"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2024, Part 1


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"Fire burn, and cauldron bubble" MrsLee Cooks in 2024, Part 1

Jan 1, 7:44 pm

Whew. The holidays are over (entertainment-wise), except for the clean up and put away.

My DIL made a lovely pot roast with oven roasted vegetables. A delicious combination. Other foods over the weekend included frozen lasagna, roasted sweet potatoes and onions, charcuterie boards (cheeses: Camembert, blue, Parmigiano, Edom), Fried tiny potatoes with eggs and sausages (courtesy my son), empanadas (courtesy of my daughter), scalloped potatoes (son), more eggs, plus a lot of lovely desserts from Italian and German bakeries (daughter), and fresh veggies and fruit. We are not lacking in any way. Somehow we ended up with all the leftovers, as well as some smoked turkey, green bean casserole, truffled provolone and white truffle honey. I think my kids want me to find the ten pounds I lost in December. I have no doubt that I will.

Anyway, no food goals this year except to find the energy and appetite to make and eat it. As most of you know, there is chemical warfare going on inside me at the moment in my war against cancer. Enough about that.

I hope to read two cookbooks, one on Chinese techniques and the other on Indian curries. They are large and in my way and I will report here as reading.

Jan 1, 10:07 pm


Jan 3, 4:47 pm

Did I mention in my old thread that I have begun making eggnog? It is the most marvelous thing at the moment. I don't like thick, cloggy nog from the store, nor do I like ingredients that don't have to be there. I found the simplest (to me) recipe online that required heating the nog to 160° so I would feel justified not guzzling it. I cut back on the 6 egg yolks to 4 because I like mine thinner. I also cut back on the sugar by 2 T. because I'm not much of a sweet fan. It comes out just the way I like it. I drink about 6 oz. a day. My almost quart of eggnog adds up to $3.50, whereas the closest thing I can get to it in the store is about $9.00 for the same amount.

These days of immunotherapy my appetite is an iffy thing and sometimes just the thought of food makes me ill, but this I can drink with relish and I feel like it is good for what ails me.

Editado: Jan 3, 5:59 pm

You might want to try a variation I learned about in Geneva. Our local store sold regular milk, goat's milk, and 'lait de poule' (chicken milk), which turned out to be egg nog, but with vanilla instead of nutmeg.

Jan 3, 6:10 pm

>3 MrsLee: recipe?

Since I have my own chickens now I know their diet and living conditions. I'm not afraid of raw eggs, just cautious.

Editado: Jan 3, 6:53 pm

>4 MarthaJeanne: The recipe I use, which is below, has both! I adjust either one to my mood. Last time I confused the amounts of vanilla vs. nutmeg, but it was still delicious. My grandson calls it "egg-milk" but I like "chicken-milk" better!

>5 fuzzi: My sister remembers my grandma making eggnog and donuts for after school snacks. I don't have that memory, but now I could do it if I wanted to!

4-6 egg yolks (whites can be used for another purpose, or whipped and folded in when eggnog is ready to serve)
1/2 c. (or less) sugar

Mix yolks and sugar well in a 2 c. bowl.

2 c. milk
1 c. whipping cream
pinch of salt
1/2 t. nutmeg

Combine in heavy saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring a bit so it doesn't stick. You just want it hot and steamy, not boiling. Turn heat off, with ladle in one hand and whisk or fork in the other, add milk to eggs bit by bit mixing well. This will temper the eggs, when most of the milk is in, then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and bring heat up to 160° and remove from heat.

1/4 t. vanilla

Stir, strain into jar (unless you like little chunks, yuk), then cool and refrigerate. Stir before serving, fold in egg whites if desired (I never do), serve with brandy, whiskey or rum if desired (not for me). This makes just shy of a quart.

Jan 3, 9:10 pm

Tonight I used 5 yolks instead of 4, I hate having an uneven number of eggs in the carton. It made 1 qt. That was the only difference, except I forgot the 1/4 t. Vanilla. Will know how it tastes in the morning. Too hot right now.

Jan 4, 2:18 am

>5 fuzzi: The eggs are cooked, not raw.

Jan 4, 6:18 am

>8 MarthaJeanne: I just saw that. Hmm, I always thought egg nog had raw eggs, like mayonnaise.

Jan 4, 6:18 am

>6 MrsLee: thank you! I can do that. I might have to substitute oat milk or goat milk as I'm lactose intolerant, will let you know how it turns out.

Jan 4, 6:52 am

I use a lot of goat's milk. I like it, and it comes in 1/2 l packages here, which is more convenient for me than litres, but it has only slightly less lactose than cow's milk.

Jan 4, 7:01 am

I have seen some recipes for eggnog on You Tube.

