let's cook out the decade - lesmel - 2020

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let's cook out the decade - lesmel - 2020

Jan 2, 2020, 12:48 pm

I refuse to bow to public opinion that a decade starts in 00. January is 01, not 00.
Also, I need to try to hit the 150 posts mark this year so I can just continue the thread into next year.

Made black eyed peas last night. May they bring me better luck in 2020 than in 2019 which should have set itself on fire, jumped in a lake, and drowned.

The BEPs were good. I will be making purple hull and something something lady peas or lady something something peas today or over the weekend. Might make some cornbread to go with the peas.

I have a small metric ton of food to eat from the holidays:
chicken and dumplings
cornbread dressing
cinnamon rolls (from my grandmother's or great-grandmother's coffee cake recipe)
cranberry sauce (my mother's celebrated and often fought over sauce recipe is straight off the back of the Ocean Spray bag)

Jan 3, 2020, 5:16 am

>1 lesmel: "I refuse to bow to public opinion that a decade starts in 00"
Hear! Hear!

Have a happy and tasty new year, filled with all blessings.

Jan 10, 2020, 4:47 pm

For later perusal: https://lib.msu.edu/sliker/

Jan 18, 2020, 1:43 am

I've only managed one thing (and a LOT of it) so far this year: Split Pea Soup. I don't know how the rest of you feel about this soup; but I'm usually totally grossed out if it's gloopy and thick. I have a tendency to actually gag if the soup is basically pureed split peas with some ham. I found a mix that uses split peas, lentils, and barley. I never would have thought to put barley or lentils in split pea; but it's delightful. Easy enough to replicate own my own.

Jan 18, 2020, 11:25 am

My mother's split pea soup doesn't have any ham at all in it--it's beef based. I like it better than hammy pea soup.

Jan 18, 2020, 3:20 pm

>4 lesmel: Hmm, I think I like mine somewhere in between. I like to make a soup with a good broth, regular soupy seasonings such as onions and garlic, etc. Then the peas and some diced carrots. I mash it in the pot with a potato masher so it isn't quite pureed, but isn't total chunks either. Then I add shredded bits of ham. I love it. I would probably love yours with the barley, too.

Editado: Jan 18, 2020, 4:08 pm

A few decades ago Austrian supermarkets sold 'Erbswurst'. (Pea sausage) This was maybe 10 cm long and 2-3 cm diameter of pressed dried cooked pea puree. There were marks on it to indicate servings, and it came in 2 versions - with and without ham. This was great stuff, because you could cut a piece off, throw it into water, bring it to a boil and have ready made pea soup. You could throw it into your backpack if you wanted pea soup on top of a mountain, or keep it in your pantry for emergencies. I certainly haven't seen it this century. A nice thick pea soup with ham is one of the few soups I really like. I think because it stays on the spoon.

I just looked it up online. It seems the Erbswurst continued to be produced until a year ago. But it certainly hasn't been in stores for a long time.

Jan 18, 2020, 9:04 pm

The split pea soup "recipe" I used

2/3 c split peas
1/2 c lentils
1/2 c pearled barley
1 hammy ham bone
6-8 c water
onions, garlic, carrots, whatnot

I basically made ham broth with the water and ham bone (I bought it from HoneyBaked Ham). When the broth was done, I pulled the meat and bone. Then I threw in the split pea mix (I'm guess on amounts based on some real recipes I looked up). This time around, I only had dried minced onion and threw that in, too. I did everything in the Instant Pot. When the ham was cool, I pulled/shredded the meat. When the split pea mix was done, I dumped in the meat. Stirred everything really well, portioned it into Ball jars, let it cool before sticking everything in the fridge.

>5 Marissa_Doyle: I'd probably like beef based split pea soup!

>6 MrsLee: I like the Rachel Ray "stoup" consistency. Not quite soup, not quite stew.

>7 MarthaJeanne: Erbswurst sounds interesting! I like the efficiency of something that can easily be used in the kitchen as well as at a campground. Huh. Looks like it part of a solider's field rations in WWI and WWII.

Jan 19, 2020, 11:34 am

Hmm, I have some lentils, carrots and onions to use, and a ham bone, not sure about the split peas, but I think you have given me the idea for what to cook today. :) I may add a few curry spices though, just to liven things up.

Jan 27, 2020, 3:51 pm

As reported in my crafty thread: I was sick the last 4-5 days with flu. The only thing I did for four days straight was sleep, drink gatorade, and binge DisneyPlus or CBS All Access shows. I did celebrate feeling human again with some pancakes from a baking mix and using chia eggs since I wasn't about to go to the store in my post-flu glory.

Fev 8, 2020, 8:28 am

I'm making air fryer crispy tofu this morning. I'm oddly obsessed with crispy tofu. The cafe in my building has it as a rice or noodle bowl. I'd rather have the whole bowl be tofu. It's spongy (and after just a few minutes in a covered to-go bowl it's not crisp at all) and has a strong soy flavor. I decided to try it at home. See if I could actually get it a little crispy. I'll report back on the experiment -- which isn't included corn starch this time around.

Fev 22, 2020, 6:08 pm

I made two batches of bagels this morning -- trying two methods for mixing the dough that I learned last year. I can tell you I prefer the dough hook method instead of the food processor method. Both batches were plain so I could properly decide on method.

I plan on making these tonight: http://www.bruceandmark.com/recipes/2016/3/4/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Going back to >11 lesmel: the crispy tofu was good! The first batch was a little too blackened. The second was perfect. Also, I realized the tofu at the cafe is teriyaki more than soy.

Fev 29, 2020, 2:39 pm

More bagels today! Boiling and baking tomorrow. Also made pan-crepes (half pancake half crepe) because my waffle iron has declared itself unable to wafflize another thing. Goodbye waffle iron, you did you job well. Your replacement has already been ordered.

I'm craving fried tofu again.

In other kitchen-y things, I made the cookies from >12 lesmel:. They didn't make individual cookies. I made a giant slab and cut it into bars. I'm not sure what happened, but the dough WOULD NOT hold together.

I've also picked up a large stack of air fryer cookbooks so I can start playing more with my air fryer.

Mar 1, 2020, 12:57 pm

>13 lesmel: I'm confuzzed by "pan-crepes". Isn't a crepe basically a thin pancake?

Editado: Mar 1, 2020, 7:11 pm

>14 hfglen: Yes and no. These really were kinda half/half. Pancake batter (which has leavening) thinned out some and then swirled in a skillet to make the pancake "crepe like" in texture and thickness. Classic crepe batter doesn't have leavening and is much more runny than pancake batter.

ETA: I'm assuming pancake batter is the same worldwide which it probably isn't. American-style pancake batter has leavening and is thicker than crepe batter.

Mar 2, 2020, 3:41 am

Ah. All is explained, thank you.

Mar 24, 2020, 10:25 pm

Made scones from baking mix this morning while waiting for a process to run on one of my systems at work. Like a chunk of the world, I'm working from home. I'm hoping I don't get too spoiled by this b/c the likelihood that I get to keep working from home is next to nil. Still, I have hopeful.

The scones were buttermilk-prune scones because that's what I've got to work with. They are deeeelicious. I have oranges and fresh-frozen cranberries. I'm wondering if I could dehydrate some cranberries in my air fryer. Then I could make orange-cranberry scones. Mmmmmm...

Abr 30, 2020, 1:04 am

Have I mentioned I made cinnamon raisin bread? It seems I have not!

