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About kayb

  • Birthday 06/25/1955

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  1. Have just recently learned about Pinetree and am impressed. I suspect I'll order from them. I have a good, sunny window in which to start seedlings.
  2. Adding to one thing @quiet1 mentions, and I forgot to, is "food deserts," vast areas where access to good grocery stores just does not exist. These are both in rural areas -- there are any number of places within an hour of me that don't have a grocery store within 10-15 miles and many of the poor don't have a car, but also in cities, where some neighborhoods have no groceries within walking distance and mass transit, if it exists, sucks. Big swaths of communities have no food outlets except convenience stores and, in the South, Dollar General. And a big portion of what either offers is, guess what, junk food. Certainly no produce or fresh meat. @DiggingDogFarm, I completely agree on the rotissere chicken. Much healthier, and more meals per buck. I really don't think I'd have a big issue with soft drinks being excluded, other than the fact it feels like shaming the poor. Not that that's going to go anywhere, anyway; soft drink lobby's too big. WIC is a very different program from SNAP. It is narrowly targeted at children, and limited to a specific, narrow list of foods, like formula, milk, cereal, fruit, cheese, etc. If it still works the way it used to, clients receive product-specific vouchers entitling them to certain amounts of formula, milk, fruit, juice, etc.
  3. Fried Polenta question

    @blue_dolphin, thanks. Had forgotten that. Saving it this time.
  4. Fried Polenta question

    H'mm. A thought. Could one do balls of polenta like one does arancini -- surrounding a lump of mozzarella?
  5. Preach! A woman after my own heart. This is one of my hot button issues, and hunger/nutrition programs are something in which I'm deeply involved at the local level. And our state legislature is presently meeting (and villages across the state are missing their idiots), with an avowed intention of revamping SNAP regs to prohibit the purchase of "junk food." I have several problems with that. One is, as @quiet1 so eloquently notes, unless you are into shaming the poor by restricting what they can buy with SNAP, while leaving intact what I can buy with the cash in my pocket or bank account, you are inherently treating people unequally. On a purely philosophical basis, I don't like that. Second, with some of my work in this area, I've been amazed to learn how many people just...can't...cook. As in, give 'em a potato and they're clueless what to do with it. Ditto a package of chicken or ground beef. Never were taught. Even kids like mine, who grew up with me cooking at least five days a week, picked up very little of it, and have no desire to learn. I shudder to think what you'd get back if you gave them a bag of dry beans and asked them to prepare them. Third, we can't assume people on SNAP have the same, or even vaguely similar, ability to cook that we do. They may be homeless; they may be living in a by-the-week motel with no cooking facilities. They may live in an apartment or house where the power has been shut off. They may have no pots nor pans. There may be non-working appliances, if there are appliances at all. And fourth, people may simply not have TIME to cook. I'm lucky; I work from home, so I can stop now and again to stir something, or saute something and put it in to braise or slow cook, or turn an oven or an Instant Pot on or off. If I were working two low-paying jobs (and $10 an hour in Arkansas is a GOOD wage for a high school graduate in an unskilled or semi-skilled position) in order to support my kids, it's highly likely I wouldn't have TIME to cook between Job A and Job B. Should I be able to buy frozen pizza my kids can put in the microwave? Or TV dinners? They're not optimal -- but they may BE optimal in my situation. It's not necessarily a case of people PREFERRING junk food. I volunteer at a soup kitchen, and yesterday was my team's day to cook. We made meat loaf for 60 people, served with green beans, corn and bread. Almost every one of our guests asked for seconds; about 20 asked for carry-outs, which we gladly give as long as the food holds out. Many of them walk several miles to get to our kitchen. We always have fruit for dessert, and no matter how much fruit we provide, it's always ALL gone at the end of the day; a lot of it walks out in people's pockets, and we're fine with that. For the last two years, I've been involved in another program called "Cooking Matters," an effort sponsored nationally by the anti-hunger initiative Save Our Strength and in Arkansas by the Arkansas Hunger Alliance and the United Methodist Church. It's designed to teach people to cook healthy, nutritious meals on a SNAP budget. I've had people come to me in tears and say, "I was able to buy almost enough groceries to last all month, going by this book and what I learned." And that's wonderful, but it doesn't touch the homeless person that's eating chips out of a bag under an overpass or in a Salvation Army shelter. It's not nearly as simple as people would like to make it. Hunger, like most other major issues, is damnably complex. And I don't think adding to regulations on it is going to simplify things any. Soft drinks, btw, are not likely to make the list of "bad foods" non-purchasable by SNAP in Arkansas. The soft drink lobby is pretty big here. The word is they started working that issue back way before Christmas. Sorry for the sermon. It's something about which I'm passionate. You may now resume your regular programming.
  6. Can you add a splash of vinegar to tone down the sweet?
  7. Shredded or diced very fine for sandwich/lettuce cup filling. Roasted/grilled whole and cut into strips crosswise, or bite-sized cubes, for going over greens. For a sandwich filling, I like mayo, halved green or red grapes (or both), toasted, slivered almonds, chopped sweet pickles and curry powder. Chopped hardboiled eggs if I rememberd to cook 'em. And never, ever, any raw onion or celery.
  8. Dinner 2016 (Part 11)

