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eG Foodblog: snowangel - Freedom!

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#1 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 09:43 AM

Good morning.

Those cheers you heard this morning were from me, as I put the last of the three kids on the bus. I have loved having them home all summer, but I really loved the peace and quiet when they left.

I celebrated my first day of freedom with a trip to the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Before we moved to our new home, I was only about 5 minutes away. Since it's now a 20-minute drive, I don't get there as often. I stopped by my formerly-local Kowalski's market on the way home to get some Hope Butter. I do miss the very close and easy (most often biking distance) to a wonderful local supermarket and lots of Asian markets, but I am adapting.

For breakfast today, I had several cups of really strong coffee and an Old Gold. Oh, and I had 1/2 piece of toast.

I'm not a big early morning eater, and have noticed that as I've aged, I do not want to eat anything sweet in the morning. In fact, my sweet tooth in general is not very strong, except for fruit.

I tend to have my first real hunger of the day at about 11:00 am.

My eating patterns during the day will be quite different than they were up until last week, when there were three kids who wanted breakfast and lunch, not the frequent "little" meals I gravitate toward when I am home alone.

So, now, I will go and grab something to eat and attempt to fix whatever happened on the computer to my camera program when Paul installed a new operating system. Hopefully, it will be an easy process so I can post photos of the bounty I acquired this morning.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#2 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 01:15 PM

Camera stuff successful.

Here is a picture of the Mpls. Farmer's Market on a Monday through Thursday. The market is much sleeper these days. It gets busier on Fridays and even busier on Saturdays and Sundays. M-Th doesn't feature the meat, cheese, bakery items, crafts that appear on the weekends, but I like the fact that it is sleepier and less crowded. The selection of produce weekdays is every bit as good as on weekends.

Posted Image

Some "purists" complain that the St. Paul Farmer's Market is better because they only permit selling items grown/produced within a 50-mile radius of the market. At the Mpls. market, one can not only get local produce, but the regular stuff you see at the grocery -- lemons, limes, bananas, grapes, etc. But, I think it's handy to have one-stop shopping.

Here is the bounty:

Posted Image

I'm not sure yet what I'll do with some of it, but that sweet corn is pegged for tonight, as are some of the tomatoes. I do believe that the long beans are destined for prik khing "curry" since I have ground pork, and I need something in the fridge that beckons because I am wont to forget about eating during the day, and I do need to watch my weight (as in keep it on).

For lunch today, I ate about half of the yellow tomatoes. The taste is spot on, but the texture is lacking. We have had tasty tomatoes here this summer, but the cool days and cooler nights have made them slow to come and the texture just hasn't been right.

I'm still waiting for those hard green things on my tomato plants to show a sign or turning anything but hard and green. The days are growing short and the nights increasingly cool, so it just may be time for green tomato relish.

I will mull over what to fix for dinner while I do laundry. With the kids gone, I certainly feel way kicked back. I did not miss putting two meals on the table today.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#3 wnissen

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 03:41 PM

Looks like some great stuff from the market! I planted really late, so my tomatoes are still green as well. I'm looking forward to see what you'll do with the long beans and the rest of the blog.

Any culinary background to share?

Walt
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#4 WHS

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 03:52 PM

Hi Snowangel,
Do you have a repertoire of Thai dishes?

#5 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 04:03 PM

No real culinary background to tell of, other than self-taught. Adventursome in the kitchen. If you don't try, it won't happen.

But, there is one noteworthy piece. I grew up in Thailand, daughter of a Rockefeller Foundation agricultural economist. Got there in 1966, left to go to college in the U. S. in 1975.

My first, most memorable meal of my life was the day after we arrived in Thailand. It would have been my 9th birthday, and someone hosted a welcome dinner.

Thai food. The first thing I tasted was a squid salad. Squid. Lime juice. Cilantro. Minced shallots. And, lots of those little "bird" chilis. I never looked back. This from a midwestern girl (sort of) raised on cream-of-something-soup "noodle" casseroles.

There is a bit more about me Course on Cooking for People with Disabilities

And on my thread about The Cabin.

