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Everything posted by pax

  1. I had that start happening to some of my good pots when I moved to Virginia. It was my water, because I often wash stuff and let them air dry on the rack. Once I figured out it was the water and started towel drying, I haven't had any more problems.
  2. pax

    Grocery bags

    I think Mr. Baggins should come here to DC. Maybe he needs to protest logging in front of the EPA. On the other hand, they aren't real potato pancakes unless they are drained on a paper grocery sack, you know? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I caved and bought myself colour coded monogrammed Bean bags. "VEGGIES" in the green bags, "FRIDGE" in the light blue bags, "CLEANERS" in the black bag, "PANTRY" in the red bags. Part of the reason I do this is I live a far way from the market, and I like to make sure I am getting all the tender stuff inside as quickly as possible. I also carry a freezer bag but I don't usually take it inside the grocery as it's clumsy to manage. Once they are emptied in the kitchen, they go back out into my car, one inside another. They do not have the character of Mr Baggins, I am sad to say.
  3. I grocery shop once a week for a local women's shelter, under the auspices of my Unitarian Church. I've been doing it for 6 years now. The shelter faxes a list to the church office, I pick it and the money up, I shop and deliver. It has been an education to me, this experience. Mostly, it's not my job to teach anybody in this situation. It's just enough to get them through it as best you can. Send comfort food. These people need love and familiarity, not challenges like artichoke hearts, as good as they are. Ethnic foods are a great choice, too. Send individualized packages of things where you can. As much as it cuts across the grain of my tree-huggin little heart, individualized packages makes for safer room mate relations, much as good fences make good neighbours. Don't assume the shelter has anything in the way of equipment. Basic pots and pans, yes, but something as simple as a good knife can be hard to find. Kitchen time is often limited so as attractive and cheap as a nice big pot of soup can be, it's sometimes just not feasible. Send the tinned version. FWIW. Obviously, this varies according to the situation to which one is donating.
  4. I've been making myself a carrot pineapple ginger root juice thing every morning for a while now. Extra ginger. Most mornings I cheat on juicing the ginger root, with the help of The Ginger People. Homemade dark chocolate ice cream with chopped candied ginger is brilliant.
  5. Made an espresso. Check. Grind enough beans to last ALL DAY. Check. Imform family I am taking a sabbatical from showers and real clothes and if they don't like it the front door is working just fine. And the remote is mine, cupcake. Put family size bag of Smart Pop on counter, open. Check. Opened freezer and checked for an entire big bag of Reese's Miniatures. Check. Alternate, ALL. MORNING. LONG. Check for more Smart Pop. Discover there is only a econobag of 12 little bags. Put all 12 on counter. Check. Alternate. ALL AFTERNOON. Discover there is some of that homemade chocolate ginger ice cream left. Consume from Tupperware. Check. Make pizza with bacon and onions and roasted peppers and garlic. Raw garlic, and roasted garlic. Extra cheese. Eat all after kids say, "That stinks." Check. Go to bed burping and so stinky even my dog wouldn't sleep with me. Check. I need my tummy rubbed.
  6. When I have non-foodie friends over, we do non-foodie things. If I have to feed them, they get big batches of whatever I have handy that's simple and good. I always keep a meal's worth of Marcella Hazan's Bolognese in the freezer. When my one seriously foodie friend comes over, we have whole cooking weekends. Usually, we've been talking about whatever's grabbed our attention and cook small batches it a bunch of different ways hoping to get it "perfect". The food becomes our entertainment. We've done breads, pizzas, spaghetti sauces, there was one weekend we did nothing but french fries. Pho was hot for a while. I've tried getting non-foodies to get excited about my meals and while most of them play along because they are nice people, in reality I could give them fried bat wings and goober sauce and they'd chow down.
  7. I, too, bought this pot at a big box store for cheap. However you get it, it's a work horse. I love mine.
  8. And...this is a good thing?
  9. You might make sure you can work legally, too. I was married to a British subject, I am an Irish national, and there completely legally, and could not find a way to work. The Brits are funny that way.
  10. I have some serious PMS. Onions and peanuts sounded right up my alley. I ate them off the fork and drank beer. MY husband asked me to sleep on the couch. Also, I had some peeled onion I had to use up then never got made into stuffing.
  11. pax

