"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2023, Part 1


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2023, Part 1

Jan 1, 6:48 pm

A new thread for a new year! Prospero Año Nuevo!

This year I will be focusing on cooking recipes from both of my grandmother's cookbooks. The dates are from the early 1900s to about the 1970s, California, USA. I have found that the internet is a fine resource for the sometimes puzzling, or complete lack, of instructions. Also my The New England Yankee Cookbook. I am making a family recipe book with these recipes, and those of my mothers, siblings, self, etc. Goal: to finish by the end of 2023.

Jan 2, 6:58 am

I'm here! I'm here! You can start the festivities now... :D

Jan 2, 8:23 pm

>2 fuzzi: Welcome, the kettle's on the boil!

Jan 5, 9:49 am

Yesterday I needed cookies, so I made the recipe from my great-grandmother Cronk for Oatmeal-Raisin-Pecan cookies (the original recipe was from her friend in 1916, and called Drop Oatmeal Cookies). Happily they turned out just the way I like them, a cake-like texture rather than crisp. I had tried this last year and met with failure, but when I compared the recipe from my grandmother and the one which had been copied by hand for me (I think by my sister or one of her children), I saw there were some crucial differences. The copy called for sour milk instead of sour cream, and 1/2 c. molasses instead of 3 t. Happily, I now have the original, because these are one of my favorite cookies.

Jan 7, 12:01 pm

Yesterday I made the molé I have been procrastinating about since Christmas. It turned out very delicious. I practically rewrote the instructions in the cookbook, The Food and Life of Oaxaca by Zarela Martinez. I call mine the Lazy Way Molé! Even so, it took 3 hours from start to finish. However, it made enough that I can freeze batches and have that lovely sauce several more times this year without the fuss.

Editado: Jan 7, 7:27 pm

>4 MrsLee: So, the cookies -- the original recipe -- calls for sour cream? Very interesting!

>5 MrsLee: I love when a recipe that can be complicated...or take forever...can be frozen for later. Chicken Spaghetti isn't complicated; but it takes some time...and it so easy to freeze and have for later. Molé isn't something I've made. I haven't even eaten it very much.

Jan 7, 7:51 pm

>6 lesmel: I never had success making molé until I got my Vitamix. All my other blenders were too wimpy.

Jan 8, 3:31 pm

Today I tried two different recipes from my grandmother Charlotte's book.

Candied nuts. One was made with sugar, milk, Karo syrup and water. Cooked to the soft ball stage, vanilla added, then dumped over the nuts which you stir frantically and dump out in a solid mass. Then you quickly try to pry them apart with forks. Very sugary and the pecans I used (recipe called for walnuts, but we don't get along) tasted raw. It would have improved the flavor somewhat of the nuts had been toasted just a bit. These have a heavy sugary coating, if you imagine you are eating pecan flavored candy they are ok.

Second recipe for candied nuts used almonds, cinnamon (a whole Tablespoon), sugar, water, and vanilla. I added just a tiny bit of salt to each recipe, and to this one, a pinch of Cayenne. This one is cooked to the thread stage, dumped over the nuts which you stir madly until the coating "sugars." Then dump out and try to separate quickly with forks. This one separated pretty easy. I roasted the almonds a little first and this was pretty tasty.

My favorite recipes for flavored nuts are not as sugar heavy. One uses maple syrup, the other sugar, but the nuts are mixed into the ingredients dry, then roasted in the oven. Much simpler, less fuss, and far fewer dirty dishes.

Jan 13, 6:15 pm

Busy weekend here, family gathering for January birthdays.

Tonight is air fried chicken thighs, with oven roasted turnips and rutabaga.

Tomorrow morning pancakes and lemon curd with bacon. That sounds wrong. The bacon will be on the side, not in the lemon curd. If my kids are really lucky and nice to me, I will make a cheese and avocado omelet. A pricy treat at the moment!

Saturday lunch is albundiga soup. My husband's grandmother's recipe.

Saturday dinner is grilled Thai shrimp, sautéed scallops, air fried rock cod, and a surprise addition of broiled steelhead salmon because the seafood place accidentally gave one of my packages of shrimp to another customer. :/ Also sourdough bread, southeast Asian pickled vegetables and raita both from Curry.

Somewhere we should have a dessert, so I will try the brownie recipe from grandmother's cookbook, and if I get very energetic, maybe a cake.

