Stumbling around in my kitchen


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Stumbling around in my kitchen

Jun 18, 2022, 6:57 pm

Hi people!
I am so out of my depth here, but there is no one in my real world to giggle with when something interesting happens in my kitchen.

I don’t cook much. I’m usually perfectly happy with box meals and basics. But every now and then I try something.

Today, a recipe on Instagram caught my attention and I decided to play with it. It was called Mississippi pot roast and looked easy enough for the crock pot. Pork roast - I got some butt roast for $1.69/pound. The recipe called for Hidden Valley ranch dressing powder and au jus powder, a jar of chili peppers and a stick of butter.
I didn’t have the packets of powder, I don’t like chilis, and that much butter looked sickening with meat.

But I did have a bottle of ranch dressing and another of honey mustard. And I have homemade squash relish. Yeah, that’ll work.

It did come out fine. I made some white rice. I can do white rice, lesmel, but I always bubble over into the drip pan, no matter what pot I use. The juice left in the crock pot was too thin, so I’ve got this handy little covered cup that my mom used for gravies. Flour and cold milk and shake it, then add to your hot liquid.
Though it’s flavor was good, I wish I’d salted the meat at the beginning.

Jun 18, 2022, 11:37 pm

Welcome! Hooray for invention in the kitchen. :)

Jun 19, 2022, 6:16 am

My daughters, however, are both great cooks. Does this talent jump generations?
They were both here with their kids last month to celebrate my birthday. I wanted Oreo truffles, so Olivia, the oldest grand, was assigned crumbling the cookies and mixing with the cream cheese. She mistook my blender for a food processor and the wad had to be rescued and mixed by hand. Liv is very sensitive and rushed upstairs in tears. After hugs and reassurances, she came back downstairs, and we spent the evening sharing our various kitchen disaster stories. Lots of fun and laughter.

Jun 19, 2022, 8:01 pm

>3 2wonderY: I don't know about skipping generations. My grandmother and mother were both terrific cooks, and they told me I was even better, but I say I am just blessed with more readily available ingredients, the internet for ideas and how-to videos and a love of the strange and exotic. Also, the time to fool around in the kitchen. They worked much longer and harder than I have to. Without the training in taste and careful preparation of food, I might not have been who I am. My daughter is also an excellent cook, and she ventures into realms her mother never would (offal).

I also have a son who can cook. My other son says he can, but I've never caught him at it. lol

That being said, we each of us has our share of kitchen disaster stories! Baking soda for cornstarch in a stir fry of broccoli chicken is not recommended!

Jun 21, 2022, 8:01 pm

>1 2wonderY: All rice that is cooked in my kitchen is done in the instant pot now. I'm so pleased with that little (big) pot, I can't even express my love enough.

Jun 25, 2022, 4:13 am

>3 2wonderY: My mother always says my grandma's cooking talent leapfrogged over her to me - however I suspect that was a result of Grandma's lack of teaching talent (she never had the patience to let inexperienced people do what she'd told them to do - just tended to steam in and take over).

Jul 18, 2022, 6:25 pm

I’ve been harvesting blackberries like crazy. I mostly make cordial because it doesn’t need a full kitchen to process them, and my cabin is very rudimentary. But now I have a regular house in town.

I finally sugared a couple of quarts and made a small cobbler. I used the basic Gold Medal recipe on their site. I was surprised it didn’t raise much, but the mix of berries and cake was perfect. Neighbors liked it too.

I’ve got 16 quarts of cordial canned and ran out of lids. Went down to the basement and realized I still had 14 quarts from last year and 2020 that I hadn’t decanted. So that’s what I’ve been doing yesterday and today while the blessed rain has finally been coming down.

Jul 18, 2022, 7:25 pm

>7 2wonderY: Blackberry cordial sounds amazing. How do you make it?

Jul 18, 2022, 7:42 pm

It’s so simple. One cup of sugar in a quart jar. Fill the jar with blackberries and then vodka. Shake until the sugar is dissolved.
Wait a while before tasting it.

I’ve experimented with less sugar, expensive vodka, and once added spearmint leaves. Don’t do those things. I do want to try other additions, but haven’t decided what.

It’s probably drinkable after a few weeks, but I always wait till winter. And I’m determined to get every squeeze of flavor from the berries. After I drain the easy liquid, I smash the berries and then use a fruit press. And then I squeeze the pulp in my hands until no more juice runs. The pulp is then a grainy dry wad that goes in the compost pile.

It tastes like summer sunshine in the cold winter months.

Jul 19, 2022, 9:10 pm

>9 2wonderY: Ah, vodka. The great flavor extractor. I thought you were brewing the concoction like a wine is made. I do something similar using brandy and whatever fruit I have to much of.

Jul 20, 2022, 1:40 am

>7 2wonderY: Too early for blackberries over here (not ripe till August/
September) but they are among the few things I preserve. I mostly make jam or jelly but the cordial sounds good - based on your description you don't crush the berries before macerating?

Jul 20, 2022, 12:59 pm

>9 2wonderY:

I will try your blackberry cordial! It sounds wonderful.

Jul 20, 2022, 1:02 pm

I’ve always served it room temperature, but a friend served some from the refrigerator; and it makes a refreshing summer sip too.

