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Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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Everything posted by Nancy in Pátzcuaro

  1. A friend just gave me a package of dried chestnuts and obviously they have to be processed somehow before using them. Do I boil them or let them reconstitute overnight in water? They are little hard rocks and something tells me they won't go quietly. The packaging says they're originally from Hong Kong by way of Vancouver and ending up in Brooklyn. And then when they're soft enough, can I use them as I would fresh chestnuts? I assume I can't roast them like the fresh ones. Thanks for your help! Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  2. Sometimes I think spellcheck causes a lot of misunderstanding. I use it with a large grain of salt. Most of the time I know I'm misspelling the word but I don't know how to fix it. Spellcheck to the rescue! But it has gotten me into trouble more than once. So all we can do is correct spellcheck and hope that it "learns." Some programs do incorporate corrected spellings into their dictionaries. In any case, I'm off to make the chile verde recipe that chileheadmike posted upthread. Sometimes I like to add a can of white hominy to the stew for a little visual interest. And served with tortillas, or if I'm feeling heretical, corn bread. Nancy Pátzcuaro
  3. Has anyone eaten recently at the Metate Room at the Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park? Many years ago my husband and I had wonderful meals while staying at the Lodge, to the point that we extended our stay so we could eat our way through more of the menu. Especially memorable was the prickly pear creme brulee, but there were many other menu items that we devoured with great pleasure. Some of the appetizers were particularly good. I just wish it hadn't been so long ago because now I can't recall more of the menu. I'd like to find out if the restaurant is still as good as I remember it. I hope the Lodge has been upgraded in the intervening years, because it was a little rough around the edges compared to the elegant dining room at the restaurant. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  4. Forgive me for being pedantic, but some clarification of terms needs to be made. "Chili" is the dish made with beef and beans, "chile" is what you call poblanos or serranos. Hence, Chile Verde. For what it's worth I like them both, for different reasons. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  5. This reminds me of a friend who won't eat orange or yellow foods. That eliminates mangos, which to me is a sin. But I'm with you on the pink food thing--that's just weird. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  6. I'm just curious--how did this happen? Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  7. I remember many years ago walking in the forest in an area with wet ground near our house in Westcliffe (Colorado) and coming upon a giant puffball in perfect condition. We made Puffball Parmesan and it was very tasty. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  8. We're invited to a potluck again this year, and my husband plans to make his annual pie. There's always a lot of fussing over the crust--will it be flaky enough, will there be enough filling, should it be all butter or part shortning, did we add too much water and will it be tough. Because he only makes one pie a year it turns into a big deal. Most years it's apple, but one year it was a magnificent raspberry-walnut confection with a thin layer of lime curd on the bottom crust before adding the berries. The mercado is full of blackberries, so that might be an alternative. As for me, I'm leaning toward the savory end of the flavor spectrum. There will likely be around 50 or 60 people at the party, each bringing their own special contribution, so I will have to be careful in my choices. I don't do well, digestion-wise, at potlucks. Back in the day I could eat pretty much anything, but with age comes the awareness that one is not as one used to be. We don't have a dog in this hunt, the Broncos having stunk up the place as usual. I admit to be bored with the Patriots. Enough already. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  9. I made the cream scones last weekend but my results turned out differently from the photo. Instead of sitting up in nice wedges my scones turned into puddles. It seemed to me at the time that the batter needed more flour or less cream to get to the correct consistency. I thought the flavor was excellent, and I appreciate how much easier these are to make than traditional scones with butter and egg. So I'll try them again with more flour to make the batter stiffer. Any other ideas about where I went wrong? Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  10. There's nothing quite as good as going out in the early evening to dig up a couple of russet potatoes from their (sandy) bed in the garden. Fresh, fluffy, completely unlike any baked potato I'd ever eaten. As I recall I grew the Kennebeck (?) variety--it was a very long time ago and I don't really remember the name. Now, of course, I don't garden at all, and only one or two puestos (stalls) in the mercado have baking potatoes. Not the same, sad to say. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  11. Thanks, everyone. I am reassured. Whipping cream is hard to come by in Pátzcuaro, so my only sources are the big grocery stores in Morelia. The carton is 980ml, roughly quart-sized, so using up that amount of cream would be difficult. We drink our coffee black, though I might occasionally need a couple of tablespoons or a 1/2 cup for a recipe. But that still leaves a whole lot of cream in the carton. However, I am going to use 1-1/4 cups of it for that cream scone recipe, and freeze the rest. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  12. Is it possible to freeze whipping cream? Even though a carton lasts a reasonable length of time I still end up with too much, and I'd rather preserve it rather than toss it. Thanks, y'all. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  13. Many, many years ago I bought a very heavy rolled steel 14" wok at a Whole Earth Store (remember those?). It has a ring and a substantial cover and it has gotten a lot of use over the years. However, the ring doesn't often fit on the stoves I've owned and the round bottom makes it hard to put it on some of the burners. I also have a 12" flat bottom wok that I admit I use more than the larger, round-bottomed one. I once had a non-stick lightweight wok with a handle (that's very useful) that we used in our little RV, but the coating was scratched and I tossed it. I've never had any problems with sticking with either of the steel ones, probably because both of them are pretty well seasoned. I think the higher heat of wok cooking helps the food release without leaving behind a residue that has to be washed off. I have a side burner on the barbecue grill that I might try one of these days. Maybe it gets hot enough to properly stir fry. Certainly my feeble little non-commercial stove hasn't been up to the task. I don't think I'll do what a neighbor did, which is to design a specialized free-standing outdoor burner specifically to prepare his favorite Thai dish. That's going a little too far IMO. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  14. The juice in the can of garbanzos is called "aquafaba," and has been highly praised as a substitute for egg whites. It doesn't whip up as stiffly as egg whites but it is perfectly useful in a pisco sour or chocolate mousse. It has no strong flavor that comes from the beans (and all beans can be used this way, it turns out, though garbanzos are favored). It's the starch and protein in the liquid, I think, that makes it froth when beaten. Use a stick blender--works fine. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  15. Nancy in Pátzcuaro


    I am definitely trying this. I have a jug of jamaica (the hibiscus drink) in the fridge and a bottle of pomegranate molasses, plus cream cheese and gorgonzola--now all I need is the pears. That sounds like the perfect winter dessert. On second thought, why not breakfast? Midnight snack?
  16. I have to preface this by saying that I'm not an experienced cookie baker. Does the spreading happen from the beginning or only after a couple of sheets-worth of cookies? Could it be that the baking sheets are retaining heat and causing the dough to melt faster than it should? This is purely an equipment issue rather than an ingredients issue, and it may be completely wrong. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  17. Here's a link to a story on Marketplace, a public radio program about the economy. It confirms a lot of what we've been talking about. https://www.marketplace.org/2018/12/04/business/would-you-like-some-earplugs-with-that-appetizer Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  18. I think you can make corn flour by buzzing corn meal in a blender or food processor. At least that's what Google tells me. She should give it a try. Masa is probably the wrong product, as Smithy notes, but she should taste it and make her own decision. In either case, it should be made finer by further grinding. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  19. This is not a new phenomenon. Many years ago--25? 30?--I ate at China Moon in San Francisco. Had a wonderful meal but could not hear a word my dinner companions were saying. I was younger then and there was nothing wrong with my hearing, but when we got outside my ears were ringing and I felt decidedly ill. I still use the cookbook, which is one of my favorites, but that experience made me shy away from loud restaurants. I personally believe, and had this confirmed by a restaurant owner in Colorado, that it's intentional to promote rapid table turnover. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I think dinner should be an opportunity to not just eat but also to enjoy one's dinner companions. That means you have to be able to converse in a relatively normal tone--i.e., not screaming into each other's ears. Now here in México the main source of noise in restaurants is loud music. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  20. I like the idea of making a limoncello-style drink with the product of our "voracious" (thanks, limniscate) lime tree and tequila instead of vodka. My recipe calls for infusing the peels in the vodka/tequila for only 4 days at room temperature, which to my taste makes a nice after-dinner evening libation. I'm just about ready to harvest some of the limes for another batch, but this time I'll use tequila. I already have a variety of infusions in the back of the fridge--fig, quince, limoncello. Quince, by the way, is quite wonderful when it's young but doesn't mature as well as the others (gets a little too puckery). Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  21. The next time I go to Costco in Morelia I'll check on where their 6-pack of romaine hearts comes from. Too bad--it's a staple in our house because it holds up well in the crisper drawer. Maybe at some point we'll find out where the problem lettuce is grown. I can buy locally-grown (I think) romaine in our mercado but it tends to be of lesser quality--you have to strip off half the leaves before you get to something we're willing to eat. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  22. Some years ago a friend told me her favorite--and possibly easiest--tomato sauce recipe. Thickly slice ripe tomatoes (any type) and layer in a casserole with anchovies, many or few depending on your preference. (I use a 2-oz. can (in oil) for a 9-10" round deep casserole.) Cover with foil and bake slowly in a 300 or 325 oven until the tomatoes are thick and jammy. Taste for salt. The beauty part is that you don't even have to stir. Of course the anchovies disappear. But I also love Macella Hazan's recipe, which is almost as easy but faster. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  23. Another way to get tough beef is to run cattle around before slaughter. Feed lots, where they stand around eating and pooping, creates more tender beef. So if you buy a whole cow from some producer, make sure it didn't get chased through the pasture for an hour before they caught it. Nancy in Pátzcuaro
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