Jan 4, 10:38 am

I made egg nog years ago. I thought I was going to have to make it this year as it was the 4th store where I finally located it.

Jan 4, 2:41 pm

>13 thornton37814: I was buying a brand called Strauss. Not sure if it is national, it is made here in California. Comes in an old fashioned milk jar which you can return to the store for a $2.50 redemption. They make a killer ice cream, too.

My daughter made a version that was fermented for a couple of months with a LOT of booze in it. Very yummy, you mixed it with whipped cream when ready to serve. Son bought some eggnog at Costco this year, Kirkland brand, which reminds me of hers. 14% alcohol. I can't drink it, even 2 oz. is too much for me on my present medication.

Jan 4, 7:17 pm

>14 MrsLee: I purchased Southern Comfort which was without alcohol in spite of the branding. The other option was Borden which was a local dairy to the area.

Jan 8, 5:36 pm

My appetite is quite finicky these days. Gone are my spicy international foods and fatty meats. Comfort food for the win.

Today I made Split pea soup with a hambone broth. I added lots of extra vegetables and greens so that I can feel virtuous eating it. Blended it together, then added the cup of ham bits off the bone. Hits the spot on a winter day.

Jan 8, 8:59 pm

>16 MrsLee: oh, I love split pea soup. Aldi's store brand version is really good.

Jan 9, 4:13 am

>16 MrsLee: I like the north-German version, with one or more Frankfurters or similar sliced into it while cooking. In Germany I've seen mustard served on the side.

Jan 9, 4:32 am

What we used to have here in Austria was called 'Erbswurst'. It sort of looked like a small sausage, but was dried pea soup. It came with or without bacon bits in it. You cut off a section and reconstituted it with boiling water. It was really quite decent soup and very easy to use, even on mountains. But demand let up, and it is no longer made. I miss it.

Jan 9, 9:53 am

>17 fuzzi: I haven't tried that. I save the ham bone and fat when we have ham, then stick it in the freezer until we want a bean or pea soup. Yesterday I boiled the bone and fat with a bay leaf, whole mustard seed, whole black pepper, whole allspice, bird's eye chili, and cloves. After three hours I removed the solids from the broth, dumped in the split peas, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, ginger, turnip greens and some baby spinach and kale I had frozen. While that was cooking I stripped any meat I could find off the hambone and shredded it into small pieces. When the veggies and peas were done (about 30 minutes) I took my hand blender and mostly pureed them, then added in the ham. Adjusted flavors with salt, pepper and hot sauce. It is delicious, although a little thinner than I usually make it. I wasn't paying attention to how much broth I had.

>18 hfglen: To my north American, California ears, that sounds so wrong! We put frankfurters in beans, so of course I'm sure they are delicious in split peas as well.

>19 MarthaJeanne: That does sound convenient. I wonder if it went by the wayside when dried foods became the thing?

Jan 15, 11:33 pm

I am not personally cooking, but my freezer is getting fuller! My sister is here visiting. We froze some green pea soup (I made), one of her friends sent me some lovely beef stroganoff, so part of that went in the freezer and part of it was eaten by my family who came to visit tonight. It is delicious! She made it with shredded beef which was moist and tender. I've always made mine with thinly sliced beef. My sister also made creamy Mac n cheese for my birthday tomorrow, but she made a double batch and froze two casseroles of it.

I use the freezer on one refrigerator for ready to eat meals, and the other one for ingredients. Theoretically. I have a lot of green chilies frozen in my ready to eat freezer. In the ingredient freezer are lots of bits and pieces I was using for smoothies. I want to use those up, and make a couple more batches of soup from the broth packages I have frozen (when I have bits and pieces of vegetables or bones from meat I throw them in a ziplock freezer bag until it is full enough for a soup broth starter).

I have all this lovely food and today the random nausea that hits me as a side effect kicked in. I'm going to take the nausea medicine I have until Wednesday and hope to keep it at bay, because my sister also made a lovely German chocolate cake with coconut-pecan icing and I want some!

Jan 16, 9:30 am

Happy Birthday!!!!!

Editado: Jan 16, 10:47 am

Happy Birthday! It snowed here the night before last, all day yesterday, and last night. We have 10 inches on the ground. Last night I made a huge pot of beef vegetable soup. I'll share a bowl with you virtually in case it will work better with your stomach.


Editado: Jan 16, 6:31 pm

>22 fuzzi: & >23 thornton37814: Thank you!

>23 thornton37814: Yum! I can almost smell that! We had a bowl of clam chowder at a market today. It was really good!

Jan 16, 7:39 pm

Hello MrsLee. I ❤️ soup and your pea soup with a hambone and broth sound scrumptious and made with lots of veg is so good. Hoping that you get well very, very soon and get feeling much better soon too with all your energy back.

