"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2022, Part 1


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2022, Part 1

Jan 4, 2022, 11:25 am

Hello all! With a little help from my friends, I was able to continue this thread for the New Year. Last year proved to be somewhat of a cooking slump, as well as a reading slump. However, that doesn't mean I didn't cook, it just means I wasn't inspired to do so by anything more than hunger. Hoping this year will engage my imagination in the kitchen.

I have a few cookbooks on my TBR shelf, so maybe those will help. Today the plan is to roast some root vegetables! WooHoo! Now isn't that exciting?

Tomorrow will be a meatloaf made with pork sausage and hamburger and whatever else I want to throw in. It always has an egg or two, some sort of ketchup (right now the only ketchup in my fridge is rhubarb sauce I made) and some sort of carb. like bread, crackers, or rice. We love meatloaf, although it gives me terrible heartburn.

Jan 4, 2022, 2:33 pm

>1 MrsLee: I can't eat tomatoes, so when we make meatloaf we substitute Worcester sauce or Teriyaki or Soy sauce.

I like putting cheese on top close to the end of the cooking time.

Jan 6, 2022, 4:34 pm


Oh, I am very late. Hello, anyway!

Jan 6, 2022, 9:11 pm

>3 2wonderY: Always welcome!

The meatloaf came out delicious. As did the roasted rootabaga and turnips.

Today I made a pearl lentil dish using Eastern Indian inspired ingredients and cooking techniques, but adding the last of the Christmas ham, its liquid and the liquid from a roasted chicken awhile back. Stuff didn't smell or look bad so I threw it in. So delicious! I love lentils cooked that way.

My daughter is visiting this weekend, if all our Covid tests are negative tomorrow, and since her birthday is Monday I decided to bake her a cake. I am using the recipe from The Mitford Cookbook, for a chocolate mocha cake. Guess I tried it before because I wrote "This is awesome!" On the page.

Jan 13, 2022, 2:14 pm

Today I am going to make some good ol' mac n cheese for my father-in-law. I think I will use the recipe in If You Can't Stand the Heat by Robert Medina, although changes will be made according to ingredients on hands and reducing any heat to manageable proportions for my FIL. The best mac n cheese is probably made with Velveeta, but I can't bring myself to use it.

I also want to make a stew, however, my procrastination gene tells me to wait until next week. I am going away for the weekend. Might do it anyway though. A stew for $20+. That's the least expensive cut my husband could find. Have no idea how much the vegetables were. Sigh. I suppose it is still less expensive than going out.

Jan 13, 2022, 2:52 pm

>5 MrsLee: my son makes mac and cheese based upon a recipe he saw on the back of the pasta box. He uses 3 to 4 different cheeses, and it is a delight!

Jan 13, 2022, 4:47 pm

>5 MrsLee: Ew! No Velveeta, please! If any food come close to being made from petroleum, that one does. Blending grated cheeses and a bit of milk and butter creams almost as well, with so much better flavor.

But that casserole will feed several for a couple of meals at least.

Jan 13, 2022, 5:26 pm

I like mixing half the grated cheese(s) into white sauce. The other half I combine with the pasta and the pour the sauce over it. A quick stir and into the oven.

Luckily we can't get Velveeta here.

Jan 14, 2022, 4:51 am

>5 MrsLee: Now that you have My Cape Malay Kitchen, what about a tomato bredie? Possibly with beef rather than lamb.

Jan 14, 2022, 2:49 pm

Ok, this Mac n cheese is the best I've ever made from scratch. Creamy, no grit, lots of cheesyness without leaving your teeth coated in cheese.

I did not use Velveeta, or the Cheese Whiz the recipe calls for. Looked online and used a recipe for making Cheese Whiz from scratch. Basically a cheese sauce. Anyway, this recipe will be repeated for sure.

Jan 15, 2022, 7:11 am

>5 MrsLee: Oh no Velvetta! That is just yuck! I think the best cheese sauce is made with sharp cheddar, even white cheddar, if available.

Jan 15, 2022, 1:10 pm

I'm in the minority here. I love Velveeta. Mostly, it's perfect for cheese dip with rotel tomatoes. I only eat Velveeta like twice a year since it's "food product" and not real cheese.

Editado: Jan 15, 2022, 2:07 pm

This discussion got me going. So we had 'macaroni and cheese' for supper. Of course, the pasta wasn't actually macaroni. I had expected lots of old cheese to grate, but apparently I've been better than expected at eating it up or at least at throwing old cheese away. My final mixture was 6 cheeses, but all in good shape and not over their dates. I also mixed broccoli, bacon and ham into the pasta. I made two pans. We ate one up, the other will spend a few days in the refrigerator. My mental recipe comes from the days when we had five people eating, including two teenage boys. Actually we should not be able to eat half of that.

Editado: Jan 15, 2022, 1:51 pm

I made DrNeutron's egg stratta again today. This time I used Half & Half instead of milk, rye bread instead of panettone, and shredded mozzarella as well as Gouda cheese. Nummy.

And I made bran muffins again, too.

Why am I suddenly baking? I've never considered myself as a cook, just someone who cooks on occasion...

Jan 25, 2022, 10:41 am

One of our favorite mac n cheese recipes is one that Alton Brown does (foodnetwork star) https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/baked-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe.... We have it probably only once or twice a year but that's just because it's rich mac n cheese, not a reflection on how good the recipe is.

Jan 25, 2022, 12:48 pm

As a Brit, I'm fascinated by the USAnian take on macaroni cheese. So many seem to be cooked on the top of the stove, whereas we think the most important bit is that thick crust of grated cheese (maybe mixed with breadcrumbs) on top, which goes all gooey and crunchy in the oven. Plenty of cheese in the white sauce too, of course, with some nutmeg. I usually put one halved tomato per serving on top of the mixture before adding the grated cheese crust, which I mix with (dry) stuffing mix instead of breadcrumbs.

And of course, if there is any left over, since it tends to go solid, it is best fried in slices.

Editado: Jan 30, 2022, 11:44 am

>16 sarahemmm: My mom always baked her mac 'n cheese with some canned tomatoes in it. It was delicious! Yes, breadcrumbs and cheese melted on top, too. I ended up freezing the last chunk of ours. I had thought about frying it, but wasn't sure whether it would just end up a puddle of fat with crunchy noodles.

I've been cooking out of If You Can't Stand the Heat. The smoked ribs were out of this world, the best I've ever made, and possibly ever eaten. Not having a smoker, I improvised by putting the ribs on a rack in a large pan, a little water in the bottom of the pan and some liquid smoke, covered with foil and put in the oven for 5 hours on 250°. Before that step, there is a spice/sugar rub he gives the recipe for which sits on the ribs overnight in the refrigerator. This is not a quick recipe, but not difficult. Browned at the end with a bit of BBQ sauce, mmmm mmm.

From the liquid left in the bottom of the pan at the end, I made smoked-baked beans the next day. Another 8 hours in the oven at very low temperature. So good.

From Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking by Elena Zelayeta, I made gorditas. These were delicious, topped with chorizo made from her recipe, my fermented onions and carrots, cabbage, cilantro and guacamolé. The only problem was a misunderstanding I had about the quantity of masa required. She called for 3 lbs. of fresh masa. I had a bag of masa, dried. I measured out 3 lbs. which seemed an incredibly large amount. It was only when I started adding water that I realize what she meant by fresh masa was the stuff already moistened in a bag. :/ So I had WAY too much masa. Had I been smart, I would have put half of it in a bag and frozen it, but no. I went ahead and cooked it all into little sombrero shaped fried things. We still have some, but have no desire to eat anymore of them. They are pretty good re-warmed in a frying pan and topped with eggs (especially with eggs mixed with chorizo). Live an learn!

Another adventure: I made some apricot-pineapple jam and had quite a bit left since I didn't sterilize enough jars. So I thought about pineapple upside down cake, and the fact that I love cinnamon rolls, and mightn't that jam be lovely on them? I worked with a recipe I have to make a sourdough recipe for cinnamon rolls, put the jam in the bottom of the pan, topped it with the rolls, baked it and flipped them out of the pan as soon as I removed it from the oven. Heaven. Absolute heaven. Tender, light and delicious.

Also had some fresh lemon juice to deal with, and I'm trying to use up some powdered sugar, so I made lemon bars, one of my favorites. Recipe from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader. I forgot that my pan was 15x9 and not 13x9, so they came out pretty thin, but tasty none the less.

Fev 2, 2022, 7:25 pm

So this is the eating plan I've come up with.
Breakfast: Grain product such as cooked cereal, homemade bread, etc. A serving of fruit.

Lunch: A protein and a veg. dish

Dinner: Mainly veg, but can have bits of meat in it, a carb. something like pasta, rice or tortilla.

My main goal is to get 8 different vegetables (2 of which can be fruits) into our bodies each day. So if I make a stew, there will be several types of veg in it. Same with soup, sauces, salad, curries, etc.

So far we are doing pretty well. A cabbage salad with a creamy slaw dressing included 6 different veg. Today I made Subz miloni (seasonal vegetables in spinach and garlic sauce) from the Curry Cuisine by Corinne Trang and others. It is amazing! It also had nine veg, if you count the garlic and ginger, which I do if they have more than a teaspoon. I also made Tawa paratha, which was not as difficult and it turned out better than I thought it would.

Fev 7, 2022, 5:18 pm

Yesterday I had a yen to bake a cake. Lemon juice to be used. I used an old booklet from a mixer company I had never heard of, Dormeyer Electric Mixer. The booklet is from 1949. So I baked what is called a Frosty Lemon Cake (no lemon in the cake at all) and made a Lemon filling, sprinkled the top with powdered sugar. It is denser than box mix cakes, but I like it so. Still, won't be putting this recipe in my "favorites" collection. It has ingredients I hadn't heard of, which are no longer made; SPRY, a Crisco-like product I guess. I used coconut oil, but probably butter would have been a better choice. I rather liked the faint suggestion of coconut with the lemon though.

I didn't use a mixer (I don't have one), I used a whisk instead. Seemed to work fine.

Fev 7, 2022, 9:43 pm

>19 MrsLee: I have a Dormeyer mixer that recently quit working. It belonged to my grandfather. My mother had one that she used more than my grandfather used his. (He mainly used it for making candy, but I used it for much more.) I wish they made the modern hand mixers as sturdy as the Dormeyers were.

Fev 8, 2022, 8:18 am

>20 thornton37814: why not try a used one? See what I just found on eBay:


If it doesn't work as described, eBay will refund your money.

Fev 8, 2022, 8:30 am

>21 fuzzi: I did see the model I have, but it wouldn't have the family back story. I have a big KitchenAid for big jobs, and I beat some smaller stuff by hand to save on cleanup. I'm sure my hand-held KitchenAid works fine. It's just not nearly as sturdy as the Dormey model 7500 by Dormeyer.

Editado: Fev 8, 2022, 10:12 am

>22 thornton37814: understood. I have purchased a couple items from eBay that were the same as family items that have disappeared over the years.

While they aren't the exact same item, I derive pleasure from having something almost the same.

