathon of truffle cooking this week!

Last night I invited my one friend who is a foodie over and served creamy shallot sauce on pasta, topped with truffles, a truffled sausage patty wrapped with caul fat (sliced thin for tasting because one patty was $10), baby salad greens with Mandarin orange sections dressed with garlic-mustard vinaigrette, and roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with a bit of the truffled lardo brought from the festival. I forgot to take a picture of the meal, as I was too anxious to dig in and eat it. Satisfactory, but next time I will make more sauce for the amount of pasta. I was working from the notes I made last year when I did this, but it is hard when you don't remember to write down what you did until 3 days later.

I also brought home some truffled caviar (I should have read the ingredients first, this has truffle oil in it which is a no-no and I would probably have been happier with plain caviar. It isn't the lovely VERY expensive black goodness, but a whitefish caviar which is probably good enough for the likes of me). Several cheeses found their way home with me as well. Three of the blue variety, one from France (creamy goodness), one from Briton (Stilton, my first time trying it) and one from Sebastopol, CA, also a Brie called Mt. Tam filled with truffles. Then there were the spices. I bought Asafoetida, sumac, star anise, galangal root and nigella seeds. Mostly to use for curry.

Jan 23, 2019, 10:14 am

Now I'll make you green with envy by saying I can see my galangal plant from my study window, if I look around the side of the computer I'm typing this on. Bay leaves round the corner and annatto on the other side of the house >:-)
But I could easily envy you the rest.

Jan 23, 2019, 11:06 am

Truffles! Yum. And Truffle cheese is amazing.

Way back at >13 hfglen: - Mrs Balls peach sauce? We get that in the UK and I've been using it on sandwiches with ham etc, which works well. I've always just assumed it was another chutney brand, and didn't know it had S African connections?

Jan 23, 2019, 1:48 pm

>34 reading_fox: It's an old Cape recipe, and not quite like any other chutney known to me. It'd work well as you say, but better with MrsLee's bobotie.

Jan 23, 2019, 6:43 pm

>33 hfglen: Only a little chartreuse. :) I have a bay tree, lime, lemon and orange trees, lemon grass, lemon verbena, many herbs and such. Isn't it fun to read a recipe and go pluck the seasonings from your yard?

Jan 24, 2019, 5:20 am

>36 MrsLee: That is indeed when trying a new recipe becomes fun (unless it's in the middle of a thunderstorm).

Editado: Set 19, 2019, 10:00 am

Here is a picture of my favorite truffle dish this year. Fresh scallops, pan-seared and topped with shredded truffles. I did not bake the bread, served with a fresh salad. I made a sort of sherry/butter sauce with the butter I seared the scallops in.

Last night we took a break from truffles and I made stir-fry with prawns and veggies. It wasn't a recipe, just cleaning out the fridge sort of. The prawns were purchased when my husband bought the scallops. Yum.

I also made a pot of white beans with wheat berries and mushrooms for the weekend. I will top each serving of that by shredding the remaining truffle over the top. Again, no recipe, but something similar was served at the truffle festival.

I will, I really, really will, make ramen soup this weekend. Other plans include making a batch of mayo, some tamarind paste, if I can find any tamarinds, some sourdough bread and sourdough crackers. We usually have a batch of sourdough waffles on Sunday morning.

Jan 25, 2019, 11:17 am

That looks amazing. I want to live with you.

Salad with clementines / pine nuts? Salad with fruit and nuts is one of the perfect combinations.

Jan 25, 2019, 12:54 pm

>38 MrsLee: It all looks wonderful!

Jan 26, 2019, 4:48 pm

I made scones again this morning with the same recipe that didn't rise last week, but new baking powder. They didn't rise this time either. At least not as much as I like. So, scratch that recipe.

Also made sourdough crackers to go with all my cheese. Yum. And started some bread, but it won't be ready to bake until tomorrow.

Jan 26, 2019, 8:58 pm

Oh wow. Husband felt the need to grill something tonight so he bought some tri-tip steaks. I made some Chinese plum sauce earlier today using a can of wild plumb preserves I had. Together they are a perfect thing.

Jan 27, 2019, 9:58 pm

>41 MrsLee: Grr! I always get so disappointed with recipe writers when recipes fail. The internet is full of them! Although, it's not uncommon in cookbooks, either. I'm sorry the scones didn't work. What source were you using?

Jan 28, 2019, 9:25 am

>43 lesmel: It was Christmas Carol Cookbook which I had had such good result from in other recipes. Perhaps my idea of scones, which are thick, and their idea of scones are different? I'm not an expert by any means, but my Sunset cookbook of Easy Basics has a delicious recipe. I will go back to it. :)

Jan 28, 2019, 11:08 am

>41 MrsLee: - somewhere in the depths of the GD archive is a discussion about lemonade scones, for easy quick rise scones. (assuming you mean british scones to have with cream tea).

>38 MrsLee: truffle scallops! wow.

Jan 30, 2019, 9:24 am

>45 reading_fox: Thanks, I will have a look. I'm wondering if I can't just modify my father's baking powder biscuit recipe by using cream and additional sugar to get a great scone. Since I am speaking to a native, are scones supposed to be 1-2" thick, so they can be cut in half and filled with yumminess? That is what I am looking for, but with this last recipe it made me wonder if they weren't meant to cut in half, but only be topped with yumminess.

Jan 30, 2019, 9:48 am

>46 MrsLee: Even better, they should have a plane of weakness halfway up the 1-2" thickness (no idea how you achieve that) so you can ease them apart without cutting, and put yumminess on each half. They should be light enough to require anchoring in a high wind.

Jan 30, 2019, 11:11 am

>46 MrsLee: and >47 hfglen: Somewhere, I have recipes for old-fashioned scones, and like the old-fashioned sopapilla, they develop an air pocket in the center, and easily tear in half. They should be light, and airy. I've had scones in recent years, and I have actually asked the wait staff to remove the last one I had, and just bring some toast instead.

Fooey. Now I want a scone for breakfast.

Jan 30, 2019, 3:28 pm

>48 Lyndatrue: Hmm, I've consistently encountered heavy duty scones on this side of the Atlantic. I've been contemplating making my own, so at least now I know what to shoot for.

Jan 30, 2019, 4:21 pm

I must only know American scones (I pronounce it skowns and not skawns, how does everyone pronounce it?) -- boat anchory scones crammed with add-ins like cranberries or blueberries or chocolate bits. Doing some minor Googling for "proper british scones" shows me that yes, I have no idea what non-American scones look like or taste like. Hmmmmmmm.

Ha! https://www.cooksillustrated.com/features/8521-the-difference-between-british-an...

Jan 30, 2019, 5:42 pm

I'm not familiar with this non-American scone either.

Scones are triangle shaped because you cut the slab of dough like a pie before baking. Made with sugar and heavy cream. Flaky but not something you'd expect to rise a lot.


Jan 30, 2019, 8:09 pm

>50 lesmel: The website is run by monsters. You have to be a member to view the recipe.

Jan 30, 2019, 9:08 pm

I am pretty sure I am going to have to try my hand at British scones, now.

Jan 30, 2019, 10:17 pm

>49 PhaedraB: & >54 lesmel: At least I won't be alone in my experiments! My father's baking powder biscuits rise about 2" in the oven, are flakey, yet hold together, and pull apart easily. I'm going to play with that recipe.

My frame of reference is the mystery series called Father Brown mysteries. The church secretary makes "award winning" strawberry scones (which she pronounces "scawns"). They look to be round and filled with whipped cream and strawberries.

Editado: Jan 30, 2019, 11:54 pm

>53 lesmel: Thank you! I suspect I'll be experimenting from the git-go because I normally bake with spelt flour. Wheat doesn't always agree with me. But maybe for the first go, I'll use regular flour.

Jan 31, 2019, 5:53 am

>49 PhaedraB: Some of us in South Africa call those "doodgoois" (Afrikaans dood = dead + gooi = throw), i.e. something that may kill if thrown at the victim. They are unfortunately all too common here.

Jan 31, 2019, 6:26 am

>55 MrsLee: Never heard it pronounced like that! The usual pronunciations rhyme with either bone or gone, and some people assert that one pronunciation or the other is more genteel, or upper-class, or whatever, or that the one that rhymes with bone is Scottish, or something. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary prefers the one rhyming with gone (which is the only one I ever heard in Australia), and asserts that the bone one is indeed Scottish. I gather that the parish secretary in question was Irish (and I cannot imagine G. K. Chesterton ever describing anything as "award-winning", so some liberties have clearly been taken).

Jan 31, 2019, 9:09 am

>58 haydninvienna: Oh my, so many liberties taken! I had a like/hate relationship with that show. On the one hand, there was a lot of picturesque English countryside and houses, the settings were wonderful. On the other hand, I cringed through every show, and especially any of them that were the least theological, knowing that Chesterton would probably blow a fuse if he saw it. :) Yes, housekeeper was Irish, Mrs. McCarty, I believe, not sure about the spelling of her name.

Now here is where dialect comes into play I suppose. In my California accent, scawn rhymes with gone. :) I have always pronounced the word scone to rhyme with bone. I do have a Scottish ancestor or two, but I'm not sure whether I heard it pronounced that way, or whether it is one of those words that a reader decides in their head how it is pronounced and then finds out years later that it isn't. We never ate them growing up, we ate buttermilk/baking powder biscuits which are light and fluffy, but not sweet at all. Until I was an adult, I never tasted a scone, only read about them in mysteries and such. My first tasting experience was when I made them myself to try.

Jan 31, 2019, 10:27 am

>59 MrsLee: OMG NEVER HAD A SCONE! Whatever is the world coming to. Seriously, I've never has a "biscuit" in your sense either, but I suspect that if you added a bit of sugar to a "biscuit" recipe, you'd end up with something very like a scone.

In Oz, gone could then (mumble-mumble years ago) be pronounced either gon (short "o") or gorn but the latter was regarded as uncouth. Many Irish dialect pronunciations were regarded as uncouth; I leave you to speculate about why.

Jan 31, 2019, 11:06 am

>55 MrsLee: - yes round. traditionally that would be clotted cream* and strawberry jam and butter. The order remains in dispute with heathens, but the One True Layer is Scone, butter, jam, cream.

*search the web. You can make your own, but it's an incredible amount of faff involving boiling thin cream, skimming and setting. Which makes it sound much less delicious than it is. Believed to have been imported into Cornwall via turkish metal traders.

Jan 31, 2019, 2:35 pm

>59 MrsLee: My Texas accent rhymes skawn and gone / skown and bone.

Jan 31, 2019, 2:50 pm

>56 PhaedraB: I was just listening to a podcast about "inclusive" baking or "free from" baking. The baker recommends sorghum flour for cookies. She actually offers several suggestions for gluten-free flours depending on the bake but cookies is all I remember at the moment. While it might not be the gluten you are avoiding, what I found interesting is that different flours work for different bakes for different reasons.


