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KarenDW

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Everything posted by KarenDW

  1. The symptoms are similar to those suffered by my sister... who has gall bladder issues. Odd coincidence that both of your companions would experience this, but there may be a medical explanation. Especially if "rich" or fatty food were involved.
  2. In my neighborhood, eggs are between $4.50 and $5.75 a dozen Add another $1 for organic.
  3. I'm grateful that the 100+ guests at our meal program are a bit more adventurous when it comes to food. Mind you, the Community Meal is free. We started our program up again this week, too, after a break for the entire month of December. Food budget is currently $3 per person (i.e., $300 per week), which I can allocate throughout the year; I've applied for an increase to $3.25. There are a few food service suppliers who will deliver small orders, so if I order 2 weeks of supplies at a time, we can have delivery. The finance committee has just approved the purchase of one more upright freezer, and a commercial microwave. Hurray! This week's menu was: vegetable minestrone, beef stew, rice, broccoli, romaine & blood orange salad w/ yogurt-citrus vinagrette, gerkins, rolls, and jello w/ fruit cocktail & blueberries. The soup used up several bags of frozen vegetables from the Community Farm which grows a lot of our produce. Now that it's "winter", our fresh produce is mostly imported (bah!). If it wasn't for the volunteers who help each week with executing the menu for the Meal program, I would not be able to keep this job.
  4. breastfed babies are the easiest to take ANYwhere. And, they are a very amenable dinner companion.
  5. $10.99/lb at Great Canadian Superstore on the 31st Dec., and dungeness crab at $6.99. These are pretty low prices for Vancouver. And me, on the way to somewhere else, without a container.
  6. ready... and... go! Thanks for starting this thread Erin.
  7. KarenDW

    Cranberries

    juice crush/grind, boil/steam, strain. Or, use one of these steam juicers then freeze the juice in ziplocks for making crantini jello shooters later?
  8. In Chicago??? I live in downtown Vancouver, Canada. We grow herbs in pots; it saves a lot of $$; the grocery here sells sells herbs at $3 for a small bunch. The cost of seeds, pots, & soil can be daunting. I started with one pot of basil. :-) As for buying at Costco or Sams Club, it helps if you can get together with a friend or neighbor to share a big package of "something". Our storage space is quite limited, and so we don't often buy in bulk unless sharing is an option. Sometimes we invite friends over to cook together; each couple brings an ingredient, or we split the cost; everyone takes home some of the food. The host gets to keep leftover wine(s). And, if there was a Costco bargain, we divide it after supper. Someone "who has a car" usually brings the heavy/bulky ingredient Oh, and we make wine @ a u-vin outlet; if you can find a couple friends to do likewise, then you can even have variety.
  9. People who behave like this give breastfeeding mothers a bad rep.
  10. Rough estimate on the biscotti orders this season (Oct-Dec) was about 45-50 kg, mostly in 100 gm bags, so, about 450 packages. This was the first year I could work in a commercial kitchen, which presented a whole new set of logistical challenges. Pricing will be revised for 2009 holiday season sales.
  11. I was gifted with WS cards for a big birthday. But don't really know what to pick up... I don't need any big-ticket items, but am always intriqued by cute napkins, barware, etc.
  12. what a lot of great ideas! I, too, have an excessive quantity of M&Ms; the mini ones. Good thing that one of my catering clients has asked for brownies. Yay!
  13. Joining a CSA could be considered an investment, both in the farmer, and in the consumer. The farmer needs cash flow throughout the year, including the "less than prime" growing season (i.e., now, in the Pac. Northwest). The farmer also needs a market for his/her goods (i.e., members). The consumer gains confidence in the source-path of the food. As well, the consumer dollar remains in the community. local... seasonal... what else is growing in your region right now? Greens is where it's at. I suppose you could pickle the turnips for later (i.e., in the summer, when it's too hot to grown them). Turnips are really sweet right now, are they not?Not everyone's cooking/shopping style will fit within the realm of a happy CSA experience. It really helped me to know the farmers personally, before joining, so that I was familiar with their crops and, more importantly, the quality of product. This year we did not have a "regular" CSA, it was more a series of hopeful emails, asking community members to purchase the crop on an ad hoc basis. To the OP: this year (08) has been difficult for many farmers in terms of crop variety and quality. If you can find a way to use the turnips, etc., or preserve them, kudos; hang in there for another season. If you decide to leave the CSA, perhaps you will let them know why.
  14. This will take a little effort, and some storage space, but will be quite effective at breaking down just about any vegetative matter: Basically, install a garburator in a free-standing sink cabinet or stand, which is not plumbed, but drains into a collection vessel/bucket. Connect a power cord and switch to the garburator, installing on the stand. Turn on garburator, add veggies. Remember to put the bucket underneath.
  15. you could make a savory bread pudding... would be lighter than just bread, and not as fussy as a souffle. Use the same seasonings as your Grandma's stuffing. If it was me... I wouldn't bother stuffing the turkey.
  16. having now read the entire thread... I don't understand why there should be a conflict between Orchestra and Work. Engaging in creative, committed work outside of one's vocation demonstrates supreme work ethic and dedication. Besides, practicing music as an art form can inform one's other work. Or, one could zone out into Beethoven's 9th while working on the Canape 500 during cocktail party season The major fast food chains have fine-tuned training programs, and employee mentoring for management positions. There is much to be learned here. FWIW, I didn't start cooking professionally until I was 45, after training and working in GeoChem (good experiences for bakers and confectioners), Graphic Arts (artistic influence) and direct Sales (helps to sell your business). I'm happy, and don't think that any of it was a waste of time.
  17. KarenDW

