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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. Oh my. If that's not sad on a plate, then I don't know what is. What in the world is going on with those sausages?? Hope some tastier grub comes your way. Following along with interest - thanks for documenting!
  2. Oh dear. In our family, the oldest people are always served first, with the choicest bits. Guests next. Kids & young people last. The younger people always serve the older people, and it's expected that you'd continuously put food on their plates throughout the meal and keep their teacups full. We'd never think of taking the head of the steamed whole fish without offering it to Grandma first! Both my grandmas were slow eaters, so as dishes came out, portions were set aside for them while they finished whatever was on their plates first.
  3. Beebs

    Meatloaf sandwiches

    Lots of mustard. Preferably German or Dijon, but any old mustard will do. Also onions & mayo. And potato chips on the side.
  4. You know, at the end of the day, probably not a whole lot of difference. They are both powdered, artificially flavoured fillings, in any event. My understanding is that Bird's will give that characteristic yellow colour for the filling. I confess, I've not tried Nanaimo Bars with vanilla pudding, as Bird's is fairly obtainable here. Bird's on its own tastes more - custardy - than vanilla pudding, I think, a bit more eggy.
  5. My go-to is the Nanaimo Bar. It's a regional treat in my province (BC), consisting of a graham crumb-nut-coconut bottom layer, custard filling, and chocolate top layer. Minimal cooking, and easily scales up. For the custard powder, traditionally it's Bird's Custard, although I have seen some American recipes using just icing sugar or vanilla pudding mix. But for us locals, it's Bird's Custard or it's not a Nanaimo Bar! Also Magic Bars/Hello Dolly Bars/Layer Cookies...whatever they're called. Usually graham layer, topped with nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, whatever you want...sweetened condensed milk poured over top and baked. I'm a big fan of bars for things like potlucks & cook-outs - they're very portable, not messy, and are fine left on the buffet table for a couple hours
  6. What an amazing trip, Rarerollingobject - WOW! I bow down to your powers of eating & drinking - I am lusting after all that gorgeous, beautiful sushi! Japan is on my bucket list, of course. Thank you for the virtual trip!
  7. It isn't about a preference for imitation over natural flavours. In the article, Lohman herself states that "there is a time and place to use every version of vanilla in your kitchen." Including imitation vanilla. Personally, I don't see the point of using bean in say, chocolate banana bread, but would certainly use it in a custard. Bean form is about as natural as one can possibly get. Hmmm...I need to find a decent locally-available brand of imitation vanilla now.
  8. To answer @Jim D., by "imitation" I mean artificial vanilla flavour or extract (vs natural/pure extract) - you know, the "cheap" stuff. In the article, Lohman prefers using natural vanilla in her cakes rather than imitation, despite the extracts coming out at a tie in the vanilla-off. Thought that was interesting - seems to me that cakes are baked at a high enough temperature that imitation vanilla might be a better option?? I am not a cake baker, except for the occasional banana bread.
  9. This article from Epicurious came through my inbox today: Is Real Vanilla Always Better Than Imitation Vanilla? Short answer - not necessarily. According to culinary historian Sarah Lohman (author Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine), the compounds that make up the complex vanilla flavour in natural vanilla extract can't survive high-heat cooking, such as cookies. Vanillin, which makes vanilla taste recognizably as vanilla, is sometimes all you need to get that familiar taste. There's a mention of a vanilla-off in America's Test Kitchen where imitation & natural were tied, but I don't have a subscription so can't see the article. Well, smack me with a sugar cookie!! I can't recall the last time I've used imitation vanilla for anything - it's always been drummed into me that real, natural vanilla is best. Presumably, the real stuff - paste, crush, extract, etc. - are still preferable for puddings and things, as they are cooked to a lower temperature than cookies. And what about cakes? I'm curious to test this out, if I can find the time to do it. So, bakers & cooks of eGullet - what say you? Has anyone done a comparison? (And yes, I recognize imitation vanilla is commonly used in mass-produced foods, etc, etc; it has its place. But I'm curious about those using it at home or in their bakery/pastry shop.)
  10. Beebs

    Butter Tarts

    Send me your hell grapes - I put extra raisins in mine!
  11. Beebs

    Butter Tarts

    @Anna N Yes! I like the middle squares - gooey, quivery deliciousness. DH likes the edge parts. That is probably why we are still together.
  12. Beebs

    Butter Tarts

    Must have raisins. Preferably the little currant raisins. None of that pecan-chocolate-cranberry rubbish. My concession to butter tart purity is butter tart squares. I like the squares because I don't have to deal with making all those little tart shells.
  13. Beebs