Jan 31, 2019, 4:07 pm

>63 lesmel: Thanks. I do use a variety of flours, though I'm no expert, mostly because I won't turn the oven on in the summer (who can afford ovens and air conditioning at the same time -- not me). It's over the winter I bake, which is pretty much why I gain weight over the winter, too! We get an early spring here, so I'm at the tail end of this winter's efforts. Then I start calorie counting until I can fit into my summer clothes again.

Fev 1, 2019, 9:24 am

>60 haydninvienna: Deprived, I tell you. ;)

>61 reading_fox: I shall most certainly use the One True Layer formula next time I do this. Right now we have to eat up the excessive amounts of orange and lemon curd before they go bad, so no clotted cream for a bit. Will have to make strawberry jam too, so this project may have to wait until strawberry season!

Fev 2, 2019, 11:24 am

Today's cooking aspirations:
roasted chickens (I usually do two to get through a week) over root veggies,
scones (made from my dad's biscuit recipe with slight alterations,
more sourdough crackers (same recipe, trying different technique to make it easier, which might end in disaster),
possibly sourdough crumpets, although I may wait on that.

Fev 2, 2019, 12:24 pm

OH! Crumpets! If I get to vote, crumpets FTW! I luuuuurv crumpets. And English muffins. Are English muffins really English? What makes them English? Who am I kidding. I love bread. Period. Full stop.

Editado: Fev 3, 2019, 10:44 am

Here are the results of yesterday's baking. I've made better crumpets. These were flavorful, but too thin IMO. A good way to use excess sourdough starter I suppose, but I prefer eating the crackers. Those you can dip, or spread with cheese.

The scones were amazing. Next time I will cut them in circles though. These seemed to spread at the bottom a bit, so the top was smaller. Not really a problem, I'm just fine tuning.

Fev 3, 2019, 11:17 am

OH! You got scones like Annabelle! I'm jealous! The crackers look good, too.

Fev 6, 2019, 9:43 am

Last night the cauldron actually did bubble, but all I threw into it was cabbage, spinach, parsley and roasted onions which I had tossed with some chili oil. The stock was already seasoned for ramen soup, but I added some Worcestershire sauce and sherry. All this was poured into oven-safe bowls, topped with my very thinly sliced sourdough rye bread which I had toasted, shredded cheese, then popped under the broiler until the cheese was melty and golden. A delicious dinner for a frosty cold evening.

The rye bread was the same which I had tried to make what my grandmother called zwieback, but hers always came out edible, and mine was a tooth breaker. The soup made it deliciously edible again. I wonder if I didn't leave the bread to toast in the oven long enough, or if it was simply the wrong kind of bread. As I remember, my grandmother used any bread that was not fresh, leaving it in the oven at a low temperature for a long time.

Fev 6, 2019, 10:47 pm

I have been drinking a cup of ramen broth late in the afternoon at work. In fact, I am down to my last serving tomorrow. Boooooo. Guess I will be making broth this weekend!

Fev 8, 2019, 8:21 pm

Why not just use self-raising flour? With plain flour baking soda isn't enough on its own without something acid like buttermilk to set it off, you should be using baking powder. It's worth reading Harold McGee on the subject of raising agents.

Fev 9, 2019, 11:36 am

>72 dajashby: Not quite sure what your post is in reference to? The biscuits/scones I am working with have baking powder in them, although my dad always added a pinch of baking soda in addition to the baking powder. I personally don't use self-raising flour because I like to be in control of how much baking powder I am adding. Probably because they didn't sell self-raising flour here for years, and even now it isn't easy to come by, so I am not familiar with its properties and how it works in recipes.

Fev 9, 2019, 4:55 pm

>73 MrsLee: American-style self-rising (no a) flour has baking powder & salt. British-style self-raising flour has only baking powder. Discovered this just this year while trying to decide if I wanted to bother buying another bag of flour to play with. I am with you. I'd rather control the baking powder myself.

Fev 9, 2019, 11:19 pm

Fair enough that you want to be in control, and of course some recipes specify plain flour with baking powder, usually because the batter is rather heavy and SR flour won't give enough lift. I did that recently with Nigel Slater's plum cake recipe. However, most of the cake recipes I make actually specify SR flour - I am of course using British or Australian recipes. Its availability is taken for granted here and it is available in wholemeal and plain.

This is why American cookbooks don't travel well across the Atlantic or the Pacific. It's not just Fanny Farmer's measurement system, a lot of ingredients are unavailable unless you have access to a boutique grocer catering to American expats!

Fev 10, 2019, 3:09 am

I made more sourdough crackers today, plain to carry cheese or my sour cream and truffled caviar. Turns out the caviar was better on a cucumber. But the crackers are great by themselves, or with cheese.

I also started another batch of sourdough bread to be baked tomorrow, and that reminds me, I have to go start the batter for waffles now, before I go to bed.

Fev 12, 2019, 9:24 am

This was the best batch of bread I've had yet from my sourdough. What I mean is, it was what I have been striving for. A loaf of bread which rises, works in a loaf pan (because we prefer that shape for sandwiches and toast), is light and has a tender texture. You know, bread instead of bricks. :) If I can manage to repeat this every other week, we will be happy campers.

I used the King Arthur sourdough bread recipe. Modifications were the baking pan (I'm not going to buy a $150 pan to bake bread in), and the recipe called for some sort of malt which to me is a unicorn ingredient, so I looked it up and substituted a bit of sugar. No kneading. The only disadvantage is the time it takes. Several hours for the folding/rising process, then you pop the dough in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours, then you have several more hours of warming and rising after you shape it. It isn't hard, but you have to be home. Which isn't really a drawback for me, I like to stay home. Instead of the old excuse, "I have to wash my hair." I can say, "I have to nurse my bread dough."

Other than that, not much cooking by me. Not sure why, but my zeal has departed. We have company coming two nights in a row and I cannot work up any enthusiasm. Happily, he went on a cooking rampage yesterday and whipped up enough of his specialty, macaroni and meat casserole, to feed 100 people. Possibly an exaggeration, but really, 5 lbs. of dry macaroni noodles. Hopefully my freezer can squeeze some in. I love his casserole. In addition to the meat and macaroni, there are copious amounts of cheese and mushrooms, with sour cream and plain whole fat yogurt. It doesn't get more comforting than that, but is Hell on my low-grain diet. :/

I managed to turn out two veg. dishes that were yummy last night. Roasted turnips and kohlrabi drizzled with chili oil and sautéd broccoli with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce, tossed with fried peanuts and sesame seeds.

Fev 12, 2019, 10:24 am

>77 MrsLee: I quite like the sound of the sauteed broccoli. I think I'll try that.

Fev 12, 2019, 6:11 pm

>77 MrsLee: I need to know more about this meat-n-mac casserole delight. also >77 MrsLee: unicorn ingredient = diastatic malt powder? It's called for in some bagel recipes .mmmm, malt -- though not the same thing in this case!

Fev 13, 2019, 10:29 am

>78 haydninvienna: Believe it or not, I only learned to do a quick sauté in the last year or two. Aside from roasting and raw, that is now one of our favorite cooking methods for vegetables because depending on the liquids you use to create the steam, you can go many flavor directions.

>79 lesmel: That the malt! The closest I could find for a substitute was a fermented barley concoction. Although I like to ferment things, that probably won't happen when a "good enough" substitute is 1:1 sugar!

Macaroni and meat casserole was a recipe from my husband's mother. She used hamburger, cream of mushroom soup, sour cream and cheddar cheese. Over the years, we have evolved it to eliminate the cream of mushroom soup by cooking loads of mushrooms (we usually fry them, although I would probably roast them now), plain whole yogurt (I use Greek Gods) or sour cream or both, thinned if needed with some milk or whipping cream. I have in the past, done the whole white sauce thing, but it really isn't necessary because the noodles soak up any excess moisture. We fry the hamburger with onion and garlic, salt, pepper, a bit of chili flakes, any dry herbs you like, if you like, I usually throw in a pinch of allspice and nutmeg. Mark tossed in some wine this time, which was nice. When you have the meat, mushrooms and noodles cooked, and you've mixed up the yogurt/sour cream to be more of a thick sauce consistency, you can either layer it all in a casserole with copious amounts of cheese, or toss everything together, then pack it in the casserole and top with more cheese. Bake about 35 - 40 minutes.

I'm sorry I can't give you amounts. We have never measured anything. It should be "goopy" when you mix it and not too dry, but not runny, either.

Great comfort food!

By the way, the guests we were expecting for last night, and for tomorrow have cancelled due to weather and my mom being sick. I guess somehow my mojo knew it would happen and that's why I couldn't get worked up? Anyway, comfort food is a good idea at the moment. We were without power for about 5 hours last night due to this big storm. My brother, about 30 miles to the north of us, had 8" of snow last night. We just got buckets of rain. It's all good, we certainly need the moisture.

Fev 13, 2019, 4:34 pm

Your thread makes me hungry. The only problem is a stomach bug is making me stick to simple foods at the moment.

Fev 15, 2019, 9:27 am

>81 thornton37814: :( I have a recipe for Graveyard Stew, or as my sister called it, Cemetery Soup.

Toast one slice of white bread, put in a bowl, spread very thin layer of butter (the real deal), sprinkle lightly with sugar, pour warm milk over.

Be well soon!

Fev 16, 2019, 7:21 pm

The pot has been bubbling most of the day. I'm making a pork stew. Odd assortment of vegetables, parsnips, carrots, sunchokes, onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, parsley. Also a bit of bacon, wine, and small bits of dried plums.

Tomorrow will be a sort of fruit cake baked. Lemon curd (I will do it!), waffles, some sort of salad. That isn't a menu, just random things I plan to get done tomorrow.

Fev 17, 2019, 11:37 am

>83 MrsLee: - I've made curd once. It wasn't hard it just took ages - A lot longer than you might think, at least until you're braver than we were on how gently you can heat it without curdling.

Fev 17, 2019, 12:10 pm

>84 reading_fox: I've actually made this recipe twice. It turned out lovely both times, but what holds me up in my mind is the processing of the jars. Not hard, just time consuming, etc. Funny, the first time I was surprised at how fast it went (I had company visiting that helped me stir and talked to me while I was stirring). The second time, it was a bit tedious, but not too bad. Time consuming though, and what I really want to do is sit and read. :)

>83 MrsLee: That pork stew was one of the best I've ever made!

Today I am cooking red beans and a pot of rice. Just to supplement meals this week.

Fev 21, 2019, 8:06 am

>83 MrsLee: I love lemon curd! However, I usually take the easy way out--I purchase it at the Amish store.

Fev 22, 2019, 9:32 am

We ran out of bread yesterday and I don't bake until tomorrow. As an emergency substitute, I tried a beer bread recipe my DIL had sent me. Interesting, although not really a substitute for actual bread IMO. She delighted in the fact that even "I" still make mistakes when cooking. :P I didn't really pay attention to the recipe calling for a 9x5 baking pan, and just used one of my bread pans. When the butter on top started melting all over the oven as the bread rose, and smoke was pouring out, I first put the pan on a tray, then went and measured its twin. Oops. 8x4. Also, I used a beer which had lost its label. I didn't have any dark beer, which I think would be better. This was a high IPA, and it left a bit of bitter taste. Also, this bread is very salty. Other than that, it is delicious! I'm going to take some to work for my lunch today, with a bit of Coastal Cheddar cheese.

