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Eating the Alphabet, A to Z


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#31 srhcb

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:12 AM

I will offer the lowly Mushroom for "M".


Would this include psilocybin mushrooms?

I had to invent the first meal a human child would eat after being magically transported to a faerie world. Since faerie rings had always been a big deal at my house (that Scots heritage and all!), I reckoned the first meal had to be a mushroom pie.


See above-referenced psilocybin link.

It was like eating the first step you take on a forest path...the taste of the earth, of nature.

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Oh! :shock: Gottcha! :wink:

SB (We're all Bozos on this bus :wacko: )

#32 Domestic Goddess

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:22 AM

That's a great story Doddie! Have you eaten mountain snake since, or do you only have it when you are pregnant?

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Nope, not only when I'm pregnant, if I could find it, I'm eating it every chance I get. :raz: I have been unsuccessful in trying to find a chinese restaurant that served that crispy mountain snake platter. I guess it was that Xiamen Restaurant's specialty. I have dreamt about that dish on and off for years.

Oh, one major item I forgot. It was CAVE mountain snake that was served to me. Really extra special.

Edited by Domestic Goddess, 15 January 2007 - 07:23 AM.

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#33 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:38 AM

Oh.

If I was rude in any way earlier, I apologize.

(But not really.)

(Lots of wonderful stories. . . :smile: )

#34 srhcb

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:25 AM

Oh.

If I was rude in any way earlier, I apologize.

(But not really.)

(Lots of wonderful stories. . . :smile: )

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I thought it was me who was rude? :hmmm:

But, if you want to take the blame, I'll gladly shirk the responsibility! :wink:

It looks to me like by the time we get to "Z is for ...", we'll easily be able to go back and construct a menu for a complete dinner. Maybe even more than one?

SB (thinking of issuing forth a few recipes) :raz:

#35 dockhl

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:36 AM

SB (We're all Bozos on this bus :wacko: )


PLEASE tell me that you found your old Firesign Theater albums in your trip down memory lane! I want a copy, please !

K (happy to pay for it in preserved lemons or any other currency that strikes your fancy :wink: )

#36 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:30 AM

I'd like to hear food stories (or see a list of foods) associated with you feeling:

Afraid.
Bored.
Calm.
Disgusted.
Envious.
Funny.
Grateful.
Humble.
Indecisive.
Jealous.
Knowledgeable.
Lazy.
Mad.
Naughty.
Obstinate.
Proud.
Quarrelsome.
Rational.
Stupid.
Theatrical.
Useless.
Virtuous.
Weak.
Xenophobic.
Youthful.
Zany.

:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

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A. . .is for Afraid, of Cave Mountain Snakes while pregnant.

B. . .is for Bored. Bored into Turning On The Stove for the first time ever.

It was a hot summer day. The sunny days stretched endlessly then, when one was ten years old with no school, no duties, no set times for anything, anything at all. In the morning one would watch TV, sprawled out on the couch trying to find something to watch on any of the three channels that were available then. Bozo the Clown sometimes was on at 8:30, but from there on in, it could quickly become boring. "What's My Line?" and "The Price is Right!" giggled in jolly content from the screen endlessly. How many women with tight-knit curls would jump up and down screeching with pleasure at the hand-mixer they had won? How many men with black glasses and white short-sleeved shirts would look up at the game show host after serious deliberation, and answer a question with pompous nods of their heads at the world?

Mid-day a bike ride, a jump in the local pool, hoping that the bully eleven-year old boy would not push one off the diving board once again, scraping one's legs into slices as he laughed uproariously with his friends. Maybe a friend would be around, maybe she would be allowed to come visit (not too likely in most cases, most times, as there were no adults home at my house).

One day I was lucky. My friend was allowed over, from some odd chance. We played Mad Libs (our absolute favorite, we laughed and laughed at the stupid sentences we'd made!) and listened to records and finally got hungry.

Her mother cooked, in her home, and she did not know how to really make anything to eat. My mother cooked also, but I was used to making sandwiches and eating all sorts of lovely junk that happened to be around. One summer I believe I lived on popsicles and raw bacon, with a smattering of grapes, and it did me no harm.

We decided to cook something, on the stove. We got out a 10" teflon saute pan and got to work.