A friend tried to make this a few weeks ago -- when she still could get yeast on a whim. She's never baked with yeast. In fact, she does very little baking at all. Let's just say that yeast died a valiant death. It was a hoot and a half texting with her as she tried to make the recipe. I considered live-tweeting it; but I was laughing too hard.

Recipe here: https://www.food.com/recipe/worlds-best-cinnamon-raisin-bread-not-bread-machine-...

I would like this more if it had 2x or 3x as many raisins and had a more developed flavor. This is one of the reasons I stick to sites with testing kitchens -- like KAF.

In other news, I FOUND FLOUR! Gold Medal unbleached. I wanted to buy every bag in the store. I restrained myself to 2 bags. I should have looked for yeast since my friend now can't find it anywhere. I know there's a shortage in places. It's been on the shelves each time I've gone to a store; since I have plenty (I hope) I haven't been really looking.

Abr 30, 2020, 2:31 am

>18 lesmel: I assume professional bakeries have priority for flour and yeast supplies - still can't get either where I live, though other stuff that was in short supply is now back on the shelves. I've been wanting to try a recipe for yeast-raised Staffordshire oatcakes - i have the flour and the oats but can't get yeast for love nor money.

Your raisin bread has a lovely swirl but three raisins per slice does seem a bit stingy!

Editado: Abr 30, 2020, 2:58 am

Apparently the problem in the UK is not the flour, but the packing facilities. Bakers get their flour delivered in great big bags, but with lots of people at home wanting to bake themselves, they can't pack the small bags fast enough.

I hope there is yeast at our store today. I think that it is available again.

Editado: Abr 30, 2020, 7:51 am

I did get both dried yeast and fresh today. If someone in EU or UK is desperate, I could mail a package of dried yeast (three envelopes). No guarantees when you would get it, as tomorrow is a holiday here and Covid19 is also playing havoc with postal services. Put a private message on my profile with your postal address. First come, first serve.

Abr 30, 2020, 1:57 pm

>19 Sovay: It got a little better in the middle of the first two loaves. The final loaf is in the fridge waiting to be devoured. Still, 1 cup of raisins is definitely not enough for three loaves of bread.

>20 MarthaJeanne: I have a feeling it is the same for the US. It's really the packing facilities for flour.

Maio 1, 2020, 5:15 am

>20 MarthaJeanne: I'm still at work full time so can't get to the shops until the evening, when there is no flour, but it may well be there in the morning and all sold before I arrive.

Maio 6, 2020, 10:36 pm

Had a mini baking party on Messenger video with a friend in IL. She made two batches of cookies. I started with one batch (Chocolate Peppermint Snaps); but mixed a second batch (Soft Snickerdoodles). I'll need to scoop the second batch tomorrow. My back hurt too much to stand or sit and finish up the process.

The snaps are good. There's something weird with the dough, though. There's no consistency to any of the cookies. Some are thin, crisp, and nearly as large as my palm. Some are at least 1/4 smaller, thicker, and chewy. I'd make the dough again; but try to figure out why they are inconsistent.

The snickerdoodles are bomb proof. I've made this recipe probably a couple dozen times. I'm sort of excited to be baking them.

Maio 7, 2020, 12:03 am

Decided I had enough juice to manage the second batch of cookies. The last dozen is cooling so I can put them in a box and trot off to bed. Bet I sleep better than I have in a couple weeks! Heh.

Maio 7, 2020, 6:42 am

>24 lesmel: I note with interest your reference to SOFT Snickerdoodles, which implies that there are also Hard Snickerdoodles. I made some Snickerdoodles once and assumed I'd done it wrong because they came out quite crisp and all the descriptions I had read implied that Snickerdoodles should be soft, maybe even chewy. But maybe it was a recipe for Hard Snickerdoodles all along ...

I hope you slept well and woke refreshed!

Maio 7, 2020, 8:39 pm

>26 Sovay: Yep! There are crispy snickerdoodles and soft snickerdoodles. This is the recipe I use for soft snickerdoodles: https://www.food.com/recipe/soft-snickerdoodle-cookies-97496. The recipe can actually make crisp snickerdoodles by adding just a minute or two of baking time.

Maio 8, 2020, 4:17 pm

>27 lesmel: When we get back to a world in which I can invite people round for tea, I'll give them another try!

Maio 9, 2020, 10:25 pm

Made cream scones with ginger today. It was fantastic to be able to work in the kitchen without back pain! I messed up the recipe a little. I should have split the dough, shaped it, and then baked it. Instead, I made it one large disk. Took forever to bake. Made the outside overdone. It's still super tasty.

Maio 14, 2020, 11:45 pm

Made another round of cinnamon raisin bread. Added ~3 cups of raisins plus 1 cup of cinnamon chips to the dough. Huge difference in taste. The swirl wasn't quite as perfect this time; but I'm willing to trade that for flavor and color!

Had to take my car to the shop for a new battery. Ended up taking all of the chocolate peppermint snaps, most of the snickerdoodles, all of the scones, and one loaf of the cinnamon raisin bread. I don't think I realized just how much baking I have been doing.

Next (not for at least a week, maybe two) on my list is either cinnamon apple or pear scones. This time, I'm going to remember to divide the dough before I shape and bake it.

Maio 23, 2020, 6:23 pm

I made brown rice risotto with mushrooms and peas in my Instant Pot. It's not picture worth; but it's delicious.

More baking, too! This time, apricot scones. I just used the KAF Cream Tea Scone recipe: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/cream-tea-scones-recipe. I needed more heavy cream -- about 3 T more than the 1.5 cups called for. I was absolutely sure that I'd overworked the dough; but they turned out really tender! I may try this recipe again and shape in a rectangle and cut the dough into squares/rectangles.

I probably should have cut the wedges into six instead of eight; but I like that the scones are on the smallish size.

I also made ginger syrup. It's zippy and delicious! It also means I have a bunch of ginger I can use in baking.

8 ounces (225g) fresh ginger
4 cups (1L) water
2 cups (400g) sugar
pinch salt

If you are going to use the ginger later, peel the ginger. Slice thinly and then rough chop the slices.
Combine ingredients in large sauce pan. Bring to full boil. Reduce heat to steady simmer. Cook 45 min to one hour. Cool completely. Strain solids (discard or reserve for later use). Syrup will last in fridge for about two weeks.

For a great zippy mixer: combine 1 part syrup to 2 parts chilled club soda. Fill a glass (or two) with ice, squeeze in lemon or lime juice (a wedge or two). Top with your ginger mixer. If you are feelin' fancy, garnish with a strip of the reserved ginger or a thin slice of fresh ginger or a twist of lime or lemon.

Most of you probably know you can peel ginger with a spoon. If you have heard about it and don't really believe it, it does work. It's a pain, but it works.

Also! Look what made it to my local grocery store shelves!!

There were three empty yeast cartons. I was sort of surprised that there was any evidence of yeast. In fact, I am surprised that my dad is finding yeast at his store. I've started to call him the YeastMaster. Anyone remember Marc Singer (good lord. he's 72.)? Huh. The movie Beast Master is based (maybe "inspired" is a better word) on the Andre Norton novel of the same name: Beast Master.

Maio 23, 2020, 8:00 pm

>31 lesmel: I remembered the film, and the books (books were better than the film). I certainly remembered Marc Singer, and gently point out that he's less than a year younger than I.

Every time I read of your travails with yeast, I'm reminded that we just used to keep a jar of yeast, and kept it going for many years. I confess I wouldn't know how to start a jar, nowadays, but then, I so seldom use yeast that I suppose it doesn't matter.

