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Everything posted by Jaymes

  1. Well, I can tell you what I do when this happens to me - not very imaginative, but I have to do it pretty often. I just add more of all of the other ingredients, tomatoes, vinegar, etc., until I get the level of heat I want. Then, because clearly I now have more salsa than I need, I either freeze what I'm not going to use right away, or give it as gifts to friends that I know really love my salsa. When I freeze it, it does get a little watery upon thawing, but it's still good. And I've found that works far better than trying to add more stuff that didn't belong in it in the first place. If the additional ingredient was beneficial to the recipe, I figure it would have been included from the gitgo. Not only is it wasteful to just throw it out because it's too hot - you still don't have any salsa. So you're going to have to start over. Which means you're going to use up another recipe's worth of the other ingredients anyway. Why not just add the additional recipe's worth of ingredients to what you already have? You can tone down the heat and have some extra salsa to stash away in the freezer. Or to share.
  2. Interestingly enough, in this other instance, folks in the restaurant handled the Toddler's Tantrum differently because these parents handled it differently. Far differently. These parents were worried about their child disrupting everybody in the place, took the child outside twice, and when the child still couldn't calm down, these parents left. A far cry from the "diner owner screaming at toddler" parents that just thought everybody should put up with it because that's what little kids do and refused to leave, despite being asked (politely at first) to do something or leave, several times. And in this new example, nobody had to ask these parents to leave. They were smart enough to figure it out all by themselves. As opposed to those other parents, who shouldn't have had to be asked, but were, and ignored it. I raised three kids, from birth to college graduates, and I can tell you that if you want to eat in a restaurant with little kids it's totally incumbent upon you to ride herd over them and see to it that they don't ruin everybody else's meal. It's not fun and it's not easy. Wrangling little kids in a public place is work. Tedious and stressful work. If that's not what you want to do, if you're just not up for that, if you want to have a nice, relaxing dinner at a restaurant, figure out a way to leave the kids home. Even if that means you don't go to restaurants until the kids are old enough to behave themselves. If somebody is going to be inconvenienced, it ought to be you. Not others that had no say in any of your decisions. If you don't want strangers yelling at your kids, make different decisions, and don't put them in situations where that reasonably might occur. I'm 100% team diner owner.​ 100%.
  3. And also, Thanksgiving is a celebration of the food, and about the food, and the fact that the first pilgrims had a good harvest and had enough food to be able to eat well and then store enough food to make it through the winter. The food and the meal itself is the reason for the celebration. I don't know. All speculation on my part. But that traditional meal is so sacrosanct for so many folks, couldn't help but ponder why.
  4. Do I really need to explain that I understand not every single thing applies to every single person? But it's a fact (you and your family and many others notwithstanding) that there is something about Thanksgiving that causes a great many Americans (although not you and your family and many others) that are normally adventuresome and inventive and non-traditional eaters, to get really upset if "their" traditional Thanksgiving dinner isn't on the table. I recall once when we were living out of the US (far out of the US, on the other side of the world), we were invited over to the home of some American friends for Thanksgiving. Among other dishes that were traditional for them, there was what looked exactly like canned jellied cranberry sauce, complete with the ridges. I knew that wasn't available in the local markets and asked if it had been sent to them by family from back home. "Oh no," they said. "We thought about it but it was so expensive. So we worked really hard to recreate it, ridges and all." There must be something about tradition and Thanksgiving and that dinner, whatever it is for each individual family, that carries more importance than meals at other holidays. I've been trying to think about what that importance could be. If you'd like, I'll be happy to say that I know my conclusion is a generality. And it certainly doesn't apply to everyone. There. Better?
  5. Sounds pretty smart, and I'll definitely be employing this technique for salads. But as far as cabbage rolls goes, while I'm there going through all that trouble, I've found it's easiest for me to go ahead and make up the whole big pot. And then freeze the individual cooked cabbage rolls in single servings. They freeze beautifully, and it's so wonderfully welcome and comforting for me to come home hungry and tired on a cold, wet, blustery day, and pop a couple into the microwave. I really love cabbage rolls (my recipe here http://forums.egullet.org/topic/126444-russian-stuffed-cabbage-rolls/?p=1695076&hl=stuffed%20cabbage&fromsearch=1#entry1695076 ) but I'd never be able to go through all that trouble several times a month, especially not right after I get home from work, even if I had the time, which I don't. I've bought some great little plastic storage boxes that are just big enough for two rolls and some sauce. Works perfectly for me. And isn't it interesting how hungry minds think alike? Because just last week was thinking that it's time to be making up a big pot of cabbage rolls. And then I come here and this thread has been revived again.
  6. Almost time for Thanksgiving talk again. And I've been thinking about this subject for a while. The question so often arises as to why some folks are dead set against any kind of major fiddling with their traditional menu, whatever it is. And I think that, unlike so many other holidays, the entire point of Thanksgiving is about the food. In our house, we celebrate Christmas. Traditionally, we have a festive meal to celebrate. But the point of Christmas is not the meal. We can have anything that seems festive and appropriate and celebratory - rack of lamb, prime rib, goose, turkey - anything goes and nobody complains so long as it's really good. And Easter. Traditionally, we have a festive meal to celebrate. But the point of Easter is not the meal. We can have anything that seems festive and appropriate and celebratory - lamb, ham, deviled eggs, fresh spring peas - anything goes and nobody complains so long as it's really good. And July Fourth. Traditionally, we have a festive meal to celebrate. But the point of July Fourth is not the meal. We can have anything that seems festive and appropriate and celebratory - barbecue brisket, ribs, potato salad, baked beans, apple pie, strawberry shortcake - anything goes and nobody complains so long as it's really good. But Thanksgiving is about the meal. So, in my family anyway, I can change up the menu somewhat, but I had darn sure also better include the things that, to them, mean Thanksgiving, and always have: turkey, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, candied yams, Waldorf salad, homemade rolls, relish tray, pumpkin pie, pecan pie. That's not "Thanksgiving" to everybody, of course. Maybe yours is lasagna and macaroni and Sunday gravy. But that's Thanksgiving to us. And woe to me if I try to spring something "weird" on them. . ​ The only other holidays I can think of where the menu actually is about more than just a way to celebrate and nourish ourselves when we get together are the shank bone, bitter herbs, hard-boiled egg, etc., of the Passover Seder. And the oil at Hannukah. Now, I certainly don't mean to imply that turkey and dressing carries anywhere nearly so much historical and religious significance as these two sacred Jewish meals (I know it doesn't), but they're the only other holidays I can think of where the food carries more importance than just something to eat while we all gather to celebrate something else. I think that's why changing up the Thanksgiving meal menu engenders such strong emotions with so many people. Because, in their view, you're not just messing with the food - you're messing with the holiday itself.
  7. Jaymes

