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Everything posted by bokreta

  1. That's appalling. How could they let that through?
  2. My shameful defaults: Pasta with Karam's garlic sauce and a salty cheese (parm/asiago/feta/etc). Rice with ranch dressing, canned tuna, and black pepper. Rice with sauteed summer sausage, cheddar cheese, and green olives and/or jarred jalapenos.
  3. This is slightly off topic, as it's not about a holiday menu, but it is Christmas and food related. I'm planning on a smallish tree decorated primarily with dehydrated pretty slices of lemons, limes, kumquats, blood oranges, and tomatoes (and popcorn garlands). My question is what else can I do with the butt ends of the citrus fruits beyond stashing them in vodka for a spell? Tomato ends will go into a salsa, and assuming that I buy (small) bags of citrus any non-decorative slices with be salt preserved, but what about the pithy end pieces?
  4. And I would never judge a book by one recipe.
  5. I bought a Weber Q last year, thinking that it would be a good solution to my living situation not allowing a charcoal grill without a 3 floor trek down and up to check on any progress. I had significant issues getting a Coleman propane tank (the small, squat ones) attached, and was always a little nervous about the connection. Once I got it going, it worked fairly well for most high or medium heat things, which was nice. As BBQ season finally is ramping up here in the PNW, I am finding myself just committing to just schlepping downstairs for the afternoon because it's less daunting than replacing the fuel canister and doing the soap test etc.
  6. Wait, have I been rude all my life? I've only ever stayed in US hotels while in transit, rarely for more than a day. I've also only stayed at utility level places. It never would have occurred to me that I should have been tipping the housekeeping staff for doing what I have little active interaction with. I've also never asked for any "extras" - I tend to travel at minimal maintenance levels.
  7. I don't have a magnet habit, nor did I grow up with one (outside of the ubiquitous letter-shaped magnets for teaching reading skills). However, many years ago when I was partnered with a general contractor/woodworker and assisting him with most aspects of his life, I got the idea of take some of the otherwise useless off-cuts, squaring them off, and doing the finishing work to convert them to fridge magenets as low-cost meaningful gifts. I almost never gave them away - it was too fun to have them around to play with while I was tending to kitchen projects. Hundreds of nice square magnets with discernible grain in many different colors, sizes, and thicknesses, and a fungible canvas like a freezer door? Plus really pleasant to handle, thanks to the finishing process. Also a good distraction for guests when the surface is between the public area and the core of the cooking work area.
  8. I've done similar excursions, most often with my ex and our two big dogs. We/I found that having a quick way of sourcing hot coffee in the morning was REALLY important. He was always the early riser and got a fire going first thing, but later when I was solo (plus dog), a Turkish coffee pot with a small butane camp stove did the trick. What worked best for us/me was a staple list of bacon/summer sausage/cheddar/eggs/rice/potatoes/frozen broccoli/frozen spinach. Kind of monotonous in the long term, but tasty and satisfying. I also brought a small kit of spices/herbs/hot sauces. The frozen veg helped in the cooler, and none of them are susceptible to short term spoilage. Sometimes we splurged with a steak on night one, which was always wonderful. Once I tried gumbo, which was a total fail because I got the reduced proportions totally wrong I would recommend a (fire safe) small cast iron skillet, 1 qt pot, and a kettle/caffeine generator. as a minimum. Booze, of course, and s'more fixins if you have a sweet tooth (I don't, but I remember them being good). Reinforcing that ALL FOOD and FOOD TAINTED DISHES should be bear/wildcat-secured before bed time. In my experience, no dishes that are camp-washed are exempt.
  9. Agree with Darienne. Phyllo freezes beautifully. I've had the best luck with folding up the spanakopitas, brushing them generously with butter, letting the butter set up in the fridge, and then portioning them out as desired into bags before freezing. The butter acts as a protective coating during handling, and eases just sliding them from the freezer to a baking sheet.
  10. I'm pretty sure this isn't 100% accurate. This last spring I came down with a horrible cold much faster than usual, and I woke up in the morning absolutely miserable and realized I was lacking in any cold remedies (antihistimines, kleenex, chicken soup or the means to make any, etc), cat supplies (kibble or litter), or comfort beverages (lemon/ginger tea, whiskey for toddies). I briefly considered going to the store myself, but I was SO miserable and SO clearly contagious that I was racking my brains for an alternate solution. Turns out my past self had enrolled in Amazon Prime and Prime Now solved all my immediate issues. I did have to show my ID (which used to be flattering but is now just silly) and sign for it in person, but I did get a fifth of whiskey delivered. I didn't need cigarettes that weekend, so I can't speak to that. (I do smoke).
  11. Mrs. Renfro's Jalapeno Green Salsa is a pantry staple for me. Not for the spice wary, but tasty more than blowout hot/
  12. I was in a similar position (very limited storage for a seemingly unlimited number of spice) and I landed on LizD518 solution, more or less. It works for me rather well, and I will probably keep the same system even when I move to a situation with more space available. As an example, I have one container that holds the daily or near daily spices (oregano, lemon pepper, salt, black pepper, a greek blend that I use on popcorn, etc), one that holds the hot peppers and paprikas, one that holds more infrequent western flavors (thyme, saffron, tarragon, dry mustard, sumac, specialty salts, etc), one that holds Latino flavors (adobo, cumin, ground chiles, epazote), one for Indian things (curry powders, garam masala, mustard seed, cumin seeds, asfoe-however-it's-spelled-ida, turmeric, etc), one for East Asian (curry leaves, szechuan peppers, tamarind, etc). Mine aren't labeled, because I'm lazy and they're nearly clear plastic so I can see which is which fairly easily. I don't stack them because they don't have lids, aren't uniform height, and are already almost to high for me to reach comfortably anyway. In short - I recommend this system.
  13. This afternoon I had a craving for Beef Stroganoff from scratch, and far more time than money to spend available. I also was reading this thread, and followed some of the links promoting water over prepared stock (homemade or commercial). So, I tried an experiment. Instead of using a can of stock from the pantry, I started some water to simmer before I started prepping, and tossed the offcuts of each ingredient there as I went (the beef trimmings, the mushroom stalks, the onion skins/root, the garlic skins/roots. etc.) By the time everything was sauteed in sequence and deglazed with wine, the "stock" was noticeably dark, flavorful, and useful. I put most of it in the pan to reduce for the sauce, tossed the solids that I would have tossed in any case, and added water to the remainder for boiling the pasta. All in all, a very successful experiment. Tasty sauce, well flavored pasta, little waste, no extra money spent or extra effort in premaking a large volume of homemade beefbroth. I think I'll try the same process next time that I'm cooking something that involves a fair amount of prep-work - gumbo comes to mind as perfect for this, since I try to have EVERYTHING diced up before I even start the roux. All those scraps of chicken, sausage, and the trinity could be simmering away making a dish-specific stock while I was stirring the roux!
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