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Klatsch: a week without shopping


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Kielbasa from Flying Pigs Farm.

I love Fly Pigs Farm, and their products are top-notch. I do find their prices a bit ridiculous when purchased directly from the Grand Army Plaza farmer's market so I've opted to go with stuff from Dickson Farmland Meats, which is also local and of the upmost quality.

I bet that's some good kielbasa though!

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Haha! Spamalot Spam—I didn't know they produced that. And a preserved duck egg—how do they go about preserving it? It looks like it's covered in hay, or wood chips!

Vyieort, I think I'll never open the Spam to preserve the value. The egg smells like chalk and beets, if that can be imagined. I bought it only a week ago but there were two kinds -- black and yellow -- and the lady refused to sell me the other one, which she said was no good. She also said one had to be cooked first but I forget which one.

Utenya, thanks for the translation. The bag is three years old and the only thing inside I recognize are yellow beans, so I may not try it out on my frozen pork hocks.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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We are headed to Florida for a week of sun and spring training Monday so I won't be joining in. As Saturday is my typical shopping day I took a look around just to see how we would do for a week. Like many of the non big city dwellers I have a chest freezer full of protein good stuff. Lots of pork of every kind. A couple of perdue chickens I got on sale last week, some shrimp, and a Costco size bag of frozen ravioli.

The pantry has three kinds of rice, some couscous, and lots of canned and dried beans. Canned tomatoes and paste as well. Some pasta and a jar of sauce.

AP, bread and whole wheat flours, white and brown and super fine sugars. And a three pack of yeast.

In the garage is whats left of a box of Florida citrus I bought from the local Lions club.

There are still a number of jars of jam I made last summer and some peppers that I put up as well.

We could eat like royalty with what i got. Like others, the only thing I'd be lagging on is dairy. Only a little milk left. I get a gallon every week, half of which I use to make yogurt every Sunday. There is a box of powered milk on the shelf.

Only two eggs, but we are not big egg eaters.

and of course, no fresh greens or veggies of any kind other than some spuds and some onions.

Lots of liquor and wine as well. We'd do fine, except I do like my milk. I could walk over to my friends farmette were he keeps a milk cow and a couple goats and he would GIVE me some.

Have fun you creative cookers

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And a preserved duck egg—how do they go about preserving it? It looks like it's covered in hay, or wood chips!

Vyieort, I think I'll never open the Spam to preserve the value. The egg smells like chalk and beets, if that can be imagined. I bought it only a week ago but there were two kinds -- black and yellow -- and the lady refused to sell me the other one, which she said was no good. She also said one had to be cooked first but I forget which one.

The egg you bought is probably covered with rice husks / straw and the ready to eat kind. I use them in congee/jook, or as part of an appetizer plate served with pickled ginger (the pink kind) and pickled shallots. These can be a acquired taste. :wink:

The black ones, I assume you are talking about the mud-like coating on the outside. These are most likely salted duck eggs. They do need to be cooked before eating.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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As one who's trying to join in this experiment, I have a question.

Is there a list anywhere of things that can be frozen that you wouldn't normally think freezeable? Especially dairy products in my case.

I have a Foodsaver.

For example, I didn't know you could freeze fresh ginger till someone told me. How much I've thrown out in my lifetime.

That would be a big help.

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So, it's my first day of not going to the grocery store when I "need" something. I've realized that I have no tomatoes and the half a cucumber in the fridge is spoiled -- not the end of the world, but there goes the idea for Greek salad. On the other hand, I discovered a hunk of pancetta in the back of the freezer and a container of strained tomatoes in the fridge. So I'll make tomato sauce and it'll be pasta for dinner tonight.

I've discovered that right now I have a lot of beef and pork in the freezer but no fish or chicken. I don't even have a can of tuna -- I donated the two cans I had to a food drive in my apartment building.

But instead of listing what I have in my cupboards and freezer, I think I'm going to keep track of the things I would have bought this week, and see what I save.

Thus, so far, I've not bought cherry tomatoes and a cucumber, but I probably also would have gotten some bread (I'm low) and potatoes (I'm out).

I love to shop for food. I really miss going to the grocery store, and it's only the first day. Sigh.

