Smithy

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About Smithy

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  1. It really is a good book, kayb. It's the sort of book that is entertaining to read regardless of whether one cooks from it. The few recipes I've tried from it have been good. I'm still having trouble cooking from an ebook and tend to use it less than I might if it were a physical book. Thank you for the frittata recommendation! It was a good opportunity for a one-pan meal on a night when it was raining(!) and blowing and cool enough for us to appreciate having the oven on. Asparagus, roasted peppers, onions (two types), bacon and the collards, surrounded by eggs, milk and cheese - what wasn't to like? It was a one-pan meal except for the prep dishes, and we both loved it. The collards were unobtrusive but added a nice flavor that I could detect because I was looking for it. We'll have the leftovers sometime today.
  2. We rode in the heat one day to a campground with a small store, interesting history, and quirky architecture. One resident has cobbled together a fence from downed wood found along the washes, with occasional junk decorating the top. I had a bee in my bonnet about getting a Klondike bar before we leave the area for the year. There arose a terrible dilemma: what flavor of Klondike to pick? I didn't know they made Rocky Road, Caramel Swirl, Cookies'n'Cream...in the end, we both chose the classic. The ocatillo are blooming, about a month later than usual. The blossoms look like birds of paradise perched atop every branch. The hummingbirds love them. Campfire cooking has been the order of the day, for many days. Papa's pan has been instrumental in vegetable cookery over the fire. A grill basket has done yeoman's work for grilling chicken, burgers, or - in this case - pork steaks. These steaks weren't quite done enough, and it was a shame because they were gorgeous in the package. A little microwaving took care of the doneness, but didn't help with the texture. The solar 'oven' has been in use for light vegetable cooking, vegetable rewarming and defrosting. Last time we went to the grocery store I overbought vegetables, and a bunch of collards has been reproaching me from the refrigerator every time I looked in. The outer leaves were starting to yellow. I knew I wouldn't soon be ambitious enough to do the dolmades described here by @blue_dolphin but couldn't bring myself to throw them away without at least trying to do something with them. Yesterday the green leaves (stemmed and cut into squares) went into the solar cooker with a touch of water, some onion and oil. The result: Okay, it doesn't look pretty but they're nicely wilted and taste reasonably good. I'm not sure I'll get them past my darling without further disguise. Got any suggestions about what to do with them? I can spice them up as in the gingered collards discussed here but that still won't get past the "Eww! Cooked greens!" reflex. Mix them into a pilaf or an omelet, perhaps? Fry them up with potatoes, my original thought? Or is this a lost cause? In other news: the heat finally broke today and I defrosted the freezer again. Look at all the space! It would be nice to arrive home with so little to move back into the house, but it will probably just mean more room to load up on shrimp if we make it back to the Gulf Coast. Note, also, that I'm not showing the contents of the refrigerator.
  3. This may not be new, exactly. I've seen and read about things like this before and thought they were bound to be useless. However, earlier this week I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% Off Entire Purchase burning a hole in my pocket. I was looking for, oh, a food processor or kitchen scale that I couldn't resist. I didn't find anything big or even pricey, but I found this: Huh. $5. Worth a try. (No, I did not use the wonderful coupon to bring it down to $3. I still have hopes for that coupon.) 5 bucks seemed a small enough risk for another gadget that might or might not work. It made short work of the parsley for that night's dinner: much shorter than my painstaking finger technique, and much neater than my slapdash knife technique. Next time I have kale or collards, I'll post about it here.
  4. @sartoric, that Charmaine Solomon cookbook has an interesting set of cuisines: Thai, Indian, Asian and ... Cajun?! She really jumped the ocean there, didn't she?
  5. To see the discussion about the Fasta Pasta microwave pasta cooker, please go here.
  6. Fruit

    Over in this topic, @ninagluck said: I've noticed for the past few years that pomegranates are available in very off-season months (i.e. summer) in Duluth, MN, far from where they're grown, yet they disappear promptly from the California and Arizona markets that I visit right around Christmas. I don't understand it - they're grown in California, harvested in the fall and presumably available for storage and later distribution, but they aren't to be found. How about the rest of the USA? Are you seeing pomegranates right now, in March? Am I just visiting the wrong markets in California?
  7. Only the pomegranate molasses, without any fresh pomegranate added? Did you make the molasses yourself?
  8. Did you make that fesengan sauce yourself, @ninagluck? I'm always looking for more things to do with pomegranates, although it will have to wait since our season is finished.
  9. "Lady fingers" =? Are they some type of banana?
  10. Can you scrounge up phones from friends for the event? Do you have tablets, or older backup phones, that could be pressed into action?
  11. Yesterday the solar oven proved to be handy for thawing a jar of frozen sauce (herbs, citrus, and a bit of oil). It went from solid to liquid in under an hour. Leftover green beans also reheated handily in about 15 minutes, though the only picture is of them in the 'oven'. Lunch, aside from aforesaid green beans, was a salad of chopped cukes, tomatoes, spring onions, parsley and cheese, dressed with a citrus vinaigrette. Dinner: salmon over the campfire, with the handily-thawed sauce. I sprinkled half the salmon with corn flake crumbs; it wasn't a good fit, either in taste or texture. More of the salad accompanied it. Here's some more desert color. The Desert Five-Spots are beginning to bloom!
  12. Solar cooking

    Thanks for that information. I'll keep it in mind for future developments. This was just a test run using easily-found and -disposable supplies - something I won't mind 'losing' at the next trash drop. Even this bush-league setup is working well for quick thaws and rewarming food, though: the glass jar of frozen sauce was thawed within an hour, and my leftovers were plenty warm in 15 minutes. It is probably relevant that the deck that the rig is sitting on is well over 100F.
  13. Learning to Cook

    Welcome to eGullet, Tammy. Has your doctor given a list of items that you can eat, or nutritional guidelines? When my mother's kidneys began to fail she was given lists of good foods, foods to minimize and foods to avoid altogether. If you have a list of approved foods you might be able to get some specific and constructive help. As an example, you could post a list of approved ingredients in this topic: Create my meal - the game and see what folks suggest. You may also wish to peruse the offerings in The eGullet Culinary Institute for some good how-to classes. The courses are old, but still valuable. I like your line "I cook by smoke detector". Years ago, a friend gave me some napkins that said, "Dinner will be ready when the smoke alarm goes off". If you have any questions about where to find things or the appropriate place to post, feel free to contact a host by PM (personal messenger), or ask in the Moderation and Policy Discussion forum.
  14. Everything was cut into pieces of about the same size ... and the piece sizes were inconsistent with wrapping it all into tortillas. The tortillas will have to wait for another opportunity. At the table, we spent a fair amount of time considering the Pointillists' influence on this dinner: eat a bit of this and a bite of that, and get an entirely different picture of the dinner than one might imagine from the individual elements. At least, that's what I think the conversation was about.