Sunday breakfast is baking powder biscuits with sausage gravy. My mom and dad's recipes.

Jan 15, 5:21 pm

The weekend was lovely, food came out great, although I forgot the little bit of sugar in the biscuits. Gravy masked it.

Spur of the moment I tried my grandmother's brownie recipe which she marked "excellent." For our family, they were to granular and not chocolaty enough. Still tasty.

Jan 16, 10:56 am

>9 MrsLee: I adore rutabagas. I've taken some of the sprouting tops and planted them in my garden. They have leaves, maybe they'll grow?

Jan 16, 1:03 pm

>11 fuzzi: Interesting if they do! Let me know what happens.

We decided this weekend to host my son's wedding in our backyard. About 35 people. Guess I will be gardening more than cooking for the next 4 months! I am trying to come up with make ahead dishes for breakfast, lunch and appetizers, but the wedding dinner will probably be a taco truck!

Jan 27, 9:22 pm

The garden is consuming all my energy. I haven't cooked anything for the recipe book since we decide to host the wedding. I'm still entering recipes into the document, but no trials. I came across the recipe for filled buns that grandma served at my mom's wedding. Now I want to serve them at my son's wedding so I can mention that in the book. Think I will do a trial run first though.

Jan 30, 7:19 pm

>13 MrsLee: That will be a nice memory.

Jan 30, 9:38 pm

>8 MrsLee: The version of spiced nuts that I make is one egg white, beaten with a tablespoon or two of cold water. Toss the nuts in and still till coated, then add the spices, salt, and sugar and blend again till the nuts are coated, then bake in a low oven, stirring them around every 15 minutes or so till crisp. I once did curried cashews that way and they were delicious.

Jan 31, 2:07 pm

>15 Marissa_Doyle: That sounds like one I would like. I usually use a little oil as the agent to get spices to stick, I will have to try yours.

Fev 8, 11:27 am

Cooking is very sporadic here, mostly focused on the garden. I've been dying various things from the garden to use as tea though. Lemongrass, lemon verbena, orange peel and mint. Also other herbs for the kitchen. Parsley, oregano, cilantro.

Fev 11, 10:24 pm

Today I tested recipes for the wedding. Specifically for lunch before the wedding when everyone will be working their tails off.

I plan to serve "sliders" using two recipes from Kings Hawaiian Bread. Provolone and beef, and ham and Swiss. I haven't actually tasted those yet. They are waiting for us to have room in our stomachs from the sandwiches we had at lunch.

I tried 2 recipes from my grandmother's book for sandwich fillings. She served them at my mom's wedding. The first was tuna, cream cheese, green olives and hard boiled eggs, etc. I put that on the Hawaiian rolls, then made a seasoned butter sauce to pour over the top, then sprinkled with sesame seeds. Warm covered in the oven for 10 minutes, remove cover to brown a little, then serve. I want very enthused about this one, but it was delicious!

The second sandwich filling was black olives, "strong" cheese (I used a good cheddar), hard boiled eggs and pimento. Had high hopes for this, and it isn't bad, but not amazing. Sadly, I forgot to cut the recipe in half until it was too late, so we have a ton. I'm going to eat it all, dammit, that cheese was expensive! Hope it will freeze. It is a bit like muffulatta in flavoring.

Mar 2, 7:17 pm

Survival cooking and eating lately, nothing imaginative.

I did make sauces for the wedding, and froze them. An Asian plum sauce and a honey BBQ sauce for meatballs; a chamoy (hibiscus flowers, lime and chili) sauce and horseradish cocktail sauce for the shrimp. Very pleased with them all.

When I made the Asian plum sauce I used some canned plums my brother had preserved. He didn't care for the texture of them. They made great sauce. I saved the juice they were canned in and we have been having delicious mocktails made with it. I also had some pineapple juice left from the BBQ sauce, so good!

On the cookbook front, I'm still getting my recipes typed in the book. One or two a day on the weekdays before work is all I can manage at the moment.

Mar 6, 8:47 pm

This weekend I made 2 large casseroles for the wedding breakfast day and froze them. Creamy Sausage and Potato. They go against all my beliefs about using processed food, but they are my son's favorite food that his grandmother (my mom) made, so I made them.

Mar 7, 12:51 pm

>20 MrsLee: that's so sweet.

Mar 12, 8:05 am

Everything sounds so good. Lots of hard work and I know it will be appreciated and enjoyed.

