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society donor
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    Southern California

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  1. I have gotten three or four bunches of green bananas during the past few months. I feel them at the lower end, squeeze gently, and when they give a little I will peel one. Whatever this variety is, they remain a bit firm but have a ripe flavor, which I like. They are similar to some of the bananas I buy at the Mexican supermarket, which are not the Cavandish, the usual commercial variety. The ones on the outer rim will ripen faster than the inner ones. Look at the stems when they are brown close to the fruit, they should be near ripe.
  2. I knew it was. I have owned so much of the stuff since the late '60s. I "discovered" it at a hardware store that catered to the wealthy suburb of Woodland Hills, Hidden Hills, in the west end of the San Fernando Valley and had an extensive kitchen shop because that was before any of the large department stores had moved into the Valley. I had gone there to purchase the largest Magnalite roaster because I had a 34 pound turkey to roast and had nothing that would fit it. I saw the bright red-orange enamel in the newly placed display and for once, my husband was also captivated by it. After spending $500. dollars (The Maganalite roaster was $96.) we left with several pieces of the Descoware. Some I still have. (Adjusted for inflation, $500.00 in 1968 is equal to $3,790.18 in 2020.) I have to admit that considering the use I have gotten out of those and the $$$ for which I have sold the ones I no longer needed, they turned out to be an incredible bargain. I'm sure your parents found the same thing.
  3. It's Descoware and their enamel was superior to Le Creuset. I have Descoware I bought in the late '60s, have used heavily and no chips.
  4. I have been using the free pickup service since my store offered it. Substitutions i have gotten are always excellent. Name brands instead of the store brands or larger sizes. I had ordered the 42 ounce frozen strawberries - for the same price they substituted the 64 ounce bag. last week I ordered 6 of the 51¢ each comice pears, they substituted 6 of the 96¢ each red pears. Last December I ordered the 2-pack of the store butter, salted. They subbed 2 pounds of the LandOLakes - a dollar more.
  5. I have tested a couple for Amazon and they worked just as described. One was borosilicate glass, one was silicone. Most recent was Progressive Prep which was versatile and could be used for other things.
  6. I have a Carnation milk box that sat on my porch in Canoga Park under the roof so it was in the shade. It was roomy enough for a couple of gallon jugs and some smaller bottles or cartons.
  7. No. Someone gave it to me because I used to collect cast iron and liked odd things. And this was quite odd. I have sold most of my cast iron. I have a couple of skillets left. A Volrath a later Griswold and a couple of griddles, an actual abdelskiver pan and this. i was going to put in on ebay but never got around to it.
  8. It looks like a very old Takoyaki pan. I have a very old one that has flattened sections, smaller than yours and rather crudely made to be used on a brazier. I have had this one for about 20 years, handles shape like octapi to indicate the use, just in case a person wasn't sure.
  9. Yesterday a neighbor, who knows I bake bread, knocked on my door and asked if I could bake her a loaf of bread for today. She had spend hours shopping for essential (had been away for a few days on business) and had forgotten bread and couldn't face the ordeal of going back to the store. She offered me $5.00 but I didn't want to touch the bill and told her it would be my pleasure to bake a loaf for her. So she picked this up a 11 a.m. this morning. In a few weeks after most of this mess has blown over, hopefully, her son will do some yard work for me. I'm well stocked with everything and I haven't needed to go out to shop. I did order from Walmart on line and picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables. Gave them all a vinegar and water bath after I got home and since my dryer has a "shelf" for shoes and things, I dried them in there - no heat, air only. I always have lots of rice on hand. I bought an 11 pound package of the pink Madagascar rice 3 years ago and it only gets better with age. I also have sushi rice, red rice, black rice, green bamboo rice and 6 cans of Carnaroli rice.