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Lunch was chicken kung pao with hot/sour soup. Seems like an overload of spiciness but my husband specifically requested "Lots of spice, hon!" So be it. He's blowing his nose and drinking lots of water as I type this. :wink:

I was going to make his favorite kung pao which includes tofu with the chicken but my firm tofu went bad. :hmmm: Ah well. Moving on.

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Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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Beans after 2 1/2 hours.

They're almost done. The Dutch oven's cooling on the stove now after which I'll scoop the contents into another pot.

Breakfast (lunch really because I didn't get up until 1 pm) was leftover pasta from last night.

Be back later.

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Delving around in the little pantry I discovered I have a lot of stuff that can be used, but only with a lot of imagination. Some are quite mysterious as I have no memory of purchasing them.

Some may have been gifts but most are probably "impulse" purchases. My bad! :blink:

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The big pantry, now kind of messily cluttered so no photo, is easier because that is where all the bulk grains, flours, beans, nuts, dried fruits "regular" canned foods and other staples are stored.

I have pulled out a stack of cookbooks to assist me in my efforts.

I am committed to holding off on visiting any grocery store until a week from tomorrow which will be two weeks from my last shopping expedition.

(My egg man delivered two dozen eggs this morning but I still had a dozen plus two from the last delivery. They keep a long time because they were just gathered yesterday and early this morning, mostly browns but some pale azure and some beige and a few white.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I can easily go a week without shopping but I'd really feel like I was cheating if I joined in on this. A peek in the freezer revealed a 16 lb. boneless prime rib, about 8 or 9 New York strip steaks, about 5 lbs. of chicken breasts, about 20 or so lbs. of ground beef, a package of elk striploins, a couple packages of ground elk, some elk stew meat, a couple packages of a couple types of elk sausage, a few duck breasts, a partial box of tuna steaks, a partial box of salmon steaks, a few pieces of halibut, 3 - 2 lb blocks of 16 - 20 ct. shrimp, 5 lbs. of dry-pack U-10 scallops, a 3 lb. piece of albacore loin and 12 pork tenderloins. That's without looking in the fridge freezer or the cupboards. So I can join in but there wouldn't be much planning, scavenging or stretching going on. Especially since I'm at the restaurant* from morning 'til night most days and rarely eat at home anyway other than my morning ritual of a bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of all bran added... and I'm well stocked on those as well.

*The owner also happens to be a close friend so I can piggyback anything I want on our orders and just pay for it when it comes in. I buy in bulk, portion and vac-pack and toss it in the freezer. If anything looks like it's going to hang around longer than I want it to, I just take it back to work, cook a large pot of something with it and give it to the local out-of-the-cold or women's shelter.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I can easily go a week without shopping but I'd really feel like I was cheating if I joined in on this. A peek in the freezer revealed a 16 lb. boneless prime rib, about 8 or 9 New York strip steaks, about 5 lbs. of chicken breasts, about 20 or so lbs. of ground beef, a package of elk striploins, a couple packages of ground elk, some elk stew meat, a couple packages of a couple types of elk sausage, a few duck breasts, a partial box of tuna steaks, a partial box of salmon steaks, a few pieces of halibut, 3 - 2 lb blocks of 16 - 20 ct. shrimp, 5 lbs. of dry-pack U-10 scallops, a 3 lb. piece of albacore loin and 12 pork tenderloins. That's without looking in the fridge freezer or the cupboards. So I can join in but there wouldn't be much planning, scavenging or stretching going on. Especially since I'm at the restaurant* from morning 'til night most days and rarely eat at home anyway other than my morning ritual of a bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of all bran added... and I'm well stocked on those as well.

*The owner also happens to be a close friend so I can piggyback anything I want on our orders and just pay for it when it comes in. I buy in bulk, portion and vac-pack and toss it in the freezer. If anything looks like it's going to hang around longer than I want it to, I just take it back to work, cook a large pot of something with it and give it to the local out-of-the-cold or women's shelter.

Don't reveal your home address or there might be some "unauthorized" visitors raiding your freezers! :laugh:

This is the reason my big freezer has been fitted with a strong hasp and padlock - the little integral lock turned out to be much too easy to jimmy.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Wow. I'm finding all sorts of things in the freezers and now my mind is really wandering with ideas.

