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Everything posted by KarenDW

  1. Something desired, but not found... was looking for a bag of spaetzle, which I *knew* was in the freezer from last year. Apparently my DH Cleaned Up The Freezer while I was out of town last weekend, and threw out the bag. I am wondering what else will be missing, next time I look?
  2. LOL It's not so much that they aren't available, as not "accessible"! Light bulbs are a pretty hot commodity at the college canteen, IIRC. Send more next time, to be used as trading currency. My "baby" is now 20, and living at school, in shared housing. 4 women, 1 kitchen, 2 bathrooms; fun. Anyways, the most recent requests (aside from coins for laundry) have been ziplock bags, "good" plastic wrap and foil (i.e., better than the dollar store type), and toiletry items: q-tips, those little cotton pads for facial cleansing. Last year's wish list included small packets of spices and seasonings, olive oil, and rice. Heading into her senior year, and the last of on-campus housing, I predict there will be a request for her own small fridge. Coincidentally, I have found one which is about 2 cu ft., and might fit under her desk.
  3. My immediate family (parents, siblings + spouses + offspring, our kids + spouses) numbers 18-20. We frequently have lunch out, at a single table. IT'S TOO MANY! For a dinner party, I much prefer 8 total guests. That way, while I am occupied with last-minute dinner tasks, the others can chat amongst themselves.
  4. would these be a commercially prepared condiment, or a home-kitchen prepared condiment? [quote name= 'RobertCollins' date='Today, 03:34 PM' You have me curious too. I looked in a couple Japanese pickling books and while they seem to pickle everything, it is quick pickling -at least in the two books I have. In my favorite Thai book, Cracking the Coconut by Su-Mei Yu, The only thing that it calls a pickle is some mustard leaves using Kosher salt and water.
  5. From the research I have done, the addition of oil *may* create a micro-environment in the jar which will encourage the growth of microbes which cause food-borne illness. i.e., the brine (vinegar + salt + sugar) in pickles is typically acidic enough that the bacteria which cause botulism won't grow. However, at the interface of the oil and the brine, I imagine there may be some perfect little bacteria-growing environment. Unless you are planning to pressure can the whole business, I wouldn't recommend adding the sesame oil.
  6. When you are in production, keep any "hurt" bonbons or bars to use as samples. Store in separate, labeled containers for the show. Learn the health-board rules for your region, with regards to sampling. Decide whether or not you are willing to "trade" your product for other products at the same event. Make a price list, and post it in your booth. Depending upon the event, have some samples ready to share with other vendors, who may not have time for browsing, but may buy/trade once they have tasted your product. Try and talk to one or two of the previous vendors, before the show, for set-up suggestions. Better to be situated close to the door, and a bit cold, than to be warm, cosy, and LONELY at the back corner...bring a sweater and wear warm shoes. Make sure you have BAGS for people purchasing multiple items. Offer gift bags or wrap and ribbon, if you think you'll have time. Invite a friend or two to drop by during the day, if possible, so that you can take a break. I usually try and set up a trial display at the beginning of the season, with various sizes of tables/booths.
  7. I have a worm composter, purchased from the City for about $25, including the worms. Mandatory workshop before receiving the bin. Said bin sits on my balcony, on the southwest side of the apartment. Sides of the balcony are solid concrete, so provide both shade and consistent temperature. My concerns are mostly around maintaining the bin temperature between 5º and 30ºC. During mid-summer, I made the mistake of adding more than 1L (1qt) of fruit trimmings to the bin (more like 4L, actually...). A major fruit fly infestation occurred. This was remedied by taking the bin off the balcony and down the road to the community garden, stirring contents and leaving open for a few hours, then adding a little soil and shredded straw/dried plants to cover the remaining fruit. The flies abated. Things are good. My DH continually wonders why we bother. He finds that the effort to compost is negated by the small volume of resultant garden material. I don't think it's a big deal. I put only non-protein items, trying not to overload the bin, and put the rest into the garbage. That's just the way it is, in the city core without organics pickup. I'm willing to do what we can, in small steps, to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill. Compost can be used in houseplants, too, although I would probably roast it in the oven for a bit to kill the nemotodes and fruit fly eggs.
  8. Have you anything to report VF? I will be in QC for the weekend, arriving late Saturday evening, leaving Monday afternoon (Canadian Thanksgiving)
  9. For fruit liqueurs, I sometimes sub fruit juice concentrate (i.e., the frozen sort). Coffee Bar syrups can sub for nut liqueurs; some of these are also available in 2 oz bottles. But for general cooking which calls for alcohol, usually I will purchase the smaller 6 or 13 oz bottles. The Airplane bottles are difficult to find in my neighborhood, although the 6 oz. flasks seem almost common.
  10. just an observation... in my experience the grapes have been sparsely distributed, i.e., 6-10 grapes in a 6-inch cake. The apparent higher density of grapes (shown in the photo) may have contributed to the longer baking time. Also, if the grapes were out of the fridge, rather than room temp, that would increase the time, too. Just my 2 cents. Oooh! maybe make a schiacciata with the roasted grapes?
