"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2021, Part 1


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2021, Part 1

Jan 11, 2021, 11:54 am

Hello and welcome one and all!

I have no idea what this year will hold for cooking adventures, but I have a great cookbook collection to be inspired by and all of you for encouragement. What can't I do? :) Well, I can't do fussy for one, unless it is a new project that I really, really want to try.

I will probably be having more wine adventures, in a completely novice way. Far too lazy to be precise and the quantities I make from windfall fruits given me don't cost much, so the only cost per se is space in my home while it ferments. After that and a long, long wait, the surprise! Not being one of the more knowledgeable wine imbibers (I know when I like it, and I'm not that picky), I am easily pleased.

Fermentation is something I love to do, and I may try canning pickles (my fermented ones have met with uneven success) if I come by some gardener who has too many cukes.

Other than that I am a queen of leftover transmogrification. I cook basic stuff like roast meats. When I want to get fancy, I turn to other cuisines from around the world.

Jan 11, 2021, 1:31 pm

>1 MrsLee: I was coming over to help push you over the magic 151, but I see you made it. Well done!

Editado: Jan 11, 2021, 1:56 pm

>2 Jim53: Thank you for trying! :)

You could help Hugh, he's still got quite a ways to go.

Jan 11, 2021, 10:36 pm

I tried to make my mom's steamed cauliflower with cheddar cheese sauce tonight. It was okay, but not mom's. Maybe I need more cheese? Or maybe I should have added a tiny bit of mustard? More salt? Not sure, and mom isn't here to ask any more. Think I will check Joy of Cooking and some other older cookbooks for cheese sauce.

Jan 14, 2021, 8:11 am

Last night I had a dream about pie. This is the third or forth dream about a new pie that I've had, and each one, when I tried them, were delicious. The pie I dreamed about last night was a lemon curd, and what was different was the crust. I had added curry powder to it, then sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on the crust before filling, and on top of the lemon curd. I'm going to have to try that this weekend.

Jan 14, 2021, 8:22 am

In going through my mom's journals, I found some menus she wrote for when she was cooking for a big crowd. This one was for a Roof Raising in which my three siblings and I, along with our spouses and children, and some cousins and uncles and aunts, arrived to help my dad get the roof on the large workshop/shed my dad built.

Roof Raising which took about 4 days
French's or Betty McIntyre's or both, 24 hour omelet
French's Potato Casserole
Cinnamon Bread Toast
Lovette's Corn casserole

curry & rice
chili beans
Tamale stew
clam chowder

Fish, green beans, corn - Thurs.
Pork Chops - Sat.
Tostadas - Fri.
Tamale stew

This must be an alternate, don't remember which was used:
Fri. Tostadas
Sun. Scotch Stew
Mon. Stroganoff
Tue. Pork Chops

My mom would have filled in with potatoes, and lots of fresh vegetables from her garden. Also, her children would have helped by bringing large salads and desserts.

Jan 14, 2021, 11:20 am

>6 MrsLee: Tamale stew. Hmmmm, this sounds appealing!

Jan 14, 2021, 11:15 pm

I will see if I can find the recipe.

Jan 16, 2021, 1:35 pm

>7 lesmel: This is the only thing I found in my recipe from mom about tamale stew. I haven't tried making it, so no guarantees, except that it was a dish frequently eaten with mom and dad's RV "gang" according to her journals.

From Jean Clark
My Mom's Tamale Stew

"One pkg. New Mexico dried red chilis. Remove stems and seeds and boil in H20 for 10 minutes, then let stand 30 min. Discard liquid (It's bitter) and puree in blender then thru sieve to remove skins. That gives you your red chili sauce or you can use Las Palmas Red Chili Sauce not enchilada sauce. (Not as good)
Boil one large stewing hen or pieces of your choice with several cloves of garlic. Remove from bone, leaving in sizeable pieces. I do this the day B-4. Refrigerate broth - Skim off chicken fat & add equal amt. flour - approx. one cup of each. To the roux add red chili sauce & chick broth to make good gravy consistency - Add one tblsp. each, cumin, oregano, coriander, then your chicken & 3 cans drained white hominy."

If I were doing it, I would brown the roux to at least the color of almonds, I think Jean took for granted that anyone would do that with a roux. As to the size of the package of red chilies, I can't tell you. Here they come in a very large bag, or a tiny bag. Personally, I would use the larger size bag, then add the chili sauce to taste and freeze the rest.

Jan 16, 2021, 2:14 pm

Not quite tamale stew, more an acceptance of a challenge from MrsLee in my thread in The Green Dragon, and not properly that, either.

An early (1952) number of the Rhodesia Railways Magazine recommends livening up a stew by adding a muslin bag of pickling spice. I can sort-of imagine that working.

Jan 16, 2021, 5:43 pm

>10 hfglen:, I agree. I might also give the above recipe a bit of the curry method treatment, toasting whole spices before adding them to simmer. Not everyone loves hominy, but I do. I can't believe I've never tried this.

Jan 16, 2021, 6:54 pm

>9 MrsLee: That sounds delicious. It needs masa, methinks, or good homemade corn tortillas.

Jan 16, 2021, 10:37 pm

>12 lesmel: Let me know if you try it!

Jan 23, 2021, 2:57 pm

Getting down to the nitty-gritty in the fridge. Yesterday I had a bit of ham, some bacon, leftover scrambled eggs and about a cup of rice. So breakfast was Fried rice! To the above I added some of my pumpkin kimchi, some chopped ginger and seasonings (soy sauce, fish sauce, agave nectar, hot oil). Delicious.

Breakfast this morning was some leftover chicken and mushroom creamy pasta with eggs stirred in. I warmed the pasta in the pan on low heat, then slowly poured in the beaten eggs while stirring constantly. Had to stir for about 10-15 minutes before it set up properly, but I didn't want scrambled eggs and noodles. Added a little bacon and Flashover seasoning. Really fine food.

I don't have a menu plan per se this weekend, but will be roasting a lump of lamb and a lump of pork. Also making a bone broth so that we can have ramen soup this week. Baking a loaf of whole-wheat sourdough/sesame bread, make some waffles, and I want to try my dream pie of lemon curd with curry and sesame crust.

Jan 28, 2021, 6:38 pm

An update on the lemon curd with curry crust pies. The crust is delicious. I tried a new recipe for the curd, from Joy of Cooking, and it failed! Taste was fine, but it didn't firm up. So, I used it with some frozen blackberries and cream to make an ice cream and that was wonderful!

Tonight I will make a tuna salad to serve on the curry crust and I might melt some cheese on some of them, too. The lemon curd would have tasted great on them, but it was too runny. Oh, yes, sesame seeds were tasty with the curd and crust as well. This will be tried again with a known recipe for lemon curd.