We had no preconceived ideas of what it was we were going to cook, so just started in on whatever came from the refrigerator or cupboards. Honestly, I can not remember a single ingredient, but do know that not a single one went together in any way whatsoever.

The gas heat simmered the mixture as it came along, growing into whatever it was growing into.
First it was beige, then it somehow became a sickening green color, and finally, with a loud stench emitting from it, it turned a lovely purple.

We laughed and laughed (as ten year old girls are wont to). It was the gloppiest, most colorful concoction ever invented. Was it food anymore? I doubt it. Somehow we had transformed normal ingredients into the completely inedible.

I left it on the stove and we made some bologna sandwiches.

My mother didn't say much when she saw it when she came home, except "Karen, clean up your pot," as she walked away. (A typical WASP response to such a thing.)

B is for Boredom, and how it can make one turn on the stove to make some really messy things.

Edited by Carrot Top, 15 January 2007 - 10:39 AM.


#37 srhcb

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 10:31 AM



SB (We're all Bozos on this bus :wacko: )


PLEASE tell me that you found your old Firesign Theater albums in your trip down memory lane! I want a copy, please !

K (happy to pay for it in preserved lemons or any other currency that strikes your fancy :wink: )

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While Preserved Lemons would make a nice contribution to the menu for an Eating the Alphabet Dinner, I haven't run across any Firesign recordings yet.

Maybe we could do (Firesign) dinner theatre? :laugh:

SB (Do they still have those, or maybe they're already being revivied?)

#38 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

PLEASE tell me that you found your old Firesign Theater albums in your trip down memory lane! I want a copy, please !

K (happy to pay for it in preserved lemons or any other currency that strikes your fancy  :wink: )

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How about a preserved lemon story? :smile: There has to be one. There always is one where there are preserved lemons.

Connect it to the Firesign Theatre, even. Even if it isn't really real. :laugh:

(Example: One night, I was dreaming of the Firesign Theatre albums. A huge twenty foot high mushroom appeared before me and said, in a strangely squeaky voice for such a very large handsome mushroom, "Take me to your leader. And make me some preserved lemons, tout suite, while you are at it . . .") etc etc.

Hmmmm? :rolleyes:

#39 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:00 PM

SB (anyone got a good Butter story?)

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Not unless you want a replay of certain parts of "Last Tango in Paris". One of those things one never forgets. :cool:

SB (has plenty of beer stories) :wacko:

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So? Share? Don't be selfish now. One among many won't hurt, will it?

#40 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:02 PM

I'm too late to play my "A is for Asafetida",
but then I'll save it for "H is for Hing"...
Miraculous spice...

Are we at E now? 

E is for Eggplant (in some form of entree) on
the menu.....

Milagai

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Milagai, you are an excellent storyteller. You can play asafetida or hing. I do not have stories of either, myself. A tale of your youth perhaps? :smile:

#41 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:05 PM

Since "C" wasn't for chili, "H" has to be for hot peppers! You want a story, Karen? In Malay, there's a saying that goes like this: "Tak ada cili, tak ada rasa." That means "No chili, no taste"!

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I love the saying but want to know how you heard it, Michael. Who said it and when? What were you eating when it happened?

Just send the story, by way of this thread, to:
Lo Bak Dou
:biggrin:

#42 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:08 PM

I'd like to hear food stories (or see a list of foods) associated with you feeling:

Afraid.
Bored.
Calm.
Disgusted.
Envious.
Funny.
Grateful.
Humble.
Indecisive.
Jealous.
Knowledgeable.
Lazy.
Mad.
Naughty.
Obstinate.
Proud.
Quarrelsome.
Rational.
Stupid.
Theatrical.
Useless.
Virtuous.
Weak.
Xenophobic.
Youthful.
Zany.

:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

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And which of those will you choose to regale us with a tale of, Janet?
:wink:

Our ears are perked and waiting. :wink:

#43 The Old Foodie

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:21 PM

I'd like to hear food stories (or see a list of foods) associated with you feeling:

Afraid.
Bored.
Calm.
Disgusted.
Envious.
Funny.
Grateful.
Humble.
Indecisive.
Jealous.
Knowledgeable.
Lazy.
Mad.
Naughty.
Obstinate.
Proud.
Quarrelsome.
Rational.
Stupid.
Theatrical.
Useless.
Virtuous.
Weak.
Xenophobic.
Youthful.
Zany.

:biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

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And which of those will you choose to regale us with a tale of, Janet?
:wink:

think I have a story to fit each one -
Our ears are perked and waiting. :wink:

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I'm pretty sure I have a story to match each one - but am a bit snowed under right now, not the least because keeping track of the 6 degrees game in another thread is taking the little time I have at present to 'play'. Sad, isnt it? I wear an academic hat on a part-time basis, and the academic year is about to start, so it is all a bit hectic. You know how sometimes you bite off more than you can chew ?

I'll try to post something this evening - am at work now and my staff are giving me scowls as they walk past the door and see this blue and white page, when it should be grey and white with some red .......
Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

#44 Carrot Top

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:39 PM

I'll try to post something this evening - am at work now and my staff are giving me scowls as they walk past the door and see this blue and white page, when it should be grey and white with some red .......

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Maybe wait till you catch up (whenever that may be, and certainly not tonight!) and then try writing something on "tired"? :biggrin: :wink:

Edited by Carrot Top, 15 January 2007 - 06:41 PM.


#45 The Old Foodie

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 03:16 AM

I'll try to post something this evening - am at work now and my staff are giving me scowls as they walk past the door and see this blue and white page, when it should be grey and white with some red .......

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Maybe wait till you catch up (whenever that may be, and certainly not tonight!) and then try writing something on "tired"? :biggrin: :wink:

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Tired.
Tea.
Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

#46 Carrot Top

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:16 AM

:laugh:

In the best British tradition?

Then Tumble into dreamland. Ta!

#47 Brad Ballinger

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 07:50 AM

Inspired by M.F.K. Fisher's "An Alphabet for Gourmets", I thought it might be fun to have our own banquet of words and food, from letter to letter, all along the alphabet.

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Awwww. I thought perhaps you might have been inspired by those of us in the Wine Forum drinking through the alphabet -- Wine Tag, A to Z.
We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

#48 Carrot Top

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:40 AM

Awwww.  I thought perhaps you might have been inspired by those of us in the Wine Forum drinking through the alphabet -- Wine Tag, A to Z.

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Yeah, Brad. Yeah, that was it. I was just confused for a moment. :wink:

All I know is, "L" is for Latour. :biggrin:

Sigh.

#49 srhcb

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 08:29 PM

N is for Nothingness

The cousins on the Serbian side of my family and I have decided that when we gather for an Easter feast at Dr Mike’s this year we’ll make a particular effort to pay tribute to our Grandma Baich, who passed away over thirty years ago.

She was a twelve-year old orphan when she came to this country in the early 1900’s as a virtual indentured servant. Grandma never spoke much about the old country, but we gather her life there hadn’t been easy. For instance, we know that just before embarking on the voyage she had gotten her first pair of shoes.

For three years she cooked and cleaned for the family that had paid her fare. At age fifteen she married my Grandfather, in what we suspect was something like an arranged marriage. He had immigrated several years earlier, and was already a successful local businessman.

She raised seven children, (and lost one), and kept house in the rooms above my Grandfather’s clothing store during the school year, and at their farm outside town in the summer. Like most women of her generation, homemaking occupied most of her time, and a good percentage of the time was spent in the kitchen.

Grandma’s cooking was legendary. The culinary high-point of every year was the pig she’d roast for Orthodox Christmas. Her apple and cheese strudels, using her homemade phyllo, has proven impossible to replicate. She taught my Mother and Aunts to cook, but nothing ever turned out quite the same as when Grandma made it.

I have the cookbook she brought with her from Serbia, but it does me about as much good as it did her. I can’t read Serbo-Croation, (in Cyrillic Script yet), and she couldn’t read any language at all.

Oddly, Grandma never are with the rest of the family, but stayed by herself in the kitchen during the meal. My Sister theorizes this was a habit from having been a servant before marrying, but I suspect she may have enjoyed this brief chance to be by herself.