I love larb. No more than at The Cabin. On the dock. On a warm day, in a bathing suit. In the water. A bowl with larb and lettuce on the dock. Dip and dip.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#6 daniellewiley

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 04:25 PM

I'm very excited for your blog Susan! I love Thai food, but don't eat it often, as I'm allergic to fish, and am afraid of errant fish sauce. :sad:

Again, looking forward to reading more!
Danielle Altshuler Wiley
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#7 therese

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 04:39 PM

Looking forward to your blog, snowangel. Thank you for you willingness to share your insights and experiences re caring for your daughter.
Can you pee in the ocean?

#8 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 06:27 PM

This has been an interesting day to start blogging. We are all exhausted from our End of Summer Weekend at The Cabin. Add to that, it has been the first day of school. ALthough not food-related, neither Diana nor Peter could get to sleep before midnight last night (this was Diana's 3rd school in one year) and they were up before dawn.

Regardless, the center of the hub for a family with kids (and probably those without kids) is the Dining Room Table. Ours is rather remarkable. From the side, it looks like this:

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Standing on one of the chairs, the top, which has a lazy susan in the middle:

Posted Image

It's really a cool table. My folks bought it in 1974, while living in Thailand, from some friends who were from China. I have no idea about the prior history. It resided in my folks house for many, many years until they moved to a town house. Then, it went on loan (stewardship, with the promise of great meals and all the family stuff) to some friends. We finally managed to have a family member (me!) who had a dining room large enough for it. It is 5-1/2' in diameter.

Please ignore the floor and walls. I have removed the wallpaper, revealing a nice, nasty instutional green. When we got rid of the pseudo leather, harvest gold countertops, the floor looked even worse, so that's a project for post blog.

It came without chairs. So, one of my first tasks was to find chairs to go with it (Heidi's chair excluded). I found them. It was hard. The trend is for upholstered dining room chairs, which as a parent of a clumsy pubesent daughter, an 8-year old boy, and a disabled 10-year old, was not in the cards. I found the right chairs. Most people, who see the table for the first time, assume that the chairs are original.

So, for dinner, an exhausted me, still unpacking from the cabin, enjoying my new-found freedom, fixed a very simple dinner.

Posted Image

In addition to what's on my new (and oh, so wonderful granite countertops), there are sliced tomatoes.

We are eating venison brats and dogs (adorned with a variety of mustards and kraut) and some sweet corn. Heidi's white bowl has some egg salad. She will not eat red food (no dogs for her!) and you can also see her glass of milk.

So, my comments on dinner. THe tomatoes we've had this summer, for some reason or another (perhaps because we are still waiting for summer?) do not have the texture I want.

The sweet corn. Divine. I purchased it this morning from the farmer's market. It was fromt he Lindstrom area. Sold to me by a young chap. When I inquired why he wasn't in school, he replied that this is part of his 4-H project. He was in the field, according to him, at 3:00 am this morning, miner's hat on, picking the corn. I've learned to buy corn at the farmer's market from people that only grow corn. It was sweet, crisp, without that starchiness that can come at the end of the season, and without that chlorophyll (sp?) taste that can mar the first corn of the season. I opted to eat nothing else but one bite of a texturally-marred tomato. I consumed 8 years on my own.

Oh. I am mistaken. I had a bite of a venison dog.

Now, to the dogs and brats.

When Paul got his deer, he took it to a meat market. Research shows me that most of the processing places here have a minimum of 25 pounds per type of sausage product. He ordered 25 pounds each of brats, dogs and summer sausage. I quickly changed that to 25 pounds of summer sausage (it's gone) and the rest in roasts, steaks, chops. His dad opted to have his whole deer done in brats and hot dogs. And, we would do some exchanging. Since FIL is happier nuking a dog or brat or eating a slab of summer sausage, this is fine.

Sum total. We traded some of the summer sausage (not nearly spiced as I would like) for a mess of brats/dogs. They are OK, not great. So, my freezer now contains about 20 pounds of this stuff. And, I have given a bunch of it away.