Fev 1, 2021, 2:46 pm

Well now. Yesterday I made the Chicken Tamale stew from my mother's friend's mother's recipe. It is delicious! I intend to rewrite the recipe into a usable, easy-to-read format. I changed very little, although I added an additional chicken (two very small chickens vs. one large stewing hen, who can find those these days?) and a few more seasonings to the broth the chicken simmered in. Other than that, the devil is in the details the recipe leaves out. How big a package of chilies? What size cans of hominy? What color of roux? I will share the recipe here when I've written it.

Today I try a recipe for thumbprint cookies with mincemeat filling instead of jelly. I might fill some with jelly, too.

Fev 13, 2021, 12:28 pm

The bamboo steamers arrived that I ordered, now I have to work up the courage to use them! Hoping to make some shrimp and pork dumplings this weekend.

Does anyone here have experience using these? I see that they need a liner if you are not using plates in them. The Chinese Cookbook I recently read recommended cheesecloth to line them. Online they want to sell me parchment paper liners. I have been trying to think of ways to use the lovely linen napkins I have so many of, besides as napkins (because they are not so lovely that they have no stains in them). I was wondering if I could use them as a liner in the bamboo steamers. Will probably give it a try and report back.

Fev 16, 2021, 4:46 pm

I did make pork steamed buns and shrimp and pork filled dumplings yesterday. Cheated a bit and used won ton wrappers for the dumplings. Never again will I make 2 fussy things like this unless there is someone else around who likes to cook. The pork buns are delicious, now I want to try making a sourdough version. I had leftover filling and froze it, so that should simplify the process. The linen napkins worked a treat!

Fev 17, 2021, 9:47 am

Oh, I also cobbled together from several recipes a Hoisin sauce that I like, so now I don't have to depend on having a bottle on hand.

Mar 6, 2021, 1:13 pm

>4 MrsLee: I always put a little mustard in cheese sauce, and many other dishes too - not enough for them to taste of mustard, but it just seems to give the flavour a bit of a lift. Also, a pinch of cayenne (picked this up from Eliza Acton).

Mar 6, 2021, 4:20 pm

Nutmeg can also lift the flavour of cheese sauce.

A similar trick if you are using strawberries that aren't full flavoured (ie out of season) is to add just a hint of ground cloves. If you can taste cloves you have used too much. But a tiny bit makes them taste more like strawberries.

Mar 6, 2021, 7:16 pm

>21 MarthaJeanne: I agree with the nutmeg in cheese sauce. An old 1940's homemade mac and cheese recipe called for a scant 1/4 tsp. of nutmeg mixed in the cheese sauce. I decided to try it, hoping not to ruin the casserole. I can say that it was good--and really no taste of nutmeg.

Mar 7, 2021, 11:23 am

>20 Sovay:, >21 MarthaJeanne: & >22 Tess_W:
Thank you! I forgot that my mother used to put a tiny bit of mustard in her sauce. I remembered the cayenne. Will have to try the nutmeg trick, and especially the clove on strawberries!

Not a lot of cooking going on here lately. I am trying to get the garden ready for a baby shower in April. The mamma wanted me to make tacos for the shower, so I will be cooking tons of carne asada, beans, salsa, etc. for that. Freezing the meat and beans so I can cook them ahead. All the fresh chopped things such as cabbage, jicama, radish, onions will have to be done that day or possible the day before. Yikes.

Mar 14, 2021, 9:23 pm

I'm not really a fan of mustard so I usually avoid it. I can tolerate it if it is masked in something else, but it's not a taste I enjoy.

Mar 16, 2021, 12:24 am

Did a sort of one things leads to another cooking blast this weekend.
Husband bought pork ribs. The recipe I wanted to try called for boiling them in Zatarain's crab boil spices (liquid). Didn't have any, so I Googled how to make my own. Then I had that lovely broth, so I cooked some frozen shrimp to make shrimp and pickled egg green salad. After boiling the shrimp the broth was even better, so I tossed in a corned beef (tis the season where they are inexpensive). Saved the broth and the next day cooked cabbage and carrots. Delicious. Now the broth is rich enough to use for Ramen soup, so that's how we will finish it, although I will water it down a little due to salt content.

Mar 21, 2021, 11:43 pm

Today I made a Hungarian recipe found in a book years ago. Although I've pretty much substituted all the original ingredients out because they were nightshades. Instead of eggplant, potatoes and green peppers, I used butternut squash, cabbage and onions, with fresh ginger for good measure. Slice all very thin, toss with salt, pepper and olive oil, bake in covered casserole for 30 minutes. Add thick fish (I use frozen cod or tilapia filets) filets on top of vegetables, more salt and pepper, and parsley (I use fresh cilantro), cover and bake another 20-30 minutes, until fish is done. My husband doesn't like fish, but he loves this.

Mar 22, 2021, 1:55 pm

Cleaning out the fridge a bit. Found the yeast leavings of some plum wine I made a few months back, I'm going to simmer a pork butt roast in it with some of the chicken broth I made yesterday and whatever spice I'm inspired to throw in with it.

Also made some rice so that I could do a stir-fry rice tonight using some frozen Chinese BBQ pork from the freezer, edamame, and the choppy salad remains (mostly cabbage, some peas and corn, etc.).

I am so not inspired to be cooking at this time, but one does want to eat.

Abr 5, 2021, 10:37 am

Saturday I cooked enough pinto beans and carne asada to feed an army. Froze it in two large aluminum pans for the 17th, when I will be hosting a taco baby shower for my DIL. I don't know if an army will come, it will depend on the weather and whether or not we can be outside, but I wanted to be prepared, anyway.

Then yesterday I cooked for us. A pan of roasted chicken thighs, one of roasted cauliflower florets, one of roasted asparagus.
A choppy salad which this week included things like the cauliflower stem, cabbage, carrots, green onions Thai basil, ginger, fresh cilantro and peanuts. Seasoned with rice vinegar, sesame and avocado oil, agave nectar, coconut sriracha, salt, white pepper.

After all that, I combined the bottoms of the asparagus stems, the juice from the roasted chicken, garlic, ginger and the bits and pieces of fresh herbs which didn't go into the salad, topped off with water, added some whole spices, peppercorns, cardamom, fennel, coriander. Simmered until tender, then pureed in my Vitamix. Added some sour cream and had a delicious soup which we can have warm or cold depending on the weather and our mood. Very satisfying.

Abr 5, 2021, 6:03 pm

"Whatever's Left in the Fridge" Soup! Glad to hear yours turned out delicious. This week's version here was Carrot and Cucumber with Lentils - not an obvious combination but not bad.

Editado: Abr 11, 2021, 8:07 pm

Inspired by excess sourdough starter, and a conversation here about using chicken fat in biscuits, I made sourdough-bacon biscuit the other morning. Used my father's biscuit recipe, added sourdough starter, and used leftover bacon fat and crispies instead of lard or butter. Oh my. These were beyond good. We've been having them for lunch with guacamolé on them.