    Open face meat loaf sandwich, with lots of mayo, and brie. Sorry, @rotuts, not TJ's brie, as we don't have such an establishment. Forgot to take a pic because I was starving, but it was good.
  9. I also use the ball jars. But I do have a pound bag of beans in the freezer. I order my coffee, and usually get it in five one-pound bags at a time to save on shipping (they use flat rate boxes, so shipping five costs the same as shipping one). What does freezing do to the taste/quality? I might add that, while I have definite likes and dislikes in the realm of coffee, and will generally do without rather than drink bad coffee, I probably am not nearly as particular as many of the "coffeeheads" on here.
  10. Dinner 2016 (Part 11)

    Last night for soup supper at church, I made a bastardized version of Tom Yum soup. First, I cooked a pound of stew beef, cut into smaller sized pieces than the 1 x 2 in the package, in the IP; 30 minutes HP, regular release. Meanwhile, I soaked a handful of dried shiitakes. Sliced the hydrated shiitakes, added them and their water to the IP, along with some more water and lots of Tom Yum paste, and switched that over to slow cook while I went out and ran some errands. Came home, switched it over to saute', let it come to a boil and added Pad Thai wide rice noodles. It was a hit. If I had it to do over again, I'd cook the noodles separately and put them in a separate dish to add to the soup, as I'm afraid the leftovers will be much too glutinous from dissolving noodles to be very good. But we shall see. And there wasn't a great deal left.
  11. I took my bacon completely OUT of the grocery package in which I SV'd it; perhaps that makes the difference. I transferred it to a gallon zip-loc, where it could lie relatively flat. As someone upthread mentioned, it's a little fragile and tends to tear. I find it's easier to pull two slices at at a time away from the "mass" of bacon, and then separate those slices. @Porthos -- I think the thickness is important to (a) be able to separate it, and (b) be able to sear it without overcooking it. I'll be curious to hear how finishing it off in the oven may go. Would seem to me it might be difficult to preserve the soft interior of the bacon and get a crisp on the outside.
  12. It's going to be gorgeous. Love that fridge.
  13. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 1)

    Is it just me, or does that egg seem to have an abnormally large white-to-yolk ratio? Maybe it's the way it's cut... In any event, hope it did the trick and you're feeling better.
  14. I do 1.75:1 water-to-rice ratio, salt the water, use the "rice" setting, and then generally leave it on "keep warm" for 15-20 minutes or so. I suspect that allows it to steam and take up the additional water. I use whatever generic variety of rice, mostly likely Riceland-produced but the store brand, is the cheapest, and, like you, use it when the taste doesn't matter much. FWIW, I use about the same method for brown rice, only I extend the "keep warm" time to a minimum of 30 minutes. I've left it as long as an hour, but if I do that purposely, I might go up to 1:1 on the water-rice ratio. I learned early on that when I didn't do the wait time with brown rice, it would be soupy and still crunchy.