Strange? :)


Fev 10, 2022, 7:49 pm

>20 thornton37814: The one shown on my booklet is not a hand held. It looks like a precursor the the older Kitchenaid mixers. I had one of those but gave it to my daughter. At some point, I will buy another of some brand, because my hands go numb when I stir anything too long. I've been getting by with my Vitamix, an no knead bread recipes for now.

>23 fuzzi: Not strange at all IMO. :) Especially since most things really were made better in the old days. Now they have a planned obsolescence.

Fev 18, 2022, 11:09 am

Today I threw a 6 1/2 lb chicken (locally Amish raised) in my stockpot for a big batch of chicken and dumplings. I make a drop type from scratch dumpling which is like a giant spaetzel. (I did spaetzle the other day to go with a beef roast.) I dumped in some homemade poultrt seasoning with the bird. Smells good already. Now to find the recipe for an Onion dill sour cream yeast dinner roll that I want to make. I have to do some serious digging as I have no clue what cookbook this recipe was found in. I try to stick post-it's on my books to remind myself, but that never works well. Plus, I need to make some sort of sweet for dessert. I made a new recipe for rice pudding yesterday, which immediately went in the garbage along with the minestrone soup... new recipes can be awful, even if they sound good.

Editado: Fev 18, 2022, 3:52 pm

>25 Raspberrymocha: Your chicken and dumplings sound delicious. I tried a new recipe for baked chicken last night which seemed sound, and indeed was not terrible, but the overall opinion was that it was "meh." Recipe is in the garbage. Probably needed more salt. It was just seasonings in yogurt marinade and I can figure that out on my own if I want to try it again. As a rule we are pretty happy with my homemade spice blends on baked chicken; I was trying to broaden our horizons.

Fev 20, 2022, 1:56 pm

My son's girlfriend and her mother are visiting tonight. Dinner will be chicken and andoulli jambalaya, grilled Thai shrimp, green salad with blue cheese dressing, and fresh baked sourdough bread. The jambalaya ans shrimp recipes are from If You Can't Stand the Heat by Robert Medina.

Tomorrow morning will be sourdough waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

Mar 5, 2022, 10:14 pm

>16 sarahemmm: I'm from the US (midwest) and that is how we always make mac & cheese, white sauce w/cheese, baked in oven. Leftovers sliced and fried!

Mar 6, 2022, 7:15 am

>16 sarahemmm: >28 Tess_W: I definitely prefer mine baked. However, I'll eat most the other. My nephew's wife makes a version at Christmas that uses at least 5 cheese varieties and is baked. I love that one, but it is too much for me to consider making for just me. I do have some individual casseroles for baking that help with some things like this because they can be frozen.

Mar 6, 2022, 7:54 am

Primrose Cottage Needleworks introduced the "Toil and Trouble" pattern at the Nashville Needlework Market this past week. Now when I see your thread's title, I picture that pattern! I've seen a lot of love for it on Floss Tube and Instagram.

Mar 6, 2022, 3:06 pm

>30 thornton37814: It is addictive, that rhyme. If I didn't have arthritis, I would consider doing that pattern. Sadly, all needlework is beyond me now.

Mar 6, 2022, 3:15 pm

I've been making soup this last week. Probably be my last round before the summer temperatures here make the thought of hot soup unthinkable.

Started by making a cauldron of broth from leftover bones and bits of veggies I keep in the freezer. Then we had a cauliflower-cheddar cheese pureed soup. Excellent. Next I used the ends of asparagus to make a pureed soup, but added bits of spicy chicken sausage and home roasted, diced pasilla chilies. Even better! Today will be ramen, made with leftover pork loin, spinach, cabbage, onion, cilantro, ginger and garlic chopped fresh into the bowl. Then I ladle hot noodles and seasoned steaming hot broth over all. Usually I add a poached egg on top, with some hot chili sauce, but since we already had 2 eggs each for breakfast, I won't. Think I will add some of the homemade Thai chili-garlic sauce I made to the top though.

Mar 6, 2022, 3:51 pm

>32 MrsLee: after I make bone broth and it has cooled I pour it into plastic containers and freeze. When I want to make soup I just thaw the broth and use as my base.

Mar 6, 2022, 4:29 pm

>33 fuzzi: I use large silicon ice cube trays and/or square muffin trays. I freeze the cubes and then transfer to plastic bags.

Mar 6, 2022, 5:00 pm

Mar 6, 2022, 5:02 pm

>33 fuzzi: Yes, I do the same.
>34 MarthaJeanne: I have tried that, but usually end up forgetting they are there and they get ice crystals all over them.

Mar 7, 2022, 8:39 am

>36 MrsLee: Yes, they do after a while, and sometimes like to stick together. But I use them a lot. Right now I think I have Chicken, goose, and lamb, but am out of beef.

Mar 9, 2022, 1:08 am

Tonight I made a spinach yogurt curry. Very happy with the flavor, it was easy and I had all ingredients to hand. A winner!

Mar 9, 2022, 8:33 am

>38 MrsLee: That sounds good.

Mar 11, 2022, 12:02 am

I attempted to make chili rellenos today. Not very successfully. The first problem was, it had been so long that I forgot whether they were deep-fried, or pan fried. I tried to deep-fry them, and when the coating floated off the chili and the cheese slipped out to the bottom of the pot, I realized something was wrong. The next one came out marginally better. The third one I rolled in flour before rolling it in the batter, it did the best, but by the time I finished frying three not delectable chilies, I remembered that my mother did NOT deep-fry them, but used a heavy skillet with rather deep oil. Of course this means that I will have to try again. There is nothing like the flavor of chili rellenos made with pasilla chilies, and I must succeed!

I realize I could bake them in a casserole dish, and that is yummy, but not the same. Sometimes ya gotta have fried.

Abr 15, 2022, 9:09 am

Not much cooking going on here. Just the kind we do every day to eat. Cook one or two big chunks of meat, then a different vegetable/s each night. A loaf of bread once a week and that gets us by. Sometimes rice, beans or pasta.

Because I lack cooking desire at the moment, I give my husband a grocery list like this: 1 or 2 meats, whatever is a good buy. 1 vegetable from the following groups: root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit. 1-2 fruits. Also, fungus is always a bonus. Then I cook whatever he brings home.

We had lamb roast last weekend. Because it was slightly frozen when it went into the oven, the middle wasn't as done as we prefer when it came out. We ate the edges, and last night I made a curry, but different. Since his parents died in this last 3 months, we have been using up their pantry as well as ours. His mother loved the Thai curry sauces from Trader Joe's, so I had a jar of that. I used it, along with onions, mushrooms, garlic and ginger, cilantro and lemon juice, the lamb chopped up, and meat drippings from the lamb and some chicken I had cooked. That made a sauce which I poured over noodles. We topped it with chopped peanuts and some Thai sweet chili sauce I made. Surprisingly good! I don't know why I wanted it on noodles instead of rice, but it worked.

Abr 20, 2022, 10:42 pm

Made another asparagus soup today, this time using carrots and cream, as well as onions, garlic, ginger, celery, curry leaves and other whole spices. By the time I was done, we had a creamy, silky, golden soup with small bites of chicken leftover from the weekend roasted chicken. Delicious and beautiful. I was afraid the carrots would sweeten it too much, so I added a little vinegar. Not too sweet at all.

Abr 27, 2022, 6:35 pm

Today was definitely a bubbly cauldron day. I made a sweet Thai chili sauce, rhubarb ketchup and a chocolate syrup (think Hershey's, only a bit thicker and five times as delicious).

Abr 30, 2022, 9:45 am

I'm going to try to get back in the habit of going to Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. Today I am in search of greens. I'm making a red bean, rice and ham dish and thought greens would be a nice addition. We have sort of fallen apart on our vegetable eating plan (eight varieties a day, not necessarily full serving sizes), but I don't intend to give up.

In my freezer I have raspberries, blueberries and persimmons. Told my husband no more fruit from the store until these are eaten up because they won't be good much longer.

Maio 4, 2022, 12:31 am

Tomorrow is a cooking day. I will grill hamburgers in my new 10" cast iron grill pan, purchased because my husband only likes to light the outdoor charcoal grill for steaks. I'm also going to start a batch of sourdough bread, make a red and a green Thai curry paste, and some raspberry syrup. The freezer raspberries were kind of squished when they thawed.

Maio 4, 2022, 3:18 pm

>45 MrsLee: All of that sounds delish!

Maio 4, 2022, 7:22 pm

>46 lesmel: I have a new favorite dessert. Vanilla ice cream drizzled with raspberry syrup and chocolate syrup. I will probably never buy a chocolate syrup again.

Maio 5, 2022, 1:43 pm

>47 MrsLee: will you share your chocolate syrup recipe, please? My SIL points out the stuff in the squeeze bottle is mostly HFCS.

Maio 5, 2022, 1:46 pm

>45 MrsLee: Last year, I discovered that all ripe fruits, particularly bananas and avocados, could be usefully chopped and frozen and thrown in the blender with yogurt for smoothies. Same with extra juices, frozen in an ice cube tray. Grandbaby and I made it a specialty.

Maio 5, 2022, 10:08 pm

>49 2wonderY: I have done that as well, not with avocado! We love the ice cream we make that way, but my husband and I don't love the seeds in raspberries, so I thought I would make syrup instead. I think I cooked it a tad too long, because it's a rather loose jelly now that it's refrigerated. Still delicious!

Chocolate syrup
1/3 c. water or brewed coffee (I prefer water, the coffee made it taste slightly burnt)
1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown, it's all good)
1/2 c. Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 t. salt
2 T. unsalted butter, cut in pieces (I used salted, I'm a Heathen)
1/2 t. vanilla
In small, heavy saucepan, heat water with brown sugar over med. heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisk until smooth. Add butter and vanilla, whisk until butter is melted. Serve warm over ice cream. Or eat with a spoon. ;)

This is fine to keep on the counter for a week or two, or in the fridge for longer. It does thicken up. I put a spoon or two into a custard cup and warm 10 seconds in the microwave for syrup.

Hershey's does have a 5 ingredient syrup with no HFCS, but it can be difficult to find. My husband is boycotting them for some reason or other, so I tried this recipe and don't want to go back.

Maio 5, 2022, 10:11 pm

Made a pumpkin and carrot yellow curry tonight. So good!

Maio 6, 2022, 10:44 am

>45 MrsLee: are you beginning the sourdough starter or the bread? I can't get my sourdough starter to "activate" much more than past the first day.

Maio 6, 2022, 4:55 pm

>52 Tess_W: I keep about 1/4 c. of starter in my refrigerator. I have had this starter for about five years now. When I want to bake a loaf of bread, I get the pint jar out, add 1/3 c. flour and a little less than that of water, stir it good. The next day there is enough starter to make a large loaf of bread (I use 5 c. flour when I bake a loaf), with about 1/4 c. starter left to go in the fridge.