Today I started a batch of curdito for the taco baby shower next Saturday. I used onions and carrots, with seasonings in a bag ) oregano, cumin seed, chili flakes) and a brine of salt, sugar and water. Hope it turns out well. I sort of married two recipes from Fermented Vegetables

Abr 11, 2021, 10:48 pm

>30 MrsLee: I've been inspired to begin some sourdough starter....will do after my company leaves on Friday!

I love your idea for using the bottoms of the asparagus--never thought of that, but I did always cringe when I threw them away.

Abr 12, 2021, 6:13 pm

>31 Tess_W: Be sure that you have a machine like a Vitamix, or put it through a sieve to take the fibers out. My Vitamix does such a good job I don't have to sieve it, makes it so easy!

Abr 14, 2021, 2:23 am

>30 MrsLee: I'm scared of bacon at present - I was reading up about saltpetre and other nitrates whilst trying to pick a suitable recipe from Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery and came to the conclusion that they will kill me and I need to avoid them.

How long my resolve will last, I cannot say ... I do love the occasional bacon sandwich.

Abr 15, 2021, 6:48 pm

>33 Sovay: If I ate it more frequently I might worry a bit, but I like my great-grandmother's advice, all things in moderation. Except maybe cyanide. ;)

Abr 16, 2021, 2:35 am

>34 MrsLee: Are you saying I should stop eating things like good marzipan, amaretto, and not infuse a pit or two into peach or apricot jam? Even cyanide can be enjoyed in moderation.

Abr 16, 2021, 6:24 pm

>35 MarthaJeanne: lol, I realized that when I finished typing but was too lazy to delete.

Abr 17, 2021, 2:53 pm

>33 Sovay: LOL scared of bacon. My grandfather ate 3 pieces of bacon every single day for breakfast, along with 3 eggs for 60+ years. He died of the ripe old age of 88 and he also smoked!

Abr 20, 2021, 7:06 am

>37 Tess_W: I'm probably being over-anxious, but I've had a couple of friends die of bowel cancer - not a good way to go ...

Editado: Abr 21, 2021, 9:38 pm

>38 Sovay: I would try to buy nitrate free bacon! I eat so little of it that I really haven't given it much thought; but now I will.

Abr 22, 2021, 12:16 pm

It's a difficult issue - I use bacon more as a flavouring than a main ingredient, for the most part, but all the medical advice seemed to indicate that nitrates were risky even in very small amounts. Nitrate-free bacon would be the answer - the nitrates seem to be there for cosmetic rather than preservative reasons, to make it pink instead of beige - but I suspect that there's not much demand for beige bacon and until there is, not much incentive for manufacturers to produce it.

Abr 22, 2021, 6:31 pm

>40 Sovay: I can easily find nitrate free bacon in the store here, a very small town in California. Good luck to you. Do the studies mention that nitrates are found naturally in many foods? Or are they only talking about processed foods?

Abr 23, 2021, 4:05 am

>41 MrsLee: No sign of it here (very small town in North Yorkshire). They do mention naturally occurring nitrates in eg celery, which are used by some bacon and ham producers as a substitute for saltpetre, but say that by the end of the curing process the chemical composition of these is almost indistinguishable from (and just as harmful as) saltpetre.

I think making my own may be the answer! Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall has recipes online, and I've made my own gammon steaks in the past using one of them - they were beige but tasted fine.

Abr 24, 2021, 10:30 am

This morning I am making tiny chicken biscuits (used roasted chicken fat, cutting them into 1" or slightly bigger size). These will be filled with lightly fried quail eggs. My niece raises quail and brought me a bucketful of eggs. For the most part, they seem more fussy than they are worth. Give me an ostrich egg. ;) I intend to crack them all into a bowl, then gently slide them into the pan and put a lid on, not trying to turn them all. A whimsical breakfast.

Later today the leftover veggies, beans, etc. from last weekend's bridal shower must be dealt with. I've been trying to decide whether to make soup, a casserole, fried rice or perhaps noodles. I'm leaning toward a nice minestrone type soup. Happily, the weather from the weekend is cooling off from the 80s of last week to 50s/60s. Good soup weather.

Abr 24, 2021, 11:36 pm

Made a huge pot of minestrone soup, as per >43 MrsLee:. Turned out excellent, in spite of being made of all the aged things in the fridge. I will probably freeze half of it tomorrow.

Editado: Abr 25, 2021, 10:15 am

I'm going to try to add a photo of the quail egg breakfast of yesterday. I can add a photo from my phone to LT, but I don't seem to be able to copy the address and post in a group from my phone. I'm on my laptop now, so here goes:

The hen's egg is for size comparison.

Abr 25, 2021, 11:13 am

>43 MrsLee: "Give me an ostrich egg"

We could re-arrange the Green Dragon Geological Tour we discussed in my thread there a while back to do exactly that. Spend a couple of nights in or near Oudtshoorn or Calitzdorp, Western Cape, and plan to see a couple of wine farms, an ostrich farm, the Swartberg Pass (amazing Cape Fold Mountains for pgmcc), an olive farm in Prince Alfred, back via Meiringspoort (cross the same river 27 times in 18 km). Ostrich eggs in Oudtshoorn cost roughly twice as much as the equivalent volume (24 eggs) of hen's eggs.

Editado: Abr 25, 2021, 2:22 pm

>46 hfglen: Are they the equivalent of 24 hen's eggs? That's one heck of an omelet! Even for a crowd I don't usually use more than 8 eggs in an omelet.

My husband wants to know if you have ever fried one in a pan?

Abr 25, 2021, 2:46 pm

>47 MrsLee: They are indeed. You need a large crowd. (Candidly, I find ostrich meat and biltong more rewarding. I've made this recommendation once before in the GD, but your son may wish to store it up for future reference. A chunk of biltong, ostrich preferably -- it's drier, with the texture of wooden roof shingles -- is the ideal thing for baby to teethe on. You will, of course, end up with a king-size mess as first by-product, then a lifelong carnivore.)

No. I've had ostrich-egg omelet (along with several other people). It was unpleasantly rich. Aged Mother and Better Half have each made ostrich-egg fruitcake once, for special occasions. There's a recipe in Mrs Beeton for a monster fruitcake that involves 24 hen's eggs. It's not bad, but you need a gi-normous oven for ages, and you end up with enough rather solid cake to feed a small army (among the other ingredients she calls for 8 lb of flour).

Editado: Abr 25, 2021, 3:02 pm

There is a poultry farm near here that has ostriches, nandus, and emus, as well as more normal birds. I have seen the eggs, but it's too much for me. I really do like the meat though.

They sell the eggs full or empty, and make all sorts of things out of them, including noodles, egg liquor, and lamps.