Ago 13, 2022, 11:28 am

I put in a few tomato plants this year, but I’m in a new space and I hadn’t figured out where the best sun is. So not much fruit.
But my neighbor has a huge patch and she got horse manure to put on them. And then she left for Europe for the month. I have permission to take all I want. I should go get some canning lids. But so far, just feasting on fresh tomato soup. Tomatoes, basil, a dash of milk.

Ago 13, 2022, 11:43 am

>14 2wonderY: Mmm, tomato sandwiches.

Ago 17, 2022, 5:41 pm

Panting to try Brown Butter Frosting, seen in August’s Bon Appetit magazine (or on Instagram).

Ago 25, 2022, 12:22 pm

>15 MrsLee: I need to fry up the pound of bacon in the fridge. It goes well on tomato sandwiches.

Potatoes are not a summer veggie for me, but I keep a bag around for a quick baked potato meal. Discovered a couple of rotten spuds, so I processed most of the bag, chopping and boiling in preparation for the most sublime potato dish - fried in butter with onions.

Ago 25, 2022, 11:21 pm

>17 2wonderY: One of my favorite sandwiches, if they are fresh tomatoes and not from the store where they were picked green and then stored for months before being shipped to the store.

Are you not a potato salad fan? I like both types, that made with a mayonnaise dressing, and the warm one made with bacon and a garlic and vinegar dressing. Sadly, I avoid potatoes and tomatoes due to their effect on my arthritis, but I love them.

Ago 27, 2022, 11:50 am

>18 MrsLee: I do like both, but others make them better than I’ve ever been able to. I struggle to even get the right taste for deviled eggs; a similar problem with mayo potato salad.
And my German Irish mother made the best German potato salad in the world. I probably should resume trying on that front.

Ago 27, 2022, 1:02 pm

My mother always cut the hot potatoes into a marinade of oil, vinegar and stock. When that had cooled, and the marinade was all absorbed, then she added mayonnaise.

Ago 27, 2022, 3:31 pm

>20 MarthaJeanne: That's how my mom did it, too. She used a little pickle brine to thin the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste.

Ago 28, 2022, 8:24 am

Blackberry cordial sounds easy and good.
Three years ago my daughter suggested air fryers for Christmas so I bought them for my 4 sons, my daughter and one for me. Mine sat in the box for way over a year and I finally started using it. I use it almost daily; great for a single person, one who wants to cook somewhat fast, and easy to clean. I watch Air Fryer 101 by Kathy on You Tube for ideas.
I use Miracle Whip for my potato salad and deviled eggs.

Ago 28, 2022, 8:44 am

>22 mnleona: miracle Whip goes on the bread, mayo goes in the salad. My mother’s rule; and I agree with her. Plus, I’ve taught my grands to use Miracle Whip as a spread or dip on cheeses.😁

You’ve nearly convinced me to try an air fryer.

Ago 30, 2022, 8:15 am

>1 2wonderY: Just discovering your thread. As a native of Mississippi, I always laugh when I see that Hidden Valley Ranch recipe called "Mississippi Pot Roast." I grew up in Mississippi. Everyone I knew salted and peppered their roast and often sprinkled garlic powder on it. They'd put it in the oven (or crock pot) to cook. Later they'd add (peeled) new potatoes (or cut up red or white potatoes--not the baking kind) and carrots to the pan and finish cooking. Just a pretty basic recipe.

Ago 31, 2022, 1:04 pm

>24 thornton37814: Heh! Well noted.

Since I now live in Kentucky, the ginger ale to have on hand is Ale-8. It’s good, it has a citrus component as well. I don’t drink much soda, but always have some in the fridge to offer guests. Well, I decided to try the orange and cherry varieties too. Pretty bad, until you add a shot of blackberry cordial to the glass. Now that’s refreshing!

Out 6, 2022, 11:24 am

I’m taking a weeds class at the local college and we often walk over to the community garden to identify weeds and pull from designated plots. Last week I stopped back to take more samples (we are pressing and preserving for the herbarium) and one of the gardeners shared some bok choy and zuchetta. I’ve never prepared these. The huge zuchetta is easy. Pickle and can it as relish. I’ve done this with both squash and zucchini.
Daughter told me to fry the bok choy with sausage and other veg and serve with rice. She kept texting additional ingredients, so I took permission to go off on my own recognizance. I started with garlic infused olive oil and added more minced garlic before throwing in the sausage (kielbasa), slices of a smaller zuchetta and the chopped bok choy, and then threw the rice in there to warm and absorb some of the fragrant oil.

The house still smells wonderful today and I’m having leftovers for lunch.

Out 6, 2022, 3:28 pm

>26 2wonderY: Sounds wonderful. I can almost smell it from here!

Out 7, 2022, 9:29 am

>26 2wonderY: Sounds like a fun class.

Out 7, 2022, 12:11 pm

>28 mnleona: It surely is. Though I’m just auditing, I take the work seriously; and it is challenging. Our final paper is to write a seven crop rotation for a particular piece of ground (real or fictional) that addresses weed management.

Out 7, 2022, 6:07 pm

My neighbor harvested her sweet potatoes and made a chicken curry stew with some. She shared some with me, and I’ve been eating it over buttered noodles with a dollop of sour cream on top. Again, my house smells heavenly.

