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Posts posted by Xanthippe

  1. I'm now down to 212 for a total weight loss of 16 pounds to this point.  Slow and steady.  I'm not as draconian as I was when I started, but I'm very, very conscious of my portion size, what I'm eating, and how frequently.  I'm pleased.

    Great news, Mr. Varmint! Slow and steady weight loss is the absolute right way to go about the matter; it's healthier, you don't feel deprived and thus likely to backslide, and you're apt to keep those pesky pounds off permanently.

    Please continue to keep us posted . . .

  2. Tonight:

    Vegetarian chili.

    White-cornmeal cornbread. I ate the crispy beurre-noisette corner pieces, my partner Erin ate the softer middle pieces.

    My homemade sour cherry jam.

    What recipe do y'all make the white-cornmeal cornbread from, Malawry? I was just today looking at my sack of stone ground white cornmeal come all the way from Brevard, NC and wondering what to make first.

    I love the beurre-noisette corner pieces, too; unfortunately, so does Socrates, and we end up fightin' over 'em!! :wink:

    Hope you're feeling multitudes better, Jin. Uh, pork done how?? :huh:

  3. Yep, agree, the little cornichons/acid a good way to cut the richness.  Didn't eat with mustard but will for Round 2...

    Here's what I made it with:

    1/2 # rabbit legs (reserved from rabbit roulade earlier in the week), 1 duck breast, weighing about 2 oz; 1/4 # pork butt, the duck liver, which was a little over 2.5 oz; and an egg white, which was about 2 oz.  Therefore, total meat and egg: about a pound.  9 oz. fatback.

    The other duck breast, I split lengthwise and pan seared with FL's "squab spice," which I had reserved from when I made the squab and figs, earlier last month.  The squab spice consists of:  cinnamon, coriander, clove, quatre epice and black pepper.

    So, the forcemeat spice ratio:  for one pound of meat, 1/3 tsp quatre epice, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1.5 tsp salt.  I boiled a small quenelle and cooled to taste, and it tasted spot on, again, luckily.


    Thanks for the information, paul o'. You did good, obviously. I shall continue my vigil down at the mailbox . . .

    'Nanner pudding, mcdowell??!? One of my hands-down, absolute favorite desserts. :wub: What makes your girlfriend's version so famous?

    Oh, and I've been intending to mention that when we were at Duarte's last week after our olallieberry picking expedition, I asked after the cookies. Our waitress said that as far as she was aware, the restaurant has never served cookies! She went so far as to ask one of the kitchen staff who has worked there forever; he confirmed it -- no cookies. :wacko:

  4. Cooking buddies and all seem to think that the "independent" growers that we know about sell all of their stuff to the restaurants. But then, there isn't an alternative market. And it is not zoning... Houston has none!!! :blink:

    We think we have a plan. Or at least, some insane ideas. I'll keep ya'll posted if anything interesting happens.

    Wow, several new developments since I last checked this thread (my schedule decided to run amok yesterday, and I'm still trying to catch up around here)! Yes, please keep use posted w.r.t. you and your cooking buddies' efforts. You all in Houston need a good farmers' market.

    Edit to add: Great haul, melkor. I housesat for some Napa-ites several years ago, and took advantage of the opportunity to visit as many of the local FMs as possible. The Napa market was my personal favorite. It rocks . . .

  5. On its way, Xan!

    This is actually the first terrine I have made, and luck of  the draw, it really was very good.  Pulled together from a few different folks - Madeleine Kamman gives a good description of proportions, and in the book, Soul of the Chef, Brian Polcyn's Master Chef Certification Exam, his duck terrine.  Really nice to see the pink-seared duck breast with a luckily (luckily, as I guessed on spice ratios) well-flavored forcemeat, and the shiitake slices were beautiful.  Rich, though!

    I shall camp out down by the mailbox to await the delivery!!