Maio 15, 2021, 10:39 am

This weekend I will be making chili beans, to freeze and take to the memorial gathering we are having next weekend to distribute my mother's ashes. A year late, thank you Covid. Anyway, if I can gather the energy, next Friday I will make a potato salad as well. These are the two dishes my mother was famous for at all the gatherings in her community and with family. I do a pretty good imitation, as I was trained by the best.

Also plan to take a huge cheese tray to complement the ham sandwiches we will be serving. Simple sliced cheeses such as cheddar, Pepper jack and Swiss, with a large Brie in the center decorated pinwheel style with pinenuts, chives, poppy seeds and chopped dried cranberries. All this will be served on herbs from my garden, sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme and parsley. Interspersed with pots of peach chutney, wild plum jam, pickle relish, some dates, apricots, olives, and seasoned almonds and pecans which I make. My mom would love it, I know.

Other than that, not much cooking for me lately. Just the regular roasts, sourdough bread and veggies.

Jun 9, 2021, 9:39 am

Did some cooking this last weekend. I made a salad I called "Not Gazpacho" To me, gazpacho has tomatoes in it. I don't eat tomatoes these days, so this salad was made with cucumbers, fennel and celery, cilantro, along with various herbs, some oil and vinegar. It is delicious and refreshing.

Also cooked some Corona beans, which I had never seen before. They are the biggest dry beans I've ever seen. Each bean a buttery mouthful. I wanted them to be eaten cold (the thermometer has been over 100° for a week or more), so I doused them with olive oil, fresh herbs from my garden, salt and pepper. Comfort food in the hot day.

Then there was the rhubarb my sister gave me a couple of weeks ago, sitting in the refrigerator guilting me. I made a rhubarb and mango cobbler, which was interesting because the mangoes (which were not ripe enough) came out like chewy bits of dried fruit while the rhubarb is tender. Huh. Still delicious.

The rest of the mango I was going to make a chutney out of, so I scanned my Curry cookbook by Corinnne Trang, and The Mystic Seaport cookbook by Lillian Langseth-Chritensen for ideas. Then I pretty much threw in whatever sounded good to me, onion, chopped ginger, rhubarb, sugar, vinegar and various whole spices. The vinegar I used was a rather cheap red wine vinegar mixed with a rather cheap balsamic vinegar (both inherited from my mother's kitchen), then some of my homemade rhubarb vinegar. Simmered it all covered until the rhubarb was tender, then I removed the cover and simmered it about 10 more minutes to reduce the liquid. It was a deep brown color. When I tasted it, I decided it would be better as a sauce like ketchup, so I whirled it in my Vitamix and it became rhubarb ketchup. Or perhaps a bbq sauce, it is so flavorful! A bit too thick, we have to pound the bottle to get it out. Next time (oh yes, there will be a next time!) I plan to use a clear vinegar to see if it retains the delicate pink color of rhubarb. This sauce looks like dark chocolate. For a gal who doesn't eat tomatoes, it is a godsend to find a sauce with the depth of flavor this has.

Jun 9, 2021, 10:00 am

One thing I have done rather than cook chutneys long enough to reduce the liquid is to start with only some of the sugar, and add sugar with added pectin towards the end. It thickens nicely. Another advantage is that it is less likely to catch and burn earlier in the process.

Jun 10, 2021, 6:17 am

>51 MrsLee: If you have access to green (i.e. unripe) mangoes I think you'd probably enjoy turning them into Achar, for which there must be 10 000 recipes flying around the Durban area, in all shades of heat from mild to incendiary.

Jun 12, 2021, 11:58 am

>53 hfglen: Sadly, unripe mangoes are about all I have access to here. Now and then we get lucky and get some I can use in salsa. The green/unripe ones do, however, make a decent substitute for apples when I make curry, since I am allergic to apples. When I say "curry," that particular recipe which calls for apples and shrimp or lamb, is from one of my great-aunts. It is more along the line of a British curry I believe, and uses the yellow curry powder and a couple of other powdered spices. It was always a childhood favorite, and my children love it too. I have since "spiced" up the recipe, using some whole spices I grind myself and adding a couple which were never there, except maybe in the purchased curry powder under the term "spices" in the ingredients. It is so easy, and every bit as delicious with mangoes as with apples.

The pickled mangoes would probably be a hit with me, but since my husband shuns heat/spice, it would be a lonely enjoyment.

Today I am going to make a bbq shredded pork dish. I haven't decided yet whether to look at a recipe, or simply put things in a pot for a long slow cook. Probably the latter, because I'm lazy like that. Pork, onions, garlic, bacon, a bit of liquid smoke, salt and pepper. The point of this of course is to use my rhubarb bbq sauce on it. :) My brother is coming to lunch tomorrow, so there will be homemade bread, bbq shredded pork and what I call a "choppy salad." This week's choppy salad will be cauliflower, onion, celery, herbs and whatever else I am inspired to throw in. Add a splash of vinegar, oil, a bit of salt and sugar and hot sauce and Bob's your uncle. Choppy salad. Will probably toss in some sunflower seeds, or peanuts or pine nuts. Haven't decided.

Jun 19, 2021, 5:37 pm

It's 115° today. 85 in the house since our a/c cannot keep up. I hard-boiled eggs and boiled some macaroni at about 5:30 this morning. Combined with celery, pickles, pimento, olives, parsley and dressing, these became a macaroni salad for my husband's birthday today. Cold ham on the side. Cold leftovers. That is all. Well, maybe a cold beer or iced tequila and tonic.

Jul 30, 2021, 12:07 am

I have "cooked" very little since the beginning of June. It's too hot here. However, last weekend I made a Thai inspired pumpkin-coconut milk soup. The plan was to serve it cold all week. The first day it's flavor was fantastic. It is a pureed soup. After that, although the flavor is still very good, the pumpkin flavor became more dominant, and the texture is custard-like. I cannot abide the texture of custard. It gags me if I have more than a spoonful, so the burden is on my husband to finish this. I'm eating salads.

Ago 1, 2021, 8:57 pm

I am going to Cook something tomorrow! A chicken and prune tagine. First time, but I'm not using cinnamon like the recipe calls for. May substitute nutmeg or allspice. Husband is a cinnamon hater. At least in meat dishes. Also going to make a pumpkin cake. In order to do this, I will be starting at 5 a.m. to avoid the heat.

Ago 2, 2021, 4:01 am

Funny! My husband adds cinnamon to anything I bake, and loves it in meat dishes, too. This probably has to do with its effect on diabetes.

Ago 5, 2021, 6:08 pm

>58 MarthaJeanne: I ended up using the spice mix I make for Golden Milk. Turmeric, cinnamon in equal amounts, and a third as much of ginger. The dish turned out beautifully and my husband loved it so much he wanted me to make it again this weekend!