Jan 16, 9:49 pm

>25 mdoris: Thank you! :)

Jan 16, 11:30 pm

Made it through the birthday dinner with no ill effects so far. It was incredible! Probably cost about $30 a plate, but no way could you get a comparable meal in a restaurant for that, and we have leftovers! 1 pound of scallops is $39.99. I bought almost a pound, 8 scallops.

Jan 17, 3:13 am

>27 MrsLee: That makes me feel a lot better about buying scallops, which I do about once a month. We love them, butl I try not to notice that I am paying over €30 for eight.

Jan 17, 6:17 am

>27 MrsLee: my dh loves scallops, so once a year when we go to the shore for a long weekend we find a nice restaurant, and he orders them for dinner.

Jan 17, 6:28 am

Happy Birthday.
Everything sounds so good and looks good.
I am in central Minnesota and barely have any snow of the ground. It will come.
Drive safely.

Jan 18, 8:48 pm

My best birthday gift this year so far has been from my doctor. No immunotherapy infusion. Instead I had what is called a "Happy Hour" IV drip of saline solution. I was dehydrated, low on sodium, kidneys and liver functions way down, and needed thyroid replacement therapy. So, IV to kickstart,, back on Prednisone, new prescription of synthroid. I felt good enough to drag my sister around Costco for 2 hours looking for healthy and easy food.

Not feeling quite as nice as yesterday, but had the energy to fry oysters for my brother and make a delicious Asian inspired egg drop chicken soup. About 8 c. Swiss chard thinly sliced like noodles, 1c. cooked chicken sliced thin, 2 c. oyster mushrooms, onions, garlic, ginger. I sliced all the veg. thin. Used soy sauce, lemon juice and hot sauce to balance flavor. At the end, I whisked 2 egg whites and slowly poured them in soup. Very yummy!

Jan 19, 8:50 am

>31 MrsLee: I'm not a fan of egg drop soup; but that sounds delicious! I'm glad you got some good news from the doc.

Jan 19, 3:59 pm

I plan to make salmon patties tonight. I am going to use the leftover oyster juice in them. Also some green onions and mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Then I dip them in egg, then in Panko crumbs. I will let you know if they are edible.

Jan 19, 6:09 pm

>31 MrsLee: that sounds very yummy!

Jan 19, 6:35 pm

>32 lesmel: I'm not a big fan either, but there were egg whites to be used and spouse bought oyster mushrooms, so my mind flipped over from from farm veg and chicken, to Asian.

>34 fuzzi: Thanks!

Wrong time of year to find green onions in my garden, but I think I found enough for the salmon patties.

Jan 20, 1:23 am

>35 MrsLee: Salmon patties accomplished. I had forgotten how to make them, so looked up grandma's salmon loaf for clues. No mayonnaise. 1 can drained Salmon, 1 egg, I used about 1/4 c. Oyster juice, 2 T. minced green onion, celery tips (I had some of these left from celery stick snacks, didn't measure, but probably about 2 T.), 1 t. Dill, less than a t. kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, about 1/2 c. saltine crackers crushed to absorb extra fluid. After it sits a bit to blend flavors, form patties and roll in egg, then panko crumbs. Put in fridge for 1/2 hour, then fry in lots of hot butter. 3 minutes on first side, 2 minutes on second side. Yum. Oh, I squeezed lemon over mine.

Jan 20, 4:10 am

>36 MrsLee: That sounds utterly delicious!

Jan 20, 8:33 am

It's been a long time since I made salmon patties. My mom didn't add oyster juice or dill to hers, and I think she used regular onion instead of the green ones most of the time--just because that was what was in the house. We didn't have panko back, but I don't remember coating them before frying (in oil instead of butter), although she may have. The egg and crackers were in the mix itself. Her salt would have been regular salt instead of kosher.

Jan 20, 11:00 am

>37 hfglen: Thank you!

>38 thornton37814: My mom and grandma usually made a loaf covered with a creamy hard boiled egg sauce. My husband's family was Catholic, so fish on Friday. He hated his mom's salmon patties. Said they were dried out and flavorless. He loves mine. :)

Hoping, if energy allows, to make fried rice tonight. If I do, I am going to stir-fry lots of veggies to put in. Carrots, celery, beet greens and stems, ginger, garlic Some eggs and shrimp for protein. Also any bits and pieces of Chinese food which are leftover, but I think there is only rice left now.

Normally I would know about the leftovers, but when we bought the meal, the next day in the middle of lunch I had a bought with nausea (not Chinese food induced, but cancer treatment effect) and it ruined me for the Chinese food. I think reworking it into fried rice will do.

Jan 21, 9:25 pm

Fried rice accomplished. A bit different than above. No shrimp, lion's mane fungus, but essentially the same. A good reliable way to make a healthy dinner out of leftovers and vegetables that need using.