Grandma Baich used lots of colorful sayings, even if they probably lost something in translation. Many of them, not surprisingly, had to do with food. If she had to repeat something you’d missing by not paying attention, she would say, “I don’t chew my cabbage twice.” A common saying at mealtime was the self-explanatory, “You want it or not, you got it.”

My favorite though, partly because it’s such a typical Serbian sentiment, is, “It smells of it’s nothingness.” While this was generally applied in the case where everyone wanted the last piece of something just because there wasn’t enough to go around, I wonder if maybe Grandma had first heard the expression as a little girl when the “nothingness” referred to was not virtual, but quite literal?

Although Grandma had no formal education, that concept of “nothingness”, expressed through an adage about food, is positively existential in scope when applied as an observation about life in general.

As we gather for Easter; my Mother, the last survivor among her siblings, and my cousins and their partners, numbering among them a doctor, a nurse, two teachers, two engineers, an international industrialist, a philosopher/caterer, the administrator of a world wide charity organization, an architect, and yours truly, with our fancy educations, will pay homage to the barefoot twelve-year old orphan who risked the only thing she had, her life, to come here and spend that life caring for others, never expecting or asking for anything more.

Life may smell of it’s nothingness, but it’s rendered meaningful by the “somethingness” left for us by prior generations.

Easter Dinner, as usual, will feature great food, fine wines, and stimulating conversation. None the less, I’m sure all of us who are her direct descendants would gladly trade the experience for just one chance to eat in the kitchen with Grandma Baich.

Edited by srhcb, 17 January 2007 - 08:47 PM.


#50 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 11:21 AM

Not for Nothin', SB, but that was beautiful. Previous to this, my belief was that where beauty exists, there can not be Nothingness. But you've turned that concept upside down now, haven't you. :wink:


I'm going to continue on with Janet's list, because I liked it and it gives a form to the very vagueness of life.

................................................................

"C" is for Calm

Calm is one thing in food. It is puff pastry.

Puff pastry can not be made well unless there is a calm enough atmosphere surrounding it, and unless it is handled calmly. It can be made competently if calm is not there, but not really well.

The cool flour feels like silk in the bowl. Run your fingers through it - smooth, soft, light, and somehow enchanting. If it does not feel this way, if it feels coarse, sticky at all, warm, or heavy. . .there is something wrong already.

The dough must be handled in a calm manner or it will become angry. "Be swift and deft!" are the instructions I remember reading in an old cookbook, a regular cookbook, not a fancy one, one written sometime in the 1940's for housewives. . .and each time since then when approaching making a pastry dough, the words slip into my mind. "Be swift and deft!"

Some hands are more attuned to pastry than others. The test is always a short crust, one will always discover innate potential or not, with the making of a short crust. Yet with puff pastry the test goes further. It must be babied a bit, though not indulgently, but calmly.

It must rest. It must be folded just so, again and again. Inbetween the folds a measure must be taken, a sense of whether the dough is ready to fold, whether it wants to be folded just yet over the chilled dense molded butter that will fill it with air and height and a towering magnificence that almost reeks of deity invoked when done perfectly, or whether it is resisting the forward movement into becoming what you intend it to be. Any urgency during this time will tilt the progress sideways a bit, edging the final product into a slightly different shape and taste, texture and look.

The butter itself is calm, or should be. It should not be hot or weepy, stiff or cranky. It must be ready and willing, desirous even, of being wrapped within the arms of the soft yet strong dough that encloses it.

"Be swift and deft! Have a light hand!", exhorted the old battered cookbook. How else to retain a calm dispostion in the face of struggles toward things larger than we think we can become, just as the homey untried ingredients of flour, water and butter meld together in inspired concert to become not just one's daily bread, but instead a castle of edible dreams.

#51 srhcb

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:27 PM

I'm going to continue on with Janet's list, because I liked it and it gives a form to the very vagueness of life.

................................................................

"C" is for Calm

Calm is one thing in food. It is puff pastry.


Okay,

"D" is for Disgusted

Which is what I was after two attempts at making puff pastry, once following the directions in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, and the second time according to Julia's instructions.

Even with a nice marble slab to work on in the cool environs of my garage, the rolling part proved to be my downfall both times. :sad:

Not too long ago, I was talking about this with a friend of mine formerly known as "The Teddy Bear Lady", and she had an ingenious idea.