Ago 8, 2021, 12:33 pm

I made Red Cooked Pork out of the pork belly which was in my freezer. It will be tasty over rice, but I doubt I will buy pork belly again. Current lifestyles don't lend themselves to eating that much fat. It wasn't the kind of pork belly called for in the recipe. It had been skinned and boned, so is possibly drier than it would have been, although, with all that fat I don't see how. Anyway, it will be good over rice and vegetables in small quantities. The sauce is a lovely flavor. It called for dark soy sauce, which I do not have at the moment, but I substituted blackstrap molasses and regular soy sauce. Other than that, sherry, sugar and salt. Couldn't be simpler, only it takes about 3 hours to cook.

Also made shaved zucchini salad, a zucchini and onion frittata with rosemary, sage and cheddar cheese, and some roasted chicken thighs, washed lettuce and cut up turnip and jicama to eat raw. This, along with the pizza we bought last night, will keep us for awhile. :)

Set 13, 2021, 1:56 am

Still too hot to cook much, but I am venturing into the kitchen a little. Made sourdough focaccia yesterday, a great success. Beef stew tomorrow.

Set 14, 2021, 9:18 am

My beef stew came out wonderful. Not exactly a "stew" in my mind, lacking the flour to thicken, or any starchy vegetables, but still delicious. I browned the meat thoroughly, then added a little wine and some of the liquid I had soaked the dried mushrooms in, covered and simmered gently while I chopped veggies. I was cleaning out the last of the veg. compartment, so there was a bit of celery, one carrot, an onion and a little garlic. For seasoning I had added some whole spices to simmer with the meat: peppercorns, allspice, black cardamom, bay leaf, juniper berries and sea salt. Then I added the veggies and the chopped mushrooms and simmered about another hour or so, until everything had blended. Very nice. We may try adding some sour cream to our bowls for the reheated version.

Set 14, 2021, 6:27 pm

>62 MrsLee: That sounds delicious!

Out 3, 2021, 7:43 pm

Making a healing chicken soup today. The in-laws, in their 90s, are not thriving, in fact they may be failing, but it is to soon to say. They have little appetite, so I am hoping that a mild but flavorful broth will tempt them.

I have 2 lumps of pork my husband brought home, the store has marked them shoulder-tri-tips. Never heard of pork tri-tip cuts, but it will probably roast just fine.

Out 13, 2021, 10:31 am

>64 MrsLee: How did the pork trip tips roast work out? I've seen them, but never purchased them. Was it mostly white meat or darker meat?

Out 14, 2021, 7:43 pm

>65 Tess_W: It was actually a very nice little roast. Tender, and I think I would call it light, but to be honest I wasn't paying attention. I only associate dark and light meat with the avian species, but you are right, loin is a lighter meat than some other cuts.

Told my husband we are living high on the hog lately. We began with that tritip, then bacon, a split pea soup with bits of ham, some pork chops and now he bought a shoulder roast. Has to do with the fact that chicken is not to be found, and beef is scarce and expensive. He felt a triumph when he discovered some hamburger the other day.

Out 29, 2021, 4:52 pm

Yes, meat is becoming very expensive. I am cutting down by 50% meat that I put in stews, soups, casseroles, etc. Husband hasn't said anything. Not sure if he noticed or not!

Nov 3, 2021, 10:59 pm

>67 Tess_W: I think I will need to start doing that as well. It's too bad, because I feel that our health is overall better eating meat and veggies, instead of much starch/carbs.

Nov 8, 2021, 12:23 am

Today I made tacos de jococi. Or something like that. The English would be sour cream tacos with green chili. These are more like what most Americans call enchiladas. But they are called tacos by the Mexican side of our family.
Soften corn tortillas on the hot plate (mine is a stiff piece of metal hammered into shape by a Mexican friend of the family. It sits on a hot burner), dip it into a tomato based sauce (made with tomato sauce, fried onions and garlic, cumin, oregano, and fresh minced cilantro) lay it in a pie pan, add a thick (1/2") slice of Monterey Jack, and another of cheddar cheese, a large spoon of sour cream thinned with buttermilk, and an Ortega canned chili, fold tortilla and lay folded side down in pan. Repeat until pan is full. Spread more sour cream mix over top, sprinkle with more sauce, bake in 350 ove covered with foil 45 min. Remove foil, bake 10 more minutes.

All this was done for my MIL who is in a surgical recovery hospital. She hates the food there, complaining it is dry. It is. So I took her an individual casserole of these (2 tacos) and extra sauce and sour cream mix on the side. She ate every bite, doing the happy food dance butt wiggle the whole time. :)

Nov 21, 2021, 11:52 pm

In our house we plan to have our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday instead of Thursday, which gives me an extra day to prepare since I work the first 3 days of the week.

I tried to simplify this year, but every time I mentioned a dish we could eliminate, my husband whimpered. So pretty much doing the same thing as always.

Canned cranberry sauce today, and made cardamom rolls. I froze the rolls unbaked and will bake them the day of the dinner.

Now all that's left is to bake the turkey, make gravy, mash the potatoes, make the stuffing, bake then fry yams, roast mushrooms and Brussel sprouts, make a pumpkin and a mince pie. Did I forget anything?

Dez 19, 2021, 12:41 am

Made three different batches of shortbread today. Classic (made with some rice flour), coffee frosted with dark chocolate and white chocolate, and lemon cardamom. It was supposed to be poppy seed lemon, but husband forgot to buy poppy seeds at the store. I kind of think I like the cardamom better.

My plan, if I can find the energy and the time, is to also make sunshine fruitcake, 3 pans od cardamom dinner rolls to freeze as gifts for my kids, rice Krispy treats, some almond mocha bark and peanut bark, and seasoned nuts. I'm gifting food items this year. Not going to fret if it doesn't all get done though. I still have to wrap gifts too.

For food to get us through the week, I'm making green pea soup with bacon bits, and a casserole my family calls Scotch stew. It is made with layers of cabbage, onions, bread, rice (supposed to be potatoes, but I don't eat them), and cheese grated over the top. Traditionally it has ham or corned beef in it, but I'm going to use some andui sausage and bacon.

Dez 26, 2021, 2:59 pm

For the record, I managed to get all the above done, but only one pan of cardamom rolls frozen.

Instead of those, I asked each of my kids what spice blend I could make for their family. The requests were for my Magic Mushroom blend from Nom Nom Paleo, my pork roast rub, and chili oil. All accomplished except for the chili oil. My motivation died down with the weather forecast, which prevented all but one family traveling here for the holidays. We expect to see the other two in January though.

For Christmas Eve we enjoyed a prime rib roast with broiled mushrooms and Fettuccine Alfredo, and a green salad. Christmas morning was scalloped potatoes and baked ham, dinner was leftovers as desired, but I made some steamed carrots and broccoli to go with. I made the steamed carrots for my grandson, his first food weekend! He gobbled them down! (The adult portion wasn't cooked as long, and had butter, agave nectar, salt and pepper added).

