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Everything posted by KarenDW

  1. Exactly! At the Community Meal where I work, we serve 100 guests for $300. For the last several weeks, a community farm has been providing us w/ fresh vegetables FOR FREE (beans, lettuce, beet tops, zucchini, collards, turnips, carrots). However, it takes lots of labour to make these items ready to eat. Last week our supervisor asked whether I could plan a menu w/ frozen veg to "give the volunteers a break". So I will. This week, we used frozen corn and canned beans (kidney & black) in a salad: easy peasy... frozen veg, salsa, fresh tomatoes, fresh cilantro, cider vinegar, brown sugar, green onions, and zucchini or cucumber. Season to taste w/ jalapenos, cumin, salt, pepper, etc. This is the MOST popular salad that I make for the Community Meal. They always want 2nds and take-away. Since our budget is so incredibly low (remember, this is the West coast of Canada), I am happy to make do with whatever canned beans the food bank gives us (or are on-sale), and frozen corn. Just so you all know, it takes 2 hours to wash ground harvested lettuce for 100! Buying pre-washed, imported from Costco is ever-so-tempting.
  2. Hey Cali! We served pulled pork sandwiches a few weeks ago at the Community Meal. For 100 ppl, I had: 26 kg (58 lbs) of pork shoulder, 10 doz. buns, 15 lbs coleslaw mix (pre-shredded), 12 heads of romaine. We used about 1.5L of sauce (7 1/2 cups). I find we use less sauce/condiments when it is served or pre-portioned, than we use if each guest takes their own. Dessert was a (technically disastrous) chocolate zucchini cake. By my calculations, you have 11 roasts. Each is 1.2 kg, so about 13 kg of meat before cooking. This should yield about 50-60 generous servings according to the Food Guide, taking into account the 0.2 kg of fat that was wrapped around the roast, and assuming 25% shrinkage during the braise. Heck, you may even have enough for take-out. Good on you for removing the fat layer. If you were doing a slow oven roast, you would have wanted to leave the fat on. For the corn, I would break each ear in half, especially since your guests are seniors, and might want to use a knife to cut the corn off the cob.
  3. Practice saying "please" and "thank you" to the people you go to school with. Then keep saying that to the people you work with. Invite your parents to dinner where you work. Volunteer somewhere. Grow something... herbs, lettuce, whatever... on your balcony or at a community garden.
  4. I'm a big fan of the KA Pro series, w/ the bowl lifter. Mine is a 6 qt bowl, 525Watt model. It is now more than 5 yrs old, and I have routinely mixed 5+ lbs of dough. Not at all familiar w/ the smaller KA mixers, but I can just imagine... would not hold up to the sort of punishment mine does. Having said that, I also have a 5 qt 475 watt in a box in the store-room, as a backup. As well as mixing dough, I have also used for: mixing ground meat for loaves or meatballs; using the attachment for grinding meat; mixing salad dressing. My hubby wanted to get the pasta rolling attachment, but I prefer hand wound rollers. There is also a juicer attachment, I think. Check the warehouse clubs/Sam's/Costco for the KA mixers. Or, ask at the appliance stores which repair KA, and see whether they have one in a "broken box".
  5. KarenDW

    Top Sirloin Butt

    Thanks, Dave! Looks like a good buy if I can set aside the time for breaking down.
  6. KarenDW

    Top Sirloin Butt

    it's on sale for $CA 2.65/lb (this is the Pac. NW, people). for 11 lb. pieces. Ideas?
  7. Which brings to mind the chicken dinner I served (at age 24, so, don't worry, it's just a number) at 10 PM (!) because the darn thing just wouldn't cook... apparently was still frozen before I tried to roast. Keep on keepin' on, as we used to say "in the old days". An important note about simmering... this is much lower temp than boiling. Boiling will only serve to strengthen those protein fibers, and make that chickie even tougher! Definitely simmer. btw, I'm posting my own, "how do I do this" thread in a minute... and I'm, well, nearly "old".
  8. KarenDW

    Home Canning

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, it is JUST starting to be peach and tomato season. I have put up: Sour cherries with brandy and cherry liqueur, Peach preserves with blueberries and Jack Daniels. A few pint jars of peaches. In order to save space and heat, I have opted to use a 15 quart stock pot rather than a canning kettle. The rack is from Bernardin, which packages two different diameter racks in the same package, for versatility. Since I have no pressure canner, I only do high-acid or high-sugar products, such as fruit, pickles, tomatoes, chili sauce w/ vinegar, and the like. I DID try using a pressure cooker to process some preserves last year, and no one died. But the USDA and Health Canada would frown upon that. Besides, the pressure cooker isn't very tall, so the jars can only be the short 4 oz. size, or I suppose the cool new "elegant" jars from Bernardin http://www.homecanning.ca (see Products)
  9. KarenDW

    Fig ideas?

