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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Great blog, Diana. I love Oliver's signs. If it's not too late: How often to do you have to replenish your family's sandwich bread? And how did you come to the cold-oven start?
  2. Elie, did you use a pressure cooker? I'll be using a regular pot when I try this, and I wonder how much difference pressure cooking, like Jamie did, would make.
  3. Ivan and I did the traditional anniversary thrifting yesterday, and I scored a nice big slug of our everyday dinnerware, Midwinter's white Stonehenge. For months I've been on the brink of buying a single plate on eBay to make up 12, might have amounted to $16 or $20 or a bit more, not bad, but for my $30 investment yesterday I ended up with *10* more dinner plates plus 10 more small plates, 8 more cups & saucers, soup bowls, serving bowl, platter, and a creamer orphaned from its sugar. $3 a plate and the other stuff's free, is how I see it. I also found: a beautiful Apilco oval terrine, which was just what I was looking for, and one of those tilty TG Greene yellowware bowls that was a size I have already but what was I supposed to do. Ivan scored a minty-mint Akai stereo reel-to-reel for a cool five bucks, special delivery from the gods of thrift shopping directly to the Assistance League of Tustin. Approaches all-time best score status, but the bar is pretty high, the Simac ice cream maker for $25 is still the one to beat.
  4. That was interesting, leaving the skins on for the cakes. I wonder if it makes a noticeable difference. I'll have to give them a shot soon. I have roasted them before with skins on per one of his recipes and sure enough, the skins turn crispy and chewy and very tasty. ← Yes, I have roasted hard-shell squash w/skin on in the past, acorn type especially, this way, and the skin is very good to eat. Just never thought of keeping it in a soup that was destined to be pureed. Am going to try.
  5. Watched the first ep Tivo picked up from Sat a.m., pumpkins and squashes ... somehow did not get the introductory one, however. I liked it a lot, but then I already liked Jamie. And foodwise, he is preaching to the choir with me. Intrigued by his leaving all squash skin in the soup, and processing unpeeled and raw for the cupcakes. Bold, as they used to say on Iron Chef.
  6. A subject of life-long interest. Colman's tin is such perfection I have been unable to resist using the small ones to make beeswax votives for gifts in past years. Usually I keep the large size in stock, which I adore and worship beyond all reason because it is the perfectly proportioned blowup of the little one. And MtheC the baking powder whose label I pay promiscuous attention to is Rumford. Sometimes I buy the cute little pillbox size at the health food store, but more often the still-not-giant one at Trader Joe's. I have been appreciating up close and personal-like Clabber Girl cornstarch however, supplied now in a recloseable canister with considerable graphic appeal.
  7. This topic hovers in my mind, all these days... the crucial bit, as has been reiterated, is walking in at 6 with the chicken and still ending up with dinner at an entirely reasonable hour, and that includes all cleanup and lunch/leftover repackaging. Quick & dirty: 1 chicken, 1 bottle Thai sweet chili sauce if you don't have one already for such and other purposes (I do; Caravelle brand), 1 hothouse cucumber. Turn on the oven to hot, 425 or so, first thing. While coming to temp peel/slice cucumber, rub in a little salt, dress as desired with soy/rice vinegar/sugar, maybe sesame oil or fish sauce, depending. Cut chicken in halves, s & p, bung in hot oven until done, which probably takes about as long as rice in the old cooker, with or without coconut milk as part of its liquid. Glaze the chicken with some sweet chili sauce in its last few minutes of cooking, and provide a ramekin of extra alongside.
  8. Ed La Dou, pizza maestro, and obviously a nice person too. His influence on modern cuisine cannot be overstated, well beyond pizza. LA Times obit (Edited to neaten linkage)
  9. Nice to see Beppo featured in 2 blogs simultaneous-like. Funny how his countenance seems to take on a French aspect... the power of suggestion, or a testament to feline universality? This has been ultracool. Thank you A., B., C. -- such cooking opportunity done complete justice. Not to slight the social component, of course.
  10. The supermarket frozen fries I have tried haven't tasted good, have had a strong bitterness that is either unfreshness or something added in processing. Haven't looked for organic brands, but the citric acid idea is worrisome, if the taste survives the frying. Because taste is the most important thing. The self-brand ones from Smart & Final, a self-serve restaurant supply-lite place, are worlds better, really good, in fact, and are what I use when using frozen. One doesn't always want a 5-lb. bag, the smallest unit available, but somehow one manages. I just looked up their color-retention additive: Sodium pyrophospate.