Mar 12, 9:43 pm

Made snickerdoodles today with the grandson (not quite two years old). Grandma forgot that he would be more likely to pop the ball in his mouth than roll it in the sugar. 😆 He took it out though, then rolled it, but he did taste a small bite. I baked it for him, and that was the only cookie he got to help with! He loved it when it was baked. Every time my husband got a cookie to eat, Geoffrey took it from him and ate it, until Grandma put her foot down.

Got some fun photos for the snickerdoodle recipe in the family cookbook.

Mar 19, 10:32 am

>23 MrsLee: aw. What a sweet memory (no pun intended).

Abr 1, 9:52 am

As a departure from usual, I thought I would sign up for one of the fresh ingredient meal delivery services, to help my husband cook healthy food for us after surgery.

It didn't work for his temperament. He couldn't open all the little packets of seasoning and such without squirting them everywhere (He has a lot of arthritis in his hands), and that frustrated him to no end. I had no problem though. Three three meals we tried were delicious. It was weird not having leftovers or left over ingredients, but I can see how that would be great for a person with little or no space. You do get all the meals for one week in a box, so there has to be refrigerator space for them. Then you get a large box to recycle, and a very large ice pack to deal with and our recycle. We stopped because Mark didn't like cooking that intense. He will bake chicken thighs, cook the pasta dishes He knows, and broccoli, maybe some raw veggies. He's great at grilling steaks, so I won't starve.

Abr 3, 11:00 am

>25 MrsLee: hopefully some friends (church members?) will bring you meals.

Abr 3, 2:43 pm

>26 fuzzi: I don't think so. One of the drawbacks of not attending church for a few years now, and family live out of town, but we are fine cooking our own food. We mostly eat meat and vegetables and stay away from casseroles.

Abr 15, 2:35 am

I've begun cooking a bit again. Husband does any bending, stretching or lifting for me. I almost had to have him peel the garlic. It surprised me the force required to press down on my French knife to break the skins. Used to be something I did without thinking about. I have a grabber which is terrific. I can get things out of the produce drawer in the fridge, and I managed to get a Tupperware container of lentils down from the top shelf. It's my new best buddy.

Abr 16, 5:50 pm

>28 MrsLee: I love grabbers. We have three: one from my hip replacement and the two my dad got with his THR too.

Maio 24, 7:14 pm

How are you doing now?
I have been gone so behind on the messages.

Maio 25, 8:36 pm

>30 mnleona: Thank you, I am mending. Slower than I expected, but a bit better each week. My ban on bending, lifting, etc. is until July and I'm doing well enough that now and then I forget the rules and bend to get something off the floor! Much harder to remember when you are feeling better than when it still hurts.

I do wish I could get my mojo back. I have some lovely Brussel sprouts in the refrigerator, and I really want to steam them and then top with a cheddar cheese sauce, but I don't want to do the work!

Maio 26, 7:31 am

>31 MrsLee: A little at a time and you will be back doing what you were doing. Take care.

Maio 26, 1:16 pm

I did manage the Brussel sprouts with cheddar cheese sauce last night. Then for good measure, and because I made so much cheese sauce, I cubed some of my sourdough bread into a bowl, added some finely sliced grilled steak, and topped it with more cheese sauce. Pretty fine dinner after all. It was a choice between cooking or watering my plants, because my energy wouldn't do both. Cooking won, then we had a bit of a thunder storm, so my plants got some water too.

My cheese sauce was tasty, but not as dark an orange as my mom's. I used a pound of cheddar cheese. I wonder if my mom cheated by adding food coloring, or turmeric?

Maio 26, 8:37 pm

>33 MrsLee: Rather than turmeric I'd add paprika. That's good in a cheese sauce (like in a Welsh rabbit).

Maio 26, 8:41 pm

Tried a recipe for the family cookbook today. Grandma Nora's Good Doughnuts. It is a list of ingredients only, one measurement being, "a sifter of flour." :/ I started with 3 cups, but that was too runny, so I added more until I thought I could roll out the dough. That was 5 cups. If I try them again, I will see if I can get away with 4 cups. These are pretty dense, but good for dunking in coffee. They are not sweet at all, but if you dip them in granulated sugar, they are just about right. Perfect for filling up field hands on a cold morning. I tried cooking them in the airfryer, but was not thrilled, so I fried the rest in peanut oil.

Now it's back to the couch for me, I'm all in.