I think I may put yeast on my grocery list, just to remind myself to see if there *is* any.

Maio 23, 2020, 9:41 pm

>32 Lyndatrue: HA! My comment about Marc Singer's age was more a reflection on my age than his. I'm sure I wouldn't have watched Beast Master when it was first released; but probably 5-7 years later. In my head, Marc Singer has been 5-10 years younger than reality. Of course, I also realized the other day that come Fall, I will have started high school 30 yrs ago. Time is a weird weird thing. And so is memory.

Maio 23, 2020, 10:52 pm

Made chai-spice syrup tonight. It's not as zippy as the ginger syrup; but it's got a nice bite.

Maio 24, 2020, 4:01 am

>31 lesmel: You seem to be baking like a mad baking thing! The apricot scones look good. I'm not baking at all at present - can't ask anyone round for tea and we're having a moratorium on cake and biscuits at work because we were all starting to put on weight (less exercise than usual + comfort eating due to anxiety).

Editado: Maio 24, 2020, 8:24 am

Having read several recipes for soda bread/damper bread yesterday, I got down to work today.

I took the bowl of mashed potato leftovers, dumped in an egg and a good part of a 1/2 l container of buttermilk. To this I added some grated carrot I had in the refigerator and some chopped walnuts. In a small bowl I mixed the spelt flour that was left in the bag with 1tsp of baking soda. I added this to the wet mixture and stirred quickly. Too soft. I saw a bag of corn flour that wasn't enough for corn bread, so I added that. Mixed with my hands and formed a very sticky ball. I dusted the baking tray with flour to keep it from sticking, cut the cross on top and put it into a hot oven with steam. It browned very quickly, and I turned it way down to bake through. The result is very dark. Also very good. The corn and carrot go together well.

But I don't think I could duplicate this.

Maio 30, 2020, 12:52 pm

Mmmm, all the baking goodness! Thank you for the photos.

I was thinking about making some candied ginger the other day, but got lazy. It is a similar process to your syrup, but I think the sugar to water ratio is equal. I slice my ginger into thin rounds, bring the liquid and ginger to a boil for about 10 minutes, then turn it off, cover loosely, and repeat for 3 to 4 days. Then lay out the slices on the dehydrator shelves and dry slowly (you could do this without a dehydrator, too. The candy is lovely to eat.

My recipe for Snickerdoodles is for the crispy kind. I didn't know they came in a soft version until a couple of years ago. :)

Maio 30, 2020, 7:21 pm

>37 MrsLee: Mom and I make candied orange peel and lemon peel in a similar fashion to the ginger syrup I made. Trim top and bottom of 2-3 large oranges. Peel in four segments each. Scrape away pith. Slice into thin strips. Boil in plain water for 15 minutes. Drain. Repeat 2 more times. Combine equal parts water and sugar. Boil. Add sliced peel. Reduce to steady simmer for 45 minutes. Let peel and syrup cool completely. Remove peel from syrup. Dry on rack for about one hour (you can dry for 24 hours; but you want the strips to be tacky to the touch). Roll in sugar. Lay out on rack again for 1-2 days.

This recipe for making preserves from candied orange peel looks delicious: https://en.julskitchen.com/preserves/candied-orange-peels. I love marmalade. Looooooove marmalade. This is almost a cross of candied peel and marmalade, I think.

Maio 31, 2020, 10:00 am

>38 lesmel: Sounds wonderful. I think I am supposed to boil the ginger in plain water first, I wasn't looking at the recipe when I typed. :) I don't throw that water out though, I use it in cooking or in a smoothie.

Maio 31, 2020, 10:15 am

>39 MrsLee: I wouldn't throw out the ginger water either! The orange water is really bitter the first round. The second or third boil might be ok to bake with. I think the first boil for the ginger is supposed to reduce the spiciness of the candied ginger. To me, that's the whole point of the ginger. I like it zippy!

Maio 31, 2020, 11:22 am

Love all the creative ideas. I did pull some rhuband, diced and froze it as my baking has almost stopped. I did send my son home with a lemon cake I baked; not creative as it was a box mix. He came to mow.

Maio 31, 2020, 11:36 am

I haven't mentioned the English Muffin Toasting Bread! I made it on Thursday night. It is ridiculously easy to make.



Maio 31, 2020, 11:49 am

>42 lesmel: Mm-mm! One thing I miss here at times is that it's hard to get bread that makes decent toast.

Maio 31, 2020, 2:02 pm

>42 lesmel: I will have to try that sometime. I've been making sourdough bread, which we love, but now and then one wants something else.

Maio 31, 2020, 2:02 pm

>43 haydninvienna: This recipe will do it! It makes fantastic toast!

Jun 19, 2020, 8:44 am

I had family in town -- we went to the coast for a week of secluded staycation. It was glorious. There were a ton of homemade crisp snickerdoodles. Just yesterday, I ate the last of my stash. I also ate the last of of my English Muffin toasting bread. I need to finish the Mrs. Bairds Thin White before I can make more bread. Actually, it would be far better for me not to make any more bread or cookies. I've gained the Covid 19.

Jun 19, 2020, 9:10 am

>41 mnleona: I love anything lemon flavored. Cookies, cakes, muffins, tea, etc. I make two kinds of cookies that always make me wish I'd made more: Lemon Whippersnappers and lemon butter cookies. The whippersnappers are from a lemon cake mix. The lemon butter cookies are actually a base butter cookie recipe that I can make just about any flavor cookie I want -- including black pepper, which are oddly very appealing.

Jun 26, 2020, 9:41 pm

>42 lesmel: Looks yummy!

Jul 29, 2020, 11:48 am

Since discovering English Muffin Toasting Bread I've also discovered SkinnyTaste Easy "Bagels" -- https://www.skinnytaste.com/easy-bagel-recipe/ -- I quote the word bagels because these are not bagels. They look and taste similar; but they are not bagels. That doesn't mean they are bad. In fact, the recipe is pretty darn tasty! So, if you like bagel-like bread objects, these are worth a try. I made them with plain yogurt and with Oikos Orange Cream Greek-style yogurt. I think in my third batch, I'm going to use my donut pan to see if I can make the bagels more bagel like.


I started a Family Dinner Night via video chat with my mom, cousin, and aunt. We've made Asian Beef and Noodles, 20-min meatloaf, Chicken & Rice Medley with Orange-Almond Salad, and last night was Beef Stroganoff. Unfortunately, I broke my sauce last night using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I was using yogurt because it's what I had and I need to be a better steward of my fridge/freezer/pantry.






Outside of family dinner night, I've also made Coffee-Banana Bread and Chili Chicken Verde.



Anyone recognize the china pattern? Here's a clear view of the pattern and the back.
I have found a single piece that matches the pattern: https://like2shop.com/products/gravy-boat-edwin-m-knowles-semi-vitreous-vintage-...


No named pattern I've found so far matches my grandmother's pattern. I'm guessing the pattern is from 1945-1948 based on a few things:

I know the china has to have been produced after 1940 because the EMKCC didn't stamp their name until then.

My grandparents married in 1941; but they had to pretend to still be single after they eloped because my grandmother was in a single woman's dorm at college and my grandfather was in the state guard.

Then, they were separated by the war for until 1945.

In 1946, they moved into the house my grandparents lived in until their deaths. (Another story for another time, I regret that we sold my grandmother's house after her death in 2009. I grieve every time I think about it.)


I think I just found the pattern! Woot! KN17 or KNO17. This makes me ridiculously happy. :)

Jul 29, 2020, 1:43 pm

>49 lesmel: I made these for supper instead of biscuits. They were good, but they aren't bagels.