Son and girlfriend are coming tonight. Husband will be grilling steaks, I will be cooking mushrooms and making a salad.

Let's see, the rest of the cooking for the weekend includes making mayonnaise, cooking the Lemon Curd (right, I didn't get it done last weekend after all, but the lemons are still staring me in the face, and I made a promise to my friend), roasting a chicken, stewing some beef. I would like to make a cobbler, to use up some of the fruit in the freezer, but I'm not sure we can eat it yet, still have a loaf of fruit cake and now the beer bread.

Fev 22, 2019, 12:39 pm

>87 MrsLee: I admit that I'd have either made muffins, or perhaps drop biscuits, if I ran out of bread, but then, you are probably looking specifically for sandwich things, and neither of those would work all that well as a sandwich holder.

Fev 24, 2019, 10:30 am

Instead of roasted chicken, I made chicken and herb-dumplings last night. Ultimate comfort food.

Today I will make some Son-of-a-Gun beef stew.

Fev 24, 2019, 11:09 am

>89 MrsLee: Son-of-a-Gun beef stew? That sounds interesting; please tell me more.

Fev 24, 2019, 1:38 pm

>89 MrsLee: Do make drop dumplings or rolled?

Fev 24, 2019, 10:35 pm

>90 hfglen: A beef stew, recipe from our Cattlewomen's Association. Odd thing is, it doesn't call for potatoes, but sweet potatoes and fennel bulb. I used onions because I didn't have fennel. Also added carrots, sunchokes and zucchini because I can. The spice base is several types of dried chilies, cumin seed and sesame seed. Toasted then ground. Toss the small cubes of beef in flour with the spices, salt and pepper. Fry until browned. Cut veggies into cubes the size you like to eat, then roast in oven until browned. I also added copious amounts of garlic and ginger. Add broth to the meat you have browned, simmer until tender, add veggies.

>91 lesmel: I make drop dumplings seasoned with chopped herbs and pepper. Drop them on the pieces of chicken in the pot, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Fev 25, 2019, 4:55 pm

>92 MrsLee: We make chicken and dumplings in what I always referred to as "southern style" -- although, that's not really accurate b/c a lot of southern recipes call for drop dumplings. Now I just say it's chicken-an-dumplings (yes, I always drop the d in "and"). We roll the dough as thin as possible, cut into rectangles, drop them a few at a time in the broth to keep them from sticking, let them cook, add the chicken, and then add milk to thicken everything. And now I want some. lol

Fev 26, 2019, 9:28 am

>93 lesmel: I guess mine are more of a northeastern recipe. I found the foundation of the recipe in my New England Yankee cookbook, but then modified it to have some of the flavors my grandmother's recipe had, and also to be more like the "Methodist" chicken and dumplings mentioned in Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout.

I boil the chicken (sometimes, if I already have broth, I fry the chicken and leave the bones and skin on) with some aromatic vegs and spices, remove the meat from the bones, then cook the bones for another couple of hours to get a rich broth. Then bacon is browned, as are mushrooms, this time I added a couple of roasted carrots and onions (sometimes I add a veg like turnip or potato, etc.). Then enough of the broth gets added to the chicken and veg to just cover it, bring it to a simmer, drop the dumplings on top, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes. Light, fluffy, biscuit-like goodness. I get to have some for lunch today. :)

Fev 26, 2019, 9:37 am

>94 MrsLee: Which Nero Wolfe was it where Wolfe and Archie went to a state fair and Wolfe spent the whole time in the food tent eating serve after serve of chicken a la king made by a woman whose husband had left her x times for her sharp tongue and came back every time for her cooking? Or am I just mis-remembering?

Fev 26, 2019, 8:57 pm

>95 haydninvienna: You have a little misremembering going on there. :) They were at a fair, because they were stranded in the country at the home of a fast-food (of that time) entrepreneur. When they were not being chase by the bull, and then solving murders so they could go home, they visited the fair. It was chicken and dumplings the woman made, and it was the book Some Buried Caesar that I mentioned above. The facts about the woman and her husband are correct though.

Editado: Fev 26, 2019, 9:54 pm

>96 MrsLee: Thanks! It did seem odd that there should have been two such similar incidents. In my own defence, it’s a long time since I read the book.

Mar 2, 2019, 3:12 pm

I have a big pot of sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, beef, chicken, and a little bacon fat simmering on the stove. For the dog.

For me, a batch of sourdough rye bread is started, won't bake until tomorrow. Also made a maple-rum pound cake. I would like to sample that, but a very large kitty is sleeping on my lap at the moment.

Editado: Mar 2, 2019, 7:11 pm

>98 MrsLee: Oh, my, I now long to visit you. Sourdough rye bread sounds wonderful, especially the smell of it baking. Your kitty is very kind to sleep on your lap and save you from the pound cake.

Mar 3, 2019, 2:48 pm

Last night I made a lovely dinner in about20 minutes. Sauted fish (I had frozen tilapia filets), with spinach, served in a sauce of butter, chardonnay, and finely minced onions.

Today is prep day for the week. Roast beast, baked chicken thighs, roasted cauliflower, sauteed summer squash, and I want to start a ferment of cabbage and onions with juniper berries, peppercorns, chili pods, cumin and cilantro seeds.

Mar 4, 2019, 6:40 am

>100 MrsLee: Tilapia is the classic freshwater fish / cheap protein of tropical Africa. IMHO it has a better, often more delicate flavour than trout, and sh should be cooked delicately and respectfully, as your dinner sounds to have done. Unfortunately in tropical Africa it tends to be thoroughly overcooked, presumably in case of unwanted parasites. I still look forward to laying hands on some and trying a gentle trout recipe.

Mar 4, 2019, 9:14 am

>101 hfglen: Sourcing is vital for tilapia. I buy mine from Costco, a warehouse chain here who has a decent reputation for sourcing clean food, and they try to keep things equitable and fair too, so far as possible. A lot of tilapia can taste like muddy catfish, but not so much when raised in clean waters. It is very popular here for things like fish tacos.

Mar 6, 2019, 9:17 am

You experienced bakers. Help me with this. Do you use cake flour in your homemade cake recipes? I have been sifting all-purpose flour 3 times, then measuring it, and the cakes are okay, but perhaps not rising as much as they could? They seem a bit dense. I don't know if that is simply what homemade cakes are like, or if I need to give up some of my cupboard space to a box of cake flour. My mother loves her cake, and that is why I am baking them at all, but I don't bake very frequently, and I suspect that I will do even less baking as the temperatures rise here.

What do you think, is cake flour an essential, or a unicorn ingredient?

Mar 6, 2019, 11:57 am

>103 MrsLee: Hah! Something I actually know about. When I was a girl, if it called for cake flour, we would substitute cornstarch for part of the flour. I long ago quit sifting flour, when my mother asked why I was doing it. She said that they sifted flour when she was a girl to get anything not flour from getting into the food. They were very poor, and were certainly not going to throw away flour just because it had bugs in it.

When I took home economics in school, at the beginning of the term, some of us were handed the task of sifting the flour to rid it of insects and eggs. Nowadays they'd just throw it away, but those were thriftier and more sensible times. Then again, I imagine that there is no Home Economics class to be had, more's the pity.

Sorry for wandering...

I think we used as much as a quarter cup of cornstarch for two cups of flour (which would become one and three quarters cups, of course). Cake flour was *expensive* and there is no way that my mother would have parted with money for such a frivolous item.

Mar 6, 2019, 9:57 pm

>104 Lyndatrue:, thanks for that. I will try it! I come from the days of sifting out weavils too. :)

Mar 8, 2019, 7:01 am

>104 Lyndatrue: You would be wrong about Home Ec. It's still a strong part of SOME school VoTech programs. My mother taught HomeEc (and other consumer sciences) for 41 years. It definitely has diminished. It's definitely changed focus, but if the school district believes in their VoTech program, HomeEc is there.

Mar 8, 2019, 9:04 am

>103 MrsLee: Are you adding baking powder? My mom always put a little bit of that in her sifted flour.

Mar 8, 2019, 9:31 am

>107 thornton37814: I can't remember if the recipe had baking powder or baking soda. It had something, I'm sure, but perhaps a tad extra baking powder? Experiments will be performed this weekend! It is supposed to be stormy, wind and rain on Saturday, so a good day to have the oven on. :)

Editado: Mar 8, 2019, 4:00 pm

>104 Lyndatrue: and >103 MrsLee: I need to correct myself, here. I looked up something else in my official book of substitutions (such a handy thing to have), and right under the substitution for baking soda/backing powder was the official substitution for cake flour. I was wrong.

Here it is:

To quote: Flour for baking: In place of 1 cp cake flour, use 7/8 cup all-purpose flour.

Not one word about adding cornstarch, although I'm pretty sure that was our method. Now I want to try it, but I'm not sure I even have cornstarch, and would be afraid of using it if I did.

ETA: Oh my, I just found a link for this method, written by someone who is amazingly detail oriented.


(I was looking to see if Cake Flour still existed on its own, and I finally found some.)

Mar 8, 2019, 10:38 pm

>109 Lyndatrue: Uh-oh. I can see another “obsession” website coming. As I mentioned elsewhere I used to spend Saturday afternoons watching my mum baking. And I used to read her cookbooks. Now I read cooking (especially baking) websites. Your introvert lady looks like a good one to take up where Joe Pastry (www.joepastry.com) left off—“Joe” is no longer updating the site but it’s still up.
Funny, I can’t bake at all, and I’m not much of a cook generally.
The introvert lady explains it all in terms of protein content. In this context, adding cornflour/cornstarch makes perfect sense-diluting the excess of gluten in cake flour by adding a bit more starch—cornflour is basically pure starch.

Mar 9, 2019, 8:07 am

>110 haydninvienna: When you come to Durban next month you'll find that cake flour is a standard item stocked by all halfway-decent supermarkets here.

Mar 9, 2019, 9:04 am

>111 hfglen: I just had a squiz at the website for Woolworths, the big supermarket chain in Australia (no relation to the deceased UK company by that name). My mother, bless her memory, would be bewildered walking into the baking aisle in a Woolies now. She knew about plain flour and self-raising, and if you wanted to bake bread you needed strong flour and had to get it from ... somewhere else, I don't know. Now there's still plain flour and self-raising flour, but yes, cake flour is there (slightly cheaper than plain flour, in fact) plus "bread and pizza flour", semolina, spelt flour, cornflour, semolina, chickpea flour, lentil flour, rice flour ...

Mar 9, 2019, 9:13 am

>112 haydninvienna: That Woollies is a subsidiary of ours, so all those things are available here. The Asian ones doubtless also under confusing Hindi names, either there or from the spice shop. (Urad dhal, gram dhal etc., anybody?)

