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Everything posted by artisan02

  1. Which bookstores are these? I am currently in Chino Hills, so I could get to those bookstores. Like I need another cookbook.....
  2. Okay, this is a slight divergence from this topic, but as a relative newcomer to this area, which exits are you referring to, when you speak of Thai Town? I have no clue as to where it is and would appreciate specific exits to use, as I want to explore this area as well.
  3. When you plan your contracts as a traveling nurse around the best places to get good food and food products. This happens every 13 weeks or so. When you lug around over 200 cookbooks and the folding bookshelves to house them, a van full of cooking equipment, and not much else to said contracts. And when you ask the housing department of the company for whom you work, for an apartment with a really good kitchen. And when you get to said contract/job, you don't check out all the local events, or places except as related to food. That means farmers markets, and any type of food emporium.
  4. Wasn't there a description of a soup, in the Spain and Portugal volume, in the same section that you mention, which had a crustacean in the middle which was set to spinning 'round in the bowl? Or is that in another volume. For some reason this sticks with me. In spite of the description, it sounded so good. I wanted some of that! I can't check the volumes now, cause they are all in storage. Of the recipes, I started cooking from the Provincial France volume. I still think the chocolate mousse recipe in that volume is the best one I have ever had.
  5. Jump. I am another one that got the series entirely by subscription, starting when I was about 19 years old. I have the entire series, which is now in storage. The recipes do work. I learned to make Osso Buco from these books, risotto, and a ton of other wonderful recipes. These were my first introductions to anything other than southern cooking. I also got a good part of the Good Cook series by subscription. I am still missing about 3 books from that series.
  6. I am trying to figure out porportions here myself. I am going to have to make a roux since there is no jarred roux in any store here in southern CA. It must be a regional thang. I am thinking of making Fifi's recipe, but I don't think I need to make the full amount, as it is just me, and I have NO freezer space. Do you think it would be safe to make only half the roux amount and halve the other ingredients? And to the posters above who were commenting about making the roux really fast: Paul Prudhomme does a really fast roux, over very high heat. It is usually made within a very few minutes. I did it myself many years ago, when I first got his book,and it goes incredibly quickly, almost too quickly.
  7. Just to second, once again, that bit of advice. The stuff ain't just as hot as frying oil can get; it also bonds to whatever it hits, especially skin. It's bad news. ← So, if one is inclined to find jarred roux, where would one find it? Especially in a place like southern California? Not that I would use it but if I need that option, I want to know where I might look. I am thinking of joining this project.
  8. There are many, but the San Francisco ferry plaza market on Sat mornings is the one to go to - especially during the cooler parts of the year when there aren't enough vendors/customers to keep all the markets going year round. ← The Marin farmer's market on Sundays has many of the same vendors as the Ferry Plaza market. Even in the winter, it is a pretty extensive market. And the parking is better.
  9. Now, I don't want to start trouble here , but if I was a native Californian, I might take exception to that comment. I mean really, "creating" it when there have been California ranches and cooking on them for years? So, I think that maybe what we are talking about here is "Nuevo California Rancho" cooking. N'est-ce pas? ← I agree. I think what is meant by California Rancho cooking is the type of cooking that was done on the great California ranches, by the early settlers here. Not what is being created now.
  10. I think hat would be a great idea. ← Either that, or Jacqueline Higuera McMahan herself. Is there anyway we could get her to converse with us?
  11. Yes, I've been several times. They have a very nice wine selection and a great deli/gourmet counter. The center they're in, The Pavilions, is probably one of the most upscale in all of Sac. ← I think there is a Williams-Sonoma in that center also.
  12. This is the way I learned to make stock: from the great Edna Lewis and her books. She "sweats" the chicken along with celery, in butter until the juices almost cover the chicken. She then adds water and lets it simmer for a bit. Yes, it produces a lot of rich juice this way, and make the most fabulous, rich, flavorful stock ever. It jells wonderfully. And yes, it smells incredible.
  13. I am thinking that this might be one of those threads that would work nicely as an extended thread. I know I get a lot of good ideas here, as well as the dinner thread. And for me at least, the need to eat well on a strict budget is not likely to go away for the foreseeable future. There must be a lot of eGulleteers that fall into this category as well.