Maio 26, 10:24 pm

>35 MrsLee: I have always wanted to try my hand at donuts. My fave are sour cream/buttermilk old fashioned. The ones with the crinkly "ruffle". I prefer them unglazed with the donut just barely sweet.

Maio 26, 10:33 pm

>36 lesmel: Me too! In fact, I plan to use buttermilk on the next go around. I want to see if that lightens the dough. These are a tad dense to be called perfection in my book, although they are perfectly edible.

Editado: Maio 27, 8:08 am

>35 MrsLee: Cathy on You Tube made some donuts in her air fryer. They were not dark like fried but they did like them. I watched it the other day.

Maio 27, 5:05 pm

>38 mnleona: Interesting. Those are not the type of donuts I prefer (I loathe Krispy Kream), I like them more like cake, but the process was good to watch. My recipe calls for baking powder, not yeast. I'm thinking of adding a scant bit of baking soda in addition to the baking power. My recipe also has no butter or fat in it, though it does call for 2 T. cream. It's a different animal!

Maio 28, 9:10 am

>39 MrsLee: Let us know what works for you. It could be a fun challenge.

Maio 29, 7:34 am

>36 lesmel: oh, yes!

Dunkin has pre-made donuts, they taste like they're a day old. Krispy Kreme used to have "Old Fashioned" cake donuts but no longer offer them.

Why do donuts have to be covered in some sort of sticky sweet glaze or thick sugar coating? Blech.

I love crullers, can't find them anymore.

Maio 29, 5:32 pm

Today I made a beef stew, no potatoes. I shook the beef pieces in flour and fried them, then added about 1/4 c. each of sliced red onion, celery, carrots and garlic, salt and pepper. Simmered for about an hour and a half. The idea being that the veg would cook down into a gravy which the floured meat and a little broth made. When about 20 minutes were left, I added fresh minced parsley, Thai basil, celery leaves and oregano, then I plopped dumplings on top which had the same minced herbs and fresh ground black pepper in them. Amazing how simple flavors combine to divine goodness.

In the oven I roasted beets, carrots and red onion, which made a rich and flavorful companion to the stew. Simple pleasures.

Maio 30, 7:17 am

>41 fuzzi: My mother made crullers every Christmas. I should find her recipe.

>42 MrsLee: Sounds good.

Maio 30, 8:24 am

>43 mnleona: if you find it, please share.

Sure, there are recipes on the internet but most of them aren't that good.

Jun 5, 12:45 pm

Donut update: Made a batch using buttermilk instead of milk and 1/2 c. less flour. PERFECT! These are the donuts I'm looking for!. Only, I don't want to eat many donuts anymore since I'm cutting way back on carbs.

Saturday night a friend stayed with me. I served lamb roast, a salad with onions and dates (marinated in vinegar, sugar and salt), we also topped the salad with pistachios and raspberries. Hummus with vegetables, roasted parsnips and carrots. Lovely meal and evening.

In July, I will be hosting a baby shower for my DIL. Theme is woodland animals tea party. Will post menu ideas soon.

Jun 6, 8:13 am

>45 MrsLee: did you post the recipe yet? I'm very interested.

Jun 6, 9:49 am

>46 fuzzi: Oh, I didn't. I will try to remember to do that this afternoon.

Jun 6, 3:54 pm

Nora’s Good Doughnuts (Nora is my grandmother)
1 sifter full of flour 4 1/2 c.
3 heaping t. baking powder
1 c. sugar
1 heaping t. nutmeg
2 eggs, well beaten
1 c. milk or buttermilk
2 T. cream
1 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Measure and mix milk/buttermilk, cream and vanilla. In mixing bowl, beat eggs, add sugar, then alternate adding flour mixture, and milk mixture. Try not to overbeat. I think the goal is to get the mixture to a moist cookie dough texture. Not too stiff or the doughnuts will be dry. On a floured board, roll dough to ½”, cut in 3” circle, then cut 1” circle in that. Heat oil to 365º gently add doughnuts and fry on each side until golden brown. Don’t crowd them or you will lose your oil temperature. Drain on paper towels. While still warm (not hot) dip in sugar or cinnamon sugar or a glaze.
The first time, mine came out dryer than I would like. Second time I used buttermilk and cream, and 4 ½ c. flour. The second time the donuts were light, tender and delicious! These are cake doughnuts, good for dunking. Cut recipe in half unless you have a crowd to feed, they are best the first morning. Makes 24 donuts (if you re-roll the scrap dough 1 time), 24+ donut holes. If you don’t want to reroll dough, make more donut holes.