    Dong Art

    And they remind me of Rie Munoz - a very popular Alaskan artist: https://www.google.com/search?q=rie+munoz+prints&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CEsQ7AlqFQoTCP2ixOHf1MgCFRPNYwodx0cN_w&biw=1008&bih=584&dpr=0.95 ​ ​ Liuzhou - are all the prints you posted from the same artist? Or is that just a common style of the culture's artwork? And, in the "BBQ" scene, I notice that the things waiting to be cooked - the fish and chicken - seem to have white things that look like ribbons or strips of cloth coming out from underneath them. Is that just a design, or does it depict some particular wrapping or method of cooking? Finally - let me add my profound thanks to you for taking the time to post these. You never fail to inform, intrigue, educate, entertain. We're really lucky to have you here.
  8. A bit of trivia that I found interesting - so just in case others might as well: I've always wondered why I equate gin so strongly with India and the other "colonies" to which the Brits "went out" early in the previous century. I knew gin wasn't a "New World" invention, having first been distilled in Europe from juniper berries, back in the Middle Ages. So I did a bit of research. And it turns out that quinine was really the only accepted treatment for malaria. They needed something with a strong flavor to offset the bitterness of the quinine. Gin was just the ticket. Still is so good with tonic water, even though there's very little quinine (if any) in most modern-day tonic water. Interesting to me that, from this "spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" sort of beginning, Gin & Tonic is now one of the world's greatest drinks.
  9. Did see an announcement saying "Late 2015" - whatever that means.
  10. Had the same thought. Even went searching. No mention of date. And, on their Facebook page, other folks asking. Curious indeed.
  11. Yeah, those comments were hilarious. No need to bother actually reading the article, much less making an effort to understand it. I've not been to any of the new Houston locations listed. Must make that effort. After all, if I'm willing to drive several hours to make a round trip to Luling/Lockhart (and I am), surely 45 minutes into downtown Houston would be workable. Thanks Bruce.
  12. Jaymes

