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Pat W

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  1. Pat W

    Fresh Herbs

    A few days ago NPR had a segment on preserving basil using the pesto method, but stopping short of adding the cheese & pine nuts. Celebrating Late Summer's Basil Bonanza http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5726130 I tried making a batch last night. Packed the food processor full of basil leaves & ended up with just one ice cube tray of green glop. A lovely aroma filled the house. I suspect that this will be pretty potent stuff, but will be fun to try in November. pat w Well nuts! I tried to make that url a link, but it didn't work. Foiled again. Damn this new fangled computer stuff.
  2. Pat W

    Fresh Herbs

    An update on the bouquet of basil on my window sill. Last evening when I was adding more sprigs to it, I noticed that two of the older stems have rooted. Now I'm wondering if it would be possible to grow them hydroponically through the winter. I know the commercial growers do this, but might there be a simple way to do this in you kitchen? pat w
  3. Pat W

    Fresh Herbs

    I don't know if this is going to work with the packaged basil we buy in the winter, but I just tried something new. Five or six days ago, I cut quite a bit more basil from my plant than I ended up using. My left over sprigs? branches? (not sure what to call them), looked so pretty that I stripped off the bottom leaves & put them in a small vase on the window sill. I used some of the leaves last night & they were as tasty as ever. I also added a couple sprigs? (still stumped) of flat leaf parsley and that's doing well also. I have been changing the water every day or so. I'm not sure how much longer they will last, but I'm certainly enjoying having them on the window sill. pat w.
  4. Hey! Thanks for that link. It's a great website & I just placed an order. I hope it's ok to say that. I should add that I have no connection with Rancho Gordo other than having enjoyed his posts. pat w
  5. I just had to add my thanks to Rachel & Trish for their wonderfully clear instructions & helpful photos. I made this for the first time Monday night to take to a family gathering. It was fun to make, everything went the way you said it would & it was a stupendous success. Even the stuffy relatives went nuts over it. I must admit that I felt twinges of guilt getting so much credit for Rachel's creation ...and the praise was way out of proportion to the work involved. It was mentioned elsewhere in this threat, but I was still surprised at how good it tasted. Until now I've never been much of a Jello fan but those days are behind me now. Sorry about no photo. I was at least going to take a picture of the ravaged plate with one thin sliver left, but regrettably I wasn't fast enough. pat w.
  6. Me too. I'm not very good at weeding the collection even though, despite the best of intentions, I don't actually use most of them. I rationalize this by saying they provide inspiration. For example, I have most of the Mollie Katzen cookbooks which I enjoy looking at, but rarely try any of the recipes. I keep meaning to get to Baking With Julia, which I was inspired to buy from another thread, but haven't quite managed to find the time. Thirty years ago when I met my husband, he had one cookbook that his mother gave him. It was the New Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, printed in the early sixties. No one is more surprised than I am that I turn to that cookbook at least as often as the Joy of Cooking. There has been a recent success, however. A few months ago, I bought The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a cookbook more. I know I've never tried as many recipes from one book before. They are, for the most part, the kind of meals you can throw together after work. My husband, who is far more carnivorous than I am, is enjoying the results as much as I am. pat w.
  7. Thank you Andiesenji. I really appreciate your help. I had previously clicked on the eGullet Culinary Institute, but it appears that I made the rookie mistake of not realizing that there was more than one page. This is embarrassing, to say the least. So, now I've not only found the knife sharpening tutorial, but several others I'm interested in as well. Re: my herb question, it's interesting that you used sage as an example. Last week I wanted to try a butternut squash - sage risotto. When our local store was out of fresh sage, I had the brilliant idea of buying a pot from the rack outside. I thought I could use some of the leaves in my risotto & plant the remainder in a pot. The risotto should have been great, but it was horribly bland. The sage leaves added almost no flavor. Thanks to you, the mystery is solved. At least the rest of the plant is doing well in the pot. I've always had basil, Italian parsley, rosemary & thyme. This year I'm trying to expand a bit. There's an awful lot to learn. It's kind of exciting, actually. Thank you again, pat w.
  8. I have another embarrassingly dumb question. When you measure chopped fresh herbs, do you just lightly pile them in the cup or spoon or do you pack them down? I usually do something in the middle, but I always wonder. Also, several months ago there was a great tutorial on sharpening knives. I can't find it now & it's driving me nuts. Can anyone help? Thank you for this thread! I've been learning a lot from it. pat w. [Moderator note: This topic continues here, Absurdly, stupidly basic cooking questions (Part 2)]
  9. Can soft cheeses like Saga Blue & Mascarpone be frozen for future use? It's often hit or miss finding these cheeses locally. It would be great to stock up when the opportunity presents itself. Sigh, still yearning for a real cheese shop out here on the great plains... pat w.
  10. Pat W


    Hi Ellen, Yum, that sounds right up our alley. I too would love to have your recipe. pat w.
  11. Pat W