This is freezer #1, the one on top of the refrigerator unit. In the back corner are some standby's for an emergency-Marie Callendar Chicken Pot Pies. They are actually pretty good, especially the buttery tasting crust. Another standby-Tillamook French Vanilla ice cream. Under the ice trays, some leftover beef short ribs that were braised in beer and coated with a red chile sauce.

On the bottom shelf, the ubiquitous bags of frozen petite peas and green beans. There's a small container of sticky toffee pudding batter leftover from the holidays and about five bags of almonds leftover from my holiday batch of almond butter crunch candy.

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In the side door of the freezer-a tub of veal demi glace, to the left a carton of chicken livers and to the right an unopened package of potsticker wrappers. I wish I could only but three or four chicken livers at a time-I use them in a meat filling for savory canneloni. Alas, I'm stuck with buying a carton of the little livers and no place for them to go. Or is there? Hmm, "Chicken Liver Terrine" studded with almonds and served with a veal demi-glace?

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On the bottom shelf of the side door-sweet red bean paste that I use in a sauce for pork stir-fry served in lettuce cups, and on the right, a packet of flying fish roe. It's more red colored tiny fish eggs than anything very flavorful, but it made a nice garnish for a seafood appetizer during the holidays. Now I've just got to find some more seafood that can use a garnish of this roe.

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Freezer #2 is an old-fashioned chest freezer. And as you can see, everything gets lost in this darn thing. But what you do see in the basket on the left is some orange roughy filets, an elk loin a friend gave me and 3 packages of corn tortillas. I have no idea why I think I need three packages of frozen corn tortillas. On the right is a game hen, some ground veal and in the big plastic tub-egg nog ice cream I made during the holidays. That tub is taking up too much space, and I imagine the ice cream is way past its tasteful prime. My homemade ice cream is meant to be eaten within a couple of days of when it's made-not three months later.

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I can't help but coming up with more Japanese ideas -I hope that's okay.

to the left a carton of chicken livers

Chicker liver yakitori? If you really like chicken livers, that is. Skewer and brush lightly with a 50/50 mix of mirin and soy, then grill. Enjoy with beer.

It's more red colored tiny fish eggs than anything very flavorful, but it made a nice garnish for a seafood appetizer during the holidays. Now I've just got to find some more seafood that can use a garnish of this roe.

Or, you could make chirashi-sushi, if you have the makings for sushi rice and some eggs around. Prepare your rice as you would normally, season it with salt, sugar, and vinegar to turn it into sushi rice. Then place it in a bowl, and top with cut-up pieces of omelette, fish roe, and sliced vegetables like cucumbers. It's very refreshing.

I was planning on buying Arborio rice to make a risotto with the butternut squash and pancetta, but I guess I'll have to figure out something else creative to do with them.

Make soup with the squash, then garnish with the pancetta?

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I'd love to do this, but it's a bit ill-timed in regards to me as I'm on vacation in New Orleans right now

(BTW- I'm reading Asian Dining Rules in my spare time here. :) )

But I'm all too willing to try it when I get back to the Frozen North next Friday. :)

(assuming that the housemates left at home haven't done exactly this and eaten everything in the fridge and freezer by then)

(and if I can chisel the ice off of the barn door to get to the chest freezer when I get home)

Sincerely,

Dante

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I figured somebody, or a million people, must have thought of this first. At least there's no shame in being scooped by Pete Wells. Just please don't tell me that Guy Fieri dude has done anything on this.

No, but there's a Yahoo group called Pantry Challenge. It's been around for a while.

I only really do a big shop once a month. The only thing I buy more frequently is fresh produce, and even then, I'll buy a lot of green peppers at once, then wash, slice, dice, freeze and use as needed. Same with celery.

I've got a BIG pantry (practically the whole basement), as I subscribe to the idea that it's better to be prepared than not, so I have lots of staples. The only canned stuff I have is canned tomato products, canned peaches and pineapple, etc.

Tracy

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Wow.  I'm finding all sorts of things in the freezers and now my mind is really wandering with ideas.