    Pollo Guisado

    This is tricky. And my suggestion might not be a lot of help but I did live in Panama for several years, and my experience is that basically you're talking about stewed chicken. And almost every home cook in Latin America makes it and there are just as many versions. So asking for a particular "recipe" is like asking for a recipe for beef stew. I'd suggest that you start with the basics that you listed in your sentence that begins "the items that seem to be standard are, of course" and then fiddle with adding interesting extras like capers, pineapple and olives after you get your basic stewed chicken to a dish you like. Some folks make a soupy version, so you'd eat it like that, in a bowl with a spoon. And others cook it until it's drier, and then serve it over rice.
  13. Bruce - your reports are a thing of beauty. Thanks for taking the time to post this. As you know, I'm planning on meeting friends at Coltivare soon for their charuterie plate. I'll try to post opinions, but it will be nowhere nearly so thorough as yours. Charcuterie, the Dish of the Month for our Houston group is a personal favorite and I'm going to do my best to try several places, a la Bruce, but, living out in Suburbia, it's kinda difficult. Guess I could just go get a sampler plate at the deli counter at my local HEB. Actually, now that I think about it, that's not a half-bad idea. Maybe I'll do that very thing.
  14. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    That marinade does look amazing. As far as the cooking goes, what I've done for lo these thirty years is to take the meat (and, as I've said, it was always flank steak but I'm sure you could do something similar with top round), and score it pretty deeply on both sides, then lay strips of bacon on it (across the grain), roll it up, slice (across the grain) into pinwheels with the bacon rolled up inside, then thread the pinwheels onto skewers, put it into a dish with the marinade and then into the fridge to marinate overnight. And then next day, cook the skewered, marinated pinwheels, either by broiling in the oven, or on the grill outside. This is pretty dang terrific, even with what I now know is my mediocre marinade. But with yours, I suspect that will kick this dish into the stratosphere! Thanks for taking the time to post that.
  15. Sign me up with the "per trip" crowd. I do order delivery quite a bit (although rarely, okay never) pizza. Most often, it's Chinese, or Middle-Eastern. I tip $5, unless I've got friends over, and we've ordered several sack's-worth. Then, might go up to $6 or 7. Occasionally, for a really big order, up to $10. But $5 it usually is. As far as the salary/wage of the delivery drivers, you never know. When my son was in high school, he worked as a delivery driver at Little Caesar's. He made the same wage as the folks that worked in the store, plus tips. He did have to use his own car and pay for his gas, etc., though, so it all worked out. At many of the small "ethnic" eateries I patronize, it's a relative. Most of these restaurants are family-run businesses and it's a son, brother, uncle, cousin. One Chinese place in particular, I know it's the husband/grandfather. His wife and daughters run the place. When you dine in, you see him sitting over in the corner reading a Chinese-language newspaper. I think the wife and daughters make him do the delivery just to keep him busy and out of their hair. So as far as compensation for family members goes, I suspect they probably just 'divvy up' the profits at the end of the week according to some formula worked out amongst themselves.
  16. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    Well, in the immortal words of a legendary previous poster, "if you care to and have the time," would you mind sharing that marinade recipe? I do much of the cooking for my daughter's family of six and do make London Broil occasionally. I've got a marinade I've been using, but I'm not one to take undue and false territorial pride in my recipes. If I can find one better, I'll discard my previous recipe faster than you can throw beef onto a grill. But if it's a family secret, that's swell, too.
  17. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    I guess labeling cuts of beef by recipe names is something that butchers think spur sales. But to me, it's just confusing. I never used to see any cut of meat labeled London Broil as anything but flank. However, since London Broil is a method of preparation, and not a cut of beef, I suppose what butchers choose to label with that name depends upon changing fashion. Here's an interesting article about London Broil, including speculation as to the origin of the name. Apparently a very old American dish: http://bbq.about.com/od/steaks/a/aa101604a.htm
  18. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    Around here, when one refers to "London broil cut," it's flank steak. Is that what you mean? Or top round?
  19. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    Wow, kayb. I've got to try that. I do make a quick German sour meat with top round, but yours sounds so wonderful. Wrapped around a bratwurst. I lived in Germany as a kid, and that really reminds me of the aroma and anticipation of sitting in our warm kitchen waiting for dinner while the snow falls outside.
  20. Charcuterie has recently been the subject of much of Houston's culinary scene chitchat. And several of us Houstonions have been gathering from time to time to sample this dish and that. Houston, the fourth-largest city in the US, is a great place for it. It's an immigrant city that has been called "the nation's most diverse." There's always something new and interesting to try. So next up for our small but enthusiastic group is charcuterie. We've done some research online at sites like this one: http://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2014/2/2/houstons-top-charcuterie-destinations-february-2014 If you'd like to join us for this next gathering, or sometime in the future, pm me. ​ ​
  21. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    Actually, you did mention that above. And I've wondered about it ever since. I'd never even think of using top round for corned beef. I dunno. It just seems so....flat. And, compared to brisket...lean. More suited for jerky than corned beef. How do you think the finished top round corned beef compares to corned beef brisket?
  22. Jaymes