  10. I just remembered - one of the jars I opened I thought was burnt fig jam - which I made for pairing with strong, sharp cheeses. However, when I tasted it, not quite as "gingerly" as I should have, what I had opened was Sambal Badjak that I had made about 2 years before (because it improves with aging) and at first I was fooled by the sweetness from the palm sugar. Then the heat struck. As I recall, I probably ate half a pint of sour cream for initial treatment and then cut off a pice of cream cheese and allowed that to slowly melt in my mouth. And that was only from less than a quarter teaspoonful. After that I was extremely careful about tasting anything in those bare jars.
  11. The powdered milk of today, the Premium, full-fat milk powder, is nothing like the stuff from just a couple of decades ago. I use it in baking but when properly mixed with a blender and chilled, I can't really taste the difference between it and the "regular" milk from a supermarket. (which doesn't taste like "farm fresh" milk either) and I am a "supertaster." The powdered heavy cream I keep on hand for some recipes, is also excellent. And performs better than fresh cream in some recipes.
  12. I can make ice cream and I have a good supply of dried heavy cream, full cream milk powder, premium powdered eggs, lots of premium cocoas that, with suitable flavors, and other additives, can be turned into very tasty ice cream even if I can't get fresh milk or cream, which right now are easily obtained. My Lello gelato machine is always at the ready, after a 25 minute cool down, to start freezing ice creams, sherbets, ices &etc. It's very difficult for me to shop for groceries now because I can't walk very far and I don't like using the scooters so I order online and use the free pickup service. Or I order from Aldi and have it delivered if I don't feel well enough to drive. Staples like flour I order from New York Bakers (in San Diego) as they carry the flours I like, and fresh yeast. Right now I have enough flours to bake breads and any other baked goods for at least a year... I haven't done any shopping since the pandemic began driving people to stock up. I need some fresh fruit and vegetables but expect those will be available but if not I have some canned peaches, pears and pineapple which can sub for fresh.
  13. I have made Ginger Beer several times. Usually turned out nice. One time I must have done something wrong, about a third of the bottles exploded in my small pantry which contained the mess to a small area but had a detrimental effect on many of the sauces, condiments, jams and jellies I had canned. The labels were destroyed so it was an adventure opening some of the jars.
  14. These are some of the ginger graters I have. There are a few more, including a couple of metal ones that I never used, here and there in my junk. I only use the glass one for small to medium amounts. It was my grandmother's and used by her cook for small amounts. She had a larger pottery one that she had made by one of the potters in Paducah. It was similar in shape to the glass one but the elevated part in the middle with the "teeth" was rounded instead of flat and it had a hole at one end where the ginger juice could be poured out as it accumulated. (she had a similar grater, even larger, for grating coconut, made by the same potter - who made a lot of things for the farm.) When I need large amounts of grated ginger or galangal, I use a Japanese Suribachi bowl to grate it. I have two, one small, one large. I also use them for grating horseradish.
  15. I always made larger batches 4 - 6 large loaves 10 small loaves and I used the hook to mix everything EXCEPT THE YEAST because I used hotter water - 150° F. after everything was mixed thoroughly, I removed the hook and allowed it to "rest" for about 45 minutes. (Apparently I was using the "autolyse" method only I never heard about it as that name, it was just something I learned sometime in the past) I then installed the roller/scraper with the roller about an inch from the side - mine locked down with some effort - SPRINKLED THE YEAST OVER THE TOP OF THE DOUGH. Starte the mixer and left it to do the FIRST KNEAD for 30 minutes. I let the dough rest and rise - depending on the ambient temp - for 30 minutes to an hour. My kitchen is cold in the winter so longer. Then set to knead for another 30 minutes. Then turned out onto the bench, scaled to the weight for each loaf, left on the bench, floured and covered with a cloth for 30 minutes then into the pan for a final rise and into the oven. If making baguettes I shaped them, set them in a couche for the final rise. (I bought the raw linen several yards at a time and cut to the length I wanted) This gave me consistent results every time.
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