I stir my bread ingredients (5 c. flour, 1 T. salt, 2 t. sugar approx. 1 c. sourdough, not quite 2 c. warm water) together, cover and let sit 1 hour, then stretch and fold the dough 4 times, cover, let sit another hour, stretch and fold, then repeat the process one more time. After the third stretch and fold, I cover tightly and put the bowl in the fridge at least 24 hours, but usually 2 days. When I get it out, I shape, put in a buttered Dutch oven and let settle/rise for about 2 hours, a little more while the oven heats up. It does well if I don't rush any of those steps too much.

Maio 6, 2022, 6:52 pm

>53 MrsLee: TY for the recipe!

Maio 6, 2022, 6:56 pm

>54 Tess_W:, Hope it works for you! I sort of blended techniques and recipes until I found what worked for me.

Maio 7, 2022, 6:05 am

>55 MrsLee: That's my motus operandi for cooking--blended techniques and recipes. I always put 1/2 cup of seeds into most bread recipes I make. It's a mix of flax, chia, poppy, hemp, and sesame seeds.

Maio 7, 2022, 9:11 am

>56 Tess_W: I didn't say, because I was trying to keep it simple, but yes, sometimes I add 2 T. of sesame or other seeds. Also, I always use at least 3 c. King Arthur bread flour, the other 2 c. I vary with other flours or oatmeal. However, there is nothing like a loaf of plain sourdough bread. :) Also, adding the other flours can affect how much the dough rises.

By the way, keeping the sourdough in the refrigerator, then feeding it one night and using it the next day is somewhat of a new experiment for me. The loaf I baked yesterday didn't raise as much as loaves in the past. I'm going to try this a couple more times, then if it continues to be smaller loaves, I will try letting the sourdough feed for 2 days. Maybe make pancakes with any extra. Although, now that I think about it, I cut back a bit on everything because I didn't have quite as much sourdough as usual. That could explain the smaller loaf. What I love about bread is, there is lots room for each cook to experiment. Even if you get something not quite like what you were trying for, you still get something yummy to eat.

Maio 10, 2022, 8:42 am

>57 MrsLee: my mother always used King Arthur flour, and I believe she used the bread flour too. My dad reminded me that he bought her big 20lb (?) sacks when she was into bread-making.

I use their whole wheat flour for muffins, etc, but keep in mind that I need to add a little more moisture when using it instead of white flour.

Maio 10, 2022, 9:28 am

Yes, whole wheat absorbs more liquid than white, and keeps absorbing for longer, so it can need more if the dough or batter sits around.

Jun 11, 2022, 1:05 am

This last weekend a farmer friend gave me quite a bit of cilantro roots. She gave me so much because they were very slender. I wanted them because several Thai recipes call for them, the author extolling the flavor as different from cilantro leaves. After 2 hours of cleaning and prepping them, I made a green curry paste and a beef dish. The beef dish was delicious, but I don't know that I tasted anything unique or different about it. Haven't tried the curry paste yet. Cilantro root is tough as shoe leather, so it has to be made into paste, sauce or soup. I suspect that my palate is not sensitive enough to care about the difference in flavor of cilantro root versus the leaf. Since it is very difficult for me to obtain and prepare, this will probably be the last time I try it, but I still have a little in my freezer.

Jun 12, 2022, 5:23 am

>1 MrsLee: "Cooking slump" sounds only too familiar - mine is only just lifting now - just bought my first new cookery book in over a year.

Jun 12, 2022, 5:25 am

>60 MrsLee: Useful to know about the coriander root making no perceptible difference!

Jun 12, 2022, 11:19 am

>62 Sovay: Don't necessarily take my word for it. I'm at the stage in my life where something had better be noticeably better if I'm going to spend 2+ hours preparing it, not to mention the difficulty to obtain it in the first place. :) Truffles, yes. Worth the effort to find and now and then worth the cost as a rare treat. Cilantro root, no for me. However, I am also one of those folks who doesn't know fine wine, although I can tell when it's something I like. As long as I get something to taste good, I don't really care how "authentic" or "gourmet" it is. I substitute wildly in recipes because I find that if you are using good, fresh ingredients to begin with, the cooking methods and techniques are more important than the exact ingredients (within reason). Having most of the spices/flavors called for will probably make a great dish even if you miss or substitute one or two.

Jun 12, 2022, 12:41 pm

>63 MrsLee: There are too many products with truffles on the market here. No, I do not like truffles. I do my best to avoid all the things that have truffles in them.

Jun 13, 2022, 5:58 pm

>64 MarthaJeanne: I don't buy products with truffles in them, but once in a blue moon, when the stars are aligned, and I have money to burn, I will buy a fresh truffle when I can find one. A bit shaved on a homemade mushroom soup, or into the middle of a fine brie, or stored in a jar with whole eggs so the will absorb the flavor and then gently scramble the eggs, or mix fresh truffle shavings with butter and melt over roasted chicken. My favorite is truffle shaved over a creamy garlic pasta.

Jun 17, 2022, 11:19 pm

Had company last night and although I haven't been in cooking mode this month, I came up with a pretty decent dinner. I went to Farmer's Market for inspiration.
Grilled chicken, Thai style
Fresh tomato and sweet onions, tossed with garden herbs, salt and pepper, drizzled with Rose balsamic vinegar and olive oil, topped with feta cheese
Lima bean salad-simmered the beans until soft in as little liquid as possible. When they were cool I added minced celery, red bell pepper and cilantro, I gently sautéed some minced onion and garlic and added those along with garden herbs, rice wine vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper. So good.
Also a loaf of homemade sourdough bread
Trays of raw carrots, celery, summer squash, cucumber and green beans with a dip I made from yogurt, cream cheese, dill, cilantro, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice
Another tray of two kinds of olives and some sweet pickles.
Dessert was Strawberry shortcake.

As I was grilling the chicken, one of the two guests informed me she was a vegetarian. Happily there were plenty of non-meat options for her.

Jun 18, 2022, 3:32 am

>66 MrsLee: This all sounds delicious - and at least your guest didn't suddenly reveal herself as a vegan! Though if she had she wouldn't have done too badly, especially if unfussy enough to pick the feta off the tomato salad.

Jun 18, 2022, 11:34 pm

>67 Sovay: Yes, my thought on the subject is, if a guest has strong views on what they do or do not eat, they should either reveal them to their host days in advance, or come prepared with their own food as a backup plan. I don't worry too much about it, although I usually try to have a vegetarian option for unknown guests. As for vegans, that is a bit far off of my range of knowledge, so I hope I never have to worry about it. I cook with a lot of cheese, butter, eggs and such. I think I would suggest we dine out, or potluck.

Jun 19, 2022, 1:17 am

We have friends whose grown daughter lives with them. She just married a vegan. I was thinking about planning a dinner party, and might have invited the whole household. Wait a minute. No. The planning and cooking are supposed to be fun for me. If the dinner happens I will chose other guests.

Jun 19, 2022, 7:22 am

>68 MrsLee: I agree - though I might well pick a vegetarian menu anyway if cooking for people I don't know, and even for people I do. But then I don't think I know any militant carnivores! My workplace organises a Jacob's Join lunch for charity from time to time and I always bring something vegetarian as it also skirts round the issue of halal and/or kosher. But I fear the unexpected vegan is going to become more and more common ...

Jun 19, 2022, 5:20 pm

I do love cilantro, but a lot of folks don't like it at all.

Jun 19, 2022, 7:53 pm

>69 MarthaJeanne: Yep, I agree.
>70 Sovay: I think I work with a couple of militant carnivores! They rarely, if ever, eat vegetables. I can't even imagine. I like meat, but a meal without vegetables isn't a meal in my book.

>71 thornton37814: That is true. I may have married a man who doesn't like Thai, Indian or any other spicy cuisine, but at least he likes cilantro! Things like this should be taken into consideration in premarital counseling. ;)

Jun 19, 2022, 10:02 pm

Made an aioli today with the bacon bits left in the pan and some sweet Thai chili sauce. Used it for grilled bacon and tomato sandwiches. Life will never be the same. I've been thinking of what else I can use it with all day.

Jun 20, 2022, 4:23 am

>70 Sovay: The Voortrekkers hardly ever saw vegetables because (1) they sedom stayed in one place long enough to raise a crop, (2) game was plentiful and easily caught and (3) if they did plant anything, there were plenty of locusts and other pests that got there first. Their descendants still eat few vegetables.

Jun 20, 2022, 7:36 am

>72 MrsLee: I'm with you on the indispensibility of vegetables - and at least one of them per meal must be green.

Jun 25, 2022, 7:58 pm

Yesterday I grilled some steaks on my new cast iron grill. Happy to report that they are delicious. I am still working on the timing. They get overdone very quickly. So far I've not managed to get a rare one, medium is the best I can do.

Also made a pork roast. I did this at 5:30 in the morning since temps. here are in the triple digits. Today was vegetable preparation, and baking a loaf of bread, again, very early in the day.

I made a chopped vegetable salad (frozen petite peas, frozen sweet corn, jicama, red bell pepper, sweet onion, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, comino, agave nectar, and hot sauce.

We bought some pickling cucumbers from Farmer's Market, so I started a gallon jar fermenting. Funny thing is I almost hope they fail and come out soft so I can make some of my fermented pickle relish. It's the best. Don't tell my husband I said so. He is a pickle fiend.

Jun 26, 2022, 5:07 am

I don't envy you the temperature. Good luck (or bad luck) with the pickles.

Editado: Jun 26, 2022, 10:22 am

>77 Sovay: Thank you!

I forgot to mention the lentil stew I made yesterday morning. We bought some chicken sausages at Costco (organic, Yada, yada) but they are inedible served by themselves-too salty, odd flavor, weird texture- so I thought they might work cooked into something. I used the curried dal recipe from My Cape Malay Kitchen, adding celery, leaving out the cinnamon and tomatoes, using my red Thai curry paste instead of the second masala spice she calls for, and adding chicken broth to make up for the lack of tomatoes. Also the sausages chopped up. A delicious solution to odd sausages! This is my favorite breakfast food.

Jun 26, 2022, 10:40 am

>78 MrsLee: Great idea. I usually just piece odd tasting prepared meats out to the dogs for treats. They don’t mind.

Jun 26, 2022, 8:33 pm

>79 2wonderY: Haha, all I have are cats, and they won't touch human food, except the occasional small tidbit of roasted chicken or turkey.

Jun 27, 2022, 2:29 am

>78 MrsLee: Impressive lateral cooking there! Reminds me that I plan to try the recipe for Curried Sausages in The Little Library Cookbook, though I suspect it may not be as good.

Jun 28, 2022, 12:46 am

>78 MrsLee: I bought the same sausages at Sam's and thought the same thing. I chopped mine up and used them in spaghetti sauce instead of ground beef. Tasted fine!

Jun 29, 2022, 6:29 pm

>82 Tess_W: I bet they would work in spaghetti. I'm making chili beans this weekend and have 2 of them left. Think I will grind them and sneak them into the pot.

Jul 1, 2022, 8:32 pm

I made enough chili beans and macaroni salad for about 50 people. Guess I won't need to cook for awhile. I will be having company to help us eat it, but hopefully not 50.