She suggested, "Why not use your Pasta Machine to do the rolling?"

:blink:

Why not indeed?

SB (may give puff pastry another try :hmmm: )

Edited by srhcb, 18 January 2007 - 01:46 PM.


#52 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 01:51 PM

Some hands are more attuned to pastry than others. The test is always a short crust, one will always discover innate potential or not, with the making of a short crust. Yet with puff pastry the test goes further. It must be babied a bit, though not indulgently, but calmly.

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She suggested, "Why not use your Pasta Machine?"

:blink:

Why not?

SB (may give puff pastry another try :hmmm: )

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So the pasta machine has better hands than you? It can baby a thing better?

Karen (who prefers real to steel and something with a brain attached rather than not, any day :rolleyes: )

(Please be sure to loudly sing opera as you roll the dough through the rollers. . . .)

#53 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 02:00 PM

E is for Envious which is what I have been sometimes, when viewing the large, well endowed, shiny expensive kitchen that belongs to someone else.

My kitchens have been all sorts of shapes, and never yet a perfect one. Is there such a thing as a perfect kitchen? Does anyone know? How could there be such a thing as a perfect kitchen if the cooking done in it is always progressing, growing, changing, as cooking will do sometimes.

The thing is, that most of the perfect kitchens I've seen are unused. When asked, their owners will smirk a bit, with some little pride, and say. . ."Well. . .I really haven't the time to cook. . ." or " I had it done this way to improve the value of the house."

Really, though I can smile dimly in response to these things, mostly both ideas strike me as rather obnoxious. Not the people. . .but the ideas. Obnoxious ideas.

A kitchen is to be used, whether there is time for it or not. A kitchen built for monetary value gives that, and that only. And what is that?! The Emperor may hoard his gold, but sooner or later he will find he has no clothes. And he will be not only naked but hungry too.

And what will be there, with its little smirk? The large, well-endowed, shiny expensive kitchen that holds nothing to eat, nothing at all. Well. . .maybe a Frito or two. But no more.

Envious? No, no longer, not after understanding the reality of the perfect kitchen that is not.

#54 srhcb

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 02:02 PM

Some hands are more attuned to pastry than others. The test is always a short crust, one will always discover innate potential or not, with the making of a short crust. Yet with puff pastry the test goes further. It must be babied a bit, though not indulgently, but calmly.

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She suggested, "Why not use your Pasta Machine?"

:blink:

Why not?

SB (may give puff pastry another try :hmmm: )

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So the pasta machine has better hands than you? It can baby a thing better?

Karen (who prefers real to steel and something with a brain attached rather than not, any day :rolleyes: )

(Please be sure to loudly sing opera as you roll the dough through the rollers. . . .)

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"E" is for Envious

Which is what I am, of those who can roll dough manually. And ....

"F" is for Funny

Which is what you might think it was, watching my efforts with a rolling pin!

"G" is for Greatful

Which you would be if you avoided being struck by flying dough and associated utensils!

"H" is for Humble

Which I rarely am, but I readily admit to being dough rolling challenged.

"J" is for Jealous

Which is what I am of those with the deft touch to roll dough. (And of those who can sing opera!)

SB :rolleyes:

#55 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 02:13 PM

I see that you skipped "I" for "indecisive". Not sure whether that was through exteme good manners in avoiding using "I" too much or whether you are never indecisive.

Or whether you just couldn't decide whether you wanted to be indecisive or not.

Decisions, decisions.

P.S. Puff pastry is not something everyone has to master, just as being calm is something not everyone has to master either. :wink:

Personally I haven't made puff paste in years. :biggrin:

Edited by Carrot Top, 18 January 2007 - 02:14 PM.


#56 tino27

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:00 PM

"M" is for Morels.

Farmer's markets are such wonderful places. Wholesome, organic, really connecting you with the people who take pride in bringing the most flavorful and special produce to people like me. People who understand it is better to live with the memory of an incredible gastronomic experience using seasonal produce than to live with the diluted version the rest of the year.

