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    Near Madison, WI
  1. Yep, that's about it. Except I skip the oil. Alton Brown said in his book (I think) that when he tried it without the oil he didn't notice a difference so he no longer uses the oil. I don't bother with it because it's messy, and I'm going to dump a bunch of melted butter on the popcorn as soon as it's popped anyway.
  2. Brewer's yeast and nutritional yeast are two different things. I have definitely heard of nutritional yeast used on popcorn. It's a yeast grown on molasses (I believe) and is a favorite of vegans because it provides B vitamins. Brewer's yeast is extremely bitter and not meant to be eaten on its own. That said, I'm a popcorn salt/melted real butter girl myself. I pop the kernels in a paper bag in the microwave, held shut by 2 staples, a la Alton Brown. You have to watch it because it burns easily this way, but if you're careful it turns out wonderfully.
  3. The Gourmet Cookbook (can't decide if I want the one available now with the controversial pale yellow typeface for the recipe titles, or the next printing which will be easier to read) CI The Best Recipe (the new one) The Spice is Right Any Madhur Jaffrey book I don't have yet Cooking Under Pressure and Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass Subscription to Fine Cooking and Cooks Illustrated (and Taste of Home...don't laugh) That's a good start! I could go on...
  4. My mom bought a small box of Lucky Charms (we called them Yucky Germs) and mixed them in a Dannheim's ice cream bucket with generic Cheerios. Picking out the marshmallows was strictly verboten. You got what was poured in your bowl. No cheating with your hands! I'm the middle of 5 kids; girl boy girl boy girl. We all had to have a cereal box in front of us as we were eating in order to block the view of our siblings. Sometimes we'd really block ourselves out using three boxes. We all fought over reading the back of the boxes. We had to take turns on the premiums. I usually had the box in front of me to block out any view of my brothers, but then had a book to read as well. One of my brothers has serious sinus/allergy issues and always had to chew with his mouth open--and would slurp his milk--and he often ended up eating alone.
  5. I was paranoid enough to worry that she might come across this thread somehow, but not a chance she's lurking here. You couldn't tear her away from eBay and her custom doll clothes empire and her doll lists and quilt lists... Plus, she likes to cook and is a good cook, she just happens to cook food that a Lutheran Minnesota woman of a certain age would cook, but she's not that into food.
  6. Hee! Now, 10 years ago I wouldn't have ever said such a thing to him. But he's mellowed in his later years, plus, I can outrun him now.
  7. For us, if it's just not great but not terrible either, the consensus is generally "Well, it's edible." We rarely go out to eat, but if we do, and don't like the meal, we also usually say "I should have ordered something else." We absolutely HATE to throw away food and avoid having to do so if at all possible. Jason will eat leftovers of the same thing 5 meals in a row and he doesn't care. Even if there's only 1/4 cup of stir-fry and 1/2 cup of rice left, it goes in the fridge and is used for a future meal. Therefore, on rare occasions, I will say, "We don't have to save the leftovers." That is the highest insult to a meal in my house! To my chagrin, that happened just yesterday. I tossed about a cup of pork/hoisin stirfry, because the flavor was just so terrible. There's a disconnect with the dark soy sauce somehow, I don't think I bought the right kind and whenever I make a meal from a particular cookbook that calls for dark soy sauce, it turns out too salty or has an unpleasant flavor. I have Pearl River dark mushroom-flavored soy sauce, or something like that. Anyway, it went down the garbage disposal and I'm punishing the cookbook by taking it out of rotation for a while!
  8. I've been upgraded! Mom emailed me and said that she meant to ask me to do the vegetables, so that she wouldn't have to. She's making the mashed potatoes, and she makes a small sweet potato/marshmallow casserole for her dad every year (no one else likes it but it's important to him) so I can make whatever I want. She wants something colorful. I'm trying to decide if I should bother trying to cater to my dad's taste or not. He doesn't like food with real onion and garlic in it, only powdered. I can't decide if it's appropriate to give him a taste of his own medicine..."I don't care how horrible you think it is, your mother cooked this and you are going to sit there and eat it until that plate is clean, and I'm going to sit here and watch you eat it, and if you're still eating at bedtime there will be trouble!"