Jul 4, 2022, 12:56 pm

Making a three bean salad today, only I'm going to use four kinds of beans and several other vegetables in it such as jicama, celery, onion, parsley and cucumber. I made a honey, mustard, garlic dressing.

Jul 4, 2022, 3:36 pm

>85 MrsLee: in my family we also made four bean salad, but with green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, and chick peas. My mother would place half an onion, peeled, in a large bowl, add the beans, then pour over it a heated vinegar/oil/sugar concoction. It was best after marinating for at least 24 hours.

Jul 4, 2022, 11:55 pm

>86 fuzzi: That sounds interesting. I would have preferred it when I was younger because I couldn't eat raw onions then. Now I love them. My salad today needed salt. The beans must have absorbed the ton that I thought I put in. My husband says it was great though so maybe it's just my taster that is off. He's the one who usually complains about no salt.

Jul 5, 2022, 2:40 am

>87 MrsLee: During hot weather you may need more salt than usual. Perhaps you have been sweating more than he has.

Jul 23, 2022, 4:34 pm

Tis the season to be grilling. Outside, only in the morning. It is far too hot in the afternoon. 110°F plus on our patio. Did I mention that I purchased a cast iron grill pan? I think I did. I love it. I have mastered the timing for the steaks, made delicious grilled chicken and pork chops. Tomorrow, however, we are firing up the charcoal grill outside at about 7:00a.m. for steaks, mushrooms and onions, sausages, and maybe chicken, although the charcoal might not last long enough to get the chicken done.

I am smoking Wild-caught Pacific Sock-eye salmon tonight. That will be in my cast iron frying pan, with a half inch or more of Kosher salt in the bottom, heated until it is smoking, then salmon in skin-side down. Pop the lid on, cook for about 8 minutes, and it's the best way I've ever eaten salmon. Certainly the simplest way to cook it. The only seasoning I use is salt and pepper.

Doing a lot of raw veggies, veggie salads and such. When I cook the veggies I steam or sauté for a very short time. I don't roast much because turning the oven on this time of year seems wrong.

I've started up my smoothie regimen again. Vitamix is wonderful for that. I put in a half cup of fruit, half cup of veggie, 2 dates, 1 inch fresh ginger, 1/4 of a lemon (peel and all, no seeds), 1 T. seeds, 1 palm of nuts, 1 T. of furikake (seaweed, salt, sesame seeds, I make it), 1 t. of turmeric-cinnamon-ginger powder and 1 t. moringa leaf powder. For liquid I add either lemon water or veg. broth. Pretty good medicine, and lasts me until lunch.

Ago 12, 2022, 6:48 pm

Was given some windfall fruits yesterday, elderberries, quince and peaches. Will be making syrup and possibly jelly with the berries, jam with the quince, and vinegar with the bruised peach scraps. The rest of the peaches will be eaten on ice cream and cereal. There were not very many.

Ago 21, 2022, 4:30 pm

My husband wandered into a local flour mill and came out with oodles of bags of goodies. To be fair, he did call and ask me what I wanted, but I was at work with clients and told him to get whatever appealed to him.

So now I have buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, ground oats, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, soup barley, ground coconut, sea salt, wheat germ and if there is any more I can't remember it at the moment. Oh, a huge bag of granola. I froze the things which go stale quickly. Made some pancakes this morning with the buckwheat flour (my grandson heartily approved, his parents did too). I look forward to finding ways to use the rest of the goodies, most in baked goods, but I think the coconut might end up in some curries this winter. I also want to try some buckwheat scones and possibly shortbread.

Ago 21, 2022, 4:55 pm

Mmmm-mmmm! I do love buckwheat pancakes!

Editado: Ago 22, 2022, 4:02 am

>91 MrsLee: There are some great South Indian curry recipes involving coconut on the internet. I'll second (third) your family and 2wonderY in appreciating buckwheat pancakes, despite only ever having met them once.

Ago 22, 2022, 8:19 am

>91 MrsLee: I'd love some buckwheat flour, have to order it online as none of the local food stores carry it.

Smart to freeze some of the items. I got a good price on King Arthur whole wheat flour, and put 3 or 4 of the bags in my freezer.

Ago 23, 2022, 8:31 pm

If you make very thick pancakes, as I did with the buckwheat, my husband and I discovered a wonderful thing to do with the leftovers today. I split a pancake in half (they were at least an inch thick), turned the inside up and broiled it toasty. Then spread a bit of butter on each side, then peanut butter (I actually used almond butter) on one side, your favorite jelly (I used some of the extra elderberry jelly I made yesterday) with a layer of crispy bacon. Best. Sandwich. Ever.

I mentioned that I made elderberry jelly yesterday, 12 half-pints. Also a jar of elderberry syrup, then I couldn't bear to throw out the berries I had used to get the juice for the above items, so I dumped them in a jar with sugar and a little raw vinegar. We shall see if I get a good elderberry vinegar, or if it is too weak.

Ago 24, 2022, 10:07 am

I made two half pints of quince jelly, and a small batch of membrillo (quince paste), which is delicious, but I think I didn't cook it quite long enough as it didn't turn pink or set up as firm as it should be. I have another bag of frozen quince ready to make more jelly and I shall use the leftover flesh after strained to try another batch of membrillo. It is excellent with cheese.

Ago 24, 2022, 11:28 am

>96 MrsLee: It is excellent with cheese: Yes indeed it is. Fig jam isn't bad with cheese either, just in case you've never thought of that.

Ago 24, 2022, 11:56 am

>97 haydninvienna: Fig jam would be wonderful with cheese, sadly, my latest batch came out hard as a rock.

Ago 24, 2022, 12:22 pm

>98 MrsLee: I would try heating it in the microwave with a bit of liquid.

Ago 24, 2022, 3:48 pm

>98 MrsLee: So kind of like fig membrillo? I’d be interested to try that. Fig jam, as jam, is one of my favourites, but it’s not too easy to find in the supermarket.

Ago 24, 2022, 3:54 pm

I planted a fig tree this spring, after tasting one from my neighbor’s tree. Oh, wow! Hadn’t expected biblical food to taste so yummy!!
My sapling tried to grow figs; but I knocked them off, wanting all energy to go into root and stem growth. Now my mouth is watering in anticipation of next year!

Ago 24, 2022, 7:51 pm

>99 MarthaJeanne: & >100 haydninvienna: I thought of trying to warm it gently in the jar, then add a bit of water, puree it in my Vitamix and spread it on buttered parchment paper to dry and garden. Fig candy.

>101 2wonderY: Fully ripened figs are wonderful, but they become magical when cooked into jam. I also have a fig bread recipe (like a fruit cake) that is wonderful.

Sadly, due to drought, our fig tree isn't getting enough water. The fruit was the size of marbles, and tough. That may be a contributing factor as to why my jam thickened so much. I had to add grapes to get enough for 2 pints.

Ago 25, 2022, 7:28 am

>101 2wonderY: the raccoons usually get our figs, but this year I was able to harvest some before the wildlife did.

Ago 25, 2022, 9:12 am

>103 fuzzi: My grandmother would harvest her figs just before they were finished ripening, then let them finish in her house, otherwise the birds would get them all. She always left the fruit at the top of her trees for the birds. Both because she loved birds, and because she didn't want the fuss of getting up on a ladder to pick every last fruit.

Ago 26, 2022, 8:53 pm

Today I started two jars of chili ferments. I'm working on a perfect recipe to make my own Sriracha, using a combination of at least three other recipes. One jar has all the ingredients, including honey, and the salt brine being fish sauce instead of salt water. Problem is, I only thought of that half way through putting the jar together, and had already added the fish sauce and all the chilies. So I shook the jar and am hoping things will turn out OK. The second jar I did the traditional way with only garlic, chilies, mustard seeds and a salt brine. When it is done fermenting, I will add the other ingredients and puree it in the blender. If they both turn out, I will have a LOT of Sriracha.

Dinner tonight will be pasta with a sauce of squid, oyster mushrooms, and peas. Only I have a rotten headache and don't feel like cooking.

Ago 27, 2022, 3:37 pm

Pasta was delicious. Pretty easy, too.

Today I was the Energizer bunny without a charge, but I kept going, and going.

Baked a loaf of sourdough made with about 20% buckwheat flour. Very dark bread, haven't cut into it yet. Also roasted cauliflower, broiled chilies to remove their skin, then froze them, baked some pork ribs, made a choppy salad of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, ginger, cilantro, a mystery dried fruit which I bought a year or two ago (put into a jar without a label and can't remember its name, rehydrated it is a sweet/sour flavor) and a garlic vinaigrette. Later I will roast a chicken with sweet potatoes and mushrooms in the roasting pan under the chicken. Oh, and I'm going to cook a pot of beans then put the liquid that was under the ribs into them.

Ago 27, 2022, 3:50 pm

>106 MrsLee: now I'm REALLY hungry.

Ago 28, 2022, 12:11 am

>107 fuzzi: LOL, come on over, there's plenty to share!

Set 3, 2022, 3:29 pm

My fermented chilies seemed fine, I made Sriracha this morning which was good, although not as spicy as I wished. Hard to find really hot chilies around here. Anyway, I forgot to add chipotle powder, which would liven it up, so when I get my energy back I will put it all out of the bottles, add the chipotle, wash the bottles, and put it back in. Sigh.

Set 5, 2022, 10:13 pm

Yesterday I gave my Kitchenaid a good workout. I tried a recipe for pecan cookies. It was made with cream cheese, butter, flour, pecans, and only 1 tablespoon of sugar. Their texture is lovely, taste is pretty mild. Either needed more sugar, or a bit more salt. Or maybe some almond flavoring.

Then I made a cake from a recipe my grandmother copied when she was seven years old, from her grandmother. It is called a 1-2-3-4 cake. Basic vanilla flavor, list of ingredients and very few instructions. Happily, I've made enough cakes that I have the general idea. It turned out fine, if a bit dry. I made a chocolate frosting for it. After being covered with a bowl overnight, it was less dry. I think if I had cut the cake layers and filled them with banana pudding, it would be perfect.

Today was rescue the vegetables day. Made two salads. One was thinly slices carrots, onions and cucumbers, with an Asian hoisin dressing I made, topped with toasted sesame seeds. The other was a cabbage, carrot and onion slaw with a yogurt- cilantro chutney dressing. Then I made a pan of fried sweet potatoes, carrots, garlic, and onions, with curry powder and spices. Yum.

Set 6, 2022, 5:16 pm

>110 MrsLee: Those cookies sound intriguing!

I know 1-2-3-4 cake!! I have a clipping from Classic Home Desserts. I love a really great yellow cake. It's why I made the King Arthur Baking Birthday Cake a few years ago for my birthday.

Set 7, 2022, 1:40 pm

>111 lesmel: Interesting, my grandmother would have written that about 1913, and she wrote her grandmother's name on it, but I don't know where it really originated.

Would you like the recipe for the cookies? I can put it here, but I'm at work right now, so will have to do it later.

