"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2019, Part 2


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2019, Part 2

Set 18, 2019, 10:21 pm

Tonight I finished reading Sourdough by Robin Sloan. A sweet fiction. I will be baking a loaf or two this weekend, I hope. The weather won't be exactly cool, but not triple digits, either.

Because of Sourdough, I wanted to read a book by Alice Waters, so will begin Chez Panisse Vegetables.

Set 18, 2019, 10:41 pm

Dear MrsLee or Lee,

I enjoy following your threads. But...

All the pictures on the previous topic don't show the pictures. If I try and open them, I get URL signature expired

I suspect that if you wish to keep the pictures for ever (or when LT dies) you should copy/save them to your "Junk File".


PS. Expect for the USA (and 2 other countries in the world) If we ever got triple digit temperature, we would ALL be dead :-)

Set 19, 2019, 10:05 am

>2 guido47: Oh dear. I hadn't noticed that about my earlier photos. I keep my photos on my phone for the most part, when I save them to the cloud, I either send them to my Amazon Prime account (which I don't seem to be able to share from here, or my Facebook account, which always worked before. I don't use my junk drawer here much because it is a pain to put my photos on my computer, and I don't seem to be able to get them here from my phone. Bother.

As to the temperatures, my celsius friends will have to forgive me, as I forgive them, when we have to convert temps in our heads. :)

Set 19, 2019, 10:15 am

I tried re-adding the images, and I can see the ones I added, can anyone else? I don't have time to do it properly. I suppose doing it right would mean downloading them from Facebook to my computer, then uploading them to my junk file, then adding them to my thread. I'm not sure I care all that much. :P

Set 23, 2019, 9:41 am

This isn't the greatest food picture, but the food was great! I am reading Chez Panisse Vegetables. The Spicy Vegetable Saute and Beet Chutney are recipes from that. Hot and spicy enough that the raita and turmeric rice (both from my own ideas) were a wonderful blessing to have alongside. I didn't even miss the meat.

Set 25, 2019, 11:13 am

Trying a recipe for sourdough tortillas today. Will be making fish tacos, using my peach salsa

Editado: Set 26, 2019, 9:21 am

>6 MrsLee: A photo.
I didn't have cabbage or cilantro, although there is cilantro in the salsa. They were delicious, but I'm not sure I will make the tortillas again. A lot of work. If I had two helpers and a large amount of flat surfaces in my kitchen, perhaps. But usually I prefer corn tortillas anyway. Husband loves them though.

Set 26, 2019, 1:38 pm

>7 MrsLee: Oh, my. I just barely had breakfast, and I never eat heavy foods early in the day, and I'd still like to sit down and have a bite or two of tortillas. There's a couple of things protecting me, though. I cannot stand even the slightest trace of cilantro, and you are not next door.

Those tortillas look like they'd be delicious with butter and warmed honey.

Set 26, 2019, 2:24 pm

Those look absolutely fantastic.

Set 27, 2019, 9:07 am

>8 Lyndatrue: I can attest to the goodness of them warm with butter, I'm sure honey would be a nice addition too. I used them yesterday in my lunch with roast pork, some of the Chinese plum sauce I made, and some spicy veggies. Delicious.

>9 Settings: Thank you!

Tonight will be browned mushroom and bacon cream soup. We were going to go out to celebrate paycheck day, but I need to use the mushrooms and as a rule, I cook better than most restaurants in our town. I'm not bragging, we don't have much in the way of restaurants here. :) I would never run a restaurant though, and I admire their efforts.

Set 27, 2019, 11:04 pm

Made a delicious soup tonight. Cream of mushroom with bacon and leeks. Comfort food.

Set 28, 2019, 12:57 pm

That soup was amazing! Glad I made it.

This morning I am making sourdough waffles, sourdough cranberry muffins (these were okay, not very sweet, but better after the first surprise bite), sourdough chocolate chip cookies (the dough is supposed to sit for 70 hours in the refrigerator for some magical reason, but mine is going to be baked tomorrow afternoon when I have time), and sourdough bread. All recipes except the waffles are from the internet, a couple from King Arthur Flour website. The waffles recipe was given to my grandmother by a friend who lived in Alaska in the early part of the 1900s.

Set 28, 2019, 12:59 pm

Sourdough is a fantastic flavor, those must all be amazing.

Editado: Set 30, 2019, 9:53 am

>13 Settings: The chocolate chip cookies are the best I've ever made. Just the right crisp-to-tender ratio. I'll try to remember to post a link to the website and a photo of my cookies tomorrow.

Here they are, much darker than the author of the website pictures them, but I like my cookies done, not underdone.

Set 30, 2019, 5:22 pm

I want this recipe. Do you need a sour dough starter?

Out 1, 2019, 10:10 am

>15 Settings: Yes. Here is the link to the site where I found the recipe.


I didn't let the dough sit for 70 hours in my fridge, I cooked the cookies at 375° for about 16 minutes. Also used quick oats (not ground to powder), regular chocolate chips and regular sugars.

King Arthur Flour company sells sourdough starter. I have my own that I captured from the wild. :)

Out 1, 2019, 11:52 am

>16 MrsLee: Now I have a mental image of MrsLee in khakis and pith helmet, shotgun in hand, stalking starters across the wilds of East Africa (or maybe California) ;-)

Out 1, 2019, 8:13 pm

>17 hfglen: Sort of! I had to walk down to the third level of my garden where the fig tree grows, and then back up the hill to my grapevine on the patio, reaching out to pluck a couple of grapes. The rest of the magic happened in my kitchen, and I like to think that there is yeast in my starter from when my grandmother lived and baked with sourdough in this house over 30 years ago.

Out 5, 2019, 11:46 pm

My son and his wife are here this weekend. Made some sourdough pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

Went to Farmer's market and found some lovely salad ingredients, also baked a loaf of dubious sourdough bread. I rushed it, so the loaf is rather flat, but I'm hoping with the roasted garlic spread, or home pounded pesto spread, it's deficiencies won't be an issue.

Out 6, 2019, 11:43 am

FYI: This week's Food Programme on BBC4 is all about sourness, ferments and how they're Good For You. Recipes in the programme website. I think MrsLee might be interested.

Out 6, 2019, 11:54 am

>19 MrsLee: Homemade pesto on good bread is the absolute best.

Out 6, 2019, 12:12 pm

>20 hfglen: Thanks for that. Yes, today I am starting a ferment of cauliflower, carrots, onion, garlic and celery, with a couple of Thai chilies thrown in for good measure. I am chopping the veggies rather smallish to be used as a quick topping for salads, or as a quick salad in and of their own. Also considering doing some sort of a pumpkin ferment, since I have several handy at the moment. Sage comes to mind with it, but I'm not sure what the end result would be good for. Must do more reading. After all, it seems one can ferment almost anything, but sometimes I look at various things people have done and say, "why?"

>21 haydninvienna: I can attest that both bread and pesto lived up to expectations!

Out 6, 2019, 12:46 pm

>22 MrsLee: I've never tried it on sourdough, but back in the day in Canberra there was a small local bakery called Carbone's that used to make the big round loaves of hard-crusted Italian bread. An evening meal or Saturday lunch at Chez Haydninvienna sometimes involved one of those loaves cut in thick slices spread with something, which was often homemade pesto (we used to grow basil like a vegetable) or tapenade. Sigh.

UPDATE: given that I remembered the name of the bakery, I just googled it and it appears to be still going ...

Out 6, 2019, 11:25 pm

>23 haydninvienna: Lovely! Both that you remembered the name and that it is still going. Wish I could try their bread.

Out 9, 2019, 8:42 am

Power is out here, they warn us it could be for 5 days. I'm looking at those cams of tuna in my pantry. Not much cooking for awhile. Hoping my freezer holds the cold long enough so the things in there aren't ruined.

