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Posts posted by ninetofive

  1. Judy, that is one stunning cookbook collection! How long has it taken you to amass this? And I smiled when I read the chefs who visit go for the Time Life/Good Cook books. Same here, although they stick out in my puny (by comparison) cookbook library.

    Tonight I added Greenspan's new baking book to my collection. I was sold by the cake on the cover alone: when I saw her name on the cover, all the sweeter. :-)

  2. I've made several infusions over the past month. My favorite is a quince infusion -- got the recipe from Jane Grigson's Good Things (she might have called it a quince ratafia, which could be made with either brandy or vodka -- I went with vodka). Very nice!

    I also made a batch of cucumber vodka for bloody Marys and a peach vodka. I put a maybe six bruised peach kernels and now I'm wondering it that was too many i.e. cyanide. Thoughts? Not something I'm willing to test. Life is good! :biggrin::raz:

  3. Wow, great to hear, Elrap. I'd love to go on a foray, although I can only ID morels, puffballs, and sulphur shelf mushrooms. (Only one morel and one puffball this year!)

    We have some interesting looking mushrooms in the land bordering our home ... a couple weeks ago, it looks like we had some fairy ring mushrooms, but I couldn't be 100 percent sure.

  4. I have a silly question-- I've certainly heard about 'pressure canning', but-- does it use a pressure cooker specifically for canning or does your run-of-the-mill pressure cooker work?  Should the cans sit on anything in the canner to avoid thermal shock?  Thanks!

    Jan, this is actually a question I asked at eGullet last year after I got a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. The KR website suggests you can can with their pressure cookers, but coyly advises canners to check with their extension departments for more details since KR doesn't mfg "pressure canners." :blink:

    I've noticed that Fagor is selling a "home canning kit" you can use with their 10-qt. pressure cookers, which would seem to me you can use the pressure cooker for canning. But I took a look at their instruction book, and the kit/recipes are for water bath canning, not pressure canning. (The instructions were also poorly written/erronenous.)

    In my case, I've avoided pressure canning with my cooker.

  5. Last week was our first week for pickup. The owner told us this was the worst spring ever for them because of all the rain. Fingers crossed for a better summer.

    This week we got a nice head of leaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, leeks, green garlic, and a dozen eggs. We demolished the peas over the weekend, used the lettuce for a salad topped with crispy proscuitto last night, and today I'm making a chicken soup with the leeks and green garlic. Yum!

  6. A surprising find: Kelly's Roast Beef & Seafood in Natick (right at Jordan's furniture and the Imax theater off 9) had an excellent lobster roll for $16.95. It was cold, not heated, no lettuce, -VERY- little celery and mayo, and just a SLEW of lobster on a delicious, buttery roll. It was fantastic.

    On my list to try are still the 1790 restaurant off 9, Skipjacks, and of course Legal Seafoods. If anyone has any other recommendations, please let me know! I plan on trying to get at least one lobster roll a day in while I'm here and reporting back.  Taking one for the team, don't ya know?  :biggrin:

    I also like the lobster rolls at Kelly's Roast Beef -- they're amazingly good and packed with lobster meat.

    I usually like the lobster rolls at Legals, but have been sorely disappointed with the last two I've gotten. Last week I had one at the Kendall/MIT location and there was hardly any lobster. And the bun was soaked with mayo. Yech. I would have sent it back but our waitress was having a breakdown (graduation week).

  7. In a couple weeks, I'll definitely be making huge amounts of strawberry jam -- we have several u-pick fields within ten miles of our home, and since strawberry picking is something my 4-year-old loves doing .... I made very little last year, and regretted it by November. A few batches include rhubarb, which grows like weeds in our backyard. The other thing I like to make is elderberry jelly later in the summer. Not a lot of it because I'm the only one who likes it.

    My other big preserving project comes in late August/early September, when I can tomatoes. I either can whole tomatoes with basil, or actually make a sauce. The green ones I use for chutney.

    Then there's the apple butter and apple sauce later in the fall. And quince ... oh, I love quince jelly and so does my son, but it's easier to buy it from the Trappist monks nearby than do it myself. There's only one orchard I've found that sells homegrown quince, and very few of them.

  8. If you like sushi, there is a fabulous new(ish) place on DW Highway called Takumi--very elegant, and they have very unusual selections.

    Is this new place where the old sushi/Japanese place used to be, up on the hill in the d'Angelos/Indian restaurant strip mall?

    We always had so-so service at the old place, so I'm happy to hear of something new -- and good -- in the neighborhood.

  9. Well, the rain wasn't all bad ... I woke up this a.m., looked out my kitchen window and spotted a yellow morel growing next to our compost bin. (We're about 30 miles northwest of Boston.) I've been looking for morels around Boston for 3 years, so it's kind of humorous to finally find one growing right under my nose. :raz:

    As soon as I figure out how to use Image Gullet, I'll post a pic.

