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Maison Rustique

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Posts posted by Maison Rustique

  1. Uh-oh! :shock: I must admit that I've never heard of this person before. I guess I just don't watch enough TV (not just FoodNetwork). I will be there for the eG dinner, but if he is there do you think he will be offended if I don't recognize him (yes I've seen his pic that you posted but don't have a clue as to what he does on TV)? If so, can someone give me some pointers--something to ask about/discuss?

  2. I asked my daughter the biologist/botanist about this, as I'd never heard of anyone eating cattails. Here is her reply:

    Whoa!  I've never heard of eating cattails.  I do know that the rhizomes (thick roots) are starchy.  The long green blades are soft and new in early spring, and a lot tougher by the end of summer.  If someone's wondering where to harvest them, I would avoid harvesting them from wetlands and/or drainages that receive runoff from residential areas, paved roads, golf courses, or other sites where pesticides and petroleum-based chemicals are likely to be present and washed away by rainwater or irrigation systems.  That rules out most cattails near urban and suburban areas.  Cattails and many other wetland plants are very good at removing toxins from water and soil and storing them in their tissues.  That's why you see them in wastewater treatment wetlands, like the ones constructed in Laguna Niguel.

    So, eat them at your own risk! :wacko:

  3. I just can't see how I can fit that huge bundle of leaves in a fridge that is already loaded with a week's worth of groceries.  Maybe when I get a small bar fridge I can find room for it! Oh well, there's lots more foods to try.

    I'm sticking my oar in here even though I have little experience with chard. What if you wash it, then stick the stems into a bowl of ice water, as though it's some herb or flower? Would it keep? The approach works well in the refrigerator with herbs, but I've no idea whether it would work on chard out on the counter. If I had access to chard and limited refrigerator space I'd give it a try. Maybe it would keep for a day, anyway? Think of the centerpiece it could make on your dinner table! :laugh:

    Failing that, maybe you should invest in an ice chest or two? Wash it, wrap it in damp towels, lay it in the ice chest with something frozen?

    I'm no expert either, but I did this recently. I got a lovely fresh bunch of chard and had no room in the fridge. So I filled a pitcher with cold (not ice) water, trimmed the stems about an inch, stuck it in the pitcher, set it on the counter (out of the sun) and it kept very nicely for 3 days! The bonus was that it was red chard and looked absolutely lovely!!

    Edited to say that this was just last week. I made a lovely chard, bacon and potato chowder and still have some left-overs in the fridge. That is gonna be my dinner tomorrow night when DH is gone. YUM!

  4. I'm not clear on how I can support the farms directly. We have some "farmers markets" around here. The ones in my area are not on days/times that I can go to them and make reasonable purchases. For example the one in my city is on Friday afternoon. I work during the hours it's open. There is another that is actually closer, but it is on Sundays. I do the bulk of my cooking Wednesday thru Saturday. That means I'd be dealing with old produce. Organic Express delivers in my area on Thursday. And I can get some grocery items from them, too. It just seems to work out better for me timewise.

    They do say that 90% of it is produced in California. Is that bad? I'm happy to ask them questions about the farms that supply them, etc. What should I ask? Clearly you all are in areas that know more about this. In my area we no longer have "local" farms. We just have concrete and buildings. Ther are still a couple of small farms that grow strawberries and corn, but not much more than that. I loved it when I could walk across the street in San Juan Capistrano and buy from the farm directly. Unfortunately the land was sold (it's now a community center) and we moved out of the area.