Mar 9, 2019, 9:44 am

>113 hfglen: That surprised me so I went to the all-knowing Wikipedia: "Despite similar names, Woolworths Group has no affiliation with the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States, the now-defunct Woolworths Group in the UK or the South African chain of retail stores, Woolworths Holdings Limited. ". OTOH, Woolworths Holdings does own David Jones (a major department-store chain in Oz) and Country Road (a fashion chain).

Chickpea flour is just labelled as that, not as gram flour, and I can't find dhal at all.

Mar 9, 2019, 9:58 am

>113 hfglen: I was using the Hindi names as per Indian recipe books.

Mar 9, 2019, 11:32 am

>109 Lyndatrue: With that knowledge, I believe that's where I got the information to sift flour 3 times, then measure. The idea being that sifting incorporates air, thus less flour if you measure flour sifted 3 times. Possibly I read that in The Joy of Cooking, but I'm not sure. Wherever it was, it was eons ago. :)

I think we can still find cake flour here, in smaller boxes, not bags, and thus more expensive than any of the other flours. So. Manufacturers can charge more for less product. :/

Today the plan is to start my cabbage/onion ferment, bake a cake (thus experimenting with the cake flour ideas) and bake pizza. I will be using a sourdough naan recipe for the crust. Always trying to perfect the pizza baking. Perfect pizza is a hard thing to find, since everyone's idea of perfect pizza is different. I suppose perfect for me is something which doesn't require me to haul out a recipe book every time I want to make one.

Mar 9, 2019, 2:53 pm

>115 hfglen: I know. Sorry, I was a bit telegraphic—what I meant was that I could find nothing labelled as dhal. Lentils were there all right, and I doubt if Woollies sells the more exotic legumes. In fact no loose dry legumes at all—all canned.

Mar 9, 2019, 3:03 pm

I baked a chocolate cake from The Mitford Cookbook. It turned out with a lovely texture, at least, the part of it that did turn out of the pan. One pan released the cake perfectly, the other not so much. So, when I finish the frosting, I suppose it will be more of a dump cake, with a lovely light texture, than a layer cake. Can't have everything. The taste is marvelous. Lots of coffee in the chocolate.

I did add the little bit of cornstarch to substitute for the little bit of flour, and a tiny bit of baking powder for good measure. :)

Mar 10, 2019, 10:05 am

Pizza was yummy, crust was no better/worse than the other recipe I use, and a bit more trouble.

Mar 11, 2019, 9:11 am

Still haven't got my veggies fermenting. I think chopping all those onions is my mental roadblock. I love fermented onions, but whew! Even with all precautionary measures, they still manage to overwhelm the eyes.

I made a big pot of food for the dog, but nothing for our weekly fare. This does not bode well.

Mar 15, 2019, 9:22 am

Just survival cooking going on here.

I cooked a pot of beans yesterday morning that had been soaking for 24 hours. They were amazingly delicious with no seasoning to speak of (salt and pepper, with kelp granules), but I used goose fat, about 1/2 c. for 4 c. of beans, and it was a tremendous idea. The beans were a white kind from Mexico, I hadn't tried them before. Anyway, soaking them for 24 hours (12 on the counter, 12 in the refrigerator) enabled me to get them cooked in the morning before work, so that was nice.

Last night I cooked some pork country spareribs I had been marinating in the fridge (inspired by Hugh) for a day. The marinade was soy sauce, etc. When they were tender, I removed the cover (had been in the oven) and basted them with my homemade plum sauce. Very yummy.

Probably shouldn't have eaten one right before bed though. I had not-good dreams. It's been a long time since I've had snake dreams, but last night it was rattlesnakes and it bit me several times (although it didn't penetrate my flesh since I was wearing my father's cowboy boots). Also, my boss teaching me to do payroll, the first step being to cut a grapefruit just so. "Wouldn't a block of wood be better?" Apparently, no, from the look she gave me. I will have to smell my paycheck today to see if it smells of grapefruit.

Mar 15, 2019, 11:32 am

>121 MrsLee: I had to read your last paragraph several times before I decided that the boss/payroll/grapefruit all belonged in a dream as well. I hope? I'm glad to hear that you had those cowboy boots on, though. They protect you from more than rattlesnakes (thorns abide everywhere, even in dreams).

I don't eat anything close to bedtime, because it does seem to cause restless sleep, and I love my sleep now that I'm an official old fart. :-}

Mar 15, 2019, 11:58 am

>121 MrsLee: A friend of mine was walking in the bush, clad in boots, hiking socks, long pants and puttees. He was bitten by a puff-adder -- fortunately, with all that stuff he only got a scratch. Nevertheless, he spent some time in hospital getting dosed with the antiserum. Ever since then, he has been desperately allergic to chicory (or any other adulterant of coffee). I hope you haven't picked up any odd allergies ;-)

Mar 15, 2019, 1:57 pm

>122 Lyndatrue: Yes, all a dream, probably inspired by the fact that today is payday?

>123 hfglen: Which is probably why I will never travel to Africa or Australia, in spite of how much I love certain folks on those continents. Irrational as that may be. :P

Mar 15, 2019, 3:11 pm

>124 MrsLee: Pep talk for wimps: ALL snakes are scareder of you than you are of them. Nearly all of them will move heaven and earth to get away from you so they don't have to bite. Nearly all cases of snakebite result from the victim being an eejit, which raises the question of what my friend was doing to the snake. I've lived here all my life, and hardly ever seen a snake.

Mar 16, 2019, 9:50 am

>124 MrsLee: Another reassuring word from Australia, to the same effect. Although I don't live there now, I lived in Oz for 55 or so years and saw very few snakes. As Hugh says, they are more frightened of you than you of them.

Mar 16, 2019, 11:46 am

>125 hfglen: & >126 haydninvienna: Yes, yes, my rational brain knows that. It also knows that the time a rattlesnake appeared to be chasing children who were getting on a school bus (I was one of them), it was probably just going for the shade under the bus. But the other part of my brain simply won't be rational. However, let me assure you, if the money and opportunity arose, I really would not let this fear stop me.

But see, my sister has a home in Arizona, and at least once a summer they have very large rattlesnakes IN their house! And a family I know who lives in Mali also find cobras IN THEIR HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! So.

Anywho, today I am baking two batches of bread. The whole wheat will be in loaves for sandwiches and toast, the one with a little bit of rye flour I had left will try to be baked as a round in my Dutch oven. A two-day process.

Tomorrow I will cook corned beef and cabbage, with roasted root veggies on the side. Mostly we just like corned beef and cabbage and it is the least expensive at this time of year.

I have in my head an idea for a cake, but I'm not sure when I will try to bake it. I want the cake to be lemon, two layers (cut in half and filled with lemon curd, so really 4 layers, but only 2 baked). Then a glaze of lemon and powder sugar. Now here's the part I'm rather unsure of. I could serve this with lemon ice cream, or whipped cream, but what I really want to do, is bake a meringue on the top and sides. Now, how to do that without ruining the cake with lemon curd? I wonder if I froze the cake, then put the meringue on, then baked it, would that work? I'm going to look up some Baked Alaska recipes to find out how they do it.

Mar 16, 2019, 11:59 am

>127 MrsLee: What would happen if you either (a) put the meringue on the cake at room temperature, then dried it out overnight in a very cool oven (70°C or less), or (b) started the same way and blasted the meringue with some kind of flame-thrower or salamander, keeping the heat well away from the lemon curd?

Editado: Mar 16, 2019, 12:20 pm

>127 MrsLee: >128 hfglen: Are we talking about crisp meringue here, or the browned eggwhite that covers a baked Alaska? Different animals. Hugh's first method might work for the first, but if you have in mind something like a baked Alaska but with lemon-curd-filled cake inside instead of ice cream, I think the idea of just covering the assembled cake with meringue (that is, at this stage, whipped, sweetened eggwhite) and then giving it a going-over with a kitchen blowtorch or whatever should work without any need for freezing. Whipped eggwhite is actually a pretty good insulator, and as long as you don't leave the heat on it too long you should get what you're looking for. You could try it with the lemon curd spread on a very thick slice of bread, perhaps, to save wasting a cake.

DISCLAIMER. I am neither a cook nor a baker. If you follow my suggestion and the result falls anywhere short of ideal in any way, it's your problem.

Mar 16, 2019, 1:20 pm

>127 MrsLee: Try googling "lemon meringue angel cake". It seems that the idea is out there. I got led to this by looking idly at the Wikipedia article on meringue, which says "Another dish is meringue de angel, which consists of shortbread biscuits layered with meringue and lemon curd, topped off with drizzled lemon glaze.". So I googled "meringue de angel" and found quite a few recipes.

Mar 16, 2019, 9:51 pm

>127 MrsLee: I'm going to throw my vote in for kitchen torch. Preferably with video (b/c I love to bake vicariously and I'm dying to do a little kitchen blowtorching *grins*)

Mar 17, 2019, 10:23 am

OK, I found a recipe for cake that looks like what I had in mind. I am simplifying it. It wants me to make a buttercream frosting to pipe around the edges and hold the lemon curd in. Pshaw. No. It also calls for 3 baking pans to make the layers. Not happening. I will bake it in two, cut them in half and spread a thin layer of curd over each layer. I will then coat it with a lemon/confectioner sugar glaze and put in the refrigerator while I make the meringue, which, according to another recipe I saw, can be spread on the cake and baked in a 350° oven for 10-15 min. to lightly brown. This I will do. If it turns out, I will try to remember to take a picture. :)

Most of the recipes called for your blowtorch, flamethrower, or broiler/salamander, but since I have none of such, I will try the easiest method first. I don't think that short time will hurt chilled lemon curd much, if at all.

Mar 18, 2019, 9:57 am

My cake exceeded expectations for flavor and lovely! I want to eat some right now.

Mar 18, 2019, 12:03 pm

>133 MrsLee: My heart applauds! It almost seems sad to see it eaten, it's so very pretty. On the other hand, meringue and lemon curd don't keep well.

You should be proud. If it tastes half as good as it looks, it will be incredible. Eat a slice for me. :-}

Mar 18, 2019, 12:11 pm

>133 MrsLee: That looks absolutely gorgeous. What >134 Lyndatrue: said.

Mar 18, 2019, 6:50 pm

>133 MrsLee: I thought about you yesterday when I spotted a GORGEOUS cake with lemon curd filling in one of the cookbooks I have been skimming. Yours looks as lovely as the one I saw!

Mar 19, 2019, 9:20 am

Thank you all, let me assure you, the taste was even better than the pretty! We will not have a problem finishing it. :P

Mar 22, 2019, 9:21 am

I left work early to take my mom to her nephrologist for a checkup. Over an hour in the waiting room, 5 minutes with the doctor. Sigh. Anyway, mom is doing well, and she had an outing of sorts. :P He told her that even though she is in stage 4 kidney failure, with her otherwise good health and family history, she could live 10 or more years. That gave my almost 88 year old mother a shock. She has been giving up on life and shutting down movement-wise for a few years now. I mentioned to her that if she is going to live that much longer, perhaps she should make more of an effort to stay mobile. She agreed! Hopefully she will still feel that way today, and the next and the next.

