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Smithy

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    Northern Minnesota, mostly

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  1. Smithy

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    @Anna N I'm laughing because of the cleanup, but it looks delicious.
  2. Stick around, and let us see how you get on with it. Maybe you'll make more of us envious.
  3. Smithy

    The Physics of Spaghetti

    They are talking about one strand at a time, and it has to have a round cross-section. As with so many scientific discoveries, it starts as sheer playful curiosity and becomes something more. The ArsTechnica article notes that the modeling required to figure this out has already helped in an Adobe application. It also says: And yes, I too grab a handful and break it - with the bend pointed downward into the pot, so it doesn't go flying all over the kitchen. I learned that one the hard way, believe it or not, so I know what a floor littered with spaghetti pieces looks like!
  4. One of my favorite summer salads, when the tomatoes finally come in, is a Caprese salad. We keep basil out on the deck, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the pantry, and for special occasions we'll buy thinly-sliced salami and mozzarella cheese. When the season is right, nothing IMO can be simpler - or finer. Well, it's even better with fresh, warm sourdough bread. This picture is actually from a sailboat cruise last summer, but I stumbled over it earlier today and think it's worth sharing.
  5. I thought the same thing about tomato soup, then I remembered gazpacho. Go figure. I bought the Kindle version of Six Seasons, but so far have only done the roasted green beans with pine nut vinaigrette. I liked it; our guests liked it; my darling not so much. Oh, well. The vinaigrette is good on other things too. Tonight it'll be gracing some asparagus. I may break down and buy a dead tree version of this book, for the sheer pleasure of handling and looking through it. Every time this topic is updated I remember that I actually own the book, but without its taking up space on a desk I forget to look through it!
  6. I didn't know Trader Joe's carried that, but I've purchased it in New Mexico. It is indeed good stuff. Here's hoping TJ's starts carrying it again.
  7. Smithy

    Boat Cookery

    There is also the safety aspect of having a well-fed and -provisioned crew. One trio did the Trans in the smallest legal boat possible (26'? I forget) and, in order to minimize weight, those youngsters packed a bunch of snack foods like Pringles and not much else. Someone needed to have taken them in hand before the race and put some sense into them. To make matters worse, the food in question had the fat substitute Olean (a.k.a. Olestra). It was literally a gut-wrenching experience for them. They all survived and finished the race, but were incredibly hungry when they crossed the finish line. It was one of those "never again" learning moments for them. 😉 We may have been asked to contribute money for food in a couple of races, but if we did it wasn't much. What mattered to me was - as you say - having good food, warm for those cold nights, and plenty of it. Lief and his wife sound like gems!
  8. Smithy

    Boat Cookery

    Thanks for this information about the Yeti cooler. I may have just worked out what to get my husband for Christmas.
  9. Smithy

    Boat Cookery

    I am still getting my mind wrapped round the idea of squid coming up on deck at night. Does this happen only at a low speed, or can they snag a boat doing 10 knots or better? How high off the water is the deck, that they're clambering aboard? Please tell more about this when you get a chance.
  10. Smithy