Out 9, 2019, 9:41 am

>25 MrsLee: I just googled your situation, about why your power is out. Wildfire prevention! That's unbelievable. Best wishes to you and your community.

Out 9, 2019, 10:39 am

>25 MrsLee: Eek! That's scary, especially if one has lived in the highly flammable Western Cape. Strength to you and your freezer!

Out 13, 2019, 6:54 pm

Been too busy in the kitchen to post!

After our power outage, I wanted to save the fruits, veggies, eggs, etc. The frozen ones hadn't thawed all the way, or I would have tossed them, but since they had softened, I thought I had better do something with them fast. Here is the list, if I can remember it all.
Peach crumb cake
Strawberry cobbler
7 pints of peach chutney canned
18 half pints of wild plum jam
1 gallon of rhubarb wine started
2 gallons of Concord grape wine begun
1 gallon of minced fruit with brandy
1 chili relleno casserole
Roasted chicken over vegetables
Egg, bread and chili casserole (I found some chilies I had missed)
Egg foo young casserole
Sourdough bread
Sourdough waffles
Pot of mystery beans

Some of those recipes are from books, some I used the books as a reference/inspiration only and others are from my imagination and the necessity.

Out 14, 2019, 9:08 pm

Wow. I feel like I've done a week's kitchen work if I manage one dish...

Good to see the outage didn't last whole five days, madness.

Out 15, 2019, 10:23 am

>29 LolaWalser: Yes, but now I have my small Sterno burner, so will be prepared next time to make a hot pot of coffee! :)

People around here are running out to buy generators "so they won't be without TV" next time. Not my cup of tea.

I actually enjoyed the break from my electric routine, but then, I still had running and hot water, also, my cell service was functional. Even though I didn't use my cell phone/tablet more than two or three times a day to save the battery, I could still jump on the internet and so didn't feel disconnected. We have a charger which can be used to charge devices, or even jump start our car, so I was able to recharge my phone the one time I needed to.

Out 16, 2019, 8:09 am

>30 MrsLee: I have a gas grill in my backyard that is tied to my house line. It's surprisingly a huge comfort knowing that if our power goes out long term (hello hurricane), I can still 1. feed myself, 2. salvage some of the frozen food, 3. have coffee (ha!). I also have a hand-crank emergency radio that can charge my cell phone. That's a comfort, too. Even if it means cranking for charging power takes a looooooong time.

Out 18, 2019, 9:57 am

>31 lesmel: I wish I could talk my husband into a gas grill. He insists on charcoal only. The problem with the charcoal (aside from the time it takes to be ready) is that in a high wind and high fire danger situation, one doesn't want to be lighting a fire outside in the grill.

I have prepared the grape wine and rhubarb wine for their secondary fermentation. Now to wait six months before I can bottle them.

Out 23, 2019, 9:21 am

They talked of turning our power out again this week, but now they are saying they won't in our county. Still, not sure I want to do much stocking of the refrigerator/freezer until we get our wet, winter weather. If we ever do. It was in the low 80s (F) yesterday even until 7:30 pm.

I am trying something different for bread this week. I saw a video where a man made his bread dough, then divided it into containers and put it in the refrigerator. Each night, he took one out, patted it out, spread with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder, then baked it like a pizza. He did this with a yeast dough. I am trying it with a sourdough. First night was not thrilling. You can't really ruin bread, but I had a good try at it. The top wasn't getting done, but the bottom was, so I flipped it, then flipped it back, ended up over-cooking/not quite burning it. The dough didn't have time to rise at all, so what we had was a big tasty cracker. Edible, but we were afraid of cracking our teeth on it. Dunked in broth it was fine. I didn't try to bake any the last two nights because life is hectic here, but will try again tonight. I think I will let it rise longer, shape it on the pan and not worry about pre-heating. I don't have a baking stone or any of the "proper" things, but I've made some good enough pizzas, so I'm going to do it the way I do those. :)

Out 23, 2019, 9:32 am

>33 MrsLee: Yesterday we had your wet winter weather -- drippy rain all day, max. about 18°C, very friendly kitties. Today we have summer, with a maximum close to 30°C. You have my sympathy.

Out 24, 2019, 9:49 am

>34 hfglen: Aww, I want friendly kitties. Mine are teases. You think they want petting or loving, but no. They just want food and cringe back or evade when you try to pet or cuddle.

We did not lose our power, at least not yet. Last night I made some curried fish (did it out of my head because it's faster that way. It came out tasty, but the onions got a bit browner than I would have prefered. Then I tried baking another of my sourdough pizza-bread thingies. I let it rise longer, baked it in my enameled pot at a lower temp. It's still not at all like the man's bread in the video, but it was quite tasty and had a better texture this time. Stuck pretty bad to the pot though. The adventure continues. Tonight I will try it on a flat pan, like pizza. It doesn't seem to be browning on the top. Not sure why. I've been flipping it over for about 10 minutes and that helps, but seems wrong.

Out 26, 2019, 3:19 pm

Another warning about power loss today. We are getting mixed messages about whether it will affect us. In preparation, I learned that one does not freeze large quantities of water in glass jars, even with the lid off. I'm very happy that this was my husband's bright idea, not mine. I will need some new half gallon jars when this is over.

I roasted a head of cauliflower, and baked a pumpkin

Will be baking 2 loaves of bread before the 6:00 pm cutoff time

Baked a tray of Sourdough/biscuit/scones to help us eat the remaining lemon curd

Baking a tray of bacon on racks over some Serrano chilies, will have some nice spicy bacon fat

Made a pot of vegetable soup with the bits and ends of veggies

Baked some cod which I coated with curried yogurt and other things. Even Mark liked it, and he's not a fish fan.

Ground a container full of coffee

Filled jugs of water

Washed the clothes

Charged the devices, based the cars, got cash, checked the battery supply

Now if it doesn't go off, I have nothing that needs done for the rest of the weekend.

Out 31, 2019, 10:09 am

This morning I baked a pumpkin cake. Not exactly in celebration of All Hallows Eve, but appropriate.

Out 31, 2019, 11:38 am

>37 MrsLee: Ah, memories. Does “pumpkin cake” to you mean a fruitcake with pumpkin in the mixture? Just checking. That’s what it meant to my mum. Those were the absolute best cakes. Never understood the current fad for jeering at fruitcake.

Out 31, 2019, 9:59 pm

>38 haydninvienna: No, this is just a moist pumpkin and spice cake, a little more moist or fragile than my fruitcake. I agree with you though, I love a good fruit and not filled cake. My nut of choice being chopped almonds, and the fruit a mixed variety of dried fruit. I'm not a huge fan of the weird preserved and artificially colored fruits typically associated wi4th fruitcake.

Nov 1, 2019, 5:27 pm

>39 MrsLee:

Have you had panforte? It may have some candied fruit but mostly it's nuts, almonds and hazelnuts. I like it a lot (but I'm used to it) whereas I dislike English fruitcake.

I just realised my favourite sweet is a sort of "fruitcake"--the Spanish pan de higo, nothing but dried figs and almonds pressed together. Although I guess it's not right to call that a cake at all.

Nov 2, 2019, 5:33 am

>40 LolaWalser: I fully agree about the relative merits of panforte (yum!) and fruitcake (leaden, and burdened with too many memories of Aged Mother's stuffy friends). And in the southern hemisphere, where Christmas happens in midsummer, I consider Christmas Cake and Christmas pudding to be ridiculously inappropriate, and to be avoided at all costs.

The Spanish cake seems to be a cognate of the other meaning of "cake" -- the compressed leftovers from extracting, for example, oil from seeds.

Nov 2, 2019, 7:12 am

>40 LolaWalser: >41 hfglen: I stand by fruitcake. Admittedly there may be some pretty deadly ones around. My mum's fruitcakes were never deadly. Having said which, I like panforte too.

