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Posts posted by Athena1963

  1. For some reason, I kept thinking about this thread and couldn't figure out what was bothering me. Then I realized that it was the violation of trust that was inherent in tricking people into eating things that they have said that they don't eat.

    I remember when I was around 10, my mom tricked me into eating squirrel. Then when I was around 22, my sister tricked me into eating venison. I had never said that I hated these things, I didn't eat them as a matter of personal principle. But they felt that it was OK to violate my principles because they felt that they knew better than me. To this day, I will not eat any meat at my sister's house unless I see the original packaging. I will only eat chicken at mom's when I can easily identify it as chicken. It's not the the squirrel and venison were bad, but I felt I could no longer trust them.

    Food is a very basic need and if you can't trust the person preparing the food that will nurture you, then that is a person I do not want to know.

  2. I am sensitive to dairy. Not gastric distress, not anaphylatic shock but if I have dairy, I get a stuffed up nose and I wheeze. For hours. I keep the decongestant and nose spray industry in business. I LOVE dairy! Milk, cheese, butter, etc. I drank gallons of milk as a child. This hit when I was a teen. But I pick and choose what I am willing to not be able to breathe for. It's not worth wheezing and coughing for a cracker or Cool Whip. I don't eat ice cream much anymore. And plenty of other things. Not to mention the eczema I get when I overindulge in dairy.

    I found out about MSG and my migraines the hard way. When I first began eating Asian food thre years ago, I didn't think about it. I didn't normally eat things that had a lot of MSG. If it is way down on the list of ingredients I am OK. Well apparently Noodles and Co uses a lot of MSG. I got a migraine like I have never had before. And I have been getting them for 26 years. I know from headaches. For three days I was nauseated and felt like someone was drilling an ice pick repeatedly deep into the center of my brain. Prescription drugs couldn't even touch the pain! This has happened two other times. Needless to say, I look out for MSG.

    There are also some foods I just cannot eat. Raw onion-I can eat it cooked into something else when it is cut up really small. But to just eat a piece of raw or a big piece of cooked onion-I will gag. even if I don't see it. Same thing happens with blue cheese. I had salad dressing that was blue cheese. I didn't know it. I took a bite of salad and started gagging. Green peppers give me heartburn for several days.

    I have tried shrimp, scallops, scrod, lobster, crab, oyster stew. I just do not like seafood. Period. I periodically try it again and still don't like it. So I don't eat it. I don't claim an allergy to it.

    Special K cereal. When I was 12 or so, I had really long hair. I was eating a bowl of Special K and one of my hairs had gotten in it and down my throat. I was gagging. 30 years later I still cannot eat it. My sister had the same thing happen with a green bean string. She still can't eat them.

    My dad cannot eat cheese or drink milk. He can tolerate small quantities if it is a minor ingredient, but large quantities make him ill. For over 50 years my mother has tried to trick him into eating it. She doesn't get it. I always gaurantee to him that I haven't used any dairy or cheese in anything I make for him and warn him if anything else has it in it.

    My friend has eaten nuts for years but about 2 years ago she had some walnuts and her lips started to swell and tingle. She avoids walnuts.

    Two siblings have Crohn's disease. Needless to say, we are sensitive to food issues because we have witnessed the effects.

    Now as to my Mother in law, who claims to be allergic to dirt and will not garden, that is another story.

  3. I brew flavored coffee, freeze it in ice cube trays and blend with vanilla soymilk, stevia and some chocolate syrup and half a frozen banana. Wonderful!

  4. Thanks for all the laughter and the dredging of forgotten memories.

    I learned to cook using a Hamilton Beech mixer in which the beaters were all one piece. After using the mixer successfully a few times, I needed a spatula but didn't have one handy so I used a wooden spoon. Wooden spoons and beaters do NOT play well together. Dad bought a new set of beaters. A few years later, got distracted, spatula went into beaters, Dad bought a new set. Forward to 1984, same mixer, lovongly repaired over the years, new cord, new bushings. Making a cake. Got cocky, I bought the new beaters! I now have the mixer.