This stuff I have is smoked, and not nearly fatty enough. I am a fat nut. Butter, bacon, chuck eyes, whatever. Seems to me that when you bite into a brat (or stab it with a fork) there should be a squirt of fat. No?

So, just what do I do with this "bounty?" I need to empty the freezer in case there is another deer in our future this November. Help, please from some of you experts?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#9 Susan in FL

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 06:52 PM

Hi Susan, from another Susan. I'm looking forward to following your blog, free of distractions such as having hurricanes and traveling, which pulled me away from the past two or three.... I hope you enjoy, too.
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#10 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 07:01 PM

Hi, Susan:

Hi have been following your hurricane blogs. I have a good friend who lives in Orlando, and have been hearin from her, as well as you, what to stock up on.

THe one thing she won't go for is Spam. Ironically, when she was taking about this was the day after we'd been at the Great Minnesota State Fair. There was a trailer that was giving away samples of Spam. "grilled" they described it, on buns. You wouldn't beleive the number of buns, with one bite out of them, that were in the trash. Including those of all members of our family.

But, having taken numerous scuba diving trips in Thailand when things were really primitive, I remember all to well canned "butter."

You must be OK, if you are posting.

We have blizzards. They aren't as frightening, for some reason. Cold, but not as scary.

And, why are we so hungry when the weather gets bad?
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#11 Laksa

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 07:15 PM

When I was a kid, my mum cooked snake beans all the time, so much so that when I moved out of home and had more say in what I eat, I subconsciously stayed away from them. Now, many years later, I'm starting to miss snake beans. Looking forward to see what you do with them.

Is that dining table made of teak, or some other tropical hardwood? Whatever it is, it looks beautiful.

Looking forward to your blog.

#12 Susan in FL

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 07:45 PM

THe one thing she won't go for is Spam.  Ironically, when she was taking about this was the day after we'd been at the Great Minnesota State Fair. There was a trailer that was giving away samples of Spam.  "grilled" they described it, on buns.  You wouldn't beleive the number of buns, with one bite out of them, that were in the trash.  Including those of all members of our family.

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:laugh: That is too funny! I don't know why, since it's so salty and tastes of processing, but I like it... about once or twice a year maybe.

And, why are we so hungry when the weather gets bad?


I don't know that either, but isn't it the truth. Even today when the weather wasn't that bad, as soon as the power unexpectedly went out, I immediately got hungry.

But enough of Frances... you blog on!
Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

#13 snowangel

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 08:33 PM

I seem to be having trouble quoting. Could be my computer, which has had trouble lately. Never mind.

Yes, the table is teak. When my folks purchased it from the Chinese couple, they offered it (albeit in 1974) for $25.00 (US). After my folks said "yes!" the sellers received several other offers for far more.

In any case, the table is ours, and beautiful. We love it. Even more than the round table that sits in the basement that was our "family" table before we moved. That table that was Paul's grandparents (we also believe his great grandparents).

The long beans will happen tomorrow, fairly early. I stepped on the scale today and need to eat more!

The kids, exhausted from a first day at school, with new teachers, are all exhausted and in bed. Peter fell asleep 1/2 hour after getting home. Paul flopoled (has anyone else ever seen Good Neighbors) in bed at 6:45 pm and he shows no sign of stirring.

First day of school successful for mom and kids.

Long beans and larb tomorrow. I have a mess of beautiful chopped pork. I am hungry.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#14 Dejah

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 08:40 PM

That's a lovely dining table. Could the wood be camphor and teak? I have one quite similar, except mine has a centre pedestal leg, with 4 dragon heads at the bottom. You have a nicer lazy Susan than I do. The table scratches easily, so we had a glass top specially cut for it. A bottle of H&P fell over and it cracked! :sad: The table didn't suite our present dining area, so it is still in our house in the country.

I just had snake beans stir-fried with fermented tofu for supper. Love that stuff. What will you do with your bean bounty?

Everyone here is having bad luck with tomatoes this summer.

Excess deer meat? How about venison jerky?
Dejah
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#15 SobaAddict70

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:41 AM

Long beans and larb tomorrow.  I have a mess of beautiful chopped pork.  I am hungry.