Jun 7, 8:17 am

>48 MrsLee: thank you!

Jun 17, 6:24 pm

We went to Farmer's Market this morning. I bought some small carrots, six or seven in a bunch, for $4. To get the biggest bang for my buck, I made carrot greens curry. It turned out delicious, although I had to supplement the carrot greens with beet greens, and I used broccoli instead of potatoes.

I also found some tiny squash with the blossoms attached. I tried my hand at deep fried squash blossoms, leaving the tiny squash on them. It was a hit! The batter was flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, paprika and mixed with beer. I got it a little thin, but it's as close to tempura as I have ever achieved. There was leftover batter, so I added a bit more flour, sugar and baking powder then fried that into fritters which came out better than I expected.

Jun 18, 8:56 am

>50 MrsLee: when are the blossoms harvested?

Jun 18, 5:44 pm

>51 fuzzi: The squash was only 3"-4" long, about an inch thick. I believe you pick them in the morning because they close up and dry quickly. You want fresh blossoms for frying. People also harvest the blossoms that don't have squash on them. I have seen recipes with stuffed blossoms, squash blossom soup, and more.

Jun 18, 11:45 pm

Often the male flowers (without squash) are preferred for picking because there will never be a squash on them, but the female flowers have a squash that will continue to grow.

Jun 19, 8:25 am

>52 MrsLee: so the blossoms were open?

By the time my squash are 3" long the blossoms are usually wilted and fallen to the ground.

Jun 19, 9:11 am

I've eaten stuffed squash flowers at one of the restaurants where Son Who Cooks used to work. From what I remember they were male flowers, as >53 MarthaJeanne: said, but I don't have any details about when they were picked. I doubt if Son ... remembers either — it was quite a while ago.

Jun 19, 1:23 pm

>54 fuzzi: they were partially open. I think the male flowers would be a better bet if you were going to stuff them, but I was able to get a good result for what I was doing with these. They were still fresh, not dried up.

Editado: Jun 20, 8:33 am

>50 MrsLee: You are so creative and I can tell you love to cook

Jun 20, 2:22 pm

>57 mnleona: Thank you. Some times I love it more than others. Fresh produce, a new cookbook or special company are needed these days for me to find the inspiration to play in my kitchen.

Jun 26, 1:44 pm

I'm starting to cook for the woodland animal tea party baby shower I will be giving on the 8th of July. Yesterday I made baby hedgehog cookies and they are every bit as cute as the internet photos. I have frozen them, hope that will work ok.

This week I will be making aspice-pumpkin jelly roll cake, with cream cheese frosting. That will go in the freezer and then be decorated with edible moss and butterflies, cookie mushrooms, and a couple of the hedgehog babies.

Also making elderflower simple syrup and raspberry simple syrup for the ice tea. Might make a lemon one as well.

Jul 4, 12:28 pm

Pumpkin spice jelly roll has been abandoned. We are having triple digit heat this week, also the recipe called for a specific size pan, and not to try one bigger or smaller as the results would be poor. Of course, I don't have that size pan. I don't want another pan, either. Husband came up with the bright idea of an ice cream rolled cake I can decorate. Perfect! So the cost is more, but it is buying peace of mind and simplifying my life this week. Worth it.

Jul 5, 7:44 pm

>59 MrsLee: I hope you'll share pictures!

Jul 6, 12:18 am

>61 fuzzi: I will try to remember. It is so much easier for me to share them on Facebook, I usually skip LT. Hopefully life will settle down and I may have a bit more patience with the system after the shower.

Jul 6, 12:59 pm

>62 MrsLee: I no longer have a Facebook or Instagram account, so sometimes I can see my friend's posted pictures but mostly not.

Jul 16, 1:37 pm

We are over 110° F here this weekend.

Yesterday I made cold asparagus soup in my Vitamix. Asparagus, onion, chicken broth, pesto, mint, lemon, parsley, a little chili, salt, cardamom, black pepper and parsley, also whipping cream.

I also made strawberry-banana ice cream in the Vitamix. Frozen strawberries, frozen banana, whole milk yogurt, a bit of sugar, lemon and vanilla, milk.

