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Posts posted by KarenDW

  1. Check out this thread started by CaliPoutine a few years ago when she had a contract cooking about 50 ppl.

    Also, I have been cooking a weekly community meal for 100+ people for the last four years.

    Most popular desserts have been: fruit cobblers and crisps, deep dish fruit pies, fruit/yogurt parfaits, fruit salad.

    Feel free to PM me for details, including costing. In the meantime, I will try to articulate some of my own recipes. Give me a couple of days :)

  2. I like to have cooked rice in the fridge, at all times. In fact, when my children lived with me, they often complained that there "wasn't anything to eat" in the fridge if there was no rice!

    Freezing cooked rice is nothing new in our household. I do like to have one or two packets on hand, for small/quick meals. But I am also probably unlikely to purchase pre-cooked rice.

  3. With Sardines, I would try pickled cherries or other small fruit. The acid from the pickle is important, as is the salt. I've also served mango, peach, or nectarine chutney/salsa with grilled halibut and salmon; guests were pleased. :)

    Usually I look for an acidic element to provide a foil for the fish.

  4. Is there any need for acidulation if the tomatoes are pressure canned?

    Also, I've seen a lot of canned tomatoes in my day that looked more or less like tomatoes and a layer of tomato solids floating on top of clear liquid. I've been given to understand that there are some methods to counteract this. Any suggestions?

    The short answer re: acidulation, is no; if pressured canned, then you don't need to. But pressure canning takes so much longer than standard hot-water bath method, that I consider the addition of citric acid to be a good compromise. The stuff should be available at the local pharmacy, or possibly in the grocery store, branded as a fruit preserver such as fruitfresh.

    Hot packing the fruits should help with maintaining balanced distribution within the jar.

  5. 2) I'm so wiped out after my shift it's a scary thing just driving home. Half an hour of down time is all I can manage before I crash completely and fall asleep. I just can't STAY asleep.

    Would you be able to take a 20-30 min. nap in the car before driving home? That is just long enough to be refreshed and alert for the drive, and not disturb any "normal" sleep pattern.

    While I haven't done the midnight shift, I have worked lots of evenings 'till 2 or 3 am, and doubles. The short nap has always helped. Besides, then maybe you will be able to stay up for a couple of hours after work. I wonder whether there is a regularly occurring "event" in your environment which wakes you up at about the same time each day.

  6. I often move items from the board, scooping with my hands, and arranging the items on a plate, according to the order in which they enter the pan. Or, I use prep containers (sandwich squares work very well) or a measuring cup. Mostly I try *not* to transfer items using a knife, as at work I am in a crowded community kitchen, and teaching the others not to transfer using a blade.

  7. The juice of parsley or other herbs would provide a fresh flavour for salads. So, rather than just chopping herbs and mixing w/ a liquid, puree the herbs in a little water, and then strain through a coffee filter.

  8. I take re-usable cloth bags for shopping, although my DH refuses to do so. For bulk-bin purchases at the supermarket, I generally will make use of the store-supplied plastic bags, then wash and re-purpose once home. I rarely use a separate bag for produce at the supermarket.

    When "market" shopping, I usually pack along one or two smaller plastic bags for salad greens and such, and a paper sack for mushrooms/nuts.

    It seems, to me, a lot of hassle to carry around bulky containers for dry goods, especially as the containers in my pantry are rarely empty.

  9. My dishwasher has an energy-saver cycle during which the heating element is not used after washing. I air-dry my plastic stuff in a dish rack, and generally towel-dry the corners/outer edges which trap water.

    Is there a reason why you need your plastic ware to dry in the dishwasher?

  10. People who think their handbag/coat/poodle/whatever deserve their own seat at the bar.

    What would be the appropriate protocol for a handbag/coat? Of course, in the ideal world, there would be hooks attached to the bar for handbags. But a coat? What do others do with theirs?

    Should said bar become crowded, then I would definitely attempt to move my coat...

  11. If storage space is tight, and the oven is small-ish, then could a large gratin or casserole be multi-purposed? Or do you need a specific shape to the roaster?

    Our oven is standard-sized, but I often want to use more than one rack, so don't bother to pull out the roaster (large handles).

    This pan fits in my toaster oven, with 1/2 a chicken :)

  12. I'd make a separate Yorkshire pud or popovers, rather than Wellington. Port sauce. Tornedos of sunroots (jeruselum artichokes), roasted with golden beets; or steamed with herb butter. Quick pickle of carrots, radishes and cukes on the side. Or arugula.

  13. Is there a food service supplier in your region? You may be able to pick up a "cash and carry" order, if you bring payment (cash, bank card, or credit card usually). Order the veg for your ragu pre-chopped. I often order diced onions and tomatoes, to save time. It's not exactly "budget-friendly", but at least there's less stress. Also, put the ragu into a slow cooker, and then head out to get your pasta. At least the ragu won't burn/scorch, and you don't have to babysit it as much.

    Wishing you lots of serene, productive energy!

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