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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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  1. I'm late to this roundup but I remember many years ago, in the early 1960s when I was growing up in Boulder, Colorado, there was a delivery service that brought fried chicken dinners to your door. I still remember the slogan: "Don't cook tonight, call Chicken Delight!" I'm pretty sure they didn't have a restaurant per se, just a facility that cooked chicken to order. The delivery vehicle was a car with a lighted plastic chicken on top, so that all your neighbors could see that you were too lazy to cook. If I recall, the chicken wasn't that good, but I can't say that my parents ordered very often (we lived out in the country so probably delivery wasn't available). Thanks to this discussion I can't get that damned jingle out of my head! Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  2. Is it possible that over time the acidity of the mixture could change? That would be my biggest concern in terms of avoiding spoilage. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  3. I've had bivalve/shellfish food poisoning in the past--it's an experience I'd rather not repeat. That's why I asked. I am somewhat reassured...
  4. Thanks, Heidi, for the information about unopened shellfish. As for the kind of mussel, I don't know--I just know that the store has them but I haven't bought them yet. However, I now have confidence that the frozen ones will work pretty much the same as fresh. We'll get a supply the next time we go to Morelia. Thanks, all-- Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  5. We have always loved mussels and just discovered a source for them here in nearby Morelia. However, they are frozen and I have no experience with frozen mussels. I assume you let them defrost and then check to see if any haven't opened as you would with fresh ones. Or can you steam them without thawing? I'm looking forward to inviting our French friends for moules and I don't want to poison anybody! Thanks for your help-- Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  6. Many years ago when I was having serious problems with my stomach, I went on an elimination diet to identify which foods were the culprits. Turned out I was sensitive (I'm reluctant to say "allergic") to wheat, caffeine and red wine. (I know, I know.) After experimenting with alternative flours--buckwheat, barley, rice flour pastas--I discovered spelt, which is sort of a distant relative of wheat that seems to have a different molecular structure. I substituted spelt for wheat straight across and had excellent success. Later when I discovered white spelt flour it was another revelation. I like whole grain flour as much as anyone, but sometimes you want something a little less robust. I still can't tolerate caffeine or red wine (alas) but after all these years I can once again eat wheat. I did find that spelt seemed to have more gluten than wheat (in my not-very-scientific experience), which would make it unusable for anyone sensitive to gluten. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  7. Gardeners are true optimists. After swearing that you'll never plant that variety again, another spring comes around and once again you're seduced by the same plant. You think, "Maybe this year will be better." I know--I've been there. Black Krim is an attractive tomato (in my eyes) but in terms of flavor there are many better varieties. My sister's favorites are Green Zebra and Gold Medal, but my husband loves Prudens Purple. We grew them successfully in our garden at 7200 feet one year, but never again did I get much of a crop. Doesn't mean I didn't keep trying, though. Prudens is a big pink fruit with a fine flavor balance between sweet and acid. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  8. Can anyone tell me why it's so expensive to buy a replacement work bowl for the Cuisinart? Sometimes you want a second work bowl for a variety of reasons, not just because the original one is damaged in some way. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  9. The mind boggles. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  10. Is it just me, or do all these lists of "things you can do with avocados" almost always involve several versions of salads and almost never something innovative or different? The most interesting recipe I've seen lately is a bean and corn pie with a crust that substitutes mashed avocado for butter. The photo of the crust looked a little heavy, so if you're hoping for a nice flaky crust you may not be happy. We live in avocado country here, and I can assure you that avocados picked for shipment could be used as weapons (if they weren't so danged expensive). I mean, they are rocks. They have to be harvested (by hand), hauled to the processing plant, dumped into refrigerated trucks, driven to the border where they may spend some considerable amount of time at customs before they head off to the distribution center and finally then to individual stores. They are shipped when they're mature but not ripe to protect them, and given the rough treatment they get at all points along the trip it's a miracle that they survive without massive bruising and spoilage. So give avocados a little more time, which doesn't help if you're trying to get dinner on the table. And I agree about the microwave ripening trick--I think I tried that once and vowed not to do it again. The only thing that works is time, unfortunately. However, you can store half-ripe avocados in the fridge, where they will happily wait until you take them out to finish the ripening process. That avoids the awful discovery that you've forgotten about them until it's too late, which is very disappointing. I've kept avocados like that for well over a week. Hope this helps--Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  11. I swear that the beans I cook in my clay pot (glazed on the inside) taste better than those cooked by other methods. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  12. As a child in Florida I grew up salting watermelon and cantaloupe. I don't remember when I stopped doing that--probably when my family moved to Colorado and we didn't eat melons as often as before. That, and the fact that no one in Colorado salted their melons. Is this a Southern thing? Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  13. It's also easy to plant 40 feet of bush beans in the spring, but then dealing with the resulting quantity of beans is something else. One's enthusiasm and optimism are endless but one's energy is not. I don't think I've learned that particular lesson yet. I am still guilty (see above) of buying a lot of strawberries or mangos to make jam, but when I'm confronted by the task my zeal is much reduced. In the case of mangos, they require some days to fully ripen on the counter so there's a little time to get used to the idea. But strawberries wait for no man (or woman). Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  14. Well, that was a surprise! If they are fresh enough you can do a spore print, which will help with identifying. Put the cap, gill side down, on a sheet of paper that ideally has both black and white areas. Put a glass over the cap and leave it for a couple of hours. If there is no print, put a drop of water on the cap and try again. The color and shape (you'll need a magnifier for that) will be a major part of identifying the critter. We've found that even the driest mushroom will sooner or later drop a few spores. Note also the gills--do they attach directly to the stem or are they one of several other options? (From the photo I think they are not attached.) Are they single strands or do they branch? (Couldn't tell.) Is the cap sticky or dry? That will go a long way toward ID-ing it. I haven't investigated any resources on the internet--we use books--but I'm sure there are plenty of sites that will walk you through the process if you're interested. I just realized that you probably have eaten them by now and that there's no way to do a spore print. Oh well-- Perhaps your friend from Shanghai will know at least the local name and maybe from that you can figure out the latin name. How did they taste? To me there's nothing as good as a sauteed wild mushroom. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  15. If those are boletes in the first photo, they will have tubes rather than gills. They do have the chubby stem of boletus edulis but the caps are very small. N in P
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