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Posts posted by andiesenji

  1. What do hickory nuts taste like? Anything that can be described?

    Hickory nuts are sweeter than pecans with not even a hint of the slightly bitter aftertaste often found in even the sweetest pecans.

    They are not grown commercially because the nuts are extremely difficult to crack so have to be wild gatherd and they are expensive but once you taste them you realize that pecans, while good, just don't have that special flavor.

    Hickory nuts have a very high percentage of the desirable fats that are good for the heart.

    The pecan is a hybrid descended from the hickory, probably the shellbark variety.

  2. My Mexican neighbor makes a lovely pineapple flavored cake with a frosting made with the penuche sold in Mexican markets in a hard cone-shaped form.

    She grates it coarsely into a sort of cream cheese frosting and it doesn't melt so retains a bit of crunch.

    It's nothing like the penuche fudge we used to have when I was a child.

    The cake itself has corn flour as well as regular flour in it. It's way too rich for me so I have never asked for the recipe for it or the frosting.

    I tasted a piece that was about 1 square inch.

  3. I agree it's silly-- but maybe if it catches on, we'll finally be able to get decent tea in more restaurants. I hate going to a good restauarant, enjoying an excellent meal, and then finding that the only tea on offer is Lipton.

    :angry: Not ONLY that it's only Lipton, but that the water is nowhere nearly hot enough and may taste somewhat like coffee. :angry:

    Far too many times it isn't even Lipton. It is some generic thing sold at restaurant supply places that is made from "sweepings" of tea dust. God only knows how long it has been since it was packaged.

    When I was still working, our office (3 doctors 15 employees) had a "coffee & tea service" that supplied everything, including tea bags and herbal tea bags with no brand name on any, only the name of the service. The black tea was pretty bad but the green tea was horrible and smelled like it had been under a cat box for some years. None of us ever drank the stuff, we brought our own and I finally insisted that they stopped stocking it and adjust the cost. The rep told me that they didn't charge for the tea at all because it was so cheap! :blink:

  4. I don't peel carrots either. I scrub them with a nail brush which has shorter, stiffer bristles than the "vegetable" brushes and is easier for me to hold.

    I do peel parsnips but have never thought it much of a demanding task.

    For hazelnuts/filberts and Brazil nuts I use the exfoliating gloves sold at Walmart or other stores in the beauty products department - two to a package.

    I roast the nuts spread them on a terrycloth towel, cover for a few minutes, which seems to loosen the skins and then rub them between my palms in the gloves, dropping them into a wire colander where I can shake off the bits that remain.

    Mostly I just buy the blanched raw filberts from LehighValley.

  5. Twenty-some years ago it was difficult to find premium teas unless you lived in a fairly large city or near an ethnic enclave where tea was the beverage of choice, or took the time to winkle out a mail order source - those little ads in the back of food magazines were my main source.

    In the mid-to-late '80s and early '90s more people began learning about and drinking tea and there were discussion about tea on user groups (CompuServe was my first-and most expensive) and later message boards on Prodigy and Genie and still later AOL(not for long, I hated it).

    As the "secrets" of tea were revealed and various mail order sources were shared, more and more people discovered that tea could be a lot more than the ubiquitous Lipton, Red Rose and etc.

    With the advent of the WW internet and ISPs that were a lot cheaper than CompuServe, the community of tea drinkers expanded exponentially and continues to do so to date.

    Some tea ideas are "trendy" and for some people it is a way of life because they like it. For most people it is an enjoyable drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day or evening. Decaf teas and the herbal infusions are tastier than decaf coffees IMHO.

    I have been a Teamail subscriber since it began in '98 - there had previously been a tea discussion group whose members migrated to TeaMail.

    As others have noted, in other parts of the world tea is simply the everyday beverage of choice.

    Only in America will one see an article about tea being "fashionable" or "trendy."

  6. Looking for a recipe for my mom: as we have readjusted the kitchen from my Dad's custody for 20 years, back to hers, she is now cooking again, and looking here and there for some of those favorite recipes. Today's request is for a recipe from a lost Bisquick recipe pamphlet, which vintage circa 1960-1970, perhaps 20-30 pages--not a large hardback book--with a lot of yellow and red on the cover, for Peach Crisp.

    I've been browsing on Ebay and not finding anything that sounds quite right, although I really need her to be looking over my shoulder instead of on the phone, so she can try to recognize the cover....or better yet, a gulleteer can come through, so we can just get the recipe we need--the only one she made from that booklet.

    I want the recipe too because I tried off & on for a few years to recreate that particular texture of topping--a little bit biscuity/cakey but not too sweet or too fluffy, but couldn't do it. With the original in hand, I'd like to try again.