Last night we grilled steaks and mushrooms, and I boiled more cabbage in the lovely broth of the corned beef left from Sunday. A good dinner.

Mar 23, 2019, 10:04 am

Let's see. What I PLAN to cook this weekend:

Some condiment prep:
Wild Plum Chinese sauce
Roasted nuts
Smoothie prep bags (for easy lunches during the week)
Raw veggie prep, for munchies during the week
Deviled corned beef, for sandwiches during the week

Sourdough cinnamon crumb cake
Sourdough crackers
Sourdough waffles
Fried chicken
Curried chicken?
Asparagus soup
Roasted parsnips, rutabagas, carrots

I'm also making calcium for the dog out of eggshells, although I see that if done correctly, humans can ingest it as well. Not really interested in taking it myself, I'd rather get my calcium from CHEESE. :)

Mar 24, 2019, 12:12 pm

For the record, the sourdough cinnamon crumb cake is delicious! This will be a go-to recipe for me and I may twiddle with it for variations. I loved the texture of the cake, and am hoping to use it as my base layer-cake recipe in future.

Nixed the crackers this weekend, forgot to start the waffle batter last night, so waffles for dinner tonight. Am going to make chicken masala today, and the Wild plum sauce. I have very little motivation though. sigh

Mar 24, 2019, 12:59 pm

>140 MrsLee: I though abt you when I saw the KAF Sourdough Waffles they posted to Instagram. I now want to make them; but I don't know that I am ready to tackle sourdough.

Mar 30, 2019, 10:40 am

I don't really have a lot of cooking plans for the weekend. More interested in pulling weeds since the rains are giving us a break for these two days.

Will bake some bread, and I thought maybe some persimmon cookies to use up some fruit in the freezer and give us a break from cake. I suppose some meat will have to be cooked somehow, but my heart isn't in it. I'm craving veggies at the moment. Have been making my Green Dragon smoothie and fixing lots of raw or roasted veggies.

Editado: Mar 30, 2019, 11:55 pm

Bread is started, resting in the fridge until tomorrow. Spent most of the day digging, cleaning and sorting dandilions and wild onions. Will make a wild, wilted salad tomorrow using dandelions, oxalis, radish and spinach greens, topped with wild onion flowers. Also going to try my hand at a very simple dandelion win. Made a little more than a quart of fermented wildrink onion bulbs tonight. At least I started them. They will finish in about 10 days, them get better as they sit in the fridge for the next year. I am almost done with the batch from last year.

Mar 30, 2019, 11:56 pm

Oh, decided to make a rhubarb and strawberry pie instead of persimmon cookies, and will be roasting a lamb roast.

Abr 1, 2019, 9:47 am

Best rhubarb pie ever. From the The New England Yankee Cookbook. I added a bit of lemon juice to the filling and a bit of almond flavor to the meringue.

Abr 4, 2019, 9:52 am

Tried a sourdough biscuit recipe this morning which was less than stellar. Won't be keeping that one, I love my baking powder biscuits, and they are no more difficult than these were.

Abr 4, 2019, 11:04 am

I have never, ever had a sourdough biscuit that I thought was worth anything other than throwing out to the chickens (I miss having chickens around, although I don't miss cleaning up after them). Baking powder biscuits are the only kind to have, whether they're the rolled kind, or drop biscuits.

I'm just sad that I can't have a slice of that Rhubarb Pie, which I'm sure is gone by now. It is lovely to look at.

Abr 5, 2019, 9:29 am

>147 Lyndatrue: I agree with you on all counts. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could somehow share the goodies we make through the internet. :) This pie didn't last long at all. What really surprised me was that my husband loved it! He is not a pie fan.

Abr 5, 2019, 3:46 pm

Made some fine curry from the leftover lamb roast on Wednesday night. Fried some pork chops last night, and tonight will be trying a new milk- based simmered pork chop recipe. Hoping it is delicious, because it sounds very easy.

Abr 6, 2019, 12:01 pm

The pork simmered in whole milk for 2 hours was delicately delicious. I added some fresh sage leaves (5), 2 sprigs of fresh lavender and several of fresh thyme, salt and pepper. That's it, other than browning the pork beforehand. I reread the recipe this morning and saw that it called for 1 onion, which I'm sure would have been great, but wasn't really needed.

List for this weekend (lots of these things may have been listed before, as I don't always get around to them!)
Start kimchi-dandelion ferment
Start 2nd batch of dandelion wine, with correct ingredients (although I'm happy to say that the first batch is bubbling and fizzing away like it is supposed to)
Make wild plum Chinese sauce
Make tamarind sauce
Grind up chilies for powder
Make bread
Make something sweet for a treat. Still trying to use up old fruit in the freezer

Abr 6, 2019, 12:54 pm

>150 MrsLee: “Dandelion wine”. That must be on the short list for Greatest Book Title Ever.

Abr 6, 2019, 4:03 pm

Abr 7, 2019, 5:21 am

>152 lesmel: Yes, exactly. I think there’s material for a list of Greatest Titles Ever. Even Bradbury didn’t always get it right though, to my mind. Fahrenheit 451 is much less of an attention-grabber, to my mind.

Abr 7, 2019, 6:55 am

The Food Channel had a recipe using rhubarb and cake mix Saturday. They marinated the rhubarb with sugar, thyme and other ingredients, poured the prepared cake mix on top and baked. I have rhubarb in the freezer now.

Abr 7, 2019, 10:16 am

>154 mnleona: Our family go-to for rhubarb is called "Rhubarb Betty" possibly it originated in a Betty Crocker cookbook? Not sure. It calls for rhubarb to be mixed with lots of sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg, then layered with pieces of bread which have been generously buttered on both sides, topped by said bread and sprinkled with more spices and sugar. Bake at 350° until it is golden. I usually press it down several times during baking so the top layer absorbs the goodness from below.

I still have some rhubarb left in the freezer. I'm tempted to make some chutney with it, but the pie was so good, I might do a repeat of that in another month or so.

>151 haydninvienna: & >152 lesmel: I love saying it, so much so that I wonder if the taste will live up to the hype, and don't really care if it does. I won't know for a year or two.

Editado: Abr 7, 2019, 12:04 pm

>155 MrsLee: It comes in handy, sometimes, being old. I have recipes for Apple Brown Betty that predate Betty Crocker by many years. It seems to have originated in the Southern US, long ago.

Annoyingly, the URL doesn't properly translate, and it needs to be copy/pasted to work.


I don't think I've heard of this in recent years, but that's probably due as much to the narrowing of our diet in general. Funny to think that the Reagans enjoyed this while in the White House (Wikipedia said so).

Abr 8, 2019, 9:26 am

>156 Lyndatrue: It seems a simple enough recipe for a housewife to create so she can use up the loaf of bread which has gone stale. As one who is baking her own bread now, I can see that need. Especially before the time of electric toasters. Although, people toasted bread long before toasters were around, too. I have tried toasting bread with a fork over a stove burner. It works, in a manner of speaking, but not the easiest manner. I'm sure toasting it over coals in a fire isn't much easier.

Abr 8, 2019, 11:34 am

>157 MrsLee: Easy enough on a grid over coals, Lee. Helps if you have tongs to turn it over.

Editado: Abr 8, 2019, 12:49 pm

>157 MrsLee: and >158 hfglen: I wish I still had the collection of antique kitchen implements that I gave up long ago. I had at least two bread toasters in it. They were a simple grid, and the end of a long pole, with a wooden handle, so that you could hold them over the fire. Toast and jam were around before toasters; now I want to see if I can find a picture online. Maybe later, but today's a busy day.

Off to breakfast, where I'm having... toast and fruit (no jam this morning). I think I'll open a jar of peaches.

Abr 13, 2019, 5:48 pm

Last night I kept it very simple. Rubbed oil on portobello mushrooms and roasted them about 20 min. At 400°, then put some Cambrazola cheese in them and broiled to melt.

For the main dish, I melted a little ghee in a pan, added chopped leeks, some frozen fish fillets, salt, pepper and a little water. Put a lid on and cooked in the oven for about 50 minutes. Amazing.

Today I put the dandelion wine into bottles to ferment. They have a balloon over the top which I have pricked with a pin. My fermented onions and kimchi were ready to go in the refrigerator, and quite delicious.

Will be making a fruitcake from the raisins which were in the wine makings.

Not sure about dinner, although I have in mind a sort of vegetable and dried green pea soup with some bacon.

Abr 15, 2019, 9:19 am

Fruit cake was delicious, but under-cooked, so we have to fry or microwave the middle portion. We call it pudding. :P

Soup was fantastic! A good way to use up veggies on the verge. Bacon helps everything.

A quick multi-cultural snack: 1 flour tortilla, toasted on the burner, some cooked chicken bits fried in a little ghee, spread Chinese plum sauce on tortilla, top with chicken bits, add some kimchi and roll. Delicious! India, Mexico, China and Japan, made in America. :)

Abr 19, 2019, 9:24 am

My two nephews and their families are visiting this weekend. They have made me feel very happy because they would like to have a starter of my sourdough. I spent the evening last night, and this morning, writing instructions and getting together the recipes I have made with success.

By the way, my sourdough now has a name. Bob. In reference to the book We are Legion (We are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor. I explained in my instructions that while they may give it its own name, it must still remain a Bob. :P

Editado: Abr 19, 2019, 11:05 am

>162 MrsLee: It's about time your poor sourdough was named! Poor, sad nameless sourdough!! -- heh

I kinda wish I had the nerve to try sourdough. It just kills me though to discard all that lovely extra when it could be living the good life in other households if I just knew baking people. Plus, I'm always worried I'll kill the starter like I kill houseplants.

Abr 19, 2019, 3:18 pm

>163 lesmel: There are so many things to make besides bread that I have never discarded any of it yet. Also, I manage how much I feed it so that there is always enough, but not more than. :)

Abr 23, 2019, 9:20 am

My brother and his son are coming for a visit tonight, and our temperatures are in the triple digits, so we are having grilled hamburgers. My husband made a lovely macaroni salad yesterday (enough for an army, he doesn't know how to cook small), and I have started a pot of what I hope will be BBQ beans. These are beans to which I have added bacon fat, onions, and various sauces and ingredients until they have a sweet/sour/smoky flavor. I'm winging it without a recipe, but I have a plan and a goal!

Abr 24, 2019, 4:43 pm

>165 MrsLee: What goes in your husband's macaroni salad? I love my aunt's macaroni salad. Actually, I pretty much love (almost) all macaroni salad...if it has mustard in there somewhere.

Abr 25, 2019, 9:26 am

Well, he was working off of his Nana's recipe. Macaroni (salad type which is little), minced celery, black olives, pimentos, dill pickles, parsley, and lots of hard boiled eggs chopped. A bit of onion powder.

The dressing is made of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, a smidgen of ketchup, salt and pepper, then thinned with pickle juice. One could add lemon juice and/or hot sauce to liven it up a bit.

Sorry I can't give amounts, those are the instructions I wrote while watching Nana make it thirty-five years ago. :)

Abr 25, 2019, 4:26 pm

>167 MrsLee: Ha! Amounts don't exist with macaroni salad. It's an ad hoc kinda thing based on that day's adventure.