    I take them to work. And then am everyone's favorite person for... oh, at least 2 seconds. But sometimes we garnish desserts w/ them for the day. :-)
  10. KarenDW


    This brings to mind one day, many years ago, when I asked my children (then about 4 and 7) what we could make for dinner on Easter. They responded "roast rabbit", not thinking at ALL about Mr. E.B. An acquaintance of ours had a rabbit farm, and so we had access to WON. DER. FUL. fresh rabbit. I haven't made this dish in over a dozen years (kids are now graduated). But I recall: in a clay roasting pan, one cut up rabbit, two coarsely chopped onions, a few carrots (ironic), some celery, maybe a turnip, a 1/2 cup of white wine? Baked, covered, at 325-350 for about 2 hrs. Easy, to be sure. Not incredibly elegant, but tasty. And not too fancy or rich for little children. We probably served w/ rice and a salad, and more steamed vegetables.
  11. my personal experience w/ dishwasher drawers has been good. Unfortunately I don't recall the brand, but one home in which I cater has DWD. I was impressed by the sound, or lack thereof, because the machines are very quiet. It was possible to load and run each drawer individually. However, it was difficult to load large items. So, if you do a lot of baking, or use large (more than 13") bowls, trays, pans, etc., measure the compartments before buying. A friend of mine who cooks for a small family loves her DWD. They had the front panels finished to match the cabinets :-) A definite plus. I'm thinking that fridge drawers might have the same sort of size issues. My freezer-on-the-bottom fridge has drawers for the freezer. I love them. But none of them would be the right size/shape for bottles of things like juice or wine (i.e., for a fridge) My 2 cents. Happy shopping.
  12. Yes to pockets if you like to "document" your recipes. Where else will you keep your paper & pen. Also Yes if you have "technology"... cell phone, palm pilot, iPod, etc. No to pockets if you are a bit lax in the laundry department. Personally, I love pockets.
  13. check out Growlies for Groups here
  14. Hey Randi! I love my volunteers. It only took a few weeks for them to start asking me to demo the "cut" or whatever, that I was asking for. We are very fortunate; the space was designed especially for group cooking. Also, I usually have 3-4 people to help with prep and 4-5 to help with serving each week. Our Community Meal program is almost a year old (started Oct. 06) and I am the second chef. Some regular guests have started asking for recipes. The allotment garden in our region has some land set aside to grow food for the Food Bank, and for not-for-profit or food security agencies. My program qualifies, and so we have been given the most wonderful salad greens, kolerabi and zucchini this month. Now, if only I would remember to take photos. Keep up the good work.
  15. KarenDW

    Whole Shrimp

  16. Will try to be brief, but speaking from experience... these are the things that I appreciated in the months immediately after my DH died... Fresh fruit that can be kept for a week or so Fresh vegetables, or already washed salad green, but not too much Inexpensive, no-return packaging Small servings are easier to deal with than a whole pan of something. Sometimes looking at a whole cake was just overwhelming, because then I would have to figure out a way to wrap it up again. Individual servings of a main dish: pre-sliced meatloaf, individual pieces of chicken, small pan of casserole, etc. my favorite snack food (potato chips) It was a very long time ago, but I do remember how thoughtful people were. But some were more appreciated than others :-)
  17. Not exactly an "ingredient", but I am looking for a source of 8-10 oz. stoneware bowls. Deeper rather than shallow, so as to be usable for soup and soft desserts White (to match some other items). 150 pieces. $2 each or less. Ideas?
  18. Slugs feed garter snakes and also feed ducks :-)
  19. Admittedly, I have not read all the posts to this thread, and this may be a duplicate. But there are some interesting articles posted here http://www.cityfarmer.org/newpages.html#new
  20. Yesterday's lunch: Pasta, w/ shallot cream sauce. I taste, then add pepper, then salt to the dish which had been served to me. Head chef watches, then offers to remake the dish. Apparently the Sous is a heavy smoker. She consistently UNDERseasons. At work: I am a community meal chef with LOTS of volunteer prep people. It's a consistent challenge to get people to taste the food they are making! But they *are* learning.
  21. I'm thinking this could also be good w/ a berry "wine" from Westham Island or Sanduuz...
  22. Have you considered baking layers in smaller pans, and then piecing together? Once the frosting is on, very few people would notice the difference. Then you could probably get away with making less cake (and wasting less, too)
  23. KarenDW

    Mini frittatas

    If you are not opposed to using plastics, I would suggest using silicone or Silpat pans. Less cleanup!
  24. Sounds like it could be Monks or The Sandbar ← sounds like it might NOT be either of those. Definitely not Monks, and not likely the Sandbar, if the floating Esso station is a landmark. Nothing like that off our deck on False Creek. Maybe your mom was at Coal Harbour? Here's a map of Granville Island... http://www.granvilleisland.com/files/pdf/g..._island_map.pdf For very casual, my vote goes to Rodney's in Yaletown, or Go Fish in Kits. For "better", Fish House, or Monks (try upstairs on a Friday or Saturday). just my 2 bits.
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