  11. Susan I love that groovy variegated yard. Could you explain what felting is? I can see the difference between them, and imagine that the extra thickness and tightness is what you're after. Is the shrinkage predictable, that is, can you know how much extra size to allow for so the finished product is just right? Reminds me of boiled wool jackets... probably a similar process, eh?
  12. There exists a frozen french fry product without bisulfites added for color retention? If so, would be nice if it was available to regular consumers. I have done both frozen and twice-fried fresh many many times, never simultaneous like as a taste test, but had good results both ways. Far better results with fresh farmer's market potatoes for fresh, and restaurant-supply frozen for frozen, than the supermarket equivalent for either. Much easier to get a consistent result with the frozen, that's for sure. Perversely what got me thinking about frozen fries as a possibility for home use at all, having never used them, was reading Fast Food Nation when it came out, the description of the tons of freshly harvested potatoes processed immediately into frozen McDonald's product.
  13. Thank you, Anne. "Pretentious non pretentiousness": Exactement.
  14. Linda, thank you. I am not surprised there is someone out there who knows more than I do about this subject.
  15. Now see, the pop culture reference my brain immediately popped up with was more along the lines of this: Ah keep your eyes on the road, Your hands upon the wheel. Keep your eyes on the road Your hands upon the wheel. Yeah, were going to the roadhouse, Gonna have a real good-time ... Yes, me too, MizD., from one of Ivan's very favorite albums. The Patrick Swayze catchphrase I only know as MST3K hearsay. Not that this secondhandedness has kept me from getting my mileage out of it. Or of countless other MST3K lines like "I don't care" or "Ask for it by name!" or "Joe Namath Mesh Action Brief," although that last I must say I first encountered in primary source, the ad on the back of the TV insert in the LA Times, alternating with Aluma-Kool patio covers, when I was young. Edited due to haste!
  16. Dunno, exactly... maybe it's a state of mind. But considering the cravat-cutting (of which, mind, I have only vestigial evidence) I'd think twice before popping open my laptop!
  17. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2007

    Last evening, soup that resulted from Sunday's farmers market, with a little bit of the Huntsinger free-range organic & c. turkey stock recently added to freezer stores, but more water. Everything cut 3/8", give or take: Big sweet onion softened in olive oil, carrot, teeny amt. of sliced garlic, yellow potato, tomato, salt, pepper, chopped parsley from the garden, a bay leaf, hit of cayenne. Bulgarian feta-egg bread.
  18. Thank you, Steve. Roadhouse... a place (on a road) you encounter on your way out, which doesn't mean you don't sometimes go there on purpose. Like the tavern where the hobbits met Strider/Aragorn in Bree, the Prancing Pony, only (one dearly hopes) with a much less cringeful name. Heading out like Alan Ladd's Shane, leaving the sacred and the settlers behind, toward the profane and the unknown. (Not to be confused with the Patrick Swayze movie which gave Joely and the robots on MST3K one of their favorite lines to flog, "My way or the highway.")
  19. This caught my eye so a couple days ago I tried it and also gave it a kick my sprinkled on some ancho chile powder as well. This was great! My kids devoured it. ← The addition of the chile sounds good. I'll have to remember that for next time, which will be soon.
  20. Thank you, Rachel. I feel the same way about the Heartland.
  21. Kabocha is the best winter squash. I served it at Thanksgiving, peeled and cubed and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little brown sugar, roasted until tender and caramelized.
  22. Really enjoyable blog, Stephanie. I am glad to have had the peek inside Corti Bros., have heard about it for so long and it does look fabulous. The pix of your Sunday farmer's market could almost have been of the Sunday farmer's market I attended here in SoCal yesterday, veg-wise anyways. Sure wish ours had oysters, though.
  23. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2007

    Last evening, shepherd's pie, with the remains of a Weber rotisseried leg o' lamb w/garlic, rosemary, anchovy from the wknd. and stock made from its bones and trimmings. Excellent yellow potatoes from the potato guy at the farmer's market for the mash on top. In the filling too the most delicious carrot EVER from the carrot lady who also is the broccoli lady. A superfresh high-quality carrot is a fine thing. Nice Romaine salade from the other guy w/honey mustard dressing. Guinness.
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