Jan 3, 2022, 9:39 am

I'm torn. Do I try for a piffle-fest here so I can start a new thread? Or just start a new thread and not worry about the sweet link? I think piffle-fest.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:41 am

On my last day of work they treated everyone to Mexican style appetizers. So much was left over, and they were just going to throw it away!

I brought it home and we have been eating them every day. They are much better fried in a little butter when reheated.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:43 am

For the most part, I cut the little rolled tacos into bite-size pieces, fried them with some extra spice (very bland Mexican food), and poured beaten eggs over them to cook. That is a very tasty way to transform cold, bland leftovers.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:44 am

I also made a soup out of some of them by cutting in pieces, then frying, then pouring a delicious homemade broth over them. Not bad at all.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:55 am

We have nearly come to the end of our turkey and ham. A beautiful turkey and ham pie was finished off last evening. Some of our ham was donated to my son and his fiancée.

Jan 3, 2022, 9:55 am

We had turkey and ham pasta yesterday with my daughter, her husband and their three children.

Jan 3, 2022, 10:14 am

First piffle of 2022!

Jan 3, 2022, 10:41 am

Just finished the last of the turkey soup.

Jan 3, 2022, 10:42 am

>79 suitable1: Is that your last piffle?

Jan 3, 2022, 10:51 am

My mother always insisted on the full English Victorian Christmas. In an ill-ventilated room, on the hottest day of the year. Dry turkey, ham (edible, but better the next day), stodgy Christmas pudding -- close the curtains so you can see the burning brandy and don't comment on the absence of oxygen for the humans. One year we scored a goose instead of a turkey; much better, and matched the number of servings needed more exactly, but very expensive. Can you tell that as a born-again introvert living in a warm part of the southern hemisphere I loathe a "traditional" Christmas meal?

Jan 3, 2022, 11:07 am

We started out the year by making 2 'new' recipes from a new cookbook I received for Christmas. It may sound odd, but Heroe's Feast The Official D&D Cookbook isn't bad!

Jan 3, 2022, 11:17 am

Finally, a piffle party I haven't missed!

Jan 3, 2022, 11:19 am

I have half of a "no beef" wellington left over from Christmas Day to eat. I prefer nut roasts but this year all the supermarkets seemed to be going for fake meat type veggie dishes. At least this one didn't attempt to imitate the flavour and texture of beef - the filling was mostly mushroom and pleasantly seasoned.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:20 am

>82 hfglen: I can't imagine eating a full roast dinner on a hot summer's day! Tradition has a lot to answer for.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:23 am

>75 MrsLee: "...little rolled tacos..." These sound like flautas to me. Flautas used to be my second favorite Tex-Mex dish. I was home for two weeks and didn't get a single plate of Tex-Mex. That's just cruel.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:26 am

>87 lesmel: Mmm, Tex-Mex. Something that is extremely hard to find in the UK. Burrito chains have started to spring up over the last 10 years or so, but Mexican food hasn't really hit the mainstream here. I guess we don't have many immigrants from that part of the world. OTOH there is no shortage of fantastic Indian food.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:28 am

Seeing the title of this thread is making me think of bubble and squeak, the perfect way to use up leftover veggies.

Editado: Jan 3, 2022, 11:32 am

>88 Sakerfalcon: Although I remember a very good Mexican meal in Oxford once. It also cleared my sinuses so I could enjoy the week in Oxford. That was maybe early 90s.

We had a fairly good mixed Latin American restaurant here in Vienna, but since COVID started they keep reducing their menu.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:29 am

>88 Sakerfalcon: I want to go to the UK just for the Indian food (which seems weird, right?). Living in Houston, I have access to every major world cuisine and a lot of minor (or seldom heard-of) cuisines. I don't take advantage as much as I should, though.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:36 am

>90 MarthaJeanne: I've also been to a couple of excellent Mexican restaurants in Edinburgh too. You have to seek them out but it's worth it!

>91 lesmel: My work friends and I have decided that we will try to meet once a month for a meal out, to try some of the many restaurants in London. We had a delicious Japanese meal in December, and January's plan is to try a Mexican place that comes highly recommended.

I went to an Indian wedding in Houston some years ago, which was basically 4 days of feasting on marvellous food.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:46 am

Mmm, all this food talk is making me hungry. I'm wishing that my little town had any of those delicious-sounding ethnic food choices.

Jan 3, 2022, 12:03 pm

>93 NorthernStar: OTOH you get to see deer in your garden, and have seen lynx in the wild too! Every place has its upsides!

Jan 3, 2022, 12:06 pm

I really missed eating out during lockdown. It was great to have more time to cook at home, but I'm not adventurous enough in the kitchen to try making Indian, Thai, etc myself.

Jan 3, 2022, 12:07 pm

And I made a rule that I could only order takeout if I went and collected it myself. I knew that if I started on Deliveroo or similar delivery services I would never leave my couch again.

Jan 3, 2022, 12:20 pm

>96 Sakerfalcon: We’ve never been game to try the delivery services either, for roughly that reason.

Jan 3, 2022, 12:23 pm

>97 haydninvienna: I doubt my wallet would appreciate it either!

Jan 3, 2022, 12:53 pm

>92 Sakerfalcon: In Edinburgh we got the last table in a tiny restaurant that made the most of local ingredients. Jerry's steak was just fantastic. My fish pie was good, but desert was toasted oatmeal and caramelized honey ice cream. Would have been worth many times the calories.

Then there was a canal pub between Edinburgh and Falkirk that had things like pheasant, and traditional British sweets. I think we stopped there both directions, and drove there again from Falkirk. Easier to find from the canal than by road.

We really ought to try to eat out a few times before the next lockdown. Right now I am more interested in getting more birdfeed while I can. We do take out pizza both ways, but the other options don't really appeal.

Jan 3, 2022, 1:06 pm

Both those sound amazing! I hope I’ll get to Edinburgh sometime this year as I have a friend there.

Jan 3, 2022, 1:07 pm

Here’s a seasonal debate: Brussels sprouts - yay or nay?

Personally I love them especially if roasted or sautéed

Jan 3, 2022, 1:32 pm

thank you for inviting us to your piffle party! I have brought my new experiment: Pork with Sauerkraut. My father-in-law insisted on having it every new years eve, he said it was a luck tradition from his german heritage. My husband despised it, which surprised me because he likes both pork and sauerkraut, so I suspected it was based on his mom's method of cooking it.

After researching recipes I came up with one that we both liked - it adds apples and applesauce and is stewed in the crockpot.

Does anyone else have a similar good-luck dinner tradition?