    Kitchen floor

    This is the best answer of all, for me.
  12. So, Jaymes, I made these. And like your salsa recipe, it will now be a staple in my kitchen. Do you have a recipe blog? Maybe a cookbook or two?
  13. My Aunt Mary Margaret has made them every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. I avoid them although I am a big onion lover. We all do. It never occured to me to try to make them palatable. I think I might have to try it, but at home for myself. I can't supplant a beloved tradition like hiding Auntie Peggy's cream of soup frozen pearl onions under other stuff.
  14. pax

    Thanksgiving post-mortem

    I murdered the custard for my Cranberry Cognac Trifle and had to make do with Bird's. I used the wrong setting on the food mill and my cranberry relish became cranberry sauce. I wanted to find a use for the runny custard so I made up a pie tart and blind baked it and then put a layer of custard on top. I got that just set in the oven and poured a chocolate pecan layer in and then baked THAT. Sadly, I had not allowed enough time in the par-baking of the custard layer, and that layer, and the swirlies I made on top of the chocolate pecan layer with yet MORE runny custard, both dissappeared into the chocolate peacan layer. My family shocked me by gobbling the whole mess and have given it a name so it can be requested again...Runny Custard Chocolate Cake with Nuts ala Mom. I have no idea if I could make it again. PS: The runny custard made a FABULOUS french toast soaker.
  15. Ok, I know I missed the point upthread but my husband has brought me some coffee in bed this morning so I am going to try to comment on topic. For all y'all ( I do love living in the South sometimes) who don't want to heat up the kitchen with your oven, don't forget that a grill on the porch could do the same thing as your oven, maybe even better. I use a cast iron griddle sheet and let that preheat, then put the top on the grill with the vents open. Pizza night is an event in our house and the kids always invite someone over so I am never making just one. The advantage is then you can do s'mores after dinner. If I am still off point, I give up. Pizza is pizza is pizza and even your worst efforts are better than broccoli. Don't tell my kids I said that. With pizza-eating love..
  16. In the old days everybody always tried to forget Auntie Peggy's Creamed Onions in the kitchen, but she never let us.
  17. pax

    Latkes - the Topic!