    Boat Cookery

    Back in my sailboat racing days I was rarely put in charge of the food, and it was interesting to see how the skipper dealt with the issue. Lake Superior is cold, year-round, and there's little as discouraging as spending 4 days choosing between cold sandwiches and instant ramen or soup in a styrofoam cup. (There may have been fruit also; I've put that particular Trans Superior Race more or less out of mind.) Other skippers I raced with were more interested in crew comfort, and over the years there have been frozen lasagna, heated in the (yes, gimbaled and yes, gimbals locked) oven as well as restaurant-quality boil-in-bag soups or dinners. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, in some cases, or hot or cold cereal. Sandwiches for lunch. On one much shorter race, when I was a novice cook but more interested in cooking than the other crew members, I cooked scrambled eggs with chunks of Jimmy Dean sausage mixed in. The skipper thought I was a gourmet cook! Times and my cookery have changed since then. Cruises are a different story than races, and probably more like the deliveries being discussed here. Last summer my husband, sister-in-law and I rented a 33' sloop for 4 days, and they let me take care of the food. We intended to spend every night docked somewhere on Lake Superior, but allowed for the possibility of its being too stormy or cold to want to use the barbeque grill latched to the stern rail. I purchased more food than we needed, due to that allowance, but we had plenty of choices and were never in danger of starving. As I recall the meals ran along these lines: Caprese salad with good fresh warm bread on the first night, with some of summer's finest tomatoes; pesto-stuffed boneless chicken thighs on the grill, with a fresh green salad and more bread on the second night; grilled kebabs that had by then thawed, over rice, for our final dinner. SIL and I preferred yogurt and fruit for breakfast; DH chose his usual cereal. I think we had scrambled eggs with cheese one day. Lunch tended to be sandwiches for DH and me and granola bars for SIL, which helps explain why she's much slimmer than I. We had fruit and pre-cut vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, celery sticks, etc.) for snacks. Convenience foods that I brought along in case it was too miserable to cook were a selection of the aforementioned instant soups and ramens, and prepackaged ready-to-heat Indian foods: curries, saag paneer, precooked rice. That last was a surprise; Uncle Ben's actually offers some decent precooked, simply reheat, rice. Most of that stuff came home with us, and with the exception of the soups and ramens (which went to a food shelf) we've been enjoying them as quick dinners. I think stir fries make a lot of sense, but didn't plan for them on that trip and certainly didn't expect a wok. I packed my own knives but trusted the charter company otherwise, and if I'd brought a wok I don't know where we'd have put it in that particular boat. The storage was pretty limited. Here's a shot of the cooler, loaded for the trip: For the short time we were cruising the eggs couldn't have gone off anyway, but I'm glad to read @JohnT's and @Auspicious' advice to store them in cardboard rather than styrofoam, and to rotate them every day or so. That's good to know for the longer haul.
  11. Smithy

    The Physics of Spaghetti

    I figured someone would post about this! 😂 I'm especially amused at the idea of Dr. Feynman and his buddy having a floor littered with bits of spaghetti while they tried to get a perfect break, as told in the Washington Post's version of the story here. They'd have been fun dinner companions.
  12. Smithy

    Lefties in the kitchen

    My mother, having been born in the 1920's, was also discouraged from using her left (dominant) hand, and was essentially ambidextrous: she wrote and used scissors with her right hand, for instance. Nonetheless when left to her own devices, she'd do things left-handed. We didn't realize there was a right- or left-handed way to set up the dish drainer in our farm kitchen until a visitor commented on it: we set the dish drainer to the left of the sink, and that was apparently unusual. A few years ago we remodeled our kitchen. After I'd settled on the double sink that I wanted (size ratio of the basins, and so on) I had to specify which side would have the smaller basin. I didn't think it had to do with handedness, but one of FauxPas' links suggests that it does. It's nice to have choices.
  13. Smithy

    Popsicles

    What a marvelous way to celebrate the variety of peaches you have out there! I love the different colors. Have you tried nectarines? If so, what differences did you notice, if any?
  14. That's exactly what happened to me, many years ago. Niece and nephew were coming to visit for the first time, with their 5 - and 8-year-old children. I made macaroni and cheese in advance for their arrival, knowing they'd be hungry. I'd never made mac and cheese before, so I was careful to use a reliable cookbook, and I used cheddar. My niece had assured me that the kids "would eat anything" but they especially liked mac and cheese. They arrived, hungry and blown-out from a late departure and heavy traffic. 8-year-old great-niece looked at the lovely, perfectly-normal-to-my-eyes macaroni and cheese casserole, asked what it was. When I said it was macaroni and cheese her face crumpled. "I don't LIKE it!" she wailed, before it was even on her plate. Parents were mortified - first because of her behavior, but also because it became clear that Mama only cooked from boxes. They got her to try some. She still didn't like it, and she still wailed. The great-nephew was quieter but just as disapproving. I think the kids ate buttered noodles that night. Without ketchup, because I didn't have any. More wailing. But that's another story. (Incidentally, the children have grown up to be lovely, interesting people despite what might have seemed an inauspicious beginning.)
  15. Smithy

    Food funnies

    I had never before heard of Billy Connolly. I'm glad now I have...and as a quick payoff, my vocabulary has expanded by one abbreviation. I look forward to being able to use "TFD" 😂
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