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Everything posted by PhyllisBFP

  1. Have a great trip! And on the flight home try to think of some way you can possibly thank your wife!!!
  2. My husband and I will be in Varanasi next week and would like recommendations for top quality Indian -- preferrably local cuisine -- food in Varanasi.
  3. Funny, I usually find that the stores make a mistake in my favor. I always correct them because it is a matter of just plain honesty and I am surprised at how often the check-out person comments that it would have been cheaper for me to simply let the mistake pass. I respond that had the mistake been NOT in my favor I would also have spoke up.
  4. Thanks, all of you who have posted. It is really amazing to read your information and work arounds. P
  5. Years ago my mother told me that the best part of making borscht from scratch was the beet greens -- and she was right! For a chilly winter night, try hot borscht -- with a boiled potato and sour cream. As for just the greens, as so many other have said, basically chard is the same as beet greens just without the bulbous root, so you can cook beet greens the same way you would chard. I love it sauteed in a bit of olive oil with some minced onion and garlic garlic and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan on top. Or when you have done sauteeing it add some diced ham or smoked turkey or diced prosciutto and chicken stock, bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes and serve with a bit of gremolata and the grated proscuitto. A quick and hearty soup.
  6. Hi, Count me in again. I think the last time I was one of the people who felt that one week barely made a dent in my pantry or refrig/freezer. Now to make matters worse, as my family of children/grandchildren has continued to grow I have bought a freezer for the basement and it is already quite full. Over the past two months I have made gallons of various kinds of vegetable soups with the produce from the CSA to stockpile for the winter. Some have meat some not. I did this because one of my daughters just had her third child and I don't know how the young mothers of today do it all -- work, childcare, home care. My son-in-law is terrific with the kids and doing his share in the house, but still, how you nurse a baby, do things with your twin sons, and work full time and still have time to sleep is beyond me. So I try to do a lot of cooking for her family now. My one hesitation about this challenge is that I need to make desserts for Thanksgiving -- for 30+ people -- and I was planning on doing some of the cooking this week. I hope people won't think I'm not being sporting if I market for the ingredients for those things which I will be cooking ahead and storing. I promise we won't eat them during the challenge! Tonight I have some baby back ribs that I cooked in a slow cooker with soy, Chinese rice wine, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, scallion and hot pepper. Because it has already served for one meal, I don't have enough for 5 adults for tonight, so I will stretch it by taking it off the bones, shredding the meat and adding it at the last minute to a stir fry of veggies (onions,scallions, shredded carrots and dikon are in my vegetable bin in great abundance.) The delicious liquid from the slow cooker will be a nice sauce. Served over brown rice it should be complete meal. Some fruit for dessert.
  7. ← Preserving lemons is really quite easy. Use a perfectly clean glass jar -- I pour boiling water into the jar and let it stand a few mintues just to make sure it is clean. Slice the lemons from top to bottom as if you were quartering them, but not quite cutting through the bottom so they stay together, and sprinkle with non-iodinized salt -- Kosher salt is best for this. I use a generous hand with the salt --about a slightly heaping tsp per lemon. place them in the jar as tightly packed as possible and top off the air spaces with lemon juice. Close the jar and refrigerate for a couple of weeks. They are ready to use when the skins are soft and somewhat translucent. Very often if I have squeezed some lemon juice I sprinkle the remaining skin and pulp with some salt and add it to the jar. I know these directions sound rather sketchy, but in truth it is an easy thing to do and measurements aren't really necessary. Some people add some spices or even some herbs to the lemons as they cure, but I like to make them plain and then add what spices I want to the dish I am making. Hope this helps.
  8. You can also put it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time. I don't do it this way if it is in a plastic bottle, but in a glass jar it works fine. Just make sure the lid is off -- natch -- and do it bit by bit so it doesn't boil over. I would think that this takes less energy than using bowls and bowls of hot water.