Editado: Jul 29, 2020, 4:42 pm

>50 MarthaJeanne: >49 lesmel: to be fair to the skinny taste people, most of America apparently thinks the thing Dunkin' Donuts calls a bagel is a bagel, and that isn't either. I'm not entirely sure a real bagel can be made healthy/skinny. And certainly you have to boil them. I've never attempted making them; if I want a real bagel I go into Brookline and get some at Kuppel's. I do want to try making real bagels, but I have a no-deep-frying-when-alone policy for fire safety, so it'll have to wait until a friend can do it with me.

Your food looks so good! I need to remember to have a snack ready when I read this thread. :)

Jul 29, 2020, 5:23 pm

>51 Julie_in_the_Library: I never heard of bagels being deep fried. I've never tried real bagels myself, but a yeast dough, boiling in an alkaline, then baking. More than I've ever been prepared to do. During the time that I had a kitchen that it would have really worked in, I was either pregnant and/or had small children running about, and/or had teenage boys (otherwise known as bottomless pits).

Jul 29, 2020, 7:48 pm

>52 MarthaJeanne: I mistyped. I meant boil. The safety policy still applies, though. While it's less likely I'll start a fire while boiling than deep-frying, the burning my own arm potential is still too high to try it alone.

Jul 30, 2020, 3:29 pm

>51 Julie_in_the_Library: It's funny. That SkinnyTaste bagel recipe is actually a product of the WW community. It's a decent sub if you want something "bagel like" and don't want to blow your Points. I'm not adverse to DD bagels; and I'm not a NY bagel snob -- meaning I don't think the only true bagel is made in NY with NY water which turns out is a thing in the world of bagel appreciation. Who knew? I've made my own true bagels. For me, it's not difficult or scary (I'm infinitely more terrified of flambé than boiling bagels). I will say GOOD homemade bagels take time. I kludged two recipes to make my own. They proof for 12+ hrs in the fridge plus 1 hour on the counter before the water bath.

I need to have my car inspected this weekend -- really, I should have done it yesterday because my car registration is due by the end of the day tomorrow. I mention this because it is perfect timing to try out a new cookie recipe and share with the car shop staff! Orange Creamsicle Cookies

In other news, I fixed the beef stroganoff! I rinsed off the broken sauce from the Tuesday night batch, sautéed the whole thing in some broth, remade the sauce with Greek-style yogurt (because I still had enough to use), some cornstarch, and a lot of patience.

Ago 2, 2020, 10:44 am

>54 lesmel: Now that is dedication! Mostly we just eat my messes. Though there was the time in our first year of marriage when I mistakenly added baking soda instead of cornstarch to a stir-fry recipe. The ammonia smell was a dead giveaway. That and the foaming. We rinsed it and ate it though.

Ago 3, 2020, 5:59 pm

>55 MrsLee: I was all set to just eat the erasery bits; but I talked with my mom about it. It was worth at least trying with one portion. Especially since the beef was so expensive. I can't say I would use yogurt again; but it that's all I had...I know I could make it.

Ago 6, 2020, 6:06 pm

>54 lesmel: that picture looks delicious. I want to print it out and eat it! :)

I've heard the NY water thing before. It makes me laugh every time. It is a very NY thing to think that. And they say we're full of ourselves in Boston! :)

As for me, I'm not so much a NY bagel snob, having grown up here in MA and only lived in NY briefly for college, and that in Westchester county, so much as I'm a Jewish bagel snob. You can 100% get good bagels here in Massachusetts, you just can't get them at Dunk's or the supermarket. Whenever we went into Brookline for anything when I was kid, we'd always stop at Kupel's and get bagels to bring home.

That's one of the other things keeping me from trying, to be honest. Even if I don't burn myself with boiling water, - which I do nearly every time I make Buitoni tortellini from the refrigerated section, so it's a real possibility that I will - I'm from a family that can actually tell a good bagel from a bad/fake one, which ups the standards an intimidating amount. Though their reactions to everything I've made so far, including regular and round with raisins challah, has been incredibly positive so far, so I may give it a go one of these days.

Ago 16, 2020, 6:56 pm

Two weeks ago, my entire personal life (the little that exists) imploded temporarily when I learned a close friend died in his sleep. Nothing as been the same. I've started to claw my way back to "normal" whatever that is supposed to be even though I'm still doing all "normal" things like cooking and reading and working.

It's been a really rough two weeks. There has also be some Kummerspeck -- I love that word and it's literal translation to English, though I don't love what it really means.

>57 Julie_in_the_Library: I would say "only in NY;" but that is so far from the truth! Humans (the collective) for the most part think they are pretty darn special snowflakes. I think it makes us feel less insignificant or something. As individual people, I don't think that the majority of us seek that special snowflake attitude out of malice or ignorance...even when it comes across that way.

Editado: Ago 16, 2020, 11:43 pm

August 4th was Old Settler Beans (aka Calico Beans). Basically an un-fancy, not-quite cassoulet of ground beef, smoked sausage, pork & beans, and butter beans mixed with ketchup, dry mustard, sugar (brown & white), and Worcestershire sauce. I never add the white sugar. Honestly, I would rather use navy beans instead of pork & beans since the recipe includes a sauce.

Ago 16, 2020, 11:39 pm

A friend and I have been doing some "baking together apart" sessions. August 8th, we made yeasted peanut butter bread. This stuff is great. I love it with some Havarti melted on a very thin slice that has been toasted. I got the crust a little dark; but it wasn't burned.

Ago 16, 2020, 11:46 pm

Next up for family dinner was Cashew Chicken Salad (on Aug 11th).

I love this salad...but I am so freaking tired of eating it six days straight. I have two more servings. I'm tempted to eat them both tomorrow; but I won't. If I would just be smart about these dinners, I would make sure I only make enough for 3-4 meals.

Ago 17, 2020, 12:18 am

And now, let's talk fruit cake. Fruit cake is usually pretty divisive. There's not really a middle of the road feeling for fruit cake. I fall firmly in the "love me, love fruit cake" camp.

When my grandmother died in 2009, the women in the family spent a long while looking through all the recipes that were in her house. In the collection of recipes was a hand-written, very faded recipe for steamed fruit cake. I immediately wanted to try it; but it's taken almost 11 years for me to get around to it.

I ended up making it three ways: baked, steamed, and steamed & pressure cooked.

This is steamed (the small bundt) and steamed/pressure cooked (the rectangular loaf):

This is baked:

I broke the baked loaves. *sighs* I forgot you need to cool fruit cakes completely in the pan before removing (unless, maybe, you are using parchment). It doesn't change the flavor or texture; but it's utterly annoying.

Here are slices of two methods (steamed/pressure cooked on the left - baked on the right). By far, I think I prefer the steamed/pressure cooked method. I haven't tried the steamed only method.

1 baked loaf is in the freezer while 1 is steeping in Jim Beam.
The steamed/pressure cooked loaf is also drunk on Jim Beam. I saved a few slices in the freezer.
The small bundt is wrapped in foil on the counter waiting for me to slice it. Pretty sure I'm going to freeze part and eat a small bit. I don't have anything that would work well for boozing part of the small bundt.

Things I would change:

* Use 1/2 lb of finely chopped prunes. 1 lb of prunes is waaaaay too pruney. I love prunes; but if I have 3 other lbs of fruit in the cake, I want to taste them. The easiest fix is to split the 1/2 lb between the cherries and pineapple; but I think upping the peel and citron would be a better way to go.