Nov 2, 2019, 4:33 pm

>42 haydninvienna:

It's possible I've never had a superb fruitcake, desserts are not my passion. In general I'd say there's something offputting about the sort of cake it is (to me), the texture of it...

>41 hfglen:

Ha, yes, maybe it's not a cake but you can buy a cake of it.

All this has now made it imperative that I go get some Sienese panforte ASAP--around Christmas it shows up here even in lesser groceries--maybe it's not too early to go look.

Nov 3, 2019, 4:36 am

>43 LolaWalser: Thinks: I had a recipe for panforte somewhere once ... maybe I should go and dig it out.

Nov 3, 2019, 1:36 pm

If I have ever had panforte, I am not aware of it. The fruitcake I make is a bit more cake than the images of that look like. It is dense, but has a definite crumb to it, with liberal amounts of fruit and nuts, but discernible dense cake holding it together. It cuts almost like bread. I serve it in slice like bread, sometimes with butter spread on it, sometimes even lightly toasted. But it isn't exactly bread texture. Why is this so hard to describe? I need to send each of you a slice. :)

Nov 3, 2019, 1:48 pm

>45 MrsLee: love that idea, except that I doubt if it would get through Customs here.

Nov 6, 2019, 12:31 pm

I love fruitcake. All types and styles. Including (as typical for me) the boozy kinds. I have a recipe for a steamed fruitcake that I keep wanting to try. I think I'll petition my mother to add it to our Christmas baking rotation this year.

Nov 6, 2019, 1:20 pm

>47 lesmel: Steamed fruitcake? Sounds more like Christmas pudding. I know about boiled fruitcake, which just means that the fruit mixture gets boiled before being added to the cake batter.

Nov 6, 2019, 4:22 pm

>48 haydninvienna:

(click for bigger image)

(click for bigger image)
"Sidney (my great-grandmother) have you ever steamed your fruit cake in your canner. This recipe is good that way."

Nov 6, 2019, 11:03 pm

>49 lesmel: thanks for that. That recipe would indeed make a lot of cake. But that’s essentially how my mum would have made a steamed pudding, so not far from Christmas pud.

Nov 10, 2019, 1:12 pm

I took my recipe for sourdough chocolate chip cookies and put dates and pecans in them instead. They taste like pecan sandies. Pretty yummy. I also added a bit of rum flavoring.

Nov 12, 2019, 11:06 pm

We are still enjoying temperatures in the 70s and 80s (F). However, the trees are golden, which in turn makes what light there is golden. I say it's soup weather! Made home cooked ramen soup tonight. So yummy.

Nov 16, 2019, 11:37 am

Last night I prepared two recipes from the cookbook/history book I am reading, Ginger East to West: A Cook's Tour by Bruce Cost. They were delicious! One was for steamed/gently simmered chicken with a ginger and scallion sauce, the other was for stir-fry zucchini with ginger, carrots and red bell pepper.

Both so simple, and yet tons of flavor! I didn't have zucchini, my husband brought home yellow squash instead (better a different squash than a poorly one), but it was still wonderful.

I love this book so much. My friend loaned it to me to read. I decided it was worth purchasing and looked it up on Amazon. There was one paperback version for $54! However, there were several used hardcovers for around $10. I really hope the hardcovers are the same version, or at least have the recipes. These seem very authentic for a cookbook written in the 1970s. Cost was careful to explain the difference between the way people in the East cook vs. the "Westernized" versions of their food. Anyway, I am being very careful with my friend's paperback version now, so I took pictures of the recipes and used my tablet in the kitchen to avoid any accidents!

I was gifted a plethora of pomegranates. Now, do I make juice (I have done and it is delicious), make jelly, make more wine? I'm running out of containers and space for the wine to sit. :P I will probably do all. Last night I sat for several hours getting the arils out of the peel. Watching a Russion TV show called Silver Spoon. I would do better listening to an audio book though because it's hard to pick out arils and watch the subtitles on the TV. Those hours yielded about 8 cups of arils from about 5 pomegranates. I have about 15 or 20 left to pluck...

Nov 20, 2019, 7:37 pm

mmmmm pomegranates... Lucky you, they end up costing me a fortune here. I try to have them around all the time, mainly for the tabbouleh but I will also add them to any other type of salad.

Dez 3, 2019, 10:22 am

I can't just throw out a turkey carcass. This year I decided to do a molé. Chilis, darkly roasted peanuts, sesame seeds and bread crumbs, onions, garlic, chocolate, cinnamon and other spices. Turned out lovely. What made the difference this year, is that my Vitamix gave it a velvety smooth texture. Almost impossible to achieve any other way (unless you have the strength of 10 men and a molcajete). What would have improved (deepened) the flavor, is if I had remembered to toast all the spices before adding to the broth. Ah well, next year maybe.

Now that I know velvety smoothness can be achieved, I may try other types of molés. I have been put off in the past because I could never get the nuts, seeds and spices ground enough.

Dez 16, 2019, 9:15 am

My cooking mojo has gone down the drain since my mother died. I managed to cook a nice dinner (beef roast, roasted Brussels sprouts and winter squash, roasted potato wedges with garlic) on Saturday for a friend, but it isn't something I found exciting, just a chore (except the part about sharing it with my friend). Anyway, I did make a batch of grenadine and process it so that I can give bottles away for Christmas. Have also tried it in a couple of simple cocktails and it is dreamy.

Oh, I also baked a batch of sourdough bread, which was lovely despite the fact that I forgot to turn the oven down and the top was black as coal.

Dez 17, 2019, 12:45 pm

>56 MrsLee: Some in this part of the US would call that "cajun" sourdough -- it's just blackened! :D

Dez 18, 2019, 9:52 am

>57 lesmel: Lol!

I have put a gallon of pomegranate wine in the cupboard to ferment for several months. It is quite active and "boozy" smelling at the moment. It joins the rhubarb and grape wine already working. I had almost a quart left that didn't fit into the gallon jug, so put a latex sanitary glove over the top of the jar, poked a hole with a pin in one of the fingers and am letting it go for awhile. This morning I looked in the cupboard and it was giving me the "bird!" Guess I should have poked a hole in a different finger. :D

Dez 18, 2019, 12:55 pm

>58 MrsLee: This morning I looked in the cupboard and it was giving me the "bird!" : Lol yourself!

Jan 2, 2020, 2:48 pm

>56 MrsLee:

My belated condolences, MrsLee.

>58 MrsLee:

Ha, yes.

Editado: Jan 13, 2020, 9:00 am

>60 LolaWalser: Thank you.

Today I am making a pork loin with garlic sauce which calls for 40 cloves of garlic. It is from La Cucina Vera and is a recipe I labeled "OMG! So good!" Roasting Brussels sprouts for a side dish.

Will also be making a lamb shanks recipe from my Curry cookbook. Probably cooking some lentils and mixing a cucumber raita to go with.

Jan 13, 2020, 9:20 am

Everything turned out so good yesterday! Hopefully this should take us through the week, so only assembling, no cooking after work. I do have to make some bread this week though.

I also roasted some green beans and pumpkin for vegetables. Ended up not cooking the lentils. The lamb recipe, Nalli gosht (slow-braised lamb shank in saffron sauce), called for tomatoes, which I avoid eating, so I substituted some pumpkin and tamarind. I do not think it damaged the dish.

Next up in my Curry cookbook is Kachhi mirch ka gosht (Lamb shoulder with green chilis, mint and yogurt). Happily my coworker gave me a ton of lamb recently, so it isn't even costly to experiment with these. I love this cookbook. I've yet to try a recipe that wasn't delicious, although some have unicorn ingredients and some are more of a pain than others.