  14. Okay, another place to put on my list, for when I am down in that area. Looks like I am going to have a mile long list of places to check out.
  15. I completely agree! As I said in another thread, that when the Food Network came out with Rachel Ray's program, $40 a Day, that I thought they would be better served to do one on $40 a week. I even wrote to them suggesting that for many people $40 was a week's worth of groceries. I see so many conversations/threads here on upper end cooking, but rarely any threads devoted to this. Sometimes I have to stretch the same amount of money someone else puts into one of those high end meals, to cover a whole week, or more.
  16. I don;t think that is exactly necessary to have all that. I am sure that many of the worlds great cuisines, including our own didn't have that as accessible to them as many of us do now. Certainly not in terms of soul food. One can often find the basic ingredients of soul food in a lot of markets. But, there is often a markdown case in a supermarket, and the meat hasn't gone bad, but is marked down as if it is going bad that minute. ANd there are often ham hocks, and other meats that are quite reasonable and can be stretched to the utmost. Not to mention the loss leaders. And there are the stores that are grocery outlets, where one can sometimes find incredible bargains which are actually pretty good. We work with what we have.
  17. Not only pennies. I have friends who are disabled and many days, even if they know how to cook and eat well, and even shop well, they cannot do so. It may be all they can do to heat up a can of soup or eat crackers. And being on a really limited income makes it harder. I found this out, when discussing this with a good friend who is on disability with a severe bipolar disorder. I was talking to her about the things I see in the grocery carts of low income shoppers. She straighened me out fast. ;) They may have a great desire to eat well but physical limitations and severely limited funds make it really difficult. Sometimes even shopping is a real chore and finding stuff to eat when you can barely stay awake or have very little interest in food, or a myriad of other reasons, is as much as you can do. Much less cooking somethign that tastes good, or will feed a family for less. Then one goes for the easiest and cheapest fix. And that can lead to the awful junk we see in the grocery carts. I know there was a class on cooking with disabilities, and I need to look it over, but I think this another factor that needs to be considered.
  18. I am thinking there is a need for us to return to what Madeline Kamman called (and forgive my spelling, cause I am probably totally off on this) Cuisine de Misere.. The cuisine that derived from finding less than perfect ingredients in a marketplace for a fraction of their orignial cost, and transforming them into something delicious. Don't a lot of our great dishes stem from this? This is not to detract from finding the absolute best indgredients around, and working with those, but the majority of us don't have those funds to do that. We have to work with what we got, and soemtimes what we got is just an ordinary supermarket and very limited funds. IF we are lucky, we have ethnic markets available, and farmers markets.
  19. I would love to be a part of this. This is a real passion of mine. I don;t know how much of a teacher I am, but I am a decent home cook. I grew up in a family that had to stretch the food budget a long ways. I grew up cooking and learning from my mother who stretched said food budget. She cooked every night after a long and boring day job, and fed us well, on I don't know how little. I go to markets and see people filling their carts with junk, and TV dinners. Many of them are using food stamps to buy this stuff. I keep on thinking, if you knew how, and were able to cook the raw ingredients, your money would go a lot further. I realize that many disadvantaged folks cannot fix meals, for whatever reason. But I still think they can do a lot better.
  20. I know when Food TV came out with Rachel Ray's program about $40 a day, I was rather upset. I know many people who have to live on $40/week for a food budget. I wrote to FoodTV, and suggested that they might consider a program for those folks as well. I think this would be a great service. I don't have much to offer, but I feel there is a great need out there for this sort of thing. I have often though that I would love to teach folks to eat well on a strict budget. And to shop. Where to shop, to get the best bargains. That in some ways can be a real key. Plus cooking what they are able to find.
