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    Annapolis MD

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  1. Auspicious

    Dinner 2018

    Accepted. I have a little trouble with the concept of "undercooked" broccoli since I think it is dandy raw as long as fresh. I can see an easy garlic sauce for dipping fresh broccoli. I suppose in principle broccoli soup is a puree and I do like broccoli soup. I do agree with you that overcooked broccoli is anathema.
  2. Have to love libraries and by extension librarians. Which for some reason leads me to a question. We mostly use pints and quarts; my wife uses 4 oz jars for jam. What do people use half-gallon jars for? When I see them I want to buy them for no reason I can put my finger on other than being a boy. *sigh* What would I do with half a gallon of pasta sauce? What do y'all use them for? Big families? The only suitable use of okra - throwing it away. *grin*
  3. Auspicious

    Dinner 2018

    With all due respect to your partial culinary heritage other to show one can, why puree broccoli? I mean, would you puree the pork? Here I have been sticking up for British cooking for the last twenty-some years and you go and post a picture of broccoli puree. Jeepers. *grin*
  4. My wife has been running our dehydrator for a couple of weeks with no end in sight. She's still working on basil I think. Maybe a third of the way through the herb garden. Yesterday we made pickled carrots and bread and butter pickles, both for water bath canning. Janet made some kind of soup (I had a project in my lab and missed that part) that together with my carrot and ginger soup will get pressure canned today. We bought a small chest freezer this year. It has had a big impact on shopping and frankly on the organization of our kitchen freezer. My wife has made a nu
  5. The problem with grape leaves is that people who like them REALLY like them. Put them out, turn around, and *bam* they're gone. Making stuffed grape leaves takes a little practice so you don't tear them. For me making stuffed grape leaves is like a drywall project: by the time you're getting good at it you're finished. *sigh*
  6. Thank you for asking @Darienne. I'm very happy to share. I'll start with cabbage soup. My approach to cabbage soup is much like the apocryphal story of stone soup. The biggest issue I have with such recipes is that if you use conventional measures you end up with extra cabbage or a shortfall. I start with a head of cabbage. Big, small, moderate, whatever. I'm also a mise en place guy so everything gets prepped before starting to cook. Dice the head of cabbage into bite-sized chunks. One inch on a side works pretty well. Dice an onion (moderate size cabbage,
  7. I'm on a roll here: vegetable soup, French onion (doesn't freeze well - see below), lentil, mushroom, minestrone, split pea, barley soup (with chicken or sausage), cabbage, black bean, fennel carrot, .... The nice thing about soup and bread is you can feed people real homemade love-laden food and honestly say "we just pulled this out of the freezer." That's the problem with French onion - it doesn't freeze well. Now if you send them all home with homemade lollipops (impressive by the way) you'll really be something in the neighborhood. The Candy
  8. Accuracy is more important. You want the legs to be the same and the differences with a little pad. Precision measurement to hundredths of an inch doesn't keep the stool from wobbling if you have a rubber ruler (or one of those folding ones with worn out hinges). This actually comes back to cooking. For example Thermapen thermometers measure to tenths of a degree (that's precision) but are only "right" ±2°F (accuracy) according to the manufacturer. A measurement within a tenth of a degree in a four degree window isn't very meaningful.
  9. I'm going to chime in to support blue_dolphins idea of soup. It's hard to be more casual than soup and bread. Super easy to prep ahead and you can pick and choose based on the weather - something warm and hearty on a cold weekend when people are facing an afternoon working outside and something cooler when the weather is hot. Potato soup, chicken soup, gazpacho, tomato soup, boeuf bourguignon (okay it's a stew), bouillabaisse, ... lunch with you would have a consistent casual theme and you might find yourself known as the "soup lady" around the neighborhood. There are worse nicknam
  10. Absolutely correct. The difference between accuracy and precision is more important and less subtle than a lot of people think. Much more important than most people think. The third leg of the stool is repeatability.
  11. Not really. Try pears, oranges, peaches, raspberries, or maybe mango. Prosciutto is the classic accompaniment. You don't like that. Boiled ham? Your cheeses are very mild so salami would be fine. Summer sausage would be fine. Unless you have a slicer or mandoline pre-slice for presentation. If you're just hanging out a hunting knife and chunks are fine. So really two kinds of cheese. Fine. Remember to let the cheese come up to ambient temperature before feeding it to anyone. The tastes will be better. Fig jam is usually paired with a soft
  12. Auspicious

    Boat Cookery

    One of the presentations I give is called A Delivery Skipper Cooks. Some of what I have expressed in this thread is included. It is worth noting that much of cooking on a boat is really not different from cooking anywhere else. Heat works the same way. A saute is a saute. Baking is baking. What is different is the platform (gentle moving and swaying at anchor, more aggressive underway all the way up to trying to cook during an earthquake that never ends), the tools at hand, and the space. Water becomes a limited resource; you can run out. One of my favorite chefs, Berni
  13. Auspicious

    Boat Cookery

    Herewith the report. Note that this is right out of the box and performance may change with time. After rinsing out the bottle I made tea. In a clear demonstration that sometimes it is better to be lucky than smart my wife's infuser dropped nicely into the mouth of the mug. On board I use tea bags so that isn't relevant to the application but handy. If the controls on our Cuisinart tea kettle are accurate the water was about 185°F. I let it steep for about three minutes and then sit another five minutes with the cap off based on the suggestion in the flyer that came with the mug. W
  14. Auspicious

    Dinner 2018

    I ran into the same problem with my lasagna recipe. For whatever reason it didn't seem to scale down well. Now I double it and use three 8x8 casseroles instead of two 9x13 ones. One 8x8 feeds both of us for two dinners or more often one dinner and three small lunches for me. They keep well in the freezer.
  15. Auspicious

    Dinner 2018

    I never remember to take pictures so why wait? Dinner tonight will be stuffed peppers, couscous, and a salad.
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