David, I'm looking and I'm not seeing any huckleberries in your freezer -- can't you stock up and freeze?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I better post last night’s dinner before I post tonight's dinner!

Two weeks ago, I was looking through the "What do you recommend at Costco?" topic and I was curious to see if my local store was selling prime grade steaks. Sure enough, they were selling prime grade ribeyes and New York strip steaks. The New York strips were priced at $8.99 a pound. (While I later found the steaks to be good, they certainly weren't as flavorful as other prime grade meat I've eaten so I'm a bit suspect as to the real quality of this prime grade meat, but that's another discussion).

I cooked one of the steaks a week ago, (yet never got to posting a photo), and put the other two in the freezer.

For dinner last night I served one of the steaks with a parsley sauce that I had made a couple of weeks ago to serve with some fried frogs legs. The sauce is a sort of marriage between a French green sauce and an Argentinian chimmichurri sauce. I use parsley, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic, preserved lemon and olive oil. The sauce is keeping just fine in the refrigerator nearly three weeks after I made it.

I always have some Russet Potatoes in a basket on a shelf next to the back door-the cool draft around the window keeps potatoes and onions incredibly fresh for weeks in the winter. Don’t ask me why, I’m not a scientist, but the potatoes stay fine for up to a month back there.

I did a stuffed baked potato. (I should have used some of the fancy cheese I have on hand, but I settled for the shredded Kraft stuff in the bag).

Ingredients for stuffing the potatoes-bacon bits, butter, cheese and Mexican style sour cream-

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Mashing the potatoes with a ricer before stirring in the other ingredients-

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Ready for baking-

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Prime New York Strip, thawed, then marinated in olive oil and black pepper. (I don’t salt the steak until seconds before it goes into the cast iron pan)-

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Deliciously tangy “Green Sauce”-

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Last night’s main dish, all from ingredients already on hand-

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I try to stay away from sweets during my work week, only indulging on Friday and Saturday nights. But without the ability to take a quick trip to the market for very fresh eggs, cream and fruit, I really, really was challenged last night to come up with something. I think I did pretty well.

I had planned on saving the litchee for a compote I do with plums, but no plums last night! I thought someday I would use the cherries in a quick, open-face tart, but I needed them in this dessert-white ice cream and white litchee wouldn’t be very attractive on the plate.

Ingredients for dessert last night-Canned litchee from the Asian market, canned cherries, Tillamook Dairy, (Oregon), ice cream and some sliced almonds left over from the holidays-

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A shot of orange liquer into the pot for some added flavor. (I’ve had this bottle in the liquor cabinet for years, only bringing it out on the rare occasion I make a Mai Tai)-

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I poached the litchee and cherries in a simple syrup that included a shot of the orange booze and a piece of vanilla bean-

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I needed something to add texture to the dessert like a crispy cookie. I had some dried fruit and nut biscotti in the freezer that were leftover from a cheese plate I did for a holiday dinner. The biscotti held up very well in the freezer and didn't show a sign of being limp or stale.

The finished dessert-“Poached litchee fruit with cherries, vanilla ice cream, toasted almonds and a dried fruit and nut biscotti”-

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I’ll post one more breakfast and one more lunch, then I go into my workweek. This week I’m working Sunday-Wednesday. I’ll only post dinners for those nights-breakfast and lunch will basically be a piece of fruit, (if my fruit supply survives a few more days), some sort of bread and leftovers from dinners.

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Wow.  I'm finding all sorts of things in the freezers and now my mind is really wandering with ideas.

David, I'm looking and I'm not seeing any huckleberries in your freezer -- can't you stock up and freeze?

How wonderful, you remember my love of Huckleberries! Yes, I do have a full gallon left in the freezer. Their just buried down in the bottom of the chest freezer.

I do stock up on Huckleberries each fall when they are at the height of their flavor. This year that was the third week of September in our area. They sold in the $40 a gallon range this year. Since they are so precious and rare, and only come into season for a very short time each year, I usually buy two gallons. That will stretch them far into the next year for me.

And I actually like frozen berries nearly as much as fresh ones. While the flavor of a huckleberry gets diluted while it is frozen, they are still incredibly good in compotes, ice creams and baked goods.

Thanks for asking. Now my list is really growing for the week ahead!