Set 8, 2022, 1:09 pm

>112 MrsLee: I'd love the recipe!

I can look back at the cookbook and see if it says where that recipe they printed came from. I did find on Newspapers dot com a recipe in 1870 for 1-2-3-4 cake.

Set 8, 2022, 3:40 pm

>110 MrsLee: would you share the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe? I love simple.

Set 8, 2022, 6:41 pm

>113 lesmel: Cream Cheese Finger Cookies - from Taste of Home magazine.
1/2 c. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese
1 t. vanilla extract
1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
dash salt
1 c. finely chopped pecans
confectioners sugar
Cream butter & cream cheese. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, sugar and salt, gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in pecans (dough will be crumbly). Shape tablespoons into 2" logs. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 375° for 12-14 min. or until lightly browned. Roll warm cookies in confectioner sugar.

Set 8, 2022, 7:03 pm

>114 fuzzi: 1,2,3,4 Cake as written by my mother, I was wrong about the date, I see a note that says 1940, and I see now that it was written by my mom, from her grandmother, Dolly Cronk. Personally, I don't think it is any simpler than other basic cake recipes.
1 c. shortening (I used butter)
1 c. milk
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
4 eggs
1/4 t. salt
3 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
On the back of the card it says:
Sift flour and measure, add 1/4 t. salt and baking powder and sift. If you want extra fine, take out 2 T. of flour and add 1T. cornstarch for every cup of flour. Sift twice again. That's all she wrote!

So this is what I did. Cream the sugar and butter, beat the eggs into the milk, add the vanilla. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the sugar mixture, mix gently until blended. Do not over beat it. Pour into greased and floured pans (2-8" pans) bake in 350° oven for 20- 25 min., check with toothpick, when done, remove pans to cooling rack, after 10 min. remove from pans and cook completely.

Set 11, 2022, 10:16 am

Everyone, if you have a Vita-Mix food processor, or something similar, it's easy to make small quantities of buckwheat flour at home. Many independent natural foods stores sell whole organic buckwheat, which is easily ground into flour by the Vita-Mix. Most wheat berries are harder, however, and to be on the safe side, I recommend buying a home flour mill. Most of today's flour mills use a corundum stone, however; corundum is a type of aluminum. Over the last few decades, many have warned about the seeming connection between aluminum and chronic brain disease. Be careful out there.

The thing to remember about homemade flours is that their shelf life can be quite limited. Store small quantities of any milled grains in your refrigerator, and do a taste test before using such flours. If it has a bitter aftertaste, it is too old to use and should be composted.

Set 11, 2022, 10:21 am

Decades ago, after reading up on the Earth's climate changes, our family switched to a plant-based diet. The unexpected bonus for us is greater tolerance to a hotter climate ... we don't need air conditioning most of the time.

Set 17, 2022, 12:12 pm

Today I am working on clearing out my freezer in anticipation of getting some homegrown beef from my niece.

I am cooking a corned beef roast which we bought at bargain prices and froze, some pomegranate grenadine syrup to can (large bag of pomegranate arils frozen in 2020), and a cake with lemon curd filling (large bag of sliced and peeled lemons from 2019, I think I froze them for smoothies, quit making smoothies for awhile and forgot them). I'm also starting a sourdough batch of bread, but that has nothing to do with the freezer.

Editado: Set 17, 2022, 5:16 pm

Lentils: I made several lentil recipes, which always turned out ho-hum. Then I saw in my oldest macrobiotic cookbook the directions for preparing lentils: Soak the (organic) lentils in filtered or spring water 12 hours or overnight. (In hot weather, keep the filled soaking jar in the refrigerator overnight.) This extra step makes all the flavor difference in the world, especially for homemade lentil soup. My first try was with brown lentils, but next up will be French green lentils. Vegetarian cookbook author Deborah Madison's revised The New Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone (2014) agrees that soaked lentils have a much better flavor ... she says to soak for one hour, so decide what soaking duration works for you.

Set 18, 2022, 12:07 am

The layered lemon curd cake turned into a lemon curd and dark chocolate ganache layered cake. I had to use skewers to keep the layers on!

The grenadine I made with the pomegranates is delish. I processed the bottles so they would keep until Christmas for gifts. Only got enough for 3 bottles, from 4 cups of juice.

After I cooked the corned beef, I used the broth to make a hearty rice and vegetable soup, throwing in a few leftovers, too. Happily, it is soup weather for a couple of days.

Will be baking a sourdough loaf and watching my grandson tomorrow.

Set 18, 2022, 2:10 am

Mmmmm-mmmmmm. I would love to hang out in your kitchen this weekend!

Set 18, 2022, 2:11 pm

>122 2wonderY: I wish you could! I made scones this morning to help us up the leftover lemon curd. Froze three half pints. This makes me very happy.

Set 19, 2022, 1:11 pm

>116 MrsLee: thank you!

My grandmother's recipes are similar, one has to fill in the blanks.

Out 1, 2022, 11:18 am

Made pecan-caramel cinnamon rolls this morning, and a meatloaf. It is finally cooling down enough to bake here. I'm rather proud of myself for the timing of those two recipes in efficiency of oven usage. While the roll dough was doing its first rise, I mixed and baked the meatloaf, took that out of the oven and began to bake bacon bits for use in a wilted spinach salad later today. Rolled and prepared the rolls and by the time the bacon came out of the oven, the rolls had risen and were ready to bake. My house smells yummy.

Out 2, 2022, 9:04 am

>125 MrsLee: wish I could smell it!

Out 2, 2022, 7:16 pm

My sister had some very hot chilies in her greenhouse which her family couldn't handle, so I brought them home to ferment into hot sauce. This time I used mangoes, chilies, onion, garlic, ginger and some herbs. I blended it today after a five day ferment. WOWZER! I don't know if I will be able to handle it! Hoping that if it sits in the fridge for a month or two it will mellow out. Tasty though! Will be delicious on curries.

Editado: Out 2, 2022, 7:24 pm

I have never heard of a hot sauce mellowing with time. If anything, time has always made hot sauce even hotter in my experience. Does that really happen?

Out 2, 2022, 9:57 pm

>128 lesmel: It seems to me that it has happened before with my fermented sauces. Perhaps because even in the refrigerator there is some (greatly slowed) fermentation still occurring? I don't heat process them because I want to retain the live microbes. They never last long enough to lose their kick (I love it and love to share with family), but the flavor becomes less harsh, and the flavors of the other ingredients meld with the chili.

Out 10, 2022, 5:54 pm

I have three binders, full of recipes I've cut from newspapers and magazines over the last 42 years. One has recipes which are untried, the other two are full of tried and true recipes.

Yesterday I tried another one. A stewed beef made with black beans, only I substituted mushrooms. It was to be served over coconut-ginger rice. I had some barley, so used it instead. It worked well (we enjoyed the texture with the stew more than we like rice), but the barley absorbed the delicate coconut flavor. It made a yummy breakfast cereal though. I sprinkled peanuts, chili oil and toasted coconut over it.

The other recipe I wanted to try was a pecan- date pie, but I ended up watching the grandson instead. Hopefully I will get to it this week. It intrigues me. You mix all the ingredients (crushed Ritz crackers, pecans, dates, sugar, baking powder) into whipped stiff egg whites and bake it in pie dish. I got as far as having the grandson help me crush the crackers.

Editado: Out 11, 2022, 9:13 am

>130 MrsLee: my grown son is starting to experiment with cooking. I told him that once you've been cooking for a while you can experiment with usually good results. Not always, ha!

I tried a recipe for Golden Milk, a tonic used before bed, and made several changes that worked. I am lactose intolerant, and sensitive/allergic to almonds, so I substituted oat milk for the almond milk, and unsalted butter for the almond butter. It worked well.

Then I tried coconut oil as a substitution for the almond butter and am very pleased with the results. The other ingredients are honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric. I have had NO leg cramps since I started drinking this in the evening.

Out 11, 2022, 8:08 pm

>131 fuzzi: My husband and I started drinking golden milk about 7 years ago to help with arthritis pain. It absolutely helped him. Before he started it was very difficult for him to even get out of bed. We have made changes along the way as well. I used almond milk for awhile, then cow milk. I discovered that the combination of spice and milk caused me to have an annoying cough for a couple of hours after drinking it. Now I put it in my morning smoothie. My husband sprinkles it in his cereal. We use a powder I make in bulk of turmeric, black pepper, Ceylon cinnamon (Saigon cinnamon can damage your liver when taken in quantity), ginger, cayenne and cloves. In my smoothie I use dates to add sweet. Back in the day I added coconut oil and honey to the milk before heating it. A very tasty treatment!

Out 12, 2022, 6:47 am

>132 MrsLee: how cool, you too?

The recipe I am using called for a pinch of black pepper, but only as a suggestion. I've not added it yet. Cloves, hmm.

Hot peppers cause me to cough and my throat closes up, so I don't use them.

Out 12, 2022, 11:37 am

>132 MrsLee: What ratios do you use for the mix? I would guess the clove is pretty tiny amount since it can overpower really quickly.

Out 12, 2022, 5:12 pm

>133 fuzzi: The black pepper is very important, because it works as a team with the turmeric. You don't get the full benefit of the turmeric of you don't add the black pepper.

>134 lesmel: I'll post my recipe later when I get home from work. The cayenne and cloves are optional and not original to the recipe. I added them for additional help with inflammation. You are right, their amounts are negligible.

Out 12, 2022, 6:54 pm

>135 MrsLee: thanks. I'll try adding a pinch of black pepper to the next concoction (I make enough for three days at a time). I might add a little cloves, too.

Editado: Out 12, 2022, 11:50 pm

Golden milk powder, makes about 1 1/2 c. mix.
2/3 c. turmeric
2/3 c. Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 c. Ginger
3 t. Black pepper
(Optional)- 1 t. ea. Cayenne and cloves

Use one teaspoon of mix per cup of milk, add 1 t. Honey and 1/2 t. Coconut oil to warm milk if desired.

I have also used fresh turmeric and ginger and ground it to a paste with other ingredients, but it wasn't my favorite. More subtle flavors though.

Out 13, 2022, 6:47 am

>137 MrsLee: the version I make is similar, but has vanilla extract, too.

Nov 5, 2022, 10:12 pm

Made a huge pot of bone broth this week. Instead of cold smoothies, we have hot veggie soup in the morning before work. The only difference is using broth instead of water, and running the Vitamix long enough to make it hot. Very satisfying.

Tonight I made ramen soup from said broth, left over pork roast, slivered veggies, udon noodles and a poached egg on top.

I also made cookies from a recipe in the Redwall cookbook called Autumn Oat cookies. I had my doubts about the recipe, but they turned out fantastic. They have coconut in them and are thin and crispy.

Nov 7, 2022, 8:57 am

I usually make a mincemeat pie for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. I use my grandmother's recipe, which uses None Such condensed mincemeat. That item is no longer available, and as per the company, has been discontinued. I don't like the stuff in jars, so I'm going to make my own mincemeat (mock, no meat) this year. My Joy of Cooking has a recipe I'm going to try, but if you or anyone else has a recipe they'd like to share I'd welcome input.