I got a small basket of sweet potatoes as well, so I need ideas.

Out 8, 2022, 7:43 am

>30 2wonderY: My first thought is sweet potato fries for something different. I know you can do them in an oven and maybe in an air fryer.

Out 8, 2022, 3:44 pm

Daughter is inquiring what this is:

Out 8, 2022, 5:36 pm

>30 2wonderY: I made a hash this morning with cubed sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and some leftover pork roast. Delicious.

Can't help your daughter. Looks like a horrific torture device.

Out 8, 2022, 5:42 pm

Somebody once asked me what I thought this was:

And I knew, because I had used one.

Out 9, 2022, 5:45 pm

>30 2wonderY: My favorite way to eat a sweet potato is baked with lots of butter and just a sprinkle of brown sugar atop it. You can also create sweet potato souffles, sweet potato pies, and much more. You can also roast cut up pieces of it with other root vegetables by putting on a baking sheet and drizzling with olive oil. There are a couple of very different sweet potato recipes here:

I'm pretty sure I have a recipe book from Vardaman, the sweet potato capital, in my collection--probably in my mother's collection--that focuses on sweet potatoes.

Out 10, 2022, 5:39 pm

>34 2wonderY: I don't know what that is, but it brings to mind the Disney movie, "Fantasia" I expect it to spring to life any moment and dance, twirling away.

Editado: Out 10, 2022, 6:41 pm

>36 MrsLee: It’s a scientific instrument used to blindly and evenly split a sample of grain. I know… a bit of overkill design and materials. It’s beautiful though.

I spent a year back in the 1970s working for the Federal Grain Inspection Service. Samples were split, one being analyzed and graded, and the other half set aside in case there was a later question or appeal.

The other amazing tool was a 10 or 12 foot tube, also brass, with compartments and doors all the way down its length. The trick was thrusting it all the way to the bottom of the container (river barge or rail car). There was a twist mechanism to open and close the doors. Once the tube was pulled back out, the sample was laid out on a long strip of canvas to examine both visually and odorishly to make sure spoiled grain wasn’t hidden somewhere in the container.

It was a surprisingly interesting job. Short term.

Out 10, 2022, 6:55 pm

>37 2wonderY: Fascinating! The copper copper truly is elegant, and so is the brass probe

Out 12, 2022, 11:59 am

That is so interesting

Editado: Nov 3, 2022, 10:18 am

I’ve been eating on the go, not really cooking, or what I term modular meals, a box or a can of something. And never actually satisfied or full. So it was time for the first pot of chili. There is nothing remarkable about mine. But I do like my mother’s final touch and my daughters have passed it down too. Cooked but cold macaroni instead of crackers. Does anyone else do that?
I made a gallon and finished off a quart by myself.

I still had a mound of very green tomatoes when frost finished off the plants. My understanding was they wouldn’t turn red/orange in this circumstance. So I was hunting for my chow-chow recipe. But they are ripening nicely; so I get a couple more weeks of fresh tomatoes in my eggs or mac & cheese.

Nov 3, 2022, 4:37 pm

>40 2wonderY:

Interesting. You mean it's unusual to have pasta with chili? (I mean, I guess it's not how they eat it in Mexico, but in general?) Didn't hear about crackers in chili before. I use the recipe from some spice packet from ages ago and then as a side I'll have rice or pasta.

Nov 3, 2022, 6:57 pm

>41 LolaWalser: That’s why I ask. Is it a northern thing? My parents are from Wisconsin, but I was raised in Pittsburgh and moved south of there as an adult. I’ve never met anyone besides my family that knew this option. Everyone is horrified at the thought.

Nov 3, 2022, 8:08 pm

Huh. I figure pasta can be added to anything. But I guess a chili purist needs to chime in...

Editado: Nov 3, 2022, 8:35 pm

Californian here. My family has never added pasta or crackers to our chili. Only beans. I do like to sometimes eat it on toast; but usually if there is something served with it, that will be tortillas (corn or flour).

ETA: I recently made a pot of chili that was over our comfort level of heat (and my comfort level is very high). I had to tone it down, so I served it on tortilla chips smothered in cheese and dollops of my cheat version of quesa fresca (plain Greek yogurt mixed with heavy cream)

Nov 3, 2022, 9:12 pm

Chili is really yummy on a baked potato (with cheese and sour cream and chopped scallions and jalapenos...)

Nov 3, 2022, 9:23 pm

>45 Marissa_Doyle: Ooh! Must try that this weekend!

Nov 3, 2022, 10:51 pm

I love chili (actually, any soup/stew/chili thing) with crushed crackers. Saltines are my preferred crushing cracker. I'd be willing to try pasta in/with my chili. After trying Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti last year, I'm down with pasta as a base for just about anything.

>40 2wonderY: Do you make your chili with ground beef, stew beef, or chili beef? Or maybe you don't do beef at all? Hmm, this makes me want to make green chicken chili, now.

Nov 3, 2022, 11:53 pm

>47 lesmel: Chili with ground beef. Spaghetti sauce with pork sausage, usually mild Italian.

Nov 4, 2022, 2:26 am

Corn bread. I usually serve chili with corn bread.