* Fill the pans to just a hair below the top. The baked loaves did not rise much if at all. The steamed cake in the pudding mold definitely didn't rise. The steamed & pressure cooked loaf crested; but then settled as it cooled.

* If baking, start checking the loaves at 65 minutes. I'm pretty sure I came close to burning the baked loaves. The "crust" for lack of a better term has a definite burnt sugar taste; but not burned cake taste.


* The steamed/pressure cooked method is by far the fastest. Steam 10 minutes, pressure cook 35 mins. Natural release 15-20 minutes.

* I may have my Christmas gifts figured out for this year. Assuming we are even having Christmas. I think a single recipe can make 4 small 8x4 loaves or small bundt

Ago 17, 2020, 9:33 am

Lesmel, I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope you're feeling better soon, and if there's anything I can do over the internet to help, please let me know.

I would love to get the recipe for that peanut butter bread. I've never heard of such a thing, but since it combines two of my favorite things - peanut butter and bread - I would love to give it a try.

I don't know if this works with all bread or just challah, but I usually tent the tops of the loaves with tin foil for the rest of the oven time once they're brown to my satisfaction, and that usually keeps them from getting too dark. I've yet to bake bread that doesn't have a burnt bottom though...

I am one of the few people with absolutely no opinion on fruit cake. But that's because I've never actually encountered one in person. I'm sure that once I try one, whenever the chance comes up, I will develop an opinion as strong as anyone's. :)

Yours look good though, and sort of reminiscent of the date honey nut cake I learned how to make at High Holidays last September. And that's really, really good. (I've yet to try a Tori Avey recipe that isn't, actually). I do know enough about fruit cake to know that similar appearance aside, the process is very different, though, so I'm not sure if they'd taste at all alike.

Ago 17, 2020, 9:40 am

>63 Julie_in_the_Library: I try to remember to lower the temperature of the oven a few minutes after putting the bread in. High temperatures are good for getting that extra raise and setting the crust, but not for penetrating. Lower temperatures will cook the inside of your bread better without browning the crust as much.

Ago 17, 2020, 9:52 am

Ago 18, 2020, 5:42 pm

>63 Julie_in_the_Library: Thank you for your kind words!

The PB bread is here: https://www.breadmachinediva.com/2016/04/bread-machine-recipe-for-peanut-butter-... -- I don't have a machine; but I do use instant yeast which makes converting to baking in the oven fairly simple. I have tented my bread before and like the results.

I'm with >64 MarthaJeanne: about raising and lowering the temp in the oven. Also, I have been known to pull the racks from the oven mid-bake and make adjustments. Also, home bakers swear by baking stones or unglazed tiles in the oven. James Beard in Beard on Bread talks about baking stones/tiles if I remember correctly.

Editado: Ago 18, 2020, 6:33 pm

I don't use tiles/stones. I have one, but it is just too heavy, and we use the oven for lots of things besides bread. My current oven has steam injection, which I love. It really makes a difference. The oven came with a baking sheet with lots of little holes. This does improve the bottom crust. I have since bought various bun pans with the little holes.

Ago 25, 2020, 9:38 am

>58 lesmel: I am sorry for your loss. Always so difficult when our loved ones leave us, but when they leave suddenly it's such a shock. The world as we have known it is shifted and it takes time to absorb.

I am in the camp of fruitcake lover. I think I prefer mine sans booze, although I will eat it soused as well. I know I prefer homemade and don't care to buy it from a catalog. I rarely use the store bought alien fruits of brilliant colors in my fruitcakes, sticking with a variety of dried fruits, but I even enjoy fruitcakes made with the party-colored alien fruits. :) In our family, fruitcake is soaked in brandy, for up to a year. Not me personally, but my mother and grandmother. I think they put cheesecloth on it with a layer of powdered sugar, then pour the brandy over that?

Editado: Ago 25, 2020, 12:17 pm

>68 MrsLee: I'm most definitely in the fruitcake camp, and have never understood the fruitcake-hating trope. In my youth the booze went into the cake batter, and additional booze (normally rum in our household) went on afterwards, just sprinkled on. Did I ever mention pumpkin fruitcake? My mum used to make a pretty good one.

ETA >62 lesmel: Those look good, all of them.

Ago 31, 2020, 6:32 pm

I cannot believe it's been another two weeks since I've updated. My grasp of time is really skewed; I'm still trying to figure out my new normal with permanent WFH. I've taken to writing one or two lines in my Google calendar to remind me of what I did each day. That officially makes me my grandmother. She always kept a wall calendar with little notes about each day. One or two words in each box.

Family dinner night on the 18th was Keto Chicken Alfredo. On the 25th (in honor of my birthday), we made French Toast. French Toast is a family legacy of sorts. My grandmother always made French Toast on Sundays when family stayed with her. Sure, it's pretty simple; but we have never perfected how she actually made it. Last week, I'm pretty sure I got the absolute closest ever. I'm pretty sure it was the Crisco that made the difference.

The biggest excitement last week was my fridge beginning to die. I noticed all my milk had gone off. I think I've mentioned this before: I cannot smell. Finding spoiled food can sometimes be an adventure. I found the milk the hard way. From two containers -- one nearly empty, one never opened and not expired. I watched in horror as the fridge temp kept creeping up through the day even though I kept adjusting the temp. I finally got it back to 40F after cranking the temp to nearly the coldest setting. The fridge was 18 years old. Luckily, I am in a position that I could replace the fridge rather than have to nurse it along or possibly repair and still have the fridge fail.

I'm the proud new owner of a 4-door French Door fridge. The 4th "door" is really a drawer that can be used as a flex space ranging from 30F to 41F (-1C to 5C). Probably the weirdest feature I'm the most tickled about is the autofill pitcher. There's something about having a pitcher of cold water that pleases me. I'm hoping it encourages me to drink more water.

It's been a month since my friend died and I'm still hitting these moments of "oh, he would love X." It's bittersweet. It reminds me of him; it reminds me I'll never get to share these sorts of moments with him again. Having worked my way through my grief over my grandmother's death, I know I will continue to have these moments for a long while -- possibly forever -- but the bitter part of the reminders will mellow and disappear.

Anyone seen the news about the cookbook database that is being crowdsourced? https://thesifter.org/

The Sifter is a finding aid, a searchable database, to assist people with food related questions. At present it includes over 5,000 authors and 5,000 works with details about the authors and about the contents of the works. The central documents are cookbooks and other writings related to getting, preparing, and consuming food, and the activities associated with them, as well as writings about cultural and moral attitudes.

It does not contain the texts of books or recipes. Rather it has the details about these, such as dedications, table of contents, recipes and in greater detail, the particular details of the recipes such as ingredients, actions and equipment.
-- https://thesifter.org/Home/Faq

Set 17, 2020, 5:57 pm

Ha. Two more weeks.

I made gumbo for family dinner night this week. A HUGE pot of it with 🍤 and 🦀 (I'm testing emojis. If you don't see it -- shrimp and crab). Then, I posted about it on my Nextdoor community looking for anyone that wanted gumbo. There was no way I was going to be able to eat ~5 quarts of gumbo on my own. I don't have the freezer space either. I had two people that took most of it! Yay!

The week before was Monroe County (KY) style pork chops. The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country.

8 (6-ounce) bone-in blade pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 Tbl kosher salt
2 Tbl black pepper
1 Tbl paprika
3/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1 Tbl cornstarch

Prep your grill for two-zone heat. Remember to clean and oil the grates.