    This is the first Bisquick Cookbook published in 1964, 112 pages. It came in both a soft back spiral bound and a hardback spiral bound. The soft back was a premium at markets with the purchase of Bisquick, I think it cost 99 cents with the Bisquick.

  7. I don't have rheumatoid arthritis but have had traumatic osteoarthritis, especially in my knees for many years and took a lot of NSAIDS until I had GI bleeding and my internist said that was the root cause of my stomach and esophagus problems as well as the GI symptoms, an "incipient ulcer". I can't even take aspirin now, much less Naproxyn or Ibuprofen and unfortunately I'm allergic to codeine. Oddly enough, while I still have some pain, I can mostly ignore it but I to have an electrical devise, something like an TENS unit to use but only rarely. If I keep my mind busy with reading or working and playing on the computer, I'm really unaware of the pain.

    Unfortunately, since RA is a systemic, autoimmune disease, the NSAIDs do a lot more than just control pain for me. They're also critical in controlling the inflammation in the synovial fluid that eventually erodes the cartiledge and joints and causes the characteristic RA deformaties. They are, also unfortunately, a necessary evil. The TENS type thing also would be of limited use, since I never know which joint is going to bother me when. It can vary from day to day, or from morning to afternoon. Believe me, I am well aware of the dangers of long-term NSAID use; my Mom had RA for most of my life, and almost died from a perferated ulcer from them. Hopefully the PPI drugs will control the acidity enough to keep that in check for me.

    I know how tough that can be. I worked for an opthopedic surgeon for almost 40 years, beginning as his x-ray technician and ending as his office manager/x-ray tech/transcriber and etc. He educated me on how to handle my OA and later the symptoms after I fractured a lumbar vertebra and blew out two discs. A complication was also being allergic to local anesthetics and became sensitive to cortisone. The endocrinologist I saw when I first suspected I had diabetes said that that was possibly a contributor.

    I can't say that my GERD is seasonal or related to stress. I've really never been stressed for any significant period of time because I adjust fairly easily to things that get many people upset.

    For 17+ years I had a daily 3 hour +/- commute to work and back in heavy traffic, sometimes much longer if there was an accident on the 14. Rather than sit, inching along, I would pull over read a book until the traffic thinned out and continue on so if that didn't stress me out, nothing would.

    I'm sure mine is related to obesity, inactivity and eating the wrong things at the wrong time. When I was still showing dogs, before the arthritis in my knees became debilitating, I was not obese, was very active training the dogs as well as showing them and could eat anything with nary a hint of heartburn and I was an enthusiastic chile-head, the hotter the better.

    The only time I have symptoms is if I eat too much of certain foods too late in the day or if I eat fatty foods and do not walk my minimum time afterward. Pizza with sausage and pepperoni after six p.m. is trouble with a capital "T" if you get my meaning. :sad:

  8. Mine has to be going through my orange skinning routine when prepping for a candied peel session.

    I have performed this task so many times over the years that I sort of go into a fugue state and suddenly there is one bowl full of strips of orange peel and another (larger) bowl full of whole naked oranges.

    I am unaware of the passage of time, unless something like a phone call interrupts me.

    The last batch was 15 large oranges and it seemed to take very little time. Perhaps there is an alternate reality that impinges during these episodes...

    I used to have the same experience with kneading dough, as someone else posted earlier, however since developing arthritis in my hands, I rarely do any kneading by hand.

    When I was a teen, working in my mom's bakery, I would zonk out while shaping pastries or in particular hamburger buns, hard rolls and kaiser rolls. It seemed like an endlessly repetitive task and once one got the hang of it, there was no need to think about it.

  9. Tums was my best friend while I was working (in a very high stress field), and I was the office source for it. Anyone needing a Tums knew to come to my desk, I had the industrial size container. My co-workers, staff and I used to laugh that coffee and Tums was the official meal of the department.

    About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and as part of the treatment take a handful of nasty anti-inflammatory pills every day. They are notorious for eating your stomach up. I went on the proton-pump inhibitor treatment (lik FG, whichever the insurance would cover at the moment). I got good results from the OTC Prilosec, but now am on Nexxium. As soon as I went on the PPI treatment, I stopped needing Tums. I'm sure their stock took a hit from the loss of revenue.

    I don't have rheumatoid arthritis but have had traumatic osteoarthritis, especially in my knees for many years and took a lot of NSAIDS until I had GI bleeding and my internist said that was the root cause of my stomach and esophagus problems as well as the GI symptoms, an "incipient ulcer". I can't even take aspirin now, much less Naproxyn or Ibuprofen and unfortunately I'm allergic to codeine. Oddly enough, while I still have some pain, I can mostly ignore it but I to have an electrical devise, something like an TENS unit to use but only rarely. If I keep my mind busy with reading or working and playing on the computer, I'm really unaware of the pain.