As I was making my early Saturday morning walk through one of my favorite markets, I came across a vendor selling mushrooms. At first my eye was drawn to the old stand-byes: button, cremini, shiitake. But suddenly, as if nothing else existed in the entire room, I spotted them: fresh morel mushrooms. I knew that this would be the ONE chance in the entire year to get the fresh variety. My heart began to race as my mind contemplated the incredible flavor that was locked in those babies. How could I use these? What way could I maximize their flavor. I looked at the price -- $35 a pound! My brain said, "$35 a pound! Are you insane?" But my mouth was already salivating. I looked at the person running the stand and said, "I'll take 1/4 pound please."

"So, what are you going to do with these?"

Not having fully formulated a plan yet, I admitted, "I have no idea yet. But when you see fresh morel mushrooms in this condition, you buy first and ask questions later!"

I gingerly laid the bag of fungi in my basket. If I could've built some type of protective casing to prevent even the slightest bit of damage, I would have. As I walked away from that stand, I started contemplating my options. How does one built an entire meal around a mushroom? I decided two important things at that moment: 1) Beef 2) I had to share this amazing thing with my non-foodie friends. On my way home I stopped at my favorite butcher and picked up several strip steaks. I called up my friends and simply insisted that they come to dinner that evening -- I wouldn't take no for an answer. I told them I would explain later.

When they finally arrived, I was mise en placing my ingredients. Sensing my excitement, they asked what the big deal was -- I explained what we would be having. Since they don't get treated to a steak dinner on a regular basis, one of my friends commented, "Wow! I haven't had steak in a while." I chastised him. "No, no, my friends. The steak is a supporting actor." I held up a single morel mushroom and exclaimed, "These are the star of this meal!"

After explaining what a morel mushroom was and the incredibly short seasonality of the ingredient and the cost per pound (I think the cost was what put them over the edge), they just kept eying me as if I had completely lost all sense of reality. I could only placate their uneasiness by saying, "Just wait, you'll see."

I seared off both sides of the strip steaks and placed them in the oven to finish cooking. Now it was time to make the pan sauce. I started by adding a little grapeseed oil and butter in the pan. Then I added the shallots and cooked until they had softened. Now it was time for the main star. I added up the morels and gently cooked them until they had given up their juice. I now deglazed the pan with some lovely red wine and beef stock and added a couple of sprigs of thyme. I reduced. Then the heavy cream went in. I reduced. At the very end, a shot of sherry vinegar and then monter au buerre. I adjusted the salt and pepper and gave it a final taste: heaven.

My guests were already seated at the table. I quickly plated the dinner. Roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Roasted asparagus tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt. The lovely strip steak. And finally, the mushroom pan sauce to top the steak. I put a plate down in front of each of them and waited. As they began to cut a bite of steak, I admonished them to make sure they got a bit of the morel to go along with the meat. And then it happened; those looks of uncertainty and incredulity at my odd behavior thus far changed into looks of understanding and amazement.

"This is amazing! If it's actually possible, the mushroom makes the steak taste ... BEEFIER!"

I sat down to my own plate and relished every morsel. I knew I had not only done the morels proud, but the farmer from whom I bought them.

I can still taste those morels in my mind and I look forward to that one week in mid-May where I'll be able to repeat this experience all over again.

:rolleyes:
Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.
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#57 The Old Foodie

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 03:48 PM

I see that you skipped "I" for "indecisive". Not sure whether that was through exteme good manners in avoiding using "I" too much or whether you are never indecisive.

Or whether you just couldn't decide whether you wanted to be indecisive or not.

Decisions, decisions.

P.S. Puff pastry is not something everyone has to master, just as being calm is something not everyone has to master either.  :wink:

Personally I haven't made puff paste in years.  :biggrin:

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"I" is for "Indecisive" which is not a situation I find myself in often. I think that is a decisive statement. Either a decision is sufficiently clear that indecisiveness is not an issue, or not sufficiently important, in which case either decision is OK, or since you can never really be sure how the alternative decision would have worked out, why sweat over it.

However, if I do happen to be indecisive when cooking, and hesitate over how much to add or how long to cook, or some other such choice - that is when I have failures.

I have no conclusions to draw from that, but I eagerly await yours.

The stories of nothingness and calm I love.

