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Everything posted by Allura

  1. Sorry, the only really great bakery I know in VA is in Harrisonburg, which is very much out of your way! But Heritage Bakery & Cafe is really good if you're ever up that way (https://heritagebakes.com/)
  2. Allura

    Easter 2022

    So I grew up calling it "ham pie" but apparently other Italian Americans call it Easter Pie or Pizza Rustica. We have it for any holiday, not just Easter. It's basically a pie crust filled with a mix of ricotta, and cured meats. with egg as binder. In my family it's ham, salami, and provolone, and parmesan. I suspect it of being extra popular for us because my grandfather owned a butcher shop and my grandmother would dice up the ends of the cold cuts to make it. A lot of recipes online show a top crust; I learned just to do a simple lattice with leftover crust. I usually make it in a rectangular baking dish since we cut it in small rectangles and eat it as an appetizer in the kitchen while waiting on dinner.
  3. Allura

    Easter 2022

    My mother retired last year so and since we can all get back together, she's indulging in her love of cooking and feeding an army of...7...So far she's apparently making ham (11lbs) and brisket (4lbs. Dad's Jewish, Mom's Catholic, so...), baked sweet potatoes, broccoli with chees sauce, steamed green beans, Mediterranean salad (?) And she's making the ham pie (aka Pizza Rustica/Easter Pie) this year because I have zero energy between work, Holy Week services (Altar Guild head...) and leftover Covid fatigue. Dessert is apparently apple matzo kugel, chocolate covered matzo, and maybe cream puffs! And Easter candy. And Jewish style coconut macaroons. I suspect we'll all have leftovers.
  4. You know, it'd be an expensive donation, but I bet a food pantry with refrigeration would cheerfully take them. Salmon's going to be rare to get but easy to cook. And food pantries are always hurting after the holiday rush.
  5. Last year we did trick or treating but no get together to eat. Given the kids involved either attend the same school/grade or are old enough to be vaxxed (and all the adults involved are), we're thinking we will be able to go back to eating after. The first year we hosted Halloween we did simple rigatoni with tomato sauce and ricotta as an option (there's a vegetarian in the crowd). After that we started saying the heck with it and ordering pizza. Just have to order far in advance. Sometimes I get dessert, sometimes we steal candy from the kids. But apparently I won't be stealing Butterfingers this year!
  6. And honestly, that was how we started off. The problem is that the intervention of a medication that suppresses appetite means that evening meals have to include making up calories that weren't eaten during the day. We're slowly, so slowly expanding options, and he tries. But he's often hungry but still can't face another bite of something he doesn't like. I guess my point is that there's a lot of reasons for picky eaters and sometimes you don't see the whole picture.
  7. So...I started off feeding my (now 9yo) from the table. Problem is that what he was willing to eat when in a high chair he basically will not touch now. He's slowly expanding his horizons back again. But if he could, he'd live on macaroni & cheese. He's old enough now that dinner options are "eat what we're eating or get it yourself," which usually results in a few bites taken followed by a bagel or something else carb-heavy.
  8. You mentioned that there's not a lot of seafood in Israel, so you're indulging in Greece. I would have assumed it was available given Israel's location, so I'm guessing it's due to the impact of folks following Kosher law? Food blogs are my favorite aspect of egullet, so I really appreciate this. At the end of the day, I'm not a very adventurous traveler so I love seeing other countries through this lens.
  9. Heh, that's what I learned on my visit. About 4pm, we'd take a break for a cup and whatever biscuit my teammates had stashed away. Found out that England has better instant coffee than the US, too (and at least at one company, the team all seemed to be coffee drinkers, not tea drinkers)! And that they have a built-in hot water spigot vs the one on the water cooler that is typical in US office environments. We also had a lovely post-lunch discussion one day while I tried to figure out exactly what I had been eating for dinner the prior day. I mean, I recognized the veggies but couldn't match them to the names on the menu, so out came the Wikipedia English to American conversion page. We're familiar with it because we run into the same thing on the technical side (Whose definite of a spanner are we using?!?). Hoping things open up again soon so we can make a visit. Been 3 years since I've been there.
  10. I've only been to England once, and that was for a work trip where I didn't really get a say in where we went (and the team had established places they always went to). I can say that what stuck out to me was the quality of the ingredients. The eggs at breakfast, for instance, were lovely compared to what we get in the US. Although the one that stood out to me: are ham & cheese sandwiches not a thing in England? We went to a sandwich shop one day for lunch and it seemed it was a very surprising thing? Or it might just have been my rapid-fire mid-atlantic US accent bit me again.
  11. I had a Korean roommate one summer in college and she asked me to explain "American food" to her. I pointed out that it largely depends on where you live in the country and your ethnic background because we're a big melting pot. I grew up with "standard" dinners being breaded chicken or pork with veggies & potato, but also spaghetti and meatballs or cavatelli with broccoli. Jewish holidays called for brisket and potato pancakes. If we went to my (Italian) grandparents' house, we'd have "Sunday sauce" (not that she called it that), and a multicourse meal with salad after dinner, and soup starting it. So American food is big servings because we have a lot of agriculture and money so food becomes plentiful and heavy on meat. But it's influenced heavily by the part of the country and ethnicity. I didn't grow up on "Tex-Mex," but we still eat that and it's American southwest food.
  12. Allura