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Yoohoo, O tommy!!! lol.

Soba

#16 torakris

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 03:45 AM

I can't wait for the larb pictures!

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#17 hillvalley

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 04:37 AM

Larb. yummmmmmm. Will you FedEx some of the final product :wink:

Seriously folks, Susan is not doing herself justice when it comes to her kitchen. She has worked very hard to bring it to where it is today.

What about some Butt? Will we get to sample your master smoking skills?
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but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

#18 snowangel

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 07:30 AM

Good morning!

The kids are gone, and I've had my cup of coffee and piece of toast. I have been spoiled on the bread front lately. My sister lives in Berkeley, just a few blocks from Acme, and on my folks last trip, they brought me a whole duffle bag full of double levain loaves, which I quartered and froze. I am rather dissatisfied with most of the bread I find in the Twin Cities, although French Meadow is pretty good. I find most of the bread I can get lacking in that crust I like, and the interior a little "wet." Those of you that are familiar with Acme know it's a tough act to follow.

So, I do believe it's time I tried to perfect my bread-baking skills, so I will get another sourdoug starter going. My last starter was pitched my an over-zealous fridge cleaner when we moved. My sister gave me a copy of the Cheese Board Collective cookbook for my birthday, and I should explore that book.

Shortly before I went to bed last night, I was hungry again, so I had a bowl of granola. I get it from a deli in St. Paul called Trotters. It is very yummy. Full of nut halves, not too sweet, and there is almost none of that "dust" at the bottom of the bag that so much granola has. I had it in a mug with half and half. The only way to eat granola, IMHO.

This morning dawned cloudy and cold (45 degrees F). Although the season is changing, it is now brilliantly sunny and warming nicely. This is that strange season when I hate to let go of summer eating habits -- lots of great, local fresh produce, grilling, quick and easy stuff -- but as I lay in bed in the morning, reaching for an extra blanket, the lure of the braise or roast is strong.

I'm off to the hardware store soon, and will pass a meat market, so I'll stop in and see what has our name on it for dinner.

And, the thought of some smoked butt this week does sound good.

Venison jerky. I love it, but all I have left is smoked and in casings. I'm thinking that I should be thinking about using some of them in soups. I recall seeing a photo (on the Dinner thread, if memory serves me right) of someone posting about using them with beans. I think the beans were white. Sounds like I'll need to do some experimenting. Anyone have any other ideas?
And, I do know that if there is another deer in our future this fall, I will definitely find a different place for the butchering, and probably opt to just take all of the meat and go to one of my two favorite sausage/meat markets (Hackenmuellers in Robbinsdale or Nicollet Meat Market in Nicollet) if I want any sausages, brats or dogs.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#19 Laksa

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 07:56 AM

I recall seeing a photo (on the Dinner thread, if memory serves me right) of someone posting about using them with beans.

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Sausages and beans? Makes me think of cassoulet. :wub:

#20 Smithy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:27 AM

Venison jerky.  I love it, but all I have left is smoked and in casings.  I'm thinking that I should be thinking about using some of them in soups.  I recall seeing a photo (on the Dinner thread, if memory serves me right) of someone posting about using them with beans.  I think the beans were white.  Sounds like I'll need to do some experimenting.  Anyone have any other ideas?

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Lessee, ideas for underwhelming but edible sausage, from someone whose deer was hijacked by the rest of the party with that precise result:
* slice some into little coins and throw them into spaghetti sauce and serve with noodles
* slice some more and cook them up with tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, olives, whatever, and mix with little pasta butterflies and turn it into a creamy tomatoey pasta skillet dish
* slice up yet more, scramble with eggs and some good spicy salsa
* try white beans and venison sausage, maybe with a touch of sage?
* chop up yet more and throw it into a kale soup or stew, or some other leafy green stew, maybe with some garbanzos thrown in
* throw it into the grinder or food processor, regrind, and use in place of fresh ground meat in, oh, moussaka

I admire your restraint at the farmer's market! I always come away with bags and bushels of stuff and having to do something with it! :raz:

Nancy

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#21 petite tête de chou

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:43 AM

Snowangel (lovely name!),
I am so, so happy that you are doing a food-blog. It was a sad day when I read that you were spending your last summer days at the cabin with your family.
Your blissfully lengthy descriptions of the seasons, family/friends and personal-woman life has been a breath of what really matters in life. :wub:
Thank you so very much...you are a class act.
Shelley: Would you like some pie?
Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

#22 snowangel

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 11:43 AM

Back from the lumberyard with a powerful hunger. I had some liverwurst on toast with mustard while I made

Posted Image

Larb!

