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  1. There is now a huge Saturday market at the old Pearl Brewery (starting at 9 a.m. and open year-round)! I went last weekend and found beautiful vegetables, fresh peaches, strawberries and blackberries, as well as fresh-baked sourdough bread and locally made honeys and jams. Farm-raised tilapia was also available, along with grass-fed beef and bison. You can check out the website at www.pearlfarmersmarket.com. It was really, really crowded last weekend, but I suspect that was due to recent coverage in the San Antonio newspaper. In any case, I'm glad to see that San Antonio is trying to support a large, centralized farmer's market!
  2. My dad does this very same thing with both potatoes and onions, then stores them in the garage. (Where it's cold most of the time, the garage is a very effective substitute for a root cellar.) Works like a charm.
  3. My son has been struggling with Inattentive-Type ADHD for several years now. We've found a medication that works pretty well for him, but we've also learned that the meds can't fix everything--as his neurologist puts it, "The medication can only make it easier for you to focus on making the right choices." As he grows, though, it becomes necessary to take higher doses of the medication--and each change in dosage has unpleasant side effects (loss of appetite, profound insomnia, etc.) The meds have made a huge difference in his life, so discontinuing them altogether isn't an option; at the moment I'm trying to explore other avenues that might allow us to adjust the meds less often. Recently I've been reading a lot about the role of a casein-free and gluten-free diet in helping kids with autism and austism spectrum disorders, like ADHD. There's some disagreement within the medical community as to whether or not this diet does any good, but lots of parents are testifying to changes they've seen in their kids after modifying their diets. I'm willing to give it a shot, since it seems like it can't hurt and just might help. So I'm wondering if anyone has any advice about how to get started on this sort of diet--particularly since my son's favorite foods are pizza and cheeseburgers, which offend on both the gluten and casein fronts. Should I get rid of one thing first (maybe gluten, which seems easier) and see if that makes a difference? Or should I just go whole hog and get rid of both at once? Are there better/worse options for gluten-free products on the market? (I'm assuming the casein-free diet will involve cutting out cow's milk altogether.) Are there better/worse sources for recipes that will help me make this switch? My son is a pretty picky eater, so I'd appreciate any advice that will help us make a successful adjustment. And if anyone has experience with a kid who has been positively impacted by this diet, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for your help.
  4. pamjsa

    The Cooking Date

    Pizza, definitely. I can still remember the longing in the eyes of my now-husband's friend one evening when he stopped by while we were making pizza together--he so clearly wanted to be doing that with someone he loved. Salad is also a good choice. Lots of chopping and tossing, all of which is pretty mechanical and thus invites conversation to break the monotony. My husband claims I won his heart the first time I made him brownies. Brownies! "Until I met you, I didn't even know you could make them without a box," he says. For what it's worth, whenever I'm trying to get one of my kids to talk to me about something, I give them a simple kitchen project--snapping the beans, crushing the graham crackers, etc. The distraction of that activity seems to take their guard down. I imagine the same principle would apply to anyone you're trying to get to know.
  5. And now that I've cracked the mystery of Lemon Whip, I've been brainstorming about other flavor combinations: plain gelatin and almond (or vanilla) extract added to the whipped milk, then chocolate cookie crumbs to replace the graham crackers. Maybe some toasted coconut on top. Or lime jello and vanilla wafer crumbs. Perhaps with some peppermint extract added as well--Mojito Whip! The texture of the filling is nice and light--my husband's characterization of it as "foamy" seems right on the mark. It's possible to eat a fairly large square and feel like you haven't eaten much of anything (which may or may not be a good thing. )
  6. Success at last! Like chefpeon, I didn't know evaporated milk would whip on its own--I'd been assuming the addition of gelatin was what gave the milk substance enough to whip. When I disabused myself of that notion, everything became much simpler. I went to the Nestle website last night--they provide directions for whipping evaporated milk, believe it or not--and today I followed their suggestion to pour the milk into the metal mixing bowl, add the beaters, and put the whole thing into the freezer until ice started to form around the edges. That in itself made a huge difference--the evap. milk got nice and light as soon as I started the mixer. I added the sugar, then slowly added the cooled jello/lemon juice mixture. Thick and foamy after just a few minutes. It's setting up in the refrigerator as I write, and we'll have it as a cool treat when we get home from my daughter's swim meet this evening. (Current heat index: 104. Even for those of us used to the heat, that's too darn hot.) I think Jaymes is right on the mark in saying are many bits of wisdom that just aren't being passed down generationally. Whipped evap. milk is only one example of this; my husband's grandmother once gave me a recipe card with her recipe for dinner rolls which listed ingredients, then jumped straight to "Put dough in pan to rise." The process of getting to dough was so familiar to her that she couldn't imagine everyone didn't know how to do it. Well, now I know how to whip evaporated milk. Who'd have thought this was a necessary kitchen skill? Thanks for your patience and help.