    Easter 2021 April 4

    So question on the deviled eggs. I love them. But I grew up thinking the dyed eggs were unsafe to eat because they'd been sitting out for a couple of days on the table. Is that true, or can I actually use them instead of wasting them this year?
  13. What about something like a homemade muffins or a sweet bread of some sort (zucchini?). A French toast-style casserole (aka bread pudding) perhaps?
  14. Allura


    Eel used to be tradition at our big Italian Christmas Eve dinner (it's gotten smaller). Sliced into chunks and fried. Umm...tastes like chicken? I'd eat it for tradition, but that's about it.
  15. Our church is having a Zoom Mardi Gras party, so I've ordered from them. Expecting red beans & rice (with sausage), pancakes, and king cake. Yes, I know, pancakes?!? But the church had a long tradition of a pancake supper for Shrove Tuesday, and then the current priest came and she's originally from the south. So Mardi Gras AND pancakes now. We're supposed to pick up and then get online to eat together. I'll probably make SOMETHING on the side bc it sounds like a bit more of a carb fest than is healthy for me.
  16. I suspect we're not getting together this year, which is going to be hard. Normally Italian "7 fishes" that we've been doing at a restaurant on Christmas Eve lately. Might just make it 2 fishes this year. Maybe spaghetti with bay scallops or something like that and fried white fish of some sort with veggies. Get some pastries from the Italian bakery for after. No rushing for church services, since they'll be online, but maybe a drive around to look at the lights after. Christmas morning is usually simple, but requires TJs chocolate croissants, so we'll have to brave them or find an alternative. That plus just scrambled eggs with cheese or something. Dinner is normally at my parents' and varies. No idea. Tentatively leaning towards ham since the leftovers are versatile. Some kind of chocolate yule log cake, again from a bakery. New Years Eve I'm kicking around if we can get together with the one family that often throws a big party; her daughter is at risk so she's been pretty careful. If not, we'll do apps all evening.
  17. In the end, we decided that neither of us enjoy cooking sufficiently to do so, especially as it's just the 3 of us this year (usually we go to BIL's house and celebrate with that side of the family). My effort is going into getting as many of us online for an extended family video chat and finally taking a break from work. We are going to support a local restaurant, though, and will be getting: 3lbs of sliced white meat (I won't complain if some dark ends up in there, but I'm the only one, so it's fine) gravy mashed potatoes cornbread stuffing green beans glazed fall vegetables cranberry sauce bread and tapenade pumpkin pie & spiced whipped cream "sweet potato bites" (I need just a little bit of sweet potato with marshmallows) spiked mulled cider I feel the worst for my sister, whose husband will be working. And because of where he works (dispatcher), she won't go to my parents, so she'll be alone. It's been a rough, socially distant year for us, but we've also come through mostly-unscathed otherwise, so there's still lots to be thankful for.
