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Nyleve Baar

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Everything posted by Nyleve Baar

  1. Spice Storage Ideas

    This works really well for me. I have one shallow drawer dedicated to spices. But I should clear out the one below it - currently filled with my music CDs which I never listen to - and put all my salts and whatnot in there in a similar way. Very easy to find and use everything. I mean, of course, this requires a drawer. Which may or may not be available.
  2. $4.99 at Value Village yesterday. With my 30% Tuesday seniors discount it was under $4.00 including tax. This is one of the smaller ones - maybe 10" diameter. I also have a bigger yellow one that I picked up at our local dump for free several years ago.
  3. Thanksgiving cocktails

    A couple of years ago my son made Dark and Stormy cocktails pre-thanksgiving-dinner with lovely fresh apple cider and Jamaican ginger beer. I haven't had one since but now I want one. Seems the right thing for the time of year.
  4. Costco meat quality decline?

    True true true.
  5. Costco meat quality decline?

    If you buy the large, primal cuts - the vacuum packed whole thingies - they are NOT blade tenderized. I have been doing this and cut my own steaks. It's a little cheaper too.
  6. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    Oh yes!
  7. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    One more thing. I make cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries - using the recipe on the bag but substituting red wine for all of the water. Also throw in a strip or two of orange peel. The wine does something very nice to the cranberries and the whole business takes about 10 minutes.
  8. All Things Mushroom

    The mushroom guy is still there. He has white and cremini mushrooms, portobellos, shitakes and a variety of oyster mushrooms - yellow, white, pink. Very sweet guy - always smiling. I have a secret foraging spot for porcini mushrooms near me on a friend's property. They grow with insane abandon during good years. Or else they don't come up at all, which has been the case for the past two years. When they're abundant I can fill a bushel basket with them in about an hour. Usually I just have to stop picking because I can't deal with them all before they go wormy. I still have a couple of jars of dried ones from the good years. Hoping next year they come back - I was very disappointed this fall. Mushrooms are a mysterious thing.
  9. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    Of all the things to ensure a delicious turkey, the most important one in my opinion, is to make sure you DO NOT OVERCOOK IT. It needs to come to 160o - no more. Let rest a little while before carving. It will be good, even if it's a poor quality cheap grocery store bird. For Thanksgiving I always get a local fresh turkey and it's delicious. But yesterday I had to roast 2 cheap frozen turkeys for a meal at the soup kitchen where I volunteer and they were moist and flavourful also. Much better than what I expected.
  10. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    This is a braised dish so I don't think it's possible to retain the bright colour while still having that long-cooked blending of flavours. It does lose its brightness very early in the game - the acid (vinegar and wine) change the colour somewhat but it's not exactly back to the original purple anyway. It's just one of those things that you cook forever and it looks like it but tastes divine. As for the jelly, there is really so little in the recipe compared to the volume of cabbage that it doesn't do a whole heck of a lot to the appearance. Your cabbage dish looks very much like mine.
  11. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    Thanksgiving is completely and psychotically cast in stone at our house. NOTHING CAN CHANGE EVER. Since we're in Canada, Thanksgiving is a long weekend so we always have a houseful of guests from Saturday to Monday and even the other meals - Saturday lunch right through to Monday lunch before everyone leaves - must remain completely intact and unaltered. Snacks can change (as if we need any snacks) but the meals are untouchable. It's sort of weird when new people join the table and don't understand our craziness. But it's our craziness and we stand by it. The red cabbage is going on 40 years now.
  12. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    It just adds a bit of sweetness and glazing to the dish. You could definitely leave it out if you don't have it. I always add it but that's just me.
  13. Thanksgiving Side Dishes

    Two things that go on our Thanksgiving table, no matter what. Cloud of Squash and Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage. The red cabbage recipe I use is below. Cloud of Squash is just a massive bowl of whipped baked butternut squash, with enough butter and salt to kill a vulnerable person. Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage and Apples 2 tbsp. veg or olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 1 small head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced 2 apples, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup red wine (any kind - even leftover yucky stuff is ok) 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp. sugar (or more, to taste) 2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup apple jelly (or any tart jelly - crabapple, grape...whatever) In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the cabbage and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cabbage is thoroughly wilted and softened. Now add the apples, wine, vinegar, sugar, and salt, lower the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring once in a while. Stir in the apple jelly, replace the cover on the pot, and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 8 servings.
  14. Winter squash recipes

    I have always started my annual pumpkin pies with a whole pumpkin. It just seems like the right thing to do - especially if I'm only going to make 2 pumpkin pies a year. I also use honey for the sweetener, which is really delicious (and comes from my own personal bees). And I use just the bare minimum spice - cinnamon, ginger, maybe a little nutmeg but NO CLOVES. This is happening this weekend as it's Canadian Thanksgiving. Then it's all over until next year - no more pumpkin anything.
  15. Urban honey