Jan 22, 6:39 pm

My sourdough bread is suddenly failing. I don't think it's the sourdough, it bubbles up fine when I feed it. I have been trying to change from the pulling method to the Kitchen-Aid mixer kneading, and I think that is where I'm going wrong. I may be over kneading it with the machine. I will try once more with the machine the next time I make it. I read that you only knead 2 minutes at a time or the dough can overheat (I might have overheated the water I added). After that I will go back to the pulling method.

I made pickled beets today with some changes. I mostly like them on my salad. I had one rutabaga which I added. I made small cubes instead of flat circles or quarters. Then I looked for some Asian inspiration. I used bird eye chilies (tiny things, only 4) toasted with Szechuan pepper. 3 cloves, 1/2 star anise, 2 T. minced ginger, 2 T. minced garlic. I say minced, but it was bigger than a mince, smaller than a chop. 5 T. sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper, and 2 tiny mandarin oranges. When the beets were starting to soften, I tasted and it was slightly bitter, so I removed the mandarins and added some more salt. They are sitting to cool now, but a second taste told me they are pretty good!

Jan 23, 6:43 am

>41 MrsLee: what an artiste!

I love, LOVE pickled beets, almost anything pickled. I've not tried eggs or pigs' feet though I'm told my grandfather loved both of those.

Jan 23, 11:10 am

>42 fuzzi: *snort* If you saw my loaf of bread you might not say that! :D I will take a picture for my daughter in law to show her that even if you get it right a lot of the time, sometimes you don't. She needs encouragement.

Today, along with doctor visits, we will pick up some fresh oysters for frying and a lobster tail. Both for recipes in the family cookbook. I made the oysters last week, but forgot to take a photo!

I've never made lobster before. I am opting for a frozen tail as the recipe doesn't mention cooking a live one, and I don't need that learning curve right now. I'm supposed to open the tail in two halves, cut up the meat and sauté lightly, then mix with stuff, put in the shell and bake. Sorry for the vagaries, but I don't have the recipe at hand. Will report more when I actually make it.

Jan 23, 11:21 am

I mentioned in the reading thread that I am reading Chinese Techniques by Ken Hom. So far it has cost me $45. I ordered some fermented black beans and two varieties of dried mushrooms; shitake and black mushrooms called something like cloud ears. I think a good investment, as all will keep indefinitely if stored correctly.

I am very tempted to order a wok spatula and ladle, but then my practical side kicks in and reminds me that I've been cooking for 40 years using my wooden paddles and other ladle.

Jan 23, 12:16 pm

>43 MrsLee: my cooking doesn't look pretty!

I made lobster, once, used a live one. No one told me to drop him headfirst into the boiling water...I dropped him in tail-first and he tried to get out. I felt so bad I never made lobster again.

Jan 23, 12:42 pm

Back in boarding school a friend and I caught crabs in the local streams. One of the other girls in the dorm was incensed that we intended dropping them into boiling water. One of the crabs got loose, and chose her bed to hide under. Suddenly she no longer wanted to fight for its life, but just wanted us to get it out of there.

The crabs tasted very good.

Jan 23, 1:43 pm

>45 fuzzi: & >46 MarthaJeanne: LOL, this is why I don't feel like getting a live lobster. I have no qualms about the morality of it, but the fuss and bother are not worth it to me. I do love to eat all shellfish though. I married the wrong man for that. He is not fond of any of it, but he isn't allergic.

>42 fuzzi: I forgot to mention, I've not had pickled pig's feet, but I do pickled eggs in a cheating sort of way. Whenever I have a jar of pickled or olive brine left, I toss in a few hard boiled, peeled eggs (just enough so the brine covers them) and leave then for 3 days. Then you can quarter them along sandwiches, use then to make sandwich filling or deviled eggs. They are something special! I only use the brine once for this, because it loses its flavor to the eggs. Oh, I use my pickled beets brine too, then you get pretty pink/fushia eggs. Pickle brine makes a pretty chartreuse egg.

Jan 23, 2:10 pm

>47 MrsLee: oh, those eggs sound good. If my chickens get prolific in their laying habits I might just try that.

Jan 24, 5:49 am

>45 fuzzi: Back in the day when such things were affordable (50+ years ago!), student scuttlebut was that one should drop the lobster into a bucket of Lieberstein (local cheap white wine -- the best thing about it was the price!) and let it swim around a bit beforee transferring to boiling water. At least it would die happy.

Jan 24, 6:32 am

>49 hfglen: that's funny, and it reminds me of a joke about a man who drowned in an open vat of beer. His coworkers kept pulling him out and he kept jumping back in...