Abr 26, 2019, 8:57 am

Abr 28, 2019, 9:55 pm

Spent the day yesterday plucking elderflower blossoms to make elderflower syrup. Nine in the morning, to nine at night, I kid you not, to get enough blossoms for almost one gallon of syrup.

Today there was no much cooking, wet have been living off of macaroni salad, bbq beans and hamburgers, all left over from Tuesday.

I did start a batch of cardamom rolls. Didn't read the instructions where it said to refrigerate overnight after shaping in the pan. Guess we will have rolls for breakfast tomorrow.

Made a batch of orange sherbet with my Vitamix and the mandarin orange sectons I froze last fall. Delicious!

Other than that, I roasted some cauliflower and sautéed some cabbage.

We are heading into gardening and salad season.

Maio 5, 2019, 1:21 am

Thanks ladies -- sounds yummy. I will try it this weekend !

Maio 5, 2019, 5:30 pm

>170 MrsLee: Orange sherbet sounds great! Especially now that Not-Spring has arrived.

Maio 6, 2019, 9:24 am

>172 lesmel: I'm looking forward to making other fruit sherbets as well, but we have had a reprieve of more Spring than Summer weather for a week or two.

Yesterday I made the recipe for sourdough crumb cake from the King Arthur Flour website, but I skipped adding the 1/4 c. of milk and poured the rest of my rhubarb jam-that-didn't-gel on the top, sort of swirled it through. Oh, and I added cardamom to the batter also. Delicious.

Other than that, just maintenance cooking here. Baked chicken, wilted spinach salad, bread, stuff like that.

Maio 13, 2019, 9:22 am

Returned from vacation last night loaded down with fresh crab, oysters and lingcod. Not much cooking to do (I will be cooking the lingcod tonight), but shucking oysters, whew. It was a lot easier this year with a proper tool, but still not easy. The oysters were amazing though. Huge, yet tender as could be and sweet.

Not sure how I will cook the lingcod. My parents always deep-fried it, but I don't like to deep-fry.

Maio 14, 2019, 9:41 am

Well, the lingcod was possibly the best fish dish I have ever prepared, even if I do say so myself. My mom said so, too. Having very fresh fish no doubt made the difference, but the recipe was terrific. A garlic, onion, parsley, lemon, mustard, butter, salt, pepper, rice flour, onion paste dolloped on the top of lightly browned fish then finished in the oven. The recipe had me fry the fish in a little oil for 4 min. on one side, then 1 min. on the other, top with the above paste, then pop into a 450° oven for 2 min. I popped it back under a broiler for maybe 1 min, but maybe less (I watched it) to brown and sizzle the top a bit. Perfectly done, and not over. The lingcod was about an inch and a half thick.

Maio 15, 2019, 9:11 am

Last night I fried the remaining oysters; so good. I may be getting the hang of shucking them, which makes me happy.

Maio 19, 2019, 2:39 pm

Not much cooking going on around here this weekend. Well, that isn't precisely so, but no savory dishes. I did roast a pork loin the other night and managed not to get it dry, so we have been enjoying it in one form or another. It makes wonderful sandwiches.

Let's see, this weekend the following have been made in my kitchen:
Whole wheat sourdough bread
Maple rum pound cake (recipe from King Arthur Flour, it's my mom's 88th birthday today)
Sourdough waffles
Wild plum Chinese sauce
Frittata of sautêd mushrooms, onions and spinach with Feta cheese
Deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon and sweet/hot preserved jalapeños

I also racked the first batch of my dandelion wine today. It tastes better than I expected! Very exciting.

I prepared some eggshells for the garden and the dog. Boil 10 min., dry completely in oven, grind/powder in Vitamix. Yucky, stinky job.

Also prepared some tamarind pods to make paste, but I am freezing the pulp until I need more paste.

Maio 19, 2019, 3:32 pm

>177 MrsLee: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Editado: Maio 27, 2019, 8:49 pm

I made a rhubarb and pineapple upside down cake yesterday which was okay, not outstanding. I had apparently tried the recipe before with ho hum results because I had written, "ok, not great" beside it, but I also noted that I had tried it with apricots, not rhubarb, so thought I should give it a try.

Also made some mincemeat tarts, which were delicious.

Tonight I'm making a seafood chowder. Mostly clam chowder (the milk based type, but adding a bit of smoked salmon and cod.

Maio 27, 2019, 8:52 pm

Beef Stroganoff tonight, which is fitting since I just finished reading Red Chameleon by Stuart M. Kaminsky, which is set in Moscow.

I roasted some turnips and cauliflower to go with, and covered them with a compound butter of parsley, garlic and parmesan.

Today I started a ferment of pickled veggies to use on salads during the summer; cabbage, onions, beets and some spices.

Editado: Maio 27, 2019, 9:42 pm

>180 MrsLee: Oh, you are heartless. I really LOVE Beef Stroganoff, and haven't had it in many years (beef doesn't agree with me). Have an extra helping, just for me.

Maio 29, 2019, 12:48 am

>181 Lyndatrue: If it makes you feel any better, it wasn't perfect. The beef was fork tender, but dry. Perhaps it was too lean a cut? Not sure. Also, the creamy sauce was kind of soupy instead of velvety. The taste was divine though. ;)

Editado: Maio 29, 2019, 1:53 am

>182 MrsLee: I'll see if I can dig out James Beard's recipe (which always turned out perfectly for me). If you don't gain five pounds from a serving, it wasn't the right set of ingredients.

Maio 29, 2019, 2:50 am

I made Bobotie for a dinner yesterday (I am South African but live in Beijing) the Chinese LOVED it and could even eat it with chopsticks! The custard topping is easy. When you soak your bread in the milk till it softens, you save the milk you have squeezed out. Make up the rest of the bobotie and bake it for about an hour, take it out, mix the left-over milk with one beaten egg and pour it over the top of the dish. Back into the oven for about 20/25 minutes when it will have set.

Maio 29, 2019, 9:04 am

>180 MrsLee: I luurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrv Beef Stroganoff. And tuna casserole. And chicken spaghetti. Pair noodles (any shape or size) with meat or veg and I'm your girl.

>183 Lyndatrue: Oooh! I'm jealous you have James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking. My mother has promised me her cookbook collection. I've slowly started to acquire it. She says I'm not allowed to take TPGC...I have to inherit it. Ha!

>184 herschelian: There is/was a South African restaurant not far from my apartment years ago. During Restaurant Week, three of us went. I can't even remember what all we ordered, but Bobotie was one of the dishes. I liked it!

Maio 29, 2019, 9:51 am

>184 herschelian: I was thinking about making Bobotie again the other day when I was looking at my lemon tree and giving it a pep talk. Not sure how good a pep talk is when you are telling a plant how wonderful its leaves make things taste. Anyway, I'll try your suggestion next time.

Maio 29, 2019, 9:54 am

>183 Lyndatrue: I think I know how to make the sauce velvety. Patience while the liquids boil down, or less liquids and more cream and patience. More cream being key. :) I didn't want to add flour. I didn't want it to taste like gravy.

Maio 29, 2019, 1:16 pm

>187 MrsLee: It may be the cut of the meat itself that made it dry. He advises to have the butcher cut it for you in very thin slices. He also uses an astonishing amount of sour cream (which is fine with me, since it's one of the few "bad for you" things I like and eat).

I don't make gravy with flour. Ever. Upon those rare occasions where I make gravy, I use a bit of cornstarch as a thickener. My late husband loved (*shudder*) biscuits and gravy, and every once in a while, I'd make it. Southern boy; born and bred in Tulsa, OK.

The recipe I have that is best comes from a little Dell book, though. I'm not sure that Theory & Practice contains a recipe for Stroganoff, and I just glanced through it now to make sure. I'll work up the gumption to type it in later this afternoon. I love that little Dell book. I wish things like that were still sold. It was published in 1966 (so says the copyright), when even *I* was young. It says 25 cents on the front cover.

Maio 29, 2019, 1:50 pm

>180 MrsLee: >185 lesmel: >188 Lyndatrue: Beef stroganoff--sigh! How to Cook a Rogue Elephant, which I mentioned when I started the new Oddities topic in the Cookbookers group, has a recipe for beef stroganoff. Unfortunately, I'm 3,000 miles away from the book at the moment, but I remember that he says it must be done in 2 distinct steps and with the best beef. Thin slices sounds like a good idea--in Australia in olden days you could sometimes buy beef in stir-fry-size pieces under the description "stroganoff". It wasn't usually anything like the best. Peter van Rensselaer Livingston having been the man he was, I'm pretty sure he also would have used rather a lot of sour cream.

Maio 30, 2019, 8:29 pm

>184 herschelian: So Bobotie - should it include dried fruit? Or not? Or are both options valid?

Maio 31, 2019, 5:32 am

>190 Sovay: In our family we omit the dried fruit, as does Hilda Gerber's informant (Traditional Cookery of the Cape Malays). However I wouldn't necessarily view its inclusion as a sign of such decadent depravity as to consign anyone who makes it that way to outer darkness. The recipe is elastic: Leipoldt admits only plain boiled white rice as an accompaniment, but one more often sees yellow rice and raisins, cooked with stick cinnamon.

Maio 31, 2019, 9:51 am

Tonight is not Bobotie. We are going to a different part of the world for our inspiration and making a tamale loaf. Yes, the part of the world we are travelling to is 1950s California. :)

This is a recipe my mother and grandmother made, and they made it the best of all the versions I've had. Then, low and behold I married a man from Oakland, CA (I am from farther north in the state) and his mother made it exactly the same! Husband's mother is half Mexican, but she got the recipe for the casserole from a newspaper or magazine back in the 1950s. I assume that my grandmother or mother read the same one. Our family has discovered that the tamale loaf is even better with a rich and lovely tamale sauce my mother makes. Served with a salad it makes a terrific comfort meal.

Tamale loaf can be made with chicken or beef (I've even made it with Grape*Nuts when I invited some vegetarian friends over, it was delicious). It has cornmeal, tomatoes, onions, corn, olives and plenty of chili powder in it, along with some milk. The trick is to get it moist enough. The sauce for the top is made with a walnut brown roux, mixed with broth and seasonings the main seasoning being chili powder, until a velvety texture. I've also added chocolate to this sauce for a deep richness that makes one swoon.

Jun 5, 2019, 1:31 am

>191 hfglen: That's the answer I was hoping for - I'm not a fan of dried fruit in savoury dishes but will include it if it's considered integral to the recipe.

Having recently rearranged all my cookery books by region, I was ashamed to note that I have only one book on the food of sub-Saharan Africa - it is Everyday Cape Malay Cooking by Zainab Largardien.

Jun 5, 2019, 11:32 am

>193 Sovay: I haven't got that one! If you're desperate to expand your African collection, you may wish to consider
Cook and Enjoy by a lady with the imposing name of Stoffelina Johanna Adriana de Villiers -- every Afrikaans bride has the Afrikaans edition; either way it's the local equivalent of Mrs Beeton, and about as dull;
or any of Jan Braai's books, which are much more fun;
or either of Evita Bezuidenhout's offerings (ditto); or
The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook, which has recipes from all over Africa.
Cooking the Portuguese way in South Africa has more than a few recipes from Mozambique and Angola.