On unicorn ingredients: I have slowly been acquiring a few of them from Mountain Rose Herb Company, an online organic spice company. The latest I bought to try was a packet of saffron threads. I have never tasted saffron before to my knowledge, although it may have been in something I ate in a restaurant here or there. When I try a special ingredient, I like to use it myself because I know what my cooking tastes like without it, so when I use it I have a better idea of the flavor it lends to the dish. I am undecided about saffron being worth the money. On the one hand, it takes very little to add the color. The flavor I have only noticed in rice, a subtle earthy flavor. Not sure it is worth the trouble when turmeric is so easy to come by and use and also lends a lovely earthy flavor to the rice dishes.

The recipe I made yesterday for the lamb called for "a generous pinch" of saffron. Well, isn't that nice? I have no idea what the author's idea of generous is compared to mine. I used twice as much as I would use for rice, but it rather disappeared in the sauce. A waste, IMO. I don't think I will be buying saffron again since my taste buds are not refined enough to appreciate it.

Jan 13, 2020, 9:27 am

>62 MrsLee: That's very interesting. I too have rather given up on saffron because it's so expensive and tends to disappear. Just use a minute quantity of turmeric instead -- carefully, to contain the stains.

Fev 2, 2020, 11:47 am

Still not really feeling it in the cooking area, so I've either been cooking tried and true stuff, or winging it without recipes.

I did make an incredible "stir-fry" veggie dish the other night. Instead of pulling out the wok, I used a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper which is our new best friend in the kitchen cleanup department). I chopped cabbage into chunks about one and a half inches squarish, sliced carrots thin, also some celery. Then I minced a handful of garlic cloves and about the same amount of ginger, sprinkled those over the veggies on the baking sheet, along with some salt and pepper, then drizzled with a bit of fish sauce and oil. Roasted in a 425° oven for 10 min., tossed, roasted another 5-10 min. The key to how long is to not over-cook the veggies, but get a tiny bit of brown roastiness on them. Yum.

Yesterday I poached some chicken to be used with various dishes through the week such as salads, the black beans I cooked, or whatever.

With that broth, I cooked some asparagus ends and pureed it in my Vitamix for soup. Also had enough broth to cook the beans in.

Roasted the tips of asparagus, then roasted rutabaga and sweet potato. Slivered some cabbage to ferment with caraway seeds and mustard, kept some of the cabbage out to use with other dishes this week like the beans, and sliced up some jicama which happened to be a good moist one, not dry.

Today I will roast a pork loin by larding it with thin slivers of garlic and oregano leaves, then marinating in peanut oil, tequila, garlic, oregano, sage, salt and pepper. Then I will rub on salt, pepper and comino, sear the outside and roast in a hot oven. to the marinade above I will add some agave nectar and a little soy, then baste the roast with it.

Have to make some mango salsa to go with.

Fev 7, 2020, 9:12 am

In my desire to use the discard of my sourdough starter rather than throw it out, I made what I imagine to be Bannocks. Delicious! I added oatmeal and flax seeds to my regular bread dough mix, and more liquid including some cream. No leavening. When I looked up photos of Bannocks, mine looked just like them. I cooked them in a pan with butter. Since I didn't follow a recipe though, I have no idea if they taste the same.

Fev 8, 2020, 7:51 pm

Made some lamb curry today. I love lamb curry.

Tomorrow I plan to make a bean dish. White navy beans, carrots, kale, Portobello mushrooms, a sweet potato,some golden beets and the regular seasoning veggies, onion, garlic, celery.

Editado: Fev 9, 2020, 9:37 am

>66 MrsLee: What kind of lamb curry? Korma? Rogan Josh? Something else entirely?

Edited for typo and to add:
If you have any leftover curry (as if that's at all likely), and if you use your sourdough starter to make a pancake-like batter and some big, fluffy pancakes, then you can wrap the curry in a pancake and call the result a salomie (Cape Malay) or a dosa (South Indian, increasingly popular here in Durban).

Fev 9, 2020, 12:31 pm

>67 hfglen: My go-to curry recipe for leftover lamb roast is from a great aunt. I suppose it is closest to a yellow curry from England. However, I have taken what I've learned about making good curry and apply it to this recipe (toasting whole spices in oil, adding in garlic and ginger to the onions and mango, adding fresh cilantro and lemon peel the last five minutes), to give the dish a lovely depth of flavor. The original recipe calls for apples, but I'm allergic to them, so substitute mangoes. Then I top with my own fermented hot sauce, chopped peanuts, and my own peach chutney. Would use toasted coconut flakes, but I'm out of them for now. I serve this over rice, because it would be a bit soupy to eat in a bread-pancake thing.

Fev 9, 2020, 2:04 pm

>68 MrsLee: So speaks one who has never seen the mess a typical Durban Bunny Chow makes! I am assured that there is no known way of eating Durban's contribution to culinary bliss without making a mess covering an acre or two! Your recipe sounds a bit like the classic one-size-fits-all Durban curry; I assume there are significant chillies in it?

Fev 10, 2020, 10:02 am

>69 hfglen: There would be significant chilies if I didn't have to share with my husband. :) For his sake, the curry is somewhat mild, and I add extra heat to my bowl in the form of the fermented hot sauce I make. This year's sauce was made from quite a few Thai chilies, jalapeno, and some mystery chilies purchased from an aged Asian lady at the Farmer's Market. Those were VERY hot!

Fev 17, 2020, 10:11 am

I made a lentil stew last night using the recipe (sort of) from Marcus Samuelsson's cookbook, Discovery of a Continent. I say sort of, because I changed/added to the recipe by adding a lot more veggies (roots instead of tomatoes), and some ground lamb. Also, I had to add a lot more berbere than the recipe called for. It's rather tame, but good sustenance food.

Fev 19, 2020, 10:05 am

Hmmm, my lentil stew is good, but has "lamby" overtones, which can be unsettling, say, in the last bite. Now I wish I hadn't put the lamb in it. Ah well. I have a source of free ground lamb, and I will rise to the challenge to make it edible!

Fev 19, 2020, 4:25 pm

>72 MrsLee: I often use ground lamb to make meat loaf. I like meat loaf because it's an excellent dinner, and then slices up to make sandwiches for a few days (or so).

Meat Loaf
1 1/2 lb. ground lamb
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped onion (I use more, but you may prefer not to)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup catsup
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. mustard

Combine ingredients through milk; mix thoroughly. Pack firmly into loaf pan. Combine all ingredients for sauce and pour over meat loaf. Bake in 350 F. oven about 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes.

(I seldom use the sauce, but supply it here for the sake of completion. Sometimes I make it with various tomato based sauces instead of catsup. I don't think I've bought catsup since my husband passed, and that was 2001.)

Fev 20, 2020, 9:37 am

>73 Lyndatrue: Thank you, yes, I made a meatloaf of it a couple of weeks ago and we loved it. My recipe is similar to yours, except I don't use a recipe. I throw in anything I feel like so long as there is an egg, some milk, salt, pepper, meat and a grain (I usually use old bread or cracker crumbs, will have to try the oats) I may mix the ground lamb with some beef or pork to dilute it a bit.

My feelings on meatloaf the same as yours. I love it the first night, but love it better in sandwiches the rest of the week. :) I don't use ketchup since I am avoiding tomatoes, but I love it on meatloaf. I have discovered that my homemade Chinese plum sauce is a terrific substitute though.

Mar 16, 2020, 9:44 pm

Been playing with some ingredients I bought at an Indian grocery a couple of weekends ago. Discovered that we love dal. I also made a lamb curry with mint and yogurt. At first I was indifferent, but as I ate, it grew on me and was hard to stop eating! I love playing with new to me flavors.

Abr 12, 2020, 7:26 pm

Today was the day to rack the various wines I started back when PG&E cut off our power during the fire season.

Concord grape: Coming along. Very sweet. Hopefully it will mellow with age. if not, it will be turned into syrup.

Pomegranate: Hmmm, I hoped for so much more with this one. Almost medicinal, not sweet enough, not much/good flavor. We will see what age does with this, but I'm skeptical.