Jan 25, 11:32 am

I cooked the lobster tail last night. The recipe is very easy, but I managed to overcook at least the smaller bites of lobster. It calls for lobster to be removed from the shell, cut up, seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne then braised quickly in butter, add sherry and French mustard and put back in the shell in an ovenproof pan. Pour a mixture of 2 egg yolks and whipping cream over it and broil until browned.

It was just ok. For $39 a pound (I bought a big tail, so it was $39), I would rather have it grilled and dipped in butter. The egg yolk ran down through the lobster, out of the shell and into the bottom of the pan, so it didn't moisten the meat, which I supposed was it's duty.

However, after I popped the lobster in the oven to broil, I threw some spinach in the pan that had butter, sherry and mustard in it and sautéed it. When the lobster came out, I served it beside the spinach, poured the sad lobster pan eggs over the spinach, and that was delicious! Will try to post a photo later.

Jan 26, 12:03 am

Pork roast and broccoli tonight, nothing special, but delicious. Now I have the fixins for the pork gravy I use when I make Egg foo young, which I will be making to photograph for the family cookbook.

Editado: Jan 26, 3:42 pm

Here are some photos of the recipes I've tried recently for the cookbook.

Broiled Lobster with Spinach

Fried Oysters

The lobster photo is for the recipe itself, the oysters photo is for the Seafood Heading page, hence the skeleton. Skeletons on the heading pages will be my signature for this cookbook.

I accidentally discovered that I can cook the oysters a bit longer to make them a deeper gold, but as I live in fear of overcooked seafood, I usually don't. The gills get tough if you go much longer.

Jan 27, 7:16 pm

>53 MrsLee: yum yum. Nothing like fresh seafood, a few hours from the water.

Jan 27, 11:00 pm

>54 fuzzi: I wish I could get it that fresh, but the store I shop at, which is 30 miles away, but in the town where my medical treatments are, has very fresh seafood. I think they get daily delivery. I really want some Dungeness crab.

I made the Egg Foo Yung tonight. It took me 2 1/2 hours with all the veggie wash and prep, but I was moving pretty slow. I wanted to enjoy the process and work with my new cleaver. I love it! The feel, balance and weight are easier to use than my French chef knife. I never thought I would say something was better than that knife.

Jan 28, 6:29 am

It's really amazing when that happens, isn't it? My current favourites were part of a supermarket deal, and I only bought one of the smaller knives when I had just more standard sized chef's knives than made sense. For most of my chopping I now use the smaller, lighter ones. Yes, I managed to get a second one before the offer ran out.

Jan 28, 12:09 pm

Egg Foo Yung photo for the Heading page of Eggs, Cheese and Dairy in the family cookbook. Every heading page has a skeleton with the food, some are more obvious than others. Since this new lunar year will be the year of the Dragon, I thought I would make that the theme. My book of Chinese Fairy Tales is in the background, but hard to see the dragon on the page.

Jan 28, 12:24 pm

I'm getting a break in the feeling crappy mode, which is wonderful!

I have to get up by 5:00 a.m. to take my thyroid supplement, then I usually go back to bed until 7:00 a.m. when I have to get up and take some Prednisone to help my with side effects of immunotherapy. Well, the past two mornings I have been wide awake and feeling decent (probably Prednisone effect), so I did small projects.

Yesterday I wanted to see if I could save some sad, failed sourdough bread I made (I think I overheated the dough somewhere in the process because it didn't rise and was very dense). I made a raspberry simple syrup, soaked the bread with that and whipping cream, then layered it with mixed berries. Covered and baked at 350° for about 1 1/2 hours, then uncovered and baked a bit longer. It is like a berry bread pudding! Best save ever.

This morning I had a beef brisket to cook. I made chili Colorado with it. Now I'm simmering the bones and some ham bones to make a broth to cook beans in. Working up to having all the ingredients for a Monster Nacho dinner sometime this week.

Jan 29, 11:10 am

>58 MrsLee: yum yum.

Jan 29, 4:57 pm

I have a pie recipe to cook for the cookbook, but I don't want to. If I am going to do it, it needs to be today because this is a fine day and soon we will have a week of rain again. I don't want to eat pie right now because I am supposed to have a PET scan soon and I need to keep my sugar levels low. Besides, not in the mood for sweets. Husband doesn't like pie. But I need that photo for the pie heading page.

Jan 29, 5:16 pm

>60 MrsLee: Can you share it with neighbors? What about the local fire station or library?

Jan 29, 7:09 pm

>61 lesmel: It is possible. I decided to make grandma's Raisin Pie #2, which is a custard pie served cold with whipped cream, instead of a baked pie. Husband is more likely to eat that.