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What are halvah threads?

With the time difference, I was sleeping while you folks in the US were posting. I was translating literally from the Hebrew...from the package top I see that "shredded halvah" is the proper name. I also see that there's a "d" missing in there.

It's used for filling pastries. Lessee if I can remember how to post a photo here....

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Maybe I'll fill my Hamentaschen with shredded halvah. Needs something else, though. Chocolate chips? Or chopped dates.

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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Now I need to know where I can buy that shredded halvah in the US.  I LOVE Halvah!!  The best I ever had was in Brooklyn, but I'm thinking that shredded product would be great in cookies, parfaits, etc.

I think a hunk of halvah, a sharp cleaver and a chopping block will do the trick...having bought the shredded stuff, I see I could do it cheaper myself, that way. Halvah cookies?! Now THAT sounds very good.

I just looked into my supply of flour, and see that if I'm to bake challah next Friday, I can't spare any for cookies right now. Makes me feel sort of like a pioneer woman, visiting her cellar and inspecting the apple barrel, eking the fruit out till spring...

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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I can't help but coming up with more Japanese ideas -I hope that's okay.
to the left a carton of chicken livers

Chicker liver yakitori? If you really like chicken livers, that is. Skewer and brush lightly with a 50/50 mix of mirin and soy, then grill. Enjoy with beer.

It's more red colored tiny fish eggs than anything very flavorful, but it made a nice garnish for a seafood appetizer during the holidays. Now I've just got to find some more seafood that can use a garnish of this roe.

Or, you could make chirashi-sushi, if you have the makings for sushi rice and some eggs around. Prepare your rice as you would normally, season it with salt, sugar, and vinegar to turn it into sushi rice. Then place it in a bowl, and top with cut-up pieces of omelette, fish roe, and sliced vegetables like cucumbers. It's very refreshing.

Thanks, those are great ideas. And based on your idea for the chicken livers, I've got them thawing in the fridge right now. I've got both mirin and soy already in my pantry. So tonight it will be a choice between Salmon and the chicken livers. Thanks again for the suggestions.

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I forgot to add that you should cook the soy and mirin together a bit first - and maybe add a bit of sugar to it - reduce it until it's to the thickness of your liking. This is an excellent "tare" for wings, meatballs, and any other pieces of chicken you see fit to grill.

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I forgot to add that you should cook the soy and mirin together a bit first - and maybe add a bit of sugar to it - reduce it until it's to the thickness of your liking. This is an excellent "tare" for wings, meatballs, and any other pieces of chicken you see fit to grill.

Agreed completely - I also like to add a squeeze of fresh lemon/lime juice.

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Now I need to know where I can buy that shredded halvah in the US.  I LOVE Halvah!!  The best I ever had was in Brooklyn, but I'm thinking that shredded product would be great in cookies, parfaits, etc.

I think a hunk of halvah, a sharp cleaver and a chopping block will do the trick...having bought the shredded stuff, I see I could do it cheaper myself, that way. Halvah cookies?! Now THAT sounds very good.

I just looked into my supply of flour, and see that if I'm to bake challah next Friday, I can't spare any for cookies right now. Makes me feel sort of like a pioneer woman, visiting her cellar and inspecting the apple barrel, eking the fruit out till spring...

One of my friends makes halvah and when it is partially set, rolls it out between two sheets of parchment paper then rolls it into a tight roll (still in the paper) and uses a sharp blade to cut it into narrow strips. For big batches she uses a paper cutter that she keeps for kitchen use. I don't remember it being as fine as the stuff in the photo but is perhaps 1/4 inch or slightly less in width.

After cooking the halvah, she spreads it into a sheet pan lined with Reynolds "Release" foil.

If she is just cutting it into squares she leaves it in the fridge for more than a day - perhaps 36 hours. If she is going to roll it she starts working it at about 12 hours while it is still pliable. She told me that if I ever plan to make halvah, I should never make it on a rainy day. (Not much of a problem in so.Calif., most of the time.)

She braids some of the strips, forms the braid into a coil or a knot and dips them in chocolate.

P.S. She also tried rolling and cutting it with a pasta machine and says, "don't try it! The machine will never be the same."

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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