Snip the interior portion of fat surrounding the loin muscle of each pork chop in two places about two inches apart with kitchen shears (this keeps the chop from curling on the grill).

Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne in a bowl. Spoon 2 Tbs into an other small bowl and combine with the cornstarch. Season the pork chops with the cornstarch mixture. Remaining spice mix will be used in the next step.

Heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter turns dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved spice mixture and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Carefully add vinegar (mixture will bubble up), bring to quick simmer, then remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.

Place chops on grill and cook without moving them (covered if using gas) until well charred on first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip chops and continue to cook on second side until well charred and meat registers 140 degrees, 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Transfer chops to rimmed baking sheet. Pour sauce over chops, flipping to evenly coat. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes, flipping chops halfway through resting. Serve.

** If you are doing this classic Monroe Co-style, you would make the sauce just prior to the pork being done, then dip each chop into the still very hot sauce or make the sauce just a minute or two before the pork goes on and use a mop to baste the pork while it grills -- you can also follow up with a dip in the sauce.

I still have the sauce in my fridge waiting for another round of pork chops. I think I'm going to make them on my grill this time. The seasoning is fantastic in this recipe. It's spicy but worth it! I didn't use the cayenne since I knew the black pepper would be plenty of heat for me. Personally, I would love for the sauce to be more vinegary. Steven Raichlen uses 2 cups of vinegar instead of 1/2 cup.

Not sure what next week will be. I have scallops in my freezer I want to use sometimes soon.

Out 24, 2020, 9:34 am

Used up the scallops. Also made a huge pot of chicken and dumplings (rolled, not dropped), chicken and vegetable soup. All of this when I had family in town while I underwent a sinus procedure.

Family dinner night is still going strong. I'm working on putting a cookbook together for the family -- with photos! I'm probably going to break it into years if we keep this up.

Already had my first discussion about Thanksgiving with both of my parents. I'm not leaving my house to be stuck in a room with a lot of people that I don't know how they have been self-isolating. Not to mention longer, close contact leads to higher risk.

I'm tired of 2020. Anyone else?

Out 24, 2020, 12:17 pm

>72 lesmel: I've been tired of 2020 since maybe March. Maybe only April.

Nov 7, 2020, 1:54 pm

This week's family dinner was guisado de res / carne guisada. It wasn't a flop (b/c it tastes pretty terrific) but the meat isn't melty tender like it should be and the gravy is watery.

I made fresh tortillas to go with the guisado. Those were pretty spectacular!

Today, I made rye bread in the machine. The paddle FINALLY decided to come out of the bucket. It's buried in my loaf of rye. 😂 That should be interesting when I go to cut the first few slices.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:37 am

Well, I'd love to continue this topic with the automatic link but that would require another 75 posts. 😂

Jan 2, 2021, 1:52 am

I don't think I'll get 75 messages; but I'm going to list out the other things I've made this year in separate posts. Apologies for the annoyance ahead of time! :)

Jan 2, 2021, 1:56 am

Family Dinner night 11/10/2020 - Cinnamon Crisp Popular. This is a long time recipe in my family; but not original to us. It came from a newspaper. I've tried endlessly to find the date for the recipe; but no dice. I have the newspaper clipping, though!

Jan 2, 2021, 1:58 am

11/17/2020 - Egg roll in a bowl

Sooooo good. I'd make this again in a heartbeat!

Jan 2, 2021, 2:01 am

11/24/2020 - I remade Cinnamon Crisp Popular since it was Thanksgiving week. I also had a guest dog and cat for a bit. That's always a hoot and a half since my cat and dog have no idea they are anything other than my babies.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:04 am

This is the guest cat:

I call her a Bengal-Flerken mix; mostly because until recently, she always wants to eat me rather than play.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:09 am

This is the guest dog. She's a red standard poodle. She used to have a brother -- a chocolate standard poodle; but he died from a very aggressive, very silent form of cancer.

This is what she looked liked before the sun and age turned her sandy/apricot:

This is her with her brother:

Jan 2, 2021, 2:11 am

1/26/2020 - Turkey day! - I didn't really make much for dinner -- pork chops and cranberry sauce. I bought green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:15 am

Oh! There was also chocolate butter roll on 11/26/2020.

Any time I share this, no one has any clue about this recipe. Everything I've seen says this recipe is distinctly American Southern probably from Alabama or Georgia.

The key to making this is rolling the dough very, very thin and the sauce. It's not fancy. The sauce will sugar after a day or so. I basically want to bathe in it every time I make it (which is maybe once a decade).

Jan 2, 2021, 2:19 am

12/01/2020 - Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti

I have been obsessed with this concept since watching a YouTube video from a local blogger. People send her local specialties and she tries them. It's not the whole theme of her channel; but it's one part of it.

Any how. Cincinnati (I am never going to spell that right on the first try. Anyone have a mnemonic?) Chili Spaghetti has featured on my To Make list for ages and ages!

I would totally make this again.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:34 am

12/08/2020 - No planned meal. I had family in town. We made fried oysters and scallops. During this week, there was also something else seafood-y. I can't remember what now. Of course, did I take pictures of any of it? No.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:37 am

12/11/2020 - My dad ordered a Honey Baked Ham meal for me to try. Ham, Mac & Cheese, Cinnamon Apples, and Pot Roast.

The mac & cheese was saltier than I like. The pot roast was good; but the gravy was also salty. The cinnamon apples were really good. The ham is always good; but I feel like it's overpriced and not worth the 30+ min drive to pick up.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:44 am

12/15/2020 - Bourbon balls!

These are a Southern Living recipe. They are spectacular & insanely easy. It's easy enough to sub your favorite liquor or sub apple/orange juice, strong tea/coffee, water, etc. It's specifically the bourbon ball part of this recipe: https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/bourbon-ball-tart

Jan 2, 2021, 2:47 am

We pause to say Seasons Greetings from Reindeer Cat:

*No one was harmed in the making of the above picture (namely, me) & lots of stinky fishies were doled out to make Princess Cinnamon Boots happy while wearing blackmail worthy knitted antlers.*

Jan 2, 2021, 3:02 am

I was off for the holiday as of 12/19. This is always an interesting part of the year because Mom wants to make everything under the sun in just a 3-4 day period. Last year, I think it was four kinds of fudge and multiple kinds of cookies

For multiple years now, we have made my Mamaw's coffee cake.

For the first time, I did a lot of the work on the coffee cakes. I realized Mom is handing off the "responsibility" to me. She's always going to work on them; but I felt a distinct hand-off this year.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:09 am

At Christmas, I also made marshmallows. Twice. Neither turned out the way I wanted them. The 2nd batch was far superior than the 1st; but still disappointing compared to the year I made something like 6 batches of marshmallows.

Batch #1 -- They look ok; but they taste wrong. We poured the syrup in all at once. It created a lump of solid syrup candy in the bottom of the bowl. Which made these squashy rather than squishy.

Batch #2 -- They did better. Now, my problem is that I should have used three envelopes of gelatin instead of two. It's been a few years and I didn't have my copy of the recipe with my notes. The syrup went in verrrrrrrry sloooooowly. I also tried to keep the mixing bowl warm with a couple towels.

I'll probably be making more marshmallows soon.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:10 am

Other Christmas standards:

Cornbread dressing

Jan 2, 2021, 3:13 am

Dill pickle salad:

Ok, I think I've mentioned this before. I'm a poster child for jello salads. So long as there isn't JUST visible fruit in jello (*shudders*), I love jello salads. This one is always a favorite.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:29 am

For New Years Eve, we had a small get together. Mom and I slaved over the food. And the cleaning up of the counter.