Jan 3, 2022, 2:25 pm

>101 Sakerfalcon:
Count me amongst the “Yays!”

Jan 3, 2022, 2:27 pm

>102 Darth-Heather:
Pork and sauerkraut sounds nice.

Jan 3, 2022, 2:27 pm

>102 Darth-Heather: I don’t, but a friend of mine in the US always cooks black eyed peas and collard greens on January 1st, for good luck in the new year.

Jan 3, 2022, 2:31 pm

>105 Sakerfalcon: I've heard of that - black eyed peas bring pennies, collard greens bring dollars, and cornbread to bring gold, or something to that effect.

Editado: Jan 3, 2022, 2:34 pm

>101 Sakerfalcon: Yay here too. I lunched with my daughter Laura just before Christmas, and as a side dish got a serving of grilled Brussels sprouts with cranberries. Decidedly more-ish. Laura dived in too.

ETA also yay to pork and sauerkraut, separately or together.

Jan 3, 2022, 2:33 pm

>104 pgmcc: apparently pork is meant to represent prosperity, and sauerkraut to symbolize money.

the important thing though is to cook the pork separately first, and DRAIN OUT THE FAT, before adding the sauerkraut. The recipes I looked at showed it all being cooked together, but the sauerkraut and apples came out greasy.

Jan 3, 2022, 3:02 pm

>102 Darth-Heather: Black-eyed peas and cornbread, here! My dad celebrates NYE with snacking on 12 (or 13 depending on the tradition) grapes.

Jan 3, 2022, 3:22 pm

>109 lesmel: huh. I read that one someplace too but I forget what the grapes symbolize.

Jan 3, 2022, 3:25 pm

>102 Darth-Heather: Here in Vienna you are supposed to eat fish or pork, but not poultry - it could fly off with your luck. The fish and pork can be symbolic. Marzipan pigs are common, as are special fish cookies. You are told to eat the cookies from the back end, again because the fish can't swim away with your luck if you have eaten the tail.

Jan 3, 2022, 3:27 pm

>111 MarthaJeanne: I like it!

I was browsing 'new years lucky foods' and saw some cute photos of the marzipan piggies, but I've never seen any in shops. I love marzipan and usually get the little fruit-shaped ones.

Jan 3, 2022, 3:39 pm

>110 Darth-Heather: The grapes represent luck or good fortune. Some traditions say 12 grapes by the end of the 12th chime at midnight. Another tradition says eat 12 grapes under the table to be lucky in love.

Jan 3, 2022, 4:52 pm

This year for Christmas we had my in-laws and Jim's daughter, her husband and our 1st granddaughter for Christmas eve dinner. The "kids" all stayed with us so that we could wake up with our granddaughter Christmas morning (she's 4, almost 5) since they live several hours away. For dinner, I made 2 lasagnas that I must say, turned out pretty good. Sometimes they turn out a bit soupy but I must have gotten all of the proportions right this year lol. Christmas Day dinner was hosted by my MIL and FIL and everyone contributed by bringing a dish, followed by opening gifts.

Jan 3, 2022, 4:54 pm

New years was try new things day and we busted open one of Jim's Christmas cook books (as he said in a previous post) We enjoy making new dishes together so we have a LOT of cookbooks.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:01 pm

>80 pgmcc: Thank you for lending a piffle here. We are still working on the ham and scalloped potatoes. Happily, they are nice when fried together. I finished the rib roast in soup tonight. Sliced very thin in a rich broth.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:02 pm

>79 suitable1: I missed out on a lot of piffling in 2021, had to start early this year! Thanks for coming by.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:04 pm

>82 hfglen: I grew up where we usually had a white Christmas. Now I live where we are lucky if it is chilly on Christmas day. Still like my roasts though. But I wouldn't be cooking them in the middle of our summer. Whew.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:05 pm

>83 Karlstar: Enjoy the adventure!

Jan 3, 2022, 11:06 pm

>84 Sakerfalcon: Yay! Have a glass of bubbly and some tasty snacks. You must use your imagination though, because I don't know how to do photos from my phone.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:08 pm

>85 Sakerfalcon: I think many vegetarian dishes sound wonderful, but I am not a fan of vegetables pretending to be meat. Be what you are, man. You are beautiful.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:10 pm

>87 lesmel: Yes, they can be called flautas. My Mexican inlaws just call everything a taco. Whether it is baked, fried, rolled or folded. :)

Jan 3, 2022, 11:13 pm

>88 Sakerfalcon: I love Indian food! Sadly, most of the ethnic restaurants around here are somewhat homogenized. All the Mexican food tastes the same, all the Chinese food tastes the same and all the Indian food tastes the same. That's why I do a lot of cooking at home. Also to save money.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:16 pm

>89 Sakerfalcon: My great grandmother made something she called Scotch stew. Cabbage, potatoes, rice, onions, bread and crackers, with chipped beef or ham, topped with cheddar cheese and baked until bubbly. I use the method to use up leftovers, too.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:21 pm

>101 Sakerfalcon: I love Brussels sprouts! When I was young, my mother steamed them (she only had access to the frozen ones) and made a cheddar cheese sauce to pour over them. I made that dish for a party as a teen and converted all the other teens at the party love Brussels sprouts. My favorite way to eat them now is roasted.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:24 pm

>102 Darth-Heather: Thank you for attending! I love pork with sauerkraut, and I think you are on the right track reducing the fat like that. I haven't done a lot of German cooking. My parents used to ferment their own sauerkraut, it was the best I've ever had.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:27 pm

>105 Sakerfalcon: Not being from the south, that isn't my tradition, but I did make the meal one year. It was delicious!

Our New Year's day growing up consisted of tons of dips, chips and appetizers. Everything on the table so we could watch football games all day and lots of our friends and relatives dropped in. In the midst of all that, we took down the Christmas tree and decorations.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:29 pm

>114 Silversi: That sounds like a lovely celebration! I love lasagna, but rarely make it.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:34 pm

Today I reorganized my giftwrap, bows and gift bags. OH, and tissue paper. Now the holidays are officially over, except for the three gifts still waiting to be delivered to my children who weren't able to get here for Christmas.

After that I went through a large box which was stuffed to the gills with photos from my inlaws. Sorted them for my SIL, and myself. They were mostly duplicates of photos I already have of my kids, but there were a few special ones.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:36 pm

Tonight I roasted chicken, steamed cauliflower and baked some winter squash. First cooking I've done since Christmas day, unless you count the bread I made on the 1st. Sourdough with sesame seeds.

Jan 3, 2022, 11:38 pm

Twenty more posts. I'm falling asleep now..zzzzz

Jan 4, 2022, 5:07 am

>126 MrsLee: and others: A week or 2 ago I grilled some Kassler chops and made apple sauce to go with them. The linked recipe works a treat: Granny Smith (we can't get Bramley here) apples, lemon juice and cinnamon.