  11. If you eat greens, then it's probably ok to start some lettuce, chard and spinach. Put up a little cover on the pots, just while germinating, and again when temps get to be frosty. A milk jug, with the bottom cut off and the lid removed, can be inverted to make a tiny greenhouse. I'm setting garlic next week.
  12. ^^ btw, the Balcony Gardening session on Tuesday is being held at my place, in Yaletown, Davie & Seymour.
  13. Village Vancouver and Fork in the Road are pleased to offer Learning Parties with Robin Wheeler on a variety of topics related to gardening, urban agriculture, community and sustainability. Robin is the founder of The Sustainable Living Arts School (http://www.ediblelandscapes.ca/), and the author of Gardening for the Faint of Heart and Food Security for the Faint of Heart. She lives on the Sunshine Coast, and brings a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with her to each workshop. Robin's workshops are always a real treat. You can expect your knowledge to expand and your soul to be delighted...and sometimes for your hands to get dirty. Tuesday, Sept 29th Concepts in Year Round Gardening 9:45-11:45 am Grandview Woodland (near Nanaimo and 1st) The Whys and Wherefores of food cycles - why we want them, how to get them. We will plan round the calendar food supplies, both in the larder and stored in the garden. Introduction to Medicine Making 1:30-4:30 pm Main St./Little Mountain (near Cambie and King Ed) There are so many plants that are safe, easy to recognize and locate, and effective. We will learn some recognition techniques, and then how to make teas, poultices, tinctures and infused oils. We'll learn about solvents, supplies and storage. Apartment and Container Gardening 6:30-8 pm Potluck @ 5:30 for folks who would like to share a meal together Downtown (near Davie and Seymour) How to get more food from your balcony or patio. Space and weight are big problems for apartment dwellers. We will decide how to choose plants, discuss containers, soils, feeding and watering, succession planting and more in this workshop for small spaces. Wednesday, Sept 30 Seed Saving Primer 9-10:30 am Kits Point Village (near Cornwall and Arbutus) co-sponsored by Kits Point neighbourhood Village Seed saving is the missing link in food security. In our current political climate of seed patenting and ownership, it is increasingly important that a critical mass of a population have a good understanding of seed saving techniques. This will make it possible to create networks for seed abundance and resilience in many communities. This workshop will provide a deeper understanding of seed saving basics as well as provide time to discuss the implications of forming our relationships soon and well. Your donation includes a copy of The Five Levels of Seed Saving by Terry Klokeid. Shapes in Sharing 10:45-11:45 am Kits Point Village (near Cornwall and Arbutus) co-sponsored by Kits Point neighbourhood Village Ideas for sharing land, food, space and time with a workshop component. We'll do a study of our own assets and shortfalls and figure out how to equalize these on both a large and small scale. Intensive Urban Microfarming 1:30-4:30 pm Potluck @12:30 for folks who would like to share a meal together Cedar Cottage (near Victoria Dr., south of Trout Lake/John Hendry Park) For folks who are ready to refine and to deepen their knowledge of urban microfarming, Robin invites you to participate in a 3 hour gathering that will examine as many of the following topics as time allows: · Increasing backyard food production · Succession planting · Shade growing · Extending the growing season through your choice of plants, Water Wisdom, Plant Calendar Mapping and Microclimating. Apartment and Container Gardening 7-8:30 pm Potluck @ 6 for folks who would like to share a meal together Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver (near Lonsdale & 1st & Lonsdale Quay) How to get more food from your balcony or patio. Space and weight are big problems for apartment dwellers. We will decide how to choose plants, discuss containers, soils, feeding and watering, succession planting and more, in this workshop for small spaces. All workshops are offered on a pay what you can basis. A one hour workshop usually costs around $10 to $15; a 1 1/2 hour workshop around $15 to $20; a two hour workshop around $25 to $30, a 2 1/2 hour workshop around $30 to $35. and a three hour workshop around $40. Our contributions to these workshops make it possible for teachers like Robin to expand and to deepen the scope of the important educational and social change work that they are involved in, particularly in these uncertain times. Enrolment is limited to 20 people for each workshop. (15 for Apartment workshops.) To register:(or to find out more about hosting a future workshop), please contact Ross at rmoster@flash.net. ********* Village Vancouver's food networking workshops are community based gatherings which help participants connect with others who share interests around food and sustainability on a neighbourhood level. Other network presenters include Spring Gillard (Diary of a Compost Hotline Operator) and Heather Havens (agricultural and animal scientist, Backyard Chickens 101).
  14. could pass some crostini, too.
