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About Porthos

  • Birthday September 9

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    Southern California

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  1. So ... Some things have changed, and one of my major sources of stress while I am at faire is no longer an issue, and I have decided to lead the feast team once again. I am, however, making sure that I do more self-care to not ended up feeling like I did last season. In the case of the terminally-ill in-law for whom I have been providing a lot of boots-on-the-ground support, I have been making moves for the children of said in-law to up their game and provide some of the support stuff that I have been doing. Part of my temperament is having a high level of ownership of the things I take on, so figuring out how to lessen the feeling that it all depends on me has been hard. I am making some procedural changes to spread out some of the tasks that can be done either off-site (I will steam the 15 dozen hard-cooked eggs I need at home) , or earlier. Last year my DW and I started driving separately so that I could finish closing the kitchen on Monday mornings before heading over to do some of the ill in-law support stuff I do. This year I will arrive at the faire site early afternoon Friday so I can do some of the tasks that can be done ahead, such as cubing 16 lbs of cheese.. I am simplifying the menu a tad to also help. I have the blessing of the "salad crew" who sit in view of the audience and cut up the raw veggies and fruits that are served on platters. I am taking an extra cooler of mine and will stage the day's produce in that cooler to I don't have to stop n the middle of other tasks to give them what they need. I wish I would have thought of that one a few years ago. So ... once again into the breach ... Faire as I know started it started in 1963. In the 19 seasons I have been doing it I have witnessed the passing of many, many people. Considering how long ago 1963 was, it makes perfect sense, but it doesn't always make it easy. The one I am not done grieving for was my faire friend that was a victim of the San Bernardino massacre in December 2015. He was a gentle, giving soul who loved life.
  2. Mostly a repeater, and my attempts to use more recipes from cookbooks are looking for new things to add the to list of what I repeat in the future. Mrs Porthos has mostly given the new dishes thumbs up.
  3. Is a "bullet cake" a thing?

    Do you substitute gun powder for baking powder?
  4. To the Beach!

    Okay, you've caught me. I never have grown up. But back when the Irwindale debacle was going on I drove by the factory just to see exactly where is located.
  5. I am not impressed with having to click on each title to find the price. Color me lazy. As an aside, I am a member of EYB and am happy with their service.
  6. To the Beach!

    Sriracha is made about 5 miles from where I grew up. There was quite a governrmental brew-ha 5 years ago, which was followed by egullet members here. The end result of this happening is that Sriracha sauce gained in popularity among people who hadn't paid attention to it beforehand. The best example of that is that a California burger chain that brought out a Sriracha burger (still on the menu).
  7. This was a no-brainer. I like the way I fix couscous, but I would like to add variety.
  8. I have been known to cook naked - except for the apron I wear to protect myself from splatters and such. Ah the blessings of being an empty-nester.
  9. I am embarking on their "Mastering Your Frying Pan" course next.
  10. By the time I finished the Food Safety course I was weary of hearing over and over that, "Hand washing is an effective tool in preventing contaminating food with pathogens." That's not the exact sentence but they used the same sentence over and over. I didn't count but I would venture to says that it was no less than 15 times. I understand that repetition is part of the teaching process, but this was overkill. Every time they said that hand washing was the next step in a kitchen process they used the same long sentence. Conclusion: There is a lot of good information presented, primarily aimed at people who don't know much yet about food handling safety yet. Separate comment. There aren't a lot of courses to choose from, not enough for my tastes to qualify to call themselves a school. But hey, I'm getting it for free for two months.
  11. A game piece from the current grocery stores Monopoly game gave me 2 months free access to Rouxbe, an on-line cooking/culinary school. I signed up. I decided to start with their Food Safety course aimed at the home kitchen. I'm in the middle of it and stopping for the evening. The course does a reasonable job of explaining the 4 main sources of food-borne illnesses and what they are associated with. Until last year, I had no idea of the risks associated with cooked rice and then a culinary-school-trained friend explained that transporting a cooked rice dish at room temperature was a bad idea. I now have a better understanding of why. I don't intend to blog the experience, but I will comment on things that I think are of note, positive or negative. In general the user interface is very straight-forward and doesn't require much of a learning curve. Learning from this course. Aside from the rice safety issues I did an exercise to see how many seconds I actually spend washing my hands. 20 seconds is the goal. My "20 seconds" was more like 14. I am going to work on that since it applies to my ren faire kitchen food safety as well.
  12. Your spice cabinet

    Since we don't bake a lot our baking spices and extracts are relegated to a couple of tubs in the pantry cabinet. This is the larger shelf of spices. This is the smaller shelf of spices. When my DD and SIL were living with us their spices (lots of peppery stuff we wouldn't use) went on the smaller shelf and ours went on the larger shelf and a convenient foot-long stretch of counter space. Looking at these pictures made me realize that I need to re-organize these 2 shelves. Discovering my (relatively) local Penzey's has been a revelation in what spices can be. I never realized just how much potency spices on the supermarket shelf have already lost by the time they get purchased. Also, with all of the promotions that Penzey's runs I have been able to pick up spices for my DD's new kitchen at little or no cost to me.
  13. Anova commercial circulator

    2nded. I don't use the Bluetooth feature of my Anova at all.
  14. That does sound very useful.
  15. I don't understand the Kindle reference in regards to Eat My Books, unless a dead tree version of the cookbook doesn't have this feature.