    I grew up eating potato pancakes at my little old Irish granny's knee. Never having been exposed to anyone not Roman Catholic as a child, I marveled at how smart all those Jewish people must be to make my granny's potato pancakes part of their holy meal. It leaves me with a soft spot for the choosen people to this day. Grate (I cheat and Cuisinart), 2,3,4 potatos depending on size, squeeze, add 1 egg and 1 small to medium finely minced onion. Barely enough binder of choice, I use whatever is on hand but mostly a little flour. I'm going to try the soaking and recatching the starch instead of adding a binder. Sometimes I like to add minced garlic, sometimes pepper, salt always as they come out of the fryer. Carmelized onion have their place but I think their flavour is too delicate for a robust strong crispy yet melty salty potato pancake. Frankly, I think potato pancakes are pretty much nectar of the gods. I don't care what you call them and what toppings you serve them with and I'm even willing to be flexible on oil of choice, although everybody knows peanut is best.v It's all good. Seriously. How can crispy oniony potatoey goodness be wrong in any form? A rose by any other name..
  18. I'll pull up some info about Burlington. I leaned hard towards Brattleboro because there is a Waldorf school there for my kids, and also, because you get way more bang for your buck in New Hampshire. Plus, New Hampshire, there's no income tax. I really like that. But certainly, I'm happy to take suggestions for other places. I'll toddlle off to NNERN and see what's there. pasantrin, thanks for the tips, I am going to zip up there on Monday after Thanksgiving and I'll check out Amy's. I'm happy to hear there might be a passable Indian, I love Indian food but haven't got the knack of cooking it yet. I actually like to cook and eat at home, so my "restaurant time" tends to be places I can settle down for a while with a coffee and enjoy the fact I'm foot loose and kid free for a few hours.
  19. I'm in Northern Virginia, I've been here for years, I have all my little grocery oddities and junk foods and great treats and good drinks accounted for... But my husband came home on Friday and told me the government had offered him an early retirement deal he wants to take. And he wants to go back to New England. He grew up in Boston, did MIT, served in the Navy, and then ended up down here. So I'm bugging out of here to go buy something, like, in a week. I'm aiming for Brattleboro or thereabouts. Tell me about your favs...shops, stores, neighbourhoods, BUTCHERS are key, I am going to need one. I am so excited about this and a little overwhelmed.
  20. I hate that Taco Bell stopped making the Santa Fe Gordito. That thing cured all ills.
  21. I think you are getting a preponderance of crustophiles here because you're in a place that savours good food in general. I wonder what you'd get if you posted this on some board that has a more general population. Count me in, I pull out the middle too, and slather butter on thickly. Unsalted, and just warm enough to spread, if the bread is warm, or cold, if the bread is room temp. The best, fattiest, freshest I can get. I like Vermont Dairy. Sea salt sprinkled very gently is nice. And just so you know, my cholesterol counts are as good as they can get. And don't get me wrong, just like Hillary Clinton, I want both. Butter is my fat of choice but I can certainly get behind a good olive oil. My kid used to go the a school about two blocks from Vace in Bethesda (MD) and I'd take their pizza crusts home with my and roll them up into a baguette shape, it is yummy with red sauces. It would start rising in the bag and by the time I got home, if I let it rest while the oven was warming, it was perfect. I miss that. Since we moved the the wild and woolie hills, I've had a lot of fun making all kinds of new, crustyums.
  22. No, I'm really sure it's not my oven. I bake bread and pizzas and all kinds of things all the time without too much problem, and I calibrate it regularly with an oven thermometer. Actually, I don't do it, my husband the geek boy who loves to play with anything electronic does it. I am really sure it was a combination of letting the batter sit too long (it took a while to fashion out 4 dozen cupcakes) and, I was using European butter, which I realized later contributed to the liquidity factor even more than the batter was already. I guess it's entirely possible the recipe is wrong, I cut and pasted it from e mail to here, and I printed it out of my e-mail, so it would have had to have been on the sending end, so I'm not sure.
  23. Cranberry Grand Marnier Trifle. It is some good, good stuff. I was thinking about doing a Chocolate Pecan Pie, with some homemade ice cream.
  24. I thought it was a lot of eggs, too, CanadianBakin', especially when I upped the recipe to get enough out of it. Eh. I calibrated my oven the other day..the boy genius who designed my kitchen put the oven between the fridge and the outside wall, which is made up mostly of French doors. I made another batch and put the baking soda in with the flour and salt. They didn't rise much but they didn't sink, either. (Yet.) I also used the convection bake instead of regular on this last batch. Thanks for your help. They smell delicious and they taste ok but this sinking thing is a pain and you know what, they are not easy to get the little liners off of...they are sticky. I won't make these again, but I have to figure a bunch of 5 yos aren't going to be picky. I mean, it's a cupcake, right?
  25. I am making these cupcakes to take to my kid's kindergarten class, but they keep falling in the middle. The quick answer is more icing, but I'm irritated and I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong. I've made five trays of these %$^ things now and they all have craters. * 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened * 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar * 3 eggs * 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract * 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour * 1/4 teaspoon salt * 1/2 cup sour cream * 1/4 teaspoon baking soda Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. 3. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; beat thoroughly. 4. Combine flour with salt. 5. Combine sour cream with baking soda. 6. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture; beat well. 7. Pour into prepared pan. 8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 9. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.
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