Jun 5, 2019, 3:40 pm

>194 hfglen: Thanks for the recommendations - a copy of Kossie Sikelela should be on its way to me first thing tomorrow. Evita looks quite a formidable woman!

Editado: Jun 6, 2019, 4:57 am

>195 Sovay: ... for a given value of "Woman" ;-) "She"'s the South African equivalent of Dame Edna Everage.

ETA: You do know, don't you, that the first line of South Africa's national anthem is "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika" .... And that "kossie" is an Afrikaans word indicating a scrap of food ...

Jun 6, 2019, 4:59 am

>196 hfglen: Wot, no gladdies?

Editado: Jun 7, 2019, 11:27 am

>197 haydninvienna: Ag no, skattie!

Editado: Jun 7, 2019, 3:12 am

>196 hfglen: I did wonder, especially in view of the outfit on the cover of Bossie Sikelela!

I noted the echo of your national anthem also, which has been playing in my head ever since I ordered the book (fortunately it's one of my favourite national anthems), but did not know what kossie means. I'm looking forward to a more entertaining cookbook - Eliza Acton, though sensible, practical and informative, is not much fun.

Editado: Jun 7, 2019, 7:12 pm

>182 MrsLee: and >185 lesmel: At long last, I've returned, to type in the Beef Stroganoff recipe from James Beard's little book. I've checked the book you're due to inherit, and can tell you that I found mention of the recipe in it, but not the recipe itself. Please note that it's thundering and lightening (NOT my favorite) and raining outside, so I'll be saving this often, just so I don't lose my work if the power fails.

Nearly verbatim, from "James Beard's Festive Cooking" Dell Purse Book 4171
Copyright 1966 by James Beard.

From Pages 7 and 8:

Beef Stroganoff

There are many different versions of this tasty dish. Beware of those that specify long cooking. Beef Stroganoff is much better when it is prepared quickly and a few minutes before it is eaten. This is one of the specialities that is fun to do at the table if you have an electric skillet or a chafing dish.

1 1/2 lb. filet of beef
6 tbs. butter
olive oil
2 tbs. chopped green onions
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
A-1 Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 cups sour cream
chopped parsley

Ask the butcher to cut the meat into very thin slices. You can try it yourself, but it is difficult to do a neat job.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a pan and get it as hot as you can without burning. If you add just a bit of olive oil to the butter it helps prevent it from turning brown. Saute the beef slices in the hot fat very quickly. When they are delicately browned on both sides and done (this takes only a minute or two) remove them to a hot platter. Add remaining butter and the chopped green onions to the pan and cook for a minute. Then add white wine or vermouth, a dash or two of A-1 or Worcestershire Sauce and the sour cream (be sure you use the commercial sour cream that you buy at the grocery). Stier well and heat thoroughly, but do not boil or the sour cream will curdle. Salt to taste and pour the sauce over the beef slices. Top with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

Chili Stroganoff: Prepare as above, but add 3 tablespoons of chili sauce to the sauce.

Viola! The thunder and lightening seems be receding into the distance as well.

I used to make this dish often, perhaps a couple of times a month. I often served it with noodles instead of rice. I loved James Beard, and I'm sad that he's gone. Then again, he lived life in a large and wonderful sort of way.

Gee, I miss Dell Pocket and Dell Purse books. This one cost me 25 cents, and it was worth every single penny.

Jun 7, 2019, 7:17 pm

Now I'm wondering if this recipe could be used with lamb. Lamb doesn't disagree with me, and it would be a fine excuse to use one and a half cups of sour cream.

I should note that his admonition to use commercial sour cream was made in a day when it was far more common for people to have whole milk, and cream, and sour cream, that never saw a grocery store. The sour cream from the grocery store has been pasteurized, and is safe. Sour cream at home might not be (1966 was *such* a long time ago).

Jun 8, 2019, 11:00 pm

And now I want a bowl of steaming hot stroganoff!

Jun 9, 2019, 9:47 pm

>200 Lyndatrue: Thank you for typing that whole thing! I will try that someday.

Sadly, at the moment I am in survival cooking mode, trying to make meals my mom can eat that are easy. I purchased some bento boxes with the thought that when I make a meal I can prepare several of them, put one in her fridge for caregivers to feed her at lunch, then a couple for the freezer for future meals. I'm not good at it yet. Some things are served warm, but the salad side isn't and doesn't freeze, either. Gah. She still prefresh eating out of them rather than off a plate. I think because the food is easier to capture.

Jun 16, 2019, 3:44 pm

Still in survival cooking mode, as in, not inspired, don't really care.

I made a chicken and rice salad with quinoa and pine nuts today.

Threw a pork roast in a pot intending to make shredded pork carnitas, but it morphed into something else not Mexican. It has chicken broth, red wine headed towards vinegar, dried mushroom powder and what I call European/French herb and seasoning. Shrug. It will probably be edible.

Made a rhubarb and pineapple upside down cake yesterday that came out better than the one I had a recipe for.

Jun 16, 2019, 11:13 pm

The pork roast that I put so little thought and effort into is amazingly delicious! I snacked on that this afternoon, but dinner is a big bowl of watermelon and a martini.

Jun 17, 2019, 12:33 am

… dinner is a big bowl of watermelon and a martini.

Absolutely epic! You can make my dinner any time!

Jun 17, 2019, 9:52 am

Jul 4, 2019, 12:06 pm

It's 4th of July celebration day today. I'm not doing much in the way of celebrating, but I did make an apricot cobbler for breakfast. I love seasonal cobblers!

Jul 4, 2019, 12:14 pm

>208 MrsLee: Apricot Cobbler sounds wonderful! It's not my favorite holiday (too much noise), but any day with apricot cobbler should be celebrated.

Jul 4, 2019, 1:34 pm

>209 Lyndatrue: Ha ha! Agreed.

I also want to try to make an orange and fig chutney, but no promises.

Jul 5, 2019, 8:07 pm

Orange, fig and sage chutney is made. Not sure I would call it a chutney, more like simmered fruit, but I simmered it until it was somewhat thick. It does have a very nice flavor and will be served with roast meat I think.

Today I made some sourdough Naan. I then made a mix of cucumber, cilantro, onion, yogurt, salt, pepper, coriader and cumin. Spread some on the naan, laid thinly sliced roast lamb on it, topped with a dollop of my peach chutney made last year. Fold the naan and there you have a delightfully flavorful messy sandwich.

Jul 8, 2019, 1:39 pm

>208 MrsLee: I'm planning to make my first ever cobbler this evening! It will be damson (from the freezer) so not very seasonal.

Jul 11, 2019, 10:02 pm

>212 Sovay: So how did it turn out?

Jul 12, 2019, 2:51 am

>213 MrsLee: It turned out pretty good, though a bit dry, to my surprise as I'd feared that there might be too much juice in my damson compote. Either the biscuit element absorbed a lot of the juice or there was significant evaporation around the edges - probably the latter since the biscuit wasn't particularly purple.

Jul 12, 2019, 10:05 am

>214 Sovay: Possibly. A dry cobbler is still a treat with a little whipping cream drizzled over it, or vanilla ice cream. :)

I have tried many, many recipes for cobbler. Some with a pie crust type topping, some with crumble, some with cookie-type topping, some with a cake batter.

My all-time favorite though is when I make it with my dad's biscuit dough recipe (like a fluffy scone for those of you who call cookies biscuits). I use the word recipe loosely here. My friend watched me the other day as I dumped ingredients into the bowl willy-nilly, measuring with my eyes. She was dubious, until I brought it out of the oven, then she was amazed.

For cobbler, I make the dough slightly sweeter, and slightly damper than for rolled biscuits, then I use a spoon to drop dollops of dough on the fruit. I leave a few holes on purpose so the juices can bubble up through the dough a bit, but it is mostly covered. Sometimes I sprinkle the top with cinnamon-sugar. Usually I use nutmeg in the fruit mix, and sometimes some lemon juice to bring out the flavor of the fruit. This time I used citric acid powder sprinkled over the apricots. It made ho-hum apricots into the sharp, snappy, sweet, sour delicious fruit they should be.

This week we are living on cooked pinto beans (a dollop of lard in the pot when they are cooking, salted when the beans are very soft, no other seasonings), and some Spanish style rice I made the other night. The rice came out delicious, but I didn't use a recipe. One large onion chopped and cooked in oil until almost browning, then I added the rice and stirred it around to brown it a bit. I used Basmati rice. Before adding the liquid, I added quite a bit of garlic and a jalapeno, minced. For spices I used some oregano, comino and a little chili powder, salt, then I added some tamarind pulp/liquid instead of tomatoes (because I'm avoiding eating tomatoes), but I don't think I made enough of that, so at the last minute I squeezed in some catsup. Covered and let the rice simmer/steam to soak up the liquid, then I stirred in some fresh chopped cilantro.

Also made a mango salsa.

Last night I fried some fish to go with the above foods, came out terrific, if it wasn't tilapia, it would have been perfect. Tilapia always has a muddy taste to me, like catfish, but it is what we can afford. I try to buy it from responsible places for good quality.

Jul 14, 2019, 12:47 am

My sister and her daughter are visiting this weekend.

We had a green salad with chicken and a honey-garlic-mustard dressing for lunch, and lamb curry for dinner. Tomorrow's breakfast will be sourdough waffles.

Jul 18, 2019, 10:12 pm

Tonight, Stouffer's macaroni and cheese. 18 minutes in the microwave. Some days are like that.

Jul 20, 2019, 11:18 am

I roasted a pork thing yesterday. Today I plan to make what our family has always called Egg Foo Young. Probably a recipe from a newspaper sometime in the 1960s or 1970s.

Bean sprouts
green onions
salt and pepper
1 package of pork gravy mix

Fry the onions and celery, then toss with the bean sprouts, add whisked eggs and fry in patties. Top with gravy. I will serve slices of pork alongside as well.

Of course, I will deviate from the original recipe by adding fresh ginger and garlic, some soy sauce to the eggs, and making pork gravy with my pan drippings, not a package mix. I will probably add some soy sauce and a bit of fish sauce with saki and miso to the gravy as well.

Jul 20, 2019, 11:55 am

>218 MrsLee: What you're planning to have sounds much tastier than the recipe from the paper. I think I've used packaged mixes for gravy once or twice, and have no idea why anyone would bother. Pan drippings make good gravy, and the list of ingredients is much shorter.

Now I want roast pork...must be time for breakfast. :-}

Jul 20, 2019, 12:25 pm

>218 MrsLee: What Lyndatrue said but, considering your normal well thought out style ...

Isn't the phrase "egg foo yong" mildly tautologous? AFAIK "foo yong" translates as "omelette", which is necessarily made from eggs ;-)

Jul 20, 2019, 2:59 pm

>219 Lyndatrue: Turns out that bean sprouts cannot be had at the moment for love or money, so I will be substituting mushrooms and some summer squash, onions and possibly other veggies. I will miss their distinctive crunch though.