  9. I found Kasha in the "tub/pantry" in the cellar. I need to try this. Are there any seasonings or additions that go especially well with kasha? Or do you just plate it under some juicy meat? ← Well, the "classic" way to serve kasha is with pot roast -- a lovely brisket with all that yummy gravy. But another way is called Kasha Varnishkas -- the little bow tie pasta -- Goodman's is the brand I use. You make the kasha and cook the bow tie pasta separately and then combine them in about the proportion of 2 cups kasha to 1 cup pasta. While the grains and pasta are still hot, stir in some butter and season with salt to taste. Anybody from a Jewish-kosher background wouldn't add the butter if the dish were to be served with meats, of course, but often kasha varnishkas is served as a meal in itself. If necessary you can make this in advance and cover it tightly to reheat it in the oven. Another use for kasha is as a filling for knishes -- but that is a whole other thing! Also, I might add that most of the time when I make kasha I don't use the whole grain. I use a coarse grain. The fine is good for making porridge -- which I think tastes great, but I don't usually bother with because I prefer the texture of the kasha when it is made from the coarser cut. When making the kasha either whole or coarse grain make sure you don't add so much liquid that it gets gummy. Toasting it helps that too as well as developing the grains naturally nutty flavor. Another thing -- it is a very healthy grain. Lots of good nutrients.
  10. Include them in a stuffing for winter squash or mushrooms. ← How would wheat berries do if you cooked them like kasha? For kasha, I put a little oil in a heavy pot that has a tight lid and stir them through the hot oil. Then I break an egg into the pot and quickly break it up and stir it through the kasha grains to coat them and keep stirring until the grains are no longer wet and sticky and smell nice and toasty. Then I pour in boiling hot water --enough to cover by about 1 inch (I would guess that it amounts to a little more than 1 cup water to 1 cup kasha, but I'm not sure, I just eyeball it) a bit of kosher salt, give a quick stir and quickly put on the lid and turn down the heat to a very low simmer. When it has stopped steaming, turn off the heat and let it sit about 10 minutes still covered. Then lift the lid, with a fork fluff up the grains and cover it again and let it rest another 10 minutes. I am thinking that wheat berries might work the same way as whole grains of kasha so that is what I would try. Of course, I realize my directions are very sketchy. I've been making kasha for 50 years and just do it without really paying attention to details like cooking times because it just always comes out right!
  11. Well, if people are still checking on this string, here's my update. I did a lot of marketing because Saturday night I was having 20 people for a Chinese New Year Banquet -- yes, I know it is late, but my friend and I cook it every year and so it depends upon when he can get here from Shanghai. I spend three days in advance preparing the slow cooked dishes and the stocks and then we go to China town in the morning for all the fresh ingredients and then from 1:00 pm until we begin serving we stand in the kitchen and prepare and get ready to turn out about 10 main dishes and about 6 "small plates". The eating goes from about 7:30 pm to 11:00. It is great fun. However, all that is aside from this topic. What we ate during the week was completely from my pantry, refrig and freezer and I am sad to say it hardly made a dent in the amount of food stored up! We ate very well and my main worry -- that I wouldn't have enough veggies -- was certainly not a problem. But I think I need to keep this going for at least another 2 weeks to see any change in my freezer. I didn't tell my husband until Friday night -- which was the last meal of the week for me -- what I had been doing. Of course, he never noticed -- the meals were varied, tasty and much like I always cook with the exception that all of the meat had been frozen. I usually don't keep much meet in the freezer and tend to buy only what I am planing on cooking, so I guess I did use up most of the things that were in the freezer. But I intend to keep up the challenge until I can see a dent in the amount of food socked away in my freezer. Forget about the pantry -- it is huge and has so much in it that I should put a moritorium on buying grains, pastas, canned goods and dried things until the end of the summer! Thing is that it would be much easier to get at things if I didn't have so much stuff jammed into the shelves. I mean do I really need 6 different types of honey? Well, they each do taste differently, but still...........