On the menu:

Rotel & Velveeta dip
Pimento cheese spread
Hidden Valley Ranch dip
Tostito's Avocado dip
On the Border chips
garlic crackers
shrimp & cocktail sauce
stuffed dates with pepper jelly
candied bacon
oyster roll with black pepper crackers
ham salad on mini croissants
vegetable tray -- carrots, celery, olives, pickles
bacon-wrapped water chestnuts
Cookies - bourbon balls, Starlight Mint Surprise, and Pan de Polvo

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 3:33 am

The ham salad is a Cook's Country recipe that is stupid simple. https://www.thecountrycook.net/the-best-ham-salad/

The candied bacon took two tries. The secret to candied bacon is dredging the bacon in brown sugar/black pepper mixture. Don't pack it on. Press the bacon between two pans (use parchment paper over the top of the bacon), bake it at 350F for 15-18 minutes. Turn the pan every 5ish minutes to avoid burning the bacon. Pull the bacon sooner rather than later. You can always pop the pan back in the oven if the bacon doesn't crisp up. Do not leave the bacon to cool in the pan. Pull it while it's still hot. Make sure you put it on non-stick foil or parchment paper.

The bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are also stupid simple and delicious. https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-wrapped-water-chestnuts/

The oyster roll is something Mom made when she catered & continues to make on a semi-regular basis. It's a cream cheese mixture outside and chopped oysters inside. It's delicious. I'm happy to post the recipe if you like oysters.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:47 am

Part of a recent Christmas tradition with Mom has been to look at all the recipes she's collected. I am oddly draw to this one for tuna mayonnaise that you put on cold chicken.

Anyone heard of this? I'm confused by the cold chicken part. I have been doing some hard core Googling and I've found tonnato. I'm fascinated and now have to try the recipe.

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 4:34 am

>95 lesmel: The recipe looks a bit shortened. Even with the blender going you want to pour the oil in slowly, at least in the beginning. You certainly don't want to stop the blender to pour the oil in. I would want to use tuna packed in olive oil, using that oil as part of the oil called for.

I've never tried it myself, but it ought to work. If you don't get a good emulsion, put an egg yolk in a bowl and whisk the separated sauce in slowly. There are a lot of these mayonnaise relatives that show up with and without the egg yolk. Usually 'without' is more authentic, 'with' is probably less likely to 'break'.

Today I don't really want to even think of fish. We bought almost as much fish things for New Year's Eve as we used to when we were a family of five. His idea, and he paid the grocery shop.

Last night I made spaghetti with mascarpone and the chopped up salmons. I whisked in lemon juice, dill mustard, parsley, salt and pepper, and some pasta water, and even heated it gently in the microwave so the pasta stayed warm. It was good.

But that still leaves various herring dishes, some not even opened. And a seafood salad without mussels. I should probably be glad they didn't have octopus salad, or we would have a container of that, too.

Jan 2, 2021, 4:58 am

>76 lesmel: The resident pifflers in the Green Dragon will be only to pleased to come across and help you get to 151.

Jan 2, 2021, 4:59 am

Especially with the goodies in the pictures on offer. They all look delicious.

Jan 2, 2021, 4:59 am

Oh, CHEESE also acts as an attractant to Dragoneers.

Jan 2, 2021, 5:00 am

Guest kitty in >80 lesmel: looks very special.

Jan 2, 2021, 5:01 am

But antler-kitty in >88 lesmel: .... if looks could kill, we'd be denied any more goodies!

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 5:22 am

>90 lesmel: I'll add a note about marshmallows.

When I first came to Austria I was introduced to a candy that also helped sore throats. The small cuboids were a bit spongey, but fairly dense. They are called Eibischteig. This translates fairly easily as marshmallow dough. The ingredients on my current package: sugar, glucose syrup, starches, sorbit, gelatine, Gummi Arabicum and agar-agar, marshmallow extract, licorice extract, rose oil, neroli oil, carmin.


In other words, current marshmallows seem to be a much fluffier version of this with the marshmallow and flavourings taken out. Neroli oil is bitter orange blossom oil. Besides the way the marshmallow loosens up mucus, I love the rose and orangeblossom flavour in my mouth when I'm coughing up phlem. But these wouldn't work in somemores.

Jan 2, 2021, 12:14 pm

>102 MarthaJeanne: Oh. This is interesting! It sounds like a really dense marshmallow. Unlike the American "jet puffed" marshmallows that are readily available on grocery store shelves.

Jan 2, 2021, 12:15 pm

>101 hfglen: Right? She wasn't pleased with the antlers or the mild man-handling to get the antlers on; but she loved those freeze-dried fishies (minnows, in particular).

Jan 2, 2021, 12:47 pm

>100 hfglen: She is very soft. She's one of the few cats I've ever known that will placidly lay on her back in my arms and just chill. And she likes to come up to me and smell my mouth and nose without ever licking me or touching me. She also loves to attack my hands when I won't let her stick her nosy self in cabinets. lol

Jan 2, 2021, 12:47 pm

>99 hfglen: What kind of cheese? Because cheese is life and only goat cheese is a no-go for me.

Jan 2, 2021, 12:52 pm

>96 MarthaJeanne: The recipe is typical shorthand for my mother; although, that is not my mother's handwriting. I guess whoever wrote it expected someone to know that mayo requires a slow drizzle for the best emulsion. Although, I've had some luck with very cold oil and eggs and a high speed stick blender. In fact, my immersion blender works far better for creating mayo than anything else I've used.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:02 pm

Had an interesting experience with King Arthur Baking over the holiday. Mom had just bought two 5-lb bags of all purpose flour. We needed almost the entire first 5 lb bag for the coffee cakes; but it has to be sifted. So, I took the time to sift the entire bag in one go. There were weevils. First time ever in the many years I have used KAB flour that I've gotten weevils.

It took a couple days to report it, but I sent them all the details with the lot number, the best buy date, when/where it was purchased. They emailed me in less than 12 hrs to say there were vouchers in the mail. That was probably on Dec 22 or 23. By Dec 26th, there was an envelope in Mom's mailbox with two vouchers for free KAB flour. The vouchers are good for six months. THAT is why I like KAB.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:14 pm

>106 lesmel: Virtual cheese probably, but I've never heard of any cheese that someone in the GD won't call delicious.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:21 pm

I can't believe I forgot to mention the cookbooks I got this year!

Just Add Sauce I bought this for a single sauce recipe -- not that I couldn't find it online; but chermoula sounded really good (and looked delicious on the episode I watched). I decided that there were bound to be more fantastic sauces.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:23 pm

The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook -- I decided to buy this since it's only me, I'm permanent WFH, and socializing might be stunted for a lot longer. It drives me insane when there's a recipe in a cookbook and it says "yield: 8". I don't want to do the math to figure out how to reduce the recipe. Why can't cookbooks include a handy chart on reducing or increasing the recipes?

Jan 2, 2021, 1:25 pm

Cook's Illustrated Dinners for Two -- Same as >111 lesmel:. I need cookbooks that help me not make 8+ servings of everything.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:27 pm

One more cookbook -- this wasn't a 2020 purchase. Dad and my step-mom gave this to me a couple years ago. Nobu the cookbook - I can tell you with almost 100% conviction that I will never cook out of this book; but the pictures are beautiful.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:41 pm

To good to share has lots of good ideas for one. Delia also did One is Fun. (That is from 1987.) Both base a lot of their suggestions on cooking a larger amount and using part of it for a second recipe.