Nov 4, 2022, 1:00 pm

I didn't know what to make for supper, so I started a stew with bacon, onion and chicken from the freezer. With a can of tomatoes, a few mild peppers from the garden, the end of a piece of grana, and all the chili con carne mix in the jar, and a half can of kidney beans. I don't think I'd call this chili. For one thing, it's really mild, I need more of the spice mix.

Oh, yes. Corn bread is in the oven.

By the way, we have learned not to order chili from Ausrian restaurants. The only thing that is clear is that it will have much more corn kernels in it than either our digestive systems can deal with.

Nov 7, 2022, 7:33 am

Having lived in Cincinnati for many years, I will say I'm a huge fan of Cincinnati-style chili--complete with the pasta and piled up cheese. I usually order either the 3-way or the 4-way with onions.

However, people in Cincinnati do eat pasta with Texas-style chili too. I'm not quite as huge a fan of that, but I will eat it that way if I must.

Nov 13, 2022, 7:08 am

At the back of a cabinet, I found a jar of dry pinto beans. I think I moved them from the old house, and I have no idea how old they are. Sometimes beans are just too old to cook up correctly, but I put them to soak yesterday and then boiled them briefly. And into the crockpot with some onion to simmer overnight. Mm-mm. The house smells good this morning. I like my flavors simple but would ask for ideas today.
I will make some cornbread to accompany the beans. We’re supposed to have night temperatures in the teens late this week. Perfect cozy food.

Editado: Nov 14, 2022, 9:18 am

My Mexican in-laws frequently ate pinto beans cooked with a little lard or olive oil and some salt added at the end. It is a comfort food when the beans are cooked until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender. You could add a little fresh chopped cilantro (if you aren't a hater) or some fresh green onions. Sometimes a dollop of sour cream. Chopped hot chili if your tastes run to spice.

Nov 14, 2022, 9:24 am

>53 MrsLee: I forgot to add a taste of pork in this batch.
They cooked up well enough, but are still stiff enough to confirm they are old beans. I’ve got fresher beans in the cabinet, but I didn’t want to waste these. I’ve still got tomatoes on the counter so will add those and some sour cream. Life is better with sour cream.

Nov 14, 2022, 3:07 pm

A friend of mine was once investigating what food sour cream could NOT improve. In the end, I think she only came up with corn flakes.

Nov 14, 2022, 3:30 pm

We used to frequent a buffet restaurant that had a particularly good chocolate pudding on the dessert table. Other patrons and staff would gasp when I took my bowl over to the baked potato station and add a nice dollop of sour cream. They didn’t know what they were missing.

Nov 19, 2022, 12:48 pm

Always crackers in chili for 65 years! Also can eat over cornbread!

Editado: Nov 26, 2022, 6:41 pm

The family gathered here Thursday. I was only responsible for the meat, and chose a ham, because one daughter doesn’t like turkey. Both daughters and their spouses and children brought yummy sides, including a roast Brussels sprout and almond salad that intrigued. Granddaughter made a pecan pie, so I had to taste it. Better than I expected.
I have loads of leftovers, but I had picked up a turkey to roast and process as well. Today was that day.
I filled the cavity with chopped apple and orange and used up some homemade cranberry relish smothering it over the top of the carcass. Not bad! I’ve got the bones simmering in the crock pot and will make turkey veg soup tomorrow.

My freezer compartment is absolutely stuffed full; and I’m edging ever closer to buying a small freezer to put down in the basement.

What is the price of butter in your neck of the woods? Daughter was having to pay $5/lb at her rural grocery, and except for Aldis, that’s what’s being asked around here too. I stocked up on Aldis butter for her at $2.49. They are limiting the amount you can buy at any one time. Rose does have a large chest freezer and she loves butter. So all is good.

Nov 26, 2022, 10:37 pm

We're paying more than that. €2.50 for 250g would be a good deal here right now.

Nov 26, 2022, 10:55 pm

>57 Tess_W: Agreed; always saltine crackers with chili! And the best chili will have some kind of meat in it. For me it's less about the meat and more about making sure you add light red as well as dark red kidney beans to the pot.

After many hours, you scoop up a ladle or three of chili, and have a small plate of saltine crackers nearby. Either drop them in the bowl and break up with your spoon, or just use oyster crackers. Kinda divine comfort food!

Editado: Nov 27, 2022, 5:28 am

>58 2wonderY: Our local supernarket is advertising a special of ZAR 60 for 500 g, so about 2/3 of what >59 MarthaJeanne: is paying.

ETA: (divide by about 17.5 to 18 to get US$.)

Nov 27, 2022, 5:43 am

I was just figuring the Euro is a bit more than a dollar. 500 grams is a bit more than a pound.

Nov 27, 2022, 12:22 pm

>60 terriks: Our family only makes chili beans with pinto beans. I didn't even know some people made it otherwise until a few years ago. To me, everything else is just meat and (whatever kind of legume) beans, except cassoulet, that is made with small white beans.

Nov 27, 2022, 12:36 pm

Butter is a million dollars here! Well, it might as well be. OK, the fancy stuff I buy once in a blue moon because I miss European butter terribly and this is the closest I can get to it, is CAD 7.99 or 8.99 per 250g, or CAD 14.5 / 16.3 per pound.

According to today's exchange rate, that's USD 10.82 / 12.16 per pound.