    Top Round (beef)

    Bringing up this old thread. Our supermarket had a big sale on top round, so I laid in a nice supply. Especially since cooler weather is on the way, heartier meals are in order. Wondering if anyone has any new ideas.
  23. I do. I have a Mexican lime tree, a Meyer's lemon tree, a wild Thai makrut lime tree, and two calamansi trees. The wild Thai lime doesn't produce a lot of limes, but all the rest are very generous with their bounty. I freeze them whole. Sometimes I use the frozen small fruit (limes and calamansi) like beautiful and flavorful ice cubes for assorted drinks - iced tea, lemonade, wine spritzers, all sorts of things. The juice keeps just fine within the whole frozen fruit so when I need some lime or lemon or calamansi juice, I just take out however many I need, and proceed as usual. I find that freezing them does help to break down the membranes so such tricks as rolling them, or putting them into the microwave, etc, are not necessary. I used to make a lot of limoncello and found that freezing the denuded lemons that I had after zesting them also worked great. So that's my advice. Although I see nothing wrong with making lime curd. Just like lemon curd but, um, you know, limier. ​ Oh, and ps. Avocados. When we lived in Panama we had five avocado trees in our yard. Avocados are a whole lot trickier. We gave those away by the barrelful.
  24. So I was perusing Maya Angelou's wonderful cookbook, "Hallelujah! The Welcome Table," when I came across what looked like a pretty great recipe for smoked pork chops. Had to try it, so I did, and it is. I'd definitely recommend it, and the book, too, of course. http://www.amazon.com/Hallelujah-The-Welcome-Table-Lifetime/dp/0812974859 ​ However, have to add that one of my favorite things about these pre-cooked chops is their quick ease and convenience. Maya's recipe is definitely not quick. http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/669159-Smoked-Pork-Chops I made the ginger cabbage recipe that she included on the menu with the pork chops, and it was really great, too. Served it with mashed potatoes. Great meal. ​
  25. Jaymes

    Family recipes

    My mom also didn't like to cook. But this was the 50's and that's what wives did. I've mentioned it before in various "memory" threads here, but your mom's potato salad prompted me to mention my mom's potato salad recipe again: Get out your Revere Ware saucepan and make some instant mashed potatoes. While still warm (because you're running late and have a big hungry family already waiting at the table), stir in some mayonnaise, three chopped hard-boiled eggs, a handful of chopped onions, and a generous spoonful of pickle relish. Oh Mom, I miss you. But there was one thing that she made that none of us could get enough of, and that was her beef stew. I think one of the reasons it was so good was because she was such a simple cook that she didn't muck it up by adding a bunch of unnecessary ingredients. She loved really fresh vegetables, straight from the garden, so they were wonderful and flavorful. The base was water. In later years, I tried to replicate hers (for about a decade) but could never get the flavor just right. Finally I realized I'd been trying too hard. Trying to improve it by using some kind of beef, veal, chicken, etc., stock, browning the meat with an assortment of herbs and spices, adding whatever was the current culinary darling. Finally gave up. Just really fresh vegetables, good chuck, water and, for seasoning, salt, pepper, and a couple of bay leaves. I still can't get enough of that stew when the weather turns cold. Thanks, Mom. And you're forgiven for the potato salad.
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