  9. Behemoth, love the idea of the pig intestine jigglers. My parents would freak. I'm still immature enough to relish that possibility. "Amuse" means an hors doeuvre, right? bloviatrix, Jello Jigglers are like jello, only made with less water so they're firmer and can be eaten out of hand. I really don't like them. But I have a bunch of sugar-free Jello to use up from my low-carb days, so it wouldn't be a problem. Love the idea of making that rainbow mold! You want Jello, I'll show you JELLO!
  10. I got the grand prize in the 4-H competition at the Brown County Fair in New Ulm, MN when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I made a bundt cake with a cinnamon/nut filling. My mom still has the recipe; I believe it's my Aunt Bert's favorite coffee cake and that's why I chose it. We did not pursue the title to the State Fair, though, because my parents weren't about to drag their 5 kids all the way to Minneapolis for one bundt cake!
  11. Lots of great input! I did some thinking, and realized that at other Thanksgivings I was asked to bring food. However, it was always because it was gimmick food, for lack of a better term. I was a strict vegetarian for many years, so my mom would ask me to bring a few vegetarian dishes so that my own family would have something to eat. Then, a couple of years ago I was low-carbing, so two Thanksgivings in a row my mom asked me to bring sugar-free desserts so my diabetic uncle could have something. Now that I don't have a "gimmick," I'm relegated to Jello Jigglers. Hmmmmm. Maybe I can exploit this angle somehow. The thing is, I have never, ever thought of my mom as a control freak. She's always been the kind of person who puts everyone else first, she volunteers in so many different directions, and she never insists on having her own way. But I remember a big to-do last year because my sister-in-law, who is a very good cook, insisted on doing Thanksgiving at her house last year. But my mom wouldn't go there on Thanksgiving because mom's dad lives in town and wouldn't be able to travel to my brother's house, and she didn't want him to be home alone on the holiday. So we had the big meal on the actual day at my parents' house, then the next day traveled to my brother's so sis-in-law could have her moment. I think I'll take your suggestions and figure out something to just bring. I'll definitely make a sugar-free dessert for my uncle, otherwise he won't get anything, and try to figure out a really great side dish or dishes that can travel for 3 hours in the car. And, of course, those Jello Jigglers. I think there's a recipe for those in the Les Halles cookbook.
  12. My mom's cooking style is that of a midwestern 1950s woman complete with Campbells Soup, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery salt substituted for onion, garlic, and celery. I wrote her an email flat-out begging her to assign a couple dishes or desserts to me for Thanksgiving. I explained how I wanted a distraction and would have so much fun perusing my cookbooks and deciding what to make. She wrote back in all seriousness and asked me to make Jello Jigglers. And maybe something with carrot so that there's color at the table. I wrote her back and said, "I have 60 cookbooks and you're asking me to make Jigglers? Who in the what now?!" Still have yet to hear from her. If I'm lucky, I'll get to make the green bean casserole. Anyone else not allowed to contribute in a meaningful way, even though you want to? Am I the only 31-year-old who will be sitting at the kids' table this year? ---- I want to add that I do realize that someday I will feel that I'd give anything just to have my mom around for Thanksgiving again. However, that will not stop me from bitching while she's still around.
  13. I have so had this conversation. But Jason's on to me now, and if he sees a new cookbook or something and I claim "Oh, I've had that for a while now" he always looks at me suspiciously. And sometimes, I'm even telling the truth! The other tactic is, "Oh, that was 88 cents at Walmart," which is what I use for new utensils.
  14. I have three sets of plastic measuring cups--all complete except for the 1/3 cup measure. This is a problem that has plagued me since I first moved out on my own at age 19. I buy a set of measuring cups and within 2 weeks the 1/3 cup is gone forever. So every once in a while I get fed up and buy a new set. No joke, each time, within 2 weeks, the 1/3 cup is no more. I have no idea why this happens. I have three incomplete sets of measuring spoons adding up to a complete set.
  15. Cup a bread roll in my left hand while sawing away at it with a dull serrated knife with my right hand. I know better. I KNOW BETTER. Yet my middle finger has a band-aid because not only did I hit flesh, I kept sawing for a second.
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