The not-fancy no-name stuff I buy occasionally for general cooking (but rarely, as I don't cook much with butter and practically don't bake at all) is somewhat over half that price.

Editado: Nov 27, 2022, 12:38 pm

Our butter costs more than that, but we also get the good kind. We could get the not-very-good kind for like $4/lb.

Nov 27, 2022, 1:31 pm

In Tesco here, their store brand is £1.99 for 250g. Lurpak is £2.50 for 250 g.

Nov 27, 2022, 2:38 pm

Where I live, the cheapest butter is €2.19 for 250g. The fair compensation one is €2.93 and the expensive Échiré AOP one is a mind-boggling €3.48. I'm pretty sure up to maybe five years ago, the shop's own brand was around €0.80...

Nov 27, 2022, 7:22 pm

{{{Lurpak}}} the butter of my childhood!! (a Danish import to Syria, where butter wasn't a thing)

Nov 28, 2022, 10:16 am

When the grands jumped up and offered to wash the dishes on Thursday, I was so pleased. Holidays at their house have been a series of rounding them up and insisting they do some of the work. It hasn’t always been pretty. My work is done there.
Anyway, I instructed them to scrape the plates into a container from which I have had a couple of meals. My mouth is reminding me that I saw SIL add dried cranberries to that salad. I must get the recipe.

Saturday, I took the turkey carcass apart (a favorite chore) and put the bones to simmer overnight in the crockpot. Yesterday I fished out most of the bones and added meat, veg and noodles. It made about a gallon of soup. The orange slices from the stuffing add a nice surprise.
I took a quart next door and my neighbor reciprocated with some lamb stew.
I made a dent in the packed freezer. But I need to be a bit more deliberate in cycling items through.

Dez 31, 2022, 4:33 pm

I will have the pleasure of the company of two grandchildren tonight. Elly is 14, and loves fashion. I will introduce her to my shelf of costumes through the ages books. Theia is 4. Last time she was here she sulked for an hour. But she knows where all the toys are and is self sufficient.
Daughters and their spouses have their own plans and will stay at a B&B after the party.

Despite the fact these two will probably not appreciate it, I wanted to make an old favorite tomato sauerkraut dish. It’s been too long, and I can’t find my notes; had to look it up on the google machine. Turns out it’s a dish from Croatia.
It’s been simmering on the stove for a couple of hours now, and smells wonderful.
I don’t use bacon, but I may add some chicken broth. Did I used to add brown sugar? Can’t recall, but brown sugar improves almost anything.
Serving kielbasa and fried potatoes as well.

Jan 1, 12:29 pm

Oldest daughter munched down on these foods for breakfast today. And cold, she was mmm’ing and wondering why she didn’t like it as a child/adolescent. She has grown up to enjoy many things I introduced her to as a child. Strange how that works.

Younger daughter brought a brownie meringue to share. She chopped up Ferraro rocher candies to add to the brownies. Wow!

Jan 1, 6:44 pm

Happy New Year to you! So interesting to see how adults perceive the cooking of their mothers from when they were children. I have a knee-jerk hatred for a dish my mother made called "Beef Mazatlán" but when I read the recipe now, I see no good reason why I didn't like it!

Jan 1, 6:49 pm

>70 2wonderY:

Tomato and sauerkraut, interesting, doesn't ring a bell. I'd guess a Northern dish--North and South have completely different cuisines.

I'm often nostalgic for mum's cooking. It's weird how I can't replicate anything.

Jan 31, 8:47 am

I had some ham that needed used up so I made a crockpot of the regular lentil soup.
But I have a short stack of canned goods that are too old to donate, but I don’t use them. One daughter loves Lima beans. But these were too old to offer to her. So I dumped them into the pot. Huh! They added a nice piquancy.

Jan 31, 8:56 am

Neighbor is a member of AA, but she occasionally cooks using wine. She’d sent her goddaughter out for red wine at Christmas and got a box of Cabernet Sauvignon - not what she meant.
So she offered it to me. I don’t like red wines, probably because I’m cheap and never had a good one. But I thought I could mix it successfully with cordial and seltzer. Nope. Was considering tossing the rest when neighbor asked I’d she could have a quarter of a cup for a pot roast she was making.
I got a distinct feeling I was meant to just be her pantry for wine. That ain’t happening. She agreed that tossing the remainder was a good plan - after she made her pot roast.
I got a sample of it and plan to make some rice to absorb all the jus that came with it.

Editado: Jan 31, 9:11 am

When we lived in Geneva we would often go to wine tastings in France. I would only taste the whites, but if really pushed would take a sip of Jerry's glass of red. "Mm, C'est un vin rouge." This would nearly always convince the vintner not to offer me more of his red wines.

Editado: Mar 28, 8:49 am

Both daughters were here last evening. Rose is staying with me, starting a new job in town and planning a family move back here (Yay!) and Anne came down from Cinci to deliver a costume rack and costumes for T (grandbaby).

So I cooked a meal.
Pan-fried pork chops with white wine Worcestershire sauce, garlic-herb buttered noodles, veggetti cut cucumber, and cheddar herb biscuits.