Grandma's recipe for "Never Fails" pie crust is made by pouring 1/2 c. Boiling water over 1 c. Lard and 1 t. Salt. Stir until it is clear, then stir in 3 c. Flour mixed with 1/2 t. Baking powder.

I have never made a pie crust like this the lard never got clear. It melted, but wasn't clear. It makes a rather wet dough which goes in the refrigerator. Says enough for 3 covered pies. We shall see. I know my pie crust recipe works, but you have to know the technique to make pie crust. I'm not dealing with the crust until 5 o'clock. Then I will roll and bake it.

Jan 30, 3:59 am

Wow. I'm pretty impressed with that crust! I did a little online research to find a similar recipe with clear instructions and most actually boiled their lard before adding to the flour, they didn't just pour boiling water into it. They also said to work with the dough when it was warm as it would crack if it cooled. They said it was for meat pies. I beg to differ. When I went to get the dough, it was the easiest I had ever worked with. Rolled right out, no cracks, thin as I wanted it and didn't break when I put it in the dish. I did a braided edge for the crust with no problem. The taste? I loved it! Light, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I can see that the butter crust is a bit richer for desserts, but I like this one fine. I used the leftover bits to make little treats with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on them. Husband was very happy.

We haven't actually tasted the pie yet. I got it ready for the photo, but it was too late at night for me to eat, so I probably won't be eating a piece until tomorrow afternoon. Medical appointments in the morning.

The custard isn't my favorite. The recipe calls for a "heaping" Tablespoon of flour. That seems too much. Plus; I don't like raisins.

In the photo, the teapot, teacups and handkerchiefs belonged to my grandmother Nora, whose recipe this is. I'm not sure she would approve of the skeleton in the photo, but then again, she did let my cousin sing the "Worms Crawl in, the Worms Crawl Out" song at the breakfast table one time.

Jan 30, 4:40 am

I tend to make my pie crusts with half butter and half lard. I like the taste, and cut into the flour, the lard gives a very flakey crust. I think the one with boiling gives a sturdier result.

Jan 30, 5:14 am

>64 MarthaJeanne: That is the way I've always made them before. It can be tricky, especially if you haven't made one in awhile, to get the tender crust I love that isn't a real pain to work with. I expected the boiled lard recipe to be tough, or chewy, but it was flaky and lovely.

Jan 30, 6:42 am

>65 MrsLee: One advantage of half butter half lard is that the lard is much easier to work in. I cut the butter into quite small cubes, and then rub the fat in with my fingers. The cold butter can be hard to rub. But I have cold fingers. Always have. I have tried other methods of combining the fat with the flour, but I gave up on owning a food processor decades ago. More hassle leaning than it was worth to me, and I was constantly having to replace plastic pieces that weren't up what I expected of them. My fingers work better than the various implements I've tried. I need to bale a pumpkin pie soon. 'Vegetable, milk, egg, flour. Nutrition!" It always feels like comfort food. (My other comfort food is rice with banana and yoghurt and a spoonful of hot lime pickle, but I have trouble convincing anybody else.)

Jan 30, 9:04 am

>63 MrsLee: noted. I use my mom's pie crust recipe which is lard and flour and a tablespoon of milk. It tastes fine but I just can't roll it out with any competence. I have been buying the Aldi's brand of ready-made pie crust and it's quite good. And easy.

Jan 30, 11:56 am

>63 MrsLee: Skelly looks excited to try that pie😁

Jan 30, 3:00 pm

>68 2wonderY: He kept trying to dip his fingers in it!

I finally was able to eat a slice today, and the problem I had with the custard disappeared overnight. When I tasted it yesterday, the flour had a grainy texture in it. I had pre-browned the flour, thinking it might add a bit of nutty flavor without nuts. Today the custard was smooth as silk. This is a very sweet pie. The raisins are poached before being added to the custard. My grandma Nora was a teetotaler, but I think they would have been good poached in a little brandy or rum. My husband disagrees. He likes it the way it is, but then he likes raisins.

Jan 30, 3:49 pm

Another possibility is tea. I quite like raisins and other fruit soaked in tea.

Jan 30, 5:25 pm

>70 MarthaJeanne: I could see that working! Especially a favorite herbal tea, like hibiscus or lavender. I think their delicate flavor would survive in the custard. Or Earl or Lady Grey.

Jan 30, 7:51 pm

Made my nachos tonight. I cut in half the amount I thought I wanted, and still couldn't eat it all, but the night is young!