Editado: Nov 7, 2022, 1:54 pm

>140 fuzzi: There are as many mincemeat recipes as there are people. :D I made a batch last year from the Narnia cookbook that I am still working to finish. I seem to be the only fan in my family. I've never made one with actual meat or suet, although my aunt used to bring it every year to Thanksgiving. I think she made hers from venison, but I'm not sure.

Nov 8, 2022, 8:10 am

I was an adult before I ever had mincemeat. It just wasn't something anyone in our family made. I don't dislike it, but if I'm given a choice of other holiday pies, I'll go for something else before the mincemeat every time.

Nov 8, 2022, 9:42 pm

Tried another recipe from the Redwall cookbook. Pretty basic, mashed carrots and rutabaga layered with mashed potatoes, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and baked. Ultimate comfort food.

I also baked one of the pumpkins we bought for decoration. Turns out it is a good one! Thick flesh that is naturally sweet when baked. I will puree and freeze it in batches to be used in soup or no-mato sauce.

Nov 9, 2022, 6:00 pm

>143 MrsLee: yum. I could go for the rutabaga and carrots part of that recipe.

My mom used to make cream of potato soup from leftover mashed potatoes, but would also add some cooked carrots. Delish.

Nov 10, 2022, 7:20 pm

>144 fuzzi: My mom made a casserole with chicken, corn, green chilies in a cream sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. One of my favorites.

I had a serving of the casserole I made, added some rotisserie chicken and some of my green chili Sriracha. Same delicious flavors!

Nov 11, 2022, 3:54 pm

>140 fuzzi: Aged Mother used one grandly titled Empire Mincemeat, which specified ingredients from all around the Edwardian British Empire. It included currants, sultanas, raisins, glacé cherries, beef suet, Demerara sugar and candied peel that I recall, all in large but probably elastic quantities. Probably the most important "hidden" ingredient was a hefty dollop of brandy, although one year's experience suggests that you could use Bourbon or rye whiskey without detriment. I haven't yet remembered where she found the recipe, but could ask Better Half if you're interested. We haven't made it in ages because (1) it's a hell of a lot of work and (2) no butcher I know of around here sells suet.

Nov 11, 2022, 6:49 pm

>146 hfglen: sounds wonderful. I wonder if lard could be substituted?

Aha! Sultanas are called golden raisins here. I had to look up Demerara sugar, never heard of that before.

My grandmother's recipe calls for sherry.

Nov 12, 2022, 7:42 am

>147 fuzzi: Haven't found the exact recipe, but the idea seems fairly generic, in that Mrs Beeton and an anonymous (1930) offering called The Green Label Cookery Book give basically identical recipes. You would need

2 lb currants, 1 lb raisins, 6 oz mixed candied peel, 1 lb beef suet, 2 oz sweet chopped almonds, 1 lb juicy apples, 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice, 1 lb Demerara* sugar, 2 grated nutmegs, grated rind and juice of 2 lemons, juice of 1 orange, 1 tablespoon marmalade (Mrs Beeton doesn't have this), 1 wineglass sherry, 1 wineglass brandy (Mrs Beeton uses 1/2 pint brandy)

* brown, sticky

"Wash, then stone raisins, pick over the currants and wash well; dry both fruits thoroughly. Peel and core and chop apples, chop the candied peel. Mix all ingredients together and pass through a mincing machine. Press into jars and tie down for a few days before using." Mrs Beeton recommends making it in early December; I seem to recall my mother used to start operations in November, and at least the Christmas pudding mix had to be ready in time to disrupt the family peace on Stir-up Sunday (Sunday Next Before Advent, or 5th before Christmas). The best mincemeat ever was the year her uncle died, leaving a kist we at first couldn't open. When we did, it proved to contain an infinity of bottles, each with barely a tot of some noxious liqueur that had evidently been a souvenir of the old man's travels. We threw the lot into the mincemeat, and it was superb! And unrepeatable.

Nov 12, 2022, 7:50 am

Demerara sugar is sugar that has not been refined as much as white sugar. The flavour and colour come from the molasses that is still in it, not from caramel.

Nov 12, 2022, 9:40 am

>149 MarthaJeanne: I’m seeing advice on Instagram to make your own brown sugar by adding back some molasses to white granulated sugar. Supposedly it’s cheaper than buying brown sugar outright.
I’m not finding that; but I won’t buy beet sugar (cane sugar is labeled as such, beet sugar is not) because of the massive pesticides used on the GMO beets.

Editado: Nov 12, 2022, 10:35 am

Most of our sugar here is beet sugar grown in Austria. GMO plants are not allowed here. Cane sugar (including demerara) is all imported, and more expensive. I try to make sure the brown sugar I buy is less refined, and not colour added back in.

Nov 12, 2022, 11:25 am

From the Dating Gourmet website:
"The purpose of the suet is not only to preserve the mincemeat for long-term storage. Not all of the suet rises to the top, much of it remains mixed in with the mincemeat and adds flavor, acts as a binder, and contributes an important texture element to the pies you'll be making with the mincemeat.Jun 1, 2022"

That being said, some of the sites said you could substitute lard or grated vegetable shortening (coconut oil perhaps because when it is cold it would grate better than the other two I imagine.).

Nov 12, 2022, 3:22 pm

>147 fuzzi: You can make an excellent version without any fat. Add (fresh) apples and green grapes to the mixture instead. It will ferment slightly, so needs to be made in plenty of time before Christmas. My grandmother's recipe

Nov 15, 2022, 1:21 pm

>153 sarahemmm: thank you!

Nov 26, 2022, 5:39 pm

Yesterday I made what is probably the smallest Thanksgiving feast on my table yet.
Roast turkey (sadly over cooked)
Baked sweet potatoes, fried in butter
Steamed broccoli
Shredded beets with thick yogurt (a recipe from The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert. By far our favorite way to eat beets yet.

Nov 26, 2022, 7:25 pm

>155 MrsLee: I think I like small feasts far more than the ginormous one that seems to always happen at my dad's.

Nov 26, 2022, 9:57 pm

>156 lesmel: Gotta admit, I enjoyed this one very much. I miss my kids though. I am recovering from covid, so husband and I were on our own. I made a very pretty plate, then sat down and ate it by myself because he was napping and doesn't really enjoy sitting down to table. He did like it all, but is missing his potatoes and gravy. Holidays are the only time we eat potatoes and gravy.

Nov 29, 2022, 2:31 pm

I baked the sweet potatoes and when I got to my daughter's place, she put the brown sugar and marshmallows on top and finished in the air fryer. Very good and easy.

Dez 2, 2022, 12:38 pm

If I can find the energy today, I plan to make a turkey-mushroom-creamy soup. I will use the method described in the Eastern Mediterranean cookbook I'm reading. Drain yogurt, blend with egg and a little flour, then slowly add to warm soup. Going to warm a little turkey fat, add pepper and mint, then swirl a spoonful into each bowl. The soup base is turkey broth, sautéed mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic. Salt and red chili flakes. Trying to keep it simple so the mushroom flavor dominates.

Dez 5, 2022, 11:57 pm

I succumbed to the temptation of an air fryer. Tried it out tonight making fried chicken, French fries and sweet potato fries. I am not convinced.
1. No greasy stove and pan to clean. The racks are quite easy to wipe and put in the dishwasher.

2. I don't have to stand over the pan turning the chicken every 5 minutes.One turn (I did more because I probably had too much chicken, 2 racks of it, and I wanted to be sure it was done) and that was it.

3. Used a lot less fat, not sure I care about that, but I won't deep fry, so this is a close as it gets I guess.

1. Cooking times are a LOT longer than any of the YouTube videos say. Maybe it's the brand I bought? I won't get the cookbook for this model until tomorrow.

2. I followed all the instructions for brown fries, and did not get brown fries. Cooked them twice as long, the potatoes were done, but fries were not crispy. Perhaps I had too much in the rotisserie basket? I did one medium potato. They are not the same as deep fried fries. Same problem with the sweet potatoes.

3. Along the lines of number 1, I started cooking at 6 (not counting the marinating and coating of chicken with flour) and still have 2 pieces of chicken to go, which means I probably won't be done until 9:30. I had 10 chicken thighs to cook, this would have been 2 batches in my large cast iron skillet, taking 20 minutes a batch, in the meantime, I could be roasting the potatoes, probably fit sweet potatoes on one end of pan and regular potato on the other end, that would take about 40 minutes, so dinner is done in an hour.

I'm not ready to give up yet. If I learn to cook just enough for one dinner, instead of the whole package of chicken, it might be possible to cook the chicken on one rack and a few potatoes on the other, hence saving time. It is a learning curve. In the mean time, I'm going to try baking a few cookies tomorrow (oven would definitely be faster here, but I want to try for fun), and possibly dehydrating something.

Dez 6, 2022, 2:01 pm

What air fryer did you get? I will say it's really not made for huge single-batch cooking. Think of it like a mini broiler of sorts. You can't pile potatoes in a tiny pan and put it under the broiler and expect crisp fries to come out of the oven.

Dez 6, 2022, 2:44 pm

>91 MrsLee: nice haul!

Dez 6, 2022, 11:31 pm

>161 lesmel: I bought the Instavortexplus10. It is set up like an oven. Two racks, one drop pan, 3 levels to put the racks. It also has a rotisserie basket and a spit for roasts or whole chicken. It would have to be a tiny chicken.

I made cookies today and was successful after several less than successful attempts. I tried 2 racks, six cookies each rack, with parchment paper under them which I poked holes in. I switched the racks halfway through. The bottoms did not brown at all, but they were done. Next I tried one rack with parchment. Better, but still not brown on the bottom. Then I put a rack on the dip pan and put the cookies directly on the rack. Brown on the bottom, but I got a serendipitous bonus of tiny oval cookies which went through the rack. These were delicious on my vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut. The last batch I cooked directly on the drip pan. They were perfect. So I shaped the rest of the dough into cookies and froze them. Now we can have six fresh baked cookies whenever we have the desire. 350 d. F for 8 minutes.

I also used it to reheat my chicken and sweet potato fries for lunch. Worked beautifully. Next will be some SMALL batches of veggies roasted. After that I am going to try my grandmother's donut recipe. :)

One of my problems is that my husband does the shopping (that's a blessing, not a problem) and even if I specify small amounts he buys enough fir 20. Considering the small quantities this thing handles well, what do you think about par boiling things like root veggies and Brussels sprouts then freezing until I'm ready to cook the rest of them?

During the winter I don't have to use this for roasting veggies, but it would be nice in the summer when I try not to use the oven. It doesn't put out much heat at all.

Dez 7, 2022, 11:28 am

>163 MrsLee: I think paraboiling is a great idea. And yes, the air fryer is great for avoiding heating the whole house because you need the oven.

Dez 7, 2022, 1:15 pm

>164 lesmel: I will try it! I'm thinking I could do a lot of the prep on one day, freeze in quart bags, then use the water at the end for a soup, or cook some beans in it. Gotta save those vitamins!