The Veggetti Pro was picked up at goodwill last week. I’ve wanted a spiral cutter. This works only okay. Except for the blades, it’s entirely plastic and not hefty enough to handle a raw sweet potato.
At the same goodwill excursion, I found a like-new coffee grinder for Rose (it was on her shopping list anyway) and a PL8 Professional Pasta Maker. We haven’t tried the pasta maker yet, but it’s a joy just to handle. Steel.
And Rose rounded out the new kitchen equipment with a French press rather than a coffee maker.

It was a lovely evening. We ate and chatted out on the deck, enjoying the awakening gardens and each other. It’s rare I get my girls all to myself.

Mar 28, 9:02 am

Pasta machines are good fun, but a lot of work. They are also useful for making crackers if you get the consistency of the dough right and don't try to go too thin.

Editado: Abr 5, 9:46 am

Rose’s husband and daughter are coming today for a visit. I won’t spend Easter with them, but the excuse to cook a spiral ham was too tempting. I can get at least a week's worth of food from one.
So ham, fried taters, romaine and giardiniera veggies (from a jar) salad. Rose ferments veggie chop, so they may turn noses up on the last. Too bad.

Rose is quite a cook. She used to manage a local upscale cafe. But oh, she makes messes! Even as simple as making coffee. Today she left grounds from one end of the counter to the other and sprinkled on clean dishes in the drain.
To be clear, I am not irritated. Only remarking on the different habits and practices between generations. I spend my visits to both daughters as head dishwasher. Have done so since college, visiting friends. I will gladly clean up after someone else preparing food.

And my plants are loving the coffee grounds.

Abr 30, 7:17 am

I’ve been pursuing the perfect chocolate chip cookie for decades. I want soft and chewy, but using the traditional Toll House recipe makes crisp, brittle cookies.
I knew to increase the proportion of brown sugar to white sugar. Browsing the web, I found a few refinements that got me where I wanted to be.
2 tsp. corn starch, don’t overbeat the dough, refrigerate the dough, and use parchment paper.
With the paper, I can slip the cookies off of the cookie sheet onto the counter; cooling them so they don’t continue to cook.

I took the first batch to class and also distributed to the workmen digging a drainage trench in my front yard and sent some home with daughter.
Since I had denied myself on Friday, I made another batch yesterday. Now what am I going to do with four dozen cookies? Ah! Share with my neighbors.

Editado: Abr 30, 10:32 am

>80 2wonderY: There used to be an app for iPhone that allowed you to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie -- whatever perfect meant to you. It had a base recipe and then sliders for making the cookie exactly what you wanted; then the app developers never updated it when there was an iOS update. I never got my perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was close; but I never copied the recipe since I was still working on it.

Maio 1, 8:18 pm

>80 2wonderY:

Have you tried using oil instead of butter? I make cookies very rarely so don't remember exactly, but if memory serves even just replacing butter in part (half or so?) works toward a chewy texture.

Maio 21, 5:03 pm

Vaguely food related. I’ve got banana popsicles in my freezer for the summer season. Grandbaby will be here, so I looked at the ingredient list. Hmm. I will have to eat them when T is not around. Her dad goes on about HFCS, the first ingredient after water. (Though they give her ice-pops🤨) The rest of the ingredients go like this: sugar, corn syrup, guar gum, artificial flavors and colors. Simple. Old fashioned.

Maio 21, 6:01 pm

I recall making banana soft ice cream for my kids. My recollection is that you freeze the bananas, then whiz them in the blender with yoghurt. None of the ingredients you mention. I also have several sets of molds for homemade ice treats. One set the handles are rings, and the ice is big jewels.

Maio 23, 12:04 pm

>83 2wonderY: If her parents are ok with T having chocolate, you could try banana babies -- chocolate dipped frozen bananas.

Editado: Maio 25, 7:13 am

I saw a recipe on Instagram that I knew I had to try.

Roasted Cauliflower, set on a bed of garlic yoghurt, covered lightly with tahini and heaped with chopped and oiled veg. Chimicurri is what they called the topping. I don’t like red chilis and didn’t have all the items they listed, so I felt free to ad lib. Green onion, fresh garlic, radish for the heat, chopped green olive and giardinera (which I bought on a whim at Aldis, and was disappointed with) olive oil and a splash of cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.

Daughter thinks it’s very good. I liked it a lot too. Two slices were more filling than expected. I would like to serve this to guests. It is straightforward once I got the oven setting correct. (Didn’t notice the C after the number. Heathen American!)

Jun 5, 1:39 pm

I’m beginning to decant last year’s cordial. It has an interesting bite that I don’t recall from other years.

Jun 5, 11:00 pm

We’ve got peas! We’re snacking on them raw and briefly boiling and salting them for dinner. I don’t intend to can or freeze. Any other suggestions?

Editado: Jun 6, 12:07 pm

>88 2wonderY: Fresh pureed pea soup with violets floating on top. Served cold or warm.

Jun 6, 4:26 pm

>89 MrsLee: Ah!!! Will try that!

Jun 9, 11:12 am

Kitchen related:

I tried a tip I saw on Instagram and it works! Instead of tackling the grease spatters and buildup around the stove with detergents, etc. use a light oil. I used grape seed oil and it dissolved the grease and was easy to polish away.