    And a terrine must be rich, no??!? Which is why cornichons are such a perfect go-with: their tartness cuts a bit of that richness. Mustard is good, too, and for the same reason.

    What did you come up with as a result of your spice ratio guesswork?

  6. This morning's meal was a delight, truly.

    Olallieberry-and-peach smoothies

    Eggs scrambled with beet greens and black pepper bacon, topped with homemade creme fraiche

    Strawberry Streusel muffins

    Yogurt Buttermilk White Cornmeal Cornbread with buckwheat honey

    Coffee for Soc., Scottish Breakfast tea for me

  7. OK... I hate all of you. I am intensly jealous. I fail to believe that a place as big as Houston doesn't have a Farmer' Market. There is a poor excuse on Airline but it isn't a real one. The Dept of Ag site doesn't have one listed, either.  :angry:

    (If this is a repeat rant, I apologize. I was just reading to get an idea of the variety you lucky ducks have and I got carried away.)

    Why don't you start one up, fifi?? It would be a serious coup should you manage to pull it off! I haven't a clue how to begin; perhaps you could gather a few like-minded folks and form some kind of steering/investigative committee. There's most likely some info on the Dept. of Ag. site.

  8. Here is what I found at the Cherry Street Farmer's Market today in Tulsa.

    Porter peaches


    Dragon's Tongue wax beans

    Peaches and cream Corn

    Sungold tomatoes

    Arkansas Traveler tomatoes

    Beef Master Tomatoes

    oyster mushrooms

    Lion's mane mushrooms

    japanese eggplants



    all kinds of squash

    red torpedo onions



    brown free range eggs

    lemon cucumbers


    tequila, green, white and black bell peppers

    the last of blackberries

    It was a good day at the market.  Now I get to have a truly great vegie dinner.

    Great haul, joiei! Please regale us with details of your repast over on the "Dinner" thread!!

  9. a ryokucha green tea and a miso-soup. i find this combo super-refreshing even in hot weather.

    Xanthippe: your signature messages and commentary are hysterical! more please...



    Thanks, gus! As you've probably surmised, I'm a huge MST3K fan. Amongst the treasure in our video archives are:

    "The Attack of the Giant Leeches"


    "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"

    "The Attack of the the (yes, "the" appears twice!) Eye Creatures"

    "Side Hackers"


    . . . and the worst movie ever made, "Manos, the Hands of Fate"

  10. Omigosh, The THING!!  Jaymes and mcdowell, I thought my two sisters and I were the only people who would openly admit having stopped there!  Amazing.  My first visit, I fair to collapsed on the ground in a sodden heap of laughter -- and that was on the walkway lined with fantasia wood animal sculptures, before we even got inside the, er, um, The Thing.

    X (if I may call you that) -

    Do you remember some years back when there was this kind of short dumpy woman and she was married to this 6'5" glangly guy - typical tall skinny dude, big hands, big feet, big Adam's apple -

    And they both decided to get sex change operations at the same time. So they wind up this world-class-weird-looking couple - funny short dumpy rather feminine husband, and giant crane of a wife, still with the big feet, big nose, enormous Adam's apple...

    Well, they were all over the news at the time - magazines, papers, TV - everything.

    They were from Benson, home of The Thing.

    So they're interviewing one of the locals and he says: "Oh great. Like Benson needs this publicity. First The Thing, and now THIS!"



    Yes, Jaymes, call me X, Madame X, Xan, or whatever . . . but just call me! :wink:

    How could I forget that "world-class-weird-looking" transgender couple?!? Best argument against sex change operations I've seen to date!

    So they were Bensonites, eh? Goodness. Poor Benson, home of The Thing . . .

  11. Concord has I think two farmers markets a week, Walnut creek has at least one.  Going out to Brentwood sounds great, I'm assuming it's not the OJ Simpson Brentwood... Where is it?

