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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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Everything posted by Nancy in Pátzcuaro

  1. I love "volunteer" tomatoes, though they are sometimes not very good, taste-wise. Work pretty well for sauce or other cooked applications. If your volunteer has good taste, save the seeds and see how they do in subsequent generations. Find a tomato that's dead ripe but not mushy, scrape out the seeds (that haven't already started to sprout) and gel into a small jar of water. Shake the jar several times a day for a week or so to remove the gel (which will make seeds rot) and then spread the naked seeds on a piece of waxed paper to dry. Next year plant a seed or 2 to see if they taste the way th
  2. A recipe that we enjoy is salmon steaks marinated for 4-6 hours in a mixture of brown sugar and bourbon. I just mix up a loose slurry and make sure to keep turning the salmon so the marinade permeates a little before cooking. Melt butter in a skillet and brown the steaks on each side. Add a little of the marinade if you like, to finish cooking. You can also broil the salmon and cook down the marinade for a sauce with some butter. For me, medium to medium rare is the best, but that's a personal choice.
  3. I'm glad she asked the question that I had--if you can't taste it, why use it? Very interesting indeed.
  4. Thanks, everybody. I admit it pains me to discard so much useful herbage, but I think you're right to suggest that I do so. I'd never do that with basil, of course, but rosemary is a different beast. Do you think it would poison the compost? Maybe I can give some of it away to friends. Too bad we're not going to friends' houses these days--I could take a little bouquet of rosemary as a hostess gift! The problem is that most of our friends also have rosemary bushes because it grows so well here. Oh well--it's the gesture that counts, right? Fat Guy's story reminded me of a meal my n
  5. I have a rosemary bush that has gotten enormous. It's healthy, vigorous, and taking over a section of the garden. It stands about 5 feet tall and at least that much around. I know I should cut it back but what should I do with the cuttings? I don't see any point in drying it since I have access to the fresh stuff, and I don't think it would work well in a vinegar, which is what I've done with excess herbs in the past. But we're talking about a very large amount and it would be nice to be able to use at least some of it. Any ideas?
  6. I recently posted about how México is starting to enforce the restriction on those of us over 60 entering stores such as Costco, Walmart and Home Depot. We went to Costco in Morelia today and can report that, at least here, Costco is letting everyone in. Yes, we have to have our temperature taken, and we get a squirt of hand sanitizer before we enter, which is the same as it always has been. So we were able to shop normally. I have no idea if this will remain the same or whether governmental pressure will force the big-box stores here to comply. In the meantime, at least in Michoacán, we are f
  7. Here in México we're hearing rumors that the government is about to enforce a rule from several months ago, that prohibits anyone over 60 from going out. Stores like Costco, Home Depot, Wal-Mart are not allowing anyone over 60 in their stores. Dunno how they can tell one's age, but that's what seems to be happening. This is a problem for people who might need to go out to shop for, you know, food. Because we have to restock after several weeks at the beach--dogfood, wine, big packs of Romaine lettuce, toilet paper--this is something we need to know about. The small abarrotes (corne
  8. Potatoes. Onions release too much juice (and tears as a result).
  9. In the US there's Seed Savers Exchange. I first joined in the mid-80s, when it was simply a bunch of people exchanging seeds person-to-person. There was a simple printed catalog--not quite mimeographed, but close--with people describing what seeds they had and what they were looking for in exchange. Now SSE is a commercial enterprise, but they still specialize in non-hybrid, open pollinated, "heirloom" seeds. Their mandate is to rescue the varieties that have been ignored by the big seed companies. They're based in Decorah, Iowa, where they refresh their varieties by growing them out every few
  10. Having just made a rye loaf, I realized that I forgot to mention that my recipe calls for a Tbs. of molasses as the sweetener. This is for 3 cups of flour--2 white bread flour and 1 rye. I also include caraway seeds because I like them. Rye makes a compact loaf, ideal for slicing thinly and slathering with butter and then topped with thinly sliced radishes. I could make a meal from that!
  11. That is disgusting. No other way to describe it. First you have 2 big slabs of Spam, which right off the top is suspect, and then it's topped with what looks like a layer of charcoal. Visually it's gag-worthy.