Jun 9, 12:46 pm

>91 2wonderY: Interesting. I use oil and water to clean my face, but hadn't thought about it in the kitchen. Although, I did use a homemade Goop once that worked like a dream. Mix 2 T. Baking soda with 1 T. oil. Gets off sticker goo and so much more.

Jul 4, 9:31 am

Dropping by to say "hi."

Jul 4, 9:59 am

>93 thornton37814: Hi Lori. Nice to see you here. Ain’t nothin’ happening in my kitchen this week except battling ants and fruit flies and clearing refrigerator and freezer.
I did pickle a few eggs, as the price has come down drastically.

Editado: Jul 11, 7:49 am

I made ice cream! It’s so easy!

I unexpectedly had peaches this year. Not many, but oh so delicious.
I had picked up a used ice cream maker a couple of years ago and it sat on a basement shelf untested. It was this moment I had planned for.
I searched the web for directions and finally found simple proportions 2:1:.5 for heavy cream, whole milk and sugar. Two cups of diced fruit mixed with the half cup of sugar and then blended with the other ingredients and a dash of vanilla.
I had read enough to know to pre-freeze the maker bowl. Supposed to be 12 hours, but it was 9.
The motor ran sluggishly without load and wouldn’t spin even in the liquid stage. So I did it by hand. It wasn’t difficult, and I kept at it till it appeared there was no further freezing happening. It was creamy and I scooped it into two containers for the freezer. We had the soft serve version for dessert yesterday and will consume the hard version tonight.

I am definitely shopping for an ice cream maker that actually works. This was fun!

For supper, we jazzed up boxed angel hair with herbs. (The ingredient list looks pretty straightforward, with a cornstarch base for the herbs). We added fresh from the garden veg. Sweet peppers, plum tomatoes and at the last moment, chopped cucumber. It was the cucumber which lifted the dish, I thought.

Daughter requested lentils today. Ah! A chance to clear out meat and vegetables from the freezer.

Jul 11, 2:52 pm

Homemade is so easy and tasssssty!! If you want sorbet, it's as easy. The general ratio of fruit puree to sugar is 4:1 but the sugar can be adjusted lower by adding alcohol (something neutral like vodka, unless you match/pair the flavors) or corn syrup. I found a really nice explanation for creating all kinds of sorbets: The author says you have to churn sorbet; but you don't. If you start with frozen fruit (chopped or sliced), use a simple syrup, keep all your ingredients cold cold cold, blend everything, and pour it into containers, you should still get the lush sorbet texture without churning.

Jul 12, 11:38 am

Yesterday I made mandarin orange/banana sorbet for my grandson's afternoon snack. frozen orange & banana, plain whole milk yogurt, some rose simple syrup, about a T. of sugar, blended in my Vitamix. It benefited with some extra freezing, but he loved it soft. We plan to buy some strawberries and peaches at Farmer's Market tonight so we can freeze them for future "ice cream" experiments. I got rid of my ice cream maker a long time ago because it was an appliance I didn't have room for considering how often I made ice cream.

Jul 31, 7:26 am

I do pay attention to food posts on Instagram. That’s been a good development on social media, the sharing of recipes. It does help with the everlasting conundrum of what to prepare for dinner.

Of course, that reminds us of how fortunate we are to have choices every day.

I tried an easy fried tuna patty recipe. Its best feature was its ease. Tuna, egg, grated cheese. I added a healthy dose of black pepper and fine chopped some celery.
I decided to toss the recipe, as salmon cakes are only slightly more work and so much tastier. Save the tuna for salads and casseroles.

Daughter came prepared to make her week based on tuna as well. (She and grandbaby are here for the summer on temporary assignment.) she asked to use the rest of my celery. Of course. But don’t toss the best part into the compost! I was able to rescue the heart.

Ago 1, 1:29 pm

I’ve decided to expand this thread to talk about food books that I’ve read.

I’m just starting The Fate of Food. She’s already mentioned a real company named Soylent Inc. and referenced Mark Watney’s farming attempt. Not only timely, but entertaining.

Editado: Ago 5, 2:48 pm

It’s tomato season! I planted three varieties. Wisconsin 66 for sliced tomatoes - not much yield, and small. Reminder: stop buying from the college greenhouse.
Orange plum tomatoes just for nostalgia. Sharp memory of popping a sun warm plum tomato in my mouth as a child. Plenty of yield, mostly for snacking.
Romas, two starts dropped off by a neighbor. Heavy yielding and they are sturdy fruit. Just cooked some down today with the tiny plum tomatoes and made soup. I didn’t even peel because it’s just fine as is.

Neighbor has been leaving zucchinis and I picked up some Peaches and Cream ear corn at the Farmers Market. Summer feasting. And so simple.

Ago 6, 3:28 pm

>100 2wonderY: I went to my brother's house. He wanted to see if he could find some good produce in an Amish community a little north of where he lives. We came home with a huge box of tomatoes. My sister-in-law didn't own a canner so we had to purchase one, and I canned 16 pints of tomatoes. (That was the only way they would be canned. He'll enjoy them in soups this fall and winter.)

Editado: Ago 8, 7:42 am

Aldis was selling a 2 quart air fryer for $30 this week; so I figured that was worth trying it.
I’ve got zucchini and recipes for fries. Any tips?

And though it didn’t indicate on the box, mine is a lovely powder blue!