    Fall fruit salad

    if you are plating the salads, then you could core & slice into rings, instead of cubing. Alternate with some nutty cheese (or blue cheese, but not in my house), top w/ chopped nuts and the poms (or craisins, or dried blueberries). Dressing optional, but a lemon infused olive oil might be nice. If you are able to find honeycrisp apples, they keep their color after cutting.
  18. why no mixer? FWIW, my mom made her shortbread with a wooden spoon and no mixer, up until she was about 65 if you have electricity, a deep electric skillet with a cover can be converted into an oven for "baking". We made upside-down cake at a seniors' residence demo earlier this year. This method works best for items which do not require top browning (i.e., white cookies, upside-down cakes, some canapes). Perhaps strategically placed tinfoil on the lid would help, though. Royal icing... doesn't meringue powder contain (pasturized, dehydrated) egg whites? I like the Stone Soup idea. And the kids can "cut" up items w/ plastic knives.
  19. One could purchase the whole lemons, and freeze the juice for later. I use the plastic zip bags, not very full, flatten out to 1/4" or less; just break off a bit when needed.
  20. KarenDW

    Shrimp Stock

    Also good for when cooking for people who cannot have wheat.
  21. cooking time for the squash will depend upon the prep on the squash (whole/halved/sliced). My concern would be re: overbrowning w/o cooking through on the veg. If everything is the same thickness, say 1" or so, then timing should work out ok. The chicken can rest if the veg is not done enough :-) Resting is good.
  22. chopped dried peaches or apricots would also work well. We made Kale Pie recently. Filling was sauteed kale w/ garlic & onions, layered with sliced pears, brie, pecans (I used sunflower seeds) and raisins (again, you could use some other fruit). The original recipe specifies cambozola. Since we were making 100 servings, I opted for pre-made flaky pie crust rounds, but you could make your own buttery flaky pastry.
  23. oh yeah... and today's menu was Lentil soup with brown rice Rosemary roast potatoes, which shared the oven with Greek Marinaded Pork Tenderloin Tzatziki Tomato & Cucumber salad with feta cheese on the side (no dressing) Boiled carrots with parsley butter (harvested in the morning) Cake, from the local food bank fresh purple seedless grapes, from California; they were on sale I think my food cost was around $225 for 100 guests. The carrots (35 lbs) were grown at the Sharing Farm which grows produce for our program (and other anti-poverty initiatives) year-round. The carrots and cabbage for the soup were frozen a few weeks ago when they were harvested off the Farm. We were able to purchase the tomatoes and bell peppers from a food rescue agency for a serious discount. I think my volunteers are lobbying to have some vegetables other than carrots, though. The last batch had a lot of spoilage due to carrot rust worm. We probably had to throw out 20% Sorry, no photos. But in my mind, it was very pretty.
  24. Yup. At the weekly Community Meal, we average 100 guests. There are a few people who have something negative to say about EVERY SINGLE MEAL. But they still keep coming back. I've cooked 70 meals for them... and they're still there. Oh well. I sometimes worry more for the volunteers who help me out. Each week there are 5-10 people who help with prep, cooking and serving. Hopefully they don't take the snarky remarks personally. There are occasionally people who come into the kitchen to express their thanks for the meal. I'm just happy that I am at a place in my life where I can appreciate the kind of work I do for what it is.
  25. Perhaps your local community kitchen or soup kitchen would appreciate a contribution. Especially if the greens are already washed and bagged. :-)
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