    +1 for salad. They're also excellent as part of a cheese/charcuterie board. Bet they'd be really good wrapped with prosciutto. I like my Fuyu persimmons on the crunchy, less ripe side. Never tried cooking them.
  14. Oh dear. So I went to T&T (Asian supermarket) last Friday. I came home with (amongst other non-frozen groceries): frozen oven bread, fish balls, whole milkfish, 2 bags of dumplings. These all went into the freezer. I'd also put in a bag of marinated chicken leg quarters and 2 boxes of strawberries. Everything was on sale (except for the fish balls)!! Last week I had used up: partial bag of raspberries, remainder of ice cream, some tomato paste. Shuffled some stuff around and felt rather accomplished. Also polished off a half bag of dumplings - to be promptly replaced by the 2 bigger, brand new bags on the same damn day..... On the other hand, I resisted buying frozen stinky tofu, pepper pork buns, Thai fish cakes, and whole parrot fish. Hooray for me.
  15. Is it necessary to get a hot pot-specific pot? I recall my family used a deep, heavy corning ware casserole/pot, and also clay pots. Until my folks discovered the wonders of the induction stove.... Now all we use is the stainless steel type. A few months ago, for giggles, my dad dragged out a really old-school type of hot pot. Made of steel with a chimney in the middle, in which you put charcoal to heat up the broth. They got it as a wedding present, but have never used it, preferring instead the electric stove.
  16. That's odd T&T doesn't have it. Perhaps try some of the other Asian supermarkets in Richmond? Or along Kingsway - I think there are more South East Asian stores there.
  17. That uni donburi.... oh my goodness....I am salivating like you wouldn't believe.
  18. Must have been Pork Chop Tuesday! We had Pork chops, too - which weren't from the freezer - with Pineapple salsa. The pineapples were from the freezer. And ice cream & Pie for dessert.
  19. Beebs

    Too-thin porkchops

    So I've got some regular thickness pork chops, but I think I will on-purpose thin them. Maybe Hong Kong pork chop rice.
  20. Beebs


    Meh. Nothing local & seasonal worth mentioning in BC right now, either. There are apples from last fall, but even those are at the sad, mealy, bland stage. Everything else is imported. We won't be getting the good stuff from the Okanagan fruit basket till May/June. Ambrosia apples are my favourite, and local blueberries. I sure wish mangoes and pineapples and avocados grow here in the Great White North.
  21. Was on a bit of a cooking hiatus the last couple weeks, but last night I took out Chicken thighs marinated with Curry powder, and baked it. Had Cauliflower with Cheese sauce on the side, roast new potatoes, couple sad leaves of butter lettuce. I need to follow the examples of others here and do a freezer purge. I suspect there are a quite a few freezer-burnt items and other weird things I don't recall why I bought.
  22. Lion's Head Meatballs. Not quite mom's recipe, as she was out of town and the meat had to be balled, so it was as best as I could remember it. 1.5 lbs of medium ground pork made 4 big meatballs, about the size of my 2 fists together. Added about half block of medium firm tofu, mashed up, for softness; minced water chestnuts, green onion, ginger, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, shaoxing wine, cornstarch; 2 eggs. This is the light soupy kind (vs the thicker, dark sauce version) - chicken broth, soy, ginger. Napa cabbage & mung bean vermicelli (glass noodles). While tasty, they didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. The meatballs were unwieldy, difficult to brown because they were so big and soft, they didn't hold their shape and started to fall apart a bit around the edges. The brand of vermicelli I used was rubbish - much too soft, fell apart - and soaked up all the delicious soup besides!. Will need to try a different brand next time - tossing out the rest of this package.
  23. Yum - meatballs! I have a craving for my mom's lion's head meatballs. Must remember to harass her for the recipe this week.... Timely topic!
  24. Dessert this time - apple tart. Puff pastry with thinly sliced apples (Pommes???) layered on top, sugar, butter, a bit of cinnamon. And vanilla ice cream! All of my FCO projects have been randomly on purpose so far. Yesterday I pulled out, in a more random fashion...a Golden Pompano (Fish). It was still solidly frozen this morning, so I don't know if it'll be tonight's dinner. In any event, I've no idea what to do with it, nor why I bought it in the first place . Steamed, Chinese style? Baked?? Suggestions welcome! (It's a whole fish.)
  25. Continuing on with the Great Dumpling Dump.... Perogies with Pork sausages last night. Full confession - this was a bit of a backslide. There were only a few perogies left, not enough for dinner for two. Since DH really wanted perogies, we ended up buying a second pack (and the sausages) to make up for it. Unfortunately, in some weird paradox, I now have more perogies in the freezer than I started with, about two-thirds package. On the other hand, I did toss out a pile of beef bones that have been taking up the bottom freezer drawer since the dawn of time....
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