  10. I do use some of the Campbell's condensed soups.

    I have a chocolate cake recipe that uses the tomato soup.

    I prepare a curried chicken casserole with rice that requires a can of Cream of Celery soup.

    And I always prepare my macaroni and cheese bakes with Campbell's Cheddar Cheese, Nacho Cheese, etc., depending on if I want plain or spicy.

  11. I would make the boundaries even wider. I almost never cook from a recipe unless it is baking. On the savory side I am not necessarily cooking "from memory", but I layer my existing knowledge over a recipe or description I see and I go my own way. Not necessarily smart but it works for me. The one useful thing I have done recently is to keep a file folder on the counter and write down what I am doing so that if it is successful I can replicate when memory, as often, fails.

    This is essentially my routine. Baking does require fairly strict adherence to certain ratios of ingredients.

    However, just plain cookin' can be freestyle or "from the hip" with great results. Since I get so involved that I forget to write things down, I have a mini recorder that is voice activated (which works fine if I make an ahhhh or ummmmm noise before I begin speaking what I want to record, otherwise it won't record the first couple of words.)

    When I have a free minute I can transcribe it into Word or TextEdit and go from there.

    I like collecting recipes (not to mention cookbooks) but I seldom follow them to the letter (except for "classic" recipes which I will do at least once before any alterations).

    For me a recipe is sort of like a road map which I can use to get to a certain location and from there can go off on little individual jaunts of my own.

    I learned to cook from women who rarely used cookbooks because they kept everything in their heads.

    My grandparent's cook had limited ability to read and write but had an enormous repertoire of some quite complicated "receipts" in her memory, including a lot of very fancy cakes (an enormous Lady Baltimore cake was one such).

    My grandmother did not do a lot of cooking but had her specialties, as did a couple of my aunts and great-aunts, who liked to show off their cooking skills. Some used receipts and some didn't but they were all very good cooks.

  12. I just put the grates (and the knobs) in the dishwasher once a week or so, depending on how much use it has gotten and use the stainless steel wipes that come in plastic pop-up "can" to clean the surface.

    Occasionally, if there is a spill and something gets burnt on, I spray on Dawn Power Dissolver, walk away for a while, then wipe it off with paper towels and then use the SS wipes and a dry towel to finish.

  13. I was diagnosed with GERD and Barrett's Esophagus six years ago and was given various medications, advised to lose weight (which I have been doing), and have an upper endoscopy every two years and avoid eating certain foods late in the day. I also have to sleep with my upper body elevated.

    My regular routine is one Ranitidine 150 mg 1 hour before eating in the morning for 4 months and then a 2 week course of Omeprazole and then back to the Ranitidine alone.

    I was instructed to keep the volume of my meals below a certain point, which various with each person, and to "balance" the meal so there is a lower ratio of fatty foods to non-fatty and to keep the greasy foods generally to a lower percentage in my diet. I can have French fries OR a hamburger, but not both at the same meal.

    The gastroenterologist suggested I have 5 smaller meals instead of the three regular type and this worked quite well even while I was still working. This is also beneficial for my diabetes.

    I also have to walk for a minimum of 15 minutes after each meal, possibly one of the reasons I have slowly but steadily lost weight.

    This is not strenuous activity but he says it contributes to stimulating the stomach to emptying more rapidly. I am absolutely forbidden to recline immediately after a meal, if I must sit it has to be on an upright chair.

    I am due for another upper endoscopy in a few weeks, an event to which I am not looking forward, but it is necessary.

    I can still eat almost all the things I used to eat, just juggled them a bit to fit into my routine and I had to give up the super-hot types of peppers and have to use less of some spices.

  14. Good question. Who is buying this stuff???

    In today's Gear Patrol there was a link to Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine

    Now I was born and raised in a "dry" county in Kentucky (still is) but that was only the commercial stuff. I am positive that a good bit of the "tax free" stuff is still rolling around in the hills.

    I don't drink at all because of an allergy to alcohol but I don't think I would get anywhere near this stuff even if I did.

  15. Andie, what a great idea to cook sausage patties that way. I routinely do it for links (both with casings and without), but never thought to do the patties that way. From now on, I will. Thanks !

    I like the way the grease magically "disappears" so there is no need to drain the sausages.

    Do try it with the Lapsang Souchong tea. I use it to add a smoky flavor to many foods that are not suitable for actual smoking.

    I mentioned in another thread that I had gotten a Smoking Gun but returned it because it didn't really infuse the food with smoke flavor.

