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Everything posted by KarenDW

  1. The "regular" salted butter I use most often is $3.49/lb, but sometimes will be available for $2.50/lb. My margarine of choice (if there was really a choice... I don't use marg) is $3-4/lb. So, basically the same price as butter. And really, margarine is only a couple of molecules away from plastic But, as a kid growing up in the 60s/70s, margarine was about 1/3 the price of butter. And then in the 70s, butter was the "evil fat", while margarine was mostly "polyunsaturates" and therefore the spread of choice. WRT sandwiches for kids... we didn't even bother w/ butter/marg, and went straight to peanut butter and jam.
  2. check out hireachef.com, or the USPCA (US Personal Chef Association)
  3. ...and then you and your spouse eat SUPPER!
  4. The plastic box from salad greens (1 lb size) can be used for: * starting seedlings. Cut a paper egg carton into individual cups, add soil, and a seed. Add water, and sun, and voila! 70 tomato plants later... * storing yarn. 1 lb box is the perfect size for those 3 oz skeins. AND, you can sort the yarn by color, as the boxes are clear! * storing gift-wrapping ribbon spools.
  5. It's not a matter of longer aged beef retaining the juice, so much as more of the juice being water in meat that hasn't been aged as long. If you're buying a whole fillet in cryovac, you can drain it for about three days in the fridge on paper towels on a platter, covered loosely in plastic, changing the paper towels each day, and it will be substantially improved. The meat will be denser, more flavorful, and will brown better. Or, on a rack over a sheet pan. No paper towels needed
  6. holy basil seems easy enough to grow in a window...
  7. If there is space in the bags, and if the holiday cottage is new to me, I like to pack 2 glasses, and 2 coffee mugs. Somehow, drinking out of a plastic cup seems less "holiday" We have stayed in many cottages where the dishes are the non-breakable plastic sort. Ugh. I also pack coffee and some paper filters, an assortment of reusable heavy plastic baggies, and (again, if there's room), some cold-packs and an insulated lunch bag for day trips, or shopping. As for menus, I like the grilled meats and salad combo. And left-over bits can be lunch the next day in a grilled sandwich.
  8. But if the food is not in contact w/ the plastic, does it matter?
  9. I second the drying option. Another method: separate onto a cooling rack, then place in an oven w/ just the pilot light on (or, the oven light, in the case of electric ovens).
  10. Petroleum used to transport said containers will likely be similar once the containers are filled with product. My thoughts were more around reUSING than recycling. Therefore, glass makes sense for some products. Personally, I am less likely to wash and reuse/repurpose a plastic takeout container than a metal one. But, really, in an urban setting, it's hard to get away from using disposable containers, some of the time. Thanks for the resource link, btw.
  11. KarenDW

    Frozen Bones

    I freeze bones all the time... 6 months (well wrapped) sounds good for a "fridge" freezer. up to 1 year, or more for a "deep freeze". The only usability consideration [for me] would be if the fridge freezer does not have a separate door. Some older refrigerators have only one main door, and the freezer compartment is inside. In such a situation, the freezer temperature does not really stay low enough (due to opening & closing the fridge door) to maintain good product quality. Therefore, the food could develop and "off" flavor, even if technically it is still safe to eat. If it smells weird, it will taste even weirder. Keep in mind, that pathogens which cause food-borne illness would not, in themselves, create an odor...
  12. The other Elephant is that plastics are made from petroleum, and therefore their manufacture is dependent upon a reliable supply of oil. Perhaps better that we consider alternatives to the disposable plastics, such as reusable/washable plastics, reusable glass, and less packaging?
  13. I started cooking professionally at the age of 45. To say that there are "some physical challenges" is an understatement. So far, I still enjoy cooking at home, too. But having the right (for me!) tools makes all the difference! My DH still brings home the occasional weird useless gadget, but at least he's trying to be thoughtful. [or, he's indulging his compulsive shopping habit!] Hope the dicer works out for you, egale.
  14. In my case, the repetitive motion is the problematic issue, no matter the force. Fortunately, I still have *some* grip strength.
  15. I have just picked up a julienne disc for the KA food processor, and hope that it will do a better job of dicing onions than the standard "chopping" blade.
  16. At the catering business I worked in, we had several Nemco products: slicer, chopper, probably something else, too. VERY USEFUL when one is processing several pounds of product! At home, I used the Vegematic, until my hubby picked up the adjustable OXO Mandoline with julliene cutter. I have been happy with both of those. From what I remember, with the Nemco, it's very important to have a sturdy work station, which will withstand the pounding action. The force required to make the device work is "moderate". Oh, and don't bother with items like the slapchop... too small to make much of a dent in a 25 lb box of... anything.
  17. having spent the day converting and scaling recipes... I LOVE the metric system!
  18. KarenDW

    Feeding a crowd

    Everything sounded so good. I hope the team had a great time, and that you are happy with how everything turned out.
  19. KarenDW