As for puff pastry. Calm and calming yes. I make it about twice a year. Always at Christmas, and maybe one other time. I wonder ("w" for "wonder"?) why I dont make it more often, because (a) I love doing it and (b) everyone says "why dont you make this more often". I blame the food/calorie/cholesterol police for the rarity of the event. Which means I am less calm, therefore in greater health danger myself.

No more food-musings now, I must hie me off to the medical school. The new little first year darlings start on Monday, and we must appear calm and organised for them. Wish me luck.

[can someone do "O" for "Organised" for me, to soothe or inspire me this evening, please?]

J
Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

#58 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 04:57 PM

"I seared off both sides of the strip steaks and placed them in the oven to finish cooking. Now it was time to make the pan sauce. I started by adding a little grapeseed oil and butter in the pan. Then I added the shallots and cooked until they had softened. Now it was time for the main star. I added up the morels and gently cooked them until they had given up their juice. I now deglazed the pan with some lovely red wine and beef stock and added a couple of sprigs of thyme. I reduced. Then the heavy cream went in. I reduced. At the very end, a shot of sherry vinegar and then monter au buerre. I adjusted the salt and pepper and gave it a final taste: heaven.

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Where is the drooling smilie face? Yikes, that sounds good!

The only time I've ever indulged in all the morels I wanted was in Battle Creek, Michigan of all places. There was this fantastic huge old fancy grocers right downtown in the middle of the rest of downtown, which was rather depressed. An enormous place, thirty foot high or so ceilings, food stuffed in everywhere, elegant food but not elegant tables for it. Everything was sort of wearing out in the place, though there was still a big black grand piano near the entrance where on Saturdays there was actually a man in black tie who would come play (!). I remember the meat department which had a separate cold room. . .startling. It was freezing in there. Then there was the produce. Every. single. thing. you could possibly want, laid out just funky-like.

I think it was in the Fall that one day morels suddenly appeared, huge boxes of them toppling over, mounded high. I thought I was hallucinating. No, it was morels. And though they were not cheap, they were *not* expensive, either. Three pounds I bought. :laugh:

They disappeared very quickly. :biggrin:

I think they were there for about three weeks, in that incredible store. An astonishing find, just like yours was.
Thanks for reminding me of that time. :smile:

Edited by Carrot Top, 18 January 2007 - 05:12 PM.


#59 Carrot Top

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:11 PM

[can someone do "O" for "Organised" for me, to soothe or inspire me this evening, please?]

J

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I wish you best of luck, Janet, but do not think you really need it for if you are decisive enough it is possible that you might not *have* to whistle for luck to come.

Organized (or even organised) won't happen here tonight, with two children, two evening activities in different directions they need to be taken to and home from, and two different desires for what they like for their dinners. :laugh:

I can decisively say that. :huh:

Edited by Carrot Top, 18 January 2007 - 05:14 PM.


#60 jackal10

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:31 PM

From http://www.smh.com.a...5582700584.html

A for Horses (Hay for Horses) A for ism (aphorism) A for gardener (Ava Gardner, film star)

B for mutton (Beef or Mutton) B for my time (Before my time) B for tea (beef tea) B for dinner (beef for dinner)

C for islanders (Seaforth Highlanders) C for yourself (See for yourself); C for Sailors (sea for sailors) C for ships, C for miles (see for miles) C for looking (see for looking)

D for ential (deferential/differential) D for dumb (deaf or dumb) D for Kate - defecate) D for n' baker (Diefenbaker, Canadian prime minister) D for rent (different)

E for brick (heave a brick) E for Adam (Eve or Adam) E for Gabor (Eva Gabor) E for Ning Standard (Evening Standard) E for you or me (either you or me) E for Braun (Eva Braun) E for knocks you rotten (Ether...) or E for Gas (Ether gas)

F for vescence (effervescence) F for lump (efferlump)

G for police (chief of police), G for get it (Gee, forget it!) G for screepers (Geefers creepers, where d'you get those peepers) G for take (give or take) G for Staff (chief of staff) G for Sis (g-forces) or G for horse (G-force)

H for respect (age for respect) H for retirement (age for retirement) H for it (Hate you for it plus other variations on Hate you eg what ya done to me, for your feets too big (popular song of the 1940s) H for weight (Age for weight) H for teen (Age 14) H before beauty; (age before beauty) H for consent (age of consent) H for love (ache for love) H for himself (each for himself) H cheer for the winner(A cheer for the winner)