Today I tried a recipe for banana-chocolate chip-macadamia nut muffins. This recipe was in an airfryer cookbook I had and called for a six-hole muffin tin. I wanted to use the airfryer with the theory that it puts off less heat than the oven. Hint to all: check that your muffin tins actually fit in your airfryer before doing this. lol, mine didn't, so used the oven instead. Muffins are delicious.

I will be trying to make chicken tenders in the airfryer later. I know those will fit. I cut up some chicken breasts and froze them, plan to soak in buttermilk with salt, dip in egg wash, then flour and airfry.

Jul 26, 6:50 am

How did your woodland party go?

Jul 26, 9:03 am

>65 fuzzi: Thank you for the reminder. It was lovely! Not quite as many guests as I had anticipated, all the mothers left their girls (who I had catered to in the party/game planning) at home. However, the mothers were thrilled with the temporary tattoos and had a lot of fun with the games, so that was fun. Everyone ooohed and awwwed the food and decorations so my efforts were rewarded.

I WISH it was as simple to post photos here as it is on FB. Sigh. Life has been busy lately because we are watching my grandson 2 days a week and I'm training someone to take my place at work.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, it is salad, salad, salad. Except husband is grilling steak this morning to beat the heat of the afternoon. We are in the phase of summer where we are in the hundreds F. degree-wise. No motivation to do anything.

Ago 6, 11:32 pm

Husband has been begging, pleading and whining for pasta. 1. I haven't been using the stove if possible this summer. 2. I have been avoiding carbohydrates due to certain medical tests required.

Tonight I did bowtie veg pasta with pesto, pine nuts, ham and vegetables. Extra parm on top. It was a big hit and the leftover will be great salad tomorrow.

Ago 7, 8:32 pm

He can cook it his damn self if he wants it that bad.

Ago 7, 9:29 pm

>68 reconditereader: LOL, that's what I suggested, in a milder way. ;) and he also said that. But he is a sweet and caring man, so I like to make him happy; and he does buy steaks and grill them for me.

Ago 8, 6:58 am

>64 MrsLee: I bought air fryers for my 5 kids (all adults) one Christmas from a suggestion from my daughter. I finally started using it after I let it stay in the box for a year. One of the best appliances I have.

Ago 8, 9:44 am

>70 mnleona: I would like to hear your favorite things to cook in it. So far mine are fried chicken and pork chops. I also use it to dehydrate small amounts of herbs. My favorite thing to use it for though, is reheating leftovers! It makes pizza and hamburgers better the second day, and almost every other leftover that can be spread on a plate.

Ago 14, 7:47 am

>71 MrsLee: I cooked all my Thanksgiving meal in the air fryer last year. Since it is just me, I purchased a turkey breast from the fresh section rather than the frozen one so it would be smaller. I air-fried a sweet potato, mashing it up with butter and a little brown sugar so it tasted like a sweet potato casserole. (The potato stayed in aluminum foil while I cooked the dressing.) I made just enough cornbread dressing for a couple servings and air-fried it. I think I just did a can of green beans in the microwave. I added whole berry cranberry sauce from a can. It was easy to do all this for just one person and saved me from having to eat Thanksgiving leftovers for a month! I probably made a little giblet gravy on the stove-top using bits of the turkey breast rather than giblets. I suspect I'll do this again in 2023.

Ago 14, 10:14 am

>72 thornton37814: Perfect! I am in the habit of cooking large quantities on the weekend, then eating leftovers all week. I find it difficult to "think small" when it comes to meals. This is going to change when I retire, I hope. Although, I'm not sure I love cooking enough to be doing it every night.

Right now, even the air fryer is too hot to use. Blech. We don't have much of an appetite in this heat though, so we hobble along until it cools down on salads and sandwiches and cold pizza.

Ago 14, 11:04 am

>73 MrsLee: my dh wanted pizza yesterday, so I/we made individual pizzas in the toaster oven. It didn't heat up the kitchen hardly at all.

I get the pizza shells at Aldi's, but other stores probably have them as well.

That must be an older photo, they're not 99 cents anymore!

Ago 14, 6:27 pm

>74 fuzzi: I'm not sure the airfryer or toaster oven heat up the kitchen too much, but the thought of eating anything with heat in it is yucky to me. Hopefully by this Friday our temperatures will start coming down. Most of this week they will be 105+

Ago 16, 2:40 pm

>75 MrsLee: yesterday it was 98F, but heat index 118F.

We ate chilled watermelon (from our garden) and pretzels, hahaha.