  18. Looks like this will be the very first time my husband I cook Thanksgiving dinner and it'll just be the 3 of us at home (us and a 9yo). We subscribe to Home Chef, and they're offering a pre-cooked breast and recipe/ingredients for sides. I think I'd rather roast a bird but we have a very small fridge & freezer and I don't know that we actually have the space. And I'm not sure I'll find a bird small enough. Kicking around either a chicken or maybe a bone-in breast. Definitely want mashed potatoes, (fresh) green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. And gravy. Maybe an apple crisp for dessert. Not sure I have the ambition to make stock for gravy. It's going to be a hard year for us. Normally we go to the in-laws, but our state requires quarantine from their state. Plus the cousins would all have to stay home, etc after so it's just not worth it. On my side, there's too many high risk people to eat together. There will likely be a video call between everyone. Making the best of it, and at least we don't have a 4-5 hour drive each way this year.
  19. An article from Eater, on the Food Timeline that Lynne Olver developed. It is now looking for someone to maintain it. It occurred to me that this may be an appropriate project for eG, actually. If nothing else, it's a website that I think folks here will appreciate.
  20. I would call them. I know the ones in NJ are open to the public currently. They may just not be updating their website because it's not universal.
  21. Not really a food distributor (although I'm interested to know about more), but I have been getting produce boxes and eggs from a farm that usually sells at our farmer's market in town. Instead you pre-order & pay online and they do drop into your trunk at our church parking lot. A lot of nontraditional places are also starting to sell produce and other supplies, such as the fruit bowl place on the corner. Heck, one of the church supply places I order from (I head the altar guild), is selling commercial cleaning supplies including gloves and masks. I bought commercial pack toilet paper as well, but that was regular ol' Amazon.
  22. A lot of local farms have switched to produce bags or such to keep themselves going. If you have a farmer's market, it's worth looking at the vendor list and seeing if they have any new options. I'm getting a bag of fruit & 2 dozen eggs on Monday. Pickup is drive through our church lot and they drop in your trunk.
  23. Allura

    Easter Dinner 2020

    We've been using one of the meal kit places (HomeChef) for almost 2 years now, and it's been nice to have a steady stream of meals now. Not cheap, but my husband can follow a recipe and it got us out of the rut of the same 3 things + too much takeout. Anyway, the reason I'm bringing it up is that we splurged on their lamb chop meal for Easter for the 3 of us. So we had lamb chops with a Greek seasoning blend, a jalapeno jelly sauce for my husband, roasted broccolini, and mashed potatoes with sour cream, parm, and chives. I ordered a cake from the local bakery in the shape of an egg. Too much buttercream, but the kiddo loves it. We ate with my family via Google Meets. Earlier in the day we had an egg hunt, watched church via Zoom, and had a brunch of eggs scrambled with ham & cheese and the last of the TJs chocolate or almond croissants. Not a bad Easter.
  24. I think the important part of this is to use fresh green beans. The original is canned, and I just can't. Steam some fresh ones and it's pretty tasty.
  25. My mother does a Thanksgiving cocktail to start, if you want to do something more fun. My own is going to be at the in-laws house and step-mother-in-law and her family are Puerto Rican, so there will be pernil and paella. And probably a turkey. Maybe. I'm bringing bakery bought pie because I'm just in crazy mode this time of year. There's generally a second round at my BIL's house the next day that's more traditional, but given they have a galley kitchen I just stand at one end and chat or help as needed. And keep kids occupied.
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