  21. What more? I still feel my VA roots. I find myself fixing cornbread with not the white cornmeal I grew up with, but stone ground yellow cornmeal. And sometimes putting chiles in the cornbread. I get enamoured of a dish that I have, such as a Thai dish, and try to make it at home now. I am not as much a restaurant goer, as an at home eater. I love ethnic markets, and California is full of them. Hmm..I didn't mention all those, did I. I discovered the 99 Ranch markets up here, as well as some tinier markets that have both Mexican and Asian customers equally. I can get Asian ingredients there, as well as some obscure Mexican and South American ingredients. And in Berkeley, there is a market that specializes in Thai ingredients. And there used to be a wonderful Mid East Market in Berkeley that had a major fire a few years ago. I understand that it is reopening soon, if not already. I haven't really visited a lot here, such as the halal markets that seem to be great, or the Mexican markets in the Mission in SF. Or even the great Italian delis/markets in SF. If I get back up here for another contract, I would love to join a tour of all these types of markets. Maybe we can organize something like this when I am up here again. I haven't discovered all that there is in LA, not by a long shot. I would love to know more. I wonder if there would be folks there interested in getting together to explore some of the varieties of ethnic markets that are there? I have some on my list already, and I will be driving over there from Idyllwild, to have a "food" day, to explore some of these on my list. Got suggestions, all?
  22. I am not a California native but feel that California is my adopted state. I grew up in Richmond, VA, eating mostly good southern (VA style) food. We didn't really have much exposure to ethnic cuisines, other than Americanized Chinese and Italian foods. I don't know if it would be called ethnic, but I went away to nursing school in Philadelphia back in the late 60's and was exposed to a lot of new foods, among them the rich heritage that Philadelphia has. I had my first really good Chinese food there, somewhere in the city where there was a larger Chinese poplulation. Forgive me, I don't know the area that well: it has been over 20 years since I was even there. The nursing school I attended was in a poorer section of Philadelphia, with a large hispanic population. We used to shop for stuff in a market that had strange things in it, at least to my mind. Fast forward: I moved back to VA after school, then moved to DC where I had a lot of new things: German, French, Chinese, and I think the first Thai restaurant in DC. It is on upper Connecticut Ave, but I have no idea if it is any good now. It was newly opened, and we had to bring our own beer and wine. I formed a dining group at work and we ate out at a new restaurant every month. I forget which ones now.. All this time, I was collecting cookbooks (The Foods of The World series) and I was exposed to other cuisines at least on paper. I got itchy feet in the early 80's and started traveling west. I discovered NM cuisine then. I was working as a traveling nurse then and took a contract in L.A, where I was working with a really mixed group of people. That was my first exposure to Filipino foods and homestyle Thai foods. I fell in love with California then, and even though I settled in NM for a few years, I couldn't stay away. I moved to the SF bay area in the mid 80's and have been here off and on, with a few years in KY in between. I don't think I have ever really had an ethnic meal at someone's home, but I am up for it, if I am invited. Since moving to California, I have been exposed to more cuisines than I can remember. Thai, of course, Cambodian, Chinese, Mexican, Ethiopian, and I forget what else. I am working currently in San Jose, where I am a minority at work. A lot of Koreans, Vietnamese, Filipinos at work. When we have potlucks, the foods range from Pancit, to various Korean specialties to Vietnamese spring rolls and beyond. My housing is near a large Vietnamese community, so I can find excellent banh mi within blocks. And Pho restaurants. Strip malls with little hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurants. There is so much to discover in this state!!
  23. Bump. No bets here. But maybe we can start the thread hopping again... I just read the entire thread on the last one. Now, I am hooked. I am going to do my best to get there. I have no idea of where I will be coming from, as it depends on where I have a contract at the time (I am a traveling NICU nurse). But I have the date already in my calendar.
  24. Yes, I would love some help with the entire area. I am one of those that is willing to drive to find good products. I have a few things on my list already, for when I am in the area, some of which are in Orange County. I have decided to take a day or so here and there, while I am on vacation down there, to check out various places I have read about. I have gradually been checking out the farmers markets down in that area. I have heard that the Irvine one is a good one. And I am hoping to find some closer to Idyllwild while I am there. The one in Idyllwild is "closed" for the winter, but there must be some decent ones that are open year round near enough to Idyllwild.
  25. What others are there down in that region? While I am down south in Idyllwild, I will probably take a day and head to LA proper. I am addicted to the Santa Monica farmers market, and I will probably head over on it's best market day, Wednesday. I would love to check out other markets in the region as well.
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