    When bottling your home-made root beer, always leave at least half and inch more of headspace than you think you need. Trust me on this. I had made a batch of rootbeer a few years ago and stored it on shelves in the basement. Next to the freezer. Unfinished basement, stays cooler. Used heavy St. Pauli Girl beer bottles with ceramic stoppers. A week or so later, Sunday morning, I hear a strange noise. Got up to investigate thinking that the cats were up to something. Go to basement, see nothing, hear noise again. Investigate further and find out the the rootbeer was popping the bottoms off the bottles! Had rootbeer all over the side of the freezer, canned goods, jars, you name it. Carefully carried the bottles to the kitchen to release pressure and reseal. Did 19 bottles, holding a towel over the top in case of fountaining beer. Got cocky.(Do we see a pattern?) Did the last bottle with no towel as none had fountained yet. Good thing I was wearing my glasses. Root beer fountain right into my face. All I saw was brown. Pulled head back and rootbeer got all over the sink, clean dishes, cabinets, ceiling, walls, floor, etc. I was still finding spots weeks later! The moral is: age rootbeer in a COOL spot, inside a styrofoam cooler with a lid, and chill it well before opening. Always open with a towel over the top.

    Another lesson with a mixer: when your rubber spatula looks dry rotted and old, DON'T use it to make banana bread. The spatula will dissolve into the batter.

    Also, if sugar and salt are stored in similar containers, always taste first to be sure of using the right one. Salted shortcake is so not the way to go. But I blame Mom, it was her kitchen.

    Vouching for not touching any body part after doing hot peppers. Learned the hard way with serrano peppers, bare hands and contacts. But the aches in my hands went away for a full week! But I must confess, I still do peppers bare-handed. Cannot work in gloves.

    I don't care if it is chocolate, do not taste unsweetened chocolate powder. Yech!

    There are some recipes the WILL stick to Silpat.

  5. Having grown up in Charleston, the Blossom Deli (the Blossom Dairy when I lived there) is good and it is the closest to downtown as it is downtown. The Southern Kitchen is in Kanawha City, about a 15 minute drive down Maccorkle Avenue. However there is a handy little international food store just up the road from the Southern Kitchen that is surprisingly well-stocked for the area. Also in the Kanawha City area is the Thai Room at Chesterfield House. I haven't gotten to try it yet but the menu has most of the classic dishes. It is only open after 5:00 pm.

    If you want good, cheap pizza, go to Gino's in South Charleston or Husson's Pizza in South Charleston. Both are very good.

    I've heard nothing but good things about Joey's, which is downtown, but as I went to school with the owner and have leftover issues with him, I haven't ventured there yet.

    I am usually in Charleston once a year.

  6. Former lurker, new poster.

    I grew up in WV and my grandparents owned the mountain that we lived on. I don't remember a time when we weren't involved in food. Spending humid summer mornings in the middle of the raspberry patch, scratched, sweaty, a berry pail attached to my waistband by running rope thru the handle and my belt loops. Eating every other berry until I was almost sick. Then picking strawberries in my parents garden, yelling when almost stepping on a black snake.

    Weeding and hoeing and watering the corn, beans, rhubarb, squash, etc. Running around in then woods all day, taking sandwiches and a thermos of lemonade, picking pawpaws and nuts and persimmons. Hulling the black walnuts and hickory nuts. Picking fresh sweet corn just minutes before cooking it, and rolling it in a stick of butter (well, margarine, couldn't afford butter.) I remember my first attempt at elderberry jam, it didn't set but was good on ice cream! We would make homemade rootbeer every summer and I have yet to taste a commercial one that even comes close.

    I began cooking for a family of nine when I was 10 years old. Of course I didn't get to experiment then. I began learning to cook when I was younger than that. I went through three pairs of beaters on the old Hamilton Beach mixer, and now that mixer is mine and still works.

    I loved watching Julia and Justin and the Galloping Gourmet. I still have his recipe for blackberry cobbler just as I wrote it down. I still have my Betty Crocker Boys and Girls cookbook and still make the Hot Fudge Pudding on occasion.

    But my favorite memory is of picking the sour green apples in the field next door and taking them to the horse barn and taking a bite of apple and then licking the salt block! Heaven!

    Thanks for the memories!

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