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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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  1. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Bloody chicken

    No apology necessary, no offense taken. N.
  2. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Bloody chicken

    Yeah, but I was talking about a largely under-educated family in a small mountain town in Colorado, part of an extensive Italian community that originally came to work in the mines. Education was minimal and ended early--Viola only went through third grade. They were wonderful people, very generous to me, and I learned a lot from them about chickens and gardening. The coffee pot sat on their wood stove all day, and the resulting coffee was so thick it almost didn't need a cup. You could just roll it into a ball and take a bite. I think that coffee was one of the origins of my stomach problems! Brining the chicken was something everyone who raised chickens apparently knew about through experience. That was over 30 years ago and I suspect that Sam and Viola are long gone. I hadn't thought of them in a very long time. Right now I wish I had one of those chickens and that Sam and Viola and I were sitting in their kitchen drinking their vile coffee and swapping recipes. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  3. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Bloody chicken

    Wait--soaking the chicken in salted water in the fridge--isn't that called brining? Apparently they knew about this more than 30 years ago.
  4. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Bloody chicken

    Many years ago I used to buy eggs from an Italian family, and once in a while I'd buy a chicken from them. For someone accustomed to grocery-store birds, these chickens seemed deformed. The breasts were long and thin and the legs and thighs were enormous because those chickens ran around all day eating insects and scratching in the dirt. Best tasting eggs and chicken I ever ate. (Edited to add: They told me to soak the chicken in salted water in the fridge for a couple of hours to rid the carcass of blood. I wonder if that would work with all chicken?) Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  5. I'm a big fan of composed salads--some leftover meat (could be store-bought rotisserie chicken, the last of a grilled flank steak, good canned tuna), some cheese (goat, feta, burata, etc.), a hard-boiled egg or 2, tomato/cucumber/red bell pepper/celery/red cabbage/pickles/olives/roasted nuts (some or all), a fresh herb-based dressing, all piled on salad greens, with a hunk of good bread to go with it. Ice cream for dessert. The best part is that except for the hard-boiled eggs all of this can be assembled from what you have in the fridge, and if you plan ahead even the eggs are manageable when hunger strikes and the very idea of turning on the stove makes you want to sit in a dark room with a cool cloth on your forehead. I generally steam the last few eggs from the carton--older eggs are easier to peel, IMO. Correct me if I'm wrong-- I used to make a Julia Child beef recipe in my slow-cooker that was actually better cold than the hot version--Daube de Boeuf, p. 322 in Vol. 1 of Mastering the Art. I think I may have to make that soon, now that I've remembered it. It was seriously good. Gazpacho is good as was noted earlier, with good cheese and bread, and maybe olives if you have them. Every year I get a gazpacho jones and make up a big batch. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  6. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    cheese slicers

    You know, tools usually have an appearance that clues us into what it is and how to use it. This cheese slicer, if I didn't know what it was, is completely mysterious. But clearly it works, which is the whole point after all!
  7. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    cheese slicers

    I've always just used a cheese plane--makes thin slices that work well for a grilled cheese sandwich. It's hard to hurt yourself using a cheese plane. I don't care for the wire type, but the paper cutter version is interesting. Let us know how you like it. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  8. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    I will never again . . . (Part 4)

    I will never again (oh yeah?) put a pan of vegetables on the stove to sweat, and then disappear into the New York Times crossword puzzle. The lid kept the resulting burned aroma from penetrating my concentration. The pan will recover, fortunately. Dinner was somewhat delayed. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  9. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Split peas (green, dried)

    If you live in México you eat a lot of beans, so the gas problem gets resolved by virtue of regular consumption. Because the beans are so fresh I've never found that soaking them is necessary. I just pop them in my rustic clay bean pot and let them simmer away on the stove for a while until they're done. Black beans, garbanzos, flor de mayo, junio, peruanos, lentils--I'm forgetting a couple others--all have their own particular flavor. I like to remove the seeds from an ancho or pasilla chile, tear it into pieces, and add it with a couple of whole peeled garlic cloves. The chile adds flavor without heat. No salt--I add that later when I use them. There's nothing I like better than a bowl of split pea soup that's been cooked with a ham hock on a cold day. But alas--no split peas here, and no ham hock. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  10. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    All Things Mushroom

    Yes indeed. All those little pits and hollows can hold a surprising amount of dirt that won't let go without a fight. Soak them well and have at it with a toothbrush or other small brush. Don't be too rough, though. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  11. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    All Things Mushroom

    Morels are hollow and therefore take well to stuffing with something rich and creamy--crab? Cream goes very well with morels. I once made a whole tenderloin served with morels gently simmered in cream for New Year's Day dinner. It was quite nice (major understatement). I think reconstituting your dried morels in cream would be wonderful. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  12. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Newfoundland Re-Visited

    Is it just me, or does it look cold? Nancy in (rainy) Patzcuaro
  13. Nancy in Pátzcuaro

    Cooking while Primitive Camping

    I don't know if you have one of these already, but I find a stir-fry basket very useful. I use mine on our gas grill all the time, but you could pop that puppy down on the firepit grill and prepare some good vegetables without losing any through the grid. It's a 4-sided tapered metal vessel with holes all around that could be filled with other items to save space when packing. Look for it at Home Depot or Lowes in the grilling section. Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure I bought mine at Walmart. Here it is on Amazon--https://www.amazon.com/BEST-Vegetable-Grill-Basket-Accessories/dp/B00ZQ9A3L6/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1529687394&sr=1-8&keywords=stir+fry+basket There are plenty of other accessories, some more useful than others, and you'll have to decide just how much you want to pack. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  14. I feel sorry for supertasters. Imagine going through life tasting everything more intensely than the rest of us. A friend of ours, who visits occasionally, is a supertaster and quite frankly he's a real PITA to cook for. A Mexican friend can't tolerate black pepper. He can eat every chile pepper known to man, but a speck or 2 of black pepper--no. And another friend thinks that beets taste like "dirt." As they say, different strokes. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
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