    Brentwood straddles the far East Bay and beginning of the Delta; it's still pretty much an agricultural/rural area, although starting to become a suburb. And IrishCream's right: the region has great farm stands and u-pick farms/orchards, about as close to an "official" farmers' market as one can get!

    The market in NJ, elyse -- where??

  12. It's like stopping to see the Thing when driving I-10 through the desert... just something you've got to do.

    I used to live in Tucson - about 40 miles west of The Thing.

    So it amused me to give people, who were driving from the east to visit me, directions from The Thing.

    As in "after you reach 'The Thing,' go 38 miles to exit #122, then right...etc."

    Tickled me no end.


    Omigosh, The THING!! Jaymes and mcdowell, I thought my two sisters and I were the only people who would openly admit having stopped there! Amazing. My first visit, I fair to collapsed on the ground in a sodden heap of laughter -- and that was on the walkway lined with fantasia wood animal sculptures, before we even got inside the, er, um, The Thing.

    Edit: What dear Mr. Varmint said. I really, really, really want to attend the Pig Pickin', so's if any of you care to offer me a lift on your private jet . . .

  13. No, it's just extra stuff from the food show.  Totally random.  I thought it would just be chocolate, or some kind of crisp.  I can not have caffeine this late.

    Ah, now I get it (and I have the same issues with caffeine)!

    Currently eating a large handful of still-warm-from-the-sun olallieberries, a very small portion of the day's berry picking bounty (@ 18 pounds). :smile:

  14. Great, great topic!  My weekly forays at our local FMs are quite literally theraputic, and certainly cheaper than an hour on the couch!!  :wink:

    I'm a bi-weekly visitor (yes, better than therapy). For a report of Twin Cities Farmer's Markets, go to Twin Cities Farmer's Markets

    There is also a thread on The Heartland about the Evanston farmer's market.

    Thanks, snowangel; I shall check out both the report and the thread. Such is my passion for this subject that I get a vicarious thrill merely reading of other, non-local markets and the specialties of the various regions.

  15. Great, great topic! My weekly forays at our local FMs are quite literally theraputic, and certainly cheaper than an hour on the couch!! :wink:

    Have just returned from the largest year-round local market, in downtown Santa Cruz. My haul consists of: dandelion greens; collard greens; beets (two bunches, golden and Chioggia); French Breakfast radishes; Rainier and Lambert cherries; peaches, yellow and white nectarines; two baskets of strawberries; one bunch of last-of-the-season asparagus; red and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes; mesclun mix with peppercress, baby red chard, and arugula; a few Moro blood oranges; two Gwen and one Bacon avocado; two bunches fragrant basil; two bunches of mint; cilantro; Italian parsley; a half-dozen duck eggs; and four bittersweet chocolate/chipotle truffles. Oh, and a jar of buckwheat honey.

  16. Tomato water with basil oil.

    Tiny baby white potatoes, double-fried, mixed with fresh-shelled peas (about the size of the potatoes), scallions, parsley, creme fraiche.

    Slices of grilled ribsteak with chevre crumbled atop, much fleur de sel, guajillo chile oil around.

    Plum tomato cups with fava puree and chopped Korean green chile kimchi inside.

    Key lime granita.

    Okay, I'm woefully behind in my thread reading, having just now caught up. I regret to learn of your gastrointestinal distress, paul o'; I regret having read of the Unfortunate Incident of the Toasted Mouse; however, I do not regret noting that the Key Lime granita is the closest thing to a dessert I've seen Jin prepare! I'm fair to swooning over this revelation . . .

  17. Just returned home and received notice of this topic, which I indeed encouraged sparrow to start. Thanks, sparrow!! :biggrin::biggrin:

    Let's see, this morning, only time for a mini-breakfast before leaving the house:

    Fresh Moro blood orange juice, a container of Total yogurt mixed with rosemary honey, two pieces Acme Bakery ciabatta toast with unsalted butter and fig preserves. Oh, and two cups of Russian Caravan tea.

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