Ago 16, 5:25 pm

>76 fuzzi: Sounds like the perfect meal for the weather, and I have both ingredients!

Ago 19, 10:36 am

Today, in spite of the heat, I will try to recreate a dish I read about in The Measure of her Powers by M.F.K. Fisher. Cauliflower baked in cream and Gruyère cheese. She gave no amounts for the ingredients, she was describing an experience, not telling how to recreate it. I won't be able to recreate it because I don't live in Dijon, so I won't have that cheese, cream or cauliflower, but I aught to be able to make a tasty dish to go with our salad tonight. I have a gruyère cheese, and heavy cream and cauliflower. I plan to add a wee bit of salt and some white pepper. Possibly a sprinkle of cayenne.

Ago 20, 5:13 am

Good luck! I once tried to recreate an Apicius recipe for ostrich* stew, which similarly lacks any hint of quantities, time or temperature. "Though I says it meself as shouldn't", the result was at least edible.

* Ostrich meat here and now is a fairly standard agricultural product, which it wasn't in first-century Rome.

Ago 20, 9:22 am

>79 hfglen: I wish ostrich meat was more common here. I've had it once and thought it delicious. Or maybe it was emu? Can't remember. They tried raising emu here about 20 years ago, but this is the home of beef and it didn't take.

The cauliflower dish was wonderful! It was a little runny at the bottom, which might have been cured by leaving the lid of the casserole a bit longer, but every drop was delicious. I think my new favorite cheese is Gruyère. I did add a very light sprinkle of cayenne and I'm glad I did. Cooked it about an hour and a half at 325F, then another 30-40 minutes at 350F. Next time I would take the lid off after the first hour. I put 2 layers of florets in my 2 qt. (I think it's 2 qt.) buttered enameled cast iron casserole dish. Added heavy cream about half way up the cauliflower, sprinkled lightly with koser salt, sprinkled at least a cup and a half of grated gruyère over it (more might have been better, but I'm a hoarder of good cheese and didn't want to use a lot until I had smoked the dish once).. Then the sprinkle of cayenne. This will be made again in the depths of winter. Yum.

We went to Farmer's Market yesterday. I always buy too much when we haven't been in awhile. Beets, green beans, zucchini, Armenian cucumber, lemon cucumber, parsley, green oinions, and red bell peppers, white peaches, nectarines, grapes and tiny sweet strawberries came home with us.

After that we went to our supermarket where they were roasting Hatch chilis in the parking lot. For my international friends who may not be familiar with Hatch chilis, they are raised in Hatch, New Mexico. They are a long, green, mildly spicy chili, frequently used for chili relleno and casserole dishes. My mom used them in her salsa for tostadas. Until recently, unless you traveled to New Mexico, the only way to get them was in a can, we always bought a brand called Ortega. I bought a case of them for $40 yesterday. They roasted them on the grill while we did our shopping. When I got home I removed the seeds and skin from a few to make a chili relleno casserole (it was delicious, came out more like a chili custard than usual, but amazing flavor). The rest I put in quart size freezer bags to freeze and use throughout the year. I got 17 bags with 10-12 chilis per bag. A normal can (not large) has 3-4 chilis in it. I did a little price comparison, and I would have spent $331 to buy the equivalent amount in cans. Also, the cans do not have that beautiful burnt on the grill flavor.

Today's cookery will be a sort of rice casserole which I'm making using a variety of methods. My plan is to slightly brown the rice, add linguiça, some roasted cauliflower and shitaki mushrooms I made yesterday, with chopped green onions and some seasoning yet to be determined (not much because I want the ingredients to shine more than the seasoning), then just a little broth, watch it like a hawk and add broth as needed.
Also making sourdough pancakes topped with lovely crushed strawberries.

Ago 24, 8:19 am

> 80 I first found Hatch products when I was in Ft. Worth visiting my granddaugter. They are good products. Good for you and the work with the chilis.

Ago 25, 5:46 am

>1 MrsLee: Those sound delightful. I am utterly ignorant except for the odd cooking show from the 1990s and experimenting with old recipes left me by others.
My sister was an excellent cook, professional-grade, untutored, same as me. We were going to write a cookbook together, but she died before we could. I still miss her. Your title is wonderful. I too am fond of the Scottish play.