    Yes, please share the recipe. I would love to try the Soy-glazed Sweet Potatoes. Baked sweet potatoes with a little butter & cinnamon (next time I'm going to try the allspice suggestion) are one of my favorite comfort foods. We also like to cut sweet potatoes as for french fries & roast them tossed with a little olive oil & cajun seasoning. pat w.
  12. Pat W

    le creuset label

    Just chiming in to agree with Mr wozencroft. Lighter fluid is indeed one of the secret weapons of the book trade. We couldn't get through the day without it. At home, I use it regularly on all sorts of troublesome stickers, but it's been especially helpful with those tenacious Le Crueset labels. It will also get rid of any sticky residue left behind by previous attempts at label removal. pat w
  13. Eileen, Yes, yes, yes..... I would love a recipe for soft gingerbread cookies. Thank you, Pat
  14. I have a gingerbread question. I have a new 3-D reindeer cookie cutter that I'm looking forward to using. I was going to try it with butter cut-out cookies but gingerbread might be a better idea. Does anyone have a good recipe for gingerbread cookies? I've always made Moravian Spice Cookies in the past but, although adults like them, they are just a little too intense for the little ones. Ling, Re: your dinner. Been there, done that. I'm making some shortbread stars tonight. I hope enough will survive to freeze for Christmas. pat w.
  15. I have a freezing question. I'd like to get started on some cookies for Christmas Eve, like brown sugar shortbread & spritz. Would it be better to freeze the cookie dough or the baked cookies? I've never tried this before because our freezer was marginal but this year we have a new refrigerator with a splendid freezer. pat w.
  16. Oops, what am I doing wrong? I just checked the Penzey's website & can't find the chocolate snowflake recipe. pat w.
  17. Now that you mention it, I wonder how this would work with chunks of potatoes & onions tossed in olive oil & roasted. I believe I'll give it a try after the chicken & eau de bed of roses experiments. pat w
  18. Oh yum... will try the EVOO combo on chicken tomorrow night. Might also dab a little behind each ear. Either way, sounds like my poor husband will never know what hit him. pat
  19. Please forgive me if this has been discussed before. A forum search didn't work out for me. A friend just gave me a small tin of "Bed of Roses" seasoning. It smells terrific but I'm not sure what to do with it. Is anyone familiar with this? Would be ever so grateful for bit of guidance. Thank you... pat w
  20. Finally, an opportunity to thank Marlene for her tasty Butter Tart Squares recipe. For many years we went to Winnipeg every April to buy books. Everyone used to joke that I was much more interested in the butter tarts than the books & I must admit that there was a certain amount of truth to that. We always ate butter tarts all the way home & stashed the rest in the freezer for later. When, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to abandon our April trip, I became a victim of SBTDS. (Severe butter tart deprivation syndrome) Then Marlene posted her wonderful recipe, which I now make regularly. I still miss Winnipeg, but by golly, we can at least get our butter tart fix. Thank you Marlene. pat w
  21. OK, I have to press the point just a little... Does this also include wrapping the cake in brandy moistened (or maybe soaked) cheese cloth? ...which technically would be neither pouring nor basting? Just looking for a loophole here. pat w. P.S. Just sent my first PM, hope I did it right.
  22. Pat W

    Battered Halibut

    We have a friend who fries his fish in the back yard using a cast iron pot on a Coleman campstove. No fishy smell in the house. Another friend who lives in an apartment, runs an extension cord to his patio. Not sure how safe it is to use an extension cord with a fryer though. I wish someone would answer the cornstarch question. I've only done the beer & flour thing. I wonder what the cornstarch does. Your fish looked quite tasty & maybe it was trick photograpy, but it looked pretty attractive too. Perfection is overrated. pat w
  23. If there's any interest, I'll post the recipe for the fruit cake. We have it every christmas and had it as a wedding cake as well :-) /Mette ← Yes! Expressing interest here.... it would be lovely if you could post the recipe. pat w
  24. I'm so glad you started this thread. I too, could use some help. Many years ago I used to make fruit cakes for Christmas every year. The recipe I had was for a dark, spicy cake with lots of nuts and yes, the scary, candied fruits available at the grocery store. I always baked them 6-8 weeks before Christmas & wrapped them in cheese cloth soaked with either brandy or bourbon (as I remember, I preferred the bourbon for this), then sealed them tightly in tin foil & stored them in a dark cupboard. Once a week, I would moisten (well, it was more like drench) the cheesecloth with more bourbon, re-wrap in the tinfoil & return to the cupboard. By Christmas they were quite lovely. Fruitcake jokes aside, people actually liked them. It was always a happy thing if they managed to outlast the holidays. A fragrant slice of fruitcake accompanied by a strong cup of coffee was a lovely breakfast on a snowy January morning. Then life got complicated & I had to cut down on my Christmas baking. Somehow, over the years, I managed to lose the recipe. I has to be somewhere, but for the life of me I can't find it. Life is still complicated, but in the last few years I've come to miss making fruitcakes. I too will be following this thread hoping for help. Sigh, I also lost a really wonderful pfferneusse recipe, but I guess that would be another thread. pat, who sorely regrets her disorganized past.
  25. It's been miserably hot here the last few days, so running a 400 degree oven for an hour has lost it's appeal for the moment, but I have a lovely, fat folder of printouts from this thread to try when the weather cools. Many thanks for the Delia links. I spent a little too much time wandering around her website, but it so was much pleasanter than the work I was supposed to be doing. Your post in the dinner thread was lyrical. I don't suppose you would consider adopting me? pat w
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