Rhubarb: OMG! Delicious even young! Also, quite a kick! Looking forward to the finishing that age will do for this one. Happily, not all of this fit into the bottle, necessitating that I drink the remainder. :P

So after racking them into clean bottles, they now sit for three more months, then I will rack them once again and cork them, setting them aside to mellow until the holidays.

Abr 13, 2020, 5:53 am

And if you judiciously blend the grape and the pomegranate?

Abr 13, 2020, 6:31 am

My dad used to make rhubarb wine and it was reliably good - unlike the elderberry which varied hugely from year to year.

Do you grow pomegranates? The price they are here, even in season, I can't envisage ever having enough to make wine.

Abr 14, 2020, 5:53 pm

>77 hfglen: I am experimenting with that by combining the last bits in the bottom of the bottles, letting it settle, and skimming the clear at the top. Hoping for something better. If I can tell a difference, then I will combine them before bottling in July.

>78 Sovay: A man brought me 2 5-gallon buckets full of pomegranates last year. I still have 2 frozen bags of the gems, and a container of juice. I thought I would make jelly, but my husband and I are not particularly fond of jelly. Will probably use the rest as juice, or make more grenadine, which was just lovely.

Abr 14, 2020, 10:04 pm

I've seen frozen pomegranate for sale here, how does it compare to fresh fruit? Can one expect nice full gems with at least some juice or do they become gummy and dry?

Abr 15, 2020, 2:27 am

>79 MrsLee: Home-made pomegranate molasses, perhaps? I've only started using pomegranate molasses in the last couple of years but have found it unexpectedly useful for adding a touch of sweet-and-sour to a variety of dishes, not just in a Middle-Eastern context.

Abr 15, 2020, 1:08 pm

>80 LolaWalser: I haven't defrosted any yet, so I don't know if they retain their texture, or turn to mush.

>81 Sovay: I saw recipes for that, might try it, but homemade grenadine with tequila or gin is hard to beat. Or even plain soda water for non-imbibers.

Jun 8, 2020, 6:31 pm

It's not that I haven't been cooking, only that I don't spend much time on the internet when I'm at my computer, and typing a post is hard on my phone. Perhaps I should say, inconvenient instead of hard.

Today I put together what in my family is called. Scotch Stew. The recipe is from my great-grandmother, given my grandmother when she married in 1927. I may have described it here before, but it involves cabbage, onions, potatoes, corned beef, rice, bread and cheddar cheese. Also saltiness crackers crushed on top. I fancied it up a bit, carmelizing the onions, browning bacon and ham, adding shredded sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. It is lovely. Baked in the oven.

I also made a pasta with smoked sausage and mushrooms, with a creamy-pesto sauce.

Various roasted vegetables round out the food.

We bought some berries from Farmers Market. They are tasty, but we don't like the seeds, so I am making cordial with them for our iced drinks on the coming hot days. Blackberry, Boysenberry, and Raspberry.

Jun 19, 2020, 6:17 pm

Since our weather is now in the triple digits, not much cooking in my house.

I froze a tray full of apricots to use as I please when I please. I did make a cobbler first though. My cobbler is topped with sourdough baking powder biscuits.

I'm going to freeze some rhubarb too, but will make some ginger-rhubarb syrup first to use in iced drinks. This will leave me with a rhubarb compot for toast, cheese, etc.

Jun 19, 2020, 6:21 pm

Oh, I've also got some watermelon and thyme tepache started, and a batch of apricot- nutmeg tepache. Also a batch of apricot vinegar. Those will take at least a week to finish.

Jun 20, 2020, 2:07 am

>84 MrsLee: Rhubarb compote for toast? Hmm. Sounds interesting.

Jun 20, 2020, 12:30 pm

>86 haydninvienna: I'm eating it as applesauce, right out of the bowl. It has a decent amount of fresh ginger in it which retained a bit of its texture because I didn't cook it to death. Such lovely bits of flavor! Since I cannot eat applesauce (allergic to apples), this is a wonderful replacement.

The drink I made wasn't half bad either. I called it a Barbie Martini (light pink, made with rhubarb), then of course when I Googled the name, it had been used, and with a rhubarb liquor which I didn't know existed. That's okay, I'm not selling mine or posting the recipe.

Jun 20, 2020, 1:25 pm

>87 MrsLee: That sounds absolutely delish. In a good hotel in Australia you sometimes find rhubarb in the breakfast buffet. I go for it. One of the favourite breakfast things to add to cereal while I was growing up was a mix of cooked rhubarb and passionfruit pulp. I dunno if you know passionfruit in California but this is what I’m talking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_edulis. They grow like weeds in Queensland where I grew up.

Jun 21, 2020, 2:04 pm

>88 haydninvienna: I have seen passion fruit growing here. I didn't know it made edible fruit though. I wonder if there is a strictly ornamental variety which grows here? I tried to plant some seeds, but no grow.

Jun 22, 2020, 12:12 am

>89 MrsLee: There are apparently a lot of species (are you there, Hugh?) but the one I know best is the one in the Wikipedia article I linked to above. All the ones I’ve ever seen have similar-ish, striking flowers and are quite ornamental, even if inclined to take the garden over. The fruit of Passiflora edulis are about the size of a hen’s egg, dark purple when ripe, and full of yellow-ish-orange, juicy, intensely flavoured pulp enclosing dozens of hard black seeds. Picking the seeds out, or trying to, is a novice mistake: you just scoop the pulp out with a teaspoon and into your bowl or your mouth. In Australia, passionfruit pulp (seeds and all) is an absolutely necessary decoration for a pavlova.

Jun 22, 2020, 5:13 am

>90 haydninvienna: At one time in Pretoria I had three edible species and a couple of decorative ones (not that the edible ones aren't decorative, though), all growing together. They tend to be short-lived, and need replacing every three years or so, which makes maintaining a collection a pain. Here in Durban they're invasive. Are the fruits of the decorative ones edible? Well I am intensely wary of small black fruits the size of musket-balls. Too many kinds in this neck of the woods are deadly.

Jun 22, 2020, 6:06 am

>91 hfglen: According to Wikipedia, there are about 550 species of Passiflora, and it doesn't mention any toxic ones, but does note that several of the described ones are regarded as invasive. I know of 3 kinds of passionfruit, 2 of which may be the same species (P. edulis, mentioned above)—the purple-fruited one, just called "passionfruit" in Oz, and another with slightly larger yellow fruit, usually called granadilla in Oz, which may be a variety of P. edulis but may also be a separate species. Then there's what Oz calls banana passionfruit, which has long yellow fruit, and is generally regarded as inferior. The ones with lemon-size purple fruit are the real deal.

I think that to a first approximation all the Passiflora are probably edible, in the sense that they won't kill you, but that isn't saying that they would all be good, or that I plan to try eating any that I don't know.

Jun 22, 2020, 8:37 am

>92 haydninvienna: "probably edible, in the sense that they won't kill you. Or as my mycologist friends put it, "you can eat any mushroom ... once."

Jun 22, 2020, 1:07 pm

The vine I saw here was woven into a fence and had quite thick branches, I think. Or perhaps it was growing in, among, and over something else. I had never seen such a flower before. The flower petals were dark blue I think, and part of it was red. Very dramatic. It isn't there any more though.

Editado: Jul 12, 2020, 12:46 am

After the blathering above about passionfruit, I was wandering around the fruit & veg section of the big Monoprix supermarket at Doha Festival City this morning and saw these:

All are passionfruit of different kinds. (The photos were taken with an iPhone, so came out on their sides, but I don't think that matters.) They ran about QR50 (say £10.00 or $15.00) per kilo, so I didn't buy any and now I'm wishing that I had. The guavas in the third pic are pretty common here.
That supermarket tends to have some unusual (unusual to me at least) fruit and veg. For example, red bananas:

I've also seen cacao pods in there, but they had none today. The cacao pod contains the seeds (cocoa nibs) that are the basic ingredient of chocolate, but apparently the whole pod is edible, and it's full of sweet pulp that can be eaten or added to fruit juices or whatever.