I for Novello (Ivor Novello - actor composer playwright of the 1930s) I for looting (High Faluting) I for an I (eye for an eye) I for get/got (I forget/forgot) I for nate (hyphernate) I for a needle (Eye for a needle) I for no (Ivanhoe) I for the Girls (eye for the girls) I for idea (I've an idea) I for tower (Eiffel Tower) I for idea/nasty cold (I've an idea/a nasty cold) I for a lovely bunch of coconuts I for crush (I've a crush on you) I for pain (I've a pain)

J for oranges (jaffa oranges) J for dollar to spare (Do you have a dollar...)

K for answers (Kay Francis, American film star of the 1930s and 40s) K for oranges/limes (Kaffir oranges/limes) K for teria (cafeteria) K for a cuppa (Care for a cuppa) K for Kraal (Kaffir Kraal - now politically incorrect) K for warriors (Kaffir warriors - Zulu army) K for coffee (Cafe for coffee) K for butter (Copha butter) K for Corn (Kaffir Corn) K for Restaurant (Cafe or Restaurant) K for the door (key for the door) K for dates (Kaifa)

L for leather (Hell for leather)

M for sis (emphasis) M for sema (emphysema) M forces (armed forces)

N for a dig (Infra dig/ In for a dig - ie. bat at cricket) N for lope (envelope) N for eggs (Hen for eggs) N for mation (information) N for end (end-for-end) N for a penny (In for a penny...) N for it (In for it) N for pasha (Enver Pasha, a Turkish leader) N forcement (enforcement), N for red (infrared) N for terrible (enfant terrible)

O for the garden wall (Over the garden wall) O for my dead body/ O for goodness sake//O for the wings of a dove/O for the moon, O for crying out loud! O for there, O for goldmine (Ophir goldmine) O for come (overcome) O for the fence is out (Over the fence...backyard cricket term) O for an Osram; O for a nice cold beer

P for relief (Pee for relief) also P for a penny, P for yourself, P for a whistle, P for cake (Piece of Cake) P forty two (An American fighter)

Q for rations/the flicks/for fish and chips/for tickets/for a bus (Queue for..) Q for billiards (cue for billiards) Q for ills (Cure for ills) Q for a song (cue for a song)

R for mo (Half a mo') R for Bitter (half of bitter) R for Askey/Daley/Murray (Arthur Askey, comedian/Arthur Daley/Arthur Murray) R for loaf (Half a loaf)

S for Williams (Esther Williams, aquatic film star) S for you (As for you/it's for you) S for anto (esperanto) S for mation (a flying formation) S for As You Go (As Far As You Go) S we have no bananas (yes, we have no bananas)

T for two (Tea for two) T for eating (Teeth for eating) T for Gums (Teeth or Gums) T for dentures (Teeth or dentures)

U for me (You for me) U for mism (euphemism) U for ear (euphoria) U for Fox (Uffa Fox, British yachtsman and boat-builder) U for films ( UFA films- a German film company) U for knee (euphony) U for age (youth or age) U for got (You forgot) U for Joyce (Yootha Joyce) U for ram (Ewe for ram) U for nasia (Euthenasia)

V for La France (Viva La France) V for l'amore (Vive l' amore) V for Espana! (Viva Espana!) V for Victory

W for a bob (I'll double you on a pushbike for a shilling) W for nothing/quits/ two hearts/trumps (Double you for nothing, quits etc - betting, gambling or poker terms) W for tune (Double Your Fortune - an old gameshow) W for cards, Could be updated to W for president

X for breakfast (Eggs for breakfast

Y for mistress (Wife or mistress) also Y for husband/girlfriend/lover/kids, Y for Christ's sake/God's sake/goodness sake?Y for runts (Y-fronts) Y for thin (wafer thin) Y for and wherefore

Z for breeze (Zephyr breeze) Z for motor car (Ford Zephyr); Z for his hat (His head for his hat)Z for the doctor (zend for the doctor)

Edited by jackal10, 18 January 2007 - 05:32 PM.