  7. So, did your MIL write the recipe out for you? ← I wanted to ask the same question, but I didn't have the nerve. ← Don't think this didn't cross my mind. But no, the recipe comes from a family cookbook my husband and I compiled in our first years of marriage, and it was submitted by his aunt, not his mom. I feel so stupid even asking for help with this recipe, because it looks really easy on paper and I'm actually capable of following very complex directions. But I'm giving this one more shot tomorrow, using all the collective wisdom I've gathered here, and if it doesn't work I'll try a different recipe--I found several online for things called "Lemon Whip," although some of them vary quite a bit from this list of ingredients. (My MIL once told me that my Lemon Icebox Pie tasted very similar, so perhaps I'll just follow that recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan instead of a pie pan. ) prasantrin, I'm touched that you remember that "healthier living" thread--that was some time ago! My son is doing really well. The ADD meds caused him to lose about 20 pounds, initially; since I'd been worried about his weight, that wasn't altogether a bad thing. He's gained it back slowly and is now a very average 11-year-old. He's my shopping pal when we hit the farmers markets--he seems more amenable to eating veggies he has selected, and meeting the farmers who produced the goods also seems to make him friendlier toward produce. Last week he surprised me by asking if we could try growing some pumpkins in our backyard, so we're giving it a shot. As for me: still running. I can hardly believe it myself. But here I am, at the ripe old age of 44--a girl who had never run so much as a city block--preparing for a 5k. My son still isn't big on the physical activity, but I try to set a good example and hope it sticks.
  8. I'm hoping you all can help me figure out wat I'm doing wrong with this recipe. It's a favorite of my husband's from his childhood, and the recipe reads like this: Lemon Whip 1 can Carnation milk (ICE COLD) 1 c sugar 1/3 c. lemon juice 1 small pkg. lemon jello 3/4 c. water 2 c graham cracker crumbs Reserve 1/2 c cracker crumbs and spread the rest on the bottom of a 9 x 13 Pyrex pan. Dissolve jello in boiling water. Whip milk, sugar, lemon juice and jello until light and fluffy. Pour over cracker crumbs. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Chill until set. Every time I've tried to make this recipe, what I come up with is a creamy lemon soup--nothing close to light and fluffy, no matter what I do. It does set up after being refrigerated, but it's only about a quarter inch thick and the graham cracker crumbs get mixed into with the lemon soup. My husband remembers the texture being more like a marshmallow--"kind of foamy" is how he describes it--and being as tall as the edge of the 9 x 13 pan. I've asked both my MIL and my husband's aunt what I'm doing wrong, but they both claim "I just follow the recipe and it always works for me." (I think my MIL kind of enjoys the fact that I can't get this right--she's not much of a cook, but she can make Lemon Whip, which my husband loves. I, on the other hand, apparently cannot.) We live several states apart, or else I'd just buy the ingredients and go to my MIL's house so she could show me what I'm doing wrong. So far I have tried: 1. allowing the Jello mixture to cool completely before adding it to the milk base (though I suspect the cold milk is supposed to act in place of the cold water that would normally be added to the jello.) 2. putting the Carnation milk in the freezer, to be sure it's really ICE COLD 3. putting the whole mess in the blender and letting it mix forever, on the assumption that maybe I just wasn't beating it long enough. None of these things have done any good. Any other suggestions?
  9. Okay, starting my own research here for anyone who might be interested . . . I visited the farmer's market in the Rainbow Gardens parking lot this morning. Only two stands set up, but they were offering a wide assortment of offerings: red and yellow onions, red potatoes, all kinds of squash, green beans, peppers, plums, and tomatoes. I got four tomatoes, three onions and a big bag o' beans for $6--now that's a deal. Tomato and hummus sandwiches for lunch today. Mmmmmm. Green beans with dinner tonight. Plus, it was nice to have an excuse to make the drive to Rainbow Gardens. That place is amazing! My son especially enjoyed the orange cat curled up in a puddle of sunshine near the front door.
  10. Can anyone offer me some guidance toward good farmers markets in the San Antonio metro area? Since we don't have a large, centralized market, as Austin does, I'm wondering which of the many smaller markets in town are worth visiting. I live on the far northeast side but don't mind driving if it's worth the gas. Thanks in advance for any help!
  11. Crunchy peanut butter with marshmallows or marshmallow fluff and toasted coconut. Lightly grilled, if you have time. More of a dessert sandwich than a meal, but a delight any way you slice it.
  12. I'll be in Atlanta, staying at the Marriott Marquis, at the end of February. Anything edible and/or noteworthy in or near the hotel? What I've read online suggests there's a dearth of good food downtown. I'm not in need of anything fancy--just reasonably priced and worth eating. Thanks in advance for suggestions.
  13. An excellent question. One of my favorites is the Robert Hass poem "Meditation at Lagunitas," which includes possibly the best lines of poetry ever written: The entire poem is available in several locations online, including here: http://www.diacenter.org/prg/poetry/87_88/hass1.html
  14. Oddly enough, I can't think of any barbecue options downtown. There is a Rudy's on I-35 as you're heading north out of San Antonio, toward the outlet mall--nothing fancy, of course, but decent ribs. I'm actually a big fan of their peppered turkey. Also in that vicinity--in the Forum Shopping Center--is an excellent Thai restaurant, Thai Spice. I'd definitely recommend it, if you're in the mood for something of that sort. They have a terrific lunch deal, $7.50 for soup, entree and spring roll.
  15. MicBacchus, I love this tradition (both the seafood stew and the wooden spoon). My daugher loves to cook, and I've tried to get both of my kids involved in planning the holiday meals. I want them to be an occasion my kids look forward to as much as the present-opening or anything else. This morning my daughter suggested that her "Crunchy Munchy Salad"--a recipe she came up with on her own about a year ago--could be adapted for the Orange Meal by substituting mandarin orange slices for the strawberries in her original version. I hadn't even thought of that, but it made complete sense. So now we'll have a salad of spinach and romaine, plus sugar snap peas, pecans and mandarin oranges. I like the idea of doing something with mango, too--that's a flavor we all enjoy.
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