  16. I grew up in the 1940s and we always had cakes. My grandfather's cook was a wonderful cake baker and I wish I had her recipes.

    The ones I remember best are:

    Coconut cake which took two days to prepare

    The cake layers were baked and then drizzled with a syrup made with the coconut water so the interior was very moist and the icing was an Italian meringue (aka "fluffy white icing).

    Red Velvet cake, unlike any other recipe but I know the secret to this one.

    Into the batter went an entire jar of maraschino cherries, crushed and mashed, no food coloring.

    again the icing was the fluffy white Italian meringue.

    Orange chiffon cake - the recipe was on the Softasilk cake flour box in 1947.

    7-layer Devil's Food cake with cherry jam between the layers and fudge icing.

    Spice cake with burnt sugar frosting.

    Do you have the Red Velvet Cake recipe?

    I have Meemaw's version posted in RecipeGullet.

    I use either the maraschino cherries or sweet cherries with the grenadine as long as the amounts are equal.

    slightly tweeked to use canned cherries and grenadine for some reason she never revealed.

  17. I just did a Google search and found the booklet I remember.


    Wow, expensive for such a little booklet.

    Thanks Andie- that is not the booklet and the only thing she put canned mandarins in was ambrosia and poppy seeds were in baked goods. The booklets we had were a rough beige paper, rectangular, and the long side ran left to right. They were very cheaply done so may have been assembled by the local people they hired in L.A. I can not remember what suburb they took the classes in.

    You are totally correct, I was just reminded that it was in the mid '60s that I took the class as we did the kitchen remodel in '67.

  18. This morning I decided to cook some sausage I had ground last night.

    I simply can't stand the typical "brillo-pad" effect one gets with simply frying sausage patties so I prepare them the way I learned many years ago, which also keeps them from shrinking so much.

    I also wanted a smoky flavor but really didn't have the time to smoke them.

    So, first I brewed some Lapsang Souchong tea:


    I put the brewed tea in a skillet and brought it to a boil then added the fairly thick sausage patties:


    The advantage to this, while it takes a bit longer to cook, the sausage is cooked all the way through and yet remains tender:

    This photo shows there is still some color to the liquid escaping from the interior.


    The juices are now clear.


    Completely cooked but still moist and tender. And you can see that the shrinkage has been much less than when they are fried.



    Here's the "money shot"

    closeup sausage.jpg

    Served with biscuits and an omelet. Sorry, forgot to take photos of the other stuff.

    And the slightly smoky flavor from the Lapsang Souchong added the perfect finish.

  19. I buy the commercial stuff at Smart & Final. Bak-Klene or Vegelene.

    I spray over the dishwasher too or if the dishwasher is running I go outside the kitchen door. The deck is redwood that just absorbs anything that hits it.

    I can't stand the "flavored" sprays after getting one can in which the stuff was horribly rancid.

    I took it back to the store because the sell-by date was more than a year in the future and the grocery manager smelled it and nearly gagged.

    I accompanied him to the aisle, he tried another can, same thing so he had all of that brand pulled from the shelves. I got a cash refund. I have avoided most of the consumer products since then, at least the store brand.

    I don't have any problem with my two olive oil sprayers. One is a Prepara and the other is a Norpro. I have a Misto someone gave me a couple of years ago but have never needed to use it.

    I do empty and clean the sprayers fairly often - I don't leave the oil in them for more than a few days, perhaps a week. I use hot water with Dawn detergent to clean them and follow with several rinses with hot water.

  20. I suggest you try asking at Forum Thermomix

    Brazen, one of the moderators of this segment has three crockpots or slow cookers and has posted about them in other threads.

    I can't recall who else has them but several Australian members use them in addition to the TMX and they are always very helpful with purchasing information.

  21. Back in the 70's Southern California Edison put on cooking classes and one of the pamphlets had the definitive warm spinach salad dressing for our family. I have searched high and low and can not find that one pamphlet. It was orange in color, tangy and wonderful. Yes bacon was involved :biggrin:

    I took at least one of those classes and I have a little booklet somewhere in my collection.

    Electric cooking for the Modern woman or a similar title. I had always cooked on gas and this house, prior to remodel, had an electric range which I despised.

    I am pretty sure I have a similar dressing recipe but mine actually was made with orange juice or canned mandarin oranges that were sauteed and mashed in the bacon drippings, a shot of red wine vinegar (before balsamic became the norm) and an optional addition was poppy seeds.

    There was no sugar added but a bit of boiling water, which made it foam up in the skillet.

    I'll have to go through my recipe boxes as I'm sure I've never put it into the computer.

    I just did a Google search and found the booklet I remember.


    Wow, expensive for such a little booklet.

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