  12. Hi, all; I think I haven't gotten into this as much as some of you -- I feel guilty for not submitting photos of my pantry or freezer, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Anyone who can tell me, it would be appreciated. Actually, this is not a typical week for me as far as cooking goes. Friday night -- when I started this challenge, my husband called up to say he would be coming home late and wanted nothing more than a bowl of very simple pasta. By him that means spaghetti. I had some baby spinach in the refrig that needed using up so I sauteed that with some garlic, anchovies and tossed the pasta in that and then finished it off with some coarse bread crumbs I had just smashed from a stale piece of italian bread and then used a fine rasp grater to grate a few bits of Meyer lemon rind on top. It was very tasty and a nice combination of textures -- thanks to the crunch of the coarse bread crumbs -- a southern Italian and Scicilian touch. Sat. am was our usual toasted English muffin with a slice of really good smoked salmon which I had bought at my last marketing before I knew of the challenge but which I often buy for Sat and Sun morning treats. That together with a ruby red grapefruit and some wonderful Pu'er tea. Lunch was a few felafel balls with some yogurt and m'hammara. We went out for a light dinner before going to the opera. Today, breakfast was a banana and a cup of tea since I had to run out of the house very early to pick up family arriving home for overseas. The they are getting soft so tomorrow I'll mash them and make a toasted English muffin with the banana mash on one side and some chunky peanut butter -- hold the salmonella -- on the other half. It is really quite tasty. Lunch was more pasta which my husband makes on the weekends. Get the feeling we eat a lot of pasta? For tonight I took out of the freezer a small let of lamb -- organic, free roaming all sorts of good stuff -- which I will either roast in the oven if it doesn't stop raining or put on the grill if it does, with garlic and rosemary and lemon, along with some oven roasted fingerlin potatoes, and a salad. I can see that fresh veggies are going to be a problem for me because I usually have very few frozen vegetables on hand and tend to buy veggies frequently and use them as I go. But for tonight I still have some fresh lettuce. that is it for the weekend. It is fun reading your posts. P
  13. Hi, all; I'm new to this group but the idea of going a whole week using up pantry and freezer foods struck a responsive chord. I'd like to join in. I used to teach cooking and one semester my course was "meals from my pantry" -- the idea being that if you have a well stocked pantry you are in a position to whip together wonderful meals without trips to the grocery with long lists in hand. I gave out a list of the foods I consider basic to a well stocked larder, but I cautioned my students that they shouldn't just stock up on these things, but rather they had to use them regularly and only then replace them. Of course it was something of a matter of do what I say not what I do since my pantry and freezer are often so packed that there is no space for the new things I am constantly wanting to add. So I think I need to do this challenge more often than on a quarterly basis! My refrigerator is often a different matter since I shop frequently for fresh vegetables. However, even there I have so many pastes and condiments that once my brother -- who was ravenous at the time -- opened my refrigerator and said so much food and nothing to eat! I thought it was an accurate description since I had all the makings of wonderful meals, but nothing ready for the spur of the moment. So this challenge should be a great week for me. Good cooking to all of us! Phyllis
  14. Thanks, Whippy, for yur reply. Unfortunately, my local libraries don't have the book. So I'm still hoping that a used one will turn up on some web site or other. Hope springs eternal.! P quote=whippy,Mar 13 2005, 09:38 PM] PhyllisBFP welcome to eGullet! i looked online for the longest time, too. very frustrating since it's not commercially available. then i remembered that there was a time before the Rise Of The Internet, and pursued old fashioned methods. otherwise known as the public library. my "copy" is an interlibrary loan from duke university. i found 'rasachandrika' the same way via cornell. hopefully your municipality offers the same great service! --whippy (i think it may have been jschyun who pointed out there's only one copy of sameen rushdie's book in the whole u.s. library system, meaning it's not up for grabs to the likes of me. anybody want to lend me one? i'm an honest chap.) ←
  15. I can't answer any of your questions. Instead I am writing to ask where you found that copy of Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh. I have been searching the internet and each time I think I have a copy it turns out that they are sold out. Any suggestions?
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