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    Southern California

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  1. I so understand this. My DW and I have been married 40 years and we've accumulated to the point the cabinets are bulging. Between the excess in a closet and the garage, and all of the equipment I have for my ren faire kitchens out in the storage shed, I can't think of a single thing that I would want to add to my kitchen. Well ... not practical ... but I wouldn't turn down a Blue Star range 😁.
  2. I have a drawer full of stained "faire" t-shirts. I wear these in my ren faire kitchens and at home when doing messy jobs. I, too, own plenty of aprons. I find that I prefer just to wear shirts that don't matter when cooking.
  3. Porthos

    Christmas Cookies Redux

    @kayb Your post about pecans reminded me to comment on one self-imposed restriction on our list. We will make up individual plates of cookies for my DW's office co-workers, 2 platters for the warehouse workers, and plates for various family and friends. The possibility of nut allergies puts the brakes on cookies with nuts. I'd love to include some cookies with nuts but would feel more than terrible if I caused an allergic reaction.
  4. Porthos

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    I live in southern California and my kitchen is normally at least 75 degrees F or warmer. My kitchen is on a southern-facing wall and even if the weather is in the low 60s solar radiation heats it up. Since I'm not baking anything fancy, mostly drop cookies, I doubt (but don't know for sure) that air pockets are really of much concern.
  5. Porthos

    2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

    First Hiccup of the Season. My DW got home before me. She put the pound of butter I had on the counter softening back into the fridge thinking I left it out by mistake. That was the end of baking last night. When I went to make the Cherry Icebox Cookies this morning, the house was a bit chillier than normal and the butter didn't want to mix with the powdered sugar and eggs. I had to put the balloon whip on the mixer and let it run for about 10 minutes before it blended together. The last step is to roll the dough into logs and chill. The dough was stiffer than normal and required more elbow grease to shape. Since the weather is supposed to remain cool for the time being I'm thinking of putting the butter I need as I go for other cookies into a 78 degree F Sous Vide water bath to soften it.
  6. @MelissaH Bought it for my DW.
  7. Porthos

    Christmas Cookies Redux

    We (last year mostly me) typically do around 16 types of cookies. My DW has been very focused on completing a Victorian-era cartridge-pleated skirt to wear this weekend as part of a Victorian costume. As such I've left her alone about other things until she is done, so we only have 6 of our must-dos on the list so far. I will be making the White Chocolate Craisin Cookies this evening, and if I have any oomph left I'll get the Cherry Icebox Cookies mixed up and into the fridge. Last year I set a a computer monitor on the kitchen counter and hooked it up to my laptop to display whatever recipe I was working on. This year I get to use my newish Samsung Tablet. I've been using it for other recipes and really like it. So far: Springerle Oatmeal Raisin Wadleigh’s Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cherry icebox White Chocolate Chip Craisin
  8. We rarely, very rarely, eat at our dining table. Sewing stuff is there.
  9. Netflix' Chef's Table Has an episode in season 2 on Dominique Crenn.
  10. Love it! When my DW retires and we begin trailer camping, we intend to cook outside. The biggest difference will be propane instead of white gas. We have plenty of gear, just need that next phase of our life to kick in. Cash flow plays into it being the next phase. I won't be able to post in the "Cooking while primitive camping" because I always pack a lot of gear.
  11. Porthos

    Food funnies

    Thank you, @liuzhou. That is a great "Useless information" post.
  12. I love what appears to be a graduate. I never see anything like this in Southern California. Good Haul, Kerry.
  13. I keep a spare strainer basket like is used on the non-garbage-side of the sink and put into the garbage disposal side so that water will drain but it keeps those pesky pieces of flatware (and other thing) out.
  14. Porthos

    Cheese I can’t do without

    @kayb I accidentally left out a detail. I keep a bag in the refrigerator and pull another out from the freezer when the previous one is empty. I use my Cuisinart with a DLC-837TX Medium shredding disc. I work in 1/2 lb increments, bagging each 1/2 lb and then shredding the next 1/2 etc. I don't pack the cheese down, just drop each 1/2 lb in to an individual quart Ziploc. I gently flatten out each bag and close. I don't have problems with clumping.
  15. Porthos

    Cheese I can’t do without

    I enjoy many cheeses, most of them on the more mild end of the spectrum. But the one cheese that I can't live without is very humble. Costco Sharp Cheddar. I shred 2 pounds of it at a time, packaged into 8 oz ziplocs and frozen. I use it quite often in my cooking.