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Everything posted by Dianabanana

  1. Dianabanana

    Salt Cod Diary

    I adore salt cod, especially in Patricia Wells's version of Gratin de Morue in Bistro Cooking. It's the same basic flavors as brandade, but with thinly sliced potatoes and chunks of simmered salt cod instead of the puree. What do we think of the rock hard salt cod that one gets in Italian markets versus the moister salt cod that comes packed in a wooden box and frozen? I've got limited experience with the rock hard kind but the one I got was very good, better than the boxed ones.
  2. A mess of pottage, i.e, lentil soup? I'm pretty sure the birthright-for-pottage transaction takes place in Genesis. Does that count as a specific preparation, or still too generic?
  3. I got a meat grinder, primarily for the purpose of raw feeding my dogs. On Christmas Day we took it out for a spin and it pulverized an entire chicken, bones and all. Pretty neat.
  4. No, we just had it in little clear glasses with about 1/2 fruit and 1/2 liquid. Ice cream is up next! We've also been eating the brandied cherries I talked about upthread and those are by far the best ones I've ever made. I'm definitely sticking with that method. Sorry about your fizzy version. Next year we'll both do better!
  5. It's a cold winter night and we're all huddled around the fire, so the time seemed right to break into the rumtopf. I had very low expectations for this, actually. I don't have a basement so used the coolest spot in my house, the far corner of the spare bedroom. Out of sight, out of mind--I was up to my ears in other food preservation projects and after the first few fruits, I forgot all about it and never added any more. I was supposed to have been adding all kinds of fruits as they came into season throughout the summer and fall. Well, I needn't have worried. Even with just the four or five fruits I did use, it's incredibly complex and delicious. The fruits have weirdly "dehydrated" in the rum and are quite dense and chewy, which is not what I was expecting, but it's quite pleasant, and the liquor is fantastic. Can't wait to do it up properly next year.
  6. How weird--I read this a few days ago and just now it happened to me. It's especially weird because I virtually never eat chicken. I never would have known what it was if not for this thread!
  7. That was me! And it was so good that I ended up making a second batch, thinking I'd give jars of it for Christmas presents, but now I'm wondering if any of my friends or relatives are really all THAT deserving.
  8. Hmm. I'm dubious about this one. You still have to wash them with your fingers to get rid of any silt clinging to them and that will dislodge any bugs as well.
  9. I'm also curious about the vinegar in the salad rinse.
  10. Yes, you're quite right. The awfulness must be due to the lack of other savory flavors to marry the yogurt and coconut.
  11. Yogurt and coconut. I'm not talking about coconut milk yogurt (which I've never had) but regular dairy yogurt with coconut. There's a commercial brand of this, I forget the name, and it's absolutely wrong wrong wrong. I see a yogurt theme developing in this thread.
  12. You're going to find that the trouble with litmus strips is that the color of your food will obscure the color of the paper. What you can do instead is to call over to the food science department of your local university and ask if they'd be willing to test a sample with their pH meter. I've done this and they were happy to do it and at no charge. I'm sure lots of other places are equipped with pH meters as well, if you don't have a university near you.
  13. Stramondo pistachio cream. I never did make anything with it. I just ate it straight from the jar, one ambrosial spoonful at a time.
  14. You know what I bet is horrible? Those Old El Paso taco kits. I'll let somebody else revisit those--I'm brave, but not that brave. I dearly loved taco night as a child, watching the ground beef turn from red to gray, then sprinkling in the orange powder. One night was enlivened when my mom absentmindedly left a stack of Corelle plates on a hot burner while we went into the living room to eat. Just as we were tucking in, there was a terrific explosion and then the tinkling sound of billions of shards of Corelle raining all over the kitchen.
  15. A couple of years ago I thought I'd make a nice nostalgic meal of Campbell's cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese with Kraft slices on white bread. The soup was so unbelievably sweet and the cheese was like (sorry) melty, salty snot. But mostly it was the sweetness of the soup that I couldn't get over. I guess that must be why it appeals to kids.
  16. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal. The best part of my day is climbing into bed at night, closing my eyes, and thinking about all the nice things I'll have for breakfast. Four years ago I started having to take a medication every morning that requires me to wait an HOUR before eating. Every day! And I'll have to take it for the rest of my life. It's just awful, I tell you.
  17. They should replace all these annoying beeps with cheerful little songs like the ones rice cookers sing.
  18. I think the ideal arrangement would be a bottom freezer with a swinging door. I have the bottom freezer drawer and it's a mess for all the reasons stated above. When we were shopping for our fridge about six years ago, there was only one model on the market with a bottom freezer with a swinging door and it was unacceptable to me for other reasons. I have no idea why it's not a more popular design. Even with my messy drawer, though, I really like my bottom-freezer refrigerator. I have a terrible back. I rarely use the freezer, so I practically never have to bend over. My old fridge was a many-times-a-day source of aggravation for me but this has solved my problem almost completely.
  19. It's the Kenmore/Electrolux induction range. There's a earlier comment by me about it upthread with a little more info.
  20. Mine stays on a long time, too--at least 20 seconds. I switched from gas and before that I had electric smoothtop for twelve years. I also have electric coil at a second home. I would never consider returning to any of those. I've been canning lately and this thing brings a gigantic water bath canner to a boil in just a few minutes. I realize I forgot to do something, turn it off, then half an hour later turn it back on and it literally comes to a boil again in about a minute. Having had it for many months now, the only improvement I would make is to change the controls from a touchpad to a knob that you turn, like on a gas stove. The stovetop itself is lightning fast once you tell it what to do, but it takes too long to change the setting using the touchpad. Minor complaint. Overall I love it.
  21. Good Lord. I just made this tonight. Absolutely delicious! And then, having spent the evening making chutney instead of dinner, I threw some basmati rice in the rice cooker, nestled some eggs in the rice, and hit "cook," then when they were done, peeled and halved them, sauteed them in butter, added a cup of the chutney and some heavy cream and heated through. Talk about low investment/high return. That's going to be my go-to late-night dinner until the chutney runs out, which will be all too soon, I fear. (It was my first time trying that egg-in-the-rice trick, and it worked brilliantly. A little more done than I'd ordinarily prefer, but probably just perfectly done to most people's taste.) Thank you, Suvir!
  22. Five months later . . . the teenagers across the street from this house have formed a good old-fashioned heavy metal band. Every time I walk past lately, it's like a military psy op in progress on that block. So that's some consolation.
  23. Oh my goodness, the Vogue Designer Originals section! That takes me back. My college roommate's mother was a fabulous seamstress and used to make her all kinds of things from that section, including that super-complicated Issey Miyake jacket with all the weird triangular flaps. But, yes, looking through that section provoked the same excitement that the farmer's market does--in our house, we call it the "greed high," and it usually ended in the same orgy of overoptimistic purchasing.
  24. Also check out Rumtopf, which is similar to Vieux Garcon but with rum, and no simmering. I'm actually off right now to go buy a crock for my very first Rumtopf. Between this and the brandied cherries, it's going to be a very boozy winter this year!
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