Jan 4, 2022, 5:08 am

It looked a bit dry when I turned the heat on, so I added a splash of water -- maybe too big a splash. Better Half and I liked the result, but DD complained of the acidity in the lemon juice.

Jan 4, 2022, 5:52 am

>113 lesmel: I spent new year’s with my 9 year old goddaughter and her family. She was allowed to stay up until midnight and was determined to eat the 12 grapes as Big Ben struck! She managed it and was very proud of herself!

Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 6:07 am

>133 hfglen: Different apples need different amounts of added acid, They also cook down differently, more lumpy or more smooth, more dry or more juicy. My preference is to go to the orchard and fill my bag with a variety of apples.

Then I fill a large bowl with cut up (cored, maybe peeled) apples with some lemon juice and stick it in the microwave for 10-15 minutes. Stir and fill the bowl up again. Repeat until quantity and quality appeal. Then I add cinnamon to some of it. My portion is likely to stay as is, or maybe get ginger or cloves.

Jan 4, 2022, 7:40 am

Fourteen posts to go after this one. Can we make a dash and get over the line today? Is this something the team and do? Have we got the pifflenergy to do it?

Jan 4, 2022, 7:53 am

We can try.

Jan 4, 2022, 8:08 am

>137 MarthaJeanne:
We must do more than try. We must do it. With every post we get closer to the goal.

Insert amazing motivational half-time speech by brilliant coach.


Go Team!

Jan 4, 2022, 8:39 am

Clam's thread over in the Green Dragon has a discussion of cheese in general and cheese-curd lumps in particular.

Jan 4, 2022, 8:40 am

I pose a question here that I have (at least implicitly) asked there:

Jan 4, 2022, 8:41 am

How are cheese-curd lumps related to Lebanese labneh?

Jan 4, 2022, 8:41 am

And if so, can one make them at home?

Jan 4, 2022, 8:56 am

>133 hfglen: I also don't like the acidity of the lemon juice. I just add an equal amount of brown sugar to offset it. The amount is so minor that I don't think it makes it unhealthy. If I add the brown sugar even the grandkids will eat it. I prefer granny smith apples. I cook on stovetop instead of microwave as I do a minimum of 20 lbs. at a time.

Jan 4, 2022, 9:20 am

>136 pgmcc: She's so close!

I haven't read the whole thread, but I'm here to make a plug for Yorkshire pudding.

Editado: Jan 4, 2022, 10:35 am

>73 MrsLee: I came by for your piffle party but missed it. Glad it went well.

Oh, wait, you need 150...

Jan 4, 2022, 10:36 am

Yesterday I tried making an Egg Stratta from a recipe that Jim (Drneutron) posted.

It was delish, so good!

Jan 4, 2022, 10:41 am

I made panettone again this year, but it was a tad dry. I'm trying to figure out what went wrong.

I used whole wheat flower instead of white, not sure if that would make a difference.

I used very dry/desiccated dried fruit, may have drawn extra moisture from the batter?

It didn't seem to rise as much as it did in the past, despite using fresh yeast.

I might have overcooked it, too, since it wasn't as large/risen as last year's panettone.

What do you all think?

Jan 4, 2022, 10:44 am

I took two weeks off from work this year, partly because I wanted to spend more time with my 93yo father.

I also cooked, I mean, ACTUALLY COOKED. I'm not a cook, though I do cook.

2wonderY posted about cooking pinto beans with a ham bone and I decided to do something similar.

I had a small pork loin roast in the freezer, aha!

I soaked 2 bags of beans (24 oz) overnight, then placed them in my slow cooker with the roast and a thick slice of onion, covering with about 2" of water.

I then let them cook for over 8 hours, and they were GOOD, although just a little bland. My dad added ketchup, dh added mustard.

When I ate some the next day I drizzled some molasses on top and it really made a difference.

Jan 4, 2022, 10:45 am

#150 :)

Jan 4, 2022, 10:48 am

>144 clamairy: Yorkshire pudding, mmmmmmm! :-P One of my very favourite things.

>150 fuzzi: Yay, well done fuzzi!

Jan 4, 2022, 10:50 am

Jan 4, 2022, 10:52 am

I was just talking to my dad last night about not having had prime rib in years, and the one time we had Yorkshire pudding...it was wonderful.

Jan 4, 2022, 10:53 am

Of course traditionally one only has Yorkshire pud with roast beef, but we loved it so much as children that my mum had to serve it with every roast dinner, no matter what the meat was!

Jan 4, 2022, 10:55 am

>148 fuzzi: Whole wheat flour needs more liquid than white flour. That and the very dry fruit probably also explain why the bread did not rise as well as you would have expected. Although I have recently had to let my doughs rise in the oven. The kitchen has been to cold for them. Oven at 30°C works well. Another option is a low microwave. Sort of really wakes the yeast up.

Another time, if your fruit is really dry, I suggest adding liquid to it and microwaving to plump up the fruit before adding to the dough. I use whatever spirits appeals at the time, although juice or even just water would also do the job.

Jan 4, 2022, 10:55 am

>154 Sakerfalcon: I WANT PRIME RIB...

The last time I ate at a restaurant that offered Prime Rib they put it in a sub roll with MAYO. Horror!

Jan 4, 2022, 10:56 am

>155 MarthaJeanne: thank you, those suggestions make sense. I didn't know about wheat flour needing more liquid.

I'm no cook, I just cook, sometimes...

Jan 4, 2022, 11:11 am

>132 hfglen: I wish I could eat applesauce. In 2011 I suddenly developed an allergy to them. So sad.

Jan 4, 2022, 11:16 am

>148 fuzzi: Whole wheat flour does require just a little more moisture in my experience. Possibly the dried fruit as well? Although, I think that might just end up being too hard to chew unless you soak it first. Which reminds me. I have some raisins still soaking is some sort of alcohol in the back of my fridge. I need to make another fruit cake.

Jan 4, 2022, 11:18 am

>144 clamairy: Thank you for stopping by! I have only eaten Yorkshire pudding once in a restaurant, I've never tried to make it. It's one of those recipes that everyone says is easy, but my mind says "no."

Jan 4, 2022, 11:18 am

Jan 4, 2022, 11:20 am

Thank you all for the help!

Jan 4, 2022, 3:28 pm

>155 MarthaJeanne: The other thing I should have said is that, while white flour absorbs the liquid quite rapidly, whole grain flours can take much longer - up to 30 minutes. In other words, the dough that seemed soft enough when you set it to rise, might not be half way through.

I also add a tablespoon or two of gluten flour to most wholegrain breads to aid the rise. You want to add this early on so the gluten has a good chance to develop. (Here in Austria it is usually labelled seitan - fix or something similar.) You really only need a little to raise the gluten level 1 or 2 percent. Don't use more than that.