    Feeding a crowd

    You only got 40% yield from your shoulders? That doesn't sound right. 40-50% yield from bone-in is similar to my experience.
  20. Maybe I've missed the point, upthread, but where will the party be held? My original concerns were around keeping the ice cream freezer cold enough, but then I read a bit on-line about your machine being self-cooling with its own compressor. Very nice! Anyways, I am wondering whether you have enough freezer space to keep each batch frozen while you are churning the next batch. Also, most of the on-line reviews make a point that the freezing process actually takes closer to 45 minutes than 30. Of course, you are probably already experimenting with that, and there are enough days between now and Saturday to do a LOT of experiments! But it seems that your machine may be very capable in churning several subsequent batches. Lucky you. My only "party" experience with ice cream freezers involved taking my equipment to someone else's home. I have the "canister stored in the freezer" type of ice cream machine. Even though the canister was out of the freezer for less than 2 hours, and even though it was packed in a cooler for the whole travel time, and was put promptly into a deep freezer, it never did get cold enough. I ended up with vanilla custard mush, which I rescued by adding more eggs and whisking over heat to make a creme anglais of sorts. (!) There are never disasters, only recipes we haven't discovered yet. Hope your party this weekend goes well! The Oolong infusion sounds heavenly.
  21. further stick-on hooks for dorm walls: 3M company here makes a line which can hold up to 5 lbs per hook mesh bags, drawstring top, to hold lightweight items like the above-mentioned storage containers, or some utensils. Daughter1 did also appreciate having one good 2L heavy-bottomed pot, which she kept in a locked cupboard.
  22. Daughter1 did not live in a dorm, but she really appreciated having: * utensils, tools & bowls all the same color (i.e., yellow) so that they were readily identifiable. * a few "good" towels * mug, large enough for a bowl of soup Daughter2 lives in a student apartment w/ 3 others. They share a full kitchen which includes microwave, cooktop, oven and fridge. Apparently in the perfect world, they would have a dishwasher, but having roommates who wash up their own dishes is also desirable. She likes: * a good stock of either reusable plastic zip bags, or nesting storage containers * dishcloths * her own set of cutlery, mug & drinking glass * and would like a small refrigerator (i.e., under the bed, or shelf-sized. I would also recommend: small-ish tray for carrying items back to one's room; choose bowls which have lids and handles, for best multi-functionality, collapsable dish drying rack, washing-up brush.
  23. We have one of these choppers which could be very handy in your situation. P'raps you could ask DH to wash & peel a few carrots and onions? Just don't watch him work! If you are concerned that he won't be able to figure out the technique, look up a youtube video for the task you need done When I had surgery on my right (dominant) wrist, we used quite a lot of the pre-washed salad mix, and also the preprepped veg available in our supermarket (squash cubes, peeled/chopped onions). Frozen peas are definitely a staple in our house; corn is handy. Will DH at least take you grocery shopping? Just picking up new stock of dried herbs can help with "lifting up" the flavor of prefab food. Ditto with lemon rind (get a box grater which can stand on the table by itself). If you have a butcher shop nearby, could you order some trimmed, cubed meats for stews/soups? One of our butchers also has a rotisserie, and so I can order cooked chickens Oh, and specifically wrt ground beef... a potato masher can work well to break up clumps. Start w/ a dutch oven rather than a skillet, to contain the accompanying mess... After my surgery, I have worked for 10 years to become ambidextrous. I'm nearly there! Best to you for a speedy recovery.
  24. KarenDW

    Feeding a crowd

    MelissaH, the menu sounds yummy. Most of the university women I know, especially the athletes living on campus, will love seeing meat on the table Double points for finding grapes on sale! 4-6 lbs of beans sounds about right. I've just cooked 2 lbs, which was about 4 cups dried, and that made 9 cups cooked. As an "extra" or side dish, most people will take about 1/2 - 3/4 cup, depending upon the size of the serving spoon I second the advice above re: cooking two or three smaller batches, rather than one large one. In fact, if you have a microwave, then you could even make the rice the day before, chill, then reheat on an "as needed" basis. Again, about 1/2 to 1 cup, cooked, per serving, depending upon the size of the spoon. (btw, 1 cup raw, long grain rice is about 5 ounces, so, 3 1/3 cups per pound) I suppose you'll want to have 20-30 cups, cooked, on hand. As for the shoes: are you able to fit in a small wire bookshelf near the door? Sometimes the 2nd hand store/thrift shop has them for very little $$. What will you do with wet coats? Maybe a local clothing store, thrift shop or dry cleaner can lend you a rack. Do you have enough chairs, or can you rent/borrow? Stools generally take less room than office chairs (natch). Have a great time!
  25. Delicata: sometimes the skin is tender enough to eat. Usually we scoop out the seeds, slice, toss w/ olive oil-s&p, and bake/roast on a sheet pan. 400ºF, 15 min.
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