Jan 2, 2021, 1:53 pm

Another new experience in 2020 -- a tamalada. I love tamales. Love. Love. Love. I am not a huge fan of the process. lol

It's fun, but it's a ton of work to make tamales. I only did a tiny portion of it -- filling and folding. Before that is soaking the husks (ojas), cooking the filling (these were pork & the ladies used a head and shoulder), and making the masa. The very nice lady that was running the tamalada uses a traditional method for making the masa (corn soaked in water and cal and then ground) and not using Maseca.

The spreading of masa and the filling seems to be the easiest but most tedious part of make tamales. Also, it was obvious that it takes a lot of practice to get it just right. Also, there are some serious opinions about how thick to spread the masa and what the filling should be.

Me, I just want to eat tamales until I pop. 😂

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 2:17 pm

>115 lesmel: For a friend of mine, getting together with her mother and sister to make tamales was an important part of the Christmas season.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:20 pm

>116 MarthaJeanne: For some families it is THE event of the season. I think tamaladas are probably crazy fun when there's a group of people laughing and enjoying all the company. Many hands make light work and all that.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:21 pm

Let's talk cookbooks for the year! I only borrowed 11 cookbooks this year. That might be average for me. Mostly, I stuck with air fryer cookbooks since I was trying to learn to use my air fryer lid.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:23 pm

Zingerman's Bakehouse -- I wanted to like this more than I did. Something about the writing rubbed me the wrong way.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:23 pm

Homebaking -- I really liked this cookbook. I borrowed it through Overdrive. I want to see it in print. There are some really interesting recipes in here.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:26 pm

Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook -- I barely remember this book. The pictures are very pretty.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:29 pm

Healthy 5-Ingredient Air Fryer Cookbook - same as >121 lesmel:, I don't really remember the book. Look at the sneak peak on Amazon, the book is straight forward with nice pictures that don't look overly food-styled.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:29 pm

I just finished Cook, Eat, Repeat. Not really a cookbook, but essays of food with recipes. Sadly, I neither have the energy to do lots of these things, nor the teenagers at home to help and to eat the results. Sad thing about children. You get them to the useful stage, and they're off.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:32 pm

Skinnytaste One and Done - the ST team seems to do a decent job on publishing cookbooks. I think this one might try a little too hard to do too much in one book, though. One thing I do like about the ST cookbooks, the symbols don't change across the books. Recipes are labeled Quick, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, etc with the same color and abbreviations. Makes for pleasant consistency.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:32 pm

I also really liked Dishoom. Again, though, more to read than to cook. I also gave my mother a copy which she loved. We lived in India in the 60s, with my mother often spending a few days in Bombay. For us this was nostalgia pure.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:34 pm

>123 MarthaJeanne: Isn't that the truth! Just when we are at the helpful stage in life...poof...we go off to do our own thing. I like Nigella Lawson -- at least, the version I used to watch on Food Network.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:35 pm

Saving the season : a cook's guide to home canning, pickling, and…
This got me excited. I need to try some of this next year. Whoops! I mean later this year.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:37 pm

Taste of Home What Can I Cook in My... -- similar feel to >124 lesmel:. There's a lot crammed into one cookbook. I do appreciate the tips for the various methods/appliances.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:37 pm

>126 lesmel: I have several of her books, and the library has DVDs. (Every time I've watched one somehow or other the related book has ended up on my shelf. Wonder how that happens?)

Jan 2, 2021, 2:40 pm

I mentioned Too good to Share above.

I also read two Nigel Slaters this year. One bought, one OverDrive. It's getting to the point where I really enjoy reading cookbooks, and am happy to stop there.

Jan 2, 2021, 2:41 pm

>125 MarthaJeanne: I've never been to India; but this really appeals. I looked at the sneak peek on Amazon. The photos look beautiful!

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 2:50 pm

Das neue Backvergnügen is a very good basic guide to German baking. If you like to bake and want to practice your German, I can recommend it.

Savory Gugelhupf

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 2:46 pm

>114 MarthaJeanne: & >130 MarthaJeanne: I have been hunting for Too Good to Share since you mentioned it. I was hoping to find it in a library; but it doesn't seem to be anywhere in the US. Which seems weird to me. I might have to break down and buy a used copy. At least with this cookbook, I can practice my metric conversions! lol

Editado: Jan 2, 2021, 2:58 pm

>133 lesmel: It's five years old, and cookbooks don't have a very long life these days, I guess. The publisher's website doesn't know anything about it. Abe Books seems to have a few copies.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:07 pm

Good Housekeeping Air Fryer -- I appreciate the intro with what air fryers were tested and the basic cooking guide with temps and time.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:10 pm

>132 MarthaJeanne: That Gugelhupf looks delicious! Sadly, I have crossword level knowledge of German.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:11 pm

Air Fryer Perfection -- I always appreciate the through testing ATK does.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:17 pm

Keto Kitchen Air Fryer Cookbook -- mostly, I was looking at what foods showed up in the book. There's some odd food styling things I noticed. For example, in the very first recipe "Keto Granola" there's nothing about oats (since oats are for the most part a no-no on keto); but the photo clearly shows there are oats in the granola. It's things like this that make me question the validity of the recipes in cookbooks like this.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:21 pm

>127 MarthaJeanne: I think I've looked through this cookbook. If not, something with a very similar cover image. I love the idea of growing my own veggies so I can make pickles and preserves; but I also know me. I'm lazy and have no interest in protecting my crop from my dog and the neighborhood fauna and the ants. The last time I attempted a vegetable garden, the ants moved into my containers and enjoyed my bell peppers before I could.

Jan 2, 2021, 3:25 pm

Epic Air Fryer Cookbook -- the tips in the intro are nice. I really liked the one about dry batters instead of wet batters. The variety in the book is nice, too!

Jan 2, 2021, 3:29 pm

Air Fry Genius -- sort of middle of the road cookbook. Solid looking recipes. A lot crammed in the book.

So, something I learned from reading all these air fryer cookbooks. None of them really work for my set up. I have a Mealthy CrispLid. It sits on top of my Instant Pot to convert it into a tiny convection oven.

I'm just now starting to see cookbooks specifically for the CrispLid, which is nice. :)

Jan 2, 2021, 3:30 pm

Anyone else have cookbooks they loved or hated in 2020??

Jan 2, 2021, 3:42 pm

>139 lesmel: He lives in California, and has not only his own big garden, but lots of friends with (market) gardens, and lots of farmers markets nearby. He also travels a lot just at the right time for a harvest of ——. But still, lots of things I can use.

Jan 2, 2021, 5:58 pm

My favourite oranges are on sale now. I go crazy on the Cara-Caras during the few weeks that they are on the market. West has a recipe using them in marmalade, but the ones I get are waxed. Would it be worth buying bio oranges for the skins? Or maybe mixing the cara-cara juice into a bitter orange marmalade, as they tend to have very little juice anyway. How are my bitter oranges coming in the greenhouse?

Jan 2, 2021, 8:15 pm

>144 MarthaJeanne: I like Cara-Caras. They have a good flavor. I grew up on South Texas navel oranges. The Rio Grande Valley has some of the best citrus I've ever tasted. Granted, I might be a little biased.

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to get

Jan 2, 2021, 11:29 pm

a continuation link!

Jan 10, 2021, 11:25 am

>75 lesmel: - >151 lesmel: That is some impressive posting right there! Not to mention cooking, piffling, and pets!
Este tópico foi continuado por cooking for a better 2021 - lesmel.