Dez 7, 2022, 1:35 pm

>165 MrsLee: I save all the water I cook vegetables in, freezing it in screw-top freezer containers. I then add the vegetable waters to the slow cooker as part of bone broth creation.

Dez 7, 2022, 3:44 pm

I love my Ultrean (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B089LTCF59) air fryer. I had a Dash before that one which gave up the ghost way too soon. It just quit working after a month or two. I cooked my turkey breast, my sweet potato, and my cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving in it. Wonderful results on everything. The turkey breast had a nice "crunch" to the skin and had browned just as well as it does in the oven.

Dez 7, 2022, 6:53 pm

>167 thornton37814: That comes in pretty colors too. :)
How long have you been using an air fryer? I feel like the is a learning curve with times, temperatures and quantity. Also where the racks are placed for mine.

Dez 7, 2022, 11:39 pm

Brussels sprouts came out perfect. The recipe book I bought, made for this appliance, recommends par-boiling some veggies a very short time before roasting, so I'm on the right track.

Dez 8, 2022, 9:01 am

I watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_M9_BvScgtk. She has some good ideas for the air fryer.

Dez 8, 2022, 9:56 am

>170 mnleona: I stumbled on her the other day. I do enjoy her videos

Dez 8, 2022, 9:39 pm

Blooming onion came out technically good, but I need to have a sweet onion, not the bitter soul I tried it with.

I've begun a new project. It is a family recipe book. I have both of my grandmothers handwritten recipe books from the early days of their marriage. (Sorry about that sentence, working on my phone and too lazy to fix it.) I will be scanning the recipes, typing them, cooking some of them and taking photos. I will also add my mother's, sister's and my own. For the last three, I'm only doing the family favorites. The dishes everyone asks for.

Dez 9, 2022, 2:03 am

>172 MrsLee: I'd love a copy of that recipe book!

Dez 9, 2022, 8:04 am

>172 MrsLee: I have made copies of the handwritten recipes from my family and have them in binders for my kids. Some are wtitten on the back of envelopes or in letters. The recipe books sound like treasures.

Dez 9, 2022, 9:59 am

>173 hfglen: When I finish, I would be happy to email you a PDF. :) It may be awhile though, I don't push to finish these things, just little by little day by day.

Sent a text to my family members about the project and requested their favorites to put in the book. So far two people have asked for my grandmothers fricassee chicken, and my mother's Beef Mazatlán. My sister and I agree on so many of mom's dishes that should be in the book, except for Green Bean casserole. Yuck.

Dez 10, 2022, 10:37 pm

This test kitchen hit a road bump tonight. I was testing my grandma's recipe for Pineapple Oatmeal cookies (sounded odd, so I tried it). They melted all together on the pan making a horrible mess and sticking to the sheet. I was trying to figure out what the problem was. I added more flour and changed temperature of oven, the recipe only says "very hot oven" and since a cookbook I have lists"moderately hot" as 350° I tried 400. Finally, as I was pulling the last sheet of severely browned, squashed cookies from the oven, it dawned on me that I didn't add oatmeal! In my defense, it was not listed in the instructions, only in the ingredients, and the pencil writing is faint. Against me, well, the name of the cookies. I will try this again tomorrow.

Dez 11, 2022, 6:50 am

You tried. Let us know how the new batch turns out. I think they sound good.

Dez 11, 2022, 10:05 am

>175 MrsLee: Thank you, kind lady! I should be most grateful. Enjoy the doing of this project.

Dez 11, 2022, 3:17 pm

>177 mnleona: I made the new batch today. Was careful to add oatmeal. They were still a pain. Stuck to the greased, non-stick pan. Grease Parchment paper helped. They spread out a lot, got VERY brown on the bottom while the top looks raw (it isn't). They taste alright, but like my 3 year old great-newphew says, "Why is there so much cookie around no chocolate?" I would rather have the traditional oatmeal cookie any day. It was an experience though. :)

The Gingerbread Cake recipe looks like it turned out well. I will know more when my son and his family come for dinner today. I decorated it pretty and don't want to cut into it before they arrive.

Dez 11, 2022, 6:57 pm

Pineapple Oatmeal. That sounds intriguing!

Dez 11, 2022, 6:59 pm

>179 MrsLee: Do you think they would do better as bars? I have a recipe that has no instructions for baking beyond temp and time. I made them as cookies. I called Mom to discuss and she's like "they are bar cookies!" Uh, recipe does not say anything about pouring into a pan!!

Editado: Dez 11, 2022, 7:18 pm

>181 lesmel: The recipe specified dropping by spoonfuls on a greased sheet. I don't think they would work as bars, but I'm not really that knowledgeable of a baker. You can easily find the recipe (or one very like it) online. I suspect that at one time or another it was a promotion from Dole Pineapple Company. I might want some more seasoning than these had (1/2 t. Cinnamon), but the Pineapple is a very delicate flavor and hard to taste as it is. Oh, I think toasted coconut would also be a good addition. And dark chocolate, because that makes everything taste better. :)

Dez 12, 2022, 8:41 am

>172 MrsLee: my sister asked me and our other sister if we had any recipe cards in our mother's handwriting. I scanned what I had to her, and she made a book of Nana's Recipes for each of our daughters (Nana's granddaughters) using the scanned images instead of photographs.

Dez 12, 2022, 6:48 pm

>183 fuzzi: I'm also scanning the original recipes. It means more to see it in the person's original handwriting, but it is more helpful for the less experienced cooks in our family to also have a few more detailed instructions than the simple list of ingredients grandma wrote for Potato Cake, or the ingredients, plus one line of instruction on the recipe for Pork Cake which says, "Flour to thicken, bake slowly."

I find that I'm learning a lot through this. So far between The New England Yankee Cookbook which also translates very old family recipes for modern bakers, and the internet, I am learning a lot of history for these recipes. One internet site thinks the origin of the Pork Cake (essentially a fruit cake with pork in it) was the Medieval times or earlier when savory was often served with the sweet, as in mincemeat, which used to have meat in it. The Yankee cookbook states that the pork in Pork Cake was salt pork and a way for housewives to conserve the more expensive shortenings. Also, there is a big deviation in the people who are trying to recreate these things. One lady dumped cubed of ham into her cake! A man boiled sausage for a few minutes then dumped the whole pot into the bowl, and the cookbook uses grated salt pork soaked for 15 minutes. I'm not sure which one I will do, but for certain it will NOT be chunks of ham!

Dez 13, 2022, 6:38 am

>184 MrsLee: my grandmother didn't write down her recipes, but my mom did, and clarified how much and how long, etc.

Some of the new recipes I find on the internet don't make sense, and if I decide to keep them on cards I add things like "cream shortening and sugar together" or "sift dry ingredients" to the instructions, so anyone reading it won't make a mess.

Dez 13, 2022, 12:17 pm

>184 MrsLee: & 185 My great-aunt was once asked to write out her recipe for pecan pie (I think that's what it was) and it turned out so horrible she swore to never attempt to convert her recipes to writing ever again. The process and the pie were equally horrific. Honestly, that's a shame because her pie is now lost to time and no one gets to savor a little bit of her through something that would never be exactly like hers; but would be something to honor her.

Dez 13, 2022, 12:20 pm

>185 fuzzi: I'm doing a lot of clarifying! What I'm trying to decide is, as I type the recipe, do I fix it then, using italics for my own words, or do I type it just as grandma wrote it, then clarify below? If I'm reading a recipe to cook it, I don't think I want to be looking in two places for instructions and the original image of the recipe is there if they want to see it. Think I just answered my own question.

Dez 13, 2022, 12:25 pm

>186 lesmel: I stood by my father as he made his baking powder biscuits, stopping him and writing down amounts before he added them. Took me several years of practice before I could make them well. The amounts are things like "heaping serving spoons"of shortening and "heaping actual tea spoons, not measuring teaspoons" of baking powder.

Dez 13, 2022, 1:58 pm

>187 MrsLee: there you go!

>188 MrsLee: I never learned how to make pie crust like my mother did. I have a pie crust recipe that she dictated, but rolling it out even and thin is still beyond my abilities.

Dez 13, 2022, 2:20 pm

>189 fuzzi: I have a rolling pin that has add on rings at the ends to deliver the right thickness of even dough. I don't always bother, but it works quite well when it is important to have the right thickness.

Dez 13, 2022, 11:21 pm

Tonight I am attempting to make pomegranate molasses from The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean cookbook. For some reason I thought it would be more like syrup, but it is thin. Tastes good though.

Since I had to juice 6 lemons to make it, I decided to use the lemon peels rather than toss them in the compost. I cut some of them up to soak in gin for a couple of weeks, making lemon flavored gin. When I strain them out, I will make a lemon syrup with them. The rest I removed the flesh part of the lemon, then cut up the peels and made candied lemon peel. I plan to do this with a load of mandarin peels later this week. That way when I can't find candied fruit in the store it won't matter.

I froze the pith of the lemons and the seeds of the pomegranates to use in my morning smoothie. Good sources of vitamins and what not, also blend perfectly smooth in the Vitamix.

Dez 14, 2022, 10:08 am

>191 MrsLee: using everything, so thrifty!

After I made a mess trying to zest oranges for mincemeat with my ancient grater, I picked up a zesting tool. I'll let you know how it works at Christmas.

Dez 14, 2022, 11:53 am

>192 fuzzi: I have a zesting tool, and it is wonderful! Is lovely for grating fresh parmesan also.

This morning I tried another of my grandmother's recipes. Jelly Roll cake. I followed the recipe as closely as possible, filling in with my limited knowledge where instructions were lacking. I had limited success. She said a well-greased pan, I also floured it, because that has always worked well with cakes. Not this cake. DON'T FLOUR THE PAN. In fact, afterwards when I looked at almost the same recipe in The New England Yankee Cookbook, it said to grease the pan, then use wax paper and grease that as well. I managed to get it out of the pan with no tearing, but by the time I spread the jelly and rolled it (from the wrong side I discovered too late) it was a bit difficult and cracked.

As soon as I can get this one eaten (I may need to start getting to know our neighbors so I can give away cake), I will try with grandma's amounts of ingredients and the cookbook's instructions. Think I will use up the one jar of corncob jelly I have left, but mix a tiny bit of rum or brandy flavoring in it.

Dez 14, 2022, 12:32 pm

Back a long time ago. (A very long time ago.) I was in hospital after the birth of our first son. Jerry came to visit us, and said that someone from church had called and said 'Tomorrow is bake sale. Can you bring something?' He wanted to, but I'm the baker in the family. I told him where my favourite jelly roll recipe is. 'I can't do that!' 'Yes, you can. Fill it with homemade jam. You will impress everyone, and it will taste very good. And if it's not perfect, they will still be impressed, and it will still taste very good.' He did it, and yes, everybody was very impressed.

I'm pretty sure it was the Swiss Roll recipe from Delia Smith's Book of Cakes. She recommends the grease, paper, grease set up you mention, and gives very detailed instructions on rolling. (She repeats the recipe in Delia's Cakes almost word for word.