  10. Rhubarb and muscat wine jelly (Nigella Lawson recipe from How to eat):


    edited to add:

    I have been eating rhubarb practically non-stop for the past days. I have a large bowl of rhubarb orange compote in the fridge (just pieces of rhubarb stewed with orange zest and a little bit of water until soft but still holding their shape) and I'm eating it for breakfast, lunch and dessert  :shock:

    So I can really use these ideas to bring some variation to my rhubarb-eating!

    Chufi, I was just thinking of that recipe last night. I made it last spring for a friend's party, and it was quite tasty.

    I love rhubarb in anything, but my favorite is stewed rhubarb with some orange zest or ginger. I mix it into whipped cream or plain yogurt -- yum!

  11. Question: I bought some sprouting sunchokes at the grocery store last week and planted them. I figured by early winter I'll have tubers to harvest. Is this going to work? Will they grow at all? Will I have to wait a year for harvest?

    Not only will you have Sunchokes (same family as sunflowers btw), you will have them forever - you can't dig them all out.

    Yeah, I know they take over, which I why I stuck them down in a cleared-out woody thatch next to our property.

    Thanks -- yay, sunchokes forever! :wub:

  12. It's still pretty chilly here in the Boston area. Rhubarb is just starting to poke out of the ground. In the herb garden the first bit of sorrel is ready for soup, the chives are looking good, and my thyme is starting to green up. And we're getting our first dandelion greens in the lawn. Yum! My Round-up spraying neighbors think I'm nuts.

    In the veg garden we planted peas on March 17. I'm going to plant some mesclun and lettuces later this week, now that we've rabbit proofed our small garden with a fence this weekend. :cool: Indoors I've started plum tomatoes, basil, Italian parsley, watermelon (for my son), and assorted chili peppers by seed. Maybe near the end of the month I'll put in carrots, radish, and parsnips. I'm trying not to go too crazy -- we belong to a CSA and by July I'll be overwhelmed with produce.

    Question: I bought some sprouting sunchokes at the grocery store last week and planted them. I figured by early winter I'll have tubers to harvest. Is this going to work? Will they grow at all? Will I have to wait a year for harvest?

  13. I really like the produce department at that Hannafords -- it's really spacious and they have a good selection. The Hannafords here in Chelmsford, MA, sells Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes, but unfortunately they were already sprouting. (I bought them anyway and planted them -- maybe they'll reproduce enough tubers for the fall?) They also had a nice selection of fresh mushrooms last time I was up there, rare for a chain grocery.

    I like sunchokes pureed in soup -- there's a nice cream-based recipe for sunchoke soup with scallops in Margaret Costa's Four Seasons Cookery.

  14. I think I was the one who spoke of Blood Farm in West Groton. I've had good luck procuring stuff I can't find elsewhere -- sweetbreads, oxtail, veal bones, etc. For everyday meat purchases, it's Alpine Market, a butcher on Summer St. in Chelmsford, MA -- a quick drive from Nashua.

    There's a Whole Foods in Bedford, MA right off Rt. 3 -- no need to drive all the way into Cambridge.

    The grocery store by Nashua Mall is now Hannaford -- actually not a bad supermarket at all. This particular store -- indeed all the ones I've been to in NH -- have very good produce departments, as well as an adequate wine section. Last time I was there they had sunchokes, rhubarb, and Meyer lemons from Melissa's. There's also a new Super Stop & Shop on 3A in Hudson; I've only just run in there for a few things, but much nicer that Market Basket a/k/a Loser Basket around here.


    Starbucks has invaded the area. There's one on DW Highway as well as a new one in the Pheasant Lane Mall, plus a drive-through near the old Nashua Mall.

    And you know about Trader Joe's, just over the border in Tyngsboro, right?

  15. We eat at Vincenzo's on Concord Road in Chelmsford every few months. Good service, good food, and kid friendly without turning into an Olive Garden. We've brought our 4-year-old in there often and have been treated well -- we've also gone without him and noticed other children there who were similarly well treated. With two or three separate dining rooms, they do a good job of seating families away from from couples, so if there is a problem with kiddie noise, it's minimal.

    There's a new Indian place on Rt. 110 in Chelmsford heading toward Westford (on the right, can't remember the name). We tried their lunch buffet a few weeks back and it was very good. There were several Indian families dining with us -- the service was good, if a bit hovering, so we plan to try it for dinner some night.

    If you like Thai, there's a tiny little place in Chelmsford center called Yoong Tong. And I mean tiny -- like eight or so tables. We've eaten there maybe a dozen times and do take out more frequently, but the food is good and even when they're packed, they always take time to attend to my son -- either bringing him a special drink (n/c) or letting him play with one of the stuffed elephants they have on display.

  16. I second the Lorna Sass recommendation. (Her recipe for wild rice is one I turn to again and again.) Before I turned to cookbooks, however, made a lot of rice and beans from the recipes/guidelines that came with the cooker. I'd never used one before, so I was really quite nervous -- I remember my mother's sounding like a bomb about to go off!

    Have fun!

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