    No idea if it would kill ants, but somehow I doubt it. They have multiple entries to their tunnels, I think. So it would be trickier to close them off.
  16. Urban honey

    So here's how to kill a whole nest of the idiots without poisoning the neighbourhood. Soak a rag in gasoline or kerosene and place it beside the hole where the yellow jackets live. Take a large glass or plastic bowl or container and place it over the hole (and the rag). Wait a week or 2. That's it. The colony will be dead. I can't remember what the logic is to the glass bowl - something about the yellowjackets seeing the light and coming out and being killed by the fumes, I think. But the fumes also penetrate down the hole to exterminate the whole gang of them. I've done this so many times that I now have a dedicated bowl that I use for just this purpose. Probably best to do this in the evening when everyone has gone into the nest because the yellow jackets that are still out will get really MAD when they can't get back into their hole.
  17. Urban honey

    You're right, of course. I guess I'm being species-ist. We do have our native pollinators but honey bees, as we know them, are European. BUT THEY'RE NOT JERKS.
  18. Urban honey

    From what I understand they don't make honey. Bees store up the honey in order to survive the winter as a colony, albeit reduced in size. Wasps and yellow jackets don't overwinter. The only one that survives the winter is the queen - I assume she hibernates or something. Yellow jackets are an invasive species in North America. I don't even think they're pollinators.They're just jerks.
  19. Urban honey

    Oh I can imagine! My husband got attacked by my bees when he disregarded my warnings against mowing the grass near the hive. The grass got flung up against the side and the bees came roaring out! He has never done that again.
  20. Urban honey

    I keep bees myself and there is a LOT of misunderstanding about these creatures. First of all, most people can't distinguish between bees and everything else that flies around - like wasps and yellowjackets. It's almost always a wasp or a yellowjacket that is the culprit when someone gets stung, yet everyone says they were stung by a bee! My honeybees are reasonably docile and can't be bothered to sting unless provoked. Yellowjackets and ground hornets will sting for no damn reason at all - you're just walking past and boom! Last year I got badly attacked by ground hornets just because I walked past their hole. On the other hand, I might get no more than one or two stings a year from my own bees, and I'm right in their hive messing with their stuff. They have work to do and unless you get them upset, they mind their own business. Urban bees are not a menace to anyone. They forage in gardens and park spaces and are important for the ecosystem. You'd be surprised at how much there is for a bee to do even in a city environment - look around and you'll see all kinds of flowering stuff everywhere. I don't know what the local by-laws are, but many municipalities do permit beehives on private property as long as they're situated a certain distance from the property line. If anyone gets stung, I imagine it would be a difficult thing to prove where, exactly, that creature came from - a domestic hive or a wild colony. And as I said, most of the time it would have been something other than a bee anyway.
  21. What is available in the US may not be here in Canada. But weirdly enough, I think the dollar store has some thicker napkins in the party section. Some of them are fairly heavily printed, but some may be what you're looking for. We switched to cloth a few years ago and I have come to hate paper napkins - especially those thin, crinkly ones - for anything but a picnic. Had to fight my husband about this - he refused to use the cloth napkins because he said it felt wasteful to make more laundry. We argued. I won.
  22. This morning - 50 cents at a garage sale. Small Peugeot salt and pepper. Needs a bit of TLC but otherwise perfect!
  23. Thank you so much for this amazing account. You are so much more knowledgeable about Vietnamese food that I was before our trip - I do wish I'd known more about what to look for. We ate so well on our trip but your experiences are awesome. Of all the places where I've travelled, I think Vietnam was in my top 2. The food, the people, the beauty and the history. I was born in the US and was at the right age for protesting the Vietnam war when it was on, so the names of the cities and regions were familiar from news reports and friends who had to go there to fight. I loved that we could go there and see a the country in peacetime. So many echoes of that difficult history wherever you look.
  24. The weather was generally lovely. In the north (Hanoi) it was almost chilly, but in the Mekong delta it was very hot. There was a little rain here and there - but it didn't hold us back much. We started in Saigon, travelled all the way up to Hanoi, then flew to Siem Riep in Cambodia and got back to Saigon mostly by various types of boat. The food was so great everywhere and so insanely cheap it was almost embarassing. Even the nicest "touristy" places that we sometimes ended up in were so inexpensive that we would be shocked at our bill at the end of the meal. I remember thinking if we ever broke $10 per person for a meal we were going totally crazy! And that usually included beer or wine. Which...now that I mention it...did you ever get a chance to try the Dalat wine? They do pride themselves on it and we found it nearly undrinkable.