Ago 8, 9:47 am

>102 2wonderY: I have been writing about mine in my cooking thread. My absolute favorite thing about mine is reheating leftovers, making nachos, fried chicken and pork chops, and dehydrating herbs. Mine is like a miniature oven with shelves, I don't know what works best in the drawer types.

Ago 8, 7:59 pm

>101 thornton37814: Thanks for the reminder! I can can. It’s been way too long, but I rummaged and found adequate equipment and supplies.

>103 MrsLee: Mine just has a drawer. So, spray oil? How does that work?

The zucchini fries I put together had good flavor but were rather limp.

Ago 9, 7:50 am

>102 2wonderY: I use mine all the time. I have even made "boiled" eggs in it. Watch the You Tube channel (no charge) for some great ideas.

Ago 9, 10:51 am

>104 2wonderY: I bought some bottles on Amazon, refillable. I think I saw the brand on one of the YouTube videos about airfreight, or maybe it was a web recipe. They are squirter bottles that give a fine spray. I have mine filled with avocado oil and peanut oil. Well, I also filled one with EVO and keep it in my shower. I spray it on my skin after I shower, before I dry. A fantastic moisturizer. On the bottles it says:

Ago 9, 11:07 am

>106 MrsLee: 👍 Thanks for that info. And you’ve had no issues with clogs?

Editado: Ago 9, 1:59 pm

>107 2wonderY: Not yet! It won't be like an aerosol, but it is pretty fine. Works well for my chicken and pork chops. I find that I only have to spray one side, the second side usually has the fat of the meat coating by the time I turn it.

Ago 14, 7:52 am

Just one more tip. I often Google whatever I want to make and "air fryer" to get cooking temps and times since they are lower and shorter than ovens.

Ago 23, 6:13 pm

I think the air fryer is just a counter space user.

But I nailed dinner today. I borrowed PlantYou from the library, and I think I’m going to explore new tastes.
I was attracted to a picture of a balsamic pasta salad. I don’t have balsamic anything, so I substituted.
I did have spiral pastas.
Instead of cherry tomatoes, I have orange plum tomatoes, same size.
Instead of chopped artichoke, I have cucumbers.
Instead of spinach, I have romaine.
Black olives instead of Kalamata olives.
And I added cooked lentils and French cut green beans.

Instead of the balsamic dressing, I made peanut sauce. That’s really the new taste. I saw this on Instagram and stayed pretty faithful, even going next door for a dash of rice vinegar. I did substitute a spoon of powdered cayenne for sriracha. I’m glad I did. The pepper just lent a brightness to the whole thing.
Very satisfying.

Editado: Ago 24, 3:42 am

This reminds me of the old Soviet era joke:

Ivan, is it true that your brother in Moscow won a Mercedes?

In principle, yes, but it wasn't in Moscow, it was in Leningrad.

And it wasn't my brother, it was a second cousin.

It wasn't a Mercedes, it was a bicycle.

Oh, yes, he didn't win it, it was stolen.

Ago 24, 5:55 am

>111 MarthaJeanne: 😆 Yes, exactly! It did look very much like the photo if you squint a little.

Ago 25, 8:27 pm

Okay! I found the perfect use for the air fryer. I bought a package of spring rolls at Aldis. The nice larger size. Microwaving leaves them soggy. But playing with the setting on the fryer, I got the perfect slight crispness. And a whole jar of duck sauce means I don’t have to scrimp on the dipping. Ha! A great light meal. Worth the purchase of the fryer.

Ago 26, 4:54 am

>113 2wonderY: I love mine for reheating spring rolls. Or anything like them; pizza, especially.

Ago 26, 5:13 am

>114 MrsLee: I don’t mind cold pizza, but I’ll try that.

Ago 26, 6:52 am

The pizza does re-heat great in the air fryer. Chicken wings cook good in the air fryer also. I wiped my stove top the other day and noticed I have not used it for a couple of weeks because I use the air fryer or microwave. It has been hot and humid here so I try not to use the stove or oven.
Has anyone baked a cake in their air fryer?

Ago 26, 9:01 am

I buy a slice of pizza from Costco & a lot of times I end up popping it into my instant pot with the air fryer lid. It makes the pizza perfectly oozy, melty cheesey.

Ago 26, 8:46 pm

>116 mnleona: I tried donuts, they came out denser than I wanted, but I was winging it on the recipe. One of these days I will play by the rules and see if it works.

Set 14, 3:26 pm

I found a plum tree loaded with fruit. It’s on city property and no one is harvesting enough from it. Turning to prunes.
They are cherry sized. I took enough to try making a quart of cordial and will do it again next week, if there are any left. (I’m leaving town for the weekend.)

Just guessing that a cup of sugar is the right amount. That might be too much, but not sure how the skins will affect the taste.
I did remove the stones; so much more work than blackberries.

Set 15, 6:51 am

I'm so glad you expressed that at "remove the stones". Whenever I read a recipe calling for "stoned olives" (or plums, or peaches, or whatever) I can't help wondering what they are supposed to have smoked.

Set 15, 8:11 am

I think drupe stones might be toxic, so they might just do that.

Set 15, 9:44 am

The stones of stone fruits tend to have various levels of cyanide. Adding one or two to a batch of jam or whatever adds flavour. More than that cannot be recommended.