Dez 14, 2022, 1:04 pm

>194 MarthaJeanne: I was wondering about using jam instead of jelly. I think I would prefer jam. I have some apricot/pineapple jam.

I can see where the jelly roll cake would be simple if you have the experience and tricks under your belt. Baking is not my special love, I prefer to make curries! I'm learning a lot doing this project.

Dez 14, 2022, 2:01 pm

>193 MrsLee:
Hi! I am posting so that I can keep an eye on your progress. :-)

Dez 14, 2022, 2:17 pm

>196 MarthaJeanne: Thank you!

>197 pgmcc: Someone has to! I only wish my LT friends lived closer so they could help me eat it all!

Dez 14, 2022, 2:33 pm

>198 MrsLee:
Your LT friends would love to help you eat it all.

Dez 15, 2022, 7:39 am

>193 MrsLee: my mother had a jelly roll pan, and made jelly roll occasionally. I can't add anything about the process.

Dez 16, 2022, 7:47 pm

This week I caught up on some conservation cooking. I had a lot of mandarins, so I peeled 2 gallon freezer bags full. Froze the insides to be used in frozen drinks next summer. I candied some of the peels for gifts and baking. The rest I chopped fine to dry and use in my own herbal tea mix. I am drying a few bigger chunks for soups, stews and the like.

I had one large Cinderella pumpkin left from last month, so cut it up and baked it. I will puree the flesh and freeze it for sauces and baking.

Dez 17, 2022, 5:58 am

>201 MrsLee: You have the makings of traditional South African Van der Hum liqueur. "Naartjies" is the local name for loose-skinned orange lookalikes including mandarins, clementines, satsumas etc. The quantity of peel the recipe calls for is a bar tot, translated into Jan Braai's non-metric. Other measures are a bottle of brandy and a tad less than a cup of water. Sugar to taste. I think you'll enjoy this.

Dez 17, 2022, 6:58 am

>201 MrsLee: We have a small bag of clementines bought for Mrs H which she doesn't seem inclined to eat. So if I eat them and save the peels ...? Also, why the water? Is South African brandy unusually strong? Just curious, and because I really don't believe in putting water into brandy (or any other spirit, for that matter).

Dez 17, 2022, 7:24 am

>194 MarthaJeanne: What a fun story.

Watching FOX & Friends this morning, they had this about states and cookies.
In Minnesota they have rosettes which I make. My mother made crueller cookies a recipe from my Italian grandmother. I was raised in Texas.

Dez 17, 2022, 7:50 am

>203 haydninvienna: You use the water to make the sugar syrup; you could add dry sugar and stir like mad in the cold (so as not to evaporate the alcohol) to dissolve it. South African spirits are almost all sold at 43% v/v alcohol (some witblits goes up to 50%). If you're feeling plutocratic or own a wine farm or something, and want to give all your friends this liqueur, you could use Renata Coetzee's recipe in The South African Culinary Tradition, which clearly dates from before the days of excise duty on alcohol. Here are the ingredients:

6 x 750ml bottles of brandy
80g (12 tablespoons) naartjie peel cut into thin strips
A handful of orange blossoms (would Oxford Bot Garden oblige?)
1 x 750ml bottle of rum
36 cloves
1.5 nutmegs
6 sticks of cinnamon
a few cardamom seeds

After you've bunged this lot into a hefty earthenware jar or a small cask and shaken it up daily for a month, you make a syrup of 1.5 kg sugar and 6 cups (1.5 l ) water, add to the strained liqueur and let the components get to know one another for three weeks.

You can then douse small pancakes with this Van der Hum an single cream to make a dessert.

Dez 17, 2022, 11:53 am

>205 hfglen: Thanks, Hugh. Spirits here are generally 40% ABV, so the SA stuff is indeed slightly stronger. I don't know of a local source of orange blossoms at this time of year, unfortunately. It sounds attractive, but that's 7 bottles of booze in there. After the syrup you'd have about 6 litres or eight 750mi bottles. Scaled down to one-sixth, it might well be worth a try.

Editado: Dez 17, 2022, 12:02 pm

>206 haydninvienna: If you were here you could have a few of mine. They will not get pollinated in the greenhouse this time of year. On the other hand, quality grocers might well have orange flower water you could use.

Dez 17, 2022, 12:15 pm

>202 hfglen: I'm still working on using up the peach and cherry flavored brandy I made three years ago! Sounds yummy though.

>204 mnleona: My husband's grandmother, from Mexico, always made Italian anise rosette cookies and biscotti for Christmas. Recipes given to her by an Italian neighbor. I (a gringo) was entrusted with all Nana's recipes. A true American story, everyone sharing the best of their cultures.

I made a second jelly roll cake this morning using instructions gleaned from my Yankee cookbook and >194 MarthaJeanne:. It looks pretty good, but is sill cooling so I haven't tasted it. I expect it to taste fine because the ingredients were the same as my grandmother's, I just had more detailed instructions this time. Although it is a fine and lovely cake, I still prefer a layer cake. I plan to use my candied citrus peels to decorate it. Apricot-pineapple jam is inside.

Next up is a mock angel food cake I think. It has yolks in it.

Dez 17, 2022, 1:42 pm

>207 MarthaJeanne: Thank you for the thought. I wouldn’t mind being in Vienna for Christmas, by gum! I did actually think of orange flower water, but Bicester doesn’t really run to that kind of grocer. Altho’ we do have a sort of Arabic grocer that stocks real harissa.

Editado: Dez 17, 2022, 1:57 pm

>209 haydninvienna: I'd suggest online sources, but perhaps not just now. Wait until after things have settled down from Christmas and strikes.

For what it's worth, our weather is awful. Then again not as bad as England right now, only freezing overnight, overcast, various precipitation now and then. I was at the Schönbrunn Christmas market on Wednesday when we actually had a bit of sun, but it was very cold, and not as much fun as it should have been.

Dez 17, 2022, 4:28 pm

>153 sarahemmm: Sarahemmm thank you very much for the vegetarian mincemeat recipe. Our family will give that a try.

Dez 18, 2022, 9:14 pm

Today I made my mom's clam chowder. Potatoes, bacon, onions, broth, half and half and clams. So simple, so good.

I also made potato skin chips in my air fryer. Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I am liking it more. Did I say that it will "fry" a crisp flour out corn tortilla? Amazing.

Dez 19, 2022, 3:25 pm

>204 mnleona: none of my mother's cookies made the list:

Danish Christmas cookies with cardamom
Grandma Newman's Spice cookies (from a magazine insert 50+ years ago)
Molasses Crinkles
Chocolate Crinkles (Betty Crocker?)

Oh, wait, Russian Tea cakes and Spritz did!

My own additions:
Sugar cookies with oil (Joy of Cooking)
Scotch shortbread

Dez 19, 2022, 3:47 pm

>211 MaureenRoy: Hmm, it's really rather late for this year, though I suppose you could just use it completely fresh and put the rest away for next year (or Easter - my grandma always made extra mincemeat and puddings for Easter Day). Make sure you mix it well.

Dez 23, 2022, 3:16 pm

I baked the Pork Cake from my grandmother's recipe book. Tasted fine, like a fruit cake or spice cake, pork not detectable. The making of it almost made me retch though. I used pork fat, but I'm sure there are different qualities of this and mine was soft, fibrous and slimy from the outside of a roast (the roast was delicious). Either I should have frozen it before trying to mince it, or used firmer fat. The long tendrils hanging off the mixer blade. Blech. I won't be making this again, I have a much better recipe for fruitcake, but it can be done with a tasty result at the end if anyone ever needs to.

Dez 24, 2022, 10:38 pm

>215 MrsLee: I wonder if leaf lard would have worked?

Dez 25, 2022, 11:39 am

>216 fuzzi: I'm not familiar with that, but if it is what it sounds like, flakes of lard, I'm sure it would.

From the very superficial research I did, this seems to be a recipe from around 1915. At that time my grandparents were raising their own pigs, butchering and processing them for the winter. They had a huge cauldron for rendering the fat into lard and a smokehouse for hanging hams and bacon. Pretty sure she had access to butter too, as they had milk cows and chickens as well for eggs. I wonder if the recipe didn't mean pork fat, perhaps it was more for the little bits of leftover meat from butchering? But then if so, there would be no fat at all because her recipe didn't have eggs.

Dez 25, 2022, 7:47 pm

>217 MrsLee: this is what I generally use for pie crust:

It's firm, like butter.

But you can buy it in a bucket for cooking, too. The bucket lard consistency is like a milk shake, more liquid than Crisco shortening.

Dez 25, 2022, 11:32 pm

>218 fuzzi: I have seen that, but didn't realize there was a difference between that and what is in the bucket! I always buy the bucket, and mostly use it for cooking pinto beans. I have used it in pie crust too. I will have to try the block or leaf lard. :)

Editado: Dez 26, 2022, 4:28 am

It sounds like the lard I buy here is between those two. I like to make my pie crusts with half lard and half butter. I also use the lard for general cooking, so usually need to buy more if I want to bake a pie.

Dez 26, 2022, 10:18 am

>219 MrsLee: the bucket lard is more moist, and I had to improvise to get a good pie crust using my mother's recipe (which used the block lard).

Dez 26, 2022, 1:02 pm

Today I made the recipe grandma called a Mock Angel Food cake. The main difference is the amount of egg whites and the pan it is baked in. I looked on the internet again and found essentially the same recipe tried by a blogger which she got from her grandmother. Hers had better instructions. Mine came out ok, but I mis-judged the size of pan required. Since my husband loves Angel Food cake, I will try this again when my smaller pan is clean. It was used last night for scalloped potatoes and is still half full.

Dez 26, 2022, 3:14 pm

You mean it feeds mock angels?

Dez 26, 2022, 6:07 pm

>223 hfglen: LOL, hmm, otherwise known as Devil's Food Cake? Sadly, no chocolate in this.

Dez 27, 2022, 1:54 pm

Ok, I tried the Mock Angel Food again. This time I used muffin times lined with paper cups. I added about one quarter less sugar and cooked them about 12-14 minutes at 375°F. Husband snitched one already and said they are much better than the last batch.

Dez 30, 2022, 12:04 pm

I have two recipes from the grandmas to try this weekend. Both from my Grandmother Charlotte.
Cabbage with Frankfurters, for which she provides a menu:
Frankfurters with Cabbage
Boiled potatoes with dill
Raw carrot sticks
Pineapple Rice custard - thank the recipe gods she doesn't include this recipe in her book, I am safe from making it.

I'm trying the above because I happen to have the ingredients to hand, although I will use chicken-mushroom sausages instead of Frankfurters. It's going to be hard not to fiddle with her recipe...so little spice, grandma!

The second recipe is Spanish Rice, from a neighbor named Mrs. Espinoza in 1939. It looks fairly basic, although I will substitute tamarind sauce for the tablespoon of tomato sauce called for. I'm trying to avoid tomatoes.

My menu to go with this is:
Turkey pozolé
Spanish Rice
Pinto beans
Chard with potlikker