Layers in the bowl:
1/2 c. Mashed pinto beans
1/2 c. chili Colorado
Dollops of Velveeta cheese with green roasted chilies in
Dollops of fire roasted tomato salsa (in a can, but whole ingredients)
Heat until hot. I did this on reheat in my air fryer.
Sour cream

Jan 31, 7:06 pm

Today's recipe trial was Beef Short ribs. The recipe was deceptively simple. I say deceptive because I didn't expect much of it. Brown the ribs, add salt, pepper, (I had to guess all amounts, only ingredients were listed), tomato sauce (I added about 1/3 c. of leftover tomato salsa from yesterday), 1 onion, 6 cloves garlic and water to cover. Simmer until ribs are almost done (1 1/2 hours), add 4-5 potatoes (I used red medium size), simmer another 30 minutes. Adjust for seasoning. It needed no adjustment, it was plain out delicious! This is why people are meat and potato people.

Jan 31, 7:25 pm

>73 MrsLee: That sounds really great!

Fev 2, 8:22 am

I had extra sourdough starter and pumpkin that needed using, so I'm making Sourdough Pumpkin bread this morning. Correction. I made it last night, I'm baking it this morning. It is a recipe from the internet. A sweet bread, I suppose. I would like to try making an actual loaf of bread using the pumpkin instead of water and light spices. Might try that today or tomorrow. My pumpkin is from a fresh pumpkin which I baked, pureed, then froze. It is runnier than canned pumpkin.

Fev 2, 4:48 pm

You can always cook down the fresh pumpkin. It takes some time; but the interwebs swears by it.

Editado: Fev 2, 5:00 pm

I saw one cookie recipe that called for using paper towels to suck up extra liquid (from canned pumpkin).

If I were cooking it down I think I would spread it out on a cookie sheet and use a low oven.

Fev 2, 5:21 pm

>76 lesmel: & >77 MarthaJeanne: Yes, I usually do this before freezing. I didn't do it to the consistency of canned pumpkin though.

I made my loaf of pumpkin sourdough bread. Added whole wheat flour, some oatmeal, pecans, pumpkin seeds, flax and sesame seeds. I added water slowly as I mixed, and it seems to be a good dough. Won't bake it until tomorrow.

Exciting thunder and lightning storm right now. One cat is hiding in the chimney, the others are in secret places.

Fev 3, 7:56 pm

The pumpkin sourdough loaf is not a total flop, but I didn't bake it long enough. We will have to toast our slides in the frying pan to finish cooking them. It didn't poof a lot, very dense, but I'm pretty sure I let it rise long enough (when I pushed a finger in it the indent stayed). It is just a dense and moist loaf due to the pumpkin and all the other things in it. Kind of what I wanted, only I was hoping to get it baked all the way through!

I had some things to use up in the refrigerator and they added up to a dish of enchiladas. Chicken, spinach, cheddar cheese, sour cream, onions and sauce. I did this to use up the extra Colorado sauce, but since I put the onions and the leftover tomato salsa in it I still have as much as I was trying to use up.

Also baked some cod. I don't care for baked cod (texture) and I oversalted this. Will mash it and make a cream sauce and put it over toast or noodles.

Not my most glorious day of cooking. As my great-niece would say, I wasn't cooking with my heart.

Fev 4, 5:05 am

Maybe try your cod over biscuits. I always forget how easy they are, and they feel more special than noodles or toast.

Fev 4, 8:27 am

>80 MarthaJeanne: Biscuits would be good, but my husband is a big fan of noodles and doesn't get them as often as he thinks he should. I think I will try my seafood spaghetti recipe, but use the cod and maybe some shrimp to supplement. Something in me isn't in the mood for cream sauce right now. Seafood spaghetti is made with cream which has been reduced, and garlic, with Parmigiano cheese. I won't make it until tomorrow though. Too much food to eat at the moment.

Fev 4, 8:52 pm

Think I'm going to make some chimichangas with the beans I have leftover. Buttery, baked goodness, then what we don't eat we can freeze.

Fev 6, 8:32 am

I seem to be late to the party again. I have just learned that it is best to keep berries in glass jars in the refrigerator. The information seems to disagree on whether to wash first or not. Last night I washed the strawberries and raspberries, but did not wash the blueberries and grapes. Since the whole point is to put them in the jar as dry as possible, it doesn't make sense to me to wash first.

I also found a sourdough discard recipe for granola that I want to try. I would like to be able to make my own granola that isn't too sweet, but doesn't break your teeth when you try to eat it. Being able to control the nuts and fruits seems like a good idea. I am dehydrating some strawberries right now to see if they will be a texture we like or if they come out like rubber.

Fev 6, 9:16 am

>83 MrsLee: I look forward to the results.

I don't know about washing berries, but I have read that washing eggs is not recommended until just before using.

Fev 6, 2:17 pm

Fudge has been made! That is my last recipe needed for photos in the cookbook. Now it is a matter of lauout, proof reading, ans fixing contents and index with page numbers. Getting close! I hope I have some days of not feeling crappy after this infusion.