ETA on 10 July, banana passionfruit and cacao pods. Note the price of the cacao pods: QR 165/kilo, say US$45/kilo ($20/pound).

Jul 5, 2020, 12:57 am

>95 haydninvienna: Pretty! Maybe some will show up in our Farmer's market someday.

Jul 6, 2020, 12:45 pm

Yesterday I cooked some moon dahl with sweet potatoes, some Mediterranean seasoned lamb, hummus, and whole wheat sourdough naan.

This morning I made a cucumber-yogurt salad to go with the food from yesterday. Also made a corn-cabbage-mango salad with only one Serrano chili to go with a pot of beans made with pork ribs, carrots, onions, garlic and some seasonings.

Then I had the bright idea to make corncob jelly because I couldn't bear to throw out the corncobs without trying to do something with them. I put a Serrano chili in at the last minute to add punch, then strained all the solids out. I don't know. Feels like I just made jellied sugar by the time I was done. There is a slight corn flavor to the sweetness. If I do it again, I will scrape the cob into the water bath before boiling to get more of the corniness in it. However, I think doing the method (it requires pectin) got me over the wall I had bumped up against for my pomegranate jelly and I will now be able to make that soon. Not today though. I'm done today.

Oh, I also toasted some pecans with some chili-infused maple syrup, butter and soy sauce. Amazing.

Jul 7, 2020, 9:28 am

I have never heard of corncob jelly so I checked for it. I found this: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/corncob-jelly/.
Your posts are so interesting.

Jul 7, 2020, 10:45 am

>98 mnleona: Thank you. I used the recipe from this site, https://www.simplycanning.com/corn-cob-jelly.html the link I found under the link you gave. :)

Last night I made more naan, in the effort to make this an effortless recipe that I can make any time. I put the ingredients in a bowl (one of the reasons I'm doing this is to find ways to use excess sourdough starter), stirred them, let sit on the counter about 2 hours, then in the fridge another 5 or so (the batch before I put in the fridge overnight and it was much easier to roll out). This batch I wanted to see if I could skip the rolling out phase. So I hand stretched them by the stove and cooked them. I have a flatiron pan that a Mexican man made for my mother. These were delicious, thicker than the others, but I don't think I mind that. Very tender. This will probably be my lazy way to do it.

Jul 12, 2020, 12:35 am

Ugh. Hot here. Today we went to Farmers Market, and although I didn't feel like cooking, I told myself I could chop one vegetable in between typing my grandparent's letters (an ongoing project of mine) because if I sit too long at a time it creates other problems. I managed to get them all prepared and then roasted a pan of turnips and kohlrabi, one of onions and zucchini and another of long Asian green beans with onions. Also made a cucumber with yogurt dish and a tray of raw kohlrabi, cucumber and turnips for snacking. Then I roasted some chicken thighs. AND, I got a lot of letters typed. Only about 10 more until I'm finished.

Jul 12, 2020, 1:02 pm

>100 MrsLee: Wow, that's a lot in one day. It's disgustingly hot here, too, - so much so that there's actually an official heat advisory - and on the recommendation of a garden center worker at Lowe's, who at least knows more about herb gardening than I do, which is essentially nothing at all, I've brought my herb plants inside from the balcony, but other than that I've just been laying around enjoying the air conditioning.

Jul 14, 2020, 10:20 am

101 My poor herbs go from Wilt to panting-barely-surviving in the summer.

A few years ago I read The Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. Which preaches that you never throw out something full of flavor which could add to the next meal. An example. Last night I seared scallops in butter, then made a delicious sauce of the pan drippings. This morning I gently cooked eggs in that leftover sauce. Oh my. Fantastic! That will be the end of that particular meal, because my husband and I will eat all the eggs, but if we didn't, we could then add them to rice, noodles, soup, etc. So the oyster sauce would continue to flavor another meal. We rarely throw any food away here.

Ago 2, 2020, 10:53 am

Not much cooking in the kitchen here, because it feels like we are living in an oven.

I fermented some Satsuma plums. I wasn't sure they came out right, the flavor is supposed to be wonderful-salty, sweet, tangy with a hint of alcohol. You can use them as is or dehydrate them a bit for powerful punches of flavor in a bowl of rice. I guess it's a Japanese thing. My friend, who knows, says they are perfect and she loves them. I remain unconvinced. They are not bad, just odd to me.

I also made a batch (3 gallons) of plum wine, which smells nice and boozy. It is in the second stage of fermentation in my pantry/closet right now. Two months from now I rack it into clean jugs, then 9 or so months later, it can be bottled. Patience, grasshopper.

In the meantime, I am going to buy a gallon or two of cheap wine to drink as wine coolers this summer, then I will have a couple more jugs to rack my wine into. Look at me, thinking ahead.

Today we are going to Costco and I'm going to do something I haven't done for seven or more years. I'm going to buy prepared/frozen food!

Out 9, 2020, 10:18 am

Still not cooking much. When I say that, I mean not enjoying my time in the kitchen. Cooking to live, not living to cook. Heat spell is giving us a bit of a break, so maybe I will get my passion back soon.

I made chicken soup yesterday, filled with ginger, chili, garlic and other healing herbs and spices. I am having a possibly beginning of a sick, so thought I would make that as a preventive measure.

Racked my plum wine, now it is to sit fermenting another six months before being bottled. Making wine requires a lot of hope that there will be a future.

I had planned to make a sort of beef bourguignon with the leavings after racking the wine, but I may put that off until I feel better.

Have begun making sourdough bread again. So yummy. One slice buttered gets me through the morning. The first batch a couple of weeks ago I made with nigela seeds. Second batch last weekend had flax and sesame seeds, with whole wheat flour. I love the endless possibilities.

Thinking about using some of the dregs of the plum wine to make a fruit cake. When I feel better.

Out 9, 2020, 12:17 pm

>104 MrsLee: Get well soon!

Out 10, 2020, 2:45 pm

>105 hfglen: Thanks :)

Out 15, 2020, 2:29 pm

I did manage the beef dish >104 MrsLee:, I'm not spelling that again if I don't have to. I took some shortcuts to reduce the amount of pans dirtied. Instead of browning all on the stovetop in several pans as recipe recommended, I roasted things like mushrooms, onions, bacon, marinated beef and vegetables in the oven, then used broth to loosen the brown bits left in the pan and simmered the browned meat for another hour in the marinade/drippings. I then added the roasted mushrooms, onions and bacon and simmered another half hour. Possibly could have gone longer, but it was already 8:30 p.m. I have never had this dish prepared by a French chef or grandma, so I don't know how mine was, except that if it was any better, I'm not sure I could handle it. It was so good that I ate too much and suffered the night through. Worth. It. Although I am having very much smaller portions of the leftovers!

I have not much spirit left for cooking though due to the loss of my dearest friend and cooking simpatico.

Out 17, 2020, 8:21 am

>107 MrsLee: I'm so sorry for your loss.

Out 17, 2020, 10:09 am

>108 lesmel: Thank you.

Dez 7, 2020, 9:51 am

Started a batch of pumpkin kimchi yesterday. Will let you know how it turns out in a few days.

Also made a "Mulligan Stew," using up various leftovers in the house. Tasted pretty fantastic. Beans, turkey, turkey gravy, green curry paste, hard as a rock chunk of bread, some dried up cheese bits which were too hard to grate or chew, turkey broth.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:27 am

I would appreciate anyone's help in getting this thread to 151 posts so I can link to a new one for this year.

