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David Ross

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    Spokane Valley, WA

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  1. David Ross

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    I've told this story before, but I think it's appropriate to tell again since it relates to Holiday cooking. We were discussing hams and it reminded some of us of Kentucky Ham. Specifically country ham from Broadbent Hams. For many years our family took an annual trip to the Kentucky State Fair horse show. One of our required trips at the fair was to always go see the country ham competition display and the winners showcase. Huge country hams that are auctioned for charity each year with winning bids consistently going for 10's of thousands of dollars. Well we never went to the annual country ham auction breakfast, but it sparked Father to gain a huge interest in country ham. We could always go down the road to a Piggly Wiggly and but all sorts of country ham products, (which, sadly, we can't find here in the Pacific Northwest). Well one year, against my Mother's wishes, Father ordered a full size country ham delivered to our home in Salem, Oregon. Of course, a huge ham like that was far too much for four of us. We had no clue how to cook the thing, so we used the recommended soak and soak and bake in a brown grocery store shopping bag. Well it was either the ham, or us, or both but I still remember Mother's rants, the smell that lingered in the house and how Father, probably sheepishly being dishonest, proclaimed it as "the best ham I ever ate." So today I'd buy country ham for the holidays, but I think rather than a whole ham I'd stud it into the dressing, put it into some sort of hashbrown casserole or macaroni and cheese dish, or use kayb's suggestions below and make a ham spread to serve on crackers. Any ham cookery planned in your house this season?
  2. David Ross

    The world’s most expensive ham

    That's wonderful.
  3. David Ross

    The world’s most expensive ham

    For many years we went to the Kentucky State Fair to the horse show. Part of the trip was a must to go see the Grand Champion Hams in the winners display case. We never went to the auction breakfast, but watched it on TV in our hotel rooms. And the Broadbent is very good. You'd never see it here in the Northwest, but I loved going to the local grocery store in Louisville by the fair grounds where you could buy all sorts of country ham products, including Broadbents.
  4. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    Yes the frozen always seems to work ok for me. It doesn't have the flavor punch of fresh but works ok. They also sell small plastic cartons of frozen grated lemongrass which work well and take the job of cutting fresh lemongrass out. Those work well in Thai soups but you could also put some in a fruitcake.
  5. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    In Spokane I can get them at Bay Market and then at Asian World market. It's tricky at these places as sometimes they are fresh other times frozen. There is a Middle Eastern market that sometimes has them.
  6. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    I can get kaffir lime leaves and mandarin orange leaves at a local Asian market.
  7. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    I agree about citrus leaves for a flavor accent. And while I love dates in my sticky toffee pudding, not so much in my fruitcake!
  8. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    That's a fantastic idea and made me think of something. One criticism I have of my white fruitcakes from last year is that they are very crumbly. I suppose because I didn't add enough liquid or egg, although they were doused throughout the year with brandy and bourdon. But I'm thinking why not crumble it up, bake it a bit and serve it with ice cream? A sort of ice cream fruitcake sundae as it were.
  9. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    Last season I had just gotten out of the hospital at the time I normally make new fruitcakes. So I ordered some ingredients to be delivered but didn't realize until after I had mixed everything that I had used a "light" fruitcake recipe. I was pretty disappointed because we grew up having dark fruitcakes like my Grandmother and Great Aunt made. About a month ago I took one out and to my delight, it was delicious. I still prefer the dark style but I don't mind at all eating a light fruitcake now. By the way, I usually use both brown sugar and molasses in a dark fruitcake. Anyone else put something different when making a dark fruitcake?
  10. David Ross

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    I think that's probably the same as Wondra. Wondra is very fine and is a mix of wheat flour and malted barley flour.
  11. David Ross

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    I use a French technique to thicken gravy if needed. Just let some butter come to room temperature and then mash it with some flour. I use equal parts. Then just whisk it in. You don't have a flour taste but a rich flavor that I think does a better job flavor wise to thicken gravy. Another technique I use is to stir in some Wondra flour. I always rave about Wondra, a product that's been sold for decades and still great for thickening.
  12. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    I usually just buy the standard candied fruits from the grocery store. Then I use bottled maraschino cherries for decorating the top of the fruitcake. Sometimes I'll make my own candied orange peel to add to the fruit cake. This is the brand we see most in our local stores:
  13. David Ross

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    I would say no more than an hour. If you fill them too soon the moisture in the salmon mousse will make the gougere mushy. By the way one trick I use is if the gougere is too soft, I just pop them in the oven to crisp them and then let them cook and fill.
  14. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    I douse it with liquor about every 3 months. It's kept in a sealed Tupperware bin and stowed in a pantry closet where it's dark. I haven't tested the temperature, but it's toward the back porch so cool in the winter and I doubt it gets maybe above 50 in the summer. The liquor probably helps.
  15. David Ross

    The Fruitcake Topic

    That is a beauty!
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