It is so good, and made me so hungry for Thai food that I think I'll make a chicken curry tonight (I have Thai eggplant). It's also a good vehicle for Thai basil, one of my favorites, and I have a nice plant in the garden. Think I'll make a prik khing with the long beans, and stirfry that Chinese broccoli I got at the farmer's market.

I'm aiming to get back to the farmer's market on Friday morning. I've learned to practice some restraint or else a couple of weeks later I find something somewhere in the fridge that I forgot about.

Thanks for the venison suggestions. Next deer, I'm taking charge, very precisely, what happens.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#23 lovebenton0

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 12:35 PM

Oooh! My mouth is watering for some larb! That will be soon, I'm sure.

Great to see your granite countertops after all the work you've done in that kitchen, Susan. Food looks great on granite. You picked some excellent pieces. :biggrin:

*Perk up your venison sausage with more peppers, sage or garlic to taste, and juice it up by wrapping in bacon while pan frying/steaming or grilling to half done. Then slice through all into "coins" and add browning potatoes and onions for a quick dish.

*Venison sausage, uncased and reground makes a great stuffing for bird with croutes and onions, sage and pepper to taste.

Your cool summer up there has given us a much cooler one down here in central TX -- thanks! -- wish I were sharing my tomatoes with you. :wink:

Blog on!
Judith Love

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#24 Smithy

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:01 PM

Hey, can you larb venison sausage? :biggrin:

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#25 jhlurie

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:09 PM

Hey, can you larb venison sausage?  :biggrin:

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Theoretically I think you can "larb" just about any meat. Heck, I've even seen a "Veggie Larb", not that I'd want to eat it.

More Larb talk...
Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

#26 snowangel

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:38 PM

The only two things I have not successfully larbed are hardcooked eggs (yolks got too mushy) and tofu (too soft). Although, if one deep-fried cubes of the latter, it would work well.

Leftover meat larbs well.

OK. I'll have to try larbing a venison sausage. I will report later this week.

Oh. Forgot. Canned tuna does not larb well, either. It's a texture thing, once again.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#27 snowangel

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 01:43 PM

Once the snow melted this spring, we were able to see the outside of our house. After we hooked up a chain to the back end of the Bronco (Ford, not equine), we yanked out the 40' of way overgrown arborvitae that were hiding our house. This revealed more "river rock" as "mulch" than one can imagine. I have spent a majority of the summer getting rid of the rock. It's everywhere. It's been an awful job. But, I am bound and determined to have a flower garden in the front (which is very uncommon in this suburban neighborhood). I got rid of the rock before we went to the cabin.

So, after my trip to the lumberyard and making larb, I dug out the roots which were remaining and laid a line for edging.

So, just what does this have to do with larb?

I was really hot and sweaty, even on this cool (low 60's -- f) day. I came in, cracked an icy cold beer and almost finished the larb. I discovered long ago that really spicy food tastes especially good when one is really hot and sweaty. I even chopped up a couple more hot peppers and added it. So, why didn't I finish it? When I told Diana that I was going to larb for lunch, she made me PROMISE that I would save her some. And, some it is. About 2 bites. Better than nothing.

Sweat and larb = happy!
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#28 Marlene

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:07 PM

One of these days, I'm going to have to try this larb thing. Geesh, I just conquered Onion Confit. :rolleyes:
Marlene
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#29 little ms foodie

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:10 PM

ok...i'm dumb....someone please tell me about larb! I have no clue!

#30 tejon

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 02:22 PM

ok...i'm dumb....someone please tell me about larb! I have no clue!


Ah, lovely larb.
Kathy

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