>220 hfglen: I have no idea of Chinese language or meaning, so I'm not surprised, that's just what it is called here in the older Chinese/American restaurants. As you can see, I didn't even spell it correctly. I am nothing if not a Dreadful Speller. :)

Jul 21, 2019, 12:08 pm

Silly me. Discovered cabbage in my veg drawer. It is the perfect substitute for bean sprouts. The foo yong was delicious. I stir-fried summer squash and mushrooms to go along with it.

Jul 23, 2019, 10:12 am

My brother brought me 2 boxes of plums yesterday. Small, cooking plums. I thought I was going to spend the night pitting them, an arduous task, then he told me to cook them first. So I spent the night in front of the TV with sticky fingers plunging into a bowl of mushed plums fishing out all the pits. I have frozen the plums because I intend to use them to make Chinese plum sauce and can it, but no time at the present to do that. I have 11 cups of mushed plums.

Jul 24, 2019, 7:42 am

>223 MrsLee: I do a lot of that in damson season, since it's not really possible to stone any significant quantity of damsons before cooking - they're too small, too hard and the stones cling on too tightly.

Jul 24, 2019, 10:04 am

I kept reusing the water that I boiled the plums in, and so by the end I had a gallon of pretty rich plum flavored liquid. I added 1 c. of sugar and half a lemon's worth of juice. It is delicious! I made a martini with about 1 T. of the plum juice and a bit of lime rind, not only was it terrific, but it was pretty in pink as well.

Jul 24, 2019, 11:30 am

>223 MrsLee: You could, of course, ferment them. If you were to distill the resultant alcoholic fluid you'd have homemade slivovitz / šlivovica, which would make an interesting martini. Of course it might also dissolve the glass ;-)

Editado: Jul 25, 2019, 9:26 am

>226 hfglen: I believe I may have tasted that once, my son was given a jar by a friend from an Eastern European country. Said friend managed to get it back here in his suitcase after a visit to family. Good stuff, but potent! Yeah.

Speaking of which, I did a rack on my dandelion wine this last weekend. We tasted what was left at the bottom of the bottle and in our humble opinion, it has great potential.

Ago 1, 2019, 12:41 am

Trying to keep Bob healthy in the summer here is not easy. Life has been hectic, we are having high 90s or triple digit days, so baking bread does not appeal.

I got him out of the refrigerator yesterday, but needed to discard part of him this morning so I could freshen the rest of him. I used the discard to make sourdough pancakes. Really, they were just normal pancakes because I didn't let the batter rise or anything. Tasty, fluffy, wonderful normal pancakes. Much better than any other sourdough pancakes I've had. No recipe though. I just did my trick of throwing stuff in the bowl.

Ago 1, 2019, 10:15 pm

>228 MrsLee: HA! I was like "Bob who?! Oh no! Waaaaait a minute..." If I were determined enough to have starter, I'd probably name mine Agnes.

Ago 2, 2019, 10:12 am

Ago 8, 2019, 10:00 am

I'm using up things from my mom's pantry, one of which is a box of Krustez pancake mix (just add water). I don't buy mixes, nor do we eat many pancakes, unless I make them from scratch. However, since the box wasn't expired and there were no visible bugs, I thought I would try using it here and there. I added some eggs, brown sugar, oatmeal, cream and butter, plus baking soda, and came out with some decent muffin tops. I'm too lazy to grease muffin tins, and I don't like things cooked in paper, so muffin tops is what we got. Next time I'm going to add some chopped dates.

Ago 18, 2019, 12:49 pm

Eating only mushy foods due to tooth extraction, no inspiration to cook whatsoever, especially since our days are mostly triple digits right now. I think I'll have a veggie smoothie for lunch.

Ago 21, 2019, 9:41 am

While reading Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky, I came across a Neapolitan recipe from the early 1800s for salt cod. I don't have salt cod, but I do have frozen tilapia, which I do not enjoy the taste of. I bought it because my mother doesn't like frozen cod (or any cod). Now that she isn't living with us, I need to use it up.

The recipe said to put a light, tasty oil in a pan and brown some onions, add raisins, parsley, water and pine nuts, then the fish. Not having cod, pine nuts or parsley, and wanting to use up bits of things, I improvised. I put some lovely olive oil in a pan, added a splash of saki, some dried onion flakes, some gin-soaked raisins, the fish, salt and pepper and a dollop of pesto (which has parsley and pine nuts in it). I then put the lid on and cooked until the fish was just done. I removed the fish and sort of smashed everything in the pan together, cooking down a little, then poured the sauce over the fish. It was pretty good, but even better when I poured some of my friend's homemade Thai chili oil over it. Good enough in fact, that I plan on doing this again because it is a good way to use up some of the gin-soaked raisins I have on hand, and mask the taste of the tilapia.

Ago 21, 2019, 11:22 am

>233 MrsLee: Dunno what's the matter with the tilapia in your neck of the woods, but here I'd rate it higher than trout. And cook it with care and respect, to bring out the delicate flavour.

Ago 24, 2019, 8:26 pm

>231 MrsLee: I buy it frozen, from God knows where. I only hope and pray that it is from one of the respectable farms because I can't afford salmon or many of the other fish in the store. I don't have reliable access to clean fresh fish. Sometimes the tilapia can taste good, but frequently it has the pronounced "muddy" flavor of catfish. An acquired taste.

Editado: Set 1, 2019, 6:29 pm

Trying to get some food projects done this weekend. So far I ground up some dried chilies. I have a jar of flakes, a larger container of chili powder, and enough to try a recipe for Thai chili oil. That's not all, we went to Farmer's market and bought a variety of hot chilies for me to ferment into my own hot sauce.

I am going to bottle my dandelion wine this afternoon.

There is a pot of broth simmering on the stove. Tomorrow it will be the base of posole.

A coworker gave me some incredible peaches from his tree. I thought about all I could do with them, then decided to freeze them. Jam or jelly is okay, but seems a waste for delicious peaches. Ice cream on the other hand? Lovely.

Monday, will bake a cheesecake for said coworker.

Set 1, 2019, 6:36 am

Peel, halve and discard the pip. Drop each half into a flute of champagne. This is a classic drink, but for the life of me I can't remember its name.

Set 2, 2019, 3:19 am

>237 hfglen: You may be thinking of the Bellini which is two parts Prosecco & one part white peach puree with a few dashes of cherry juice.

Set 2, 2019, 4:16 am

>238 lesmel: Maybe not. The one I'm thinking of has a recognisable peach (or part thereof) riding up and down the glass on the bubbles. That would seem to exclude any idea of a puree.

Set 2, 2019, 8:02 pm

Hmmm, I probably won't drink that, because if I opened a bottle of bubbly, I would have to finish it by myself, and that would be bad. Sounds a lovely drink though.

I made muffins with pecans and peaches, yummy. The posole is amazing. Peaches are frozen, cheesecake is in the fridge. Chinese plum sauce is processed, all 13 cups of it. 14 If you count the open one in my fridge. A half gallon of chilies are fermenting in the closet.

Editado: Set 8, 2019, 11:06 pm

Yesterday I used Marion Grasby's recipe to make a crispy chicken and rice noodle salad recipe. Very delicious. I didn't think I would care for the dressing, because it was garlic (3 cloves) and chilies (2-4 Thai) pounded together with a little salt, then fish sauce (3 T., lime juice (3 T.) and sugar (1 T.). That much fish sauce scared me. However, when I tasted it, it was delicious!

The first round didn't have enough veggies for the salad (she massages cabbage and cucumbers with about a teaspoon of salt and lets it sit 5 min. to weep a bit). I didn't have a cucumber, so used a zucchini and added some sliced sweet onion as well. My mint was scarce and hard to find (I am probably the only gardener on earth who has trouble growing mint), but a trip to Farmer's Market provided both the needed cucumber and proper mint. When I added more veggies, and the mint it was perfect.

While that was happening, I made a small pot of broth with the bones. Simmered them with lemongrass, galangal root, ginger, and more things Thai. The house smelled amazing all day. I think I will use it to make a curried fish and coconut soup for dinner this week.

Today will be a pot of black beans, perhaps some rice.

Set 8, 2019, 12:05 pm

>241 MrsLee: You are not "the only gardener on earth who has trouble growing mint". Mint needs water and lots of it; most of South Africa is dry for several months each year, making mint somewhere between difficult and impossible for most of us. I would imagine that much of Oz and the Middle East has the same problem. (So if you want to grow mint, move to Ireland and enjoy the benefits of 15 minutes of rain every quarter hour.)

Set 8, 2019, 12:25 pm

>242 hfglen: Well, considering our hot, dry summers which last about 8 months of the year, that makes sense. Also, my mint patch is down the hill where we no longer water and things have to be hardy enough to survive with only natural rainfall. Maybe I will try a pot of it with the herbs by my kitchen door. They are not easy to keep alive either (what with bugs and hot temps) but they have a better chance of being watered.

Set 8, 2019, 12:28 pm

>243 MrsLee: That might work, especially if you have a dripping faucet in just the right place. The point is that mints are marsh plants!

Set 8, 2019, 1:29 pm

>244 hfglen: I remember we used to grow mint in Brisbane (where I grew up) under a dripping tap. Canberra, where I spent half my life, was too dry and the winters were too cold.

Editado: Set 8, 2019, 2:18 pm

>245 haydninvienna: Is Canberra really any drier or colder than Johannesburg? In the house where I grew up, we had a pipe that ran from Mom's uncle's borehole next door, and we "spilled" quite a lot of water there. And the mint grew well!

Set 8, 2019, 3:39 pm

>244 hfglen: We just discovered that the pipe under the cement around the faucet in the front of the house is leaking. Maybe I could set the pot near that. It isn't dripping, but perhaps osmosis would kick in!

Editado: Set 9, 2019, 9:39 am

I made a Thai green curry paste tonight and used it to season a couscous, fish dish, which was simmered in a base of that lovely broth I made yesterday and some coconut milk. Deliciously spicy hot, with a silky finish.

ETA: Argh! Quinoa, not couscous. I'm always mixing the two up.

Set 9, 2019, 9:40 am

I love these little conversations where new things get discovered. :)

The dressing in >241 MrsLee: sounds fantastic specifically b/c I love fish sauce. Maybe because I can't smell it? lol

Set 15, 2019, 4:18 pm

Yesterday I baked my recipe for sourdough cake, only I added dates and some gin-soaked raisins to the batter, topped that with a pear-caramel sauce, then put the crumbly topping on that. It was yum.

This morning I roasted a chicken which is supposed to be like the grocery rotisserie chickens, but I'm not sure it will be. Still, roasted chicken is hard to go wrong with. Also made albondiga soup, with a recipe from my husband's grandmother. Also Yum.

Started a batch of Kimchi to ferment. I've been missing the fermented veggies in my life.

Set 25, 2019, 10:41 pm

New thread is started. It's kind of lonely.