  5. About seven years ago a friend and I decided to drive from San Francisco to Las Vegas.  I'd probably read Fear and Loathing not long before and had some kind of early 20s lust for the road and aberrant behavior.  Anyway around lunchtime, it's at least 95 degrees, we're in a cow town six or seven hours out of SF with a terrible need to relieve ourselves.  I distinctly remember doing so in a bathroom in a bank the interior of which was covered in green faux marble Formica, walls ceilings, counters, everything (the bank and the bathroom), angles, cove ceilings, panels.  Having solved the bladder problem we went on looking for nourishment and rolled by an art deco building with a red upholstered door.  Went in and found a small bar, smoky and dusty with old men who looked to have been there for decades.  In the back of the bar is a swinging door.  We go through and find a giant room with long communal tables.  Now this is getting good.  So we sit down and a lady with very tall, stiff brownish-puce hair sets a water glass like you'd get in a high school cafeteria in front of each of us and pours wine in it.  Everybody in the place is drinking this.  She asks if we want lunch and we say yes.  She leaves.  The wine is undrinkably sweet.  I think we may have chatted with the people next to us enough to find out that we are in a Basque restaurant.  Hunh?  I thought we were in mid-west California.  Ok so the food starts coming out.  Soup, then bread and then many many kinds of meat, from several different animals.  The bill I think was twenty bucks for the two of us.  We exit into the heat stuffed and disoriented.  I can't remember the name of the restaurant or the town it's in.

    Sounds a whole lot like the Noriega Hotel in Bakersfield. A fabulous place! Dinner is better than lunch and you can meet some real characters there. Once sat next to an ancient Basque sheepherder--toothless and had great stories! On Saturday nights you'll often see limos bringing groups of people from LA.

  6. You could also lie and say that they are an exotic strain of black artichoke grown only in the Himalayas and fertilized by the dung of the rare singing yak. :laugh:

    Roflmao!!!!! That sounds like something I would do! :laugh:

  7. Hi!

    The first part of June, DH (dear husband) and I are driving over to Phoenix. He will be in meetings all day and we have dinners most evenings that have already been arranged by the group.

    We're staying at the JW Desert Ridge Resort and Spa and I understand that there are some nice restaurants there which is good because I'm afraid (but don't know for sure) that most of the group dinners will be held there. I could be surprised!

    Anyway, I'll have the days free. I have a friend in Scottsdale that I hope to spend some time with. We're tentatively planning to get together for a Sunday Brunch. Any suggestions?

    Also how about lunch spots? I'll be on my own during the days unless I can convince my friend to go antiquing/junking with me. And if anyone has suggestions for that, I'm interested, too!

    I want cheap antiquing places as it's for re-sale. As far as dining goes, there is no price limit. I like most any food except sushi/sashimi. Other than that, I'm open to adventure! Great food at local dives is great as long as I'll feel safe there alone.


  8. Will you have a car? What kinds of food do you like? Price range?

    And don't forget that mornings, evenings and sometimes even the days in June at the beach can be very foggy and downright cold. We call it June gloom. Please be sure to bring layered clothing. You'll want a jacket or sweater at night!

  9. While the Wat Thai Temple Songkran Festival will be on April 10 and 11, I just learned that the Thai Town area is holding their celebration the week before, on Sunday, April 4th. Hollywood Boulevard will be shut down in that area, with food booths (many of the vendors from the Temple and many of the restaurants we discuss on eG), a parade starts at 10am, with cultural activities and the whole gamut. More details are available here.

    I know one of the organizers socially, and it sounds like it will be a great event.

    Well, damn! We just keep striking out. We're attending a wedding on the 4th. And not anywhere near there. :sad:

  10. I feel like I missed something. What exactly do you mean by backyard Iron Chef? Is all the cooking done outdoors? Was there another thread on this that I missed? If I have a better idea of what it's about, I "might" be able to approach my alleged spouse about having it here. :huh:

  11. And we weren't disappointed with the food! As nice as the weather was we were a bit disappointed to be seated inside (there were plenty of tables outside that were never filled) where it was overly crowded and we had a screaming youngster behind us--a pet peeve of mine. I blame the adults who kept indulging the child, not the child.

    Service and food were wonderful. I was very bad and had chocolate banana french toast with bananas Foster sauce, etc. I could feel my heart valves slamming shut, but enjoyed every bite! I justified it by having a salad first. :biggrin:

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