  15. could the shrimp be served as a passed hors d'ouvre? Sorry if it sounds as though I am pushing too hard about shrimp... but it seems the only item on the menu which requires a fork. eliminate the forks = easier to eat standing up. as for beverage amounts: if you are renting glassware, get the smaller (8 oz?) wine glasses and tumblers. Again, as it's ONLY ONE HOUR, then you can estimate about 2 drinks per person, max. About 1/2 the people will re-use the glass for their 2nd drink. Using the 8oz glass, you should be able to pour 4-5 glasses of wine per 24 oz/750 ml bottle; each serving will be about 4.5 ounces. How are you planning to purchase the soft drinks? For the slight added expense, I would suggest 32 oz. bottles, rather than the 64 oz. bottles. There will be less spoilage; a large bottle left open will lose it's fizz pretty quickly. Glad to see you're getting some newspaper coverage.
  16. Sounds yummy. But considering that the event is only one hour, I would suggest reducing the number of items on the menu. Rather than including any hot vegetables (actually, I'm unclear as to how people would be eating those, anyways), how about incorporating some grilled marinated vegetables on the antipasto platter, or as garnish on the some of the other dishes. Perhaps only two variety of crostini (one meat, one veg). Re: Skewers. Easiest way to do for a cocktail dinner is to cube, marinate and cook the chicken ahead of time. Glaze, reheat, then slide 2 or 3 pcs. onto picks at the venue, with fresh garnish. Short skewers (3 or 4") are great for stand-up affairs. I personally love the idea of the potato gratin, especially bite-size. Good call on the cheese, Hungry C. Don't bother w/ the cheese-free/bacon variations. Just make one variety. If this is a mostly stand-up affair, then I suppose you are designing everything to be fork-free? Maybe even plate-free? Could you use ceramic spoons for the shrimp/rice, or could you just forgo the rice and serve cold poached shrimp, shells off, with picks? It's only an hour. 8 pcs per person, max.
  17. Randi, sorry to hear you are still suffering from the stones. Wishing you much healing energy.
  18. I've been generally happy with the items from Galloways, in Richmond. Also, if you have a grocery store with moderate volume nearby, the herbs and spices in the bulk section may be suitable for many purposes.
  19. Not sure whether you are a coffee drinker... but speaking from a personal note, most coffee people that I know would prefer their beans "straight", rather than infused. Sorry I don't have any other suggestions, though.
  20. fwiw, whenever I am cooking for a large group of people, I avoid using nuts in anything... but sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds make a great sub. Mind you, if peanut butter cookies were a family favorite, then go for it. Just put a label on the plate. My vote would be for large batches of three or four varieties. Allow 2-3 cookies (1 ounce) per person, max. Especially if there are other food items.
  21. Our family holds an annual party, which includes a potluck dinner. Each contributor labels his/her dish with the name and contents, including potential allergens. This process helps sensitive eaters to know what is "safe" and what is not (we have a few anaphalatic shock allergy people). Typically, the dishes without labels are the ones which are left with remains. There are many people who will not eat *anything* prepared in someone else's house, unless a family member has made the dish without any possible allergen or risky ingredient. Too bad GR about your stuff being left over. It looked great.
  22. There are insulating "blankets" available for purchase, which are designed for hot water heaters. They would probably work for freezers, too. My advice, though, is to purchase a newer more energy efficient, fridge/freezer, rather than picking up an older used one. The savings in electricity are worth the extra money for the newer model.
  23. with the exception of tender herbs, most salads can be prepared ahead of time, without the dressings. Vegetables can be washed, blanched, cut, etc. a couple of days ahead, without a huge loss of quality. Make the dressing up, and keep them in the fridge. For complete ease of use, you could even package the dressings BESIDE the ingredients in the fridge . Something to keep in mind, when freezing the casseroles, is to allow extra time for heating, if the casserole is frozen. After all... if you put 15 lbs of frozen stuff into a 400 degree oven, the oven temp is going to drop. You might think about where the dirty dishes will be collected...
  24. I would suggest having the correct spelling.
  25. One of the characteristics of a healthy food system is the availability/accessibility of food, i.e., "real food", not prepared food. My observation is that the mid-20th century model of urban/suburban development was centered around the use of the automobile, and so sprawling residential areas with a distant shopping district were the norm. There were, therefore, very few, if any, grocery stores within walking distance of many homes. By the late 20-th century, purchasing prepared food became more popular, as society was led into the "leisure age" and we wanted more time to play. Also, in the urban centers, the business model for a quick-serve outlet allowed for use of smaller spaces than food shops. Sometimes it's hard to rationalize purchasing $20 of groceries for 1 or 2 meals, against purchasing a $5 wrap sandwich. Especially for someone who does not consider cooking enjoyable. That said, many community groups, who are interested in establishing sustainable, healthy food systems, are finding ways of teaching cooking skills to "at risk" groups: young parents, young single adults, low income adults, teens. FWIW, I know a number of college students who won't purchase meat (especially roasts or whole chicken), because they don't know how to cook it, and are afraid of wasting something which is so expensive. And then they don't have the opportunity to learn how to cook it...
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