Ago 25, 5:36 pm

>82 Sheiladane0217: Do you have any of your sister's recipes? Perhaps you can do a memorial recipe book? I highly recommend lulu.com for a family book. The costs are very reasonable, and so far I have no complaints about the production values.

Ago 26, 6:57 am

>83 MrsLee: I will check on the company. I have copied a lot of my family recipes for my kids.
>82 Sheiladane0217: I am sorry for your loss. The cookbook sounds like a great idea.

Set 10, 11:12 am

I am trying to get back in the groove on my family recipe book. Various health and family issues took the wind out of me this year. The past few days I've completed the profiles of the contributors. Now I will spend a month or more testing recipes and adding photos. I'm trying to keep the page count at around 200-210.

When that is done (or as done as I intend, I won't be trying all the recipes), I will begin proofreading and checking the layout. Then will add page numbers. The trickiest part will be the index, which I can't finish until all the rest is done, although I guess I could get the words and categories done, then add page numbers later.

Set 10, 5:35 pm

Today for the book I tried Crispy Peanutbutter Spread and a Shrimp Salad Spread. Both are served on hot toast. The surprise for me was how much I loved the peanutbutter spread!

It had:
1/4 c. Peanutbutter
1/4 c. Chili sauce
1 c. Minced celery
1/3 c. Minced Green pepper
1 t. Minced onion
1/4 t. Salt
1/4 t. Thick condiment.

The recipe was from the 1950s so I looked up what chili sauce meant to Americans back then and it was a lot of onions, tomatoes other chopped veg. and sweet with vinegar tones. I have a recipe for from both my grandmas, but haven't made it yet. What I did have made was some peach chutney which is similar but without tomatoes. I usde that. I wasn't sure what green pepper meant, but I used a bell pepper in deference to my husband who doesn't like heat. I think for those who like heat, a hot chili would be good, but this was very good too. What is a "thick condiment?" I assumed ketchup or BBQ sauce. I used Mt BBQ sauce on the principle that 1/4 t. of most anything wouldn't make or break a recipe. We loved this on toast, but also tried it on saltiness crackers and Ritz (butter) crackers. Both good, Ritz better.

The shrimp salad didn't get a fair try. I had some cooked chicken breast I wanted to use, and I'm allergic to apples, so I substituted jicama. I added a bit of salt and sugar to compensate for the apples. It was good, perfectly edible, but I'm betting the shrimp and apples would be better. It also calls for onions, parsley, cayenne, mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Set 14, 3:01 pm

Today I made the recipe for noodle dressing. I stuffed it in a chicken. It was quite delicious, although I'm not a big fan of stuffing edible things in poultry. The juices of the bird did add to the flavor, but the noodle dressing was delicious on its own as well.

Set 17, 2:09 pm

Today for the family cookbook, I will be making Beef Mazatlan. A sort of salad with cooked vegetables and meat, that you pour broth with lime juice over. This was something my mother used to make and my brother requested it for the cookbook. I would never have requested it, because aside from liver it is probably my least favorite dish that my mother made. To be precise, I hated it. Therefore I do not have the recipe. I asked my sister and my other brother if they had it. They both said no, and they didn't like the sound of it either. I think they had moved away from home before mom started making it. Lucky them. Mom and dad loved it, so she made it frequently. I found a recipe online that sort of sounds better than my mom's, so I'm going to try it tonight. Cooked beef, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and onions, served on lettuce, pork a little hot broth with lime juice over, top with pickled onions, salsa, cream, avocado and cotija cheese. Who knows, maybe my grown up tastebuds will like it.

My mom fried everything, and to this day I am not fond of fried zucchini with garlic, though I like it most any other way. I will slow cook the meat and roast the vegetables in the oven. I remember her recipe was fast, this is more intensive.

Set 18, 1:00 am

>88 MrsLee: I made it, and it was very tasty, but the whole process took about 3 1/2 hours. If I had an instapot or pressure cooker, it would have been shorter, by half an hour but just prepping the vegetables took 2 hours and frying them took another hour. I would only make this again if I had leftover roast and potatoes.

Afterwards I had the bright idea to look in Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking, a cookbook my mom used frequently, sure enough, there was the recipe! Not only that, but it was simple, and I had tried it about 15 years ago and liked it. :/

Ontem, 3:56 am

Company coming for lunch tomorrow. Vegetarian. I plan to serve chili relleno casserole, pinto beans with my mango salsa, tortillas and coleslaw. I will be testing the casserole and the coleslaw for the family cookbook.