  12. I'm late to this discussion, but I have a few thoughts about boosting the flavor of rye bread. First, using very fresh rye flour makes a difference. I buy rye flour from a baking supply company in Morelia, and I must say that the aroma of rye coming from a freshly-opened bag is remarkable. Now, I don't always get flour from a bag opened in front of me, but as a rule the flours of all kinds tend to be fresher. This shop supplies most, if not all, of the bakeries in Morelia (of which there are too many to count), so the turnover is faster. I also store it in my second fridge because I typically
  13. Try putting a couple of big scoops of yogurt on a full bowl of fruit, giving it a sprinkle of chia seeds and then topping with a lot of granola. That's been our go-to breakfast for many years. Granted, we have access to a lot of good fruit here, but we did it even in the US. Strawberries, kiwi, grapes and pineapples are always available. Try that before you give up on yogurt.
  14. I'm with you on cereal hating. The only time I eat it is in one of those motel breakfast rooms, and then I choose Raisin Bran as the least objectionable.
  15. I was surprised to see that slab of tropical wood. It's huanacastle (also parota, depending on where you live) from a magnificent tree that grows in the jungle along the coast. We have a dining room table from that wood. You can choose either a horizontal slab (round) or vertical, like in the photo. I'll bet our table cost a whole lot less than this one! Twenty thousand pesos, as I recall, which included the base and delivery from the coast. Less than $1,000 US at the time. Weighs a ton--took 6 guys to haul it up our stairs. We gave them good tips and beer. That being said, I found
  16. Oh my--piecaken is evil! But who's counting?
  17. Thanksgiving at the beach! Friends have a lovely villa on the beach in Nayarit, México, where we made T-Day dinner. There were 7 of us, so I made gravy and dressing (onions, celery, portobello mushrooms, oven-toasted bread chunks, chicken broth, sage, thyme, garlic, etc.) and roasted a couple of boneless turkey breasts on top. There were also sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, cranberries, red wine, prosecco and pumpkin pie. I have to say, this was the first Thanksgiving dinner I cooked while barefoot. Right now I'm listening to the surf as the tide is coming in. As a friend says, this doesn't s
  18. After I read your tale of woe about the road surfaces, I took out our road atlas and saw that there's really no easy way to get through Oklahoma without going through Oklahoma City. Not if you want to stay on the Interstates. I guess you want to get south as quickly as possible, and avoiding cold weather sounds like the imperative. But you're past that now and you'll only have to worry about it on the way back to Minnesota!
  19. Smithy, I'm glad to see you're back on the road again. We didn't go north this past summer, for obvious reasons, and I really miss it. (I find myself obsessively reading Campendium's reports every day, but for the sake of my mental health I have to stop doing that!) Can't blame you for leaving when the temperature gets that low. I am hopeful that we will be able to get the Pleasure-Way out of storage next summer. In the meantime life here in Pátzcuaro is pleasant albeit slightly dull, and the weather can't be beat. 70s during the day, 50s at night, doors and windows open. We're heading to the
  20. All I know is that at one time when I was having serious stomach issues congee (plain, or maybe with a little sugar) was all I could eat. Even though I recall those days with a shudder, I sometimes crave congee--the plain stuff, with no toppings. Soothing and sits on your stomach quite peacefully.
  21. Just to update, these are even better than the recipe sounds! We absolutely devoured them. I used a combination of chile perón (our local chile, known elsewhere are chile manzana) and poblano. Thanks for this great recipe.
  22. The upper photo are chanterelles/girolles. I don't know what the mushrooms in the lower photo are. The frilly edge bothers me since chanterelles have edges that turn under. The stem length also bothers me. Take a spore print and look it up in a good guidebook. Using the Latin names prevents a lot of misunderstanding.
  23. I like the Satchel Paige quote: "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" It's the kind of question you should ask yourself every year, on your birthday. (Though I have a friend who says that she has a "birthmonth" which means she gets to celebrate all month. Sounds good to me!)
  24. I second the recommendation to plant a dwarf lemon in a large pot. We have a mandarina that has produced dozens of fruits on a plant less than 5 feet tall. Another advantage is that you can put the pot anywhere you want, in full sun, once you get it where you want (they're too heavy to move around). Be careful not to overwater--we killed a lemon that way.
  25. That's going to move to the top of my list of future baking projects. Thanks--sounds downright yummy.
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