By the way, my husband is not a fish or seafood fan. Last night when I made the seafood spaghetti with the over-salted cod, he said it was the best fish dish he has ever tasted. Win!

Fev 6, 8:39 pm

>85 MrsLee: double yippee!

Fev 7, 12:07 am

I went a little loco today. Perhaps it is the knowledge that tomorrow is my infusion and I might be out of commission or worse, for another month or so made me want to have a last hurrah.

After the doctor appointment we went to a meat & seafood market. I purchased Applewood bacon, a family pack of hamburger (5 lbs.), Mark wanted a pork roast and I wanted a crab! Then at Costco I bought some asparagus and cherries.

Arrived home about 5, put the roast in the oven, dumped the cherries on a towel to dry, washed the asparagus and prepared for roasting (freezing the ends I broke off for soup). I then portioned the hamburger into 1 lb. lumps and froze them. After that I worked on cleaning the crab. I like the body meat in a salad and the claw meat with butter and sourdough bread. Sadly, this crab was not the finest and the flavor was faint. I hope very much that I don't get sick. :P No bad flavor, just not much flavor.

Anyway, the roast and asparagus were delicious.

Fev 7, 4:19 am

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

Editado: Fev 7, 9:46 am

>87 MrsLee: ooh, asparagus. Yum.

We've been praying for you here, will continue.

Fev 7, 10:41 am

>89 fuzzi: Thank you! Most appreciated. So far no ill effects from the crab. :)

Fev 13, 12:23 am

Not cooking much but I did make spaghetti today. Feeling OK with reservations so far.

I have proof-read, finished the layout, and completed adding page numbers to the contents and index of the Family Recipes Cookbook I am making. 239 pages. Now I will send it to my daughter to proof-read.

I'm trying to find a photo for the cover. There are not that many photos of my grandmothers in their kitchens. My sister says she has the perfect one, but doesn't know where it is. Thanks, sis. My daughter suggested making a collage of photos of the women and the food they cooked (which I could do from the photos of the food I cooked for the book). I kind of like that idea, I'm just not sure how to do it. Maybe I'll send her the photos and let her do it. :) I would love to have this thing ready to publish before the end of the month.

Fev 13, 3:42 pm

This is the cover image I created on Canva for my cookbook. Hope I can get it to work on Lulu! The top photos are of grandmas, (two of mine, one of my husband's), the bottom is me, my sister, mom and niece. The food photos are some of the specialties of the ladies featured, especially the grandmas. Pumpkin stew is mine, salsa is my mom's.

Fev 13, 5:02 pm

Entirely right, proper and appropriate. Well done. You continue to amaze me as to how productive you are despite all the heavy stuff you're dealing with.

Fev 13, 5:09 pm

Fev 13, 7:58 pm

>92 MrsLee: that's a nice design!

Fev 13, 8:21 pm

>92 MrsLee: You found some lovely portraits!

Fev 13, 9:45 pm

>95 fuzzi: Thank you: )

>96 2wonderY: The black and white one is my grandma Nora in her new kitchen, about 1951. She got a whole new house that grandpa built for her, but she loved her kitchen. All the modern conveniences! As with most women, my sister and niece think that is a terrible photo of them, and I just love it, in spite of wishing it were a better photo of me! lol We all agree that we love mom in it. Aren't women silly? My grandmother Charlotte is at the top eating her ice cream, and Mark's grandma is leaning on her stove in the 1950s. We called her Nana and her heart and personality were as warm as her smile.

Fev 15, 1:58 pm

Oh dear. I'm afraid the infusion is affecting my appetite again. I can't even work up enthusiasm to cook some squash and cabbage. It must be done though.

I would like to try a recipe for Sourdough brownies, but not sure I will get the energy or will power.

Fev 15, 8:57 pm

I did cook the veg and brownies. I undercooked the brownies. I have them back in the oven to see if I can fix that. Underbaking things is getting to be a habit with me #*@%$.

Fev 16, 6:10 pm

>99 MrsLee: I would love to try Sourdough brownies.

Fev 17, 12:09 am

>100 fuzzi: This is the recipe I used. If you meant you only wanted to taste mine, come on over!


Be warned though, that I was not the only one who had issues with the gooey texture. Others said they baked it up to an hour longer than the recipe called for. I used a glass pan. Another lady said she added 50 g. of flour and baked it 20 minutes longer.

Me? I'm looking hard at those Costco Kirkland brand brownies and remembering how easy they were to bake and how delicious they were. :D

Fev 17, 7:46 am

>101 MrsLee: thanks!

If I ever get west of the Mississippi again I'd love to take you up on that invitation.

Fev 17, 7:25 pm

Dropping by to say hello!

Fev 18, 4:36 pm

>92 MrsLee: Very nice and full of memories.