I confess, my cooking mojo has not really returned to me yet.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:28 am

>110 MrsLee: Pumpkin kimchi? Huge success. We love it. Both the crunchy bite size bits one and the second batch which I shredded the pumpkin. Same flavor, completely different texture.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:37 am

I miss my friend so much. She was my cooking muse, we bounced ideas off of each other and then would call and invite the other over when we cooked something we loved or were experimenting with just to try it. I knew she wouldn't lie to me about whether it was good or not, and would give suggestions if needed. She was also abundant in praise when it was good, and what is better, had much enjoyment in the tasting and eating of it. We did that for each other.

All this to say why I haven't been posting here much. Cooking just isn't as much fun anymore. Life goes on, we must eat and I will still cook, but the excitement is gone.

Her son asked me to choose which of her cookbooks I would like to have. I think I listed them in the group in another thread.

I read Yan Can Cook first. Made Pork Foo Yung and a Pumpkin & shrimp soup. The soup sounded so different I had to try it. It was enjoyed by all of us!

I still cook with Patricia in my head, and when I make a cocktail I offer her a toast. How blessed I have been to have one friend like her.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:37 am

>111 MrsLee: Some topics to get you to 151:
Name your top five meals? Worst five meals? Favorite kitchen memory? Did anyone inspire you to learn to cook; if so, who & why? Least favorite food ever? Most favorite food ever? What is the one ingredient you never want to cook with again? What is the one ingredient you always love to cook with?

You mentioned in >107 MrsLee: the loss of your friend. Having just suffered an unexpected family death, I can understand how this could be super sensitive; but do you have a favorite memory of this person? Maybe a shared kitchen experience or meal?

Jan 10, 2021, 11:42 am

>113 MrsLee: The excitement (different, I'm sure) will probably come back when you aren't so raw. It's very kind of her son to offer you a pick of cookbooks.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:47 am

I am working on a sourdough scone recipe. One in my head. The first attempt needed more salt and sugar. Second batch was pretty darned perfect. I make them as I make my dad's biscuits, measuring by eye.

Sourdough starter (1- 1 1/2 c.)
Flour (2ish cups)
baking powder (2 heaping t., the kind in your silverware drawer, not measuring)
baking soda (1/2 t.)
sugar (3-4 Tablespoons, I think I used the measuring kind)
salt (1 t. measuring kind)
whipping cream - enough to make stiff biscuit dough
Some also adds:
grated lemon peel, dried cranberries or currents, orange peel, chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients, add liquids, gently toss until dough holds together, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 500° F. Turn dough out onto greased baking sheet, press into circle about 1 1/2" to 2" thick. Cut into wedges. Brush with whipping cream, sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Bake 10-15 min. until golden. Check by cutting wedge & lifting it to make sure it's done in center. Cut apart before cool. Serve with the good stuff.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:51 am

I find it difficult to cook from cookbooks when I get so many ideas to use up leftovers. My standard cooking weekend is to cook 2 meats, several vegetables and a pot of beans, rice or noodles. Then through the week we combine them in different ways to grab quick meals.

Dec. 13
1.Pork fajitas with red onions & red cabbage, marinated in lime juice, tequila, chili powder, cumin, etc.

2. Veggy soup/green V8 - turkey broth, asparagus ends, carrot, broccoli, celery, onion, garlic, chili pepper, seasonings - blended together after cooking.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:56 am

Christmas came this year, and my son and his wife visited.

Christmas eve dinner was lamb curry, made with lamb, onions and mangoes. The recipe is an old one from the 1950s and originally called for shrimp and apples, but my mom always made it with leftover lamb roast. I don't use apples because I'm allergic to them, but I find that hard mangoes are a nice substitute. I jazz up the recipe by toasting whole spices to the veggies, then the dry spices and flour are added. I also serve it with toasted peanuts, coconut, peach chutney, my homemade hot sriracha sauce and chopped cilantro.

Jan 10, 2021, 11:58 am

Christmas day I made tostadas. Carnita, homemade refried beans, chopped cabbage, cotija cheese, my mom's salsa fresca (only hers uses canned tomatoes), sour cream and fried until fall-apart crisp corn and flour tortillas.

Editado: Jan 10, 2021, 12:11 pm

New Year's Day brought my other son and his girlfriend. They didn't arrive until after 6 p.m. so I laid out a table of snacks for dinner.

Ruffles potato chips
Original wheat thins
Clam dip
fresh jicama, radish and cucumbers with Ranch dressing
Point Reyes blue
Coastal Cheddar (white)
Tillamook Cheddar (yellow)
Pecans toasted with agave nectar and beriberi spice blend
Almonds toasted with agave nectar and sea salt
3 varieties of sausage with 2 mustards and a bbq sauce for dipping
boiled shrimp with cocktail sauce and coconut-siracha sauce
Sourdough loaf with nigella seed

We could have fed an army!

Jan 10, 2021, 12:11 pm

>114 lesmel: Great ideas!

>115 lesmel: Thank you. Condolences on your loss as well.

Jan 10, 2021, 12:21 pm

On the Saturday after that big spread, my friend's son and his girlfriend joined my son, girlfriend and us for what would have been the New Year's Eve dinner if people had been able to be here then.

Cheese and olive platter for appetizers
Roast Prime rib (son's girlfriend commented that she had never had rare roast beef before and had always hated beef roast. She loved mine!)
Salad mixed greens with mandarin slices, pecans and onion bits which had been marinated in vinegar, salt and sugar. Also Blue cheese dressing and Ranch dressing (homemade, I don't use bottled)
Baked potatoes with butter and sour cream
Roasted Brussels sprouts with panko bread crumbs, garlic and parmesan cheese.

I opened four bottles of my homemade wine to try. Rhubarb was outstanding for white. The pomegranate was almost undrinkable (flavorless, but was perfect in the next morning's breakfast, which I will explain in another post) Concord grape was predictably too sweet, like liquid jelly (one girl loved it), the mixed pomegranate/Concord grape was also too sweet, but drinkable to some. I'm not a sweet fan.

For dessert I made chess pies. Small individual pies with a filling of pecans, eggs, butter, sugar and chopped raisins. Yum!

Jan 10, 2021, 12:25 pm

Oh, breakfast on Saturday morning was an omelette with shrimp, sausage, cilantro and avocado slices.

Breakfast on Sunday was creamed shrimp over toast, made with that lusterless pomegranate wine (it added great flavor to the sauce!) Also it had a seasoning my son's girlfriend gave me which she had made from a recipe developed by her uncle, a New Orleans firefighter cook. Called Flashover seasoning, it is scrumptious, and spicy, as you might imagine. I've been using it on everything! Eggs, salad, salmon, etc.

Editado: Jan 10, 2021, 12:31 pm

Kim (I shall give her a name so much easier than typing "my son's girlfriend" all the time) gave me a copy of her uncle's cookbook along with the special seasoning, "If You Can't Stand the Heat" by Robert Medina. It includes the recipe for that Flashover seasoning, as well as many other tasty sounding morsels. A sort of easy Prudhomme type of cookbook. Can't wait to try some of them. Many recipes for the building blocks of good food like sauces, marinades, dips, etc. As well as the dishes. He writes in a nice easy to understand style, too.

I'm sorry about no touchstone, can't get the correct one to come up.

Jan 10, 2021, 12:32 pm

Using up leftover dips and salsas, made a pot of black beans, very nice.

Jan 10, 2021, 12:34 pm

Whew, I need a break. Will come back tomorrow with some of Lesmel's ideas for more posts.

Anyone feel free to join in and contribute with your own answers to her suggestions in >114 lesmel:.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:02 pm

Deep breath. Here goes.

Today I spent a couple of hours replenishing the spices in my cupboards. I make most of my blends, and seemed to have run out of them all at once. This also involved refilling several containers in my kitchen cupboard with the backup supply from the pantry.

Began with making a curry powder blend. Roasting whole spices, then grinding and mixing with turmeric and ginger. Smells divine.

Speaking of good smells, I keep several types of dried chilies in my cupboard for this and that. I also make my own chili powder so that I can control the amount of seeds in it and blend the chilies for depth of flavor. I love the heavenly smell when I open a container of chili pods. As good as chocolate or coffee. Mmmm. Only, after I ground them, I had a sneezing and coughing fit.

I made a pork roast rub from a recipe I wrote in 2007.
3 T. whole black peppercorns (I am very low on those, so used some longpepper to substitute)
1 T. mustard seed
A few juniper berries
Same amount of allspice berries
1/2 kernel of nutmeg

Grind all those in the spice grinder and add:
2 t. dried garlic
2 T. dried and powdered sage

Mix well and add:
As much Kosher salt as you have of the other spices. Mix and store, rub liberally on outside of pork roast before roasting. So yummy.

In order to make the pork rub, I had to prepare and grind some homegrown sage.

When I was done, the blender was coated with chili powder and sage powder, and I had about 1-2 T. of spice husks that didn't go through the sifter when I made my curry powder.

I added some tomato juice and that unremarkable pomegranate wine to the blender and whirled to get the spices. Poured that over rice in a pot, added some peach chutney left over from Christmas and cooked. I really was dubious about the outcome, but I just tasted it and it is fantastic! My husband might find it too spicy though.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:03 pm

Now to cook waffles and bacon and sweet potato fries for a late lunch. Had extra sourdough.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:14 pm

Someone mentioned a Piffle Party.

We cooked our second turkey today and had some for dinner. Delicious.

Editado: Jan 10, 2021, 5:15 pm

>128 MrsLee: I have a serious question for you! Due to an outage with my 20-year-old stove, I am seriously considering the purchase of an instant pot. I was wondering whether you had any experience (or recommendations) and whether you knew of a good cookbook for recipes made in that appliance.

Because otherwise my husband and I are looking at weeks and weeks of crockpot cooking.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:17 pm

I made Crab Mornay for dinner yesterday. It was very nice.

Melted butter in a pot and sautéed some chopped shallots (I had no spring onions) and parsley. Then I gradually added in some flour, milk (had no cream) and grated cheese. Stirred continuously until all the cheese was melted then added in com cayenne pepper and sherry before folding in the crab meat.

Served in a warmed dish and ate with some delicious wheaten bread.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:20 pm

>130 jillmwo: That reminds me that I still have to tell the full story of our oven element that went "Phutt" on 23rd December when we still had a ham and a turkey to cook for the 25th. Most of the story is in bits and pieces in my reading thread, but I have not yet told how the incident and its resolution demonstrated the superiority of a Theoretical Physicist over an Experimental Physicist.

Unfortunately it is late and I have work in the morning, so that part of the story will have to wait for a later post.

Jan 10, 2021, 5:24 pm

I thought you might like this given the title of your thread.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:28 pm

Yay! My piffle buddies to the rescue! Thank you for the help.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:31 pm

>130 jillmwo: Sadly, I have never tried an instant pot, but several of my family members have one and love it. As for recipe books, I have purchased a couple for my DIL, who says she is going to try hers soon...a year ago, still no experiments, so I can't help there, either.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:32 pm

>131 pgmcc: That sounds so wonderful I almost hate to read the post. If I could ever get my hands on reliable good seafood, I would be all over that recipe. One of these days!

Jan 10, 2021, 9:36 pm

>133 pgmcc: Hahaha! Love it. I frequently feel like I'm practicing some sort of potion-lore in my kitchen. Today, when I was playing with spices and making my curry blend, my husband drifted through and said the smell took him back to his childhood as an altar boy! Said it smelled like insence. Not sure if that's a good thing, but I thought it smelled heavenly.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:42 pm

Here's a funny thing. I decided to take another taste of the pomegranate wine, because it was so good in my creamed shrimp and the rice I made today. It tasted good! Very dry, light, but the fruit is in the background. So, did it need to breathe? Or perhaps it is not a wine that should be tasted after heavier wines? Perhaps it needs to stand alone. Anyway, I'm happy I don't have to throw it out. I have 3 more bottles and by rights they need to sit at least 3 more months, so I'm hoping for good things.

Editado: Jan 10, 2021, 9:52 pm

Rats. I put a photo in my junk drawer which explains why I probably won't be having salad or anything else for dinner. I have about 30 pounds of cats (2, Jinn is 22 lbs. and Brindle is 8 lbs.) sleeping on my lap and am immobilized. Time to read, I guess.

I would share the photo here, but can't figure out how to do that with my phone. Doesn't give me an address for the photo to copy.

Jan 10, 2021, 9:59 pm

Just wondering if you skipped 2020 for cooking ?

Jan 10, 2021, 10:01 pm

>134 MrsLee:
A friend in need !

Jan 11, 2021, 12:01 am

I've been enjoying reading your thread, so I thought I'd join the piffling.

I've been in a slump regarding cooking, but did make some mincemeat cookies today from an old family recipe. The base is an "icebox" cookie. You form the dough into rolls, then slice it onto the cookie sheets, make a thumbprint in each cookie, and fill the thumbprints with mincemeat. I love them. I made the dough before Christmas, and made half into cookies then. The rest was in rolls wrapped up in the fridge, so I thought I'd best use it before it got too dried out.

>122 MrsLee: your chess pies sound a lot like butter tarts.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:08 am

>138 MrsLee:
Wine improves with age. The older I get the more I like it.

Jan 11, 2021, 5:11 am

>127 MrsLee: I'm amused by someone who can mention pork and kosher salt in the same post without irony.

Jan 11, 2021, 5:13 am

>142 NorthernStar: I inherited from an aunt a medieval cookbook called To the King's Taste. This has a recipe for Leshes in Lenton which, in Better Half's implementation, comes out remarkably like what you describe.

Jan 11, 2021, 5:14 am

I also need help piffling in my thread!

Jan 11, 2021, 11:39 am

This comment was begun in my thread over on the Green Dragon, but seeing the need for more posts here, and due to the food nature of the post, thought I would finish it here.

I was not raised in any particular religion, and so there were no traditional religious treats at the holiday celebrations. Only traditional-to-our-family candies and coffee cake/breads. My mother used to make a raised dough filled with dried fruits and nuts, liberally treated with butter, cinnamon and sugar on the inside, then rolled, pinched the ends together and cut slices into it so the fruit and nuts could peek out. When this was finished baking, she drizzled a powdered sugar glaze over it. She made these for all the neighbors.

Mom also made fudge, divinity and patience. My sister made cathedral windows (colored marshmallows, chopped nuts coated in melted chocolate, rolled and sliced). I didn't love any of these and so have never made them myself.

My taste runs more to the likes of what >142 NorthernStar: mentioned in her post. I have a ton of fruit only mincemeat, I'm going to try those! My grandmother also made jam/jelly cookies in the same manner, which I adored.

Jan 11, 2021, 11:40 am

>140 suitable1: I cooked, but posted it all in this thread, I guess. Unless I've pulled up the wrong thread to post in. :(

Jan 11, 2021, 11:40 am

>141 suitable1: Bless you!

Jan 11, 2021, 11:41 am

>143 pgmcc: Yep Yep!

Jan 11, 2021, 11:43 am

>144 hfglen: Having a great lack of exposure to the Jewish world, I suppose it makes it easier? I'm a big fan of the book in the New Testament where Peter is presented with a sheet of all kinds of animals and told that they are clean to him to eat. Not that I want to eat all kinds of animals, just the yummy ones with cloven hoofs, shellfish, and the like.

Jan 11, 2021, 11:43 am

>146 hfglen: I'm on it!

Jan 11, 2021, 11:44 am

Hurray! Thank you all!

Jan 11, 2021, 12:43 pm

>153 MrsLee: I am too late for the piffle party it seems. But I am glad that I came over anyway, to read about seasonal food traditions.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:23 pm

>154 -pilgrim-: Better late than never! :) You are always welcome.